The Grand tableau is without a shadow of a doubt the most elaborate of all spreads, utilizing all the 36 cards of the Kipper deck. Most beginners are scared to death of it but the truth is, if you have learned the basics outlined in previous blog posts, you should have no problem in utilizing your knowledge in deciphering the currents and the patterns of this large yet intricate puzzle. Card combinations, storyboarding, directionality and context are all paramount in the process. But let’s start at the beginning.
The Grand tableau consists of four lines of nine cards, forming a rectangular shape and very likely taking up most of your desk. First, we begin by locating the significator – the Man or the Woman card, depending on the sex of the querent. This image will serve as your anchor, as the core of your reading and will be the one you will return to over and over during the course of the session.
Taking the directionality into account, everything that is positioned in front of the significator will be their future while what is behind will represent the past. What is above will stand for their thoughts, plans and dreams, while what is below is to represent the real world they dwell in and the foundation on which the situation rests. Since every card is allowed to assume a perfectly random position, the significator itself may land at the very beginning of the tableau, at its very end, or anywhere in between. In case of it being positioned in the last line and thus giving the impression of having no future to look into, the whole layout is discarded, the cards are gathered together, reshuffled, and spread out again. There is absolutely no point in doing a reading that tells us next to nothing of what is to pass. Using Kipper is, after all, fortune-telling.
Once we have our significator determined and the orientation of the grand tableau with it, we can begin to read. Usually, the first step is to look at the four corners, allowing the cards so positioned to tell us the “frame” of the story. After that, we move again to the significator, first reading the cards directly surrounding it as a separate 9-card spread and only then proceed to reading those that are further from our imagined core of the layout. The farther away the card lies, the less influence it has on the querent’s life at the present time and, the closer it is, the more potent its impact is to be. This is called the “near and far method” and is also prominent in Lenormand. Of course, we also need to pay attention to the cards in line with the significator and especially those that represent the future. Those form the nucleus of the story and will tell us the most about what is likely to become of the situation.
If there are separate topics we wish to address such as love or health, we can turn to individual cards that cover them (i.e. High honors for work, Good outcome in love for interpersonal relationships, Short illness for health etc.) and, by observing the surrounding images, determine the state of things and in which direction the situation is likely to develop. At first, treat each of these as a separate 9-card spread – this will make the whole affair a whole lot easier and your experience with the Grand tableau a lot smoother.
In the end, it may be important to note that the method described above is actually quite similar to the Grand tableau as practiced in Lenormand. There actually exists another, unique to Kipper, but this more advanced technique will be left for a later post. Stay tuned.