Toni Puhle’s book on the Kipper system is one of the very few that is available widely in English. For that alone, it is well worth the investment. Up until now, people had to learn German (or use a translator) to try and learn this system. Consequently, Kipper has been largely ignored in the English-speaking world in comparison to Lenormand and Tarot.
This book begins with a few brief chapters to acquaint the reader. This includes a brief history and some basic information on how to set up a reading and ask questions. A large part of this beginning section is to dissuade English-speaking readers for reading Kipper based on Lenormand. I find this understandable given Lenormand’s rising popularity and also that Lenormand and Kipper are just similar enough on the surface to confuse new readers (i.e. both have 36 cards and originate in Europe at about the same time).
Puhle has written a very comprehensive book for a beginner, which can truly give someone the basics from scratch. Puhle gives extensive information on each card. For example, each card’s section contains information on the auspicious and inauspicious meanings of the card; the type of card; the direction it is read; how the card is read for different types of questions; how it is read next to select other cards; and, some common mistakes. She provides fantastic explanations of the types of cards (e.g. cause and effect, stop, connector). Additionally, she includes diagrams so the learner can visually see how those cards work in context.
However, her form of reading Kipper is not the only one, and it is advisable to look for other resources. Some of her techniques may or may not work in the tradition you are grounded in.
Puhle spends a great deal of time going through several spreads, including the grand tableau. That said, this book does not account of every type of reading that can be done with Kipper cards, but this is not a detriment. This beginner book is intended for an under-served group of readers. Additional books can (and should) be written on the other traditions of Kipper.
Access to Other Resources
In addition to the book, Puhle publishes several resources online, including a website, Facebook page and series of stater videos for learners in addition to the cards she has made. The videos are a wonderful complement to the book and I highly recommend using them as reinforcement. Below is the first in the series:
Layout and Feel
Puhle published this book through a self-publishing format, but it is very nicely formatted and bound. She put a great deal of work into making this book as professional as possible. My only caveat is that the images are in black and white and, at times, are a little small to be clear. Added to that, Puhle uses images from a deck she created and sells. While this is completely understandable, readers may find it a bit hard to tell which cards are being referenced if using another deck. Because of this, it may be be slightly easier to learn using Puhle’s own deck, but it is not necessary.
I absolutely feel this book can teach basic Kipper concepts and will get someone comfortable doing most of the spreads presented. Puhle really lines out the information well. I do, however, think be that for most people it will be hard to get to reading a full grand tableau immediately. This will require working through the book very slowly and possibly finding an additional resource where possible. I am happy to see Puhle herself is providing some of these resources.
A Final Note: Puhle’s book and cards use the directional cues from the original printing of Kipper cards. Most later decks have the card directions flipped. She notes this historical fact and and explains clearly how to read with any set of deck. After almost no time, this is not a problem.
Title: The Card Geek’s Guide to Kipper
Author: Toni Puhle
Page Count: 250
Publisher: CreateSpace, 2017
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