Though I’ve worked with numerous divination decks throughout the years, I’ve never yet used Kipper cards until this week when Schiffer/ Red Feather very kindly sent me the bright and beautiful ‘Rainbow Kipper‘ cards designed and created by Toni Puhle and Steven Bright.
Merging tradition with contemporary art, these thirty-six, colour-coded Kipper cards are designed specifically to aid readers to explore their day-to-day environment, and to make for easy fortune-telling.
Toni Puhle & Steven Bright
Born in Sheffield in 1975, Toni Puhle has studied and researched the traditional systems of Lenormand, Kipper, and Gypsey cards in England, France, and Germany. Toni is the founder of the World Divination Association and is the author of ‘The Card Geek’s Guide To Kipper Cards’.
Born in London in 1972, Steven Bright is an author, artist, and the creator of the Spirit Within Tarot (Schiffer Publishing 2017). Steven is the co-founder of the Esotoracle Magazine and alongside his own book ‘Tarot: Your Personal Guide’ (Wellfoot Books, 2018) Steven has also written for various periodicals.
What Are Kipper Cards?
Kipper cards first came about in Germany during the 1890s. Inspired by an 1890s sensibility and order, the Kipper deck has mostly been used in Germany and its environs over the course of its history. However, it’s been gaining popularity outside of Germany in recent years, quite possibly due to alternative decks such as the Regula Elizabeth Fiechter’s Mystical Kipper, Ciro Marchetti’s Fin De Siecle Kipper, and the very modern-looking ‘The Card Geek’s Kipper Deck’.
The Kipper deck is comprised of thirty-six cards, and it’s very possible that the creator of the Kipper deck was inspired by the Lenormand, which itself may well have been inspired by the ‘Game of Hope’ deck, which was created by a German businessman with the intentions of being used as a family game around the year 1800.
Whilst the Kipper deck isn’t a deck that has the capacity to address larger, societal issues, it works on a much more personal level, aimed at the everyday realities of people’s lives. Kipper cards reflect both on the highest and the lowest possibilities life may contain and does not depict objects (like the Lenormand deck). It depicts people, societal roles, and personal states of being.
Back in the nineteenth century, Bavaria was not the place we know today, the climate was not too friendly to the card reading community, and readers often struggled to find a deck that they were able to use without the worry that they may upset or offend others. The Kipper deck was born out of necessity during a time and a place where Lenormand and Gypsey cards were shunned due to their roots. I rather appreciate that the Kipper cards refrain from including religious or symbolic references as I myself am not particularly religious and rather like the simplicity of these cards.
The Rainbow Kipper deck arrives perfectly packaged in a beautiful, pale blue box featuring a magnetic-close clasp at the side of the box. Inside the box is a built-in fuscia pink, cardboard template for housing the cards and space to store the guidebook included.
The Rainbow Kipper includes a 112-page-colour-printed-guidebook which includes a preface, information upon the colour coding within the deck, a double-page guide upon each of the cards and their meanings, information upon how to read the colours, a guide upon setting intentions, various spread examples, and a conclusion.
The Rainbow Kipper is a dinky deck; the cards feature shimmery, silver building and pale blue card backs with a rainbow disc central to the design. The matt card stock is of high quality, and each card is colour-coded and labelled clearly with numbers and titling at the base of each card.
Whilst I rather like the design and the colours featured within this deck, I was a little disappointed to find that a few of the cards had strips of alternative colours running down the edge of the cards, suggesting that there has either been a printing or cutting error during publication.
Reading With Colour
The Rainbow Kipper is divided into six sets of colour-coded cards: character cards, green ‘people’ cards, red ‘stop’ cards, blue ‘movement’ cards, pink ‘connector’ cards, and yellow ’cause and effect’ cards. By colour coding the cards, readers are easily able to understand the intention of the card and the message that it has to offer.
The ‘Main Character’ Cards
The Green ‘People’ Cards
The Red ‘Stop’ Cards
The Blue ‘Movement’ Cards
The Pink ‘Connector’ Cards
The Yellow ‘Cause & Effect’ Cards
Let’s Walkthrough the Rainbow Kipper
In order to further illustrate and explain this deck, I have created a short video walkthrough of the Rainbow Kipper.
Reading With The Rainbow Kipper
Though I’m fairly new to working with Kipper cards, I have a wealth of knowledge upon Tarot reading and so have used these cards alongside ‘The Spirit Within Tarot’ to offer more detail and further information during readings. With this in mind, it is worth understanding that Kipper cards are intended to answer situational questions, not deep religious, mystical, or esoteric conundrums. For that reason, I have added the Rainbow Kipper to my ‘tools for Tarot’ rather than reading with this deck alone.
This deck is rather simple in design and also rather simple in its suggestions and messages. It’s not intended to be a detailed deck, thus should be set aside as either an addition to the Tarot or used simply as a simplistic, fun tool for fortune telling.
Purchasing & Pricing Information
The Rainbow Kipper is available to purchase directly via Schiffer for $24.99, via Red Feather for $24.99, or alternatively, if you are within the UK you can source a copy of Rainbow Kipper from either Gazelle Book Services for £22.99, or from Amazon where (as of June 2021) this deck is currently on offer for only £17.85.
Whilst I’m usually always up for trying new techniques and tools when it comes to the art of divination, I personally found the Rainbow Kipper a little too simplistic for my liking. I rather enjoyed working with the colour coded cards and will definitely continue to use them alongside Tarot readings to aid clarification.
Whilst I like the look and the feel of these cards, I’m not entirely sure as to whether Kipper cards are entirely my thing, certainly not when used as the sole source of divination. I would however recommend these to readers of all levels and abilities should they fancy expanding their divination tools and techniques.
For further information on the Rainbow Kipper cards or alternative Red Feather/ Schiffer products visit www.redfeathermbs.com
Disclosure: I was sent the above product for the purpose of this post however all opinions are my own.