This is a picture of a Grand Tableau reading, using the entire deck. Burning Serpent belongs to the tradition known as Lenormand, named for the most famous card reader of 19th century Europe, and in that tradition we read the cards by laying all of them out and seeing what patterns reveal themselves when we see where various cards have fallen. The reading was done for a man and traditionally the first thing we would do is look for the card titled “The Man,” card 28, and see what cards are directly around it, then look to see where “The Woman,” card 29, turns up. In this deck, however,we wanted to make it accessible for gay and lesbian subjects, so Robert created an alternative card 29–a second Man–and alternative 28–a second Woman. The reading above was indeed for a gay man, thus we have both Man cards.
Lenormand readers will also note that the bottom line of the pattern has six cards rather than the traditional four. This is because Robert created two extra cards, 37 and 38, Osiris and Isis. They, too, are variants of the Man and Woman. They represent people’s higher, or best selves.