The first known Sibilla Cards were created in 1827. Published by the French publishing firm, B.P. Grimaud, they were called “La Sibylle des Salons” or literally, ‘The Sibyl of the Salons.’ The first Sibilla cards were designed by renowned French illustrator, J.J. Grandville, who was commissioned by Grimaud to create the deck. This deck came into being at a time when Marie-Anne Therese LeNormand was a highly-celebrated seer and diviner in France. Madame LeNormand was consulted by a very select clientele. Grimaud, probably noticing her popularity, likely had the Sibilla deck created as a way of cashing-in on nineteenth-century society’s general desire for parlor games, and specifically those of a divinatory nature. This deck made it possible for those who didn’t have the means to consult Madame LeNormand, to do their own fortunetelling. I have no idea if Madame LeNormand herself used the Sibilla deck, but I think it’s highly-unlikely that she did.
Of course, an idea this great isn’t going to stay with just one publisher, and there have been a number of Sibilla decks issued in the nearly two centuries since Grimaud published the first Sibilla deck. If you go to Amazon.com and type in the search term, ‘Sibilla cards’, it offers at least thirteen different kinds of Sibilla decks for sale. Italians appear to have taken to the Sibilla cards so readily, one could be forgiven for thinking an Italian invented them; Italian publisher Lo Scarabeo alone offers several different Sibilla decks. But from what I’ve gleaned, the first Sibilla deck originated in France.
There are 52 cards in the Sibilla deck, the same number of cards as the standard playing deck. Unlike the standard playing card deck, the Sibilla cards aren’t divided-up into suits, with pip cards and court cards. Like the Lenormand and Kipper decks, each Sibilla card has a unique image and concept attached to it. Unlike the Lenormand and Kipper cards, they are not numbered. Like the Tarot cards, the Sibilla cards do have an upright and reversed meaning to each card. They are arranged in alphabetical order by the name of the card. Let’s begin.
Thank your for this post, this is amazing and very helpful! 🙂 Unfortunately there is very few material about Sibilla cards out there.
The Sibilla deck isn’t as famous as the Tarot deck, but it seems to be getting a little more attention in recent years. I know of at least one card reader/psychic on YouTube who uses them.
I do not know anyone on youtube that use them. Could you send me the link? In Brazil many people use Sibilla, but it seems people do not teach much about how to use them. I’ve seen a series of videos from a brazilian sibilla reader that helped me a lot, but I still like to look for other sources.
Thanks so very much for sharing your knowledge!! I’m just beginning Sibilla and simply love your willingness to help others learn. 🤗
You’re quite welcome! It’s odd–I’ve never wanted to be a teacher, but when it comes to the subject of divination, I have this odd tendency to slip into teacher-mode. I’ve been a ‘collector’ of various divination methods over the years, and I enjoy sharing them with others.
One psychic card reader on YouTube, who only goes by the name of Marie (her YouTube channel is called Marie’s Table), sometimes uses Sibilla Cards, although she calls them by the ‘brand-name’ of her particular Sibilla deck, the ‘Gypsy Oracle Cards’. Her YouTube channel is at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBwF07inC7P3z5tsSPNNHtw. I hope this helps!
She really seems to use it a lot. The problem is that she only reads about Trump lol.
Sadly, he’s a huge target for readings these days! I look forward to the day when he’s just a distant memory, and not a big focus of concern. I like it when Marie uses the Gypsy Oracle Card Sibilla deck, because those, I have a pretty-good grasp of.
Indeed. I found out some people are making many readings about Bolsonaro in Brazil as well. They are more accurante than the ones of Mary. I feel Mary often shuffles it wrongly and doesn’t formulate good questions…”What’s going on with Trump?” It is such a vague question in my opinion…
Hello, look for Tom Benjamin and Kelly The Truth in Story in YOU TUBE, both read and have some teaching there with Sibillas.
Thanks for the tip!
Discovered Lenormands and Sibillas just a few months back after many years of being a Tarot chick and, they’re just neat. I’ve personally enountered three different systems, the Vera Sibilla, the Sibilla Indovina, which is the one I seem to be clicking with, but that might just be a function of more attractive artwork on the cards and… the Gypsy Witch Fortune Telling Playing cards/Maybe Lenormand, which has the most variation from the other two. My guess is that Mlle Lenormand was most likely using plain vanilla playing cards for her readings. They’re an old tried and true, after all.
Not to be contrary, but some Sibilla cards are “numbered” both “Salons” and “La Vera” use regular playing card suits and numbering. The Gypsy Oracle or Sibilla “Ze…” something isn’t numbered, and that is the one you are using here.
For people learning, I think this is a very important distinction that doesn’t seem to come across in your article. If I missed where that information was put in I do apologize.
I know you did mention there are other versions of the deck. But you state with some conviction that Sibilla cards aren’t numbered and that just isn’t true.
Ah, I was unaware of that. Thank you for setting me straight. And you’re right; it’s an important distinction which I should have been aware of before posting. Clearly I will need to re-visit and revise that article sometime soon.
I now use the Sibilla almost exclusively as it delivers the exact kind of details my clients are looking for. Just as an aside traditionally the significators are the two Lovers (Jack and Queen of Hearts). I recoiled in horror at the thought of using the Soldier as a significator! Totally understand your reasoning though as there is very little out there so it’s a kind of feel your way along experience and of course whatever works for you is the best way to do it! There is a good (debated) book in English called Italian Cartomancy by Alessandra Venturi, which, if it is arguable about whether her method is truly traditional, at least gives a native Italian reader’s take on the Sibilla. It has lots of info not found elsewhere. The problems with it are a) It’s difficult to find and b) she gives no reading methods, just an in-depth look at each card, upright and reversed. Apparently the methods will be explained in the next book, which hasn’t appeared. There’s also some controversy about her traditional meaning of the Peacock or Pridefulness card (2 Clubs). Some traditionalists view this as a highly negative card, but Venturi reads it as one of the most positive cards in the deck. After observing my readings I have found the latter to be the case, but some of her other meanings didn’t ring true to me. However, lacking anything better this is probably the best source on card meanings. I just wish the author would release an ebook version and also publish the next two promised books in the series which deal with the methods and combinations.
I really love this deck, although I use the more traditional version mentioned in the comments above as it has the card values which add to my interpretations. Before I discovered the Venturi book I used to sit and pull 5 cards from the deck before pressing play on a true crime show and seeing if I could figure out the murderer. I learned a lot that way and it’s great fun. Like the tarot the traditional meanings are great to know, but your own observations alongside is the best way to go.
Also I use the line of 5 or 7 mostly, although the 9 card box works well. I hadn’t thought about trying a bigger block, but I’m certainly going to give it a go. I have found that Lenormand techniques such as mirroring work great with the Sibilla too, though I know some people will read this and recoil at THAT 😀
Thank you for the information! That’s what I like about the Sibilla deck, and the Kipper deck as well–they get into the nitty-gritty details of people’s lives. They don’t call for people to do any deep, meditative thought, they just show people what is going on in their world, right here and right now, and that is what most people want, I think. If at all, the Soldier card would be a significator *only* for a very specific sort of client, one who has made a career of the military. I can understand your recoiling at the idea of using it as a significator for anybody.
Sorry! Love to share info and I forgot to say that Venturi also introduced me to the concept of strong and weak suits. Hearts and Spades are strong and Clubs and Diamonds are weak, barring a few exceptions (for example the Peacock being highly fortunate despite being in Clubs). The strong suits overpower the weaker and are given much more prominence in a reading. It helps me pull out nuance for a reading I would never have gotten otherwise. Of course you need the other, more traditional deck, with the card numbers to be able to use this unless you have an excellent memory. And one final tip. There are two versions of the traditional deck, both have the card inserts, but one has the little pictures like we’re used to while the other, made for the Italian market, simply has a letter and the number. This can be confusing for new readers as C is not Clubs it’s Hearts (Cuore), F is Clubs etc so it’s another thing you need to memorise. Much easier for a beginner to get the other deck.