The Doors of Somlipith –
A New Dimension of Card Reading
Author: Ana Cortez
Illustrator: CJ Freeman
“The Doors of Somlipith – A New Dimension In Card Reading” consists of a deck of 52 playing cards and a 304-page companion book. The deck and book come in a very well-constructed box that opens in a very unique manner – from right to left, the long way, with two-thirds of the top opening to the left-hand side and the remaining one-third opening to the right-hand side. The author, Ana Cortez, and the illustrator, CJ Freeman, are father and daughter. Mr. Freeman died in 2010. His daughter Anna continues to build on his work. (This deck was conceived 40 years ago.) The deck is meant to be used to help transform the person using it.
The cards are 2 ¾” by 4”, of sturdy cardstock. The backs are black, with the image of Somlipith centered on them. The card faces for Hearts, and Diamonds have a deep burgundy border, while the Clubs and have a black border. There is a central image on each card, with the suite symbol in the upper left-hand corner (as you view the card), with the card number (or initial for the court cards) in raised gold leaf. The card name runs across the bottom of the card, also in raised gold leaf. There are two Jokers in the deck, entitled Otto and Toto.
The imagery is bold and very well done. It will not be for everyone, and I do not recommend this deck for children. The images go from something simple like a sword or a cup to basic portraiture for the court cards. Some of the images, like The Faun and The Castle, could fall under the category of myth or fantasy. Then there are images that take some getting used to, such as East Wind, Wind Cloak, The Curse, Terra Incognita, Severed Head, and Medusa. Partial nudity is shown in Moon Fire and Fata Morgana.
The Somlipith is the Ace of the Realm of Ethra (The Ace of Clubs, Element of Air). It is on his wings that the reader takes this journey through the cards. The cards that the reader uses act as doors to enter his Realm of the Ethereal.
The author lets us know that this deck has a will of its own – it was not created; it was discovered. All realities are accessible through The Doors of Somlipith.
The reader is taken on a journey through the cards, complete with exercises. It is a learning experience like no other. Each of the realms is introduced, along with the qualities that it represents.
The court cards are known as the Upper Kingdom, with each Realm having its own story. The cards are presented with a small full-color image, their name, a keyword, and the energy that the card carries.
The Lower Kingdom is the numbered cards in the deck. They carry the energy of doing and happening. They are presented with a small full-color image, name, keyword, and the energy that they carry.
Cortez addresses how to read the cards and how the reader can form their question. She presents a chart of symbolic meanings for the deck – the 52 cards represent the 52 weeks of the year, the four suits represent the four seasons, and the 13 cards per suit represent the 13 weeks of each season.
Two spreads are presented – the Window Into The Now and Timekeeping with WTIN. There is an explanation given for each card position within the spread, including the Element, the Aspect of Self, the Natural Home, and the essential correspondence.
There is also a fascinating section on geomancy, followed by a section on planetary correspondences.
A must-have section for any book of this type is that of interpretation techniques. Cortez discusses pairing the Realms, which are compatible, and which are not compatible. She also discusses numbers and how they affect a reading.
Now the fun stuff starts – seeing layouts (spreads) as pictures! There is a very interesting story that she tells about interpreting two cards – for another party that was reading for a client of theirs. That story was spot on!
Cortez presents sample readings, which IMHO is the best way to see how the author works with the cards. She gives her interpretations as stories, which is how a reader works with their clients.
In her chapter on the 36 Gates, Cortez shows the movement of the Sun within The Doors of Somlipith. She notes that both lunar and solar calendars reside within this Oracle. She defines the timing of the cards according to the sun and the moon. She discusses triplicities, and equinoxes, and solstices as invisible gates of power.
I loved the chapter on ceremony! Cortez states that this is a deck that is made for ceremony – and I agree with her. She lists nine commandments of ceremony, setting intention, and letting it flow.
There is quite an interesting spread presented for ascending and descending the pyramid, along with working with Yes/No questions and drawing a daily card.
There is an appendix listing each card and its keyword, the elemental signs, and the equinox and solstice gates. This is followed by a bibliography and poetry from the geometric talismans.
This deck will not be for everybody, but it will open up life for those that are willing to open their minds and work with it.
© April 2023 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction is prohibited without written permission from the author.