The Gypsy Fortuneteller

Gypsy Fortune Teller Oil Painting by Enzie Shahmiri

On her Flickr page, artist Enzie Shahmiri has posted a copy of her painting, “The Gypsy Fortune Teller” — and she asks, “Who can guess what the tarot cards in front of her read?”

Do you want to try?

Here’s a close-up of the cards, taken while the painting was still in progress. Click the thumbnail for a full-size version.

If you’d like a closer look, here’s a link to the finished piece, with a zoom feature that you can use to see the cards in maximum detail.

  • I think the bottom row shows the Moon, the Queen of Swords, the Lovers, and the Hanged Man reversed.
  • The top row seems to be the Tower, Death, the Fool reversed, the Wheel of Fortune, the Devil, and the Four of Cups.
  • I can also see the World and Justice lying on the table, but I don’t think they’re part of the spread.

Do you see the same cards? Take your best guess; I could be wrong. There are a few other cards on the table, too … Can you tell what they are?

Now here are some questions for us to contemplate, based on the image:

  • Imagine that you’re actually at the scene. Are you the client, or is she reading for someone else?
  • If she’s reading for someone else, who is her client? Can you picture that person, too?
  • What question do you think she’s trying to answer?
  • If you were the gypsy tarot reader, how would you interpret those cards?
  • If you were her client, what would you expect her to say?
  • She’s holding some coins in her hand. Someone has obviously “crossed her palm with silver.” But why is there a knife on the table?
I’m curious to hear what you think. The comments section is open!
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12 thoughts on “The Gypsy Fortuneteller

  1. The expression on her face, and the fact that her hand is placed on the knife, look like she has decided she doesn’t trust the client. The way she’s holding the money in her other hand makes me wonder if she’s about to say, “Is all you’ve got?”

  2. This is indeed a nice painting, I like the soft palette she has used creating a sense of mystery about the reader. I did take a close up look at those cards, but they are not that easy to see, I wasn’t sure if she had the lovers or the 2 of cups reversed, I did manage to see the devil, and the fool reversed side by side, I wonder if the person she has read for, is a slave to their addictions and that they do what they do without thinking but rather rush into it…. LOL It now makes me wonder what the original question was. Like the comment above me, the way she has her hand on the knife, seems to indicate that she is not sure of the client.

    • Helen, that is so thoughtful. Slave to addictions, indeed. But aren’t we all? I only wonder what the client’s addictions might be, and why the gypsy is so distrustful of the person she truly “sees” in the cards.

  3. I would say that the bottom row shows the past and that it depicts two lovers in the beginning stages of a relationship where everything is perfect and wonderful. I would then go on to say that the top row shows what’s happening now and the tower suggests there was a huge change or dramatic event, making the darker aspects of the relationship come out into the open. The Justice card and the Wheel could signify future events, maybe something will happen to right this situation. I think the dagger is an important detail as well, perhaps someone will get revenge or will be brought to justice.

  4. I think maybe the Gypsy sees something about the client that she is not revealing. The look on her face seems to say, “You’re not telling me the whole story.”

  5. Here is my story to tell: a male client comes to get cards read and they show a seriously abusive relationship he has with his lover, that has just ended in tragedy—a death. Unbeknowst to the TR, the lover of this male client has been someone who has come to her for many previous readings and each reading revealed a more and more dangerous situation and the TR advisesd her to end the relationship and seek safety. This male client knew about the TR’s readings and has come to her posing as someone wanting a reading, but really has the intention to harm her as well, since it was she who influenced his lover to leave him. Only when the client pays, does the TR realize what is happening because she is paid with the same types of unusual coins that the lover paid her with…thus the look and the knife are there as a warning to leave her alone. We are left up to our own imaginations as to how this all ends.

  6. Pingback: Today is a Hanged Man Day « Debramoolenaar's Blog

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