Written by Melissa Sunjaya
Illustrated by Melissa Sunjaya and Sébastien Théraulaz

Throughout history, playing cards have served a variety of enigmatic purposes. Originally only the front of cards was printed, while the backs were left blank. This free space combined with their petite size made them ideal for use in sending secret love letters and covert messages. Playing cards have also been linked to secret societies as it is believed that the seemingly benign symbolism used for the cards’ suits and values actually relayed hidden messages. This complex and mysterious history adds to the charming allure inherent to a deck of cards. Whether it is through the love of games or secrets, playing cards have been bringing people together ever since their creation hundreds of years ago.

The Anima
Anima is represented by the Supreme Hippocampus (seahorse) who symbolises the awareness of one’s opposite gender. This subconscious knowledge creates balance and provides nourishment to the soul. According to Carl Jung (the founder of analytical psychology) the Anima is an archetype which epitomises our truest self and is the ultimate source of our creativity.

The Oracle
The notion that reality plays but a part in the totality of our human existence is perhaps difficult to grasp. However, when we reminisce, dream, contemplate and imagine, it becomes easier to understand the limitations inherent to reality itself. The Oracle of the Catfish is a simple diviner that momentarily ceases our routine, and allows us to acknowledge that the intangible in fact co-exists with the tangible.

Terra (Earth)
The Confederation of Rhapsodic Voyagers

The suit of black diamonds embodies the first classical element of earth. It is the sacred soil which holds and nourishes the seeds and roots of many organisms. In the ANIMA deck, Terra is defended by a confederation of adventurous seals and walruses. They are an armada of rhapsodic voyagers who see change as a journey to a better state. The Queen Seal is a wild seductress, while the Jack Walrus is a dauntless explorer. The King Walrus is regarded as a true maestro due to his extraordinary artisanal abilities.

Aqua  (Water)
The Legacy of Magical Believers

The suit of indigo clubs represents the second classical element of water. This aquatic territory is inhabited by a legion of magical frogs who have the power to see into the future. Their sixth sense is a gift passed down through the generations. These clairvoyant amphibians dwell in the realm of dreams and imagination. The Queen Frog spends her days interpreting her visions. The Jack Frog is a trickster who uses illusions to obscure the truth. The King Frog has the ability to manifest his premonitions into reality.

Aer (Air)
The Guild of Transcendental Alchemists

The suit of scarlet hearts symbolises the third classical element of air. The atmospheres of day and night are guarded by a guild of wise owls who specialise in the study of transcendental alchemy. Their philosophy centres on using one’s intuition to reach a heightened state of awareness. The Queen Owl inspires unconditional love in all who meet her. The Jack Owl is profoundly wise. The King Owl possesses powerful metaphysical skills and has the ability to liberate the minds of others from fear, worry, and weakness.

Ignis (Fire)
The Empire of Founders

The suit of blazing spades portrays the fourth classical element of fire. In the ANIMA deck this celestial flame is protected by an empire of vigilant and trustworthy lynx. Their collective ambition is to create a balance that protects their ever-evolving civilisation. The Queen Lynx upholds justice. The Jack Lynx controls the progression of society. The King Lynx is a strong ruler who empowers his citizens.