The 44-year-old Gypsy Bijou fortune-telling cards (republished 1969) is a great little deck to have to do Near and Far readings because the Near and Far meanings are right on them. You don’t have to worry about the playing card insets because they are not included on them.
The only difference between this deck and the standard 36 card deck is two cards. #8 Broken Mirror and #21 Rock. This shouldn’t be any problem at all if you do a Reading. Just use the meanings by Minetta in the LWB that comes with the deck of cards. I don’t use these cards often. I find square corners more awkward to shuffle and besides that I want to keep them in tact without bends, etc.
Have you ever wondered what the word bijou means? It’s French, of course and it means a little piece of jewelry usually possessing intricate detail (brief description). That’s a very suitable word for this type of fortune-telling deck. Little bits of intricate detail are woven from the card meanings to create a jewel of a prediction.
I used to get the Fox card right beside my partner’s Significator card (Gentleman) when I did Lenormand readings. It didn’t matter if I used a small or large layout and I wasn’t even doing a N & F method. I often wondered who might be represented by the Fox. In hindsight, Fox described a situation very close in meaning as found the little booklet. “Near – beware of those you come in contact, for someone is deceiving you.” There was a breach of trust over a situation. The Fox appears at a distance now in layouts far away from the Gentleman card. “If distant, there is no real danger.”
I do want to point out that Minetta’s meanings are applied on the positions of the cards near or far from the Significator (s). I like doing the Near and Far method with the Zigeuner Wahrsagekarten (Gipsy cards) more so than the Lenormand. In the back of the booklet is a 4 rows x 8 cards plus 4 cards (5th row) layout with a Reading you can follow along with if you lay out the card according to the diagram. The Clouds card carried a lot of weight as well and isn’t just passing confusion, lack of clarity or muddled thoughts.
This would be very good practice if you want to learn the Near and Far process with the Gypsy Bijou deck.
Here is an interesting quote from the booklet. “The fate of a person is described in the following manner: If a lady, married or single by No 29. If a gentleman, or child, by No 28.” I never use the Gentleman card for a child because I don’t read cards for children. The LWB is not clear on the definition of child. Is it a person under 18 years old? Was it 14 or 21? I don’t know for sure what age was considered a child in 1910 when these cards were first published by Foulsham & Co., London England. You can probably google search for that data if you really want to know.