A few weeks ago, I won an auction for a set of Persian Fal-e Hafez fortune-telling cards, which I'd been intrigued by ever since seeing a number of sets over at TG. According to the descriptions there, up until the Iranian revolution in 1979, it was common for the cards to feature semi-nude dancing girls (many of Hafez's poems deal with love and wine), but after the revolution, that sort of deck was banned. TG shows one pre-revolution deck which they describe as being from around 1975.
Although the auction pics showed no card in common with any of the TG examples, one of the cards had a bare-breasted dancer, so I suspected that it must be a pre-revolution set. When it arrived today, I was pleasantly surprised to discover it was, in fact, the same "erotic" set listed at TG. Or at least another version of it, as the TG cards have rounded corners and mine have square corners.
As you can see below, it comes in a plastic case and features a charming variety of images. Of interest is the fact that on about 3/4 of the cards, the verses on the back (which is where the actual fortune-telling happens) also include small illustrations. I don't believe that is typical of modern Fal-e Hafez cards. (The scans are of reduced size. The cards are 3" x 5".)
Last edited on Wed Jan 19th, 2011 10:23 pm by papoon
I am having a friends' husband keep an eye out for these decks when he goes home for a visit to Iran, possibly this fall. I have a couple of the post 1975 decks, but it would be interesting to see if he could find me any of the others.
I also have a RWS deck with Persian titles that another of her friends brought back for me from Iran last year.
I would like to get my hand on the deck for the artwork alone they are very beautiful, not caring at all that I cannot read the poems on the back. I have been looking for them for a bit, you are quite lucky to have found them so easily.
belinda2 wrote: you are quite lucky to have found them so easily.
Well, to be fair, to wasn't all that easily. Back when I found these, I'd been looking for them for something like 4 or 5 years before finally acquiring them from a seller in Japan.
There cards are still in print while I think the hafez cards are not. So did you translate the poems that are on the cards, or did you just create your own meanings so that you could use the cards for reading?
As papoon said, after 1979 nudity was banned from publication, but there are probably a few decks floating around out there somewhere. Although when my friends husband goes over there I would much rather he be careful and not get in trouble. But she doesn't seem to worried about it, LOL.
When I used these for divination I just used my own meanings. Some of them are pretty obvious.
I found mine from someone in Turkey. He had several different sets at the time.