Krummy

by Frater Pyramidatus 22nd April 2011
Krummy is a game using Tarot cards, and although the choice of deck is a personal issue, the object is to learn the correspondences of the Hermetic Tree of Life. It is designed to teach groups the various correspondences of the Hermetic Qabalah in a painless and fun way. The method used is called that of 'Yetzirah'. This basically means the different symbol sets are intermingled in a way which is not disciplined Qabalism, but tangential and rather skew wise. Although Qabalists do not properly mix up the symbol sets without much forethought, this game does teach one over time. 'Krummy' is obviously a play on words with 'rummy', I believe this game is also known as 'Karbuncle'. I should also add that this is my own version of 'Krummy' and that older, and probably more concise and streamlined, versions exist. I can only refer any students to historical sources, especially 'The Royal Game of Life' by Papus, and perhaps Hoyle as well. I have embellished the Krummy game that I discovered on the World Wide Web many years ago. This in itself does not require an apology, rather a disclaimer that what I call 'Krummy' is a variation of something far older. One – The Dealing Deal alternately, ie. one card at a time, clockwise or anticlockwise, between five and eleven cards a person. Two – The First Lay After all the players have picked up and had a moment or two to look at their cards, the dealer lays a card, face up, in the centre. The first card laid depends on whoever is quickest. If one mistakenly lays down a card that has no Qabalistical connection then that player is annulled from that particular hand, and has to stay put until the cards are reshuffled. If a perfect correspondence is laid, then the player gets three points. Three – The Points System A maximum of two points may be scored per turn (with two exceptions where three points can be scored). They may be scored in two ways: a) playing a trick, or b) emptying your hand. Playing a Trick A card with only a loose association may by played yet score no point. For example one could play the Four of Swords on top of The Fool due to the Elemental connection of Air. One point is scored for an unarguable association. For example the Princess of Swords on top of the Ten of Swords, as they are both of one Suit, and they are both stationed on Malkuth, the tenth Sphere. Two points are scored for a 'trick'. However, a trick must be the third card dealt in a row. So if the two previous cards were, for instance, the Three of Swords then the Four of Swords, you could come in with the Five of Swords for two points. The same goes for three, four, five, six, seven or eight of a kind. It is this rule that stops the game becoming too tangential. Arguments If a player claims a point with a Qabalistic correspondence, and another believes this to be a spurious and illegitimate claim, argument is not allowed during play. It is up to the player to make a note of the two cards in question and point it out after play, and then debate the connection or lack thereof. Emptying Your Hand The object of Krummy is not to empty your hand, but rather to score points. As play revolves, a player who cannot score a trick simply does not lay. A player who deals his last card earns two points. One may deal all one's cards simultaneously it they either a) connect Qabalistically in an undeniable manner, or b) form a sequential trick of all least three cards, or a three/four/five/six/seven/eight of a kind trick, or combination of sequence and same kind. This is a quick way of scoring two points. Once a player has emptied his or her

hand, the deck is reshuffled and a new round commences. Four – The Will to Power If a player is down to the last two cards, he or she has the right, but not the obligation to claim 'The Will to Power'. If after claiming this, one then empties one's hand, then three points are scored. If one claims 'The Will to Power' and is not the first to empty one's hand one loses two points. One can only claim 'The Will to Power' immediately after one's turn. Five – Breaking the Rules If a rule is broken, knowingly or inadvertently, play continues but the infraction accrues an exponential loss of points, to the power. That is the first rule broken incurs a penalty of two points, the second four, the third eight, the fourth 16 etc.. Six – The Choice of Deck Any deck may be used that ties in with the Hermetic Tree of Life. It goes without saying that Tarot decks, rather than 'angel cards' or 'Zen koan cards' are the most appropriate. Tarot decks do vary in the number of cards, with for example some having 81 cards rather than 78, or with different names for the Trumps and so on. I can only recommend the Rider Waite Tarot, or the Thoth deck by Crowley, or the Tarot of Ceremonial Magick by Lon Milo DuQuette and others that 'tie in'. It is also possible to use a playing card deck if a group is fluent in how they correspond with the Tarot symbols, although this is rarely the case, and the lack of Trumps may somewhat dilute the game. I would not get too tied up in knots about the hundreds of Tarot decks available. My personal preference is the Thoth deck by Crowley because the principal symbols of the Hebrew and astrological for each card are printed on the bottom of each card. The Morgan Greer tarot is, in my humble opinion, the most beautiful. Seven – The Winner A player wins when either a) a predetermined number of points is reached, or b) all but one of the players resigns, or alternatively one player is unanimously agreed upon as the winner. It is far better if the former is chosen as the game is basically a tool to teach correspondences and is not really meant to be competitive. Eight – Divination If players wish to use the game in a divination type way that is acceptable but this requires that each trick be recorded. And we must remember that divination is very dangerous and not to be dabbled with lightly. Crowley rightly states that divination is the most dangerous type of magick. A whole volume of guidelines could be written on this. Nine – Gambling It is in the spirit of the game to allow single stakes, however it is not in the spirit of the game to allow antes, straddles, raising and calling, or bluffing.

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