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How to Achieve Harmony with Life

Every day, we are constantly interacting with our surroundings and, in a way, also with our thoughts. In our encounters with other people and their reactions to our actions, we can learn a great deal about ourselves. We are, in a sense, mirrors for each other. However, it’s not always pleasant to see what we reflect, leading to uncomfortable reactions at times. This sets off a cascade of thoughts, oscillating between light and dark, making it a challenging task to navigate through the myriad of thoughts pulling us in different directions before arriving at our preferred course of action in a given situation.

Artist: Hans Henning Withus Pedersen (1920-1947). Photo: Per Jan

Many are familiar with the famous words of St. Paul: “For the good that I would, I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do.” This dilemma of thought is something most can relate to and can often lead to feelings of guilt and introspection. The words inscribed at the entrance to the Temple of Apollo in Delphi still ring true: “Know thyself.” Self-awareness and self-understanding can serve as a solid foundation for comprehending our thought processes.

But how does one bring thoughts and actions into harmony with life itself? In a time where conflict and unrest draw closer to us, it might be an opportune moment to reflect on how to become better individuals and align ourselves with life.

A central question arises: what can one do to become a better person? That’s the question we’ll pose the cards.

Cards: Dondorf, Hundertjahrkarten, 1933

The answer is quite simple: one should look at the people one dislike or don’t get along with (5 of Hearts). Ask oneself the question, why don’t I like them? We are all the sum of our experiences, and the 4 of Diamonds thus indicates the world as each of us sees and perceives it. We are all shaped by our experiences. However, other people have different values (6 of Diamonds), a different worldview due to different experiences than us. They may also have a different skin color, sexuality, religion, etc., but we must be able to accommodate people who are different from ourselves (the card value increases from 4-5-6). If we don’t do that, it can end in conflict and division (2 of Spades).
The essence is clear: we must examine our own intolerance.

The Martinus Institute. Photo: Per Jan

Let’s delve a bit deeper into this not entirely insignificant topic. The Danish author Martinus (1890-1981) left behind over 10,000 pages of work. His main work, “Livets Bog” (Book of Life), along with a supplement titled “The Eternal World Pictures” (100 symbols in six volumes), explores themes of cosmology and spiritual development. In his worldview – what he termed his cosmic analyses – he describes the laws of spiritual development.

Martinus 1928. © Martinus Institut / martinus.dk

As a response to a question about tolerance, he wrote the following in the Danish magazine “Kosmos” in 1933. His words may serve as inspiration for what one can do to become a better person and achieve harmony with life and one’s surroundings.

“Discard the concept of “enemies” from your consciousness. – Never retort against anger, slander or other forms of unpleasantness directed against you. – Never say anything evil about anyone or anything. – Be absolutely truthful and honest in all situations of life. – Be absolutely uninfluenced by flattery, praise and criticism. – Never take part in killing, wounding or mutilating. – Never let your thoughts deviate from being concerned with how you can best serve your fellow beings. In so doing you will be practicing the very highest form of yoga or the most perfect training of that part of your development which is within the scope of your will…”
(translated by Mary McGovern)

Will Donald Trump be re-elected as president in 2024?

Despite facing several lawsuits like a looming threat over the former U.S. President Donald Trump, he seems to overcome all opposition time and time again. For most Europeans, it is a horror if Trump were to be re-elected as president in November 2024. It seems that the more headwinds he encounters, the stronger he stands. As of the time of writing, the case regarding his eligibility is still pending in the U.S. Supreme Court.

In February 2024, at a rally in South Carolina, Trump referred to a question allegedly posed by the president of a major country. When asked if the USA would defend the country if Russia invaded it, even if the country had not paid [to NATO], Trump responded: “In fact, I would encourage them [Russia] to do whatever the hell they want. You got to pay. You got to pay your bills.”

This response sent shockwaves through Europe. With this answer, Trump raised doubts about the famous Article 5 of the NATO pact, the so-called Musketeer oath: “The parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all;”

In Europe, the thought has begun to emerge that if Trump is re-elected, it is uncertain whether one can count on assistance from the USA if Putin were to test Article 5. Trump has previously threatened to withdraw the USA from NATO. This entire course of events can almost only be seen as a scenario desired by Putin.

The big question – which we will now ask the cards – must be: Will Donald Trump be re-elected as president in 2024?

The cards fell as follows:

The cards are read vertically in pairs – from top to bottom. The first two pairs on the left show the background or what is the premise of the situation. The two pairs in the middle show the answer, and the last pair provides additional information on the question.

Lie (7 of spades) or truth (4 of diamonds). Fantasy or reality are concepts that emerge when looking at the cards. With political visions (7 of hearts), which perhaps mostly built on Trump’s narcissistic perspective on the world (4-7-7-10), there was a polarization of American society. Over the years, the cases involving Trump have become more and more serious and grotesque (10 of spades).

There is an abundance of significant spades in the setup. The election period will be a grim experience. Where the king of hearts appeared in previous card spreads, the now deceitful and deceptive jack of spades has instead entered the stage.

In the weeks and months leading up to the election, we will see more and more grotesque scenes on the political stage, – for Trump’s house of cards is crumbling (10 of spades).
As mentioned, the middle row shows the result and the answer to the question, and the last card – 4 of diamonds – always plays an important role.

The many spades have previously been able to keep facts and truth (4 of diamonds) at bay, but as the election approaches, it becomes increasingly impossible. The jack of spades will ultimately be caught in his own web of falsehoods and manipulations. In other words, Donald Trump will not be re-elected for a new presidential term for the USA.

Cards: Otto Tragy 1900

The Queen

As tradition dictates, Charlottenborg held its annual spring exhibition at the beginning of 2023 – a tradition that has existed since 1857.

Charlottenborg. Photo Per Jan

During the opening in February, where many art enthusiasts were present, a piece of art suddenly appeared that could not avoid attracting the attention of a cartomancer.

The Queen, (2022). Jørn Hulgaard Sørensen. Photo Per Jan

The piece, created by artist Jørn Hulgaard Sørensen and called “The Queen, (2022)”, consisted of a series of playing cards from all four suits, which were folded and arranged in such a way as to give a special spatial and plastic sensation. The royal cards in each suit were arranged to form a broad figure, but upon closer inspection, it turned out that only one queen was present in the artwork – namely the queen of hearts. She was surrounded by the jack of hearts, not the king of hearts, and the cartomancer wondered where the other queens had gone.

The Queen. Detail. Photo Per Jan

Normally, it is not the nature of the queen of hearts to chase away the other queens. It would have been more natural if the queen of spades was the only queen. She is often associated with being powerful, rivalrous, and calculating. But how had the queen of hearts ended up in this situation? The cartomancer left the question hanging and decided instead to investigate the queen of hearts’ fundamental role in a card spread. Not viewed from the perspective of the artwork or the cards seen as playing cards, but purely principle in a card spread when reading the cards. The queen of hearts is typically associated with love, care, family relations, mercy, and creativity, but the card reader was curious to hear what she herself thought of her role.

What is the role of the Queen of Hearts?

The answer came promptly, shown with the cards ace of diamonds and 7 of diamonds: The queen of hearts gives life and power to dreams and longings. The numbers 1 and 7 add up to 8, and the queen of hearts’ wish is to help distinguish between realistic and unrealistic dreams and longings.

It is a thought-provoking consideration that can be interpreted in several ways. Perhaps the queen of hearts represents a kind of guide or mentor who can help us distinguish between our innermost dreams and the opportunities that are realistic and achievable. Or maybe the artwork “The Queen” shows us that even though there is only one queen present, she can still have great significance and influence on the surrounding cards. It is up to the individual to interpret and reflect on.

Cards used in the spread: Hermès, Paris 1952. Artist, Cassandra

Update 09-05-2023: The artist has written the following comments about the artwork on Instagram: Not everyone becomes a king / Not all boys will grow to men – someone will be a Queen / from prince to King or from prince to Queen.

Vladimir and Volodomyr

It is interesting to note that the presidents of Russia (Vladimir Putin) and Ukraine (Volodomyr Zelensky) share the same first name, both of which are Slavic and carry similar meanings of “lord of the world” or “ruler of peace and people in the world”. The name has roots in ancient Slavic languages and has been used as a first name in several Slavic countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. It has also been used as a coronation name by several Russian rulers. While Vladimir is the most common form of the name in Russia, Volodomyr is the most common form in Ukraine. In Denmark, the name is known as Valdemar, as in King Valdemar the Great (1131-1182).
As the new year begins, many may be wondering about the developments in the ongoing war in Ukraine in 2023. This topic we will ask the cards.

How will the war in Ukraine develop in 2023?

The cards are read, as a “U” is written. It is striking how many cards of hearts appear – and yet not. The colour of hearts often appears when it comes to feelings for the fatherland – the national feeling. But the hearts also symbolize the blood, and a lot of blood has flowed in this war. The 8 of hearts, which opens the spread, shows the paradoxical and polarizing nature of the situation in Ukraine. The two Slavic peoples are in many ways brothers and sisters. There is a family relationship. Many Russians also have family ties in Ukraine. But the eights are powerful cards and, in this case, the 8 of hearts represents Russia and its desire to control Ukraine. The number eight dominates in this presentation. Notice that on one diagonal axis the sum 4+4 also gives 8. It is a conflict over territories and control. The Ukrainian people wisely defend and protect their territory (4 of diamonds) and are strengthened by their president (king of diamonds).

The 3 of hearts brings hope for a changed situation and less bloodshed. We must expect the war to end or enter another phase this year. The sum of the four cards on the table gives the 6 of diamonds. Incipient peace negotiations are hinted at. The first 8 of hearts ends with the last 4 of hearts. The war ends slowly, and Russia must withdraw from Ukraine. The turning point likely occurring in the second quarter of the year (4 of diamonds).

This raises a new question and requires an additional cardspread: How will the war in Ukraine come to an end?

How will the war in Ukraine come to an end?

The dramatic 9 of spades enters the spread. It forecasts a lightning strike in the war, which suddenly changes the situation significantly. Notice that the 4 of diamonds is in the same place as in the first spread. It testifies to a Ukraine that cannot be wiped out as a nation. The 9 of spades lies on the 8 of hearts (Russia). Russia will fight tooth and nail to keep the regions they have planned to conquer. The 4 of diamonds (Ukraine) is sandwiched between the 9 of spades and the ace of spades. We can therefore expect a few months of very violent and powerful battles and missile attacks (ace of spades).

Will Russia use tactical nukes? With the 9 of spades and the ace of spades, this concern will probably increase in the coming months, but my immediate assessment is a no. The number values of the spades decrease. However, the situation could develop in a very dangerous direction.

There is a desire in the Kremlin to assume a dominant global role in a new and changed world order (9 of spades + ace of spades = 10). But that will not happen (5 of clubs). On the other hand, the cards (9 of spades and ace of spades) are more indicative of a possible change in the power structure in the Kremlin. In any case, a weakening of the Russian president.

Where one of the diagonal axes in the first spread emphasized the number 8, the same diagonal axis in this spread emphasizes the number 9 (4+5). We can therefore expect a surprising development and change in the war. Important information about the war can no longer be suppressed in Russia (5 of clubs and Queen of clubs). A difficult time for Russia is looming on the horizon.

Overall, from a spread with a 9-number dominance (change and aggression) to an 8-number dominance, the situation in Ukraine is moving towards a stop to hostilities and a ceasefire. This process starts in the second quarter but taking a long time to fully implement (eights and fours).

Cards: Hermès, Paris 1948

The message of Christmas

Christmas is the “festival of hearts” they say, and according to the Christmas card spread, it is quite true. Here is an abundance of hearts. The two sets of cards each tell the same story in their own way.

Warmth of heart, forgiveness, and love are the biggest message of Christmas (the queen of hearts) and in an earlier time you would have added “mercy”. The forces of Christmas have access to our hearts (4 of hearts) and make us look deeply into ourselves and our inner life values (4 of diamonds). If we follow the message of Christmas, we will have peace in our minds (4 of clubs) and peace in our hearts. With three fours we can add peace on earth!

The message of Christmas

The bottom row of Lenormand cards sums up quite nicely what the cards will tell us about the message of Christmas: be like the sun and shine on everything and everyone and let the sun take root in your heart! Then the last card will echo the old Danish Christmas carol: ” Hjerte, løft din glædes vinger (Heart, lift the wings of your joy)”.

Cards: Hermès, Paris 1948. Blue Bird Lenormand. (c) U.S Games Systems, Inc.

Denmark and Peter the Great

Most Danes probably remember from the history books that the Russians liberated the Danish Island Bornholm from the German occupying power at the end of World War II. While the rest of the country celebrated the liberation on 5 May 1945, the people of Bornholm had to wait until 5 April 1946. At that time, there was also some concern about whether the Russians would leave the island again.

Bornholm is an attractive island. Not only for tourists, but also for those in power, as the impressive fortress Hammershus testifies.


Even the Russian Tsar Peter the Great visited the island in 1716. Because the Danish King Frederik the IV was allied with Peter the Great during the Great Nordic War (1700-1721).

Putin has previously expressed his admiration for Tsar Peter the Great. During a speech to mark the 350th anniversary of the Tsar’s birth, he compared himself to Peter the Great.

Now Bornholm has apparently received Russian attention again. On 26 and 27 September, the two gas pipelines Nord Stream 1 and 2 were exposed to sabotage by a foreign power. The area of the sabotage is quite close to Bornholm. Two explosions with the force of a large bomb apparently caused four large holes in the gas pipes, resulting in a gigantic gas leak. A deliberate sabotage, as the Danish Prime Minister subsequently stated. And not only that, but foreign drone activity has also been discovered over Norwegian oil and gas fields and Swedish nuclear power plants.

Where the West – apart from Poland and Ukraine – has been careful to place responsibility for the leak, Putin has called it an international terrorist act, orchestrated by the United States. And the Russians think they have the proof, as US President Biden stated before the invasion of Ukraine: “if Russia invades Ukraine, there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2, we will bring an end to it.”

Russia wanted the matter submitted to the UN Security Council and the Danish and Swedish governments wrote a joint letter to the Security Council before the meeting.

At the time of writing, Russia has annexed 4 areas in Ukraine and a few questions arise:

What is Putin´s and Russia’s next step in relation to the West and Ukraine?

Let’s see what the cards answer to the first question. The cards are read as a “U”.

With two deuces and starting with the 2 of spades, the tone is set. Putin – shown by the King of clubs – wants to sow discord (2 of spades) and create worries (2 of clubs) in the West. He is trying to destabilize (2+2=4) the West and create internal division. He hopes in this way to increase his influence and power (3 of clubs to the King of clubs). Basically, a desire to get more power (ace of spades) or as he himself expresses it – a new world order with a big and strong Russia. In this context, the King of clubs shows the desire to conquer. He wants to take back old Russian territories.

That brings us to the second question: Who is responsible for the sabotage against the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines?

Five cards have been chosen which are primarily read from left to right.

It immediately catches the eye that we have the entire family of clubs gathered in a fallen rank order. Notice the direction the faces are looking! The 8 of diamonds begins the presentation and shows the two gas pipes. The 10 of spades is placed between the Queen and the Jack. It is a gloomy card which symbolizes cold, darkness and criminal acts. It shows mysterious circumstances and hidden actions. Here we see the sabotage card. Interesting that this card can sometimes show larger bodies under water. It could indicate that a submarine has been involved. Note that the 10 of spades mirrors the King of clubs. He must be the one responsible for the action. It is quite thought-provoking that the King of clubs appears again. The Queen of clubs in the middle shows that several influential people have been involved in and are behind the orchestration of the event. It is a tight and closed inner circle that is behind it. The main person responsible is hiding (King of clubs) and with the mirror to the 10 of spades, it is doubtful whether it will ever be clarified who is behind it.

Since we named the King of clubs during the first presentation, it is tempting to do it again. But the King hides behind the mysterious 10 of spades, so you’ll probably never find the smoking gun.
Spar 6 is the bottom card of the card pile. We are at a crossroads. An era is over.

Cards: Hermès, Paris 1948

Putin’s gas

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, Europe has been in a panic about gas supplies to Europe.
The famous Nord Stream 1 pipeline, for which – in particular – Germany has been a warm advocate, has now been shown to be used by the russian president Putin in the psychological game against Europe. It is almost an irony of fate that Germany is one of the countries that is hardest hit. The gas plant has been closed for maintenance a few times and each time the West has feared that the gas supply will never reopen. For some countries it is completely closed – including Denmark. The Russians have so far cut back to 20% of normal delivery. At the time of writing, the gas has been completely shut down due to an alleged gas leak with no reopening date set. The big question is, of course, whether it will be opened again.

The gas is also used to make electricity and in this way the gas and electricity prices are linked together with the consequence that prices become sky high for consumers. Paradoxically, energy companies currently have record profits.

Winter is approaching in Europe and the gas stocks are not yet completely full. Gloomy predictions fill more and more of the media. So, it is tempting to ask the cards the following question: “What will Putin do with the gas supply to Europe this winter?”
The following card appeared:

What is Putin doing with the gas supply to Europe this winter?

The spread is primarily read as if you were writing a capital “U”. The two spades clearly show cold and the two red colours warm. The king of spades (Putin) has complete control (4 of spades) over the flow (3 of clubs) of the gas (9 of diamonds). A control which he exploits strategically in his psychological game against Europe/EU. The King of Spades opens and closes the gas tap as it suits him. It cannot be denied that the King of Spades is cold and cynical and will stop at nothing to get his power through. Here it does not help to ask for understanding. But the 4 of spades is not a card that suggests that the gas will be completely shut off. Some gas will flow to Europe in between.
The interesting card is the 7 of hearts. I see it as an energy confused EU trying to get through the winter in solidarity. The 7 of hearts often shows “a second chance” and with the 9 of diamonds as the card at the bottom of the stack, Europe will survive the winter without having to “freeze to death”.
But despite that, the 9 of diamonds is an unstable card, which indicates that it is difficult to guess how Putin will react.

The conclusion must be that Europe must adjust to the fact that the gas from Russia is put on standby this winter, but not shut off completely.

Written 02-09-2022
Shown cards, Piatnik, Wien, Rococo

The point of no return

Today (28-02) Ukraine and Russia have gone to the negotiating table. But is Russia really interested in negotiating?

The cards drawn show how the situation will develop for Russia in the next weeks. The cards are uncompromising. With such strong spades, the situation for Russia is a power struggle. The king of spades (Putin) is the warlord who does not sit at the negotiating table. He has a plan (ace of spades) that he will implement at all costs – whatever it takes. Russia is willing to go all the way (9 of spades, king of spades and ace of spades). With the ace of spades and the 9 of spades, the nuclear weapons cards have appeared. As things stand now, Russia will allow Belarus to recover its nuclear weapons. But will Russia use nuclear weapons or is it a scare offensive? With the strong and dictatorial king of spades at the end of the spread, the answer must be that he will, if it should become necessary.

The two nines are aggressive and conquering. The spread clearly shows that Putin has unmasked himself. He has thrown away the mask. For Putin, there is no going back. He has bet everything on one board. With the cards, one must say that the world is in a moment of destiny.

What about Putin’s role / fate in the slightly longer term? Putin’s days are numbered. The King of clubs (Putin) becomes more and more isolated (4 of clubs) when his misinformation (7 of diamonds) and the economic sanctions (7 of diamonds) begin to affect the Russians. He will be pressured by economically strong forces (oligarchs). The 10 of diamonds shows the hour of truth and it will bring factual things to the table that Putin cannot run from. The current situation will lead to a weakened Putin and his downfall.

Posted 28-02-2022

Shown Cards: Altenburger Spielkarten (ASS) Königin – 1970

Who are you?

After a lengthy period of reflection…….

You look so familiar. Do you know me?
Yes of course I do – you are myself!


You look so familiar. Do I know you?
Yes of course you do – I am yourself!

Cards: Hermès, Paris

The thoughts of Mr. Putin on the Ukrainian situation

At the time of writing, there has for several days been a hectic communication between several heads of state to find a diplomatic solution to the extremely tense situation between Ukraine and Russia. Russia has deployed about 130,000 troops along the Ukrainian border and a military exercise is being conducted along with Belarus on Belarus’ territory. Belarus, like Russia, borders Ukraine and fully supports Putin.

Ukraine would like to be a member of NATO, but the current situation traces all the way back to Stalin’s time, World War II and 2014. The Ukrainian desire for NATO membership is Russia steeled against and may at all costs prevent this from happening. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, several of the former Eastern bloc countries have joined NATO, and Russia is increasingly feeling squeezed by NATO and Western values.

And suddenly the seriousness has risen for the West. Is Putin considering invading Ukraine? The situation has sent tremors through Sweden and Finland and throughout the Western world. Mysterious (military) drones fly over nuclear power plants in Sweden and over Stockholm. The Swedes send soldiers to Gotland. Denmark is preparing to send two F-16 aircrafts to Bornholm. Britain will send weapons to Ukraine. The United States is doing the same.

The West threatens not to open the new gas pipeline from Russia, Nord Stream 2. Germany has become quite dependent on Russian gas and has been very sparing in supporting this sanction option. The yoke of history also rests on Germany’s shoulders as up to 30 million people lost their lives on the Eastern Front during World War II.

All the while, Putin has repeatedly stated that Russia has no intention of invading Ukraine.

The West threatens quite severe sanctions if Putin were to invade Ukraine. But as the Russian ambassador to Sweden Viktor Tatarintsev stated in an interview with the Swedish Aftonbladet.

“- “Excuse my language, but we don’t give a shit about all their sanctions.
… We have already had many sanctions, and in a way, it has had a positive effect on our economy and agriculture.”

On President Putin’s official website, on July 12, 2021, he posted a rather long and in-depth article: “On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians”. This article is interesting reading and has been quoted by several news media. It provides an insight into some of Putin’s thoughts on historical background. Here are a few quotes:

“During the recent Direct Line, when I was asked about Russian-Ukrainian relations, I said that Russians and Ukrainians were one people – a single whole. These words were not driven by some short-term considerations or prompted by the current political context. It is what I have said on numerous occasions and what I firmly believe.”

… I am confident that true sovereignty of Ukraine is possible only in partnership with Russia. Our spiritual, human and civilizational ties formed for centuries and have their origins in the same sources, they have been hardened by common trials, achievements and victories. Our kinship has been transmitted from generation to generation. It is in the hearts and the memory of people living in modern Russia and Ukraine, in the blood ties that unite millions of our families. Together we have always been and will be many times stronger and more successful. For we are one people.”

Putin concludes with these words:

“And I will say one thing – Russia has never been and will never be” anti-Ukraine “. And what Ukraine will be – it is up to its citizens to decide.”

On January 23 this year, the Atlantic Council published an article “Disarming Putin’s history weapon”, which critically reviews Putin’s article. They write:

“Ever since 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin has weaponized history as part of his hybrid war against Ukraine. On numerous occasions, most infamously in his July 2021 essay” On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians, “Putin has used highly selective interpretations of the past to undermine Ukrainian national identity and legitimize his own expansionist imperial ambitions. “

In latest news, it has been reported repeatedly that we do not know Putin’s thoughts and plans. So, it’s tempting to see what the cards might tell us.
The question is: “Show Putin’s thoughts on the Ukrainian situation”:

The spread is a snapshot of Putin’s thoughts on the Ukrainian situation.

The spread is read as a “U” in this order: jack of hearts, 3 of spades, 10 of spades and queen of spades. The first thing that catches your eye are the many spades and the absence of clubs and diamonds. It already tells of strong (nationalist) feelings, but also of Putin keeping his thoughts, plans and decisions secret. One might be tempted to say that with so many spades on the table, he is devising a psychological battle of exhaustion.

The Jack of hearts shows two different layers of interpretation. As the first card, it represents Ukraine. Ukraine has an almost religious national significance for Putin and is, in his view, part of the Russian people’s soul. Blood ties flow between Ukraine and Russia. But he also perceives the Ukrainian leadership of the country as naive, unrealistic, and dangerous for Russia (jack of hearts pinched between many spades). A situation he wants to change. Putin wants to control (queen of spades) Ukraine. The other side of the jack of hearts shows that Putin is “playing” with the West. He is trying to put a wedge (3 of spades) in and destabilize NATO and the West. Putin has full control (queen of spades) over what he does. The 3 of spades is an attack card, but with so many even numbers: 10, 12 and 6, it is likely that his thoughts are more on scaring Ukraine, the West and NATO and provoking an extreme situation than launching an invasion. The 10 of spades is a gloomy card that is not afraid to go to extremes. The 10 of spades is a demonstration of power. Putin will go all the way to the extreme “border” if necessary. He has thought through all sorts of scenarios.

The 10 of spades also symbolizes NATO. Some readers might be wondering how the 10 of spades can represent NATO? But is NATO a peace movement? No – it’s a military organization.
Putin is particularly concerned about NATO’s impact on stability in Russia and Putin’s position of power should Ukraine join NATO.

There is no doubt that Putin fears NATO’s influence more than individual Western powers. The 10 of spades is a powerful card, but the cunning queen of spades finishes the spread. So, in a way, Putin controls NATO’s steps. He is in a way constantly one step ahead. For Putin, it is very much a psychological game.

The bottom card in the stack of cards is another spade – namely the 6 of spades. He tries to push NATO and the West out on a path where they cannot turn around. Maybe his idea is to prepare for a future scenario where NATO and the West are in a place where he wants them to be? When that’s done, he can incorporate the two eastern Russian-dominated Ukrainian provinces of Lugansk and Donetsk. Only Putin himself knows the answer.

Written on February 13th

Shown cards: Altenburger Spielkarten, Königin, 1970