A Blog by James Bennett
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(March 1, 2024)
I awoke this morning reminiscing about my childhood and the card games my brother and I used to play. We had three favorites: Crazy Eights, Old Maid, and Go Fish. Among these, Go Fish was our favorite.
During my college years, my friends introduced me to a whole new set of card games. I learned how to play Gin Rummy, Contract Bridge, Blackjack, and Poker. Out of all these games, Bridge became my personal favorite.
Although I enjoyed playing these card games, I must admit that I never excelled at any of them. My lack of skill eventually led me to lose interest in playing card games altogether.
It seems that card playing was more popular in previous generations than it is today. For instance, my paternal grandparents were avid card players. My Gammy belonged to a bridge club exclusively for women, while my Granddad had his own group of poker playing buddies.
I think that a lot of people today tend to think of playing cards as a waste of time.
I am aware that some religious individuals view card playing as "the work of the Devil." This belief likely stems from the association of cards with gambling and fortune telling, activities considered sinful by certain religious groups.
There are a few intriguing aspects about a standard deck of playing cards that catch my attention. Firstly, there are four suits, two black and two red. This reminds me of the four seasons, with two being warm and two being cold.
Furthermore, a deck consists of fifty-two cards, mirroring the number of weeks in a year. Additionally, there are twelve face cards, symbolizing the months in a year as well as Jesus's twelve disciples.
The presence of face cards alongside numbered cards seems to represent the distinction between the noble class and the commoners.
Moreover, the fact that aces, representing the number one, are often valued higher than kings could be seen as a representation of the one God above all.
Playing cards can be seen as a microcosm of society, with each suit representing a different social group. The spades, often associated with the military, symbolize the ruling class and their power. The hearts, on the other hand, represent the clergy and their influence over the people. The diamonds may signify the wealthy merchants and their economic dominance, while the clubs could represent the working class and their labor. Together, these suits create a visual representation of the social hierarchy and the interconnectedness of different societal groups.
When we delve into the symbolism of playing cards, it becomes apparent that they were designed to reflect life and the social order during the Age of Chivalry within the context of a year.
It never ceases to amaze me how games, in all their various forms, often serve as mirrors reflecting humanity's perception of life and the world. I believe these games represent our collective endeavor to make sense of and find meaning in a seemingly chaotic existence.
Can you think of any games that also mirror life?
Behold the Miraculous!
170 pages containing
72 Metaphysical Essays with
34 Full-Color Illustrations,
Authored and illustrated by James Bennett.