Sunday, 16 February 2020

Pixmit: Tales from a Romulan Tarot

Arranged pixmit cards
 The allure of pixmit has not waned.

 Since first becoming aware of this Romulan tarot a week or so ago (see my previous post), my fascination has remained constant.  So much so that I scoured Ariane's screencaps of the new Star Trek: Picard series (which I still haven't seen) for all instances of these intriguing triangular pixmit cards.
 After much adjusting, rotating, enhancing, muttering, cropping, and mucking about in MSPaint, I thought I might as well show you the results.  Whether you're interested or not...

Seb-Cheneb, the Destroyer
 So far, I have found 31 distinct picture cards depicting images from Romulan culture (which they call "news" or truth rather than mythology), but I don't know how many constitutes a full set (I shouldn't think the full details and specifics of pixmit have been mentioned or seen on the show [yet?]).  A couple of the cards have been named: Shaipouin, the false door; and Seb-Cheneb, the Destroyer, but the others are unknown or yet to be disclosed.

Shaipouin, the false door
 Shaipouin is the card that really drew me in as the false door depiction & description reminded me of how Terry Pratchett's Discworld witches won't use the front door if there's a perfectly good back or side door (after all, front doors are for threshold-crossing newlyweds, bringing in a new baby, and being carried out in a coffin).
 And in real life, I prefer going in through the back door...

 Anyway, back to the cards.

 Here are the rest of the observed pixmit cards (with one exception).  Their proper names are unknown, so I have labelled them with a descriptive as I see them - Although, your suggestions will be welcome, particularly as I've borrowed from Earth mythology as Romulan mythology - or news - is difficult to come by.
Altar Maiden, Chained Minotaur, Eisn (the Romulan sun), Head Cannon, and Man-in-the-Moon

New Moon Goddess, Shaman, Siren (or mermaid), Son-of-Birds, Fire Conjuror

Black Pearl, Buffalo Woman, Crouching Skeleton, Dove, Eclipse (or cup of coffee?), Eye-of-the-Underworld

Knowledge Sphere, Life Model, Medusa, Reincarnated Man, Romeo & Juliet, Shavokh (a Vulcan bird-of-prey)

Star Dog, Torch, V'ger's Eye (or heart), Warrior Princess, Winged Mask (???) and Witch

 Pixmit cards seen so far have a gold border with openings on one, two, or all three sides.  As far as I can make out, no card seen so far has an unbroken border.  Romulan script can be found on all three edges, and navy blue curlicues (in the same pattern for every card except Seb-Cheneb) surround the central image within the gold border.
  • Border opened on the right: Crouching Skeleton, Eclipse, False Door, Head Cannon
  • Border opened on the left: Black Pearl, Eisn, Eye of the Underworld, Shaman, New Moon Goddess, Witch
  • Upturned Pin
    Or is it a sundial?
  • Border opened on the right and at the base: Altar Maiden, Buffalo Woman, Knowledge Sphere, Man in the Moon, Medusa, Reincarnated Man, Shavokh, Thief of Fire, V'ger's Eye
  • Border opened on the left and at the base: [none]
  • Border opened on all three sides: Chained Minotaur, Dove, Life Model, Romeo & Juliet, Seb-cheneb, Siren, Son of Birds, Star Dog, Torch, Warrior Princess, Winged Mask
  • Uncertain: Upturned Pin (all, or right & base)

 As previously mentioned, Seb-cheneb is the only card not to have matching embellished shield-like curlicues in the lower corners - It has two piles of skulls instead.  Which is nice.

 All the images above come from the third episode of Picard, "The End is the Beginning", which aired last week.  However, this week's episode, "Absolute Candor" also featured pixmit in a flashback which shows that they can be used to play a type of board game, too:


[All original screencaps come from Ariane's Star Trek Gallery, for which I am very grateful]


EDIT 19/03/2020

 A previously unseen card has turned up in the Starfleet Museum on Star Trek: The Cruise 2020 - a dagger (bringing the number of distinct cards to 32) - along with an alternate spelling of pixmit, "pikhmit", and a name for the board game as seen above, zhamaq.
More at this TrekCore link.


  1. I think I'll stick to Scrabble, thanks. Jx

  2. Why am I thinking Toblerone?

    1. * gasp *

      Perhaps the Swiss didn't invent Toblerone after all? It was the Romulans!

  3. On hot, steamy nights, when sleep is impossible...I wander in through an open portal on my laptop (which sounds exciting.It isn't.)
    And find myself floundering in a place where no man has been before.Boldly or timidly.
    I do like those neat little crust-trimmed sandwiches, though.

    1. They come with various delicious fillings: Moon cheese, smoked siren tail, dove egg mayonnaise, and um, some sort of jam, I think? Oh, and your choice of coffee or... Oh. Just coffee.

  4. I for one am very interested. Sometimes invented mythology is the best and this has made me wonder whether you have ever taken to Lovecraft and his mythology which started out fictional and then took life?
    Of course I can't fault your interpretation of the cards at all, you born tarologist, you.

    1. PS you didn't think I had forgotten to make a sarcy comment about going in through the back door did you? 😉

    2. I thought this would be right up your alley - or back door, so to speak!

      No, I know precious little about Lovecraft (or his eldritch horrors and the like). I might indulge in a little research when time permits, though...

  5. I got a very strong feeling of déjà vu when I viewed this post, then it came to me in a flash, it's the bathroom flooring at the hotel Corona del Mar, Benidorm!

    1. Why, so it is! Those pesky Romulans have been moonlighting as bathroom flooring specialists all this time. I wonder if they've ever come up against Joyce Temple-Savage?

  6. Looks all nice 'n artsy - but can one slam the card on the table and yell "Hosen runter ! / Trousers down !" as one does with rectangular cards ?

    1. What kind of card games do you play, Mago?!?

    2. The hosen runter kind, I think.I wonder if they'd have to be lederhosen?
      (Sorry-it's my lovely drugs.)

    3. Sounds like Strip Poker!?!

  7. Nice work! I really want a deck of these, but the resolution's too low here to just use them as-is. If this is even the full deck (which I don't think it is). I'm sure they'd sell a decent quantity of them if they went on sale. So, as a witch, do you think you could use these for divination? Or would you have to be Romulan for them to work?

    1. Hello Fred, and welcome!
      You're right, this isn't the full deck - just recently, I discovered a new card with a dagger depicted on it (at TrekCore, from the Star Trek Cruise Museum) which I'll add to this post, and I suspect there are a few more as yet unseen.
      As for using them for divination/reading - absolutely! Divination is in the eye of the beholder, so it is up to them to determine/decipher/translate the images - and their order - as they see fit. And if these were real non-human cards, the images shouldn't be nearly as recognisable/familiar (Medusa? The Man in the Moon??), so it may help if one was Romulan?
      (I'm no expert, however - Tarot and I have never really got along - I leave all that to another witch of my acquaintance, Hound).


Tickle my fancy, why don't you?