The Legend of Obér  

The stories have been told of a gift to behold, offered up through the ages by the people of old.

A story of actions some weak and some bold,  of people and places, of warmth and cold.

A tale of a quest, and of wisdoms to behold,  so is the purpose, as the legend unfolds.


As the ancients would tell, there came to the land,  in the place that they called the cradle of man,

in the time of Autumn and the sky fire light, was born to us all, a child of sight.

A male child it is said, both weak and slight, who appeared like a tree, twisted with blight.

The mother so frail, from the birth was impaired,  the father, encumbered and lost in despair.


Ancient and crude were the ways of this time, to the methods of healing the people were blind.

Then there came, it is told, a women of dread, a healer of sorts, from the North it is said.

To the wife she gave salves, poultice and potions, to the father a tea , to settle emotions,  but of the child its said, she gave little notion.

Tressra the Healer, it is said was her name, she traveled the land tending the sick and the lame.

The cures that she offered to many were strange, the gifts that she gave were by equal exchange.

When all had been done and the wife now renewed, she turn to the father and asked for her due.

His reply was one that was heard all to often, I’ve not even the coin for this poor child’s coffin.


Tressra, whose years were too many to say, was wise and shrewd and not easy to sway.

You say you have no payment, no tribute or fee, that your child is dying, of this I do not agree.

For the services given, I am rightfully due, so for the tribute you owe, give the child in lue!

And so it is told a bargain was made, into Tressra’s arms young Obér would be laid.


The two it is said, on great journeys embarked, in constant pursuit of life’s mystic spark.

The healer and child would wander the land, trading potions for shelter with various clans.

A steady course they did travel, a pattern to keep, many cultures to know, many wisdom’s to reap.

Now the healer was aged and the child not strong, they traveled the land like a sad fleeting song.

Many cultures explored and concepts embraced, Obér saw the world at Tressra’s measured pace.


The child Obér although weak and withdrawn, watched and listened to all that went on.

With eyes for to see and ears which to hear, young Cons Obér pondered all that came near.

As the child would grow, so did his gift, his vision of things served to strengthen and uplift.


The manner and ways of the people he met, brought forth enlightenment and a destiny was set.

Of peasants and kings, wizards and priests, both warriors and farmers of each he did seek.

It is said on rag pulp, by hand he did set, images and symbols reflecting the people he met.

Obér would capture with clarity, all he did see, and gave birth to Arcana, which is now offered to thee.


It is from this poetic offering, that we draw upon the belief that Constantine Obér may have been the original designer of the System Arcana, and the Ten (10) associated rules to live by, along with the powers, and influences surrounding the Tarot. 

Although the actual reference is brief, the legend of the Obér has lasted by word of mouth for over two-thousand years, perhaps it is in the riddle itself, that has made the limerick invaluable for so long.


Original Author unknown – rewrite R. St. Cloud.

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