It has been hot as Hades in Upstate New York. Been out and about and getting a lot done. Unfortunately, most of my work is not Cartomancy oriented… Give me a few weeks and a chill in the air and I’ll be back on schedule with a vengeance- I swear.
It is the Solstice so time is standing still or the amount of daylight has reached a peak in the Northern hemisphere and will for three days bathe us in long rays before turning South and dimming day by day into Winter.
Time is a factor in lenormand method. This is not only about time lines and timing boards but readings in general. At first, as a newbie, I thought the time lag influence was just a process of letting the meanings of the cards sink into my thick head. Alas it was not!
The lenormand cards require: 1) being placed on the table, 2) the reader seeing the images 3) taking in a first impression of the layout; followed by a bit of a delay before 4) the final interpretation.
In other words instant reads do not “catch” or hook into the deck’s energies or enter into the deeper waters or layers of meaning held in a layout.
The “time lag” is actually when the energies of the cards selected settle. Of course, one is free to engage in speedier reading, but to do so would yield an immature harvest. Some time is needed to consider… No need to rush.
In today’s Cartomancy untutored users who self-identify as “Intuitives” are the majority. They abhor tradition, so the rules which the Gen Xer blurred and bled over from one system to another have been completely cast out by Millennials like the baby’s bathwater . Indeed, this is a double entendre for a Baby Boomer who started with Tarot in the early 60’s! I can attest from then well into the 70’s, the Celtic Cross was the main layout used by US Tarot readers. No linear reads. No directionality.
Kipperkarten like lenormand is read by directions. However, it takes direction out of the line to kick it up, down and across in a layout. The Kippers use a 3D approach in smaller layouts as well as in the größen Blatt, the German name for the full 36 card layout.
In the standard deck of playing cards the Face cards have always expressed friendliness and enmity by what and who they face. Their line of sight is deck specific and does vary these days in novelty and art card decks.
Wii have already mentioned in a previous post the major indicator of direction in lenormand which is:
The Significator/s or the Man and Woman card which represents the Querent.
There are four more levels of direction one can use to turn static layouts into active storyboard narratives.
The Child. It is the third human figure standing and traditionally is an indicator of direction.
The Double cards (see the previous post)
The Animals of the deck, i.e. The Rider’s Horse, The Dog, The Fox, The Bear, The Snake and The Stork all give directional cues.
The Face cards on the playing card inserts are a final layer of directionality. For example, The Queen’s line of sight can be used to define or fine tune the quality of relationship between female persons and the Querent. In the folklore of lenormand the Stork and the Serpent are said to be blood relations while the Ways and the Bouquet indicate acquaintance from a distance and close friendship respectively.
It helps to remember directionality as: who or what faces where. Such details are always deck in hand specific, hence the boons bestowed by using a traditional deck with playing card inserts (not emblem notations or codes) to learn structure (rank and ratings) and nuances (visual cues) by exercises and practice before dropping cards for others.
Just as pairing enables lenormand lines to be read by the beginner, learning to interpret double cards in the deck marks the entry to the intermediate level by introducing the student to directionality .
Clouds Card- The Major Double
“Bubble, Bubble toil and trouble…”. This phrase always pops into my head when the Clouds card appears. It is the major malefic in the near and far method of reading lenormand. I fondly remember, when first starting to handle the cards that The Clouds constantly fell in pairs and 3×3 layouts in a statistically impossible manner during practice sessions almost as if it were daring me to read the cards!
One cannot ignore the “Trouble” card as I dubbed it, no matter the layout choice. My first task though was to make the card’s code clear. Which was the dark side and which was the light? Neither the Dondorf Clouds/ aka French Cartomancy deck my first deck nor the Blue Owl my Master or working deck have images which are definitive on the card face of number six. I darkened with a permanent black marker the area in front of the King of Clubs in the Dondorf deck. By so choosing I had made my first commitment, even if it was not a “traditional” placement as I was to learn later. Thereafter, the King of Clubs politely “backed” off and my first direct acquaintance was made in the Lennie deck! It was also a definitive first step onto the main highway of lenormand method’s directionality.
As for the other Lennie Doubles, they are indeed a crew to be watched- very closely. The Double Cards are not as I believed when a newbie ranked 11th, 22nd, and 33rd. The negative rated cards indicate crisis points, traumatic events and opposition in the Querent’s life. They are the “reasons why” the reading is being done. When discussing the so-called “Double Cards” they include all of the 7 traditionally* negative rated cards:
Plus 2 mixed or neutral rated knowledge and wisdom cards:
Serpent head/tail and the Book pages/spine
Skipping over or shunning process and procedure in Cartomancy is to ignore history. The cards and the scenes on them have their roots in a cultural and folkloric narrative, which is where their context or meaning is anchored.
There is no need to rush headfirst, to stumble on substitutions or to fall on the sword point of arrogance posing as intuition. Cartomancy is a methodology, without knowledge of its procedures one will get either mediocre results or no results at all. If the results are lackluster most dabblers will return the cards to their tuckboxes and move on in their quest for water, digging yet another shallow hole in the vast New Age desert of the unreal. Those who double back to start fresh by respectfully investigating traditions, learning methods and engaging in a daily practice will in their season reap the rich harvest of deep meaning.
In dealing with the Coffin card Lenormand differs from its baby sister Kipper and its Gypsy cousin. Since most encounter the Coffin in a line this is a good way to start the investigation. The Coffin is either an ending or a state of illness.
The core meaning of the Coffin card is a permanent ending. The drape shown on some decks is used to determine if the ending has just occured which is the undraped side of the Coffin card or the grieving stage. If the matter has been accepted it is coded by the pair on the draped side of the Coffin. In decks where the Coffin has a head and foot, the card touching the Head which is generally adorned with a wreath or a cross is the recent ending, whereas the card touching the Foot is an accepted ending.
In my Master Deck, the Blue Owl, The Coffin is actually a raised monument and represents a memorial to an ending. In order to pair with the image, I use the left side where a knob is slightly protruding as the Head or the grief stage and the right side would be the acceptance of the ending.
When reading long lines such as a Line of Nine or the Grand Tableau, the direction faced by the Significator which they move towards comes to a full stop whenever they encounter the Coffin card. The cards on the other side of the Coffin do not pertain to their situation at all.
The Coffin as illness is detailed in a health reading layout. Health is NOT read by readers in the US. In Europe and Brazil experienced readers use lenormand cards which have body part and illness codes, to investigate the physical, psychological and spiritual nature of diseases.
The reader of the Line of Five or Line of Seven, the “so-called” quick reads will find that there are times when the Significator card falls on the end of the line. This may cause a moment of pause for a reader. What exactly does it mean when this happens and how can it be read?
As far as pair making when there is no modifier to the right of the Significator this means there is no description of the main card. This is not a real problem in a short line! Since lenormand method is directional what is important is to determine where the Significator is looking and what they are looking at. In the top example the Lady looks at the 12-The Birds. She is going towards or looking forward to a conversation. She is going to contact someone. The top line is read from left to right!
In the second line from the top, The Gentleman is on the edge. He faces right, so this line is read from left to right. He is walking away from a genuine friendship (18-24).
The Gentleman in the third line from the top is described/ paired with the handle of the Scythe to his right. He is making a quick exit. However, the line actually begins with the Sun card and is read from right to left.
In the bottom line The Lady faces the Moon. The Moon to her right can describe her as fair of complexion and admired in a pairing. However, is a Querent’s description important in a short Line of Five? The next pair 32- 07 describes another woman who is either a relative or a good friend ( Tail of the Snake touches Moon). Here The Lady facing the Moon connected to the Snake means she is going out to see that woman in the early evening. Remember , the Moon is a timing card in lenormand.
So when the Significator appears on the edge of a line it functions as a prompt. The direction an edge Significator faces determines flow i.e. how the line is read. If the Significator faces left then the line is read right to left. If the Significator faces right then the line is read left to right.
To illustrate this post the beautiful Wanderwust mini deck was used which comes with an additional Lady and Gent pair whose directions and numbers are reversed.
When working with lines of cards in the lenormand deck, one should know the pairing formula or the AB set- where B the card on the left is modifier to card A which is the card to the right and the dominant card in an AB pair. This left to right interpretation applies to touching card pairs in any line. In the Grand Tableau, pairs work a bit differently, the house is the dominant A of a pair and the card seated in the house is its modifier or B.
Card B as modifier sheds its core meaning and cast only a shadow, i.e. uses its descriptive qualities and attributes on card A in the pair. These are secondary associations which add details to fine tune the meaning of the dominant card in the pair.
Here are some B card or modifier basics: Clover is temporary; Bouquet is beautiful; Child is a small quantity or what is short; Tower means tall; while the Bear is heavy set brunette and the Fox is thin and ginger.
The folklore of the Lenormand deck says the Birds card indicates a doubling, but this is only when the card in the deck shows two birds. So 13-12 can be two children. The Moon is a pale, white or silvery object. So 04- 32 would describe a white or pearl grey house. The Sun is a spotlight and makes its A card certain to be seen by all. 01-31 can be a well known local athlete . The Letter indicates a 2D flat plane or object when appearing as a modifier. The Star like Tinkerbell’s wand adds “sparkle” or lends je ne sais quoito its partner as a modifier.
Using card number notation and the imagery and directions of my new Wanderwust mini, wii looked at a few. (Forgive the blurred photo). As directions are important your own practice must be with your “reading deck”.
(A) 02- (B) 01 : Going out after a brief rest.
(A) 04- (B) 03: relocating across or out of the country
(A) 06-(B) 05: long-term troubles
(A) 08-(B) 07: a grieving widow
(A) 10-(B) 09: cosmetic surgery
and so on…
In practice the interpretation of cards in a layout is not by rote but approached according to query (the core) and modified by the skill set of the Reader.
I have bought and sold a few lenormand decks over the last seven years but not as many as most. I found early on that one’s first deck leaves an indelible impression and so most of my lenormand decks were traditional. The Dondorf style seemed to be best as I started with the misnomered French Cartomancy deck but other decks had their share of reading time such as the Mertz deck.
I happened to be on Etsy searching for a replacement for my small Russian Blue Owl which due to its flimsy card stock (originally given an application of clear acrylic before first use) is quite the worse for the wear! I somehow found the Wandering Oracle shop. They have a website as well: https://www.wanderingoracle.com
They make a reproduction called the Wanderwust in a full and mini size. I purchased the mini which came direct from their printer with no tuck box . It has as does their full size reproduction 38 cards by way of an extra man and woman card. The card shuffle is silky smooth, hard to achieve in a mini. Great cardstock is the key. The tweaking of the black and white inserts and touches of bright color juxtapositioned against the shade update the original images on an off-white background. Eye candy!
As they say readable right out of the envelope.
I was a bit disappointed as the full size deck is currently sold out but I am sure this is temporary. The Wüst I am happy to say is my new number two; while it can’t replace my master deck, it is close to being an ideal lennie! What would make it perfect? For me, all the changes made by The Wandering Oracle, plus the removal of the border lines. One can hope…
There is first a need to define the concepts as used in this post. For the purpose of Divination wii define Spirit as a sentient energy meaning a form of awareness. Spirit can therefore be seen to be present on all planes. This definition sets it apart from the concept of a deity.
The Spirits in a Deck
Many people “name” Spirits; thus Spirits are called by their names using sound and/or images because as intelligent entities they can respond and engage in communication with a 3 plane entity or human being.
Within any deck there are certain cards which can by their symbology work as a mnemonic for a certain Spirit or energy. These linking cards are the Spirits in a Deck discussed in the folklore of Cartomancy. Wii think of the cards in a deck as “ calling cards”. The cards are not Spirits themselves but act as a link to a Spirit.
When cards are flagged by a Reader as being important, wii say they are the result of her or him having “guidance”. This means the sentient energy “announced itself” to the Reader either indirectly or directly. What is the process of a direct introduction? Good question! One can say it is when a certain card appears either over and over, or in combination echoes as a pair, triple or cluster which repeats with variations. This is the energy reaching out or trying to get the Reader’s attention as they work with their cards. Then the Reader addresses the combination as such and such- giving an abstract energetic principle or natural law a “name” as a concrete condition.
The Spirit of the Deck
The Spirit of the Deck is the energy of a deck. Each deck or variation of a deck is unique. Therefore the Spirit of the Deck is the collective voice of all the cards in the deck which with all the Readers who use that particular deck forms an Egregore. However, the Spirit of the Deck is not personified as an actual entity. It is not the spiritual guide of the Reader, but represents the deck as a unique world within the multiverse of Cartomancy.
For example, The Tarot as a divination device is twin spirited while playing cards and oracle decks generally have a solitary driver. So in an oracle deck usually there is one card which represents or “speaks” for the entire deck. Knowing which card it is is found by the three methods mentioned above. When known the Voice of the Oracle card, the cards around it and where it appears in a layout are noted for it gives a summation message for the entire reading.
So there are at least three ways to approach the Spirit of and the Spirits in a deck. One is via tradition or the folklore, or by the report of Readers who have walked this road before you. Another method is by the intercession of the collective Spirit of the deck which is much like having a formal introduction and thirdly – the direct method which is the consequence of working with a deck closely for a period of time .
Thus divination is about named formulae only instead of naked numbers as in Mathematics one works with Mythemes or fragments of archetypal memory as shown in scenarios on the cardface or by an assemblage of two dimensional symbol codes or emblems plucked out of a quantum field and placed in a pattern by a Reader with the intention they communicate or “speak”.
Being in extreme chill mode this Sunday, I decided to speak to Mildred Payne. I asked her to design a layout which she did and to address some issues for my audience here on the blog in terms of the current Saturn retrograde. FYI : the Saturn Retrograde 2018 started on April 17 at 9° Capricorn and ends on September 6 at 2° Capricorn.
The 13 card Asylum Layout
The bottom layer of six cards in this layout represents the “underground”. It is the inner earth, where activity hidden from the rational mind triggers a response on the subconscious level of both groups and individuals.
The level with four cards represents the space-time of our physical plane and what is happening around us which we can see if we pay attention but often may not be aware of or misinterpret.
The 2 card level is that of the “double,” the energy twin each living being has and the shadow form it uses to interact with the physical realm. The double after the death of an individual can be captured and placed in other vehicles. Mildred says “dolls” are often used for this but other objects can be vessels as well.
The card on top – the roof of the asylum is a spiritual seed . It is the hint of an incoming energy which is preparing to descend, i.e. entering into the process of manifestation.
The commentary which follows below uses the original 52 card Secret Pocket Oracle . My method of working the layout is from the bottom to the top. The rows are read from right to the left.
Controls are needed. Emotions are being worked up into a froth to rally negative forces. Spirits are using wild impulses and distraction as a ladder to climb out of the pit and spread insanity like an infection.
One needs to have firm boundaries and protections in place during a “purge cycle” which is what a Saturn Retrograde actually is! Give honor to Grandmother Earth so She may hold you inside Her web until the wanton destructive energy released during the Saturn retrograde passes.
BEWARE OF BACKSTABBERS! Motives previously hidden come to light. This is true for those around you, who act as projections of the shadow realm in your life and for your own bubbling internal cauldron of revenge.
What is being formed on the higher energy levels during this time of Saturn Retrograde is the seed of what is sure to come to pass. DO NOT PLANT DEAD SEEDS. Fight to maintain your equilibrium and alignment now so the energy after the retrograde event passes will flow positive, joyful and abundantly.
P.S. Blog readers please bear with my poor eyesight. I looked this post over many times and did not realize the layout as given by Mildred had 6 cards on the bottom level and hence 13 cards total.