Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Using Affirmations

Last week's post on using the deity attributions in the Celtic Lenormand leads on nicely to using affirmations.  Affirmations help adapt your mindset to achieve what you want.  Repeating a positive affirmation over the course of the day, or over a longer period, can influence your thought patterns.

There are some suggested affirmations for each card in the deck.  It's also great to come up with your own.  These will be better tailored to your specific situation and the way you think about the world.

One way of working with affirmations and these cards is to simply pick a card and use an affirmation that fits it.  For example, the Tree might lend itself to something like: "I feel healthy and well."  Or you might say "I communicate effectively and harmoniously," if you draw the Songbirds.

Another way of using this aspect of the deck is to throw a reading, and pick one or two cards that feel most relevant.  Here, I threw a line of five:

Clover, Key, Hill Fort/Tower, Meadow/Garden, House.
These might be read as follows: problem-solving opportunities (Clover/Key) require the insight of isolation (Key/Tower).  Community hierarchy (Tower/Meadow) can make for a secure group (Meadow/House).

I see this saying that although the comfort of being in a group with clear structures can be appealing, sometimes we need isolation if we're going to have an 'aha' moment of inspiration.  With the Tower at the centre, and this reading, I might use the affirmation: "I gain perspective through time alone."

You can also create one or two affirmations from the reading itself.  For instance, here I might say: "I take the opportunity to solve problems by myself." (Clover/Key/Tower)  And: "I use these insights to feel more comfortable within group structures." (Key/Tower/Meadow/House)

You can stick to a simple one card draw and using an affirmation from the book, or create more personal affirmations for yourself from a reading.  Either way, this practice can help strengthen your resolve and bring you greater clarity.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Calling On Deity

After three weeks of looking at the full 45-card Grand Tableau (find that here, here and here), this week I wanted to focus on a different, smaller scale option offered by the Celtic Lenormand.  Something particular to this deck, with its pagan theme.

While the two Tree cards and the three Birds cards are most specifically God and Goddess cards respectively, every card in the Celtic Lenormand has some suggestions for accompanying deities.  There are several ways to make use of this pagan aspect to the cards.  One way is to draw a card, choose one of the associated deities, and meditate on that card and deity's energy for the day.

Another way is to draw cards as you normally would, and then use one or more of the cards from your reading as a focus for spirit.  I decided to use this method for today's post.

Drawing three cards gave me the following line:

Oak Tree, Fish, Chickens
At a mundane level, these cards speak to financial health (Oak Tree/Fish) through the flow of social communication (Fish/Chickens).  Yeah, okay: I ought to do more social networking and marketing!  I don't check in on Facebook every day, ignore my LinkedIn Profile, have most of my tweets automated, and only pin to Pinterest sporadically.  Right, today I shall make this my focus...

At a more spiritual level, it's hilarious that one of the God and Goddess cards have come up to frame this reading!  My intention writ large.  And also a reminder to balance both aspects, honour both the male and female, in order to truly find abundance and flow in life.

So, I chose a male and female deity from the list associated with the Fish, as the central card, and the one framed by the God and Goddess in this reading.  Lugh is an Irish God of Commerce, and Lakshmi a Hindu Goddess of Abundance.  Good energies to call on when seeking financial health :D

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

45 Card Grand Tableau - Part Three

Last week, I looked at some of the basics for reading a Grand Tableau.  Today, I want to look at the question of Houses.

Houses are used to add additional information to your interpretations.  They are also used to follow a thread around the spread, from one card to its House, and on.  For either of these, you need to decide how you're going to define the Houses.  My preferred method numbers the Houses as shown here. 

Basically, the first four lines of nine follow the standard Grand Tableau numbering, making it easy to remember, and it's only the last nine cards that are different.  These are numbered the same as the extra cards: 1, 5, 7, 12, 12, 13, 18, 28, 29. 

That's all you need for reading Houses with this deck's extra cards!

However, if you're going to chain read Houses, then you also need to decide which cards are your basics, and which the extras.  I've laid out my extras in a line here:

So, when you come to a card that has duplicates, you see if it is your "standard" card or a duplicate, so you know where on the GT to find its house: in the first four rows or in the last.  For example, from the Woman card in position 2 on the GT, we go all the way down to the last card of the last row, as the Woman is my duplicate 29.

Now, you decide what subject you want to read about: I choose work, and started at the House of the Anchor, my go-to work card.  Owl in the House of Anchor (35) led me to Mice in the House of Owl (12), and Paths in the House of Mice (23).  As you can see from the crazy network of arrows, this turned out to be a very long thread, incorporating 42 cards!

Often in a 36 card GT you might get 4-6 threads, and in a 45 card GT it wouldn't be that unusual to get 5-7 threads, so having basically one thread is uncommon.  I guess that just shows that at the moment my work is spreading into every area of my life!

I won't go through interpreting the whole thread, but just give a very, very brief example with the mini-thread that remains outside it.

Around the time I threw this GT, I also laid a smaller spread, which showed that there were some Mountains in my path.  Here, the House of the Mountain contains the Shedding Snake, and the House of the Shedding Snake contains the Mountain.

This can be interpreted as transformative obstacles that emphasise mountain-sized boundaries.  The obstacles I was coming across did lead to completely reconsidering a few things, and pointed up that a large part of the issue was my not creating strong enough boundaries.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

45 Card Grand Tableau - Part Two

Last week, as it was just after Brigid's Day, I looked at how to read a spiritual message for that pagan festival (or any other) from a Grand Tableau thrown with all 45 of the Celtic Lenormand cards.

This week, let's get back to basics.  When faced with a Grand Tableau, where to start?  And does it make a difference if there are 45 cards, rather than 36?

An oft-used system, especially if there is no specific question for the throw, is to start by reading the theme from the four corner cards, to look at the message of the first three cards, and to take a look at the heart of the throw.  The simplest way to do those with this 45 card GT are shown here in blue.

From there, many readers look to the people cards, the Man and Woman or Lord and Lady, to assess what is going on around them, and possibly the relationship between them.  Having two people cards can complicate this, as you might ask which you should look to.  The two easiest answers are: a) either pick the one that you feel most connected to, or b) look to each for different aspects of your life. 

One approach is to see the cards above the "people" cards as representing their thoughts or what they are aware of, and the cards below them as either what they are unaware of, or what they are "on top of", in control of.

Some people seek out particular cards to assess where trouble may lie (cards such as the Snake, Fox, Mountain, Clouds and Cross).

Others look to "signpost" cards such as the Clover for what will happen shortly, the Scythe for what is sudden and unexpected, the Cross for the current life lesson, the Key for what is certain and the Mice for what will be lost/reduced.

Another approach is to look around specific cards representing areas in life of interest, such as the Anchor for work (or whatever you choose as your work card), the Tree for health, and so on.

Like last week's reading, you can read the cards that border the card you are focusing on, as you would with a nine square.  You can also look at the diagonals leading to and from it, often considered causes and consequences (yellow arrows show the diagonals around the Man).   You can look at the cards that mirror it (green circles for the mirrors to the Lady), and those connected by knighting (red circles from the Man).

Having extra cards in the deck does not affect any of these common techniques for reading a Grand Tableau.  However, it will affect how you read Houses, and that will be the subject of next week's post...

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

45 Card Grand Tableau - Part One

As I mentioned on Monday, it is perfectly possible to throw a Grand Tableau using all 45 cards from the Celtic Lenormand.  Doing so brings a lot of material, though, so I shall look at different aspects and ways of reading it over the course of several posts.

For today, I wanted to focus on advice for the current turn of the Wheel of the Year.  Sunday was Imbolc, or Brigid's Day, the midway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.  It marks the first stirrings of spring, though there was little sign of that here, I must say!  I woke to traces of snow outside.  Still, the first green shoots are starting to push their way up through the soil...

In the Celtic Lenormand, the Songbirds card represents this festival.  Looking around that card can give advice for this turn of the Wheel, a spiritual focus for the next six weeks. 

As you can see from the photo, the Songbirds fell on the last line of the spread.  However, in the same way as you can count around a GT, moving from the last card back to the first, it is possible to transpose cards to still have a nine square to read around a card at the outer edge of the GT.  Following that procedure gives us the nine square shown here.

Bear, Owls, Oak, Heart, Songbirds, Flowers, Hill Fort (Tower), Burial Mound (Coffin), Bard (Male Rider).

Reading the corners gives me a theme for this period: a need for strength in the face of messages regarding institutional health concerns.  I know exactly what that is about, something that came up last week connected to the assistance we receive in relation to my elder son's disabilities.  And the advice moving forward: emotional wisdom shared brings the gift of closure.  Practically, I need to help my partner accept the withdrawal of some state support, and also reach out for wisdom and emotional support from others who have experience in this type of situation.

This may not seem exactly a spiritual message, after all it has practical suggestions attached.  Yet, this isn't something that is in the foreground of my life.  However, the message from spirit is that I would do well to put some of my energy into this over the coming turn of the Wheel.

When throwing a 45 card GT like this, if you want it to be a reading for the year you can interpret the cards around each of the eight sabbat cards for messages for each turn of the Wheel.  Revisiting the reading over the course of the year can be a very useful exercise, refining the interpretations and reminding yourself of the spiritual messages offered.

That's it for this week.  Next week I'll examine a different aspect of reading this 45 card Grand Tableau.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Lenormand Anomalies

The Burial Mound

It didn't take me long to figure out what I wanted to write about after Karen Sealey, our wrangler, declared the topic for this blog hop: oracular anomalies. 

The Celtic Lenormand is, itself, a bit of an oracular anomaly as Lenormand decks go.  For one thing, several of the cards have been renamed, though only to maintain the integrity of the deck's theme.  So, the Coffin became the Burial Mound, because the Celts intumated their dead (stuck them straight in a burial mound, rather than placing them inside a wooden box).  And the Garden has become the Meadow, because there were no manicured parks maintained by slews of gardeners in Celtic Europe.

Here, in the Celtic Lenormand, there are also nine extra cards.  They are all variations on standard cards, rather than being new creations.  There is a choice of a Cat and/or Dog, three possible types of Birds, two Snakes, two Trees, Man/Lord and Woman/Lady cards, and different gender choices for the Child and the Rider. 

Rider and Child variants
These cards were added for a number of reasons, some to do with the pagan theme of the deck, some to do with the possibility of different gender choices.  And I'll confess, my double Gemini soul loves choice and variety!  I also designed some ways of specifically working with the extra cards, such as looking at the cards around the Woman/Lady or Man/Lord cards to look at different aspects of a person's life, or to look at what the three aspects of the Goddess have to say to us.

Some say that the number of cards is important in Lenormand, because of the Grand Tableau, which uses all 36 cards, and only 36 cards.  While that is, in itself, a subject for another day, here's my bottom line.  If you only want to use 36 cards, take any extra cards out of the deck.  Now, how hard was that?  

Having done readings, including Grand Tableaux, with all the extra cards, and having done readings with a pre-selected set of 36, what is the common element?  All my readings have given me and my clients food for thought.  

Sometimes, different versions of the cards have highlighted specific areas, especially when two versions have both appeared in a smaller reading.  For example, in one reading the Cat and Dog appeared, highlighting issues around the client's work colleagues and his lack of friends independent of that context.  In every case, the cards have provided helpful messages for exploring the given situation.  And isn't that what it's really all about?

So, I hope you'll enjoy this oracular anomaly (when it finally becomes available in the next month or so), and maybe give those extra cards a go, see what messages they have to share...

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Triple Goddess Spread

This week, I wanted to demonstrate one of the spreads I created specifically for the Celtic Lenormand.  This nine card Triple Goddess spread is designed to seek advice from spirit, looking at what inspires us (Maiden/Songbirds), what we can create (Mother/Chickens) and what guides us (Crone/Owls). 

It's laid out as a line of nine.  You can use the three Bird cards as anchor points/significators in positions 2, 5 and 8, and I've added a card on top of each of those, which is optional.  It would also be possible to use any deck for this spread, simply keeping the Goddess positions in mind in the same way you can use Houses without needing a card to represent them.  If you're not sure what I mean by that, check out this reading I posted last year :)

Nine Card Triple Goddess Spread
The cards I drew were: Fish, Lord/Songbirds, Ring, Burial Mound (Coffin), Mountain/Chickens, House, Rider, Boy/Owls, Boat

If I were reading this at an everyday level, I would see a logical approach to finances inspiring the end of a partnership, which could create the need to seek reliable information to guide a new venture.  That reading is actually relevant to my week, as I have to make an assessment on two tenders the company I work for has received to change their accountants.  

However, as this is a Triple Goddess Spread, I prefer to read it at a more spiritual level.  Blending the Lord and Fish gives me an inspiration through active flow.  If you go with the flow of a river, you go at the river's speed.  If you actively follow the flow, you go faster than the river!  That will inspire will me to end a commitment (Ring/Burial Mound) that has been creating blockages for me (Mountain/Chickens) in the area of messages that take me out of the home, both literally and metaphorically (House/Rider).  The guidance from the goddess is to take a fresh approach in this venture (Boy/Boat).

Now, although the fundaments of the message are similar, I see a call to actively go in the direction spirit is currently directing me, even if it means breaking a previous commitment.   Sometimes, if the road ahead is blocked, it is because we are called on to find a different path.  And I hope I will fulfill that commitment, just at a later time.  For now, being more playful and getting out of my comfort zone is closer to what my soul's journey calls for.

This makes perfect sense to me.  Last week, I was feeling very blocked and confused in a project which is deeply important to me.  While I don't like breaking commitments, even to myself, the advice to challenge my comfort zone and find a way to be more playful, too, will hopefully help me align better with spirit and move forward in a slightly different direction...