Wednesday, 20 May 2015

A Touch of Magic

The Celtic Lenormand companion book was the first place to mention the idea of using Lenormand cards in spell work, something I have been doing for several years now.  And while I will be running webinars and workshops on this subject later in the year, this weekend sees my first webinar on Tarot Magic.  So, for this week, I thought I would share a little spell I designed.  Next week will see part two of the series on career questions in the cards.


Choosing cards to represent your intention helps to keep your focus clear.  And using images speaks to your subconscious.  Lenormand cards have the added benefit of keywords, helping to create affirmations to strengthen that focus even more.

Rider + Stars: guiding messages/clear messages
Stars + Letter: written guidance
Letter + Flowers: creative writing
Rider + Flowers: messages of grace

At it's base, I am asking for guidance in creatively writing guidance for others for the webinar.  Having promised an eBook to accompany the webinar, what it covers has grown due to some requests, and so it is not finished yet.  Listening to spirit, to those messages of grace, will help me write what is necessary.

I receive guidance to help me write creatively and with clarity.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Career Questions Part One

I was asked recently about reading around career choices, and thought it worth a few specific posts.  While some cards have very obvious messages around work, if that is the question, others may be more subtle or challenging.  So, I'll go through all the cards with some suggestions on what careers they might point to, and what strengths they suggest in terms of job skills.

The Rider

As someone with the gift of the gab, I see the Rider as being a good card for any job that requires face-to-face people skills.  That could cover anything from selling in a market to anchoring a TV show (perhaps paired with the Stars), certainly passing through any sales role (maybe paired with the Fish)!  Journalism is also definitely in his purview, especially if paired with the Letter.

The Rider also speaks to movement, both in terms of location, and in terms of exercise.  So, this could be a travelling sales rep (especially with the Ship), or a fitness coach or trainer.  The Rider tends to be well-turned out, and skilled in the use of language/s, as well as quick off the mark.  This is someone who sets things in motion, so could also be a motivational speaker, especially if paired with the Birds.

The Clover

As a card of luck, the Clover could suggest a career in gambling!  Well, more in the line of croupier or betting shop assistant, rather than as a gambler ;)  It indicates things that are quickly over, so could also point to working as a temp.  As an indicator of something small, if paired with the Ship it might suggest a small business venture.

In terms of skills, the Clover suggests optimism, and someone who is able to seize opportunities when they present themselves.  Another positive is the ability to pay attention to the fine detail, and to stay in the moment.

The Boat

The Ship points to all things foreign.  This could be an international company, if paired with the Tower/Hill Fort, or a job as a foreign correspondent if paired with the Letter.  Some readers see the Bear as laying down the law, so this pairing could suggest an international lawyer.

As a card that is used for any kind of motorised transport, the Ship could also point to careers in the travel or tourism industry, including taxi driver and pilot.  Paired with the Flowers, it might be a model who travels for photo-shoots, or a world-renowned interior designer.

Skills here include tolerance and a broad perspective (unavoidable if you have contact with different cultures), as well as an ability to think globally.  A willingness and enjoyment of travel would certainly make business trips more pleasant, for anyone in a business role that requires them.  Perhaps, too, an ability to understand people's hopes and dreams...

The House

As a symbol of property, obvious choices here would include realtor, but also property manager.  If paired with the Clover, you might find housesitting for brief stints to be an enjoyable and lucrative thing to do.  Taking the literal image of the home, a job working from home might appeal.  Using the internet to support that might be seen in a pairing with the Stars.  If paired with the Garden, it may be that you could work in some kind of half-way housing, as a house mother or father.  This card can also be seen as being in the building trade - a brickie, plumber (with the Snake), electrician (with the Stars), Architect (with the Letter). 

It can also suggest hobby-jobs you do from home in your spare time, that may bring in some pocket money.  In terms of career, it speaks of stability and happiness.  In terms of skills, we see someone who is handy about the house, who is dependable, but who may be a little pedantic or narrow minded.

The Tree

The Tree is an indicator of health, and so depending on what it is combined with it suggests different healing modalities.  For instance, with the Sun we have energetic healing, such as Reiki, or more traditionally perhaps an X-Ray technician.  Likewise, with the Birds we might see an ultrasound technician, or someone using healing sounds such as Tibetan bowls.  Seeing the Songbirds, associated with healing talk, we might also think about counseling, especially in a three with the Heart for emotion.

The Whips with the Tree could advise some kind of cleansing or detoxification process: someone who administers enemas?  In terms of repetitive actions for health, this could also be a physiotherapist, or in a three with the House, perhaps an occupational therapist.

The Tree also speaks to ancestral or long lasting things, so it could be taken as carrying on the family business, especially if paired with the House or the Boat.  Paired with the Tower, we might see an institutional 'job for life'.  In terms of skills, the Tree points to perseverance.


The Clouds

The uncertainty and lack of clarity of the Clouds could suggest anything from a lighthouse keeper (perhaps paired with the Sun), to a weather forecaster.  Paired with the Rider, we have uncertain messages, maybe a code breaker.  Combined with the Clover and the Boat, small, insecure business ventures might suggest someone with a start-up in an uncertain market.

As for skills, being able to cope with ambiguity shouldn't be underestimated.  Many people find it difficult to live with a lack of clarity, and may make precipitous decisions just to have certainty.  However, with things like stock market investments and the currency markets, being able to tolerate the insecurity can be a big advantage

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The Mice

Last week, I wrote about how the seed to dealing with seemingly difficult or negative cards can be found in the card itself.  Nevertheless, I must admit that, until now, the only positive I had seen in the Mice was their ability to eat away at things we don't like or want. 

That changed with something I read this week. I've always loved the linguistic side of Lenormand, and the fact that it represents folk wisdom rather than esoteric wisdom.  And it was in common idioms that I found the seeds of an answer to the depredations of the Mice.

If you are worried about the undermining aspect of this card, perhaps it would be good to keep 'as quiet as a mouse'.  Not drawing attention to yourself could help keep people from thinking about stealing from you, be it ideas or something more tangible.  If you go unnoticed, so does what you have of value.

Another idea is to act as though you were 'as poor as a church mouse'.  One aspect of this is once again about not presenting yourself as a target.  Another aspect is that the nibbling away aspect of the Mice can relate to how your money 'disappears' through lots of little things. 

It could be the coffee you buy on the walk to work or the sandwich you get at lunch, every day.  Or maybe it's the 'cheap' pair of earrings you find at a market stall or the little snacks, treats, magazines or toys placed by the checkout counter to tempt you into a last-minute purchase.  These things add up. So, the church mouse analogy suggests living frugally, at least for a time. 

When the Clover or the Sun come up, it will be time for a little splurge.  Or maybe the Flowers will indicate a gift coming your way.  While the Mice hold sway, though, try staying quiet and parsimonious.

Friday, 1 May 2015

What Seeds Do 'Negative' Cards Hold?

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In Lenormand, just as in Tarot, there are cards people would often prefer not to see in their reading, or at least not close to their significator.  Which cards these are depends a little on which tradition they follow.  In some, the Snake is seen as a negative card, while in the German tradition it generally just indicates a woman, without that being a bad thing.

Still, whichever system you follow, there are some cards that are not often welcomed in a reading.  And yet, I believe every card holds the seed of an answer within it.  In the Celtic Lenormand companion book, I tried to draw these out, finding the light and dark within each card.

For instance, many readers see the Fox as being duplicitous, and someone to watch for.  Yet, it can also suggest trusting your intuition, in the sense of 'following your nose'.  And it can point to street smarts or a useful skill set.  These might be aspects that will help if there is someone treacherous about.

In a similar way, the Birch Rods can indicate arguments or even abuse.  When raised in anger, they make a fearsome weapon.  Equally, though, if they repeatedly strike a dirty carpet, or are wielded as a broom, they can clear away negativity.  So, the seed of a solution to disagreements might be found in clearing the air.  And if that doesn't work, perhaps a clean sweep is in order, removing that person from your life.

Another interesting aspect of the Lenormand system is that, since cards are read together, 'bad' cards can cancel one another out.  The Mice might, for example, nibble away at the obstacles represented by the Mountain.  Or the Scythe might cut restrictive bonds, ending an unwelcome contract, indicated by the Ring (not inherently a 'distasteful' card).

In these approaches, my intention isn't to deny that there are liars in the world, or obstacles or arguments.  It's simply to suggest what we can do when confronted with these situations.  And in my experience, the seed to the answer is so often in the issue itself...

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Wednesday, 22 April 2015

FAQ: Health Questions (Part 2)

Last week, I shared a list of associations for each Lenormand card in questions of health and the body.  As is always the case with Lenormand cards, combinations add nuances, layers and possibilities, so let's take a look at just a few of these.

While the Birch Rods can denote addictions and habits, there are many times when repetition is a positive for health.  Most medicines require more than a single dose, and getting into the habit of eating well and exercising is a good thing in preventing ill-health.  These suggestions might be found in combining the Birch Rods card with the Rider for exercise, the Bear for diet, the Letter and the Tree for a repeat prescription. Adding the Rider and Birch Rods to the querent's card (Man/Woman), might give us a personal trainer.

Another combination might be the Birch Rods and the Paths.  The Paths can indicate neural pathways or meridian lines,  and so the two together can be used to indicate EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), often called tapping.  This technique uses repeated tapping on various points associated with meridian lines as a way of calming the body, and is used for healing anything from a headache or toothache, to dealing with addictions, to weight issues, and to childhood baggage.

Looking at another card that, on it's own, is often seen as somewhat negative, there are also healing aspects to the Scythe.  It can indicate surgery, which can be a necessary solution to a problem.  Pairing it with the heart gives heart surgery, pairing it with the Flowers would suggest cosmetic surgery.

The Scythe represents tools in general, too.  In that case, it connects with the needles used in acupuncture when paired with Paths, for those meridian lines again. 

There is also all kinds of energetic healing, such as Reiki.  This might be seen in combining the Sun with the Tree, and perhaps the Ship if the Reiki is being done at a distance.

As you can see, there are all sorts of possibilities available.  What you read in the cards will depend a lot on what you are open to in terms of healing modalities.  So, I suggest you try to think of the remedies you are most likely to use, and how they might be represented in the cards...

P.S.  Next week's post will go live on Friday instead of Wednesday, as it is part of the Beltane Tarot Blog Hop.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

FAQ: Health Questions (Part 1)

Recently, someone said to me that they wanted to be able to answer health questions.  Whether or not you feel it is appropriate to look at health questions for other people will probably depend on who you are reading for, and whether you have training in any other healing modalities. 

That being said, let's look at what aspects of health and the body each Lenormand card can represent.  In this list, a few cards have some overlap.  For example, different writers attribute the lungs to either the Tree (the world’s lungs) or to the Clouds (wind/breath).  If a meaning makes sense to you for one card rather than another, I'd stick with it.

Rider
Body - foot and knee joints, the legs more generally.
Health - a new treatment, on your way to healing, someone who brings messages about your health.

Clover
Body - overall good health, possible wind/flatulence.
Health - a 24 hour bug, a lucky choice of doctor or medicine, a small miracle.

Ship
Body - liver, bladder, gall bladder, spleen, any organs that hold water.
Health - Water balance, possible psychosomatic causes (nostalgia).

House
Body - the whole body, the body seen holistically.
Health - being/putting yourself in the hands of the chief specialist.

Tree
Body -  the air you breathe, the lungs, the chest.
Health - health per se, natural healing, walking in nature, inherited diseases (family tree).

Clouds
Body - the brain/mind, the lungs, the chest.
Health - hypochondria.  Taking a turn for the worse.

Snake
Body - small and large intestines, umbilical cord.
Health - not recognising the cause of an illness.

Coffin
Body - spinal column.
Health - disease, burnout, psychic trauma, a disease that ends badly leaving traces.

Bouquet
Body - ulcers, growths, tumours.
Health - hayfever, flower remedies, homeopathy, a female healer.

Scythe
Body - teeth, jaw
Health - pain, operations, injuries, a clean break.

Whips
Body - tendons, sinews, tongue, musculature, nerves, sacrum
Health - self-harm, overconfidence leads to injury, abuse, addiction.

Birds
Body - nerves, veins, legs, arms, thyroid, throat/voice.
Health -  sleep disturbances, lack of sleep, diabetes, organ instability, understanding the psychosomatic aspect of a disease.

Child
Body - growing pains, childhood illnesses.
Health - growth, need for patience

Fox
Body - sinuses, nose, throat, ears,
Health - possibly false treatment program.

Bear
Body - hair, fingernails, stomach.
Health - strong, sluggish, heavy, overweight.

Stars
Body - skin, immune system, rashes
Health - nighttime cures.

Stork
Body - legs
Health - a cure progresses well, prevention is better than cure, lying in/childbirth, pregnancy.

Dog
Body - mouth, tongue, vocal cords, voice, throat
Health - a successful treatment, carers.

Tower
Body - spine, intervertebral discs, throat
Health - hidden illness.

Garden
Body - ailments, handicaps, disablement.
Health - recuperation, healing environment, spa.

Mountain
Body - Head, bones, skull.
Health - hardening of the arteries, needing patience to overcome a disease.

Paths
Body - veins, arteries, neural pathways, lymphatic system, ligaments, tendons, sinews.
Health - the path to healing, alternative healing modalities, choosing a new doctor.

Mice
Body - stomach, digestive tract.
Health - digestion, excretion, passing urine, having your body reduced (eg. liposuction).

Heart
Body - heart, blood,
Health - blood circulation, the healing power of love.

Ring
Body - circulation, blood.
Health - committing to a new health regime, chronic (repetitive) diseases.

Book
Body - the unconscious, the appendix.
Health - diseases with no apparent cause.

Letter
Body - hands, short-lived fever, temporary irritation (skin), temporary nerve strain.
Health - a prescription.

Man
Body - male sex organs, right side of the body.
Health - yang energy, masculine energy.

Woman
Body - female reproductive organs, left side of the body.
Health - yin energy, feminine energy.

Lily
Body - sexual and reproductive organs, lower body, hormones.
Health - the healing power of meditation.

Sun
Body - eyes, eyesight, immune system.
Health - healing power of sunshine, vitamin D, healing, energy. 
 
Moon
Body - brain, nerves.
Health - memory, soul, psychosomatic, female cycles, phantom illnesses.

Key
Body - collarbone, sphincters.
Health - trace minerals, vitamins, iron constitution.

Fish
Body - kidneys, liver, bladder, glands.
Health - drink more water, soul, water balance

Anchor
Body - hips, pelvis, coccyx.
Health - grounding exercises.

Cross
Body - intervertebral discs, lower back, back, arms,
Health - relapse.

Of course, many more nuances and subtleties can be found when you start combining the cards, and we'll look at some examples of that next week...

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

FAQ: Which Card Is...

Lily
Another question I've had posed is which card to use for certain things, when two or more are possible or used by different people.  For example, some people see sex in the Whips, others in the Lily.  And while some people use the Anchor for work, others use the Moon or the Fox. 

The first answer to this is that you could just pick whichever makes most sense to you.  For instance, most German authors treat the Anchor as a card of work, while the French more often use the Moon card.

Another answer is that you could see different aspects of these things in each card.  The Anchor is traditionally about the hope of salvation through work (for the German protestants with their work ethic).  It could also be seen as something that weighs you down, but where you have a choice to lift anchor and move on if you so choose.  The Moon could be your reputation, which is certainly relevant to most people's job.  And the Fox can be about skills you need for work, or about someone at work with independent skills, such as a contractor or entrepreneur.

However, in this instance someone raised the objection that they could see the sense in several options.  They had decided to see how it came out in readings, but were finding it confusing, as it seemed to vary.

My personal take is that the cards are always multivalent: they can potentially indicate several things, and may be read differently when combined with different cards, or using a different technique within the same spread, such as knighting compared to reading diagonals.

While in tarot this multivalency is often connected with what you actually "see" in the image, a little detail perhaps jumping out at you, in Lenormand cards this is more about the spectrum of keywords associated with a card.

There are different levels of interpretation that can be applied to any card.  Thus, the Lily can be an older man (connected to the King of Clubs playing card association), or it can signify harmony and peace, or elders, or sexuality and even purity (lilies used to be given at weddings), or some might say death (another situation where lilies are used).

While this may seem confusing, it's also true that life is rarely simple and clear-cut.  For instance, a relationship could be quite tumultous, with lots of arguments (Whips/Birch Rods), yet also with lots of make-up sex (also Whips/Birch Rods).

Letter, Birch Rods, Lord
If, though, you want a clearer answer, what about asking the cards themselves?  One problem with this is, of course, how to ask.

If you want to try for a simple answer, just look for one card either side of the card you're asking about, as I did here with the Birch Rods.  A simple interpretation would be to journal (Letter) about the card and find the logical (Lord) pattern.

Other interpretations are possible, though.  While journalling about the card (Letter) is one interpretation, another is that you can simply take the card at face value (Letter can be associated with superficiality), or look for tangible evidence one way or another, which would take you back to journalling your readings. 

Looking to the Lord, he could say "Make a decision and stick to it, no matter what!"  Another interpretation, though, might be to "look to the man".  Both the Birch Rods and the Lily are associated with male playing cards: the Jack of Clubs and the King of Clubs.  I would see the Jack as more youthful, sexual energy, and I tend to prefer interpreting Birch Rods for sex.  However, if it was an affair with an older man...

As with the Anchor, Moon and Fox, some people see different aspects of sexuality in the Birch Rods and the Lily.  Lily tends to be treated as more "vanilla", if that is relevant to your querent.  And as I say, I'd see Birch Rods as "break-up" or "make-up" sex, while I'd associate the Lily with sacred sexuality.

The bottom line, for me, is that life is complex.  So, while you can certainly choose an association and stick to it, you may well miss a lot of subtleties that way.