Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Reading the Future in a Grand Tableau

Some people suggest that everything in a Grand Tableau represents the current situation, and where things are moving to over the "reasonable" timeframe you set for such a reading (say 3-6 months).  This is generally my favourite way of approaching a Grand Tableau, given that my readings aim more at empowerment than at fortune telling.

Another very traditional approach that I learned when I was first starting out with Lenormand was that all the columns "in front" of the person card represent the future.  Equally, all the columns "behind" them would then represent the past.  Most often, in front is seen as reading to the right.  However, because some of the people cards face different directions, many readers will choose the direction the Lady/Woman or Lord/Man is facing to define what counts as "in front".  For example, in the image below I have left clear the columns that are "in front" of the Woman.

A different approach I was recently introduced to struck me as quite interesting, too.  In this way of reading, you normally treat the cards laid out before you reach the person card as being the past, and the cards laid out after them as the future.  So, laying out the cards in lines, all the rows before you get to the person card will be the past, all the rows after (below) the person card will be the future.  Equally, this can be turned around depending on the direction the person card is facing.  For the GT used here as an example, that would mean that the future for the woman would be just the cards shown below:

For the Man, though, his future would be all the cards in the clear here:

Obviously, these different approaches can give quite different results!  For example, in the GT shown next, applying the "traditional approach" would give an equal distribution of past and future to read for the Lady.  On the other hand, applying the second approach would give an almost entirely past-oriented reading, with only the final four cards as her future...

As with any technique, it may be useful in some readings, not in others.

What reasons can you think of to prefer one approach to the other?  What are the situations in which one might give more useful information than the other?  Or is it just a case of doing what you were first taught...

Sunday, 1 May 2016

What Gifts May Flowers Bring

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Karen Sealey is a playful person and for this hop asked us to think about May and let that take us where it may.  I imagine we'll see a fascinating variety of approaches and takes as we hop around what this global community of bloggers makes of that!

For myself, thinking about the Celtic Lenormand and Beltane always brings the Flowers card to mind.  It's the card that seemed most appropriate to represent this turn of the Wheel of the Year.  It shows the beautiful blooms we find (at least in this part of the world) in May.  And it's also one of the most lovely cards in the deck, indicating gifts, invitations, beauty and creativity.

All this got me thinking about what gifts we are offered now.  So, I threw a Grand Tableau with that in mind.

Looking at the cards around the Flowers, we have the Anchor, the Dog, the Snake, the Ring, the Cross, the Tree, the Rider and the Coffin.  That leads me to the following questions to help think about the gifts life is offering right now:

What in your life provides you with stability?

Who can you depend on?

What boundaries help you maintain your sense of self?

What commitments bring you joy?

What life lesson/s do you feel you are finally mastering?

What aspects of your health do you give thanks for?

What messages is the universe sending you?

What ending are you currently grateful for?

Another technique, which I used last week, is to get a "final message" around a subject by counting around the Grand Tableau.  This isn't restricted to the "significator" cards, but can be used from any card of interest.  If you start at the card before the card you're interested in, and count around 7 each time, you end up with a line of five.  For the Flowers, that gives us:

Lady, Ship, Mice, Dog, Bear: A final message around the gifts life is currently offering is that nostalgic passivity undermines resourceful dependability.  If you want to make the most of what is being offered, you need to look to the future, be active and resourceful, and keep on with things even if the going is not always simple.

Now, I wonder what other gifts this blog hop will offer us...

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Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Hidden Motives and Messages

Following on from the Learn Lenormand training going up online, I've had some questions about knighting and other 'advanced' techniques.  This week, I give thanks to a client for permission to demonstrate a couple of techniques used in her reading.  I won't go into the whole reading, just wanting to flag up a couple of ways of getting extra information from the cards.  We threw a GT, and the result is shown below:

Knighting - looking at motivation

One of the things that the client wanted to look at was the question of underlying motives, her own for the most part.  The knighting cards can give information on this, and were quite enlightening.

For one thing, the Lord and Lady cards knight to one another.  Part of the reading was looking at her new relationship with a man she has known for decades.  I suggested she might have had her eye on this man for quite some time, and she agreed that she had always thought him attractive, though while she was married it hadn't been a consideration (she was widowed fairly recently).

The other cards the Lady knights to are: the Ship, the House, the Moon, the Fish, the Lord and the Paths.

The Ship and the Paths on the same row suggests she is being motivated by a choice she has to make regarding a new venture, and that there may be some nostalgia involved in that decision.  This is the case, as she is deciding whether or not to go ahead with a big project she and her husband had talked about a lot before he died.  Between the Lord and the Lady, the Scythe and the Hill Fort (Tower) suggest the need to cut institutional ties.  This is something that has been making their relationship more difficult - they both work for big public institutions in their local area.  She has been considering resigning.  The cards point out that not only does the job get in the way of her relationship, but that she also has this other venture that she hasn't yet spoken about, but feels quite passionate about.  Recognising this was helpful for her.

The House and the Lord point to some concerns over how her family will look on this new relationship (she has grown kids).  That matches the fact that she has been trying to figure out how to tell them about it (they live quite far away).  The Letter and the Meadow (Garden) next to the Lady (and between her and the Lord) suggest that writing a letter to "go public" with the relationship might work well.

The Moon and the Fish made me ask if she has a particular reputation with money.  She seemed uncertain about this, but said she had married into money.  She is unsure what her new partner thinks of this, and it does worry her somewhat.  She is also personally worried, because if she remarries it may affect her pension, and if she is to retire from work that will affect her finances too (Mice are in the House of Fish).

Some people prefer the 8x4+4 layout of the Grand Tableau, and one reason for that is the 'destiny line' at the bottom.  However, another way to get a final message is to count around the GT, taking every seventh card, starting from the card before the subject you're interested in.  We did this, starting from the card just before the Lady herself.  The line that came up is shown here:

Book, Mountain, Storks, Scythe, Flowers:  Secrets block change, make a creative cut/shocking invitation.  

The client agreed that she has been stressed about keeping her intention to retire a secret, and about not knowing precisely where she stands with this new man and how her family will respond to the relationship. 

She said that writing a letter to invite her kids over to actually meet him (looking back at the Meadow, which can also represent hospitality), and telling them then might work well.  They might be surprised by the invitation, but she felt that would be better than the shock of spilling all over such an impersonal medium. 

She also said that she definitely wants to leave her institutional job, to do something that feels more creative.  She wondered whether she could do something creative or organise an event as part of her goodbye.

Next week's post will also be on reading Grand Tableaux.  It will be out on Sunday, 1st May, as part of the Tarot Blog Hop.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Transformation Time?

Having just opened up a free Learn Lenormand online resource, I have had many people tell me they feel nervous around larger Lenormand spreads, especially the Grand Tableau.  While I plan to focus more on the Grand Tableau a little down the line, my two main responses to this are:

a) You don't have to read the Grand Tableau, or even a Nine Square, if you don't want to!

You can get really helpful answers from just a three or five card line.  If that's what you want to do or feel comfortable with, that's fine.  I sure don't have time to throw a GT everyday, either, so for my daily draw I normally stick to three cards :)

b) It can be helpful to work your way up to the bigger spreads.  That's why I've posted a lot of Nine Square readings, and for those that want to go a bit bigger yet, I recommend the 5x3, an example of which you'll find below...

I asked about something I have been working on for a while, which I would like to focus on more now that I have finally finished the Learn Lenormand training.

At the centre of the spread is the Shedding Snake - oh yes, this is about transformation and helping people to shed their old self!  And I might need to do that, too, in order to make it happen.

Looking at the corners, Key, Scythe, Flowers and Holly: insightful sorting leads to creative growth.

Looks like I still need to do some clarifying around exactly what to put out there and how.  This is a long term project, so there's time to be creative and let things grow as they need to.

Treating the columns in a past-future flow:

Key, House, Flowers - part of that sorting is recognising where my creative comfort zone is.

Storks, Birch Rods (Whips), Dog - progress required faithfully clearing out what wasn't working, no matter how painful that process.

(Oak) Tree, (Shedding) Snake, Woman - now, I'm in a process of transformation that holds a lot of growth potential, but which may take some time.

Letter, Moon, Girl - moving forward, I need to do some journalling/list-making to figure out the new way to present this.

(Holly) Tree, Ship, Scythe - a harvest in this venture may take a while to come, I need to cut the nostalgia in favour of growth.

Looking at the rows as thoughts, situation and actions, and combining cards through mirroring as well as side-by-side connections:

Key, Storks, Oak, Letter, Holly - changing insights bring growthful progress needing written roots for long-term evidence.  My thoughts are in flux, which is why there's a need for me to write things down, both to root out what I'm really getting at, and to get longer-term insight.

House, Birch Rods, Shedding Snake, Moon, Ship - cleaning house is a transformative process that brings new recognition to this venture.

Flowers, Dog, Woman, Girl, Scythe - invite the faithful to enjoy this new harvest.  Edit creatively with the help of new friends.

These suggestions for actions to take both make sense to me.  On the one hand, make an offer to my list, those people who I have connected with already.  And on the other, I'm doing a "business challenge" this week, organised by Amethyst Mahoney, that is giving me the space to figure out what I need to cut out, what I need to change, to make this project more viable.

Obviously, there is more that could be mined from this spread.  For now, though, I think there's plenty for me to think about and work on...

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Super New Moon in Aries Spell

Tomorrow, there is a Super New Moon (defined as when the moon comes closer than normal to the earth) in Aries.  The new moon is a great time for making a fresh start, and Aries is a fiery sign full of courage, independence, optimism, and enthusiasm. 

That makes this a perfect time for a spell about making choices to get up and go, fulfill your spiritual and creative plans, and be more daring.  I decided to design a spell with that in mind!

The Stars at the centre represents the New Moon, as well as clarity, spirituality and making a plan.  The Paths is for choices, the Tree for health and growth, the Sun for energy and success, the Flowers for creativity, the Storks for progress and change, the Rider for movement and sociability, the Clover for optimism and luck, and the Bear for being your own "boss" :D

You could start by laying the cards out in a special place, such as on your altar if you have one, or any dedicated space for messages from spirit. 

Light a candle - either red for the fire of Mars, or white for the purity of spirit, or black for the dark of the new moon - or all three ;) 

If you want crystals on your dedicated space, once again choose from red, black and white.  Moon stone is always appropriate when working with moon energy, and red stones connect with Mars, while black represents infinite possibilities.  Or go with whatever most speaks to you.

Sit and gaze at the cards for a little while, filling your mind with your intent to use this energy.  You could imagine the changes that you want to make, the choices that lie ahead of you, how you will feel when socialising or taking charge of whatever you set your mind to.  Then, say some words.  

You could say this spell, though finding your own words (whether rhyming or not) is always good:

With the coming of this New Moon, I:
Choose health, growth and the energy of the sun in the sky.
Creative clarity brings progress: flying high.
Optimism and sociability make me the boss in all I try!
As I will so mote it be

As with all magic, intention is key.  So, if there are different cards that call to you, other words that feel more appropriate, or whatever, follow your heart. 

Wishing you all a blessed New Moon )O(

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Choices, Choices, Choices!

This week, I've been struggling with choices.   What better time to use the Choices Spread I shared in the Celtic Lenormand companion book?!

With three cartomantic projects I could work on this week in what little time I have, decisions are necessary.  I'm not even going to count the "day-job" projects, as those have to be done come what may (hence not having much time for the more fun projects).  So, I drew three cards for each of the three projects, three cards for the wisdom of the reading, and three cards for a deciding factor.

In particular, I want to use this reading to look at how you can use the playing card inserts to give additional information.  For this, you consider the areas of influence for each suit: hearts for emotion and relationships; diamonds for enterprise and energy; spades for society and service; and clubs for challenges and necessities.

Choice A - Clouds (King of Clubs), Oak Tree (7 of Hearts), Flowers (Queen of Spades)

It's true this is a project that is rather long term (Oak), and full of creativity (Flowers).  It's also true there is quite a lot of uncertainty about it (Clouds).  As the Clouds are at the start of the reading, it suggests that enduring creativity and growth will eventually trump uncertainty - the more I work on this, the clearer it will become.

As for the playing card suits, there's one club, one heart and one spade.  A mix of challenges, emotion and service - working to be creative and make something that will serve others in a way that nurtures emotional understandings in the face of difficulties.

Choice B - Fish (King of Diamonds), Burial Mound (Coffin - 9 of Diamonds), Bear (10 of Clubs)

This line is a good representation of the second project - there are a lot of parts to it (Fish), it is now nearing an end (Burial Mound), and it requires some "managing" (Bear).  For this week, it feels like the flow of energy for this project is at an end, because of a need to use resources wisely.

Equally, looking at the playing card inserts: with two diamonds and a club there's plenty of energy, but it feels rather blocked at the end.

Choice C - Fox (9 of Clubs), Ship (10 of Spades), Stars (6 of Hearts)

This project is in many ways the most "business-y" - connected to marketing.  The Fox suggests my dislike for marketing, which seems a combination of needing street smarts I don't have, and trying to "deceive" people.  The Ship highlights the business venture aspect, while the Stars talks of a need for planning.  Looked at more cohesively, a business venture can be both spiritual and smart.

As for the playing cards, once again a club, a spade and a heart.  Difficulties around business are resolved when you act from the heart.

Wisdom - Woman (Ace of Spades), Moon (8 of Hearts), Rider (9 of Hearts)

At a practical level, my intuition (Woman) tells me I should focus on marketing (C): gaining recognition (Moon) through the distribution of information (Rider).  Yet, there are also cycles of energy and emotion, and information is a two-way street.  There is practical and intuitive work to be done on the first project (A) to gather information.  And equally, the second project involves spreading information which requires putting my face in front of other people.

All of these projects have equal claims, that is part of the reason why making a decision is so hard.  And perhaps the true wisdom here is to recognise the cycles that make up the day, as well as the week.  Can I focus on project A for a while one day, and on C the next day, using my own emotional cycles to make the most of whatever time I have available?

What say the playing card inserts?  A spade and two hearts - there is a lot of emotion involved, which is not always clear.  Putting it to service in the most practical way sounds like a good idea.

Deciding Factor/Path to Take - Paths (Queen of Diamonds), Lady (Ace of Spades), Lord (Ace of Hearts)

Well, a clear recognition that there are choices here!  Both intuition and logic have their part to play in finding a way forward.  The most intuitive option is A, the most logical is C, once again. 

The playing card suits are once again split - a diamond, a spade, and a heart.  The intuitive choice (A) is one that is more sociable, as well as being of service.  There is a deeply emotional part to choice C, both in my negative emotions around marketing, and in the emotional content of the actual thing I am marketing, despite this being the most logical/business-oriented option.  Seems like I have enough energy (Queen of Diamonds) to work on both, at least a little.

So, B is out for the rest of the week.  Even though it's nearly finished, it'll just have to wait.  Following my heart, and my natural rhythms, is more important.  A dab of project A when I have enthusiasm for it, a smidge of project C, when I can get some computer time...

What do you think looking at the playing card suits adds to a reading?

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Did She Have An Affair?

Clearly, this isn't a question I would answer if a jealous partner came to my reading table.  Ethically, that's not something I want to touch with a bargepole!

However, in this case the question is one that arose for me while reading a biography of the Empress Sisi.  Seeing as she's been dead for nearly 120 years, I don't think anyone will mind much if I do a little exploring of her life through the cards.  It's "For Entertainment Purposes Only", after all ;)

Sisi was a Bavarian princess, whose mother wanted one of her daughters to marry the Austrian Emperor.  While the plan was to have her older sister get engaged, the Emperor fell in love with Sisi, of whom he said:

"How sweet Sisi is, she is as fresh as a blossoming almond tree and what a splendid crown of hair frames her face!"

They married, but Sisi didn't deal well with the formality and gossip of the Austrian court.  Her health also suffered, in part due to her many pregnancies and the loss of one of her children.  More and more, she fled the court, immersing herself in travel and exercise.  She was an accomplished rider, and became rather vain - spending up to three hours just dressing her hair!

There are two men, whom gossip connected her with.  One was her riding instructor, an English man named William George "Bay" Middleton.  The other was a Hungarian politician, Gyula Graf Andr├íssy.

Looking at the cards, the Rider is the obvious choice for Middleton, and the Lily (an older man, a man of peace) for Andr├íssy. 

The Lily falls directly under the Lord, he was one of the Emperor's men.  Nothing doing there.

The Rider, on the other hand, lies at one of the cross card points between the Lord and the Lady - something that came between them.  And the consequence of this, as seen in the diagonal moving to the right of the card, is the Meadow (Garden) and the Birch Rods.  Sharp words expressed in public.  This could also express publically recognised sex.  To the left of the Rider lies the Mice, little thieves.  Did he steal away the Empress' Heart, just to the left of that? 

Overall, I don't think so. 

The only card around this that implies sex at all is the Whips, and it is quite far from the two people involved, and can just as well be interpreted as the harsh words that were expressed very publically on the topic, causing Sisi to break off her classes with Middleton. 

More likely, it was riding itself, and the movement it allowed her - travelling around Europe to take part in riding events - that she lost her heart to.  And it was a freedom that was eaten away by the burdensome gossip (Cross, Birds - diagonal to the top left of the Rider) that endured (Tree) throughout her reign. 

It is notable that harsh words and gossip are on two of the four diagonals from the Rider (Cross, Birds and Meadow, Birch Rods).  What those gossips couldn't see was the other cross card between the Lord and Lady, just under the Lady: the Dog. 

The Empress and Emperor were both faithful in their love, in whatever way the mores of their society allowed.  And while Sisi longed for more choices (Paths), and was depressed at their lack (Clouds), she was also a woman of her word (Ring).  She was vain (Sun) and dedicated to beauty (Ring under Flowers).  Yet, she loved her Children (Child, Heart), and the Rider can also be read as the Crown Prince Rudolph (older child, young man), the only son born to the two of them, a uniting force between them, too.

Certainly, much more can be read from this Grand Tableau.  However, I'll leave it there, with my own answer to the question I started with: No.