Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Line Length and Directionality

My Lenormand book collection - 52, not counting LWB's
It's amazing how many Lenormand books in different languages focus on odd number lines (3, 5, 7, 9).  And I should know, as I have quite a collection of Lenormand books, in English, German (the majority), French, Portuguese, Italian and Spanish!   

A beginner couldn't be blamed for thinking that lines should always have an odd number of cards.  Yet, how true is that?

The only time a line really needs to have an uneven number of cards is if you have chosen a significator.  That card goes in the middle of your line either by choice (putting it there and dealing cards around it) or by finding the significator in a shuffled deck and taking one or more cards to either side of it for your reading.

That's it.  Otherwise, there is no reason why a line cannot use an even number of cards.

What about reading past-present-future, I hear you ask?

If you have four cards and you blend them, then cards 1+2 can be seen as the past, cards 2+3 are the present, and cards 3+4 are the future :) 

All this to say, this week I decided to draw a line of four cards...

Another subject that sometimes confuses people is the notion of directionality in Lenormand readings.  Most Lenormand cards aren't intended to be read with a sense of direction.  One obvious exception to this is the Man and Woman cards.  There are plenty of readers who take the way these cards face to either show where the person's interest lies, or to determine which side of the reading should be the past and which the future.

There are some other cards which tend to be read with direction.  The Clouds and the Scythe are two frequent cases, though some others are the Rider, the Coffin, the Mice, the Book and the Cross.  I mention this, as three of those came up in my readings today...

Yesterday, I made a decision about pricing for my Magical Life Coaching service, and sent off an email to that effect to someone who'd made an enquiry.  Then, I started worrying and second guessing myself - should I charge less?  Does it depend on whether I know the person?  Who is my ideal client anyway?

So, I decided to ask whether I'd made the right choice in sending the email with those prices.

Man, Clouds, Lady, Girl
The Clouds card has a dark and a light side.  In this reading, the dark side is next to the Man, who represents logic and rationality.  Added to that, he's actually looking into those dark clouds.  The light side is next to the woman, representative of intuition and nurturing.  And she is looking at the Child, sign of being open, honest, and willing to try new things. 

If we apply last week's yes-no formula, we have three black cards and one red, so no, I didn't make the right choice.  Seems the problem is that I was too focused on being rational, which made my actions confused.  Instead, I should take a more nurturing, intuitive approach, in order to clear away those doubts and worries.  Looks like I need to take a new approach, and perhaps be honest with the person about why I'm making a change.

And how can I find a more nurturing way to price my Magical Life Coaching?

Meadow (Garden), Book, Anchor, Scythe

Meadow +  Book - research the community I'm interested in
Book + Anchor - consider work confidentiality, work at uncovering things
Anchor + Scythe - make a clean break with the work I did before, no quick harvest

Here, we have the Book, with its spine (the side that cannot be opened) to the Meadow.  Some readers take this as representing secrets that cannot or should not be disclosed.  So, while I may need to do research, this is made harder by the fact that a lot of coaches don't advertise their prices.  You have to actually talk with them to get to that nub. 

In terms of my potential clients, like that Book, they may open up with a little work.  That work of understanding them may also help me decide how to price things on a case-by-case basis.  How much do I want to work with someone, and how much can they afford?  

A face-to-face approach would be better than trying to do these things via email.  The Scythe's blade faces away from the other cards.  While I need to make a clean start, that doesn't mean doing anything too sudden or drastic.  It may be that this is a lesson in how best to work with people, rather than something I can fix with this particular person.

Back to the nub of the question: each person in the tribe I would most like as my clients is a book that may take some time and work to understand.   There is no point rushing into things, that's no way to reap a harvest that is worthwhile.   That's fine by me, I'm in no particular hurry.  I would rather have clients I really want to help, than just taking on any client who comes along :)

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Yes-No Questions

Following on from last week's post about using the playing card associations for the cards to calculate the quintessence of a reading, this week we look at another possible method for using the playing card associations on the Lenormand cards.

As anyone who has followed this blog, or who has the Celtic Lenormand, knows, I don't favour seeing any cards as either positive or negative.  However, even without ascribing positive or negative to the Lenormand cards, it is possible to use the playing card associations to answer yes-no questions.  For this, basically red suits are seen as positive and black suits are seen as negative.  If you want to add a little more subtlety to this, you can take diamonds as a strong yes, hearts as a weak yes, spades as a weak no, and clubs as a strong no.

One thing I like about this system is that it gives you more information than just a straight yes or no.  After you have read the playing cards, you can still interpret the Lenormand images for a deeper answer.

Being a bit of a skeptic, to demonstrate this system I decided to do two draws.  The first asked should I give up on X, while the second was should I carry on with X.  As you can see the cards played along.

Should I give up on X?
Both the Chickens and the Paths cards are diamonds, strong yeses, with a weak Spade no. Give up - yes.
Should I carry on with X?
The Tower (six of Spades) is a weak no, the Scythe (Jack of Diamonds) a strong yes, but the Ring (Ace of Clubs) a strong no.  Carry on - no.

Overall, the draw answered yes to 'should I give up' and no to 'should I carry on': nicely consistent. 

Looking deeper, the first draw for giving up (Chickens, Paths, Lily) suggests I have a choice to make here between what people will say, and a sense of peace.  This fits. The question is whether to carry on with something that I have told others I will do, but which has been going extremely slowly and weighing me down with the burden of something unfinished.  Add to that the fact that some new things are really taking off, and also have a deadline, and I have been questioning whether it's worth continuing.

The second draw has the Tower, Scythe and Ring.  The Scythe is a card that is often read with an element of directionality: what is the blade pointing to?  Here, the Scythe's blade cuts at the commitment of the Ring.  And the Tower speaks of institutions: an institutional requirement (that deadline imposed from without) recommends I break the promise I made to myself and told others of.

However, whether because I have authority issues and don't like being told what to do, or whether I'm just not ready to be a quitter, for the moment I'm going to ignore the card's advice.  I shall carry on and try to keep the promise I made, despite other commitments.  My next question, I guess, would have to be: what can I best do to fulfil all my commitments... :)

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Quintessential Blessings

Some people ask what the playing card inserts in the Lenormand cards are used for.  One answer is that you can use them to calculate the quintessence for the reading. Obviously, this is something you would only do with a smaller reading: a Grand Tableau always uses all the cards, so the number would be the same.  Plus, adding up all those numbers would be rather time consuming!  I would only use this for readings up to nine cards.

The next question is how to calculate the quintessence.  In fact there are several ways of doing this.

Let's take an example to make things clearer.  The first option is to add up the numbers of the playing cards. Here, for instance, we have the Ace (1) of Hearts, the King (13) of Spades and the Nine (9) of Spades. This adds up to twenty three, or the Mice.  This could also be reduced down to five, the Tree.

If your deck doesn't give the playing card associations or if you just prefer to try something different you can also use the Lenormand numbering in this way.  In that case you add twenty eight (28), thirty (30) and thirty five (35) to give ninety three (93), which breaks down to twelve, the Birds. Reducing it further adds up to three, the Ship.

Whichever way you choose to calculate the quintessence, what do you do with it?

One option is to consider it as you would the base card in a tarot reading or a jumper card.  It could be seen as the underlying message, a message from spirit, or as the overarching theme of the reading.  Another lovely variation suggested by Caitlín Matthews in her Complete Lenormand Handbook (Healing Arts Press, 2014), is to create a blessing based on this card.

So, what would this look like in terms of the example given here?

The basic reading might be that calm action (Man/Lily) brings harmony to a work situation (Lily/Anchor). Taking the playing card quintessence as the Mice and the Tree, we could say that not finding a peaceful resolution will undermine our health: too much stress!  Or it could be that the undermining of our health is the reason why we need to take calm action to create a more peaceful workplace.

Thinking about Caitlín's blessing, this could be: I release attachment (Mice) to this situation in order to honour and support my well-being (Tree). 

Saturday, 8 August 2015

The Sun is the Sun

The Sun
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Welcome to another blog hop, where writers from around the world come together to create a circle of posts all on the same topic, yet each from our own perspective.  For this round of the Tarot Blog Hop, our wrangler, Joanne Sprott of Cosmic Whispers Tarot, challenged us to write about the Sun and/or Mercury's presence in the cards.

The first thing that came to my mind was the Sun card itself, and the interesting fact that the Lenormand interpretations are pretty much the same as the Tarot meanings.  This isn't the case for any of the other cards which have the same symbols/title!  In fact, these could almost be described as mercurial in their differences between the two systems :D

The Moon
The meanings of the Moon vary from mystery and confusion (tarot), to fame and emotions (Lenormand), as Ethony explored last blog hop.  Likewise, the Tower in the Tarot is a card that strikes terror into many, with its threat of sudden, shattering events that upset our fixed ideas and sense of self.  Meanwhile, in the Lenormand system, it indicates authority and institutions, the top echelons of power, and the aloofness and loneliness these can all entail.

While there is no Rider in the Tarot, some people have tried to compare this card to the Tarot Knights.  However, it is more often Pages that are connected with messages.  And while the Rider is energetic and denotes movement, he doesn't have any of the subtleties of the Knights, such as variations between where his attention is focused, or how reliable he is.

Riders and Children
And the Tarot Pages, while sometimes connected to the idea of children or a child-like energy, are also mostly unrelated to the Lenormand Child.  The Child has no connection to messages, nor to learning.  It is far more about innocence, openness, naivety, honesty (not something you'd connect with the Page of Swords, for instance), and new beginnings.  Although some of these characteristics might be attributed to the Pages, once again there is the lack of focus on where these are applied, so important to understanding the Tarot Pages. 

Coming back to the Sun, in both systems this is a card of joy, success, energy, and enlightenment.  You might say that this is because the Sun is so simple and clear in its effect on our lives, so how could it be seen differently.  However, looking around the world, that isn't so.

For example, in countries where droughts are an issue, the sun is not seen just as a happy harbinger of good harvests.  Instead, it is a fierce challenger, sucking the life out of both land and people.  Even the energetic, dynamic aspect of the Sun is not as clear cut as you might think.  While in the English language, there is a tendency to see these characteristics as male, and while that is echoed in the Roman languages - le soleil (French), il sole (Italian), el sol (Spanish) - in German the sun is female (die Sonne).  In Japan, the Sun is associated with the Goddess Amaterasu, linked to beauty, royalty and creativity.

Hope you've enjoyed this little exploration of the Sun, and the mercurial variations between Tarot and Lenormand symbolism :)

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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Career Questions Part 6

Here is the final part in the career questions series, looking at jobs and strengths in the work environment represented by Lenormand cards and combinations:

The Sun

As a card of happiness and success, the Sun bodes well for any career question.  In particular, it points to someone who is cheerful and energetic, sunny and outgoing. Not the best fit for a quiet and solitary job, perhaps, but otherwise very positive.

In terms of actual jobs, paired with the Tree it suggests energetic healing modalities such as reiki.  The Sun with the Tower could be working for a sun tan parlour, while the Sun with the Snake might be working with electrical cables - an electrician, especially with the Fox added as an independent contractor. 

The Moon

For some people, this is their main 'work' card.  Personally, I see it being more about fame or reputation, as well as the whole gamut of emotions (Heart being more just positive emotions). The Moon can also represent cycles, especially seasonal or shorter cycles (compared to the Ring which can be about infinity and longer term cycles).  The emotional interpretation ties into the question of reputation, as how others see us can affect how we feel, about them and ourselves.

Reputation is an important matter, especially if you are a sole trader or independent entrepreneur.  Whether you have a good or bad reputation, or what you have a reputation for, will link with the other cards.  For example, with the Sun we see a positive reputation or even a reputation for success. 

With the Fox, you might have a reputation for deceit.  More positively, it can show a reputation for street smarts, and in terms of a job, the independent/entrepreneurial side of the Fox could show a talent agent - someone concerned with promoting other people's fame.  This would be strengthened by cards such as the Meadow (Garden) (promoting via social media), or the Flowers (promoting someone's creative reputation).  At a literal level, if you have the Stars combined with the Moon we have a stellar reputation or a famous star ;)

The Key

While some readers consider this a 'yes' card, it can tell you far more than that.  The Key offers insight and the ability to unlock potential, as well as being about problem-solving.  Once again, these are very positive traits when looking for work, either as en employee or working for yourself.

Given the unlocking potential side of the card, especially when linked with the Tower it would suggest some kind of teaching.  The Key, Tower and Garden together would be a state school teacher, while a private school teacher might be suggested more by the Key, Tower and Fish. 

The Bear could also make an appearance, as a mentor in unlocking your potential - a business coach, for instance.  A life coach would more likely be the Tree with the Bear and the Key (a mentor to help you grow at the level of body mind and spirit), and a magical life coach (like myself) would be the Stars, Bear and Key :D

Thinking about the problem-solving aspect of this card, pairing it with the Stars for science and technology, and the Book for academia, might point to a scientific researcher of some kind.  A forensic accountant, who problem-solves by delving into the background of finances, could be the Key with the Fish (possibly adding in the Coffin to point to the ill health of the finances being looked into).

The Fish

This card is often used to represent money, the give and take or flow of lucre for services or goods.  It might just be the money you need for the weekly shop, or it could be more about currency exchange.  The Fish also talk about quantity, and things multiplying - a good thing for finances, generally.

Taking the key word of finances, then combined with the Letter we have a financial reporter or journalist, combined with the Book more like an auditor or accountant.  The Fish with the Ship and the Fox could be read as a currency trader.  With the Garden, we have someone working with public funding.

If we look more to the flow side of the Fish, pairing it with the Rider for vigorous exercise, or the Whips for repetitive movements, might give us a yoga or dance teacher. 
The Anchor

For me, the Anchor is my main work card.  In it, I see work which provides a degree of stability, that we feel at home with, and where we are willing to work hard.  However, the Anchor can always be raised, so the Ship can move to a new port - it doesn't mean we have to be locked into something forever, though paired with the Tree it might well suggest a job for life.

The Anchor can represent feeling the weight of responsibility, and as a job strength it certainly indicates someone who can handle that weight.  With the Bear, we see a hard-working, responsible manager, who can deal with people (especially if combined with the Garden) and resources (especially if the Fish is added to the mix).

At a more literal level, it could represent someone who works on the sea, or in a port - paired with the Tower we might have a port authority officer.  Combined with the Rider and the Tree, a life guard at the beach, perhaps...

The Cross

As a card of burdens, the Cross might suggest trouble in our career.  However, the positive side of this is that there is a life lesson to be learnt here.  In terms of strengths, it suggests someone who believes in what they are doing, and someone who is used to shouldering heavy burdens, who can cope with sorrow.  As such, it might be a positive card for someone who works in bereavement (coupled perhaps with the Coffin and the Tower).

And if it's your job to help people with their life lessons, providing guidance, then that could be shown by the Stars combined with the Cross.  The Cross also connects with faith, and so with the Tower we might see someone working as a priest or minister.

What other strengths or careers do these cards suggest to you?

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Constellation Reading/Spell

Sometimes, the borderline between a spell and a reading is a little fuzzy, and this is a good thing.  One of the great joys in doing Lenormand spells is that you can also "read" the spread you create, and this may give added insight into the situation you were doing the spell for.

Another of the benefits of the Lenormand system for this kind of combined spell/reading is the fact that the cards have playing card associations as well as Lenormand numbers/objects.  This can be particularly helpful when it comes to creating a spell or doing a reading on a situation with a number of people involved.

For example, this is a spell that was created to help a young couple who had recently moved house, and had an issue with their neighbours.  The Storks are associated with the Queen of Hearts, and the Child with the Jack of Spades.  The young couple were someone who works in the caring professions, and someone who is quite forthright and open, acting with a good will, but not always with tact.  As for the neighbours, these were two older men, an architect (House - King of Hearts), and a business man (Fish - King of Diamonds).

At the centre of the spell, we placed the Lily.  While also associated with the King of Spades, the Lenormand keywords of harmony and peace were the reasons behind the choice here.  For the "action" part of the cross, we placed the Key for problem-solving, the Ring for commitment, the Paths for good choices, and the Sun for success.  Overall, this emphasised the couple's wish for problem-solving through a commitment to harmonious choices to bring success to the situation between these four people.

Once the spell was in place, reading the triplets of the lines offered some extra help. 

Storks, Key, House: home renovations are key to the situation.  Ring, Lily, Paths: a commitment to this new section of their life's path requires approaching it with pure intentions.  Fish, Sun, Child: shining an open light on money matters will help.

The couple agreed that some of the issues were around renovations that were being carried out on communal parts.  They hoped that demonstrating that they had acted in good faith, and agreeing to the older men's requests for transparency, were both probably helpful strategies in coming to an understanding with them.

Hopefully, this shows the way the cards can be used to create a spell which helped the couple prepare to negotiate with their neighbours.  It expressed their desire for harmony, and also gave them some suggestions on how to best go about achieving it at a practical level, too.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Career Questions: Part Five

Continuing this series of posts on jobs in the Lenormand cards, today we cover the Ring to the Moon.
The Ring

The Ring speaks of commitment, and in terms of strengths is a great card, showing someone who has the capacity to commit and stand by what they say. 

As for jobs, it could by itself suggest cyclical work.  Combined with the Fish and the Letter, for instance, that could point to tax accounting, with its cycles based on the financial year and governmental tax requirements. Paired with the Scythe, we might see cyclical agricultural work.

The contractual side of the Ring can also point to legal areas: with the Bear it could be a contract manager or lawyer.  With the Fox, perhaps an independent legal adviser, or independent contractor.

The Book

The Book can stand for secrets, esoteric learning, and also big projects such as writing a book.  When teamed with the Anchor, it could stand for being secretive about your work, or a job that is confidential.  That might be highlighted by a combination of Ship, Flowers and Book - diplomatic work abroad that requires secrecy - spy, anyone? ;)

When teamed with the Tower, we might see a librarian, or someone in academia.  When paired with the Letter, the aspect of writing is highlighted, suggesting an author.  This could be a spiritual author (Letter, Book, Stars), or someone who writes about catamarans (Letter, Book, Ship), or someone who writes about agribusiness (Letter, Book, Scythe, Fish).

In terms of job strengths, being able to keep confidentiality is important in many professions.  However, the inability to open up to others can be an issue if a role requires teamwork.

The Letter

Turning to the Letter, we have more writing, but this time of shorter pieces.  So, various kinds of journalists would be covered.  For example, gossip columnists (Birds, Letter), celebrity journalists (Moon, Birds, Letter), horoscope writers (Stars, Letter), financial journalists (Fish, Letter), or political pundits (Garden, Tower, Letter).

An ability to write with clarity, consciseness and precision is a great strength in many different professions.  There is a degree of strategy to the Letter: both in terms of putting the written word out there (with Garden and Book, for example, community information officer) and in terms of writing action plans and to-do lists (with Bear, we have a manager who lays things out clearly and in writing).

The Man

Taking the male person cards as representing more than just "the querent is a man, or there is an important man in their life", we can see the Man as indicating rationality, logic, and action.  While these are by no means limited to men, such binary distinctions can be useful as signposts, rather than taken as fact.  In terms of strengths, these characteristics might be useful in scientific research (with Book and Stars), or as an exam marker (with Scythe and Letter, for making the cut in a written paper).

In terms of jobs, this card could also represent someone working in a particular forum, such as a men's club (with the Garden).

The Woman

In the same way, the Woman can represent intuition, emotion, and a willingness to wait-and-see.  These would be positive character traits for anyone in one of the caring professions, such as nursing (with Coffin and Tower), or counselling of some kind (with Birds). 

It could also point to working with women (a women's shelter, for instance, with the Tower and the House).

The Moon

This card points to ideas about fame and reputation, as well as emotions and cycles.  These may be linked ideas, in that we can feel quite emotional about how people see us, and that fame is based on the last thing you did, rather than being naturally enduring.

Spin doctoring would seem to fall naturally under the aegis of this card paired with the Garden.  And working as a publicity agent might also be suggested, perhaps paired with the Fox.

These are once again just suggestions, and I'd love to hear what professions or job strengths YOU see in these cards...