Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Different Perspectives, Different Selves 2

Last week, I explained a way of using both people cards to look at different aspects of someone's life.  In actually doing the reading, though, the cards had their own idea about what message I needed to hear.  Still, the method is a useful one, so I decided to show it reading for someone else.

Once again, I took all 45 of the Celtic Lenormand cards, shuffled them up and looked for the Lord and the Man cards.  The Lord, in this case, represents the man's work life and the Man his home life.  Then, I laid the two lines of five one above the other, so they can be easily compared.

Burial Mound (Coffin), Sun, Lord, Scythe, Female Rider/ Mice, Owls, Man, Tower, Moon.
Now, I can't go into specifics because of confidentiality questions.  However, the first line clearly shows some big changes in this man's work life, with both the Burial Mound and the Scythe pointing to potentially painful endings.  Still, the Sun suggests this change isn't all bad, and the Scythe partnered with the Rider suggest making a break with old ways of getting messages across.  This is very appropriate for someone who is considering taking his face-to-face business online, due to changes that have slashed the prospects for the work he has, before now, enjoyed. 

In his home life, too, all is not a bed of roses.  Communication with a corporation (Owls/Tower) has been emotionally draining (Mice/Moon).  This is true in two different regards, related to his house and his family situation.  There is a suggestion that poor communication (Mice/Owls) may well be part of the issue, and that the way these corporations are seen has been affected (Tower/Moon), as well as how they see him.  Advice here might involve holding his ground, getting some external support (Tower + Moon - emotional isolation), and communicating more clearly. 

When we compare both lines, a couple of things stand out.  How he communicates is an issue in both, suggesting this is an area to consider and work on more generally.  There is also the question of how much the difficulties in each area affect his responses in the other...

As you can see, this spread gives two different perspectives on a person's life and roles, and comparing how they manage these, the similarities and differences, can add an extra layer.  Do let me know if you give it a try!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Different Perspectives, Different Selves

Maybe it's just me, being a double Gemini.  Still, I suspect that many people have the experience of two very different roles in their lives (if not more).  For instance, there's the sometimes tricky negotiation between being a mother and working, or between your beloved hobby and not so beloved job.  Or between your personas as dutiful husband and father, and mad gamer...

I was thinking about this last week, when there was a distinct tension between my roles as mother and budding business woman.  Not enough time for everything, it feels like.  It reminded me of one of the uses of the extra people cards in the Celtic Lenormand.  In a reading that includes both versions, for example the Lady and the Woman, you can look at different aspects of your life. 

There are lots of ways to do this.  Perhaps the simplest is to shuffle up the entire deck, all 45 cards, and then look for the two significator cards that match you.  Looking at the cards to either side of them (I'd take two to either side, giving a line of five for each aspect), can be very enlightening.  Even more so if you place the two lines one above the other, so you can see correspondences and differences between the two aspects.

Deciding to illustrate this with a personal example, as it felt very relevant to me, I shuffled up my prototype cards.  However, the deck had a different answer in mind for me: the Lady and the Woman sat side by side!  So, I ended up with a line of 6:
Lily, Tree, Lady, Woman, Paths, Fish
What this says to me is that, currently, these two aspects of my life just can't be separated.  Moreover, finding a healthy balance that includes both will open up a lot of choices.  I am also advised to let my decisions flow from what is happening, rather than trying to force them.

On another note, the Celtic Lenormand is now available to be ordered from either U.S. Games' website, or from  Hopefully, European retailers will follow shortly.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

The Joy of Gifting

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As the longest day finds us, it is time to think about the joy of gifting, a way to cheer us through these dark times.  That was the title our wrangler, Arwen Lynch, gave us for this Blog Hop.  She also suggested five questions to use as a spread to examine this:
  1. What gift would you give the world if you could?
  2. What gift would you want from the world?
  3. What gift have you gotten that has brought you joy?
  4. What gift have you given that has brought you joy?
  5. What is one last thing you would like to share about this season?
Now, I could just ramble on about how the Celtic Lenormand is a gift I'm giving to the world, and how glad I am that I'll be getting my hands on a copy within the next month or so, but that sounds pretty dull!  Instead, I thought I'd ask the cards their opinion on these questions.

Some people say that Lenormand cards are great because they give practical, down-to-earth answers, and this is certainly true.  Still, I think they can also be used for readings that are more spiritual and/or broader in scope.  We'll just have to wait and see what kind of answer they come up with here...

The next question was how to ask, given that you don't generally just draw a single card with Lenormand (though you can, and the answers can still be very helpful).  I decided to draw a nine square, with the intention that the top row would answer question 1, the bottom row question 2, the left column question 3, the right column question 4, and the central cross for the final question.  This combines traditional elements of reading a nine square with a positional aspect.  It's something I've done before with this spread, to good effect, as it relies on the cards having variable meanings depending on the question/context.  So, here goes:

1) What gift would you give the world if you could?  Ship, Dog, Mountain

The gift of staying loyal to my soul's journey, no matter the obstacles.  At a more mundane level, offering friendship to those who are far from me in either location or outlook.

2) What gift would you want from the world?  Man, Lady, Flowers

The ability to creatively unite practical rationality with spiritual intuition.  It's interesting that we have here the Man and the Lady, as opposed to the Lord or the Woman, as it gives an additional layer of differences to unite, and highlights the strength of the feminine.  More practically, this could also be read as a moment of grace for a man and woman - my partner and I enjoying the pleasures of the holiday season together.

3) What gift have you gotten that has brought you joy?  Ship, Moon, Man

The gift of sharing my life's journey with a man whose emotions run deep and true.
4) What gift have you given that has brought you joy?  Mountain, Paths, Flowers

Ha ha, the first thing I saw was the idea that "You can choose the easy way, or you can choose the hard way!"  Hmm, I do know someone who'd appreciate some film noir dvd's...  It also makes me think of my goddaughter.  She wants to learn piano, and so I am giving her a keyboard.  It's a long, hard path to become proficient, but there is much beauty along the way, and it is a path she has chosen for herself!

5) What is one last thing you would like to share about this season?  Anchor, Dog, Moon, Paths, Lady

An old meaning of the Anchor is that of hope.  While not often used in modern Lenormand readings, this is where the original Spiel der Hoffnung (Game of Hope) got its name from, as the point of the game was to reach the Anchor card (and go no further).  So, at the heart of this season is hope: hope that our friends will be with us through the cold, dark days of winter; hope that the sun and warmth will return after the longest night; hope that we will have time to ponder our choices, and make good ones moving forward; hope that we can be true to our best self...

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Friday, 31 October 2014

Tea With Mademoiselle

For this round of the Blog Hop, Louise of Priestess Tarot asked us to commune with someone from across the veils, which are said to be at their thinnest this time of year.  While she suggested coming up with cards that would describe them, I decided to try doing a reading to hear what they had to say.  And as this is a Lenormand blog, who better than Mademoiselle Lenormand herself?
Grand Tableau for Mademoiselle Lenormand
The first thing I notice is that the Lady stands in the bottom left corner, facing away from the rest of the cards.  Although some would throw a GT again if it came out like this, it seems appropriate.  For it is certainly true that Mlle Lenormand herself has no future, though the cards that carry her name may be a very different story.

The main theme of the throw is Snake, Anchor, Lady, Flowers.  Mademoiselle worked both intelligently and creatively.  Not only did she push her limits outward, using her gift for connecting with people socially, she also quickly grew her working reputation.  She was dedicated to building her own image, and didn't allow her gifts to be boxed in by religion or politics, even when imprisoned.

As for the heart of the reading: Tower, Bear, Dog, Storks.  Strong people in positions of authority called her friend and helped her progress.  She certainly had a talent for getting in with the cream of society, and they all wanted to know about what would help them move onward and upward, too.  So, a strong affinity in life focus helped her get where she went.
I wanted to look at her reputation, as it was what led to these cards being named after her, despite her never actually using them.  So, I started with the House of the Moon and followed the cards around til the Moon card: Anchor in Moon, Letter in Anchor, Lily in Letter, Cross in Lily, Fish in Cross, Moon in Fish.  Two readings of this sprang to mind.

Firstly, Mademoiselle worked on her reputation through her written works.  She found peace through writing, yet that sense of harmony was burdened by the need to make money, for which she had a reputation.  Secondly, her reputation worked to bring about the publishing of Lenormand cards, using also the work of an older man (Johann Hechtel, who created the Game of Hope, the direct precursor of the modern Petit Lenormand deck).  The ethics of this were ignored in favour of making money from her reputation by the publishers who combined his deck and her name after both their deaths.

What did she love?  I look to the cards around the Heart and find: being socially connected and secure, in the thick of what was going on (Rider in House); in the know about gossip and seeing both sides of some situations (Birds in Clouds).  She also loved having insight into what was being done on the sly (Stars in Fox), constantly finding new mentors/supporters (Bear in Child) though her emotions were also impacted by worries around institutions (Tower in Birds).  Well, as someone who was imprisoned several times over the course of her life, being wary of Towers sounds pretty common-sensical!

Asking what was she committed to, I look to the House of the Ring and find the Lady: she was first and foremost committed to herself.  The trail from there involves her own public persona, being the bearer of messages, deception and secrecy, creativity and painful endings, and a love for her adopted home (Paris),

Looking to the final line, the destiny four as some people call them: Book in Key, Moon in Fish, Letter in Anchor, Fish in Cross.  What it says to me is that her reputation for being able to navigate the emotional waters of esoteric secrets gave her a solid grounding for her authorhood.  It directed her to her destiny, to write copiously and make money from it.  It is doing the same for the cards that hold her name, and I think she would like that!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Lenormand Leaps

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For this season's blog hop (follow the links to discover other blogs from around the world), our wrangler decided to go with a non-seasonal topic.  What, he asked, has helped us make a quantum leap in our readings?

In terms of Lenormand readings, my answer is clear: creating the Celtic Lenormand!  In Mary K. Greer's book 21 Ways To Read A Tarot Card (Llewellyn, 2006), she suggests drawing cards, even if simply reproducing RWS imagery in sketch form, as a way to explore a card and its meanings.  While I did that with my Kindergarten Lenormand (2nd Edition, 2014), it was the actual designing, without drawing, of the Celtic Lenormand that made the biggest difference to me as a reader.

In the process, I really thought about how I read each image: which keywords I associate with each card; and how those keywords relate to the animal, object or person involved.  For instance, I connect the Dog with friendship and reliability.  By putting a stick at his feet, ready to play fetch, I subtly pointed towards those two aspects: you play with a friend, and a dog can be relied on to fetch a stick when thrown.

Or consider the Moon: two keywords for it are emotion and reputation.  Placing the Moon above dark waters suggests the aspect of emotion, while the Moon's reflection in the water hints at the idea of how we are seen by others, through their emotional perspective.  Of course, the Moon only shines because it reflects the sun's light, but that is an extra layer that remains implicit. 

While in reading Lenormand cards, these kinds of visual cues are not important, as the cards act more like pictographs pointing to keywords, I still felt it would be handy to have clues towards those keywords subtly in the images.  Also, in Lenormand readings the biggest factor is how the cards combine.  Even so, connecting with each card more profoundly makes such connections easier, too.  When Dog and Moon combine, for instance, we might have an emotional friend, be aware of a friend's reputation, or see a need for emotional reliability.  And when Moon and Dog combine, we may be able to rely on our reputation, have a reputation for friendliness, or be loyal in our emotions.

As for what a Lenormand leap would look like, perhaps the joy and enlightenment of the Sun coming after the delays and obstacles of the Mountain, or finding the Key to those mysteries held in the Book...

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Wednesday, 3 September 2014

All I Want For Christmas...

About ten days ago, U.S. Games sent me through the final proofs for the Celtic Lenormand companion book, as well as the box and cardbacks.  They've changed the cardbacks in a way which I think looks gorgeous: intricate, yet soft and glowing.  As for the companion book, they picked out my very favourite image from the whole deck to illustrate it, which made me dance with delight!

The best news, though, is that after working through a few minor corrections, the final proofs are now with the printers.  They'll take about three months to produce everything, and then there's the time to put it all together.  Still, it means the decks should be ready in time for Christmas!  Definitely the best Yule gift I will be getting...

Friday, 1 August 2014

Lammas Blog Hop - Who is the Queen of Pentacles?

Meadow (Garden), Fish, House, Ring, Woman, Anchor, Clover, Dog, Bear
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For this round of the Tarot Blog Hop, Joanna Ash, the divine Sun Goddess, asked us to write about the Queen of Pentacles.  Which is a lovely topic, but this is a Lenormand blog...  Worry not, I decided to look at how Lenormand cards might describe a Queen of Pentacles woman!

One way of reading a 3x3 (nine square) in Lenormand is to read each card in the round as related to the centre card.  So, placing the Woman card at the centre, we build a description of the Queen of Pentacles.

The choices made here are based on the keywords I use for cards.  For instance, I see in the Bear the wise use of resources (it's the "manager" card), and I also relate it to mothers.  Although the Queen of Pentacles likes to spend money (Fish), she does know how to make the most of what she buys, and is very motherly.  Likewise, the Garden (Meadow in the Celtic Lenormand) is related to social events, and so to hospitality, a definite trait of this tarot Queen.  The Queen of Pentacles is also loyal (Dog), focused on her home and family (House) and doesn't shirk her commitments (Ring).  She is hard-working (Anchor), and makes the most of the opportunities (Clover) that present themselves. 

Some people are sure to choose different keywords for these cards.  So, which cards would you choose to describe the Queen of Pentacles?

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P.S. If you enjoy these blog hops, you can join the Blog Hop Community page to be informed when they take place and have your say in future topics etc.  And if you want to join the hop yourself, just ask!