Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Under The Knife

©McCracken & Worthington
Skipping ahead a few cards, at number ten in the Lenormand system we find the Scythe.  This is often taken to mean something painful, cutting, or shocking, though a few people do ask what harvest will come from this.

And that question is certainly relevant for the more spiritual and pagan side of this deck.  In terms of timing, this card would indicate Lammas - the first harvest at the start of August in the Northern Hemisphere.  There is also the notion of the Summer King, in the form of corn and other vegetation that is harvested and stored, being sacrificed for people to live through the winter.  So, a reminder to think of the spiritual lessons to be learned from painful situations, and of the long-term effects of short-term unpleasantness.

I said that in this deck, the Scythe represents August Eve and the time around it.  Obviously, some people already have a particular system for calculating timings.  Personally, my favourite is Treppner's (general link, the info is in her German books and in her course, which is also available in English).  I find her system logical and clear, however it is a little complex and not very intuitive.


Given that most readers agree the fundamental factor in reading Lenormand is to choose a system before undertaking a reading and then stick with that intent in the reading, the two systems are not in conflict.  They can be used at different times, for different readings.  If you are performing a more spiritual reading, or one based around the year to come, the sabbat cards and timings may prove useful.  The eight sabbats of modern Pagan culture will each have a card which can also be taken as the key card (like a significator) in a reading for the appropriate sabbat.

Once again, this is an aspect of the deck which you can take or leave.  I hope to offer an intuitive timing aspect based around the pagan calendar, but there's nothing on the cards that says they have to be read that way :)
 

6 comments:

  1. This makes sense. I like this image and see where you are coming from with the take-it-or-leave-it pagan elements. Including the corn certainly adds a new dimension to the card. The blade on its own is quite stark. With the harvest also represented, it takes a very different tone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, the corn does appear in quite a lot of traditional cards, too (the Piatnik, the Blue Owl, and the Cartamundi, to name but a few). But yes, I have highlighted it more here :)

      Hopefully, the take-it-or-leave-it approach will allow this deck to be used by both traditional readers and those who want a more pagan take on things. And of course, that will be explained more in the book, with special spreads and affirmations :)

      Delete
    2. I suppose that shows how much I use the stark decks that actually have ONLY the item on a blank background! And also how I blank out background in my mind, as well. :)

      Delete
    3. It's true, people say the Lenormand's just have the object, but a lot of the traditional decks have a lot else going on, it just gets ignored. Which is fine, as with keywords, houses and blends you don't want to read something into every last detail!

      Delete
  2. This is a beautiful illustration and feels very positive to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi PLN, lovely to get your feedback on it - I always appreciate the artistic eye you bring to things, as well as your cartomantic knowledge :) Most people don't see the Scythe as very positive, but what would like be without change?

      Delete

We love comments, let us know what you think :)