Friday, 21 December 2012

Yule Blog Hop

©McCracken & Worthington
Hello and welcome to the first Tarot Blog Hop post by the Celtic Lenormand.  Whether you've just hopped in from Beauty, History, Magic, or gotten here any other way, welcome!  And if you should get lost in your Blog Hop travels, you can always check out the Master List :)

Our wrangler, the fabulous Alison Cross, decreed we should write about "Christmas Present", and I thought that fitted in well with one of the spreads I talk about in the companion book to this deck.  The Celtic Lenormand is a pagan-themed Lenormand deck, and one of the "pagan" aspects is that the eight sabbats most often celebrated in modern pagan tradition each have a card to represent them.

So, for this Yule Blog Hop, I would like to share a spread I recommend doing on each sabbat, to look at the energy around you at the present time.  It is a basic nine card square (3x3), using the card for the particular sabbat as the key card in the centre, and interpreting the cards around it.  How you interpret it is up to you (and there are several different ways possible).  However, it’s a good idea to decide before you begin how you will interpret it and then stick to that.  In card reading, as in many other aspects of life and spirituality, intent is extremely important.

As the actual cards for this deck are not yet finished, I drew my own version as a teaching tool and so that I could practice with the Celtic Lenormand system.  Please excuse my limited drawing skills: I call it my Kindergarten Lenormand :)

©Chloe McCracken
I laid out the Moon card (as Yule is the longest night of the year) at the centre, and randomly drew eight other cards.  Using one traditional reading system, the corners count as the main theme of the reading, and the central cross provides additional information.

What I see here is that over this Yule season there is a need for me to communicate well (Birds) with my partner (Lord), so that our home (House) does not feel like an obstacle course (Mountain).  We sent out invitations (Letter) to family, wanting to share in giving and receiving (Fish) over the holidays (Moon).  There is some ambivalence (Clouds), though, some split emotions about doing this.  However, overall it will be a successful (Key) holiday time.

Knighting tells us a bit more.  It is the invitations that are causing the barriers in the home (Letter/House/Mountain), but the key to resolving this successfully is to help my partner talk about it (Key/Lord/Birds).  As a back note to this, my partner is not very close to some of the family he felt obliged to invite.  Looking at the diagonals, my partner (Lord) feels particularly burdened (Mountain) this Yule (Moon), so helping talk him through any unpleasantness (Birds), is vital to the sense of us enjoying a happy home (House) over the holidays (Moon). 

Some of the pairs in the reading give useful suggestions.  To perhaps remind him of the reasons behind us sending the invites (Letter/Key).  And that there are two sides (Clouds) to this enduring issue (Mountain), as he'd also be burdened with guilt if he hadn't invited this person.  Finally, to remind him that an abundant home full of gratitude and generosity (Fish/House), is the key to everyone really feeling like family (House/Key). 

©McCracken & Worthington
The Celtic Lenormand has nine additional cards, though these can be left out and the numbering remains unaffected.  So, the deck can be used following any traditional system.  In particular, it has three Bird cards, as I mentioned in a previous post.  The card drawn here, the Songbirds, has the subsidiary meaning of healing, particularly through talk (for example, counselling).  That’s why I see talk as both helpful and necessary in the reading above.  Looking at the column that card falls in, it also suggests that part of the healing conversation (Songbirds) may be to remind my partner that feeling conflicted (Clouds) about someone he finds a burden (Mountain) is quite natural. 

Another aspect of the Celtic Lenormand, with its pagan theme, is that there are affirmations for all the cards.  While I might not use these for everyday readings, for a reading of this kind I would choose between one and three affirmations to act as a support around the Yule holidays.  For example, Songbirds has the affirmation “I create healing through my words”, and Mountain has the affirmation “I overcome obstacles in my path”.

I hope you found this spread and the insight into the Celtic Lenormand deck interesting.  Next up on the hop is the amazing Ania, why not take a look?  Happy Yule to one and all!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Choices...

©McCracken & Worthington
This whole business of choice is complicated.  First, we have to assess our options, which paths we can take.  Then we have to actually choose, take action, and move in the direction we have determined.  Finally, we have to live with where that path, that choice, takes us.

Hopefully, though, divination tools like Lenormand cards can help us in assessing our choices, and deciding what path to follow.  And perhaps even with reconciling us to the consequences...

Certainly, I threw down the cards several times before making a decision.  The path I have chosen is to accept the contract offered to me by U.S. Games to publish the Celtic Lenormand.  It means I lose some of the control I would have had if I'd taken the self-publishing route.  Hopefully, though, it means that a quality deck will be available worldwide, probably in 2014...

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Hill Fort or Tower

©Chloe McCracken & Will Worthington
When designing this deck, there were a few cards which caused me to pause.  They were ones where the Celts had no equivalent to the object named on the card.  One of those is the Tower.

After a bit of research, I decided that a Hill Fort would do the job.  Like the Tower, it has implications of hierarchy (villagers and non-villagers, villagers and chieftains, villagers and warriors), and institutions (which goes alongside the hierarchy aspect).  It also suggests protection (a hill fort was equipped to withstand attacks), isolation (the barricades can lock us in, as well as shutting others out), and perspective (being on a hill!).  Even the notion of education could, perhaps, be read into it, as in the Hill Fort people would probably have united in educating their children, as well as in training the warriors.

I love what Will has done with this card - the path winding upward giving a sense of size and awe, the earthworks before you even get to the palisades, the imposing gate!  And then the roundhouses tucked away inside, smaller cogs within the gears of the Hill Fort... 

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Man's Best Friend

Although I am personally more of a cat person, I do have a soft spot for dogs, too.  Precisely the qualities normally emphasised in Lenormand understandings of the Dog card are those that most appeal.  Loyalty, dependability, companionship, a friend.

Even the idea of someone being a known entity is quite positive - you know what to expect of a dog, it's true.  Not only that, though, dogs are dependable in the sense that they have long helped humans, both in hunting and in herding.

I love what Will has done with this card!  Doesn't this Dog look alert and happy, ready to get involved?

What else do you associate with the Dog?