Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Birchrods: Whip or Broom

©C. McCracken & W. Worthington
One traditional way of reading Lenormand cards suggests defining cards as positive, negative or neutral.  This can be a useful technique to help decide amongst alternative interpretations.  For example, if a negative card falls next to a neutral card, the latter will take a more negative meaning from the spectrum of possibilities associated with it.

Alongside this, though, it can be useful to see all cards as having both positive and negative interpretations inherent in them.  While some dismiss this as a New Age approach, there are good reasons to consider it.  Psychologically, all symbols (including words) can take more than one meaning, and can also be interpreted in nuanced ways. 

At what might be seen as a more practical level we can think in business terms, taking as an example the classic SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats).  In this, every strength implies an opposing threat and every weakness suggests opportunities.

Following these ideas, we find even within traditional Lenormand meanings that something similar is possible.  Take the card Birchrods, for example.  In some decks this is titled Whips, in others it is called Broom.  And if we take a look at the Celtic Lenormand image, we see how these are both potential uses to which a bundle of Birchrods can be put.  Lift those rods high and bring them down on someone, they are clearly a whip.  Hold them with the free tips down, and you can sweep the floor clean. 

The same holds true for the interpretations of the card.  It can indicate a tongue lashing, physical abuse, or a pattern of negative behaviour.  And what might be a solution to these situations?  Performing some kind of cleansing: of your mind, behaviour or life.  You may need to sweep out your own negative patterns, or brush someone out of your life, if you want to break free of the unpleasantness indicated by the Whips aspect of the card.

©C. McCracken & W. Worthington
This solution-within-the-problem approach can be taken to many cards.  For instance, the Fox can represent someone deceitful.  In which case, you may need to trust your instincts or bring particular skills into play in order to deal with the situation.  Likewise, if you see someone poisonous in the Snake, you may need to take a winding route to your destination in order to avoid them.

In the same way, there can be difficulties inherent in positive cards.  The Sun can represent optimism and energy.  Yet displaying these can encourage others to want to harness our energy to their projects, and our sunny nature could make it hard to say no.  Still, if we are aware of these potential threats, we may be better equipped to deal with them.

This way of looking at the cards as having their opposite pole - or their solution - within them is not a blind denial of the difficulties life can throw at us, nor of the generally positive or negative nature of particular cards.  Far more, it is intended as a proactive and empowering way to use their messages to navigate our lives.

4 comments:

  1. Yup! Totally agree with you! That's why when I define a card I say the "positive" and "negative" aspects it might have. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hiya Pepi,

      Yes, I was reminded of that when your Ezine came through with its nuanced definitions of the Ring :) Obviously, people aren't likely to jump up and down in glee when the Coffin or Clouds appear, but seeing them as all negative can lend an air of defeatism to our readings that I don't feel is always helpful :)

      Delete
  2. I agree - not sure I could have put it so eloquently :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Alison, glad this chimed with you. It took me a while to write, and I did also get some helpful editing from my mother :D

      Delete

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