Thursday, 1 May 2014

Uniting Opposites: The Making of the Flowers

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For this round of the Tarot Blog Hop, we were invited to write about the union of opposites.  The first thing I thought of was how the very urban, eighteenth century divination system of Lenormand cards is combined in the Celtic Lenormand with both a rural aesthetic and a modern pagan perspective.  Some may find this a strange union, while others will hopefully feel it brings something new to each.

Certainly, as Ronald Hutton indicates in his book Triumph of the Moon, historically these elements are strongly interlinked.  Modern paganism grew from the urbanisation of Europe, and Britain in particular.  And a large part of its draw is precisely because of the way that urban life distances us from, and allows us to romanticise, nature and the countryside.  In a similar way, we also romanticise the past, for example the glamour of eighteenth century France!

This combining of urban and rural was also a factor in the creation of the Flowers, the card that in this deck represents Beltane, this spoke on the Wheel of the Year.   I am a thorough urbanite, and when designing the card chose spring flowers based on colours I thought would work well together (inspired by the photo above).  I wanted to represent the idea of the gift of spring blooming, and an invitation to enjoy the budding wonder of nature, notions that play into the Lenormand meanings of this card - beauty, creativity, a gift, an invitation.

Fortunately, though, Will Worthington acted as more than simply an artist in the creation of this deck, instead being a true partner.  Will is a keen gardener, living far closer to nature than I do, and having created a garden that visitors flock to admire every year.  He queried my flower choices, telling me that they wouldn't all be in bloom at the same time.  And when I told him that these should be flowers blooming at Beltane, he came up with suggestions of more appropriate choices, and then brought them beautifully to life!

In these Flowers, then, is a union of pagan and traditional meanings for the Lenormand Bouquet.  And also a combination of the rural understanding of real flowers with the divinatory understanding of the Lenormand system.  I hope that it is the better for bringing these different aspects together.

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21 comments:

  1. Lovely! Is your deck available yet?

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    1. Hi Bridgett, it's not available yet, I'm afraid. It's being published by US Games, so it should be nice quality and affordable. However, it also means it's taking a bit longer to bring out. I asked two weeks ago, and was told they don't yet have a publishing date :(

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  2. Great thoughts. Wonderful blog:)

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  3. We like a keen gardener! I haven't been keeping up but wanted to say I like the extra cards and the variations. The more art by Will the better, but it also suits my reading style which is most often a daily card of some sort.

    Having been out of action for a bit I came back to get some updated information and find myself getting truly keen to buy this when it comes out. I am so glad it's different and very personal to both you and Will.

    I haven't bought a deck since last November, and this deck and the Badger's Forest Tarot are the only ones I have liked recently and plan on purchasing. Nice to see Chloe.

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    1. Nice to see you back, woley :) And I'm so glad you like what you see! It was a marvellous experience creating this deck with Will - he's got so much skill and knowledge. I'm still hoping the deck will be available this year... :)

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  4. An urbanite and a gardener - another union of opposites?! Lovely - and really looking forward to seeing the deck in its entireity...

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    1. Yes, I guess there are urban gardeners, but I'm certainly not one of them :D Can't wait to have the deck in my hands, either. Even though I've seen all the images, and played with the prototype, I am looking forward to the feel of quality card stock and the look of high res printing!

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  5. Whoa, so prettyyyy!!!!!!! And I love reading through your process for these cards!

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    1. Thanks, Olivia! I've always enjoyed getting a feel for what goes into cards, so I hoped others might, too :)

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  6. Chloe, as we any closer to having this deck in hand?

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  7. Doh...should have read the posts first. I love to have something to look forward to, so later is good ;)

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    1. Well, it may not be too much later, AJ - heard from US Games on Monday, and have posted an update just now :) Still no official date, but things are definitely moving, and looking good!

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  8. A lovely post. Thanks for sharing!

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  9. I've always been a big fan of strange unions! Lovely post. Thanks!

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    1. Glad you think so, Monika! And now we're a bit closer to having the actual cards: http://www.celticlenormand.com/2014/05/card-design-complete.html

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  11. Yes, definitely a wonderful creative partnership! My thanks to Will for creating an integral 'bouquet' for this card in the deck. I love the contrast of urban and rural sensibilities in figuring out how to be true to both Celtic and Lenormand traditions.

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    1. Thanks, Joanne, we certainly try to honour both traditions. And yes, I think Will was brilliant creating that 'bouquet' within the flowers :D

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