Wednesday, 22 April 2015

FAQ: Health Questions (Part 2)

Last week, I shared a list of associations for each Lenormand card in questions of health and the body.  As is always the case with Lenormand cards, combinations add nuances, layers and possibilities, so let's take a look at just a few of these.

While the Birch Rods can denote addictions and habits, there are many times when repetition is a positive for health.  Most medicines require more than a single dose, and getting into the habit of eating well and exercising is a good thing in preventing ill-health.  These suggestions might be found in combining the Birch Rods card with the Rider for exercise, the Bear for diet, the Letter and the Tree for a repeat prescription. Adding the Rider and Birch Rods to the querent's card (Man/Woman), might give us a personal trainer.

Another combination might be the Birch Rods and the Paths.  The Paths can indicate neural pathways or meridian lines,  and so the two together can be used to indicate EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), often called tapping.  This technique uses repeated tapping on various points associated with meridian lines as a way of calming the body, and is used for healing anything from a headache or toothache, to dealing with addictions, to weight issues, and to childhood baggage.

Looking at another card that, on it's own, is often seen as somewhat negative, there are also healing aspects to the Scythe.  It can indicate surgery, which can be a necessary solution to a problem.  Pairing it with the heart gives heart surgery, pairing it with the Flowers would suggest cosmetic surgery.

The Scythe represents tools in general, too.  In that case, it connects with the needles used in acupuncture when paired with Paths, for those meridian lines again. 

There is also all kinds of energetic healing, such as Reiki.  This might be seen in combining the Sun with the Tree, and perhaps the Ship if the Reiki is being done at a distance.

As you can see, there are all sorts of possibilities available.  What you read in the cards will depend a lot on what you are open to in terms of healing modalities.  So, I suggest you try to think of the remedies you are most likely to use, and how they might be represented in the cards...

P.S.  Next week's post will go live on Friday instead of Wednesday, as it is part of the Beltane Tarot Blog Hop.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

FAQ: Health Questions (Part 1)

Recently, someone said to me that they wanted to be able to answer health questions.  Whether or not you feel it is appropriate to look at health questions for other people will probably depend on who you are reading for, and whether you have training in any other healing modalities. 

That being said, let's look at what aspects of health and the body each Lenormand card can represent.  In this list, a few cards have some overlap.  For example, different writers attribute the lungs to either the Tree (the world’s lungs) or to the Clouds (wind/breath).  If a meaning makes sense to you for one card rather than another, I'd stick with it.

Rider
Body - foot and knee joints, the legs more generally.
Health - a new treatment, on your way to healing, someone who brings messages about your health.

Clover
Body - overall good health, possible wind/flatulence.
Health - a 24 hour bug, a lucky choice of doctor or medicine, a small miracle.

Ship
Body - liver, bladder, gall bladder, spleen, any organs that hold water.
Health - Water balance, possible psychosomatic causes (nostalgia).

House
Body - the whole body, the body seen holistically.
Health - being/putting yourself in the hands of the chief specialist.

Tree
Body -  the air you breathe, the lungs, the chest.
Health - health per se, natural healing, walking in nature, inherited diseases (family tree).

Clouds
Body - the brain/mind, the lungs, the chest.
Health - hypochondria.  Taking a turn for the worse.

Snake
Body - small and large intestines, umbilical cord.
Health - not recognising the cause of an illness.

Coffin
Body - spinal column.
Health - disease, burnout, psychic trauma, a disease that ends badly leaving traces.

Bouquet
Body - ulcers, growths, tumours.
Health - hayfever, flower remedies, homeopathy, a female healer.

Scythe
Body - teeth, jaw
Health - pain, operations, injuries, a clean break.

Whips
Body - tendons, sinews, tongue, musculature, nerves, sacrum
Health - self-harm, overconfidence leads to injury, abuse, addiction.

Birds
Body - nerves, veins, legs, arms, thyroid, throat/voice.
Health -  sleep disturbances, lack of sleep, diabetes, organ instability, understanding the psychosomatic aspect of a disease.

Child
Body - growing pains, childhood illnesses.
Health - growth, need for patience

Fox
Body - sinuses, nose, throat, ears,
Health - possibly false treatment program.

Bear
Body - hair, fingernails, stomach.
Health - strong, sluggish, heavy, overweight.

Stars
Body - skin, immune system, rashes
Health - nighttime cures.

Stork
Body - legs
Health - a cure progresses well, prevention is better than cure, lying in/childbirth, pregnancy.

Dog
Body - mouth, tongue, vocal cords, voice, throat
Health - a successful treatment, carers.

Tower
Body - spine, intervertebral discs, throat
Health - hidden illness.

Garden
Body - ailments, handicaps, disablement.
Health - recuperation, healing environment, spa.

Mountain
Body - Head, bones, skull.
Health - hardening of the arteries, needing patience to overcome a disease.

Paths
Body - veins, arteries, neural pathways, lymphatic system, ligaments, tendons, sinews.
Health - the path to healing, alternative healing modalities, choosing a new doctor.

Mice
Body - stomach, digestive tract.
Health - digestion, excretion, passing urine, having your body reduced (eg. liposuction).

Heart
Body - heart, blood,
Health - blood circulation, the healing power of love.

Ring
Body - circulation, blood.
Health - committing to a new health regime, chronic (repetitive) diseases.

Book
Body - the unconscious, the appendix.
Health - diseases with no apparent cause.

Letter
Body - hands, short-lived fever, temporary irritation (skin), temporary nerve strain.
Health - a prescription.

Man
Body - male sex organs, right side of the body.
Health - yang energy, masculine energy.

Woman
Body - female reproductive organs, left side of the body.
Health - yin energy, feminine energy.

Lily
Body - sexual and reproductive organs, lower body, hormones.
Health - the healing power of meditation.

Sun
Body - eyes, eyesight, immune system.
Health - healing power of sunshine, vitamin D, healing, energy. 
 
Moon
Body - brain, nerves.
Health - memory, soul, psychosomatic, female cycles, phantom illnesses.

Key
Body - collarbone, sphincters.
Health - trace minerals, vitamins, iron constitution.

Fish
Body - kidneys, liver, bladder, glands.
Health - drink more water, soul, water balance

Anchor
Body - hips, pelvis, coccyx.
Health - grounding exercises.

Cross
Body - intervertebral discs, lower back, back, arms,
Health - relapse.

Of course, many more nuances and subtleties can be found when you start combining the cards, and we'll look at some examples of that next week...

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

FAQ: Which Card Is...

Lily
Another question I've had posed is which card to use for certain things, when two or more are possible or used by different people.  For example, some people see sex in the Whips, others in the Lily.  And while some people use the Anchor for work, others use the Moon or the Fox. 

The first answer to this is that you could just pick whichever makes most sense to you.  For instance, most German authors treat the Anchor as a card of work, while the French more often use the Moon card.

Another answer is that you could see different aspects of these things in each card.  The Anchor is traditionally about the hope of salvation through work (for the German protestants with their work ethic).  It could also be seen as something that weighs you down, but where you have a choice to lift anchor and move on if you so choose.  The Moon could be your reputation, which is certainly relevant to most people's job.  And the Fox can be about skills you need for work, or about someone at work with independent skills, such as a contractor or entrepreneur.

However, in this instance someone raised the objection that they could see the sense in several options.  They had decided to see how it came out in readings, but were finding it confusing, as it seemed to vary.

My personal take is that the cards are always multivalent: they can potentially indicate several things, and may be read differently when combined with different cards, or using a different technique within the same spread, such as knighting compared to reading diagonals.

While in tarot this multivalency is often connected with what you actually "see" in the image, a little detail perhaps jumping out at you, in Lenormand cards this is more about the spectrum of keywords associated with a card.

There are different levels of interpretation that can be applied to any card.  Thus, the Lily can be an older man (connected to the King of Clubs playing card association), or it can signify harmony and peace, or elders, or sexuality and even purity (lilies used to be given at weddings), or some might say death (another situation where lilies are used).

While this may seem confusing, it's also true that life is rarely simple and clear-cut.  For instance, a relationship could be quite tumultous, with lots of arguments (Whips/Birch Rods), yet also with lots of make-up sex (also Whips/Birch Rods).

Letter, Birch Rods, Lord
If, though, you want a clearer answer, what about asking the cards themselves?  One problem with this is, of course, how to ask.

If you want to try for a simple answer, just look for one card either side of the card you're asking about, as I did here with the Birch Rods.  A simple interpretation would be to journal (Letter) about the card and find the logical (Lord) pattern.

Other interpretations are possible, though.  While journalling about the card (Letter) is one interpretation, another is that you can simply take the card at face value (Letter can be associated with superficiality), or look for tangible evidence one way or another, which would take you back to journalling your readings. 

Looking to the Lord, he could say "Make a decision and stick to it, no matter what!"  Another interpretation, though, might be to "look to the man".  Both the Birch Rods and the Lily are associated with male playing cards: the Jack of Clubs and the King of Clubs.  I would see the Jack as more youthful, sexual energy, and I tend to prefer interpreting Birch Rods for sex.  However, if it was an affair with an older man...

As with the Anchor, Moon and Fox, some people see different aspects of sexuality in the Birch Rods and the Lily.  Lily tends to be treated as more "vanilla", if that is relevant to your querent.  And as I say, I'd see Birch Rods as "break-up" or "make-up" sex, while I'd associate the Lily with sacred sexuality.

The bottom line, for me, is that life is complex.  So, while you can certainly choose an association and stick to it, you may well miss a lot of subtleties that way.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

FAQ: Yes-No Questions

There are a couple of different ways to use Lenormand cards to answer yes-no questions.  Both involve drawing an odd number of cards, say three or five.



The first way requires you to have a set of associations to which cards you consider positive, negative or neutral.  This isn't necessarily how all schools approach the Lenormand cards, and my own way of seeing them suggests there can be an upside to any card, just as each can have a downside.  For instance, a weakness can present a great opportunity, and a high point might suggest we have nowhere to go but down.  Nevertheless, if you have clear associations, then three positives, or two positives and a neutral would be pretty much a yes, and so on.  Of course, if you get three neutrals, or one of each type, then that would be a maybe or perhaps an 'ask again later'.

Somewhat clearer and simpler is an approach that uses the playing card associations.  In this case, reds are taken as a yes, and blacks as a no.  This system requires no memorising, as most decks include the playing card associations in some form.  It also lends itself to clear answers, as whatever colour has the majority of cards in the throw gives you your answer.

Then, of course, there is the question of whether or not to interpret the cards beyond that yes or no answer.  Personally, I would always interpret them.  After all, more information is always useful!

For example, I asked: will it benefit me to perform task X this week?  I drew Songbirds (Seven of Diamonds), Ring (Ace of Clubs), Paths (Queen of Diamonds).  Overall, then, two red cards say yes.  Further, the cards talk about committing to speaking about choices.  Task X actually involves speaking about choices, and is something I've wanted to do for a while.  Looks like this week is the perfect time for it!