I had such an experience this morning when I threw a Lenormand Line of 5 to get a “heads up” on how my son’s art show opening reception this evening would go.
My son is an emerging artist who’s recently completed his second year of a three year graduate fine arts program out of state. In the past, he’s had some success showing and selling his work at regional venues. He’s back in town for a few weeks and the opening reception for his latest art show is this evening.
Beyond curious as to know what the sales potential for tonight’s festivities might be, I couldn’t help but throw a Lenormand Line of 5 with the Blaue Eule (Blue Owl) Lenormand cards this morning to get the skinny.
The spread starts out with some fears and worries, perhaps some pre-show jitters, about low attendance or potential lack of sales (COFFIN + MICE). The central or hinge card, 25 Ring, however, augers “contracts,” and in combination with 34 Fish, these are likely sales. (FISH, in and of itself, is a money card, confirming that the cards are indeed addressing a money question.)
Note: As usual, I included the Base Card (bottom card of the shuffled deck), which I’ve found gives extra insight to the Lenormand Line of 5. In my experience, the base card either modifies the hinge (central) card or clarifies the focus of the reading. In this spread, it does both.
20 Garden can be interpreted as “a public event” and here represents the art show itself. 2 Clover ending the Lenormand Line of 5 suggests success and a positive, likely profitable, outcome.
In a nutshell, “stresses and fears that attendance may be low or that sales might be poor (COFFIN + MICE) will dissolve/ dissipate/ end (COFFIN). My son will “get lucky” and likely experience a profitable outcome (CLOVER). The show (GARDEN) will bring in sales (RING + FISH)”.
To gain clarification and/or additional information, I quickly added up the cards’ numerical values and reduced the sum to a number equaling 36* or less:
* 36 is the number of cards in a Lenormand deck. If I had been using a Tarot deck, I would have reduced the sum to a number equaling 22 or less, the number of Tarot cards in the Major Arcana.
I then found 4 House in the remaining deck and selected it along with the card before and the card after.
SCYTHE is literally “a cut.” HOUSE symbolizes the venue. Literally, “the house gets a cut”(their commission on sales) and everyone walks away happy (SUN).
I was pleased with the card draw and can hardly wait to see how this goes. I’ll let you know! 🙂
Woo Hoo!! Opening night was a success! SUN and CLOVER came through with flying colors 🙂 — Attendance was fabulous, sales were made (so oh yeah, the house got its cut), opportunities for future shows at other venues are likely, the gallery owner is extending the show dates … all in all very positive and my son is very pleased at how things went.
Lenormand cards are difficult to misinterpret. They pretty much “tell it like it is” in a matter-of-fact, plain and simple way. I love this quality about them and when I want or need a “quick read” on a situation, I almost always pull out a Lenormand deck first.
When I want to dig deeper, I turn to Tarot. Talk about juicy… Tarot virtually drips with psychological insights, motivations, expectations, mindsets and more. It continually amazes me how much information a handful of Tarot cards can reveal.
Recently, a female Querent (person asking the question) sought assistance regarding an altercation between herself and another family member over parenting practices. In the heat of a vicious quarrel (which had quickly gotten out of hand), harsh words had been spoken, leaving both family members feeling misunderstood, hurt and angry.
I decided to cast a Lenormand Line of 5, specifically wanting to see what help might be available:
Q: Family Altercation: Is There a Solution? If So, What?
As usual, the Lenormand cards mirrored the situation quite accurately. The Line of 5 described the conflict. The base card (bottom card of the shuffled deck), in conjunction with the hinge card (central card in the Line of 5), suggested a practical approach to resolution:
“Ongoing/ cyclical (Ring) bickering (Birds) between siblings and/or about a child/ children (Birds + Child) is causing misunderstandings and is disrupting family harmony (Lilies + Clouds). An agreement (Ring) must be reached before harmony (Lilies) can be restored.”
“A man (Gentleman) can help resolve the issue, perhaps a mediator (Birds + Gentleman).”
I found the “advice” — “a man can help, perhaps a mediator”(Birds + Gentleman) particularly encouraging because there was actually a professional man both family members knew and respected who fit the bill. This man would likely not only be willing to intervene, but would also likely be listened to by both parties. I passed the information along.
Still, wanting to learn more about the situation, I turned to Tarot. I was about to pick up one of my usual reading decks when a card image from the Thoth deck came to mind.
According to noted anthropologist/ Tarot authority Angeles Arrien*, VIII-ADJUSTMENT (JUSTICE) in the Crowley-Thoth tarot deck reflects the principles of alignment, balance, negotiation and truth. My desire to know the truth of the matter regarding this particular situation must have triggered the spontaneous visualization of this card image. Surely it was not coincidence… [*See Ms. Arrien’s classic exploration of the Thoth tarot deck: The Tarot Handbook: Practical Applications of Ancient Visual Symbols ]
Note: As I’m sure you know, the Crowley-Thoth tarot deck is not for the faint-hearted. If you’re going to use it, you need to put on your thick skin. A couple dozen years ago when I was first introduced to C-T, a wise friend shared this secret:
“Thoth never lies.”
Over the years, I have consistently found this to be true.
The extremely yang, in-your-face Crowley-Thoth tarot deck does not sugar-coat. When attuned to its “voice” (a challenge sometimes, especially if you’re emotionally involved in the reading’s subject matter), you may find it to be less vulnerable to misinterpretation than the majority of decks out there in the Tarotverse…
Since I was performing the reading as an outside observer and not personally in the thick of it, I decided to go ahead and see what Thoth had to say about the matter, using one of my go-to tarot spreads, The Five Pointed Star with Significator:
Q: Family Altercation: Psychological Dynamics and Probable Outcome
Five Pointed Star with Significator Tarot Spread – The Positions
Significator – Theme or Subject Matter
Position 1 – Basis, Reason, Cause
Position 2 – Mindset, Beliefs, Expectations
Position 3 – Additional Information, Factors to be Considered
Position 4 – Answer/ Solution/ Advice
Position 5 – Probable Outcome
If you keep the positional meanings in mind, it is not hard to weave together the story.
The theme, or subject of the spread, involves child (Princess, Page) discipline (Disks, Pentacles).
Arguments/ cruel words between relatives have ensued because each party believes she is an authority on the matter (9 of Swords in Position 1 with MARS in Gemini; Knight of Swords in Position 2). Knights (the equivalent of Kings in Rider-Waite decks) have a “divine right” to rule. The Knight of Swords/ King of Swords mindset applies to both parties, leaving the other feeling disregarded, accused, exploited and/or intimidated. In conjunction with 9 of Swords, the caustic, sarcastic comments hurt. So we have an argument over child discipline (Princess of Disks/ Page of Pentacles) with each party wounding and being wounded/ emotionally hurt by the other’s sharpwords (9 of Swords) because each believes she is an authority on the subject (Knight of Swords/ King of Swords).
2 of Wands in Position 3 supplies additional information and/or factors to be considered. Here, 2 of Wands shows dominion. This is the will to dominate. The card suggests that both parties want to impose their will (MARS in Aries) upon the other. Based on the preceding three cards, it appears that differences of opinion will outweigh any sense of balance or centeredness.
Position 4 shows the Answer, Solution or Advice. Here, the 9 of Cups shines a light on the querent’s deep desire for keeping the peace/ harmony. Read in relation to Queen of Wands in Position 5, I sense this could occur at the querent’s expense: the Probable Outcome suggests that at the time of this reading, the more fiery (aggressive) family member will prevail.
Simply interpreted, XII-The Hanged Man suggests a limiting pattern that needs to be broken. A suspension of activity may be in order. Perhaps more solitary time/ time apart from each other (9 of Disks) would ultimately aid the peacemaking process and/or help restore family harmony (10 of Cups). The Hanged Man also indicates that some time will pass before any solution or resolution is reached.
At this time, I have no feedback from the querent, so I don’t know the outcome.
Will the parties follow through with a mediator (Lenormand advice)?
Will the querent ultimately decide to back down, “sacrificing” her position for harmony’s sake, letting the other, more aggressive family member prevail (Thoth‘s prediction)?
Will the energies surrounding the situation change enough to facilitate another outcome?
Those of us who tend to view life through a magickal lens know we each have, to some degree or another, the power to change our circumstances. This is why I lean towards using the cards (Tarot, Lenormand, Playing cards or Oracle cards) for self-understanding rather than prediction — although there certainly are times when prediction is exactly what is needed!
On that note, last Sunday morning, after yet another night of mindless munching in front of the television set, I pulled out my recently-acquired Celtic Lenormand card deck by Chloe McCracken and Will Worthington and asked (in a pitiful, whiny voice): “WHY am I overeating when I really want to lose weight?!”
I decided to cast a Lenormand Square of 9 where Row 1 would represent the problem, Row 2 would give the solution, and Row 3 would provide advice or further commentary. Additional information gleaned from the way the cards fell would be icing on the cake (Gahhhhhhh!!!)
Here’s what I got:
Q: Why am I Overeating (& What Can I Do about It)?
Side note: I think I am in love with these cards! They are gorgeous!
Row 1 – The Problem: 1 Rider, 19 Tower, 15 Bear
Since 15 BEAR, an appropriate card for weight gain, falls at the end of Row 1, I sensed the first two cards in the row were the factors leading up to the condition of being overweight: namely, lack of movement (RIDER) and isolation (TOWER). As usual, the Lenormand cards pulled no punches. I spend too much time alone (TOWER) and I don’t move around enough (RIDER).
Row 2 – The Solution: 33 Key, 2 Clover, 12 Birds
This row prompted two thoughts:
The solution (KEY) is to look for opportunities (CLOVER) to socialize (BIRDS), particularly in the evenings (I noticed the Moon on the BIRDS card), which is when I do most of my overeating.
My key to dieting success (KEY) would be to focus on salads, leafy green vegetables (CLOVER) and fowl (i.e., chicken & turkey) (BIRDS). Low-carb dieting came to mind. I’d had success with that approach in the past and these cards suggested I’d profit from giving it another try.
Row 3 – Advice, Factors to Consider: 17 Storks, 25 Ring, 34 Fish
The first two cards, STORKS and RING, seemed easy enough to interpret: “positive changes come with commitment” or “commitment is needed to bring about positive changes.”34 FISH at the end of the row threw me off. Eat more fish? That would go along with the low-carb dieting approach indicated in Row 2.
Perhaps FISH was also referencing the concept of “quality over quantity” (FISH is plentiful, expansive). Maybe if I were to focus more on the quality of the food I eat, I’ll have a better shot at reaching my goals.
Additional Info I Pulled from this Reading:
In addition to socializing, BIRDS represent electronic communication, the media and anything that travels over the airwaves including television. I couldn’t help but notice that Row 3 read vertically (BEAR + BIRDS + FISH) suggested “an excess (FISH) of television watching (BIRDS) leading to weight gain (BEAR).”
Conversely, FISH + BIRDS + BEAR suggested an expansion (FISH) of social activity (BIRDS) could help resolve the weight issue (BEAR). This also rang true. Maybe I could schedule evening activities once or twice a week to break up the pattern. A Continuing Ed dance class? A Meet-Up group? Those ideas had crossed my mind before, not that I had given them much more than a passing thought.
2 CLOVER, the central card in the Lenormand Square of 9, seemed to be showing me that a wealth of opportunities to get a handle on my problem existed. Move around more (RIDER). Stop isolating yourself (TOWER). Get out more often & socialize (BIRDS). Improve the quality of your eating (STORKS, FISH, BEAR); eat more greens (CLOVER), fowl (BIRDS) and fish (FISH). Commit (RING) to a diet plan that will bring you success/ improvements (KEY, STORKS).
Lenormand Clarification Cards for Weight Loss
The information I pulled out of the reading wasn’t dramatic. Rather, it was quite matter-of-fact. Lenormand cards are known for “telling it like it is” and they rarely beat around the bush. This is an attribute I very much appreciate. That notwithstanding, it didn’t stop me from wondering whether the cards had anything else to say, so I decided to pull clarification cards using my go-to method, which is to add up the card values in the spread and reduce them to a number equaling 36 or below:
I then located 14 FOX in the remaining deck and selected it along with the card before and the card after.
I immediately noticed two things: all that food laid out so temptingly on the blanket in the GARDEN card — and the fact that the FOX was looking right, toward the CLOUDS. Despite the food feast on the GARDEN card, I also had to consider its standard meanings: socializing, parties, public activities, etc.
Two important messages came to mind:
My fears/ doubts about socializing / reluctance to socialize (GARDEN, CLOUDS) are contributing to the problem (FOX).
“If you’re trying to convince yourself this is not about overeating (GARDEN), you are deceiving yourself (FOX + CLOUDS).”
Once again, in plain language, the Lenormand cards provided a highly informative analysis regarding a matter of concern. With CLOVER as the central card in this Square of 9, I realized I’d need to act on the messages Lenormand so graciously provided, and not just let the “wealth of opportunities” to resolve my issue fade away from lack of attention.
“An opportunity is only positive if we seize it; otherwise, it will disappear as quickly as it came.” -Celtic Lenormand LWB (Little White Book) re: 2 CLOVER
***Note from Mary: The reading prompted me to start the Atkins “40” low carb diet plan which is a “tweak” of the plan outlined in “The New Atkins for a New You,” link below. Wish me luck 🙂
As to whether my social calendar will begin to fill up, that remains to be seen…
***Another Note: The Celtic Lenormand card deck offers three versions for 12 BIRDS: Songbirds, Chickens and Owls. Chickens would have really driven home the message about eating fowl, but if I hadn’t pre-selected Owls as the BIRDS card, I would have missed the “night-time eating” clue provided by the Moon on the Owls card image.
Tuesday afternoon my younger daughter texted, inviting me over for coffee. I blew her off, weakly promising her catch up with her “tomorrow.”
Wednesday morning, I pulled the following Lenormand cards for my daily draw:
Mlle. Lenormand Jeu de destin No. 194115 (c) 1986 Piatnik
As the central card in the draw, 20 Garden suggested some socializing was on the agenda. 11 Whip + 21 Mountain showed the recent past: action (Whip) delayed (Mountain), and the cards to the right of 20 Garden suggested a commitment (Ring) would be kept or honored (Sun).
As I’ve mentioned before, in addition to drawing a Line of 5, I often use the base card (bottom card of the shuffled deck) to clarify the reading or show additional information. In this draw, 5 Tree as the clarification or additional information suggested I would “reach out” (Tree) and fulfill my social obligations (Mountain + Garden + Ring).
What Actually Happened:
It turned out to be a bright, sunny day (Sun). This went a long way in improving my mood and bolstering my energy levels, making it easier for me to get off my duff, overcome my inertia (Whip + Mountain) and fulfill my social obligations (Mountain + Garden + Ring) by “reaching out” to family (Tree).
The visit (Garden) with my younger daughter and grandson turned out to be fun and I was glad I had “reached out” (Tree).
This morning, randomly, I started thinking about the recent rash of TV commercials that start with the word “honestly” and how much they annoy me.
“Honestly? Who can say they don’t want to be tan?” (Kardashians tanning commercial)
“Honestly? I’m a little old fashioned. I love chalk and erasers…” (Microsoft Surface commercial)
Honestly?! Ask me how fast I can press the mute button…
Then I got to thinking. Why does the word “honestly” annoy me so much? Could it be because sometimes I’m not completely honest with myself, embarrassing as that might be to admit? It then occurred to me that maybe the Lenormand cards could give good insight into what we might have to gain if we were willing to be brutally honest with ourselves.
Here’s a phrasing you might use if you want to give this approach a try:
If I were being honest with myself about [situation/ circumstance/ issue], I would realize .
For example, say you were having a relationship issue. You could ask:
If I were being honest with myself about my relationship with X, I would realize …
Or a job situation:
If I were being honest with myself about the current dynamics at my workplace, I would realize…
If you’re willing to drop your defenses and really look at yourself, you could use this basic wording for insight on how you might be shooting yourself in the foot or hiding your head in the sand in just about any situation/ circumstance or issue that’s causing you concern. Of course, it goes without saying, if you really don’t want to know the answer, don’t ask the question…
On that note, here’s a personal example:
I decided to use the honesty phrasing in a Line of 5 Lenormand layout where the situation/ circumstance/ issue would be my own card reading abilities.
If I were being honest with myself about my own card reading abilities, I would realize…
I immediately see my commitment (Ring + Moon) to Lenormand. I also see confusion (Clouds) that’s blocking (Mountain) my progress (Tower) or clouding (Clouds) my judgement (Tower).
If I look at the clarification card* in relation to the central card of the spread, it’s easy to see I’m confused (Clouds) over which path (Paths) to take/ school to go with, and that my tendency to mix meanings from the different schools is holding me up (Mountain) and clouding (Clouds) my judgement (Tower).
*Clarification cards are a tarot reading technique, not a Lenormand reading technique. Some Lenormand experts teach that using a base card (bottom card of the deck) or another clarification card in a Lenormand reading is simply not necessary. Others take a harsher viewpoint, stating it pollutes the integrity of the reading.
I disagree. I often use the base card as a clarification card in a Lenormand Line of 5, and it usually provides useful insights regarding the reading.
You might want to try the technique for yourself and determine whether it works for you.
I’ve been working with Lenormand cards for almost six years now, and my “hit rate” is not as high as I’d like it to be. If I’m going to be honest with myself, I’ll admit I tend to cherry pick meanings from the various Lenormand schools, using meanings that suit my purposes at the time of the reading.
The cards in this “Honesty Spread” made it clear: if I were being honest with myself, I’d realize that choosing one particular Lenormand approach and sticking with it would improve my accuracy — at least for now. I could always make a different decision later on, should circumstances warrant.
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