If you’re like me, you probably do not particularly enjoy receiving a handful of dreary, dismal Lenormand cards in your daily card draw. Especially if you’ve only asked a generic, ‘how will my day go?’ type of question. For one thing, if you’re not careful, it could set the tone for the day, drawing negative outcomes through the principal of self-fulfilling prophecy — something I strongly suggest you should consciously attempt to avoid. After all, who wants to go through their day with a nagging cloud of doom and disaster hanging over their head?!
Certainly not me, which is why after pulling the following Lenormand Line of 5 with Base Card as my daily card draw a couple mornings ago and finding myself at a loss for any positive or helpful interpretations, I felt a little bummed out.
News of a death (LETTER with SHIP, COFFIN)? A sudden and possibly unexpected (SCYTHE) passing (SHIP, COFFIN) of an older individual (LILIES), perhaps during surgery to remove an obstruction (MOUNTAIN + SCYTHE) that I learn about via text, email or news report (LETTER)?
Other than the above glum interpretation, I seemed to be drawing a blank. Despite the grim outlook, there was no way I was going to take these cards personally. Nope. Wasn’t gonna do it. Perhaps within a day or two I’d come across some news story or another that played out the particular scenario the Lenormand cards had suggested. In the meantime, I had better things to do, the first of which was making sure the Rescue Kitties got their second course of breakfast. 🙂
What Actually Happened
Later that morning, inspired by a sudden burst of energy, I found myself tackling an onerous chore I had been avoiding forever: serious clutter clearing.
With over two dozen boxes of old files and documents piled up in my living space, I knew I had to get started. Three hours and one huge box later, the message contained in the morning’s Lenormand card draw became crystal clear:
Shredding/ cutting down a “mountain” of old documents (MOUNTAIN, SCYTHE, LILIES, LETTER) and sending them off to their grave (SHIP, COFFIN)!!
Once again, I was blown away by the matter-of-fact, tell-it-like-it-is quality of Lenormand cards. As a long-time Tarot card reader, I admit I have a tendency to “dig deep.” With Lenormand cards, that’s really not necessary.
The moral of this post: Do not over-read Lenormand cards! 🙂
Note: I currently have transiting Pluto (purge, purging, recycling) in my natal Third House (paperwork)! — I really should have figured this one out… 🙂
The Blue Bird Lenormand Cards by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. is a lovely little deck that is a pleasure to read and work with. The images on the cards are easily understandable and the verses imprinted on the cards are constructed to give a boost to intuitive insights. The enclosed LWB (Little White Book) by Stuart Kaplan includes a history of Mlle. Lenormand, a brief description of how to read the Grand Tableau (along with an example reading), and short descriptions of each of the 36 cards.
Note: As usual, I added a Base Card (bottom card of the shuffled deck) to the Lenormand Line of 5 for additional insights or information. Here we see 29 Woman which suggests the cards above it are of importance to the “female asking the question,” or are descriptive of the matter that is currently on the Woman’s mind. (I often get 29 Woman as a base card when asking a question that specifically involves myself. Take notice if you experience a similar correspondence, i.e., drawing a card that generally represents yourself when doing a personal reading, whether it falls as a base card or not. )
The spread is not hard to read.
BIRDS, which suggests thoughts, words, communication and mental activities in general, is followed by SUN + TREE, giving a sense of “healthy, vibrant thinking.”
While MOUNTAIN can describe delays and obstacles, the fact that it is followed by HEART relays the probability that these obstacles can be overcome.
The central or hinge card TREE suggests “health” or “growth,” which exactly symbolizes the question I had in mind.
Always take note if one or more cards in the spread “confirm” the question you had in mind. To borrow an astrological term, that makes the reading “radical,” in my experience. While for me, the “confirmation” card typically falls in the central position or as the base card, it can appear anywhere in the spread, and I always take it as a confirmation that the cards are in fact addressing the question at hand.
In the context of “goals,” BIRDS + SUN + TREE + MOUNTAIN + HEART suggests that positive thinking/ declaring the word/ speaking authoritatively, etc. are what is needed to achieve the goal in mind despite any obstacle or delay. HEART at the end of the Line of 5 ensures positive results.
What I’d particularly like to point out here is that with Lenormand cards, one does not need to spend a lot of time “figuring out” what the cards are “trying to say.” Lenormand cards are very here and now in their messages. There is no esoteric layer to muddle through as there may be with Tarot cards. You ask a question, you get an answer. With Lenormand cards, what you see is what you get, which is probably why I enjoy working with them so much.
Now while I won’t go into it here, if I wanted to get more detailed, psychological commentary on how to put the Lenormand’s advice into action, I could consult the Tarot cards for additional insights. But for the moment, I’m happy with the reading and am feeling energized (SUN) and pleased (HEART) about getting on with my day. 🙂
The more you practice with the Gypsy Witch Fortune Telling Playing Cards the easier it will become for you to intuitively realize when “system jumping” may be called for. The reading I’ll discuss in today’s post is a powerful example of how this works. I’ll show you the spread, but first, a little background:
The Back Story
Grandson #3’s due date was exactly one week ago. Except he was born exactly two weeks ago. Exactly one day after the Gypsy Witch Fortune Telling Playing Cards said he’d arrive…
Daughter #2 had discovered she was pregnant in late September. Naturally, her first question to her astrologer – tarot card reading mother was “What am I having? A boy or a girl?”
I decided to cast a horary astrology chart (a chart based on the date, time and place of the question) to get the answer. The chart strongly suggested “male.”
Daughter #2, who already had a boy and was not-so-secretly wanting a girl, was skeptical. She asked if I could do another chart. I put her off, explaining it was “too soon” to ask the same question again. Several weeks later, however, after she’d scheduled her 20-week sonogram, I couldn’t help but take a look at the event chart calculated for the date, time and place of this procedure. Once again, this second chart strongly suggested “male.”
Both astrology charts were confirmed as accurate when the sonogram results came in: Daughter #2 was definitely having a boy! The doctor gave a due date of May 22nd. The pregnancy progressed smoothly and before we knew it, it was May…
By early May, everyone in the family was baby-focused. Baby, baby, baby. When would he get here? Daughter #2 expected me to know. I gave her some “probable birth windows” based on Moon transits to her natal chart, but protested I couldn’t really get more specific than that.
One “birth window” came and went and we were in the middle of the second one with no indications that labor was about to commence. On the morning before Grandson #3 was born, having had resigned myself to the probability that he’d be coming later rather than sooner, I poured a cup of coffee and sat down to do my daily card draw. I had nothing on my mind. No questions. No nagging concerns. I selected the Gypsy Witch cards on a whim and asked one of my usual generic questions: “Heads up/ need to know/ will happen.”
I immediately grasped the cards’ message, “Baby is coming!”, before figuring it out logically from examining the cards that made up the spread. In retrospect, I think the first clue was the playing card insets and images on 21 Stork and 3 House. I’ll get to that shortly.
You can see from the graphics above, I chose to use a basic Lenormand Line of 5, with the addition of the Base Card (the bottom card of the shuffled deck), which is my usual practice. I typically consider the central, or hinge, card first, in conjunction with the Base Card, to give an overall feel on the theme of the reading. Because 46 Railroad is not a traditional Lenormand card, I had to consider the “fortune” inscribed thereon:
“The railroad forecasts a long journey; if near 44 a serious accident; if near 29 a robbery.”
But the playing card insets on 46 Railroad and 3 House told another story: a benefit given or received (2 of Clubs); a male loved one (6 of Hearts).
Additionally, the playing card inset on 21 Stork (an image associated with childbirth in and of itself) is 7 of Hearts which is the “second chance,” “second time around” or “second occurrence” card. I read 7 of Hearts + 6 of Hearts as “second male loved one” (my daughter’s second baby, a boy) being delivered (Stork) and coming home (House).
Noting that Mice + Rod (Whip) could symbolize physical exertion or exhaustion and 6 of Spades + 10 of Spades could literally refer to “water breaking,” not to mention that Gypsy Witch 45 Order actually contains the word ‘labor’ in its “fortune,” the meaning of the cards couldn’t seem clearer. In this particular card spread, 46 Railroad, the “long journey,” was the nine months of pregnancy itself, which was ending, as indicated by labor pains (Mice, Rod, Order). The Stork was on its way, a male loved one (6 of Hearts) soon to be born and come home (House).
Very interestingly, the card numbers in this spread added up to 174 which reduces to 12, which equals 12 Children in the Gypsy Witch card deck. This was the clincher for me that my interpretation was on target.
Note Regarding 46 Railroad: With 29 Mouse in the spread, not to mention 3 House, “robbery”could have been a reasonable deduction, but my mind did not go there. The way the cards were interacting, labor and delivery (ending the “long journey” of pregnancy) seemed to be the only correct interpretation based on the energies surrounding my current reality. This is one of the intricacies of “system jumping” with the Gypsy Witch. It’s more an intuitive leap of the mind than a conscious decision to “try this or that” technique and see what pops out. The more you work with these cards, the easier that becomes.
Just as the Gypsy Witch Fortune Telling Playing Cards predicted, Grandson #3 was born within 25 hours of the card throw. I don’t know which blew me away more: the stunning accuracy of the Gypsy Witch or holding my stunningly gorgeous newborn grandson in my arms. And while I didn’t deliberately set out to combine divination techniques, the Gypsy Witch cards with their remarkable “system jumping” abilities, facilitated my doing so.
The Gypsy Witch Fortune Telling Playing Cards are worth their weight in gold. In my 25+ years as a card reader I have not found another divination deck on the market that can match the Gypsy Witch‘s uncanny ability for accurate prediction.
While authorship of the Gypsy Witch Fortune Telling Playing Cards is attributed to Mlle. Lenormand herself, I can’t help but suspect some unknown, unnamed protegee was actually responsible for collecting and categorizing Mlle. Lenormand’s secrets and transforming them into the ingenious, if not magickal, card system we know today as the Gypsy Witch Fortune Telling Playing Cards.
Perhaps it was the Gypsy Witch ….
Note: If you’ve missed my previous posts on the Gypsy Witch Fortune Telling Playing Cards, you can click on the links below or use the Gypsy Witch link under Categories in the side bar to your right.
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?
Both Lenormand cards and Tarot cards are particularly useful tools that can provide a clear snapshot of what’s really going on behind your conscious thought process. While larger, more complicated spreads have their place, you might be surprised at how insightful a simple Line of 5 can be– using either Tarot or Lenormand cards– although for the purposes of this post, I will use Lenormand cards to illustrate the method.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, when using a Line of 5, I’ve consistently found that adding the base card (bottom card of the shuffled deck) to the spread almost always fine tunes the message the cards want to bring to your attention.
This simple Line of 5 Insights Spread with Base Card works well when you are seeking clarity regarding a particular problem, situation, concern, goal or desire that’s been on your mind and it works equally well when you’re not sure what to focus on.
It’s all in how you word the question.
If you have a particular subject matter in mind, your question could be “Insights, please: What do I most need to know about [subject] right now?”
If you’re not exactly sure what to focus on, ask something like “What’s the most important thing for me to focus on right now?” and let the cards define the subject matter.
Suppose you have decided to ask the Lenormand cards an open-ended question and have drawn the following cards:
Step 1 – Consider the “Hinge” and “Base” Cards and Determine a Theme or Meaning
First consider the central, or “hinge” card, and the base card beneath it and jot down the keywords that come to mind. In this example, we have 32 MOON and 10 SCYTHE, which will provide the theme or subject matter. The remaining cards will flesh out the reading.
Right away you can see several “themes” or meanings are possible. Which theme or meaning makes sense to you will largely depend on your own question, concerns and personal circumstances / reality.
For example, MOON + SCYTHE could mean (among other things):
…breaking up with a woman
…eliminating or ending a bad habit
…putting some distance between yourself and a female
…analyzing emotional problems
…interruption or ending of the menstrual cycle
…damaging a reputation/ ending a career
Step 2 – Consider the Remaining Cards and Weave Together a Story Line that Supports the Theme
Next, you’ll want to consider the remaining cards in the spread and weave together a story line that supports the premise shown by the central and base cards. If you are female, you will want to determine whether 29 WOMAN represents you or another female. If you are male, this card may either be giving you information about a woman in your life or suggesting you take a more intuitive (feminine) approach to the matters at hand. You’ll need to decide whether 19 TOWER describes 29 WOMAN (mirroring technique) or if it’s the ‘end of the sentence.’ There is no one true and always-correct way to read cards.
For females, WOMAN + LILIES could be yourself if you are older or are concerned about aging issues. It could also be a descriptor of your serenity or peace of mind, regardless of age. For both female and male querents, this combination could point to an older woman, a parent, a grandmother, or someone in authority like a boss.
16 STARS + 19 TOWER could be speaking of business goals or climbing the corporate ladder. It could alternately be showing a need to set boundaries (TOWER) in order to reach one’s goals (STARS). It could describe losing out (SCYTHE) on a recording contract (MOON + STARS) due to age discrimination (LILIES).
A need to eliminate (SCYTHE) an entrenched habit (LILIES + MOON) that is interfering with (SCYTHE) or is not supportive of (MOON) one’s serenity/ peace of mind (LILIES) and career goals (STARS + TOWER).
A woman’s decision (SCYTHE) to examine her feelings (MOON) and set emotional boundaries (MOON, TOWER) so she can achieve more serenity (LILIES) and get more of what she wants (STARS).
The need to separate oneself (SCYTHE) from an older woman/ mother/ grandmother (WOMAN + LILIES + MOON) or even a female boss (WOMAN + LILIES with TOWER) who is not emotionally supportive (MOON + STARS).
Female/ hormonal problems (MOON) in an older woman (WOMAN + LILIES) that may require further diagnostic testing (STARS) and possible surgery or biopsy (SCYTHE, TOWER).
I could go on, but I’m sure you can see how this works. It’s pretty much just a matter of identifying the theme or central message as it relates to your question/ issue/ life circumstances, then fleshing out the rest of the “story.” You’ll be using your intuition as well as the standard card meanings you’ve learned from various sources. If you give this simple yet very effective spread a try, I think you’ll be pleased with the results you get.
Blessings, Mary Hawkins
Tarot Cards, Lenormand Cards, Gypsy Witch Cards, Playing Cards Readings and Tutorials