One of my readers commented on the fact that she relies on intuition yet for reading the Lenormand, and says that “it’s still hard for me to wrap my head around the idea of NOT using intuition.”
I felt this worth addressing as a short topic of its own. Here is my opinion on Lenormand and intuition.
What does this symbol mean to you?
There IS room for intuition in Lenormand. You can read the Lenormand cards according to their symbols and still be flexible. You may pick up on extra twists or nuances from a spread; that is intution.
How do you know if the Bear is money, food, strength or an authority figure? Clarification will come from the context of the reading, and maybe the following card; but that is also intuition.
I know an experienced Lenormand reader who I think would argue that Lenormand doesn’t need intuition as I describe it; that the card symbols just make sense and a reading will work for anyone who reads the symbols. (Everyone knows what a Child or Mountain is, for example.) Perhaps we are describing the same thing when it comes to reading the Lenormand, but defining intuition differently.
What we all mean by “reading intuitively” should be defined. In the tarot world, reading intuitively tends to mean reading without studying or learning any traditional card definitions, and instead relying on the illustrations and symbols that are depicted on each card. This is a modern approach to the tarot, as older tarot methods that I’ve read about tend to be closer to traditional cartomancy, the reading of playing cards.
In this context, reading Lenormand intuitively then tends to mean interpreting the visual appearance of elements on the deck, rather than relying on the symbolic meaning of each card. People tend to favor busy decks such as the Mystical Lenormand for this.
Mystical Lenormand – Dog
I do believe that Lenormand should be read according to its symbols. As an example, the Dog — generally speaking — is a friend, someone trusted, someone known, or representative of the ideas of trust and reliability. These fit the symbolic idea that a dog tends to be attached to the humans who care for him, and can be a good friend who is always happy to see them. I would not look at the card’s illustration and think of anger, heat, fire, time passing or mystical visions. Those might be interesting things to pick up from a card, but would make the Lenormand less reliable for me.
Even holding fast to what the Dog “means,” there is room for intuition. If the Dog were followed by the Bear (my primary money card), what does it mean in a reading? A financial adviser? A friend who is financially set? Someone I know who is physically large? Maybe it’s my manager at work? There are many options here, and intuition (plus context) helps to pick the right one. I might get an extra flash in the reading, also from intuition, but it comes from the core symbolic meanings.
So I believe that learning card meanings — or relying on the Lenormand symbolic meanings — does not shut out an intuitive approach. The symbols are usually common sense, such as the Child having child qualities: small, youthful, short, child-like or immature. Some are trickier, if you don’t share the cultural ideas, which is one reason the Lily or Whip can be hard to understand if you don’t know their history or cultural use. Someone who doesn’t know “meanings” but understands the thirty-six symbols should do well with Lenormand.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments.