In my last post I talked about combining Lenormand cards and the fact that those ready-made lists of all the Lenormand card pairings are meant mainly as examples. An option I gave was to not explicitly combine cards; just read what I call a timeline, and my friend calls a flow of action. You can “blend” cards together this way as you determine how one card leads to the next.

Even if you don’t want to explicitly combine cards, you can look to the neighbor on the right for more information. This is similar to dignities in tarot. I don’t know if dignity fits with the flavor of the Lenormand, but it’s an apt term. The way I define it, a card that provides a dignity is one that influences another card positively or negatively according to its nature; but it does not provide any meaning of its own.  That is, a card brings out positive or negative traits in another without adding meaning.

Let’s look at a couple of examples.

Bear + Cross – this Bear is an overbearing* manager

For example, I did a reading involving someone’s workplace situation, and the Bear indicated traits applicable to the manager. Because the next card was the Cross, it suggested that the more negative traits of the Bear would be evidenced: controlling, rather than protecting or nurturing. Had Bear been followed by the Clover or Bouquet, those more positive aspects might have been more appropriate.

Bear + Clover – this Bear is a nurturing, cheerful manager

Here is another example, using the Whip. Assume we are describing a man with these cards.

Whip + Stars – this Whip indicates active or sexy (describing a man)

The Whip on its own could mean active, sexual, repetetive or aggressive. The Stars, being a positive card, bring out the Whip’s good qualities (active, sexy) without adding any of its own meaning to it. The Stars would still apply to the Man they are describing in the overall reading, but that is separate from their influence of the Whip in this pair.

In practice, I find that all these methods blend together in a reading. The timeline (which is inherent in the method I use) tend to take precedence, classic card combinations help me if I’m having trouble intuiting what a card means in context, and these “dignities” help to clarify or enhance a card’s role in a reading. And I believe that is the reason to use any of these interpretive techniques: to provide structure that helps make sense of readings while freeing up the ol’ intuition.

Do you find yourself using these methods, implicitly or explicitly? If not, are you going to try them out? Let me know your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

* I didn’t mean “overbearing” as a pun. I swear! 🙂