Over in the Facebook Lenormand group, there is a minor debate about whether “charging” the cards is a valid technique. For anyone who doesn’t know, charging the cards means identifying significators in advance. This is most useful in identifying who the Man and Woman cards will be, and includes choosing a focus card when doing the “no-layout” method of reading.

The person that started the debate wrote:

I just realized that Lenny doesn’t care how you “charge the cards.”

I would like to point out that there is no absolute, one-size-fits-all technique for reading any kind of cards. Some techniques work for some people, and not others. Perhaps charging doesn’t work for this person, because on some level they didn’t like it to begin with it. That doesn’t mean their view should be applied to the Lenormand as a generalization.

Baartschi Whip

Charging is the intentional choice of a significators for a reading. People have used significators in tarot for years. Are they wrong to do so? People choose a focus card in traditional Lenormand readings, such as the line of five or square of nine. Are they wrong too?

In fact, I believe using the Lenormand Man and Woman as the querent and significant other — a solid part of Lenormand tradition — is “charging” by convention. Yet I don’t hear complaints about this. Maybe newcomers shun this convention now and use the Man and Woman as other people, but for the German approach I first learned, they are always the querent and his or her significant other. No exceptions.

For the record, I charge — intentionally choose significators — when I do the no-layout technique; but not when I use a Grand Tableau. In that case, I do adopt the Man and Woman as the querent and significant other, which is the same result as charging.

If a technique consistently works for a reader, then it is valid, at least for that reader. If it doesn’t work, by all means discard it, but understand why and don’t presume that others should do the same. The Lenormand itself doesn’t care about anything; it’s the mind that does readings and must accept or reject any reading techniques. It is the mind that responds to the intentions we readers set before a reading.

To paraphrase Iris Treppner, the cards are pasteboard and you can do what you want with them; in esotericism, nothing is forbidden. So, use what works and discard what doesn’t. Break with tradition — there are no cartomancy police to arrest us for doing so. πŸ™‚ However, card reading is a very personal thing, and we will all develop our own unique practices, hopefully built on a solid framework or tradition.

What do you think?