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Long time, no see, gentle readers! I haven’t done much with cards for a while, and so I haven’t had a lot to write about. My break has been good to refresh my mind and my energy, although I still have many things to juggle right now.

I have a meeting at work this afternoon, and to get some Lenormand reading practice in, I asked about the outcome.

This is the no-layout method, charging the Garden as the keycard to focus the reading. It’s a small meeting but I still think the Garden —  people, public and meetings — is appropriate. I’d considered the Birds but as I might want them to highlight some communication aspect, I felt it best to stick with Garden.

Snake + Tree + Key + Garden + Sun + Lady + Anchor

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Today I am pairing the Snake with the Ship.

Snake is one of those tricky cards, because it means different thing to different people, and varies by tradition. Harking back to “traditional” (German and Spanish from my studies), this card is read primarily as a woman, or an indicator of intelligence. However, the French-based sources (including the English language works by John Dee and Sylvie Steinbach) see this card in a more negative sense: lies, backstabbing and treachery. This makes sense as the Lenormand cards with club suit inset tend to be negative. I believe the cards with poems inset warn of the person depicted by this card.

For me, Snake is a blend of these. In a Grand Tableau (the 36-card layout) I will first regard the Snake as a “generic” woman with no special attributes or traits. Her relationship to the questioner as well as her character would be indicated by surrounding cards and location in the spread. In a relationship reading, she could be “the other woman.” When I do a smaller reading such as the no-layout, then I consider the Snake as a detour of some sort — a winding road, literal or figurative — or perhaps a backstabber, if appropriate.

Without further ado:

frenchcartomancy_07_snakefrenchcartomancy_03_ship

Snake + Ship

Snake is a woman or a detour. Ship is a journey, trip or movement. This combination could be a detour in travel plans; or could represent escape from a certain woman. It could also represent a foreign woman, due to the Ship’s connotations of distance and “from afar.”

frenchcartomancy_03_shipfrenchcartomancy_07_snake

Ship + Snake

This could be traveling to meet a woman, or taking the long way around — which could be literal with physical travel, or it could be a figure of speech applied to an action where a person does things methodically and maybe redundantly, not taking any shortcuts.

At the risk of making things confusing, I think both pairs could be interpreted to mean a detour on a journey. The first pair emphasizes the detour, which would in this case occur during travel. I would see this as the unexpected detour caused by an accident blocking the road, for example; or if a cruise ship needed to re-route for unexpected repairs. The second example would be more of choosing to take a detour, and again, this is reminiscent of going the “long way around.” For example, taking a road trip and deciding that a side trip to stay overnight in an area known for wineries would be fun.

Normally I wouldn’t read the same meaning in both pairs of cards, but I think it fits in this case, keeping in mind the emphasis (or theme card) for the pairs. Again, context in a reading is going to be the ultimate arbiter.

Agree? Disagree? Want to share your own take on this combination? Please post a comment if so.

Today’s practice for Lenormand combinations is Ring and Snake.

frenchcartomancy_25_ringfrenchcartomancy_07_snake

Ring + Snake

The first thought that popped into my mind before I could even think about typing up this exercise is a lost ring. I know that loss is usually shown by the Mice; but this could be a case where a person’s ring was misplaced, around the kitchen sink or bathroom. Or heaven forbid down the drain! This is because of the shape of the Snake: it can represent things like pipes and plumbing, and therefore in my mind, the associated areas with those. In this case, the Ring would literally represent a ring of commitment — a wedding ring.

Ring = relationship, contract, partnership. Snake = detour, a woman.

This could be a relationship with a woman (NOT the partner, that would be the Lady). Or, a detour in getting a contract — things didn’t go as planned. Sometimes the Snake is “the other woman” to me, so this could be an affair. In a full spread, one would also have to consider cards like Heart and Lady to make that call. This combination could also represent a backstabbing partner, which would spell trouble in business.

Once again, context matters.

I was scheduled to look at a couple of homes for sale last night, and I had a few minutes to do a quick couple of Lenormand card draws. I wanted to get a feel for what I would be seeing, and see how the cards matched up to the reality afterwards. The short answer: the cards were spot on!

I based my draw on the no-layout technique, which involves a row of approximately five cards, including the central significator. The cards around the significator describe the nature of that central card.

It made sense to use the House as significator; and what I did was to thoroughly shuffle the cards, then search through them for the House. I laid out the House with its two neighbors on either side, maintaining the order of the cards in the deck. (It would be the same as if I’d dealt the cards out in order.) I apologize for not showing all five cards for both of these layouts; I was in a hurry and didn’t note the spreads.

House #1 was advertised as needing a little bit of work. The cards:

frenchcartomancy_13_childfrenchcartomancy_04_housefrenchcartomancy_10_scythe

I interpreted this as being a place that would need some change (Child); it would be like a new project. I debated on what the Scythe meant, and I decided it meant there would be holes or cracks in the walls. The reality was a bit simpler, but reflected in these cards. The place was a blank slate that would need a bit of work: new carpeting, new paint, and some general work to get the place in tiptop shape. It’s not the kind of home that needs a complete overhaul, but it would be like a new project to make it liveable and pleasant. Score for Lenormand!

House #2 came up as these cards:

frenchcartomancy_18_dogfrenchcartomancy_06_cloudsfrenchcartomancy_04_housefrenchcartomancy_07_snakefrenchcartomancy_30_lily

I read this one as a home having some problems with the air or air circulation (Clouds); and having a winding approach or driveway (Snake) that I wouldn’t like. This one was really interesting; upon walking in, I was assaulted with a horrible smell. A lot of the house was reminiscent of wet dog, or a dirty hamster cage. It was really strong. I was amazed that the cards picked up on that! As for the Snake, that was also true. The house is on the corner of a winding, snake-shape road that gets a lot of traffic. Getting in and out of the driveway was tricky due to this. (I noted a bit of horn-honking while I was in the house as well.)

If I want to take this reading a bit further, the Dog was left of the Clouds. When I got to the house I realized I’d driven by it dozens of times, as I often use its street as a “cut-through,” and Dog can imply something already known. I’d seen the house many times but not realized it until I was there. (Dog could also relate to the Clouds with that animal smell.) Lily was on the right; and the house is an older, dated style. Score again for Lenormand!

I’ve had some good readings before, but results like this about concrete events in my own life are very encouraging.

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