Monday, March 10, 2014

The Lenormand Journey

I've been studying Lenormand for a while now, and I'm really enjoying it. I remember (not oh so long ago) when I first began this journey of learning and I wasn't so sure this system was for me. Tarot (and some forms of Oracle) were what I knew, and the first few 3-card spreads I did really boggled my mind. For a short time I wondered if I'd ever start finding meaning in these cards, using this method. But I kept trying, and slowly they started to come to life for me. It was a pretty awesome experience that first time I laid down a row of cards that actually made sense! Doing 3-card daily draws was probably the best leg up because I could start to puzzle together what they had to say about a finite period of immediate time. All of my daily draws were making sense, and it was a great boost to my self-confidence. But, as with all things learned, there are rises, plateaus, stumbles, and little falls before continuing the ascent.

Once I heard, or read, someone's words about the process of acquiring new knowledge - that the more you learn, the more you realize you don't know about whatever the subject matter happens to be. I'm a language teacher, so this fits in nicely both with the topic of learning in general, and the topic of Lenormand, as it's often called a "language-based" system. When learning a language, a student feels very confident after learning basic conversational skills. They can suddenly "get around" in Japanese (or German, or Spanish, or Portuguese) and they can understand simple exchanges with a native speaker. They have a sharp sense of progress. As they continue to absorb language they're exposed to increasingly wider arrays of vocabulary, contexts, grammar, syntax, and paralanguage (which includes the meaning behind a speaker's use of pitch or intonation). Suddenly they start forgetting vocabulary words they used to know, or grammar structures that they never had problems with before. They become upset with themselves, feeling that they're drowning in language, that they're cycling backward instead of forward. They realize that language learning is actually a complex and challenging feat to master. This is where some people drop out of the language learning game, and others stick it out and keep working. It's the proverbial "line in the sand." The people who thought language learning was a fun and novel activity go back to the comfort and safety of their first language(s), quickly forgetting what bits of their new language they had once learned. The second group forges ahead, sometimes feeling foolish, confused and shy. But they aren't truly drowning, or forgetting - they're simply assimilating an increasingly large body of information into something they can manage and work with. That's quite a process! They've climbed to the top of the hill only to find that from their new vantage point they can see a whole mountain range ahead. Bit by bit they learn-acquire-absorb-produce and stumble on. The shift is so subtle they often don't even realize it's happening. They start communicating with more clarity, with a wider range of words, and more complex grammatical structures. Their slow speech evens out and starts to flow more smoothly. Sometimes they don't realize how far they've come until people start to comment on how well they're doing, or they listen to a recorded file of their conversational abilities from months past, and realize how "funny" they sound ("I can't believe I SAID that!!! That was so wrong!"). But these are milestones on the path of the true, dedicated student. It's not always pretty, it's definitely not easy, and sometimes you wonder if you'll ever make it to the top of the mountain. The good news is that you will.

I know this, but that doesn't mean it helps me on my own journey all that much. That path I just described is the path of all learners of any subject matter. For divination, those milestones might be the point when your clients or family members tell you just how dead-on and scarily accurate your reading was (or you yourself realize that same fact), or when you look back at your own journal and wonder how you ever could have thought that Cross-Clouds was a beautiful combination!

I know I'm continually getting better. Things start to make sense to me without having to slowly piece each card together with the one beside it (though I still do that sometimes). I've experienced some "scarily accurate" readings that have in all seriousness almost scared me with their precision (click here to read about a couple such readings!). I love Lenormand, and my goal is to become skilled enough with the system that I start to offer it in addition to Tarot readings. But damn, it ain't easy, and in those brief, periodic flashes when I feel like I've blown it (which is usually vastly out of proportion to the actual inconsistency of my interpretation) I start to wonder if I'll ever truly "get it."

So what did I do? Naturally, I pulled a Lenormand line of 5 about my future as a Lenormand reader!

Kendra's Vintage Petit Lenormand

Letter - Path - House - Bouquet - Mirror/Moon

This is Kendra's Vintage Petit Lenormand, the landscape version (I won it in a drawing, and I think I got one of the last copies!). I had to overlap the cards as they're so long, and if you're a Lenormand reader you might notice that Mirror is certainly not a traditional card. This is why there are two cards in position 5!

So this is what I understand from this line: Indecision regarding cards (Lenormand) stabilizes and becomes a gift that enhances my own self-confidence as well as my career.

Well okay, that looks promising! Letter (in this case "Postcard") also represents cards, and Path is about a decision that needs to be made. Path also signifies…. a path, or journey! So I can also read this as "the path of the cards" which is pretty much right on…. hence the title of this blog post. It's important to remember that Lenormand (as with all systems) is truly a path, with all its ups and downs, mistakes and accomplishments. Fool energy.

The House is my anchor card, which is nice to see as it represents stability and support (fitting for an anchor card!). The card journey begins to take shape, take on a structure, and (in a less-Lenormand-like poetic sense) become like a home. The Bouquet is like the fruits of my labor - the benefit of putting in the hard work, taking the hits, and staying in the Game (of Hope :-D ). This gift enhances how I see myself (Mirror) as well as how others see me (Moon) in regard to this card system (both end cards mirror Letter/Postcard). Crossroads-Bouquet also suggests a positive outcome to my decision to stay on this journey.

I could go into more detail probably, but that's pretty much the gist of it. It's nice to see the Bouquet-Moon ending, and it's much appreciated on a day when I'm feeling a bit lost at sea….


  1. How smart to equate learning Lenormand with ACTUALLY learning a language. I was delighted to know that awful part where you start forgetting things is actually just a natural part of the learning curve. And here's me thinking it was just one more facet of menopause. (LOL)

    1. Hah!!! Well you know I think that people become really disconcerted when that happens, and start to think maybe they weren't cut out for whatever it is they're studying. But usually that's a good sign that you're making true progress :)

  2. Hi Olivia It does feel like learning a language. Improving my English is also an up and down leaning process. Sometimes it seems if I can't write one sentence without my dictionary.:)
    Thanks for reminding me to practice with my Lennies again. I love this system a lot. Somehow it always get overshadowed by the tarot. I think it has its own beauty but it has a blunt way of talking which might be a bit to much for me :)

    1. Ellen, your English is excellent :) But it's also true that on "off" days, or days when one is just feeling tired, or ill, these things tend to feel a little more difficult! I agree with you about the bluntness - it takes some getting used to!!!!

  3. Hi, your post came at a most auspicious time. I am trying so hard (daily draw, reading books,blogs) to get lenormand card readings to make sense. Things happen and I use the cards to try and find out more information and it just does not seem to quite work. Or I am totally wrong about what they mean. About 60% of the time they seem to make sense. I'm not even sure if it is just whishful thinking that's what they mean. After reading your post I shall continue, upwards and onwards. Thank you for your blog.

    1. Yay! I'm so happy that something in this post helped inspire you onward. Happy journey to you :)