As interested as I am in creating a language system that works for the Lenormand cards (less interested in adopting someone else’s), I realise that this is still a very left-brained activity. If I really want to master the Lenormand cards (or any cartomancy system for that matter), I need to create a strong psychic connection with the cards too.
It amazes me how left-brained the approach to the Lennies is within the cartomancy community. You’d think there’s not a single psychic among these people when you read discussions on keywords and card combinations. Then there are the fundamentalists. Yes, you read that right. You know, the cartomancy version of the King James Bible only adherent. They either follow a system set up by someone else with the complete faith and devotion of a disciple or (worse!) set themselves up as the new Lenormand Messiah.
In the case of the latter, the gospel of the One True Way of reading the Lenormand cards is preached with absolute authority backed up by ‘extensive historic research.’ The novice disciples are ohhh-ing and ahhh-ing, made to feel all smug that they now get to share in the secret which will allow them to read the cards more accurately than anybody else. Very smart sales tactics – especially considering that the Lenormand tradition was oral and mostly lost way before the first Petit Jeu game was printed in her name.
And I wonder how these disciples will feel three, five or ten years down the line. I imagine that perhaps they will venture into the big wide world and find that there are people who trust their own intuitive guidance to higher degree and therefore are able to better interpret the cards… I could be wrong, of course
So while I continue to learn keywords and add meanings to my meanings bank, I also work on creating a deeper connection with the cards, just like I did with the Tarot. Unless I can feel the card in my body and unless it starts appearing in dreams and meditations, it is a meaningless piece of paper.
Two nights before I began working with the Illuninara Journal and pulled the card you see in the picture above, I had a dream of two dead birds at the bottom of a bird cage. Later on in the morning, I received a phone call from my father in Sweden. He told me that his cancer diagnosis was looking really bad and that he thought the end was near. His fiancee is currently in palliative care for lung cancer. Two dead birds.
The thing about our phone call was that it was extremely healing – for both of us. Yes there were tears but there was also laughter… It was almost as if all our issues were healed in one fell swoop (birds swoop!)… and the feeling of total acceptance as well as curiousity about the next big adventure that Death actually is, I feel is captured perfectly in this card.
The first thing you are asked to do when you begin working through the Illuminara cards, is to quickly and without much thought choose one word to describe the randomly chosen card. I chose ‘Birds’ because of my recent dream and where I’m at on my healing journey. But there is more to this image. Using a stream of consciousness method of writing, words came pouring out of me and I realised that I saw Child (Lenormand) and also the Page of Swords (Tarot) in this image.
Not only did the Illuminara Journal exercise have a direct healing effect on me in terms of processing what is happening within my family – it also helped me make new connections for each of the associated cards, creating multiple psychic portals. Kudos to the wonderful artist and author of the Illuminara Journal, Elaine Clayton! Check her Illuminara page out on Facebook – lots of wisdom there too.
There is no One True Way of reading the Lenormand cards. There is only one way that is right for you though – Your way. By all means, find a system that works for you and stick to it, but don’t expect to be able to provide psychic readings with the cards if you don’t trust your own intuition.