Tag Archives: folk traditions

Andy’s Book: Revised & Expanded


If you read this blog at all, you’ve probably heard of Lenormand Thirty Six Cards by now. It was intended as an introductory book, though it was quite detailed – I got a lot of benefit from it, and I’d been reading Lenormand for years already. Andy did a great job of filling in the gaps left by Treppner and the handful of others who had published information in english.

Since then, he re-opened his Cabinet course for awhile, including information that wasn’t available in the first edition of the book, and paying careful attention to the areas where people were having problems and how to explain things more clearly. (There is a human tendency to misinterpret certain statements and run with it – this is what he was mainly trying to remedy, I think. The man is infinitely more patient and accommodating than I am.) All of this – the course material and the teaching approach, have been added to the original book. Certain parts have been revised. And what came of all this is a book with roughly twice the word count, yet with the fat trimmed.

This appears, for all intents and purposes, to be the definitive Lenormand book. There’s really not much else you can say about the subject, the answers to virtually all of the questions one commonly sees are answered in this book. (Andy says it’s “intermediate”, I’m curious as to what he considers “advanced” – work through this book and internalize the information, and you’ve got Lenormand nailed.) Card and suit meanings, history, attendance, proximity, exercises, combos and more.

You can get more information here: http://boroveshengra.com/2015/07/01/lenormand-thirty-six-cards-2015-edition/

Order from Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Lenormand-Thirty-Six-Cards-Introduction-Petit-ebook/dp/B00JHO7X8M/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1435760966

Or, if you prefer, from Createspace here: https://www.createspace.com/4913005

Andy’s Book

The expanded edition of Lenormand Thirty Six Cards will be available soon. This one goes a good way beyond the first edition’s comprehensive-yet-basic Lenormand 101, with material that was included in Andy’s last course. I’m hoping for a hardcover copy, after all, it’s a reference work and will get tons of use. My Book.

Inner space: the final frontier


Everything seems to be infested with misinformation these days, in an effort to make it more “user-friendly” (Read: “easy and dumbed down”). Much like googling “Lenormand”, the search term “scrying” will get you bunk, for the most part. And it’s a shame, really, because this subject is worthy of serious inquiry. It’s just too interesting to be left to the cranks and flakes.

Let’s look at the word “scry”: the Oxford Dictionary defines it as “Foretell the future using a crystal ball or other reflective object or surface.” This isn’t very helpful, since it leaves a lot open to interpretation (additionally, many – maybe most – of the things you see probably won’t “foretell the future”, but that’s another blog post).  It could be referring to a cold reader who uses the crystal as a prop, it could be referring to actual crystal visions, or it could be referring to something called pareidolia, a psychological term for the tendency to perceive a specific image in a random, ambiguous visual pattern. Pareidolia accounts for a lot of the stuff that comes up on google. The human brain is optimized to recognize faces, and we have a faction that views these things as Visits From The Great Beyond. The same line of “reasoning” that leads people to think that Jesus has returned on their grilled cheese sandwich:

(I think it looks more like a Cocker Spaniel with something in his mouth. Or Hulk Hogan. I haven’t quite made up my mind.)

Don’t get me wrong, pareidolia is what’s used for reading wax melts and the like. There’s usually a reason that your brain interprets things a certain way, and seeing a knife in some random thing could be your instincts screaming for your attention. But that’s not what I want to keep running into when I’m looking for information on scrying. I consider it “another ball of wax”, so to speak.

If you would like to experiment with crystal visions, it’s best to go to the old sources, and/or people who are thoroughly familiar with them. While old books aren’t necessarily free of pseudoscience and misapprehended ideas, with a little common sense, you can get a pretty good working idea of what to do, and what to expect. Cat Yronwode has compiled an extremely helpful list of titles here http://www.yronwode.org/crystal-gazing-bibliography.html and it’s full of MUCH more effective search terms than “scrying”.

Many of these titles are now in the public domain, and can be had cheap or free. The authors often used pseudonyms for writing about something as shady as fortunetelling – among them were respected anthropologists, attorneys, folklorists, etc. I’m linking to a few of these books here.

The Project Gutenberg eBook of How to Read the Crystal, by Sepharial (Dr. Walter Gorn Old). An excellent book of instructions, highly recommended.


Clairvoyance and Occult Powers by Swami Panchadasi (William Walker Atkinson). The crystal gazing chapter starts at page 105.

Crystal-Gazing and Spiritual Clairvoyance by L. W. de Laurence


Crystal Gazing by Theodore Besterman. “A Study in the History, Distribution, Theory and Practice of Scrying” from the author of Voltaire.


(NO, I’m not on their payroll. They’re just an excellent resource, something that’s extremely rare these days.) You can find Crystal Gazing: Lessons and Instructions in Silent Influence With The Crystal  and The Crystal Silence League: Personal Lessons, Codes, and Instructions for Members, both by C. Alexander, on this page. Or just order a crystal ball or palm stone here http://www.luckymojo.com/mojocatdivination.html#scrying and they’ll send you the second title free.


Crystal gazing : its history and practice, with a discussion of the evidence for telepathic scrying
A wonderful 1905 book by Northcote W. Thomas, M.A., with an introduction by Andrew Lang. I liked this one so much that I purchased a clothbound edition from Nephilim Press https://nephilimpress.com/xstore/product.php?productid=17704&cat=0&featured=Y


A couple of other items of interest:

The Crystal Silence League. This is a wonderful organization that carries on the work of C. Alexander, who used the crystal to send thoughts and prayers as well receive visions. Some archived instructions for various techniques with the crystal ball, including sending and silent influence. Don’t take this wrongly because it’s a prayer group – all religions are welcome, and of course all prayers are free if you request them. Besides, the archived articles are fantastic.

The Crystal Silence League Hour with Rev. Jon Saint Germain ​Spiritual guidance on the practical use of crystals and crystal balls in the development of mental concentration and mind power, silent influence over others, divination and scrying of the future, and telepathic contact with people and spirits. 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM Pacific​, 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM Eastern”

Additionally, Andy Boroveshengra has mentioned that he might do some blogging on the subject this year. That’s worth watching for, so stay tuned.

Fox business


Some things Lenormand isn’t:

1. New Age
Merriam Webster defines “new age” as “an eclectic group of cultural attitudes arising in late 20th century Western society that are adapted from those of a variety of ancient and modern cultures, that emphasize beliefs (as reincarnation, holism, pantheism, and occultism) outside the mainstream, and that advance alternative approaches to spirituality, right living, and health

Lenormand is not an “eclectic group of cultural attitudes arising in (the) late 20th century”, nor does it emphasize alternative spirituality. It’s a purely secular pursuit from 19th century Christian Europe and has nothing to do with channeling, chakras, reincarnation, crystals, or happy unicorn farts.

2. Occult
Merriam Webster defines “occult” as: “matters regarded as involving the action or influence of supernatural or supernormal powers or some secret knowledge of them”

The Lenormand system is not “supernatural”, although it’s such a genius system that it can APPEAR to be. But there’s nothing at play here outside of the natural world. As for “secret knowledge”:

3. Esoteric
Merriam Webster defines “esoteric” as: “designed for or understood by the specially initiated alone”

The Lenormand system has never been secret or required initiatory degrees.

4. Pagan
Merriam Webster defines “pagan” as “a follower of a polytheistic religion” and “neopagan” as “a person who practices a contemporary form of paganism (as Wicca)”.

Lenormand a secular activity that comes from a Christian culture, hence the Cross card. It doesn’t promote Christianity, but it does use a Christian symbol to express fate and burdens. Additionally, you’ll notice that the Sun and Moon aren’t the “god and goddess” (in a reputable deck, anyway).

The bulk of the misuderstandings about Lenormand seem to come from these quarters, and many of them are perpetrated intentionally. A lot of people in these fields like to pose as knowledgeable on all things cartomantic, for their own profit and self-aggrandizement (see the picture above). But their research is Margaret Murray-sloppy, and their rhetoric littered with logical fallacies, up to the point where one actually makes the specious claim that the Lenormand tradition doesn’t exist! So when you see writing about Lenormand and it’s flavored with any of this stuff, it pays to take it with a big grain of salt.

Settling in, mulling things over

I long ago came to the conclusion that america acts like a big filter that dumbs everything down. Recently, this was reinforced by something totally unrelated to Lenormand: I moved last month, so I’ve been digging into feng shui resources, googling, talking to people, hauling out the books. Although I’m a little skeptical that putting the bed directly under the ceiling fan will result in “cutting energy”, making people fight with their housemates, I arranged the place according to specs anyway and I’m glad I did. What you end up with is an uncluttered, easy-to-clean living space with a relaxing ambience and some interesting little characters here and there:

Now, in feng shui, (unlike Lenormand, in spite of continual yammering online to the contrary) there are pretty clearly defined schools, and different sources will tell you different things, adding subschools and whatnot, but very basically, they are these:

The Form School, which is the oldest. It’s exactly what it sounds like, taking form into account. For instance, if you live on a hillside, you want the higher ground BEHIND the house, for support. If the higher ground is in front, every time you go out the front door, you’re going to see “OBSTACLE”, which can be detrimental on a psychological level, even if you don’t believe in “blocked chi”. So that makes a lot of sense.

Next you have the Compass School, which came later. It utilizes those bagua maps, you divide your living space into sections according to the compass directions and they correspond to career, love, etc. So if your finances aren’t so good, the idea is to look at that part of the house, make sure there’s no dust, clutter, or pointy things, and maybe put a cure there, like a faceted crystal or a nice jade plant. It’s actually more complex than that, but you get the idea.

The third school, which started maybe forty years ago, is called the Black Hat School, or BTB (Black Sect Tantric Buddhist). It was invented by Grandmaster Lin Yun and brought to the US in the 80’s and uses the bagua, but not the compass. The bagua is oriented to the entryway. No matter which direction the main door faces, the BTB bagua will always be placed with the center of the facing wall being considered as the Fame and Reputation area (which is the south area in the Compass School.)

Now, I am not here to diss Tantric Buddhists. AT ALL. I’m sure it was an act of compassion to devise an easier, more “intuitive” feng shui school for people who are confused by the older, more traditional schools. And although I don’t use BTB, I’m guessing it works as well as the others.

The problems come in when you tell blissninny american new agers, many of whom can’t read a compass, but are irresistibly drawn to things like feng shui, that something is “intuitive”. A quick google will turn up a lot of writing where people interpret that as “Do whatever you wanna do!” Once you haul your TV and your office into the bedroom, it’s not feng shui anymore – not even BTB feng shui, which is not devoid of complexity – and putting wind chimes and Pu Tai figurines all over the place doesn’t change that. (I can hear the new agers screeching now: “DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO WITH MY HOUSE!!!!!” lol)

Are you seeing the parallels to Lenormand yet?

A tradition from across the ocean – no, wait, scratch that, they do it to Native Americans too:

Remember those Robert Bly “Men’s Weekends”?

…and a few of us trying to study it. In peace.

And always, always, a bunch of new agers try to muscle in so they can SHIT ALL OVER IT.

To borrow a phrase from Doktor Howl, “They are the people of the flattened DNA helix. We must leave them behind, if there is to be any hope at all for our species.”