Tag Archives: Lenormand

A Night Off With Mr. Ensslin and Mr. Wirth

…and Mr. Vodka and Mr. Tequila. So I will loosen up and talk about a sector of my life I don’t talk about much.

What is a Tarot but Majors and Minors? And what are Minors, but Pips? The Lenormand, arguably, is a reduced Pip deck.

The Majors speak in great depth, they resonate with Kabbalah/Qabalah, elemental dignities, Hebrew letters, gematria…but the Minors tell us about the world here below, what generally concerns us. “Will he ask me out?” “Is my job secure?” “Will my parcel arrive?”

But the most incisive, to-the-point Pip deck I have encountered is Lenormand.

I know that noobs want to shuffle everything together and read them in “intuitive” combinations. I am not suggesting that anyone do that. Oh HELL no.

But from what I understand, Continental readers lay the Majors and Minors out separately. The Majors for the deep, causative stuff, and the Minors for how it’s all effecting us here on the “meat wheel” (thank you, Mr. Kerouac*. You were a goddamn wino, but I love you for this. And On The Road. You crazy genius motherfucker. RIP.)

So, what better layout than a good old Majors-only Wirth, and a few Lenormand cards?

I asked about my (non-reading, it takes several streams of income to pay the bills these days, sadly. Oh, how I wish I was June Cleaver!) job. I can see things going wacky there. We make computer automotive parts (like those things that beep when you back up and there’s something you’re going to hit.) My line puts shock absorber pads on the metal shields that hold the little circuit boards.

It’s all crazy now because we have seven lines that build these units, but our line that supplies them is being cut down to nothing. Machines we use are being shipped out. And they give us the shittiest people – currently we have a morbidly obese mofo there who only bathes when we make a complaint. He’s lazy AF and he’s got the personality of a moat – you know the moat was where the castle sewerage went. Before him, there was a psychotic lady. I had to put in a “hostile work environment” complaint to get her the f*** away from me. And that’s the easy part, I’ll get him out, too. But there will be another after him, and another…AAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH.

We already lost a contract with Ford. I think we will lose another.

Everything is in flux there, in a really stupid kind of way. So I asked – in general – how it will come out. (I know everything up to this has been bitch-gripe-grumble-fuck. But the background is relevant to the cards.)

Again – Birds – Cat – Mice _ Fish – Ship

The Ensslin is not a regular Lenormand> When I first got it, I was inclined to substitute Cross meanings for Cat, but Jon St, Germain tells me that he uses it for nosiness and interference, and that works for me. (LOL, CATS.)

Stress and hecticness and gossip combined with nosiness leads to financial loss. A lot of talking and movement, but the shipment (or two, or more) is not made. Decision makers are dropping the ball in a big way. A lot of intrigue and talking and yammering, but no substance. Playing at work. Birds reflecting Ship, stress over a shipment (that should just HAPPEN, in a sane world. What is so hard about building shit, packing it, and shipping it out? I mean, if you have the machines to do that. Which we did – BEFORE THEY GOT RID OF THEM.), Cat + Ship, they have their nose in it (the shipment) but it’s all wrong. Mice take Cat (“SHUT UP”) but they shit on Fish (money).

WHY?

Magician – Moon – Fool

Magician is a trickster. Sleight of hand, con games. The people at the top are losing for a reason – tax writeoff? IDK, but it’s intentional. The Moon, things are lit dimly, people get away with things in the shadows. (Goddamn weasels.) The Fool is an utter ass who thinks he knows it all – watch out for that croc, dude.

Synthesis: The ass is leading the head, like some kind of backwards snake. Failure in 3…2…

Mr. Dreidel says “do nothing”. So I will shut up and keep plugging.

*211th Chorus

The wheel of the quivering meat
conception
Turns in the void expelling human beings,
Pigs, turtles, frogs, insects, nits,
Mice, lice, lizards, rats, roan
Racinghorses, poxy bucolic pigtics,
Horrible unnameable lice of vultures,
Murderous attacking dog-armies
Of Africa, Rhinos roaming in the
jungle,
Vast boars and huge gigantic bull
Elephants, rams, eagles, condors,
Pones and Porcupines and Pills-
All the endless conception of living
beings
Gnashing everywhere in Consciousness
Throughout the ten directions of space
Occupying all the quarters in & out,
From supermicroscopic no-bug
To huge Galaxy Lightyear Bowell
Illuminating the sky of one Mind-

Poor!
I wish I was free
of that slaving meat wheel
and safe in heaven dead.
Jack Kerouac

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GOBSMACKED! The Ensslin, Schaiblin/Reutlingen Lenormand

The deck is a little wonky, but profoundly stunning. It’s easily one of the most aesthetically pleasing Lenormands I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen scads!) Is it one of those pretty but unreadable things? Not at all. Let me explain:

The numbering is not standard. That’s not an issue for most of us.

There is no Cross card, but there is a Cat card. Since Cat meanings in cartomancy are identical to Fox meanings, having a Cat in the deck is like having two Fox cards. So, for myself, I use Cross meanings. Why? It balances the deck, and “full stop, burdens, suffering, illness” fits the ferals we see every day.
(YES, my town needs TNR.) That’s my take. Do as you see fit.

Perfectly round insets, crazy sigils, lovely linework and tints. Feast your eyes a bit.

The Esslin is available HERE

And while we’re on the subject, Lauren is talking about doing a Wirth. A good, working, no glitter one! Put me down for several copies – imagine a side of these Wirth majors with your Lenormand! ❤

The Rana George Lenormand

This one arrived on the morning of July 3rd, after being on preorder for some time. It is, as expected, wonderful. It is well thought-out. Callie French’s art is beautifully done. The cards have shiny gold detailing and a subtle shimmer all over – not glittery or glitzy, just the barest whisper of sparkle. The stock is sturdy. The booklet is substantial, and the box is one of those nice magnetic closure ones. No surprises here.

What surprised me is how affecting the whole thing is. You don’t get the full impact in photos or videos. This thing shimmers, it pulls you in, everything else kind of drops off and there’s just the cards, and this incredible lush world that doesn’t exist the same way anymore. (Check out the photo essay at Beautiful Beirut before Bombed-Out Buildings were part of the Scenery) Yet even knowing what happened, the deck manages not to be depressing. “La Dolce Vita in the Middle East” is too vibrant for that.

There are six extra cards included, total. There are extra Man and Woman cards, both in the old style and a more contemporary look. There are also the four shown at the bottom of this photo, Spirit, Incense, Bed, and Market:

Those four are cards that Rana – a top tier, seasoned reader – had actually been wishing were in a Lenormand deck for some time, they’re not innovation for innovation’s sake. And they work – having a Spirit card, for example, is much easier than having to pick that kind of information out of combos. And the Bed card! As Madame Nadia said earlier today, “The “Bed” is everything. It’s such a classic cartomantic move.” I agree. It can work like Kurze Krankheit in Kippers, but it’s MUCH more inviting! 😀 The 8×5 is going to be A Thing. Watch. 😉

I wish I had the writing chops to express how superb this deck really is, but I don’t. Just experience it for yourself. You can order the Rana George Lenormand HERE.

Deck Review: Black Hand Lenormand

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Who is Shelley Barnes?
Was she in Andy’s course under a screen name? Or has she been outside the online community quietly soaking up books – the good ones, Andy’s, Rana’s, and Caitlyn’s?

I’m asking because she seems to know what she’s doing. This is actually a great little deck.

The art is wonderful. The tuckbox reminds me of title cards on silent movies – the kind of thing you’d see with Lon Chaney Sr. or early Clara Bow. The whole thing seems to have a 20’s-through-Noir feel, possibly the most modern feature of the deck is the Bettie Page bangs on the Lady.

But good art doesn’t often translate to a good reading deck, the reason being that the artist lets their vision override reading conventions and practical concerns. This is the part of the reason I stick with antique reproductions as a rule, (the other reason is godawful bad art) and tune out 99.999% of the new Lenormands that are constantly coming out. Lots of competent artists have made unreadable pretties. Not Shelley.

Does this deck have aberrations? A few, yes, but no more that you see in some of the old decks that have things like two scythes on the Scythe card. And in no way do they make the deck unworkable. Let’s have a look at them:

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The mouse appears to be dead or sleeping. Well, if you’re killing mice, it’s because they’ve infested. Or maybe he’s just taking a nap after he gorged on your food. Either way, it’s still loss. And very clearly a mouse. The Tree is a palm tree. Still a tree, still recognizable, same meaning. The Clover is encased in a glass pendant with a chain, but it still pops out at you right away. The Park has a statue of a naked woman predominating, but you can see the pedestal, you know it’s not the Lady. It’s a statue. Statues are in Parks and Gardens. The Cross is more symmetrical than usual, a little less churchy – so what? And the Tower, rather than an old structure guarding a border from invaders, is more modern. It reminds me of that famous shot in Baby Face, where the camera pans up the Gotham Trust tower to indicate that Barbara Stanwyck is screwing her way to the top, lol. OK, that has nothing to do with the card meaning. But I like it and it’s a readable Tower card, you can tell what it is right away.

Another oddity is that the playing card 2’s, 3’s, 4’s, and 5’s have been added. Would I shuffle the whole thing together and do a Lenormand/playing card reading? No, because Lenormand is based on Alemannic cartomancy, it’s a different system. Doing things like that will throw the whole thing off balance by giving you more than one card that means the same thing, or something very similar.

But I would shuffle it all together and do a playing card reading, ignoring the Lenormand symbols.

I would also use it as a gaming deck. (The Jokers double as extra Man and Woman cards. I don’t use those, since Rider and Snake are the Male and Female lover cards, but I won’t be storing these Jokers away to lie in state in the “extra Man and Woman card box”. since I enjoy playing games with wild cards.) So you have three uses in one – Lenormand, playing cards for reading, and playing cards for gaming. And it’s a mini. Keep it in your purse or pocket for spur of the moment readings, and quick poker hands to see who pays for lunch.

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I went ahead and ordered the deck with the palmistry card, because it just looks cool. I really, really like the way this woman draws, I’m even keeping the business card. I’m going to find a little frame for the hand. It has meanings printed on the back, some perfectly sound, some a little sketchy. But all in all, if you don’t want to use this deck’s version of the “LWB”, just do like me and frame the hand. Or get the deck alone. Or the deck and the pendulum.

Everything else is perfectly traditional. Check this out:

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Clearly split Crossroads with both a wide and a narrow branch. (Has she been watching Malkiel Rouven Dietrich’s videos? 😀 ) Male Rider, blowing his horn and clearly hurrying along to announce something important. Two hectic, chattering birds.

And this:

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“The Snake biting the Fox’s tail.” Maybe she doesn’t know about that particular reading convention and it’s just a happy accident, but I wonder… 🙂

You can order the Black Hand HERE, (for not very much money! The price is surprisingly low.) It will arrive quickly, in a well-padded envelope with doodley things on it in Shelley’s own hand. And yes, it’s good linen stock and shuffles easily.

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This is such a great deck. It may start a trend where people include playing cards to make 52 card Lenormands, but that’s missing the point entirely. It’s a great deck because it’s a good, readable Lenormand, and because it’ll make you feel like Joan Blondell on the midway in Nightmare Alley*. Can’t beat that!

*Nightmare Alley (1947) is a film adaptation of William Lindsay Gresham’s novel of the same name. In the book, there are 22 chapters, each named for a Tarot Major. There is also a graphic novel adaptation of the novel that was produced in 2012 by the great underground cartoonist Spain Rodriguez.
It’s a fantastic story, and not to be missed.

Andy’s Book: Revised & Expanded

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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

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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.

This is why

rider

A good Lenormand practice group will limit the decks you can post to things like the Blue Owl, Carta Mundi, Dondorf, Glück, Mertz, Piatnik, and other reproductions of decks first published prior to 1950. To understand why, we need look no further than the very first card: the Rider.

The Rider is a well dressed man on a spirited horse. He looks well-to-do, and he’s hurrying to deliver some news himself, instead of sending a hired man, so it’s fairly important. His period clothing tips you off that the horse is his usual mode of transportation. What better to express the meanings of news, something tangible, a vehicle, speed, an athletic young man, a male lover, feet, knees, and ligaments?

In too many contemporary decks, this gets lost. Any person riding something will do, and you see jockeys, women, cowboys, polo ponies, people on bikes – some of the meanings are always lost, and in some instances the card isn’t even recognizable. I saw a deck recently that used a child on a rocking horse – it looked like a Child card. If you’re asking people to help you with a spread, at least use readable cards. And a kid on a rocking horse isn’t coming down the road to see you. A jockey isn’t going to leave the track on a million dollar racehorse to deliver your package or tell you Auntie Edna’s gall bladder surgery went well.

“But the Rider is fine in such-and-such deck” you say. And maybe it is. But if you go through the whole deck, there’s overwhelming odds that you’ll find some hinky cards. It’s not JUST the Rider! A lot of the new decks are cray-cray all the way through. And even if they get it right (there are a few that do), imagine the fallout when “Marilyn’s Lenormand” is allowed and “Carolyn’s Lenormand” isn’t. So best to keep it to old decks by deceased artists, lol.

Are all these old decks perfect? No, they’re not. I actually have one that shows a tank of goldfish on the Fish card. And that Mice card in the Glück – where are the Mice? But on the whole, old decks are a pretty safe bet for group discussion.