|Posted on September 8, 2013 at 12:05 AM|
That predictive readings are dismissed as "unspiritual" baffles me. Such beliefs serve to separate people by saying one technique is "less than" the other, as most people consider something spiritual as having more value. I tend to find that spirituality being present in everything -- sometimes the spirituality is in shifting our behavior when we see uncomfortable actions (in person as well as in readings).
Since our minds do create our personal spiritual filters, no two belief systems are entirley the same. But the real world is where we *practice* our spiritual acts. Hopefully our spirituality makes us better people. If not, it is just a loose and changing concept in our heads, with no practice or reality or action to it. It won't exist other than in thought.
The cards create a picture, a story of the actual spiritual narrative and actions before us. The mundane, that real story in the cards, is the unfolding of people's actions based on their spiritual filters that caused the actions. We are watching spiritual actions unfold. If the Past is perceived through spiritual actions and thoughts, and the Present is composed of spiritual acts and thoughts, how can the Future have any less spiritual definition or significance? All of life, if seen through a spiritual lens, is comprised of the spiritual. And the future is just the part of our life we've yet to express.
Are Themed Decks Diluting the Lenormand?
If someone wants to make the lady The Goddess, or turn the Dog into The Wolf, or the book The Comics, I personally have no qualms with what they choose to do in their own readings. That is theirs to own and I have no business in what other people choose to do. But it doesn't mean I have to agree that it is Lenormand or that I have to own it or do it or buy it (physically or metaphorically). While it may not be for me, it may be *their* spiritual language. It isn't, however, part of my personal Lenormand vocabulary or spiritual system or how I feel the "Lenormand" language speaks.
The language of Lenormand, it is sad to see, is too often not considered in the decks being created due to the naïveté of the artist, excited by the new concept of the Lenormand cards but not yet familiar with the system. I don't necessarily consider what they are creating to be "A Lenormand," no matter what they title the deck. Just like I opened this blog with expressing predictive readings being unfairly judged as "less than," I have to be sure the respect goes in both directions, from me to them. I can appreciate and acknowledge their deck, but I don't have to make it mine. Many traditional cartomancers do feel that many of the thematic decks are bastardizing the Lenormand and distorting and diluting the language.
Some of the more creative deck diversions may be oracle decks for sure, but they may not be able to be read as a clear Lenormand system. At least not as I or many traditional cartomancers may define it. What is unfortunate is when people just learning the system come across these decks and think they ARE the system; they find themselves struggling to learn with cards that do not speak the language clearly. The language has been overlooked in favor of the art image and Lenormand has been diluted to whatever people want to do with it. I will agree, learning the tradition on those decks is a hefty challenge at best. You can intuit anything you want, but the language of Lenormand may no longer be a part of it other than somewhere in the card there is a concept remotely reminiscent of a Garden, a Book, or a Fox....somewhere.
Which Gets You The Answers You Want?
So which is one is right and which one wrong? Do you have to bother learning the traditional language of Lenormand to read it? What fits you may be right for you. But I do wonder where the line is drawn when something is no longer a particular system and becomes something other. I do define Lenormand by the system of how it is used as much as I do the key names on the cards. It is more than just "a dog, a fox, a key." It is how those cards interact.
You have to decide what you want: Is it the tradition and the language that you want to learn? Or are you interested in just another oracle deck with new pictures to free-flow intuit? Either way, it will work for you, but the readings will speak in a different language, contain a very different message, and by definition will be different. And while you may lose the message the Lenormand may wish to tell you, an honest and blunt one, you will get "some" message from within yourself or from wherever messages may flow. Perhaps it will be the message you want to hear or fear to hear, which is often what happens with the free-flow of intuition. But I may defy that you may be hearing the voice and the language of the Lenormand if you are making it up. It may be your own voice that you hear. That's my opinion to own. The Lenormand language has removed much of that space of seeing what I want to see in a reading. It forces me into a tighter corner so I can't weasel out of a meaning by bending the picture. It just says what it says.
My Biggest Concern - Losing the Prose
My biggest concern is that people who don't know the language of Lenormand will "teach" it (or teach "something"), and the historical voice of the cards will be lost. I don't wish for the creative overflow of decks to stop, but I do wish they'd carry a different name when they no longer can be read in a Grand Tableau because of the complexity of the image due to thematic offshoots. I know my wish will never happen, as people will want to market the system as "Lenormand," and it will narrow down to commerce, but it remains a private wish of mine. All of these decks can exist, but I don't believe all can be read in the true nature of the system, respecting the voice in which Lenormand speaks: semantic, combined, concise, condensations of concepts.
Is It "Wrong" to Intuit the Cards Any Way We Wish?
Is one way of using the Lenormand "less than" another (as I discussed in how people often view predictive readings)? No. Are they the same as each other or with similar reading outcomes? Absolutely NOT. Can they be defined as the same thing? I would venture to say "no," not as I or many others define The Lenormand. And while that may make me seem a stuffy traditionalist to some, the language has been so clear (and so different a language than, say, Tarot or Angel cards), that once learning it, there is no denying there is a voice there that wants its truth to be heard. While free flow readings may feel right for you, and that makes it a "right" language for you, the outcome of the readings will shift based on the system you use. I find that most free-flow readers I see have a more ambiguous language. They may also be wary of taking chances with clear yes/no answers. It does take trust to use the grammar you see and apply it with faith. Lenormand's voice is that blunt.
If you can learn its grammar, and take that as the primary voice and then let your intuition slide onto the bench alongside after you acknowledged the message, that may be a better way of using the two in combination without removing the natural dialect that comes with the cards. But there may be some decks that don't use the dialect at all. While they can be used as insightful oracles, I'd be struggling to call them "Lenormand" if the traditional language can't be used and it becomes obscure or even extinct in the hands of someone who should be able to interpret the voice.
Can All Decks Speak Both Languages?
(Lenormand vs. Free Intuition)
No. And on that I am firm. There are some decks out there that I find I can NOT read using the tradition. They are too far off the mark. They are not "less than" Lenormand, but they are "other than" Lenormand. The Languages are not only different dialects, they are totally different cultures and meanings. It's like I'm trying to read French but am looking at Russian. Neither is a "wrong" language; they just are not the same language.
Like I said above, "spirituality is present in everything." When you want to talk to Spirit, I believe it will meet you halfway and speak the language you need to hear. But that said, I also believe it has a voice that if you learn to speak its language, it will be able to add additional dialogue and discourse with you in a clearer space, with no accents, no dialects, and less "fuzz" or ambiguity in readings. You may need to find the decks that speak in the systems you use, and whichever you use may be right for you.
When I learned to use the system of Lenormand, I had to put myself in a stricter space, and I found that I was physically stepping forward to meet Spirit halfway to learn its language, rather than forcing it to conform to mine. By doing so, I learned a larger vocabulary, and our discourse is stronger, clearer, and we now have two languages we can share. It may not be for everyone, but I'd never have learned its value without asking to receive the dialect.
To learn more about the Lenormand, visit my educational Lenormand page at donnaleigh.com/lenormandlessons.htm.
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