Donnaleigh's Lessons



Nana's Journey ~ A Lenormand Glimpse Past Death

Posted by Donnaleigh on January 15, 2013 at 7:20 AM

“Love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone.”

― Mitch Albom

Last night I received a phone call.

My Nana, my mother's mother, is dying.

At 92 years of age, she has now been in hospice for a few months, whittling away piece by piece for years, slowing being draped by the veil of Alzheimer's.

This is likely her last day with us as a physical being.

She was always a woman who was satisfied with life. She never wanted more than she had, and she loved her family and her little house. A classic beauty, a gentle soul whom I never once saw angry, she found her miracles in the most simple pleasures of life. She and my grandfather were true soul mates.

I was asked to offer her eulogy as I had done for my grandfather. So I am pulling down the energies from the stars and the trees, seeking strength to be able to stand in front of my family and loved ones to speak coherently about a woman who molded the very person I became today.

Seeking Answers In The Cards

This morning, by the lavender glow of the new sunrise, I pulled out my Lenormand cards to seek answers about these last moments. I thought the cards would tell me about heaven, or uniting with family, showing me Coffin and Heart and Tree....but instead, they grounded me to this moment, where we are now.

I used the Lilac Lenormand because the energies felt soft and gentle and matched the spray of the dawn.

Instead of shuffling and then drawing cards...I shuffled between every card I drew.

And I decided to read them in pairs (no houses), just to see how the cards danced together, wove a tapestry of a story.

And I saw a rose unfold, telling me about her suffering, and how she, through her death, is slipping past her suffering toward a renewal and play.

The Center pair/column is the theme of the reading. The "Now."

The two paired columns on the left are what is leading up to the now.

The two columned pairs on the right are what the now is leading toward.



Cross/Anchor - Burdens (Cross) that have settled with her (Anchor) a long time. A solid foundation (Anchor) of Spirituality (Cross). I see the Cross as a gravestone-marker card, but it lacks the grief of the Coffin card. With the Anchor, this gives me promise as to her groundedness in her passing. She has dealt with a long, oppressive journey (Cross), and she will stay just a bit more (Anchor). With the absence of the Coffin, which would indicate "grief" or "endings," this cross highlights her spiritual journey, her spirituality, her worldly burdens, but also her groundedness (Anchor) and stability. A lifefime of hard work (Anchor), completed with a cross (tombstone). Like the poem by Linda Ellis reminds us, our lifetime is that dash between the dates and how we use our dash.

The Anchor (staying) and Cross (Burden) seem to say bluntly, "It is what it is."  But at the same time, it's a stable (Anchor) part of the Spiritual essence (Cross). The Anchor rerpresents when we set port somewhere and put down our anchor. She is still at port where the burdens  (Cross) lie ~ Earth. She hasn't pulled up her anchor yet to sail out of port.


Bouquet/Path: (Gifts & Change) She has had a powerful life of gifts (bouquet), and then there was a switch in her journey (Path, the Alzheimers). She's a talented (Bouquet) woman of beauty (Bouquet), and then there was a "journey to the side" (Path) of becoming a different version of herself through the disease, an exit ramp of sorts. She was never less beautiful, but it was a new kind  (path) of beautiful (bouquet). She had an abundant life of gifts to her and sharing her gifts, and he has been headed toward a new path.

Birds/ Mice -  (Voice diminished, groups diminished). Her dementia prevented (Mice) her ability to communicate and speak (Birds), and took away from (Mice) her being able to be a part of social circles (Birds). A slow deterioration (Mice) of her voice and abiility to socialize(Birds). She could not speak (Birds). Also, after my grandfather's passing, after a 60-year marriage, there was deterioration (Mice) of her joyful chatter (Birds).


Child/Sun: New starts, like a child and sunrise, both are new beginnings: bright, new, fresh, sunny, naive, joyful on what is to come. Renewal. Recycling. The circle of life, a bright new beginning. A playful attitude (Child) and clarity (Sun). Exposure (Sun)  of a new, fresh mindset (Child) and joy (Sun). A new (Child)  dawn (Sun). Whether or not one believes in reincarnation, the Child/Sun speaks of the Circle of Life, a recycling, the rolling over of every new day and every new life, a beginning. Playing in the light.

Fox/Tower: This is the pair of cards that surprised me the most. But its message was one of hope despite my shock at seeing the typically negative-looking Fox in her spread for her future. Because this Fox is tricking the solitude (Tower) and being bound in a bed and nursing facility (a Tower and Fox of its own...building or hierarchal structure that seems to cheat us)....and this death cheats her solitude and boundaries (Tower) from keeping her any more. Cheating (Fox) solitude (Tower), and outfoxing her earthly body (Tower). It is like she has slipped past (Fox)  the walls of her personal insutituion (Tower), musch like a jail cell, the body that has kept her trapped for years.  This is like her one big "Get Out of Jail Free" card.

Woody Allen said, “I'm not afraid of death; I just don't want to be there when it happens.” And here is Nana, cheating the very institution (Tower) of Death by slipping through it (Fox) without pain.  She is unconscious, hasn't eaten for a week, so she will likely slowly pass in her sleep. An elusive slip through the gates. She is taking back what has been taken from her.

In the story, The Book Thief (by Markus Zusak), young Max expresses his desire to live by vowing, “When death captures me, he will feel my fist in his face." Not my Nana. Instead, she slips out past and around death, sneaking quietly past and through the back door. Never loud or boisterous, her way is quiet and slick and painless. Quiet as a fox in the night.


And if we start pairing this slick Fox with the other cards in this spread and start dancing amongst the images, here are some other threads we can weave:

Fox/Bouquet- she is taking back her beauty, gifts, talents, full self, and those who have been lost to her, as well as her body, mind and full presence.

Fox/Crossroads - she is taking back what she lost and finding the road she has been seeking.

Fox/Birds - she is stealing back the voice that has eroded. Taking back what was always hers.

When we look at the Tower card as the Hierarchy of where we live, the order of the people and the work we are destined to do there, the Tower with Path/Mice is showing that in the past, her Hierarchy took a detour and this deteriorated from her full possibility, and now...Tower is with Sun, and this shines full light on all she is in her body, and she is about to become (Path) a light source, light being, part of The Light (Sun), and fully see all that is, was, will be.

Child/Birds - New voice. Renewal of voice. Youthful voice again. Youthful groups reunited. A meeting, a start.. She loved to sing, and whereas the Mice stole her voice before, now it glows and dances with the bright enthusiasm of a child's song. A new song.

Child/Bouquet - new gifts, new talents, new abilities, new beauty

Sun/Path - Shining the light on new directions. Bright new choices. Optimistic, happy turns.

Sun/Tower - Exposing a new hierarchy, new work, new structure of soul to shine. Light being.

The Fox as Alzheimer's may show how it cheated her of her gifts (Bouquet), her voice (Birds) and social groups (Birds), as well as her choices. But it also was the slippery agent that helped her slip through the gates of Death/Light to her gifts (Bouquet), song and voice (Birds), choices (Path), new beginnings (Child) and Light (Sun).

The Fox as Death may represent another tricky misunderstanding: what we see her as truly frightening or bad here on earth (Death) may actually be the brightest part (Sun) of possible existence (the ultimate Structure of Hierarchy/Tower). What we fear may actually be all we truly desire (Sun, Gifts, Path, Birds). The Fox may represent the trickster of Death, acting as an agent of misrepresentation, but the best possible trickster imaginable. All that is feared is truly diminished (Mice), and instead is actually all that is bright (Sun) and simply a renewal (Child/Sun).


When we consider the saying, "My body is my Temple," we then also can see the Tower as the physical body in which we live, work,  experience her our own solitude, boundaries and structures. With this perception, the Tower adds a new twist in the new reading:

Fox/Tower: She cheats (Fox)  her old body/Temple and slips into a new one.

Tower/Path - Changing her clothes, so to speak, changing her body, form, structure, and work. A different (Path) body (Tower).

Tower/Mice - deterioration (Mice) of the physical body (Tower/Mice) from the past is replaced with the glow and renewal and brightness (Sun) of the body (Tower) of tomorrow.  Entering the "One."

Tower/Birds - Solid voice, new structure, new work for her voice, new Temple/placement for her voice, new uses for her voice.

Tower/Bouquet - Beautiful new body and hierarchy of talents, alone (Tower) but with others (Birds), away from those she loves in the physical world (Tower/Mice) as she leaves her physical body, but as she embarks toward Child/Sun...this new Self becomes brighter, younger, newer, free-er, and has more clarity.

If we think of the Tower as being the tall, locked structure like the one where Rapunzel was trapped....Nana has slipped out of the gate (Fox), and made her escape, where her knight --my grandfather -- has come to meet her. And she can finally..."let down her hair."


If you are unable see this video, CLICK HERE.

Nana, as you slip into your new robe of light to reunite with those you have loved and lost, please hold my position with the Fox, so that one day I, too, may be able to slip through the back door and swing through the light of the Sun with you again.


The very next day I posted a blog with a 3 card profound message I had almost missed. This changed everything for me.

It was all I needed.

You can read what I missed HERE.



Categories: Tutorials, Life Experiences as Seen through Tarot, Lenormand