Welcome from the Star (guidance, nighttime)!
I’m going to address two of Depepi’s Lenormand questions today, largely because I find the first one irrelevant, and it’s my blog, so I get to say why! Then I’ll talk about the second one.
Depepi’s question 16 is: Do you use reversals with the Lenormand? Why?
Or in my case, why not? It’s just totally not designed that way. The imagery is simple and the meanings are not necessarily all tailored visually to the image; they developed from long tradition and repetition. Some of the old Tarot meanings are like that, too, seemingly unrelated to the picture, especially when the Minor Arcana are only pip cards and have no pictures. I still remember Arthur Waite of the RWS deck scratching his head (figuratively) when he commented in is Little White Book on some of the traditional but counter-intuitive meanings he’d found in his research for the cards.
For a look at a historical fortune-telling deck with literal reversals, check out Fennario’s blog on Le Petit Oracle des Dames. A weirdly reversible deck.
(Welcome from the Stork(s)—promotion, change in circumstance.)
Now there’s a question that’s important to reading Lenormand. Since it’s not so much the cards themselves but the way they’re read (keeping in mind the sometimes arbitrary-seeming meanings), then consistency in reading kind of dictates picking a way to do things, particularly at first.
I note that experienced Lenormand cartomantes will mix traditions to make their own, but they normally start with one. I began by plumbing the vast knowledge, historical and fortune-telling, of Andy Boroveshengra and taking the course he used to have up on the web (he’s had to take it down, but hopefully a book is still forthcoming). He uses a combination of Belgian and French traditions for reading Lenormand, so that’s what I use.
The main differences in “schools” seem to be in setting the primary context meaning of a card. For example, some folks use Fox for work-related things, others Lilies or the Moon. I use the Moon. Usually these choices are because of old associations of these actual images with activities, like the Moon being associated with public recognition and acclaim, so it’s kind of like the way the Wands are associated with career (see the 6 of Wands in particular). Or the Bear, which, in addition to its more common association with security and authority, is associated with the mother in most traditions, but with the father in Germany.
So, I believe that a whole lot hinges on the consistency of the vocabulary and syntax in Lenormand, and the readings will be more accurate if you choose a tradition and stick to it, whichever one it is.
So, what’s your tradition, and why did you choose it?