LENORMAND LOCATIONS

Sometimes I get the strangest comments and questions to some of my writings here on Taroflexions. The day before yesterday someone I don’t know posted the following, all in block letters, in connection with a spread I invented on questions about Entitlement to be used with playing-cards: HI CAMELIA I THINK YOU ARE A VERY GOOD READER! AND YOU ARE PRETTY WHAT IS THE COMBO FOR TV?

The way in which I ended up replying made me think of writing something about location in reading with the Lenormand cards. I’ve said before that I come to reading cards from the old-fashioned approach of reading with regular playing-cards, and that my approach to reading with playing-cards, while steeped in the venerable business of fortunetelling tradition, is very much anchored in making logical inferences. In other words, tradition does nothing for me if it doesn’t allow me to use my own head, thank you very much. To give you an idea, and before I plunge into some Lenormand examples, I reproduce here my reply to David Cunningham on what I think of appliances:

Thanks David. I don’t do ‘combos’ outside of the context of a question, so I discourage any reader to do ‘combos’ for the sake doing ‘combos’. But let’s say you asked this: ‘where did I put my keys?’ If I saw this trio: 3♠, 10♣, 6♦, I would say this: ‘you can find them on top of your TV.’ Now the reasoning: 3♠ indicates a loss, something decreases, 10♣ can indicate appliances, many wires, plus here, the top of something. The club also lets us know that we’re dealing with air circulation. What comes through the air? 6♦. This can indicate vision at a distance, the 6 is a path. Of diamond, a path of the intellect. So, visual ideas that come from a distance and go through wires can easily be located in your TV box. Hence, you may find what you’ve lost on top of it. Good luck.

Now, where do we start, if we want to look at the Lenormand cards in a similar way to get a sense of location? Here’s a theory. In figuring out what cards might signify which location – and today I mean countries not a garage – we have three options: 1) either to go with the so-called ‘traditional’ way, the way of our Gypsy or Jewish grandma, and thus deliver their invented phrases for certain combinations because they are the ‘authentic’ ones, or 2) we can try to see if we can freshen up grandma’s logic with allowing for all sort of things to happen in our own head, all according to our own context, of course. And 3) we might actually  ask the cards to tell us how they represent a country. Just for fun today I laid out three cards and said:

Please, show me Denmark, the country I’ve been living in for the past 23 years.

First off, I see that the cards themselves insist on combining tradition with what I know about Denmark as a matter of fact. Very nice indeed. So, thank you to my favorite Lenormand deck.

lenormand locations

So, Denmark: Clouds, Fish, Flowers. Very accurate. Denmark is cloudy, lots of water around it, and if we take the way in which the Danish government pushes the branding of the tourist slogan, now the internationally renowned: ‘Wonderful Copenhagen’, I would have to say that the cards here tell me also that they are up to date. The Flowers card indicates that something is lovely and specific to the place as we know it now and thus distinct from other Scandinavian countries. Traditionally, the Scandinavian countries have been represented by playing-cards and Lenormand cards alike through this combination: 10 of Spades + 8 of Clubs + Ace of Spades, the insets for Ship+Mountain+Lily. So, to get to Scandinavia the cards tell me this: you can sail no further north than the 10 of Spades. The land peaks in the air as high up as you can imagine the 8 of Clubs, and it is as clean and wintery as a cutting Ace of Spades.

But now also to the nuances: how would we distinguish between the Nordic countries? As someone who spends all her vacations in Norway, I know that the flatness of Denmark has very little to do with any mountain. And there are no forests like in Sweden either, so the 8 of Clubs/Mountain card is of no use to me here. A good thing that the cards suggested by chance what I don’t need to make a mental effort about, namely to reason how we put two and two together, while, however, also allowing the cards to seize us. I insist on this latter part, as I’m quite tired of having to hear about the literalness of the Lenormand cards as if interpretation is not what we are doing when reading cards in conjunction. So, the cards today suggested images that come close to representing a country hemmed in by atmospheric pressure (Clouds) due to lots of surrounding water (Fish), but quite lovely at that (Flowers). Consequently, here’s the updated logic behind seeing these cards representing Denmark rather than Norway.

Clouds as a means of saying something about the weather and atmosphere: yes, quite overcast.

Clouds also as a means of ‘bordering’. Yes, I can see where this one comes from, namely from the way in which clouds act as a divider between good and not so good weather.

Clouds indicating pressure, flattening everything out. Yep, Denmark is a flat as a pancake, the beaten path of the King of Clubs.

Fish telling us that we are close to water.

Fish swimming in a cloud of fog over the sea and pollen from the many Danish flower fields.

Fish indicating a merchant’s place. The King of Diamonds rulling over the city of København, which literally means the Merchant’s Harbour.

Flowers indicating an invitation. Copenhagen has just been called globally: “The best city to live in.” All ye who want to be seduced by the Queen of Spades, come to this wintry land.

The point is that we can make logical inferences about what locations the cards indicate by looking at both the image on the card and its cartomantic value represented by the playing-card insets. I also make a case for looking at the function of the image on every card. The Anchor can indicate harbors, The Mountain a mountainous area, the Lily a cold place, the Sun a hot place or a place in the East, the Tower capital cities, the Birds a place nearby, and so on.

Here are a few of my favorite traditional representations, and by tradition I mean the cunning-folk ways of understanding a web of relations, ways that are always derived from commonsense.

  • Germany: Dog+Anchor
  • England: Whip+Rider
  • France: Flowers+Scythe
  • Russia: Ship+Mountain+Bear
  • The US: Ship+Mountain+Tower+Garden
  • Japan: Ship+Fox+Sun
  • The Caribbean Islands: Garden+Sun+Ship+Coffin
  • South America: Ship+Garden+Sun+Mountain (for Argentina, replace Mountain with Rider, for Brazil replace Mountain with the Amazonian Fish)
  • The North Pole: Stars+Lily
  • Luxury Spa places: Tree+Flowers+Tower
  • Small islands: Flowers+Sun+Anchor+Child
  • etc.

One of these days, I’m waiting for someone who can’t make up his mind as to where to go on vacation and get a chance to say, ‘go to Mongolia,’ if this combination, Rider+Sun+Whip, was on my table.

Go travelling, and don’t forget your horse at home.

§

A note of thanks to Fortune Buchholtz for quizzing me last night: ‘but how is Argentina different from Brazil?’ Such fun to go reasoning about that. . .

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15 Comments

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  1. SOME FUN COMMENTS LEFT ON FB:

    Sine R. Privat: Thank you – it is always interesting you read your posts!
    25 minutes ago · Unlike · 1

    Camelia Elias: Thanks, Sine. I have to admit that I get a kick out of writing about cards. It’s a fun world and mighty entertaining. I never get bored.
    13 minutes ago · Like

    Todd Landman: Mongolia is simply wonderful!
    17 minutes ago via mobile · Unlike · 1

    Camelia Elias: I believe you, Todd. Did you bring the whip?
    16 minutes ago · Like

    Todd Landman: Indeed…but enjoyed the horses the most….
    15 minutes ago via mobile · Unlike · 1

    Fortune Buchholtz: How do we tell Inner from Outer? China from India?
    14 minutes ago · Like

    Camelia Elias: The playing-card insets will tell you that. Good we have those. The blacks are outer. The reds are inner. The clubs and the spades you keep at arm length, the hearts and diamonds you keep inside you or in your palm. So it’s easy. This is not a complex system as many will try to convince you.
    9 minutes ago · Like

  2. Why no Mountain for Germany? – Dog/Anchor – could u tell why – i dont see Germany such peaceful…

    • If you think Bavaria, then it’s Mountain+Ship. Of course, we see these locations from a vantage point, which in my case is not even so North European as much as Central European. In terms of the reasoning behind the combination of Dog+Anchor: think culture. Germany is very teutonic in its approach to all things. It’s a country that’s faithful to routine, but in a friendly, not aggressive way. It also exhibits loyalty to its traditions. So it’s quite stuck in its ways. It’s a country that’s pretty reliable. Its products are reliable. All my appliances come from Miele, and I’d never change that with anything else. So, through its rules, Germany has created a solid relation of dependency between itself and the people it serves. So there you have it. With the Lenormand cards, like with everything else that is arbitrary, we have to go with the whole arsenal and consider our possibilities across all dimensions: geographical, cultural, physical, metaphysical, and a whole lot of others in between.

      • yes from that point it is right – i just mountain for bavaria – but generally its hard with the locations so i dont trust them at all haha in my consultations – the meanings but a interesting way THX

  3. melancholyaeon June 21, 2013 — 9:21 pm

    Thus I guess if we were to ask about the Black Forest, we should expect to see Dog+Mountain+Tree? Africa, Mountain+Sun+Stork (the storks migrate there)?

  4. Thank for you this. Love.

    A friend a little while back asked about living in Vermont (where his friend has a job of wilderness/rock climbing). Instead if yes/no, I asked WHERE he might live and got Man + Stork + House + Tree + Mountain. Nail on the head. Didn’t even have to question if the Mountain was bad, context cleared up everything.

    Do you have the Ship for the US because we are across the ocean (from you) or because most of us (or our ancestors) came here on boats? Just curious.

    • Excellent reading and excellent cards. The ship for the US, you got it. From where I am, it’s across the big water, far away. But I love your suggestion that Americans might also use the Ship as it relates to everyone having crossed over at some point. Good to bring in those ancestors.

      From a method point of view, I’d advice to this: always see places from your own vantage point. Anything else will merely muddle things up. It’s also for this reason that it’s not a good idea to incorporate other people’s lists in your readings – and that actually goes for all lists, not just the ones for locations – but rather try to develop a way of seeing what the cards tell you from where you are located, both geographically and culturally contextually. Keeping it simple and using your commonsense will keep you in good stead.

      • Hi, I was googling for some Lenormand cards information on readings about locations. Your blog came as search result and after some reading I founded it very pleasing and a lot interesting. I’m a fan and I will be folowing You.
        So, I would like to know Your insight/opinion on the following. Asking about a brother whereabouts I came with the following spread: 34 Fish+19 Tower+25 Ring
        34 fish I see it as a coastal comunity, island or coast line, with hot and humid weather; 19 Tower a big city, perhaps a capital. What got me lost is that 19 Tower could also be a condo or a house on a city, … and 25 Ring has me totally without a clue.
        I would very much appreciate Your input. Thank’s in advance.
        All the best!

  5. Hi Heitor, and thanks for the kind words about my writings here. In response to your question, let me reiterate an important point: you must always see location from your vantage point, that is, from your location. As I don’t know where you’re based, I’d offer here a general guess. Your brother must be in a financial capital. More specifically, I’d say New York. For once, because the city is indeed coastal (Fish). Secondly, it literally has high houses (Tower), and thirdly, that’s where you cut deals (Ring). It’s the city of bonds and money (Fish here can be very much about that). So, if you make a synthesis out of the three card, and without knowing where you are, I’d say New York or another city like that. Good luck.

  6. Hello, thank You very much for Your feedback. Seing a location from my one location as a «clue» to find an answer is a tip that I apreciate, once I’m a newbie to Le Normand and it wouldn’t never cross my mind. I’m in the south of Spain near the sea, and from what I heard from friends my brother was in Lisbon, a countrys capital city on the end of theTagus river where it meets the Atlantic ocean, and in Praia city, a Island nation capital, Cape Verde on the west Atlanctic Ocean near Senegal. He was on both cities both to relax and on business. This are cities that he visits regularly for vacations and business. Lisbon is a capital for business and money, it has very high buildings. Actually he as a condo there on a very high building. In order to verify his exact location, Lisbon or Praia, at the moment of my question I will have to wait for the opportunity to ask him directly. This is very interesting, ’cause for me a saw «Lisbon» with card 3, boat. I guess I was wrong, Card 3 Boat was really about movement, travelling. As You said 25 Ring, where he cuts deals.

    Namaste!

  7. Hi, Camelia! I felt very inspired by this post, so I decided to ask my cards to ‘show me Brasília, the city where I’ve been living in for the past 8 years’. Tha cards that came up puzzled me at first and I really want to share them with you: Ring + Key + Woman.

    I’m a total newbie and at first I thought, well, the woman is me, so maybe the cards picked up a more psichological meaning: bonding + security + me > a city where i’ve developed bonds, conections, where i’ve felt secured and inspired.

    But then things started making more sense: Brasília, the capital city where the most important governmental deals and alliances are made (25) was the result of the great insight, vision and inspiration (33) of an important phase of the Republic (29). The Republic is many times associated to the figure of a woman, and Brasília was a city planned from scratch by the KUbitschek government through the effort of Brazil’s most talented and resourceful group of architects and viosionnaries.(that was the rationale i used!)

    Totally unexpected cards, do you have any input to my interpretation? I was expecting something more geographical, like the sun, fish, those cards….

    I have been enjoying your words on the LEnormand very much,
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience –
    Warm greetings from this beautiful land!

    Ps: there are many differences from Brazil to Argentina, btw!!!

    • Lovely interpretation, Carolina. Makes sense to me. Keep it up. The cards have obviously confirmed what you know about the city and and gave you a piece of history too. To make it more challenging, you could ask the cards to tell you the secrets of the city. I like to ask that of new places. About Argentina, I’d expect to see that Rider in the spread. All of those gauchos, yeah, that’s it. Often, another interesting thing to consider could be the sounds of a place. We have many cards in Lenormand that have sounds in them. Well worth considering.

      About my writings here, thanks for your kind words. It’s nice to know that people appreciate it.

      • Hi Camelia!

        Now you got me curious with the “sounds of the cards”. I’ve seen that some cards have colour associations, but I had never heard of sounds associated to them! Could you give me some examples or is there a source where I could find out more about them?

        The ‘secrets of a place’ question is also a good one, I’ll try that sometime – the more I read your blog the more I realise I can ask any question to the cards, you get really creative with yours, and I love seeing the one post where you did the exquisite corpse with the cards and some friends! such fun! Somehow I feel blocked about asking the cards for questions, I’d rather have someone ask questions and read the cards for them, but I think it’s just something I gotta work on, getting a more ‘personal relationship” with my cards…

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