The September Domagick challenge encourages us to think like a beginner again and pick up a new magical technique. I recently had to adopt this mindset when I wrote my book, Daemonic Shamanism: A Beginner’s Guide. To create the original class material, I asked myself what I wished I’d known twenty years ago when I first picked up a drum and began to practice shamanic journey-work. What tricks could have made my travels easier and safer? The lessons came quickly once I answered those questions. If interest warrants, I may write about more advanced techniques in the future.
My work next month springs from an even older interest of mine, however. I became fascinated with card reading in my early teens when my local cable access channel gave a fortune-teller her own show. I watched her avidly each Wednesday night and soon bought my first Tarot deck. I quickly realized my cards’ symbolism went far beyond the meanings in their Little White Book. This led to a passion for divination and oracles in general. In September, I’ll learn my latest: the Petit Lenormand, a thirty-six-card system.
The Lenormand differs from the Tarot in a few ways. Besides having a smaller number of cards, Lenormand decks have neither a Major nor Minor Arcana. The cards are numbered but, rather than depicting the evolution of the soul as the Major Arcana does, their numbers harken back to the Game of Hope, the German racing game from which Lenormand descended.
Lastly, the pictures on the Lenormand card possess nowhere near as much symbolism as those on the Tarot. Because the symbolism is less complex, meanings allow less room for interpretation. While Tarot can be used for deep meditation, soul searching, and communing with deity, the Petit Lenormand is best suited for direct, day-to-day fortune-telling in the most strict sense of the word.
Keep in mind that cards which share names between systems may not necessarily share meanings, either. Both the Lenormand and the Tarot have Sun, Moon, and Tower cards. Compare these Tower cards and you will see how each system’s cards remain unique.