I Had a Dream There Were Clouds in My Lenormand

I notice that Rana George has a new Lenormand deck (which I ordered) to go with the book she wrote on Lenormand decks (which I don’t have.)

I was tempted while browsing, but rather than buying another deck I decided to pull out all my Lenormand decks and pick a random card. Surprisingly, I already have nine Lenormand decks. How did that happen? My random pick was the Clouds card, number 6.


Ooooh, they just go on and on in this image. I always think of Clouds as good/bad or dark/light or even good luck/bad luck, but there are some subtleties to the card that haven’t entered my consciousness. Chloe McCracken in the book for the Celtic Lenormand refers to the ambiguity and polarity of this card; it’s so clear but if you think about clouds visually they do tend to blend together where there isn’t a clear delineation between light and dark. We are back to Pema Chodron’s “fundamental ambiguity of being human”.

The other aspect of this card that I never considered is the idea that you or another person might be showing two sides or that there are two sides to a situation and such. The way people hide things or misrepresent themselves or simply that you need to consider both sides could be part of this depending on the surrounding cards. One book I have mentions abuse, like an abuser presenting one face to the world and in private being dark and dangerous.

Speaking of surrounding cards, I find it astounding that people actually do the Grand Tableau with all the cards laid out. That would take me forever, and in some way I feel it is bypassing chance or randomness to have everything on the table, which is why I prefer a one-card or maybe a three-card maximum draw with these decks. Historically I am wrong, but personally I like it that way, yet there is something to be said for interaction with this card in particular, so when feeling expansive use as many cards as you like.

Oh, and most often the dark clouds are on the left, but in my own deck, The Illustrative Lenormand, I put them on the right, as does Lo Scarabeo in the Lenormand Oracle Cards, and in some of the cards it’s less clear where the light and dark are, it looks…ambiguous!

The other thing with these cards is the number itself, with 6 signifying the sixth month of June or six days or six weeks and whatever else you can throw at the meaning of numbers. I’ve never been too keen on that approach but others use it with success. My problem with numbers is how malleable they are, how you can bludgeon them to mean everything and anything. Ask yourself: “Who came up with this system of numerology?” Then think about how it could have been done differently, it could have been done 20 or 100 different ways. You could make up your own system, there are no archetypes with numbers, no root meanings, just what people have foisted on them.

Are words like that too? Maybe. There is some of that with words but “ambiguity” for instance has a Latin root of ambigere which means “to wander about”. It can be variously interpreted, as you meander through association and meaning, but you are always left wandering, uncertain, that is the base of what it means.

The number six is the smallest positive integer which is neither a square number nor a prime number. Six is the second smallest composite number; its proper divisors are 1, 2, and 3 and when you add those together you get 6. On it goes into mathematics, music and chemistry, biology, astronomy.

Numerology seems to have several associations tacked onto this number, like that it is feminine or nurturing and connected to service, responsibility, and thus connected to motherhood and caring. It has been connected to the Lovers card in Tarot which is also number six, and there are positive and negative energies, but generally this is a happy number. Who says? Where did this come from? Some human made it up and tacked it on. It’s a system, and it works because people make it work, but where did Big Mom come into the number 6? Humans. Read as you wish but don’t expect me to embrace a system that describes the number 6 as “nurturing”; it’s a fabrication.

Thus say the Clouds of ambiguity.



Card Database, Transformation Packs, and Lenormand Decks

I can hardly believe it, the spouse has allowed me to purchase a marked down copy of the Badgers Forest Tarot, provided I take $50 off from my birthday money in the summer. Naturally I placed the order. In celebration of this news, let’s take a happy look at cards.


It’s been so long since I was in my card database that I had fun fiddling around and merging lists and entries. I was speaking to someone recently about my favourite transformation packs and realized I had forgotten to include a sub-category for transformation packs under my playing card category in the database. We can’t be having that sort of disorganized nonsense!

I just discovered that you can display the statistics with different colours. Here is the regular colour scheme. (Click to enlarge the following three database images.)


And here it is in the glory of Victorian colours. Man, I didn’t realize this sort of excitement existed in this program.


When you do an auto search online by ISBN, it finds entries and copies the graphics and notations and creates a file. All good, but it will occasionally create duplicate entries for one publisher. For instance, US Games, or U.S. Games or U.S. Games Inc. or even U.S. Games Inc without a period after “Inc” and so on. I merged all that and got rid of the publishers with zero entries.

Similarly, online cataloguing information often comes with classifications like card games; card games, general; card games, role-playing etc., so I cleaned that up to suit myself.

Is there anything like tweaking databases? Nah. I should go back and re-do some of my card samples in the database, a few of them are rather abbreviated for the larger cards. Oops, I just remembered that I forgot to put the measurements in for the Enchanted Map Oracle. The search and create function will put in what the publisher says, which is always the measurement of the box not the actual cards, and they are different so I like to plug the right measurement in. A database should be accurate.

I’ve never met anyone else who uses this software for their cards. I have blathered on about it interminably on both my blogs, but no one seems to get the ease and clarity of it. It has the ability to put an image of the back of a book in as well as the cover, so instead of doing that I put an image in of several cards including the backs of each deck. SO nice to have that function as I am a visual person. In the Pro version you can also export the database as an Excel spreadsheet and choose the headings you want.

When you get into the actual entry you can rate it and click on the images you entered to enlarge them. Here we are in the Miscellaneous Cards category, where on the left you can see the thumbnails of the entries in this category in alphabetical order, and the enlargement of my scans of the cards on the right. This is from the U.S. Games series Strategies for Leadership. I have three decks in that series: Ulysses S. Grant (pictured here), George S. Patton, and Robert E. Lee.


Notice the Details tab directly to the right. To go to the statistical pie and play around with colours, you just click the Statistics tab on the right sidebar. Easy now, I know someone’s heart is thumping with excitement out there. Mine sure is.

I often have to re-scan the images from the Web for box covers as they are tiny, low resolution images and look crummy even as thumbnails. I want my images crisp and I generally keep the images for the covers at 350 pixels in length so they aren’t too large, but use a better resolution of 240 dpi. Monitors only display at 72 dpi but I want the images crisp when I size them down after scanning, hence the higher initial resolution.

What fun. A database is your friend boys and girls. I’ve been up since 4 a.m. toodling around tweaking in this exciting environment of play.


I could split these posts up into three topics, but I like a big, wholloping shebang of a post. Many people zone out and click away after one paragraph feeling daunted by such vociferousness, leaving the rest of us to play and get to the fun stuff. The fun stuff now being transformation packs.


I have six of them. The fellow I was talking to fits the Playing Card Oracles into transformation pack territory but I don’t. Disparate categorization, which means livelier databases in the world, and thus more fun. Credit it people, it’s a big, old goofy world.

[Note: a short intermission was needed to clean off my coffee table so I could take photographs. Also in the interim I ate some fruit, needing some buttressing fuel before attempting yet another crummy photo session with 10 year-old Mr. Point and Shoot.]

I also have two books I like to refer to with playing cards, or make that three. The first one is strictly on transformation packs, and the other two have limited mention of them, but they are great nonetheless with regard to playing cards overall.

1) Transformation Playing Cards by Albert Field. Not too many colour pictures but lots of information. This is where I learned that the Goethe Playing Cards by Lo Scarabeo are actually a facsimile pack of the Jeanne d’Arc playing cards published around 1805. I was browsing that deck in this book and he tells you who the court cards are; some of them are not well known people. The Jack of Diamonds for instance was Joan of Arc’s page, a peasant who came from her home town.
2) Collectible Playing Cards by Frédérique Crestin-Billet. One of my favourite books of all time and loaded with close-up colour pictures of playing cards with a few examples of transformation decks.
3) Playing Cards by Roger Tilley. Most of these are antique but he has a few newer ones and a small section on transformation packs.

And a visual of all the lads together, cavorting and disporting with Gumby and Pokey. Yes, G & P are card deck lovers if you didn’t know. Greatly interested in transformed pips, they grew terribly excited to see all the chaps out for a group picture. Murphy the chocolate Labrador is supervising in the background, knowing what havoc G & P can cause.


What would be complete without my favourite comparison of cards? This time I’m going for the Ace of Clubs, just because the Goethe deck turns that ace into a beetle.



Wow, can you believe the proliferation of Lenormand decks lately? When I started using Lenormand cards eight or so years ago there were no books in English so I bought two French ones. Rana George has a recent English book called The Essential Lenormand which has been getting rave reviews. Ever wary of tarot experts, I hesitate to buy this, but I get weary of having to translate the French books so it’s on my wish list. Rana comes from a different culture and circumstances and seems to have meaningful things to impart. I like meaningful people.

I am waiting for The Celtic Lenormand which I previously stated in a post. I like illustrations in Lenormand decks, I’m not keen on over-painted things or photo-collage. My own The Illustrative Lenormand Oracle was culled together from my extensive collection of WMF public domain clip art and other things, some drastically re-jigged in Photoshop and some just tweaked. I recommend that people make their own Lenormand in some way to get a feel for it.

I am going to compare the Letter card across decks including one in the Tarot Lenormand. (Click to enlarge.)


Ye old sealing wax keeps those envelopes closed while being battered about by birds and cherubs, eventually allowing Mavis to receive the proposal from her sweetheart Augustus Lawrence in her nightgown in the morning room with the fancy wallpaper. She has shrugged off her embroidered robe, becoming warm from morning tea, or is it her repressed lust for dear Auggie?

Perhaps a cooling period of entering things in the database would help Mavis?

Just don’t change the colour theme on the statistics pie or you’ll never settle down honey. [Note: She hasn’t tried the Opera colour version yet, don’t let on there is one or she’ll waltz about singing Nessun Dorma from Turandot.]

No, we don’t want that.




The Solidity of Towers

Daily Draw April 18th, 2012

First, a little treat for my compatriots in home decorating. Yes, it’s the magic chair, displaying its fondness for the red Jacobean fabric I am making a pillow of. I desperately want to use a striped fabric for piping but I need to buy some cording. The rest of my room is a wreck but I made a start at least.

19 – TOWER

A card comparison today with the Tower card from The Illustrative Lenormand Oracle. Remember kids, every card deck needs a friend, and Lenormand decks are so gregarious they need many, many Lenormand friends.

Unlike the lightning destruction of the tarot Tower card, this one is going to stand for years. Solid and upright and somewhat isolated and detached, It is this detachment that I suggested when I placed a gatehouse in front of the tower engraving on the card in The Illustrative Lenormand Oracle. I wanted a sense of separation, an extra barrier.

The LWB for the middle card from the Lo Scarabeo Lenormand Oracle Cards mentions detached analysis and rejection of prejudices, so that ties in nicely with not feeling bad if you like to withdraw.

Those of us who are introverts often agonize over our attitude toward socialization, but I am quite happy puttering by myself, popping out now and then for a chat about books. I finally reconciled myself to upholding my own dignity and respect. I am this way, like the solid tower, withdrawn but steady, catching the wind, flying my flag.

Mr. Fox Skulks Around

Daily Draw January 22nd, 2012

14 – FOX

With a few comparators to round it off…

Sometimes he looks fairly innocuous and sometimes he looks like he’s up to something. A handsome fellow but he has moments of untrustworthiness. Never be fooled by outward beauty, some people are creeps, so caution is the watch word today.

A good day for beading edging and a bail perhaps? Use the cunning of Mr. Fox to make it work out. He’s a planner, silently plodding through deep woods to get where he is going.

Foo Foxes

Daily Draw November 6th, 2010

I’ve been up all night with this cold. I get that panicky suffocation feeling if I lie down. I thought I’d fought the darn cold off. Rats.

14 – FOX

My wily friend says “That virus was hiding in the pines.”

Be cunning and watch out for those who are equally cunning. Viruses are cunning buggers, they hide and wait until you’re feeling better and using the new food processor to make tasty cauliflower and Romano bean sandwich spread with a hint of garlic and red pepper, and then “Whap!” they attack the sinuses, leaving you too sick to use the food processor to make cole slaw with the red cabbage you grew in your garden.

I had the recipe all printed out with several notations about variables in dressings and vegetables and seasoning, and NOW THIS. I was going to shred carrots and cabbage in the food processor for the first time with that slick, shiny, shredding blade thingy and the pusher gadget.

Crummy buttons.



Later that same day:



Come Into the Garden

Daily Draw December 23rd, 2009

I am browsing through my books on colour combinations and colour schemes and paint effects trying to get some ideas for dollhouse floors. This second house of mine is going to be an homage to abstract art, Art Nouveau and Dutch tiles, architecture and stencilling; all hand-related arts and crafts.

I’ll do an Illustrative Lenormand Oracle draw today and see what’s ahead. My migraine is noticeably better today, but I now have a head cold. Hahaha.


The Garden is one of my favourite cards in this deck. This is about society and gathering, perhaps a nod to the Christmas season. I don’t get together with family, but I sent gifts that they will open.

Travel, vacation or wealth through inheritance. I put rune symbols in this card and Vikings to indicate that wealth through inheritance is not only money but history and place, a solid grounding of values and your place in society. I will be having a bit of a vacation since the spouse is off work.

The Cross is usually a bad luck card. I associated it with dogma and ignorance, two things that go together well in my observation.

Interesting, since I left a mailing group pertaining to dollhouses yesterday where the people were always posting prayer requests and stuff about The Lord. I am fairly tolerant of people’s beliefs and have an abiding interest in Church and societal history, but enough is enough. The Cross might also mean the suffering of migraines I am enduring, which could indeed be tied to the season, in rich food and tension equally. I am a bit of a Scrooge; the hypocrisy of people is appalling at Christmastime. In this card I have a Celtic cross and a Christian cross to indicate the clash of belief–how perfect for this time of year.

So, an interesting combination of ancestral place and society’s beliefs and suffering. I like the look of that garden, perfect for contemplative rumination and quietude. It reminds me of withdrawal but being part of something bigger under the large sky of the Universe.

Daily Draw – A, E, I, O, U and sometimes Y

Daily Draw December 3rd, 2009

After a 4-hour wrestle with my old friend Microsoft NET Framework and Windows Update, I am operational again. Windows configuration just gets more and more complicated, I was nearly in tears wondering if yet another workaround would solve the problem. Fortunately some cups of tea from the spouse kept me going through the worst of it. You know, the bit when your face screws up and you start to cry and whine “It shouldn’t be this hard.” I love you Bill but come down to earth fella, people don’t have the money to buy new computers and Windows 7.

Today I picked one card from one of my Lenormand decks and then decided to do a comparison with all of them. I call this the “A, E, I, O, U and sometimes Y” draw because I have five Lenormand decks plus the Tarot Lenormand which I designate as “Y” because sometimes it has the imagery, and sometimes it doesn’t.


Good luck today despite some malevolence from bees (Microsoft bees to be exact.)  On the deck I designed myself, I used a polar bear cub because they are considered auspicious because of their colour and rarity.

I got some Christmas books in the mail, which also offset my earlier anxiety.