POSITIVE, NEGATIVE, AND NEUTRAL CARDS
[EDITED VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION]
We could easily categorize Lenormand's cards in terms of their positive, negative, and neutral aspects. This is actually one of the quickest ways to get started with the cards and to make sense of their meanings effectively.
So in this video, I want to tell you a little bit about this positive, negative and neutral aspects of the cards.
As though Lenormand's cards weren't simple enough for being made up of just 36 cards and having symbols that come from our everyday world, there is another really amazing advantage to these cards that helps us read them in a very effective way. And this is their positive, negative and neutral aspects.
So in this video, we're going to group the cards into these different aspects.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF CARD EFFECTS
But first, I want to tell you a little bit about the advantages and disadvantages of looking at the cards in terms of their negative, positive and neutral aspects.
The first advantage of understanding Lenormand's cards in terms of positive, negative, and neutral is that it makes your first steps with the deck really, really simple.
You may not have an understanding of the card or the symbol on the card, but if you understand that it has positive, negative, or neutral, then you can definitely use that as a starting point and go on from there. This can be your very first introduction to the cards and you can actually use that as a pretty good foundation for building your card meanings from there.
Another advantage to understanding the cards in terms of their positive, negative or neutral aspects is that they help you answer yes or no questions pretty effectively.
Now, there are ways to interpret the yes no meaning of the cards in terms of the pip card or the pip association of each card. And that is the playing card that is associated with each Lenormand card.
But the idea of looking at the positive, negative, and neutral aspects of the card is that it is more directly associated with the symbol that's on the card, which is what you're going to have to interpret anyway.
The main meaning of the card comes from the symbol on the card and not so much the pip or the quote or the other associations that could be made with the normal card. On this note, I want to say that I don't really encourage yes or no readings.
They have a place in any divination practice and they could be practical some of the time. But in general they can be pretty limiting and they sort of limit how we interpret the cards and the kinds of insights we can get from them.
So I want to encourage you to look for wisdom from your cards and not just straight up yes or no predictions.
On this note, one disadvantage of interpreting the cards strictly in terms of their positive, negative, and neutral aspects, which is also what can help us interpret a yes or no reading of the cards, is that it can be pretty limiting and by that it can limit the possibilities that a card offers.
So some cards can actually be positive in some contexts and negative in other contexts. And I think it's really important for you to have enough refinement that you can pick out these different nuances of the cards so that your readings can actually be authentic and insightful.
To take an example, think of the Fox. The Fox is typically a tricky card. It usually points to someone who lacks transparency and who is possibly dishonest. It can also suggest a trap.
But the Fox is actually really good with families. It is a card that is very protective of its family and will prioritize it and will do a lot for it. So that is actually a positive interpretation of the Fox, especially in the context of family.
Another way to look at the Fox is in terms of work. The Fox is typically associated with 9-to-5 kind of jobs. So this is a neutral aspect on its own. But if you are asking about work and employment and you get the Fox, then it can actually be a pretty good omen for you.
So while you're building your Lenormand vocab and interpreting the cards in terms of positive, negative, and neutral, it's really important that you maintain a flexible mind so that you can interpret the cards across different contexts.
CARD EFFECTS IN COMBINATIONS
This cautionary note aside, there is another advantage for understanding most cards in terms of their positive, negative, and neutral aspects, and that is that it helps us with card combinations. When we are combining the cards, we are essentially combining their essences.
Knowing the positive, negative, or neutral aspects of the cards really helps us put together this overall meaning.
To take a simple example, consider the Sun and Letter. The Sun is positive and the Letter is neutral. So the overall card combination can point to something positive, which it does. It points to some good news.
Let's take, for example, two negative cards: The Whip and Fox. This probably points to a disappointment. Both of them can be negative.
And so together this negative aspect comes out.
Now, it's not always straightforward like that, but it is definitely an excellent starting point with card combinations. So that's another advantage to understanding Lenormand's cards in terms of their positive, negative, and neutral aspects.
At this point, I'd like you to tell me if you've ever looked at your Lenormand cards in terms of their positive, negative, and neutral aspects, and how you've used that in your practice.
Let's now head over to Lenormand Reader's table and go through the different aspects across the cards in the deck.
You might like to take out your own deck as we go through this exercise and keep your journal handy so that you can jot down any good ideas you get about the cards. That way you'll build a closer connection with your deck.
OVERVIEW OF THE DECK
All right. So let's go ahead and get into our deck here. So just by way of a refresher, looking at Lenormand's cards, we've got 36 of them. And as you can see, the symbols are everyday symbols. For example, the Man, the Cross, Moon, and Ring, are all obvious everyday symbols.
And like I said earlier, some of the cards might not mean a lot to you, but in time they will, as you get into the cards and get into the meaning of different cards.
So let's go ahead and get into the positive, negative, and neutral aspects of the cards. I've organized the deck into three piles: I've got the neutral pile, I've got the positive pile, and the challenging pile.
THE CHALLENGING CARDS
I want us to start looking at the challenging pile because usually this is the one that really gets to people.
There are a few aggressive cards in the Lenormand deck and it can really annoy people in terms of what to make of them, like how negative is negative and so on. So just quickly going through the cards, I've got the Scythe, the Coffin, the Mouse, Snake, and Whip, as well as the Clouds, the Fox, the Cross, and the Mountain.
Now the Cross and the Mountain can really be neutral cards. In fact, I personally hesitate about calling them negative, but I did actually call them negative in the Card Combinations Master, and I want to stick with it.
That's because they tend to be mainly about blockages for the Mountain, and with the Cross, it can be a tough decision. But often enough I find that the Mountain has to do with travel a place abroad, and the Cross can point to important decisions and matters of destiny, really. So I feel that they can be pretty neutral cards.
The Fox is another one of those cards that is generally negative. And I think that would be definitely the primary interpretation of the card along with the snake, which is pretty similar to the Fox.
They have quite a bit in common. You know, they're both cards about discretion, diplomacy and things that are hidden in people with a hidden agenda, people who are not transparent. But the Fox can actually be really good with families.
I think I might have mentioned that earlier in the video. And the Snake can be really clever in terms of being goal oriented and really focused on what someone wants. They can be tricky cards, though, of course.
The Mouse is another one that really stands out as challenging, but the thing about the Mouse is that it's not such a big deal. It tends to be associated with little glitches, little speed bumps here and there.
And what the mouse also points to is that if you leave it unchecked, then at that point it can go into something bigger. That's because mice eat away at things. And so in time they eat away a lot. So this is usually associated with waste, and if you leave the Mouse unchecked, it can amount to a lot of waste.
Moving on to the Clouds. The Clouds is a very psychological card. It has to do with thoughts and things going on inside our head. It can point to patterns and beliefs, but can also suggest that a situation is clouded, that there is a lack of clarity, and that there's tension and electricity in the air.
The Clouds is easily overturned, I think. With a positive card like the Tree or the Sun, it easily get easily shone through, let's say.
Now, the Whip is definitely the card that stands out as the most challenging of the deck, and it is. And so this is the card of challenges of conflict and problems coming up in the purest sense.
What's interesting about the Whip is that some readers look at it in a really positive way. A popular one actually is that the Whip is sexual, and that's probably because of its phallic association.
It is also is associated with repetition, the idea of continuously whipping, which is an affirmation that I don't like to be honest. I don't really think of the Whip in terms of whipping something. You might know that I'm vegan and I don't support animal violence. And so that's not really the association I have with the Whip.
But what I do like about the Whip is that it brings a sense of aggression and the sense of energy. So, it tells me that we need to be more active about something. We need to be more aggressive towards something, more proactive.
So these are some of the ways that we can look at the Whip in a more positive way, let's say, or the advice of the card.
Lastly, we have the Coffin. The Coffin can be neutral. It can be associated with an uneventful phase. It can be a time when nothing much is happening. And it can also advise us to rest and to take time out.
But in general, the Coffin is about endings. Things are not really going anywhere. And the idea of lethargy and bad health can also be associated with the Coffin. So it's typically a challenging card.
Now, the Scythe is probably the most interesting challenging card. It is potentially neutral because it is associated with something sudden and sharp. Cutting which can be positive. I mean, the idea of releasing ourselves from shackles, for example, is really positive and so the Scythe can bring that about. Still, it can be a card of danger and it calls for alertness, especially with other challenging cards, the Scythe is pretty challenging.
So that's it for the negative cards. As you can see, there aren't that many of them like compared to the positive cards, which we're going to go through it a bit.
There aren't so many and a lot of them can be neutral depending on the context. And remember that the meaning of the Lenormand's cards really comes through when they're in combination with other cards.
And of course, specifically for the context of a question that we're reading them for.
THE POSITIVE CARDS
Okay. let's move on to the positive cards. So there's a whole lot of positive cards in Lenormand.
I mean, if we compare the thickness of the pile, we see that there are many positive cards in the Lenormand deck. And of course, you can expect that many of them are going to be neutral. Let's go through them in turn.
The Tree is a lovely card for health and patience.
The Ship is great for activity, business, and travel.
Of course, the Ring is pretty much a neutral card, but when it comes to relationships and commitments, it is lovely to see unless, of course, it's with the Scythe, which then is the combination of divorce. Pretty clear here.
The Rider is an active card, brings helpful people.
The Moon is unlike the Tarot Moon. I'll probably do a video about the cards that overlap with the Tarot. The Moon in Lenormand is positive. It has to do with gentleness and attraction.
The House is lovely. It is about building something solid. Of course it can be really neutral, suggesting home, family boundaries, and privacy.
The Heart is lovely, but it can take on negative negative influences and it can point to a heartbreak, for example. And we'll get to this in a bit in terms of how the cards combine.
And the Fish is about money and wealth. So it's great to see. But it can also be neutral, just pointing to money.
And of course, with negative cards, this might be a sudden expense, for example.
The Dog is about friends.
The Sun is one of the most positive card of the deck. I don't think there is the most positive card of the deck in the way that there is the most negative card of the deck (the Whip). The Sun is an all around beautiful card and the Star is also beautiful. It has to do with wish-fulfillment. So these two cards are really bright.
The Flowers is lovely. I do feel that it is an all around positive card, so I don't feel that it is influenced by negative cards. I think it helps with healing. It would soften the Scythe, for example.
The Key is awesome. It's one of my favorite cards. I think it comes from my connection with Titania's Deck, where the card itself, the design of the card was really appealing to me for some reason, and I really like keys as well. It's such a beautiful symbol, obviously points to solutions and unlocking.
The Clover is another one of those all around bright cards for obvious reasons.
The Child is beautiful. It can be neutral because it's associated with new beginnings and children, which can be neutral. But it's also a card of joy and openness, just like what we would normally associate with children.
And the Anchor is also supportive because it is strong and secure, so it usually has a protective energy to it.
Now, the thing about some positive cards is that they can be influenced by negative cards. This is where I personally make a distinction between the positive cards that are always positive and that help us overcome negative cards, and those that take on negative influences from nearby cards.
This is something I talk about in depth in the Master Courses. So you might like to check these out, but let's take a few examples.
For example, the Sun and Scythe. This is a combination that probably suggests sudden success. I mean, the Scythe brings about the sudden element and the Sun is all around powerful. So it's going to lessen any negative impact of the Scythe. You might have a different interpretation.
You might like to consider the order of the cards in this case too. For example, the Whip and Sun might be positive, but the Sun and Whip can mean that good things take a challenging turn. These are different ways of working with the cards.
So these are the positive cards. As you can see, again, there are plenty of them. Go through them and see which ones you feel are more positive than others. And if there are some that you feel shouldn't belong in this pile, I would certainly understand that.
THE NEUTRAL CARDS
Moving on to the neutral cards.
So the neutral cards are cards that are generally associated with a topic and they can point to an area or a theme. They can also take on influences from either positive or negative cards. So let's go through them from the top of the pile.
The Tower is, as far as I'm concerned, a card of the past and the long term.
The Stork is about change.
The Road is about the path ahead and also about change the choices.
The Man and the Woman are very, very neutral cards. They are known as the significators of the Lenormand deck, and they have special uses in layouts like the Grand Tableau. I think I'll be doing a video about the Man and Woman specifically so we get a little bit into them. They take on their meanings or their characteristics from nearby cards almost all the time.
The Lily is about our life path and career.
The Letter is about news.
The Garden is about community and spaces, so it is the card of spaces and events, and depending on nearby carts, we can see what's going on in this place.
The Book is a mystery card. It tells us that things are not yet revealed. It's also the card of knowledge and secrets.
The Bird is another one of those communication cards, except it tends to be a bit more vocal. It's about discussions and debates. A lot of folks see the Bird as strictly negative. I appreciate that aspect of it. The Bird can bring up anxiety and tension, but I feel that the idea of communication and vocalizing is also helpful. So I tend to see it as neutral.
And then we've got the Bear. The Bear can be challenging. It can represent an enemy in a lot of the Lenormand Reader's dictionaries. It is nevertheless someone strong and protective. It's associated with the mother, with parents, with the boss, and also with someone who is wealthy. But on the flip side, it can point to competition, someone who is overbearing and, you know, someone who's really challenging you, especially with negative cards.
So these are the neutral cards as far as I am concerned. Do let me know if you interpret them in this way or if you have any other thoughts about them. So with this said, let's go over a few more combinations.
The way I want to look at the combinations here is in terms of their positive, negative, and neutral aspects.
So we've taken positive with negative. And in here I feel that the Sun overpowers a little bit the Whip. It helps lessen its impact. We might try a different positive card because the Sun is so powerful.
Let's take one that can be influenced. For example, here, the Fish with the whip might mean an expense. It might mean that there's an expenditure that probably comes unexpectedly. That's a bit of a burden - or a lot to handle.
You can do similar exercises by combining the cards in terms of their positive and negative interpretations and see what you come up with.
Let's move on to positive and neutral.
For example, the Fish and Man might represent someone who's wealthy or perhaps, if the Fish is neutral or stays neutral in this context, it can point to someone who affects our financial affairs. And of course, it's going to depend on the broader reading.
If we look at the Man and Whip, which is a neutral and negative card, then the neutral card is going to take on the negative aspects, and here it can represent a disagreement with someone.
So these are the different ways we can combine the cards and you might come up with others as well.
Now, when we look at each of the negative-negative, positive-positive, and neutral-neutral combinations, we can also come up with more indications, but what happens is that they emphasize each other.
So, for example, when we have something like the Scythe and Whip, the challenging aspects of the cards are emphasized even more. So this points to danger in my dictionary.
If we took a positive and positive card, then they reinforce each other as well. And this is where there's quite a bit of security and certainty. I would read these cards (for example, the Clover and Anchor) as having a strong sense of confidence in ourselves and to trust ourselves.
And if we took a neutral and neutral card, this can be a bit tricky. This is where it helps to have positive and negative cards nearby to sort of bring out what the cards are telling us. But they could just tell us about events.
So, for example, if we had the Stork and Road here, they can point to a change of direction. It's a neutral combination, but it's an event that is expressed by the cards.
The Man and Woman are interesting. They usually point to a relationship, but it helps to have more cards nearby to see how this relationship works out.
So these are just some examples to help you train your interpretation across the different categories of positive, negative, and neutral. See if you can practice combining them. It's an excellent way to get started and it's also going to help you build your vocabulary more deeply.
Okay, so we've gone through the cards with quite a bit of detail and we have a good appreciation for how they can be categorized in terms of positive, negative, and neutral. Please let me know if you're on board with how we went through the cards and leave me your thoughts for any other ideas or approaches you would have with the cards.
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