Sometimes people do not like what they hear. The present author recently found himself harbouring such sentiment. In such a situation, I decided to shuffle, cut and deal a line of five.

My question was, “Will I be able to resolve a disagreement with Aharon?”

The cards as they fell:

On turning the cards over, I was relieved to see the Serpent card. Why? The Mice.

In a reading, you should note the cards to either side of the Mice, for they both bring a loss. The card to the left of the Mice is what is set to be destroyed or purloined, and the card to the right of the Mice is what is soiled, or lost, as a direct consequence. The upright mouse on my deck gives an appropriate visual prompt; others prefer an eat (left) and defecate (right) analogy.

Here the Mice card defiles the Book with its knowledge or insight therefore sullied and gone astray. Pesky little critters.

The Book contains wisdom and insight necessary to achieve our objectives or move past our difficulties and problems. In matters of the heart, providing one has an open mind, the Book fosters a greater degree of mutual understanding. Not something that one desires to lose.

The three cards – the Serpent, the Mice, and the Book – discuss distress that is for nothing, a bagatelle. But all is not lost. Enter the Serpent.

As Björn Meuris, cartomante par excellence, noted in his writings, the Stork can eat the Serpent, as nature herself demonstrates. The Serpent, however, can in-turn feast upon the Mice card when it follows her – sometimes her venom is useful. Although some consider such associations to be untraditional, such an argument fails to acknowledge that nature, and folklore, were the dominant sources from where the cards’ divinatory emblems and association derive.

Looking across the line, we see the Serpent overcomes the Mice card. The Serpent is not one that will suffer the irritations of the Mice. With the Mice’s influence removed, a better understanding of situations opens up which facilitates a warmer and clearer exchange between both parties (the Book, the Key, and the Sun).

The answer is thus, yes. Thanks to an erudite lesson from the Serpent. Here the Serpent acts as Nāḥāš.

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris. Détails du portail du Jugement dernier

One of the reasons I prefer the title the Serpent to the Snake is the latter does not evoke the card’s complicated nature. The Serpent is a venomous predator, but she is also extremely knowledgeable and presents no danger when handled with the appropriate respect. The Petit Lenormand, born in dying Holy Roman Empire’s unofficial capital, draws primarily from Christian European sources, where the Serpent is primarily interpreted through the nāḥāš of the Garden of Eden. However, it is important to remember, demonised as the Serpent has been, the:

serpent was more subtle than any of the beasts of the earth which the Lord God had made.”

These cards were drawn for me, after a terse discussion with a female friend about a difference of opinion between myself and a significant other. After the initial disagreement silence had reigned and Aharon and I have avoided each other. My friend did not mince her words, but her acid tones effectively put to bed the sense of dispiritedness that had gotten out of hand.

It was an important lesson and matters have now been resolved.

The cards within the Petit Lenormand have several layers of meanings, and their configurations cannot be summarised with handy two-card combinations. Cards such as the Serpent, the Coffin, the Scythe, and the ever divisive Fox, are not merely neutral or negative, good or bad, et cetera. Their pictures have a function and their behaviour, as evidenced in nature, are part of their meanings. The Dog is never friendship, or a man, before it is a dog. There is a reason as to why animals feature highly in divination and folklore. There is no more celebrated oracle than nature herself.

On a side note, I have revised all Lenormand articles, and they now feature the English titles. I did this as several people said the French titles were distracting or too unfamiliar. The French titles are the card titles I use, personally; however I do not desire to hinder readability.


Cards: Jeu Lenormand © Cartamundi (1982).
Image: Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris. Détails du portail du Jugement dernier (FreCha [CC BY-SA 4.0 (  Featured Image, Kaa by Charles Maurice Metmold.

3 Comments on “More Subtle Than Any of the Beasts of the Earth

  1. Pingback: Lenormand Oracle: Mummy Bear or Daddy Bear? – abCartomancy

  2. Pingback: The Bear: Mummy or Daddy Bear? – Andy B’s The Petit Lenormand

  3. Pingback: The Bear: Mummy or Daddy Bear?

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