Like any skills, cartomancy can only be learned through practice. It does not matter if one adopts the Marseille, l’Oracle Gé or the Petit Lenormand . It is only through regularly using the cards that one can develop an understanding. It is a long-term commitment, too. No one becomes an expert in their lifetime; there is a reason the old master astrologers signed themselves off as ‘students.’ Cards evolve with time; you will always be learning and deepening your understanding as their student.
A popular method of integrating regular manipulation of the cards is daily draws. Such endeavours allow one to cultivate immediate recognition and familiarity. Nevertheless, daily draws do present some challenges – phrasing, the appropriate number of cards, when to perform, retrofitting, et cetera.
In any discussion of daily draws, students are invariably also advised of the need to use light meanings. What does this mean? A majority of sources assume it refers to dilution. However, this is incorrect. Cards cannot have their concentration weakened with some magical thinner.
When the cartomante refers to light meanings, she is discussing nothing more than progression. That is, essence read in terms of function vis-à-vis context. As such, the so-called light interpretations are just contextual.
Let us consider a daily draw.
The cards as they fell:
First, we see the Scythe card. A scythe is a blade, used for mowing. It cuts things down, thus separating or dividing something into two.
Next, we find the Coffin. What do we know of the Coffin? It is a container for a decomposing cadaver. Despite the oft-repeated idea of transformation, corpses do not transform: they decay and breakdown, into their lesser organic matter. Coffins are repositories of human waste.
Finally, we find the Mice. We all know that mice and rats are considered vermin, damaging to produce. The Mice eat and spoil, which cause us a loss.
Such horrible cards. Did Mercutio draw these on that fateful occasion with his fiddlestick? Should one return to bed and hide under the covers? No. Just as Mercury being retrograde does not bring life to a standstill such a configuration will not make worm (or mice) meat of you.
All these cards forecast was a bin/garbage bag being ripped (Scythe) and the rubbish (Coffin) becoming strewn about attracting flies (Mice). I pulled them during a period of strike action when rubbish was piling up and attracting flies, rats and other wild animals.
Just as the undertaker will commit the decedent to the casket, we put our waste and rubbish in bins. On a day-to-day basis, one is more likely to be confronted with bins and rubbish than a decomposing body in a coffin.
The Cloverleaf might be the watercress on your sandwich, or more likely the money you use to buy that lunch. The Fishes will be something slippery, water and lubricant. The Letter paper, or something flat and 2D.
On a similar level, the Scythe will be the tear in your tights or socks or just a pair of scissors or a razor. The ‘ew’ or spoiling nature of the Mice card can be a mess, something soiled or a collection of flies, maggots, rats/mice or other unsightly crap.
All we are doing is taking a functional interpretation, which we consider to be light because of its immediacy and everyday presence. I am not applying some magical thinner to the cards’ signification. I’m looking at where I experience them on a day-to-day basis.
Daily draws will present you with an opportunity to discover the full spectrum of the cards’ essence. It does not, however, mean that one is to dilute anything. Do not be fooled. You never dilute anything in divination.
The Petit Lenormand © abCartomancy 2010 – 2020
Cards: Jeu Lenormand © Carta Mundi. Title, Shakespeare, W. Romeo and Juliet. Featured Image: Mercutio, public domain.