oracle cards

Learning Lenormand

March, 2018

As Above, So Below

Learning any kind of divinatory method takes a lot of practice. Yes, some people have a natural skill. But even those people practice, practice, practice. I cannot stress it any stronger. You have to get out your cards, shuffle them really well, and lay them out. Not just once, but twice, three times, four times or more. And not just once a day. Several times a day.

It is often said that you can’t read your own cards. It is also said that you can’t read your cards everyday or more than once a day. This is pure hogwash. When you are learning a skill, repetition is the key to proficiency. There is literally no other way to do it. You would never say to a student learning the piano to only practice once a week. No! You tell them to practice at least half an hour a day. You tell them to learn their scales and their arpeggios and learn them well. And not only that, you tell them to learn to play the piano for the sheer pleasure of playing it. This is the way it has to be with divinatory skills. Practice, practice, practice! But also take pleasure in what you are doing! If you’re not having fun, then you should really think about developing another skill.

The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook: Reading the Language and Symbols of the Cards by Caitlín Matthews has exercises for learning how to read Lenormand cards in every chapter. Each exercise builds on the one before it, so you are always working with concepts that reinforce what you have already learned. Appendixes I and II have keys to the exercises for quick references and to check your own progress. This book rocks!

I have been working with Spread 1/Practice 7 in Chapter Three, which is called “As Above, So Below”. You shuffle the cards, and lay out three cards on top and three cards on the bottom. You read the three cards on the top as one concept (Card 1 + Card 2 + Card 3) and then the three cards on the bottom in the same way. And then, you read the three cards on the bottom. Then you read the vertical pairs – remember, as a single concept. So you have two 3-pair concepts and three 2-pair concepts to consider. Matthews presents several readings with questions to answer and how she used this spread to answer the questions. In my practice, I just laid the cards out over and over again to get proficiency in putting the concepts together – at first, I shuffled the deck but I was getting the same cards over and over again – which makes sense in a divinatory way – so I started just laying the cards down and reading them. I did this over and over again one night. Mixing the cards up in all kinds of combinations and reading them in all kinds of ways. I spent several hours at this!

One thing I noticed – especially with the 3-card combinations, which can be very tricky to put together, conceptually – is that some cards just go together better than other cards. Sometimes you look at the cards and the concept just jumps into your brain and you wonder how that happened. Sometime you look at them and you can put two together two of them but that third card is from left field and messing up the whole idea. When I read some of Matthew’s take-aways of the 3-card combinations, I think, “How did she get that?” It’s almost like taking calculus again and having to take it on faith. You know the answer is correct – you just don’t know how the teacher got there. But you know if you keep working at it, you’ll “get it” someday.

But I figured I should ask the cards a decent question and see what kind of answer I would get. It took me a while to come up with a question. Lately I have been feeling rather depressed and honestly, quite stuck in my current life. So I asked: What can I do to become “unstuck”? I know as questions go, it’s really quite lame, but it was the best I could do.

Maybe I made the question too general. After shuffling and cutting the deck three times, I drew these cards:

OK: so the top row is 25 Ring + 19 Tower + 2 Clover. Unless the meaning just pops into my brain, I take it slowly, like a math equation. Ring is commitment and Tower is institutions and 2 Clover is luck. A lucky merge with some institution? That’s what I’m reading. Now the bottom row. 3 Ship + 22 Path + 27 Letter. I long to travel to the many places I have read about.

Now the vertical pairs. 25 Ring + 3 Ship could signify some kind of long-distance commitment. 19 Tower + 22 Path could mean working with an alternative institution – not the ones I have worked with in the past. 2 Clover + 27 Letter obviously is any kind of good communication – I have to hang in there and be patient – it’ll come!

Obviously, there’s a lot going on here and as usual, it brings up more questions than it answers. But – it gives me something to work with. The business with the Tower – I can’t just sit in my apartment and feel depressed anymore – I have to get out and do something about it. And not the usual things, either – some alternative method – as indicated by the 22 Path card. Things will look up – the 2 Clover card is there to attest to that. But it isn’t going to happen today. My ship is still out at sea.

I must say that this is fabulous spread and opens up all kinds of ideas for divination. I like it for Tarot cards, too. Being able to read the cards in various ways is an important skill for any reader, whether they are using Lenormand cards, Tarot cards, Oracle cards, or ordinary playing cards. So get those cards out and practice reading them!

Until next month, Brightest Blessings!

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About the Author:

Polly MacDavid lives in Buffalo, New York at the moment but that could easily change, since she is a gypsy at heart. Like a gypsy, she is attracted to the divinatory arts, as well as camp fires and dancing barefoot. She has three cats who all help her with her magic.

Her philosophy about religion and magic is that it must be thoroughly based in science and logic. She is Dianic Wiccan and she is solitary.

She blogs at She writes about general life, politics and poetry. She is writing a novel about sex, drugs and recovery.

Seeing the Signs

September, 2017

Spirit Cats Inspirational Cards by artist Nicole Piar



Just recently, I received promotional copy of “Spirit Cats” – an “Inspirational” 48-Card Oracle deck created, written and illustrated by artist Nicole Piar. These past few weeks, I have been using the cards – looking at the lush artwork on the one side and reading the meditative prose on the other – as well as researching everything I could find on Nicole Piar herself.


I also looked up tarot and oracle cards featuring cats. I thought – why cats? Why not dogs? Or horses? Or any other animal?

One of the websites I visit regularly – at least once a week, if not more often – is Aeclectic Tarot, at This site has literally information on hundreds of tarot decks, oracle cards and Lenormand decks, as well as reviews and forums for discussion. If you want, you can sign up for their monthly newsletter and receive email notification of the newest tarot and oracle decks to hit the divination market. I look forward to these emails every month!

According to Aeclectic Tarot, there are at least 19 tarot and/or oracle decks featuring cats. There are only 8 decks with dogs. You dog lovers really need to catch up! There were 25 tarot and/or oracle decks with other kinds of animals, usually some kind of “totem” animal or “spirit” animal, although there is a “Happy Squirrel” tarot (I kid you not). There are also plant-based tarot and oracle decks – well, I don’t have to tell you that there are tarot and oracle decks for almost every subject under the sun!

Although not yet featured on Aeclectic Tarot – but very soon, I am sure! Maybe next month! – “Spirit Cats” is the newest cat deck to join this illustrious group of cat-based tarot and oracle decks. Perhaps they are what you are looking for.

Nicole Piar writes on her website,, that the “Spirit Cats come straight from my heart and imagination.”  The Sprit Cat page includes instructions on how to use the cards and testimonials from happy customers, as well as interviews of Piar and reviews of the deck on various independent blogs. These are all worth reading and very informative. The entire site has lots of information on Piar – her education, her artwork, how to commission her, even essays she has written. Anyone interested in either Spirit Cats or its creator should spend some time there.

I liked how the cards had the picture on one side and the writing on the other side. For a beginner reader, that is really helpful. No book to refer to – no memorization – just meditate on your question or attitude for the day, pull a card and then read what it says. Very simple and easy!

I must admit that these cards really grew on me. I showed the cards to numerous friends and some of my family – cats lovers and card lovers – and it seemed to me that these Spirit Cards really hit it off best with the younger crowd. My ten-year-old friend who lives down the street adores them and wants a poster of “Generosity” for her bedroom wall:

My favorite is “Freedom”:

But “Seeker” is also nice:

I love Piar’s use of color. Nothing I have read on her blog or in any of the interviews or reviews tells me what she used to create these cards, but it looks very much like watercolors – if not watercolors, I love how she created that affect! Very flowing and dreamy. Each cat comes to us as from the dream world – with sparkles and stars – each one with a theme and a name – to tell us what we need to know.

So, seek out these cards. You can buy them off Piar’s website. I am not sure if they are available anywhere else, but they are definitely available there. At the very least, check out her website – there’s a lot to hold your attention. I know I was there for quite a long time.

Coming Soon – an interview with Nicole Piar! Be sure to check back!

Brightest Blessings!