The modern tarot world has been greatly influenced by New Age movements and concepts of spirituality, and one theme you’ll see pop up time and time again is the importance of intention, even amongst those that do not subscribe to the Theory of Attraction (myself included). There is the idea, also I believe in modern Wicca (feel free to correct me!) that intent is the bedrock of magic, that if we set our minds and will to something, it is achievable. While I don’t doubt at all that setting intent is a powerful motivator and influence in bringing things into – or banishing them from – our lives, I am also reminded of an oft-used phrase in social justice circles: intent isn’t magic. Which means to say that no, while you did not intend for your words or actions to be problematic, they in fact are, that despite your best-intent someone was harmed or affected by the things you did or said. Shit definitely did not go down as expected, and while intentions may have been good, or at least ignorant, recompense and apologies should be forthcoming without defensive reactions like, ‘But I didn’t mean it!’, because it doesn’t matter, you did it.
While unrelated directly to cartomancy, mulling over these ideas of intent got me thinking about the differences between Tarot and Lenormand, two wonderful, beautiful card traditions that have the power – if you let them – to instigate change in your life and you perceptions. While Tarot can and frequently does reflect back the blatantly obvious, its power to me lies in its ability to push you head first into the sub-conscious waters of your expectations, motivations, hopes and baggage, it shows what things mean to you on a symbolic level and why, and it reveals your intentions and deepest held desires (especially the repressed ones, boy howdy).
Lenormand on the other hand (in my admittedly limited experience) shows you where your motivations and intent aren’t so magical, it is a reflection of the ‘real world’, glaring back at you, with crystal clarity. It shows the actual obstacles you face, how life and external forces affect your intentions and the consequences, intended or unintended of your actions or inaction. It’s like the I-didn’t-mean-it-but-it-happened-anyway of cartomancy.
Ultimately, I see Tarot as a mirror of what life and situations feel like on the inside, the cards show you how to affect positive change from within, purifying and honing your intent and intuitive instinct. Lenormand, conversely, shows a reflection of what life or any given circumstances look like, the essence of their appearance and being, their concrete reality, including all of those little things out of our immediate control. It can guide us in how to act and think with precision, while cleaning up the clutter of woulda, coulda, shoulda.
Any other Tarot reading Lenormand newbs out there? What are some of the differences you have experienced in working with these two deck styles so far?