Each of the thirty-six pictures relate to specific subjects or nuances. When connected they form a combined meaning. Linking combined meanings creates a statement. That statement is discerned in the appropriate context, e.g. love, finances, family or work.
The most basic form of combination outside of proximity is when cards fall side-by-side. This is called attendance. For example, Card B is attended by Cards A and C. Common numbers for attendance combinations are two to three and sometimes up to five cards.
In this article, we will focus on a form of horizontal attendance I term narration. The narration describes a course of events. Attendance can also create combinations vertically and diagonally. However, both of these contain specific nuances that are best covered separately.
The easiest way to illustrate the narration technique is to build a line of cards one-by-one. Providing you are familiar with the cards’ individual essences you will find these combinations flow easily.
During the first or second running of the Cartomantes’ Cabinet course, I included vertical combinations in the examples. Seven years on, I feel that these are better addressed separately.
Let us turn to the first sequence:
A woman receives a telephone call or letter.
As the Letter has fallen after the Lady card, it infers the woman is the recipient.
A woman receives either a telephone call from a woman or an invitation.
The Flowers is also the Queen of Spades, and can thus indicate a woman. With the Letter preceding the Flowers, it would infer the Queen is the caller. Of course, the Letter + the Flowers can also indicate an invitation.
A woman receives an invitation to attend an event.
The Park is a Social Card and primarily indicates a place and gathering of people. Its presence in the line confirms that the woman will have received an invitation to an event.
A woman receives a wedding invitation.
With the Ring card falling next to the Park we can surmise either a wedding or anniversary party. However, another interpretation would be that the woman receives an offer to join a group. The Ring would be the membership. This is why context is important.
The first four cards are all spades. This emphasises the social message. The clubs’ card at the end of the line infers a constraint. The woman will need to accept or decline, which commits her.
A man has been taking it easy or focusing on his health.
The Tree card falling adjacent to the man would also describe him as steadfast. However, we will take a more topic-focused interpretation.
The man has received either a diagnosis or a clean bill of health.
The Tree is our overall constitution and vitality. With the Key falling to its right, we can talk about either diagnoses or a satisfactory check-up.
After some time, a man has received either a diagnosis or medical treatment.
You will remember that the Serpent card is a warning card. Seeing it, here, would infer that man has received some form of diagnosis or treatment. Chances are this was not straight forward or took some time (remember the Serpent is coiled or tangled). In terms of pace, that fits with the Tree and Key.
The Serpent is to the right of the Key card and can thus be considered as “secured,” which is not a bad omen.
The man has undertaken a period of treatment.
The Mice is one of the cards I associate with sickness. However, here it is neutralised by the Serpent card. In some situations, we can read this as chemotherapy, as CTx utilises poisons to prevent mitosis.
Of course, that itself is context-dependent. All we can say, here, is that the man has undergone a period of treatment that has removed the cause (Mice).
Directionality: Left to Right or Right to Left?
Some cartomantes use the regard of the Significator to determine past and future. For these readers, cards behind the Significator are past events, whereas those in front are the future.
The implication is that one should read from the past to the future.
As such, using the Brepols pattern, we would read left to right for a female seeker (below, top). In contrast, we would read right to left for a male client (below, bottom).
I call this directionality to differentiate it from direction.
Sometimes this method is presented as being the traditional German method. However, not all German traditional readers observe directionality. However, it is a valid method. Malkiel Dietrich is a master.
I believe that the cards should be read as they are laid out. If you wish to utilise directionality, I recommend that you also start laying the card that way too, e.g., right to left for a man and left to right for a woman (using the deck shown here).
The Petit Lenormand © abCartomancy 2010 – 2020