Birch Rod, signifies family quarrels and domestic trouble, dissension between spouses, fever and long illness.

Original Instructions

The Birch Rod is a warning card associated with both discord and also corrective measures necessary to bring matters under control.

When the Birch Rod appears it is a strong indication that the matter under consideration has the potential to become volatile. Usually, this involves disagreements and hot-headedness, but not invariably. With appropriate action, you can take measures to prevent matters escalating.

As such, the Birch Rod has a dual nature: aggressor and disciplinarian.

Generally, the reader can pinpoint the cause of tension. As the original instructions intimate, it is often in relationships. But it can occur in any domain. If there is doubt it is useful to consider the card the Valet of Clubs regards. This card can identify what fires the tensions.

On the Das Spiel der Hoffnung and several early Lenormand decks, the Birch Rod is resting on a table. I quite like that motif. Very often the Birch Rod describes a problem or issue that we need to sit down with someone and thrash it out. Tempers may flare, yes. However, if carefully mediated by a firm hand, matters can be cleared up.

If we recall that birch was used for brooms, the clearing and cleaning up-side is easier to see. That is more implicit in some cards where the card either shows a broom or is titled the Broom.

The original instructions note that the Birch Rod can indicate fevers and extended illnesses. Quite a few readers ignore this; however, I have found it correct. Conditions often involve muscular aches and temperatures, but also the throat.

The card’s French name « la verge » also refers to the male member. Some thus say it’s a “sex card.” It is not an association one agrees with; no one card is associated explicitly with sex. If questioned about sex, all cards respond according to their nature. The Birch Rod would describe bondage, domination and submission, et cetera.

Several traditional decks illustrate the card with both a whip and birch rod. For this reason, the card can sometimes indicate two of something. With the Birch Rod, this is often an indicator of doing something again; a test might need to be taken twice, a document redrafted, a sickness returns. It is crucial not to confuse it with cycles or repetition that is better seen in the Ring card.

In matters of Arte, the Birch Rod is the besom and shares its associations. However with certain cards it can indicate control.

The Birch Rod is also the Knave of Clubs (valet de trèfle) who is associated with Lancelot du Lac. Like the Scythe, we rarely read the card as a person unless it paired with cards such as the House or the Park. If the card is referring to a person, they are hot-headed and is it easily the case that they will land themselves (and others) in volatile circumstances.

You will need to examine the surrounding cards for the specifics carefully.

The Birch Rod at a Glance:

Essence: Discipline.

Other Names: The Whip and the Broom.
Playing Card: Valet of Clubs.
Category: Warning Card. Communication Card. Health Card.
Keywords: Discord, Aggression, Discipline, Control, Clearing, Besom.

Polarity: Negative.
Pace: Steady.
Timing: Between 11 days or three months. Can be October.
Heath: The throat and voice, particularly infections such as tonsillitis and ulcers, as well as fever and chills.

The Petit Lenormand © abCartomancy 2010 – 2020

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