In spreads such as the 3 x 3 and Grand Tableau, cards can form vertical attendance. Essentially, these can be read as one does a horizontal combination. The card above would be A and the one below, B.

However, unlike horizontal attendance, vertical formations do not have the same linear quality. For this reason, cartomantes have observed specific nuances.

Newer readers have often appropriated the concept of conscious (above) versus unconscious (below). However, the more conservative approach centres on ideas of influencing and influenced and control and controlled.

The easiest way to understand this to imagine in the following:

  • The upper portion of a card is open and receptive to the influence of the card above it.
  • The lower portion of a card is closed and unreceptive to the influence.

As such, in the vertical encounter of cards A a B, card B becomes the active determination (the influenced) of the governing authority of card A (influencer). Card B is thus how card one is settled.

The above can be elaborated on in certain cards that have traditional iconographical conventions, such as the Scythe and Mountain cards.

Vertical Combinations:

Let us look at the pairing of the Letter (A) and the Sun (B).  We will then reverse them. 

The first column has the Letter over the Sun card. We thus know the Letter is the determining influence. Such news would be positive and herald some significant success and improvement in the client’s life. The Letter says, “You made it.”

If we reverse the two, the Sun is now influencing matters. Personal satisfaction and clarity will be drawn from the tidings of the Letter. The Letter says, “You was right.”

Lets look at two vertical trios:

The first column reads (top to bottom): the Boat, the Sun, and the House. The Boat influences the Sun, which in turn does the same to the House card.

These cards indicate that although the seeker heads for warmer climes home is where she is happiest. Alternatively, she can move to her dream house.

Column two reads: Renard, the Letter, and the Book. As such Renard will influence the Letter, which in turn, does the same to the Book card.

This trio tells us that an error (Renard) is communicated (Letter). Consequently, the seeker will not have all the necessary facts or information (the Book).

Depending on the specific spread, there can be between two to four vertical combinations. The influence versus influenced is the best method I have found for vertical combinations. It is also for this reason that I do not advocate giving columns specific meanings, e.g. Past, Present or Future.

The Petit Lenormand © abCartomancy 2010 – 2020

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