Isn’t it a lovely feeling when you get your hands on a new deck?
Well, one of my readers asked me about new decks recently when she was about to go and pick up one she’d just bought, and I think it’s an issue worth exploring.
When you buy and receive a new deck and first bring it home, what do you do to get it ready for use—and is there anything you need to?
Do I Need A Ritual?
Well, this is the $100 Question.
In my view, it depends entirely on you and how the cards fit into your overall belief system. I respect my cards and the information they give me, but my cards or the natural forces behind my cards “know” the sort of person I am. I am intuitive, but I am also more down to earth than spiritual. I respect nature, I respect others’ beliefs and the right to have them, but on a personal basis am not great with organised religions & associated accoutrements, and I don’t believe in punishing forces or spirits who will tell me off or make things difficult if I get it “wrong”. An entirely personal thing, but as a result, although there are a few basic things I do, I tend not to go for elaborate “forces outside myself” rituals.
As I say, that’s just me. It may not be you; you may feel completely differently. Whatever you choose to do, I think it’s crucial that you make sure you honour whatever beliefs or framework you do have. Lenormand cards, because they are about everyday things, are fairly spiritually neutral, so can be incorporated into your life and whatever faith system you adhere to in lots of different ways. If you’re to get the most out of your cards, it’s good to integrate them with your day-to-day life and the “core” you; remember, they are highly adaptable. Doing so not only helps with your intuition, it ensures you know that you’re acting with integrity, within your own personal truth.
The main thing I would say is that you need to bond with your cards somehow, to find a way to be at one with them. So how might you do that?
Choose A Deck That Appeals To You—Or Create One Yourself!
First off, make sure you’re choosing a deck that appeals to you, aesthetically or otherwise. You’ll find that some decks speak to you, whereas others don’t really seem to. That’s fine; it’s just down to personal preference and there are no rights and wrongs about this, but do pay attention to how you feel about different decks. For beginners, I’d suggest choosing one of the most widely-available and cheapest decks; if you’re more advanced you might want to start looking around Pinterest and Etsy, for instance, for the highly individualised decks created by artists, or even making your own. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Oh – and remember, the card meanings are the same regardless of design. Some decks have additional cards also – I don’t use these personally, or cover them here, but you may decide to. Up to you.
Find Ways Of Making Your Cards Your Own
The ultimate aim is to have YOUR personal deck or decks of cards belong to YOU in your mind, rather than primarily being “This brand” or “That style” (although of course they will always be that brand or style.) It’s going back to some of the issues I covered when I wrote about The Difference Between Lenormand And Tarot where ultimately, the cards themselves are just a conduit for the meanings underneath. But to do that, they need do need be meaningful and accessible to YOU personally, with all your likes, dislikes and quirks.
As long as you’ve started by choosing a deck on the basis it appeals in some way, you’ll find that a lot of the time this “you-ness” will simply come with use and familiarity with those cards. But what else might you do?
- Have a specific box, or place, and way you keep your deck or decks. Keep them in the same place and same way before and after use.
- If you have any specific rituals you read cards with, or have done from Tarot, make sure you use those. Common ones would be card-cleansing rituals, asking for protection or for your card-readings to work for the higher good, as well as those which are about grounding and centering yourself ready for a reading.
- Get familiar with how and in which set-ups you personally read best in and when you get the most out of readings, and recreate those every time you use the cards. Only follow methods you are comfortable with personally and spiritually.
- If you have several decks, keep at least one “Special Deck” that you ONLY use yourself and don’t let anyone else handle them. It’s good to have some things that just belong to you, after all.
Devise Your OWN “Welcoming Ritual”
As we all may be coming from different spiritual traditions, I’m not going to dictate which rituals, if any, you use to welcome a new deck of cards into your life. It partly depends on circumstance and how you came to be in possession of them. You may tear open the packet and start using them right off the bat, or you may want to mark the occasion in some way.
- They could have been passed down to you from someone, a relative for example, (in which case, I’d do something to honour that as a mark of respect for the gift, and the acceptance of it).
- Particularly when they are used, you might want to devise a ritual where you cleanse them, either symbolically or more ceremonially (using sage, candles, moonlight, or by blessing them with prayer etc). Even if they haven’t been used before, you might want to do similar to clear them of their “factory settings” and draw them into your own spiritual tradition before using.
- I think of this more as a centering thing, to promise myself to use my cards in the healthiest ways, but you might also include something about imbuing them with protection and asking for them to always speak to the higher good
- As handling my cards and the gut feeling that I get when I’m handling and choosing them is an important part of my technique, I like to start by holding them in my hands and focusing on them, I guess to symbolise that they’re mine, in my hands and pass my energy (or those of a higher power, if that is part of your tradition ) to them.
Explore Your New Cards And Their Images, One By One
Following on from that last point, it’s crucial that you start really getting to know your cards and that particular deck.
I like to go through the cards carefully, one by one before doing any readings, focusing on each card, and really getting to know the images.
If you are keeping a Lenormand journal, you might like to keep any notes on cards or feelings about particular decks here. For example, much as I love my Lo Scarabeo Lenormand Oracle Cards for their simplicity and clarity, I find myself irritated by the fact that both here and in most decks, the Child card is depicted as very obviously female, when actually, I see it as a gender-neutral card and this should be unnecessary. Likewise, the Under The Roses Whip is very overtly sexual, when, of course, there are broader meanings of that card, and in that deck, some of the common cards are given different names and nuances (Locket for Heart, Journal for Book, for instance). I’m sure you will find you have your own similar feelings about certain decks and depictions.
Try Some Quick Readings, Compare Decks & Results, Likes & Dislikes
The next thing to do is to start practising with the cards in very simple readings, say one and three-cards only, to see how they do and how you relate to them.
For example, you could try, at the end of each day drawing three cards to summarise the day you’ve just had, and see how they tended to work for you. You may find that you connect quickly with some decks but that others take more time to “warm up” for you. That’s okay. You and this deck are finding your feet together. Experiment, see how it goes, and get used to your likes, dislikes and general feelings about the cards. Ultimately, just getting used to a new friend or acquaintance in your life, this should help you connect in a deeper way with your deck, as well as to know if this particular one fits with you and how exactly to best handle it.
Do You Need More Guidance?
Go to my Lenormand Tips page for more tips about common issues and problems.
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