So to follow on from my recent posts on Traditional Meanings and the Near/Far method in the Grand Tableau, we turn to the next, inevitable, question.
What different results might we see if we read the Grand Tableau using the traditional meanings and near/far method (e.g. “Philippe Lenormand” instructions) compared, for instance, to more modern methods like the step by step ones I’ve laid out here in How To Read The Grand Tableau? (And please note, I say “modern” loosely, because, of course, it’s just the method I happen to use. My method is cribbed from the various things that have been handed down to me and that I’ve personally experimented with.)
Well, let’s do an experiment and check it out for ourselves, using the exact same Lenormand spread I used in the Example Traditional GT Reading With Near/Far Meanings.
To recap, this was the spread:
My Traditional Method Interpretation of These Cards
As a reminder, the ultimate interpretation of the Grand Tableau above, using the so-called Traditional method with near and far meanings, came out as follows.
In the main, things should be positive for our querent, with, for instance, successful enterprise and trade, and true love and happiness in all respects. She’ll find out a secret and needs to be careful when trying to resolve it as could be negative, although the surrounding cards indicate it’s something good to know, however, or a positive in some way for her although will involve likely news of misfortune, deceit or sorrow. This is likely to involve a powerful male enemy, and what could be some unhappy accidents with certain enterprises. Although she should have good luck with her enterprises, she could find out this man has stolen something from her, although it’s likely to be regained, and experience some bad luck. It could be that she’ll receive news of losses affecting this man, who is possibly someone older or senior. Again, it does seem as if there is good news coming for her, as well as a long-lasting love, so perhaps it is a positive in some way. She is likely to gain great wealth, either through trade or inheritance, although should watch out for the envious, as well as false friends in general who could cause some strife or unhappiness. in her social circle. Any illnesses or injuries should be minor and they shouldn’t impact her too much. A change of abode is indicated but further into the future. She could have some problems to deal with connected with the theft mentioned earlier, and should be careful in choosing her means to deal with the problem, as there could be further deceptions or untrustworthiness about.
So what differences and similarities might we see if we read using a different method?
Let’s try reading in the way I usually would, and see what similarities and differences we can find.
Will it be the same? Will it be wildly different? Let’s find out.
General Overview For The Querent
Here, I’ll look first at the four corners diagonally and the ‘message’ from the bottom four cards (as this is an 8 x 4 +4 layout).
Woman-Bear, Mountain-House = A wealthy woman, delays or obstacles at home
Sun-Crossroads-Fox-Cross = Multiple successes could bring work overload pressures OR the burden of someone untrustworthy into her life.
Our querent should be doing well financially, but could experience delays in household matters. She has the potential of multiple successes but should watch out for work overload or untrustworthy individuals.
Focusing On The Querent
Let’s focus first on the Querent card, her position and the cards immediately around her.
The Woman is at the very top left of the spread, indicating she’s pretty in control of life events. She appears in the House of the Rider, suggesting newness, arrival, a ‘new her’ in a way. The cards mirroring her tell of her home life (Woman-Home) but also delays and obstacles, possibly isolation (Woman-Mountain). She is knighted by the Heart, suggesting love, romance or passion may arrive at this time, and again by the Rider, suggesting visits, newness, or even someone new.
There are only a few cards immediately surrounding her in this case. The Anchor, suggesting stability in her life, the Book, suggesting secrets, knowledge or discoveries she’ll make, and the Bouquet, suggesting positivity and general pleasantness and blessings. Combined, the Book and Bouquet suggest she’ll discover or learn something that’s good to know, and the combination of the Anchor and Bouquet again suggests she’s blessed with stability and settledness at this time.
The ‘Lines’ Around The Querent
Here, I’m going to focus on the ‘stories’ from the row, column, and in this case, since there aren’t a lot of cards immediately surrounding her, the diagonal that the Querent is appearing in.
Querent’s Row Across:
Mirrored: The querent’s home life (Woman-House) involves a stable home life (Anchor-Garden) with perhaps some challenging news or a critical message (Letter-Whip) but nonetheless a key piece of luck or a turning point, a lucky or fated chance happening (Key-Clover).
Chain: The querent’s life should be stable (Woman-Anchor) and some news about that should be coming (Anchor-Letter), very important news (Letter-Key) bringing a huge opportunity or positive turning point for her (Key-Clover) although it may bring difficulties or criticism (Clover-Whip) from her social circle (Whip-Garden) perhaps at a family gathering or one at her home (Garden-House).
Querent’s Column Down:
The mirrored cards indicate our querent experiences obstacles or delays, possibly isolation (Woman-Mountain) to do with a negative or problematic secret or one belonging to someone negative in her life (Book-Snake). The cards suggest perhaps she makes a discovery or learns something (Woman-Book), likely about an enemy or something or someone negative causing blocks or delays (Snake-Mountain).
Our querent is generally blessed at this time (Woman-Bouquet) and is likely to achieve a dream (Bouquet-Stars). This could be marred, however, or confused (Stars-Clouds) either by someone deceptive and untrustworthy, or uncertainty about her work (Clouds-Fox).
Specific Life Areas or Questions Raised By The Cards
Now, you can go into as much or as little detail about the rest of the cards as you wish. You can, as you know, read the rest of the rows and columns to get more of a story. It is also useful to dig for a bit more information into different life areas.
Again, you can read around any card you wish for more info, and then check the houses, mirrored, reflected cards and knighting ones for even more detail. You can do this for every single card in the spread if you like, or you can focus it on one or two areas of interest. Whatever you want to know more about!
In this case, let’s look for more info on this Snake problem and the man concerned, her love life (Heart), her home life (House) and her Business, Enterprise & Money (Fish and Bear) matters.
Problem & enemies: the Snake
The Snake here is falling in the house of the Storks, suggesting problems with making changes or moves OR new types of problems. Above it is this good-to-know secret or knowledge we mentioned (Book-Bouquet), and things are generally good for our querent despite it, but it looks as though it’s a new type of problem or a problem person that shows up (Snake-Rider), underlying which is a particular Man causing blocks, obstacles delays, or one who is one in himself – in other words, a male enemy (Mountain-Man). The problem could be to do with knowledge being blocked (Book-Snake-Mountain), and it may bring a man offering gifts or being seemingly pleasant (Bouquet-Rider-Man). Looking at the mirrored and reflected cards, this could be a hidden problem or to do with misinformation (Book-Snake), it could be connected with the past or someone older (Snake-Lily) and it could come from overseas (Snake-Ship). The cards knighting the Snake are the Anchor, suggesting this is either a problem that’s been going on for a long time or one that could impact our querent’s stability, the Heart, which suggests the person involved could well have something to do with her love life, the Mice, which suggests anxiety, undermining and loss problems and the (Heart-Mice) together, indicating an anxious undermined or even lost romance
Further, if we look more at the Clouds card, we see, not only that in position 28, it falls in the house of the Man, that the Clouds is right next to the Mice, which is next to the Man concerned. We see that the querent’s hopes and dreams get overshadowed by something (Stars-Clouds), that a wrong turn is indicated (Clouds-Crossroads) and there could be deception connected to this (Clouds-Fox). Knighting the Clouds is the Rider, suggesting upcoming shadows or problems, a confused or troubled romance, possibly with someone immature or when younger (Heart-Clouds, Clouds-Child, Heart-Child). An emotional or manifested burden or test is also indicated, perhaps over feelings of guilt or obligation (Clouds-Moon, Clouds-Cross, Moon-Cross).
Her love life or passions (Heart)
The Heart falls in the House of Whip, suggesting there could be or have been some strife in this area, although it could indicate also sexual affairs. Above it, sits some important news impacting our querent’s stability (Anchor-Letter-Key), it suggests a romance or passion may well be blossoming (Bouquet-Heart-Tree), and that underpinning it could be some kind of official news of achievement or dreams (Rider-Stars-Tower). The idea of this being news or a message about love or heartfelt dreams comes up again with the cards immediately above and below the heart (Letter-Heart-Stars), and suggests something official, perhaps status, will be key to its growth or development (Key-Tree-Tower). It is mirrored by the Mice (Heart-Mice) and the Ring, suggesting a lost or anxious love, but later a committed one, perhaps a marriage, and reflected by the Fish, suggesting also freedom and independence in love. The knighting cards suggest the querent’s love life has had some problems (Woman-Heart, Snake-Heart, Woman-Snake), problems with a particular man who may be confused (Man-Heart, Heart-Clouds, Clouds-Man), but good luck coming in this area, perhaps a romantic opportunity with a friend (Heart-Clover, Heart-Dog, Clover-Dog).
Her home life (House)
The querent’s House card is falling in the house of Coffin, suggesting endings at home. It’s next to the Garden, suggesting socialising or groups of people, and there are two key indicators of change, new starts and a possible move, with both the Storks and the Ship beneath it. It’s mirrored by the Bear as well as the Woman, indicating related finances for her, and reflected by the Mountain, suggesting a delay or isolation of some kind. It is being knighted by the Ring, suggesting commitments or agreements, but also the Scythe, so there could be divisions or splits here. She should also be wary of accidents.
Her business/cashflow and general financial situations (Fish and Bear)
These are falling quite closely together and are likely to be related. The Fish falls in the house of Lily, suggesting perhaps a matured enterprise or cash from someone older. She should watch out for associated burden or slog to do with work or perhaps someone deceptive making her feel guilty (the Fox-Cross which sits below), and there appears to be a business or cashflow ending or at least talks about it here too (Birds-Fish-Coffin). The Scythe here is a concern – it suggests reductions, slashes, most likely from overseas (Scythe-Ship) so one source may be suddenly cut. It does look as though she may have more than one official business though, being knighted by (Tower- Crossroads), a new beginning or enterprise perhaps, with the Fish also knighted by (Child and Storks). The Lily is also knighting, again indicating a matured enterprise or cash from someone older.
The Bear, too, is right next to the Lily, suggesting ‘old money’ in some way. It could come as the result of a bereavement or inheritance (Coffin-Bear) although it also could mean one source of income dries up. That said, the Bear is in the House of the Sun, suggesting financial success, it’s reflecting the Woman and mirrored by the House card, so may have something to do with domestic or family matters, although it may be delayed (Mountain-Bear). There could be some emotional burden or lowness here too, as it is knighted by the Moon and Cross, and it also has the Scythe right next to it, indicating splits or perhaps division of assets, but there are also indications of changes and new beginnings connected with money as it’s also being knighted by the Storks.
So How Wildly Different ARE The Results From the Two Methods?
Aside from length and detail of the results – far less different than you might at first have thought! Or in this case, certainly.
In my example:
- Both predicted life being generally positive for my querent, with both the Anchor and Bouquet bringing protective results. Although the ‘success in enterprise, trade and love’ came from the Anchor in the traditional reading, it was generally supported in the more modern reading both by the stability of the Anchor, but also by the multiple streams of income, despite some issues, and a possible inheritance or money relating to a house. Love and romance (Heart) is also expected for her in both readings.
- The learning or discovery of a secret (Book) that will be positive knowledge for her is pretty much the same in both interpretations, despite the fact both also suggest it involves an unpleasant discovery.
- The ‘powerful male enemy’ (Man) also appears in both, although there are far more clues in the modern reading and details of who he might actually be. The traditional reading connects him more with her business affairs, whereas the modern seems to imply he could be a thwarted ex-lover. Obviously, both could be true simultaneously.
- Both readings suggest she will be getting good news, but both, in different ways suggest friction in her social circle as a result and that she needs to watch out for the untrustworthy.
- Both suggest a house move (House, Stork) may be on the cards, but not immediately. In the traditional, this is because of the Far position of the Storks. In the modern, it is because the House is being reflected by the Mountain.
- Note, too, how often house positions in particular can quite spookily reflect the messages given by other cards..
- Where the two methods differ, though, is in detail. The traditional gives some key “Main” highlights, whereas the more modern can give you a lot more detail; some of which is missing entirely from the more traditional reading. For example, although the traditional suggests a possible inheritance, the more modern indicates that this could be due to a family bereavement or a domestic separation in some way.
So! What Conclusions Can We Draw About The Two GT Reading Methods?
- The results aren’t as wildly different as you might have expected, particularly for cards close to the Querent. They mostly pick up on the exact same key issues
- The traditional method gives a more rounded and blunt overview in a way, with more modern methods, much more detail and nuanced, and where you get to choose how deep you want to dive into more.
- Both methods still require you to weave together a story, particularly from cards around the one you are focusing on.
- While I find some of the strictly traditional meanings a little restrictive (marine enterprises, anyone?) I find the ‘traditional’ summary, much shorter in length, gives a clearer, more satisfying overview in many ways.
- That said, I love all the extra clues and secrets you can pick up from more detailed techniques like knighting and mirroring.
So which methods and meanings should you choose to make sure your interpretation is “right”? I’ll be looking at that question next time.
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