Pixie's Astounding Lenormand

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Nemia
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Pixie's Astounding Lenormand

Post by Nemia » 21 Sep 2017, 17:41

Edmund Zebrowski had the wonderful idea to pick details from Pamela Colman-Smith's famous tarot cards and other less famous artworks, and to arrange them as Lenormand deck. Printed on matte, off-white card stock, these cards combine the much beloved style of Colman-Smith's tarot deck with the simple motifs of the Lenormand deck. A Roman numeral at the top, the card name and a minimalist suit sign and number at the bottom (instead of a whole playing card insert like in traditional Lenormand cards) give you the information you need about each card.

The production values of this deck are superb. The little booklet that comes with it is informative and useful (albeit a bit difficult to browse since it's really small and tightly bound), and the tin is simply charming. The cardbacks are beautiful, too.

The deck has the traditional 36 cards with no extra cards which is fine to get you going - you can read Lenormand very well with them.

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Is there anything NOT to love in this deck? Well, it depends how you read Lenormand. Some of the cards invite a tarot-like interpretation. Just look at the Garden card. The Garden is supposed to be a public place, one where people meet, it's the social facade, a large audience - nothing private or emotional or intimate. But look at that fountain. It screams Ace of Cups - and I find it difficult to un-see Ace of Cups when I see it.

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The Child card is beautiful - but the fence and the background landscape are nearly too much information. The Coffin is really problematic because this is not a coffin but a tomb - and one of the gisant type with a recumbent effigy of the dead. The Clouds don't have a bright and dark side, the Sun again screams tarot Sun - the Letter could be read as the Lady - you see I picked some difficult examples. If I didn't have my dozen years Blue Owl practice, I'd find some choices in this deck distracting. Obviously, the artist had to work with what Colman-Smith's oeuvre gave him. What a pity she never painted a simple coffin!

If you know your Lenormand cards and are able to focus on their different meanings without being "led astray" by the visual clues, then you can use this deck. And if you feel more comfortable with an intuitive reading style, tarot-like, then you're also fine.

If however you find the Lenormand meanings confusing and especially when you're so soaked with tarot practice and RWS love that you find the transition to Lenormand difficult, then probably the beautiful Pixie deck is not perfect for you. It's probably easier to start with a deck that's far removed from the esthetics of your beloved RWS as possible.

Don't get me wrong - I love this deck and don't want to disparage it. Look at the cards and decide for yourself. For some people, the tomb effigy would be a deal breaker. For me, it is not.

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Barleywine
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Re: Pixie's Astounding Lenormand

Post by Barleywine » 22 Sep 2017, 06:01

I've had this deck for a while now, and like it more as I use it. I've come to simply call Smith's artwork "divination-friendly" since it is easy to internalize for that purpose. I use the images on Lenormand cards mainly as prompts to set off a chain of interpretive associations. In the same way that I don't get led astray by the pictures in the RWS deck, I also avoid that trap here. The deck is a little small for my taste, but it works beautifully for the Grand Tableau. I like the tin as well.

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