Johnlock and the Lenormand

 

 

Sherlock Series 3
John and Sherlock on their John and Mary’s wedding day. 

 

Why suck at just one form of cartomancy when you can suck at two? Why indeed? I thought and started learning the Lenormand cards this past weekend. It’s an interesting system, straightforward, the McGonagall to tarot’s Trelawney*. It relies on a kind of “storyboarding” method of reading. In some ways, it’s less complex than tarot, but that may just be because tarot still puzzles me 75% of the time.

I’m working on Caitlin Matthews’ The Complete Lenormand Oracle. It looked the least funny of the three books I got on the topic – less pedantic than Learning Lenormand by Marcus Katz and Tali Goodwin and less finger-wavey than Rana George’s The Essential Lenormand – and has a great selection of exercises to do. It’s one of these exercises that led to today’s post. The deck and I were both tired of reading about my dull life, and so inspired by this post, I thought I’d do an “As above, so below” spread for Sherlock and John’s relationship in BBC’s Sherlock.

Sherlock and John’s relationship

 

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Clearly, shoddy artwork has not stopped me.

 

1. Man 2. Woman 3. Heart

4. Fox 5. Whip 6. Birds

I should probably just admit outright to being a Johnlocker, so when Man + Woman + Heart popped up I actually went, “Aww yiss!” out loud. Take into consideration that I might be a little biased here, but I do read cards 1, 2 and 3 to be indicative of romantic feelings, and I interpret the rest of the cards from this assumption.

The bottom row shows that John and Sherlock’s romantic relationship isn’t straightforward and uncomplicated, primarily because it isn’t actualised; it’s all shadow games. Interestingly, Fox + Whip + Birds shouts “sex on the sly” to me, but it could also indicate stresses (lies, arguments) around their pairing (Birds).

Cards 4, 5 and 6 pairs up with their top most parts to tell us more about them. Interpreting cards 1 and 4 together, I’d say that John (who I read as more “masculine” than Sherlock**) is deceptive about his feelings (and probably his sexuality, as we see below). Sherlock’s Woman is full of desire but doesn’t know how to express it properly*** (also below). The Bird + Heart combo is interesting; it could mean both rumours about their feelings and a relationship itself (Birds being a pair).

Reading cards 1, 5 and 3, we literally see that “man argues against his heart”. John is in some serious denial, y’all, which seems pretty obvious if you’ve watched like five minutes of the show. Cards 4, 2 and 6 could indicate either that Woman believes Man’s deception about the type of relationship he wants – Sherlock doesn’t believe John wants him – or Woman/Sherlock is the one doing the tricking. I favour the first interpretation.

The fourth season of Sherlock was a major disappointment for me, to the extent that I’d be fine if they never made another episode. But man, would I love to see John and Sherlock’s (romantic) feelings expressed in an obvious way! I still cherish a vague hope that they will, that something will happen that makes sense of the awfulness of the fourth season, but at the same time, I completely doubt it. Maybe a topic for another spread?


*Happy #HarryPotter20!
**Just personal preference here, and one TopLock would have a lot to say about.
***Woman + Whip hadn’t escaped my notice – doesn’t that just scream Irene Adler, “The Woman”? In some ways, Irene Adler is Sherlock’s only obvious experience with romance, specifically with being desired sexually. I’ve always thought of Irene as a mirror for Sherlock and John’s feelings (compare Irene’s “not straight” with John’s constant “not gay” and her telling him, “Look at us both.”) But I concede you could read this as a Sherlock and Irene relationship.

Getting to know the Dark Angels Tarot

I’ve been reading the tarot on and off for a few years, more “off” than “on” until fairly recently. When I was in my early twenties, the second or third deck I bought was Lo Scarabeo’s Dark Angels Tarot. From the images I saw online it seemed like a beautiful deck, just the thing to add to my “light” collection. But the deck’s “in hand” experience left something to be desired, and I only used it a handful of times before I gave up the practice for the better part of five years.

Around the start of this year, I dug out my old tarot cards again. I’ve mostly been working with the Universal Waite, inconstantly picking at the Dark Angels deck with scepticism. Sometimes readings will “sing” to you, but either the Dark Angels deck wasn’t singing or I was tone deaf to its melody. Then I ran across this spread from Little Red Tarot that specifically mentioned decks that had been neglected and I thought, Eh, why not? My readings couldn’t actually suck any more with the Dark Angels than they have in the past.

What a surprise it turned out to be!

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1. Tell me about yourself – what is your most important characteristic?

Seven of Swords

My first impression was that this deck isn’t messing around. The LWB describes the Seven of Swords as, “The angel has prepared her plan, she believes she is ready for anything.” The card shows an angel surrounded by swords and wielding one, looking supremely confident about it. This deck doesn’t take prisoners.

2. What are your strengths as a deck?

The Lovers

The Lovers in the Dark Angels features four people; I suppose you can make up your own mind about how they’re configured (it seems soap opera-ish to me, but I’m a prude, so). The deck is attuned to deciphering relationships and deals well with unusual situations. It’s also protective of those it deems worthy – who appears to be anyone who’s in for the ride.

3. What are your limits as a deck?

King of Swords

The LWB describes him rather ominously as, “The angel of authority will wield the sword of the law when necessary.” The Dark Angels tarot isn’t a merciful or forgiving deck – to soft soap you would be insulting, no?

4. What are you here to teach me?

Five of Swords

The Dark Angels Tarot is here to get. Stuff. Done. Creative energy comes to nothing unless a start is made, and the DAT means to make that start.

5. How can I best learn and collaborate with you?

Five of Swords

This read as a bit of challenge to me. The artwork shows an angel collecting swords, his efforts unobstructed though he is technically outnumbered. “Be in it to win it”, the deck seems to be saying. The best collaboration would be to take the same “no nonsense” attitude.

6. What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?

Knight of Wands

“The angel of action moves ever onward, never resting,” LWB advises. The Knight tramps around in a graveyard, his action unhindered even by death. A working relationship here would have the emphasis on “working”; together with the deck, I could create and effect movement.


The suits – wands and swords – combine to form a very active and proactive energy. Altogether it feels like a very “masculine”* deck and not one to fiddle around with when indecisive. I’ve since done another reading with the deck** that clicked for me. It’s like I’ve been plodding through a very thick book that makes much more sense now that I’ve bothered to read the blurb on the back!

I probably won’t use this deck very often – my “taste” for noir/Goth has worn off as I edge closer to thirty – but I’m happy that I’ve finally broken the ice with it all these years later.


*By which I mean traditionally masculine.
**Another one of Little Red Tarot’s.