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


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.


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