Chloe McCracken's Celtic Lenormand contains some extra cards that can be used to add a layer of neopaganism to the Lenormand. Now, usually I'm a purist about these things, and fastidiously pick such cards out of the pack and stick them in the back of the box behind the LWB so they don't get mixed up in my working deck. I tend to ignore 'extra information' written in guidebooks, if it is outside of tradition. But today I thought, what the heck, and I started looking through the back of the Celtic Lenormand and spotted this Triple Goddess Line of Nine and decided to try it out.
The Celtic Lenormand includes three versions of the Birds card (12): one with songbirds, which can double as a Maiden card (as in Goddess aspect), one with chickens, doubling as the Mother card, and one with owls doubling as the Crone card. The Triple Goddess spread has you remove these cards and then draw six additional cards to create a Line of Nine.
Now, I've marked the three bird cards as Maid, Mother and Crone to make things simpler to follow, and you can see that the line of nine cards forms a nice pattern of three triplets. (When I first laid the cards out, I added seven, which put an extra card at the end and really confused me. I'm easily confused...and not too good at counting, obviously.) It makes me wonder how much the reading experience would change if you just put the Bird cards down the middle and laid out the others on either side, like this:
You wouldn't need to read it as an actual Square of Nine (or Portrait Spread, as Caitlin Matthews calls it), just a series of triplets. The mirroring of the Line of Nine is not disrupted as you can simply mirror corner to corner. I think either would work, and I like the square shape better than the long line. :)
Anyway, back to the cards. If we look at the Bird cards not as Bird cards but as expression of the three Goddess aspects, according the guidebook the Maid 'inspires', the Mother 'creates' and the Crone 'guides'. So the first triplet Coffin - Maid - Pathways could mean 'Inspired to leave something old behind and venture off in a new direction,' or 'Something comes to an end and a choice must be made.' The second triplet of Child - Mother - Rider works with that interpretation, because it could mean 'Learning of new skills is shared with others,' or 'New training/learning whets enthusiasm,' or 'New discovery leads to vigorous activity.' The final triplet of Ring - Crone - Stars could mean, 'Strong commitment will guide you,' as both the Crone card and the Stars card are interpreted as 'guidance'. And course, the three Bird cards reinforce the importance of communication and community.
So the interpretation I would give this Line of Nine is:
You will (or should) leave behind some old habits/beliefs and become inspired to find new ones. You will (or should) make some choices that lead you in new directions. You can't know what may be a dead end path, and that is okay, but moving forward is of the essence. As you explore new ideas, you will (or should) share them with others, in order to clarify them in your mind and stoke your own enthusiasm for them. You will (or should) find yourself becoming more active. Your deep commitment to your new habits/beliefs will serve as your guide in the future.
I asked Chloe this morning what her take was on the cards and she gave me this quick fire response: 'One set of inspiration is ending, so you need to make a choice for something new that will bring you greater creativity. It may have to do with gathering information, or spreading messages. You will need commitment to this spiritual wisdom, which will multiply and flow if you follow spirit.' (That last bit is because I told her the Fish card was on the end -- I didn't realise it was an extra card not needed in the spread until I counted them up again. But either way, our interpretations are very similar.)
And what does this remind you of? How about this: Magical Working?! Yes, my spell that I created and decorated my altar for and have yet to work. Look, I'm a tarot card reader, but I'm not perfect. I'm just as reluctant at times to follow through on the advice of my cards and my own convictions as any client -- as any other human being. At least I'm truthful about it. I'm real. I'm not going to tell you something that is not actually happening in my life, and this is what's actually happening: I'd rather eat cake than work a spell on eating well. That's where I am right now. But at least I am moving toward it enough to start the process, which is a lot closer than I've been in the last few years. It's just funny to me that this very same message popped up again, in a completely different medium and without warning, as I had no topic in mind. I mean, there are all sorts of areas in my life where I might apply this advice, but nutrition is the one I most dread starting on, and so that's the one I figured is the one I probably need most. :)
If you try out this spread, do tell. If you don't have the Celtic Lenormand, you could take the Maid, Mother and Crone out of any other goddess deck and lay your Lenormand cards around them, or you could use tokens such as crystals, or runes, or even take slips of paper and write 'Maid', 'Mother' and 'Crone' on them. Have a go!