Petit Lenormand, No. 5-8

Here we go again, with the next four Lenormand cards.

Baby Birch: Tree & Judgement

This is the song for Baby Birch.
I will never know you.
And at the back of what we’ve done,
there is that knowledge of you.

Joanna Newsom, “Baby Birch” (Have One On Me, 2010)

The narrator of “Baby Birch,” having made her choices, looks back at what (and who) might have been. The entirety of this song ties in neatly to the secular sense of the Judgement in the Tarot, where one’s past is compounded in the moment of one monumental decision.

The Tree card from Lenormand is not terribly far off. In a metaphorical sense, it relates to things rooted in the past. A more immediate meaning is health, tempering the sadness of the song.

“En Gallop”: Clouds & Ten of Batons

And I go where the trees go,
and I walk from a higher education
(for now, and for hire).

Palaces and stormclouds
and the rough, straggly sage, and the smoke
and the way it will all come together
(in quietness, and in time).

Joanna Newsom, “En Gallop” (The Milk-Eyed Mender, 2004)

Though significantly brighter, the Ten of Batons shares the same sense of uncertainty with the Clouds. Stepping off into the unknown and all.

Kingfisher: Snake & the Tower

In this life, where did you crouch,
when the sky had set to boiling?
Burning within, seen from without,
and your gut was a serpent, coiling.

Joanna Newsom, “Kingfisher” (Have One On Me, 2010)

These are two of my favorite cards, for the superficial reasoning that I just love drawing coily wavy twisty things. Fire, waves, and snakes. In Lenormand as elsewhere, snakes get a bad reputation: deception, betrayal, and so on. The metaphor in “Kingfisher” (the most metal song ever played on a harp) is similarly dark. But snakes themselves I love. There’s nothing more calming and heartening than seeing a snake (or a cat) just loving life, vibing in the sun or on the warm earth, sticking her little tongue out…

Cosmia: Coffin & Death

In the cornfield,
when she called me
Moths surround me.
Thought they’d drown me.
And I miss your precious heart.
And I miss your precious heart.

Joanna Newsom, “Cosmia” (Ys, 2006)

Well, for this last set I think the similarities are pretty clear. If you are reading this post and happen to be one of the people who got a copy of Anecdotes without knowing the musical references, “Cosmia” is a song about the death of a friend. And that is the reasoning for the moth imagery in Death, the Knight of Cups, and this Lenormand Coffin card. (Plus, moths do give me the creeps.)

Leave a Reply