038 ancient arabian lenormand

Friday, November 20, 2020

Out of all the Malpertuis decks, these cards have my favorite edges in matte dark gold. A limited edition of 1000 copies. Card dimensions are 70mm x 120mm, printed on 350gsm art paper and finished with UV varnish. The rustic feel of Neil Lovell's collaged style fits the setting quite perfectly. It portrays a historic culture with dazzling architecture and artisanry. You really must experience it to understand its magic first hand. The Jemaa el-Fnaa will stay with me forever. 🍊🍍🍌🌿🌾🍃🐓🐪🐫

The size of the cards is nice because you can fully appreciate the art. The numbers are a little hard to read for me with the low contrast pattern in the corner. I had the PDF booklet downloaded and I refer to that when I need a closer look into what I pulled. For a time I confused Mountain with Paths and Letter with Birds. In this deck, small inserts appear at the top centre of each card. Kings are represented by a sword, Queens by a bottle, and Jacks by an ouda traditional Arabic stringed instrument. The deck features two different Man and Woman cards to facilitate same sex readings. I leave all the extra cards in for additional information and appreciate having the luxury of more cards. There is also an extra card featuring spices.

The little white booklet PDF is a great source of information. I like that he details the playing card insert meanings to refer to quickly for those who aren't familiar with the playing card method. There is also an introduction to reading cards as pairs, which the Lenormand system works great with. He offers four example readings with the pairing method, explaining how meanings can change when you switch the order of the cards. 

The yellow ochre shifting sands of the desert have left a lifelong impression. The crisp breeze of the African continent carries with it the magic of the ancients. Quenching my thirst with the sweetest natural grapefruit juice I could friend, delighting in dried apricot and ice cream made from scratch. The distant sounds of the medina are a whisper echoing through the banks of my memory. The medina is a densely packed, walled medieval city dating to the Berber empire, with maze-like alleys where thriving souks (marketplaces) sell traditional textiles, pottery and jewelry.

It takes me back to the days I woke up before 5 A.M, hearing the call to prayer from my balcony. The sun barely starts to shine and the glow of my computer screen tints my face in blue. I can hear the birds chirping from the riad and the streets are less busy. I start all my days with mint tea made with the leaves tucked into the kettle. An aroma so powerful I can still recall it from my memories.

As you walk through the labyrinth, you get some sights! Stray cats roam the streets like lazy royalty, there are beautiful iron doors with pastel colors or stark black and white patterns. I did not cross a door I did not love for its rustic, artisanal qualities. The streets are cobblestone and many of the walls of he labyrinth have been worn down by the desert’s climate. Many of the patterns seen overhead are in lace. What a Romantic place! Agrabah has come to life!

What is your most important characteristic?
25. The Ring. Bringing people together in a personal or professional context. Can represent business partnerships also. Collaborations, a promise, contracts. An important commitment and investment of effort comes from deciding to practice divination, trusting it to give you sound advice or projections on your future.

What are your strengths as a Lenormand deck?
36. The Cross. The message coming through can seem somber and sobering or at times dark.  There isn't much hope to pull from something when terms are terse and clear.

This card can mean help with burdens or difficulties. (Physical/psychological) Grief, loss or long term illness. An affliction. Repentance or regret. Rain, gloom.

What are your limits?
13. The Child.  Naivete that comes with refusal to accept a situation. The instinct that keeps us pushing to hear what we want instead of being open to accept what is truly in store. Can represent an aspect of your childhood or past. Independence, simple pleasures, new beginning, study.

What are you here to teach me?
12. The Birds.
To run things over with others, discussing the readings quickly and to the point. The nervous excitement of talking about something that impassions you. Chatter, small talk, gossip. Messaging, closeness, small meeting.

How can I best learn to collaborate with you?
18. The Dog.
Trusting the cards you have pulled are the message you must know. Turning to the cards often and mulling over your thoughts as if you were in the best company. A friend. Loyalty and trust. Literally, a pet. Honesty, support, trust, dependability, companion.

What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
29. The Woman. Share it with others that look to you for direction or advice. Being open to gentle, reassuring influence. A warm, sentimental type of bond.

Which card do you want to show off?
35. The Anchor.  The craft can take time to cement and to be truly understood. You can't rush it until it's coming through. Things going slowly, not progressing. Stagnation. Safety in the comfort zone.

How do you see me?
21. The Mountain. Firm and unyielding, having trouble changing. Will take effort to overcome difficulties.

How do you see yourself?
30. The Key. A mature and sober craft. Wisdom and inner peace is gained from experience. This is a tool to learn to use that. Learning to be patient is worth it when you finally come to find the fruit of your efforts.

The size of the cards feels nice to hold and shuffles smoothly as well. A detail I particularly enjoy about it is the delicate frame with the color variance. The vaulting arch was a particularly nice touch, suggesting elements of architecture in the art. The use of patterns is also a great delight. I just wish there were more cards in the deck so that I could enjoy them. A tarot deck with this theme would have been truly spectacular.

On the day we visited the Berber village in the Atlas mountains, I got to meet the fine people making argan oil for all uses, sorting through spices and weaving together very beautiful handira. I got to see many restaurants with the tables literally inside the river, and a couple right outside of it. The water was clear and cold, and the surroundings were rocky and jagged. It is a one-of-a-kind place, how I wish I could go back soon. Experience it all over again with somebody I care about. It is an adventure that stays with you long after you have left.

I think a lot about the old world charm fused with lavish, sleek city of Gueliz. The wide, French-era streets of Gueliz are home to upscale Moroccan and European restaurants, cabarets and chic bars, as well as art galleries and mainstream fashion stores. I ate too many chicken risotto meals there, and wish I had gone to different places to eat. They had so many amazing restaurants hidden in the maze. Created by the eponymous painter, and later owned by Yves Saint Laurent, the Jardin Majorelle has grasses, cacti, flowers and various elements painted cobalt blue. The gardens had an exhibit of the Berber people that left my heart soaring with dreams.

It's nice to have a deck that reminds me of a time in my life I went through a positive turning point. 2017 was a big year for me, and this trip was really the beginning of a new stage in my life. I remember it very fondly, and yearn to return someday. The Middle East has many treasures in plain sight.

Going through these memories made me smile. I have many special moments with the people I love documented, and those moments hold me over when I miss my loved ones.

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