An honest review of Cartomancy with the Lenormand and the Tarot by Patrick Dunn
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Upon first glance, you would think Cartomancy with the Lenormand and the Tarot would include spreads or instruction on how to read the Lenormand and the Tarot together. However, that's not the case at all.
Instead, Patrick Dunn's book takes a theoretical approach to the meanings and origination of the Tarot's major arcana and that of the Lenormand cards.
It isn't a book of spreads or instructions on how to read either deck…and it certainly isn't a book for a beginner to either system!
Who is Patrick Dunn?
Patrick Dunn is an English professor specializing in modern literature and language. He has practiced magic all his life.
His qualifications to write a book on Lenormand and the Tarot? I'm not sure. I tried to find additional information about Mr. Dunn online, but it was limited to his career teaching English.
Why should you read “Cartomancy with the Lenormand and the Tarot”?
This is a book that will make you think and might teach you a thing or two about the occult, symbolism, divination, and the practice of magic.
Mr. Dunn delves into what the world was like when the Tarot and Lenormand were created – politically, socially, and economically. It gives a nice historical perspective into how the card meanings may have originated.
He touches on the symbolic make-up of the Tarot's major arcana for those who are unfamiliar with Tarot. He tends to focus on the Golden Dawn teachings in his approach. For those new to this concept or someone looking to delve a little deeper into the theoretical aspects, this can be an intriguing read.
Mr. Dunn presents his method for preparing for readings, tips on reading for others, and how he reads intuitively. This information can be useful for someone wanting more insight on how to ground for readings, how to focus for more accurate readings, and for anyone who would like guidance on how to approach a reading when it is for someone else.
Finally, Cartomancy with the Lenormand and the Tarot focuses on divination and magic. He provides a good study on the use of symbols in divination.
If you have ever wondered how to incorporate Lenormand into the practice of magic, Mr. Dunn does provide a simple spell for doing so. All you need is your deck and a candle. I haven't tried it yet, but let me know if you do.
This is the only book I have come across that teaches how you can scry with a Lenormand card.
Criticisms of “Cartomancy with the Lenormand and the Tarot”
After reading this book, I had the impression that Mr. Dunn was well-versed in the Tarot, but I'm not sure he fully understands Lenormand. I received the impression he was still learning Lenormand when he wrote Cartomancy with the Lenormand and the Tarot.
When it comes to Lenormand, Mr. Dunn seems to think the petit Lenormand is simply a deck of card meanings whose symbols need to be understood. He often compares the Tarot's major arcana with the 36 petit Lenormand cards. His desire is to read both decks according to their symbols and to use the symbols on the cards of the major arcana to help him understand the symbols on each Lenormand card, and vice versa.
In doing so, he doesn't appear to grasp the system that makes up reading Lenormand, whether it's card combinations, distance or any other technique. Lenormand isn't about a bunch of symbols on cards. It's about the process that goes into reading a deck. It's the interrelation of every card to one another.
Reading Lenormand is about looking at the big picture, but Mr. Dunn's focus on symbolism takes a superficial approach that merely scratches the surface of what Lenormand is about.
The book often left me feeling Mr. Dunn wanted Lenormand to be just like the Tarot. Instead of learning how to read Lenormand, I had the impression that Mr. Dunn would prefer to make Lenormand fit the Tarot and read both systems according to how one reads the Tarot. This is a common habit for people who come to Lenormand from the Tarot as the Tarot is the method they are most familiar with, but it truly does a disservice to Lenormand and limits the information that can be gleamed from a Lenormand reading.
That being said, this isn't a bad book. It's simply constrained by what appears to be the author's lack of understanding of Lenormand. There are many other things to commend this book, as I mentioned above.
Summary: My Overall Review of “Cartomancy with the Lenormand and the Tarot”
If you aren't familiar with Lenormand or the Tarot, I recommend you skip this book. It will not teach you the basics of how to read either.
If you're an intermediate or advanced student, you might find some value in adding Cartomancy with the Lenormand and the Tarot to your collection.
Note: I received neither a free copy of “Cartomancy with the Lenormand and the Tarot” nor other compensation for my review. All opinions are my own.