Lenormand — if not symbols, than what?
Mary K. Greer has a post up about Lenormand cards, in which she asserts
The cards are not read symbolically! The narrow range of meanings, which are functional rather than symbolic, ensure there is little ambiguity about their significance.
I love Greer’s work and have always admired it, and the rest of her post is interesting (in fact, she has several very valuable bits of research on her blog for those interested in the Lenormand: this post is particularly interesting, as it provides evidence that the Lenormand did not begin as a game afterall).
But I cannot understand what she might mean by this statement. A symbol is “aliquid stat pro aliquo,” or “something that stands for something else.” If I draw a Lenormand card –Mice, let’s say — and say “Busy, but without much profit, and maybe small annoyances as well,” I’ve read that card symbolically. Even if I read it as “Oh, gosh, you have mice in your house!” I’ve read it symbolically. The card isn’t a mouse: it’s a symbol of a mouse. A mouse isn’t small annoyances; it’s a symbol of small annoyances.
Later on, she offers an example:
The cards are easily adapted to modern situations as long as the integrity of the whole is not broken. For instance, Stars (like the nodes in a web) is the internet and, along with Garden (the public), they represent social networking.
If this is not reading symbolically, I have to wonder what is.