Hello everyone and welcome to my first episode about how to read the cards. In this technique video, we’re going to focus on the Hourglass. This came about as a request to explain the Hourglass layout. There’s also a Free Printable guide for this Hourglass reading, so be sure to download it so you can use it in your practice.
Now, I want to discuss not only the Hourglass that you see in my monthly forecasts for the year 2019, but I also want to tell you about two other versions of the Hourglass. I came across the Hourglass through other authors and I gave it the name “hourglass” because it has and hourglass shape. However, I’ve had to tweak the Hourglass versions that I saw so that I can include the three cards from the Astroclock in the middle of the Hourglass.
So let’s just quickly look at the one that I do in the monthly forecasts. It’s the one that has three cards in the middle line and has an additional eight cards around them in a bottom and top row. The three cards you see in the middle of this Hourglass come from the Astroclock.
Now before I get into the other versions of the Hourglass, I want to briefly discuss how to deal the cards. Of course you can deal them any way you like, but I suggest that you start with the middle cards and then add the eight ones around them like I just did. You can deal the cards or you can select them from fanned out deck.
So place the first three cards then, if you have space, you can add the four at the top, the four at the bottom, and then open them up. But if you don’t have space, then I suggest that you first turn over the first three cards, and then add the other cards on top of them like I normally do. This creates less space for the layout. It’s entirely up to you.
Now, if you’re going to consciously select the cards that come in the middle like I do with the Astroclock, then you need to lay them out first. You can use an Astroclock as a basis for these three cards like I do, but you can also consciously select your topic cards from the deck based on your understanding of the cards.
Let’s say this is about a long-term friendship and if there’s going be a gathering with this person [Dog + Tower + Garden]. So these would represent the topic. We would place them down first and then draw the remaining eight cards randomly like you see me do in the forecasts. So this is just about selecting the signifier cards, which I discuss more in the Free Printable – and it’s also how I do it with the Astroclock cards. Now let’s get into the three versions of the Hourglass. I call them “small”, “medium”, and “large”.
The small Hourglass has only one card in the center and then it has four cards around it. In the small Hourglass, the middle card represents the main theme or the main outcome – if you want to interpret it in this way. And then you can combine the other cards in different ways to come up with different indications.
So for example, you can read these two cards [left column] as the past, the central card as the present, and the last two cards [right column] on the right as the future. That’s one way you can read the cards. You can read the top two cards as indicating intentions and aspirations, and the bottom two as indicating actions. You can also look at the corner cards. You can combine them as number one and two at the top, plus number one and two at the bottom. This represents what surrounds the situation. Of course, you can read the two diagonals, which give you the main story line. So these are the different ways you can interpret the simple or small Hourglass.
Now the next size of the Hourglass is the medium hourglass and this is an interesting one because the cards start to show bigger combinations. You place two cards in the middle, and then draw three in the top and three in the bottom. Because of this configuration, you read the cards a little bit differently.
Obviously, the two central cards in the middle are the key theme, the key outcome of the reading, or the key focus, whichever way you want to interpret them specifically.
The left two cards in this column [left column] are the past, the middle two cards in this column [middle column] are the present, and the last two cards in the right column are the future. You can also read the top line as a key story line and key aspirations, and the bottom line as key actions and another set of indications about the story line. These are important.
You also have the left mini-Portrait and the right mini-Portrait. The left mini-Portrait would focus on the past and the right mini-Portrait would focus on the future. And then you would read their corresponding diagonals to get more indications about them.
You can also read the corner cards in this Hourglass. These are the cards that surround the situation. They “box” the spread as I like to say, and you can read them in a Z-shape or in an X-shape.
Now, another interesting element that comes through specifically with the medium Hourglass is the above and below. You can see these diagonals tie together [downward pointing triangle] and these diagonals tie together [upward pointing triangle], and you have what looks like a Star of David. The downward pointing triangle is about what is coming down, or what is manifesting. And the upward pointing triangle is about your alignment with your higher self, which is about your spiritual development. These are fascinating ways we can start putting the cards together.
In the Printable you’ll know that I distinguish between sentences and structures. Card sentences are about reading cards when they are adjacent to each other. Card structures are when you read them together but when the cards are not next to each other. So there are many different ways to combine the cards with sentences and structure, and you’ll then start unearthing all these juicy details in a reading!
Now let’s get into the large Hourglass which is the one that you see in the monthly videos. As you might know, this one has three central cards like so, and then I add four at the top and four in the bottom. Now again, a different configuration means that we’re going to read the cards a little bit differently.
The middle line is the key line, it’s the key outcome, the key theme, or the key focus for the reading. The top line is a key story line, and the bottom line is also a key story line. Yes you can again read the top line as intentions, and the bottom line as actions or manifestations.
We have three mini-Portraits that show up in the large Hourglass. So I take the left mini-Portrait to mean the past, the middle mini-Portrait to mean the present, and the right mini-Portrait to mean the future. So you look at each mini-Portrait as a time period, and of course, you read their diagonals as key indications within each of these time periods.
Note that when I read the Astroclock, I don’t interpret it in this way because it’s all related to the future as I’m looking at the next month. So of course, how you divide up the cards, how you parse them, and the significance you give to the different structures and sentences, is up to you and is best matched to your query or to why you’re actually asking the cards.
So for example, this card here [left card of the middle line] is the key theme for the past. The central card [middle card of the middle line] is the key theme for the present, and this central card [right card of the middle line] is the key theme for the future. Each diagonal within each of the mini-Portraits tells you more about these different time periods.
Again, you can read the box of the spread which is made up of the four corner cards, and you can read them in different ways. You can use a Z-shaped or X-shaped sentence depending on how you like to do it. Some people will even read the top and bottom cards on the left and the top and bottom cards on the right, or in a square.
It also depends on the cards. Sometimes you’ll get an intuition that it makes more sense to read the cards in this or that direction. So always follow how you feel and how it’s resonating with you.
With regards to the above and below sentences, I do think that the medium-sized Hourglass is best because there’s just one Star of David that comes through. But you can still pick up the same dynamics in the large Hourglass. You have this one that manifests [first downward pointing triangle from the left] and then this one that manifests [second downward pointing triangle from the left]. And you have this one that’s pointing up [first upward pointing triangle from the left] and this one that’s going up [second upward pointing triangle from the left]. So you have two Stars of David if you want to put it that way. What is aligning with yourself would be the two upward pointing triangles and what is manifesting would be the two downward triangles.
All of these sentences and structures are optional. It’s really up to you how you want to read the cards. It’s usually a better idea to decide beforehand how you’re going to interpret the reading but be a bit flexible because sometimes the cards will also give you some guidance about how best to interpret them.
The idea that you read a card over and over as part of different structures and different sentences is the cornerstone of the Lenormand practice. This is what makes it so fluid and what enables you to unearth so many details and wonderful secrets from the spread. It’s very different from the Tarot where each card has a specific position like a past, present, or future position. The Lenormand is completely different. Yes you can assign significance to the position of the cards, but more often than not, the cards are always part of different structures and sentences such that you have a lot more detail from the stories that come out of the cards. And for me this is the most enjoyable part of reading Lenormand.
So I hope you found this little tutorial helpful. Please leave me some comments and questions, and I’ll answer them. And if you want to see other kinds of tutorials, please let me know what they are.