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Common Motifs in Lenormand-Type Oracles: The Dog

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Common Motifs in Lenormand-Type Oracles: The Dog


There are two dogs in most Tarot decks: the little dog (who is sometimes a cat) who urges Le Mat on his journey and may represent ego, and the dog who meets with his estranged cousin, the wolf, to serenade the Great Mother on La Lune. But we are speaking here of oracle decks, where the images are less abstract, less allegorical.

"Dog" usually equates to "friendship & loyalty" in a reading. (Not always, there are other interps such as "guard" and "literal dog", lol.)

Lenormand decks have a kind of primness to them, "a place for everything and everything in its place". On Lenormand decks, the Dog is usually outdoors, beside his own little doghouse. The lady of the house doesn't want her furniture smelling like dog. :? Often he is chained there, but he appears content in spite of this. His job is probably to bark when people come in the yard. (Sometimes this can fit the reading, sometimes not.) On the Piatnik, he looks happy to see you. The undercurrent here is a relationship with boundaries. When I see this one, I often think I need to be nicer to this Dog friend.

The Sibilla Della Zingara card Fedelta (Fidelity) shows a St. Bernard that reminds me of Barry.
http://www.nmbe.ch/deutsch/531_5_1_9.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_%28dog%29
This adds a strong connotation of "rescuer."

La Vera Sibilla shows a white, Borzoi-type dog sitting near a tent. This card is also called "Fedelta." I can't find a legend to go with this one, maybe someone else can identify it? And is it a soldier's tent? A miner's? In any case, it implies that the dog will suffer hardship to stay with the person he cares about.

Both Biedermeier and Ziguener Wahrsagekarten have "Fidelity" cards, and they both show a dog on a grave!
http://greyfriarsbobby.co.uk/story.html
I have an old book that has done much to illuminate these cards:
A Book of Famous Dogs by Albert Payson Terhune. There may be some factual errors in it but this is the lore that was told over and over about these dogs. IMHO, the lore is what you want for card-reading purposes, because it is the collective consciousness. You will also find the Gelert story there, a much more affecting and complete version than the one in the book that accompanies the Druid Animal Oracle. These and many others, like the little dog of Pompeii. The book is out of print but I got mine cheaply and easily enough on ebay. Here you can find excerpts from some of Terhune's other books, to get an idea of his writing style:
http://www.sunnybankcollies.us/excerpts.htm
The feelings evoked here are the Dog cards.
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