You may already know this, but it is actually the second version of my Wooden Wildera Lenormand. Unfortunately, the first one had to stay back in France at my parents’ house because I couldn’t take it with me when we were moving to the USA. But I’m okay with it, it wasn’t a complete set anyway.
I don’t really remember which pieces I had the time to finish before I took off. Well, I suppose I could easily find out, since I probably have a couple of pictures saved somewhere on my computer files. I am pretty sure that the Bear was one of the pieces done. If you know me, you know Bear Spirit is pretty much always involved, and always comes first.
What I do know however, is that there are many differences between the two versions. First there’s my choice of wood. I went for birch slices this time, instead of… oh my, what was it? I can’t even remember that either. Ash maybe? Alder? Beech? It definitely wasn’t birch though.
I chose birch for technical reasons as well as spiritual ones. I love the tenderness and the particular grain of this essence of wood. It’s one of my favorite to do pyrography on. And since this tree represents new beginnings – at least for me and a whole lot of Pagan-related People out there – I found it appropriate for this whole “I-got-to-start-over” thing I was experiencing.
There are also several original drawings that changed organically when I started painting the cards of Wildera Lenormand. I wasn’t satisfied with the first version of the Bouquet for example, so I redesigned it completely. And I’ve done the same for the Tree and the Clover too. And now that I think of it, I find it fascinating the way the two projects ended up nourishing and transforming each other. From the wood to the paper, and vice-versa. It’s like a never-ending cycle between two different shapes of the very same Living Material, if you know what I mean.
So, why bother making a wooden version in the first place? Well, before I even thought about creating an actual deck of cards, that was actually the plan. Making a Lenormand Oracle just for myself, that I could use everywhere without worrying too much about damaging the paper, scratching the lamination, accidentally bending a corner or, worst of all, sitting down on it (don’t laugh, that’s how I ruined the 4 of Cups from my first copy of Wildwood Tarot).
Anyway, I needed it to be sturdy, because the item I had in mind was meant to come along with me into the forest. Its purpose is to accompany me in my Wood Walks, so I can toss it on the mossy wet floor and have a conversation with it under the shadow of the trees, all the while listening to the Song of Wind and Whispers of Birds.
So here it is now, ready to come with me on my next hike (perfect timing with the Sweet Spring coming, am I right?). It has already found its own little spot in my backpack, beside my Forest Beads, the lovely Whispering Woods Oracle deck, and a well-loved French copy of Thoreau’s Walking.