|Melissa Lenormand, 2nd ed 2011|
A scourge or whip and sometimes a broom as well is what you usually get on card number 11 in the Lenormand oracle, and it is sometimes also called 'Birch rod'. A quick brainstorm of associations with this object yields: oppression, abuse, pain and suffering, strife, conflict, punishment, corporal punishment, whipping of course. These are on the right track. But from what I've seen in various sources, rather than focus entirely on physical punishment, the Whip also has a lot to do with verbal arguments: debate, discussions that degenerate, strong words that hurt, fights, power demonstrated through words. Now how to link words with a whip in the mind?
As soon as I read the verbal aspect of this card, I thought of the Whips in Parliament. A Whip is an official whose primary purpose is to ensure party discipline in a legislature. They keep MPs informed of forthcoming business and ensure that members attend important debates. Whips themselves do not take part in debates, but they attend. So there is a good mnemonic for remembering the argument aspect--because politicians do talk, and in legislature, their words do have power. And boy do they ever argue. Many of the explanations I have read see the card as a cautionary against using words without thinking--and the parliamentary Whip helps recall this because they do not take part in the debates, they are just observers. I suppose with all the quiet observation they do, when and if they did ever speak, it would very powerful and informed. Or could be, at least.
|Lictor carrying fasces|
Many thanks to Andy for this useful contribution! :)
These are the things I will associate with the Lenormand Whip (11): arguments, debate, strong words, strife, conflict, oppression, suffering, repetitive action that causes harm, being too hard on oneself, oppressive authority, power demonstrated through words, physical abuse or punishment.