Literary Lenormand: Tad Williams’ The Dirty Streets of Heaven

Lenormand Rider, Heart, Sun, Ship, Book, Crossroads, Coffin, Snake, Tower, Bear, and Letter
My Lenormand spread on The Dirty Streets of Heaven.

Time for more literary Lenormand! This time we’re looking at Tad Williams’ The Dirty Streets of Heaven. I am currently on page 27 of this book; I laid out a Lenormand spread for the book last night before starting to read it, and then did a tarot horseshoe spread just now as well, just because it’s fun to play with cards! 🙂 The Lenormand spread I did with the Enchanted Lenormand, and the horseshoe tarot spread with the Hanson-Roberts tarot.

My Lenormand spread shows 11 cards, a nine card spread with an extra card on each side. The first column shows the Rider, the Ship, the Coffin. The next column is the Heart, the Book, the Snake. The last column is the Sun, the Crossroads, the Tower. I also have the Bear to the left, representing Doloriel, the angel who is the main character, and the Letter to the right, representing an important part of the final outcome.

Having read the first 26 pages, I think the Coffin appears here to represent Doloriel’s job as an Advocate Angel for the recently deceased. The Bear also seems appropriate for a protective angel. The Ship may represent a journey into the afterlife (for the deceased). The Book, though, I think stands for some kind of secret, and perhaps also for the Bible (the main character is an angel, after all). With the Snake next to it, I think someone has been lying to Doloriel about something. (No! Deception as a plot device? Does that really ever happen?) Given, again, that this is a book about angels, it’s possible that the Snake could be a Tempter in the form of Satan or a demon. Somehow, the plot will lead Doloriel to a crossroads where he has to make an important choice, and I tend to think that choice might lead him into some kind of imprisonment (the Tower). Which makes me wonder if the Letter is a communication to or from some kind of prison. We also have the Rider at the beginning, indicating a message that opens the book as well (though I haven’t run into it yet, unless that message has to do with the introduction of a new, apprentice angel, who does appear in the first 26 pages).

Hanson-Roberts tarot, Knight of Pentacles, The Lovers, Queen of Cups, King of Cups, Hanged Man, Knight of Wands, Eight of Pentacles, Five of Cups
My horseshoe spread on The Dirty Streets of Heaven, using the Hanson-Roberts tarot.

My tarot horseshoe for this book shows the past as the reversed Knight of Pentacles, the present as The Lovers (in that card, I see Doloriel as the angel who is watching over the Lovers), and the future as the reversed Queen of Cups. The situation is the King of Cups, the challenge is the reversed Hanged Man, what Doloriel needs to know is the Knight of Wands (modified by the Eight of Pentacles, which fell out of the deck on top of it) and the outcome is the reversed Five of Cups.

That’s a lot of court cards, and I think they represent characters in the book, with the knights in this spread being angels, and the Queen and King of Cups appearing as the Lovers. Remember, the Lenormand spread had the Heart in the top center position. The Knight of Pentacles reversed MIGHT be a fallen angel. The Knight of Wands I think is an angel who works very hard to make things right (hence the Eight of Pentacles next to it). That the Knight of Wands is working as the Eight of Pentacles makes me think that he is working to reverse some deed done by the Knight of Pentacles.

The reversed Hanged Man suggests to me that Doloriel will change his perspective by the end of the book, and his well-being may well depend on how quickly he is able to change his perspective. But isn’t that so often true in fiction? The reversed Five of Cups makes me think he will have a number of regrets by the end of the book, but he won’t regret everything, even though he may fixate on the regrets rather than on the positive side of things. But isn’t that also so often the case in fiction?

Have you read this book? Am I right? Am I wrong? Please feel free to comment below. I will also post an update at the bottom of this post when I finish the book.

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