You can read an introduction to the light & shadow series and find links to its other installments >> here! If you aren’t yet familiar with my interpretation of the card in discussion you might want to read up on its meanings before you continue with this article.
In case you are a beginner and/or not yet familiar with the Anna.K Lenormand, please take note that the Anna.K Lenormand Deck contains two Lily cards instead of the usual one. The reason is that there are two different schools of thought regarding the Lily’s meaning. According to one the Lily is about sex and sensuality. The other says the Lily is about purity and virtuousness. I don’t believe that sensuality and virtue are mutually exclusive, but I believe they are completely separate issues. So I found it impossible to paint an image that eloquently illustrated both and decided to paint two separate Lily cards. One illustrates purity and virtuousness, the other sexuality and sensuality. The latter is the one I’ll be discussing here: Sensual Lily. Sensual Lily is a very fiery card; it’s full of bright light, at first glance extremely positive – but where there are shadows, their darkness is intense, too.
The Sensual Lily stands for a whole conglomerate of issues which are, by themselves, almost exclusively positive, and often productive, too.
Whether the card represents sensuality in general or sexuality especially: it is through our senses that we connect physically with our surroundings, and with other people. Sensuality thus is a very direct way of being and keeping in touch with reality, and of connecting with the world. Sensual (and sexual) experiences don’t just give us pleasure, they also help us experience that we aren’t alone; that we are an integral part of the living universe. Especially if the person the Sensual Lily relates to is rigidly intellectual, or feels isolated, the card says that going for a more sensual approach to life would be highly beneficial.
If the Lily represents the arts, or creativity in general, this is also very likely a good and productive thing. Creativity, e.g. creating (or consuming) art of whatever form, can be an important outlet for thoughts and feelings that otherwise might have to be suppressed, and can even be a way of overcoming traumas.
Slowness is likely to be a good and productive thing especially if there is no good reason for proceeding quickly; and if the slowness stems from an appreciation of the process and an appropriate attention to details.
If the Sensual Lily stands for intensity, it will represent something good if that which is intense is a pleasant thing, and if the intensity is still in a productive range and doesn’t last so long as to be exhausting. If that which is intensive is something unpleasant (like grief) this could still be productive in the long run, because sometimes unpleasant situations can be dealt with faster if they are experienced intensely and not dulled (e.g. by drugs) or wholly suppressed.
Sometimes, the Sensual Lily represents maturity, especially in the sense of being experienced. This is highly likely to be something good and productive. Being experienced means that a person is more likely to be able to recognise and appreciate quality, more likely to recognise and avoid danger, more likely to understand how things work and deal with them in a productive manner etc.
Likewise, if the Sensual Lily represents high quality, it almost certain stands for something positive, as is the case with talent. The only negative implications I could think of I mention below.
And finally, contentedness, peacefulness and harmony, are all inherently good and pleasant. I can’t think of a single instance in which these could be interpreted as something unproductive.
I wrote above that the Sensual Lily stands for a whole conglomerate of issues which are, by themselves, almost exclusively positive, and often productive, too. Negative and unproductive they are not in themselves but if they are exaggerated.
Sensuality and sexuality, for example, become unproductive if the sensual / sexual input is overwhelmingly strong, or if we become dependent on it, or if it is all we’re interested in. In such cases, the Lily represents harmful overindulgence, excess, addictions, and possibly a lack of intellectual and emotional depth.
It’s similar with art and creativity. Yes, they can be very good for us, even healing. In some cases though they are practised with unhealthy rigour, or used for escapism, as a tool to not confront the realities of life, or as a means to feed a person’s vanity and egocentricity. If that is what the Sensual Lily hints at in a concrete reading, it hints at something quite problematic.
Slowness can be very unproductive if its cause is laziness, or an unnecessary and inappropriate attention to details. Especially if the person the Sensual Lily relates to is a sluggard, or a fusspot, the Lily can probably be read as a hint that they are prolonging or even decelerating something which ideally should be dealt with quickly.
If the Sensual Lily stands for intensity, it will represent something unproductive, possibly even destructive, if the intensity is so strong that things become exhausting or even impossible to process. This is more likely to apply if the person the card relates to is very sensitive.
I wrote above that maturity, especially in the sense of being experienced, is usually a productive thing. The only caveat I have is that for some people, their experiences were so dominantly negative that they are now utterly convinced that nothing good can possibly happen. For such people, their being experienced is a hindrance, is destructive.
Having, or seeking, high quality, and using one’s talents, are usually good things, too. They will, however, become quite unproductive if a person is obsessed with them. You then end up with someone who refuses to settle for something quite good just because it is not the best, even if the best cannot be attained at least for now.