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 Anchor you might want to read up on its meanings before you continue with this article.
The Anchor is one of the most ambivalent cards of the Lenormand deck – at least in my book. This ambivalence comes into play right from the starting point of my interpretation: from the image of an anchor hooking into the seabed. So many positive and negative implications can be found in this image alone. For example, metaphorically speaking: Did we actually want to stop our voyage at that spot, or did we drop the anchor by mistake? Was it a good idea to stop here, or should we rather have moved out of the area quickly (e.g. because a storm is developing)? When we try to lift the anchor again, will it work, or will it become stuck?
The Anchor can represent quite a few productive, positive, issues and goings-on. The most basic meaning of the Anchor for example, stop(up)s, can be positive in a concrete reading if taking a break, pausing, is productive in the reading context – if taking a break brings needed rest, if pausing enables the querent to do something (e.g. reflecting thoroughly) which is necessary to afterwards move on in a better way or in a better direction. Abidance can be good and healthy if it is motivated by something that is productive – even if it is not necessary pleasant. For example, the querent decides to set up residence in a part of town they feel welcome, or, someone abides by their sick partner’s side, sticks with them even when times become rough.
Another meaning of the Anchor is “holding on to something or someone” or “being stuck”. Now, the first is obviously ambivalent, by itself. Holding on to a person, not letting go of them, can be productive if that person is worth holding on to, is not hurting us in a significant way, and actually wants (or truly needs) us to hold on to them – for example, they are going through a difficult time and often try to push us away, but we still hold on to them because we know that our presence is in fact helpful to them now, and that when the hard times are past, they’ll want us to still be with them. If that which we’re holding on to is not a person but a thing, or a situation, holding on can be good if that thing or situation is good for us, if holding on doesn’t exhaust us, and if there is actually a realistic chance that we will eventually be able to maintain that thing or situation without having to constantly hold on!
If the Anchor says that someone is stuck, or being confined, this is unlikely to ever be a positive thing in itself. Productive it can still be if the card alerts us to a reality we had been overlooking or denying, and thus in consequence helps us change that situation.The Anchor can also represent stability, or a strong foothold. If it does so in a concrete reading it is quite likely representing something productive; something which is good when present or which should be aimed for if it’s lacking.
If the Anchor stands for focus, it will be a positive card if the focus takes the form of a helpful concentration of effort and attention, but not to the exclusion of other important things. If the Anchor says that our life revolves around something, this can be a good thing if allowing one’s life to revolve about this specific something is natural – as it would be, for example, in the case of a newborn baby – and if it doesn’t totally eclipse other important things.
Finally, the Anchor may also represent those parts of our life which are the same every day; it can represent the mundane, routines, everyday life. And while all these things aren’t exactly inspiring, they all make life less complicated; they save effort because they make it unnecessary to figure everything out anew all the time, and they give us a sense of safety. Especially if the querent’s life has lately been very complex, full of change, or if the querent is an unstable, or insecure person, the Anchor can probably be taken as the hint that establishing some routines, spending more time with mundane things, would be productive.
The Anchor can represent quite a few destructive, negative, issues and goings-on, too. The most basic meaning of the Anchor for example, stop(up)s, can be negative in a concrete reading if taking a break, pausing, is unproductive in the reading context – if a break is taken unnecessarily out of laziness, to procrastinate something that should be done sooner rather than later; if pausing for too long makes it even more difficult for the querent to eventually pick themselves up and get moving again. Similarly, abidance can be a really bad idea, even destructive, if it is motivated by something that is unhealthy – even if it first seems to be the easier thing to do. For example: The querent decides to keep up residence in a part of town they don’t feel welcome out of a fear of the unknown, or, someone abides by an abusive partner’s side because they have made themselves believe that through love their partner will change.
Another meaning of the Anchor is “holding on to something or someone” or “being stuck”. As for the first, holding on to a person, not letting go of them, can be destructive if that person is hurting us in a significant way (see the abusive partner example above), or, if they don’t want us to hold on to them. Especially if the Anchor relates to an insecure, clingy person, it is very likely that this person should rather learn to let go. Similarly, if that which we’re holding on to is not a person but a thing, or a situation, holding on will be a bad idea if that thing or situation is not healthy for us, and/or if holding on exhausts us a lot, if there is no realistic chance that we will ever be able to stop holding on and just maintain that thing or situation without spending so much time and (emotional) effort.
I mentioned above that if the Anchor says that someone is stuck, or being confined, this is unlikely to ever be a positive thing in itself, but that it can still be a productive card to draw if it alerts us to a reality we had been overlooking or denying, and thus in consequence helps us change that situation. If it does not, the card represents something both negative and unproductive.
If, in a concrete reading, the Anchor stands for stability, or a strong foothold, this might be negative if the person it relates to has an exaggerated need for safety; if even smallish changes unsettle them. For such a person the Anchor is likely a warning that because of their inability to allow change, to take even calculated, reasonable risks, their life has (or will soon) become stale and they will stunt their own growth as a person.
If the Anchor stands for focus, it will be a negative card if the focus becomes absolute, if all other things, even important ones, are shut out, if one’s perspective has become limitingly narrow. If the Anchor says that one’s life revolves around something, this can be a bad thing if allowing one’s life to revolve about this specific something is not natural – as it wouldn’t be, for example, if a mother’s life revolved completely around her teenaged kids – and if it totally eclipsed other important things.
Finally, the Anchor may also represent the mundane, routines, everyday life. Those can all be experienced as something negative, and even become destructive, if they are all we have. The Anchor could be saying that nothing new ever interrupts the querent’s mundane, everyday life, and that they have stopped learning, and growing.