Bouquet 9


Conviviality, regalement, pleasantries, appreciation, flattery, embellishment

About the meaning: The Bouquet is one of the cards where I depart at least slightly from traditional approaches. I don't see happiness per se in the Bouquet but only the joy we feel when someone pleases (treats) us. I don't see art or creativity in the Bouquet (only design), nor sex, because I find those better represented by the Lily. My interpretation of the Bouquet is directly derived from why and when we give (or receive) a bouquet of flowers, or why we pick flowers for ourselves and put them in our home.

Visitation and invitation / social life: One of the most common situations in which we give or receive flowers is when we visit someone, or when someone visits us. This is why the Bouquet to me represents both visitations and invitations, and, more general, a person's social life. The Bouquet speaks to me of being sociable, or convivial, of cultivating friendships. In some cases the Bouquet represents all these as given facts. But often it seems to suggest to be more sociable, to take better care of our friendships.

Gifts / generosity / regalement: Because we are usually given flowers as a small present the Bouquet can be interpreted as gifts, and, possibly, as generosity. Along this line the Bouquet can suggest that someone is treated to something, being pleased, regaled. In relationship readings, for example, it can often be taken as the advice to show our appreciation to our partner (or child, or parent, or friend!) by giving them something which makes them happy. This something needn't be a material thing. Often, what our loved ones want most is to spend quality time with us! In less intimate contexts, and/or when personal gifts are not appropriate or not feasible I still have found it quite productive to interpret the Bouquet as the general hint that giving and/or receiving in some other form is relevant to the situation, that generosity is called for.

Etiquette / pleasantries / affability: Continuing from the last paragraph, when we give flowers, e.g. to a host, we might do this mostly or even entirely because we are fond of the receiver and would like to please them. We might give someone flowers out of genuine cordiality. But it is also a fact that presenting something, like flowers, is in many contexts considered etiquette. Thus, the Bouquet to me represents not just affability, wholehearted pleasantries, but also etiquette, good manners, politeness. And I feel that in neither of these cases does the Bouquet say much about the graceful person's sincerity. Their pleasantries might be authentic, the politeness be born from honest respect for the other person. But the Bouquet just as well can also hint at meaningless pleasantries, at automated (even grudging) politeness. In other words, the Bouquet doesn't necessarily say that someone treats us pleasantly and politely because they actually like us. It could also say that they are just going through the motions - for example to not hurt us, because it's expected, or, to personally benefit from appearing courteous.

Appreciation / compliments / flattery: I wrote above that flowers are sometimes given to someone to express fondness. That's a very important meaning of the Bouquet for me: appreciation, acknowledgement, and, from the receiver's perspective, thankfulness. The Bouquet can stand for recognition we receive or give, for congratulations. In some cases the Bouquet suggests a reward for something, very rarely, even an award. From the perspective of the receiver, the Bouquet might suggest that a "thank you" is in order. From a slightly different angle the Bouquet can also stand for compliments and admiration, and for flirts. Furthermore, because compliments aren't necessarily honest, and because there's sometimes an ulterior motivation behind paying them, the Bouquet also translates to flattery, honeyed words, adulation, bootlicking. The Bouquet sometimes is a warning that someone is just sucking up to us.

Decoration / embellishment / hyperbole: Sometimes we use flowers to make our home look nicer, more colourful, more alive. This is why I think it is very appropriate to interpret the Bouquet as decoration, any kind of (interior) design, and subsequently also as any type of bodily embellishment - like perfume, nice cloths, jewellery, make-up, a new hair-do etc. In some cases the Bouquet can suggest that we are too concerned about our appearance, or vain. But first and foremost it stands for anything which pleases the eye, smells nice, sounds pleasant etc. The Bouquet stands for prettiness, (conventional) beauty. If you translate decoration and embellishment into interpersonal and linguistic contexts the Bouquet can suggest window dressing, euphemisms, and glorifications, as well as any type of (especially positive) elaboration, hyperbole, and exaggerations.

See also the annakblogs article >> So, is the Bouquet a mainly positive card, then?

About the Image: My Bouquet is excessive, and very colourful, and obvious. You can't overlook it - it is being held out right to you, thrust into your face over the card's frame. None of the more contained designs I tried first were as able to convey how much the Bouquet has to do with social interactions. For the same reason I also ended up including a smiling face behind the flowers. It is only the lower part of the person's face which is visible. The smile is beautiful; you might be tempted to automatically interpret it as honest, too. But did you know that we can know an authentic smile from a fake one by looking at the smiling person's eyes? While the mouth part of a smile will look the same in both genuine and fake smiles, only the first creates those lovely little crinkles in the corners of the smiling person's eyes. By painting only the mouth part of a smile I left it open whether the affability the card represents has any depth or is just superficial, whether the praise it can stand for is motivated by true admiration or is just flattery, or whether (if the person in the image represents the receiver of the Bouquet) they are genuinely pleased about their gift or just pretending to be.  
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