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Hi Charlie,

Sorry for the delay! I was monitoring the forum, and expected an email notification but it never came. Anyway…

Yes, this is normal. What you need to do here is to practice your ideograms a bit more. Just go through the ideogram drills. Even experienced viewers will do them occasionally to re-establish the subconscious connection.

Also, with this method, you need to use your discernment on the ideogram, not only by looking at the shape, but also probing it. Sometimes the shape can be more natural, but when you probe it, it can feel artificial. When push comes to shove, I will rely more on my “feeling” of it, rather than the shape.

That said – you can also try another method that does not involve an ideogram that looks like something. In that method, you just do a quick scribble with no intent of it being a shape. It usually looks exactly the same from scan to scan, like a scribble spiral. The way you figure out what it is, is by feeling and probing it.