The overview of Lenormand
Lenormand is a kind of fortune-telling that is very popular with the nobility of the past. Since the end of the 19th century, it is the kind of entertainment of European nobility. Currently, it has become a feverish trend and is used and loved by many people who are interested in spiritual science.
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1. Origin of the creator of Lenormand
It was developed by Marie Anne Lenormand, a French prophet living in the 19th century. It has a similar method of reading to the Tarot cards and is used to tell fortune and predict the future.
Marie Anne’s life is a series of special events and surprises. As soon as she was born, Marie’s mother was horrified to see her own daughter: the newborn Marie who had long black hair and full teeth. From a young age, Marie’s talent was soon revealed. She is good at language, music, and painting but is especially passionate about religion and divination. At the age of 6, Marie casually made a prediction that the abbot would marry a wealthy husband. Indeed, that happened within a month. People were surprised, and they decided to give Marie the nickname “little prophet”.
Marie wandered to Paris, at first, she lived in a laundromat until she met an old lady named Gilbert. Gilbert was Marie’s first and only teacher of prophecy. She taught the young Marie the way of fortune telling from Etteilla Tarot cards. Three years later, Marie began to open a “prophetic room” and became a fortune-teller.
Throughout her life, Marie has read Lenormand for many famous people. The first reading was the three prominent leaders of the French post-monarchy, Robespierre, Marat and St-Just.
Marie has said all the three would have to bear catastrophic deaths. She had personally let Marat look into her eyes to see the future. What appeared before his eyes made him flinch backward in fear. It was Marie Anne who said goodbye to them with a haunting prophecy: “After being beheaded, no one looks as handsome as today”. And that what happened. Marat was killed by Charlotte Corday on March 17, 1793, in his room. A year later, his two friends were executed by the guillotine.
Marie’s career is closely linked to interesting encounters. At the “prophetic room and the early 36 Lenormand cards”, Napoleon Bonaparte first saw Josephine who was his later queen. They are also the most famous clients of Marie.
As for the French Emperor, Napoleon was the one who read fortune telling right after Josephine on that fateful day in the “prophetic room”.
When the young soldier entered the room, Marie Anne exclaimed, “You will have very high status and become the Emperor! But when you enter the sunset, you will forget the wife that God had given. It is then that your tragedy begins, you will be exiled to death without any friends or relatives”. In response, Napoleon showed no confidence in that statement.
These vows were later come true. During the last moments of his life on the island of Saint Helena, Napoleon imbued with the prophecy that he had once ridiculed as superstition.
For a prophet like Marie, the irony of fate is that she predicted her death correctly. She read cards for herself and sighed, “I am not dead because of being burned or swept away but in the hands of an unfamiliar man.
In fact, in the last years of her life, Marie went through all the disasters like the prophet before. She was arrested and imprisoned, nearly died in a “prophetic room” and nearly drowned in the river, but she all overcame peacefully. But in the end, Marie died in 1843, because she was strangled by a strange man in a riot.
2. Introduction of Lenormand
Structure of Lenormand
The traditional deck has 36 cards, based on the 52 card deck, in which the numbers 2,3,4,5 in each set is discarded. So, it also has 4 suits like the Western playing cards: Clubs/Pentacles/Earth (Clubs); Hearts/Cups/Water (Hearts); Spades/Swords/Air (Spades); Diamonds/Wands/Fire (Diamonds). In addition, the Lenormand cards are categorized by layers of meaning: good – average – bad. It is also possible to classify according to the nature of the cards: time, action, mood, and personality.
Method of Lenormand reading
Cards will be read in pairs (2 cards together). In a classic spread including 3 cards, 5 cards, 9 cards, or Grand Tableau spreads (use all 36 cards), the meaning of each card does not depend on its position in the spread. The art of it is in the combination of cards together, one card adds meaning to the other until the end of the spread, forming multiple layers of meaning. Therefore, the more cards there are in a spread, the more complication it will be, and at the same time, information that it provides is full and detailed.
There are many reading methods, such as Diagonals and Mirroring. When you combine multiple methods together, you can collect more data from the cards.·
There are two basic ways of reading that can be applied
The first way
You can arrange cards into a row from left to right. These chains are often used to give a solution to a question, and it consists of about 3 to 5 cards in a spread. Although there are some readers that use more cards, the most common ones are still 3 or 5 cards.
The following is an example to create a “chain” with three cards.
Basic rules for reading a “chain”:
First: read the cards from left to right.
Second: use the basic meaning of each card and combine them in pairs.
In the example above, you can read the cards as follows:
Woman + Love/Passionate + Man = Obviously, these two are passionate about each other.
The second way
The second type of reading is to use a table to spread the cards in a row, so it is also called the Grand Tableau spread. Usually, with the Petit Lenormand, we can spread them all into 4 rows of 9 cards (we call it the 9 × 4 spread) or 4 rows of 8 cards and 4 cards of destiny (we call it the 8 × 4 + 4 spread). These are the two most used spreads, however, there is another simpler one like the 3 × 3 spread with 3 rows of 3 cards and form a square.
First: the card shows the querent is in which column, it is the Present.
Second: the Past is shown by the card on the left side of the card of the querent (in the same row).
So in the example above, the third column represents the Present of the female querent (black). And any card on the left side of the third column talks about her Past (red) and all the cards on the right are the Future (blue).
If the above spread is for a male querent, it will be:
Third: Influence level
A card is considered to be controlled by the querent when it is under him/her. In other words, they can do something to influence things.
A card above the trump card will affect the querent. It can be said that the card is an objective agent that the querent can hardly do anything.
In the above spread, you can see that this woman is in a position where she has full control over the things around her. She stands in a strong position. If you look at the card directly below the trump card (# 22, Crossroad the Queen of Diamonds), you can see that:
This woman is making a choice versus a choice given to her (if this card is on the trump card).
3. Purpose of use Lenormand
The Lenormand is used to predict the future and look back on the past. Successful uses of spreads will help you observe a slice of life with the up and down movements of one or more individuals, as well as see the results for their actions. In the West, people have another name for it which is Fortune Telling Oracle, making us able to understand that it is dedicated to prophets matter.
4. Choose a suitable Lenormand deck
Choosing a suitable deck of cards can be quite challenging, especially if you are just getting acquainted with it.
You can see that reading this kind of card is very different from Tarot. It focuses on the basic meanings of cards and links them into a series of sentences to create a story.
For example, the Rider Tarot cards always mean a message or someone visiting you, regardless of the deck. It does not matter if the character in the card looks like they are about to fight or an EMS delivery agent. The meaning remains the same.
When Lenormand became more popular, the number of decks also increased. Unfortunately, many decks are made up of less experienced artists. Others have created cards to teach themselves and then sold them with many defects in design. Thus, you need to be more careful in choosing the most suitable deck of cards.
If you are new, it may be difficult to identify a well-designed deck of cards. It is easy to choose a nice deck of cards, but it difficult to learn them because it may not make from a really knowledgeable person.
The most suitable Lenormand deck for use
- It is best to choose a simple and clear deck, especially when you have just started. You will need a deck that can help you focus on the meaning of the cards, not the one with an attractive look.
- Choose a deck of cards with the numbers on the card (1-36). The numbers are very useful in recording the spread (make sure that writing 22-34 will be faster than Crossroad – Fish and you will learn the numbers faster) and convenient for studying advanced techniques such as “House”.
- Choose the deck of cards associated with the Western playing card. It is like a “cheating method” that helps you remember the cards, just like the Clouds can represent human.
- The most important thing is to choose the deck you like. Hopefully, you will use your deck for the next several years, so let’s buy a deck and enjoy it.
Recommended Lenormand decks for beginners
Here are 5 recommended decks for beginners.
Mlle Lenormand Blue Owl
This classic version of it has undergone testimony of time. AGMüller’s first print edition was available only in German, currently, it also has an English version. There are 36 cards of size 2 1/4 “x 3 3/8”. The background looks very smooth with blue and white mainstream tones with an owl in the middle of the wreath contour design. The numbered cards in the top left corner and in the top right corner are the original “M” letter.
Occupying most of the top half of the card is a verse that has detailed and practical meaning for users to easily imagine. The bottom half of each card is an illustration of the symbol. There are no titles on each card. The main image is the addition of an explanation, and the name of the symbol is mentioned in the verse. This is considered the easy-to-use deck for novices.
It published by Lo Scarabeo with high-quality hard paper and large size for easy viewing of images. The 36-card of this deck is designed with the traditional Petit style. The 160-page guidebook comes with the meaning and method used in reading. The size of the card is 8.5 cm x 12.5 cm is to help users feel comfortable when shuffling. In addition, the paper material is not too thick or thin, so it very fit in hands.
Cards are like real artwork with Ancient Renaissance style images of Europe. The soft and slightly yellow color reminds the user of the golden age of fame and power. This deck gives an ancient feel and takes the user into the early days when this deck appeared. Simplicity and readability are essential for those who are new to this deck.
Under Roses Lenormand
Currently being released by US Games Publisher, it gives the familiar feeling of the ancient English under King Edward. This deck is added with Child, Gentleman, and Lady cards, offering more details on reading matters of people and families. Red-brown sepia tones with harmonious patterns will give you a very pleasant feeling when reading. In addition, it is suitable for all ages. The images are used to determine the effects of the past, present, and future to the lives of fortune-tellers. Lenormand cards can apply to any problem or topic at the hands of the reader at all levels. The card size is 57 x 90 mm which is perfect for people with small hands, but still comfortable for those with big hands.
The back of the cards has a dark brown background with the red blood color spreads from the middle, in perfect contrast to thorns and green leaves. The front of the card is also a dark brown background with a border and minimal images. The number of cards in the upper left corner is accompanied by similar symbols to playing cards. The guidebook only introduces keywords without printing images. Keywords are recorded from many traditional decks. This shows that if the reader is familiar with it, things will be very easy.
Gilded Reverie Lenormand
This masterpiece was created by the author of the famous prophecy Ciro Marchetti. It still follows the traditional deck, but the irresistible charm is in Ciro’s style. The deck has gold-plated edges and is currently released by US Games Publishing House. The extended version of this deck has 8 new cards including Time, Bridges, Dice, Mask, Well, Compass, Labyrinth, and Magnifying Glass. Author Ciro Marchetti also added 3 alternative cards which are Man, Lady, and Owl, bringing the total number of cards of the Expanded Edition to 47.
The Lenormand card size is 57 x 90 mm which is perfect for people with small hands but still comfortable for those with big hands. In addition, the cards are illustrated in a transparent and clear way with images of absolutely high quality that evoke many thoughts for users. Details were built on the interesting meetings among Marie, Napoleon, and Queen Josephine. This deck is considered the perfect start for anyone who wants to enter the world of fantasy and boldness when looking at Marie’s story. The accompanying guidebook is easy to understand and has detailed explanations of the combinations between the cards. Everything about this deck can be considered perfect for a beginner.
A deck with a Druid style. Being created by Will Worthington, the famous Druid author with Druidcraft Tarot cards, Druid Plant Oracle and Druid Animal Oracle. This deck has been added to 45 cards to make your reading more detailed. The guidebook contains 188 pages with the meaning of the card and the method of spreading including sample ones and how to apply for the spells. The 45-card deck is 50 x 90 mm in size which is smaller than the regular deck. Excellent paper printing which is sharp and supple with the smooth and matte finish. The cards fit in hands, if you have big hands, it is a bit difficult to use. Celtic Lenormand is quite responsive and easy to shuffle.
This deck helps Lenormand users/Pagan followers have the opportunity to use cards in a ceremonial context, as well as for prophetic purposes. In addition to being widely acknowledged that its work is based on reality, not intuition – it brought the tradition of the deck directly to the mystical realm. Additional cards make it an ideal deck for pagan believers, as they complete the basic principles of Pagan faith without a need of cards representing Pagan’s ideal.
This deck is a game changer which is both beautiful and visually. If you want to experience the new look of the Lenormand system, this is the one. It can remove additional cards to form a “common” deck or it can be preserved to add new meaning to the reading.