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Lenormand

This post was written by Barbara Moore
on May 15, 2012 | Comments (21)

There is a lot of buzz in the tarot community now about reading with Lenormand cards. Lenormand cards are a deck of 36 cards with simple images (Rider, Clover, Bear, etc) with fairly concrete meanings (as opposed to tarot cards, which can have many meanings). People who use these cards say that they give very clear readings and are better at everyday life and predictive readings.

Do you use Lenormand? What is your opinion of the readings versus tarot readings? Do you use them in conjunction with tarot? How?

What resources do you wish you had for Lenormand readings (books, decks, what type?)?

I am still learning and finding the adventure very interesting.

Reader Comments

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#1 
Written By Jim Maher
on May 15th, 2012 @ 11:07 am

Use a few 36 card lenormand decks which seem to have become the standard number of cards for a lennie over time.
I would say that they are simply two different systems, ie: lenormand is not better than tarot & visa versa.
Lenormand for me is far more literal, with significant meanings allocated to each card (there is more to it than that of course) though it is generally not as metaphorical as tarot can be.
eg; If you got the same three cards on three different days their meanings would not change.

Take a 3 card spread for example reading left to right:
Card 1 would be the significator
and viewed as a NOUN. Card 2 would be seen as a VERB ; Card 3 would be seen as an ADJECTIVE. eg:
(C/1 the Rider) is bringing news to (C/25 The Ring) as a solid union of relationships to (C/4 The House) as presently functioning in the home…
1.Rider 2.Ring 3.House
It could mean other things , that is just a simple example (a ring is round so it could also be an advantageous completion of a contract within the home too) though lets not get carried away… (yet)!
It depends on the question asked.
I do not use them in conjuction with tarot, as a matter of fact coming from a tarot learning background, I would say that could be a hinderance as I still tend to fight putting tarot meanings into lenormand meanings. There is a Tower, Moon & Sun in the lennies & they are not tarot related.
There are a multitude of lenormand decks on the market (always room for more though as people do like variety, though they would need the same number and playing card allocation for acceptance among the traditionalists :) which I am not, I made one my own out of a regular poker deck and added an extra … The Joker and wrote on it “Who are you today?”

Resources for Lenormand decks… Books that are written in English seem a little rare, many are in French or German, there are plenty of blogs etc, though I have seen little in …take in your backpack format, away from computers and electricity for a day by the beach or into the wilderness.
Oh and in the books as well, lenormand card spreads, and pretty much what you would write about tarot, though lennies have been around for a long time, I know they have made a bit of a comeback particularly since Mary did some work with them recently… that has a generated a of of interest, though I don’t think they ever really went away. A lot of people seem to like them because they are not associated so much with Golden Dawn,Kabbalah esoteric mumbo jumbo.(I am not against that in any way) just in lennies a Fox is a Fox and does what foxes do. Like Flowers are Flowers and you do what you do with them too, like give them as gifts, surprises, grow them, though not on The Tree Of Life.
(If you made a deck I would suggest you put a Happy Squirrel card in as an extra though :)
Feel a bit silly writing this as I suspect you already know quite a lot about lenormand decks & what I have written is of probably no use to you, Now I will try to work out what those barely readable letters are so I can post this. Oh and congratulations on your Steampunk Tarot, well done :)

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#2 
Written By Paris
on May 15th, 2012 @ 6:26 pm

Hi, Barbara,
I have a Petit Lenormand that I used for about four months last year. Your post sent me back to my journal, and I’d have to say this: The Lenormand provided me a rather literal kind of reading with little ambiguity, and once in a while it hit, eerily, the mark (and that’s very seductive). But sometimes, it’s so irrelevant that even going back and taking a second look at the reading doesn’t reward me with a connection. This is quite a contrast with any of the Tarot deck readings I’ve done where the energy of the cards was spot on for the question, but the literal was a bit more elusive. Returning to those readings, I almost invariably can find where I missed the literal clue.

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#3 
Written By Gail Wood
on May 16th, 2012 @ 6:42 am

I’ve been interested in Lenormand for a few years and was stymied by them. The recent resurgence has brought me new knowledge and a great deal of confusion. And there seem to be some emerging experts as well.

This is where my confusions lie and where books might come into play: A good strong explanation of the different schools; a history including a good bio of Mlle Lenormand; how the cards have evolved. And section on the ‘not Lenormand.’ I’m really interested in Sibilla/Sybilla and am not finding much on them in English. I’ve also got these decks: Kipper, gypsy, grand jeu, and others. And I’m, like, now what do I do. LOL

I am parsing this stuff together, but my curiosity isn’t being satisfied fast enough.

Cheers!

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#4 
Written By AndybC
on May 19th, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

I learnt to read Lenormand almost 20 years ago. They are my favourite cartomancy method. I am happy to see an interest emerge, but do worry about the fact that we might actual see a decline of traditional methods.

Lenormand should not be compared to tarot, as the two are far too different for any real comparison. There are actually no similar methods to the small Lenormand.

The 36 small Lenormand cards are more like a language, than anything else. It is a linguistic deck. A lot of the difficulty around them is the temptation to read them by picture over symbol.

I have written about them on my blog extensively, and also run a free training course in traditional methods, on my forum. The course is proving very popular and I cover all the major methods and schools.

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#5 
Written By Mama Whodun
on June 19th, 2012 @ 7:35 pm

I have been working with the petit lenormand cards and seriously studying the system using the methodology of the German tradition for over a year. The results have been astonishing.

When I started there was no “buzz” and only Britta and Treppner courses available in English and 1 book that came from the German school.

Forums, websites, databases, translators for reference along with the daily draw with journaling technique were the tools I used to teach myself how to read. It was all that was available and it was enough.

I do not mix Tarot and lenormand in thought or in practice as the systems are so different. One is visual and the other symbolic-apples and oranges!

Learning lenormand requires time and practice, if you invest both you will get results.

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#6 
Written By Lord Ewin
on July 21st, 2012 @ 10:32 am

Do you use Lenormand?
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Yes! I’ve been introduced to the Petit Lenormand back in Y2K and I love it, love it, love it..!

By the way, you should precise between the two Lenormand Oracles out there… there is the Grand Jeu (based on a full deck of playing cards), and what you described: the Petit Jeu Lenormand, which is the one with the 36 cards.

What is your opinion of the readings vs. tarot readings?
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They both have their uses! They both have their charm… but they are two completely different systems, however accurate and pleasing to use.

What appeals to me about the Petit Jeu Lenormand is that it is very versatile and can be analyzed for hours on end if you want to, or you can keep it simple and just ask a question and be done with it.

Do you use them in conjunction with tarot? How?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

YES! It works rather well! But they are two completely different systems as I said, and while the Tarot can be used with the Petit Lenormand system, the Petit Jeu Lenormand isn’t suited to be used with the Tarot System. For example, since the Petit Jeu Lenormand uses card combinations to expand on card meanings, then the more combinations you make with combinations the more meanings you can derive from a reading (hence the popularity of the Grand Tableau (9×4 or 8X4+4). Tarot Techniques, however, are made to take advantage of the Tarot’s stand alone card meanings.

The Secret in blending the Tarot with the Lenormand, in my opinion, is using Tarot in the Lenormand System, and not bringing the Lenormand into a Tarot System.

See my blog for a better idea of what I mean: http://learnlenormand.com/using-lenormand-tarot-techniques/

What resources do you wish you had for Lenormand readings (books, decks, what type?)?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Personally, I’d like to see books by real “Lenormand Experts” FOR Lenormand Beginners / Experts. Decks, there are plenty and far between, but there is a definite lack of resources available in English.

What I really don’t want to see is lovey dovey self-proclaimed researchers looking into the matter which opens the door to people who want to make a quick buck and will throw out a book or a new deck without having actually practiced Lenormand (some attrocity I’ve seen recently is the Lenormand Light where they person obviously doesn’t know a thing about Lenormand). I don’t care how long someone has been working on Astrology, Cartomancy or the Tarot, they are not Lenormand Experts if they’ve been tinkering with the system for only a few months and can only use them in correlation with Tarot concepts… or won’t even try to learn the actual card meanings and must instead create their own.

I hope that helps, and thank you for giving us a chance to comment! :)

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#7 
Written By Stella Waldvogel
on August 2nd, 2012 @ 10:06 am

I’ve been using Lenormand for some years now. Tarot tends to be kind of open-ended and philosophical, but Lenormand will simply answer the question. People want to know things like whether they will get the job, or why their boyfriends didn’t text back, and Lenormand is always good for a straight answer.

I don’t mix the two at all, and to be honest, I find it mildly annoying when I see people doing this. Lenormand is a complete system in itself and if you’re going to present yourself as a Lenormand reader, you should take the trouble to learn instead of pretending to read using Tarot methods.

I think there are adequate resources for learning out there. My personal favorites are the Treppner course and Andybc’s. It would be nice to have a decent bound book in english, but I’m not optimistic that this will happen anytime soon due to marketing considerations, which seem demand a kind of dumbed-down Tarot approach and a glut of silly theme decks to go along with it.

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#8 
Written By Susan Smith
on September 1st, 2012 @ 9:02 am

I’ve been doing Tarot for years and have taught many classes in it as well. I only discovered Lenormand while visiting Ciro Marchetti’s website. He is currently working on a Lenormand deck and from what he says, intends to add some additional cards.

I don’t have a Lenormand deck as yet…have just begun investigating. Thank you for this blog. It’s been very helpful.

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#9 
Written By Ella
on October 5th, 2012 @ 6:26 am

Hi everyone,

I work with Lenormand deck and Crowley, depending on what the question and problem is. I have good experiences with both decks.

Best wishes
Ella

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#10 
Written By Mishka
on October 23rd, 2012 @ 4:45 pm

I have become interested too. thanks for bringing it up dear. HUGS

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#11 
Written By CatLady
on December 4th, 2012 @ 3:09 pm

Great comment Stella.

Also there are a number of “experts” out who hadn’t even heard of Lenormand until RS12. They are more known in the community so I’m sure they will get a book deal. Not totally pleased by this since there are others out there who really have been studying for several or more years.
Some newer folks still want to complicate Lenormand and I’m hoping that isn’t what gets put out into books and therefore the beginner and community at large.

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#12 
Written By Mark
on December 8th, 2012 @ 9:39 am

I have been a student of the Lenormand cards for years. The best book published in my opinion is The Lenormand Bible by Flavia Green. It’s over 500 pages of information and holds nothing back. It has really helped me with my learning and saved me a lot of money on expensive courses too

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#13 
Written By Spidey
on December 28th, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

Sounds like a plug for the book, Mark. Accusations have been flying about that book being plagarized. Amazon seems to agree that they are founded and won’t sell it. I am waiting on the final pronouncement. Personally I can’t see that large a tome being necessary for the imparting of the information about the Lenormand. Learn the meanings. See a few examples. Practice. Seems like a paperback of 125 pages should do the trick. You only get out of the oracle what you put into it. Reading about it ain’t the same as practice, practice, practice.

I have seen the Lenormand be accurate in the traditional meanings of the symbology, as well as, entertainingly, the playing card inserts taking an active role too. Tarot is about reading the art — reading the meanings you derive from the cards in front of you, at least when you are not reading the Marseille style decks that have pips for the minors. Lenormand is 99% reading the symbols. If you read the misleading art of the new collage and non-traditional decks you’re not reading Lenormand.

This includes Ciro’s deck, a lovely collectors item which shows his outstanding artistic ability. His Rider, for example, has nothing to do with the one used in the traditional deck who, in the original time period was responsible for delivering essential news before telephones and email.

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#14 
Written By Gher
on January 20th, 2013 @ 11:05 pm

Started playing with em’ since June 2012 – but I’ve realized how challenging it is to look for a BEGINNERS DECK that’s suitable. – The Blue Owl is highly favored by instructors. ( However, I’ve got Mystic by Urban Trusk, who designed another system called THE KIPPER – based on an 1880′s GERMAN SYSTEM, which works better as a CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE script with multiple CHARACTERS and PLOT / BACKSTORIES.)… yet the ASTROLOGICAL INSERTS – rather than playing card, or ropey poetic prose, made this particular deck a bit overwhelming !!!

The Six Months I’ve put into writing ‘session results’ with 3×3 spreads and experimenting WHY the ‘Lennies won’t make sense to others at first…’

Using ‘TWO DECKS’ – to compare a GRAND TABLE, with a 3×3 Spread has helped me understand CONCEPTS, as to how WORD CONJUGATION by combining PAIRS / TRIPLETS and LINES OF FIVES.

However… I prefer to NOT READ FOR OTHERS, but feel that if you’ve wanted to WRITE / PRODUCE / ILLUSTRATE and DEVELOP your CREATIVE IDEAS… you’ve got a great tool for making up CHARACTERS and simply flesh out SOAP OPREA to COMIC BOOK screenplays… you’ll be rewarded with endless combinations.

Asking or phrasing a question is my worst SUBJECT YET… However, if you wanted to figure out what happens in a Television Episode, Movie, or an Argument that occurs during the NEWS HOUR – this is where the ‘Lennies shine brilliantly.

If I were to say… to my future self, should you even CONSIDER dabbling with a deck of LENORMANDS ?

My answer is ‘no’ – it’s a TRAP.

People will look at you – and say, “Grow Up !!!”

However, if you feel emotionally / mentally stuck in a rut – and succummed to the idea of Zombies and Vampires taking over… then you must absolutely combine CARD 26 with another ‘Lennie card’ such as CARD 02, to take advantage the SCRATCH AND SNIFF feature !!!

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#15 
Written By John Shaw
on February 6th, 2013 @ 3:19 am

Firstly let me introduce myself, I am an English cigarette card dealer and was very suprised at how much the Carreras 1926 issue fortune telling sets were making on ebay, way above the catalogue price.
I now understand why, they are Lenormand illustrations, an instruction booklet was also issued with the sets.

Having just put 9 sets on the internet last night(small size with playing card inset and without and the large size) all of them with bids on this morning, somebody asking a question and referring to Lenormand,I thought i had better do some research, hence my finding your site.
If any body wishes to view them you can type my ebay user name on the net and you should find my ebay shop, lastly although not into Astrology, i enjoyed reading about the Lenormand cards and feel a little better educated.
Best Regards

John

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#16 
Written By Stella
on May 24th, 2013 @ 12:15 pm

Totally agree, Catlady. The current popularity of Lenormand has already spawned a flood of decks and written material that serve to obfuscate rather than enlighten.

The trick to learning Lenormand is simple: Choose a traditional, stark (for reasons of being able to locate cards quickly in a GT), NON-collaged deck. Single symbol, playing card inset and number.

Now tune ALMOST EVERYTHING out. Study two or three reliable sources: AndyBC’s material, the Treppner course, and Chanah’s blog are my picks. If you see anything else, skim reading is OK for entertainment purposes, but don’t put it in your notes or try to fix it in your memory.

As for books, a few of Britta Kienle’s are available in english. AndyBC has had an e book in the pipes for awhile now. Caitlin Matthews and Rana George have books coming out later this year as well, and I think (hope) that at some point Mary K. Greer will be writing one. Other than that, unless your grandma or auntie is an old european Lenormand reader, your options are in electronic form only.

People are apparently in a huge hurry to jump on some kind of bandwagon without doing the prerequisite studies. :P

I can vouch for the fact that Britta, Andy, Caitlin, Mary and Rana are competent Lenormand readers, unlike the authors of some recent releases. I’m looking forward to all of these, but until then, we have the Cartomante’s Cabinet and Treppner courses.

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#17 
Written By Tatenbury
on November 27th, 2013 @ 2:33 pm

Have never gotten anything remotely interesting or noteworthy from any Lenormand readings I’ve done. I have continued to do the occasional reading with them, and I love the look of the old school Lenormand cards, but they are just a cute little novelty item for me. At most, I’ve gotten the “You will get a text/email….” but who actually needs a head up about that??? Also, for the most part, the new , more modernized Lenormand decks are tacky at best.

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#18 
Written By Stella
on December 2nd, 2013 @ 11:48 am

That’s odd, I suspect it may be your reading method. As of now the best Lenormand material for learning exists on a small handful of blogs and online courses, most of the books only serve to confuse. Your best resources are these blogs http://boroveshengra.wordpress.com/card-theory-by-andybc/small-lenormand-theory/ and http://36cards.wordpress.com/tag/lenormand/ and the Treppner course. I do hear Caitlin Matthews’ book is good, and one of Treppner’s books is available in english via Kindle (though her course is much better).

Agree that the modern decks are, for the most part, tacky. Many are unusable as well. It would be better if people learned the system before designing a tool for it.

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#19 
Written By Stella
on December 7th, 2013 @ 3:15 pm

I just want to add that I’m profoundly grateful that I started with Lenormand ten years ago, before all these people jumped all over it. The new agers and Tarot crowd consider it “theirs” by default, because it’s cards, I suppose, but it’s neither Tarot nor Doreen Virtue. While there are a (very) few Tarot scholars who have studied the traditional reading method and put in the prerequisite 5-7 years, there are a lot of people out there with no comprehension of the system at all, publishing books, making videos, running workshops and pretending to “teach”. I think if I was coming into it now, I wouldn’t have a prayer unless I was fortunate enough to find one of the few reputable sources, and sensible enough to stick with it and ignore the rest.

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#20 
Written By Ann
on January 30th, 2014 @ 6:13 am

I was given a Lenormand (Red Owl) deck in the early ’70s and spent over a year doing Gran Tableau readings and had a lot of positive feedback. I have no tarot experience whatsoever, and the only information I could find back then on Lenormand readings was the little booklet that came with the cards. I stopped doing readings until about about 2 years ago when I found Sylvie Steinbach’s book and started investigating on internet which, quite frankly, has been a bit confusing. I think I will not complicate matters and just do the readings like I used to (with only the little booklet as a guideline). I do love the traditional decks and bought the Blue Owl recently. I have to admit to falling in love with the Gilded Reverie which is so beautifully illustrated, if sometimes not quite what I expected.

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