This past weekend at the Readers Studio, I noticed that some of my fellow attendees are becoming very interested in Lenormand decks. They like that Lenormand gives very specific, very clear readings. Once familiar with the cards, which have specific meanings rather than a range of meanings like tarot, and the reading method, usually but not always the Grand Tableau, they can answer questions with little ambiguity. Tarot, on the other hand, has become more and more vague, with a focus on spiritual teachings and a presentation of possibilities.

Tarot has not always been what it is now. Card meanings have grown, evolved, and deepened over the past decades, with an emphasis on a spectrum of meanings for each card, from positive to negative. In Lenormand, although there is some “tarotizing” of the cards in some circles, cards are usually good/positive, bad/negative, and neutral, which is part of the simplicity and elegance of the system.

The dichotomy seemed so prevalent to me this weekend. This expansion of tarot meanings (with the downside of vagueness) opposite the simple clarity of Lenormand. This desire for broad strokes and empowerment (tarot) versus a need for more specific fortunetelling/predictions (Lenormand). I’m not sure what I think of it or where I think it will lead, but it is interesting. I do think that the role of oracles (all types) throughout history reflect cultural mores, belief systems, and a people’s experience of reality. And perhaps we will not be able to put this trend in historical perspective; perhaps that will be the job of others who have some distance from this moment. But still, we can think about it and speculate.

And so, I’m interested in your thoughts, whether you use tarot only, Lenormand only, or a combination of the two.

Written by Barbara Moore
The tarot has been a part of Barbara Moore’s personal and professional lives for over a decade. In college, the tarot intrigued her with its marvelous blending of mythology, psychology, art, and history. Later, she served as the tarot specialist for Llewellyn Publications. Over the years, she has ...