The Lenormand cartomancy system was shown to me first with a set of charms. I fell in love with them, even before I learned of the cards. I was so excited to find out more about this system. It resonated with me much more than Tarot ever did. Not to mention, reading the symbols seemed so much easier. As soon as I was comfortable with using the cards and the charms, the idea hit me to make a set of my own in disc form. I had already made a set of runes and I knew I could make a set of Lenormand discs that were easy to use with simple designs. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed creating them.
Lenormand cards are named after a professional French fortune-teller named Marie Anne Adelaide Lenormand, who gained considerable fame during the Napoleonic era. She read for various French nobility and leaders of the French revolution and is considered the greatest cartomancer of all time. She also had a literacy career and published many controversial books, which caused her to be imprisoned more than once. Upon her death in June 1843, her estate was left to her only heir, a nephew. He was a devout Catholic and burned all of her occult paraphernalia and took only the money she left behind. About two years after her death, several cartomancy decks were released using her name for marketing purposes. One such deck was fashioned after a parlor game called “The Game of Hope.” Since the decks she used were burned, people can only speculate based on the cards published at that time, which images and symbols she used for her many accurate predictions.
Although Lenormand cards have been well known and used in Germany and France, popularity of the cards in the US is slowly growing everyday. You can now find many Lenormand decks from many publishers and authors. The popularity of the Lenormand system is due to the fact that it consists of 36 cards with different, simple, straightforward images. These images are simple in that they are objects and subjects you would see in everyday life and nature. In contrast, a standard tarot deck consists of 78 cards.
Learning the key words to each card is the most important step to reading Lenormand cards. The next step is to learn the modifying words per card. Once you learn these, you can begin to combine and read them in pairs (which is the best way to read them). When reading the cards in pairs, the basic rule of thumb is first card is the subject with the second card as a modifier, adjective or adverb. For example: Lets say you pulled the cards 3 Ship and 22 Crossroads. Some key words for Ship are travel, long distance travel, moving, slow crossing. Keywords for the Crossroads are options, decisions, and choices. With the ship card first, you could say your travels will show you different choices and decisions to make. If the Crossroads was first, it could mean you are presented with different places to move. In addition, each card can be viewed as positive (+), negative (-) or neutral (N). This can give quick yes/no answers when needed.
In some decks of Lenormand cards, you may notice the inclusion of small playing cards suits that are associated with the images. These are from early versions of the Petit Lenormand (The Game of Hope). The inserts represent a regular deck of playing card with the 2,3,4, and 5 pips removed. Using these card inserts does add another dimension to your reading but is not mandatory. Due to limited space on the discs I chose to leave them out.
Lenormand cards are typically read in strings of 3,5, or 7 cards. They can be placed in a table of 3×3 cards called a nine-card spread. There is also a more complex spread called the Grand Tableau, which uses all the cards in the deck in a 9×4+4 spread, and gives a large amount of information. If you plan to read a Grand Tableau, you will have to remove the extra “Birds” disc.
There are many books, websites, videos and forums where you can learn how to read Lenormand Cards. This is just the beginning of your journey. Take the time to learn the keywords and see which ones resonate with you. Start with small 3 card readings and gradually increase the number of cards or discs. Next thing you know you will be reading the Grand Tableau! I know you will love them as much as I do.
1 Rider (+) messages, news, speed, movement, energy, charging ahead, very soon, victory, fulfilled desires
2 Clover (+) luck, lightheartedness, small happiness, untroubled, think positive thoughts, second chances
3 Ship (N) trips, long distance travels, moving forward, adventures, departures, slow crossing
4 House (N) home, family, privacy, traditions, customs, stability, familiar, warm, safe
5 Tree (N) poor health and being unwell in a physical and spiritual sense, growth, grounded, roots
6 Clouds (-) uncertainty, confusion, lack of clarity, difficulties, depression, mourning
7 Snake (-) deceit, seduction, warnings, danger, harmful people or situations, virus, hidden disease
8 Coffin (-) endings, death, also disease, letting go, loss, painful transformations
9 Bouquet (+) gift(s), acknowledgments, nice surprise, invitation, hope, harmony, show of gratitude
10 Scythe (-) cutting, surgery, nervous energy, immature, sudden end, weapons, caution, aggression
11 Whip (-) conflicts, pain, reckless behavior, S&M, self-punishments, quarrels, tension,
12 Birds (N) communication, gossip, vocal or speech issues, excitement, chitchat, superficial conversation. The owl disc indicates more in depth and meaningful conversations, teaching, educational speaking. You may use one or both discs in your readings. Follow your intuition on how to use them.
13 Child (N) innocence, curiosity, children, small, unburdened, open, loving, inner child, start new
14 Fox (-) cunning, sly as a fox, dishonest, falseness, lies, manipulative people, be clever
15 Bear (N) strong personality, stubbornness, strength, power, protector, be assertive
16 Star (+) inspiration, knowledge, lucky stars, happiness, love, healing, recovery, hope, on the right path
17 Stork (+, N) changes, transitions, new cycles, long and skinny, flexibility, restart, pregnancy
18 Dog (+) friends, companions, loyal, trustworthy person, can protect you, patience, reliable, obedience
19 Tower (N) authority, office, isolation, work related, government, organizations, planning, school, hospital
20 Garden (+, N) public places, parties, meeting places, new groups of people, family events, networking, public participation
21 Mountain (-) obstacles, blocks, frustrations, enemies, great efforts to overcome, not moving forward
22 Crossroads (N) decisions, options, choices to make, possibilities, willingness to compromise
23 Mice (N) stressful situations, things taken away, loss, anxiety, worry, eating away at you, theft, defeat
24 Heart (+) Love, partnership, intimate feelings, warmth, lovers, an affair, true desires, passions
25 Ring (+) commitment, connections, partnership, marriage, contracts, agreements, cyclic, repetition, a “yes”
26 Book (N) The unknown, secrets, education, silence, hidden, learn more, discovery, study
27 Letter (N) news good and bad, letters, email, newsletters, prescriptions, checks, waiting on news
28 Man (N) the questioner, husband, partner, lover, boyfriend, male characteristics and traits
29 Woman (N) the questioner, wife, partner, lover, girlfriend, female characteristics and traits
30 Lily (+, N) peace, harmony, intimacy, calm, maturity, wisdom, older person, ancestry, lineage
31 Sun (+) health, warmth, creativity, vitality, creativity, the sun burns away negativity in other discs near it
32 Moon (+) recognition, fame, honor, subconscious, intuition, emotions, fantasies, dreams, desires
33 Key (+) key to success, fulfillment, solutions, taking charge, you have the power, security
34 Fish (+) finances, wealth, values, gains, abundance, business
35 Anchor (+) being the anchor, hold fast, safe harbor, stabilized, security, restraint, keeps you from moving on
36 Cross (-) heavy burden, sacrifices, situations are painful and hard, karma, silent suffering, a difficult time