I like to learn various forms of card reading because I find it interesting. It sharpens my mind and enhances my creativity. The cards “make” you think and they expand your definitions of a word or term. The tarot speaks with clear images. Once you learn each of the tarot suit’s energies and the energies of the trumps, the rest is rather easy. As much as I love the tarot, I want learn more about cartomancy in its many forms. Each type of card reading system has its own rules and methods. I find it fun to learn new things that challenges my thought processes. The hard part is to NOT apply another card system on a new card reading system. It is almost like doing a mind-wipe on yourself to avoid entangling two, or more, systems.
The Lenormand uses 36 cards. There is plenty of info out there if you want to know more about it. Like most card reading systems, it started out as a game- the Lenormand was the Game of Hope. The cards have been getting interest in the States, though it is nothing like the tarot or the various oracle card systems.
Lenormand decks are smaller than tarot cards. That is nice when it comes to shuffling. The Anna.K Lenormand, being self-published, has an excellent card-stock, yet they are very easy to shuffle. One of the layouts is the Grand Tableau that uses ALL of the cards. Smaller cards makes this layout much easier to deal with. And no, I have not tried one. Yet.
Lenormand is a plain-language type of card reading, and yet, it does go deeper if needed. I love it. I do not think it goes into psychoanalyzing the seeker the way some read the tarot, but I could be wrong. There are no reversals in Lenormand. The cards work in combinations, not alone like in tarot. If you try to read each Lenormand card one at a time, it does not “speak” properly.
When reading a spread, the proximity based on the cards’ distance from each other in a reading is used. You look at whether a card is near or far, left or right, and in larger spreads- above or under, in relation to each other, along with whether the image is “looking” towards or away from its neighbor or where it appears in the spread. It sounds way more complicated than it really is. Really.
This particular deck I am showing is what peaked my interest in learning the Lenormand. Think of the Lenormand symbols as an early-style of emojis, but with more depth. When you are first learning, the cards with just the symbol-image can be more helpful for some. I guess the correct term is to say that the cards are read metaphorically in relation to the symbol of the card? I love Anna.K’s artwork, the scenes are the symbol, and it is very apparent what the card is for me. Anna.K put a thin border on her deck and they do not go all the way around the cards’ face. Some of the images go beyond the border. See her 23 Mice card on her site to see what I mean. I find what she created is wonderful.
I found that some of the readers online are saying the Whip or Rod relates to sex, as in having. Really? They feel a whip or rod goes with having sex? No thank you. That is too twisted, even for me. The Whip can mean repetition, yet… no thank you. To each their own, yes? There are some cards similar to tarot cards in image and name, like the Stars, Sun and Moon. Except for a few similarities in the Sun’s meaning, the tarot meanings do not apply.
The Anna.K Lenormand deck includes extra cards in the deck for the Woman and Man for the reader’s preference or to accommodate orientation. When you put the Woman and Man together and place them side-by-side where they are “facing each other”, they make a complete little scene. It is very cool. I love the couple with the Woman spinning and the Man working on the frame of the window, but I ended up using the couple walking from a winter scene towards a summer scene because they felt more correct for me, personally.
There is two versions of the Lily. I prefer the warm-colored Lily to the white Lily. I especially prefer her take on the Cross card. She captured the essence of the card very well. There is an interesting Joker as an extra card. This is not part of the normal Lenormand deck. Her thoughts of “why” is on her site. I am not using it, though the image is very cool with a bit of the “Night Gallery” tv series going on in the scene.
Most of the Lenormand decks include playing card images on the card fronts called “inserts”. Do note that they are NOT the same as cartomancy (playing card reading) meanings! I have not delved that far into the Lenormand yet, being in the middle of learning to read playing cards right now. I do not want to confuse myself too much. laughing… Anna.K put the playing cards symbols in a pale font at the bottom of the cards. You would use them if you needed another “person” card for various reasons. She is not into that part of the meanings of Lenormand that I know of. I do not know if I will ever use them.
The Anna.K Lenormand booklet is well-written. It includes how to read the cards, covers how to read combinations, and features the spreads. As much as I like Anna.K’s thick booklet that comes with the cards and her in-depth take on each card, my favorite learning book has been “Lenormand Thirty-Six Cards: An Introduction to the Petit Lenormand” by Andy Boroveshengra. The inside of the book says “Fortune-Telling with the Petit Lenormand” instead of the introduction-thing. Gasp! Fortune-telling! The horror! laughing… He is a traditionalist when it comes to the Lenormand. He goes in-depth where needed, talks about themes for you to spot, what the Inserts mean and how to use them and step-by-step instructions for the various spreads. He also has worksheets at the end of chapters for you to use to see if you grasped the chapter well enough to move on to the next. I found his book made it much easier for me to learn the cards and how to read them. It is structured in a way that flows well.
I do not read for others, though I will throw some cards for loved ones if asked. My style of reading and verbiage is too blunt for the public. I am not about to try to psychoanalyze someone nor am I willing to tell someone which path they should take. Some people get angry if you do not pick a path for them! I am bluntly honest and I do not use “tactful” words unless the situation calls for it. Blowing smoke up someone’s backside is not helpful. At times, people need to put on their big-people panties and listen to honest, blunt verbiage.
A spread shows that if one stays on a certain path, the probabilities of the outcome are higher towards the conclusion shown in the cards. Cards show possibilities when there are choices and/or things you should think about avoiding. Some readings are warnings of a darker nature. Sometimes we need a slap on the back of the head to get our attention, yes?
The Anna.K Lenormand deck comes in a nice box with a good fitted lid. The cards are neatly divided in the box. The booklet sits on top of the cards. Nothing is crammed in, yet it is secure. Anna.K puts a gold ribbon around the box, a nice touch.
More Musings on Card Reading
I should point out that besides the Lenormand, the tarot and the plethora of oracle decks, there are other forms of card reading. Some are harder than others. Cartomancy, (playing card reading) is one of the oldest forms and still done today, though it lost favor once tarot became popular in the States.
There is a number of Lenormand decks available. Besides the Anna.K Lenormand, I also have the French Cartomancy deck by Lo Scarabeo. This one has the traditional images with the inserts. It is very nicely done. I also have the Maybe Lenormand by Ryan Edward. This is printed by US Games. He does still have some hand-painted decks left. He will paint the Woman card to taste, I am told. I love the hand-painted version, though it has sharp corners (that can be remedied). I hope I get one of those before they are gone. The Maybe Lenormand has 36 cards, plus 16 cards he added from decks similar to the old Gypsy Fortune Telling cards by Whitman Publishing Co. from around the 1940s. Those were very similar to the Lenormand. Maybe Lenormand comes with a thick, small book. I will eventually expand to that deck. I like the additional cards.
There is a line of divination or “fortune-telling” cards throughout Europe with different names for the cards, and there is some similarities in number of cards and the names on the cards. There are people in various roles and relationships featured in these decks. I would think of these as good decks for those who live in cities and/or have a lot of interaction with others. Major life events and common everyday events are covered in the cards. If I read it right, these decks are usually read somewhat literally. I have not delved deeply into the decks below, though I do have Kipper cards, the Hungarian Gipsy Fortune-telling cards and Lo Scarabeo’s Sibilla Della Zingara, which I will replace with another Sibilla deck. This version was not to my tastes in coloring and… They are not a fit for me personally. You can find these in the States, though they are not as popular as other divination decks.
These decks include:
● Kipper cards. These are a German divination deck. I have the Mystical Kipper by Regula Elizabeth Fiechter and painted by Urban Trösch using the classical egg tempera technique. They transferred nicely onto the cards. They are stunning in colors and design.
● Hungarian Gipsy Fortune-Telling Cards. They are not the Romany people’s system. There is no such thing out there, nor have I found one. It is thought they came from an Eastern European country. My deck came from Hungary and has 36 cards.
● Zigeuner Wahrsagekarten, 2 publishers, and maybe multiple versions? One is said to have 40 cards, the other 36 cards. This is similar to the decks above. Where these are from originally, I have no clue. They are popular in Italy and Germany.
● The Sibilla decks have 52 cards. There are at least 3 versions of the Sibilla, an oracle deck. Though most are printed now by Italian publishers, they are said to originate from France. The Sibilla Indovina (or Sibilla Oracle cards) by Antonio Lupatelli, This deck is said to be a reproduction of the original Sibilla cards- The Parlour Sibyl deck by Grimaud in France. The second version is The Sibilla Della Zingara. The third Sibilla deck is The La Vera Sibilla (or Every Day Oracle) and it is very popular in Italy. These decks are printed by various publishers.
If you look at Ebay and similar places, there are some old fortune-telling or divination decks with the meanings printed on the cards and various ways they are to be read. I am seeing new systems are appearing here and there lately, too.
Of course, I cannot resist making my own box for my favorite decks. The Anna.K Lenormand deck’s box shown is one of my latest. I will write an article on how-to make card boxes for yourself here soon. I hope you enjoyed my take on this deck, the Lenormand and my musings about reading cards. Look at the other decks out there. If you want to stretch your mind a bit in another direction, give learning to read the Lenormand a try. And no, I am NOT getting any sort of compensation for my review. I bought the deck, paying full price for the deck and the shipping, both which I found very reasonable.
If you like card reading, you have many choices. Have fun! Love and hugs…