While the main focus of Labyrinthos Academy has always been the Tarot, lately I’ve been experimenting with other practices that have the potential to work alongside those beloved decks of that I hold so dear. One of the more interesting and dynamic combinations I’ve found during these little experiments has been Lenormand Cards. Lately, I’ve been so inspired, that I’ve been working on a Lenormand deck, which you can start taking a peek at here!
What are Lenormand Cards?
Tarot and other forms of cartomancy have been around for as long as playing cards themselves have existed - and the history of the whole practice spans well over six centuries. For many decades now, Tarot has been the main focus of those interested in spirituality and self-development. While they were once used for divination, we actually argue here that their most potent use is not in telling the future, but as a tool for developing your own sense of empowerment and self-knowledge.
The Lenormand is another divination tool with a similar history (and purpose) to that of the Tarot. It is a 200 year old system from the heart of Europe; a deck of 36 cards that has held its place in the living rooms and salons of France and Germany for several generations. Made of simple, straightforward imagery, the cards themselves deal with more tangible issues rather than psychological ones. As we explore more about Lenormand, we’ll return to this later!
Get Updates for the Upcoming Lenormand Deck
The Seventh Sphere Lenormand is coming in print! Also in the works is a free companion app for getting started with Lenormand.
Madame Lenormand and the History of Lenormand Cards
The cards came into being in the late 18th century, many of their symbols derived from those commonly found in coffee ground readings. The oldest surviving deck dates from 1799 or 1800 and is currently kept in the British Museum in London. Originally named "The Game of Hope", it was once but a parlor game (much like Tarot). But as the years went on, the images on the cards proved themselves suitable for more esoteric purposes.
The cards came to bear the famous name of the Sybille of the Salons, Marie Anne Lenormand - also known as Madame Lenormand, only after her death in the mid-19th century. She was rumored to have used a custom set of the same cards that are seen today, her own adaptation. Hers was a large legacy, having been the most celebrated psychic of her time. She was associated with grand figures such as Robespierre, Marat (both French revolutionaries), Empress Josephine (the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte) and Tsar Alexander I of Russia.
When Madame Lenormand died, her name was placed on a pack of cards made after the one that she used and effectively kickstarted a trend that was to prove a mainstay on the occult circles of continental Europe. Over the next century and a half, the popularity of the Lenormand spread to the Low Countries, Central Europe, the Balkans, Russia and even Brazil. The English-speaking world, immersed in its love for Tarot, was to catch a proper glimpse of the little deck only with the dawn of the 21st century.
Lenormand Cards and their Uses
The Lenormand cards provide another way of peeking into the winding palace of one’s own mind - helping you plot out possible courses and actions that you can take. Like the tarot, I personally don’t believe that the divinatory use of the cards are the healthiest way of using them, but I have heard that for that purpose, Lenormand cards have yielded clear messages.
By pulling together simple yet effective universal symbols as if they were pearls on a string, the meanings within the Lenormand cards reveal themselves as if they were a story. Regardless of whether we choose to interpret just two cards (for they are normally read in pairs and card combinations) or spread out a full Grand Tableau utilizing the entire deck, we can use Lenormand as a tool for self-development, spiritual exploration but also, something this deck is particularly good at: dealing with simple, everyday concerns. That is where the true power of Lenormand lies - in it's frank and even blunt way of tackling our real life issues. Its accuracy and candid way of "speaking" to us makes it an attractive companion - both alongside tarot, and on it’s own.
Lenormand Cards and their Meanings List: Quick Keywords
|Lenormand Card||Keywords Meaning|
|Rider||Energy, Passion, Speed, Activity, News, Messages|
|Clover||Luck, Lightheartedness, Small Happinesses, Opportunity, Being Untroubled, Comedy|
|Ship||Departure, Farewell, Distance, Voyage, Travel, Journey, Adventure|
|House||Home, Establishment, Safety, Tradition, Custom, Privacy, Conservation|
|Tree||Growth, grounded, past connection, personal growth, spirituality, health|
|Clouds||Confusion, Unclarity, Misunderstanding, Insecurity, Doubt, Hidden Secrets|
|Snake||Desire, Seduction, Deception, Craving, Attraction, Sexuality, Wisdom, Forbidden Knowledge|
|Coffin||Ending, Dying, Funeral, Loss, Grief, Mourning, Sadness|
|Bouquet||Flattery, Social Life, Pleasantness, Cordiality, Etiquette, Politeness, Appreciation|
|Scythe||Accidents, Hasty Decisions, Danger, A Warning, Speed, Reckoning|
|Whip||Conflict, Discussions, Arguments, Debate, Scolding, Opposition, Objection|
|Birds||Worry, Excitement, Gossip, Chattering, Nervousness, Anxiety|
|Child||New Beginnings, Child, Toddler, Play , Inexperience, Innocence, Immaturity|
|Fox||Selfishness, Self Care, Trickery, Suspicion, Cunning, Caution|
|Bear||Power, Leadership, Dominance, Influence, Short temper, Strength of character, Boss|
|Stars||Hope, Inspiration, Optimism, Spirituality, Dreams, Progress to Goals|
|Stork||Change, Transition, Movement, Recurrence, New Cycle, Yearning|
|Dog||Loyalty, Friendship, A Follower, Devotion, Obedience, Support|
|Tower||Authority, Solitude, Loneliness, Isolation, Aloofness, Ego, Arrogance|
|Garden||Public Affairs, Society, Culture, Teamwork, Fame, Social Networks|
|Mountain||Difficulties, Problems, Obstacles, Impairment, Hurdles, Struggles, Challenge|
|Crossroads||Choices, Many Opportunities, Travel, Separation, Hesitation, Decisions|
|Mice||Dwindling, Deficiency, Depletion, Destruction, Defect, Flaw, Disease|
|Heart||Love, Amicability, Romanticization, Forgiveness, Reconciliation, Softness, Charity|
|Ring||Commitment, Promise, Honor, Partnership, Cooperation, Cycles|
|Book||Secrets, Knowledge, Education, Information, Research, Studies|
|Letter||Document, Email, Speech, Conversations, Expression, Information, Communication|
|Man||Male in Querent’s Life (Male Friend, Partner, Family Member), If the Querent identifies as Male - The Querent, Masculinity|
|Woman||Female in Querent’s Life (Female Friend, Partner, Family Member), A Female Querent, Femininity, If the Querent identifies as Female - The Querent/td>|
|Lily||Sensuality, Sex, Virtue, Morality, Ethics, Wisdom|
|Sun||Happiness, Victory, Success, Power, Warmth, Truth|
|Moon||Subconscious, Intuition, Emotions, Fears, Desires, Fantasy|
|Key||Openness, Revelation, Unlocking, Achievement, Liberation, Resolution|
|Fish||Finances, Business, Wealth, Values, Gain, Abundance|
|Anchor||Stability, Restraint, Security, Resilience, Durability, Laying Foundations|
|Cross||Duty, Conviction, Suffering, Burden, Intolerance, Principles, Indoctrination|
That being said, watch this space! I'll be updating this blog with a few of my learnings. You can also start taking a peek at the Seventh Sphere Lenormand, which I'm getting ready for printing - as well as developing an app so you can explore Lenormand Cards on your own.