When it comes to size and complexity of the reading, Lenormand offers possibly one of the greatest ranges out of all methods of cartomancy. From simple two or three-card layouts, all the way up to the 36-card Grand Tableau, the system is as versatile as you may wish it to be.
A five-card spread (also sometimes referred to as "a line of five") is one of the more popular ways of gaining insight into straightforward, everyday concerns. It is small enough to be concise and focus on one issue while at the same time large enough to give plenty of detail on the topic. Similar results can happen from the seven-card spread.
For the sake of illustration, our examples are going to be using 5-card Lenormand Spreads.
Method 1: Reading A Sentence with the 5-Card or 7-Card Lenormand Spread
The way to go about it doesn't differ much from the previously discussed three-card reading. The best technique for a beginner may be to read it straight through, as if it were a sentence, with each card being a single word or expression. A line consisting of Rider + Scythe + Lady + Lily + Ring may thus be interpreted as “the news gave a sharp blow to the woman, and the old pattern repeats itself".
Rider is the one bringing the message, the Scythe cuts everything in its way, including our (or in this case the Lady's) emotional balance and the old, well-established way things are (Lily tends to stand for experience and old age) which, in this case seems to be negative, is repeated yet again as the Ring can denote events that happen over and over again due to its cyclic nature.
Had the female querent's question been about her exam success, the answer would most likely be that she will fail yet again and be forced to take the test sometimes in the near future.
Method 2: A Structural Approach to the 5-Card or 7-Card Lenormand Spread
For those of you that may not feel comfortable working with Lenormand intuitively (it's common when you're starting out!), you might prefer instead to work with a bit more structure and guidance. The following is list of techniques you can start following in order to get started reading instead.
Getting the Central Topic of the Lenormand Spread
As a way of starting the reading, we can ground ourselves and focus on the central topic or theme of the spread. For the example reading, let's imagine that a querent is asking about their love life - they've met a new and exciting stranger and are curious to see where the relationship is going. So if, for example, we pull Heart + Tower + Snake + Scythe + Book, that means our central topic for this reading will be the card that is at literal heart of the spread. For us, that means it's the snake, which can denote the themes of ambition, seduction and deception. Not looking good!
Stringing Lenormand Pairs
After getting the central theme, we can go ahead and start layering on meanings around that central concept. The next thing to do will be reading in pairs, treating each couple of cards as a separate concept or idea. If we use the 1+2, 2+3, 3+4, 4+5 method, we need to make sure that we are not dragging the meaning of each card from the previous pair into the next.
In our example, the first pair (Heart and Tower) would denote a lonely heart. In the second combination (Tower and Snake), the Tower will not stand for loneliness but instead for a high ground, a lookout for the charming yet dangerous person that is the Snake. The third combination (Snake and Scythe) can mean a sudden and quick seduction, being charmed at first sight. Finally, the last pair (Scythe and Book) can mean a hidden or secret ending.
Here, instead of one continuous sentence, we now get a series of short ones, each giving us further insight into the matter at hand. We are starting to get a picture here of a love whose sudden passions were kindled from loneliness, and may end mysteriously.
Mirroring Lenormand Pairs
One thing that differentiates the line of five from that of three cards is the possibility of multiple instances of "mirroring", or pairing of cards on the opposite sides of the center. By using this method of combining card 1 with 5, and card 2 with 4, we can gain further insight into how the story will unfold. This creates a multi-faceted experience and offers far more detail we can work with.
In our example reading, when pairing the outer cards (Heart and Book), we may learn that this new stranger, despite appearances, may also have a hidden compassion that they do not show. And mirroring the inner cards (Tower and Scythe), we also learn that this companion can leave in their wake a sudden feeling of alienation.
And that's it! These longer line spreads also give us another building block and another stepping stone on our way towards understanding the Grand Tableau, which we're slowly working our way to through these posts!