There's a system which you probably don't know about. This system allows you to read the future, give literal interpretations and look at up to 36 different areas of a seeker's life. In a flash, you can get a snapshot of someone's love, career, and spirituality. The system which I speak of it Lenormand. This beginner's post is going to give you the basics of how to read it and includes a free guide at the bottom! Let's get learning!
Lenormand cards are similar to Tarot in that they are used for fortune telling however they are read in a different way which I will go into in detail in my next post. In this post I will: give a quick history of Lenormand; I will provide an overview of how you can perform readings; and the general interpretations which I use for the cards.
Lenormand cards are a deck of 36 images of different things which you would come across in day to day life and nature such as a house, a child, and a fox. Lenormand cards were named after the fortune teller Mlle. Marie Anne Adelaide Lenormand however, they were invented after her death from the 1850’s and became popular in Germany and France. Originally they were used as both a game and also for fortune-telling.
How They Are Read
Unlike Tarot cards, Lenormand cards do not have multitudes of spreads associated with them. Typically, they are read in ‘strings’ of 3,5 or 7 cards, in a table of 3×3 which uses nine cards and in something called a Grand Tableau which uses all of the cards in the deck. The interpretations of 2 cards or more are combined to form one detailed interpretation.
After you learn the interpretations, you will have the skills to be able to read a Grand Tableau for yourself (which is the most complex spread).
Here are the interpretations I use for each card. As everyone has their own style of readings, you can build on these using your own impressions of the cards to make them personal to you; this is the best way to learn. Just as I have my interpretations, other fortune tellers may have different ideas of how cards should be read. In these posts, I will refer to the person getting the reading as the seeker.
1. Rider: The Rider is associated with messages and news. Sometimes, the rider can represent a person, a messenger who will come into or leave the seekers life.
2. Clover: Obviously the clover is associated with luck (see how easy this is!). It can mean anything where the outcome will be in the seeker's favor, especially good investments and gamblings. Also, things happening by fate and destiny; such as a chance meeting with a future lover.
3. The Ship: The Ship symbolizes travels. These can be trips abroad or even trips back to the seeker's place of origin. The Ship can also show anything long distant, such as in love and work and also anything which is foreign. The ship can also bring new opportunities.
4. The House: The House is obviously associated with the home and family. On a more personal level, it is what makes the seeker feel secure. It can also mean structures as in real estate.
5. The Tree: Usually The Tree is associated with health but also family and traditions. Personal growth and growth of businesses and relationships can also be symbolized by Tree.
6. The Clouds: The Clouds are anything which causes your seeker uncertainty and confusion. In a Grand Tableau, the reason why the seeker has visited a fortune teller can usually be found in the house of the clouds.
7. The Snake: The Snake is quite a devious card and represents anyone in the seeker's life who has a manipulative nature, is two faced or wishes evil on them. Usually, it is not who they think it is. The Snake is also associated with sexualisation and sometimes ‘the other woman.'
8. The Coffin: The Coffin is anything which has or will soon come to an end. The end of this may cause sadness. In some cases, it can symbolize a real death. This card usually is anything which has came to an end slowly (there’s another card for when it happens quickly).
9. Bouquet: The Bouquet is basically appreciation. It can be an appreciation from others, or the seeker may be the recipient of the appreciation. In relationships, it can be receiving the little, simple things which make a relationship special.
10. Scythe: Usually The Scythe symbolises anything which comes to an end quickly and fast decisions. The Scythe can also be a warning of something which needs your attention and should be dealt with. In the literal sense, it can be surgery, cuts, and accidents.
11. Whip: The Whip is anything which seems to happen repeatedly in your life and patterns you go through. It can also signal discussions, arguments, and at worst abuse. This can be abuse from others or abuse or self-abuse. The whip is anything which causes the seeker stress.
12. Birds: The Birds are communications which seem to spread quickly such as gossip and small talk. In the modern world, these communications can obviously represent social networking like Twitter and Facebook but also online dating and forums. In the family, it can represent an older couple, twins, and siblings.
13. Child: The Child can be either children or the seeker's own childhood. The positive aspects of this can be anything small, fun, young or innocent but negatively it can reflect a childish and stroppy attitude.
14. Fox: The Fox can symbolize cunning. Positively it can be someone who can raise above others and stand out in the workplace. Their commitment to the job at hand comes before any emotional attachments to people. The Fox represents anything which is unconventional in some way. Negatively, it can represent there are lies and trickery at play in the seeker's life.
15. Bear: The Bear symbolizes personal finances. In other aspects, it can be associated with authority figures, such as bosses, teachers and sometimes parents.
16. Stars: The Stars are associated with the seeker's hopes and dreams. It may also be where they ‘shine’ and also where they can do with some encouragement.
17. Stork: The Stork symbolizes changes and sometimes travel, movement and where the seeker finds comfort. The Stork is obviously a good omen for questions related to expanding the family.
18. Dog: It is evident that the dog represents friends. In other aspects, it can represent loyalty and where the seeker keeps their loyalty. Sometimes it can symbolize family pets.
19. Tower: Unlike in the Tarot, The Tower in Lenormand is firm and stable. The Tower represents protection and also where our ambitions lie. Sometimes it can represent the government and official matters; the seeker may need to get their official affairs in order, or they may work for an official body.
20. Garden: The Garden signals social events, parties, networking and places where people meet. It can also represent parks, barbecues, and real gardens. The Garden can reflect our place in society and any social groups we may be apart of.
21. Mountains: The Mountains reflect any long term problems which are a challenge to overcome. In readings, they can represent delays to our plans. In the literal sense, they can represent real mountains.
22. Crossroads: Sometimes called ‘Ways’ this card reflects decisions which the seeker may have to face. These choices can be many things, and the path may be uncertain. In the literal sense, they can represent someone who is active and goal orientated.
23. Mice: The Mice represents anything which is causing the seeker stress. They also represent anything which is being ‘eaten away at’ overtime. A mouse can nibble an entire home given enough time to do so. Sometimes mice can be a warning of loss and theft.
24. Heart. The Heart is pretty self-explanatory. It represents, love, relationships, and romance. Other times, it represents anything which the seeker has put their heart into such as their children or career.
25. Ring: The Ring symbolizes commitments. These are obviously engagements but can also be contracts, agreements, and mortgages. In the literal sense, The Ring represents jewelry and anything small but of monetary or sentimental value.
26. Book: Book represents education, skills, and lessons which the seeker is or must learn. Usually, books reveal secrets and knowledge which may or may not be known to the seeker.
27. Letters: Letters are letter like forms of communication and also news. These can appear as a physical letter, document, package and also in modern terms emails and electronic type messages.
28. Man: In Lenormand, The Man can represent the seeker themselves if they are male. For a woman, The Man can be a husband, boyfriend, son, male friend, etc. *
29. Lady: The Lady can represent the seeker if they are female. For a male seeker, it can represent a wife, a girlfriend, daughter, female friend. *
30. Lily: The Lily represents the seekers family but also sex and the seeker's sexual drive. In some cases, it can represent and older male but also the seeker's retirement.
31. Sun: The Sun is a good omen for success. The Sun can represent anything which has been accomplished and also the seeker's happiness.
32. Moon: The Moon represents the seekers reputation and the imagine which they put out to others, basically where they find fame. Another interpretation of the moon is that it reflects the seeker's emotions and also intuition.
33. The Key. The Key can flag up anything which is important in a reading and needs the seeker's attention. It can be anything which they must concentrate on. The Key also represents what not only needs unlocked within themselves but also where they shut themselves off from others.
34. Fish: The Fish represents the seeker's finances, resources, and business. The Fish are related to anything to do with money and how the seeker gets money. In the literal sense, it can represent lakes, canals, and oceans. Watch out for social cards surrounding the fish; the seeker may enjoy drinking like one!
35. Anchor: The Anchor represents anything in the seeker's life that is both long term and stable. It can represent their commitments which they are tied to. In the literal, day to day sense it can represent trips to the beach.
36. Cross: Usually, The Cross represents burdens which the seeker carries. These strains may cause the seeker pain either physically and emotionally. Sometimes, it can represent the seeker's fate and destiny and also the influence of established religion within their childhood home.
** If the seeker is homosexual there is several things which you can do to represent their lover. Firstly, you can have two man or 2 lady cards from different decks, but I find this confusing. Personally, I just keep it as it is and use the Lady or Man to represent the seeker's man or woman. It is up to personal preference, though.
Well, folks, that’s all of the general interpretations! Be sure to check out our other Lenormand stuff in the How to Read Lenormand section!
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Lisa Boswell is an award-winning psychic reading teacher who currently resides in Scotland. Through her website DivinationAndFortuneTelling.com she teaches both experienced and would be diviners how they can predict the future.
Born into a Romany Gypsy family of fortune tellers, Lisa has had an active interest in the occult from a young age. She specialises in teaching predictive divination, easy mediumship and fortune-telling. Learn more here.