String readings are the most basic form of Lenormand spreads and what you will typically learn when you begin to perform readings. Once you attempt this spread, you will know if learning Lenormand is something you are going to stick to because you can gauge how quickly you will master bigger layouts, such as Grand Tableaus.
String readings are readings which use lines of, most popularly, 3, 5 or 7 cards. The cards in the string are ‘put together’ to form one general meaning.
String readings I find are best for daily practice as they are easy to perform. It is not necessary to ask a question when performing string readings. I’m going to show how we can come up with different interpretations. Hopefully, this lesson will highlight how the cards can be taken literally or symbolically which is the most fun part of Lenormand.
Because Lenormand pictures different physical things which someone might come across in day to day life, the cards can be read literally to represent a real event. Here I am going to give an example of how this is done using a reading which I did for a male volunteer seeker/client this morning. Here are the steps I took to perform the reading and the interpretation:
Firstly, I decided that I prefer strings of 5. Five card strings are not too simplistic for this post but also not too detailed either. I shuffled the cards thinking of the day at hand (I always shuffle for the seeker or client as they are also known) and this is what I came up with:
For a literal interpretation, we could say something like:
However, we can also take the cards to mean something symbolic which of course the most in-depth way to perform readings.
The sex of the seeker is important because if he were female, the woman could represent them. Secondly, it is important to know that generally the string is read from left to right but in some European countries, it is read from right to left. As everything, do what you feel comfortable with in your practice. Here is my interpretation:
A woman in the seeker's life (Woman) will bring him news (letters). This information will be given at the seeker's home (house) and will be about a close friend (dog). The friend will have made some major decisions about their life (scythe).
It also should be noted that some readings ‘add up’ the numbers on the cards to come to an overall energy of the reading or add more detail to it. The sum of all the cards is 87 which then (when adding 8 and 7) adds up to 15. The 15th card is the bear, symbol of authority and power. Therefore there may be a bit of a power struggle going on between this woman and the friend for the seeker's attention. It isn’t necessary to use the adding technique, but some find it adds a different dimension to their reading.
Although I have interpreted the cards this way, other Lenormand readers will have read this and said to themselves “I didn’t get that interpretation at all.” There will always be disagreement because interpretations are a very personal thing. Although everyone has the same general idea about what one card means (such as a dog being a friend), their thoughts of what it means when two cards are combined can range widely. The great thing is that you will gain the right answers for you through practice and intuition.
I recommend anyone serious about learning Lenormand should practice string readings a couple of times a week at least. In the morning time perform the reading then record what cards came up. Once your day is over, you can go back and relate your day to the cards to give yourself different ideas about how the cards can be interpreted. You may have interpreted the garden to mean a trip to the park when actually it was a chance to go out and socialize with friends.
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Lenormand cards used in the header of this post are the Siren’s Song Oracle. Lenormand cards used in the body of this post are my own designs.