Your cart

Your cart is empty

Check out these collections.

The Houses of Lenormand Cloth Altar Cloth James R. Eads

AN Introduction

LENORMAND

Lenormand is, at its heart, an oracle deck. Its origins can be traced back to 1800, but its popularity has only recently peaked. Lenormand is comprised of a set of thirty-six pictorial symbols that can be used to tell a story and offer insight on the future. The Grand Tableau, which incorporates all thirty-six cards in the deck, is where the genius of Lenormand lies. Reading the Grand Tableau can take several hours, as you will have to spend time stringing the symbols together and weav.ing a story. It can tell you so much from so many differ.ent angles that you can easily get lost in the intricacies. It may sound intimidating now, but once you become familiar with the meanings of the symbols, you will find it incredibly intuitive. Lenormand works best when ask.ing about specific events in the future, but can also be used to give you a general overview of what’s to come. 

If you haven’t looked through the cards yet, pick up your deck and look at each one closely. You’ll notice a few things on each card: a name, a number, a glyph, an image, and an inset playing card. In the following pages, I answer a few questions that may have just popped into your head.

The Houses of Lenormand Cloth Altar Cloth James R. Eads

Why are there

playing cards inset on the Lenormand cards?

This was the first question I had when I looked at a Lenormand deck. In short, it reveals an underlying system that allows you to read the cards in an even deeper manner. The inset cards also create links between certain cards. You’ll notice that there are no twos, threes, fours, or fives in the entire deck. The cards begin at six and go up to Aces. It’s based on the sixteenth century Piquet Playing Card deck (with sixes added), which is still popular today. 

You can also use the inset playing cards to “count the pips” and answer yes or no questions. I’ll go over the inset playing cards more once you are familiar with the cards themselves. Reading the inset cards isn’t necessary or required to read Lenormand, but it does offer a little more insight. 

If you haven’t looked through the cards yet, pick up your deck and look at each one closely. You’ll notice a few things on each card: a name, a number, a glyph, an image, and an inset playing card. In the following pages, I answer a few questions that may have just popped into your head.

Original Green Glyphs Lenormand Satchel Satchel James R. Eads

Where did Lenormand come from?

Lenormand’s true origin is still not entirely known. It was partially inspired by the Game of Hope, a German card game, but also was found to have links to the symbolism found in coffee ground readings. The name “Lenormand” is actually somewhat of a misnomer. Although the cards were named after Marie Anne Lenormand, a prominent diviner that read for royalty in the late eighteenth century, she never  used  this specific set of symbols.  

The Houses of Lenormand Cloth Altar Cloth James R. Eads

Where did the symbols come from?

These thirty-six symbols were likely taken from daily life in the eighteenth century. Their universal nature means that they’ve stayed flexible and even now reliably describe the spectrum of human experience. Compared to other forms of cartomancy, Lenormand is concise. At first, some cards may seem random and outdated, and they are. You might be like me and feel like these symbols don’t accurately represent your life--not everyone is heterosexual, or gender-conforming, or religious. Social norms have come a long way since 1799. So, if you would like to edit your deck to better fit you or your querent’s life (the one asking the question), you can substitute the following cards for their like-numbered cards. Just make sure you have a total of thirty-six cards when you are doing a reading.

Keep the cards you are not using in the box-you’ll want to switch them depending on the reading: 

  • 28. The Lady II
  • 29. The Gentleman II
  • 28.  The Person
  • 29. The Person II 
  • 36. Instead of the Cross, the Albatross 
Green Glyphs Lenormand Deck James R. Eads

How is it different than Tarot?

The best way to sum up the difference is that Tarot is used to offer insight on the subconscious of the inquirer, while Lenormand is more useful in telling past and future events and laying out a story. Tarot tells us what we didn’t think we wanted to know, and Lenormand tells us what may come to be and what has happened to get us here. In Tarot, cards are read based on their positions in a spread. For example, in a Celtic Cross, the card in the second position will stand for your challenge, but Lenormand cards are read based on their proximity to each other. While each card in Lenormand has associated symbolism, no card can really be read on its own.  

Lenormand is all about combinations. You can read cards in pairs or triplets or in groups. It can be an exquisite tool for storytelling and will keep your creative wit fresh. 

One major advantage of Lenormand is that the symbolism and meanings of each card will be the same throughout every deck. Regardless of “Book” being represented by a bible or a novel or a magazine, the meaning is the same throughout all decks: secrets, knowledge, or literally a book. Therefore, it’s crucial for Lenormand cards to be kept simple and clear. 

THE CARDS

an archive of all 36 cards, their meanings, and example combinations

reading lenormand

a quick guide to understanding and reading the 36 cards of lenormand

The Grand tableau

using all cards at once to conduct the ultimate lenormand reading