Deck Review: Under the Roses Lenormand

Under The Roses Lenormand                                                                                                        

The Child.
(C) Kendra Hurteau & Katrina Hill, 2012

Kendra Hurteau & Katrina Hill

Self-published, 2012

$32.94 USD (includes shipping)

Lenormand is not like any Oracle or Tarot deck you have used before.  It’s a method that comes from France and Germany.  It is quite popular there, but is only just now receiving a lot of interest here in the USA.  The Lenormand are a set of 36 cards depicting very simple pictures (a dog for The Dog card, a house for The House card, a Sun for The Sun card, and so on).  You will not find symbol-laden art in most Lenormand decks.  However, in recent years there are a couple of exceptions.

For a thorough discussion of what Lenormand is, I recommend Helen Riding’s blog.  A link to her History of Lenormand is:  It is not my intention to discuss what Lenormand is here on my blog.  For now, I am focusing on only The Under the Roses Lenormand deck for this review, but you will gain a good understanding of what a Lenormand deck can tell you once you’ve read my review.

The phrase, “under the roses” comes from a Roman phrase, “sub rosa”.  The rose was symbolic of confidentiality and “under the roses” indicates secrets.  That is exactly what you will discover when you start to use The Under the Roses Lenormand.  Secrets will come to light.  The Under the Roses Lenormand consists of 38 cards, which includes an extra Man and an extra Woman card for those who wish to read for same-sex couples or if infidelity is suspected, then you have another card to represent a possible third party.  The deck comes with 1 introductory card and 3 additional cards containing commonly used spreads for Lenormand readings:  the Grand Tableau (Great Table that uses all 36 cards that will tell you everything you want to know & then some!), a 3-Card spread, a 5-Card spread, and an Under the Roses spread.

The Garden.
(c) Kendra Hurteau & Katrina Hill, 2012

The color scheme consists of antiqued sepia tones with a color palette of yellow, green ,white, orange, read, pink, brown, and gray.  The colors give the deck a very old world look to them and they are quite charming.  The background of each card resembles tea-dyed paper.  The cards have an ornate, but unobtrusive, frame with the card number in the upper-left corner, the playing card number and suit symbol in the upper right-hand corner, and along the base of the card are several keywords that all convey traditional meanings for each card.  The House, for example, has the following key words:  “Home, Residence, Property, Domestic Affairs, Familiarity, Security, Stability, Settling, Harmony, Materialism, Projects, Inheritance” (from the card).

There are basically three schools of thought regarding the inclusion of keywords on a card.

1)    Great idea.

2)    Horrible idea.

3)    Indifferent.

The keywords of the Under the Roses Lenormand are rendered in small italic script and are framed in a lower bordered area all their own.  I already know how to read Lenormand so I do not need to refer to the included keywords.  The tea-stained colored backgrounds of the cards and the italic black script used for the keywords, in my opinion, render them unobtrusive regarding the image on the card.  After using the deck just a few times I no longer notice the keywords.  On the other hand, someone new to Lenormand would no doubt appreciate the keywords on the cards.  The only possible drawback to a new reader is that referring to the keywords when doing readings instead of taking the time to learn the meanings of each card may stunt a reader’s own personal growth regarding their skill set.

The cards are playing card size so they are ideal for those of us with small hands.  They are also easy to shuffle and are nicely laminated.  The laminate is thin, but sturdy so it protects the cards while making them flexible enough for easy shuffling.   The cards come shrink-wrapped in a plastic lidded box.  A black drawstring pouch is also included.  The card backs are of a single red rose within an ornate frame.  They are very classy looking and look good just sitting out on my reading table.

The majority of the cards have the traditional Lenormand titles, with the exception of the following cards:  The Coffin (now The Grave), Heart (now The Locket, which is heart-shaped), Tower (now Clock Tower), Birds (now Owls), Scythe (now Sickle), and Book (now Journal).

Now for a sample reading.  I haven’t been feeling well for a long time and it turns out I was diagnosed last week with strep throat.  I began to feel worse yesterday and after seeing my doctor a second time, I now have a sinus infection.  So I asked the Under the Roses Lenormand what can I do to help myself feel better or to heal more quickly.  I used a Lenormand reading method called “the Line of Five.”  This is where you choose one card to represent the topic of your question.  My question is about my health so I chose The Tree as the significator card since one of its traditional interpretations is health.  I then shuffled the deck, including the Tree card.  When I felt I had shuffled enough I cut the deck into 3 piles, reassembled them, then I started turning cards over one by one until I found The Tree.  I then took the 2 cards that came before The Tree and the 2 cards after The Tree and arranged them in order from left to right in a single line.  This then becomes the Line of 5.  The cards I received are as follows:

The Grave + Letter + Tree (chosen significator) + Bear + Locket

The Grave represents illness (wow, how right on is that??).  When I did this spread I had had an intensely sore throat for two days and extreme fatigue, plus I had lost my appetite.  Followed by the Letter, this is a card of receiving news.  It can also represent paperwork and at the time of this reading it was reminding me to fill out my daughter’s paperwork she needed for school the next day.  The chosen significator was The Tree, which represents my health and the topic of my question.  The Tree also represents longevity and stability.  The Bear represents strength and power, it can also represent weight and nutrition.  I had recently allowed bad eating habits to creep back into my life and had been wondering if my diet had lowered my immune system somewhat.  Here, I have my answer – definitely yes.  The Locket concludes my reading and represents happiness, contentment, joy, and enjoyment.  I took this to mean that although my health is not the best right now that I need to use this down-time to do the thing I enjoy the most, which for me, would be creating art and being creative in general.  Creating art always helps me feel better anyway.

Now, Lenormand cards are also read in pairs as card combinations and that can change the flavor of a reading.  The first card is the noun or what the pair is talking about, and the second card is the adjective . It will describe the first card in some way or give further details about it.  So, for the above reading the first combination is The Grave + Letter.   As I said, The Grave is illness, and the Letter is paperwork.  This card combination screamed at me that I need a prescription for medication so the very next morning I got an appointment with my doctor and that was when the strep was discovered so he wrote me a prescription for antibiotics.

The next card combination is the Letter + The Tree.  This told me that the written prescription would help to restore my health.

The next card combination is The Tree + Bear.  The tree is my health, and Bear is strength and power.  So this told me in no uncertain terms that as long as I took care of myself my health would return without any major problems along the way.  Good news.

The final card combination is The Bear + The Locket.  Not only would my health be restored, but  would be very happy, joyful, and probably have reason to celebrate.  I have now been sick a total of 10 days with a second trip to the doctor today and being diagnosed now with a sinus infection and being put on more antibiotics.  The Z-Pak will end on Tuesday and my doctor said the infection should be all cleared up prior to that.  So that alone is reason to celebrate since who likes being sick.  However, the very next day, Wednesday, I have tickets to see Paul McCartney in concert here in Houston!  So, yes, the Locket is dead-on correct!  Come next Wednesday I will be celebrating BIG TIME!

So now you’ve seen a glimpse of how the Lenormand works.  You now have also seen (for those of you who read tarot or have gotten tarot readings in the past) how very literal Lenormand is when compared to tarot.  It’s quite a different system and doesn’t really leave room for intuitive interpretation like tarot does.  The Under the Roses Lenormand is a delightful deck, and according to one of the creators, Kendra Hurteau, the first edition is now officially sold out. However, the good news is that “the second edition will have keywords. There will be minor changes that collectors will recognize. At present we plan to change the back of the cards slightly by removing the black corners. There may be a few slight changes to the fronts but those aren’t certain yet.  We do plan to do an edition without keywords sometime next year.”

So, with or without keywords, you can order your own copy of The Under the Roses Lenormand once the second edition is released, which will be soon.  You can order direct from the artists at  If you are interested in being informed when my ordering page for Lenormand Readings is posted to my web site, please email me & I will place you on my notification list.

Nefer Khepri, PhD.

Please comment so I know you're out there. Thank you :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s