Here is Day 2 of Pepi’s Lenormand Challenge followed by a Line of 5 reading for Lady X to serve as an example of how Lenormand cards work and how I carry out a Lenormand reading. Her blog is now on my blog roll as Mystic Pepi. Do check it out.
Day 2. Which was your first deck? How did you get it?
My first Lenormand I purchased already opened from a lady my aunt knew and from whom she had purchased her own Lenormand deck, which was identical to mine.
Unfortunately, I’m not able to provide any further information because I never bothered to scan any of the images from it into my computer so I have none to show; and, I cannot locate the deck at the moment. I know it’s here somewhere, but I can’t find it. I suspect my 14 year old daughter took it. She has this way of “acquiring” certain decks of mine that she then stashes in that black hole she calls a bedroom.
However, I can discuss my initial experiences with the deck, which I well remember. It came with a little bi-fold pamphlet with a single string of key words for each card. For example, regarding Clover the pamphlet would just say, “Short-lived luck, luck.” It kept it VERY simple. There was also a brief discussion of the concept of “near and far” cards. If certain cards are nearer your significator in a spread then their meanings are more important while cards further away have less of an impact. It then showed a picture of the Grand Tableau that uses all 36 cards. I never did attempt that spread until I joined the Lenormand Cards Study Group on Facebook. There was plenty of guidance available from the wonderful members of that group and I quickly learned.
There were two main reasons that first Lenormand deck never caught on with me. Firstly, I was trained in Tarot so I was accustomed to looking at images laden with symbols. Lenormand is the opposite – there is usually only one main symbol on a card so your intuition has very little to go on. I did not realize at the time that a traditional Lenormand reading does not involve intuition. Instead, the reader adheres to the traditional meanings of the cards and uses reading conventions like “near and far.” My intuition was getting nothing from the cards, the bi-fold pamphlet wasn’t very helpful, and there weren’t any books on the subject. Plus, I was attending grad school at the time for my Masters degree and that was consuming about 90% of my time.
As a result, I set that little deck aside and treated it as an interesting curiosity over the years, but I never thought I would ever be able to actually learn the proper way to use it. Now have I not only learned the methods of reading the Lenormand, I have adapted them to how my intuition works. So when I do a Lenormand reading for a client I am giving them much more than the traditional meanings of the cards. I receive impressions or feelings that I also share with my client so my readings are well-rounded, thorough, and the client receives a lot of information.
Many of you are probably wondering, “what the heck is this Lenormand that Nefer keeps going on about?” So I figured I’d give you a sample so you can see how it works.
Here is an actual reading I did for a client today. For this reading I stuck to using a spread known as the Line of 5. It consists of 5 cards. Based on the question, I pre-select a significator to represent the question. It is then shuffled with the rest of the deck. Then once thoroughly shuffled, I began to turn the cards over one by one until I reach the pre-selected significator card. I then pull out the 2 cards prior to it and the 2 cards that follow. This then makes up the Line of 5. This is a method I learned from the blog of Andy Boroveshengra, My Fortunae: The Journal of a Fortuneteller. Unfortunately, Andy has since removed this information from his blog due to someone else swooping in, stealing it all, and claiming it as their own when Andy was so kind to provide it to the public for free. He is now working on his own Lenormand book that should be completed in April, 2013. Keep your eyes peeled for it because the information contained within will make that book worth its weight in gold. I believe it will be an e-book & probably available through his blog.
The Line of 5, once all the cards are laid, are then read from left to right. You basically construct a sentence with it, or a paragraph. There are other methods used with the Line of 5 to mix things up a bit, but I prefer to keep it simple, plus reading from left to right you receive the answer to your question and the main information that you need.
So, in a reading for Lady X, she wishes to know what her outlook for romance looks like in 2013. I am using the Melissa Lenormand for her reading, self-published by Melissa Hill.
For her question’s significator I chose The Heart. The Heart represents romance, love, contentment, and regarding health it focuses on the cardio-vascular system.
Shuffling the cards for Lady X, she received the following cards:
First, I always look at the cards on the bottom of the cut. I always cut the deck into thirds so there are always 3 cards to examine. These cards can present important information, usually of the nature of something the client needs to know of which they are completely unaware. The information here is usually something that can catch a person off-guard when it unfolds.
For her cut of the deck, Lady X received:
Fish + Coffin + Dog
Fish is prosperity and money. Coffin is endings, sometimes severe illness, and yes, it can represent death. Dog represents a great friend, loyalty, faithfulness.
What I see here is some sort of business transaction with The Fish in which Lady X will be involved. Coffin is telling us that for some reason this business transaction will not work out or Lady X may find it unsatisfactory in some way and bring it to an end herself. The Dog is a good friend. This may involve a loan to a friend Lady X seriously considers, then decides to follow The Bard’s advice and “never a lender or borrower be” and decide against making the loan.
Now on to her actual reading. I have placed the thirds of the deck back together in my customary manner and now have turned all the cards over looking for The Heart and have pulled the 2 cards prior and the 2 cards after for her reading. Lady X has received:
Coffin + Bouquet + Heart + Sickle + Garden
Firstly, when you do place emphasis on the cards within the cut of the deck (some readers do, some don’t & there is no set rule for or against this practice), when I do this and then one of the cards of the cut ends up in the reading I look upon that as the importance of this card being emphasized. So for Lady X the Coffin card is very important regarding her question of romance in 2013.
The Coffin leads off her reading, which immediately tells me that in the past she had to end an important romantic relationship. So she is coming from an unsatisfactory romantic past. I intuitively feel that this relationship ended badly and that the relationship itself was probably not a very happy one. The Coffin card isn’t telling me about the unhappy relationship, it’s my intuition, which I do mix in with my Lenormand readings, probably much to the chagrin of readers who strictly adhere to the traditional Lenormand reading method. However, I find it provides a more well-rounded reading, plus I can’t turn my intuition off having been first trained in Tarot.
The second card is Bouquet. This is a very positive card. Bouquet can indicate a gift, happiness, or news of an engagement. Here, following Coffin what I see is that although a past relationship has ended and was probably very disappointing for Lady X, she is willing to share her heart again with another despite the risks of being hurt. This card tells me that she’s also optimistic about her romantic future and is hoping for the best.
The third card is the significator for her question, the Heart. Again, this represents love, romance, and contentment. Here following Bouquet the Heart card is saying that Lady X would view a new romance as being a major gift to her, a blessing to which she looks forward.
The fourth card is the Sickle. The Sickle represents cutting away at old things that no longer serve us. It can even mean receiving a physical cut, even surgery if this were a health question. In the case of Lady X’s question about the chances of romance in 2013, the blade of the Sickle points to The Heart card. This is significant. Sickle is one of the very few Lenormand cards for which directional positioning is important. The direction in which the Sickle points or will follow through with its swing indicates what is going to be “cut.”
Here, the Sickle points to The Heart. This can mean a couple of things. First, as Sickle CAN indicate surgery (but definitely not in every reading) I would be remiss if I did not point this out to Lady X and suggest to her she get her blood pressure checked as The Heart does represent cardio-vascular health. Also, I have no idea of Lady X’s health history. She may have some sort of an issue with her physical heart and the Sickle here may be an indication that she needs a doctor to examine her to ascertain the health of her heart. Although I do not do health readings for legal and ethical reasons (many will try to use readings as a substitute for not seeing a doctor & only rely upon the information given in a reading – the main reason I do not do health readings), I would point this out to Lady X as one possibility.
The other interpretation that immediately comes to my mind is that Sickle following Heart indicates that Lady X’s heart was hurt so badly while a part of this former relationship that she may not yet be completely healed from it. Hence, she may be carrying forward energy from that relationship that is having a negative impact upon her future romantic prospects. I would then point this out to her and suggest to her that she work on healing further from that relationship. Something may need closure that has not been addressed or she may think she has properly addressed the entire situation, but has perhaps overlooked something and once she begins to think it over she will probably be able to quickly figure out what it is since this obviously still causes her emotional pain.
The final card is Garden. Garden represents socializing, social activities, and a person’s circle of friends. Regarding Lady X’s question, the Lenormand cards are saying that the Garden provides her best chances of meeting someone new. This card is advising her to get out and socialize. It may even indicate that the next man in her life she will meet through mutual friends or in a social context like a party or at a club, some type of gathering place.
Taking all the cards in account in order to sum up the reading for Lady X, I would tell her that it’s important to realize when to get out of a situation that no longer serves us, which is what she did (Coffin), and that despite bad times in the past she is open to receiving new blessings in her life (Bouquet) that includes a new romance (Heart). However, she is still hurting from this past relationship and there may be some unresolved issues she will need to face in order to properly release them and move on (Sickle following Heart), and that once she does she will be free of the past and is most likely to meet this new man in a social context (Garden). However, Garden may just mean a year spent having good time with friends and that the man has yet to manifest for her, so it may be after 2013 when the actual man does come along.
And that is your basic Lenormand Line of 5. If you’d like to order a reading, please click here. The link for the Sample reading at my site doesn’t function yet as I still need to revise that page, but I’ll have it up in a day or two.