Caitlin Matthews (text) & Virginia Lee (cards).
ISBN #: 978-1-78028-598-6
Have you seen the new Enchanted Lenormand? Caitlin Matthews, an expert in cartomancy, wrote the book. This deck is worth buying for the book alone. The book provides beginners with an excellent course on learning Lenormand with detailed card meanings, reading methods & spreads for you to try out.
The cards measure 2 1/8″ x 3 3/8″. Images are all contained within a crystal ball type icon in the center of each card face. Around in the four corners are the symbols for the four suits and amongst them are greenish scrolls & leaves against a very darkish brownish background (at least in my copy). The actual Lenormand symbol on each card is approximately 1 3/4″ in diameter. I wish they hadn’t included all that scrollwork around each image then the actual images could be larger, however, it does give the cards a nice rustic look. Each card also includes the playing card insert & for you collectors the first edition has a mistake noting both the Mountain and Garden has corresponding to the 8 of Spades. The deck is going into a 2nd edition printing and this mistake will be corrected.
The cards are very stiff first coming out of the box. You may need to really shuffle them quite a few times before they will shuffle easily. My copy is still stiff, but I haven’t used it that often. I’m sure over time the cards will become more supple. There is an extra card entitled, “Diviner.” This is Marie-Anne Adelaide Lenormand, the famous French fortune-teller from whom the Lenormand system gets its name. There is also an extra Man and Woman card provided for a total of 39 cards.
Also included is a folded 30 5/8″ x 20 5/8″ glossy paper Grand Tableau with the houses numbered, but not labeled. The fold-out Grand Tableau is decorated with the same scrollwork that serves as the background for each card of The Enchanted Lenormand giving the entire set a very nice cohesive look. The card insert is included for each house position, but is left blank. What you may want to do is use that small insert to write in the name of each house; for example, House 1 is Rider, House 2 is Clover, and so on.
The book for The Enchanted Lenormand contains 160 pages on nice matte paper. Each card is included in full color, measuring 1 1/4″ x 1 7/8″. Including a smaller version of each card in full color is always a very lovely touch for any guidebook. This makes it possible to use the guidebook as a study text without having to constantly refer to the physical deck. The book measures 4 3/4″ x 6 3/4″ so it fits nicely into a purse or satchel for easy transport. The entire set is nicely boxed with separate recesses for both the cards and guidebook with the fold-out Grand Tableau included in the same recess as the book.
The book opens with a brief history of what is Lenormand and there is also a section discussing the artwork and some artistic choices that were made in the creation of the deck. Following is an excellent example of reading Lenormand cards in sets of 9 cards each. Readers can learn a great deal from reading this section alone as it serves as an excellent example of just how Lenormand reading syntax works. Syntax, significators, how to word questions, card pairings, & card triplets are all discussed. Each card is then discussed in terms of its impact on a reading, keywords, the type of person signified by the card, love, work, finance and business, and well-being. Each card is further discussed regarding comparisons to other cards with similar themes or meanings, the playing card association, main themes of the card as they appear in myths & folklore, and selected card combinations and their meanings.
The book concludes with a section devoted to various spreads that is quite informative. The 8-card “Four Windows” provides a nice general overview of any situation. “Opening the Book” is a 5-card spread with two additional optional cards. “The Encounter Spread” consists of 20 cards that serve to provide the point of view of two people involved in any type of situation. “The Nine Witnesses” spread provides an indepth look at a particular situation and is known also as the Square of Nine. “The Big Picture” spread is the granddaddy of all Lenormand spreads, the Grand Tableau, which utilizes all 36 cards of a traditional Lenormand deck. (Note: newer Lenormand decks can have many additional cards so I always remove those and only use the 36 traditional Lenormand cards for a grand tableau spread.) The Grand Tableau is discussed over 12 pages in a very succinct manner. Topics included are: past/present/future divisions of the spread, the four corners, the first three cards, reading the cards in relation to their houses, the present line, the cards surrounding the significator, topic cards, knighting, and mirroring. This is the best discussion of how to read the Grand Tableau I have seen in any book to date. The method of counting cards from the significator, an ancient cartomantic method, is also discussed. Next is a discussion of the playing cards and their meanings, especially when more than one Lenormand card with the same numeric playing card association appears in a single reading. Timing methods are included as well as the Playing Card Rhyme that helps to make it easier to remember which playing card is associated with each Lenormand card. The book concludes with a brief 2-page summary of the main meaning of each card.
For all you get (a well-bound paperback book with high quality paper, the deck, a lovely box with recessed wells for both the deck & book, nice laminate on the cards that will help them last years, & a wealth of information contained in the book), at $19.95 The Enchanted Lenormand is a STEAL. I’d happily pay $20 just for the book, it is THAT good, a true tour de force!
Nefer Khepri, PhD., R. M-T.
http://www.egyptianlenormand.com (only 17 copies remain of a limited run of 100 signed & numbered copies!)