The Blue Bird Lenormand ($14.95 USD) is published by US Games, Inc. with a booklet by Stuart R. Kaplan. The Blue Bird Lenormand is a traditional Lenormand deck consisting of the typical 36 cards. No extra gender cards are included and the card titles, numeric, and playing card associations follow European tradition. The deck and booklet are housed I a blue tuckbox. The deck is named The Blue Bird Lenormand due to the little blue bird that graces the back of each card. Cards measure 2 3/8” x 3 ½”, which is typical Lenormand size. They arrive fairly stiff, but with repeated shuffling they break in just fine.
The booklet is 40 pages long with a 13-page bibliography of Marie-Anne Adelaide Le Normand, the famous French fortuneteller whose name was borrowed to name the Lenormand system of divination. The booklet includes general card interpretations in the form of short paragraphs without keywords that are meant to serve only as a foundation and it is left up to the reader to gather additional information from other books that go into much more detail as to the manner in which the cards are to be read. Only one spread is included, the 36-card Grand Tableau and the method of Near and Far (or Near and Distant) reading is briefly summarized with Near and Far references also included within the individual card interpretations. A sample reading is also provided using the Grand Tableau.
The cards themselves follow traditional European imagery. Playing card inserts are included on each card for those who practice cartomancy. The playing card inserts have the suit designs, but no numeric value other than the card’s number within the Lenormand system. The court card playing card inserts are figures dressed in the style of the 18th century French court, which was the historical period during which the Lenormand was created and first used. The card images of The Blue Bird Lenormand are quite lovely, and traditional in appearance. The card stock has a slightly varied yellowish hue to it that gives the deck an aged appearance, which adds a really lovely touch. The degree of aging appears to vary among the cards and some do not look aged at all. I hope I don’t need new glasses. In addition to the short interpretations within the guide booklet, each card also includes a verse that further explains the card’s meaning. The playing card insert and card verse are located in the upper half of the card while the Lenormand card image is located within the lower half of the card.
Readers of Lenormand will know that directionality of the cards is important. Directionality refers to the orientation of the main symbol on the card being either toward the reader’s left or right. Directionality alters the interpretation of a reading. Ideally, the Lady and Gentleman cards should face in opposite directions. This way in a reading the people can face each other or appear back to back, either orientation of which will greatly alter the interpretation as to the health of the relationship. The Lady and Gentleman cards of The Blue Bird Lenormand both face to the reader’s right so in a spread they will never face each other nor will they ever appear back to back. The Clouds card, which is traditionally a directional card, is also somewhat confusing since the cloudy and sunny sides of the cards are not restricted to one side of the card or the other. I recommend that the reader decide for themselves the orientation of the gender cards and the Clouds card and always read those cards with your pre-chosen orientation.
Other images within The Blue Bird Lenormand that exhibit varying degrees of directionality that can affect readings are: Cavalier (R), Ship (L), Snake (L), Coffin (L), Scythe (R), Birchrod (R), Fox (R), Bear (L), Stork (R), Ring (R), Book (R), Letter (R), and Fish (L). The orientation of the figures within the court playing card inserts should also be taken into account when considering directionality for readings.
The images have a definite 18th century European feel and look to them. This will appeal to those readers who prefer reading with a traditional Lenormand deck. Personally, I find the imagery to be very quaint and I enjoy using this deck. For beginners, I do recommend that you supplement this deck with Andy Boroveshengra’s Lenormand 36 Cards or Rana George’s Essential Lenormand in order to further augment your Lenormand studies.
~ Nefer Khepri, PhD., R. M-T.
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Full Disclosure: I received a copy to consider for review by the publisher. I only review decks that I find useful to myself & that I feel my followers will also enjoy.