The Lenormand fortune-telling system has become very popular over the last several years, and new decks are proliferating (some quite faithful, some way out there away from the tradition). There’s been the usual fuss when something people have been using a certain way gets popular and then starts to lose its foundation. Folks often take the easy route and simply adapt it to what they already know, in most cases, the Tarot.
My Take on the Lenormand Method
I am mostly a traditionalist when it comes to the Lenormand system. It is not about the art in the cards, but about the linguistic system of divination used with the cards. Use of intuition is limited if you want the system to be effective in telling you what’s going on around you and what may be coming up to challenge or gift you in the future. This system requires a lot of memorization and putting together of concrete meanings. Takes lots of practice to be decent at it, and I still consider myself an intermediate student after more than five years.
Lenormand’s Gifts for Tarot
What I am doing, though, as I practice this system, is to allow it to influence my Tarot reading, rather than the other way around. Lenormand helps me keep my Tarot readings more grounded in real-world human concerns and connected to all of the person who sits before me, not just their soul stuff.
More specifically, I’ve been using the Lenormand 3X3 spread to do Tarot monthly forecasts. It works really well for a 1 to 3-month projection and creates some cool connections among the Tarot card meanings.
The 3×3 Spread and Interpretation
Here’s a sample draw accompanied by the Lenormand interpretation patterns from Andy Boroveshengra (excellent cartomante and fortune-telling philosopher; check out his book on Lenormand):
The cards (from the Gilded Tarot Royale by Ciro Marchetti) are drawn and placed top to bottom, left to right, so the positions look like this:
So, we have:
Here’s how I read these:
I look at the fifth (center) card for a focus, and then the first card for a trigger that caused that focus. I then combine the four corners for the real question, or issue.
The Devil is my focus card, a challenge to resist temptations and realize I am free to choose. This challenge is triggered by my intuition. Hmm. So, intuition = bad, or intuition = good?
What’s the real issue? IIHP + QS + XWH + 4W: Deciding which to listen to, the intuition (IIHP) or the intellect (QS) to take advantage of good luck (XWH) and create a solid foundation for success (4W).
I read cards 2, 4, 5, 6, and 8 for what is going to happen in the situation.(The diamond perspective)
10P + 2S + XVDV + 6C + VIICH: This is a Lenormand 5-card line. I’m going to consider the center card the focus, and pair the cards to see what’s up. What’s my potential for handling this situation of staying disciplined against temptation?
10P + VIICH looks good. Take charge of my finances and abundance will follow. This will take discipline.
2S + 6C indicates a blockage by the Two of Swords caused by a focus on the past, or maybe looking behind me into the past to resolve it.
10P + 2S indicates to me some kind of mental block or denial about the money thing (see how complex this Lenormand system gets? Lots of combinations to make a story).
6C + VIICH indicates to me that I need to take charge of the past because it is influencing me negatively at present.
Notice that the power cards are on the ends, and the Two of Swords and Six of Cups are right next to the Devil card. To me this whole string says that I’ll be challenged to release mental blocks about finances and take charge of, or move beyond past patterns to avoid problems this month.
I read the three vertical columns as the past; present; and, future, and then the diagonals.
Past: IIHP + 2S + XWH = I’ve been having a hard time deciding between following intuition and sticking to intellectual approaches (and getting stuck there), which has kept me from taking advantage of opportunities.
Present: 10P + XVDV + VIICH = Now, here the Devil stands between abundance and movement/taking charge, tempting me to…what? Hmmm. Is my ego getting in the way, or will better financial situation help me take charge of life and move on? Depends on what role you give the cards in their positions.
Future: QS + 6C + 4W = Let the Lady of the Mind rule the past and build the structure for future stability. I will be looking to the past to provide clues to a career move that will be well worth celebrating, I think, and it will be an intellectual approach that will get me there.
IIHP + XVDV + 4W = Using the insight of the Priestess to avoid feeling trapped in my own mistakes and get to celebration?
QS + XVDV + XWH = Using intellectual approach to avoid feeling trapped by my own mistakes and take advantage of good luck?
I get the quintessence by reading cards 1 + 3 and 8 and 7 + 9 and 2. (Triangles perspective)
(IIHP + QS) + VIICH = Wow! So, I will be asked to combine my intuition and intellect to take charge of my career and financial situation and avoid the trap represented by the Devil.
(XWH + 4W) + 10P = All good! If I can pull this off, it will be awesome! Luck is on my side to create greater financial stability this month.
Thank you for your patience! See how this all works together to form a picture when you’re done, but not always before you’re done?
The Complete Divination Story
Looks like I’ll need both my intuition (HP) and intellectual resources (and since it’s the Queen, the ability to work with others) to work through a challenge mired in past mistakes (the Devil and the 6 of Cups). Looks like I can prevail (VIICH), and that I have some good luck on my side (XWH), but I’ll have to make sure I don’t ignore the realities of the challenge (2S) that I face. Stage 4 gives a pretty cool combination of the inner tools I have and the external situation/results I can gain if I apply those tools properly.
Let me know what you think in the comments, and if you want to get together to try this out, contact me.