10 Best Resources on Lenormand Divination
For those interested in divination and cartomancy, Tarot has, for a long time, been the “go to” method for gaining insight into the past, present and future. At least this has been the case in the English-speaking world. In Continental Europe however, another system reigned supreme and has been a favorite of fortune-tellers for generations. Lenormand is its name and, contrary to its widespread use in francophone countries, it actually first appeared in Germany around the year 1800. Consisting of 36 cards divided into four (traditional playing card) suits, it presents us with a collection of comparatively simple images such as a Dog, House, Stork or Ring which are not read as individual symbols but are instead combined, like pearls on a string, into meaningful messages. We can almost say that the nature of the Lenormand is semantic, akin to that of any language and that each and every card is treated as but a word in a more elaborate story of our destiny. This may sound a bit peculiar to most but is actually quite simple and straightforward once you get the hang of it. The resources – decks and books – listed below should help you on your journey to mastering this system with ease.
Mlle Lenormand Cartomancy Deck (Piatnik)
The first thing you will need if you wish to read Lenormand is (quite obviously) a deck. Most experienced readers will advise you to get a traditional one, learn the basics and then move onto more contemporary reinterpretations. The good news is, in Lenormand, the variations between decks are not as drastic as you’d find them in Tarot so, even if your choice is a more modern version, you are still likely to be on the right track. If you wish to do things the old school way, Piatnik’s deck is the safest choice. All the symbolism is in place, the pictures are as clear and as easily readable as they can be, and you can be sure that this little set has served generations of cartomancers well for over a century. To add to its charm, the price is a bargain and you don’t have to tiptoe around it as if it were a luxury item but can instead jump into using it with confidence and gusto.
Blue Bird Lenormand (U.S. Games Systems)
If the first on the list does not inspire you, the second may perhaps be the one to tickle your fancy. While keeping an almost Victorian charm to it and tightly holding onto traditional interpretation, the deck is actually a contemporary creation which is very quickly becoming a true modern classic. The beauty of the images, their clarity, and ease of interpretation, as well as the surprisingly sturdy card stock, all speak in favor of the Blue Bird Lenormand as both an ideal beginner’s set but also as one that is likely to serve the more seasoned reader as a workhorse deck for their professional endeavours. Lenormand does, after all, benefit greatly from the speed at which you can read it and thus a deck that is simple and easy to create vivid and accurate predictions with is a great thing to have as a part of your kit. It is not uncommon for readers to have several in their collection, each serving a different purpose. Much like Tarot, Lenormand too can become a collector’s obsession.
Celtic Lenormand (U.S. Games Systems)
While not necessarily designed for a beginner, this could easily be crowned as the ideal second deck. Celtic Lenormand is a recent creation of author Chloe McCracken and illustrator extraordinaire Will Worthington who is not resting on the fame gained from DruidCraft Tarot and Wildwood Tarot but instead seems to be working diligently on new projects – each better than the last. This Lenormand deck is perhaps a bit outside of the traditional norm as it possesses no less than nine additional cards which expand the story beyond the limits of traditional fortune-telling and drag it into the realm of the spiritual. The fully Celtic setting is a clear bonus for all interested history, myths, and paganism but this fascinating deck is something that can and indeed does work for everyone interested to give it ago. The booklet that comes with it is one of the best learning resources out there.
Lenormand Silhouettes (The Game Crafter)
While the first three decks listed are sold by established companies, the fourth is a product of an independent effort of Kendra Hurteau and Katrina Hill. As the name implies, all the images are designed as silhouettes, immensely beautiful and graceful. While the risk of such a creative undertaking is great, especially when it comes to sacrificing the clarity of the images for the sake of the style, the artists have made the greatest possible effort to retain both the beauty and the functionality of each and every one of the cards so that you immediately know what you’re looking at, even when reading a grand tableau spread encompassing all the cards in the deck. Like the Celtic Lenormand, Lenormand Silhouettes too comes with a few extra cards, making it useful for same-sex relationships, situations in which more people are involved in a project, etc. This epitome of Parisian chic is guaranteed to tickle your aesthetic sensibilities.
Tarot Tribe Beyond Worlds by Donnaleigh de LaRose (YouTube)
We can be sure we are firmly planted in the 21st century when the first learning resource on the list is not a book but a YouTube channel. Still, it would be quite literally impossible to talk about the ways to teach yourself Lenormand without mentioning the work of Donnaleigh de LaRose who has, over the years, posted countless videoes devoted to the system, explaining all of its intricacies and nuances in a way that is easy to digest even for the complete beginner. No experience is required, just a bit of willingness to learn and an attentive ear to the tips and tricks that she so generously shares with the public – all free of charge. Card meanings, combinations, spreads and all other techniques are covered in great detail and in a way that is clear and concise, presented in a kind and effortless manner. The ideal first stepping stone before you commit to buying any of the (great) books listed below.
Rana George – The Essential Lenormand (Llewellyn Publications)
Firmly positioned as the number one best selling book on Lenormand, it is there for a reason. Rana George is someone with several decades of experience. Starting her journey with the cards as a young girl in Lebanon, her family escaped the horrors of war, moved to the U.S., where she continued honing her skills without even being aware of anyone else using these cards. Later joining the Tarot community, and observing an increasing interest in Lenormand, she penned an impressive tome on the topic, offering her immense experience in the field to the eager beginner. In her book, everything is presented in an easy and digestible manner, outlined so that there is no room for confusion. Every little aspect of fortune-telling and interpreting the cards is covered so that the reader has but to flip through the pages and easily find what they’re looking for. There are few books that could rival it – in any type of cartomancy. It is no surprise that most experienced practitioners almost unequivocally recommend it as the ideal first book.
Sylvie Steinbach – The Secrets of the Lenormand Oracle (Createspace Publishing)
This book first came out over a decade ago and is actually the first comprehensive publication on the topic of Lenormand to ever appear in the English language. This makes it somewhat revolutionary, especially when we consider the momentum that the system appears to be gaining today. Sylvie Steinbach has, without a doubt, given the revolution a good swift kick in the pants and for this we are thankful. Her book definitely lives up to the expectations. Offering extensive lists of card combinations, astrological correspondences and even timing (which is often a problematic concept even for advanced readers), the author practically covers every single question that a novice might ask their teacher and thus presents her book as an ideal learning tool which will suffice for a long while. Anyone serious about studying Lenormand through and through is likely to keep returning to its pages for the valuable insight it offers does not fade as we progress on our path. A veritable classic in its field.
Caitlín Matthews – The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook (Destiny Books)
The emphasis in the title of this book is, without a shadow of a doubt, on “complete”. Caitlín Matthews’ tome is an impressive piece of work indeed and is one of the best treatises on cartomancy ever written. Academic yet not overwhelming, thorough yet not nit-picking, highly organized yet not dull – this book is jam-packed with so much information, you will want to read it and go through all the exercises many times over, just to make sure you have soaked in each and every atom of wisdom that the author so generously shares. If there was a Hogwarts textbook for reading Lenormand, this would be it. Even if it may scare away some of the beginners due to its level of fine detail, it is still well worth a go and is a gift that keeps on giving – each page offering a new and fresh perspective on interpreting the cards.
Marcus Katz, Tali Goodwin – Learning Lenormand (Llewellyn Publications)
Another highly satisfactory read, Learning Lenormand offers equal parts practical information, historical insight and wonderful storytelling. But there is a twist! Both authors come from a Tarot background which helps them bridge the gap for those that are arriving the same way and may perhaps have an occasional glitch when it comes to switching from T-space to L-space. The two systems are very different and much that the novice already knows ought to be left at the door once they attempt to enter the world of Lenormand. It is only by starting afresh, taking a break from the purely pictorial interpretation of Tarot and plunging headfirst into the semantic intricacies of Lenormand that the reader-to-be is to finally have their eyes opened and understand what this little deck of 36 cards is all about. This book will undoubtedly help you achieve just that. It might come in handy once you get your hands on the last book on our list too.
Patrick Dunn – Cartomancy with the Lenormand and the Tarot (Llewellyn Publications)
Yes, there is a way to combine Tarot and Lenormand. The two systems couldn’t be more different yet they can complement each other in more ways than you can imagine. Patrick Dunn gives us an opportunity and a roadmap to do just that. Outlining several different techniques of looking at the cards, he points us towards greater personal insight but also towards exploring the subconscious and what lies beyond. Neither psychological intricacies nor hidden secrets of fortune-telling are outside of his reach and he thoroughly covers all the ways in which using both systems can prove to be a whole that is more than just a sum of its parts. While it is perhaps an advanced read aimed at those fully familiar with Tarot and Lenormand, it shouldn’t be avoided by anyone who is serious about mastering their craft and reaching new heights in their spiritual and perhaps even professional practice.