The Petit Lenormand is a 36 card divination system originating from the Game of Hope in Germany circa 1800. It overlaps with other methods of divination like the reading of coffee grounds, and we can see that there are many similarities in the symbols used across coffee ground reading and the Lenormand cards.
The Petit Lenormand was named after the renowned fortune teller Mademoiselle Lenormand, said to have been the reader for Josephine, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. Although the deck was named after her, Marie-Anne Lenormand never actually read with the Petit Lenormand. It is likely that she probably used Le Grand Jeu Lenormand or Petit Etteilla.
Reading Lenormand is a language, the cards each have one symbol and they are read together to form the reading based on the modification and position of how the cards fall in relation to each other and the significator card that represents the querent. They are not traditionally read metaphorically like you might with an oracle deck or tarot deck.
The Lenormand Grand Tableau uses every card in the deck to form a ‘big picture’ of the querents situation. It is a very accurate and predictive system if you understand the language, the system, and don’t stray too far from the original core card meanings. The Lenormand is also a great system for smaller reads and yes/no reads. It is practical and sometimes very literal with a very direct voice. it is very grounded in the day to day aspect of our lives.
I will generally use both the Lenormand Grand Tableau and Tarot when I work with my clients as I think each system brings something unique to the table, the Lenormand is highly predictive and very direct, but I like to offer a forward focused way for my clients to adjust and change their trajectory if they want to, I find Tarot works well for this. I believe the most powerful way of using divination is to combine predictive reading with a life coach style. To me there doesn’t seem to be much point in knowing what your potential trajectory is if you can’t walk away with a plan to change that direction if you don’t particularly like where it is heading. I offer my clients a combination of both predictive reads and spiritual life coaching for the best direction to achieve their goals and regain balance.
Lenormand readers, here is a free download of the series of the Philippe original meanings series I recently posted on Instagram for the Lenormand. As a digital flipbook with an option to download as a pdf.