What Is Lenormand and How Does it Work?

What Is Lenormand and How Does It Work?

When we think of oracle cards, divination, and the like we tend to think of Tarot cards, crystal balls, and palm reading. But there are so many other forms of divination out there. My personal favorite? Lenormand divination cards. Here, I want to show what Lenormand is capable of and why it’s the bread and butter tool I use in my divination practice. 

Why is Lenormand so great?

Because they tell it like it is and don’t sugarcoat. When I want to get to the bottom of a situation, I always use Lenormand. Tried and true, for the past 15 years, I know I will get an accurate reading for myself and my clients. Even when a client walks away thinking, “That reading was way off!” I get the text message 3-6 months down the road, “Hey! I got that job offer!” or “Yeah, that friend did lie to me!” Accuracy takes time to finesse; yes, you need a little bit of talent and intuition along with the grit of practicing on the regular but it is possible for even beginning readers to start interpreting accurate answers because you can read the cards so literally, almost as a sentence, to get pinpoint answers.

I see Lenormand as a sassy best friend you can turn to when you’re ready for a real talk answer. She isn’t going to beat around the bush. When you learn Lenormand, you are really building a relationship with a trusted friend.

So what are Lenormand cards?

French Cartomancy Deck - Llewellyn Publications

French Cartomancy Deck - Llewellyn Publications

The origin of these cards are fairly murky, but they are believed to have been popularized by Mademoiselle Lenormand, a fortune teller through 18th and 19th century France who predicted the fortunes of European Aristocracy including Napoleon and Josephine Bonaparte. If you’re curious about the history of Mlle. Lenormand and her life, I highly recommend Mary Greer’s Blog Post about Lenormand as it’s very in-depth and engrossing (as all of Mary Greer’s work is!)

They've been fairly popular throughout Europe but the US is a bit late to the party. It's really only been in the past few decades that Lenormand has gained traction here. 


How do we read Lenormand?

There are only 36 cards in a Lenormand deck – yup, that’s it! That’s because the cards play off each other and read like a sentence. You would read the cards in pairs or more and you can string them together like a sentence. So rather than deep diving into each and every card, you combine and string cards together to make a full thought.

Check it out: the 3 Fundamental Differences between Tarot and Lenormand

Am I telling the future with Lenormand?

One question that frequently comes up in my Lenormand Learner’s Community is the question of fortune telling. Are we really telling the future with Lenormand?

Yes and no.

I find that Lenormand is best tool in terms of showing us the path we currently on. When we can clearly see the path we are on, it causes us to look at our futures from a different perspective. If we are not jiving with the future being shown in our reading, I believe that we can almost always change the outcome of a given situation. The key is that we are able to foresee this path and then we get to decide the future we wish to create. This empowers us to make decisions with clarity and confidence.

In a way, we are telling the future but, more importantly, we are shining a light on our potential future so we can choose another way, if we wish. Before I begin any reading, I ask the cards to only provide information that is helpful to the querent. If it is not helpful, I ask that it doesn’t show up in the reading. This way, the information presented is almost always actionable, meaning that the querent is free to conjure the future that they wish.

So show me already!

Let’s take Lenormand for a whirl. For shorter readings, it's especially important to have a specific question.

Question: What may I experience if I invested in this house?


Titania's Fortune Cards

I'm used to this type of question, frequently pulling cards for my boyfriend's house hunt. 

Answer: The house is affirming that we are discussing the house in question. The fish represents money an, investment. The fish can also represent multiples. The mouse is a robber mouse, nibbling away slowly at something and causing stress. Do we want something nibbling away at our money? HECK NO. This doesn’t look like the best investment. There is likely man small things wrong with the house that add up over time.

Another example:

Question: I suspect the man I’m dating is seeing someone else. What does his love life look like?


Titania's Fortune Cards

Answer: Most likely, he is seeing someone else. Man and the heart together clarify that yes, this man’s love life is the matter at hand and he is facing a decision (crossroads) and must choose where his loyalties lie (dog) or possibly debating who to place in the friend zone. 

Well that was straight forward, huh?

Lenormand cards are often described as true fortune telling cards. In my experience, they are focused on the who, what, when, and where and give you a specific physical picture of what is happening. I use Tarot to get the why – the human motivation behind our actions.

What else can Lenormand do?

The examples above are just a taste of what Lenormand can do. There is SO MUCH MORE you can do with Lenormand. For example, the Grand Tableau reading forecasts your entire year! This reading would cast a wider net, and survey the large topics to come. You can also investigate complicated situations, compare two or more options, and combine Lenormand with Tarot.

I love combining Lenormand with Tarot because you can get a sassy, to the point perspective and a more counselor type approach to give you a full spectrum view of a situation. The possibilities are endless.

So how do I get started reading lenormand?

My recommendation is to familiarize yourself with the cards through pulling 3 cards a day. I recommend asking just one question to start: “what may I experience today?”

You don’t need to memorize the cards. Yup…that’s right! No memorization required to get started. Instead, you can just have a few keywords associated with each card.

You can cheat a bit by snagging my Free Lenormand Cheat Sheet. This will show you the keywords associated with each card so you can refer to it when you’re doing your daily draw.

Here are your 2 steps to get started reading Lenormand

  1. Bookmark this page: How to Do a 3 Card Lenormand Reading. You can come back to this when you’re ready to do your daily draw asking the question, “what may I experience today?”.

  2. Snag my Free Lenormand Cheat Sheet. You can have this handy when you’re interpreting your daily spread.

I recommend writing down your reading each day. You’ll be so surprised at how accurate the reading is!

So what do you think? Are you ready to let Lenormand become your sassy best friend? Let me know what you think of Lenormand in the comments!