The 3 Fundamental Differences Between Tarot and Lenormand

Welcome to a new part of Emily Rose Divination! In this new section called, The Essentials, we are going to cover divinatory basics by exploring frequently asked questions.

One question that often pops up is: “how is Lenormand different from Tarot?”.

Don’t know what Lenormand is? Check out this post: Meet Lenormand your Sassy Best Friend.

Although both Lenormand and Tarot can be used for practical and spiritual guidance for our lives, there are distinct differences between the two. Whether you’re a Tarot reader, Lenormand reader, or a total newbie to divination, this post will help you understand the main variances between these two forms of cartomancy and assist you in choosing the right tool for your question or situation.

Here are the 3 main differences between Lenormand and Tarot:

The Tone

1.Lenormand is punchy and to the point while Tarot is thematic and story driven.


If you’re looking for a straight up, quick answer, Lenormand is your go to. These cards are read in pairs or more so you can string the cards together to create a meaning like a sentence and in this sense, it is like a language. Because of the lexical nature of Lenormand you can get spooky specific when it comes to answering your questions. Whether you’re trying to understand a complex situation such as a romantic relationship or trying to find your keys, you can quickly and efficiently read the cards to get your answer, which is often quite literal. For instance, the Key card could be the keys you were trying to find!

Although it is possible to combine Tarot cards together, most Tarot readers can spend a lot of time diving into just one card at a time. That’s because the imagery and symbolism in Tarot are complex and have deep meanings and archetypes associated with each card. This allows the energy of each card to resonate with the querent and answer questions on multiple levels.

Let’s put it this way, if Lenormand were a drink at a bar, it would be a shot. If Tarot was a drink, it would be the Commonwealth (which contains up to 71 ingredients, in fact there are even more Tarot cards than 71!)

 The Structure

2.Each Lenormand card can be classified aS Positive, negative, or neutral while Tarot cards can be classified by Arcana, Suits, or part of the Tarot Court.  


Continuing with the story nature of Tarot, the deck is divided into the Major Arcana which addresses larger life themes, and the Minor Arcana which address themes in our daily lives. In addition, there are 4 suits (Cups, Wands, Pentacles, and Swords) that correspond to different elements and a Tarot Court, the people of the Tarot. There are a total of 78 Tarot Cards. Many Tarot readers also read reversals meaning when a card is upside down, it can take on a different meaning than when it is right side up.

Lenormand has 36 cards and each card has a positive, negative, or neutral polarity assigned. There are no Arcana. There certain cards which can be charged (assigned meaning) to represent the querent or other players in the querent’s life. Although there are playing card associations, which could, on the surface, seem to be similar to the Tarot suits, many Lenormand readers do not use those associations. Also, reversals are not read in Lenormand.

The Style

3.Lenormand is best at showing you the WHAT, Tarot is best at helping you with the HOW.


 With the snappy, to the point nature of Lenormand, you can get a very quick read on the who, what, when, and where of a situation. I like to think of Lenormand like headlights on a car, it shows you WHAT you are seeing.

 With Tarot, we are often getting a deeper, soul understanding of a situation. If Lenormand are the headlights on a car showing you WHAT you may see, Tarot is the friend in the car providing counsel on HOW you can navigate the road ahead.

 As you begin to fully understand and master either form of cartomancy, you will find you can develop your own style of reading. For instance, you may decide to use Tarot as your go to, using it as both your headlights and your friend in the car or vice versa with Lenormand. However, I think understanding the personality of each medium through experimenting is essential to get the most out of your readings.  

The Odd Couple


Because Lenormand and Tarot are so different, this is why they can be perfect partners. With Lenormand you can quickly and easily understand a complex situation, then Tarot can provide you with holistic, well rounded counsel in terms of how you can best approach this situation. However you decide to use these tools, both can provide spiritual and practical guidance for you day to day life.

 So what will it be?

What is your go to? Lenormand or Tarot? Let me know why in the comments!