Cartomancy expert DonnaLeigh De LaRose made a great comment on my blog about the LeNormand deck I'm going to be reviewing and I wanted to make sure everyone read it. Thanks very much, Donnaleigh, for allowing me to use it on this blog. :)
Her comments are below:
- The Lenormand is actually not a tarot deck; it is a different form of cartomany completely. They are completely different cards than tarot and the methods of reading them are also different than tarot. There are no elements, and no Major and Minor Arcana. The couple of cards that are similar don't necessarily share the same meanings (i.e., Tower). The cards are best read in combinations rather than by single cards.
-In my opinion, the meanings are best derived from traditional meanings that go back 200 years, not creating one's own keywords. I've found that creating one's own meanings becomes sloppy and the deck works better and with more precision if we don't "tarotize" it. I have very specific meanings for each card that have been passed down for many generations. Others are modern version meanings that could not have existed at the time the system was created (Stars for internet or electricity, for example). But my meanings are not self-derived; I have great respect for the system I've learned that leans on tradition. I don't treat it like some other oracle decks that are free-er with what the reader can do with the meanings. Believe it or not, this makes readings more accurate. One really gains trust in the cards.
- The methods/rules of reading Lenormand are more structured, although there are not the same kinds of spreads as in tarot. There are specific rules to reading Lenormand that really add tight precision to a reading.
-I don't believe it takes more psychic ability to read the Lenormand. If the reader follows the meanings, little to no psychic ability is needed. That said, using one's intuition really does amplify the readings. (I am also of the belief that tarot can be done without psychic ability and that intuition exponentially amplifies it).
- There is a bit looser freedom in how tarot is read and what the card may mean, with less restrictions. The images and expressions on different tarot decks can lead to different meanings. The Lenormand tends to have identical meanings in most decks even when the images vary. There are only a few exceptions to this with a few cards' directionality (clouds, coffin, for example).
-The meanings are tighter/stricter with Lenormand -- it rather pins you to a wall with the meaning, you can't squirm out of it like some tarot readings can allow.
- I find it has much more accurate predictions that tarot. I also find it shows more nuts-and-bolts information that is going on than Tarot. Tarot is an exceptional system for showing how people feel and what motivates them to their actions; the Lenormand shows what they *do* as a result of the inner stirrings (there are also exceptions to this, but this is a general difference between the two).