Wednesday, June 18, 2014

What is a LeNormand Deck?

Some of you may have heard of LeNormand decks. It was definitely new to me until a few days ago, when I started looking into it.

LeNormand differs from traditional tarot decks in a  number of ways. The most obvious of these is the fact that the LeNormand deck only has 36 cards compared to the standard 78 in a tarot deck. For newbies, that's less than half the cards to remember. So that's one thing in its favor for new readers.

The burden, however, appears to be much more on the reader's psychic and/or medium abilities than with regular tarot. The LeNormand method encourages you to call upon your spirit guides to help with readings, and you're also encouraged to come up with your own list of meanings--keywords, really--for the cards. That's only my first impression so far, based on what I have read. 

Also, it seems like reading the LeNormand cards is a lot more structured than reading tarot. There are certain layouts, like tarot, but they can be used multiple times in different ways. Seems kind of interesting to me! 

Donnaleigh De LaRose does a fantastic blog on this topic that you can find here. Since I'm so new to LeNormand, I figured I'd let her explain it to you.

I received one LeNormand deck to review, and I'm definitely going to check it out and see how it works. Not sure if it will become part of my repertoire, but it never hurts to take a look at new things, right? :)


  1. I just myself got a LeNormand deck and haven't done much with it YET buti shall, I can also second the recommendation for Donnaleigh De LaRose she is gifted and an absolute font of knowledge. she's also a complete doll and will gladly offer help/suggestions to anyone.
    we actually had an expert on the show I cohost (the tarot talk) and that piqued my interest. look forward to learning morer myself and hearing about your experiences with them!

  2. Hi John! Thanks for this very kind shout-out! Much gratitude to you. It's so nice that you wrote this, thank you. Here are some things I would add:

    - 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).

    I hope you have a remarkable journey with your deck. It's rather mind-blowing when you realize how much trust we can have in the cards...there's a language that comes through. Enjoy the deck. l do hope you get to try it. You're a quick learner.

    Thank you again for this very generous shout-out. I'm very grateful. I love your work.


    1. Hi Donnaleigh...thanks so much for your comment. Would you mind if I published it as a "LeNormand Part 2" on my blog's main page? :)