About positions in Lenormand card spreads...

Before beginning to describe each card, I want to bring your attention to the most important; the meaning of any card depends on the position of that card, on the surrounding cards, and on the subsequent cards in any sequence.

Position means the place of the card in a layout. The three primary positions are the PAST, PRESENT, and FUTURE. In general, past is read on the left, present in the center and future on the right, but much depends on the specific layout. The further the location from the significator, the more distant the events occur in time.

Some of the layouts use a "significator", either the Man 28 (Ace of Hearts) , or the Woman 29 (Ace of Spades) from which the positions refer. There is a position above and below the significator. The above position is about what is in the requestor's head; thoughts, dreams, plans and everything that is thought about. The lower position refers to what is no longer important and has been "stepped over" by the requestor. What is no longer thought about, or is already forgotten.

The significator also falls into various positions within the layout; either uppper, lower, left or right, in the center or on the edge within the layout. (I will discuss this in another post).

The neighbor cards are those following or surrounding the significator card. Whereby the meaning of one card combines with all of the cards in the sequence to determine the meaning of the last card in the sequence --the last card has the most substance of all. Interpretation of card combinations adds 2 or 3 aspects, where each following aspect speaks about each sequential event.

For example: Ship + Clover + Bouquet. This means travel or trip which brings luck or an unexpected gift (all good cards).

And another example: Mountain + Scythe +Cross. This can mean obstacles and losses and dangerous situation (all bad cards).

An example where a bad card combine with good cards. Broom + Lily + Moon. This is a victory over a conflicting situation, with an honorable exit from the situation .

Each card has shades of meanings and each subtlety of meaning of combinations comes with experience. In time, your perception of how you read the cards transforms as well as your understanding of each card individually and collectively.

You can use any layout that you know, but practice them with the lenormand interpretations. For example the Tarot Celtic Cross, layed out with Lenormand cards and read according to the Lenormand method. So, in the beginning, work with the layouts you like, understand and are familiar to you.

The "Couple" spread

This is a double layout, man and woman for relationship and psychological readings. Use this technique to indicate the internal aspects of a relationship; the existing feelings and what the couple can expect and can acheive together.

  1. Place both significator cards on the table.
  2. Mix the deck and separate into two even packs, face down next to the man and woman sides.
  3. Take the Woman's pack, deal the first card off the top and place it above the woman significator.
  4. Deal the next card off the top and place it left of the woman.
  5. Deal the next card and place it right of the woman.
  6. Deal the next card and place it below the woman.
  1. Take the Man's pack and deal the first card, placing it above the man.
  2. Deal the next card right of the man.
  3. Deal the next card left of the man.
  4. Deal the next card below the man.
Notice that man and woman are laid out in an opposite order.

  • The above position are the thoughts and plans about the relationship
  • The left of the woman and right of the man, the hopes and desires
  • The right of the woman and left of the man, which quality is displayed in the relationship
  • The below position are the feelings
  • Add the numbers for each side and subtract from 36, both seperately and together. This is the general characteristic of the relationship

Interpreting a "Couple Spread"

For a woman who wants to know about her relationship with a man, layout the "couple" and we read:

About the woman:
  1. the above position regarding thoughts and plans, is 24 the heart; the relationship is considered by her to be very important with strong feelings
  2. The hopes and desires position to the left of the woman, is 1 - the horseman; the woman expects a fast and imminent development of events
  3. To the right of the woman, the open quality displayed position, is card 19 - the tower; indicating a wish to build a long and stable relationship
  4. The feeling position below the woman, is 10 - the sickle which here is difficult to explain; she may fear that she could destroy the relationship or do something wrong that could damage it.
About the man:
  1. The card above the man is the 25 - the ring; here meaning unity and thoughts of harmony and solidity
  2. The right side of the man has the 35 - anchor; hope for internal feeling of durability from his partner, a linchpin that will help survive difficult situations
  3. Left of the man, the 34 - fish; open for display for other people is his rich spirtiual world, deep feelings, generosity and attention
  4. The feeling position below the man; 21 - mountain; the man feels there is a barrier or other impediment that he doesn't know how to overcome
Adding the woman's cards 24+1+19+10=54-36 =18 - Dog; to the woman, the relationship means sincere correctness and readiness to self-sacrifice

Adding the man's cards 25+35+34+21=115-36 =79-36 =43-36 = 7 - Snake; to the man, the relationship is principally based on sexual energy.

Generally, for both together, 18+7 = 25 - Ring; the card says there is a possibility of development for this relationship, a strong marriage and partnership


How to read the Lenormand "Development Spread"

My turn to learn

The card reading is an ancient science that can tell you about your physical world, and about actual events in your life, but have no information about what is happening with your soul...they can tell you about your conduct but not about the deepest processes inside you...this information can only come from you...

When we express bad emotions, we don't think about the consequences... We don't perceive the connection between visible and invisible. That which we see around us, we know exists, but that which we don't see, does exist and has an even greater affect on us.

For this reason, we need an understanding of the world in which we live, and to observe the rules of this world ...both seen and unseen...

Our fate depends on our immediate behavior...people themselves bring about their fate and they themselves can change their fate; when they change themselves.

Any loss or unpleasantness that occurs should stimulate us to think well about why this unpleasantness could possibly have happened.

In nature, there is always a balance and we may lose by disturbing it. The dangerous situation occurs when we overeact to knowledge and truth; fear and emotional responses to knowledge can be harmful.

There are so many causes that we don't pay attention to: insult someone, and we may be insulted by someone else. Yes, we can also do something kind for someone, but should we expect something good in return? In being kind, the main thing is to be happy to help and to be able to do good, yet not be proud of it!

All of this analyzing of situations in front of us is not enough...we need to peer inside our soul, and then, even the worst condition can teach us something and allow us to elevate ourselves.

...We shouldn't blame people, situations, nor ourselves because of what happens. These negative emotions can destroy us from the inside out. Remember, that all that happens, good or bad, is a lesson written specially for you about how, in some meaningful way, you and the sourrounding world have a common purpose...

...Many years ago, I appealed to a reader for help; it was not the first attempt to discover my future, but this time was very different. The tale she told about my life was short and only about my very near future, not my whole life. Yet all that I heard, seemed completely impossible and unrealistic to me. And her advice was simple..."Do something!...To acheive something!"

Of course I asked, as anyone who is unoriented and hopeless would ask, "Do what?" "I am lost!"... seeing my exasperated frunstration, she resorted to conveying her meaning through a few allegorical stories that were more easily understood by me.. Stories that gave me specific direction and ideas for me to carry out... and after the session, within a few days, I decided to act out a plan and I made an important choice in my life that led, in a few years, to all the occurences that seemed so impossible and unrealistic at the time...

A session with Mademoiselle Lenormand

People often wonder how Marie Anne Lenormand performed her readings. Here is an
account of her first session with Josephine de Beauharnais, future wife of Napoleon Bonaparte:

...Which of you desires to come in first, Mesdames? She asked.
"Can we not go in together?" asked Madame de Beauharnais, quickly. "Impossible, Madame," "I have sworn never to read the cards for one person in the presence of another." "May we ask why?" asked Madame Tallien, with her usual impulsiveness, we might almost say her usual indiscretion. "Because in a portrait which I had the misfortune to draw too true to life, one of the two persons whom I was receiving recognized her husband."

Mademoiselle Lenormand was at the time a woman from twenty-four to
tweny-nine years of age, short and stout in figure, vainly attempting to disguise that fact that one shoulder was higher than the other; she wore a turban adorned with a bird of paradise. Her hair fell in long curls around her face. She wore two skirts, one above the other: one was short, scarcely falling below the knees, and pearl-gray in color; the other was longer, falling in a short train behind her, and was cherry colored. The table upon which she made her experiments was nothing but a common round table covered with a green cloth, with drawers in front, in which she put her different materials. One side of the door was an oak bookcase filled with books. Facng her seat was an arm-chair for the person who was consulting her.

When her friend came out she exclaimed, "Mademoiselle Lenormand is a charming woman! Only guess what she predicted
for me... that I shall be a princess!" to which Josephine replied, "I will not expose myself to the inferiority which threatens me on all sides. I leave you your principality; let us run away!"

She made a movement as if to go; but just then a hand was placed lightly upon her arm, and a voice said, "Remain, Madame; and perhaps, when you have heard me, you will find that you have no occasion to envy your friend," Josephine greatly desired to know what could be in store for her so great that she need not envy a princess; she therefore yielded, and in her turn entered Mademoiselle Lenormand's cabinet.

Mademoiselle Lenormand made a sign to Josephine to sit down in the chair which Madame Tallien had just vacated, and then she drew a fresh pack of cards from her drawer, - probably so that the destinies of one should not influence those of the other.
"You sought to deceive me," she said, "by coming to consult me in vulgar attire. Do not deceive me; reply frankly to my questions, and since you come in search of truth,... tell the truth..."

- Dumas, Alexandre. The Whites and the Blues V2. City: Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2007

What can you tell me about my relationship? A reading...

  • 16 is Stars The first card in the "past" position, which conveys increasing romantic feeling, and a highly idolized relationship with unreasonable admiration.
  • The 13 card or Child means current excessive naivete and gullibility.
  • Card 6, the Clouds in the future position, are a symbol of unpleasantness, trial and much worry. So, support must be found inside oneself.
  • The card in the "advice" position is 35, the anchor. it's important to understand that the anchor "lies on the bottom"; there is a need to settle and calm down.

The "Development Spread" for a quick and accurate answer

This spread is appropriate for a quick and exact answer

  1. mix up the pack of 36 cards
  2. take the top card and lay it down - for example card "16"
  3. count 16 cards off the top to get the next card in the layout - for example "13"
  4. reassemble pack (in the same order) and count 13 off the top - for example "6".
  5. add the numbers of the 3 cards to find the "advice card", (if this number is higher than 36, you subtract 36 from it). In our example, 16+13+6=35.
  6. look through the pack for this number, in our example we find "35" the anchor. This is the "advice card"
  7. IF the "35" or "36" cards appear as the first or second position...you must stop the layout, there can be no more counting, as there will be no cards left.
*Important!* Every card is interpreted individually
  • first position is the past connecting to the present
  • second position is present
  • third position is future

  • fourth position is advice


You have cards, but how do you wield them?

My grandmother never let me touch her deck of cards!!... And when I set forth in the tradition, I also followed some simple rules of card handler:

First of all, the cards must be kept in safe and permanent place when not in use. I do not allow other people to touch the cards and risk leaving some of their individual energy. For this reason, a client shouldn't shuffle or be allowed to choose card from the deck. When they come with question, they are already concentrated on their problem and don't need more focus, they may be even overfocused... Rather, this is the time for me to focus.

After calmly listening to the postulant's question, I take up the cards and mix them in silence, many people talk and ask clarifying questions during this time, but no, it is essential to listen quietly and let them ask with their own intention and expression. Then, I can fully focus internally on the question while ruffling the cards. Another rule, "don't cross legs or arms!"

I use a burning candle during the session, for purification of gloom.

It is ok to use the same deck many times. In fact, you will develop a fellowship with them and the answers become more clear. But, God forbid you get angry at them or insult them in any way!

...these are some rules about wielding the cards, there are others, but they are family secrets...