Please make sure you’ve read my Overview of the Grand Tableau before you begin.
I’m going to give instructions here for the Grand Tableau 9 x 4 layout.
This is because 8 x 4+4 is almost identical, except with that, the 4 cards at the bottom centre are used as a sort of “extra” reading, to give a finale to the overall read. But you can use the same techniques as I’m going to describe here.
Note: Different readers have slightly different methods for reading, and you can be as detailed (or not) as you wish. I’m going to give you the steps I use personally – I’ve found they work pretty well.
The Grand Tableau should be used for longer-term general readings – the next month at the very least and usually more.
So – as a reminder. Here’s the layout:
Lenormand Grand Tableau 9 x 4 Layout
Shuffle and cut the cards using your normal method and lay all the cards out in a 9 x 4 grid as above
To get a general idea of the themes of the entire reading look at cards 1-4 on your grid, and then the corner cards, reading them diagonally. So cards 1 + 36, cards 28 + 9
(In a 8 x 4 + 4 reading, you take the bottom 4 cards as your overview instead, but use the corner cards as above)
Locate the Querent card. This will be the Woman for a female querent and the Man for a male querent.
The position of this card is crucial as it affects the whole of the reading.
- Cards to the left of the Querent are past influences. Cards to the right are future influences. You can see from this position whether the querent is being heavily influenced by the past or not.
- Cards above the Querent are conscious influences, and cards below, unconscious influences. You can see from this how “in control” of things the querent is at the current time. The higher up in the grid, the more control the querent has over events.
- Cards closest to the Querent obviously have the greatest influence at the present time
- Also consider the House position (see details below) of the Querent card on the grid, as this gives a thematic clue. For example, if my querent is a woman, and she appears in position 14 on the grid, then she is appearing in the House of the Fox, i.e. work and employment, day to day survival.
Read the cards immediately surrounding the Querent in the same way as a 9-card spread, with the Querent at the centre. (obviously, this will depend on your Querent’s position in the grid as a whole – you may only be able to do this partially)
Read the cards in both the vertical and horizontal lines that the Querent appears in, as a chain reading, and reading the cards in pairs (you can also use Mirroring for this in the same ways as we do in the 5-card spread)
For example, if our Querent is in position 14, we could read:
Cards 5, Cards 23+24
Cards 10+11, Cards 12+ 13, Cards 15+16, Cards 17+18
You can also read the cards diagonally.
NB You can miss out this step if you like, and just move onto Step 7, but I find I prefer to have a detailed overview of the reading as a whole, especially if it’s an annual or monthly reading. So I do tend to carry out this step.
First, read ALL 4 horizontal rows, one after the other.
- For the quickest version, you can use mirroring and card combinations. So in Row 1, for example, you read Cards 1+9, Card 2+8, Cards 3+7, Cards 4+6, Card 5.
- For more detail, you can read across the row in pairs – Cards 1+2, 2+3, 3+4 etc, remembering that you are moving from past influences towards future ones
Then, read ALL 9 vertical rows, one after the other
- For the quickest version, you can use mirroring and card combinations. So in Column 1, for example, you read Cards 1+28, 10+19
- For more detail, read down the columns in pairs e.g. Cards 1+10, 19+28
Note the positions of any particular key cards, especially those the Querent is interested in. For example, the Heart for love life, Bear for money, the other Man or Woman card (or Dog) for partners, and so on. This will depend really on matters of interest for the Querent. Bear in mind these key cards’ positions in the reading – I’m usually more interested in things coming up than what’s in the past but it is dependent on the situation. You can explore any aspect of the querent’s life you want to, and get lots of information.
Use reading techniques like the 9-card spread around these key cards if you want to explore further. But there are also some additional techniques you can use which are worth knowing and can give even more information.
Knighting. I usually only use this in relation to my Querent card, but can be used with any other card for more info.
It means you look at the cards in the “Knight” position i.e. 2 along + 1 up or down from the card you are exploring. For example:
If my Querent card is Card 14, she is knighted by:
Cards 31 + 33
Mirroring and Reflection.
I tend to use this to get more information on the Querent card and any other key cards I might be interested in.
Cards are Mirrored on both the vertical and horizontal axes – it’s the card directly opposite on that axis.
Card 2 is Mirrored by Card 29 on the vertical axis, and Card 8 on the horizontal.
So for more information on Card 2, I can read it in a pair with card 29, and again with Card 8
Each card also has just one other card Reflecting it in the grid. It is the card that would appear opposite it and upside-down
Card 1 is reflected by Card 36, Card 2 by Card 35 and so on.
So if I were after even more information about Card 17, say, I could look at its reflection, Card 20, for more information
Finally, I look at the House position of each card is falling in. The Houses follow the numberings of each card in the Lenormand Deck.
Card 1 is always in the House of the Rider
Card 2 in the House of the Clover
Card 3 in the House of the Ship, and so on, all the way up to House of the Cross in position 36.
Again, you read all the cards in a pair with that of their House. So if, in position 1, you had the Heart card and in position 2, you had the Bear card, you could read those two Houses as follows
House 1 – Rider + Heart = Love is coming
House 2-Clover + Bear = Financial luck
I usually read the Houses for all 36 cards on my grid and then use the Knighting, Mirroring, and Reflection techniques for more information on cards and areas I’m interested in.
And that’s it!
The Grand Tableau In Action
Now, to see the Grand Tableau in action, take a look at my post How To Read The Grand Tableau Part II . This will take you through all the above steps through a live example of the Grand Tableau. It’s not a quick read, but it will help you see what it looks like in practice and the level of information you can get.
You’ll realise from this that the Grand Tableau is not the quickest of readings to do and why it can be overwhelming. However, if you have some time on your hands and are looking to do an in-depth reading with a ton of detail, it is an incredibly useful and informative General Reading to do.
For a reminder of the card meanings, check out the Card Combinations page.
And if you’re looking to buy new cards of your own, take a look at some of the most popular Lenormand Decks here.