Many Lenormand readers love the cards and Lenormand system precisely because of its long tradition. The classic German decks like the Blue Owl Lenormand and others all make use of 18th Century imagery and cultural ideas from the European world as it was then and that simplicity and tradition is appealing to many of us. The feeling of carrying on a long-held tradition can also, for many Lenormand readers, deepen their attachment to the cards and their meanings.
At the same time, we’re obviously not living in 18th Century Europe. We have more means of transport available to us than the Ship or horseback; our messages aren’t often delivered by hand, and most of us no longer even send physical letters. Knowledge is delivered digitally, print of all kinds is on the decline. We have multiple means of communication, opportunities are readily available, medicine, life expectancy, science and technology have all developed in leaps and bounds— and yet, at the same time the health of our planet as a whole is deteriorating. Life today is filled with wonders and innovations but also pressures and strains that would mystify an 18th Century lady or gentleman living in a pre-industrialized Europe.
So is it possible to find Lenormand card meanings for the modern world?
Modern Card Meanings
Because of the way the Lenormand system works based on underlying meanings–see my previous posts about underlying Lenormand Meanings here and here – there is no need for us to restrict ourselves to 18th Century contexts.
Instead, we are free to apply the cards’ basic underlying meanings to any contexts, culture and time period we wish and that includes our day to day world, with all its technology, glories, features and problems.
As such, there are a multitude of potential “modern” card meanings dependent on the exact context. So let’s take an in-depth look at a few of the most obvious examples.
The Lenormand Letter and Birds
Communication and the now-wide range of possibilities for communication are obviously one of the key developments in recent times
The underlying meaning of the Lenormand Letter as written communication has not changed.
Although it is less common for people to send physical letters now, the Letter still covers ALL forms of written communication and the act of physically writing. So applied to the world today and including technology, the Letter would include things like:
- Emails and text messages
- Blog posts
- Online news stories and journalism
- Forum posts
- Notifications, forms and popup reminders
While the Letter is about purely written communication, the Birds involves verbal communications. It has always referred to things like meetings, discussions, communications of all kinds and conversations, and the possibilities for these have expanded further with the advent of technology. So we can also use the Birds for a wide range of communications, such as:
- Telephone calls, conference calls
- Meetings in person or via Skype
- Physical presentations
- YouTube videos
- Announcing, radio, TV, voiceovers
I also tend to use the Birds for Twitter for … well, obvious reasons I’d have thought! An individual tweet, though, might be better represented by the Letter, but as ever, it depends on the exact context and the subtleties of the situation and the question you are asking.
Business, Innovation, Discovery and Information
Both business and the ways information is provided have changed dramatically in the last couple of decades, let alone the last couple of centuries, and as we know, are still changing rapidly all the time. So what might the different Lenormand cards represent about these particular areas of modern life?
Again, the devil is in the detail and the underlying meanings and focus of the cards.
The Tower represents all that is official and big. It also represents physical buildings and offices. The energy of the Tower card is “establishment”. Obviously, the world of work has been moving away from such physical and established structures for some time, but the Tower also represents things like legal, corporate and government concerns. So in the modern world, I would use the Tower for:
- Regulatory and Government Bodies
- The Law
- Corporations and Big Established Companies
- The Government and “System”
- Offices and Physical Structures and Buildings
The House represents the domestic, the home-based. With the advent of technology, far more people work from home, and it is also no longer a requirement to have a physical office if you want a business or a side-gig. The House has also always been about family names, “the house of” and as such I’ve found tends to include things like company branding and “name”.
As such, the House card tends to come up for me for:
- Home-based businesses (the core of the business itself)
- Websites and domains
- ‘Home’ pages
- Branding and online ‘names’ and personas
The Storks card is all about the fresh and the new, and thus is the perfect card to represent innovations and change. New is the name of the game with the Storks, sweeping away the old (although I would tend to use the Scythe for those very sudden and shiny changes that dismantle everything in their path). Use the Storks for:
- New and Progressive ideas
The Book card is used to represent all that is known and can be known. This includes the as yet unknown, which is why The Book is often used to to symbolise secrets: pieces of knowledge and information that exist but are yet to be discovered. So in this context, as well as physical books and education, The Book card can be used for:
- Research and discovery
- Scientific knowledge
- A body of work, from a book to a series of research papers
- Content as a whole, a collection of pieces of knowledge
- Databases and information
- Statutes, instructions, manuals, information and knowledge-sharing
As ever, the key to the precise meaning of the cards relies on both the context will rely on the situation you are asking in and your exact question.
Other Modern-Day Examples
If you are confident about your understanding of the card meanings, you can also (appropriately enough) try “reverse-engineering” card meanings yourself for the modern world and learn to recognize how they might appear.
How, for example, do you think things like the following might be represented in Lenormand?
- An organisational giant like Amazon?
- A game-changing technological innovation?
- The International Space Station?
- Climate change?
- A medical breakthrough?
- Dating apps like Tinder?
- Social media in general?
Have a think about each of those yourself – try for three cards or fewer for each – and then take a look here for my suggestions and thoughts.
And if you want more info and guidance, check out my Lenormand Tips page for answers to some common questions and issues, or why not sign up to my mailing list for a FREE downloadable Card Combinations e-book, my regular newsletter, tips and exclusive subscriber-only freebies!