If you have been practising your Lenormand readings for a while, you’ll be picking up that it helps to have a good understanding of the following elements of the Lenormand system in order to get the best results.
- The underlying card meanings
- How card combinations work
- The right layout for what you you want to find out, and to what level of detail.
The other key element is, of course, the context that you’re reading the cards in: the area of your own or another person’s life that you are specifically asking about
Why Context Is Important
As you can see in my post How To Tell A Story With Lenormand, depending on what information you’re trying to get from the cards, and particularly in predictive readings, without a context, a reading can sometimes seem vague and lack specificity. And the exact meanings can seem wildly different depending on the context. (They’re not really because they are simply different manifestations of the cards’ underlying meanings as seen here in How Do I Know Which Card Meaning Is Right?) but it’s the context that offers you precision.
In a storytelling system like Lenormand, if the cards are like the words and images that convey ideas, the combinations might be the way you string the sentences together and the layout you choose provides a structure and the way you have decided to answer any question you’ve asked. The context, though, is more like the genre for a film or a book: the type of “story” it is, which gives you the overall picture for how you’re going tell it.
How Do I Know The Context?
Often a clear question provides the context for you: What do I need to do to improve my relationship with X? (Love & Friendship) Which of the jobs should I take? (Career) What do I need to watch out for in my business? (Business & Money) Will I meet someone soon? (Love & Relationships). Sometimes, the cards themselves provide the context, particularly if you are using one as a key card, or if one falls in the centre of a reading, giving an indication that the reading is about a particular area of life.
Now, mostly on this blog, I’ve been focusing on the most obvious contexts and areas of life, such as Love, Career and People. But the truth is, one you’ve got the basics of the card meanings, you’ll find that Lenormand is a highly flexible system that you can apply to any context you want.
So as an example, let’s take a couple of cards at random, and apply them to as many different contexts as we can:
First, let’s look at each card individually for its most basic underlying meanings:
BEAR = Strength, power, protection
MICE = Anxiety, worry, erosion
Now let’s put those meanings into different contexts for each card
The BEAR in different contexts
Everyday Life Security & Protection, Money
In a business Power, Security, Management, Finances
As an activity Building strength and power, Moneymaking, Bodybuilding, Eating
In technology System security and robustness
At home Domestic finances, domestic security and sense of safety
In love Protective, forceful
In health Physically strong and healthy
Psychologically Strong and secure, protective, mentally strong and resilient
In a friendship Protective, reliable, secure, a sense of safety in the friendship. Robust
In a job Financial security, power, manager
In a person Physical or emotional strength, powerful individual, wealthy individual
The MICE in different contexts
Everyday Life Worries, anxiety, stress, nerves
In a business Small problems, niggles, undermining factors
As an activity Worrying, stressing, undermining
In technology Bugs, flaws, system errors
At home Pests, structural erosion, domestic anxieties
In love Neuroticism, anxiety, love worries
In health Stressed. Distress. Health worries
Psychologically Anxious personalities, worries, stresses
In a friendship Needy, stressful, niggling, draining friendship
In a job Work stress, stressful job
In a person Nervous, neurotic individual, worrier, stressed out, needy behaviour
Finally, using the Noun + Adjective card combination method (see here for a reminder) let’s combine the cards in each of the contexts.
In the simplest form in this case, Bear+Mice would represent something like “Anxious security or strength” but this is given much more specific and clear meanings when you apply it to different contexts
The BEAR + MICE combined in different contexts
Everyday Life Anxious financial situation, money or security worries
In a business Undermined security, finances or power eroded
As an activity Anxious/comfort eating. Obsessive bodybuilding, over-forcefulness due to fear.
In technology System security or strength compromised by bugs or flaws
At home Fearful home security; safety threatened; house structurally damaged or crumbling
In love The strength and security of a relationship undermined by anxiety; clinginess
In health Health problems, illness, strength impacted by aches and pains
Psychologically Mental robustness threatened & eroded by anxiety, stress. Defensiveness.
In a friendship Overprotection, clingy or overbearing situation
In a job Security or power eroded. Money worries, insecure situation
In a person Fearful and defensive individuals
Can you see how important the context is in terms of its effect on your interpretations of the cards? And how it deepens and clarifies the meanings you give them?
You can try this out for yourself as a practice exercise:
- Pick two cards at random from your deck.
- Using the contexts above plus any others you’d like to try, try to come up with meanings for both for each context.
- Now combine them in each context as I have done above. Try and think of as many interpretations as you can.
In summary: Why is the context of the reading so important?
The context of a reading a crucial piece of the jigsaw when you are reading Lenormand, along with your understanding of card meanings, combinations and layouts. Yes, you will need to exercise a bit of lateral and creative thinking, but being able to apply the cards in different context will give you:
- Precision and accuracy. It enables you to pick the right meanings for your cards and their combinations
- Focus: It focuses the “story” of the reading for you, making it easier for you to pull the reading together into a meaningful narrative in response to the question you’ve asked
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!