Obviously, like learning anything, learning Lenormand is a process, a journey of deepening understanding, and I know that at first, the information available about all the card meanings, combinations and layouts can seem a bit overwhelming. So where might one start?
As you’ll know, I’m a big fan of keeping a Lenormand journal; kind of like a personal grimoire, somewhere you can record your own experiences of and experiments with the cards, your own readings, thoughts and intuitions, as you build your relationship with and understanding of the cards and the Lenormand system.
For the journal itself, you might like to dedicate a physical notebook especially for the purpose. Some people keep beautiful notebooks, filled with their own sketches and handwritten thoughts, readings practice, and notes about the card images. Or you may even wish to do so electronically. Either is fine, but it’s useful practice to create a record of your own experiences, readings and insights, particularly to look back on and see how accurate your readings were, and how the card meanings have tended to work for you.
To that end, I wanted to share a few basic tools and practice exercises that you can try in your own journal in way to give you a solid foundation and, if you haven’t already developed your own ways of doing things, to give your regular practice a wee bit of structure.
5 Exercises For Your Lenormand Journal
1. Getting To Know The Cards
Getting to know the cards and their meanings individually and becoming confident in your interpretations of them is key to your success with whole Lenormand system. So it’s a good idea to spend some time looking at each and every card and really considering its underlying meaning.
Obviously this is something you’ll need to do over a period of time, and won’t be something you complete overnight, but I would personally dedicate a section of your journal just to card meanings. My suggested exercise follows what I discussed in my posts here and particularly here about getting confident with card meanings.
For each card, make notes about the following:
- The features of that symbol – person, thing or animal – in real day to day life
- The underlying meaning or sense that connects all of those things, in one or two words or phrases
- Ways that underlying meaning might manifest in, say, a) your own personal daily life b) in an individual’s personality c) in a business or work situation d) in a relationship, or any other situation or context you’re interested in.
2. Daily 3-Card Spreads
Not counting individual cards, the three-card spread is the simplest Lenormand reading you can do and is great for starting to practice basic card combinations, as well as getting a feel for how the card meanings manifested in your own daily life.
I’d suggest doing at least a week of daily 3-card spreads, as I did in my post What I Learned From Keeping A Lenormand Journal For A Week.
Every day for a week:
- First thing in the morning, ask the cards “What is the main thing that will happen to me today?” draw three cards, and record them in your journal.
- Jot down a very basic interpretation of the cards, based on the linked card method (the 2nd) in my step by step guide to the Three-Card Spread
- In the evening, revisit the cards, and jot down the main events of the day. How relevant was your morning’s interpretation of the cards to events?
3. Weekly 5-Card Spreads
As you’ll know if you’re a regular reader here, I personally tend to read the cards weekly for the week upcoming as a part of my own Lenormand practice.
Once you’ve got comfortable with the three-card spreads, you can move on to the 5-Card Layout, which is my personal favourite. Why?
Because it is both simple and gives a fair amount of detail, while being straight to the point and not overwhelming. It’s a bit much for a daily reading, but ideal for getting a picture of the coming week.
At the start of every week:
- Either on a Sunday night or Monday morning, ask the cards “What are the main things coming up for me in the next week?”. Shuffle and draw the five cards and record them in your journal.
- Write down your interpretation of the cards, following the step by step guide to the 5-Card Layout
- At the end of the week, revisit the cards and your interpretation and note the relevance to the events of your week.
4. Biographical Readings
This is a fun way of practising the 9-Card Spread, and also the cards as they relate to people.
For this exercise, I would pick either a celebrity, as I did here, in my How To Read Lenormand People Cards post OR, for even more of a challenge, a famous historical figure. Make it someone who you don’t know all that much about, but who you could quite easily research online.
- Pick your celebrity or historical figure. Find an image of them, and just focus on the image for a bit. DON’T do any research at this point, but make sure you are focused on them and they are at the forefront of your mind..
- Now take your Lenormand deck and shuffle the cards, keeping that person in mind. Ask the cards to tell you about this person. You will be using either the Woman or the Man card as the focus card in this reading, and you will be putting it at the centre of a 9-card spread.
- When you feel ready, pull out your nine cards and lay them out in the 3×3 format with your Woman or Man card in the centre. I usually locate my keycard in the pack and then pull out the cards either side of that to build the layout. Use whatever method you feel comfortable with.
- Follow the step by step guide to the 9 card spread to build up the full picture. NB if it is a dead historical figure, they obviously don’t have a future as such. In that case, rather than past-present-future, I would take the first column as their background, the middle as the point in time they’re most famous for, and the future for what happened to them in the end.
- After you have completed your reading, do a little biographical research, using Wikipedia, for instance.
How accurate was your reading in giving you information about this person?
5. The Next 6 Months
This is an advanced reading only, and I’d strongly suggest waiting until you’ve had plenty of practice particularly with reading card combinations, and both the 5-Card and 9-Card layouts, as otherwise, you might find it a little too overwhelming.
Just as you did for the Daily 3-Card and Weekly 5-Card, you’re going to be using a Lenormand layout for predictive purposes in your own life and recording it and the eventual outcome. The ideal layout for a reading of this sort is the Grand Tableau.
I’ve picked the next six months as I’ve personally found the Grand Tableau to be a bit much even for a month. There is so much detail to be had here, and it’s so involved that you need a decent stretch of time to really get the benefit of the effort you’ll put in doing the reading.
Also, the shorter the timeframe, the more diluted the meanings tend to be: it seems like way too much hard work to put in for what are only going to be relatively muted meanings and just a few weeks.
At the beginning of a six month period:
- January and the start of June are obviously ideal times to do this exercise. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to do this reading – it can easily take a whole day. Ask the cards “What is coming up for me in the next six months?”. Shuffle and then when you’re ready lay out all 36 cards in either the 9 x 4 or 8x 4 +4 layout of the Grand Tableau
- Following the step by step instructions in How To Read The Grand Tableau read the layout, making careful notes as you do so. For the in-depth part of the reading, I would focus solely on the main aspects of your life that you’re interested in, which will be personal to you
- During the six months, do make a note in your journal of whenever anything happens that is relevant to the reading.
- At the end of the six months, have a check-in session with yourself and review your reading. How did it manifest in reality, and what does this tell you about your relationship with the cards?
Hopefully, you’ll find these exercises as useful as I did for starting to build a regular Lenormand practice! Let me know how you get on or if you have any questions in the comments section below.
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