Since I’ve been getting back into the Grand Tableau of late (what with it being the start of June, always a good time to do a 6-month reading) I wanted to provide a bit more in-depth info about the more advanced techniques you can use within this layout and what their uses are. So in this post, I want to look at the Lenormand Card Houses, how they work, what their purpose is in a Grand Tableau, and how you can go about reading them.
For the sake of ease, in terms of positions here, I’ll be assuming we’re using the 9 x 4 Grand Tableau, but you could equally well use the 8 x 4 +4: it doesn’t really change things.
Do I have to worry about the House Positions?
Not necessarily no. It depends how in-depth you’re going with your Grand Tableau reading.
However, it IS really useful to know about them and how they work should you choose to use them, as they provide additional information. I always, for instance, want to know which House my Querent card, at the very least, is falling in and where the cards I’m mainly interested in fall as well in terms of Houses.
Personally, I tend to focus primarily on those, otherwise I find the information overall just becomes a bit too overwhelming, but it depends on the depth of the investigating you want to be doing. You’ll find some readers don’t concentrate on the house positions at all, whereas others build an entire narrative using every single card in depth, including the House positions, and in a lot of detail. So you do have quite a lot of options here, depending on how much time you have, who you are reading for, what level of detail is required, and if there are particular focuses or not.
So in that sense, it’s up to you. The beauty of the Grand Tableau is that you can choose how much detail you’re going to go into and what you want to focus on. It’s a highly exploratory reading with a ton of potential information available, but there’s no “single fixed way” of reading it: more like a bunch of options.
So What Exactly ARE The House Positions In a Grand Tableau?
Every one of the 36 positions in a Grand Tableau corresponds to a “House”, an area of life, an energy, that reflects the meaning of that card number in the Lenormand system. These correspond to both the card numbers and the meanings in the Lenormand system, from Cards 1 through to 36.
It’s important to note, the House position will always be the same regardless of what card actually falls there in your Grand Tableau. So the card in Position 1 will always be falling in the House of the Rider, the card in position 2, will always be in the House of Clover, the one in position 3, the House of the Ship, and so on, like this:
The House Positions In a Grand Tableau
Unsurprisingly, the life area covered by each House corresponds with the life area represented by that particular card meaning:
RIDER: News and visits
CLOVER: Luck, chances, opportunities
SHIP: Travel, journeys, transport
HOUSE: Home & family life
TREE: Health, wellbeing, vitality
CLOUDS: Hidden things, areas of uncertainty
SNAKE: Problems and issues
COFFIN: Endings, things drawing to a close
BOUQUET: Blessings, positive areas, gifts
SCYTHE: Decisions, reductions, cuts
WHIP: Struggles, hardship
BIRDS: Communication, conversations
CHILD: Children and young people
FOX: Work and survival
BEAR: Finances & power, security
STARS: Hopes & dreams, goals, ambitions
STORKS: New beginnings, fresh starts
DOG: Friends and allies
TOWER: Organisations, officialdom & status
GARDEN: Social life, public arena, groups & networks
MOUNTAIN: Blocks and delays, obstacles
CROSSROADS: Options & pathways
MICE: Worries, niggles, minor problems, undermining factors
HEART: Loves, love life, passions
RING: Commitments, agreements, promises
BOOK: Knowledge, learning, secrets, information
LETTER: Messages, documents, written communications
MAN: A man, or men
WOMAN: A woman or women
LILY: Age, experience or wisdom
SUN: Successes, positivity, happiness
MOON: Emotions, feelings
KEY: Fate, significance
FISH: Business, cashflow, independence
ANCHOR: Stability, things that are long-lasting
CROSS: Burdens & responsibilities
OK, so what additional information can I get from a card’s House position? How do I read it, and how might it fit with the rest of the reading?
You’ll know that you can already get a massive amount of information from a Grand Tableau just from reading the cards at a surface level, in a way. So the House position adds yet another level of depth to that, and, as is so often the case with Lenormand, involves reading cards in a blended way, although I’ve found the house mostly tends to give its energy to the card, not the other way round.
Let’s look at a few examples using just one particular card. Say, for example, the GARDEN.
- Now, imagine that we have laid out a Grand Tableau, and we find our Garden card has fallen in position 1, so in the House of the Rider. What does this mean and how might we read it?
Well, we know our Garden card relates to our social life, our networking and so on. So this has fallen into the House – the Rider – that deals in general with visits and news in our life. Blending the two gives my Garden card a sort of rushing, moving energy, and the sense of a lot of visits. In this case, this positioning suggests a very busy period, involving a lot of visits to and from a lot of people, or at the very least hearing about a lot of them.
- What if our Garden card fell in, say in the position of House 23, Mice, instead?
Again, our Garden card relates to our social life, being out in the world, and so on. But this time, it has fallen into the House that deals with worries, niggles, undermining factors instead. It suggests that our social or public life is causing us anxiety of some sort, or if our Garden card is representing a particular event, that itself is associated with a lot of worry.
- And in, say, House 16, Stars instead?
So here, our social life card is falling into the house of ambitions, hopes and dreams, even fame. This indicates that our social life is intertwined with our goals, hopes and dreams, so it may well indicate networking with our ambitions in mind, or even our mingling with the rich and famous!
As ever, your interpretation of the House positions will depend a) on the contexts for the particular person you are reading for and b) on the information in the surrounding cards and the rest of the reading.
OK. But what if I was focusing on the area of “My Social Life” as part of my Grand Tableau reading. Would I focus on the Garden card as it appears in the layout, or would I focus on whatever card is falling in the Garden’s House position i.e. position 20?
A very good question.
Personally, & having experimented, I would be looking primarily at the Garden card itself in whatever position it falls in the layout in combination with the cards around it. I have in the past been told the opposite, but as I said, I mostly find in practice that the House position lends its energy to whatever moveable card that is within it, rather than the other way around. It also makes the most sense in the overall context of a Grand Lenormand reading.
It should be noted, too, for future reference that there are a number more ways you can use the information from the Houses in your Grand Tableaus, but that is something for a later post. For now, the above should give you the basics, which along with techniques like mirroring, reflecting and knighting give you plenty of ways to gather extra information from your Grand Tableau readings!
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!