Interpreting Lenormand: Dial It Up Or Down?

I had an interesting discussion with someone this week about “dialled up” and “dialled down” interpretations of the Lenormand cards

So what did we mean by that?

The question really was about when we should be using dialled up and dialled down meanings and how we might know when to use them.

Ultimately, this is a question, once again, about context. (You can see why context is important with regard to meanings in this post.)

Dialled Up Meanings

In my post about What I Learned From Predicting The News I was quite often talking about very big-picture meanings of the cards; worldwide events, national level type stuff.

So, for example, a Mountain meaning a block, embargo or delay, a Garden, the outside world, the general public or markets, a Fox, the issue of employment or perhaps an untrustworthy politician. You’ll see I interpreted the Scythe as the big international event like Brexit, and the House as domestic affairs in general.

Dialled Down Meanings

The cards can sometimes be very, very literal indeed. As you’ll know, in my interpretations I mostly tend to go to the basic underlying meanings of the card and then apply them to whatever the context is. But do bear in mind, they can sometimes be even more literal than that.

Lenormand card meanings can literally be the exact object depicted in the card. Yes, a Mountain can really be a mountain; a Garden, a garden, a Fox, a fox, a Scythe, a knife.

It can even be, on occasion, an object that just LOOKS like the object in the card. I have heard of the Snake card representing plumbing & even the intestines, for example, a coiled rope, as well as an actual snake. If you take a look at the Three-Card Reading page, and the comments at the bottom, you will see a great example from a reader (thank you Espy!), where the Ring in her reading appeared to represent a car tyre (which totally makes sense, right? It was fantastically direct.)

Examples of Dialled Up & Dialled Down Meanings

Let’s take a look at the same three card spread and examples of interpretations that go either way. Here are the cards:

Lenormand House Card Lenormand Ship Card Lenormand Ring Card


Big Picture Meaning

Say I had this as a reading about national events

The House could represent the domestic, the country I am talking about

The Ship does represent a journey, but it could also be taken to mean Trade, Movement or Overseas in general

The Ring almost certainly represents an agreement or deal

So here we have:

Domestic- Overseas/Trade- Deal

Reading the cards together, we get:

Ship: Trade or overseas in the middle

House-Ring: A deal that affects the domestic, or an agreed home for something (or someone)

House-Ship: Moving home, Immigration or Emigration perhaps? Trade hub.

Ship-Ring: Arranged journey. Trade Deal? Shipping or Movement Agreement.

So overall, and depending on any other cards appearing in the reading or the exact question I had asked, a ‘dialed up’ or big-picture interpretation of these cards might be:

A trade deal affecting the home country, or domestic imports

or perhaps

An agreement or deal made about immigration or emigration 

Literal or Dialled Down Meaning

So what about if, rather than reading about national or world events,  I was reading just about my personal day today or an everyday event?

The House would likely just represent a house or my literal home

The Ship could represent any type of journey or movement or any mode of transport e.g. a car or even just a boat

The Ring could represent an arrangement or agreement of any kind. A marriage or relationship. Or it could, as in the reader’s example above, represent a literal ring or a ring-shaped thing  a wheel, for instance, or tyre.

So here we might have:

House-Mode of Transport-Ring

Reading the cards together could give us:

Ship: Mode of transport or trip in the middle

House-Ring: Married home, a house on wheels, a round-shaped house

House-Ship: A mobile home; a caravan or camper van; a houseboat; a house move

Ship-Ring: An agreed trip or move; a honeymoon; a wheeled form of transport

So overall, and depending on any other cards appearing in the reading or the exact question I had asked, a ‘dialled down’ or more literal interpretation of these cards might be, for example:

A caravan or camper van journey

An arranged trip by houseboat

A pre-arranged house move, perhaps a moving date arrives

And of course, these meanings aren’t exhaustive. So this leads us to the next issue:

How To Decide If The Meaning Should Be Dialled Up Or Down

Obviously, the cards & your reading do not exist in isolation, so as a reader, you will need to use your judgement and a bit of lateral thinking.

For more accurate interpretations, you will need to consider, as always, the following:

  • The Context. The goings on in someone’s day-to-day life are obviously going to be different than worldwide events  of state of the nation issues in general
  • The Question You Have Asked which further isolates and focuses the context. (Check out How To Ask Lenormand Questions For The Best Result for more on this.)
  • The Timeframe. I touched on this a little bit in my What I Learned From Keeping A Lenormand Journal For A Week post. The need to dial meanings down particularly comes up when you are doing daily three-card personal readings for practice, which I know a lot of my readers are. A day is a very short period of time, and the shorter the time period, the more literal the meaning is likely to be. When you are dealing with longer time-frames, yes, the meanings can still be literal, but you are far more likely to be dealing with bigger-picture issues.

How Can I Get Better At Deciding Which Is The Right Meaning?

The ONLY way you’re gonna do this is by keeping practising and trying things out so you get familiar with how the cards tend to work for you and in which circumstances.

It’s worth also checking out the following posts if you’re having difficulty with this:

Your Lenormand Journal: 5 Exercises To Try

How Do I Know Which Lenormand Card Meaning Is Right?

6 Tips For Getting Confident With Card Meanings


Want To REALLY Get To Know Lenormand Card Meanings?

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3 thoughts on “Interpreting Lenormand: Dial It Up Or Down?”

  1. This is actually quite interesting to read about the woman’s literal meaning of the ring being a car tyre. I’ve had something similar to this in that before setting out for a road trip I pulled some lenormand cards. I think it was a 3 card spread and the middle card was the snake. I was wondering what on earth that could be, and hoping I would not see a snake.

    When we arrived at our destination there was a trail and so we decided to walk the trail which was very sandy and went through dense bush, winding around a steep cliff and back to a lighthouse. While walking on the trail I tripped – over a long curly tree root that was hidden beneath the sand on the trail, stretching across the path. I landed flat on my face and badly injured my knee so that I had to hobble the rest of the way back to the car. Because of my now swelling knee, my husband decided to drive all the way home (some 200 kilometres!!) as I couldn’t walk around to sight see as planned.

    Now whenever I see the snake I think of that day, what a way to learn Lenormand! 🙂

    1. Fabrício César da Cruz e Franco

      These real life stories enrich my Lenormand practice. They broaden my perception, amplify my perspective of the messages from the cards. Thank you.

  2. Fabrício Franco

    These real life stories enrich my Lenormand practice. They broaden my perception, amplify my perspective of the messages from the cards. Thank you.

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