Personal Development Readings I: Cards & Combos To Look Out For

We often talk about context when reading Lenormand, and how that affects the meanings of the cards. (Take a look at the post Why Context Is Important in Lenormand Readings for more detail on this.). In different contexts and situations, whether it be life in general, love, career, money, college, the world at large, you should find you are able to apply the fundamental meanings, the essences, of each of the cards to those different situations to reveal meanings that make sense in that situation.

What you also tend to find as a reader is that common cards and combinations come up again and again in certain situations. Check out my previous posts on Love and Money cards here.

Using Lenormand For Personal Development

Now, not everybody uses the Lenormand cards purely for fortune telling. Many readers prefer to use them as tools for their own personal development or what we could see as more exploratory, personal psychological work.

So in this post, I’m looking at what cards and combinations to look out for if we want to use them more in a Personal Development or Exploratory sense, and the sorts of messages they might tend to convey.

One thing to note: although you don’t have to use this deck, and you can get pretty much all you need from the standard 36 cards, I personally have found that some of the additional cards in the Gilded Reverie Lenormand deck by Ciro Marchetti are particularly useful for this kind of reading. Because of this, you’ll see I’m including some of them in the info below.

Common Cards or Combinations To Look Out For

The Self

Lenormand Child CardThe Man and Woman querent cards are the most obvious of these. If you are starting out on a brand new journey, a brand new self, in a way, you may also choose to focus on the Child card for this purpose.

Surrounding cards can tell you the major influences around you at a given time, where you are starting off, in a sense. So, for instance, the Man/Woman/Child + Sun would suggest an attitude of optimism, a person card with the Clouds, a sense of blindness, the Cross, weighed down, the Bear, strength, power, perhaps determination.

Another card that sometimes comes up for the self in this context is the House, in the sense of ‘where you feel at home’, your inner core being, even your name, and day to day regular life. The Anchor can also form a part of this, particularly to represent the daily routines of life, the things that ground you.

Changes Afoot, Signs, Events

Lenormand Rider CardThe biggest sign that something new is coming into your life is the Rider, literally something or someone new sweeping into your life, or bringing you a message or a sign. A herald, if you like. What the Rider is a sign of or is bringing should be indicated by the following or surrounding cards

Sudden disasters and accidents are often represented by the Scythe; opportunities and unexpected chances by the Clover.

Lenormand Crossroad Card


The Crossroads is an obvious sign of coming up to a turning point, where choices have to be made of which path to take. The Crossroads & Key combination is a good sign of a major turning point in life. Beware wrong turns (Crossroads + Snake) or blind alleys (Crossroads + Clouds) or being led astray or on a merry dance (Crossroads + Fox).

Changes and fresh starts themselves are most often represented by the Storks.


Puzzles,  Secrets

Lenormand Book CardSomething to be learned or discovered” is often represented by the Book, hence why it can often stand for secrets: as yet hidden knowledge, the unknown. Again, the nature of the secret is revealed by the surrounding cards. Unlocking the secret, finding the answer and what it is or leads you to it, is often represented by the Key. The Book and Key combined can often point to revelations and major discoveries. The Book and Sun can also show knowledge “coming to light”.


Gilded Lenormand Labyrinth

If you have the Gilded Reverie deck, you may also find personal puzzles and conundrums represented by the deck’s additional Labyrinth card, which shows a maze with people trying to find their way through. If you don’t use this deck, the Crossroads can also represent the concept of trying to find the right way, especially when accompanied by the Clouds, showing that it is obscured or confused, or the Book to show that the roads involve knowledge, mysteries and secrets to be uncovered.

Journeying into the complete unknown may be represented by the Ship with the Clouds.


Support, Guidance, Mentors

Lenormand Dog CardNaturally, offers of support can come from friends and allies, indicated by the Dog. Combined with the Lily (Dog-Lily) the Dog indicates wise friends, mentors and experienced advisors.

Gilded Reverie CompassGuidance in the sense of the big picture, the higher path, higher ideals and goals can also be indicated by the Stars. The Moon can indicate dreams and creation, manifestations. If you have the Gilded Reverie deck, the additional Compass card can also also a good guide and directional indicator, helping you to find True North


Enemies, Obstacles, Tests

Lenormand Mountain CardObstacles and roadblocks to be overcome, including enemies of all kinds, can be indicated by the Mountain.

Major life tests as a whole, literally “Crosses To Bear”, burdens you must carry, are often represented by the Cross.

The Whip represents individual battles, conflicts and struggles and the efforts taken. It can also show training, especially when combined with the Dog, indicating someone setting you a challenging ‘lesson’, pushing you. Combined with the Mountain, the Whip can show obstacles being overcome through struggle and effort.

Lenormand Snake CardThe usual enemies appear also, of course. The Snake, a betrayer, or temptation. The Fox, a deceitful person, a thief, someone with their own agenda, perhaps, who may be presenting a false face.

In the Gilded Reverie deck, falsehoods or situations where things are not as they appear on the surface can also be indicated by the extra Mask card. Watch, too, for the Clouds and Book near a person card; the Book indicates secrets, hidden knowledge, which may be good or bad, but the Clouds indicate someone who may purposely be misleading or gaslighting you, and is usually negative.

Lenormand Clouds CardIf you have the light side of the Clouds facing you, you may be coming out of the other side of problems, or the worst may be over; the dark side, however, indicates being overshadowed by problems and doubts.

Signs of loss, erosion and worry, as well as smaller problems can appear with the Mice cards



Ways And Means of Making Progress

If you have the Gilded Reverie, there is a useful extra card called the Bridges, which signals directly the means to getting from one point or world to another. Obviously, the Ship also indicates travel and moving from Point A to Point B, and the Crossroads will indicate choices to be made, possible pathways to go down. Choose well!

What about how you make your choices? Well, if you get the Lilies, the cards suggest you make use of your wisdom and experience, be wise.

Lenormand Tree CardIf you have the Tree card influencing a reading, this can quite often indicate, as well as health and wellbeing, a kind of spiritual or even karmic energy. The Key might indicate more fated or portentious-seeming occurrences.

The power of communication and discussion can come into play to move things along if you’re seeing the Birds influencing a reading. Whereas the Scythe would indicate sudden, decisive action or even accidents, the Whip, through struggle and effort, and the Clover, through luck and chance happenings

Gilded Reverie Magnifying Glass


Here’s another extra card that I find useful from the
Gilded Reverie in this context. The Magnifying Glass. When it comes up, it tells us to examine the cards and influences around it more closely, put them under scrutiny. Similarly, the Well, suggesting going deeper, although in practice I find the Magnifying Glass more helpful




Achievements, Goals, Dreams, Results

 Obviously, what we’re all hoping for in some way is success, happiness, getting what we want. If that’s Victory, success, a light Lenormand Sun Cardshone, look for the Sun. The Clover is good luck, good fortune, a lucky chance, catching a break. The Bouquet is general niceties, blessings, general positivity and geniality. The Stars – our wishes, hopes and dreams achieved, or the Moon, manifested and created.

Lenormand Ring Card


Perhaps it’s commitments, Bonds, Deals, Agreements. Accord or an offer we’re after. If so, the Ring is the card of all agreements, contracts, bonds and promises. It can be an indicator of accord and agreement reached after the discord and battles of the Whip. Or it can be a proposal, an offer, a payment.


Lenormand Fish Card

Perhaps we were looking for Strength, Power, Money: We may achieve this if it’s the Bear we see, bringing its protective power. If it’s moreAbundance, Liberty, Liberation, Freedom we were wanting, keep an eye out for the Fish making an appearance in a reading.


Lenormand Key Card

What about if we’re just seeking the Answer? The Key would be the main card to look out for here. How about the resolution of a problem? Well, if we get the Sun after a negative card, so for instance the Sun with the Clouds or the Mountain or the Snake, the chances are we will overcome any issues. A mystery revealed? How about the combination of the Book and  the Sun? A spiritual home? How about the House-Key combination or House-Tree?


Lenormand Storks CardNow, the Coffin is usually a negative card, but sometimes what it represents is what we’re seeking. Endings, Closure, Finality. Sometimes, we might want a decision making. Done and dusted: look for the Scythe. If you want to be sure that this has a transformative energy, though, it’s best if it’s followed by a positive card or one that signals Lenormand Heart Cardchange. The Storks following the Coffin is a good sign of endings with renewal; transformation. And finally, of course, there’s that one thing that many card readers will
be looking to achieve. The Heart. Love, Passion, reaching the heart and core of a matter.



In my next post, I’ll be looking at some Personal Development-oriented readings you can try. In the meantime, check out some love readings and money readings to test yourself out on. Happy practicing!


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3 thoughts on “Personal Development Readings I: Cards & Combos To Look Out For”

  1. Really important topic to bring to the surface. It is very common to say that for personal development Tarot should be used. Personally I do not like dragging in extra cards like those in the guilde. They might have their function, but when adding them something else is created not being Lenormand but using the lenormand system. But all to their own I guess.

    1. Yes, I have to say I largely agree with you when it comes to extra cards for most readings, Anna (see my post on Extra Cards In Decks: Yes or No?). The 36 card decks themselves should usually be enough for most readings and purposes, although I have noticed when playing with this particular deck, that these seemed particularly useful in psychological readings, although some of the cards are more useful than others. That said, I am absolutely not a purist; nearly all Lenormand readers now have diverged quite a long way from ‘traditional’ Lenormand readings, and ultimately, individual readers will also incorporate their own ‘ways’ into how they personally use the cards.

      I actually feel quite strongly that the Tarot/Lenormand divide on psychological readings is not strictly true although as a very down to earth person who seeks underlying patterns, that’s partly personal preference and style. They are obviously very different. Tarot is more mystical, esoteric and intellectual and Lenormand more direct and blunt, but also grounded and speaks to universal, earthy and day to day energies, I find. I don’t know why, but for me that seems to works better for the psychological than Tarot. Anyway. Interesting discussion.

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