Following on from my post about Cards & Combinations to look out for in more personal-development orientated readings, let’s take a look at some readings you can experiment with if this is something you’d like to try out.
One thing I’d like to talk about though, before we get into that is the issue around whether or not using the cards in this way (or attempting to) is ‘really’ Lenormand, and wouldn’t it be a better job for Tarot? After all, Tarot is often said to be the system to use for personal development and particularly psychological journeys and explorations, and Lenormand simply for fortune telling because “what you see is what you get” with Lenormand.
So Is Personal Development Really Just A Job For Tarot?
My answer to this is: “Well, yes and no”. It really comes down to an understanding of the strengths and limitations of the two systems, which ARE very, very different. (Check out my post on the main differences between Lenormand and Tarot if you haven’t already.)
It also depends of course on what you mean by “personal development, self knowledge and psychological exploration” and what form you expect that to take.
The approach to take and the kind of answers you will get between the two systems on this are distinct. You kind of need to use the Tarot in a Tarot way and the Lenormand in a Lenormand way to get the benefits of both.
So first off, what would be the main differences between Lenormand and Tarot on this?
Let’s take a look:
Intellectual Down To Earth
Exploratory Advisory although can be used to dig beneath issues
Complex, Nuanced Blunt
Spiritual. Grounded, Everyday
Inherently quest-based. Rooted in the everyday & universal, situational application
Both, however, can be used as a tool for self-knowledge. It’s just that Tarot, with its system of cards that form a ‘journey’ or higher quest format in themselves, is literally designed to be all about spiritual journeys, whereas Lenormand is a system of cards rooted in everyday life, that have underlying universal meanings the essences of which can be applied to and used in virtually ANY real-life context: of which self-knowledge and discovery is just one. See the difference?
Now, some might say that this means Lenormand is more “shallow” than Tarot as a result. I disagree; it’s just a completely different approach. It’s more of the “blunt, possibly rude but wise neighbour or family member” (sorry, here’s Ena again) who’s going to tell you what’s what, even if you don’t want to hear it, than the spiritual guru or teacher, urging you to the higher path in what is in some ways a predetermined, almost religious, quest system. Now, that might be your preference and what you’d term “psychological,” but (and I say this as someone with a psychology background) it won’t be everyone’s.
At the same time, do be aware of the differences. Tarot will give you things Lenormand will not and vice versa, so don’t expect them to work in exactly the same way. At the end of the day, though, a lot of this comes down to personal preference.
Three Personal Development Readings To Try
Now, like many readings with Lenormand, you can in fact use most of the main layouts, 3, 5 and 9 card, in a “personal development” way, simply by framing the question as a personal development one and applying them in that context.
Some types of reading, however, do work better than others for this purpose. Grand Tableaus generally involve exploring influences and the past and future events, but they are very big and involved and I do think lend themselves to fortune telling more than personal development.
3 and 5 Card spreads are great for action-oriented advice and guidance, whereas 9 card spreads are better for getting to the root of an issue so are more exploratory in nature. There are also some hybrid spreads you can try, cribbed from other systems but adapted to Lenormand, which make the most of combinations.
Do also check out the previous post I’ve done on Personal Development Exercises For Your Journal
1. 3-Card Advice or Motto
Instead of using three cards to predict the day ahead, you can use them instead to give you a piece of advice or a motto for the day to muse on.
What personal development advice or motto would you get from the following three cards? Try not to make it a prediction; more of a general saying or piece of advice.
2. A Simple Personal Development Spread
As well as more traditional Lenormand line readings and boxes (9-Card Spread) for any question you choose, you can also try adapting any simple personal development spreads from other systems. What you should do, though, for Lenormand, is make sure you are reading each position in a pair at a minimum; you generally won’t get enough useful information if you’re trying to read a single card, in my opinion.
So, for instance, here’s a basic pyramid spread I’ve adapted to give useful information. How would you interpret the cards?
Where you are Where you need to be What’s stopping you
What you do expect What you don’t expect
3. 12 Houses Clock or “Astrological” Spread
This is a more detailed spread which, although it can be used in a purely fortune-telling sense, has a variety of uses. Each “House” here, rather than being the Lenormand houses, corresponds roughly to qualities associated with each of the astrological Houses. So again, be aware, this is something of a hybrid rather than ‘traditional’ reading and as such, not in my view, “strictly” Lenormand, but it can give you a good overall picture of issues in your life at a given time.
For this, you will use all 36 cards, and you’ll be placing them in 12 positions, like a clock.
Shuffle the cards and then, starting at the one o’clock position, go round a lay a card on each clock position up to 12. Then repeat twice more until you have three cards under each clock position. Each “house” position gives you information about a certain area of your life. You then read the three cards together as a ‘message’ in that context. Pay particular attention to the house that your querent card falls into as that is the most important influence at the current time.
One (Aries): The Self
Two (Taurus): Property, Resources, Money, Material Security
Three (Gemini): Communication, Knowledge. Creativity
Four (Cancer): Home, Family, Roots
Five (Leo): Pleasure, Risk, Love, Attention
Six (Virgo): Responsibility, work
Seven (Libra): Partnership, marriage, commitment
Eight (Scorpio): Death, sex, psychic abilities
Nine (Sagittarius): Freedom, philosophy, higher learning, travel
Ten (Capricorn): Status, reputation, organisation, authority
Eleven (Aquarius): Social life, dreams, purpose
Twelve (Pisces): Intuition, secrets, subconscious, the mystical
In case you can’t see them, here are the cards as they appeared.
Do You Need More Guidance?
Go to my Lenormand Tips page for more tips about common issues and problems.
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