So this is one for people who are playing around with the cards, or want to experiment with different, non-traditional, ways to read them. So if you’re a Lenormand traditionalist, look away now!
You may find that:
- You’re not yet ready for a Grand Tableau but want something ‘more’ than just one small three card reading
- You still find five and nine card readings a bit complicated or they don’t give you enough or exactly what you need
- You want an integrated reading that tells a story but with ‘short’ questions and answers in sections
- You want to see how different your answers might be in Lenormand from, for instance, Tarot
- You want to practice your combinations and three card readings. The types of readings you create yourself may not be ‘proper’ Lenormand (and do be aware, they’re not) but they are GREAT for practice with card meanings and combos.
1. Decide what you want to get out of the reading & if/why another Lenormand layout won’t ‘do’
Maybe you want a general ‘life’ reading but one that is very brief and simple to do. Perhaps you want to decide between two courses of action, or analyse a situation between yourself and a would-be lover, or some kind of Life Path reading, or in fact, adapt any layout type that you may be familiar with from other Oracle cards such as Tarot.
You can do all these with Lenormand too, but be aware, you might get different, more direct, types of answers, and they might not feel quite as ‘in-depth’, particularly if you only use one card per section. Remember, Lenormand generally ‘works’ best when you make the most of its storytelling aspects, and the relationship of cards to one another, so most of the more traditional layouts will work just fine, but you can still get something from experimenting with different layout types if you wish to, though you may find the results a little ‘light’.
Some examples might be:
- A pyramid layout
- A Celtic-Cross type layout
- A ‘Choosing Between Two Courses Of Action’ Layout
- A Love Compatibility Reading
- An Astrological Spread or Clock Reading
- A Life Path type reading
- A Resolving A Problem type reading.
2. Decide If You Want Your Answers Deeper And More Exploratory or Fortune-Telling Based
Just as you can with other Lenormand card layouts, you can choose whether to make your layout more exploratory or more fortune-telling based – or a mixture of the two!
How do you do this? It’s really just a simple matter of the questions or ‘headers’ you choose to use for each of your ‘sections’.
Exploratory-Type Questions, such as:
- What is the nature of the problem?
- What obstacles might I face?
- What wisdom or advice is being offered at this time?
- What action could I take? What is the best course of action?
- How can I get past this problem?
- Where am I/they ‘at’ at the moment
- What positive message can I take from this situation?
- What are the hidden factors?
- What is the best way round this problem?
Fortune-Telling Questions such as:
- What will be the likely result if I do X-?
- Final outcome/what will happen in the end?
- What unexpected event will occur?
- Future of this relationship
As an example, take a look at my below pyramid reading again. Here you see that I have used mostly exploratory questions, except for the “What you do/don’t expect” questions. For the last question, I chose “Action/Advice”, whereas some people may prefer a future-oriented question like “What will happen in the end?” . That’s because in general, I prefer more exploratory readings, and feel that overly future-oriented readings are a little too passive for me – I prefer to make my own future!
Example Pyramid Reading. 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. Design Your Questions So They Take You Down A Logical Path OR Suit The Situation
You will notice that a lot of classic “Oracle” readings you’re familiar with take a similar sort of path as the Pyramid reading above: a situation, a problem, various factors, a resolution. If you’re familiar with the Tarot Celtic Cross, for instance, you’ll know that it broadly has the following sections (with some individual variations between readers):
- An obstacle or challenge
- What’s ‘above’ you: crowning, or the best you can expect from the situation
- What’s ‘below’ you: the root or basis of the situation
- What’s ‘behind’ you: recent past
- What’s ‘before’ you: near future
- What you bring to the situation
- What others bring to the situation
- You hopes and fears
- Likely outcome, “What is sure to come.”
So you see that the Celtic Cross, just like the Pyramid has a certain logic to it: it kind of tells a story with various elements. But what if you wanted something specific to a situation, like a comparison between you and a prospective lovers or two different paths? You’d have to try and design it differently to reflect that, wouldn’t you? So think about what would be useful to you if you want to create your own layout for something like this.
Here’s an example of a Love Compatibility Reading using Lenormand that does just that. Notice it’s been designed logically: The questioner in the left hand column, the partner on the right, and the relationship between them in the middle
YOU RELATIONSHIP PARTNER
How you see yourself Main Strength How they see themselves
How you see them Main Weakness How they see you
How you see Where it’s How they see
the relationship heading the relationship
4. Remember, You Can Use One Card Per Section But Two or Three Are Better
You will notice that, unlike in most oracle readings you’ll see, I’ve put more than one card in each section in the readings above.
Now, as we saw in
Now, as we saw in my post about one-card readings, you CAN still get a surprising amount of information from single card readings, especially if you are still at beginner stage, and getting to grips with the meanings of the cards. In fact, it’s a really useful and fun way of doing so – check out the reading example in the last section below which shows both how simple it can be and that you can in fact get a nice little ‘reading’ from it.
But what’s the beauty of Lenormand ? It’s in combining the cards to deepen the meanings and tell stories. So this kind of reading is useful to have a play around with if you are still struggling to combine cards in a meaningful way AND it forces you to do so in a way that adapts to the context of the questions in each section! In this way, it’s GREAT practice for the looser or more naturalistic methods of interpretation you’ll find yourself having to do in Lenormand proper.
Here’s an example you can try which is part of the Chloe McCracken instructions that come with the Celtic Lenormand deck. It’s called an 8 or 12 card Paths Spread and it’s suggested you use two or three cards per section. Here, I’ll just use two per section.
How would you interpret these cards? Check at the end for my interpretation!
Where you are currently on your life path
The wisdom being offered to you at this time
Obstacles you may face on your path The best path forward
5. Try To Have It So That If You Put It All Together At The End, Your Reading Pops You Out A Little Story
This is particularly useful, even if you’re only doing very simple readings, and helps you start to be able to create simple stories using the cards – and to start thinking of them that way rather than just in isolation from each other. Storytelling – and being able to do it naturally – is a key element of traditional Lenormand-reading, after all.
Here’s a simple ‘problem-solving’ reading for you. I’ll only use one card for each section so as not to complicate it here (you can of course use more), but let’s focus on the ‘putting it all together at the end’. Personally, I always find getting your answer ‘popping out’ at the end quite satisfying, but maybe that’s just me!
First, interpret each card according to the section it’s in. Next, put them all together in a story. How would you interpret these particular cards? Check for my interpretation at the end!
The Current Situation or Area of Focus
An Associated Problem, Obstacle or Issue
How You Can Overcome The Issue
Advice: What Action To Take
Looking Ahead, What Else Can You Do?
What Is The Way Out Of The Situation?
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