7 Different Ways To Use Your Cards

How do YOU actually tend to use your cards in practice? What is it at heart that you want to get from them? And what is the “right” way to do so?

Depending on how traditionalist you are, you’ll find that there is more than one way to use your cards in practice. More than one way to skin a cat, as they say. You’ll discover that in fact, different people can choose to use their cards in different ways.

So in this post I’d like to explore seven different “takes” on using Lenormand (or in fact any divinatory card system.)

For illustrative purposes, I’m going to start with a particular set of cards you could pull, and then look at the different approaches you might decide to take to the information or message the same cards provide.

Here are my cards:

Lenormand Rider CardLenormand Clouds CardLenormand Woman CardLenormand Snake CardLenormand Book Card



First, A General Interpretation Of These Cards

I’m not going to go through the steps in detail again, but the details of How To Read 5-Card layouts are freely available in the post in on the Lenormand Card Layouts page. So, in short, the general information I can get from this particular reading is as follows

  • A secret or knowledge shows up around what looks like an unpleasant problem for a woman (reading mirrored cards around the centre)
  • Confusion and darkness arrives brought by a negative, untrustworthy  woman or a female enemy and possibly an unpleasant secret or a hidden foe (reading the cards in a chain from left to right)
  • Confusion and darkness arrives via a female visitor, which delivers something unpleasant, most likely some information or a secret. A woman brings confusion or negativity, and an enemy muddies the waters. There’s a hidden or obscured secret and information is confused or brings darkness. A negative, untrustworthy woman; a knowledgeable woman or one who knows a secret. Knowledge problems or secret problems, or a hidden enemy. (Reading the detail of each card modified by all those that follow to build up a story.)

As I say, I’m going to use this particular interpretation as an illustration of several different ways you could choose to use your Lenormand cards, and to see how this choice subtly affects what you get out of them.


 What Are Some of TheDifferent Ways I Could Use My Cards?

1. To try to predict my personal future exactly with the future as a fixed timeline of predetermined events

This is probably, if we’re honest, the MAIN approach that most people reading Lenormand cards will be taking. “What is my future going to be? Tell me what is going to happen in my life, and I will act accordingly.”

For this purely predictive way of reading, our interpretation of the above cards (here I am assuming any querent, so it may or may not be a woman) is likely to be something along the lines of:

“This week you WILL  be having problems with a woman who brings negativity or confusion. She cannot be trusted and is possibly a hidden enemy.”

Points to note about this approach:

  • It assumes the future is something that’s fixed or at least that some points or events are
  • It assumes that you are the passive recipient of these events; that they are predetermined
  • It will either be proved right or wrong.
  • You may lose confidence if it is proved wrong, or be wowed if it is proved right!. How might either of these results impact further readings you do, do you think?

2. To try to answer a specific question on a specific issue/in a particular context

This is probably the second most common way of using the cards, and you may have pre-chosen a keycard to centre the reading on a particular topic.

For instance, if you had chosen the Woman to be your keycard to represent a particular woman in your life.

“Q: My girlfriend seems upset and is behaving oddly. What might be going on with her?

A: Your girlfriend may have started feeling low and may be hiding problems or keeping secrets from you.”

In this case, it’s being used for further or more in-depth exploration of a current problem but involves  in this instance trying to access hidden knowledge about somebody else to find out more about a situation.

Points to note about this approach:

  • It assumes all knowledge is ‘out there’ to be found and the cards are just a key to access this hidden knowledge
  • It involves you applying the message of the cards and applying their story to your context and question
  • You could use additional methods, like for example, the Playing Cards references to see if there’s any more information you can glean. If you were doing a 9-Card spread, you could also try Knighting cards to see if you could find more clues.

You can find out more about Keycards and whether or not to use them by checking out the following post: Keycard or No Keycard? That Is The Question

3. To gain general useful “messages” for further exploration and consideration in my life

 This is more of a self-development approach. It may still suggest the future in some ways (i.e. “This message be important for you or is important or useful to you to note at the present time for some reason”) but makes you more of an active participant in the interpretation, by asking you to think about and consider its message.

For example (and if the querent in this case was a woman):

“If you feel confused and down or negative at this time, be aware that the information that you’re getting may be false or due to hidden problems.”

Points to note about this approach:

  • It asks you to consider a scenario or advisory message
  • It invites you to apply that scenario or message to things in your current life
  • It could be a starting point for exploring the issues further, and this could be done in various ways, both with and without the cards.

You can find out more about ways you can use the cards for advice in the following posts:

4. To use primarily as a guide for actions I can take to help create and mould my own future

Following on from more of a self-development approach you could also interpret the cards as calls to action, or prompts.

For example (and again, assuming the querent is a woman):

“If you find yourself feeling negative and low, check that the information you’re receiving or interpretations you’re basing them on are actually correct, and don’t try to hide that you’re having difficult or negative experiences.”

Points to note about this approach:

  • It merely used the reading as a launch point for potential actions, and is less passive than a pure fortune-telling approach
  • Again, it invites you to apply scenario or message to things in your current life and then to utilize that practically to find a way to take action
  • You are using the cards  in far more of a guiding or advisory way for the here and now than to make future predictions.

5. Strictly traditionally e.g. using Near and Far

If it was important to me to be as “traditionally correct” as possible, I probably wouldn’t be using a smaller reading like a line of 5 at all, and would probably go for the Grand Tableau for a general future reading to cover a period of time.

If I did use a smaller reading though, I might perhaps use the traditional Near and Far meanings and method, which would in this case have the ‘Near’ cards as the ones around the centre, and the “Far” cards as those at either end in relation to my querent card, who again I will assume is the Woman.

This reading would be considered very unlucky, as the Woman here is surrounded by negative cards, the Clouds on her left (although the light side of the Clouds is on her, suggesting that this could be a problem that is passing out of her life) and the Snake on her right, indicating severe misfortune; deceit, infidelity sorrow. Because the Snake is next to the Book, it suggests an unpleasant secret. The messenger indicated by the Rider is likely to be coming from afar and the news they bring is bad, because of the Clouds.) So this interpretation is likely to be something like:

“Bad luck is coming for this woman and she is likely to experience a great deal of sorrow and deceit, most likely due to a messenger bringing bad news from afar about an unpleasant secret.”


Points to note about this approach:

  • Like all future readings, it assumes the future is something that’s fixed and on a particular timeline
  • Again, it assumes that the person concerned is the passive recipient of these events; that they are predetermined
  • Note that traditional interpretations tend to be blunter and have less nuance or room for manoevre than more modern interpretations
  • Once again, in reality, the prediction will either be proved right or wrong with all that that entails.
  • It could also be that you’re someone who’s mainly interested  in cartomancy systems from a purely historical perspective.

6. More intuitively or combined with other or more individualistic methods

You might, on the other hand, have developed a reading strategy that’s a bit looser, a bit more of of a mix and match, but through experience, you’ve found seems to work for you.

By “works for you”, I mean:

  • Which card meanings you tend to use for which card (check out my post about Lenormand “Schools” and Traditions  for some of the main differences in meanings, particularly regional ones)
  • Which reading methods and layouts work best for you or suit the kinds of questions you like to ask
  • Tend to have given you the most useful information for whatever purpose you wish to use them
  • Suits you personally in terms of your philosophical or spiritual beliefs and whether you prefer predictive or self-development type readings
  • Any combinations or links you might do with other card reading methods you’re familiar with such as Tarot.

For more on personalising your approach, take a look at the post:

How To Personalize Your Lenormand Practice

And for more on the role of intuition,

7 Ways To Build Your Intuition With Lenormand

Points to note about this approach:

  • “Intuitive” doesn’t mean “I make it all up and make cards mean whatever I want them to mean,” but it is likely to indicate that methodological purity and strict traditionalism is less important to you when reading than using the cards in ways  that are personally meaningful and useful to you.
  • It can indicate that you’ve become used to using the cards, and are better at making the connections and telling stories in the ways that work for you.
  • It is obviously highly individualistic and personal, so you do need to be careful not to mistake what you want to see for what you do see.
  • You can start to develop your understanding about what works for you and doesn’t by keeping a Lenormand journal and 5 Things To Learn From Looking Back At Your Readings.

7. As one of several wider spiritual or personal development practices

A lot of how you choose to use your cards will depend on your personal philosophy and spiritual beliefs, and why you find yourself attracted to or use divination cards and methods in the first place. To be honest, I don’t expect my visitors here at Lozzy’s Lenormand, for example, to  be professional debunkers or sceptics like Richard Dawkins. Nor would I, in the main, expect my readers to be vicars, priests or theologians.

I do expect that most of my readers are already attracted to divination, mostly use things like Tarot  or other divination methods already, are usually curious and exploratory, probably not into traditional religion, but believe there’s ‘something unexplained out there’ and consider themselves spiritual and/or believing in a higher power, whether that be a kind of God figure or, more likely the Universe and universal forces, spiritual beings or even angels.

So it could well be that you use Lenormand as only one of several keys at your disposal to  ‘access’ what you feel is higher spiritual or philosophical knowledge. You may be interested in other forms of divination and have been exploring in these areas. Or you may use Lenormand and practices like it as part of a wider philosophical rather than spiritual perspective.

But Which Way is the “Correct” Way?

Well, it’s back to that gnarly old question again.

The answer is:

It depends what you are looking for.

There is no one “right” way. Sorry, but there isn’t. The choice, ultimately is yours and reflects especially what you are looking to get and expect to get from the cards.

In a later post, I’ll be exploring what those different preferences might be telling you about yourself and how you might use them to your advantage.


Do You Need More Guidance?

My Lenormand Tips page has links to a great many articles and Lenormand FAQs for more tips about common issues and problems.

You can also use the SEARCH box above to search common topics: you’ll generally find I have covered a lot of them in detail already!

If you DON”T find what you need on the blog, and you still have questions, you can let me know what Lenormand topics or areas you have difficulty with that you’d still like me to cover by clicking on the link to the survey below.



For a FREE card combinations PDF E-Book,  sign up to my mailing list for weekly newsletters and other freebies (be sure to check ALL your mailboxes to pick it up! And mark me as a safe sender if you don’t want to miss out on stuff.)  If you don’t want to sign up, it’s also available in both paperback and ebook format from Amazon as well as other ebook platforms.

Also, my Complete Guide to Lenormand paperback is now available from Amazon! You can also get it in ebook format from Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books & other ebook platforms and all my ebooks are also available as downloadable/printable PDFs here in the SHOP!