How To Choose Which Lenormand Layout To Use

As you’ll know, there are several frequently-used Lenormand card layouts.  (Step-by-step instructions for them be found on the Lenormand Card Layouts page.)

But how do you know which layout or spread is going to be best to use in your particular situation?

Think first about these questions:

  • What kind of information are you looking to get from the reading?
  • Is it general or specific?
  • How much detail would you like from the reading?
  • What’s the timeframe you want to look at?

And then follow me ….

What Does Each Lenormand Card Layout Work Best For?


It’s not really a layout, but people often do use single cards, particularly in daily practice, in personal Lenormand journals and so on. Personally, I get more out of Lenormand from using the cards in combination. but have on occasion used them singly.

Use for:
  • Daily readings – Card for the Day, or Coming Up Today
  • The overall theme or vibe of a situation
  • Musing on a card’s meaning, message and particular relevance in your life. This is particularly useful when you are first learning the Lenormand Card Meanings.

This is the simplest layout you can do and particularly if you are new to Lenormand Card Combinations.

You can either approach it using the middle card as a focus, or key, card and combining cards 1+2, then 2+3 , then 1+3. OR you can do a simple past, present, future reading, looking at each card singly from left to right.

Use for:

  • Brief overviews of a situation with the centre card as a keycard.
  • Daily personal readings and Lenormand journaling. NB take the meanings down a notch if you’re using in daily readings. Used on a daily basis, they are usually fairly gentle and undramatic.
  • Simple past-present-future readings without details.

My personal favourite in my regular practice, because it is both simple AND gives a fair amount of detail. You can use either with a key card at the centre to focus the reading on a pre-ordained topic, or without a key card for what is often a more accurate general reading or answer to a question. It requires the use of card combinations.

I use this layout every week in my own personal Weekly Readings.

Use for:

  • A good, quick, overview of a situation with all the most important details included
  • Focused readings with a key card
  • General readings without a key card
  • Weekly readings

I also use this fairly regularly, but where my 5-Card Spread would be my main overview,  this one is my focus reading.  I rarely use it without a key card at the centre and I use it mainly to go more in depth and get more detail about a situation or person.  This often happens when something – or someone – comes up in a 5-card reading that I have more questions about. This reading requires using card combinations and is less about timing than it is about focus.

Use for:

  • Focus, with a key card, on a situation, specific life area, or person.
  • Exploratory or investigative readings, to get more detail and information
  • Unearthing hidden or important factors in a situation or about someone
  • Readings where getting as much information as possible is important.
  • Situations where you also want an idea of how the past will feed into the future.
  • People readings and biographical and personal detail
  • A section of a Grand Tableau reading (see below)



This is the big one, and is a highly complex, integrated reading using all 36 cards.

It is also never quick to do, so it isn’t one to do often. It should never cover a period of less than a month but is great for big long-term timeframes such as annual readings.

It’s extremely detailed, holds an enormous amount of information, and will give you details of every single aspect of a person’s life and situation. You can make it as complex as you want, reading every single card in detail, or just focus on particular life areas using the 9-card technique within the spread. You can also utilise more advanced techniques in the Grand Tableau, such as mirroring, reflection and knighting

Use for:

  • General personal readings, then honing in on specific life areas within the spread.
  • Long-term timeframes of a month or more
  • Annual readings
  • In-depth detail and exploration; every aspects of a person’s life
  • A high level of detail about past and future influences


What about mixing Lenormand with Tarot spreads, like the Celtic Cross?

You can if you like, and I used to read Tarot cards all the time, but I’m not personally a fan of mixing the two systems in terms of spreads because the spreads are designed to work best with that system.

Tarot and Lenormand are like apples and oranges; both are good, but taste different. I have seen people combine the cards successfully but only in very specific situations where they want both of the aspects that the two different card-reading systems offer. (If you are a fan of this idea, though, and have a Rider Waite Tarot deck, you might want to pair it with a Lenormand deck like Pixie’s Astounding Lenormand which is specifically based on the design of the Rider-Waite.)

Remember, Lenormand is the universal day-to-day life stuff and is very grounded, earth-bound and direct. It’s like a wise older relative shaking their finger at you and telling you what’s what.

Tarot is much more esoteric, new age and spiritual in nature and is more suitable for those who want to incorporate its truths as part of a long-term inner spiritual journey.


Get step-by-step instructions on each Lenormand Card Layout!

See some sample readings – including how to do Love and Career readings on the Lenormand Card Readings page.




4 thoughts on “How To Choose Which Lenormand Layout To Use”

Comments are closed.