“Traditional” Grand Tableau II: A Reading With Near & Far Meanings

Following on from my previous post about Near and Far Meanings in”Traditional” methods of reading the Grand Tableau, I now want to go into how you might actually set about reading the cards in this way, because it’s quite different from how more modern readers might read this spread. (Take a look at my main instructions for How To Read The Grand Tableau here for the method I personally usually use.)

And for a reminder of some of the different ways you might read the Grand Tableau, check out the post here:

Overwhelmed By The Grand Tableau? 6 Ways To Read It

So here, I’m going to read the Grand Tableau in the way specified in the  “Philippe Lenormand” instructions that were printed with most decks of the Game of Hope cards as soon as they had been re-marketed as Le Petite Lenormand in the mid-19th Century. As I’ve said previously, “Philippe Lenormand” was almost certainly a marketing ploy than a genuine descendent of Mlle Lenormand herself, so bear that in mind when you’re considering how “pure” or “authentic” your readings need to be. Nonetheless, these were the instructions that went out with the cards from the mid 19th century onwards,  so are worth knowing about.

How To Read The Traditional Grand Tableau

Example Spread

So here’s an example Grand Tableau layout as usual, I’ve shuffled the cards and laid them in the more traditional Piquet layout, in other words: 8 x 4 + 4. I’m going to take you step by step through the easiest way to read them following the traditional meanings and instructions.

The cards fell as below, and it is a female Querent.

   Lenormand Woman CardLenormand Anchor Card Lenormand Letter Card Lenormand Key Card Lenormand Clover Card Lenormand Whip Card Lenormand Garden Card Lenormand House Card

  Lenormand Book CardLenormand Bouquet Card Lenormand Heart Card Lenormand Tree Card Lenormand Child Card Lenormand Ring Card Lenormand Storks Card Lenormand Ship Card

  Lenormand Snake Card Lenormand Rider Card Lenormand Stars Card Lenormand Tower Card Lenormand Dog Card Lenormand Moon Card Lenormand Scythe Card Lenormand Lily Card

Lenormand Mountain CardLenormand Man Card Lenormand Mice Card Lenormand Clouds Card Lenormand Birds Card Lenormand Fish Card Lenormand Coffin CardLenormand Bear Card

Lenormand Sun Card Lenormand Crossroad Card Lenormand Fox Card Lenormand Cross Card

Step 1

Locate the Querent card. In this case, we know the Querent is a woman, and the card has fallen in the very first position, in the top row of the spread.

Step 2

Identify the Near Cards

The Near cards are the ones touching the Querent. In this reading, they are as follows:




And then the Near-ish Cards

In a Grand Tableau, you can also consider the cards that are one card away from the Querent as Near, but they are less influential than those directly touching. In this spread, these are as follows:






Step 2

Check the Near Meanings of Both, Noting Any Surrounding Cards

Use the meanings laid out in my Near and Far post NOT the usual ones (although most are very similar, they don’t have the near/far distinction).

Touching Cards:

Anchor:  A successful enterprise at sea, great advantage in trade, and true love

Book: You’ll find out a secret; be careful when trying to resolve it as could be negative. Surrounding cards indicate the secret something good to know, however, or a positive in some way (Bouquet), although will involve misfortune, deceit or sorrow (Snake) and some news (Rider).

Bouquet: Happiness in every respect

One Card Away (Near, but slightly weaker influence)

Snake: Misfortune; deceit, infidelity sorrow. Looking at its surrounding cards, this is connected with the Book, so it appears to relate to the secret mentioned,  although this is something seen as positive, some news (Rider). Beneath the Snake is the Mountain, which indicates it could involve an enemy and the Man, so a male enemy.

Rider: A messenger, news soon or from nearby. The nature of the message, and whether it’s good or bad, can be indicated by the surrounding cards. In this case, those involve the secret learned (Book) which is good news in some way (Bouquet) about love (Heart) but also suggests it’s news of misfortune, sorrow and betrayal (Snake) perhaps around certain enterprises or some unhappy accidents (Stars with Clouds nearby)

Stars: Their closeness  to the Querent would usually indicate good luck in all enterprises. However, notably, next to the Stars is the Man already mentioned, the Mice, which indicates something lost or stolen, although as fairly near, possibly regained, and the dreaded Clouds, which means there could be a series of unhappy accidents related to this. So this could indicate a man stealing something enterprise-wise OR news of losses affecting a man, possibly someone older, as indicated by the  Tower.

Letter: News, likely good news.

Heart: Joy, leading to union and bliss.As this is being touched by the Anchor, this is likely to be long lasting.

Step 3

Identify The Far Cards and Far-ish Cards

For the purposes of this reading, we’ll mainly focus on the cards 5 places away and more.

The furthest cards are:

















Step 4
Check the Far Meanings of Both, Noting Any Surrounding Cards

Again, use the meanings laid out in my Near and Far post.

House: No particular far meaning.

Ship: Great wealth acquired by trade or inheritance.

Lily: No particular meaning, although your moral virtue may be in doubt

Bear: You may need to be careful of the envious


Garden: Watch out for false friends

Storks: A change of home much later

Scythe: You’re unlikely to be attacked yourself

Coffin: Minor illnesses or injuries. As this is next to the Scythe, it could well be a minor injury or accident.


Whip: Possibly some minor strife, which, as it’s next to the Garden, could be with false friends in your social circle.

Ring: n/a. It’s to the right of the Querent so may indicate a happy marriage at some point.

Moon: Grief, misery and pain.

Fish:  The failure of speculations, even if well-planned

Cross: A negative card


Step 5

Check for any extra negative cards and positions and surrounding cards

The Clouds are far enough away not to be too problematic, although the darker side is facing the Querent, so it does look as though there may be some problems, likely with untrustworthy friends (Dog), and possibly an illness (Tower). Again, there are indications of losses or theft (Mice). Although the Crossroads are relatively far away, they are next to the Clouds which means there is likely to be a major problem to deal with. Again, although the Fox is quite far away from our Querent some of the ways of dealing with the problem may turn out to be deceptive or there may seem to be untrustworthy people about.

Step 6

Put it all together to tell a story with the cards

Finally, weave all the information together into a story that makes sense.

In the main, things should be positive for our querent, with, for instance, successful enterprise and  trade, and true love and happiness in all respects. She’ll find out a secret and needs to be careful when trying to resolve it as could be negative, although the surrounding cards indicate it’s something good to know, however, or a positive in some way for her although will involve likely news of misfortune, deceit or sorrow. This is likely to involve a powerful male enemy, and what could be some unhappy accidents with certain enterprises. Although she should have good luck with her enterprises, she could find out this man has stolen something from her, although it’s likely to be regained, and experience some bad luck. It could be that she’ll receive news of losses affecting this man, who is possibly someone older or senior. Again, it does seem as if there is good news coming for her, as well as a long-lasting love, so perhaps it is a positive in some way. She is likely to gain great wealth, either through trade or inheritance, although should watch out for the envious, as well as false friends in general who could cause some strife or unhappiness. in her social circle. Any illnesses or injuries should be minor and they shouldn’t impact her too much. A change of abode is indicated but further into the future. She could have some problems to deal with connected with the theft mentioned earlier, and should be careful in choosing her means to deal with the problem, as there could be further deceptions or untrustworthiness about.


Do You Need More Guidance?

Go to my Lenormand Tips page for more tips about common issues and problems.

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