The Old Style Lenormand “Attitude Check”

I recently acquired the Old Style Lenormand Fortune Telling Cards and ran the deck through my “New Lenormand Deck Attitude Check.” This is my Lenormand version of a “deck interview” reading, in which I let the cards tell me their intentions. I’m usually not one to ascribe unique “personality” to decks since I think what we experience as human qualities is merely the emotional reaction the images invoke in ourselves, like a reflection in a mirror; but this makes for an intriguing exercise.

As I have in the past, I chose the Gentleman for the Significator to represent myself as the user. The Gentleman appeared in the third pile of the initial layout as the 22nd card in the draw. There were five cards immediately on top of it in the third pile and nine cards in the pile to its right, for a total of 14 conjectural, future-oriented cards. There were three cards immediately beneath it in the third pile, with 18 cards in the two piles to its left, for a total of 21 factual, past-oriented cards. The implication is that the deck will be two-thirds more likely to dwell on the well-established and less motivational aspects of a situation at the expense of the more creative, improvisational elements. Of the 14 “future” cards, 11 (including the Lady) were neutral, two were positive and one was negative, suggesting that the deck’s predictions will be unexceptional in terms of situational bias. Of the 21 “past” cards, 8 were neutral, 6 were positive and 7 were negative, once again reflecting an even-handed disposition. The deck will be neither overly optimistic nor excessively pessimistic in its pronouncements, which is exactly what I want.


In the 36-card second phase of the analysis, I broke with past practice and placed the future cards to the right and above the Significator and the past cards to the left and below. The cards in the top row were therefore considered to be “to the right” of everything that was on their left or beneath them (as the cards were initially pulled), and those in the bottom two rows were flagged as being “to the left” of everything that was on their right or above them. The orientation of the “above-and-below” cards in the Gentleman’s pile, translated into “left or right” terms, was as you see it. The Bear was the first card drawn and the Scythe was the last one. The Gentleman was fairly well-centered in the past/future alignment and the cards to his right in the row were generally upbeat, indicating a balanced perspective with a positive inflection. (Note that I’m not treating this as a Grand Tableau, just as a visual array for sequencing purposes.)


Regarding the various positional relationships described in the spread guidance, the assumptions about card interaction are my own and are not based on any historical interpretive model; generally, cards to the right and above are more progressive and those to the left and below are more regressive in their action, one “pushing the envelope” and the other “holding the line.” Think of one as a “liberal,” open-ended attitude and the other as markedly “conservative” in its expression.

The Bear and the Fish are both to the left of and below the Child, so there should be no pronounced tendency for exaggeration; on the other hand, the Mountain is both above and to the right of the Mice, countering that moderate stance by sometimes “making mountains out of mole-hills;” Bouquet, Clover and Stars are to the right of the Rider, conferring a predilection for “accentuating the positive,” but this is offset by the more reserved testimony of the Sun and Key to the Rider’s left and the critically incisive Scythe to its right, returning everything to center; The Ring and the Dog are both above and to the right of the Heart, implying that the deck will be a “boon companion,” especially when reading for other people; the Clouds is to the left of the Book (receding in its inherent confusion) and the Garden is to its right, signifying that the deck’s wisdom will be readily accessible; of the negative cards Clouds, Snake, Fox, Whip, Cross and Coffin, only the Snake is to the right of the Significator, so there should be little problem getting straight answers out of the deck as long as a little care is exercised. (“Beware the forked tongue.”) The Gentleman’s row portends that I will be well-favored if I bring this deck with me to public sessions, as long as I (at least figuratively) leave that Fox at home and don’t try to get too clever with my observations, while the Scythe coming after the Snake tells me that I will know when “enough is enough” if things start to get too convoluted in any reading I do with these cards.

Overall, this deck has a comfortable feel to it, both in its pleasantly familiar imagery and in the impressions derived from this reading. I think I will enjoy working with it.

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