Interpreting the Lenormand Cards
Some divination decks have both a right-side-up and an upside-down meaning for each card. The Tarot is like this, although some Tarot readers just don’t do reversals. The Lenormand cards do not have a reversed meaning to them. What you see is what you get, and turning the Road, the Mice, or the Mountain card upside-down will not change their meaning one iota, although there could be innovators out there.
Some of the more traditional Lenormand decks, particularly those designed in the nineteenth century, will also feature a small image from the standard playing card deck. Even modern decks like Ciro Marchetti’s Gilded Reverie and Caitlin Matthews’ Enchanted Lenormand will include these referents. These playing-card references add additional meaning to the Lenormand card on which they appear.
For example, the western playing card which appears on The Ring card is the Ace of Clubs. I will address the divinatory aspects of the standard western playing cards in a future blog entry, but for now let me just state that Aces are beginnings, and Clubs are about communications, business, and the like. So whatever agreement The Ring card represents, the Ace of Clubs suggests the agreement represented by The Ring card is going to initiate a change in how the inquirer fundamentally interacts and communicates with the world. The first card in the Lenormand deck, The Rider, is affiliated with the Nine of Hearts. Nines are endings and Hearts are emotions. Thus, the message indicated by The Rider card suggests the inquirer may need to accept an emotional ending of some sort in response to the message.
Some card readers also like to employ the Lenormand deck as a set of ‘clarifier’ cards, for those readings when they want to further define the meaning of a particular card or cards in a reading. Clarifier cards are usually drawn from a different deck of cards than the deck being primarily used.
Certain pairings of the Lenormand cards have special meanings attached to them, and sometimes these pairings can make an otherwise-negative card positive, or an otherwise-positive card, negative. Because it is a rather lengthy list, I am including it here as a separate PDF attachment, which you may download and peruse at your leisure. Most books on the Lenormand deck will include extensive lists of meanings for such pairings as well.