Working with your Lenormand Cards

Lenormand's humble beginnings

Lenormand cards were created by a German game designer (Johann Kaspar Hechtel) in 1799 as part of the Game of Hope. The deck was then made famous by a French woman (Marie Anne Lenormand in the 1800s. For this reason, variation of card definitions have developed over time, which includes both a German and a French influence.
Playful Lenormand card meanings are based on the original Game of Hope card definitions and they will provide a strong foundation for you to build on. Once you get to know the card meanings, it’s important to keep in mind that everyone has their own field of reference and this can add another layer to a reading. For example, a person with an Irish background may relate a card such as the ‘Clover’ to Ireland, home or an Irish person. Someone who has had a career in the navy could relate the ‘Ship’ card to their workplace.
The better you know your cards, the more you will get a ‘feel’ for them, which will strengthen your intuition or ‘gut feeling’.

How do card readings work?

Have you ever used a GPS in a vehicle? A GPS needs to connect with at least 4 satellites that are orbiting in the earth’s atmosphere. You can’t see these connections or the information that is being exchanged between sources however the activity is validated by the driver turning up at the correct address.
Card readings work in a similar fashion. Experiences and information are contained in a person’s energy field (aura) and energy centres (chakras) and although this energy can’t be seen by the naked eye, this is the information that is accessed during a card, medium or psychic reading.
Our FUTURE contains INFINITE POTENTIALS and we are not destined or committed to one single path. A card reader merely identifies the strongest potential at the time of the reading. The most likely potential is stored as information in a person’s energy field and is based on their current lifestyle choices and relationships. Fortunately, if we do not like our current path or situation, we all possess FREE WILL and the ability to make other choices. 


Card Definitions

  1. Rider – (good) news, movement, verbal message, the ‘go for it’ card.
  2. Clover – luck, good outcome, vegetative, time; short, not rushing, ‘let the grass grow over it’
  3. Ship – travel, distance, change; also – commit to steering a course
  4. House – stability, home, family, sense of identity and security, also a character card
  5. Tree – health, life, roots and crown, time = it will take a while
  6. Clouds – lack of clarity, unresolved problems, clouded judgement, also; birds eye view, ‘on cloud nine’
  7. Snake – natural instincts, seduction or upward development, wisdom, healing, transformation, shedding one’s skin (identity) to make way for new growth
  8. Coffin – , (active) ending, letting go, saying goodbye, putting a problem to bed, but also health challenges
  9. Flowers – a gift, invitation, satisfaction, creativity and diversity
  10. Scythe – caution needed, unexpected development, fear, but also harvest, sustainability, reaping what you sow
  11. Whip – conflict, communication, discussion, cleansing, but also repetition
  12. Birds – love and eroticism, freedom, lightness, overview, but also networking
  13. Child – child, new beginnings, curiosity, innocence, small, soon, quick
  14. Fox – cunning, cleverness, but also deceit or self-deception
  15. Bear – boss, older person or official, strength, power, possession, dominance, also a character card
  16. Star – clarity, inspiration, spirituality, one’s own place in the universe, searching & finding
  17. Stork – a change for the better, going on a journey, moving house, flexibility, birth or a desire to have children
  18. Dog – loyalty, friendship, bond, hold on, time = lasting
  19. Tower – ivory tower or watchtower, something prominent, person in position of leadership, loneliness or attentiveness
  20. Garden – openness, meeting, something will become clear, leisure time, community
  21. Mountain – blockade, obstacle, hurdle, diversion; incentive, task, achieving something significant
  22. Paths – decision, choice, several possibilities, one’s own path
  23. Mice – something is nagging, loss, failure; but also kind, resilient
  24. Heart – love, partnerships, but also finding one’s passions
  25. Ring – a bond, relationship, friendship, marriage, also contracts, agreements; round objects, something going in a circle, jewellery, (self-) worth
  26. Book – secret, reserve, unknown, entertainment, education, knowledge, skill
  27. Letter – written message, phone etc. notice, sympathy, need
  28. Gentleman – enquirer or man of one’s dreams
  29. Lady – enquirer or woman of one’s dreams
  30. Lilies – purity, harmony, sexuality, intimacy, true beauty
  31. Sun – warmth, energy, creativity, life-force, dazzling light
  32. Moon – mirror of the soul, feelings, psyche, intuition, also fame and glory, social recognition, but also dreams, life at night
  33. Key – access all areas, solution, fulfilment, key to success, opening doors
  34. Fish – finances, richness, unknown; ‘as happy as a lark’
  35. Anchor – work, calling, standing firm, (self-) awareness, arrival
  36. Cross – fate, karma, crossroads; burden, purpose, following one’s mission in life

Framing the Questions

When asking a question, it’s important to be clear and begin with a positive intention. For example, avoid questions such as “why can’t I get a promotion?” and instead, frame it in a more positive way.
Also, avoid asking “will I get a promotion?” because this requires a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response. The ‘yes’ or ‘no’ approach to a reading is explained further on the following page.
Here is an example of a question with more of a positive tone:
“When I ask for the promotion, what is the likely outcome?”
If a question lacks clarity, it’s possible that the answer revealed in the cards will also appear to be vague.

’Yes’ or ‘No’ Questions

Yes or No questions can be answered by observing the ‘Pips’ on each card (hearts, diamonds, spades, clubs) under the following guidelines:

For example, consider the following question “Will I get the promotion?”

 Rider = heart (yes), Paths and Sun = 2 diamonds (maybe yes x 2). Therefore the outcome is a very likely “yes”.


2-card layout


2-card interpretation example

 Lenormand cards are generally read in a way that tells a story. For example;


The Letter card in first position is the topic and the Heart is the describing card. Therefore the 2-card spread could be interpreted as a love letter, or good news about a loved one. It could also be a romance novel!

The Letter card combined with the Ship could mean an email, letter or text from overseas containing good news.


3-card layout


3-card interpretation example

It’s common for the Tower card to appear when an enquirer asks about their workplace. In the example below, the Tower is the topic. The Ring and Stork cards provide a further description and one possible interpretation is: A new contract in the workplace that brings about a change for the better (or a change in location).

If read as a ‘past, present, future’ layout:

Past – Tower indicates recent focus has been on the workplace

Present – Ring indicates contracts or job offers are currently being discussed or offered.

Future – Stork indicates the contract will bring a change for the better. The Stork also means movement, therefore a job, organisation or location change may be the result.


9-card spread

The 9-card spread can be read in groups of triplets similar to the 3-card spread. Pay attention to the card in the centre as this is the subject that is the central focus. For example, if the Cloud is in the centre of the spread, it could indicate that there is much confusion surrounding the issue. If the Tree is in the centre, the main focus is likely to be the enquirer’s health.

The four corners should be observed to see what is keeping the issue boxed in.

A 9-card spread can also be read as a ‘past, present, future’ layout and the additional cards provide more in-depth detail than the 3-card spread.

Developing your skills

 The development of any skill takes practice and Lenormand card reading is no exception. A great starting point is to keep a journal and at the beginning of each day, ask the question “what will the day bring?” Draw two or three cards and write down your interpretation of the cards. At the end of the day, review your journal and your interpretation. It is common to find alternative answers in the cards once the day’s events have unfolded. This is perfectly fine because this is a great way to broaden your knowledge of card combinations. Keep in mind that answers may appear in your personal life but also sometimes local or world news events. To build up your confidence, practice doing card readings with family and friends.