Inspired by the Keyword Kaleidoscope technique taught by Tali from Tarot Town in her Lenormand Course, I took this one step further and accidentally discovered a really easy way to uncover unique keywords and meanings for any card in tarot, without fail; including reversal-meanings. It immediately cuts to the chase both ways; that is to say, in no time at all you can create your own positive and negative traits for any tarot card.
We begin with two simple triangles to form a grid, placing one on-top of the other to form a six-pointed star. The grid positions are marked in the illustration that follows:
In positions 1,2 & 3 write down existing keywords that apply to the card you are working on, these can be found in most tarot books and deck LWB’s. In my example I am focussing on The Fool card. The commonly-accepted keywords that I have decided to use in these positions are:
Next, in positions A,B & C we are going to create a new keyword by merging existing keywords together. In position ‘A’ link keywords 1 & 2 to create a whole new keyword, one that it ‘born’ as it were from combining the essence of these two keywords.
After thinking about it for a few seconds the word that I came up with by merging ‘excited’ and ‘trusting’ was ‘anticipate.’ It is not difficult to see how ‘anticipate’ easily fits with the energy of ‘excited’ and ‘trusting.’ I write this new word in position ‘A’ on my grid.
Now, do the same for position ‘C’ combining keywords 1 & 3. In my example the new word created from merging ‘excited’ with ‘care-free’ was ‘child.’ Once more, do the same for position ‘B’ on the grid by combining keywords 2 & 3 to form a new keyword that reflects the essence of these two original keywords. In my example the new word born from merging ‘trusting’ and ‘care-free’ is ‘allow.’ Play with it, there are no ‘wrong’ answers, whatever your subconscious mind links by merging two keywords together is what works, for you!
We now have 3 new keywords using Tali’s Kaleidoscope technique, but now we are going to take it one step further to discover shadow keywords that will be useful in reverse-card readings too. These we’ll slot into positions AB, AC and BC.
Using the same technique I consider keywords ‘A’ and ‘B’ to create a new keyword born from merging the two, but this time I allow myself to dwell for a moment on a negative possibility. The first thing that comes to mind when a child waits in anticipation of something that does not come is ‘disappoint.’ This then becomes my ‘shadow’ keyword in position ‘AB’ on the grid. Considering keywords ‘A’ and ‘C’ I decide on ‘relinquish control’ as a shadow meaning, derived at by contemplating a negative effect of ‘anticipate’ and ‘allow.‘ Finally for position ‘BC’ on the grid I consider what negative trait could be born from ‘child’ and ‘allow.’ After a few moments I deciding on over indulge as my shadow word.
AC: Relinquish control
BC: Over indulge
This technique is easy to do and can be applied to all tarot cards. Give it a go, you might surprise yourself with the unique keywords that you discover with this method. Share your discoveries in the comments below, we can all benefit from them!
Something exciting is afoot. After 18 months of treading water, trying to come to grips with how to read Lenormand, I finally experienced my big lightbulb moment! In that moment of clarity everything I had learnt about Lenormand suddenly slotted perfectly into place. I am so excited to share what I have learnt that I started a study group on Facebook called Lenormand Toolbox. If you’re still treading water on your Lennie journey, or if you’re totally new to Lenormand and would like to learn more about it, or even if you’re an ‘old hand’ at it; come join me and a great community of other like-minded Lenormand enthusiasts where you can learn to read Lenormand in 5 EASY STEPS. Absolutely free of charge!
I know what it’s like to stumble and fall, over and over again while trying to learn this fascinating system of European fortune telling. Therefore, if I can share even one little thing with you to make your learning experience easier or less frustrating, I’d happily do it.
For this awakening I credit Mary K. Greer, she was the right teacher at the right time for me. I had enrolled and participated in many Lenormand courses before signing up for her fabulous Le Petit Lenormand Course. All of them were good, yet it was in Mary’s class that the penny finally dropped for me, and now I want to share my insights!
If you would like to learn to read your own cards, or if you’d like to add Lenormand readings as an extra service to your existing tarot practice, hop on over to the Lenormand Toolbox. Looking forward to seeing you there!
If you are anything like me, you too have been wondering how to predict timing, using Lenormand. I may have good news. While this suggested timing method has not yet been tested, it seems to deserve some mention, at least worthy of trying out.
Several highly respected Lenormand readers have ascribed timing to some of the cards, but the problem I have with some of these is (at best) there seems to be a lack of consistency, and (at worst) the information is often conflicting. Flechter for example suggests that the Tree card indicates a period of one year, yet Channah suggests five years for the same card. Besides, I have come to realise that Lenormand rarely looks at events that far into the future; if these were months instead of years I’d probably be more inclined to adopt one of their approaches to timing. Another conflicting timing card is the Coffin; Kirsch says it means ‘forever,’ Flechter says it means ‘eternity’ yet Channah & Treppner suggest that events will take place ‘immediately.’ There are a number of examples where currently available information is either conflicting, confusing (for me) or set in terms of unrealistically long periods of time. I deeply respect their work, and I’m sure that many have been able to use their timing suggestions successfully; sadly I have not yet had the same success. However, timing is always a tricky thing in divination. I do recommend that you examine their timing methods thoroughly though, perhaps you will have more success with these than I have had.
In trying to get a grip on predicting timing in Lenormand, I devised a simple-to-use timing ‘board’ or spread to help me determine the potential timing of an event. This is how it works:
(Click on image for a larger view.)
Remove the following 3 cards from your standard 36-card Lennie deck; Clover, Bouquet and Lily. I chose Clover to represent hours as it traditionally indicates a quick event, quick opportunities that end quickly. I chose Bouquet to indicate the days & weeks as flowers usually blossom in a few weeks; and I chose Lily to represent the month because it indicates maturity, something that might take a little longer.
Divide the remaining deck into 3 equal piles of 11 cards each. Add the Clover card to the first pile, the Bouquet to the 2nd pile and the Lily to the 3rd pile. Shuffle each pile thoroughly. The first pile will be cast on the top row of the spread or casting sheet from 1 to 12 across. The 2nd pile on the second row and the third pile on the third row.
The first row of cards is divided into 12 hours. If Clover lands on the 6th position in that row it means 06h00 or 18h00. The second row is divided into 4 blocks of 3 spaces each, these are the days & weeks. Dates ascribed to the first 3 positions (1st ‘block’) are 1st-7th of the month. The 4th, 5th and 6th position are the second ‘week’, dates ascribed to these positions are 8th-15th of the month. Positions 7, 8 and 9 are ‘week’ three, these dates are 16th-24th of the month, and finally positions 10, 11 and 12 are ‘week’ four, the 25th to 31st of the month. (See diagram.)
If the Bouquet card lands on the 8th position in this second row, it indicates that an event will take place sometime between the 16th and 24th of the month. The fact that this 8th position is squarely in the centre of the 3rd week/block suggests that the date is probably closer to the 20th (the middle of the week.)
The final row symbolises the months of the year, beginning from the month we are currently in (start counting from the month you’re in but don’t include it.) Therefore if the Lily lands in the fourth position of this row in a reading done today the 24th October 2013, it would indicate that the event will take place in February 2014. Being that I’m already in October I allocated the first position to November. (Does that make sense?)
If this was a real reading, the timing information obtained from this method would indicate that the event should take place at 6:00 (am/pm) on February 20th, 2014. Is it accurate? I honestly don’t yet know. I’ll have to try it in real-time situations a few times to determine that. In the meanwhile though, there is no harm in testing this timing method and having fun with it. I hope you’ll give it a try too.
When I first read about the Lenormand Houses I was utterly confused! But, it is actually very simple.
As we already know, there are 36 cards in a traditional Lenormand deck, there are also 36 Houses. The Houses are a kind of ‘foundation’ or spread onto which cards are laid during a reading.
For the purpose of this exercise, lay out your entire deck in consecutive number order from 1 to 36 in a grid as shown in the illustration above. 4 rows of 8 cards plus a final row of 4 cards. Or if you prefer, a 4 x 9 grid. These are called the ‘Houses.’ The Houses are nothing more than fixed assigned positions in the Grand Tableau spread, these add context to the cards that land on them in a reading where cards are usually randomly selected.
Examples: the 28th House (the ‘Man’ card) indicates the position of the male querent (or female querent’s spouse;) and the 34th House (the ‘Fish’ card) indicates the position of money or resources. It is to this position that we will go if we’re looking to glean insight into the querent’s finances. Once we are confident readers we could move around this grid with our eyes to pick out relevant topics for discussion as they relate to the querent’s reading.
Remember the Keywords assigned to each card in my first post – Basic Keywords? These meanings are still applied as before. House # 33 in the grid above is the house of the Key (card 33.) Therefore, it is in this House that we will look for a ‘solution’ to the querent’s question as one of the Key’s keywords is solution. House # 12 is the house of the Birds (card 12,) offering the context of conversation which may be an indication of what needs to be talked about (or who is gossiping about the querent.)
I read an excellent analogy in the Lenormand Cards Study Group on Facebook. It was suggested by Mary K. Greer that the Houses can be seen as a town map depicting the buildings, tourist attractions and places of interest. The cards that land on these houses are seen as the ‘visitors’ to these buildings. P. Williams added that the visitor does not modify the house, rather the house preoccupies (modifies) the visitor. He gave a further analogy saying that we (the visitor) dress and behave appropriately when visiting the opera. So too does the Card behave in accordance with the ‘rules of the House.’ Mary Greer offered an example: The Heart (Card #24) can be temporarily preoccupied by the House of Whip, which could imply a ’50 Shades of Grey’ scenario. 💥😏
Now that we know the card meanings as well as how they apply to the Houses we can start looking at how to read the cards. In short, a Grand Tableau is a large spread using all the cards in a deck. These cards are laid out on top of the Houses. But, before we get to the Grand Tableau we still have a bit of groundwork to do.
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When I started learning Lenormand the first thing I was taught was that I would need to decide on the keywords (card meanings) for each of the 36 cards in the deck. As someone relatively new to this journey I have settled on a few basic keywords from which I can begin.
My keywords are derived from traditional meanings, and in some cases I have opted to go with the ‘French tradition’ rather than the German (eg: I use Fox to mean employment and Whip to mean sex.) My list is very minimalistic, but for now this is all I will need to begin reading Lenormand. (I suggest you decide on your own meanings for the cards.)
Updated: I will keep adding keywords to the list so that it becomes a valuable resource for anyone learning Lenormand. (Source: Lenormand Cards Study Group on Facebook)
1. Rider – Messenger, News, Visitor, Speed, A mode of transport, Physically fit, Athletic, Forward motion (moving forward), Delivery
2. Clover – Luck, Small, Quick, Optimistic, Easy going, Carefree, A risk taker, willing to take a Gamble, Herbs, Grass, Serendipity
3. Ship – Travel, Adventure, International, Long-distance, Foreign, mode of Transportation, Movement, Transition, Transfer, Distant
4. House – Home, People in immediate environment, Security, Possessions, Comfort, Property, Real estate, Small building, Environment, Householder, Landlord/Realtor, Ownership
5. Tree – Health, Ancestry, Grounding, Enduring, Boredom
6. Clouds – Uncertainty, Doubt, Troubles, Ambiguity, Ex-partner, Confusion, Negativity, Bad Weather, Depression,
7. Snake – Deception, Libido, Betrayal, Duplicity, Spiteful, Treachery, A rival, Twisted roads and paths, Detours, a River, a Woman, sometimes an Older Woman, Plot, hidden Poison, Venomous, Hypocrisy, Lesbian partner, Complications, Wise Woman
8. Coffin – Death, Confinement, Box, Endings, Sickness, Bankruptcy, a bad Scare, Grief, Transformations and new beginnings, Black
9. Bouquet – Gift, Appreciation, Beauty, Charm, Pleasant, A nice surprise, A likeable woman, Female relatives esp. beautiful, gracious, artistic women. Invitation, Pleasure
10. Scythe – Sharp, Cutting, Sudden, Danger, Aggression, Cruelty, Pain, Sharp objects, Accidents, Surgery, Division, Accelerating, Hostile, Harvest (away from the blade), Big Peril, Sudden decisions, Severance, Unpleasant surprise, Critical
11. Whip – ‘Athletic’ Sex, Repetition, Quarrel, Strife, Decision, Speech and language, Controversy, Heated discussions, Arguments, Separation, The number 2 – or 2 of something, Chronics pains, Threats, Abuse, Sports, Physical attraction, Addiction, Passion, Competition, Stimulated, Agitated, Disrupted, Activities, Discord, Any repetitive action e.g: Dance, Exercise, Handwriting
12. Birds – Conversation, A couple, Phone calls, Communication, Gossip, Stress, Nerves, Anxiety, Worries, Annoyance, 2 of something, Siblings, Sales, Negotiation, Interview, date, Wifi, Therapy, Counselling, Buzz
13. Child – Innocence, Beginning, Trust, Friendliness, A little bit of something, a Child, Immature, Small
14. Fox – Employment, Shrewd, Clever, Wrong, Deceitful, Treachery (often in the workplace,) Fraud (or theft,) Quickness, Quick witted, Dishonest, Intelligent, Smart, Red, Strawberry blonde, Slippery, Slick, Trickery, Mask, Undercover, Sly, Fast-thinking, Camouflaged, Trouble-maker, Employee, A detective, A spy, A con artist, Witty, Street smart, (could be a) Police station, Cunning, Sexy (foxy), Resourceful, Hunt, False
15. Bear – Boss, Maternal, Weighty, Power, Strength, Force, An official (judge, customs officer, police officer, boss, etc.) Management, Nutrition & diet, Protection, Salary, Large, Parental, Envious, Jealous, Overbearing
16. Stars – Internet, Wishes/Desires, Spirituality, Navigation, Reach-for-the-skies, Clarity, Astuteness, Hopes, (can sometimes refer to) Psychic talents, Night, Cold places, North, A new path, GPS system, Guiding, Healing, Cosmic, Intuition
17. Stork – Delivery, Change, Pregnancy/Birth (Midwife,) Relocation, Movement, Moving house, A nice woman (with a child), Renovation, Delivery of something concrete (as a opposed to a message or news), Return, Improvement, Promotion, Tall & thin
18. Dog – Loyal, Friend, Companion, Friendship, Trust, (usually, but not always) a Man, a Dog or other pet, Devotion, Acceptance, Playfulness, Unconditional, Fidelity, Lover/Soulmate
19. Tower – Authority, Rules, Bureaucracy, Dogma, Official, Limitations, Borders, Loneliness, Arrogance, A tall building, A tall person, Separation and divorce, Independence, Ambition, Government, The civil service, A large corporation, Isolation, Ego, Confinement, Imprisonment, Guidance, Protection, Schools, Law, Higher education, High self esteem, Conglomeration, Chain stores, Franchises
20. Garden – Public, Gathering, Networking, Public places, Society, Entertainment, Meetings, Parties, Outdoors, Facebook(ing), Marketing, Public Relations, Audience, Publicity, the Masses
21. Mountain – Obstacle, Enemy, Challenge, Delays, Barriers, Blockages, Coldness A formidable enemy, (can refer to) actual Mountains and mountainous terrain, Resistance, Loneliness, Restriction, Procrastination, Slow, Stubborn, Stagnant, Far and remote
22. Crossroad – Choice, Decision, Two-faced, Split, Forked, Dual, Alternatives, 2 of something, (sometimes a) Female rival/friend, Dual personality, (leading a) Double life, Infidelity, Back-and-forth, Quandary, Multiple, Escape
23. Mice – Vermin, Loss, Theft, Waste, Erosion, Parasites, Infectious illnesses, Worry, Stress, (sometimes) Teamwork (or working in a systematic product line i.e: the treadmill), Gnawing, (can be) Chemo in cases of illness (i.e: Mice + Tree)
24. Heart – Love, Passion, Courage, Love affairs, Affection, Relationships, Feelings/Emotions, (sometimes) Flirtation, Joy, Attraction
25. Ring – Commitment, Eternal, Cyclical, Contract, Promise, Relationships, Connections, Partnerships, Business contracts, Marriage, Engagement (or other partnership of long duration,) A never-ending situation, (an actual) Ring or other jewellery
26. Book – Knowledge, Study, Secrets, Education, (an actual) Book, Documents & paperwork, Writing and publishing, a Project, Research, Investigation, Esoteric mysteries
27. Letter – Written communication, Record, Messages, Documents, Certificate, Report card, Medical results (esp with Tree), a Cheque (esp with Fish), a Bill or an invoice, a Menu (esp with Fish or Clover)
28. Man – Male querent, Spouse, Masculinity, Analytical
29. Woman – Female querent, Spouse, Femininity
30. Lily – Maturity, Purity, Ageing, Quiet, Sexuality, Harmony, the Family, A man – often older & of stable temperament, The Father, (sometimes a) Patron, Doctor, Relative, Support, Socialism and social welfare, (an older) Lover, Snow, Frost, Winter, White, Peace, Wisdom, Grandparents, Aunts or uncles, Salt-and-pepper hair, (something that takes a) Long time, Gestation period, Investment, Contentment, Retirement, Morality, Making love (familiar, every-day sex), Serenity
31. Sun – Success, Illuminating, Exposure, Luck, Good fortune, Warmth, Confidence, Brilliance, Energy, Security, Light, Electricity, Heat (and hot places,) South
32. Moon – Fame, Recognition, Dreams, Reflective, Emotions, Creativity, Fame, Honour, (sometimes) talent in Esoteric fields, Evening, Dark places, Romance, Intimate situations, Psychic ability, Advertising, the Reproductive system, the Womb, Intuition, Reputation
33. Key – Solution, Yes, Access, Security, Mastery, Certainty, Great talent
34. Fish – Money, Flow, Resources, Prosperity, Abundance, Financial matters, a Businessman, Water, Alcohol (and other liquid substances,) (sometimes actual) Fish, and those who work on or near the sea, Food, ‘Liquid’ assets, Self-employed, Entrepreneur, Fertility, Addiction
35. Anchor – Stability, Grounded, Fixed, Commitment, (can be) Work/Career, the Seaside, reaching your Destination, reaching your Goal, Persistence, Reliable, Strong support, Beach, Port
36. Cross – End, Sorrow, Karma, Religion, Burden, Hardship, Suffering, Grief, Pain, a Test or Challenge, Destiny, (can be a) Religious person (esp if before Man/Woman card)
Follow my adventures as I journal about the process of learning Lenormand. A system of fortune-telling that has confused me for long enough. I am determined to consolidate what I have learnt and to push the boundaries further in this new series on Tarot Taxi, JbR’s Lenormand Journal.
Let’s learn together, I welcome your comments, questions and experience.
Onward and upward! JbR xxx