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Lenormand Cards vs. Tarot Cards — What is the Lenormand divination system?

Posted by Esra Dagtekin on

You may have noticed I provide not only goodies for Tarot divination, but also several card designs of something called Lenormand. To put it blunt, Lenormand is not Tarot! Instead, both are a species of divination cards, with their own unique systems. If you're curious to learn more, this blog post is your one-stop resource for what Lenormand is, what's its divination style, when it may be preferable to Tarot, and many helpful sources —  including a Lenormand Guidebook download link!

What is Lenormand?

Lenormand is a relatively younger divination system, but it already dates back to the late 1800s! Until now it's been rather narrow niche system in a few European countries, passed down mostly by tongue. With its translation to English, its popularity began rising, only escalating year after year!

Upon first impression, experienced Tarot readers might be somewhat skeptical and dismissive of the Lenormand deck's capability for detailed readings, often mislead by its compact number of 36 cards and minimalistic style. But don't judge a Lenormand by Tarot! 

The cards' visuals are very direct —  the Dog card features a dog, Key features a key and so forth! Their meanings are also less about a deeper spiritual narrative and more about few, but very specific keywords  — such as loyalty, following, obedience and support for the Dog.

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Lenormand Divination Style and Language

  • Lenormand cards don't have reversals. They combine their neutral, positive and negative meanings, leaving the interpretation up to the reader's intuition.
  • Lenormand cards focus heavily on the combinations between themselves. For example, the Dog and the Key can talk about 'opening up to a friend' or 'discovering something new about a friend'. Just a two card combination out of the 36 creates more than a thousand unique meanings! Thus spreads and positions don't play much role in Lenormand.
  • Its visual language focused on few keywords is designed to be quick and direct. At a glance, an experienced Lenormand reader doesn't need much time and effort to interpret the combinations.
  • While Tarot deals with a wide range of feelings, thematic tropes, behavior and spirituality, Lenormand can show a variety of specific places, situations and people!

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When to choose Lenormand over Tarot?

If you're someone who is more of a 'logical' think than an 'imaginative' one, the Lenormand cards are an amazing fit for you. Lenormand is a lot less 'story telling' than Tarot and more, well, plain 'telling' . A combination of cards from left to right can be read like a sentence.

If you're an impatient reader, or whenever you need a quick-and-dirty answer, this sentence-like reading, direct visuals and specific keywords as mentioned above can be even more intuitive and, most importantly, fast! Even more facilitating its on-the-go convenience, Lenormand cards are smaller and lesser in number, so they're that much travel-friendly and easier to carry in a purse.

The variety of details Lenormand can communicate makes it somewhat superior to Tarot when asking about the future. It's better at answering 'what' and 'where' questions rather than 'how' or 'why'. While Tarot offers a lot of analysis and potential for diving deeper and deeper into the source of things. For this reason, some esoteric practitioners find Lenormand more intimidating, but don't forget that divinations tell us merely the likely possibilities with the intention of preparing, advising and guiding us to a better outcome.

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Post Scriptum

At the end of the day, it's not a competition. Lenormand and Tarot are both tools for clarity and spiritual self-care. There's no reason one can't practice both  — or even use both in the same reading, like some people combine Tarot with Runes.

Why not start with one of the seven Lenormand decks I designed here! Also, get a quick-and-dirty guidebook I put together down below. I hope you're inspired to continue practicing divination in new and exciting ways.

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