More than 200 years old, the 36 Lenormand cards are an oracle combining standard playing cards with images from the everyday world, such as key, book, animals, and flowers. Their simple, predictive, and non-esoteric nature opens the realm of fortune-telling to all, offering a traditional cartomantic divination where card combinations fuse together to give clear answers.
In this complete guide to Lenormand card reading, Caitlín Matthews explains the multiple meanings for each card, providing keywords so the reader can quickly build an interpretive vocabulary for Lenormand fortune-telling. She details how to lay spreads, starting with 3 or 5 cards and building to the Grand Tableau spread, which uses all 36 cards. She explores the significance of the playing card pips and suits on each card and how cards combine to create a variety of meanings. Matthews enables readers to learn the Lenormand card keywords so they can both read for themselves and express their interpretations to clients. Providing real case histories for readers to interpret, she also includes self-tests and practice exercises with answers to check at the end of the book.
In addition to her comprehensive practical introduction to the Lenormand oracle, Matthews delves deeply into the history of cartomancy to reveal the mythic blueprint that underlies this simple deck, the key to which lies not in their imagery but in their connection to playing cards.
Caitlín Matthews is internationally renowned for her research into the Celtic and ancestral traditions. She is the author of 36 books, including The Celtic Tradition, The Encyclopedia of Celtic Wisdom, and Sophia: Goddess of Wisdom. She is co-founder of the Foundation for Inspirational and Oracular Studies, which is dedicated to oral, shamanic, and sacred arts. Caitlin Matthews has a shamanic practice in Oxford, England, and teaches worldwide.
“Anyone interested in Lenormand--beginner or seasoned reader--will find this book essential reading. It is wise, wonderfully structured, and written in a voice that makes one feel as though the author is sitting at your side, offering inspired advice and support. Here is a guidebook to not only the Lenormand world but also the symbolic, storied, readable world around us.”
– Ari Berk, Ph.D., professor of folklore and mythology at Central Michigan University
“An outstanding, definitive handbook for both beginners and experienced readers that gives a ‘big picture’ view of the Lenormand deck! Caitlín starts where most others leave off, exploring the original cartomantic tradition and combining it with modern techniques connected to those roots. As someone who appreciates the classic wisdom of the Grand Tableau, I’m so happy to see it taught this well, step by step, so anyone can use it.”
– Mary K. Greer, author of 21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card
“This book is a sublime source that will provide handy inspiration for anyone interested in the Petit Lenormand cards. The content will satisfy the novice, the journeyman, and the expert alike. Essential for your shelf!”
– Björn Meuris, creator of the courses Lenormand for Beginners
“The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook by Caitlín Matthews is a wonderfully comprehensive and practical Lenormand guide. Matthews does a thorough job of presenting the history of the oracle to give the reader a solid sense of the deck’s development over the centuries. Matthews has created an inspirational manual for Lenormand that can be a companion to readers at all stages of their cartomantic career.”
– Anastasia Haysler, cofounder of Tarot Media Company
“Caitlín Matthews brings a unique perspective to this wonderful book on Lenormand cartomancy. She is both a scholar and a shaman/magician, and at the highest level of both. Whether describing the symbols and techniques or the deeper levels of cartomancy, she is warm, witty, and always clear. This book is above all useful, especially in its exploration of the playing card symbols in the corners of the cards and the ways the Lenormand deck can open to deeper, even archetypal meanings without abandoning the tradition. This is a book I will come back to again and again.”
– Rachel Pollack, co-creator of The Burning Serpent Oracle
“Wide in its scope and detailed in its depth, this is the go-to book for the Lenormand novice and expert alike. Crammed with knowledge and insight, examples and exercises, Matthews has created that rare beast: a clear and well-structured manual to navigate the paradox of simplicity and complexity that is the Lenormand Oracle.”
– Alison Cross, joint chair of the Tarot Association of the British Isles (TABI)
“Caitlín’s historical insight, exceptional practical instruction, and groundbreaking revelations of the ‘Lenormand Universe’ will ensure this book becomes a guiding light in the global Lenormand community for readers, students, and teachers in the twenty-first century.”
– Linda Henery, president Tarot Guild of Australia