[Part 1] The Grand Lenormand (…in rough translation)

[Part 1] – [Part 2][Part 3]

Finding information in English on the unique deck known as “The Astro Mythological (Grand Jeu) of Mlle. Lenormand” is quite difficult. However there are several books out from France that do cover this particular (and peculiar) deck. I’ve decided to put my decades old minor in French to the test to try and render a passable translation of one of the more popular books out there on this subject: Le Livre du Grand Jeu de Mlle. Lenormand; Les 54 cartes et leurs definitions – Des methodes de tirage simplifiees” by Jean Didier. You can get both the deck and the book from Amazon.fr (the French version of Amazon.com).GrandLenormandCovers

[Note: Text in brackets are my personal notations and are not present in the book]

[Front Cover]
[title] The book of the large deck of Ms. Lenormand
[subtitle] The 54 cards an their meanings
(and) Simple Methods for divination
(by) Jean Didier
(publisher) Editions Trajectoir


Marie-Anne Adelaide Lenormand, born in Alencon, Normandy in 1772, was the greatest clairvoyant of her time. She notably predicted the tragic end to Marat and Robespierre. Napoleon Bonaparte was equally in her consultations and now knew that she exercised a great influence on Josephine de Beauharnais. The deck that she created “Le Grand Jeu de Mlle. Lenormand” permitted a subjective interpretation of the planetary “salon” cards.

Today much utilized in professional clairvoyant consultations, the deck has made a place for itself, rich with interpretations. Appearing to be of hermetic knowledge and complicated by the number of subjects on each card, the deck becomes simple and logical once all of the elements are explained in detail and in a clear, easy language.

I ask you to take some time to review each card, one by one, where you may discover the secrets each figure represents on each card.

When finished, the interpretations given in the following pages are instructive and important, but equally made to serve as guidelines.

You will find, like other divinatory decks, you will learn appropriate interpretations combined with your own intuition.

Using the large deck

The large deck contains 54 cards: 2 represent consultants (Male/Female), 52 are divided into 5 categories.

The Golden Fleece – Representing commerce/business, contains 6 cards: 10 of Diamonds, 9 of Diamonds, King of Clubs, 4 of Diamonds, Ace of Clubs, 9 of Clubs.

The War of Troy – Representing strength over weakness, contains 9 cards: 5 of Clubs, 2 of Spades, Jack of Diamonds, 10 of Clubs, 9 of Spades, 6 of Clubs, 6 of Spades, 8 of Spades, Queen of Diamonds

The Hermetic Science [Alchemy?] – Representing marriage, contains 7 cards: 7 of Spades, 3 of Clubs, 4 of Clubs, 8 of Clubs, 6 of Hearts, 7 of Hearts, 10 of Hearts

The Unforeseen – [apparently self-explanatory], contains 19 cards: 2 of Clubs, Jack of Clubs, 7 of Diamonds, 8 of Hearts, 3 of Hearts, 6 of Diamonds, 2 of Hearts, King of Diamonds, Queen of Spades, 3 of Spades, 4 of Spades, Queen of Clubs, 5 of Hearts, 10 of Spades, Ace of Hearts, 2 of Diamonds, Ace of Diamonds, King of Hearts, King of Spades

The Order of Time – Representing the signs of the Zodiac, contains 12 cards: Jack of Hearts, Ace of Spades, 3 of Diamonds, 9 of Clubs, 9 of Hearts, Queen of Hearts, Jack of Spades, 5 of Diamonds, 5 of Spades, 7 of Clubs, 8 of Diamonds, 4 of Hearts

Note – the 9 of Clubs exists in two groups; The Golden Fleece and The Order of Time.

Table of Zodiac signs & Time values [months, days, weeks, whatever]:

Jack of Hearts, Aries, 3
Ace of Spades, Taurus, 6
3 of Diamonds, Gemini, 9
9 of Clubs, Cancer, 12
9 of Hearts, Leo, 15
Queen of Hearts, Virgo, 18
Jack of Spades, Libra, 21
5 of Diamonds, Scorpio, 24
5 of Spades, Sagittarius, 27
7 of Clubs, Capricorn, 30
8 of Diamonds, Aquarius, 33
4 of Hearts, Pisces, 36

An event that is signified by these cards will be realized in the given time frame, for example, with the 7 of clubs: Capricorn announces something happening in either 3 or 30 days.

[I created the following picture to help illustrate the next bit of text – this image is not in the book]

Each card carries about a number of supplemental indications/interpretations.

  1. Upper Left = An image of the classic “poker” card face
  2. Upper Middle = A constellation which announces a clear way for certain events
  3. Upper Right = A letter of the alphabet which qualifies/clarifies the card meaning
  4. Center = the principle subject which gives a general interpretation of the card by the scene it presents.
  5. Bottom Left = The left-subject, which gives more precision in the reading regarding the card to left side of this card.
  6. Bottom Middle = A floral arrangement, which speaks to the creativity and sentiments of the consultant [also see “The Language of Flowers” – a very Victorian-era means of communication]
  7. Bottom Right = The right-subject, which gives more precision in the reading regarding the card to the right side of this card.

A Simple Spread: The Triangle [and how the bottom corner images relate to one another]

Shuffle the cards well while concentrating on a precise question. Cut the deck and place it face down on the table in front of you and draw three cards:

  1. The forces acting on the object in question
  2. Gives an idea toward near future events and may also suggest an attitude to face the question with confidence
  3. Possible final (long term) outcome concerning the question.

[Note how the lower scenes are only read against other neighboring lower scenes. This spread is described in the last pages of the book, but I think it’s helpful to present it early to illustrate how the small corner images are interpreted in a reading.]

[End Translation]

In my next post I will begin presenting the cards one-by-one, by suit, as they are given in the book. I may try to include several cards in one post, but I’ll have to experiment and see how quickly I can render the translations. Thank you for your patience, and I hope someone will find the information useful. Enjoy!

[Part 1] – [Part 2] – [Part 3]


[Part 1] The Grand Lenormand (…in rough translation) — 5 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for all your efforts here……. I’m truly appreciative because I realize, as I’m sure you do, that you are the only available source, including books, that offers an opportunity to learn this deck in the English language. I can already see that there are many of us who can’t thank you enough.

  2. Mme Lenormand did not create these cards: she used the tarot and piquet packs. These were designed shortly after her death by the author of a set of books on divination, who used her name for publicity: her huge funeral had been in all the papers!
    The symbol under the B is taken from geomancy (see Wikipedia) There are 16 geomantic symbols, of which only 15 are used on some of the cards.
    The meanings for the constellations have no apparent connection to traditional astrology, or even their names, and the diagrams bear no relation to the actual stars!

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