Lenormand General Reading?


March 3, 2008 by Art of Cartomancy

lady.pngYesterday I took my Lenormand Oracle cards with me to a friend’s house with the hope of doing some practice readings for people I don’t know very well, and I had an unexpected request.  One of the girls was not interested in asking a specific question, but instead wanted just a general outlook on what was going on in her life. 

I was stumped at first, because I have never tried just a general reading with the Lenormand.  I’m accustomed to choosing a Key Card to focus on a specific question or concern.  I decided to charge card 29 The Woman to represent the girl, and then pull a ‘No Layout’ spread to see what general influences were affecting her life at present. 

The reading turned out well, but it was focused mainly on the girl and her personality, which was not really what the querent wanted to know.  The girl confirmed that the information was accurate, but I had the sense that she was a little disappointed with the narrow scope of the reading. 

This experience got me thinking that I need to have a layout at my disposal that I can use for querents who simply want general information about what is going on in their lives. It occurred to me that such a layout, in combination with the ‘No Layout’ spread for answering specific questions, could provide a very detailed look at what’s going on in the querent’s life.  If I ever decide to offer my readings at a professional level, I’m convinced that I would need more than just the ability to answer specific queries.

I’m going to search the internet today to see if I can find a suitable layout to use with the Lenormand Oracle Cards for reading general trends in a querent’s life.  I suppose any layout could be adapted to the Lenormand, but I want to remain as pure as possible to the oracle, and perhaps find a spread traditional to the Lenormand cards. 

I’m reluctant to try the traditional ‘Grand Tableau’ or ‘Classic Lenormand Spread’ that Sylvie mentions in her book.  It utilizes all 36 cards, and requires interpreting complex groupings and combinations that I don’t think I’m ready to tackle yet.  I’m looking for something fast and dirty, and short and sweet, but using more than just 3 or 4 cards.  When I find something suitable, I’ll post a practice reading on myself using the general spread before I try it out on any unsuspecting victims.  🙂


11 thoughts on “Lenormand General Reading?

  1. spiritsong says:

    Look forward to seeing what you found;
    you know, you could always do a series of the no layout spread to get different nuances-

    I have a couple of spreads for playing cards, that would probably work well for this type of thing- I’ll pm you when I find them 🙂


  2. Aristede says:

    Hi SpiritSong,

    Thank you, I would love to see your playing card spreads. I’ve been working with Regina Russell’s The Card Reader’s Handbook for the playing cards, but her spreads don’t seem well suited for the Lenormand.

    I don’t think a series of ‘No Layout’ spreads would have worked in this case. I suspect that the girl may have felt a little uncomfortable about asking specific questions, and preferred to have me (the oracle) broach the subject of whatever she really wanted to know about. Unfortunately, I don’t think I was able to provide the answers she was seeking.

    I wonder if professional readers experience this phenomena often?


  3. stormy says:

    hello there aristede..
    love your daily musings..why don’t you try the grand tableux and see how you react to it..:)
    it should give you a flavour of matters of general interest– transposing the no layout on the tableux can be done– just look at the cards left and right of the key cards– i’ve done it and it is quite revealing lol!! more than i care to elaborate on– do try– i’d love to see what you come up with–

  4. Aristede says:

    Hi Stormy,

    In all honesty, I’m a bit intimidated by the Grand tableux. When I look at that many cards, my mind freezes up! 🙂

    I had not thought of looking at it as an expanded ‘No layout,’ and that idea does relieve some of the stress I feel about trying it.

    I had understood that the cards in the Grand Tableux should be read vertically and diagonally as well as horizontally, and that the location of the consultant cards are of prime importance, and that moving left and down is read as the past, and right and up is future, etc., etc., etc.

    I guess that’s what put me off originally. But I will try it your way to see how it works for me.


  5. stormy says:

    ahhh– i see– well adaptation is the key–
    technically on the 9×4 layout– still the focus are on the key cards- but it is better to keep it simple– right– i know i do– so i only check the immediate stuff and sylvie’s technique– works a treat-

    although i did learn the traditional method as well– it is dead easy– hone in to the key cards first– the rest is just gossip/ white noise :)– like everyday life– mundane stuff–

    i’ll do a reading for you when you ready for it– 🙂

  6. Aristede says:

    Hi Stormy,

    Thank you, that would be very cool!

    I really appreciate your input. After thinking about it, I realized that using the large layout in this way would not be so different from one of Sylvie’s multi-level No layout spreads, which I suppose could end up using the whole deck.

    I’m going to play with this idea and let you know how I do with it. In the mean time, I did find a smaller spread that I want to try too, and if I get the chance, I’ll post something about it tomorrow.


  7. spiritsong says:

    I like Stormy’s idea of approaching it that way; I was wondering about that myself, but hadn’t taken the leap yet!
    I think I will have to try that too-
    Thanks Stormy 🙂


  8. stormy says:

    avec pleasure’ gang 🙂

  9. Phoenix Rising says:

    Maybe one of us will be brave enough and post it somewhere on the forum or blog, using the grand tableux, maybe once we’ve gone through enough of the case studies, Sylvie may go through the big one with us…just for traditions sake.


  10. Aristede says:

    Hi Phoenix,

    I agree, it would be great if Sylvie could expand on the No Layout Spread even more in the workshop. I would be very interested to learn how she reads the Grand Tableux.

    I’ve been waiting to see who will be brave enough to begin offering readings on AT with Sylvie’s method besides just the “One Card One Sentence” and “One Above Me One Below Me” threads.

    I think it should be you, Phoenix. LOL!


  11. Sylvie says:


    You are right, you need to develop your own system in a reading that suits you and the deck.

    A reading can start with a general spread -the one you chose if fine- and then you can break things down with the no lay out.

    I purposely did not approach this in the book because I want the readers to be explorers. The manual is attended to start you on a journey of self discovery in the occult world. So I am happy to see you venturing around 😉

    The Aeclectic Tarot workshop on the Lenormand is done to make sure the book is fully understood and to clear any tech issue one may encounter. But to be honest for more advance stuff, students will have to show up in person to learn more in certain areas such as health, the panoramic system etc…

    My hope is that everyone of you gals and guys become so good that you attract new students and create circles in your own respective countries. As things may grow then there is always the option to create weekend workshops for students who want to teach and lead in that field.

    Until that time come limitations in what I can teach exit because it is a public site and because it is virtual =which is great to connect worldwide without a sweat!!!

    Much love to you all…


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