December 14, 2008 by Art of Cartomancy
When time permits, the mutli-level No Layout Spread as described by Sylvie Steinbach in her book The Secrets of the Lenormand Oracle is my favorite spread to use for answering a direct question. This is especially true for questions about romance because if the cards representing the couple fall near enough to each other, a lot of very accurate and useful information can be derived from the spread.
In her book, and even more so in her virtual Workshop on Aeclectic Tarot Forum, Sylvie stressed the importance of asking the “right” question, and remaining focused on the question while interpreting the No Layout spread. I’m sharing this reading because I think it is a perfect example of how the spread answers the question specifically and accurately, but ends there. I’ll explain what I mean in the feedback section below.
On to the reading: In this example, the client is a young female named Julia who wants to know if her ex-boyfriend Charles will contact her. This was a college romance that ended after Julia graduated and moved back home last summer. There were a few awkward phone conversations, and then Charles also moved without forwarding any contact information.
For this No Layout Spread, I charged two Key Cards: Card 28 The Man to represent Charles, and card 29 The Woman to represent Julia.
Question: Will Charles contact me?
I started my interpretation with The Man (if you’re familiar with The Secrets of the Lenormand Oracle, this reading is very straightforward. When the Key Cards fall further apart, it can be more challenging.):
The Letter + The Clouds = The Letter represents contact, usually in written form such as an email or text message, letter, card, etc. The Clouds show uncertainty and confusion.
The Clouds + The Man = Charles is confused. He’s not sure whether or not he should re-establish contact with Julia.
The Man + The Cross = Charles is hurt. It would appear that something more is going on between the couple than the client has shared so far.
The Cross + The Anchor = the Anchor shows something long-term, so Charles has been feeling bad about the relationship for a while. He is most likely carrying some regrets about how things stand.
The client shared with me at this point in the reading that in a fit of jealousy she had asked Charles never to contact her again. (Jeesh, the plot thickens.)
Next I interpreted the cards around The Woman. The woman of course represents Julia, but it’s important to keep in mind that we are reading about Charles’s intentions, and the cards describing Julia are based on his perceptions, not necessarily on reality.
The Cross + The Anchor + The Woman = Despite his hurt feelings, Charles still sees Julia as a stabilizing force in his life. His intentions toward her have remained constant despite the separation. Since the Cross and Anchor fall between Charles and Julia, it would be safe to say that despite the pain, they have both remained constant in their feelings.
The Woman + The Tree = Charles sees Julia as a positive influence in his life. If he thinks in spiritual terms, he sees her as a spiritual person, and he feels a strong connection to her. Maybe he sees her as a soul mate.
The Tree + The Stars = Charles hopes to recover from the present situation and make a fresh start with Julia.
I think what is missing from this reading is as important as what is here. There are no cards to indicate an ending or finality, so my answer to the question is “Yes, Julia will hear from Charles again in the future.”
Julia next asked if I could tell her when she might expect to hear from Charles. When I glanced back down at the cards, The Stars jumped out at me. Since the Stars represents the Zodiac sign Aquarius, I predicted that she would hear from Charles after the first of the year, but before the end of February.
The event happened as predicted, although the timing was off.
Within 5 days of the reading, Julia received a text message from Charles. Maybe on some level he felt the focus of her intention to hear from him. My defense on the timing is that The Clouds make it very difficult to time a prediction since it indicates a wavering back and forth over a situation, and in the end it was Charles freewill as to when he would contact Julia. 😉
Okay, now to my reason for wanting to post this reading. Julia assumed (and so did I) that the outcome of this reading showed hope for a reconciliation. But a reconciliation was not part of the question. After less than a week of contact, which included a brief physical meeting, the couple decided to officially end the relationship. The client did not share any specific information on why (I don’t think she trusted me not to post the details here).
This was a great lesson for me on how focused the Lenormand cards can be on the specific question asked, and how important it is to ask the right question!