Predicting the Future with Lenormand – Is It Disempowering?


October 23, 2011 by Art of Cartomancy

My mother is a Certified Tarot Master through a national organization.  One of the basic tenets of this institution is that “tarot readers are not qualified to predict the future.” When a client asks a predictive question, such as whether he or she will get the job, the Certified Tarot Master is obliged to encourage the client to rephrase the question in a more empowering way. Instead of asking”will I get the job?” the client is advised to ask “what do I need to know about the getting the job?”

I do understand why many tarot readers shy away from prediction.  The general perception is that prediction disempowers the questioner by taking away choices and decisions.  In my experience, that is not necessarily the case.  A reader may choose to interpret the cards in a way that disempowers the querent, but we shouldn’t blame prediction.  If the cards predict the outcome of various options and alternatives, the final decision can be left up to the questioner.

I can’t speak on the Tarot, but one of the things I love most about the Lenormand cards is that they’re so well suited for predicting future events, and my work with the Lenormand has convinced me that predictive readings are intrinsically self-empowering despite how the question is worded.

In the matter of whether or not the client will get the job, the Lenormand cards rarely predict a clear yes-or-no answer.  The cards may forecast a successful interview, or confirm that the client is perfectly suited for the position.  Conversely, the cards might show that there is fierce competition for the job, or highlight the querent’s lack of preparation or experience.  Often the reader will interpret these messages in the context of yes-or-no based on intuition, or their own expert opinion.

I notice that even when a querent wants to turn their power over to the cards, the Lenormand will dump the decision back into the questioner’s lap.  A good example is questions that begin with “should I.”  The cards will predict the outcome of doing this thing or that thing, but they don’t make the final decision on what the questioner should do. If the reader chooses to impose his or her opinion regarding what the questioner should or shouldn’t do, then the reading can become disempowering.

As an example, my friend Ron recently broke up with his girlfriend; well in truth, she dumped him.  Ron is devastated because she refuses to return his phone calls.  He is debating whether to show up unexpectedly on his girlfriend’s doorstep to force a confrontation. Ron asks, “Should I go?”

In essence Ron wants me to predict his girlfriend’s reaction to his appearing on her doorstep unannounced, so I set my intention that the Lady card would represent the ex-girlfriend.  I shuffled the cards and focused on the question, “Should Ron confront his ex-girlfriend unexpectedly at her home?”

Lenormand Oracle Cards by Lo Scarabeo

We need to keep in mind that these cards are about the ex-girlfriend’s thoughts, feelings and intentions in relation to Ron showing up unannounced on her doorstep.  The cards on the left reflect her current feelings, and the cards on the right predict her reaction to Ron’s visit.

The Mice show that the woman is feeling agitated, and the Tower gives a sense of moral authority.  Ron gave his consent to post the reading, but he asked that I don’t share the details of the situation.  Respecting Ron’s wishes, I will say only that these cards seem to fit the situation perfectly.

The Heart and Mice show upset feelings, heartache, and the recent deterioration of the relationship. The woman does not appear to be in a good emotional state right now, and her current mood may not be favorable for an unannounced visit.

The Tower predicts the woman’s reaction to Ron’s visit, and indicates that her response will be self-protecting and condescending. The events surrounding the breakup afford her a sense of moral superiority, and the confrontation on her home turf provides a further psychological advantage. The Anchor describes a woman who will remain steadfast in her views and beliefs.  Ron will have a difficulty time trying to sway her feelings and win her over to his way of thinking.

Should Ron go to the ex-girlfriends house unannounced to speak with her? The cards don’t say whether he should or not, and it’s certainly not my place to make that decision for him. What the cards do say is that the meeting will be challenging because Ron is at a disadvantage, and the ex-girlfriend will not be amenable to his charms. Now armed with this additional insight, Ron is more empowered to make up his own mind about whether or not to take action.

As a friend knowing the full details of the situation, I would be inclined to advise Ron against the impromptu visit. As a reader, my obligation is to interpret the information in the cards only, without imposing my own opinion.

I believe Lenormand readers are qualified to predict the future, but they are not qualified to impose their own opinion on how the querent should react to what the cards say.  When I’m pressed for a yes-or-no answer I have no problem offering my opinion, but I always let the questioner know that the yes-or-no is only an opinion (or gut feeling) based on what I see in the cards.


8 thoughts on “Predicting the Future with Lenormand – Is It Disempowering?

  1. woley says:

    Sometimes when I get the Anchor I think of a storm and how even an anchor won’t help you in a storm. I also see these mice in his mind, niggling away, eating away at HIM–her current feelings might be agitation at the way he keeps nibbling at her.

    Best to leave the Lady alone methinks. When it’s over, it’s over, you can’t force the issue. Besides, it often happens that if you let people go, they take some time and then come back. No way in hell they come back if you keep bugging them.

    Now that must be tough not to offer an opinion on this one.

  2. Monica says:

    Excellent post and a superb blog. I admit to not having an interest in Lenormand, until I read your blog. As a tarot reader, at first I kept away from prediction – and I still mention empowerment as part of my ethics. I believe empowerment holds true regardless of divination menthod. However, I am more and more inclined to accept all kinds of questions, and just interpret the cards as they come up in a mindful way. Because the cards have shown me, bluntly, whether I would get a job or not, and since I have used such a question myself, at the very least I can understand where the client is coming from.

    I love your interpretations and the specific examples you give – keep it up!! And thank you so much for sharing. Blessings, Monica.

    • Hi Monica, Thank you so much for your comments and feedback.

      I’m beginning to notice a subtle shift in the tarot community toward becoming more open to prediction. I think the recent appearance of tarot books that boldly feature the word “prediction” in the title signals a new trend. I suspect that originally the disassociation from prediction was intended to bring “respectablity” to tarot, and separate it from the fortune-telling scams. Now that tarot has become a part of the popular culture, I suppose there is no longer any reason to sweep prediction under the carpet. Fortune telling is still considered a bad work in most divination circles, but I hope that perception is slowly changing as well.

      Thank you again for sharing your experiences with prediction and tarot. I’ve added a link to your beautiful Tarot in a Teacup blog to my blogroll. 🙂

  3. Marina says:

    Your post is brilliant. You know, for a while I was against prediction, because I got fixed on the idea that the ‘future is not set in stone’ etc etc. And while this is somehow true, the truth is also that if you walk toward a place and don’t change you path you’ll probably get there. Sometimes something will force you to change your path, but not always. And the cards usually show the place towards which you are walking… you are free to change this path, most of the time.

    I have my own view on destiny and free will, that have allowed me to see prediction under a benevolent light. And like you, I understand the card cannot make a decision for the sitter. When we ask “should I” questions, very often the cards throw the question back at you. They say “okay my friend, here are fact – what you’ll do about them?”.

    Sadly, many people come to us expecting you to tell them what to do with their lives. It’s a way to escape responsibility. And many readers get used to that, and end up making choices their clients should make. No matter how detached you are as a reader – you are human, and humans judge and have preconceived ideas. It’s important to keep these out of the table when you are reading, and important to let your sitter know that you will not make choices for them.

    Thank you for this post, it was fantastic! 🙂

    • Hi Marina, thank you for your comments and feedback!

      I agree with your philosophy regarding free will. I don’t believe the future is set in stone, but I think we create deep grooves in our lives that lead to a predictable reality. I believe that predicting where these grooves take us is the true beauty and usefulness of divination, because then we are empowered to make changes if we don’t like where the road leads.

      It is sad that many people are looking for someone to take responsibility for their lives, and because most readers are empathic, it’s not always easy to remain objective and detached. There is a real responsibility that comes with being a reader, and I suspect that’s another reason why many readers do choose to shy away from prediction.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

  4. Le Fanu says:

    What a great blog. Found it by chance on Prince leNormand’s page. I return after a break to Lenormand cards and this is just the stimulus I need.

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