Lenormand to the Rescue – What to Gift Mom for Her Birthday?


November 11, 2011 by Art of Cartomancy

The Lenormand cards never cease to astound and amaze me with their relevance and accuracy!  I did a quick three-card reading this morning that blew me away.

My mother’s birthday is coming up this weekend, and I’ve put off buying her gift because she is impossible to buy for.  When I ask her what she wants, she tells me that all she wants is for me to be happy.  When I ask what she needs, she tells me that she already has everything she needs as long as my brother, my sister and I are happy and healthy. Jeesh!

The crazy thing is that my mother feels no compunction whatsoever about voicing her disapproval of an unsuitable gift.  My mother is a kind and charitable woman, but it’s not her habit to accept an unwanted gift graciously to later return or exchange quietly for something else. Instead she’ll immediately hand the gift back, and persuade the giver that the gift was really meant for him or her.

I refuse to participate in that absurd ritual again this year, so I figured it would be wise to ask the Lenormand cards to describe the perfect birthday gift for my mother.  I shuffled the deck, and drew three cards for a simple answer to my question, “What is the perfect birthday gift to give my mother this year?”

The Birds represent communication and the media.  Maybe a new cellphone?  The pair of owls on the card might refer to things that come in pairs such as shoes, or candlesticks, or even earrings.

The Gentleman card brings in masculine energy. Perhaps something that is generally considered masculine, or usually associated with men.  Maybe mom would like a new man for her birthday?  Nah, I don’t think her boyfriend George would appreciate that. Maybe the cards are suggesting that I talk to George for some helpful ideas about what to buy mom; although the Fox warns that he could misguide me.

The Fox also relates to a job or employment.  My mother is self-employed, so she doesn’t really have a job. I suppose I could interpret the Fox loosely as “work” and the cards could suggest a gift connected with her work, or something she could utilize with her work. Sadly, I’ve learned from past experience that when it comes to my mother “tools of the trade,” much like household appliances, do not make for welcome gifts.

Then it hit me.  These cards are so brilliantly in tune with my mother’s needs that I almost find it scary! I remembered that the Fox can also represent “scent,” and that made me think of perfume.  But mom doesn’t wear perfume.  For as long as I can remember she has worn a men’s cologne from Christian Dior called Eau Sauvage.  Of course! The perfect gift for mom is a male scent!

Mom must be running low on her stock of Eau Sauvage.  I figure the Birds are referring to “a set.”  I know perfume and cologne are sold in gift sets, especially this time of the year as we’re edging toward the holidays.  Tomorrow I’ll hit the mall to see if I can find a nice gift set of mom’s favorite fragrance.

I want to surprise mom with the gift (the Fox refers to “sneakiness,” after all), so I won’t know until Sunday if she is indeed running low on her cologne, or even if the gift will be appreciated.  Either way, I will update this post with her reaction to the gift.

Update Nov 14, 2011:
On Saturday I went shopping and found a handsome Eau Sauvage gift set, and last night we celebrated mom’s birthday. Mom adored the gift; I know because she didn’t try to push it back on me, and she didn’t try to hide her surprise and delight. George bought mom a pair of dazzling garnet earrings.  I thought it interesting that the cards I drew could also show George’s gift.  The Birds indicating the pair (of earrings) the Gentleman representing George, and the Fox detailing the coppery color of the gemstones. 


10 thoughts on “Lenormand to the Rescue – What to Gift Mom for Her Birthday?

  1. kali20kali says:

    these cards are funny and amazing :))..it didn’t cross my mind the meaning for Fox as “scent”..thanks for the tip..hardly wait to see your feedback ..this reading amused me,you made my day :))

    • Hi Kali20kali, Thank you! This reading actually made my day too. Not just because the cards were on target, but mainly because I’m not stressing anymore over what to gift my mom for her birthday. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate your comments.

      • raniebhalla says:

        Hi like Kali I am also astonished to read the mail and how tou reached to the conclosion and thought about “scent” I am just new and would like to know how did it came to your mind or Fox indicate “Scent ” too.

        • Hi Raniebhalla, thank you. 🙂
          Many of the Lenormand cards represent parts of the human body and the physical senses based on the symbolism. For example, storks have long skinny legs, and so the Storks card may represent “the legs” in a reading. In the case of the Fox, the animal has a long narrow snout. For this reason the Fox card is associated with the nose and scent.

  2. raniebhalla says:

    Okay thats great I am immpressed the way you have explained WOW.
    I read Playing cards and Tarot and now would like to learn Leormand , i found them too interested. And i am sure I will get good guidance over here.
    I bought Mlle Lenormand Jeu de destin deck . I hope its fine? Being new i did not know any thing.
    There is one more question I have found that on every card there is one card from simple deck of playing cards along with the actual main card . For example card No 20 Garden there is playing card of 8 of spade. So My question is that Is there any significance of spades along with garden. do we combine the both ? Will you please guide me .
    Ranie .

    • Hi Raniebhalla. Yes, the Piatnik Jeu du destin is a lovely deck.

      I’m still learning the Lenormand cards myself, and therefore my intention on the blog is to share my experiences, not to teach. But I am happy to answer your questions if I can.

      If you read playing cards, you will have noticed that your playing card meanings do not generally correspond with the matching playing card insets on the Lenormand deck. For example, in the playing cards the 9 of Spades is usually considered ill-favored, but in the Lenormand it is associated with the Anchor which is a positive influence.

      Most Lenormand readers ignore the playing card insets except for the court cards, which they use to represent people in a reading. For example the Snake corresponds to the Queen of Clubs, and therefore some Lenormand readers will use the Snake to represent a woman in the questioner’s life (sister, friend, mother, aunt, etc.).

      I find that for the most part using the playing card court cards as people causes confusion in my own readings, so I generally stick to the symbolic meaning of the cards unless my intuition kicks in. I sometimes get a strong impression that a court card should represent a person. Especially the Flowers (Queen of Spades) which I read as a young woman from my experience with the Titania’s Fortune Cards. As you experiment with your own readings you will make your own intuitive decisions about when to use the court cards to represent people.

  3. raniebhalla says:

    Thanx LS for the explaination . That means the playing cards on the images of lenormand card does not carry any meaning . Rather we can not use. Because if we have happy or success card we have 9 of spade on anchor or 8 of spade on garden. Then what is the significance of playing cards on Lenormand images? Just want to know for knowledge sake.
    Secondly one more question that i don’t use reverse cards in Playing as well as in Tarot . So here also can i avoid using reverse cards. ?

    • You’re welcome. 🙂
      No one really knows the original significance of the playing card insets on the Lenormand cards. The history of the small Lenormand deck is rather obscure. It is believed that Mlle Lenormand used playing cards for divination, but there is no evidence that she designed or even used the Lenormand cards. The deck appeared after her death with rumors that it was found among her possessions. It’s more likely that the deck was created after her death, and her name was attached to the cards because of her fame and reputation as a card reader.

      The Lenormand symbols may have originated with tea leaf reading. In the traditional Lenormand system all 36 cards were laid out in a grand tableau, and the interpretation of each card depended on its proximity to the Lady or Gentleman card (whichever was used to represent the questioner). This method mimics the process in tea leaf reading whereby the interpretation of a symbol depends on its proximity to the handle of the teacup (which represents the questioner).

      If you read any of the old books on tea leaf reading, you’ll find all of the Lenormand symbols included along with exact or very similar interpretations. It may be that the Lenormand deck was created by applying the tea leaf reading symbols to the 36 playing card deck that was in popular use at the time for divination in either France or Germany. We might assume that the Lenormand symbols reflect the original meanings used for those 36 playing cards, but no one knows for sure.

      As for reversals, I’ve never encountered a Lenormand reader who utilizes reversed cards. Oddly, the booklet that accompanies the French Cartomancy Lenormand from Lo Scarabeo does provide a system for utilizing reversed meanings. As far as I know, it’s not traditional, and I don’t believe reversals are popular with modern Lenormand readers either. I think you can safely avoid using reversed cards with the Lenormand. 🙂


  4. raniebhalla says:

    Thanx LS for guiding me and enlightening me for what ever i have asked.
    For further knowledge please tell me about different spreads for Lenormand crads reading. Can we have only one card reading to start with and then two and three and then what ?
    One thing more here we have combinations till 05 Tree.or do we have combinations of 36 cards .
    I think Iam asking too much from you but in the prossess of learning i will have to ask where i get stuck or want to know more about Lenormand.

  5. Hi Raniebhalla, I don’t mind answering your questions if I can. I don’t pretend to be an expert on the Lenormand cards, but do have a few years of experience that I’m happy to share.

    The traditional Lenormand spread is called the grand tableau, and it makes use of all 36 cards. I don’t have any examples of the grand tableau on the blog because I don’t use this spread very often. There are several spreads that were derived from the grand tableau. For example, there is a 9 card spread called the square of nine which is also traditional and popular with Lenormand card readers. The Line of 5 and the Line of 7 and the Line of 9 are also popular spreads. I’m sure you can find a few examples of all of these spreads if you search the internet.

    Yes, you can begin with drawing a single card, and the three card spread is a wonderful way to get familiar with the cards. Really, any spread that you might use for tarot or playing cards can also be used with the Lenormand cards.

    My favorite spread is the lost man ( http://learnlenormand.wordpress.com/2011/03/06/deal-or-draw/ ) which I use for most of the practice readings I share on the blog. I find that the lost man provides me with very accurate results. You can experiment with different spreads to see which work best for you.

    Here on the blog I also share examples of the dilemma spread ( http://learnlenormand.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/the-lenormand-dilemma-spread-which-apartment/ ) and the 12 month overview spread ( http://learnlenormand.wordpress.com/2011/10/14/lenormand-overview-spread-for-the-next-12-months-when-will-she-meet-mr-right/ ), both of which I also use often, and find to be very accurate for me.

    One of the unique features of the Lenormand cards is that they are read in combined pairs. You can find lists of meanings for the combinations in most Lenormand books and other resources. I do intend to eventually post my own spin on the card meanings and combination for all 36 cards, but so far I’ve only managed to reach card number 5.

    As with tarot and playing cards, there are no standard rules for how to read the Lenormand cards. There are guidelines and traditions, but in the end you will develop your own style of reading the Lenormand as I’m sure you did with tarot and playing cards. Just have fun and experiment, and you’ll learn what works best for you.


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