There’s a lot of advantages to using this system. It gives the predictive information people are looking for. Most clients want to know what will happen, or what is happening behind the scenes, and the Lenormand is perfect for these kinds of questions. If you learn the Lenormand, other oracle decks like the Sibilla and the Kipperkarten will come to you naturally. It helps you string meanings together and focus on combined meanings, even your Tarot readings will improve considerably because of it!
The first thing you’ll want to do is choose a deck. Take your time looking at images online and decide what’s right for you. I’d recommend a deck with playing card insets, since they give you more information, but plain images are good, too. Some decks have little poems on them, most people find the poems distracting and you really don’t need them. All they do is lock you into one interpretation if you pay any attention to them..
I love the old Dondorf pattern. I have a battered LS French Cartomancy (I don’t know why they call it French, it’s German…) that I usually carry with me. Like most LS copies, they’ve simply scanned an old deck, so it’s pre-faded and pre-yellowed, it looks very soft and old. Here are a few images:
There are several drawbacks to this deck, though. For one thing, it’s slightly larger than the standard Lenormand. I don’t know if the deck alone is available any more, you might have to buy it in a set with a book that is by all accounts useless and horrible.
There is a another Dondorf available, the Königsfurt-Verlag Lenormandkarten Dondorf mit Kartenabbildungen available at Esoterik Shopping. It’s standard Lenormand size, they’ve changed the images for the playing card insets, and the backs are a beautiful dark blue, with a gorgeous flower and serpent design.
I keep this deck for at-home readings, so it doesn’t get so much wear and tear. The card stock isn’t that strong, unfortunately. But a big advantage of this deck is that they’ve flipped The Lady. In the standard Dondorf pattern, the Lady and the Gent face the same way, but with this deck they can look at each other…or turn their backs on one another. That can be important in a reading!!
Here are the French Cartomancy Lady and the Königsfurt Lady, respectively:
I normally don’t like changes to old things, but this deck was obviously tweaked by someone who actually understands the Lennies. The reasoning behind the changes is sound, and the resulting deck is perfect.
The Piatnik is also a very beautiful Lenormand, with that great Piatnik quality cardstock and absolutely stunning art, much of it depicting the Austrian countryside:
The Blue Owl is a standard, it’s got to be the most-loved Lenormand in print:
And if you want to break out of the conventional, there’s nothing like the Bärtschi Lenormand!
There are others available, these are just recommendations. Happy hunting!
Now, how to learn? Do you buy a book? Well, no, if you only speak english. I learned without books, because when I started, there just weren’t any in english. I learned the rudiments online. Look for communities where the focus is study, not collecting!
As of this posting, there still aren’t any good Lenormand books in english. There’s the previously mentioned thing that comes with the LS French Cartomancy. I seriously think they just pulled random meanings from some other book for that one, it has absolutely nothing to do with Lenormand.
Mario dos Ventos Game of Destiny is probably the best of the lot. It’s a vast improvement on Sylvie Steinbach’s Secrets of the Lenormand Oracle. That one uses meanings that aren’t compatible with the usual systems of reading. It just confuses people, they look at spreads and don’t know whether to go with the regular meanings or Sylvie’s meanings. She calls herself a “life coach” and her meanings are skewed towards people who aren’t living in the real world…and blow money on things like a “life coach”. The book is self-published and since it’s not very good, she tends to accuse people who criticise of “defamation” in order to keep the propaganda machine running. I’m told that she recently tried to do this to a small forum with no success. (Ms. Steinbach, if you are reading this, in order to successfully sue someone for defamation you have to be able to show that the claim is unambiguously false, that the writer knew it was false, and be able to conclusively show that the falsehood led to loss in business. People who bring up defamation are just trying to threaten people into being quiet with the bluff of legal action. You don’t own the internet. Get a life.)
So if books are not a good option, what to do? Courses! 😀 The Britta course is good for a beginner, and the Treppner course is arguably the best resource available. You can’t go wrong with Iris Treppner! 😀
I’m starting to see interactive software popping up, but people are telling me that these programs bear more than a passing resemblance to the some of sources listed above. Not very ethical, IMHO.
And of course, there are blogs! Some of them are excellent, I especially like Chanah’s blog, and she’s been nice enough to put up a comprehensive list of meanings to get you started or enhance what you know already.
I hope this helps! Enjoy!