Some Grand Jeu Lore

an old Grand Jeu

an old Grand Jeu

The Grand Jeu de Mlle. Lenormand has 54 cards. There is a male and a female significator, and the other 52 can be assigned to the following categories:

The Conquest of the Golden Fleece, this category represents BUSINESS. The five cards are the 10 of Diamonds, 9 of Diamonds, King of Clubs, 4 of Diamonds*, and Ace of Clubs.

The Trojan War is said to represent THE RIGHT OF THE STRONG OVER THE WEAK. (I like to think that some responsibility goes along with that.) It contains nine cards: 5 of Clubs, 2 of Spades, Jack of Diamonds, 10 of Clubs, 9 of Spades, 6 of Clubs, 6 of Spades, 8 of Spades and Queen of Diamonds.

Hermetic Knowledge represents MARRIAGE. These are the alchemist cards. The marriage can be literal or symbolic, this series has to do with the successful melding of ingredients. Even making gravy without lumps is a kind of alchemy that in most cases, must be learned! The seven cards are: 7 of Spades, 3 of Clubs, 4 of Clubs, 8 of Clubs, 7 of Hearts, 10 of Hearts, 6 of Hearts.

The Unexpected (what it sounds like) is made up of 19 cards: 2 of Clubs, Jack of Clubs, 7 of Diamonds, 8 of Hearts, 3 of Hearts, 6 of Diamonds, 2 of Hearts, King of Diamonds, Queen of Spades, 4 of Spades, Queen of Clubs, 5 of Hearts, 10 of Spades, Ace of Hearts, 3 of Spades, 2 of Diamonds, Ace of Diamonds, King of Hearts, King of Spades.

The Signs of the Zodiac are said to represent the SEQUENCE OF TIME:

  • Aries – Jack of Hearts
  • Taurus – Ace of Spades
  • Gemini – 3 of Diamonds
  • Cancer – 9 of Clubs
  • Leo – 9 of Hearts
  • Virgo – Queen of Hearts
  • Libra – Jack of Spades
  • Scorpio – 5 of Diamonds
  • Sagittarius – 5 of Spades
  • Capricorn – 7 of Clubs
  • Aquarius – 8 of Diamonds
  • Pisces – 4 of Hearts

* The LWB states “4 of Clubs”, but this is a misprint. The 4 of Clubs is obviously an Alchemist card, and if you sort the cards according to the LWB, you’re left with the 4 of Diamonds – which depicts Jason and Medea, a Golden Fleece card.

If no cards from the business category appear in the spread, business transactions will be neither good nor bad. If no Trojan War cards, you have nothing to fear from others and will experience neither injustice nor deceit. No Alchemy cards mean that now is not a good time to contemplate marriage. No cards from The Unexpected mean that nothing unforeseen will happen. And here is a timing method that you can use with the Signs of the Zodiac:

Chart of Life

  1. Aries – 15 to 20 years, 30 days
  2. Taurus – 20 to 25 years, 60 days
  3. Gemini – 25 to 30 years, 90 days
  4. Cancer – 30 to 35 years, 120 days
  5. Leo – 35 to 40 years, 150 days
  6. Virgo – 40 to 45 years, 180 days
  7. Libra – 45 to 50 years, 210 days
  8. Scorpio – 50 to 55 years, 240 days
  9. Sagittarius – 55 to 60 years, 270 days
  10. Capricorn – 60 to 65 years, 300 days
  11. Aquarius – 65 to 70 years, 330 days
  12. Pisces – 70 to 75 years, 360 days

How to calculate time:
For example, let’s say that the consultant is exactly 27 years, 6 months and fifteen days old. Don’t worry about the months and days, or the fact that the consultant is closer to 28 than 27. Use the age 27.

In the Chart of Life, 27 years corresponds to Gemini.

Take the difference between 27 (consultant’s age) and 30 (age limit of Gemini), which is 3. The consultant has three years to go in Gemini.

Divide these 3 years by 12 (the number of periods in life). To work it out more simply, you can change the three years into days rounded to 360 for simplicity’s sake. Timing is almost never exact, so it’s okay! 360 days x 3 =1080. You can then divide this by 12 to get 90.

Multiply 90 by the numerical order of the Zodiac card that comes up in the spread. For example, if the card is Leo, you would multiply 90 x 5 = 450 days, so it is probable that the event will occur in about a year and a half.

Source material: the LWB that comes with the deck!

ETA: I would like to thank Peter for catching this:
“But there is also the error, I believe, in the inclusion of the 9 of Clubs” (in the Golden Fleece/Business category) “Hercules killing the Hydra was not a part of the famous Quest for the Golden Fleece.
The LWB also lists it as a Zodiac card (Cancer) and in a footnote claims that it belongs in both categories. Killing the Hydra was the second labor of Hercules. After completing his 12 labors, he sailed with the Argonauts. So while there’s a connection, I think of this one as primarily a Zodiac card, and only a Business card when that doesn’t fit.

1) 10 of Diamonds: Pelias tricks Jason into suggesting The Quest for The Golden Fleece.
2) 9 of Diamonds: The Argonauts embark, though the first stop is Lemnos, not Colchis.
3) King of Clubs: Phineus (and the harpies) at Euxine; Argonauts advised on passage.
4) 4 of Diamonds: Medea of Colchis gives Jason a potion, one of her many kind deeds.
5) Ace of Clubs: The Fleece has been secured; Jason tells The Argonauts it’s time to go.”

These are the letter keywords from Jean Didier’s Le Livre du Grand Jeu de Mlle Lenormand. I’m including them only for completeness’ sake, I don’t use them myself since I’m not sure how he arrived at them.

A – Enthusiasm, autonomy, initiative
B – Sensibility, introversion, inconstancy
C – Expression, liveliness, inventiveness
D – Determination, decision, tenacity
E – Mobility, curiosity, expression, anxiety
F – Adaptation, balance, responsibility
G – Efficacy, concentration, analyze
H – Ambition, determination, opportunity
I – Passion, idealism, inspiration
J – Creativity, intelligence, loyalty
K – Power, resolve, impulsiveness
L – Versatility, obstinacy, exigency, social sense
M – Stubbornness, difficulty of expressing oneself, diligence
N – Energy, organization, adaptability, strategy
O – Will, obstinacy, dependence
P – Discretion, calm, reason, logic
Q – Impetuosity, imprudence, courage
R – Belligerence, provocation, impatience
S – Skill, independence, creativity
T – Diplomacy, duality, collaboration, confusion
U – Utopia, idealism, insistence, faith
V – Mastery, inspiration, construction,
X – Illusion, ambivalence
Z – Organization, power, inspiration


3 responses »

  1. The timing method reminds me of the way firdaria is used in astrology. Each period of life has a major planetary ruler, and each of the major planetary periods is divided by sub-rulers. It had probably mostly fallen out of use in English-speaking countries by the 1800s, but may still have been used in France and Germany. There’s a good explanation here:

    And an article on prediction and the firdaria of Frida Kahlo’s life here:

    Nice post. One of these days I need to get a Grand Jeu.

  2. Amazing. How do people just let these things fall by the wayside? Thanks, it really DOES look like the inspiration for this.
    On a side note, Frida always makes my eyes fill up just a little. She GOT IT.

  3. Pingback: A Grand Lenormand tutorial | Tarot Weirdness

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