On Simplicity, Elegance and Folk Tradition


It isn’t often that you find a near-pure folk tradition these days, but somehow Lenormand managed that. There have been some slight changes over the centuries, some additions, but for the most part you have something that’s remained intact somehow, and surprisingly consistent, in spite of the regional variations.

You’d think people would be falling over each other to catalogue this. It’s important, like Childe Ballads, dirty blues, and Grimm’s Fairy Tales. The main book I’m watching for in 2013 is by Andybc, you can see his blog here, it’s wonderful. He gives you Lenormand intact. (Another good source is Waldfee, a german language site.)

A lot of what I see online is cause for alarm, though. Newcomers are pouring in, trying to reinvent Lenormand, to redefine it, to add to it, to leave some kind of “mark” on it even before they’ve comprehended it.

Uhhhhh…isn’t “marking” what dogs do to utility poles? Or the corner of your couch, if you neglect to take them outside?

It takes – at the very least – five years to become fluent with this deck. Sure, you can read before then, but I mean really fluent. And you keep learning after that. You keep learning all your life. “Lenormand for the masses” means “whoever has money they want to spend on it”, I suppose. But Lenormand isn’t FOR everybody. It’s a very verbal system, it’s finding just the right keywords…I notice that a lot of the best readers are also writers in at least some capacity. Everybody’s wired differently, we don’t all have the same aptitudes. I love music, but I can’t play. That’s ok, I belly up to the stage every chance I get and just soak it up. I don’t have to be ON the stage. 😉

Some people just aren’t meant for Lenormand. They might do great with Tarot, or intuitive-type oracle decks, or some other system, but they just don’t have that peculiar wiring that makes a Lenormand reader. Rather than trying to force-fit Lenormand to their shortcomings with add-ons, crutches, and alterations, shouldn’t they be working someplace they can shine? As Chanah once said, “Not everybody can read. And that’s actually okay, and not everybody needs to.”

I totally concur. 🙂


10 responses »

    • I’d recommend the old year-and-a-day yardstick they use for witchcraft, I suppose. No gimmicky stuff like marked spread cloths or wonky americanized techniques for a year, just study and practice…if you still feel like you’re not progressing after that, it’s probably not your thing.

      You seem like you pick it up though, Joanne! 😉

  1. It’s a crutch, a person can become dependent on it. Even if you haven’t memorized every position, you can locate, say, the Key and count from the beginning to see which house it’s in. Then look for the card with that number and you’ll know the house…that’s what makes this stuff stick. 😉

  2. I’m totally new to the system and feel the same way. I’m trying to steal clear of “new” but the old gets mixed in via clarification in comments so I have to bother with the new to get to the old… What’s a girl to do? Haha

    • Three words: “Consider the source”, haha. 😀
      If you’re spending a lot of time at a place, you know who’s who. If not, just follow up on things…google is your friend here. 😉

  3. So true: “Newcomers are pouring in, trying to reinvent Lenormand… before they’ve comprehended it.” Albeit those of us who sadly witnessed Tarot turn into “whatever you want it to be” – are not going to lay down our weapons easily lol!

    • Definitely not seeing THAT happen without a fight. 😀

      Said it at the group and I’ll say it here: Sure, Lenormand can evolve…it’s been evolving all along – slowly. A “flood of innovation” doesn’t really fit the concept of “evolution”…more like “Chernobyl”. 😛

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