Some people aren’t going to like this, but it needs to be said:
Lenormand is lean.
Let me explain:
It’s stripped down. Each card consists of a single symbol (Rider, Clover, etc.), a playing card association and a number. That’s it. And it isn’t read pictorially, but like Kipperkarten, it’s a language with keywords for each card that you string together according to the context of the question. Some people are so purely visual that they just can’t pick this up, and if Lenormand isn’t your thing, I can respect that.
When you add to the symbols – when you add anything – it can throw the whole thing off. You’re “clogging the tubes”, the same way bad food clogs the intestines. Admittedly, I sometimes use decks with a bit of additional imagery, but I ignore it. It’s “there for looks”. And when there’s too much additional stuff, when it dominates, the deck becomes useless. Imagine trying to quickly locate a card in a Grand Tableau when the cards are crammed with imagery. I suppose some americanization is inevitable, it’s just a shame to see it happening to Lenormand. There’s a glut of such decks now, and new ones appearing almost daily. Some are attractive, if useless as Lenormands. Others look like they were done with crayons. It’s a bandwagon. Newsflash: This isn’t “innovating”. It’s broadcasting the fact that the deck creator is a noob, no more.
It’s been said by many that Lenormand is like learning a language. You don’t become fluent overnight, it takes 5-7 years. Of course you’re free to make a deck that’s been “supersized” with Wicca, US holidays, power animals, gimmicks, medicine wheels, and other distortions – just don’t forget that the experienced readers are also free to criticize. There seems to be some kind of taboo against publicly criticizing this trend. It’s a Honey Boo Boo mentality, exercising the right to not learn anything and shouting it from the rooftops. But bear in mind that “freedom of expression” cuts both ways. (Some tend get their panties in a horrible knot when you criticize this stuff. There are some who will take ANY traditionalist statement as RUDE and NARROW and THE PERSON MAKING THE STATEMENT IS A MEAN OLD POOPY HEAD. LMAO. Deal with it.)
Lenormand is a very no-bullshit, to-the-point German concept and this is something to keep in mind. Some say they create these decks in order to better understand the system, but the ONLY thing that actually helps one understand is study and practice. You don’t “learn” Lenormand by drawing, or googling for public domain images. You’re reinforcing your own misconceptions when you do this. And while the deck may be “Lenormand inspired”, it’s no longer a Lenormand.