So you’ve decided to try learning Lenormand. Welcome, and I hope you succeed. Some don’t, it’s not for everyone, but you really won’t know for sure if you don’t make an effort. Just keep in mind that the effort involves drudge work, rote memorization and repetitive practice.
I’ve posted bits about this before, all over this blog and elsewhere, about choosing a traditional deck, finding good mentors, and avoiding the pitfalls of study material created by people who have no clue what they’re talking about, who make ridiculous claims that the folk tradition doesn’t exist (a folk tradition is what Lenormand is BY DEFINITION), or who let insanely ridiculous misconceptions (like interpreting the Lady as “the goddess”) go unremarked. Paradoxically, most of the stuff out there is from people like that.
There’s a tendency these days online to say we should “respect all viewpoints and opinions”. This sounds good in theory, but Lenormand isn’t a religion. Nobody KNOWS how everything came to be or what happens when we die, so different cultures have evolved different religious beliefs about these things, and everybody needs to be tolerant. But Lenormand isn’t a religion, how to read the cards isn’t beyond what can be known in this life, and while there are some minor variations in it, it’s got definite boundaries. What falls outside of those boundaries is wrong. Period. It’s like an alphabet in some ways, so think of a kid learning to read and write. He has to work at it for a good while, and when he makes mistakes, the teacher corrects him. This isn’t disrespect, or a “personal attack”, it’s teaching.
I think part of the problem is that consumerism and binge culture is spreading. You know how people on the european continent have wine with meals, even the kids might have a little wine, too, and everything’s cool – but americans tend to binge and show their ass and puke all over the parking lots? Same with Lenormand, people think they can learn by purchasing PRODUCT/STUFF/THINGS, getting ALL THE BOOKS AND DECKS and joining ALL THE GROUPS (sadly, most of them suck). And the shysters are only too happy to accommodate them. Like the old saw says, there’s a sucker born every minute. Having a book, deck, group or a youtube channel under your belt doesn’t mean you know your ass from a hole in the ground.
(Book publishers aren’t Lenormand readers, BTW. They publish what looks to them like it will sell. And what sells is something that looks easy. The “LOSE WEIGHT WITHOUT DIET OR EXERCISE!” approach.)
And then the noobs end up interpreting the Lady as “the goddess”.
So one antidote is quality product, but the problem is that quality product takes a long time and a lot of thought to create. You can’t FLOOD THE MARKET the way they do. So there’s not much good stuff out there.
It’s OK, though. All you need is one deck (which can be had for less than $10) and a few resources for learning (see my sidebar). A lot of them are free. The only learning material I actually had to purchase was Iris Treppner’s course, and that’s not pricey. And keep it at just a few quality sources – it’s easier to learn the right way from the beginning than it is to unlearn a lot of wrong stuff later.
It’s very little that we need. Think of Ariadne’s thread.
Just don’t start seeing Ariadne in your Lenormand readings. 😉