OOPS! (some common mistakes)

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Learning Lenormand requires sifting through a lot of information, and most of it is very flawed, to say the least. So to (hopefully) save a few people from making these common mistakes, I’m going to list a few things people are prone to falling into.

Everything the cat dragged in

In the very early days, I walked right into this one. I collected meanings from various websites and countries. My early readings were mud, and I had to unlearn a lot of stuff. So…don’t.

Start with ONE set of meanings, any set that makes sense to you – French, Dutch, German – and stick with it. Get a SOLID foundation. After a few years when you’re familiar with the symmetry of the system, you can expand it a bit, add more secondary meanings, more nuance.

Borrowing a meaning from a region other than the one you’re using can throw the whole thing off. For instance, I use German, where the Bear tends to be male. Other variants see it as female. But if I go so far as to call the Bear “mom” and I already use the Snake for that, where is mom in the GT? It would be like jamming extra, incompatible parts into a car. The only way to make it work would be to totally switch over to those meanings and scrap mine.

Lenormand is perfectly balanced. It’s genius – don’t screw it up. 😀

You have all the meanings inside you

That one makes me throw up in my mouth a little. Images of dogs and houses and fish may evoke ideas, but that’s not the Lenormand method. PAMs (personally assigned meanings) will ruin your accuracy. I see this every day in groups, a lot of people INSIST on PAMs. They get their interpretations from “intuition” or “guides” and they “don’t rely on canned meanings”, but their readings SUCK.

The thing is, Lenormand will work if you stand back and let it, and don’t get in the way. Accuracy comes in inverse proportion to PAMs!

Lenormand “schools”

There are no Lenormand “schools”. There’s a Lenormand METHOD, with regional variations, like dialects. Where I live, a Coke is a “soda water”, but in Massachusetts it’s a “tonic”, and I think it’s “pop” in the midwest, but that’s all considered “english”. Not “schools”. And not every living soul in a region uses the regional term. Same with Lenormand. The work cards might vary a bit from place to place, or there might be more or less use of Distance, but there’s not enough difference to say there’s different “schools”, nor does everybody in France use the Fox for “work”, or everybody in the Netherlands and Belgium use the Moon. This has been explained 1000 times, at least.

Not learning the Method of Distance

I fell into this one. When I started with Lenormand, I had a Blue Owl with a LWB and those horrible english poems, lol. And I went online and found a yahoo group in english, with a german lady who had taken some courses. So I started asking things like “How far is ‘far’?” and she said “Oh, nobody pays attention to that” and introduced me to combo reading. It made sense at the time – aren’t Tarot LWB’s a joke? Nobody uses LWB’s. And she wasn’t trying to mislead me. Distance reading isn’t that common in Germany. She answered the question to the best of her knowledge.

The years went by and I found more sources, all combo readers. I eventually started doing paid readings. I ‘knew’ Lenormand. And it worked, I predicted stuff, it was right, I got paid.

Then Andy got me interested in Distance, and I’m liking it more and more, it’s decisive. Often, with combo readings, I have to sit and consider various meanings and how best to combine them, and sometimes, even after all these years, there’s a bit of “uhhhhh…”, lol. Distance reading is sharp and precise, like a scalpel. Sometimes it actually makes combo reading feel clunky. I wish I’d learned a long time ago. 😀

10 responses »

  1. Hi Stella,
    I think people just refer to “schools” as in “schools of thought.” There are a number of places on the AT and other websites where veterans of Lenormand refer to them as “schools,” Andy included. Mind you, he always says they are traditions. Maybe you mean the word is being used in ways that are confusing to that idea?

  2. Andy will be the first to tell you there are no schools. If he ever referred to schools as anything that exists at all, it’s probably some very old writing from before he researched the matter. http://boroveshengra.wordpress.com/card-theory-by-andybc/small-lenormand-theory/

    As for AT, they’ve already run the competent people off, and if there’s anyone left, they have to be very careful not to actually teach anything, or else to sugarcoat so heavily that you have to wade through a wall-o-text, disclaimers and apologies to figure out what they’re actually saying. I wouldn’t take anything there seriously unless it was an old post from some real reader long gone. 😉

  3. Yeah- it was from Andy in 2004, I think. I just think people use it because it is short and easy to say, not that there are actual Lenormand schools with doors and walls and a sign saying “German School of Lenormand.” But I am sure that has been said. LOL!

    • Well of course it’s not referring to that definition. 😛

      Merriam Webster gives some alternates:

      4 a : a group of persons who hold a common doctrine or follow the same teacher (as in philosophy, theology, or medicine) ; also : the doctrine or practice of such a group

      b : a group of artists under a common influence

      c : a group of persons of similar opinions or behavior; also : the shared opinions or behavior of such a group


      As you can see, minor variants like work cards don’t constitute a “school”. And using an incorrect word because it’s “short and easy to say” sounds like something Sarah Palin would do, lol.

      • Thanks for the link to Andy’s page. I read his taken it recently, aamof. There are other factors to consider, however, when considering the origins of meanings. If you get a chance, check out my post about the Bear.

      • It’s a word that I cringe over now because I became aware that what I was using it for wasn’t always what everyone else was using it for. The idea of a nationalist Lenormand tends to be from the idea that Google-translate of a page is documented proof everyone in X read one card as such.

        Schools’ of thought is not a bad term. What tends to have happened is Droesbeke followed a teacher and popularised that “method”. Treppner did the same. Silvestre did the same. So they are endorsing whomever they learnt from which has pooled out.

        Really each one is more or less 90 % the same i.e. Droesbeke talks about the High Tower as “age” Treppner might not, but she gives Tree + High Tower as long life.

      • That Bear post was Da Bomb, Michelle. I’ll be linking to it for a long time to come. 🙂

        And you make a good point there, Andy. Saying any of those people (Treppner, Droesbeke, Sylvestre) are representative of a separate “school” or “method” is flawed logic. If I write something on Lenormand, is it the “Texas school”? 😛 What about Rana George? I think she lives in Texas too, and she uses different meanings from mine. Britta’s meanings are different from Iris’s. There’s not enough consistency in any given place to support the idea of regional methods.

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