Tag Archives: Petit Oracle des Dames

Lenormand Has Served Me Well (& two new decks)

Hello all – I’m here to discuss cartomantic simplicity. It may be seeing a minor renaissance.
Caitlin Matthews has a new book , Untold Tarot: The Lost Art of Reading Ancient Tarots, and Toni Puhle’s review of it really drives the point home.

Some of us are “system readers”, meaning we have meanings for each card and rules for when the cards fall in certain positions. This has always been called “traditional” reading, which has spawned many, many internet fights with people who try to say that tradition is frozen in time and outdated (it isn’t). But in any case, “system reader” is a good descriptor and I give props to Toni for it.

Even the Crowley Thoth can be read in that manner. After all, you have to remember the paths, elemental dignities, etc. (Which I am no wiz at, as my memory appears to be stuffed already. But I can see the beauty and incisiveness of the Thoth – as a system reader.

There is much discussion, nit picking, and hair splitting on internet forums, facebook, etc. over details in the Tarot – is the man walking away on the RWS Six of Cups leaving the past behind? Etc. It all seems irrelevant to me. Waite’s PKT gives a nostalgic interpretation. Crowley (who spilled the s00per seKrit Golden Dawn meanings, lol) simply calls it “Pleasure”. Who actually gives a f*** about that guy walking away?

That brings us to – well, everything else.


What is happening here? Do we need all manner of esoteric noise?

No. There is a brunette woman (me) who is catching flack from coworkers, but she’s staying on top of it.

Cards are actually very simple. Don’t overthink them. 😉

Petit Oracle des Dames bridge sized edition available here The Cartomancer

Another deck I want to mention is Patrick Valenza’s Oracle of Black Enchantment, the latest installment in the Mildred Payne cycle.

Like all of Valenza’s decks, it reads flawlessly right out of the box – eloquent, is this not?

(Look at that mess. I do need to mind my P’s and Q’s, lol)

The crazy thing is that Valenza has stated that he doesn’t read. But all of his decks have that precision, like they were designed by a constant reader.

The OBE is available here Deviant Moon Inc.

Anyway, my card reading philosophy is rooted in Lenormand and Kipper. (A man is a man, unless context absolutely doesn’t allow. He’s not “qualities you should take on”, or “advice”, he’s a person. Yes, I started with Tarot, but it took Lenormand and Kippers to show me what cartomantic precision actually is! I don’t fault Tarot itself, I fault modern reading styles.) Approach things that way, and the answers are right in front of you. *wink*


Le Petit Oracle des Dames


This is a deck from 1799 or so. It’s like a mash-up of French Sibyl characters, Grand Jeu myth and Etteilla Tarot, with a good many of the cards double ended like Tarock. In spite of this, it’s a surprisingly easy, eloquent deck to read, and it reads true. I got this combo in a recent spread:

It’s talking about a boring town, being bored and disgusted with a town. I’m living in a little hole in the road in central Texas, and I’ve never seen another deck describe the situation so plainly. 😀

Here’s the keywords, translated:

1. Voyage/Earth
2. Clarity/Victory
3. Thoughts*/Water
4. Brilliant Stars/Air
5. Creation of the man and woman/production
6. Heaven on earth/bad man and woman
7. Major Force/business
8. The Force/boredom, disgust
9. Caution/the people
10. Night/The Temperance
11. Divine law (Themis), Justice/the rich bribe
12. The Fortune/Fortune (increase)
13. Mortality/Sorrows, grief
14. Fidelity/the wise
15. Bellona (war goddess)/Discord
16. Man between vice and virtue/betrayal
17. Marriage/union
18. Jupiter/Protector
19. The law and faith/safety and harmony of people
20. Juno/Protectoress
21. The Fool/the street performer
22. Consultant/Consultant
23. Love/the desire
24. Marriage (Hymen)/Departure, disunity, abandonment
25. Unmarried, indecision/childbirth, fertility
26. Hope/Abundance
27. Litigation, squabble/Good faith, friendship, success
28. Fame/obstacle
29. Prison/shipwreck, big misfortune
30. despoilment, thieves/patrol, safety, unexpected pursuit
31. House, table, feasting/jealousy, flatterer (favor seeking)
32. City/Good sea voyage
33. Little Master, embarrassment (awkward position)/Letter, love letter
34. Solitude, rest/economy, money purse
35. Battery, violence, dispute/Hypocrite
36. The old man, father of a family/society, evil chatter (cackle)
37. Traitor woman/the charity and the allowance
38. Brunette man, wholeheartedly/Blond man, beneficient
39. Good brunette woman/Good blonde woman
40. Blonde boy/Brunette boy
41. Blonde girl and chestnut blonde/Brunette girl and chestnut brunette
42, Country man/Stranger, news

*thoughts – offers and decision in emotional things

Additionally, here’s a translation of the LWB from Eric Bowers:

The deck is available here http://www.esoterikshopping.de/products/Kartenlegen-Tarot-Lenormand-Wahrsagekarten-Engelkarten/Sibillakarten/Le-Petit-Oracle-des-Dames-BP-Grimaud.html