What follows are basic guidelines for reading with the Petit Lenormand.
First off, if you don’t have a Lenormand Deck already, I highly recommend the Lenormand Orakelkarten – blaue Eule (Blue Owl). It is a gorgeous deck, and it will serve you well in your studies..! You can also take a look at my post on What to look for in chosing your first Lenormand Deck.
The next thing you need to know is that there are two types of readings you can do with the Petit Jeu Lenormand.
The First Type of Reading
The First type of reading is what I call a string. This is where you lay out the cards from left to right in one line. These strings are usually used to answer one question, and are typically composed of 3-5 cards in a spread. It isn’t unheard of to have more cards, but generally people stick to 3 or 5.
Basic Rules for Reading a String
1st Concept: Read the cards from left to right.
2nd Concept: Take the cards’ basic meanings (look here for a list of basic traditional petit Lenormand card meanings) and pair them together.
In the example above, you’d read the cards as follows:
Woman + Love/Attraction + Man = Obviously, these two are smitten with each other.
The Second Type of Reading
The second type of reading is a two-dimensional tableau where you lay the cards out in a block. Typically, with the Petit Lenormand, we either lay out all the cards in four rows of nine cards (which we call a 9X4), or four rows of 8 cards, plus 4 fate cards (which we call 8X4 + 4). These are the two most used two-dimensional spreads, but there are simpler ones like the 3X3 where people lay three rows of three cards to form a small square.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Some of you might be tempted to use spreads that you’ve seen used with the Tarot. I highly recommend that you do not use these spreads with the Petit Jeu Lenormand and stick to the spreads I’ve suggested here. Combining Lenormand with Tarot is an article where I explain why this is important.
Basic Rules for Reading the 9X4 or 8X4+4 Spread:
1st Concept: The present is always the column the querent cards finds itself in. (Up and down in black)
2nd Concept: The past is always represented by the cards to the left of the querent card (on the same row).
So in the example above the 3rd column represents the woman’s present (in black). Anything to the left of the 3rd column is her past (in purple), and everything to the right of the 3rd column is in her future (in blue).
If you are reading from the man then it will look like this:
3rd Concept: Degrees of influence
A card is said to be controled by the querent if it is below him / her. In other words, the querrent can do something to influence things.
A card above the querent is said to be influencing the querent. In other word the card is exherting an influence which the querent can do little about.
In the above spread you will note that the female querent is in a position where she has complete influence over the things around her. She is in a place of strength. For example if you take into account the card right below her (#22, the road, queen of diamonds), you could interpret that: