I love all my tarot decks but I also love my Lenormand cards. “Your what cards?” I hear you cry. Lenormand. They were named after Marie Anne Adelaide Lenormand (1772–1843). The celebrated Napoleonic fortune teller. She began reading with a standard deck of 36 cards. I have included a the Ferdinand Piatnik and Sons, Viennese playing card deck version based to show the suit and card origins of the meanings. They bear little resemblance to the tarot cards of the same suit and number however.
I am currently using the Mystical Lenormand by Regula Elizabeth Fiechter as I like the greater freedom to interpret them in my own way. Mme. Lenormand left little exact interpretation of her cards and some of the modern methods of reading them are too arcane for my tastes. This is the 21st century so modern interpretations are essential to keeping them relevant. I especially don’t like the misogynistic aspects of women being slippery or snake-like. So here I present my list in a very simple form of the Houses and their meanings.
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I put this together for Roma who owns the Blue Bee in Courthouse Street in Hastings Old Town as she has fallen in love with her Mystical Lenormand Deck. If you’re in the area then hurry along and purchase yourself a deck from Roma’s shop. I am very aware that this is the most simplistic of interpretations, as each house varies depending on which of the 36 cards falls there but that’s almost 1300 definitions. So let’s start with the 36 main meanings and we can learn more when I publish “How to cast and read a Grand Tableau”. This is Mme. Lenormand’s incredible full card reading. You can book a Lenormand reading face to face in my studio at No.1 Marina, St. Leonards-on-Sea. Just email me for details.
House of Rider (1)
News, interest, beginnings
Rider: Rider gallops in to bring news to the recipient. Riding a unicorn symbolising that the coming news is something unexpected. This card is hurried and all about bringing change. In most cases Rider brings good tidings but sometimes it can dash in with an unexpected blow that may knock you for six (depends on surrounding cards). Whatever the news you will move forward and weather it. It will help the querent to grow stronger. It will herald change no matter what. If in a House of Love/Union or Man/Woman it signifies a new person is entering and possibly a new admirer.
House of Clover (2)
Sudden unexpected luck
Clover: Clover is like the Irish symbol of luck.. Often in readings it is seen as small and fleeting luck but this underestimates the tenacity of clover as a plant. Clover is a bugger to be rid of in a lawn and so is good luck when it decides to favour you. Though the plant may be tiny it carpets hillsides and open grass. The scent of the flowers when open are intensely aromatic and sweet too. A favourite of bees who use it to create clover honey. One of the very sweetest honeys. Clover is a form of luck that will take hold and trigger changes. This is the kind of luck that can be amplified and extended many time over to affect real change so dream big. This is a luck that offers new beginnings. Its luck depends on the the card in the second house as well as in which house Clover falls but if they match then the luck is far bigger. Also look at the surrounding cards and closeness of personal cards.
House of Ship (3)
Travel and farewells
Ship: Ship is all about travel, farewells, departures and new journeys that you instigate yourself. It is all about setting out on a new adventure. Itchy feet are making you feel like a lack of commitment around you is creating a new agenda, to set sail to new horizons. So pull up the gang plank and set off on the high seas. It is time to head away to somewhere new you ain’t never been. It is time to start over and begin a new life if you are brave enough. Say farewell to those around you who cannot embrace change and go far but go fearlessly – it’s your time and it needs to be new. It doesn’t have to be a ship any mode of transport will do. It can also signify international business opportunities.
House of House (4)
Home and family. Stability no risk.
House: House in simple terms is home and family but it is a framed card referring to privacy. Settling down enjoying life without any further risks. Not getting out into the public world but shutting off slightly. It is a positive card of enjoyment with family or even starting a family if other nearby cards hint at this but it is about not pushing forward, Stability and non growth. It is good to feel secure but staying home too long will bring stagnation.
House of Tree (5)
Nature, health, longevity and steady growth.
Tree: Tree speaks of the connection to the natural world but it also sees us as trees. Steady slow growth and maturity. Having good grounding and root reaching into the earth to keep our vital life force replenished. Seeing what card drops in this house speaks of our current attitude to health. This is a card of learning to just be and not over think everything. Just pause and let the winds breeze through you. This is also about knowing who you are. Ancestry and roots. Good stability. Grounded.
House of Clouds (6)
Dark thoughts or hidden energies.
Clouds: Clouds are about being fogged in bad thoughts but this depends on the card that not just appears in this house but those around. Clouds can lift and clear as easily as they can bring storms and rain. Clouds can also contain silver linings. So they can represent not seeing clearly on not thinking straight or they can represent the lifting of the dark clouds to receive an epiphany.
House of Snake (7)
Deep spiritual awakenings and divine inspiration.
Snake: Snake is a card that I see very differently from most especially now that we live in more liberated in times. It is not about slippery cunning women. Snake is about the sacred energy in all of us. Snake is the promise of Kundalini in us all. Kundalini is the divine twin snake energies that meet at our hearts. Seeking to unite the two snakes is a deeply powerful experience and not something to toy with. Here the snake is alone and holds the golden cosmic egg of creation. Creation is inside all of us. We are the keepers of our own potential and this card reminds us that we are the key to our own successes. But we have to work to create the divine inside us.
House of Coffin (8)
Endings and moving on.
Coffin: It’s time to let that dead thing go now. Time to allow something new enter your world. The coffin is a warning to stop clinging to something that no longer serves any purpose. This could be a friendship, work, project, house, car or anything that you identify that is no longer making you happy. Problem is you feel you cannot live without it or them. This card can be a warning of ill health or of blockages leading to disease depending on the house the card falls in.
House of Flowers (9)
Luck, happiness, gifts and creativity.
Flowers: The flowers are often called bouquet, nature’s jewels. They bloom and while they flower they offer the gifts of joy and wonder. Unlike Clover flowers are a burst of luck as they have been cut and placed in a vase with a limited shelf life but they bring happiness and they are full of sweet nectar. You are likely to receive a gift or a invitation. This card is about accepting the gift the cosmos offers to you freely and humbly. You are due the chance to rest in the universe’s embrace. This is also a card of creativity and successful projects.
House of Scythe (10)
Harvest, gathering thoughts and cutting back.
Scythe: This card is very clear about cutting away the old. But it’s more than just an abrupt severance of things, ideas or people. It can also mean to cut the crops to reap the harvest. We reap what we sow. It is also about cleaning up or tidying everything to start afresh. But it can also be a warning to not to cut yourself in the process of changes taking place around you. Scythes are designed to slice crops and grasses neatly and cleanly so this card can mean to make a quick clean break from something that is not needed. Scythes are designed to effortlessly clear large areas so think wisely and aim for your new goal.
House of Whip (11)
Self punishment, repetitive actions and arguements.
Whip: Whip is about dark repetitious actions that are trapping the soul. They are actions and habits that we do not see as harming us. Traditionally this card also referred to sex but this was because sex was seen as a bad thing. Now that we can celebrate sex this card only refers to sexual actions that are harmful to us. This house also points to arguments, misunderstandings and sometimes violence but it would need to be surrounded by many negative cards to point to this. Mostly it is about changing bad habits.
House of Birds (12)
Chatter, excitement and socialising.
Birds: Think of birds flying about in groups. Birds singing and pinking in hedgerows. Think of the lively way they fly and flap and soar up high. The chatter and noise of flocks of crows, sparrows and starlings. The fidgeting and startling way in which they suddenly rush off. This is the promise you have coming up in the next few weeks. So sit still and focus of how all the individual birds can group together and fly in total unison. This is your time for a mediation on joining in with groups. Social activity but in unison with the world and those around you.
House of Child (13)
Little things and the inner spirit.
Child: The Lenormand child is the inner spirit that we step away from as we grow older. It is time to find that child again and to push that swing and feel childish and alive. Feel impish and naughty. Run around outdoors in the natural world and shout and scream with pleasure. Be alive with joy and have fun. Look inside your soul and pull your inner child out of the well of seriousness. Laugh and play. Sometimes this card can refer to children too and also can announce a new beginning.
House of Fox (14)
Cleverness and self-preservation.
Fox: This card is often seen as sly and cunning. But cunning is actually a strength of self-preservation. The fox is about taking care of yourself to ensure that you are on the right path. Let others watch out for themselves. Foxes are very adaptable and able to thrive. This card reminds us that we are able to get up and carry on after feeling down or isolated. This card can be seen as a dishonest friend or a sly enemy but it really refers to adaptability.
House of Bear (15)
Power, protection and fierce love.
Bear: The Lenormand bear had many meanings. Large strong loyal friend and helper but it also represents fierce mother love. Bear also teaches us about slowing down and taking things easy. Like bear we must learn when to slow up and hibernate and when to wake up and embrace life. Bear is strong and forceful and capable of achieving things alone. Bear also like a good tussle and argument. Choose your moments wisely if you wish to contradict others. Don’t step out like a bear with a sore head. It can also refer to a person who likes to dominate others.
House of Stars (16)
Hopes, wishes and fame.
Stars: This is the wish-fulfilment card of the Lenormand deck. Reach for the stars and they will grant you more than you hoped for. This card speaks of sublime energies flowing towards you. Awe inspiring wonders are on offer to you. All you need to do now is let go of the past pain and open yourself up to the new transcendent gifts that are being offered to you right now. This card can also represents recognition for a project or skill and also fame.
House of Storks (17)
Changes and returning.
Stork: Stork is all about returning to home from far away. This doesn’t always signify a physical journey from overseas back to a nest but might. It often tells us it is time to step back to reality from the heady and intoxicating dreams into the real world where real progress is made. Storks know and understand direction in life and they are strong birds with a massive sense of where they are heading as the fly through life. Become more sure of the stork within you. Occasionally Storks refer to migration, and moving away but with the knowledge that you will return.
House of Dog (18)
Trust, loyalty and honest friendships.
Dog: Dog is about trust and loyalty. This house is about friendships and how those around us behave. Dog in another house is still about friendships but about the friendships being offered to you. It can be about learning to trust in others again. Dog offers unquestionable love and loyalty but the lesson is to accept this love with an open heart. If dog is surrounded by negative cards it can be a warning that someone is not to be trusted.
House of Tower (19)
Big buildings, institutions, companies & isolation.
Tower: The Tower in Lenormand is very different to the Tarot Tower. This is not about rebuilding after destruction. This is about large businesses and corporations. It is more of a protected keep. A sturdy place where deals are created. This speaks of successes and gains. Dominance over others but also serves as a slight warning about arrogance in business affairs and isolationism. It can become a place from which we sit cut off from the world in an ivory tower. This house/card is always read depending on what is around it. It can be a prediction of creating a successful business and being the king of your own realm filled with individuality. It can also hint at moving on though. Letting go of stagnant ideals and climbing down from a principle that is now harming your progress.
House of Garden (20)
Social life, community
Garden: Pleasure gardens were the only places where both sexes could socialise back when these cards were created. This is a card that is all about social networking both online and off. Socialising with people in general and joining communities, parties and gatherings. This is about being noticed and gaining success and fame. It is about being open and social not private like the House of House. Circulate and enjoy life. You are becoming the sunshine in your own galaxy. Shine and sparkle for all to see.
House of Mountain (21)
Obstacles, heavy things and solutions.
Mountain: The main issue here is that your path in life is blocked by a mountain. You can choose to struggle to climb it to the summit and descend the other side or you can choose to go around it. The important message is that you are allowing your own progress to be blocked. You need to meditate on what you have used to create that mountain and bust it away. You can explode the blockage if you choose to confront the inner psyche and break it down. House of Mountain can also represent big ideas, emotions and notions that can be either positive or negative.
House of Crossroads (22)
Choices, possibilities and decisions.
Crossroads: You are at a crossroads. There are choices to be made as to the best way forward. It is fine to stop a while to think about the best way forward but do not stop for long. A choice must be made and you must move forward. Other cards close by will help to illuminate the subject of the choice facing you. Find a solution and press on. Do not stagnate at this junction. There is a new energy awaiting you and a new possibility.
House of Mice (23)
Stress, worry and losses.
Mice: Mice are seen as a warning to beware of being overrun by an infestation of vermin. They also traditionally represent thefts and losses. Mice however are slightly less problematic than rats. I feel that mice represent a sense of being plagued by stresses in many sectors of life. They appear without warning. You imagine glimpsing them from the corner of your eye. They are fairly silent and stealth like just like a series of mishaps that come from nowhere. There feels like there is little you can do to stop this but you can try and centre yourself better. Try to let the minor hiccups wash over you. Do not give in to frustration as this will pass.
House of Heart (24)
Love, relationships and emotional life.
Heart: This card is basically singing with love but as with all Lenormand cards it is not that simple. This card is about all aspects of love not just romance. This is about opening your heart to all forms of love. Platonic love for your friends, family, children, animals and even places. this card is about trying to strike the heart chakra open and ringing the bell of divine love that resides inside all our hearts no matter how hidden and dusty that bell might be. But to strike the bell we must first remember how to love ourselves. You need self respect to offer yourself love. Then open your heart to everything you can and feel sublime joy.
House of Ring (25)
Unions, contracts and marriage.
Ring: The ring is about engagements and marriage but it is also about connections. This ring is the union of commonality, the desire to reach out and connect with someone or something. It can also serve as a warning to break free from an unhealthy attachment to something. This will depend on the cards close by. See the magpie stealing the ring that might just be someone coming to steal your heart. Knock knock! Who’s there? Your future love. Marriage only applies if the Heart is next to the Ring
House of Book (26)
Secrets, studies and revelations.
Book: House of Book often refers to education. Learning new subjucts to improve your life. Getting certificates and qualifications. Book is also about revelations. Secrets that can no longer be held back. Things have to be faced and now is the time to look at the truth and live in the light. It could be a secret about you or it could be a secret that will be revealed to you that will open a new channel or avenue forward.
House of Letter (27)
News, documents, written information.
Letter: Letter is communication. News that is coming. It can also refer to emails and text in the modern era. It could be a contract that needs signing. Official documents or something legal being completed. Signing for a new job, contract, house, car. Letter can also be connected with friends and news from far away if other cards suggest this connection. It can also signify a lucky gain, inheritance or winning money. Good news.
House of Man (28)
The Querent or an important man
Man: In a Grand Tableau reading the Male and Female cards represent the querent of either sex. However in other readings the Man card like the Woman card usually represents a little more. They can refer to a significant other. Or with Heart or Ring a lover or spouse. They can with child represent a parent. Mostly they show the need to consider the duality in us all and to focus on developing the side of us that we least appreciate. It is time to integrate your twin nature into a single whole person. Don’t be shy about being both male and female. Listen to your own voice and let yourself be your guide.
House of Woman (29)
The Querent or an important woman
Woman: In a Grand Tableau reading the Male and Female cards represent the querent of either sex. However in other readings the Man card like the Woman card usually represents a little more. They can refer to a significant other. Or with Heart or Ring a lover or spouse. They can with child represent a parent. Mostly they show the need to consider the duality in us all and to focus on developing the side of us that we least appreciate. It is time to integrate your twin nature into a single whole person. Don’t be shy about being both male and female. Listen to your own voice and let yourself be your guide.
House of Lily (30)
Sensuality, sexuality and wisdom.
Lily: Lily is all about sensuality and burgeoning sexuality. Touch, smell, vision, hearing, tasting are all senses that develop and heighten with sexual pleasure. Understand the vigorous glory of a lily in bloom. This flower trumpets joyfulness. Appreciate yourself and others. Find a sensual self caress and experience pleasure. Do not shy away from sensual pleasures. This card is also about wisdom and understanding. By combining all our experience with our senses we can appreciate a new from of maturity and wisdom.
House of Sun (31)
Luck, success and happiness.
Sun: This card is the joyful warmth of the glorious sun shining down on life but it is also about the clarity of bright clear headed thinking. Success and confidence bubble over and you feel more alive and awake than you have in a very long time. This card promises absolute happiness. It is about singing out and sharing that which makes you resonate with vigour. This is sunny optimism and seeing pleasure in all things. Luck pervades and goals are accomplished. You brim with energy. This is one of the most positive cards in the deck.
House of Moon (32)
Inner emotions, dreams, mytery and intuition.
Moon: The Moon is often given far too narrow a definition in many Lenormand readings. Shadows and darkness. Activities at night but this does not account for the fact that the moon comes out during the day too. The moon rolls around the Earth and commands the seas. She rules our emotions every 28 days. The moon is about mystery, love, emotions, dreams and hopes. The moon is the magic body that transforms our existences more greatly than any other celestial body and the moon will offer you answers to your dreams if you ask it too. Wishes will be granted and successes guaranteed if you focus your thoughts and manifest your heart’s desires. Open to the moon and let intuition flow through you.
House of Key (33)
Key of success, solutions and promises.
Key: The Lenormand Key is a point of balance in life. 33 is achievement in activities and the third master number. It is time to place the key into the lock and open the door to a successful new life. This card is a guarantee of success and wishes coming true. The key is the solution to a problem, the door to a new house, the final piece in a project. It is also potential and finality to a situation. Some other important things that needs your attention will find its answer.
House of Fish (34)
Money, business and quality.
Fish: Fish represent money and wealth and abundance. However the meaning of fish can be as slippery as the fish themselves. Traditionally they are a sign of wealth and riches as these two fish in this card represent but often fish can be seen as greedily grabbing at a vast quantity over quality with a large net. Fish clearly represent both of these options. You might be promised great wealth but patience is advised so don’t fish with a net but rather with a steady spiritual rod. Take your time and the reward though rarer will be better.
House of Anchor (35)
Stability, work and staying put.
Anchor: Anchors are about putting down roots. Fixing yourself in one place for some period of time. They are also about creating a pattern of behaviour as the ship rotates in the wind around the fixed point on its chain. Finding roots is a good thing but becoming stuck in patterns is not. Especially around work. Ships traditionally bought goods from afar and they usually only anchor in ports to load or unload their cargoes. Which are you doing just now? Releasing goods and emotions or loading your hull with more than you can manage? Anchoring helps things last for a long time and if this is about work then this is about a long job.
House of Cross (36)
Destiny, Karma & Transformations.
Cross: Cross is like the tarot death card in many ways. It is about letting go of things that are no use and burying them. It’s more final than coffin. Cross is the last card in the Lenormand cycle and here the coffin is finally 6 feet under and the tomb stone has been ordered, delivered and in place to mark the grave. You need to be like the crows and take off to soar like a phoenix now. The funeral is over and everyone has gone home. Time you set off for pastures new too. Be like the crows and stretch your wings to take off into flight.