The Melissa Lenormand Little White Book

The Little White Book of the

Melissa Lenormand

Divination Deck

This page is a work-in-progress! The rest of the cards are coming soon!

A note about this text:

I wrote this LWB nearly ten years ago!! A lot has changed for me, both professionally and personally. My approach to the cards has even evolved since then. 

That said, I wanted to preserve as much of the original LWB copy as possible, so I have only updated for typos and clarity — not content. My classes and most recent blog and social media posts reflect my current understanding and approach to the cards.

The Melissa Lenormand

I began work on the Melissa Lenormand in 2009 as a way to better understand Lenormand cards and meanings. After I worked up courage to post my images on the internet, interest and support for a finished and printed deck began pouring in. I’m grateful to my fans on Facebook and the members of the Aeclectic Tarot Forum for all the generous encouragement and enthusiasm. I’m also grateful to my dear friends and family – for being such lovely lovely muses.

A note about the Lenormand

Read this section of the Little White Book

I could have started this little white book with a discussion on the history of the Lenormand cards. I won’t. I’m not a historian and I probably wouldn’t get it right. In a nutshell, Marie Anne Adelaide Lenormand was a famous fortune teller who read cards for Napoleon and Josephine and the 36 set of cards that became known as the Petit Lenormand are based on cards that she purportedly used. The cards use symbols that are direct and simple. The meanings are typically more prescribed than the meanings of a tarot. If you do some research on the internet about the history and use of the Lenormand oracle, you’ll find different schools of reading. Some will offer specific meanings that are devised from combinations of cards. Some will offer specific meanings devised from the position of certain cards in certain spreads. When I started my journey into reading the Lenormand, I realized very quickly that I had to throw all that out. It’s not useful for me to memorize the answers and try to make them meaningful. It’s useful for me to find meaning in the symbols – reading intuitively by looking for relationships between the images and the situation I’m reading on.

That’s a very un-Lenormand like thing to say. But what I also realized as I went through this process, was that people who do find it useful to read with an over-arching system in place can layer those meanings on top of what they intuit based on the imagery I’ve chosen. So it wasn’t a bad thing that I did after all—just a little different.

The other thing that I won’t do in this little white book is guided spreads. My first Lenormand deck came with a book that offered different spreads to do with the cards. You would shuffle, throw the spread, and then, based on the position of the card in the spread, it would have a different meaning. And it seemed to me that you would have to look up the meanings in the book. I just couldn’t imagine memorizing all those different possible meanings!

(This comes, of course, from a tarot reader, who has learned to understand the meanings of the cards very, very, VERY slowly over the last ten or so years…)

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What I recommend with this deck

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Spend your first few meetings with the deck just examining the pictures. Take in the different cards slowly. I’ve purposely layered the artwork the way I did. I made conscious decisions about what to include and what to not include for a reason. Consider the way certain cards make you feel. Maybe even make notes.

There are a few different systems that you can employ when reading Lenormand cards. If you’re interested in learning those, I suggest you search the internet for more resources, books, eBooks and courses available. You can also join the discussion on Lenormand cards, other oracle decks and tarot packs at Aeclectic.net – and learn from people who have much more experience and insight than I could offer in one little white book!

However you choose to read your oracle, I hope that you find the cards useful, insightful, inspiring and helpful. After reading tarot for many years, picking up an oracle was a breath of fresh air for me. While tarot will always be my “first love” in terms of cards, the Melissa Lenormand will always be my first set of personal cards. I’m very proud of my little deck of cards and I’m so thrilled that you’re now a part of this process too. The cards are nothing without a reader. Cold, dead printed cardboard. With you they can come alive and they can tell stories. Thank you for making my cards come alive.

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Suggested Spreads

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Learning a new deck can be daunting. One way to make it manageable is to start with daily draws. Some books suggest one card a day. While you can certainly get lots of great insight this way, I suggest you pull two. Read the two cards as:

  1. What is happening
  2. What will change

I think pulling two cards will give you practice at finding relationships between cards – and the cards, like people, are all about relationships.

Three card readings are quite popular. Use a spread like – past, present, future or mind, body, spirit – to gain insight into any situation.

I designed the following spread specifically for use with my Lenormand, but they can also be adapted for use with tarot.

The ML Relationship Spread

Pull the signifier cards from the deck for the two parties involved (Woman, Man, Lady, etc. – if you have a 45 card version of the deck, you will have more options!) The relationship doesn’t necessarily have to be between two people either. Understanding energy relationships between two seemingly different aspects of our lives allows us to make better use of the dynamics that would naturally arise out of those situations. For example, understanding the relationship between our dream desires and the obstacles that stand in our way (perhaps the Fish and the Mountain) might help us take those first steps toward realizing our wishes.

The first step is to determine those signifiers though (man, woman, lady, or another card). Pull them and set them aside.

Shuffle the remaining cards and pull 13 additional cards to surround the two signifiers:

XXXXX
X1X2X
XXXXX

The top row represents issues, events and obstacles that are known and understood on a conscious level.

The middle row represents issues, events and obstacles that are demanding attention.

The bottom row represents issues, events and obstacles that are unknown, hidden or subconscious.

The first column represents issues, events and obstacles that are in the first person’s past. The second column is what the first person is experiencing now. The third column is the future of the relationship for the first person.

Imagine that middle column as where person 1 and person 2 come together and meet.

For the second person, the third column (from the left) is the future of the relationship. The forth column is their present experience and the fifth column is their past.

When you read these cards, consider the relationships between the past, present and future – and how those relationships might influence the actions and choices of the parties involved. For example, how might a known Coffin in the past affect the unknown future of the relationship? How do those cards interact and what direction do the surrounding cards send those energies in?

Which direction do the chosen signifiers seem to be gazing? What cards are they looking at? Why are these cards significant?

Spend some time with each spread – don’t get discouraged if you don’t see the answers you were hoping to see. Write down your initial reactions and then come back tomorrow, a week later, a year later. What did you find to ring true? What did you find had changed? What happened in an unexpected manner? After doing spreads like this (or the simple two or three card spreads) for awhile, you will be able to add your own personal experiences of the cards to your understanding of their meanings.

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The Card Meanings

The Rider

The rider represents news, messages, ideas and thoughts. Can also represent your intuition and invention. Considered a positive card. This was the first card I designed for the deck. I used a lovely vintage woman

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The Clover

Good luck. Getting rewarded for your hard work and effort. Having hope that things will work out. The clovers in the background are from an old botany text book. The little girl in the foreground

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The Ship

Deepening spiritual growth. Going on a soul journey. Dreaming and dreams. Navigating your life. Making acquisitions (or taking losses). I used the image of a female helmsman at the wheel of the ship to indicate

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The House

Home life, family relationships, special places, ties to the past, ties to this world. The little cottage in the foreground of the House card is from a vintage greeting card. It may look lovely and

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The Tree

Health matters. The physical body. Natural environment. Knowledge of good and evil. Being connected. The passage of time. Growth. The tree that you see in the background of this card is from a vintage sheet

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The Clouds

Feeling overwhelmed. Doubts. Fear. The truth being obscured. Misunderstandings. It may say Clouds, but maybe it would be more helpful to think of this card in terms of being in a fog. What is that

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The Snake

Temptation, dark desire, seduction, cunning, being out-witted, using all your cunning nature to overcome an obstacle. If the Clouds obscure your goals, the Snake is a card that intentionally distracts you from achieving your desires.

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The Coffin

Death. Transformation. Endings. Renewal. Situations coming to a head. Shit hitting the fan. Secrets revealed. Painful revelations. The coffin is a card of transformation and represents the end of a cycle or situation. When this

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