Opening and Closing: The Key

First let’s look at two double cards. The combo 33-08 is in the Blue Owl code the open casket.  Yes, the Coffin can be considered as a double card. It has a head and foot or is shown with a draped side. In Blue Owl imagery, however we see an above ground tomb with an eternal flame.   Close examination will reveal  a knob like protrusion on the top of the left side of the locked coffin. In the old days coffins had keys and were locked after they were occupied. Today, the practice continues with the outer vault which may protect a coffin placed in the earth from decomposition.

In lenormand the 33-08 combo can indicate something is indeed over but the finality of the ending leads to a complete metamorphosis. This is an esoteric combination for it indicates that one has overcome certain restrictions by moving beyond them. It is the card of one who explores dark places others try to avoid.  It is also the code for Necromancy, i.e. the original Dark Art.

The lower combination 08-33 is the closed coffin . It is the card of seals- a   symbol of initiation into a closed order, vows of silence, unbroken oaths, of secrets taken to one’s grave.

Now mixing up a few  combinations with the Key we see:

33-19 – opening the Tower. In the middle ages the Tower was the jail. The bit of the key facing the tower functions as the cell being opened. One comes out of their ivory tower of isolation.

33-26- The mysteries of the unknown are shown by  the Book, a double card which bears a lock on the cover in the Blue Owl deck. Having the bit side of the key facing the page side of the Book  shows the locks on the “grimoire” have been sprung.  A great mystery is solved.

33-04- The key with the House shows at one’s residence doors are unlocked. This may show an “open door” policy hence one’s residence is not secure. Take it as a warning for your property and safety.  It can  be a referent to one’s “openness” as the House as home represents the vibration of the person/people who live there.

19-33- the door to the cell is slammed close. One is in isolation. Locked into a situation or a mindset.

26-33- the spine of the Book card shows partial knowledge. It is where the title of a book is shown and its author. The shaft of the key next to the spine shows that one’s information is limited to the obvious. One is not privy to the deeper levels of some subject.

04-33- the shaft of the key touching the house shows it is secure- protected from intrusion. It is the feeling of being “snug as a bug …” and of private family matters.

The Key: Facility With Function

Dondorf key
Blue Owl key

In learning  the lenormand system how one begins affects the entire journey. Lenormand  is a system where regular usage leads to different levels of interpretation.  One of these levels is that of function. Card 33, The Key represents in my experience facility with function.

At fully engaged levels of lenormand  the 36 cards function as “deck specific” notations, which is why as a teacher of beginning lenormand method, I recommend  a single traditional deck when learning the system.  One’s first deck has to be examined very closely.  The Dondorf user will have a different set of codes than the reader of the Blue Owl as the visual prompts on the double cards vary with each deck.

Double cards? Yes. As a newbie I thought cards 11, 22 and 33 were the doubles of the deck. However, in lenormand method a double is not numeric rank but a card which has two sides to it – each casting distinctly different  interpretations on flanking cards.  Again lenormand code is deck specific,  but in general as an example one can think of the Scythe’s handle and blade or the Clouds light and dark sides as examples of double cards.  At the intermediate level double cards are often referred to as “directional cards”.

As shown  in the Dondorf and the Blue Owl decks images above, the Key’s bit and shaft are situated in the same way, but this is not so  in the Piatnik version shown below. Please refer to a previous post on this blog, where the anatomy of the Key card was discussed, if the terms bit and shaft are unfamiliar.

Piatnik Key

The difference between the Piatnik imagery and that of the Dondorf and Blue Owl shows why image details are of primary importance!  The subconscious (Freudian term) or unconscious (Jungian term) works with pictures, not words. Thus the true language of lenormand has nothing to do with grammar or the  structure of verbal communication but has more in common with notation systems such as is found in Japanese Kanji or in the hieroglyphs of ancient Egypt where each image carries and triggers by a visual gate concepts which open to deeper archetypal rivers of meaning.

In lenormand notation images are non- transferable from deck to deck. Each lenormand deck being a distinct map of an internal terrain with its own “key”or legend.  The symbology  works only for the deck one is viewing.  Any list of pairs must be deck specific and should be self-generated.

A reader can work with more than one deck  but they will have only one  “master deck”.  For the dedicated lenormand reader,  their master deck  is simply the one they have mastered.  For a casual reader or dabbler,  the makings of their master deck is found in their first exposure to the cards which leaves an indelible imprint. Choose wisely.  It takes hard work with one traditional deck exclusively over an extended period of time to offset or override an artistic interpretation or untutored rendition of a trendy lenormand.

The Dondorf deck was my first deck but it is not my master deck. Thankfully it was a traditional lenormand and is graphically close to the  standard Blue Owl  which became my  master deck during the practicum. i.e. the first three years or 36 months of study in the lenormand system- one card each month.

The next post will examine the Key card in  a few patterns.


The Blue Owl Letter

The letter in German traditional lenormand decks is shown sealed. Usually a wax sealed letter was hand delivered  by courier, so it could be anything from a personal note, business matter or an invitation.

What is inside the envelope is unread.  What is known is on the outside of the letter and since the envelope is face down these details are not viewable on the card face.

Let us see how the Letter pairs up by looking at a few combinations.

10-27– In Blue Owl notation where the sharp blade of the Scythe points towards the Letter it shows a tool- a letter opener. Here the outside of the envelope is of no importance. The seal doesn’t even matter. A sharp blade has already opened the envelope. What is inside has been read.

27- 11 – Here the Birch broom and scourge become the instruments used to write the message. In the Old Days one could see 11 modifying 27 as a quill pen and ink bottle; the quill being dipped in ink over and over until done but today the broom and/or whip could represent fingers making keyboard strokes on a device such as a laptop or I Pad.

27-16– The Letter is always some type of message. When in proximity with the Stars it is often a dream.  Dreams written in the  symbol language of the astral plane can be as precise or as obtuse as any text.

27-19– Here the Letter with the Tower is a message concerning someone or something which is  at a distance or is from a person with whom the receiver has a tenuous connection or is estranged.

27-15– With the Bear an official letter of some sort is described.  It “bears” an insignia on the letterhead.  Could be from one’s employer or from some governing agency.

It is important to distinguish between the text aspect of the Letter (or the symbols of a dream ) and the voiced communication of the Birds, card 12.  In the period when these cards were created the Birds showed an actual face to face conversation. The Birds may  show  a neighbor  who comes in for coffee as well as in more modern times a conversation with the same neighbor over the phone.

The Letter may be a text message, an email as well as any traditional letter.  Times have indeed changed how information is received and sent as well as the speed of the process  but the intention of the Letter in lenormand code remains that it be a PRIVATE communication.

Information may also arrive via courier.  Any person who comes to one’s home or office door with  paperwork or property would be functioning as the Rider card- an intermediary who delivers to the addressee and  immediately departs.  The quick exit is a key to how the Rider differs from the Birds in practice. In today’s electronic dominant world the courier may be a motorized robot or even a drone!

Sharing news after it is received or the Letter has been read is another story which brings one to The Birds or the Rider, as the recipient may choose to either call another person or get in their car and  deliver the news they received in person.





The Clouds

According to Wikipedia, The Cloud may refer to:

  • a wireless network operator in Europe
  • a paradigm where computing resources are offered as a utility via the Internet, or
  • a metaphor for the Internet.

These are the techy picks, the public domain contains many references to and titles of  The Cloud;  however, our matter is plural. We are looking at the sixth card in the Lenormand deck, The Clouds.

My first encounter with the lenormand Clouds was the indistinct Dondorf/French Cartomancy version. Eventually after much frustration I ended up colorizing the card with a permanent black marker to give one side an obviously darker hue.

The Clouds card as shown above is more in line with the mini deck I use for quick reads – a Russian version of the standard Blue Owl deck. In this version  one cannot make an error – left or right are clear and the greyness in the center bottom reminds one how to judge the card in a 3 X 3 or a Tableau.  The Clouds overhead are a warning to whoever or whatever is directly underneath. It looks like rain, take heed and have an umbrella at the ready!

However, as the blog title proclaims we are not here for the troubles of beginning readers but for the development which comes  from “using” the cards for a time. As I approach my seventh year with the system the learning continues as to how the cards work on levels above and below the threshold of the obvious.

The Clouds in lenormand method has a connection to the Cloud as it is used in computing. The Clouds card is on the mental -causal plane. In a reading it speaks to the Querent’s  mental state. In proximity combinations with a card for the partner, child, siblings, parents, it shows their mind. Near  The Garden, the Clouds  can speak of a group or collective mindset or it can show the Vox populi  public opinion. Again this is interpreted according to the darkside  or lightside positioning of the cards.

Where there is no touching “people” card,  The Cloud shows the Querent’s mind.  The dark side  represents uncertainty,  fears and a general murkiness.  The clear side of The Clouds shows  more ordered thoughts and plans along with some degree of optimism.

In some oracle decks the mind is represented by the symbol of a mirror. In the Lenormand deck the Clouds card is like a mirror. The dark side of the Clouds is the back of the mirror or the subconscious “broodings” of the Querent; while the light side is their conscious thoughts which are reflected outward as their general perspective, Weltanschauung or world view.




What’s on Your Table?


When one reads almost all of the types of cards used  for the telling of fortunes and divination how does one pick? It is necessary, of course to know the difference between the two operations of telling fortunes and divining at the outset.

Blue Owl Lennies

For fortune telling beyond  linear restraints the Kipper cards excel as they require geometrics or dimensionality to express their energies. For quick line reads in tight quarters the 36 card Lenormand deck is best.  Wii rarely use playing cards for fortune telling these days since our  prefered traditional German Lenormand  decks incorporate  the same energy via the inserts.

Original Kippers!!!

For divination which actually is the reading of the Querent’s inner and outer situation without focusing on other people in their lives the Marseilles style Tarot deck is always the go to. Theme Tarot decks (lol), Tarot “style” decks with less than 78 cards or picture pips decks such as used on the Rider-Waite Smith Tarot do not work as well for divination purposes in mai experience.

My brand of Tarot

As to oracle decks, most are like mood swings! They come and they go, sort of like comparing a fashion trend to a classic look. However, an oracle deck such as the French Tarot d’Eltynne  a version of the Belline Oracle shown below has a connection to traditional Cartomancy via the number of cards used in the deck (52 +1) and shares the same symbol language. This type of oracle  can infuse a reader with a different view of things to break up habits and  reroute blocks.  My favorite fun Oracle deck is Paris Debono’s Gypsy Tattoo Oracle Deck which has 36 cards.

There is a caveat in the buying of any deck which wii have adopted. Other than a deckmaker card, trump or card  titles and  numbers of rank there can be no words on the card face. Text is very distracting, as at the subconscious levels of awareness all is  symbol  and color oriented and there is no literacy of wording at all.  Also when and where possible borderless card decks are much enjoyed!

Tarot d”Eltynne
Gypsy Tattoo Oracle


On mai reading table for fortune telling Kipper  cards are usually the first choice. For divination the Marseille Tarot reigns supreme. Decks which wii do not use are either passed on or sold.

Happy 2018

A new calendar year is upon us. As with all  Cartomancers there is a new year reading done. Many readers use a Zodiac style layout placing a card in each of the 12 positions in a circle using the traditional months.  A 13th card is drawn as a synthesis of the energy of the year and placed in the center.

The starting point or the placement of the first card for January on the Wheel  of the Year is usually consistent with the system one is aligned with.  There are no hard and fast rules. Wii do not use the placement as shown above.

The reading does not have to be done exactly on the first day of the year but the energy is strongest in the first 7 days or week of the incoming year.

Note:  The layout image in the post was taken from the Internet and has a copyright stamp on it.

Playing Card Flow: Spots and Dots


Much like any other 4 suited deck the concept of the elements enters in with standard playing cards. Wii use :

CLUBS – earth; SPADES – air

HEARTS- water; DIAMONDS- fire

The red suits of water  and fire are opposite elements and the black suits relate to earth and air being in elemental terms “enemies”.

So using proximity it is easy to “see”  two red cards touching is an issue or a cessation in the energy flow as are two black cards next to each other. 

Clubs as earth and Hearts as water are “friendly;” as are Spades as air and Diamonds as fire. This passes the energy along the line of drawn cards. Some readers use  elemental cues alone to determine what a line of cards means; tweaking the basic card meanings along their best and worst meanings to reach a conclusion.

Face Cards

The advantage of element over reversals  is one can “judge” the Face Cards. Face cards are not reversible  in the playing card deck as they are “double persons”.  Those who use the reversal method with the pips as outlined below can use the directional cues when the Face cards fall together in a line; noting if they look towards or away from one another. Towards each other being seen as positive away as unfriendly or hostile.


Some  people who use the element method  also take into consideration  the reversed Aces of Spades, Clubs and Hearts emblems because the BIG THREE  are a part of Cartomancy folklore and are very easy visually to spot.


Reversal depends upon and is determined by the number of emblems being upright to the viewer or reversed in the numeric field of the pip cards.  As one will notice  Diamond pips  are totally “un”reversible due to their shape.  Deuces and fours cannot be reversed in any suit.  One needs to go through the entire deck and look at each pip card carefully. In practice, pip reversals beyond the six of the suit in Clubs, Spades and Hearts require the keenest eye. For those who are sight challenged  marking  a small dot in the upper corner of any reversed pip  card  helps to discern the placement. Keeping the dot  small will not draw the attention of the average sitter.

Remember the suits of heart, diamond , spade and club  when used in a cartomancy layout are  simply a flowchart  of the movement  or blockage of internal and external energies in and around the sitter.




Clubs: When There’s Work to Be Done

The Clubs are a very physical suit. Some stand alone meanings for the cards in this suit are:

The Ace of Clubs-physical strength, The ability to “make it so.”

The King is the Country Squire.  He is somewhat of a heavy weight being sedentary or retired.   An owner of real estate. Often an employer of many people in a small town.

The Queen is the Lady of the Manor. This Queen who is generally younger than her King rides horses and is not unfamiliar with a hunting rifle.

The Jack of Clubs is the Jock, the Boy of Brawn. Strong and athletic often inclined to bully others less endowed.

The 10 of clubs is  land in the country, an estate or even a working farm. The idea behind the 10 of clubs is land  has to be worked, farmed or maintained and thus people are hired.

2 of clubs can indicate best friends.

3 of clubs is the proverbial “buttinsky” a person who aggressively wants to be included and won’t take NO as an answer.

4 of clubs is a room or a cottage, even a shed.  It can represent the four walls of a dwelling or a fenced in outdoor area.

5 of clubs is traditionally the need to rest or recuperate from exhaustion to literally “lie down”.

6 of clubs is a country road or a lane. It can be the way to one’s work or the method/ way one does their job.

7 of clubs can indicate trouble keeping a steady job and the issues a reduction of wages or  income can bring.

8 of clubs indicates a crew or ones co-workers and can indicate socializing .

9  of clubs  is the end of a job, project  or a contract. It is not like the 7 of clubs where person is removed. Here the work is simply completed.

Stay tuned for:  Reversals in playing cards should you or shouldn’t you?

The Suit of Hearts: A House of Beliefs

In dealing with the suit of Hearts we deal with Blood and the Ink of Oaths. It is our beliefs that cause us to make liaisons, to join and fellowship, to co-sign and make pacts and ultimately to shed blood in war.

The Ace of Hearts is the home in traditional Cartomancy.  As the old saying goes home is where the hearth is. This however is not the actual edifice that one lives in but an idealized internal comfort zone. The Ace shows what gives one comfort and/or pleasure. It is what soothes the raging beast within the center of a man.

The King of Hearts-this is the representative of one’s beliefs. He is a talking head. He can be The Pope, The President, or an academic or scientific expert in any discipline, institution or organization  where one places their faith or BELIEF.  Belief gives the King of Hearts his authority.

The Queen of Hearts– Here we find  Beauty in all Her idolized symbols such as  Luxury and Art.  The Queen of Hearts represents High Culture and is worshipped in some form by all Nations. Her power is DESIRE-the dynamic drive in mankind to possess some material token of what one believes in.

The Jack of Hearts- This is a card of Luck . Of changed circumstances. Of winning against the “odds”. It is the Hail Mary pass. The lottery ticket that pays off. The favor of a cool Beloved bestowed as a warm kissThe power of the Jack of Hearts is static.  It is called HOPE.

The 10 of hearts is the home in terms of one’s family, the bloodline of living and dead forming the spiral stair of life and rebirth transmitted in the DNA/ RNA/mtDNA Temple of Blood. In more general terms this card stands for  one’s species. Therefore, the 10 of Hearts is not a card about individual concerns but will always involve others.

Pips 2-9 to follow.



Part 2: Suit of Diamonds -Pips


The pips are basically levels of contractual  business relationships. The suit of Diamonds is not about manual labor, a job or working wage. It relates to corporations, business owners and the wealthy. In terms of the average man it points to legal obligations such as taxes, to banks, large ticket purchases and lifestyles financed on credit.

Deuce-a legal partnership

Tray- a business takeover, credit transactions

Four-  real property or assets, a mortgage

Five- signed documents, expenses, (also overspending/gambling)

Six- a financial opportunity or investment ( for good or ill)

Seven- interest rates, management of holdings or investments,  accountants, taxes and red tape

Eight- boards of directors, stockholders; also clubs, orders, and fraternities

Nine- legacies and inheritances

Though this is my system of reading playing cards suits it still follows that each query and the position, i.e. the cards to right and left as well as above and below the playing card will help fine tune meaning.