Lennies Are More Popular

The lenormand deck it seems gets way more attention than Kipper cards. I cannot see why the more descriptive of the two sets of fortune telling cards are so routinely overlooked.

One reason might be the cards themselves. The traditional Kipper deck is dark and dated. However, the new artistic renderings in Kipperkarten by people not so well versed in reading the cards can hamper the new reader’s ability to interpret the cards in the traditional way.  What seems old fashioned about card scenes is quite charming, once one learns the history of the deck. Kipperkarten are certainly more modern than the Marseilles Tarot deck.

Secondly, a Kipper deck needs to be very clear on directions on each of the 36 cards. Ambiguity is caused by artists modifying the original card scenes which have the visual cues used by traditional Kipper reading techniques’ Without these cues Kipper becomes inaccessible. The Kipper cards are overtly directional whereas in lenormand the directions are covert.  The lennies use direction but not in a way which will impact the beginning lenormand reader.

The Line of Sight Draw above: MC2-> 34 Work-35-High Honor-18 A Small Child says the Lady works to learn something new. This was my approach to both Lenormand and   Kipperkarten- as a student learning the basics which allows skills to grow and unfold naturally during the process.



Kipper Money Cards

Top:  Left Card 11 -Win Lots of Money; Right Card 13- Rich Gent

Bottom: Left Card 24-Theft; Right Card 27 -Unexpected Money

It is simple enough to me, Kipper money cards are the cards which have money on them whether on a table, in a cupboard, a check in the hand or on the floor. The money cards show legal tender and have amounts written on the containers or wrappers which hold the currency.

Two of my German language sources* list Card 13, Rich Young Gent as a Money card saying it primarily represents the firm or company one receives their wages from. Wages are scheduled monies. The Rich Gent can be an accountant or anyone who works with money as a vocation. By extension with card 29, the Prison, it shows a bank employee.

Of course some will ask isn’t Card 13 the Rich Gent a person card? Yes, it is traditionally the card of the son when it appears with other people cards near the Living Room or the House. The assignment of the “other man” or a Lover usually involves other male person cards and not Rich Young Gent. In many Kipper forums, new readers are interpreting romantic involvements in lines where the Rich Young Gent appears when his forte is finance!

The next query may be- why do you list Theft as a money card? Duh… it definitely meets the criteria of having money in denominations on the card face. The scene clearly shows a reduction of funds by the removal of money. The person is not stealing food, jewelry, or someone’s affections. It is money in the thief’s hand.

Card 27 –Unexpected Money is the Merchant’s card. A merchant can’t say how much people spend and when.  Same for a business owner.  This is obviously a money card but it is often explained as money that is not earned as a wage like Card 13. In Card 27 one finds  variance in sales made, commissions, bonuses, winnings; cash which appears when it appears, monies one cannot plan or depend on.

Card 11 Win Lots of Money is accepted as a money card without question. It is a lot of money or a large sum.

However, to every rule there is an exception and here the exception is a female. Card 12- The Rich Young Lady is part of the money card complex by her title even though no money is shown on her card.  She is seen outside in a garden which represents her contact with the social world. In terms of finances she represents disposable income or consumer spending where funds go out of one’s hands.


*German Sources Used

Kipper-karten Band II Legetechniken. Dipl.-Ing. Hildegard Leiding Heinz

Das Geheimnis Der Kipperkarten- Band I, Ingo Michael Simon


Kipper “Legalese”

I absolutely love working with the Kipper deck. My first real challenges in interpretation were the 3 cards which related to the judiciary system- Card 23- Court, Card 29- Prison/Jailhouse, and Card 30 – Court Person. I went to my German texts and started translating to see if I was missing something in the core meaning of the cards and the scenes on them. After a bit of effort I found the approach which works for me.

The Court card relates to conflicts and decisions about how to handle them. However, it is specific to pending decisions and conflicts that have not yet been resolved. You have an ongoing conflict with your neighbor and you can’t reach a decision as to how to work it out so you go to court. In a reading the Court card shows your Querent has an unresolved issue.

The Court Person card shows an official person giving advice, discussions and counsel.  The Court Person can in practice be a professional, an expert, or an acquaintance. The words said may not be what one wants to hear or be  said in the way one would like to hear them. As a legal theme it is the “power of the court” to deliver a verdict which resolves a case.

The Prison card relates to blocks and delays.  One has come up against obstacles and restrictions which take TIME. It is slow going, like walking through knee deep mud. In the case of a Querent they are struggling with details/ red tape within a system, an institution or in terms of a personal or professional matter and feel their life/ forward motion has been put on hold. No forward movement or change.


23-30 The Court Card with The Court Person following it can speak of a hearing  or ongoing court trial leading to a descision.

30-23 The Court Person  appearing before the Court Card in a sequence shows  a decision has  been reached or that the Querent has already “made up their mind” on a matter.

The Prison card when not appearing  with the other “legalese” cards 23 and 30 can show a large important building or structure which is locked or guarded. As an example 11-29 can show a bank, while 31-29 can show a hospital or sanitorium.


Time: The Footprint of the Invisible

“Probability means the future you will experience has already occurred.”

This would be the sign over my door if I were the Oracle of the Matrix.  I believe this statement explains why an oracle or seer with or without a tool can “read” or see what has yet to present itself in the physical world.  The Querent has already made their choice on a deeper unconscious level. It is just a matter of “watching” how it “rises” out from the subtle or invisible watery worlds into tangible and visible events.

In the Hindu system Time or Kala  is an attribute of Kali. We are said to be living in era of the Kali Yuga. Think of the words calendar and apocalypse and hear the sound of Kali the fierce Hindu Goddess in them. Mortals resist time. Time is the Great Invisible. It moves in and around us like a Ninja. We can’t track it directly, we see the effects of its passage. One cannot store or hoard time. We are here in the physical world as long as our destiny allows or until our time runs out.

In the culture of the 21st century Death rules. As a side effect of Death’s domination comes the impulse of the mind of mankind to run faster to speed things up. The present moment is the only constant in the equation of existense and paradoxically it is also the variable.  In a teckno-hyped culture one has multiple distractions in each moment – instant messages, instant photos, superfast downloads, and 1 click shortcuts to complete tasks. People are told to hurry up, to do more in less time. The result of all this hurrying is impatience and stress which lead to incompetence. Every process has an optimum time cycle or season to grow and develop.

Diviners move and manipulate signs. This requires they understand the phases of the time cycle to develop a rapport with its rhythm. In other words, students of any new method have to fight the general entry level group impulse to rush, by slowing things down and focusing intently so they may not only see more but pick up the clues others missed by rushing.

It is run on thinking, I have to do this and then I have to do that, which locks one outside of the present moment. The mind is already moving toward the next step before one can digest what is happening in the current moment. “Faster, faster, faster,” this is the mantra of the mind as it tries to outrun time and outrun the consequences of being annexed to the body.

Time is not a line drawn in the sand but is latent energy braided or woven in each moment of the present. The threads of time energy can be grasped. Time is simultaneous which is why we are in a multiverse, i.e. there are different versions of events in different worlds. Oracles do not predict the future but grab onto the threads of time and follow their flow to a specific manifestation of phenomena or a conclusion.


*This material first appeared in my 2012 Song of Lenormand blog. It has been edited.

Lenormand Overlay

When one studies the scenery of the traditional Lenormand decks such as the Dondorf and the Blue Owl one will see certain symbols are included in other cards. For example, let us take a look at The Rider using a Blue Owl style deck:

The Rider is a Man card 28

The card shows him riding away from a House card 04

He travels on a tree lined Road card 22

The trio of symbols on the Rider vignette are what I call an overlay. The Rider includes the energies of card 28, 04 and 22 making card 1, a story within a story. The Rider shows movement away from home and travel over land a short distance returning at the end of the day. We say a return at the end of the day due to the timing element of the Rider card.

Another overlay is the Ship Complex. In the Blue Owl  deck, The Ship appears on card 3 as well as card 34- The Fish and card 35 The Anchor. Again there are shared properties  on all cards due to the ship symbol and the watery environment. The Ship shows a long journey. One goes a great distance (34) before setting anchor on dry land (35).

There are more overlays in the deck. Traditional Lenormand decks contain these sets of cards which share symbols. While this is not relevant to the beginner, it is food for meditation for an intermediate to advanced Lenormand student who has selected a primary working deck, as every detail about that deck can add information to the reading.

Symbol and Signatum

Merry-Go-Round by Elenare on Deviant Art

As the late Dr. Charles Musès said:  “… you have to regard a symbol as a revolving door, the point of which is to walk through and not get stuck in it, and then help other people to get through. A symbol is very useful, no question, but you can get caught in a revolving door. You have to be careful. ”

My gloss/interpretation of Dr. Muses words is symbols whether words or pictures are pointers to something else. The something which they point to is the signatum, the deep meaning under the form or concept. However, a revolving door requires a push to move. When one accepts the symbol as if it were the whole or sole meaning, the revolving door turns into a carousel of flashing lights, music and horses going up and down- an entertaining distraction.

Why? A symbol has no objective value in and of itself. Believing the symbol is a construct is a trap which blocks development by making readings stiff and fixed. Such responses are unable to shift the meaning to adapt to the flow of context in the question being asked.

One size/ meaning does not fit all / questions in Cartomancy!

So the first phase of Cartomancy  consists of an introduction to symbols. The road of a Cartomancer however begins when one leaves the symbol as index behind and crosses the threshold to interact with the signatum, the dynamic energies beyond the cards.


Quote from: Charles Musès, Destiny and Control in Human Systems: Studies in the Interactive Connectiveness of Time, Kluwer Academic Publishing, Hingham, MA. 1985


Clearing the Deck

Yes, Cartomancy does have its own jargon. Clearing the deck means to remove stagnant energies. Many folk may think this applies only when clients handle the deck, my experience  finds it pertinent to a reader’s energy even more so, as it is not just dirt or oils on fingers which require removal.

At best a new deck frequently used is clean for 3 moons before it needs clearing. Think of the clearing process as opening up the deck and letting it breathe. The reading of  energies represented by their card symbols are looked at by the eyes of the reader and it is the “looking” which creates the  residue on the cards.  Over time the remnants of our fixed attention can turn sticky or tacky and hinder the shuffling of the cards causing them to “cluster” or make patterns which are not related to what is currently being read.

Each person has their own method of clearing. It however should be a dry method. Misting or spraying is out. Holding the individual cards in the smoke of incense is a solution. Placing your deck in a ziplock bag with some white flour for a shake-shake  then removing the deck and wiping each card off, back and front with a clean soft cloth is another. Remember the key to clearing the deck is a separation of each card from the deck to remove the accumulated substance of one’s gaze. It will take some time.

The flag or alert for deck maintainence for me falls under the Clouds card in lenormand method. When card 06 appears in consecutive reads or if the pair 26-06, Book- Clouds falls, the notation  reminds me to “clear the deck!”

The Snake Eats the Mouse

” Each card master has a bag of tricks. Some traditional and some riffs.”

Card systems have a tradition surrounding them which is based on the way things have been done over generations. Along side of tradition is the folklore of the cards. The folklore is passed along in the songs and stories which are part of the culture of the people. There exists an underground stream or current which refreshes the tradition by bursting up through to the surface to remind the tradition of what may have been lost or changed. It is the underground stream which nourishes the folklore of Cartomancy.

Many traditional users have found the Mouse/Mice to be a difficult card in any pairing. As a double card it is a loss to one side and a spoiling of things on the other side. If there are negative cards surrounding the Mice then all to the good, or so they say… However, the eroding qualities of the Mouse against the Mountain are very, very slow. The Mice don’t stop the Scythe but they do dull or rust the blade making a bad situation  worse. When paired with the Coffin card the Mice as practice with the daily will show can produce a virus, discomfort or “the runs”.

So what is the control card for the Mice/Mouse in the lenormand deck? For this we leave the traditional and go to the folklore. This is not a beginner’s issue but one of the many tricks in the bag of the card journeyman as they ply their trade. The neutralization of the Mouse card is a bit tricky because it is both deck and direction dependent, one of those pair notations which can’t be written in stone as it must be eye-balled!  It can be either 07-23 or 23-07.*

The Snake eats the Mice. All school children can support this and it is correct that the snake loves to eat rodents. In lenormand method the head of the Serpent card when it touches the Mice/Mouse card neutralizes its effect on the side it touches.

In the photo above the directions are shown from top to bottom of the Piatnik, Dondorf and Mertz decks for the pair Snake eats Mouse.

* In any deck where the Serpent’s head is vertical such as in the Dreaming Way Lenormand the swallowing effect of Serpent in the pairing  cannot be applied to the linear read.



“Holding the decans in my hands. I ride the solar ark, gossiping with star gods”-   Orb of  Djenra

The daily is an introduction and means which gives one facility in making pairs. It is the basic daily read of 3 cards that gives one a chance to practice pairs. This is why a daily should not be more than three cards. It shows not only how pairs are formed but how the cards reflect and project energies in the aura and environment of the reader by keeping a journal which includes a nightly review of one’s day. 
The core meaning in lenormand is actually the topic a card represents such as Dog signifies a loyal friend; the Ship a long trip, the House your residence, and so on. It is best to approach the single cards as topics rather than compile a list of  “keywords”.  The core meaning of any card is a means to forming the pair.  The lists of meanings in books for a single card are confusing, as generally they are the culled results of pairs in which the card is present, but the book fails to mention the companion card in that pair which modified the meaning.
The 3 card daily leads smoothly into the Square of Nine, a set of three threes.  This spread is simple but it is key in lenormand method as it is used in the full 36 card spread to investigate issues around the topic cards. This layout is used in many European card systems.
Next come the linear reads of 5, 7 or 9 cards which are read by pairs or combinations. The linear reads make pairs of the cards touching one another. Some readers who use only the lines will make random pairs or go front to back in creating pairs which is called mirroring. The lines lead one into the reading of the full spread or GT.
So in the Lenormand method in order to make a pair or notation, a pair is side by side in a line and/or a top to bottom  placement of a card in a Square of Nine.  A GT pair adds to the information the pairs made by a card being found in a house. Pairs form  the “words” which allow the single topic cards to speak.  This is basic unless one is reading a full spread of 36 cards with the near and far technique which uses the proximity or distance of topic cards to the Querent’s card to derive the message.

The Devil You Know

“Better the Devil you know, than the devil you don’t…”


In the occult traditions the Dog is messenger and psychopomp, a leader of souls into the Aterlife or Netherworld, take your pick. In terms of human traits it is the symbol of  loyalty and denotes a follower. Neither of these concepts are themes of the Devil.

The Fox however is the traditional lenormand symbol of the Devil. Its color is usually red. It wears a mask. It is used in the German school to represent that which is wrong or false.

However, one must put folklore to the side and look at the Greco-Roman influences on culture and religion in this discussion. The Snake symbol was the totem of the Pythia or the Elder female oracles in Greece who were descendants of the matriarchial lineages the remnants  of ancient African divination cults. The Snake represented in spite of its phallic shape  feminine energies and a female mystery system.

At the point in time when femaleness became intolerable to the Church of Rome, the falseness of the Red Fox or the Old Devil was upgraded to cunning by the Patriarchs and the whispered wisdom of the old eared Serpent demoted to evil, along with the female gender as a whole.

The Fox’s shift from a symbol of falsehood or lies to a representative of quickness of mind and cunning by the Patriarchs was done because they admired and themselves used intelligence and trickery to gain and hold onto power.

Thus, in the French and Belgium schools of Lenormand method or where the Catholic Church’s influence held sway, the role of the Fox is toned down and the Serpent becomes the predominant demonic type. In Germany, where a Protestant state of mind ruled the Devil remained filed under the details of the Red Fox while the Serpent retained the maternal qualities and wisdom attributed to older and wiser women.

The Fox and Serpent cards are double cards in the traditional lenormand style deck. This means they have values associated with their directions, i.e. pairs made on the left side are inauspicious while pairings on the right side of the same card are auspicious or benign. Note in the examples shown above of the Dondorf deck where both Fox and Serpent face left as does the female Querent card.

New students of the lenormand method at the beginning stages do not learn direction when reading the cards. They also in general do not take into account the doubleness of the signs.  The beginner who is self-taught from a variety of books will also tend to mix information from the various schools in their attempts to find core meanings for single cards. These factors may account for meanings which have bled into one another and blurred in both the Fox and the Serpent cards in terms of their linking to negativity or the “Devil” and by extension their association with femaleness.

Better the Devil you know….