I see a lot of readers their queries and interpretations in short spreads posted to Lenormand forums. What I continue to observe is that most people have not “studied” the cards, having rushed past the introductory phase in their haste to get into the Game. This is recognized by the use of single card meanings or keywords in an interpretation. Lenormand is read by combinations only. The basic meaning of any card is geared towards the making of a pair.
As a self-taught German school lenormand reader I started when there were few English written resources and only standard Lenormand decks available by order in the US.
By way of German data bases, websites and online translators in conjunction with the faithful practice of daily draws and journaling, I slowly began to tune into the energy of the Lenormand method. It wasn’t easy and it surely wasn’t fast. I will say things didn’t click for me until around the 3 year mark.
When lenormand method is learned as a skill there is no need for “feelings” when examining a line of cards. One reads the symbols, follows the directions of the signs and uses the formula for pairs to get an answer from the cards. This is the root of clear interpretation- never guessing, never rote meanings lifted from a book or assumptions colored by personal experiences or opinions. The disciplined development of learning a deck from the bottom up, from rank to rating to pairs by way of a daily 3 card draw eliminates any need for fill in the gap supposition. When one chooses the number of cards to be spread whether it be a 5, 7, or 9 card line, one is setting an intention. Context, skill and intention eliminate the need for the false support of pulling extra cards, i.e. shadow or clarifying cards.
It is best to steer away from complications in the beginning stage such as mirroring and knighting. Bringing in playing card meanings is also a bad idea for a beginner. It is best to use the inserts as “people” indicators and not mix the methods of playing cards divination such as counting the number of red and black suits to evaluate whether the read is positive or negative.
Why? The German method rates the 36 cards themselves as positive, negative or neutral/a balanced mix. This is something most Lenormand readers seem to skip altogether in the learning process. The card ratings help the beginner in working out the meanings of paired combinations in a daily 3 card draw. Neutral’s balance takes on the tone of the positive or negative cards in proximity. Two neutral rated cards with a positive are a yes. Two neutrals with a negative rated card is a no.
I started with the German school and have stuck with it. I am aware of the Belgian, French and Brazilian variations of lenormand card meanings but do not chose to incorporate those meanings in my general client interpretations. Card sums or the adding of the values of the numbers on the cards is a Tarot tool and is not traditional to lenormand. Mixing systems and inventions result in confusion, while simplicity brings clarity.