Helen's Lenormand dictionary


The original prototype for the Lenormand deck, das Spiel der Hoffnung (Game of Hope), was designed as a board race game with a secondary use of fortune telling by a German man Johann Kaspar Hechtel (1771-1799). The deck was later named after the famous French fortune-teller Marie Anne Adelaide Lenormand (1772-1843).

The board game used a traditional Southern German playing card deck of 36 cards with new illustrations on each card that were laid out in a 6x6 formation, a typical formation for gambling board games similar to Mexican Lotería now known in Germany as Bilderlotto (picture lotto). (Southern German playing card decks historically did away with the aces and the 3/4/5 pip cards in each suit leaving only 36 cards, the two/deuce/Daus corresponds to the French ace and is ranked highest in the playing card deck.) The Anchor, traditionally a symbol of hope, was the second last card and the winning square for the player who reached it first.

[Game of Hope reproduction by Lauren Forestell sold under licence from the British Museum.]
[Image copyright Lauren Forestell.]

For the fortune telling purpose, the instructions were to lay out the cards in an 8x4+4 formation we know as the Grand Tableau (big picture) today. The 8x4 part was based on a Grand Tableau formation using a 32 card piquet deck. The original game instructions preserved in the British Museum do not contain explicit divination meanings for each card.

The original cards included both German and French suits (hearts, bells/diamonds, acorns/clubs and leaves/spades), but the cartomantic meanings of the cards correspond to traditional German cartomancy systems not the French ones that are more well-known in the English-speaking world. Acorns/clubs were traditionally associated with the servant class and poverty in Germany, which explains why it is the least favourable suit.

Interpretation of the cards

Lenormand cards have many possible layers of meaning, e.g. for card 30 Lily (K♠):

♦literal meaning, e.g. Lily = a flower, a female name
♦symbolic meaning, e.g. Lily = serenity, purity
♦form meaning (based on how the main symbol typically manifests), e.g. Lily = the colour white, phallic shape
♦numeric meaning, e.g. 30 could refer to a date in a timing reading or an amount
♦suit meaning, e.g. ♠ = society, government and travel
♦playing card meaning, e.g. K♠ = an elder, a lawyer or judge
♦pictorial meaning (depends on the deck imagery).

The meaning of a Lenormand card in a reading depends on:

♦possible layers of meanings adopted for the card by the reader
♦context of the question asked
♦position of the card in the spread
♦other cards in the spread.

We interpret all the possible layers of meaning of all the cards as a coherent message that makes sense in the context of the question asked. Our intuitive abilities honed by practice enable us to do this so fast that we don't even realize how we did it, as is the case with driving a car for example.

I have listed some meanings that I associate with each card below. I have also included my reading significator association(s) in brackets after the name of the card where applicable.

Please note that there is considerable variation in the stated meanings of the Lenormand cards from author to author. After studying various systems as presented by different authors (see bibliography below), I have adopted a system of associations that works for me. Many of my associations agree with those in several different Lenormand systems, some are unique to specific systems, and some are my own personal associations that I add to from time to time.

Card 1 (9♥): Rider
General: news, approach, delivery, communication, action, speed, movement, announcement, feedback, updates, return, renewal, declaration, imminent change, agent of change, new chapter, someone or something new, visitor, messenger, look at the following and previous cards to see what he is bringing and/or changing, motorcycle, bicycle, horse, jockey
Location: racetrack, stables, paddocks, freeway, floor, ground level, entrance area
Health: lower legs, knees, feet, health updates
Timing (houses)*: within 2 days
Timing (other): Tuesday, imminent

Card 2 (6♦): Clover
General: :), ?, !, luck, optimism, opportunity, small luck, stroke of luck, lucky break, risk, reward, chance, second chance, fling, gambling odds, hope, wild card, fleeting, unforeseen positive turn of events, pleasant surprise, bonus, tip, perk, win, bargain, catch, lucky find, sweetener, boost, refreshment, plant, grass, herb
Location: betting shop, bargain store, junk shop, grassy area, herb garden
Colours: green
Health: etheric body, tonic, vitamins, natural supplement, homeopathy, recovery
Timing (houses)*: within 4 days
Timing (other): Sunday, soon

Card 3 (10♠): Ship (vehicle, long distance trip)
General: transport, travel, foreign location, motorised vehicle, change, movement, transition, transfer, long distance trip, journey, departure, separation, exploration, adventure, physical distance, overseas, international, spirit dimension, vessel, container, cup, bowl, carrier, medium
Location: foreign or distant location, vehicle, garage, parking area, airport, en-route
Health: liver, gallbladder, ambulance (+Tree)
Timing (houses)*: 3 years
Timing (other): Thursday

Card 4 (K♥): House (home, small building, website, family)
General: @, home, family, safety, household, domestic affairs, property, real estate, title (royalty and peerage), department, sanctuary, shelter, comfort zone, stability, support, location, address
Location: home, small building, small shop or business, small office, retail business, website
Health: bones, skeleton, clinic, health care facility (+Tree)
Timing (houses)*: morning
Timing (other): within a calendar month

Card 5 (7♥): Tree (health, cause of death, life path, past life)
General: life, health, development, physical health, spiritual health, environmental health, wellbeing, state, condition, healing, medicine, organic growth, patience, process, accumulation, karma, blueprint, template, deep-rooted issue, ancestry, organic products
Location: health care facility, spiritual place, forest, woods, garden, shady area
Colours: green, natural colours
Health: brain, mental health, healing profession
Timing (houses)*: 5 years
Timing (other): slow, gradual development

Card 6 (K♣): Clouds
General: ?, confusion, uncertainty, instability, chaos, something hidden or nebulous, ambiguity, yes and no, contradiction, feeling conflicted, doubt, changeable situation, thoughts, illusions, intellect, mental activity, cloudy rainy humid weather, multiples, contrast, incognito, discomfort, dust, smoke, airborne
Location: industrial area (pollution), sky, in-flight, border region
Colours: grey
Health: lungs, respiratory system, airborne germs and viruses, asthma, pneumonia, dementia, imbalance, difficult diagnosis, under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
Timing (houses)*: 6 years
Timing (other): temporary, delay

Card 7 (Q♣): Snake
General: !, problem, complication, betrayal, rival, traitor, jealousy, trouble, dysfunction, disorder, deceit, sabotage, detour, drainpipe, plumbing, hose, cable
Location: bathroom, detour, winding road or path, scenic route, river
Colours: green
Health: large intestine, digestive system, disease, illness, disorder, side-effects, complications, STD
Timing (houses)*: 7 years

Card 8 (9♦): Coffin
General: :(, !, ending, emptiness, cancellation, death, stagnation, waste, trash, negativity, lack, bankruptcy, unemployment, black hole, void, gone, vanished without a trace, detachment
Location: dark and/or empty place, tunnel, cupboard, drawer, box, sealed container, dustbin, toilet, back door, exit, graveyard, terminus
Colours: black
Health: end of large intestine, anus, serious illness, depression, phobia, burn out, physical death
Timing (houses)*: immediately
Timing (other): Wednesday, ending

Card 9 (Q♠): Bouquet
General: :), grace, pleasure, gift, beauty, charm, aesthetics, quality, refinement, joy, treat, granted wish, pampering, appreciation, recreation, fun, celebration, cosmetics
Location: beauty salon, hairdresser, living area, dressing table, garden, flowerbeds
Colours: multi-coloured
Health: face, hair, cosmetic surgery, recuperation
Timing (houses)*: spring
Timing (other): Monday, a birthday

Card 10 (J♦): Scythe (tool, weapon)
General: !, separation, decision, danger, removal, clean break, termination, stoppage, interruption, rejection, action, execution, shock, accident, mechanical procedure, knife, surgical instrument, syringe, tool, weapon, harvest, windy weather, lightning
Location: kitchen, operating theatre, tool shed, workshop, farmlands
Colours: metallic colours, autumn colours
Health: teeth, mouth, medical emergency, acute pain, injury, seizure, surgery (+Tree), biopsy, injection, dentistry, extraction
Timing (houses)*: autumn
Timing (other): Saturday, sudden

Card 11 (J♣): Whip (sexual orientation)
General: !, hostility, physical activity, repetition, conflict, row, anger, violence, threat, discord, arguments, strife, disputes, abuse, discipline, punishment, torture, physical exercise or labour, fast pace of activity, sports, competition, recurring action, alternating on off action, agitation, stimulation, busyness, congestion, physical attraction, sexual chemistry, sex, house-cleaning, rod, broom, addiction, multiples, stormy weather
Location: gym, sports grounds, disco, nightclub, brothel, busy heavy traffic area
Colours: red
Health: male organs, muscles, tendons, chronic illness, allergies, cramps, acid reflux, nausea, addiction, OCD, labour contractions, detox, physical therapy
Timing (houses)*: 2 years
Timing (other): Tuesday, very fast

Card 12 (7♦): Birds (meeting, interview)
General: verbal communication, negotiations, companionship, conversations, chat, telephone calls, excitement, small meeting, interview, speech, debate, media, date, visit, sales, couple, siblings, multiples
Location: telephone area, living area, TV or hi-fi area, nearby area (close proximity)
Health: vocal chords, throat, speech, therapy, counselling
Timing (houses)*: October

Card 13 (J♠): Child (young person, gender of unknown person)
General: young person, small measure, student, baby, childhood, innocence, lack of experience, learner, trust, spontaneity, simplicity, wonder, something new, early stages, infancy
Location: nursery, playground, kindergarten, school, child’s room
Health: chest, breasts, pregnancy, birth (+Storks/Tree), childhood diseases, mentally handicapped, dependent invalid
Timing (houses)*: shortly
Timing (other): beginning

Card 14 (9♣): Fox (employment)
General: !, employment, discernment, skills, job, work, employee, worker, caution, be aware and beware, intelligence, analyst, specialist, detective, criminal, con artist, spy, trickster, trap, deception, disguise, fraud, embezzlement, small animal
Location: workplace, police station
Colours: red
Health: nose, scent, further investigation may be necessary, second opinion, specialist
Timing (houses)*: December
Timing (other): Saturday

Card 15 (10♣): Bear (finances)
General: strength, finances, resources, protection, reserves, money, wealth, assets, capital, goods, possessions, abundance, supplies, stock, boss, management, provider, food, cattle, large animal
Location: kitchen, dining area, restaurant, bank, ATM, purse, wallet
Health: stomach, torso, muscles, physical strength, diet, nutrition, obesity, eating disorders, food allergies, tumours, weight management
Timing (houses)*: 10-20 years

Card 16 (6♥): Stars (technology, computer)
General: :), guidance, plans, technology, design, direction, signs, navigation, new path, safe passage, clear skies, transparency, clarity, inspiration, hope, idealism, map, chart, strategy, goals, innovation, science, electronics, computer, television, natural talent, genius, magic, outer space, astrology, badge, medal, Judaism, Wicca, Islam (+Moon)
Location: North, computer area, attic, loft, altar
Colours: silver
Health: skin, healing, treatment, medication, radiation, chemotherapy, laser treatment
Timing (houses)*: night

Card 17 (Q♥): Storks
General: progress, improvement, milestone, changes for the better, gains, upgrade, advancement, promotion, recovery, relocation, additions to household, flexibility, adaptability, progressiveness
Location: chimney, stairs, escalator, lift (elevator)
Health: limbs, pregnancy, birth (+Child/Tree), improvement in health
Timing (houses)*: February
Timing (other): Thursday, change of season, the next period, milestone event

Card 18 (10♥): Dog (known person, known third party in a relationship, pet)
General: friend, acquaintance, loyalty, partner, companion, advisor, consultant, pet (domestic animal), friendship, intimacy, support, faithfulness
Location: living area, entertainment area
Colours: brown
Health: tongue, taste, doctor, therapist
Timing (houses)*: July
Timing (other): Friday

Card 19 (6♠): Tower (legal matters, company, institution, large building)
General: officialdom, corporation, restrictions, government, authority, law and order, legal matters, bureaucracy, rules, boundaries, military, captivity, institution, medium to large business, profession, hierarchy, ambitions, expectations, standards, aspirations, ego, status, arrogance, limitation
Location: large building, apartment building, office block, high rise building, shopping mall, border post, watchtower, legal educational or military institution, capital, city centre, upstairs, balcony, high shelf
Health: back, spine, hospital (+Tree), quarantine
Timing (houses)*: 1 year

Card 20 (8♠): Garden (group, event)
General: society, group, event, public, audience, large meeting, seminar, gathering, party, crowd, internet (+Stars), facebook, social media, business franchise, chain store group, public relations, club, network, team, class, nature, environment
Location: outdoors, garden, countryside, grasslands, park, public place, clubhouse, housing complex, suburbia
Colours: green
Health: immune system, spa, fresh air, group therapy
Timing (houses)*: lunchtime

Card 21 (8♣): Mountain
General: obstacle, delay, inactivity, barrier, blockage, challenge, enemy, impasse, lack of movement, apathy, silence, isolation, denial, paralysis, immobility, solid, discouragement, cold shoulder, aloofness, indifference, emotional distance, nature, rock, crystal, cold snowy icy weather, frost, ice
Location: mountainous hilly or rocky area (nature or ski resort), remote location, roof, cold snowy icy area, fridge or freezer
Health: head, blockage, immobility, constipation, paralysis, low blood pressure (+Tree), coma, handicapped
Timing (houses)*: January
Timing (other): delay, months

Card 22 (Q♦): Crossroad (local trip)
General: ?, decision point, alternatives, diversification, options, choices, free will, specialization, turning point, junction, indecision, hesitation, search, escape route, change in direction, multi-tasking, part-time job, mediation, multiples, local trip, walk
Location: road, traffic intersection, path, driveway, passage, within driving distance
Health: arteries, diagnosis (tests), treatment options, field of specialization, locum
Timing (houses)*: within 2 months

Card 23 (7♣): Mice (missing object)
General: !, damages, theft, stress, losses, expenses, decay, deterioration, destruction, erosion, corrosion, fear, nervousness, pest, nuisance, parasites, vermin, toxic health warning, manufacturing, labour, productivity, teamwork
Location: factory, workshop, studio, machinery, workstation, basement, slum
Health: nervous system, disease, decay, infection, virus, anxiety, stress, exhaustion, nervous breakdown, memory loss, health deterioration, ADD
Timing (houses)*: immediately

Card 24 (J♥): Heart (love life)
General: :), love, desire, generosity, compatibility, affection, fondness, preference, favourite, object of affection, happiness, passion, bliss, kindness, giving, sharing, compassion
Location: central area, hub of activity
Colours: red, pink
Health: heart, blood vessels, organ transplant
Timing (houses)*: August
Timing (other): Friday

Card 25 (A♣): Ring (marriage, partnership, contract, valuables)
General: :), commitment, contract, obligation, proposal, offer, marriage, partnership, union, merger, connection, alliance, bond, promise, engagement, vow, agreement, co-operation, trust, guarantee, payment, completion, solution, renewal, eternity, circle, circular process, control cycle, gift, jewellery, valuables
Location: dressing table, jewellery box
Colours: gold, bling
Health: lymphatic system, diagnosis and treatment with a high success rate, ongoing monitoring
Timing (houses)*: forever

Card 26 (10♦): Book (book, deck of cards, project)
General: ?, information, knowledge, secrets, data, journal, newspaper, file, report, accounting, project, case study, assignment, investigation, test, evaluation, audit, education, studies, teaching, research, expertise, unknown, hidden, confidential, surprise, mystery, the occult, memory, deck of cards
Location: study or office, library, bookshelf, school or college, quiet area
Health: brain, memory, test, scan, examination, investigation, clinical trial, medical records
Timing (houses)*: March

Card 27 (7♠): Letter (document, results, mail)
General: written communication, mail, document, message, correspondence, newsletter, article, results, contract (+Ring), certificate, award, diploma, cash cheque or credit card (+Bear), invoice, will, paper trail, photograph (+Lily), physical evidence, writing profession
Location: study or office, desk, mailbox, post office
Colours: black-and-white
Health: hands, fingers, touch, medical licence, prescription, sick note, X-ray film, lab results
Timing (houses)*: June
Timing (other): soon

Card 28 (A♥): Man (male person)
General: male person
Timing (houses)*: April
(Note that this card represents a male enquirer or the romantic partner of a female enquirer in traditional systems.)

Card 29 (A♠): Woman (female person)
General: female person
Timing (houses)*: May
(Note that this card represents a female enquirer or the romantic partner of a male enquirer in traditional systems.)

Card 30 (K♠): Lily
General: serenity, maturity, elders, peace, calm, Zen factor, contemplation, release, letting go, rest, slow pace of activity, retirement, experience, wisdom, parents, seniors, older generation, tradition, vintage, cold snowy weather
Location: retirement home, nursing home, cold snowy area, fridge or freezer
Colours: grey, white
Health: eyes, sight, ears, hearing, aging disorders, slow recovery, frail care, nursing home (+Tower/House)
Timing (houses)*: winter
Timing (other): very slow, lifetime

Card 31 (A♦): Sun
General: :), success, energy, illumination, achievement, excellence, victory, glory, big luck, vitality, enthusiasm, motivation, courage, will, self-confidence, charisma, egotism, electricity, heat, warmth, light, exposure, visibility, publishing, conscious mind, left brain, masculine
Location: tropical sunny resort location, desert, lamp or electrical area, fireplace, oven
Colours: yellow, orange, gold
Health: physical energy, solar plexus, sunshine
Timing (houses)*: summer
Timing (other): Sunday, day, morning

Card 32 (8♥): Moon
General: romance, arts, recognition, falling in love, euphoria, intimacy, desire, seduction, emotions, sensitivity, fantasy, dreams, imagination, creativity, entertainment, advertising, intuition, psychic abilities, subconscious mind, right brain, feminine, awards, fame, honour, spotlight, intermittent, regular cycle, ebb and flow, Islam
Location: bedroom
Colours: silver
Health: female organs, hormonal system and disorders, cyclical disorders, insanity, under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
Timing (houses)*: evening
Timing (other): Monday, soon, a lunar month (4 weeks)

Card 33 (8♦): Key
General: :), !, solution, mastery, significance, success, certainty, access, code, password, breakthrough, discovery, revelation, epiphany, aha moment, flash of inspiration, insight, clue, sign, miracle, cure, emphasis, destiny and dharma including spiritual forces that help us to grow and overcome karmic imbalances, karmic lessons, security, synchronicity, the soul
Location: doorway, gate, locked space, safe
Colours: indigo, violet, purple
Health: cure
Timing (houses)*: November

Card 34 (K♦): Fish (business, self-employment)
General: commerce, transaction, independence, business, investment, industry, trade, exchange, self-employment, consulting work, freedom, movement, flexibility, expansion, liquid, water, alcohol, rain, ocean
Location: shop, place of business, swimming pool, bath or shower or sink area, bar, lakeside area (nature resort), river, coastal area, port, beach, island (more humid than Anchor area)
Colours: blue
Health: kidneys, bladder, dehydration, water retention (swelling), fertility issues, alcoholism, dizziness, loss of balance, health insurance
Timing (houses)*: 4 years

Card 35 (9♠): Anchor
General: :), stability, perseverance, safe arrival, security, settling down, immigration, home base, legacy, standpoint, lifestyle, overcoming difficulty, determination, ocean
Location: base, station, harbour, coastal area, port, beach, island (dryer than Fish area)
Colours: navy blue
Health: hips, pelvic bone, stable condition
Timing (houses)*: September
Timing (other): long-term, permanent, years

Card 36 (6♣): Cross
General: :(, !, distress, sacrifice, religion, pain, suffering, sadness, despair, sorrow, remorse, regret, difficulty, burden (cross to bear), ordeal, crisis, trauma, victim, guilt, grief, SOS distress signal, dogma, faith, charity, mercy, selflessness, devotion, talisman, prayer, Christianity
Location: church, holy place, sacred space, altar
Health: lower back, paramedic, chaplain, volunteer
Timing (houses)*: immediately
Timing (other): Wednesday

Key to symbols:
:) = positive, yes
:( = negative, no
? = uncertainty, something unknown, choice to be made
! = danger, warning, something unexpected
@ = address, website

Playing card suit associations:
♥ hearts: water element, love, relationships and family
♠ spades/leaves: air element, society, government and travel
♦ diamonds/bells: fire element, enterprise, fortune and misfortune
♣ clubs/acorns: earth element, survival, hardship and trouble

Work-related cards:
An employee (Fox) is employed by a company (Tower) in a specific industry (Fish) and the Bear can represent management. The Garden can represent a team and the Mice can represent a workforce. The Fish can also represent a self-employed individual or a business, while the House can represent retail business premises (a shop).

Days of the week:

My associations for the days of the week are based on the traditional poem Monday's Child and the planets and gods that the days are named after (Monday is the Moon's day, Tuesday is the day of the Norse god of war Tyr, Wednesday is the day of the chief Anglo-Saxon god Woden who escorted the dead, Thursday is the day of the Norse god of thunder Thor, Friday is the day of the Norse goddess of love Freyja, Saturday is the day of the Roman god of agriculture Saturn, Sunday is the Sun's day):

"Monday's child is fair of face (Bouquet, Moon),
Tuesday's child is full of grace (Rider, Whip),
Wednesday's child is full of woe (Coffin, Cross),
Thursday's child has far to go (Ship, Storks),
Friday's child is loving and giving (Dog, Heart),
Saturday's child works hard for a living (Scythe, Fox),
And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good, and gay (Clover, Sun)."

Cartomantes' Cabinet by Andy Cerru
Confessions of a Freaky Fortune Teller by Chanah
Easy to learn Fortune Telling by Britta Kienle
Fortune-Telling with Playing Cards by Jonathan Dee
Mystisches Lenormand Lernkarten by Regula Elizabeth Fiechter
The Fortune-Telling Book by Raymond Buckland
The Game of Destiny by Mario dos Ventos
The Secrets of the Lenormand Oracle by Sylvie Steinbach
Titania's Fortune Cards by Titania Hardie
*Treppner Lenormand Correspondence Course by Iris Treppner

[Individual card images: Modern Minimalist Lenormand by Melissa Haney licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License]