Lenormand significators

[This post was first published on 27 April 2011.]

You may hear terms such as charged card, key card, focus card, theme card, topic card and person card in Lenormand circles. They all mean the same thing, i.e. a significator card that has been assigned a specific meaning in advance of a reading and represents someone or something specific in the reading. The cards that show up around a significator card in a reading provide information relating to the subject represented by the significator. (Note that significator cards are also sometimes used in Tarot readings, where they are usually removed from the deck first and intentionally placed in a card spread to associate the reading with the sitter.)

Is it necessary to use significator cards in Lenormand readings?

It depends. The purpose of a significator card is to add structure to a reading, which may or may not be necessary depending on the spread used and the reading question.

However, regardless of the spread and question, when a reading potentially involves several people I believe it is helpful to decide in advance who the Man and Woman cards will represent if they show up in the reading.

Grand Tableau:
I can fully understand why significator cards are used in a Grand Tableau (big picture) that incorporates all 36 cards and is usually a general forecast of the sitter's life for a specific period of time. The significator cards allow the reader to easily identify specific persons in the reading and to zoom in on different aspects of the sitter's life.

Lines of 3, 5 or more cards include one or more cards on either side of the significator card that represents the question topic. This spread is suitable if one is interested in a Past-Present-Future timeline and when describing a person or place.

Non-positional spread:
One can simply lay out a few cards in response to a specific question and only take any significator cards into account if they show up. This reading approach is simple and highly effective for a quick reading that does not necessarily involve a Past-Present-Future timeline.

Is it necessary to charge significator cards used in Lenormand readings?

There are mixed opinions about the exact process of assigning significance to cards, depending on one's Lenormand school and personal preference. In the traditional school, the significance of certain cards is automatic e.g. the Man and Woman cards usually represent the sitter and their primary love interest and the Tree card represents the sitter's health. In the Steinbach school, significators are mentally charged or programmed in advance of a reading.

I have included my significator associations for various Lenormand cards in my Lenormand dictionary.

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

[You may also be interested in reading Jason's related blog post, Charging a Key Card.]