WDYTYA?: Spades

[This post was first published on 8 November 2013.]

The Lenormand deck combines traditional German cartomancy with pictorial symbolism. In Vier Farben and The Fox and the Snake I explored its cartomantic origins. In The Spaewife: I spy I explored its pictorial symbolism, the origins of which can be traced back to earlier coffee grounds symbolism and dream symbolism, and compared symbol meanings for one particular card. Here I flesh out the Lenormand family tree by comparing these symbol meanings for each card in the four main families: Grün (also known as Green or Spades), Roth (also known as Red or Hearts), Eichel (also known as Acorns or Clubs) and Schellen (also known as Bells or Diamonds).

A♠ (Woman):
1737 (dreams): To see women, means honour, and marriage; to take a wife, means joy; sick means death.
1769 (coffee): Not listed.
1796 (coffee pack): The Woman. Signifies much joy in general. If in the clear this emblem has a more favourable signification than in the thick; there it shows very great happiness; here a great deal of jealousy. If dots surround the image, it explains the lady’s fertility, or her wealth. The different position in the cup, shows at the top and in the middle, that you will be in love with a virgin, but at the bottom it marks that she is a widow.
1798 (coffee): Woman, friendship.
1805 (dreams): If a man sees a woman give birth, it indicates joy and happiness.
1846 (Lenormand deck): Lady, of the same importance [as Gentleman/Man], everything is ruled according to their position in the game, despite the spin and insights of the one that lays the cards.

K♠ (Lily):
1737 (dreams): Not listed.
1769 (coffee): Not listed.
1796 (coffee pack): The Lily. If this emblem be at the top, or in the middle of the cup, it signifies that the consulting party either has, or will have a virtuous spouse, if it be at the bottom, it denotes quite the reverse. In the clear, the Lily further betokens long and happy life; if clouded, or in the thick, it portends trouble and vexation, especially on the part of one’s relations.
1798 (coffee): Not listed.
1805 (dreams): To see lilies, when after the season there can be none, indicates hope in vain.
1846 (Lenormand deck): Lily, announces a happy life, surrounded by clouds, it indicates family sorrows. If this card is located above the person, it designates virtue, below, it casts doubts on their good morals.

Q♠ (Bouquet):
1737 (dreams): Not listed.
1769 (coffee): A bouquet of flowers means abiding love of good friends. A rose means honour and good hope of future happiness. To smell or see roses, if there are any, is a good sign; outside the season thereof, it means misfortune.
1796 (coffee pack): The Rose, the Carnation, or any Other Flower. The greatest success in any science or art; if the consulting party be married, he may expect good children, and all the fruits to be expected from their good education in his old age.
1798 (coffee): Flowers, visit. Roses, profit.
1805 (dreams): Bouquet means abiding love of one’s good friends. To be adorned with flowers, means joy of short duration.
1846 (Lenormand deck): Bouquet, of flowers means much happiness in all respects.

J♠ (Child):
1737 (dreams): To see small children, means trouble and worries: If they are already big, it is an omen of assistance and a helping hand; children of strangers, beautiful and bold, mean good days and prosperity. To hear minor children talk, proclaims happiness: if they play with each other it also means this.
1769 (coffee): A small child means godfatherhood.
1796 (coffee pack): The Child. In the clear part it bespeaks innocent intercourse between the consulter and another person, in the thick part, excesses in love matters, attended with great expense; at the bottom of the cup, it denotes the consequences of libidinous amours.
1798 (coffee): Children, illness.
1805 (dreams): Who sees a child drinking milk from its mother’s breast, faces a serious illness. A small child means godfatherhood.
1846 (Lenormand deck): Child, is a sign that one has only good associations, and that one is full of goodness with regard to everyone.

10♠ (Ship):
1737 (dreams): Ship, indicates joy: To see a ship with people, good days; to climb aboard a ship, danger; to travel by ship, means good fortune.
1769 (coffee): Ships mean wealth and a good living and fortune.
1796 (coffee pack): Not listed.
1798 (coffee): Ship, something good and something bad in one day.
1805 (dreams): To see a boat on clear water, means good fortune in trade; if the water is murky, the contrary.
1846 (Lenormand deck): Ship, means wealth obtained by commerce or by heritage, it means also travels, when it is located very close to the person.

9♠ (Anchor):
1737 (dreams): Not listed.
1769 (coffee): An anchor means hope.
1796 (coffee pack): The Anchor. The emblem of hope and commerce, implies successful benefits carried on by water and by land, if on the bottom of the cup; at the top and in the clear part, it shows constant love and unshaken fidelity. In the thick and clouded part it also denotes love, but tinctured with the inconstancy of the butterfly.
1798 (coffee): Not listed.
1805 (dreams): Not listed.
1846 (Lenormand deck): Anchor, is the sign of a happy enterprise at sea, and of a big advantage in commerce and of a faithful love, but in the distance it indicates an error of judgement and love becomes a butterfly.

8♠ (Garden):
1737 (dreams): To see a garden, green or full of flowers, means joy. Forest, indicates chagrin and damage.
1769 (coffee): A garden means enjoyable circumstances.
1796 (coffee pack): The Garden, or Wood. Signifies a large company. In the clear, it indicates good friends, of which it will consist; in the thick, or encompassed with streaks, it warns the consulting party to be cautious, and not to take for his friends those who merely profess themselves as such.
1798 (coffee): Garden, walk. Forest, good food, money.
1805 (dreams): To go for a walk in a garden, means joy and happiness. To see a garden means exceptionally pleasant circumstances. To go for a walk in a forest, is a sign of hard work.
1846 (Lenormand deck): Garden or Forest, announces a good and large company, where one will enter, very near it assures again a constant friendship, but removed, this is a sign of false friends.

7♠ (Letter):
1737 (dreams): To receive and read letters, commonly means that what you read therein will happen.
1769 (coffee): Not listed.
1796 (coffee pack): The Letter. By letters we communicate to our friends either pleasant or unpleasant news, and such is the case here; if this emblem is in the clear part, it denotes the speedy arrival of welcome news; surrounded with dots, it announces the arrival of a considerable remittance in money; but hemmed in by clouds it is quite the contrary, and forebodes some melancholy or bad tidings, a loss, or some other sinister accident. If it be in the clear and accompanied by a heart, lovers may expect a letter, which secures to the party the possession of the beloved object. But in the thick it denotes a refusal.
1798 (coffee): Letter, message, good or bad.
1805 (dreams): Not listed.
1846 (Lenormand deck): Letter, without clouds marks a happiness derived from pleasant news coming from afar, but if clouds are located in the neighbourhood of the person, they must expect a lot of sorrows.

6♠ (Tower):
1737 (dreams): Not listed.
1769 (coffee): A high tower means a long life and a pleasant age.
1796 (coffee pack): Not listed.
1798 (coffee): Tower, proud person.
1805 (dreams): A high tower means a long life and a pleasant age.
1846 (Lenormand deck): High Tower, announces a long and happy old age, but surrounded by clouds, it announces a disease, even depending on the circumstances also death.

All symbols:
1769 (coffee): The higher the signs are, the sooner the events will manifest; and where they are lower and closer to the bottom, one also encounters numbers, which mean days or months.

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

1737 (dreams): Der wohlerfahrne Wein-Gärtner und sorgfältige Wein-Schenck, ostensibly a book about wine farming published in Esslingen in 1756, contains a Traum-Büchlein ("Dream book") listing 222 dream symbol meanings on pages 516–536. I also found an earlier source dated 1737 containing the same symbol meanings, see pages 414–432 of Anleitung zu denen curiösen Wissenschaften.

1769 (coffee): Abhandlung der Physiognomie, Metoposcopie und Chiromantie (Treatise on physiognomy, metoposcopy and chiromancy) by Christian Adam Peuschel, a Lutheran pastor, published in Leipzig in 1769 includes an appendix titled Das Caffeeschaalengießen listing over 30 coffee grounds symbol meanings on pages 389–396.

1796 (coffee pack): Les Amusemens des Allemands; or, The Diversions of the Court of Vienna, British Museum number 1982,U.4637.1–32 (see More views for card images and booklet)

1798 (coffee): Ausführliche Beschreibung der Sprachmaschinen oder sprechenden Figuren (Detailed description of speaking machines or speaking figures) by Heinrich Maximilian Brunner, a doctor of medicine and philosophy, published in Nuremberg in 1798 contains a list of over 80 coffee grounds symbols including some very brief meanings on pages 146–150, which the author says is needed in order for humans or machines to explain the figures.

1805 (dreams): Ganz neu aufgelegtes Traumbüchlein aus den Papieren einer alten Frau, daraus ein jeder Lotto spielender Liebhaber seine Träume untersuchen und darauf in der Lotterie sich glücklich machen kann. Durch erprobte Erfahrung verbessert und auf’s Neue in Druck gebracht. (Brand new issue of a dream book from the papers of an old woman, from which every lottery enthusiast can explore their dreams and make themselves fortunate in the lottery. Improved through proven experience and newly printed.) contains an appendix titled Anhang und Auslegung der Träume, nach Art der Egyptier, nebst den Nummern der Lotterie, die solche bedeuten ("Appendix and interpretation of dreams, according to the method of the Egyptians, together with the corresponding lottery numbers") listing over 200 dream symbol meanings on pages 52–63. An 1861 edition published in Augsburg, Bavaria, is viewable online (linked above). I found online references to earlier editions, including one published in Augsburg in 1805, and it was listed as a banned book in Bavaria in 1844. See footnote on pages 96–97 of Ideen über die Bildung eines freien germanischen Staaten-Bundes (Leipzig, 1814) and page 15 of Index librorum prohibitorum (Jena, 1845).

1846 (Lenormand deck): Helen Riding (June 2012), "Book communicates a secret"