WDYTYA? Diamonds

[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♦ (Sun):
1737 (dreams): To see the sun shine brightly, announces good food and acquaintances; to see the sun dark, means illness, or else nothing good; to see it shining in the bed, fever; to see it shining into the house, wealth: to see the sun disappear, means blindness, death of children, or another misfortune.
1769 (coffee): Not listed.
1796 (coffee pack): The Sun. An emblem of the greatest luck and happiness if in the clear; but in the thick, it bodes a great deal of sadness; surrounded by dots, or dashes, denotes that an alteration will easily take place.
1798 (coffee): Not listed.
1805 (dreams): To see the sun rise, means good fortune and good news; to see it set, indicates the opposite; a dark sun means a stay.
1846 (Lenormand deck): Sun, close, its rays shine, and allow happiness to bloom, but from afar it cools, brings discouragement in all enterprises and prepares calamities.

K♦ (Fish):
1737 (dreams): Fish, many and large, promise profit; slippery, hope in vain or futile work.
1769 (coffee): Fish means slander and libel.
1796 (coffee pack): Fish in General. They imply lucky events by water, if in the clear, which will either happen to the consulter or improve the state of his affairs beyond the water. If they are in the thick, the consulter will fish in troubled water, and rely upon that which others have already lost before him. Surrounded with dots, they signify that his destiny calls to him some distant place.
1798 (coffee): Fish, obstacle.
1805 (dreams): To catch a big fish, means profits, small fish mean sadness. Fish mean slander and libel. Also good fortune by sea.
1846 (Lenormand deck): Fish, making a fortune by sea, and a series of happy enterprises, but if it is distant, they are sinister omens that the best projects will be reversed.

Q♦ (Crossroad):
1737 (dreams): Not listed.
1769 (coffee): Open ways mean a fortunate and desirable progress in undertakings. Closed ways mean obstacles to undertakings and vexation.
1796 (coffee pack): The Roads. Or serpentine lines indicate ways; if they are covered with clouds, and consequently in the thick, they are said to be infallible marks, either of many past, or future reverses. But if they appear in the clear and serene, they are the surest token of some fortunate chance near at hand, encompassed with many points or dots, they signify an accidental gain of money, likewise long life.
1798 (coffee): Not listed.
1805 (dreams): To find oneself on a pretty path or a good road, indicates happiness and wealth. Open ways mean a fortunate and desirable progress in undertakings. Closed ways mean obstacles to undertakings and vexation.
1846 (Lenormand deck): Ways, surrounded by clouds are signs of misfortune, but without this card and far from the person, there are ways or means that we will find to escape a danger.

J♦ (Scythe):
1737 (dreams): Not listed.
1769 (coffee): Not listed.
1796 (coffee pack): The Scythe. If combined with an hour-glass, it denotes imminent dangers of all kinds. Below, it signifies a long and happy life.
1798 (coffee): Not listed.
1805 (dreams): Not listed.
1846 (Lenormand deck): Scythe, omen of a big peril however one can evade it, when it is surrounded by good cards.

10♦ (Book):
1737 (dreams): To see and read books, means sorrow; to learn something from the same, indicates profit.
1769 (coffee): Not listed.
1796 (coffee pack): Not listed.
1798 (coffee): Book, news.
1805 (dreams): To read serious books, indicates honour and wisdom.
1846 (Lenormand deck): Book, communicates a secret, its position allows us to judge what it concerns, nevertheless it is necessary to act with circumspection in this respect.

9♦ (Coffin):
1737 (dreams): Not listed.
1769 (coffee): Coffins, with and without wreaths, mean bereavement.
1796 (coffee pack): The Coffin. The emblem of death prognosticates the same thing here, or at least a long and tedious illness, if it be in the thick or turbid. In the clear, it denotes long life. In the thick at the top of the cup, it signifies a considerable estate left to the party by some rich relation; in the same manner at the bottom, it shows that the deceased is not so nearly related to the consulting party.
1798 (coffee): Coffin, good outcome of a matter.
1805 (dreams): Not listed.
1846 (Lenormand deck): Coffin, very close to the person, invariably means serious illness, death and the total loss of fortune. Further from the person this card is less dangerous.

8♦ (Key):
1737 (dreams): Key, means a thrifty wife, or a hard-working household (servants), or otherwise something good. To find a key, means loss of goods. To collect keys, profit.
1769 (coffee): An upright key (bit at the top) means that the assigned work and position will go well. A reversed key (bit below) means the opposite.
1796 (coffee pack): Not listed.
1798 (coffee): Key, money received.
1805 (dreams): Not listed.
1846 (Lenormand deck): Key, very near announces the certain success of a matter but distant it is the opposite.

7♦ (Birds):
1737 (dreams): To see a bird fly, something good; to catch a bird, or eat it, profit.
1796 (coffee pack): The Bird in General. In the clear it signifies, that the disagreeables and troubles, with which you shall have to combat, will soon be over; in the thick, it is a sign of good living, and of a speedy successful journey or voyage, which, if there are dashes will be directed to a great distance.
1769 (coffee): Birds mean good friends.
1798 (coffee): Birds, to be robbed.
1805 (dreams): Birds mean good friends.
1846 (Lenormand deck): Birds, means difficulties that one will have to withstand, but of short duration. Far from the person, this card is the sign of a happy trip.

6♦ (Clover):
1737 (dreams): Not listed.
1769 (coffee): A clover means luck.
1796 (coffee pack): The Leaf of Clover. Is as well here as in common life a lucky sign. Its different position in the cup alone makes the difference; because, if it is on the top, it shows that the good Fortune is not far distant, but it is subject to delay, if it is in the middle or at the bottom. Should clouds surround it, it shows that many disagreeables will attend the good Fortune; in the clear, it prognosticates serene and undisturbed happiness, as bright as the party wishes.
1798 (coffee): Not listed.
1805 (dreams): Clover, means luck, early or late, after light or dark.
1846 (Lenormand deck): Clover, carries happiness, surrounded by clouds it is the omen of big sorrows, if this card is located close to the one that designates the person, these sorrows will not be long-term, and will have a happy ending.

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"