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ashtoreth

A good beginner's Lenormand deck and book

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ashtoreth

20 years into the tarot and I am finally looking to enter the Lenormand. It's strange I was always familiar with the word, and people have told me about it, but I never felt the need to explore until today. I am looking for a really good deck (preferably that comes along with a guidebook) I am guessing a traditional one will help me get started and I can later diverge into nontraditional ones too? A friend recommended the Gilded REverie one but I don't think that is traditional?

The other ones I came upon here are Piatnik and Pixie? And several others on a website but that was a US based one.  

All in all, I did use the "search" but honestly I am lost. Would be grateful for a little nudge in a right direction 

Bright blessings,

Ashtoreth

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katrinka
34 minutes ago, ashtoreth said:

I am looking for a really good deck (preferably that comes along with a guidebook) I am guessing a traditional one will help me get started and I can later diverge into nontraditional ones too? A friend recommended the Gilded REverie one but I don't think that is traditional?

Finding a traditional deck with a proper guidebook is problematic.
The Gilded Reverie is a nice deck, but it does have some wonky cards, like that female Rider on a carousel. The guidebook is good, AFAIK.
Any of the Lenormands with playing card insets  (but not the Old Gypsy 1940 or the Nielen, those aren't standard Lenormands) from this site would be acceptable.
http://gameofhopelenormand.bigcartel.com/

Even old decks can be a little off - the Schmid's Fish card is a goldfish tank - but you're still generally better off with the old designs.

As for books, this one is generally considered the best https://smile.amazon.com/Lenormand-Thirty-Six-Cards-Introduction/dp/1500582484

 

34 minutes ago, ashtoreth said:

The other ones I came upon here are Piatnik and Pixie?

The Piatnik is wonderful, and inexpensive.
The Pixie is a bit busy, IMHO. Busy cards can slow you down.

34 minutes ago, ashtoreth said:

And several others on a website but that was a US based one.  

You're not in the US? Best to go with Piatnik or Carta Mundi, then.

 

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ashtoreth

thanks @katrinka, I'll look at the Carta Mundi and Piatnik decks. Do these come with guidebooks? And if they don't, what's a good book to start with the Lenormand? (I'll be reading through the forums too of course!)

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katrinka
51 minutes ago, ashtoreth said:

thanks @katrinka, I'll look at the Carta Mundi and Piatnik decks. Do these come with guidebooks?

LWBs IIRC. Those won't get you there. You need an actual book.

51 minutes ago, ashtoreth said:

And if they don't, what's a good book to start with the Lenormand? (I'll be reading through the forums too of course!)

https://smile.amazon.com/Lenormand-Thirty-Six-Cards-Introduction/dp/1500582484

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AJ-ish/Sharyn

and 4.99 US for the ebook. I saw your post about what deck to get too ashtoreth. I've taken on the Lenormand as a learning project during this dark and down time and am enjoying it very much. I had 7 or 8 lenormands given to me over the years but never could get a handle on them so let them go. I know in retrospect I was trying to use them like tarot cards and that just doesn't work. Maybe the whole idea just had to stew for 10 years 🙂

 

I looked at miles of google images, over a period of weeks, and decided two things. Lots of recent lenormand makers have no more idea of what a lenormand is and does than lots of recent tarot deck makers. So I settled on three.

The recent Lo Scarabeo Golden Lenormand Oracle, big cards, blingy gold for the inner me, but the images are vintage based on Blue Owl Lenormand and card inserts based on the Dondorf. High quality production all the way. 

The Old Style Lenormand, from US Games with the small size cards for when I work up to Grand Tableau, also vintage style images. Very inexpensive. 

And for a total unexpected treat I have a Malpertuis, his first from 2014, fairly vintage images but with outstanding artistic treatment. These should last me a life time, but them I'm pretty careful with my money 🙂 

 

I've enjoyed every minute of my tarot journey, and hope the same will apply to Lenormand. 

I don't know where you are but Book Depository has free shipping worldwide. 

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ashtoreth

That's lovely AJish-Would love to exchange notes. I've just added the Piatnik deck and the book @katrinkarecommended, will have a look at the old style Lenormand too. Hopefully I should get it next week! The grand Tableau spread sounds very exciting! 

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reall
Posted (edited)

You may wish to check my free pdf guidebook for Ancient Lenormand & Chakra Lenormand here: https://sites.google.com/view/myluckycard/free-ebook-downloads

 

Also Gilded Reverie Lenormand had great pdf guidebook!:) & you may check google play for app for this & other decks some are free other only few $ worth checking out & recommended! 🙂

 

you may hit bookdepository for plenty classic affordable decks Piatnik is also my fav!;) & you can even make your own with playing cards!:) imo anything is good for start as long as you commit your time & effort to learn how to use it!:)

Edited by reall

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AJ-ish/Sharyn

doing a grand tableau give me a ice cream brain freeze at the moment, but I'll work up to it.

 

I read about a quarter of the Boroveshengra book last night and it brought a lot of things clearer to me. Baby steps, I'm in no hurry, otherwise I'd be using software to do all the thinking for me, right? Pfoohey on that! 

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ashtoreth
Posted (edited)
On 5/4/2020 at 1:57 PM, AJ-ish/Sharyn said:

doing a grand tableau give me a ice cream brain freeze at the moment, but I'll work up to it.

 

😂 lol! somehow that makes it all the more intriguing for me!

  

On 5/4/2020 at 1:57 PM, reall said:

You may wish to check my free pdf guidebook for Ancient Lenormand & Chakra Lenormand

 

thank you for the guidebook @reall my Piatnik has finally arrived, hoping I can get something of a start from your guidebook!  (although is it specific for the Ancient lenormand? (assuming that's a sort of deck?) 

 

Edited by ashtoreth

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reall

you are welcome & don't worry it will work with any deck!:) do let me know how it works for you?:)

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Barleywine

Lynn Boyle in Australia has created quite a few Lenormand decks. Many of them are too "cute" for me but the Heloise Lenormand is done in a rich stained-glass style that includes nothing but the necessary images. It comes with five extra cards, alternative Man, Woman, Tree, Tower and Heart (although why the last three are needed is beyond me). It's a small-sized deck that handles well and comes in a plain white box. No guide book with it, but any of the standard references will work with its straightforward imagery.

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ashtoreth

Sounds beautiful @Barleywine.

People have been raving to me about the Gilded Reverie deck but I have been adamant about sticking to as traditional a deck as possible.

I also don't like fluffy, cutesy images as I feel like there's so much more depth in a "serious"-er deck!

I've already got the Piatnik but now thanks to these recommendations I have a whole list of decks I would like 🙂
 

@reall @AJ-ish/Sharyn my guidebook is finally here!! 🤩 Well it's downstairs and I haven't been round to reading it yet but I am excited to get started. Hope I can get some headway on this long weekend. I've had the cards but they dont make sense to me and I haven't done much with them just yet. 

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katrinka
19 hours ago, Barleywine said:

Lynn Boyle in Australia has created quite a few Lenormand decks. Many of them are too "cute" for me but the Heloise Lenormand is done in a rich stained-glass style that includes nothing but the necessary images. It comes with five extra cards, alternative Man, Woman, Tree, Tower and Heart (although why the last three are needed is beyond me). It's a small-sized deck that handles well and comes in a plain white box. No guide book with it, but any of the standard references will work with its straightforward imagery.

I'd ask for all the card images if I was considering one of her decks. She bangs out a LOT of them and she often doesn't think.
She made an Australian Lenormand once, a photo deck. The Fox card was a dingo. So essentially it was a deck with two Dog cards and no Fox.

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Barleywine
56 minutes ago, katrinka said:

I'd ask for all the card images if I was considering one of her decks. She bangs out a LOT of them and she often doesn't think.
She made an Australian Lenormand once, a photo deck. The Fox card was a dingo. So essentially it was a deck with two Dog cards and no Fox.

Yes, I think of it as "deck spam." The only other deck that was at all interesting to me was her "Nordic Lenormand" but I never did pick it up.

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Barleywine
1 hour ago, ashtoreth said:

Sounds beautiful @Barleywine.

People have been raving to me about the Gilded Reverie deck but I have been adamant about sticking to as traditional a deck as possible.

I also don't like fluffy, cutesy images as I feel like there's so much more depth in a "serious"-er deck!

I've already got the Piatnik but now thanks to these recommendations I have a whole list of decks I would like 🙂

The Gilded Reverie was my first Lenormand deck. I grumbled a bit about some of the non-traditional images, but I read with it for a long time before getting another. It still reads beautifully if you stick with traditional meanings.

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katrinka
12 hours ago, Barleywine said:

It still reads beautifully if you stick with traditional meanings.

Yes, a lot of people love using that one. But then you're getting into a thing where you're ignoring what's actually on the card and going by rote alone.
When Ciro was designing the deck, he put up the images at a facebook group. That Rider was a bone of contention - you had a faction of people who just ooohed and ahhhed everything, and the rest of us were like "Don't do this!" I remember Ciro got annoyed. Doing a Lenormand isn't like doing a Tarot deck, you're bound by tighter rules.
In the end, of course, he went with the lady on the carousel. The deck sold well, and continues to do so. But that Rider card is a major flaw. I guess it's just a matter of whether you're willing to overlook it.

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Barleywine
7 hours ago, katrinka said:

Yes, a lot of people love using that one. But then you're getting into a thing where you're ignoring what's actually on the card and going by rote alone.
When Ciro was designing the deck, he put up the images at a facebook group. That Rider was a bone of contention - you had a faction of people who just ooohed and ahhhed everything, and the rest of us were like "Don't do this!" I remember Ciro got annoyed. Doing a Lenormand isn't like doing a Tarot deck, you're bound by tighter rules.
In the end, of course, he went with the lady on the carousel. The deck sold well, and continues to do so. But that Rider card is a major flaw. I guess it's just a matter of whether you're willing to overlook it.

I consider the cards to be prompts for the memory; I don't free-associate from them and the only intuition I apply is in deciding how to merge the various meanings in combination. As long as I can instantly recognize each one and differentiate them from one another, I'm not overly fussy about presentation. Obviously, appealing artwork is a plus, but as long as it doesn't hijack the meaning (like that carousel rider and Robert Place's Owl-and-Mouse risk doing), I'm OK with it.

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leroidetrèfle

If you change the image, you change the card’s meaning. 
 

For example the Letter is a private communication between two people. Is it not shown sealed, traditionally? It’s between the seeker and the other.

 

The High Tower is always far older than the other buildings, emphasising the longevity.  It’s also a sentinel/tower house (looking into the distance). It’s not a skyscraper or condo. 
 

The Hound is outside with a kennel. It’s a working or guard dog, who lives and works alongside you. 

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katrinka
3 hours ago, leroidetrèfle said:

If you change the image, you change the card’s meaning. 
 

For example the Letter is a private communication between two people. Is it not shown sealed, traditionally? It’s between the seeker and the other.

 

The High Tower is always far older than the other buildings, emphasising the longevity.  It’s also a sentinel/tower house (looking into the distance). It’s not a skyscraper or condo. 
 

The Hound is outside with a kennel. It’s a working or guard dog, who lives and works alongside you. 

Exactly that. And when you make such a drastic change to the Rider, all the meanings go out the window. The male rival becomes female, but you already have Snake for that. And I wouldn't suggest waiting around for news coming via a woman on a wooden horse flying over a night rainbow. 😁
Contrast with a standard Rider image - a younger man on a good horse, usually moving along at a fast trot. He's upper class and well dressed, which implies that the news is important enough to deliver himself rather than trusting a hired man to do it. So the meanings are there on the card: news, swiftness, large domestic animals, a paramour, legs/feet/knees. Every meaning has a mnemonic on the card.
Using the GR Rider as a mnemonic to recall another Rider with the real mnemonics is convoluted, by my lights. And reading the actual image gets you...what, exactly? Fantasy stuff, nothing relevant IMHO.

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leroidetrèfle
Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, katrinka said:

Exactly that. And when you make such a drastic change to the Rider, all the meanings go out the window. The male rival becomes female, but you already have Snake for that. And I wouldn't suggest waiting around for news coming via a woman on a wooden horse flying over a night rainbow. 😁
Contrast with a standard Rider image - a younger man on a good horse, usually moving along at a fast trot. He's upper class and well dressed, which implies that the news is important enough to deliver himself rather than trusting a hired man to do it. So the meanings are there on the card: news, swiftness, large domestic animals, a paramour, legs/feet/knees. Every meaning has a mnemonic on the card.
Using the GR Rider as a mnemonic to recall another Rider with the real mnemonics is convoluted, by my lights. And reading the actual image gets you...what, exactly? Fantasy stuff, nothing relevant IMHO.

Yes.  

 

Over time the consistency between different Petit Lenormands led to an iconographical complacency.  However, all the so-called traditional meanings are strongly tied to the pictures.

 

For example, why did the Anchor become a symbol of harbours?  It's on one.  Why did the "Fishes" become a symbol of abundance and variety?  There is usually lots of different fish.  Why did the Lilies become associated with a clear complexion and fair hair?  They are shown white and yellow.  Why did the Birds become sweethearts and pregnancy? Nesting doves...

 

Add to that there is a strong folklore to the cards.  Look at the Stork with her frog.  That's from the Frog King.  The Stork neutralises the Serpent card. Later telling's replaced the water serpent with a stork.  

 

The playing cards are German.  However, the German-speaking countries were aware of the court cards' French titles/associations.  Over time these have definitely been absorbed.  King David and the Lilies, Judith and Stork, et cetera.  

 

Also, most modern decks have failed to look at how many traditional decks use the same motifs on cards that are connected.  The Boat, the Fishes, the Anchor all usually share the same landscape. 

 

You will get a few eccentric traditional decks.  The Stralsunder Lenormand has red lilies.  The Schmid has a goldish bowl on the Fishes.  But these decks have never achieved the same prominence of the Brepols, the Dondorf and the Rote/Blaue Eule.  

 

I like the Gilded.  I liked the Maybe and the Rana George. 

 

Edited by leroidetrèfle

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katrinka

The Gilded is a very pretty deck, my hand has hovered on the "Buy" button more than a time or two...but that Rider! I have some others that are wonky, though. My Black Hand has a skyscraper Tower and a dead Mouse with X's for eyes...😁
The Maybe and the Rana are excellent. I can't nitpick either of them.

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leroidetrèfle

I have the original self-published Gilded. However it’s not one I use (I have done so). Its kept with my prototype of the Maybe. 

 

The Rana George is exquisite. It never became a reading deck for me (I don’t even own it now). The Heart was my issue. I prefer vertical keys, too. 
 

To be honest the Brepols is the deck for me. I use a Russian Blaue Eule at work. Other than that there is only really the Wüst and the antique decks. 

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Czenzi
Posted (edited)
On 5/2/2020 at 11:25 AM, ashtoreth said:

20 years into the tarot and I am finally looking to enter the Lenormand. It's strange I was always familiar with the word, and people have told me about it, but I never felt the need to explore until today. I am looking for a really good deck (preferably that comes along with a guidebook) I am guessing a traditional one will help me get started and I can later diverge into nontraditional ones too? A friend recommended the Gilded REverie one but I don't think that is traditional?

The other ones I came upon here are Piatnik and Pixie? And several others on a website but that was a US based one.  

All in all, I did use the "search" but honestly I am lost. Would be grateful for a little nudge in a right direction 

Bright blessings,

Ashtoreth

From what I've seen here are my opinions, but other's may have a better knowledge of decks . . .

I use the Blue Owl  (Blaue Eule) deck a lot. They are spotty to buy in terms of availability and there's always a shipping charge from Europe, but they aren't too expensive. I also like the other "owl decks" but the blue one has card faces, which is good for a beginner. Small, traditional, clear images. The White Owl also has card faces but odd colors. 

The Dondorf is also good if you want a traditional deck. I dislike the book that's included, but the "Easy Lenormand" set has a nice deck in this style for very cheap. Just, don't plan to use the book exclusively (or at all).

If you don't use the extra cards the Maybe Lenormand has really nice card images.  It's an easy enough thing to set aside the spare cards.

The Rana George deck is pretty and her book is excellent. I think it's a bit "busy" for my liking as a deck, but that's just my opinion. I tend to think starting with simpler imagery makes it easier to learn. Hers strikes me as a more "intermediate" deck or maybe just to have. Like the Maybe Lenormand, it has spare cards that you will have to determine the usage of as they are not traditional to Lenormand. It is probably worth buying eventually. 

The Gilded deck is gorgeous, but I have never read with it. So, I can't comment on it really. As mentioned by others above, there seems to be some image interpretation issues that may not make it the best beginner's deck. 

Same for the Pixie deck. I like the Pixie deck but don't work with it. My fear with it is that the "tarot-like" images may mean that some readers use more tarot-based interpretations than is kosher for Lenormand. That fear may be unfounded or not, but it just is a pitfall I'd not put in a new reader's path. It is very pretty though, and I do like the tin. 

I hope this helps. Ultimately, its whichever deck you connect to! 

Edited by Czenzi

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katrinka
1 hour ago, Czenzi said:

From what I've seen here are my opinions, but other's may have a better knowledge of decks . . .

I use the Blue Owl  (Blaue Eule) deck a lot. They are spotty to buy in terms of availability and there's always a shipping charge from Europe, but they aren't too expensive. I also like the other "owl decks" but the blue one has card faces, which is good for a beginner. Small, traditional, clear images. The White Owl also has card faces but odd colors. 

The Blue Owl is an old standby for a lot of people.
The only thing you have to be careful of is making sure that you get one with playing card insets. Some of the decks with verses are in english, and the verses can be really misleading. "Storks on the roof of your abode surely mean you'll take to the road", that kind of thing. Verses in a language you can't read are better, but playing card insets are best.

1 hour ago, Czenzi said:

The Dondorf is also good if you want a traditional deck. I dislike the book that's included, but the "Easy Lenormand" set has a nice deck in this style for very cheap. Just, don't plan to use the book exclusively (or at all).

I'd sidestep the LS Dondorfs entirely (some of them might as well be the size of manhole covers - you'd have to lay a GT on the floor.)
Plenty of nice Dondorfs here, and you're not forced to get a crappy book:
http://gameofhopelenormand.bigcartel.com/product/le-fanu-s-lilac-dondorf-is-returning

The Dondorf with playing cards and the Purple Dragon are also available as minis:
http://gameofhopelenormand.bigcartel.com/product/minis-are-here

1 hour ago, Czenzi said:

If you don't use the extra cards the Maybe Lenormand has really nice card images.  It's an easy enough thing to set aside the spare cards.

Agreed.

1 hour ago, Czenzi said:

The Rana George deck is pretty and her book is excellent. I think it's a bit "busy" for my liking as a deck, but that's just my opinion. I tend to think starting with simpler imagery makes it easier to learn. Hers strikes me as a more "intermediate" deck or maybe just to have. Like the Maybe Lenormand, it has spare cards that you will have to determine the usage of as they are not traditional to Lenormand. It is probably worth buying eventually. 

The Dondorf has backgrounds, too. But the images have sufficient "pop" in both the Rana and the Dondorf, they work well.
There is much to be said for the starker decks, though. The Gluck, Wahrsagen A La Lenrmand, once you get used to the Mice and Whips cards, is excellent. It's OOP, AFAIK, but it looks like Konigsfurt Urania has picked it up and is now printing it. The reviewers are complaining about the size, but I think smaller than bridge sized but bigger than a mini is ideal in most situations. https://smile.amazon.com/Altes-Lenormand/dp/3868267727

1 hour ago, Czenzi said:

Same for the Pixie deck. I like the Pixie deck but don't work with it. My fear with it is that the "tarot-like" images may mean that some readers use more tarot-based interpretations than is kosher for Lenormand. That fear may be unfounded or not, but it just is a pitfall I'd not put in a new reader's path. It is very pretty though, and I do like the tin. 

It IS pretty. (Except the Fish card, the poor things look like they're being flushed down the toilet! WHY, Edmund? 🤣)

 

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Czenzi
Posted (edited)

@katrinkaI agree with you on most points. I have the Red Owl, but they have German poems and aren't great for a new reader. I mentioned having card faces as important. I think the Dondorf is often too big. I chose that set because it is usually around $12, and the cards are fine and poker sized. There are other/better options, of course, but $12 is cheap. The mini /bridge cards are definitely better for GTs. I'm not sure if OP is looking to do those yet. I prefer smaller cards myself, but poker-sized is doable. Rana's set is more beautiful, but I actually think the Dondorf sits better against the background. That's just me and we can disagree. The Pixie's collage style doesn't always work Fish is among the worst. Some others seem off too. Overall, I do like the looks on that deck but would probably never use it. 

Edited by Czenzi

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