Lenormand is a system of cartomancy very loosely based upon that developed by Marie Anne Lenormand during the Napoleonic era. The cards are more properly called Madame Lenormand Fortune Telling Cards but are usually simply called Lenormand cards (or, affectionately Lennies) and the system referred to simply as Lenormand.
There are two types of Lenormand decks: the Petit Jeu Lenormand and the Grand Jeu Lenormand. The Petit Lenormand deck usually has 36 cards and is much simpler with regard to symbolism. There are no suits, but each card bears it own unique image with a definite meaning in relation to nearby cards. Although there is some room for interpretation based upon the situation and a card’s place in the spread, practitioners of Lenormand often say that the meanings are much more specific than those of other cartomancy systems.
The Grand Lenormand has 54 cards with heavier, more mythical symbolism, based on Greek mythology. The Grand Jeu produces much more complicated readings than the Petit Lenormand. Many scholars of these decks believe that the Grand Jeu Lenormand is closer to what Mme Lenormand herself would have devised (had she devised any deck at all) because it was well known that she was a scholar of Greek Mythology, Astrology, and Alchemy, all of which show heavy influence in the Grand Jeu Lenormand deck.
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