36 cards: Before we move on to a few particularities of the Anna.K Lenormand deck, take note that a classic Lenormand deck contains 36 cards. These 36
classic cards are all present in the Anna.K Lenormand deck. They are, in the sequence of their numbering:
Rider, Clover, Ship, House, Tree, Clouds, Snake, Coffin, Bouquet, Scythe,
Whip, Birds, Child, Fox, Bear, Stars, Stork, Dog, Tower, Garden,
Mountain, Crossroads, Mice, Heart, Ring, Book, Letter, Man, Woman,
Lily, Sun, Moon, Key, Fish, Anchor, and Cross.
In addition to its title, each card also has a number and playing card correlation. The playing card correlations are in some decks presented very dominantly, as playing card inlets, and in others, as in the Anna.K Lenormand, only by the symbol of the suit and the number (or abbreviated rank) of the individual card within that suit. For example:
The cards' numbering: Neither the individual numbers nor the sequence of the cards' numbering has any connection to the cards' meanings - at
least not as far as I can tell. In this respect, neither the numbers nor their sequence is relevant. Some people, however, use the numbers for answering questions
about time scales or quantities.*)
If you plan on doing that, too, try to memorise the cards' titles together
with their numbers right from the beginning. It will safe you a lot of time later on. Also, already
knowing the cards' order by heart will come in handy when you learn to read one of the most
popular spreads, the Grand Tableau.
The playing card correlations needn't concern you
if you're just starting out! Which card belongs to which suit, and which rank it has within that suit, is of no real consequence at this point. Depending on your personal preferences even later on you might choose to disregard them without any loss for your reading practice. However, it's good to be aware from the start that there are some traditions according to which the playing card correlations can be used for additional interpretations or techniques. Just one example is that you could employ the 12 court cards to represent persons with specific characteristics . For now, though, I
advise the beginner to just take note that the playing card symbols are there - but to forget about
If you haven't done it yet, take your Anna.K Lenormand deck out now and arrange all cards according to their numbers. You will find that my
deck has 4 extra cards. For there is not just one Lily but two Lily cards (both are numbered 30),
and there is a second pair of Man and Woman (numbered 28 and 29 just like the first pair). The
fourth extra card is my Wild Card which has neither title nor number.
The two Lilies: The reason why there are two is that there are two different schools of thought
regarding the Lily's meaning. According to one the Lily is about sex and sensuality. The other says
the Lily is about purity and virtuousness. I don't believe that sensuality and virtue are mutually
exclusive, but I believe they are completely separate issues. So I found it impossible to paint an
image that eloquently illustrated both and decided to paint two separate Lily cards. One illustrates
virtuousness, the other sensuality - I hope it is obvious to you which is which. As for how to use
them, you can either take one of them out of the deck (and assign either "virtue" or "sensuality" or
both to the remaining Lily), or you can read with both Lilies (which I prefer).
The two Men and Women: One reason for adding a second pair was to make same-sex pairings possible. If you
do a relationship reading for two female friends, or a lesbian couple, for example, you might want to take the two Men out
of the deck and read with the two Women instead. The second reason to add another pair was to
make pairings possible in which the Man and Woman look in the same direction - which some
readers are used to and/or prefer. And the third reason for adding a second pair was to make available
more representatives of persons. This way, other cards won't have to be used for that purpose (and the rest
of their meanings be lost for the reading). So, depending on your personal preferences, and on the needs of each individual reading, you can include, exclude, or pair, any of my Men and Women you like.
The Wild Card: Conventional Lenormand decks do not contain a Wild Card. If you don't want to use mine just remove it from your deck! But if you want to keep it you can use it in any way that seems fitting to you personally. For my Wild Card is supposed to play the role of a Joker (it can represent any topic you want it to represent) as well as, very specifically, the role of a wild card. In the latter sense it is the potential representative of a person or thing that could affect a situation in a way that cannot be predicted - an unknown factor. If you want more detailed suggestions you can look up my interpretation of the card >> here!
As I mentioned in >> my philosophy many Lenormand readers are traditionalists. For them there is a right and a wrong way
of reading Lenormand cards. Now, if you are a traditionalist (or plan to be one) you might be better off to disregard the card
interpretations and reading instructions I give here. They'll often differ from what you may (come to)
think of as the "correct" way. But since the names of and the numbers on my cards are the same as
in any traditional deck you can still use my cards in combination with any other guidebook that you
prefer. The only disadvantage will be that in this case at least some of the images might not make
as much sense, because the images were of course painted to most eloquently communicate my
I write more about the individualist approach to card reading in >> my philosophy. But in short, an individualist reader believes that whatever works for an individual, whatever is productive for them personally,
is the right way - for them. If you're an individualist reader, or plan to be one, my writings will probably be quite valuable to you. As a beginner you can use my interpretations and instructions as a guide
for your first steps with Lenormand cards. Then, when you are confident enough to embark on developing
your own approach, you will slowly let go of (at least some of) mine, and feel confident about it! And if you're an already experienced individualist reader my interpretations will hopefully enrich your own reading practise by offering a new perspective and fresh input.