Gilded Reverie Lenormand

May We Introduce Mlle. Lenormand

003bWith the Lenormand decks growing in popularity, we wanted to share a bit about the woman this system is named for and her original deck.

Marie Anne Adelaide Lenormand was born in 1772. Her date of birth, May 27, puts her in the Gemini house. She was orphaned very early in her life so she was sent to a convent to receive her education. It is said that she left there at the age of 14 to head to Paris.

Blue Owl Lenornmand

Blue Owl Lenormand

Per her own writing, Mademoiselle Lenormand read

her cards for many important people including Tsar Alexander 1. The Empress Josephine was arguably her most famous client but she also read for Robespierre and other French revolutionaries such as Marat. It is an interesting thing to think about, isn’t it?

If she read for those revolutionaries as well as French nobility, could she have been setting both sides against one another? Purely speculation on this writer’s part, of course, but it is fun to consider.

Under the Roses Lenormand

Under the Roses Lenormand

There are many references to her readings and predictions. It is said that she told Bonaparte that he would meet a widow who would make him happy. She also advised that he would, “achieve a very high rank by his influence; but that ye be ungrateful to it” thus losing any happiness he might find. I think we all know how that one turned out.

At the age of 42, she began writing. Some of her literary works ended her up in prison a few times. Madame Lenormand never spent too much time in jail though. It seems our card reader was a bit of a rabble rouser. Her death came at less than a month after her seventy first birthday in 1843.

Gilded Reverie Lenormand

Gilded Reverie Lenormand

A misconception is that Mlle. Lenormand created the Lenormand deck. That is not correct. She popularized the reading of cards. Card reading was fairly common but generally done by the travelers or Romany people. The term gypsy is offensive to many in that populace so we will not use that here. Mlle. Lenormand did say that her first pack of cards was given to her at the age of fourteen by that group. It would be intriguing to go back to that time to discover if getting that deck of cards was what precipitated her leaving the convent to head into the grand city of Paris.

A deck created by Madame Breteau was named “Le Grand Jeu de Mlle. Lenormand” in honor of Lenormand after her death. This Madame Breteau claimed to be a student of Mlle. Lenormand. The deck was the fifty-four card version. Another deck was also published around the same time called the “Petit Lenormand.”

Mystical Lenormand

Mystical Lenormand

That 36 card deck is the one that is most popular now. German in origin, it is said to be based on the “Game of Hope” card game, which is based on a board game where you raced around the board based on cards drawn. Similar games would be Candyland in today’s world. I can only hope that one hundred years from now we do not have a Candyland oracle.

So from 18th and 19th century Paris, a young orphan girl still shines. Do you think she knew her legacy would stretch so far into the future? I like to think that she did.

We are celebrating our Lenormand line today. Which of the four decks featured here appeal to you the most? One commenter will win their choice of these four Lenormand decks.

Comments must be entered by Friday June 20 no later than 12 midnight PST.

Winner announced on this blog Tuesday June 24, 2014.


Cards shown:

Blue Owl Lenormand (rhymes written by Stuart Kaplan)
Gilded Reverie Lenormand
Under The Roses Lenormand
Mystical Lenormand

18 thoughts on “May We Introduce Mlle. Lenormand

  1. RubyV

    I love the Gilded Reverie. Odd, since I’m not a fan of his Tarot decks, but this is lovely.

  2. Karen

    Because I read regular playing cards, then tarot, for many years, I really wasn’t in the market for learning another card system. But the Lenormand found a way to sneak into my world with brilliant artwork, astonishing teachers, and remarkable accuracy in the readings. I think Mlle. would be pleased to see how much interest the method bearing her name has aroused. And I also think that I’ve not paid enough attention to the Mystical Lenormand pictured above. I do love a sarcophagus!

  3. sylvi shayl

    I’ve not seen the Mystical Lenormand deck before, it’s very intriguing. The very first deck I was given, on my thirteenth birthday was the rather complicated Astro-mythalogical Lenormand deck. I would be most interested to see if a Lenormand deck works for me, since I work primarily with Tarot cards.

  4. Cindy Lyons

    The Lenormand is a wonderful tool like the tarot. A Candy land Oracle? Gosh, no! Lol…I would love the Under the Roses Lenormand <3

  5. Katie McBrien

    I love the lenormand. This was a great an informative post. Also i love the Under The Roses lenormand, I purchased it at Readers Studio’14!!! 🙂

    Personally I would love to Gilded Reverie Lenormand.

  6. Augusta Stewart

    I have been studying/reading Tarot for only a year now, and just started with Lenormand only a few weeks ago… I am hooked -the Blue Owl cards look fascinating-as do the rest… I will be still studying and reading Tarot but Lenormand is fast becoming my favorite card deck to work with

  7. DArryn

    I’ve never ventured into Lenormand before, however these decks are beautiful! I may need to try!

  8. Diane Muckey

    My husband introduced me to these decks when we first met. I only thought there was kind of “card divination”. I am becoming more and more fascinated by these decks.. and their history

  9. Suzi Petito

    I have several decks and have invested a few hours on Donnaleigh’s site with here oh, so helpful videos and podcasts ala Lenormond. These learning opportunities are a MUST if you want to understand how to use these cards and how they differ from Tarot. I am approaching somewhat cautiously, as my skill level isn’t up to trusting my own readings, just yet. But as long as there are others who love “The Cards” as much as I do, I know i am in very good company and will be learning and having fun the rest of my life.

  10. Giuliana

    If I absolutely HAD to choose, I would pick The Mystical Lenormand. It carries a rich vibe with nuances of all things magical. Stunning. Thanks for posting. Long Live Lenormand! 😉

  11. Melissa Hammitt

    I haven’t purchached a Lenormand deck yet, my main focus has been on Tarot. However after seeing the beautiful “Under the Roses Lenormand”, I’ve been drawn to give this form of divination a try! It’s amazing to see Lenormand gaining more and more attention lately. I can’t imagine venturing off into the great city of Paris at the young age of 14! How exciting!

  12. Katherine aka Baylys

    The Blue Owl is the only one I have not owned, but those verses would be too distracting for me. I already have, and love the UtR self published edition. And I love my Mystical as well. I HAD the Gilded Reverie limited edition, but I gave it to a good friend. Silly me! I would love a replacement for it, so can my entry be for the Gilded please?

  13. Donna S

    Oh no! It’s happened!” I swore it wouldn’t. Im addicted to LeNormand decks now. I would love any of these lovely decks although if I had to choose , the colors of the guilded reverie pull a chord. The LeNormand readings seem to give more details. Madam LeNormand sounds like she would be quite a character!

  14. Catherine Chandler

    What a treat! Thank you so much 🙂

    Thanks for the history… I have Lenormand in my sites but have yet to actually ‘get down and dirty’ with it. The book that is waiting on my shelf for me will probably have a history section in it too, but this is a surprise to me regarding who she read for… the ‘other than usually mentioned’ names… I wonder how she handled her celebrity (notoriety?) back then, if indeed she had any. Was she bundled in through the back door to give her readings to the famous? or was she proudly presenting herself at the main entrance ?
    I would like any of them but to choose just one, it has to be the Gilded Reverie by Ciro Marchetti, whose work I just adore. Thank you again for this opportunity.
    Blessings and smiley happiness to you 🙂
    Catherine x

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