Madame Lenormand Cartomancy Cards, also known as the Lenormand Oracle or Petit Lenormand, is a deck of 36 fortune-telling cards created in the early 19th century. They are named after Marie Anne Adelaide Lenormand, a famous French fortune-teller who was known to have read for prominent figures like Napoleon Bonaparte and Empress Josephine. Although there is no historical evidence that Madame Lenormand herself designed or used these specific cards, they have been associated with her due to her reputation and influence in cartomancy.
The Lenormand cards differ from traditional Tarot cards in several ways. The Petit Lenormand has fewer cards (36 as opposed to Tarot's 78) and features simpler imagery based on everyday objects and situations, such as a ship, a tree, a heart, or a letter. Each card is numbered and associated with a playing card suit (hearts, diamonds, clubs, or spades), which adds an additional layer of meaning.
When reading Lenormand cards, the focus is primarily on the combination of cards and their positions relative to one another, as opposed to individual card meanings. This makes Lenormand readings more direct and practical in nature, often focusing on specific situations or questions, whereas Tarot readings tend to be more symbolic and abstract.
In recent years, the Lenormand Oracle has gained popularity among modern fortune-tellers and card readers, with many enthusiasts creating their own variations and interpretations of the original deck.
History meets pop culture in a 36-card set that pays tribute to Lenormand's legacy and the colourful world of 1980s Japanese-style comics.
“Cartes Lenormand” published by H. P. Gibson & Sons Ltd, London, printed in Germany by B. Dondorf, 1920s.
A pack of 54 playing-cards for fortune-telling each card containing a number of zodiacal, classical and modern images with a miniature card of the conventional type at top left and a letter of the alphabet at top right.
Mlle Lenormand Cartomancy deck made by Vereinigte Stralsunder Spielkartenfabriken, Stralsund, c.1890.
Conventional Lenormand designs on a pack from Piatnik but with unconventional numbering.