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Published August 09, 2023 Updated August 14, 2023

Back to the 80s Lenormand

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.

2022 Japan Thailand Nimit Publishing Siam Oracle MeanMean Anime Cartomancy Comic Books Pop Culture Video Games Lenormand Add to Collection
Nimit Publishing logo in English and Thai script

Above: Nimit Publishing logo in English and Thai script.

Back to the 80s Lenormand is a 36-card set, immersing itself in the vibrant aesthetics of 1980s Japanese-style comics and cartoons for girls. With a nostalgic nod to GameBoys, cassette tapes and Walkmans, each card portrays distinctive characters and scenes in a bright and colourful Japanese style.

The back showcases nostalgic 80s objects like GameBoys, floppy disks, CD ROMs, Tamagotchis, push-button telephones, and other products associated with that era

Above: the back showcases nostalgic 80s objects like GameBoys, floppy disks, CD ROMs, Tamagotchis, push-button telephones, and other products associated with that era. See the front and back of the box.

In a novel touch, the set includes two additional cards featuring historical figures Lady Lenormand (1772-1843) and Johann Hechtel (1771-1799). Hechtel's inclusion pays homage to his creation of "Das Spiel der Hoffnung" (The Game of Hope), a 36-card game from the late 18th century that unwittingly laid the foundation for what would become the Lenormand cards.

A selection of cards from the Back to the 80s Lenormand includes: The Child card depicting a boy playing a Famicom game console (known as the Nintendo Entertainment System in the West), The Woman card with an image of a Walkman, and The Snake card featuring an old Nokia phone playing the 'Snake' game, intertwined with a green snake.

Above: A selection of cards from the Back to the 80s Lenormand includes: The Child card depicting a boy playing a Famicom game console (known as the Nintendo Entertainment System in the West), The Woman card with an image of a Walkman, and The Snake card featuring an old Nokia phone playing the 'Snake' game, intertwined with a green snake.

His game, originally intended for leisure, evolved into the system of cartomancy now associated with Madame Lenormand, linking both of these historical figures to the rich tradition from which the Back to 80s Lenormand draws inspiration.

Back to the 80s Lenormand mirrors a broader trend of intertwining spirituality, pop culture and personal identity. Its success underscores the appeal of fusing mystical traditions with contemporary trends, reflecting the ongoing customization of spirituality in modern life. This trend is further explored in my article on Branded Tarot Decks and Modern Mystic Lifestyle.

Designed by Thai artist MeanMean and authored by Siam Oracle, the pack includes a booklet in Thai with interpretations for each card and instructions for spreads. Produced by Nimit Publishing and printed in Thailand.

Update: Contrasting Opinions on the Back to the 80s Lenormand

While the Back to the 80s Lenormand evokes nostalgic imagery and connects with the era's pop culture, it's worth noting that the reception to this deck is polarized.

A Mixed Reception:

Some enthusiasts have expressed appreciation for the fresh perspective the deck brings to the Lenormand tradition. However, certain imagery has also raised eyebrows. One critic, /u/sodascape on Reddit, pointed out that the depiction of "The Whip flogging a woman is pretty distasteful" and questioned some of the romantic imagery as being too heavy-handed. There's a sentiment that the artwork's one-sided emphasis on romantic relationships might miss the broader meanings of some cards. As /u/sodascape put it, "Less is more when it comes to Lenormand, but that's just my opinion."

Other views are more strongly critical. /u/enchanted_fishlegs critised the deck for being "unusable," citing specific concerns about the crowded images, inappropriate symbolism, and lack of alignment with traditional Lenormand meanings. From the complaint about the Rider card's swapping of a horse for a motorcycle to the Fish card not depicting a "big haul," /u/enchanted_fishlegs argued that the creator's choices reveal a lack of understanding of the Lenormand method, stating, "It would take all day to enumerate everything that's wrong with this deck. This thing is an utter dog's breakfast. Whoever made it never bothered to learn the method, and it shows."


Above: the set includes two extra cards featuring Johann Kaspar Hechtel and Marie Anne Adelaide Lenormand.

References

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By Adam Wintle

Member since March 15, 1997

Adam has been involved in developing the site as well as reviewing new decks and conducting research. He is particularly interested in innovation, Kickstarter and East Asian cards. He is a member of the IPCS and webmaster of the EPCS.


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