Descripción: Partitura de Piano y voz, también llamada, "Puedes irte de mí".
Classical guitar, Guilio Regondi, Reverie
Dolor Set Amet
hen I initially started this project, I assumed that the potential audience would be primarily deck collectors, and specifically those already familiar with one or more of the various Lenormand systems. As such I didn’t consider there would be a need for any companion documentation with this special edition. However during the course of its production I received considerable feedback, that suggested in fact there was growing interest in these images from many who had no previous experience with the Lenormand system. So I felt there was after all a need after all in providing at least some basic complimentary material. This e-book is intended to serve as merely a brief overview and initial introduction to this fascinating genre of divination that is embraced under the generic category of Lenormand. Its content has been assembled from various contributors who each have considerable experience in this field. Nevertheless I recommend that anyone wishing to learn and study the Lenormand systems in greater depth, to take advantage of the hyperlinks provided throughout this document that connect to various useful Lenormand related publications, blogs and web sites.
Ciro Marchetti. ii
LENORMAND A NEW CHALLENGE Creative Approach, Process & Production In May of 2011, I attended the Readers Studio Tarot Conference in New York. One morning I shared a breakfast table with the renowned Tarot author and reader Mary Greer. During our conversation she suggested that I should consider designing a Lenormand deck. At the time I didn't give it too much thought as I assumed it was a fringe sub-division of Tarot and one with an appeal limited mainly to European readers. I was also at the time concentrating my efforts on the re working of the Gilded Tarot into its new "Royale" version. Nevertheless Mary's suggestion did peak my curiosity and so in between commitments to other projects, I did dabble with producing Lenormand related images, such as trees, books, ships, etc. However, still not convinced about a full commitment to the entire project, I used many of those elements in other unrelated images instead. Nevertheless, one year later at the following corresponding Readers Studio venue, I was finally convinced. Having overheard Rana George explaining and demonstrating the basics of the Lenormand system, I was intrigued and certainly impressed by the reaction and response of the audience who were enthusiastically following her every word. So with that change of heart, I took another look at the various images I iii
had previously produced, or had started but not finished. I also revisited even earlier projects, I soon realized that many of them also contained elements that would lend themselves perfectly to a Lenormand project. Strangely it seemed that such a deck had been sitting there hidden from view with images just waiting to be recognized for the Lenormand cards they potentially could become. The challenge now would be to see if they could be resurrected with a purpose, theme and common visual denominator into a collective body of work. As with my tarot journey which had started 10 years earlier, I was (and still am) a complete novice compared to almost everyone who is likely to be reading this. So, I am clearly not qualified to teach, explain or otherwise shed fresh light on the Lenormand system. Instead, I can share some background insight into how I approached the project, both from a conceptual and production perspective. Over the preceding few months I had dedicated time to learning the basic history, tradition and reading structure of the Lenormand. I also regard these early less informed period as useful ones, as they allow me to see things with a fresh eye, less tainted by pre-concepts and biases of what any given card should look like. This perspective is clearly a temporary one that can only exists at the beginning. Eventually as one reads and hears more of other peoples opinions, and preferences, your own personal perspective become
increasingly “influenced”. So its during this early period that is one of prolific output, involving numerous sketches and experimentation with variations on how to best portray core meaning, overall illustrative style, and conceptual themes. The vast majority of these early drafts get trashed, while others that seem promising I may post on say Facebook and other related on line forums, and take into consideration whatever feedback they generate. Its frustrating that some approaches seem to work so well for one card but simply won't for others and have to be discarded in order to maintain a visual cohesion throughout. The real challenge however, is one of balance, between personal creative goals and the expectations and needs of the audience that may use the deck. Early on it was pointed out to me that the essence of the Lenormand is its simplicity, or better put, its directness compared to Tarot. The cards and their images should be less ambiguous. A Freudian cigar is just a cigar, so to speak, or in a Lenormand context, a tree is just a tree, a key is just a key. As such, I was advised, those core elements should not be diluted with other imagery or symbolism that might detract or distract from the basic meaning. Therein lies a dilemma. First of all, taken to its conclusion such simplicity could be reduced to a boring blank card with a simple keyword or title printed on it. With minimal effort, I or anyone else searching on the internet, could find free or relatively cheap clipart, and produce an iv
acceptably deck in about a day. However such a process would have no appeal to me as a project, and I suspect little appeal to my target audience. Despite the well intentioned advice to "keep it simple" my personal experience and opinion is that the vast majority of the tarot community do indeed prefer “more”. Entering into an image’s visual richness, no matter the style, is for many an integral part of the reading experience both for reader and querent. A key may indeed be just a key, but this inert object can nevertheless accurately portray vastly opposing concepts of either imprisonment or freedom. Most images, depending on the circumstances, may also convey a duality of meaning. As such, scenes, elements and characters portrayed in a “richer” visual way might provide an environment that is more conducive to the intuitive interpretation and divinatory process. The dilemma of course is that if a depicted scene is too specific then it can become less flexible and thus counterproductive. The reader may find their own imagination being restricted. Its for these reasons that I attempt to depict people in as neutral a way as possible. Facial expressions and poses, do not suggest any specific emotion or mood. Clothing is either minimal or nondescript This avoids direct association with historical periods in time, or cultural, socio economic status. Unlike many Lenormand decks of the past, I chose to depict a Man and Woman as opposed to a Gentleman and Lady.
Any modification or “tampering” with tradition can of course be like walking on thin ice. Once again there is a dilemma and balance involved in providing the core imagery. Ones that readers can still use as part of the reading structure they are already familiar with, but also fulfilling a designer’s wish to create something fresh. This challenge is particularly ironic in the case of Lenormand, where the tradition that is considered so integral to the whole process, is actually a house of cards (excuse the pun), a fragile structure evolved over time more by whim and opportunistic marketing than any genuine symbolic rational. Furthermore the evolution of Lenormand took different paths incorporating variations of symbolic meaning along the way reflecting cultural deviations. For example the Bear would be considered male in German and Spanish, but female in the French, Belgium, Dutch and Russian traditions. Depending on the species and countries, lilies might be considered appropriate (or inappropriate) for either a funeral or wedding. Clearly with such variables, a one size fits all symbolic approach is not possible. Once I accepted that, I felt more comfortable straying from any of the norms as it were. Nevertheless I feel that despite the individual style and variations in this Gilded Reverie, it is still a deck that I hope Lenormand readers, whether they be experienced or beginners, should be able to use with comfort.
HISTORY & TRADITION The Fox, The Moon and The Fish... In the name of Lenormand The Gilded Reverie Lenormand is a continuation of a cardreading tradition dating back to the late 18th and into the 19th century. The design of this deck is intended to respect the tradition whilst providing a new vision for the future. We will see that the tradition itself has been rooted in “borrowing” and “whim” since its inception, with an ongoing history of change. You may be surprised to discover that these cards have little to do with Mlle. Lenormand, famed fortuneteller of France, other than to use her name for marketing. It is only a matter of geography and history that give us a deck with an “Anchor” card and not a “Spider” card, or a “House” card and not a “Well.” You will also come to discover that the Reverie has reworked some of the images to provide a more contemporary perspective for the modern parlor of the 21st century and presented in a unique illustrative style. The story of this deck, for a story it is, begins with its namesake, when in Alençon, Normandy, France, a baby girl, Marie-Anne Lenormand was born to Marie-Anne Gilbert and vii
Jean-Louis Lenormand on the 27th of May 1772. Her father died the following year, and by the time she was five years old she had lost both parents. Misfortune had taken grip of her life early on, this however would appear not to have held her back. A child of her time, she was a mere 17-years old at the start of the turbulent French Revolution, 1789 - 1799. These were ruthless and uncertain times, but they were the beginning of a society that recognized the fairness for the man or woman on the street to seize their rights and opportunities. This uncertainty would no doubt have stoked an increase in oracular consultation. Indeed at this time Paris was full of fortunetellers, in spite of a law that was in place that prohibited divination. We might easily draw a parallel to the turbulent times of today, with our own economic and political upheavals across Europe and America, when both times had their “Occupy” movement whilst the cards were being introduced. Mlle. Marie-Anne Lenormand was one of these Parisian fortunetellers, and she knew how to recognize an opportunity, selling certainty in a time of uncertainty. She did not just sell divination but she sold her very self - she was a shameless self-promoter. The cartomantic historians Decker, Depaulis & Dummet, authors of A Wicked Pack of Cards (1986) point out “that of the 14 books that she wrote during
her lifetime that they were not about theories of Tarot or methods of Cartomancy, but about her own career and her association with people of importance.” Therefore in reality the only ‘Lenormand’ in existence at this time was the childless Mademoiselle herself, a walking and talking oracle and business woman, whose name and reputation would be her one and only lasting legacy of her presence in this world. Her death on the 25th June 1843 conjured interest in her myth, and as ever, opportunists came out of the woodwork; three biographies were written, the contents verging on the “creative” side. One even claimed to contain prophecies that The Lenormand’ had divined before her death. There was money to be made out of Mlle. Lenormand’s visions. It is difficult to know what is truth and what is merely “spin” with regard to Lenormand, as according to Decker, Depaulis and Dummet, the proliferation of Lenormand hot off-thepress type revelations in 1845 came straight out of a “Lenormand Factory”. The irony is that as far as we know, Mlle. Lenormand never used a 36-card deck as we commonly associate with as “The Lenormand” today. This is almost of no question, as she herself wrote in 1817, in her book Les oracles sibyllins that she used a “piquet pack”, a popular game-playing deck of the time. Interestingly too, we have little written evidence of the meaning that Lenormand attributed to particular cards. Then viii
there is a scant reference to tarot cards, with the oddly spelt “tharots” and only three cards are mentioned in her writing at all: “Fol, Death, and Devil”. How exciting it would be for Lenormand aficionados to be able to read somewhere in primary reference material a mention of ‘The Clover’, ‘The Whip’, ‘The Tree’, but sadly, it will be unlikely ever to be so. Her cards may have been playing cards with her own handwritten astrological notes or other symbols, and again, if they had survived and were found, that would also be a wonderful discovery. I can only express in the Language of the Lenormand that there is a very strong theme of “The Fox + Moon + Fishes” = “Trickery and a desire for Fame and Money” running through the story of the incredible Mlle. Lenormand. So her death, as death often does, created a celebrity out of the Fortuneteller, with the creation of an industry of “Lenormand” decks using her name and notoriety. The name and brand of “Lenormand” which the Mademoiselle had so creatively and shrewdly set up would be seized upon and spun into an entirely new method of Cartomancy.
appears to be heavily strewn with allusions to the patriotism of France. The Clover is depicted with two blue symbols to represent abundance; that of the cornucopia. Above the cornucopia is the green three-leaf clover, and ladies fly above it, their hands linked in unity wearing gowns in the colors of the French flag; Red, Blue and White, representing the Tripartite motto and patriotic colors of the French flag. You can almost hear the cry of the tripartite motto ‘Liberty, Equality, Fraternity’ in this card. The cards all have playing card inserts upon them, allowing the purchaser to use them as a standard playing deck in addition to their fortunetelling use. This is a wonderful reversal of how they originally came about, as we will see. The next deck to follow this same format was the “Fortune Telling Cards of the Famous Mlle. Lenormand in Paris”, printed in Germany in 1846 by J. B. Ruehe. Many others were to follow, although the tradition has lay somewhat dormant for many years until this recent revival in 2012 where more decks are being produced each month than previously for years.
We know that in 1845, only two years after her death, the first known deck in the format of what is now known as “the” Lenormand was created by an unknown publisher. Not all the cards survive, and they are hand-colored. This deck ix
was “borrowed” by publishers 45 years later when capitalizing too on the death of Lenormand. If they were not concerned about using the name of a dead woman, they were probably not concerned about using the deck of a dead man.
However, it has been known since 1976 that the “original” deck of the exact symbols now used by “Lenormand” decks existed 45 years prior to its re-purposing as “the” Lenormand deck. It had nothing to do with Mlle. Lenormand and was designed by a German brass-factory owner named J. K. Hechtel, in 1800, shortly before his own death. It was called “The Game of Hope” and was a typical example of many such games of the time across Europe. There are three extant copies in museums, including the British Museum. www.originallenormand.com The fact that Hechtel died so closely to his own playingcard game deck being published is a possible reason why it x
So, our Lenormand deck got its pictures from a cardgame and its name from a well-known fortuneteller, both without their intent and after their death. It was not created by them, but from them. Curiously, the game instructions from Hechtel contain a brief mention that the deck can be used for divination by laying out all the cards and telling stories from them, and Lenormand of course used game playing cards herself. It is faintly possible that given the dates, she herself may have seen a Hechtel “Game of Hope” deck in normal play during her later life. If the publisher had chosen another game deck to use, we might have had a very different set of images, including “The Spider” card or “The Well” card for example. Although many games and decks of the time shared common images such as “The House”, there were many variants. In the Reverie you will find optional cards from such variants, including “The Bridge”, “The Masque”, “The Dice” and “The Clock”. Over the years there have been many changes to the deck, removing or adding various aspects of symbolism, such as a cross being depicted on the “Ways” card, or an hourglass being shown on the “Scythe”. The original “Whip and Birch” has been sometimes redrawn as a “Whip and Broom”, causing some debate in traditional circles, as the broom symbol is far more domestic and positive than a birch. The original card in the Game of Hope shows blood on the birch,
which is placed on a block, making clear its negative connotation. Similarly, when the cards were originally developed, there were generally known myths and fables, which would have been familiar to any family playing the game in their parlor. Such tales as the Frog-King and the Stork, or Reynard the Fox would have been instantly recognizable in the cards. As these cards are brought to a new generation, you will rediscover these stories in the card descriptions and their meaning for your readings. There are also a number of traditions of reading the cards, both in the methods used and the interpretation of the symbols. These are often known by their nationality, although it is not a hard rule; there are variations from one author or teacher to another even whilst sharing nationality. Whilst there are commonalities of meaning, there can be significant differences; the Bear card, for example, may be a mother or a strong man of authority, depending on the tradition. There are variations to cards of health and wealth, and work, so it is recommended that one chooses a single tradition and stick with its congruent set of meanings before trying another. There are ways of choosing your tradition in the Learning Lenormand book.
In the Reverie, we explain each card in its most generic manner, allowing some play of meaning for you as a reader, based on experience of a number of traditions and actual practice. Where there are significant and useful differences, the deck contains variant images, such as the Owl/Birds. Another recent innovation taken up in the deck is to provide two Gentleman cards and two Lady cards for samegender readings. For existing Tarot readers, when comparing the Lenormand deck to Tarot cards, there are only four common symbols; the astronomical/astrological images of the Sun, Moon and Stars, and the Tower. It is important to see these in their original context and not compare them directly to their tarot equivalents – as you will see in the card descriptions, the Tower in Lenormand is very different and far more utilitarian than the biblical Tower of the Tarot. It is hoped that this Gilded Reverie deck provides you a wonderful tool of fortunetelling, divination and discovery, giving you access to an antique tradition in a contemporary presentation. As the Lenormand tradition is revived, these cards will come to speak more fully, and you are now part of that oracular voice, returning from the ages. Allow the cards to tell you their story and in doing so, discover your own.
Tali Goodwin xii
In the following pages, each card of the Gilded Reverie is shown and accompanied by initial brief key points provided by Rana George, www.ranageorge.com followed by a d d i t i o n a l s u m m a r i e s f r o m Ta l i G o o d w i n www.tarotspeakeasy.com In some cases I edited the text to better reflect a personal take on the image. Nevertheless these descriptions are intended as generalizations. Variations on these description will be influenced by cultural traditions and symbolic associations along with the particular circumstances of the querent and question of the reading. Intuition and consideration based on adjacent and related cards, the position of “Houses” beneath each card, etc., will add further nuance. The combined variables from all these factors will, in the hands of the reader, result in infinite possible meanings for each card. You may also notice a color variation between the cards shown and the physical version you have in your deck. This is a deliberate and intended variable. Several cards were produced in two color versions. Either of the two were selected randomly during the assembly process which was done by hand. This methodology resulted in each deck almost certainly being unique in its final combination of cards. The chances of anyone else having an identical combination of colored cards as you are more than 1 in 8000.
I am always bringing news, look around me to see what it includes. I might be coming to visit or bringing you some changes. I am fast and always on the move. If you see a negative card close by, you will probably not enjoy the reply. The Rider of the Lenormand brings news. It is the first card and announces new things. In the Reverie we behold a dreamy female Rider who sits astride a carousel horse; the horse who in fairytale stories is the conveyer of messages. She may even be Iris, the Greek messenger of the Gods. The fastened messenger bag across her shoulder may be suggestive of additional messages for different destinations along her night’s voyage. In her hands she grasps a white letter, one that is out of the bag and ready to be delivered for the current reading. The carousel is the ideal metaphor as this card is a new cycle being initiated and an ending of the old state. The ups and downs of the carousel also symbolize the magical flight that powers this messenger to its destination. Freed from the ever-revolving ‘Merry-Go round of life’, whose circular motion is also defined by the laws of physics as acceleration, our rider symbolically reflects the pace and speed of information by which our lives are increasingly defined. xv
I bring you luck, and happiness. I make things better, and as long as there isn’t a negative card after me, I will turn difficulties to opportunities. I am the nice surprise and the happy sighs.
In this card is depicted an explosive reverie of clover. Three and four leaf clover bearing white flowers are set against the backdrop of an idyllic day. All is vibrant green, fertile and promising growth and luck. The white of the flower symbolizes the purity of luck. Where this card is placed, all is well. When taken in the context of flowerlanguage the white of the flower is known to be a symbol too of remembrance; the card can be “think of me” from someone afar. The three-leaf clover is commonly known by the Irish as a Shamrock and is associated with luck. The four-leaf clover being considered less prevalent, the act of finding one naturally in the wild is considered very lucky. The clover is also known to have associations with love, passion and abandonment; Medieval poetry was full of passionate trysts between young lovers in fields of Clover. So here we also have the state of being lucky in love. However if Clover card lies next to the Scythe (10) card, expect the luck of love to be short-lived! xvi
I take you on a vacation or a business trip. You will need a suitcase for where we are going. Distance is what I am known for, and I am constantly in motion. Look at the cards next to me for the clues and cues to the changes I bring in your life’s journey
A journey is to be embarked upon. There are new horizons to be explored and preparation is required to ensure smooth passage. In the original ‘Game of Hope’ where we have the first publication of the symbols of the Lenormand, this is indicated to be a favorable journey, as the traveller will be “happily taken by this Ship to the Land of the Birds”. This augers well! In the Reverie, we see this card as a flying ship, a propellerpropelled briganteen, taking us to new vistas and landscapes. Whilst the original card image may have been a ship, later decks have modified it to whatever the latest mode of “distant” transportation may be, such as a train or airplane. It generally signifies distant travel, in any manner. The nature of the journey will usually be pleasant and well-favored, such as a holiday, depending as ever upon the cards which surround it.
I am your family and your base, your ground and your home. I give you stability and comfort. I am your living arrangement and environment. I am what surround you and your estate. The cards around me will give you signs on my present state, or what the future will dictate. A sanctuary is to be found in the House, showing us family and home; the sanctuary that offers us shelter from the world. In the Reverie we have the House depicted in such a way to entice us home again to the nostalgic place of fairytale. The build of the House is one of gnarled roots, speaking of a place of permanent fixture and security. The open garden gate speaks of an opening being made available. The House can be one of the most interesting ways to date a Lenormand deck, as each deck tends to either hark back to the past or chose a contemporary building to be depicted. Some decks have very utilitarian buildings on them, others have a more aspirational mansion house. However it is depicted, it represents what we think of as our home, our dwelling, our security.
I am here to stay and grow. I am the health of your body, mind and soul. Look for the cards next to me to find out more about me. When negative cards are close, pack some tissues for your nose.
A sign of health and longevity, and the imperative to put down ones roots to ensure a secure future. The cards presence could indicate a health condition that is inherited. Combine this card with the previous card of the House (4) and we have a ‘Tree House’ that speaks of security, but great family responsibility, and possible ill health through stress. The Tree here also depicts the Tree of Life, an ancient symbol that has its roots in the most ancient civilizations. Whether it be Babylonian, Egyptian or Jewish images of the Tree, it speaks here of antiquity and ancient roots. The card carries these meanings too in the rainbow, perhaps suggesting that true health is to be found in aligning ourselves between that which is above and that which is below. The harmony of the colors reflecting through the Tree symbolizes the holistic nature of healing and life itself.
I am dark on one side and light on the other. Conflicts and doubts I am sure to bring. You will not be able to see clearly, I will block your perception and let confusion reign. One thing for sure I promise is that I will pass because the sun always shines after the thunder has elapsed. A card symbolizing foreboding and change, the negative or positive influence is expressed by the direction the dark aspect of the cloud faces. In the Reverie we have the glorious breakthrough of the sun and the ascending birds on the righthand side of the card. This promises liberation from uncertainty. The card can also warn of the obscuring of a truth; there is a lack of clarity with regards to a situation, something needs to be revealed. A revelation may be in the offing. The darker aspects of the card are to be found in the lowerleft where we see the lightning striking the Tree of the previous card. In this face of the image is uncertainty, confusion. In some systems of Lenormand reading, the bright and dark edges of this card are used to tell us if the confusion is before or behind us, in the Reverie we are also able to tell if it is above or below us. This is particularly useful in a Grand Tableau reading where we are looking at diagonals – a more advance means of reading.
Watch out for me because I am always hiding, you can never trust or believe me. I am cheating, deceiving, and will betray you in a heartbeat. Be careful where you are treading, my fangs will surely have you dreading. The Game of Hope makes it clear to “stay safe from the bite of this dangerous Snake”. Be afraid, very afraid, as betrayal may very well be on the cards where this card lies! Watch out for a superficial person, one that is prone to be malicious, particularly when combined with the Dog card, quite literally, a bitchy best friend meaning you harm. Let’s just say here that duplicitous behavior, and a two faced person could be a problem. The card warns to be wary and watch where you tread. Our Snake here in the apple tree also alludes to the Garden of Eden, the original breakup of the happy relationship we saw in earlier cards, such as the House. The Lenormand cards, like many others, including Tarot, are firmly rooted in Christian tradition – such as the Cross (36), and even the Garden (20) is seen in the original game as a biblical place. So be wary and look to the cards around the Snake to see what is the nature of the evil in your situation.
I am the painful change and transition, you will feel me through your body, your mind, and certainly your wallet. Depression, loss, and bankruptcy are my specialties. I am sickness and bed rest. I am all endings and sometimes death.
The Coffin of the Reverie deck harks back to the Egyptian period. Whilst traditionally seen as an ending, finality, this is also symbolic of an initiation, bringing a final reckoning of our life purpose. It is often when we are faced with lifechanging events or illness that we weigh up the important aspects of our life. Here in the Reverie world we have the coffin in the form of a sarcophagus and it is flanked by the imposing figure of Anubis, the God of embalming and protector of the dead. He also has the role of assisting the weighing the heart to ascertain the worthiness of the person to enter the underworld. The significance of this card can be the actual ending of something as we know it. One very old German Lenormand deck in private collection has a child card which is designed to look very much like a sarcophagal figure, perhaps indicating that indeed every end is a new beginning.
Beauty and a happy face is what I bring. I am the gift that warms your heart. I am your recovery and your well being. No matter what card is before me, I will always change it positively. What is it like when someone gives you a gift? This card is the fragrant smell of joy and happiness, a show of appreciation that could be on its way. The image here of a bouquet of pink Tulips speaks the “Language of Flowers”. In the Victorian era, flowers were used as a medium of communication; they became the code of lovers, a perfect way to express love, passion and appreciation covertly. The Tulip, way before the Victorian period was valued very highly and induced something called ‘Tulipmania’, it was so desirable to possess. Therefore, the presence of this card signifies a gift that is to be given or received and is valuable in some way. That the label here contains the name of the deck is a nod to earlier decks which often had the “publishers stamp” embossed on one of the cards. Several early Lenormand decks contained the flag of the city of the publisher on the Ship (3) card, for example. When combined with a card such as the Rider (1) or the Letter (27), see later, we have a beautiful invitation – and if then further combined with the Garden (20), it would be an invitation to a party. If it were however the Tower (19), it might be a more unwelcome invitation to a hospital appointment. At least you will get flowers in your room.
Be careful I am swift and sharp. I cut through with precision with a strict and clear vision. I am an accident, a sharp cut, a break, or sometimes a decision that needs to be made. I can bring good harvest or danger. Look at what I am cutting nearby, it just might be your wager. “To everything there is a season, And a time to every purpose under the Sun.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 This item is a simple agricultural tool used to clear away grass and gather the wheat at harvest time. In the world of the Lenormand it symbolizes; a sudden trauma or shock that will take one by surprise. A swift clear cut will be made! It is dangerous too, as it is sharp. We must be careful where this card points, particularly in a Grand Tableau. The cards next to the blade-tip moderates its influence, making it more or less extreme in its impact. For example, the Scythe next to Clover (2) would make the shock less. It is almost as it literally the cutting through Clover (luck) blunts the blade. This symbol can represent a “call to action”, particularly when combined with cards such as the Rider (1).
Be warned of high temper, I bring conflict and strife. You will find me in competitions because I work with repetition. Arguments and quarrels are my patent, but I am not always a villain. I can be found in the gym or in a lusty bed on a whim.
This card is one of the troublesome cards in the Lenormand. Unlike Tarot, there are definitely favourable and unfavourable cards in this system. Where the whip comes, frenzy will be whipped up, creating discord and a person will be quick to anger. The card is trouble, strife, disharmony, conflict, argument, particularly when seen with the Birds (12) and all things stressful. A crack of the whip will be exerted either by you or against you. The Reverie depicts the curling whip and the Birch, a bundle of branches tightly bound which was used to reprimand and castigate. Birching was used in France during the French Revolution, and during the time of Lenormand herself. In its most positive sense, we have here a card calling us to bring our forces and attention together, to get focus, to get all our “ducks in a row”.
A phone call, a text, or a date that is how I communicate. I am in meetings, or interviews, and I like to negotiate. I can be your sibling, lover, or mate. Couples is what I indicate. This card may be symbolic of jabber, gossip or the passing of information of a positive kind, as ever dependent on the cards in which company it is found. Many voices together are louder than one; it is also the modern view of “crowdsourcing” or “mass communication”. It can be as simple as an announcement that travels quickly or is distributed widely, say when with the Rider (1) card. This too is the ever-growing world of Facebook, and Twitter communication. The card is literal in Tweeting. There may however be miscommunication with the ChineseWhispers effect. In Fairy Tales characters are sometimes given the ability to understand the “Language of the Birds” and it could be that the card signifies a misunderstanding, particularly when combined with the Whip (11).
I am young, I am new, I am playful and immature. I am a baby, a kid, or a teenager. Small, short, or tiny are other ways to describe me. The Child is one of the literal ”people” cards in the Lenormand system, indicating a young person. To be honest, we also take this as a symbol of a childlike nature or someone who is young at heart. No-one wants to do a business reading and be advised to choose a young child as a corporate partner – perhaps we should think a little less literal in some cases. The child inhabits a place of Wonderment, innocence, hope and the ability to just play at something, just for the fun of it. It is another time and the place where imagination is unchained and reality is taken at face value. It is the early stages of development where changes can be made and a positive future formed. The Reverie depicts this wonderment with an open book of fairytales with start of ‘Once upon a time’, the remaining are blank pages yet to be populated. A fairytale castle can be seen with hope in the form of a rainbow – an image that occurs throughout the deck, alluding to the original “game of hope” from which all Lenormand decks derive.
When I am not your job, I am you’re your red flag for some deviousness going on. Look around your circle in your hall, I might be planning your fall. I am master of manipulation and I am going to fool you all. Craftiness is my fame, and “sneaky sneaky” is my game. In the original Game of Hope, it is written that “the cunning Fox leads the player astray”. This is the trickster card of the deck and its presence brings cunning and plotting, for good or ill dependent on its position. The Fox here looks back upon his prey – perhaps the cockerel thinks he is the only one awake so early. The Fox has prepared his ruse though, and is sure to get his bird. At the time of the conception of the Lenormand deck, a popular tale was of “Reynard the Fox”. These collections of tales depicted Reynard as a “false prophet”, and many traditional interpretations of the Fox card still carry this sense of “false gospel”. So beware of trickery and deception. The Fox in the Lenormand symbolises these traits and more, beware of the charmer who makes you smile, all is not as it seems. The Fox next to the Bouquet (9) could warn of deception and flattery, be even more wary if the Heart (24) and Scythe (10) cards come into the equation. In our literal Lenormand way of reading this is “deception and flattery leads to a cut-up heart”. You have been warned!
Power and strength, large and big, only but a few words of how I am a bigwig. Your finance is my field, your food is my intrigue. My bad side comes out when you see negative cards around.
The Polar Bear is a fitting symbol of the indomitable dignity signified by this card, whether it be read as an authority figure, a mother, or purely as strength. The Polar is the most powerful of all the species. Furthermore its colour is symbolic of the pure spirit it embodies. The Bear can relate to a person who is in a position of power in the Business world. The Bear can also be Matriarchal. In China the Polar Bear is known to represent Russia. The Bear may also be a symbol of officialdom and brute force. This card could be telling us to push something through sheer force. An interesting combination would be the Bear and the Bouquet (9), an “Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove”, for example.
Shiny sparkles, guidance, and healing is what I promise through a gentle feeling. I am reassurance, inspiration and a new path for your exploration. Wish upon a star, for I bring hope and light from afar.
In the Game of Hope, we make progress along a snakesand-ladders type map of life, at this stage “arriving at the Star of good prospects”. Here we see the Stars mapped out on the Zodiacal Compass, indicative of this very journey though life. The Stars in the Lenormand can be interpreted as a fixed course, something that is preordained. The Star indicates the need of vision and the need for wish fulfilment. We have all heard the saying about someone who “has Stars in their eyes”, and that “we should follow our own Star”. Therefore it is a card of optimism and ambition. The Star card is a card that portends Success and much promise, and “thanking ones lucky stars”.
With movements, upgrades and improvements, I bring spring and the change of seasons. Sometimes my symbol stands for a new family addition or simply a new state of evolution. I can be your move, or your next promotion. The Stork is a predictable creature, even though it is fabled to bring change, for example with the delivery of a child. In reality it returns home like clockwork to its same nest every year. The Stork is a very favored creature and is looked upon with affection. Its return to the nest at springtime is the reason for the association with birth and delivery, which is very much its meaning in the Lenormand system. The Stork and the Rider (1) will bring news for sure, particularly combined with the Letter. The image conjured by the Reverie here depicts a pair of storks at home in their nests with the blazing sun breaking through the clouds. They are looking up towards the lifegiving sun, one of the other cards in the deck. The process of birth and life, and then death brings inevitable ‘change’. Depending on the cards around the Stork, it is a ‘lifestyle change’, for example combined with the House (4) might mean a change of dwelling.
Loyalty and friendship is what I stand for. I am protection and trust, support and reliance. When negative cards are around, make sure to take a closer look. I could be your counselor, your pet, or the lover in your bed. Depicted here is the dog, a reliable, faithful friend who can be trusted and who loves you unconditionally. The Dog is self-contained, it is more than content with its role, and holds the lead, with a ball in the background, as if you say, “you know what to do”. It is a symbol of companionship. This card in close proximity to the Gentleman (28) or Lady (29) is pretty reassuring as to their intention. The Ring card to the right will consolidate the relationship. The Dog can signify a close friend in a reading, one who is trustworthy. It brings this sense of loyalty and faith to the cards around it, for example if it were combined with the Letter (27) it would be a communication you could trust. The Dog and Tower (19) might signify a company or authority that is looking after your concerns.
Corporations, organizations, institutions and governments come under my influence. I am boundaries and restrictions, so be mindful of isolation. I describe your ambitions as well as your expectations, and let’s not forget your higher educations. Unlike the Tower in the Tarot, the Lenormand Tower is symbolic of a structure that offers protection and security. In the Game of Hope it is a Watchtower built on high ground for surveillance over the countryside beyond. At the time of the decks devising these places were also for border control, or control of passage to the city. As such they have multiple meanings, ranging from authority to education, to places of power and legal dealings. The Tower then is a seat of power, and often bureaucracy. When combined with the Letter it is a dreaded form to be completed, even worse when accompanied by the Snake. Read the small print of that insurance policy! In some books, it can be symbolic of a place of isolation, such as a hermitage. It then carries occult meanings and the remote Towers of the Reverie carry too this connotation. It is sometimes within oneself that the watch needs turning.
When you are going to a party, a concert, or a business meeting, I am sure to show up in your reading. You will find me in a reunion or a retreat, a riot or a picnic meet. I like crowds and public events, so naturally I am good with all your networking intents. In the time of Lenormand, the park or garden was a social venue, a meeting place. It was a space for getting out and about, sharing and networking, a place where relationships were forged. As in the Reverie, the card is often depicted as a cultured garden with a fountain, perhaps an echo of Nuremberg from where the Game of Hope first sprang. The card means “public”; and whilst it may seem strange that there is no-one in the image, it is because it is the public space which is being depicted. When this card is read, it adds the “public” to the cards in its vicinity; the Garden and the Tower (19) would signify a public organization, the Garden and the Book (26) would show public education. It is best to stick with the literal Lenormand. This card can suggest the importance of being social, and maybe it is saying you need to promote yourself more, particularly if combined with the Moon (32). A contemporary meaning of this card with the Heart (24) might be online dating. If we had the Garden, the Heart (24) and a Letter (27), in the 21st Century this would be that email from Dwayne for which you have been waiting.
I come to bring you challenges and obstacles with blockages and resistance. I will make you late for your date, and my coldness will take emotions out of the plate. Pay attention and beware I can be the enemy in your lair.
The Mountain is symbolic of obstacles in our way. Whilst it may be there to be conquered, as we see from the animal looking upon the mountain, it is certainly in our way. In the Reverie, the mountain appears to us as an almost impossible obstacle, according with its origins as a card of detour; slowing us down. In fact, when combined with other cards, it shows that we might abandon our planned route and take another path. Consider the Mountain with the Tower (19); a delay from a government-related body, or the Mountain with the Cross (36), a completely uphill struggle. Other cards of a similar nature include the Crossroads/ Ways (22), offering choices rather than detour and delay, or the Stars (16) which offer good prospects and clearer navigation.
Decisions and choices is what I offer. Alternate directions are what I augur. I speak in multiple and double, and when I’m under a relationship I might be trouble. There comes a time when one needs to make the ‘choice’ of going one way or the other, neither way is right or wrong, but only one way can be taken. Here in the Reverie we have steps that take us upwards and onwards toward this point of deliberation. Stairs and steps are symbolic of ascending to a higher place, a much better place, where once you are through the doors at the top which lead to the stars, and then the possibilities are infinite.
You don’t want me in your house, you don’t want me in your blouse. I bring loss, I bring theft with destruction and decay. I am your stress and anxiety, I am the worry in society. I am your nuisance, I am your pest, I bring sickness in your nest. These mice are completely happy with their work; the gradual destruction of possessions and resources. They are busy nibbling at cloth and fruit, and at bread. They appear to have no regard for ownership, and are rapidly gnawing away whilst no-one is looking. These mice are symbolic of loss, whether that be a gradual whittling away of one’s savings, combined with the Fishes (34), or actual theft (of time, say, combined with the Clock (37) card). Their presence brings into the reading a “bitesized” effect, something happening in little chunks. That is not to say it is not a powerful card – those mice may be delightful, but not when found in your own kitchen. They are the niggling aspect of life, where there is an issue, something that has become a pest in your life, and will just not go away and leave you alone! It leaves your mind troubled. This card also warns it is a good idea to take care of your possessions; the Mice of the Lenormand are terrible hoarders and are most likely to represent ‘theft’.
The form of happiness and love is simply drawn in my shape. I am your feelings and emotions. I am your passions and devotions. Just make sure no bad cards are around to spoil this fondness and affection. In antique Lenormand decks, the design of the Heart varies from an almost biological physical heart to a kitsch romantic heart embroidered with flowers and other adornments. The Heart is of course symbolic of love and relationship. Here we see the heart formed by two Swans, a bird itself symbolic of courtly relationship, monogamy and enduring love. The Heart is always a card of beneficial emotions in Lenormand. To receive the combination of Heart with Clover (2) and Ring (25) promises Love, luck, commitment and marriage. The Heart and Whip (11) or Scythe (10) may not be such a happy combination.
A precious item is what I am to bind in marriage and commitment. I bring harmony in unions as long as negative cards are afar. I am the contract and the promise in partnerships and ventures. I am the symbol for completion and the form of eternal devotion.
The Game of Hope tells us that “finding this ring will bring a reward”. Here we see a ruby ring symbolising commitment. In crystal lore, the Ruby is a guarantee of economic stability – in some cultures it was buried in the foundations of buildings to assure good fortune. The Ring is a symbol of commitment, and can speak of a contract being drawn up between two people or a business contract. The ring is an object of value to those who wear it.
The book of knowledge, the book of secrets, what I house is educational and private. I may be your project or your research, and sometimes your studies and journals. Watch out for the cards around me, because with the Sun you will see right through me. I am hidden, I am unknown, but occasional knowledge I might learn. The Book draws attention to the importance and power of knowledge, and possessing it. This card may suggest there is something somebody needs to know, however this will only become apparent with the presence of the cards around it. The book is a vehicle for the very imagination itself. The Book of the Reverie promises tales of great mystery within its pages. It has a mechanical dial on its front, showing the mechanics of learning. The Book opens to the right of the card, which indicates in readings the direction of the learning – literally, what is being opened by the learning. As an example, if the Dog (18) was to the right of the Book it would be learning something about a close friend. The next card to the right may indicate what was going to be learnt, such as the Ring (25) or the Stork (17). It may be a surprise to them to say “Congratulations on your engagement” or “Wow! A Baby!” before they have told you.
I am a document, I am a message, I am information, I am a package. Sometimes I can be an invoice, a certificate, or a test result. You can find me as your mail, a newsletter, or an award. Look around me to find out more of what I am leaning toward.
A letter depicted here with actual correspondence written by Mlle. Lenormand connects her name and spirit to this deck. Whilst she did not use the cards which have come to bear her name, no doubt she would be astonished and delighted to be recognised within their continued use today. It is a connection which the letter brings – an intimate communication, a familiarity. The Letter indicates a communication that may not yet be with us, a slower form of transmission, a patient waiting on making a connection. It is the Letter without the Rider (1) hastening it to us, and unlike the book may not bring knowledge or news (as the Rider) but rather, a simple acknowledgement. The feather on the Letter is the quill which since time immemorial has signified truth and communication - let us always write straight.
I could be you the reader, or the male subject of your reading or the male parter of the significator. Significator for the male Sitter, or the Significant Other of a female Sitter. One can use the alternative Gentleman card provided in the Reverie for same-gender relationships. Version I: An elegant-looking man sits upon a chair holding a red rose. He appears to be awaiting his companion. In the background a window lights the scene, which is otherwise unadorned. It speaks of waiting, of patience, of a quiet endurance. There is a sensitivity to the scene that communicates the nature of romance. He looks to the left of the card.
I could be you the reader, or the female subject of your reading or a female parter of the significator.
Significator for the Female sitter, or the Significant Other of a male Sitter. One can use the alternative Lady card provided in the Reverie for same-gender relationships. Version I: A woman looks up from her book, her thoughts wandering. There is commonality of ambience and mood that connects this woman, and this card to its male counterpart. The red rose provides an additional point of connection that binds them. A token a gift, something given and received. Something shared.
Calm, peace, and serenity is what I preach. Your parents and elders show up under my symbol. I bring wisdom and experience. I happen to be a long time period. Contentment and satisfaction is my angle.
The Lily from a pagan view is symbolic of sexuality and passion, but also of purity. It can also symbolize motherhood. As a result, these calm-looking flowers, with their glass engraved background, reflect a range of interpretations. That they are both growing and yet eternally captured in smooth glass, without any of their essence, shows the two sides of this card. We might suggest that they are a range of excitement; sexual, nurturing or the absence of that excitement in chasteness. As a card, these Lilies make the cards about them “pure”, “simple”, or excite their nature. A combination such as Lilies (30) + Bear (15) might certainly indicate the power of a mother or mother-like figure in a situation, depending on the question.
I am success hear me roar! I control your ego and charisma, I boost your confidence and courage. I bring victory and glory, but be careful not to get to cocky or you will be branded a haughty.
The Solar face, as the Moon following, carries the essential nature of this card as a blessing – success and big luck. In this card we also see a scroll of time, as the Sun marks the passing of the hours. The shadow falls upon the number 6, a solar number. The sun shines and all under its light grow. The cards around this card in a Grand Tableau will be well-aspected, and it bodes well at the end of a line of cards too. The light that shines from this Sun card is energising and revitalizing in nature. It can also signify the confidence to step out into the light by engaging with a project or taking a new direction.
Love and romance, intuition and psychic abilities, imagination and creativities are but a few of what I stand for. I reach across the sky and influence the waters, I am admired all around, I bring fame, I bring honors. The Moon card in the Reverie is depicted as a crescent, holding in her horns the various cycles of her nature, from the New Moon to the Full. Below her is a clockwork orrery indicating that her nature is in the mechanics of the universe. The Moon card does not quite live up to the brilliance of the Sun, she is more watery in nature and she really wants to be a ‘Star’ - to have recognition. Think of the emotional sirens of the silver screen, acting by intuition, by method, living the emotions of a part they are playing in order to act. This produces great creativity but it can also create casualties, such as Marilyn Monroe. The Moon brings emotional illumination. The Moon however really flourish in close proximity to the Sun (31); it needs the forceful energy the sun emits to shine in the world to its full capacity. In Lenormand traditions, the Moon is recognition by others, reflecting on oneself. It is thus fame and notoriety. It illuminates only what others project onto it, so when it turns up in a reading, careful reflection is required.
Discoveries and solutions are my forte. You will find me in synchronicities, signs and fate. When I land close to you, know that you have the means, and the answers to what is troubling you. Look to my right, I point to what is highly important or what needs to be in the light. The solution to the problem can be found by being in possession of the Key card, it both unlocks and secures, depending on which way it is turned. The answer is within your reach, this is a card of liberation, although it can also be a tool of captivity. The gilded bird cage of the Reverie, speaks of a Bird Palace which can become a Prison. Inside is a rose, symbolising mystery – a mystery which unfolds as the key unlocks it. It is also of course a symbol of love, the most common of all mysteries. This card can influence many things, next to the Heart (24), it can unlock feelings and be ‘the key to your heart’, next to the Book (26) it can ‘unlock knowledge’ and so on. It is a card that offers many opportunities and new beginnings.
I bring plenty and abundance. I deal in commerce and sales. I advocate independence and promote self-reliance and trade. Water, expansion and flow is my department. Be careful not to tip the scales between tipsy and loaded, you don’t want to end up dizzy and bloated. The Fishes of the Lenormand symbolise resources and money. The three fish here in the blue depths show that we can dive deep to gather in food and abundance. The card also – in some traditions - symbolizes wealth. Where this card appears teaches us to make the most of the resources that we possess. In modern parlance is “speculate to accumulate” or “making a little go a long way” as ever dependent on the cards around it.
With stability and security, I give a peace of mind. I push you to persevere and help you reach your goal. Watch out for negative cards, they might shackle and pull you down a hole. In the original game instructions for the cards which became the Lenormand pattern, this is the most important “sheet” of the whole game, “insofar as the one, who comes to stay on this picture of Hope, has won the game and draws the whole cash-box or deposit”. The Anchor is the traditional symbol of hope (or faith) and comes before death – the Cross (36), following. The Anchor offers stability and security; being confident that your hard work will pay off in the long term. The Anchor of the Reverie is adorned with two Fish symbolizing ‘abundance’ and ‘wealth’ in the Lenormand; this is a card of assurance. You are protected in times of need.
I am the bringer of grief, sadness, burdens, and ordeals. Pain, suffering and guilt is the area of my expertise. I claim weeping, tears and lamentations, and ask for prayers and supplications. When happy cards come at my right, then you shouldn’t experience too much fright. The Cross in the Lenormand is a symbol of the state of suffering, universal and unavoidable. It is the state of carrying the burden of others who are not accountable for their actions, the “cross we have to bear”. This card is the calling card of taking responsibility, despite the cost. On a positive note, with this, redemption may come – dependent on surrounding cards – for example, you might bear the Cross but “cross” the Bridge (38) and find a better place.
ADDITIONAL CARDS Over the years there have been multiple variations of the Lenormand cards. Many reflecting individual preferences and concepts of the artist or publisher. Others are more general sub divisions that reflect different regions and cultures. Appealing though it may have been to try and cover all variables and attempt to appeal to everyone, this would clearly have been a futile exercise. So for the most part I have focused on the core 36 cards of the European system commonly used today. However I have provided a number of additional cards that can be included along with the core 36, to provide additional nuance and meaning to a spread. Nevertheless they are designed and numbered so that should you choose not to use them, then the basic traditional set of 36 cards are unaffected. These additional cards consist of the Owl, which can substitute the Birds. There is an additional Man and Woman card, thus a reading can utilize the deck with two cards of the same gender, if that would be more appropriate for the querant or the specific circumstances of any given reading. Then there are also four completely new cards Clock/Time, Bridge, Dice and Mask, which will be discussed in the following pages.
BIRDS/OWL In the Reverie, we have two alternate cards for the Birds, as some prior decks have used the Owls, often as a pair, to indicate the concept of “paired” within a reading.
I could be you the reader, or the significant male subject of your reading or a male parter. In the Reverie, there is included this optional second “Man” card. This might be used to a provide a specific reference for a reading, or serve for a same sex relationship, or provide a choice that might better represent the characteristics or personality of the male subject of the reading. Such usage is discussed in more detail in the Grand Tableau spread section of this book. Version II: A strong-looking man wears a red cloak about himself, his bare chest showing a masculine Mars symbol on a pendant. He looks to the right of the card and appears determined and passionate. The card is lit with a golden background that communicates essential power.
I could be you the reader, or the female subject of your reading or a female parter.
As with second Man, the Reverie includes an additional Woman card. Version II: A powerful and elegant woman looks out of a window to the right of the card. She has a draped red robe and between her breasts she clutches the feminine symbol of Venus. The light shines in through the window emphasizing her strong features. She is the embodiment of the feminine power. In all four gender cards, The expressions of both Men and Women are all neutral. There is no obvious indication that would suggest wether the relationships between them are positive or negative. This provides more flexibility to interpret the cards appropriately for the specifics of a reading. Note that in the prototype Lenormand deck, the Lady and Gentleman card were also drawn as a matching pair, holding a fan and a hat in mutual recognition, as if they were actually part of one scene, as here in the Reverie.
My appearance brings “time” to the forefront of importance. I may be approaching or passing, so be attentive. Use me wisely to provide perspective. Look around me to better understand my involvement. Certain cards may slow me down, but sometimes a quick action will get you the crown. The Clock in the Reverie is symbolic of the metering out of time; the clock is ticking, and life is transitory in nature, so each moment we should savour, and live to the full. It is a reminder of our immortality, the hands of the clock will only go forwards into time, and we must go on regardless. It is the card of time management; it is an imperative to use it wisely. The context of time in a reading, can be suggested usually via the Playing Card inserts, numerology, or other methods – But this card can nevertheless add additional focus and highlights the importance of time in the interpretation itself. It may raise a range of considerations from the need to act immediately to benefits of a patient wait and see approach an element missing from the usual pattern of card designs. The Reverie captures the various ways of recognizing time; a cuckoo clock, a sundial, an hourglass, a cockerel, a candle, an owl and many other dials and contraptions. The clock casts shadows of time in the background, alluding to the notion that “time waits for no man”. It can be usefully compared to the natural timekeepers of the Sun and Moon. lv
Near or far, wide or narrow, steep or straight, are some of my traits. But in whatever form, I am your connection, to places, people or points in time. I can span the spaces that separate you. I can shorten the distance that can bring you together. The Bridge card of the Reverie spans impossible mountains. It is a card which can mitigate against the Mountain (21) card and provide new passage, indicated by the cards around it. Whilst a symbol of transition and overcoming obstacles in your way, the Bridge acts as a link to cross a divide and thereby opens up new opportunities. It is significant as an extra token card in the deck because it offers a solution, it helps to “bridge the gap” of a problem. For example, the combination of the Cross (36) + Bridge = Suffering Overcome. However if the Bridge lies behind the other combinations it is warning you not to “burn your bridges” as there will be no going back on the decision. In another sense, the bridge is a place of assignations, brief interludes and meetings. If combined with the Clock (37), a very brief meeting is indicated, and with the Letter (27) and Ring (25), a quick resolution to a contractual issue. The Bridge provides a new aspect to the deck which has proven useful in reading. lvi
I am the risk, the gamble you choose to take. I am the uncertain, and the leap of faith. I offer the promise of future change. Possibly negative cards to my right will foretell ill fate, but positive cards will bring about a happy state. Are you feeling lucky..... well are you? The two dice provide an element of chance and opportunity, of possibility and a new element to be introduced into the situation. They signify a randomness, and a risk that one chooses to take rather than the Clover (2) which is discovered “luck”. Their random outcome can either punish or reward, and influence the cards nearby. The most trustworthy card of the Dog (18) is soon distracted from his duties by rolling dice nearby. This would be a “fair-weather friend” indeed. Whilst this card image appeared in early games similar to that which formed the prototype to the Lenormand, it is also a recognition to the history of the deck, which was originally a game played with dice and cards. The dice are now incorporated into the deck in the same way the “meanings” of the cards have been fixed, rather than being looked up in a “fortune book” as was originally the case.
Look deep into your soul, to whose amusement you play? I balance the contradictions and encompass the opposites. I project your emotions or hide them. When I land to your right I will bring a happy plight, but if my presence is to your left then melancholy is in your sight. I can be the face to suit any occasion. All parts I can play, the truth or disguise... I am your creation. The Mask is symbolic of concealment and deception. It is different to the Fox (14) or Snake (7) because it is actually apparent and appears to be something which it is not. It is a card of not taking something literally at “face value”. In combination with the Rider (1) this is deceptive news. If found close to the Lady (29) or Gentleman (28), the person may be a fake – one presenting one face but hiding another. This is more public than the Snake or Fox and can apply to any situation or card in the deck, depending on its proximity. In communications online, a “masquerade” is a term for a security risk, where somebody steals an online identity in order to defraud. If found together with the Mice (23) and Letter (27), this would be identity theft.