Golden Venetian Lenormand

The Golden Venetian Lenormand is a sister deck to Eugene Vinitski’s Venetian Tarot, which I’ve reviewed before here. Vinitski has teamed up with author, philologist, and art historian Elsa Khapatnukovski to produce a masterpiece of a Grand Jeu Lenormand, which consists of 54 cards (rather than the popularized Petit Lenormand or Petit Jeu Lenormand, which consists of only 36).

However, you can also select out the 35 Petit Lenormand cards and work with this deck as a Petit Lenormand. So in essence, you’re getting two decks in one. You’ll definitely want to purchase your copy of the Golden Venetian Lenormand via Vinitski’s Etsy shop here.

Like Vinitski’s Venetian Tarot, the Golden Venetian Lenormand is crafted in a High Renaissance style with a design focus on classical humanism.

The Lenormand oracle is a predictive fortune-telling system from the late 18th century based on the Game of Hope by Johann Kasper Hechtel, an illustrated edifying card game steeped in Christian allegories. In the 19th century, 16 more cards were taken from other well-known European cartomancy systems of the time and the 36-card Petit Lenormand was expanded into a 52-card fortune-telling deck, plus the additional 2 jokers.

By the way I love the little details of insight from Khapatnukovski. For example, the Fox card, No. 14, Khapatnukovski acknowledges that you’re not likely to come by a fox in Venice, but because it’s common symbolism in the Lenormand system, here it is. This particular fox is running over a canal holding a seagull in its mouth. The seagull, symbolic of freedom and a desire to dream, locked in the jaws of a fox, show the anguish of mind of a trapped individual.

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The Lenormand: Nutshell Summary of the Petite Lenormand, from History to Practice

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The popularity of Lenormand cards seem to have been revived for contemporary times, at least here in the U.S. Lately it seems that every tarot enthusiast will go through a phase of intrigue for these Lenormands. Well the other day a student asked me to guide her studies of the Lenormands. From there, I decided to write this nutshell summary. For the tarot enthusiast who has now suddenly taken on an interest in Lenormand cards, this post will serve as an introduction.

Overview

They’re oracle cards, not tarot, and generally speaking, they’re sub-divided into 2 kinds: the Petit Lenormand, with 36 cards total, which is the more popular version here in the U.S., and the Grand Jeu Lenormand, with 54 cards. I have not yet dabbled with the Grand Jeu Lenormand due to difficulties in getting a deck where I live (that is, for an economically reasonable price…because, sure, you can buy anything via the Internet these days), so I’ll focus on the Petit Lenormand only.

The oracle cards are named after Marie Anne Lenormand, who is considered one of the greatest and most influential French cartomancers of all time. However, the cards were not conceived by her. They were conceived after her death and may or may not have even been based on any of the cards used by Marie Anne Lenormand. They’re called “Lenormand cards” pretty much for marketing purposes. In fact, they may not even be French. Johann Kaspar Hechtel, a German businessman and factory owner, is credited with designing the Petit Lenormand cartomancy deck, initially as a parlour game called “The Game of Hope.” So in many ways, the name “Lenormand cards” might be a bit misleading.

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