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for the
of the celebrated 19th century
card diviner
of Paris

by stuart r. kaplan


stamford, ct 06902
Blue Bird Lenormand Cards
Copyright 1970, 2016 by Stuart R. Kaplan
All rights reserved. The card faces, verses, back
design, box and contents of the booklet are protected
by copyright. No part of this deck or booklet may
be reproduced in any form without permission in
writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who
wishes to quote brief passages from the booklet in

2016. Further reproduction prohibited

connection with a review written for inclusion in a
magazine, newspaper or website.
Special thanks to Lynn Araujo, Jennifer Kaplan
and Jody Boginski Barbessi.
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Made in China

Portrait of Mlle. Lenormand

U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
179 Ludlow Street Stamford, CT 06902 USA
BIOGRAPHY companions which proved remarkably
Marie-Anne Adelaide Lenormand
(Le Normand) was born on May 27, The devout Benedictines subjected
1772 in Alencon (Orne), France. She Lenormand to severe punishment of
was the eldest of three siblings. Her bread and water to counter her bud-
parents died before she was six, and ding sorceress abilities.
her care was entrusted to stepparents. When a Benedictine Abbess was
Lenormand had a mischievous spirit dismissed for misconduct, Lenormand
and she was often petulant. predicted that the king of France
Life with her stepfather and step- would name her replacement. Eigh-
mother proved difficult, and her step- teen months later her prophesy was
father decided to entrust her education fulfilled when the king named a Mme.
to the Benedictine nuns of the Royal De Livardie as her successor.
Academy at Alencon. Lenormand left the Abbey of the
Lenormands extraordinary gifts of Benedictines for the Abbey of the Sis-
prophesy became evident at an early ters of St. Mary where she continued
age. At the age of seven, she made her education. Although Lenormand
several predictions for her young showed a great avidity for learning, her
stepmother could no longer subsidize
4 5
her education. She was apprenticed at functions of the brain and eventually
age fourteen to an obscure seamstress, became known as the originator of
but Lenormand had neither the skill phrenology. Lenormand was desperate
nor temperament for sewing. With to go to London to meet the doctor.
only a single white dress and a six She had no funds, but she was astute
pound crown, she soon left for Paris. with the calculation of numbers.
Her stepfather secured a position for She won 1,200 francs in the lottery.
Lenormand in a commercial house as Immediately, she traveled to Lon-
a saleswoman where she gained much don where Doctor Gall received her
knowledge and experience. A clerk in cordially. He recognized her special
the firm taught her arithmetic. Lenor- abilities and encouraged her, using the
mand soon realized that the mysteri- prestige of his name to attract clients
ous numbers and calculations had an for her. Soon, she was no longer the
application beyond the capacity of her little adventurous girl from Alencon;
mentor. She was eager to expand her she was now a recognized prophetess
knowledge. skilled in reading cards.

At this time, the teachings of Doctor In 1790, at the age of 18, Lenormand
Franz Joseph Gall (1758-1828) were returned to Paris. She took employ-
in vogue. Doctor Gall researched the ment with an ardent Royalist, Mr.

6 7
Amerval de la Saussotte on Rue Hon- of the nobility, fearful for their lives,
ore-Chevalier. He instilled in her a flocked to Lenormands door for
love for the Bourbons. Thereafter, she consultation.
established herself on Rue de Tournon, Mlle. Lenormand predicted the violent
opening a salon of divination and a death of King Louis XVI (as did other
bookstore. She devoted herself full- fortune-tellers). As a fervent Royalist,
time to the art of divination. Her fame Lenormand risked her life in a vain
as a fortune-teller quickly grew. She attempt to save Marie Antoinette who
was arrested and imprisoned by the was held at the Temple prison. Mrs.
police several times, although not for Richard, wife of the prisons concierge,
very long. and Michonis, prison administrator,
These were times of great unrest in conspired with Lenormand in a bold
France. The breath of revolution and attempt to free the empress. Dressed
death was everywhere. Life changed as an errand girl with a basket of fruit
on a fatal encounter; a wrong word or in her hand, Lenormand entered the
gesture might mean imprisonment or prison where Marie-Antoinette was
death. Private hatred and resentment held. But the empress, bewildered and
burst to the forefront; mobs ruled in stupefied, did not have the courage to
defiance of the king. The guillotine attempt an escape, and eventually she
claimed untold victims. Members fell to the guillotine.
8 9
Lenormands clients included mem- foretold that her husband would be
bers of the French court, the nobility, executed and that Josephine would
revolutionaries, artists, the fashionably one day be married to a young
dressed, the wealthy and the poor. officer whose star would rise to great
There were countless hundreds who fortune. General de Beauharnais was
publicly displayed an impenetra- executed on July 23, 1794, and nearly
ble shield against imminent danger two years later Josephine married
but, behind closed doors, they knew Napoleon, the future emperor of
moments of anguish and fear. Notable France on March 9, 1796.
clients included Robespierre, Marat, Josephine was a superstitious person
Saint-Just, Legendre, Hebert, Desmou- and often consulted Mlle. Lenor-
lins, Barrere, Mme. Tallien, Garat and mand. During a dramatic reading
Barras. The most famous of Lenor- session, Lenormand foretold to
mands clients was Empress Josephine. Josephine that Napoleon would
Marie Josephe Rose Tascher de la divorce her. This so infuriated
Pagerie was married to Alexandre de Napoleon when he learned about
Beauharnais, Visconte de Beauharnais. it that on December 11, 1809 he
Frightened by the unsettling events ordered Lenormand imprisoned. The
of the time, Josephine summoned publicity only served to increase the
Lenormand for a reading. Lenormand reputation of the prophetess.
10 11
Napoleon divorced Josephine on Janu- Mlle. Lenormand left an estate of
ary 10, 1810. Years earlier, Lenormand 500,000 French francs to her nephew,
had also predicted the emperors calam- Alexandre Hugo. Her remains are
itous downfall in 1814 during a severe interred in Pere-Lachaise Cemetery,
winter in a foreign land. Paris. Her gravesite was originally
For over 50 years Mlle. Lenormand marked with a mausoleum. In the
reigned as the Paris Sibyl on Rue mid-1970s, Stuart R. Kaplan visited
de Tournon. Beyond the borders of the gravesite and took a photograph
France, she was consulted by kings and of the mausoleum that had collapsed
queens, princes, ambassadors and lead- and fallen into disrepair. The mauso-
ing people of all kinds from Europe. leum has since been replaced with a
Between the years 1809 through 1832, tomb and headstone.
she authored 13 books describing The reputation of Mlle. Lenormand
events of the times and her many expe- continues today. Her gravesite is vis-
riences with Empress Josephine and ited by many admirers who often leave
other nobility. flowers as a token of their esteem.
Mlle. Lenormand died at age 72 on
June 25, 1843 from complications after @
an operation that resulted in gangrene.

12 13
Photograph by Stuart R. Kaplan 1974. Further reproduction prohibited

Mlle. Lenormands mausoleum in
collapsed state of disrepair, circa 1974
Photograph by Paula Palmer 2014. Further reproduction prohibited

Mlle. Lenormands tomb, circa 2014

Note: Material contained in the biog- own interpretation of the cards using
raphy of Mlle. Marie-Anne Lenor- the text as the basis for basic card
mand is drawn from Mlle Le Normand, meanings. With practice, the cards will
sa biographie, ses predictions extraor- afford many rewarding hours of insight
dinaire, son commerce avec les person- and enjoyment.
ages les plus illustres dEurope, de la
Republique, du Directoire, de lEmpire METHOD of SPREADING
et de la Restauration jusqua nos jours. the CARDS
by Francis Girault. 2nd Edition. Paris: The Diviner, or person who will read
Breteau et Pichery, 1843. Collection of the cards, shuffles and cuts the deck,
private library of Stuart R. Kaplan. and places the cards face up in four
rows of eight cards each, and one row
of four cards, beginning from left to
BLUE BIRD right at the top row as follows:
The explanations printed on each
card and a sample card spread are

described more fully on the following
pages. Card readers should allow their

16 17
The person who seeks to have his or on the Querent. Cards to the right
her future foretold (it can also be the of the Querent are usually powerful
Diviner for a self-reading) is known influences. The nearer the card to the
as the Querent and is designated by Querent card, the more important and
Card No. 28 if a gentleman or young stronger the effect, while the farther
boy, or by Card No. 29 if a lady or away, the less the influence is felt.
young girl. These two cards are of After the cards are laid out, examine
important significance since their them carefully, study their relation to
position in relation to the other cards one another, see where the strongest
determines what factors and influences influences come from, note the posi-
presently exist upon the Querent, what tion of every card and how one card
influences will exist in the future, and controls another.
to what extent. Cards that are closest
to Card No. 28 or 29 have the most
important significance in the reading. EXPLANATION OF
The cards located above the Querent EACH CARD
have greater influence over the Quer-
ent and are influenced by the cards
that lie nearby. The cards beneath This card signifies good news coming
the Querent have a weaker influence from a stranger. It may mean wealth,
18 19
or wishes will come true. This card is up new avenues for good fortune and
a good omen and is usually a sign that success in business. However, care
the outlook is becoming favorable, must be taken in the event of unex-
unless the card is surrounded by other pected setbacks. When this card is
cards of bad omen and augury. very near the Querent card it signifies
a journey or trip with many memora-
Card No. 2 CLOVER
ble events.
This card brings good luck and good
fortune. If this card is near the Quer- Card No. 4 HOUSE
ent card it signifies that present mis- This card signifies that current under-
fortune or sorrow will soon disappear. takings will continue to be fruitful
If this card is far from the Querent and successful. The opportunities
card then its good luck is weakened, ahead are promising. In the event this
delayed or even entirely offset. If this card is below the Querent card, it sug-
card is surrounded by cards with bad gests caution especially with respect to
signs, then events feared by the Quer- other surrounding cards. You need to
ent will occur and will bring sadness. be strong in your beliefs.
Card No. 3 SHIP Card No. 5 TREE
This card means that an opportunity If this card is near the Querent card
is approaching the Querent that opens your outlook is generally favorable
20 21
and your spiritual roots are well- the card, the greater the danger. This
grounded. This card located far from card invariably signifies treachery and
the Querent card means you should deception.
pay attention to your health.
Card No. 8 COFFIN
Card No. 6 CLOUDS This card signifies sickness, loss of
The meaning of this card is determined money and eventually loss of courage
by which side the card is positioned to to meet and overcome problems. The
the Querent card. If to the left of the closer this card to the Querent card
Querent card it is a sign that strong the more serious the omen. Even if the
events lie ahead. If to the right of the card is far away it is still to be feared.
Querent card, the outlook is stormy
Card No. 9 FLOWERS
but more influenced by surrounding
cards. This card depicts a bouquet of colorful
flowers, which signifies happiness and
Card No. 7 SNAKE contentment in all things. It is a card
The snake is a sign of betrayal, possibly of joy in all daily aspects of life. The
someone seeking to do great harm to closer this card to the Querent card the
you. The degree of danger is depen- stronger the favorable influences.
dent upon the distance that this card
is from the Querent card. The closer
22 23
Card No. 10 SCYTHE Card No. 13 CHILDREN
This card means the cutting away of This card suggests that the Querent
current troubles or the weakening of a needs to embrace a new start with a
bad situation. Misfortune can be over- youthful attitude. It indicates that the
come if the Querent is willing to make Querent is pure of heart and an honest
sacrifices to overcome the challenge. person.
Card No. 11 BIRCHROD Card No. 14 FOX
This card signifies conflict and dishar- When this card is near the Querent
mony in personal life. If this card is card, the fox suggests someone is
near the Querent card it may signify trying to deceive the Querent. There
quarrels, domestic trouble, stormy is danger by sly craftiness and the
friendship, unhappy romance and Querent should be alert to all pitfalls
failing marriage. and false friends.
Card No. 12 BIRDS Card No. 15 BEAR
This card suggests the need to talk This card suggests strength and
with a friend. When this card is protection. The Querent should assert
far away from the Querent card it themselves to protect their interests.
indicates negative communication or The company of overbearing persons
unfavorable gossip. should be avoided.
24 25
Card No. 16 STAR Card No. 19 TOWER
This card is an assurance of continued This card suggests the Querent is a per-
success and favorable outlook in all son of strong authority and influence.
endeavors. However, when this card However, if this card is surrounded
is surrounded by other cards of bad by cards of bad omen, it suggests
omen, harmony may be disrupted. weakness or arrogance under certain
Card No. 17 STORK
When this card is near the Querent Card No. 20 GARDEN
card, it suggests a change of abode or This card suggests that the Querent
lover. If this card is far away it suggests will go to a party or meeting and make
change is delayed or postponed indef- an important new connection. If this
initely. card is near the Querent card, it indi-
cates a nurturing environment.
Card No. 18 DOG
If this card is near the Querent card it Card No. 21 MOUNTAIN
signifies a true and lasting friendship. If this card is near the Querent card
If this card is surrounded by other it warns of a formidable obstacle that
cards of bad omen, it suggests a needy needs to be overcome. If this card is
friend who takes more than they give. far away, even though loyal friends will

26 27
come to aid of the Querent, you need Querent. This is a strong, favorable
to show your own strength. card of overall contentment.
Card No. 22 ROAD Card No. 25 RING
This card foretells the need for making This card when to the right of the
important decisions. If this card is Querent card signifies a blessed union
removed from the Querent, you may and a happy and prosperous life.
need to consider alternative options. When this card is to the left of the
Querent card it means troubles and
Card No. 23 MICE
discontentment will arise, resulting in
This card is a sign of theft or robbery. possible separation, broken engage-
The loss is a gradual one, not sudden ment and even divorce.
like with the Scythe. If this card is near
the Querent card the stolen articles Card No. 26 BOOK
may be recovered. If this card is far This closed book holds knowledge
away, the loss may be irretrievable. or a secret. The closer the card to the
Querent card, the more significant
Card No. 24 HEART
the secret. The secret may be favorable
This card is a sign of joy and good or unfavorable depending upon the
fortune. It foretells that romance will surrounding cards.
bloom and happiness will embrace the
28 29
Card No. 27 LETTER of this card is of prime importance in
This card indicates that a letter from the reading of the cards.
afar will bring news to the Querent. If Card No. 30 LILIES
favorable cards surround then the news This card signifies a happy and virtu-
will be good. If cards of bad omen ous life by an ambitious person. When
surround then the news will be bad. this card is above the Querent card it
Card No. 28 GENTLEMAN reveals good disposition and outlook
This is the Querent card representing for the Querent. If the card is below
the gentleman or young boy. It can the Querent card, the persons integrity
also denote male energy or a male fig- is questionable.
ure in the Querents life. The location Card No. 31 SUN
of this card is of important significance This card when near the Querent card
in the reading of the cards. emanates good fortune and bright
Card No. 29 LADY outlook. When this card is away from
the Querent card disappointment
This is the Querent card representing
threatens and discouragement arises.
the woman or a young lady. It can also
denote female energy or a female fig- Card No. 32 MOON
ure in the Querents life. The location When this card is near the Querent
card it is a sign of great honors to
30 31
come. This card foretells respect and Card No. 35 ANCHOR
recognition to the Querent. When far This card is a sign of successful
away this card suggests displeasure, undertakings in business and love.
lack of appreciation and even grief. It indicates advantages in work and
Card No. 33 KEY faithfulness in love. When this card is
This card when near the Querent card far away it suggests instability and a
signifies success in new undertakings change of mind.
and accomplishment of new goals. Card No. 36 CROSS
When far away this card is a sign of This card generally indicates a period
disappointment, troubles and plans of suffering and adversity. Sacrifices
going awry. Solutions remain elusive. may need to be made to turn the
Card No. 34 FISH situation around.
This card promises wealth and sub- SAMPLE READING
stantial fortune to the Querent if he or
she is willing to grasp the opportunity. Based upon the foregoing explana-
Success is apparent in many ventures. tions for each card, the following is a
When this card is far away it suggests sample Grand Tableau card spread and
new pursuits will be more difficult to reading:
32 33

17 27 22 19 4 8 30 21 soon disappear. The House card No.

11 18 5 2 24 36 26 32 4 confirms that future opportunities
are favorable even if minor difficulties

20 10 16 3 29 1 12 25 presently exist.

14 6 15 13 31 28 23 7 The Cross card No. 36 is a sign of
34 33 9 35 some imminent suffering. Because
the card is close to the Querent, it
Starting with each card near the indicates that troubles will have to be
Querent card, one card at a time is overcome.
interpreted by itself and then in com-
bination with other nearby cards so as The Cavalier card No. 1 and the
to weave a continuing story. Querent Birds card No. 12 signify that news
card No. 29 is located in the third row will shortly arrive from a distant place,
near the middle. The Heart card No. probably from a Gentleman. The Mice
24, above the Querent card promises card No. 23, and the Snake card
good relationships, romance and hap- No. 7 indicate that someone may be
piness. This card is further strength- betraying you or possibly stealing from
ened by Clover card No. 2, which also you. The Ship card No. 3 together
indicates good luck and suggests that with the Star card No. 16 reveal that
any present sorrow or unhappiness will an approaching opportunity will

34 35
open new avenues of success for the 14 warns of deception. But since
Querent. the Dog card No. 18 is closer to the
That success may be threatened by Querent card, it indicates that loyal
the surrounding cards of bad omen friends can be relied on for help. The
including the Scythe card No. 10, Garden card No. 20 points out the
which portends danger, and the importance of social connections.
Clouds card No. 6, which warns that There are two extremely positive cards
something disagreeable and unpleasant lying directly beneath and supporting
may occur. The Bear card No. 15 the Querent. The Sun card No. 31
indicates that you will have to draw and the Flowers card No. 9 are favor-
on your strengths and protect your able signs indicating that the Querent
interests. The Mountain card No. 21 will find success and happiness. The
signals a daunting challenge. These Anchor card No. 35 further strength-
unfavorable cards are partially offset ens your sense of security. The Ring
by the Children card No. 13, which card No. 25, located to the right of
could indicate a fresh start and a bright the Querent card, signifies a blessed
outlook. romance or marriage. The Moon card
The Birchrod card No. 11 may signal No. 32 combined with the Book card
some quarrels, and the Fox card No. No. 26 suggests that you will gain
insights into some secrets. The Cross
36 37
card No. 36 and the Coffin card No. challenges. The Querent should rely
8 above it indicate that some sacrifices upon friends for assistance in times of
will have to be made, perhaps because trouble. Overall, the outlook is quite
of ill health. However, the overall favorable and the Querent is leading
outlook remains favorable as indicated a productive and contented life for
by the Lilies card No. 30, which rests which there is much to be thankful.
above the book and to the right of the
Querent card. @
The Tower card No. 19, in conjunc-
tion with the Road card No. 22, The clear intellect of Mlle. Lenormand
means the Querent will be expected is world famous. We have published
to exert authority and make some these beautiful cards in their original
important decisions. The Letter card full color, certain that they will be put
No. 27 and the Stork card No. 17 to good use as a means of reading the
indicate an upcoming delivery of future or for their value as entertain-
crucial documents. Deducing from the ment and enlightenment. The cards
above spread, the cards reveal that the will serve as a valuable souvenir of the
Querent will enjoy a happy, prosper- celebrated fortune-teller whose legacy
ous and long life provided the Querent will be cherished by her admirers for
remains alert to possible threats and many years to come.
38 39
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