I love Lenormand and I am so grateful to the old friend that introduced me to this card reading system a couple of years ago. It took me a while to actually click with Lenormand, having read Tarot for so very, very long. Lenormand was impossible to grasp.
Like many other card readers, the decks are important to me, and we all have decks that talk to us, or suit certain situations/seasons/querents and those that we just don’t gel with. It may take weeks or months or years to gel with a deck or we never will. I will never get the Deviant Moon style of cards and yet I know they receive so much love from so many others. The Blue Bird Lenormand style was one such deck for me.
I have a fair few Lenormand decks now and I adore them all but they were all contemporary decks. I wanted some history, some link to the older Lenormand world. In my own head, I felt I would always be a “newbie” to Lenormand only working with the modern decks. Daft, I know!
What turned me off from the Blue Bird and other similar decks was the verse. I am not such a philistine as to not like poetry. I admit I am not a huge fan but I do love some verses across the spectrum from Shakespearean to contemporary poets. The verse on the Lenormand cards irked me. Using the vastly distracting world of Pinterest to look at different cards and decks, the verse decks were ones I usually skimmed over, occasionally reading the first line or so and then losing interest.
This was horrible for me as I genuinely liked the images on the cards and had it just been the images I know I would have bought this deck as soon as I could. I especially adored The Bouquet and the eponymous blue birds in the Birds card. I was also quite impressed with The Scythe, it shows it as a tool and not just some abstract object. So, stuck between wanting some history, liking the images but loathing the verses that I perceived as too great a distraction and an annoyance, I had the opportunity to actually own this deck. The universe moves in mysterious ways, as we know.
My first job on opening any new deck is to run through and make sure every card is there, that none are missing or that there are any duplicates or miss-prints or similar. I was smitten with all the images. What I also loved was the muted colour palette and the card stock. It looked and felt old to me. I felt I was holding a quite traditional deck and not one from last year. The feelings around a deck are as important as what the actual cards themselves say.
Because it is the rules, I jumped into a reading and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was clear, crisp and concise, just what you want. I read with this deck a lot, it gets a lot more use than all my other decks. I find the images and the cards comforting. What I am most impressed with, is that even though the verses and the playing card inserts, take up half the card between them, I just don’t notice them.
I haven’t managed to incorporate the playing card inserts into my repertoire – playing cards have always been hard for me, I still have to stop and concentrate to know if I am looking at clubs or spades, so personally, I would prefer the inserts to be smaller or less stark but I am good at not noticing them on these cards. What put me off and stopped me from buying this magnificent deck, is something that in practice, I don’t actually notice.
Now, to the LWB. I am not a fan. For me, it spends far too long talking about Mme Lenormand and French history. This is all easily and readily available information for anyone interested in it and therefore in my opinion takes up space that could be better spent on the individual cards or exploring other spreads.
The card meanings are quite minimal and tend to err on the side of the most positive spin you could give. I appreciate for many people positivity is the most important aspect, but I feel that the cards lose some of their nuance. Remember Mme Lenormand predicted disasters and deaths and didn’t shy away from the worst news. Forewarned is forearmed. Many of us do not experience the terror of the Revolution and the guillotine or plagues, but rotten things happen and sometimes you need to know these things. Also, the LWB only gives one spread, the Grand Tableau. A Grand Tableau is a magnificent thing, both to see and to read, and I am a huge fan but for someone just starting out with Lenormand, it is overwhelming. You need to build up to it, a 3 or 5 card spread and its applications, would I feel, be a more appropriate use of the limited space in a LWB.
On the whole, I am a convert. The concerns I had and which put me off owning this deck didn’t materialise, and it gets so much use and love. If you have some Lenormand knowledge or would prefer to learn from different books and Lenormand readers and not this LWB, then I think you couldn’t go far wrong at all with this deck.