• Art By Yasmeen Westwood
  • Written by Kalliope Haratsidis
  • Published by Red Feather Mind Body Spirit in 2022
  • RRP £24.99
  • ISBN 978-0-7643-6378-8
  • Reviewed by Mayra M. F. Swann

Kalliope is a fourth generation Psychic Medium that pays homage to the Greek Oracle of Delphi by using her ability to channel messages from the Spirit to help people. Yasmeen Westwood, the deck’s illustrator, is a Scottish artist with a large collection of Tarot, Oracles and Lenormand decks to her name. She is also trained in NLP and hypnotherapy, and as a Life Coach and Reiki Master.

The author proposes to revolutionize Lenormand by “bringing it out of the Dark Ages”. The images have a fantasy theme to them, almost fairy like. The cards’ imagery is in line with the classical images except for the Rider, House, Birds, Bear, Tower, Garden and Path cards that have a bit of a fantastical fairy twist to them. Some images have steampunk overtones, including accessories on most animal characters.

The cards contain an illustration, number, pip value and name. The illustrations are beautifully done digitally and have an air of fairy magic around them. The images are very detailed, depicting the card’s symbol within a scene or setting, enhancing the initial perception of the card.

Lenormand tends to be a very simple and straightforward reading system. The imagery is normally very simple, with only a fraction of the symbolism you’d normally find in a Tarot card. Each card pretty much represents one symbol that can have different interpretations depending on the reader’s cultural background. Because of this simplicity, changing the illustration of a card too drastically may change its meaning, as a flock of Birds will evoke a different symbol than a flock of Owls, or, in this case, a flock of Flamingoes. Other examples are the Bear card being illustrated by a polar bear instead of the more commonly found grizzly bear, and the House being portrayed as a shoe house. The latter fits well with the enchanted theme of the deck, but may miss one of the definitions of the House card, which relates to “solid foundations”.

Not only changes in imagery may change card meanings, the simplicity of the Lenormand symbology makes it very easy to identify what card you are looking at. Some changes may make this more difficult, as happened in this deck’s Tower and Path cards. Instead of a building, the Tower is illustrated by a tower of mushrooms, and the Path by a path behind an ornate window. Someone used to the usual illustrations may find it hard to recognize these cards, and a beginner may get confused with their meanings.

One downside of this deck is the lack of alternative cards. Today, many Lenormand decks come with a selection of Man and Woman cards, which allows the reader to choose the one that best fits the reading. This adds to the deck’s inclusivity and allows readers to better represent themselves or the people being read to.

The card size is perfect to fit in one’s hand and easy to handle, and the card stock is thick enough to preserve the cards’ integrity while allowing easy shuffling. The card finish is glossy, which means they initially tend to stick together, but this is something that may diminish with use. The gold foil on the edges of the cards can be a bit powdery at first and may come off on the reader’s hands. This is definitely a temporary issue, as once the excess foil has gone it stops happening while still keeping the card’s gold edges.

The deck comes with a thick guidebook explaining some key aspects of the Lenormand system and how to do a reading. Each card is introduced with a quote as if the card was speaking, followed by the card’s illustration, its keywords, general meaning, and it’s meaning when combined with each of the other cards in the deck, and finishes with a quote that relates to the card. I found these in-depth descriptions very helpful, especially for beginners, as they provide a lot of information and a feel for each card. The combination list is a common thing in Lenormand LWBs and is good to analyse how cards affect each other. The only issue I found about the guidebook is that the card meanings seem to not take into consideration the actual illustration on the card. There is no mention of how a flamingo may differ from your usual song bird, or how the definition of the Bear changes due to the illustration showing a polar bear – the definition of the Bear card mentions “a leader and head of the clan” while polar bears are pretty solitary creatures.

I found the Lenormand of Enchantment to be a truly enchanting deck (pardon the pun). The illustrations are very pretty, and the in-depth guidebook is indeed very helpful for beginners and seasoned readers alike. I particularly like the card quotes in the beginning of the descriptions as they give you a sense of the soul of the card, something not normally seen in Lenormand guidebooks. This deck is a fun and modern interpretation of the cards that most readers can relate to. I don’t know if it “brings Lenormand back from the Dark Ages”, but I never thought that needed to be done in the first place. Lenormand has a universal system of interpretation that makes its cards timeless. The fantastical fairy theme may limit this deck’s audience and does not necessarily read as “modern” but it’s fun and pretty, and if the theme speaks to you, this deck can be a great addition to your collection.

1 Comment

jmk (Judy Reads Cards) · October 10, 2023 at 12:58 pm

A fair and objective review. Well done. I feel no compulsion to be objective. 😉 “The Dark Ages”?? Come off it! The art is very charming, yes, but is it Lenormand?

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