Lenormand Clarification Cards: Should You Use One?

From time to time I use clarification cards in Tarot readings, particularly when I’m having difficulty understanding the meaning of a card I draw for a certain position. I also use them on a fairly regular basis to give a summary or clarification of a reading.

There are four main ways I do this:

1. Pull the top (or bottom) card from the remaining deck (after having laid out the entire spread).

2. Pull the bottom card from the pile assigned to the position I wish to further explore. (I do this when prior to card selection, I cut the deck into as many piles as I have positions.)

3. Add the numerical values of the cards laid out in the spread, reduce to 22 or less, locate that card in the remaining deck and select the cards before and after as well (three clarification cards total).

4. Pull a card (or cards) at random from the remaining deck.

Lenormand cards are read differently than Tarot cards and some readers insist you should not “mix up the rules.”

While I understand and appreciate this viewpoint, I also believe each reader should experiment and use what works for him or her, even if “that’s not the way you’re supposed to do it.”

I often use Lines when I draw Lenormand cards. While I usually draw a Line of 5, you can also use a Line of 3, a Line of 7, or a Line of 9. Using an odd number of cards gives you a central, or “hinge” card, which can be used to determine the focus or theme of the spread. If you browse through some of the Lenormand posts on this website, you’ll notice that I’ll often place an additional card below the central card of the spread.

Like this:


Lenormand Mystical 27 Letter - 19 Tower - 16 Stars - 10 Scythe - 24 Heart - 6 Clouds http://livingwithcards.com
27 Letter – 19 Tower – 16 Stars – 10 Scythe – 24 Heart – 6 Clouds

Mystical Lenormand (c) 2006 U.S. Games Systems, Inc.


While you could certainly chose another selection method, I select the base card (the bottom card of the remaining deck) as the clarification card. I use clarification cards in my Lenormand spreads because I have consistently found that they will almost always provide me with additional information and/or clarification.

Sometimes the clarification card will modify one or more cards above it. Sometimes I’ll get the intuitive sense that it represents a “House” in which the central card sits.

In the above example, 6 Clouds as the clarification suggests uncertainty at best and dashed hopes that result in heartbreak at worst.

Not to leave you hanging, the spread above was cast last Spring to find out whether a student would get accepted to a particular college. The application to college (Letter + Tower) had been made with high hopes (Stars) but would end in heartbreak (Scythe + Heart). While the Line of 5 was clear enough by itself, the clarification card 6 Clouds reiterated the depressing nature of the prediction (which, unfortunately, turned out to be true).

I’m curious to learn your thoughts about the use of clarification cards in Lenormand readings. Do you use them? Why or why not? Please use the comment feature to let me know.


Mary Hawkins

When the Cards Won’t Speak, Consult your Astrology Chart

Just because I read cards every day doesn’t mean I always get advance notice on what the day might bring.

What happened yesterday is a perfect example.

I had a huge blow-out with one of my daughters, right in front of both my grandsons, over something that should never have set either one of us off in the first place. I tried to make amends but my daughter was still in somewhat of a huff when she left my house.

Now mind you, I’ve long since given up on wondering why my cards won’t alert me to unpleasant upsets before they happen. For whatever reason, they usually don’t.

Despite this, there’s always a reason the you-know-what hits the fan, and curious minds need to know. So my next step in trying to figure out what triggered this unexpected and unpredicted outburst was to check the astrological transits to my natal chart. I figured angry, emotional outbursts must have something to do with MARS, the MOONMERCURY, and maybe URANUS since (a) Uranus is associated with sudden, unexpected events, eruptions, and the like, and (b) Mercury squares Uranus in my natal chart.


astrology biwheel altercation with daughter http://livingwithcards.com

After calculating the charts, I found transit MOON (the action; also emotions) opposing natal MERCURY (speech) and squaring natal URANUS (eruptions). Moreover, transit MOON (emotions) was traveling through Aries (aggression, impulsivity) in my natal 5th House of Children. Additionally, transit MOON (emotions) was in sesquisquare (conflictual) aspect to natals MARS (anger), transit MERCURY (speech) was contraparallel (conflictual) to natal MARS (anger), and transit MARS (anger) was contraparallel (conflictual) to natal URANUS (sudden outbursts).

Talk about the stars being against me. No wonder I blew up at my daughter…


Mary Hawkins


Lenormand Cards Pick the Topic: 33 Key, 12 Birds, 29 Woman, 15 Bear, 14 Fox, 4 House

As I’ve mentioned, I pull cards every day. When I can’t “think” of a specific question, I usually ask the cards to tell me something that “will happen,” that I “need to know,” or simply give me a general “heads up” about a situation or circumstance that may impact me.

One morning back in September, after mulling over whether I should re-involve with this website (I’d let it slide over the summer), I decided to give the cards free reign. You pick the topic, I silently instructed, and tell me something I need to know. I pre-decided that the central card of a Line of 5 would symbolize the topic.

I’m using an actual page from my personal journal to show you what the Lenormand cards dished up:

Piatnik Lenormand 33 Key - 12 Birds - 29 Woman - 15 Bear - 14 Fox - 4 House, http://livingwithcards.com
33 Key – 12 Birds – 29 Woman – 15 Bear – 14 Fox – 4 House

Mlle. Lenormand Jeu de destin No. 194115 (c) 1986 Piatnik


Note: in addition to drawing a Line of 5, it’s my personal preference to also include the base card (bottom card of the shuffled deck) in the layout, since I find it usually provides helpful information and/or clarifies the reading. 

It was obvious the reading was about me (29 Woman as the central card, symbolizing the topic). Since Woman was surrounded by Birds and Bear, money worries or financial stress was factoring in. Key mirroring Fox suggested the solution (Key) was a job (Fox).

I thought about what the cards were saying, wondering why they would suggest a job, perhaps a managerial job or something to with accounting or numbers (Bear + Fox), I could do from home (House). The suggestion left me flat. I’m retired, but I still want and need to bring a little extra cash in each month to supplement social security. But a job? A boring, clerical job?

Suddenly, the light bulb went off.  4 House could also be symbolizing my “home page,” or my website. When I initially set this site up,  the plan included monetizing it to provide a little extra retirement cash. The cards were simply reminding me:

The solution (Key) to the money stress (Birds + Bear) is to work (Fox) on the website (House).


Once again, the Lenormand cards provided clear and insightful information I can use to help me accomplish a practical goal. I encourage you to develop your own card reading skills so that you, too, can learn to work more productively with your subconscious mind.


Mary Hawkins

Answer Spread Using Bicycle Club Tattoo Playing Cards

Over the weekend I found myself at Target searching for a birthday present for Grandson #2 when I spotted this playing card deck in one of the toys & games aisles:

Bicycle Club Tattoo Playing Cards (c) 2013 The United States Playing Card Company
Bicycle Club Tattoo Playing Cards (c) 2013 The United States Playing Card Company

Bicycle Club Tattoo Playing Cards

Do I have to tell you how long it took me to grab it off the shelf and toss it in my shopping cart?!

Yep. About two & a half seconds.

Despite a busy day, I just had to give these cards a try. I decided to throw an Answer Spread*, which can give a quick yes or no answer to a simple question. I was most curious to learn how these cards would respond to my energies.


My son is away at graduate school in a different state. A couple weeks ago he mentioned the possibility of coming home for a visit later this month. I’ve been trying not to think about it because I don’t want to stoke my expectations and then be disappointed.

But with this brand new (not to mention very cool) card deck sitting on my kitchen table, I couldn’t help myself. I just had to ask!

The Question

“Will my son come home for a visit by or before the end of October?”

The Answer

The Answer Spread using Bicycle Club Tattoo playing cards 7 of Diamonds - 10 of Diamonds - 6 of Diamonds - 6 of Hearts - King of Hearts - 8 of Diamonds
7 of Diamonds – 10 of Diamonds – 6 of Diamonds – 6 of Hearts – King of Hearts – 8 of Diamonds

Bicycle Club Tattoo Playing Cards

The first thing I note is all the cards are red. This in itself is an excellent indication of a “yes” answer.

I also note there are two sixes in the spread which can indicate that all works out in a satisfactory manner. This is another indication of a “yes” answer.

Out of six cards, four are diamonds. This suggests money is a major factor in whether or not the trip back home will take place, information that certainly resonates with me, since my son’s funds are limited. In fact, the pivot card (8 of Diamonds) is a card of budgeting and in that position shows finances are a key factor in his decision.

Column #1 – Recent Past or Current Situation

The Answer Spread Column 1 - 7 of Diamonds - 6 of Hearts
7 of Diamonds – 6 of Hearts

The Answer Spread is read in columns. The left-most column shows the recent past or current situation. Here we have the 7 of Diamonds topped by the 6 of Hearts.

The 6 of Hearts, a young male who is much loved, refers to my son. I see he has the 7 of Diamonds, a lucky money card above him, which makes me think this column shows his hopes or thoughts that he’ll have the money to make this trip.


Column #2 -The Answer

The Answer Spread Column 2 The Answer 10 of Diamonds King of Hearts
10 of Diamonds – King of Hearts

The 10 of Diamonds, among other things, symbolizes a trip by air or an airplane. In general, Diamonds topped by Hearts suggests a happy conclusion. I am not sure why the King of Hearts in particular showed up in this spot. I don’t think it refers to my son (he would be the Jack of Hearts). Perhaps some kindly man who has my son’s best interests at heart will be instrumental in seeing that he gets an airplane ticket home.



 Column #3 – Additional Information

Answer Spread Column 3 Additional Information 6 of Diamonds 8 of Diamonds
6 of Diamonds – 8 of Diamonds

6 of Diamonds + 8 of Diamonds suggests to me that my son will not be talking about any budgeting or financial difficulties he may have. No matter how much he’d like to make this trip, he’s not going to ask his mother for money. The cards in this column hint that if I really want to see him, perhaps I should consider sending some money to fund the cause.



The cards certainly seem to give a positive answer. Obviously, I won’t know for sure if this trip is a go until later in the month, and I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to send a little cash his way to hedge my bets.

On another note, I really enjoyed working with the Bicycle Club Tattoo playing card deck and plan to use it again. If you see this deck in your travels, scoop it up! If you can’t find it, you can order it at the link below.


Mary Hawkins

*I learned the Answer Spread from The Art of Cartomancy blog by Kapherus. Sadly, this excellent site that teaches how to read playing cards is no longer available to the public. If I hear any news about Kapherus rejoining the internet community, I’ll let you know.

Lenormand Card Meanings & Combinations: 7 Snake

As you work with Lenormand cards in your daily draws, you begin to experience patterns in which the cards personally speak to you. This happens with Tarot cards as well, or any other cartomancy system with which you work regularly.

It’s always a good idea to make notations in a personal journal as to what the card combinations mean to you. This helps you build your own cartomancy vocabulary and assists you in becoming a more accomplished card reader.

The Lenormand card, 7 Snake, is an interesting card that has a generally negative meaning.

Lenormand 7 Snake meanings and combinations http://livingwithcards.com
Lenormand 7 Snake


By itself, it warns you “something is up,” likely in an unpleasant sort of way. With 3 Ship, 1 Rider or 22 Paths7 Snake can symbolize something as mundane as roadblocks or traffic snarls, particularly in a daily draw where the card meanings are of a “lighter” variety. In a health question, 15 Bear + 7 Snake could represent a digestive issue. If 21 Mountain is close by, it could be constipation.

In general, however, 7 Snake symbolizes deceit, betrayal, and complications, particularly in a relationship reading. With Queen of Clubs as the playing card inset, it also is one of the person cards, symbolizing a woman who may or may not be older than the querent and who may be devious or mysterious in some manner. As a woman, 7 Snake often wears glasses or contact lenses. 7 Snake can represent a woman with psychic abilities. It may also represent the partner in a lesbian relationship, or the “Other Woman” in a love triangle.

The following example shows how 7 Snake may play out in a reading:

A female querent wanted some insight on a male co-worker who’d recently joined the company where she worked. She found the man attractive and wondered if a possible romantic relationship could develop between them. He appeared to be “footloose and fancy free,” didn’t wear a wedding band, and she hadn’t heard any gossip that he was already involved in another relationship. They worked together in the same department and as far as she could tell, had plenty in common. She could already imagine herself in bed with him, but before she went any further, she wanted some reassurance he was as “available” as he appeared to be.


Is Male X romantically available?

Lenormand Piatnik 7 Snake 26 Book 29 Woman
7 Snake – 26 Book – 29 Woman

Mlle. Lenormand Jeu de destin No. 194115 (c) 1986 Piatnik


The Lenormand cards selected at random for this reading were quite literal: “No, he is not available!”

7 Snake shows deception or complications and 26 Book shows secrets or hidden information. The cards clearly indicate that this man is deceiving (Snake) our querent by hiding (Book) his relationship with another woman (Woman).

She’d do best to steer clear of him…


Mary Hawkins