Many strict Le Petit Lenormand readers will take the extra cards (anything above no. 36) straight out of the deck, but you may be keen to read that Le Petit Lenormand decks weren't always a 36 Card deck! There are versions up to 52 cards dating back to the early 19th Century - and with the Mlle Lenormand name too (sometimes even Mme Lenormand - the horror!)!
In Germany around the 1840s an incredible amount of variations on the Lenormand deck were released, many contained the core 36 cards in order followed by "extras" and some contained the core 36 cards but interspersed with cards such as "Wine" or "Swords" etc. One of my favourite decks, the DDR Lenormand (image 1) was released in East Berlin and contains the full compliment of 52 cards.
The concept of an evolving Le Petit Lenormand "Wahrsagekarten" (Fortune Telling cards) is not a modern invention and deck designers are not "doing a disservice" by adding them. Many decks contain additional cards above the 36 "standard" (if your deck does comment below!) and the deck designer is the hand which decides how that oracle could be enhanced.
I have heard so many readers say "but the artist isn't a reader, how can they apply meanings?" - also somewhat of a moot point - the Lenormand deck as we know it was released by a gentleman who was a board game maker and marketer! Maybe that baseline was taken from an earlier version of coffee ground reading but, if so, certain meanings were changed in the process, by the designer.
So how do we treat the extra cards in a deck?
Quite simple, we respect the system! If you are reading Lenormand you will continue to use the same "language" and card interactions.
Let's take Ciro Marchetti's new deck - Sui Generis - and the additional cards therein:
The additional cards are:
The meanings of the cards are provided with the deck and based on those we are going to create the early 19th century Lenormand type instructions to work with the near / far method.
37 Time - Take time to assess what is important, when Time falls near. With Tower nearby we can expect a long time to pass before fruition. When far, you are neglecting the cards around Time.
38 Well - Dig deep and you will find more to the story, when close to a significator, look within. 39 Dice - Game playing is fun, but beware when negative cards attend, a gamble could be dangerous.
40 Mask - Beware what is being projected, it may not be quite what it seems. When near, the querent should consider their own role at play.
41 Bridge - Bridge brings cards left and right into one.
42 Compass - Where are you on your life's journey, take stock and follow the guidance presented.
43 Maze - When near the road is winding, creating a frustrating separation from people or goals, when far the cards around are cast into uncertainty.
44 Lens - Pay attention to the cards around Lens, you're missing something important.
LET'S APPLY IN A READING!
A week ahead for a female querent - two of the additional cards fall (Bridge & Dice). Looking at the meanings above we can see that Bridge brings the flanking cards into one - decisions (22 Crossroads) and trade (36 Anchor) - already showing that the week ahead will see the querent making super important decisions on the business!
Woman shows up at the bottom making all the cards NEAR, they are all influencing her (above her bearing down) showing this is a week that comes with both good and bad (auspicious and inauspicious!). She is playing a little by the seat of her pants in getting her workload sorted and she will be struggling as she goes into the week with the to do list! So many loose ends to tie up! As she exits the week (reading directionally) she has everything she needs to go into the weekend, she will manage the perfect balance of sticking to commitments and making those tough decisions! With Ring over Bridge we can be sure that she will manage the priority list well.
Want to learn more about Lenormand or any other Fortune Telling System? Join us at the World Divination Association Virtual Conference: