Part of my research for writing my first Young Adult novel about Josephine‘s daughter Hortense involves fortune-telling, mysticism and communing with ghosts. Yes, all quite delicious!
Madame Lenormand (or Le Normand) was a famous fortune-teller of this time, a high-society favourite known as “The Sibyl of the Faubourg Saint-Germain.”
A card method of fortune-telling attributed to her is extremely popular now. Type “Lenormand” in Google and you will see what I mean. The Madame Lenormand Fortune Teller is a site where you can get a (free) reading on-line using a variety of cards: fairly awesome! This is a great way to get to know the cards and the different ways of reading them.
At the Lenormand on-line Museum you can look at all the cards, both ancient and new.
Once you start exploring this realm, it’s a bit overwhelming. I appear to have just signed up for a free telephone reading! I’m no sibyl, but I predict that they will want my credit card number first.
For more on this subject: Origins of Playing Card Divination.
Since writing this post, I’ve learned a great deal more about Madame Lenormand and her cards. For one thing, she was quite the entrepreneur, writing and publishing vast amounts. I read several books on her system, and made a practice of “throwing” my cards every day. In short, I became a bit addicted! The cards are often called “The Game of Hope”—and they’ve become central to the novel I’m writing. In fact, the working title is The Game of Hope.
Books about The Game of Hope:
For information about Lenormand: A Wicked Pack of Cards by Ronald Decker, Therry Depaulis and Michael Dummett.
To learn how to read the cards, I like The Secrets of the Lenormand Oracle by Sylvie Steinbach.
Another book, a bit more complex however, is Learning Lenormand by Marcus Katz and Tali Goodwin.