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Celtic

Lenormand
by Chlo McCracken &
Will Worthington

Copyright 2014 U.S. Games Systems, Inc.


All rights reserved. The illustrations, cover design,
and contents are protected by copyright. No part of
this booklet may be reproduced in any form without
permission in writing from the publisher, except
by a reviewer who wishes to quote brief passages in
connection with a review written for inclusion in a
magazine, newspaper or website.

First Edition
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Made in China

CONteNtS

Introduction .................................................... 5
What makes this a pagan-themed deck? ....... 6
The God and Goddess ..................................... 7
Additional Cards ........................................... 10
The People Cards ..................................... 11
The Spiritual Tradition in
Lenormand Readings ............................... 13
The Wheel of the Year ................................... 14
Dark and Light.............................................. 15
Affirmations .................................................. 18
Playing Card Associations and
Lenormand Numbering .......................... 19
The Celtic Lenormand Cards ..................... 23
How to Use the Cards ................................ 167
Combining Cards ........................................ 168
Working with Deity ..................................... 169
Using the Cards in Spells ............................ 170

Published by
U.S. GAMES SYSTEMS, INC.
179 Ludlow Street Stamford, CT 06902 USA
www.usgamesinc.com

Card Spreads ............................................... 176


Moon Phases and Sabbats ..................... 182

iNtRODUCtiON

he pagan-themed Celtic Lenormand


deck brings the nature-based focus of
pagan beliefs to the increasingly popular
Lenormand method. The 45 cards of this deck
feature landscapes of Brittany, located in the
North of France. This area was populated
by Celts for over five hundred years, and
is still considered one of the six surviving
Celtic nations, bringing authenticity to this
depiction. It also connects the deck with the
more modern French Lenormand tradition.
The 36-card structure has been maintained
in the numbering of the images. In this
way, the deck can be used as a traditional
Lenormand oracle. However, nine additional
cards have been created for the Celtic
Lenormand to expand the decks meanings
and to further develop the Goddess and God
aspects of the cards. Additionally, the deck is
designed to offer symbolism and interpretations based on the phases of the moon, and
the Wheel of the Year.
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In the 36-card form, the Celtic Lenormand


can be read following any of the common
Lenormand systems. Readings can incorporate
the aspects of the Goddess and God, the moon
phases, the elements and the Wheel of the
Year interpretations, too. You can add in as
many of the extra cards as you like for additional possibilities and understandings.

WHAt MAKeS tHiS A


PAGAN-tHeMeD DeCK?

he cards in a traditional Lenormand deck


show images of specific objects, animals
and people. In the Celtic Lenormand, these
images are based on Celtic versions of these
figures. However, the symbolism within the
deck is also specifically designed to represent
important aspects of the pagan path and
perception of the world.
For instance, the eight sabbats or holidays that
are celebrated as part of the changing of the
seasons, the turning of the Wheel of the Year,
are represented in these cards. So, too, are the
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phases of the moon, which are often used


by pagans to decide when to take an action,
for example: planting or reaping, doing a
ritual, or in determining the kind of energy
surrounding a situation.
This deck also includes specific cards for the
god and goddess; male and female aspects
of the divine, as well as suggestions for deities
appropriate to the other cards. These can be
used in deciding on a deity to call on in a
particular situation, or to add a spiritual
aspect to your interpretations. This approach
can be particularly useful for past life or
spirit readings.

tHe GOD AND GODDeSS

he Celts worshipped a great number


of different deities, some of which were
fairly generalized across Celtic nations, others
of which were specific to certain localities.
The local deities were connected to natural
features such as lakes, rivers, mountains
and so forth. In this deck, many of the more
generalized Celtic deities are represented, not
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in anthropomorphic or human form, but in


the form of animals and aspects of nature.
In traditional Lenormand decks, there are four
people cards, but many other cards can also
be read as people, depending on surrounding
cards and the question. In Celtic Lenormand
deck, there are three cards specifically for the
tripartite Goddess (the three Birds cards), and
two cards for the dual aspects of the God (the
Tree cards). However, all the cards have deities
associated with them, if you choose to use
them in that way.
The cards specific to the God are the two
Tree cards, representing the Oak King and
the Holly King. These trees have been used
in pagan tradition to represent the story of
the God who grows in the summer and is cut
down by winter, replaced by a successor, only
to rise and grow again the following year. This
is an allegorical reference to the seasons, and
to the path of the sun in the sky, as the sun is
often associated with the God, while the moon
is more often associated with the Goddess.

The cards specific to the Goddess are the


three Birds cards.Songbirds represent the
Maiden aspect of the Goddess, specifically
Cliodna. Chickens are the birds of Cerridwen,
in her Mother aspect. Finally, Owls symbolize
the Crone Goddess, in this case embodied
in Blodeuwedd.
Every single card in Celtic Lenormand can be
associated with a number of deities. These are
listed in the card descriptions, and can be used
as a focal point on your altar. They can also
be used as a focus for spells around the subject
reflected in the card. I have tried to identify
appropriate Celtic deities, but have also
included deities from other pantheons. This
decision was based on my sense that many
pagans are either happy to explore many
perspectives, or would welcome seeing deities
from the particular pantheon they
may worship.

ADDitiONAl CARDS

have already mentioned the additional cards


specific to the God and Goddess. There are
two Tree cards for the God; the Oak and the
Holly. And there are three different Birds cards
for the three aspects of the Goddess, Maiden,
Mother and Crone. These cards also have
other nuances of meaning, if you want to
include the different variant in your readings.
For example, the various Birds cards look at
different aspects of communication.
Celtic Lenormand also includes an additional
Snake card. This card was added because
the Snake is a creature with a great many
symbolic associations. In traditional
Lenormand decks, the Snake is often seen in a
limited and quite negative way. This deck adds
a more positive approach to the Snake. So,
if you see Snake in its more positive, healing
and transformative aspect you may choose
to work with the Shedding Snake. Whereas,
if you feel its important to have cards with a
darker or more negative feel to them, you may
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choose Fierce Snake. And for a good balance,


you can include both in your readings.
Finally, there is an additional Cat card to go
alongside the Dog card. Partly, I felt that no
pagan deck would be complete without this
most traditional of familiars. Additionally,
the Cat represents a more independent kind
of loyalty and friendship, one that thinks for
itself, unfettered by cultural restraints, and
yet still brings love and support in its dealings
with people.
Besides these additional plant and animal
cards, there are also four additional people
cards, whose use deserves a more detailed
examination.

The People Cards

There are four additional people cards in


this deck, compared to a traditional 36-card
Lenormand deck that contains one man,
lady and child. These extra cards have been
added for gender balance, and for those
readers doing same-sex relationship readings.
However, they can also be used to personalize
the deck for yourself or your querents.
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For example, if reading for someone with a


son, you might prefer to use the Boy card,
rather than the more traditional female Child
card. Likewise, if they have a teen daughter,
you might prefer to use the female Rider card
rather than the male, or include both to
allow for both family and external factors in
the reading.
Some readers suggest any one spread can only
look at one child within the family, requiring
a second and third spread for other children.
Other readers feel that the other children
can be represented by cards with aspects like
them, such as Bear for someone stocky, Stork
for someone leggy, or Fox for a redhead. That
can be a little tricky to figure out, though,
and in our current multicultural world these
attributes do not always seem to cover all the
people we may encounter.
With the four extra cards in this deck it is
possible, for example, to lay a Grand Tableau
and look at the family as an entire system.
After all, the children may well affect one
another, and be influenced in slightly different
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ways by the same situations and people.


So, charging the extra people cards (choosing
ahead of time which card you will associate
with which person) is a good way to explore
these family dynamics.
You can also use the extra people cards to
explore same-sex relationships, or when there
are a lot of people involved in a situation
for example in a larger group of friends or
work colleagues.

tHe SPiRitUAl tRADitiON iN


leNORMAND ReADiNGS

hile many people value the simplicity


and directness, as well as the
practicality of the Lenormand system, this
approach in no way precludes the possibility
of reading the cards for more spiritual
purposes. In fact, there is a well-established
tradition of doing so in Continental Europe
and elsewhere. Doing spiritual readings does
not mean that you leave practicality at the

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door. It is simply another aspect of life to


explore with the help of the Lenormand cards.
For each card, this book provides a description,
which includes some suggestions for
particular spiritual understandings of the card.
However, as you use and combine the cards
more, you will come up with other ways to see
them and their spiritual potential in your life.

tHe WHeel OF tHe YeAR

iming is often a thorny question in


readings. While there are many
systems for determining the timeframe in
Lenormand readings, these are generally quite
complicated and not particularly intuitive. If
you already use one of those systems, you can
continue to do so with these cards. However,
eight of the cards in this deck can be used
to represent the eight sabbats commonly
celebrated in the pagan year. Later, in the
Spreads section (see page 182), there are
suggestions for specific ways to use these cards,
both in sabbat-based spreads, and in more
general spreads.
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Some of the additional nine cards can also


be used for pagan timings, either based on
the Wheel of the Year or the moon phases.
However, if you choose to just use the basic 36
cards, this option is still open to you. So, if you
add the extra cards in, you can either have
two cards for a single point on the Wheel, or
you can decide ahead of time which one you
prefer to use for timings.

DARK AND liGHt

raditionally, Lenormand cards are often


seen as positive, negative or neutral,
which can be helpful if you want to read for
yes or no questions, or to add context to
a reading. For example, a very positive card
will bring a more positive light to a neutral or
slightly negative card.
Beyond this, though, it can be useful to see all
cards as having both positive and negative
interpretations inherent in them. Psychologically, all symbols (including words) can
connote more than one meaning, and can
also be interpreted in nuanced ways. On a
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more practical level, we can think in business


terms, taking as an example the classic SWOT
analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities
and Threats). With this approach, every
strength implies an opposing threat, and
every weakness suggests opportunities.
Following these ideas, we find even within
traditional Lenormand meanings that
a similar approach is possible. Take the card
Birch rods, for example. In some decks this
is titled Whips, in others it is called Broom.
And if we take a look at the Celtic Lenormand
image, we see how these are both potential
uses to which a bundle of Birch rods can be
put. Lift those rods high and bring them down
on someone, they are clearly a whip. Hold
them with the free tips down, and you can
sweep the floor clean.
Interpretations of this card can also be both
positive and negative. It can indicate a tongue
-lashing, physical abuse, or a pattern of negative behavior. And what might be a solution
to these situations? Performing some kind of
cleansing; of your mind, behavior or life. You
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may need to sweep out your own negative patterns, or brush someone out of your life if you
want to break free of the pain indicated by the
whips aspect of the card.
This solution-within-the-problem approach
can be applied to many Lenormand cards.
For instance, the Fox can represent someone
deceitful. In this case, you may need to trust
your instincts or bring particular skills into
play in order to deal with the situation.
Similarly, if you see someone poisonous in
the Snake, you may need to take a winding
route to your destination in order to avoid
this person.
In the same way, there can be difficulties
inherent in positive cards. The Sun can
represent optimism and energy. Yet displaying
these qualities might encourage others to try
to divert our energy toward their projects, and
our sunny nature could make it hard to say
No. Still, if we are aware of these potential
threats, we may be better equipped to deal
with them.

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This way of looking at the cards as having


their polar opposite meaningor their
solutionwithin them is not a blind denial
of the difficulties life can throw at us, nor of
the generally positive or negative nature of
particular cards. Instead, it is intended as a
proactive and empowering way to use the
cards messages to navigate our lives.

PlAYiNG CARD ASSOCiAtiONS


AND leNORMAND NUMBeRiNG
Lenormand Card
Number

AFFiRMAtiONS

n this booklet, I have included affirmations


for all the cards. These are simply
suggestions, and you should feel free to create
alternate affirmations that feel true and useful
to you. These can be used with a single-card
draw to give you a focus for the day, week or
lunation. They can also be used to choose one
or two affirmations from a larger draw, to help
support the message of the overall reading.

Playing Card Index

t the top left corner of each card is the


Lenormand card numbering. For example,
Ship is number 3, and Moon is number 32.
These numbers can be used to find the card

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19

33 Key

18 Dog

5 Tree

meanings quickly and easily in the book. They


can also be used to discover the essence of a
reading. So, you can add the numbers up, and
then add each consecutive digit in the total
until you get a number between 1 and 36, and
that expresses the deepest meaning or area of
influence of the reading.

As an example, if we have a line of three cards


containing 5 (Tree), 18 (Dog) and 33 (Key)
then the numerological essence would be
5 + 18 + 33 = 56 = 5 + 6 = 11 (Whip/Birch
Rods). This would suggest that the health
of a friend is certain to improve, but might
recommend they do some exercise or a space
cleansing to help the process.

The Child is associated with the Jack of Spades


(J ), the Stars with the 6 of Hearts (6 ), and
the Paths with the Queen of Diamonds
(Q ). Some people use these associations
with established cartomantic interpretations,
and for specific card counting practices. They
can also be used to find a quintessence of the
reading, this time between 1 and 10, based
on numerological understandings. Others
may just use the suits and/or colors (red or
black) to see what area is most represented in
a particular reading. In this approach, Hearts
are associated with water, emotions, family
and relationships. Diamonds are associated
with fire, projects, and enterprise. Spades are
associated with air, thoughts, government and
travel, and Clubs are associated with earth,
hardship, and the material world.
Enjoy!

The second number on the lower right hand


corner of the card is a simplified version of
the playing card traditionally associated with
that Lenormand card.
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tHe CeltiC leNORMAND CARDS

1
MAle RiDeR BARD

Keywords
Nouns: news, approach, delivery, messages,
information, opportunity, movement, start,
speed, declaration, announcement, sport
Descriptors: youthful, dynamic, athletic,
informative, enthusiastic, outgoing
Verbs: inform, come, go, move, begin
Timing: soon, quickly
Person: young/youthful man, lover, visitor
Playing Card Association:
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Description: A young man rides a dark


brown horse helter-skelter along a coastal
path towards the right side of the card. He
wears a thick green cloak, connecting him
with the green man, and red pants, color of
passion, with a blue shirt, showing his ability
to communicate. He carries a harp at his side,
the tool of his bardic trade.
Meanings: This enthusiastic young man
is hurrying along, carrying messages from
village to village. Some of his messages are
general information, some are more personal.
Riding day in and day out can be an athletic
challenge. Still, he enjoys the exercise, and
when he is a visitor in a village, gladly joins in
sports and games. When he arrives in a new
village, he may make announcements from
the tribal leaders, before settling in with more
general news from the lands he has ridden
through. He is also happy to deliver personal
messages, perhaps from family in a neighboring village. He is always welcome, not only
because he brings the opportunity to hear
tales of derring-do, but also because of his
outgoing and dynamic nature. More than one
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young village girl has taken him as her lover,


enjoying his tales and his charm.
Spiritual Readings: Messages from spirit
can come in many guises, brought by a
stranger, a friend, signs from nature, or from a
more focused source. Look to all the elements
and beings around you for these signs. You
may also have to accept that such messages
may not seem as important to others as they
do to you.

and Healing, associated with horses,


AtepomazzrusBrythonic-Gaulish Horse God,
HermesGreek Messenger of the Gods.

1
FeMAle RiDeR BARDeSS

Dark and Light: Sometimes, we can be too


hasty in our response to messages we receive.
This card, so full of dynamism, is often a
perfect example of this. So, it may advise us
to take time before we respond to something,
rather than charging straight in.
Spell Use: Use to support an exercise regime,
to help strengthen sociability, or to call for
messages from spirit.
Affirmation: I listen to the messages of
the Universe.
Deity: GwydionCeltic (Welsh) War
God, BelenusCeltic God of Light, Sun
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Keywords
Nouns: news, messages, information, start,
opportunity, movement, approach, delivery,
speed, declaration, announcement, sport
Descriptors: youthful, dynamic,
athletic, informative, enthusiastic,
considerate, outgoing
Verbs: inform, come, go, move, begin
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Timing: soon, quickly


Person: young woman, visitor
Playing Card Association:

Description: A woman rides calmly along a


coastal path, towards the left side of the card.
She wears a flowing dress, indicating her great
ability to communicate, and a violet cloak,
suggesting her wisdom and spiritual connectedness. She carries a lyre, tool of her trade, for
she is a bard.
Meanings: This female bard travels far and
wide, bringing news to different villages,
connecting them despite the distances between
them, maintaining a greater sense of community. She also carries personal messages from
distant lovers or separated family members
and friends. As a person, this young woman is
enthusiastic but calm. When the bard comes
riding in you can expect news from afar. She is
a welcome visitor, informative and outgoing.
She quickly makes herself at home, but just
as quickly, is on the move again. Her sporty
physique helps her cope with the rigors of her
profession, as does her ability to connect with
all kinds of different people.
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Spiritual Readings: This card represents the


messages we may receive from earth angels
those people who enter our lives and bring
lessons, hope and guidance. They may not
even know the value of the information they
provide us. Guidance may also come from
nature so it is important to keep yourself open
to messages from the world around you.
Dark and Light: We do not always want to
hear the messages that are sent to us. Even
when the message is positive, if it involves
change, we may resist it, preferring to try to
stay as we are. This card encourages us to
really listen to what is going on around us.
Spell Use: Use to support an exercise
regimen, to help strengthen sociability,
or to call for messages from spirit.
Affirmation: Spiritual messages are on their
way to me.
Deities: EponaCeltic Horse Goddess,
RhiannonCeltic Goddess associated with
horses and songbirds, IrisGreco-Roman
Messenger Goddess
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