Madam Le Normand’s Fortune Telling System
Madam Le Normand was fortune teller to Emperor Napoleon. In 1866 she shared her secrets about telling the future through the use of playing cards, dice and omens. This kit includes 52 playing cards reprinted from the 1800’s, a set of dice, a destiny layout spread sheet and a 146 page companion book – “Madam Le Normand’s Unerring Fortune Teller – Oracle of Human Destiny”. All of this is enclosed in a sturdy cardboard, cigar-style box with a lid that lifts up from the front with the use of a ribbon pull. I love the quality of Schiffer products – the lid fits firmly enough that you hear a click when closing it.
The companion book starts out with instructions for consultation, beginning with the formation of a question. This question is to be asked of any lady in the company, and she will act as Priestess for the duration of the reading. Using the Table of Celestial Signs, she then advises the Inquirer which of the twelve exercises an influence over, or presides over, the question under consideration. The Inquirer then writes out his or her question. The directions continue, with reference to the Mystical Table.
Following these directions is the Table of Celestial Signs, with corresponding questions. From the book: “Aries – The Ram – presides over Absent friends and relatives”. The corresponding question is “I wish to hear News of my relations and friends?”
The reader then sees a series of answers to the question, using the correspondence of sign and number (from I to LII. For example, for the sign of Aries and the number I, the answer is “They are in expectation of great riches.” For the sign of Capricorn, and the number XXI, the answer is “A log established and once powerful empire is tottering to its fall.”
In the section on the cards, Madam Le Normand presents definitions for each card. (The cards used are the Seven through Ten of each suit, and the Knave, Queen, King and Ace. The suits are Clubs, Hearts, Diamonds and Spades. From the book: “Ace of Spades – Pleasure; Reversed – grief, bad news”. There are instructions for dealing the cards for templates of three, seven, fifteen, and twenty-one cards. Reading methods include the Italian Method, Present/Past/Future, the Star, and the English Method.
In the section on reading with dice, we see a table of 36 questions, with corresponding answers. For question 36 (Shall I soon receive the wished for tidings?), the answer represented by two Aces is “Sooner than you expect.” The answer for this same question represented by the an Ace and a Deuce is “Not so very soon.”
The next section covers good and bad omens, such as the throwing of an old shoe for good luck over or after the bride or groom, upon their leaving the church, or the home of the bride, after their wedding. Interesting to see how the thoughts of these times ran!
This is followed by one hundred and seven weather omens, such as “If there be dry weather with a weak south wind for five, six, or seven days, it having previously blown strongly from the same quarter.” under the heading “ For fine and dry weather oflong continuance.”
At the end of the book we see instructions for working with Hymen’s Lottery, and Napoleon’s Oraculum; or, Book of Fate.
While a bit unusual, I found it fun to work with these oracle structures. The dice are quite small, black and white. The cards are approximately 2 ¾” by 4 ¾”, of sturdy, glossy cardstock. The card faces show a green border, with a white background and the suit icons, with no other imagery. Spades and Clubs are black, Diamonds and Hearts are red. The card backs show a gold border, surrounding a scene showing a witch-like woman behind a table with a candle and playing cards on it. On top of the chair behind her we see an owl, while to her left and behind her we see a globe of the world. Arcane symbols are on the wall behind her.
For those that are interested in the unusual, or into taking a look at the past, and how they looked into the future, then this book is for you. It gives you the advantage of a new and different way of looking at the questions that we all face in life!
© September 2009