Author: Chloe McCracken
Artist: Will Worthington
U.S. Games Systems Inc.
The “Celtic Lenormand” is a 45 card pagan themed Lenormand oracle, which comes with a 187 page companion book. The backdrop for these cards is the landscape of Brittany, in the north of France. The traditional 36-card structure of the Lenormand has been augmented with additional cards: there are two tree cards for the God (the Oak and the Holly), three different Birds cards that reflect the three aspects of the Goddess (Maiden/Mother/Crone), an additional snake card that reflects a more positive, healing, and transformative aspect of snake, a cat card to go along with the dog card, as cats are traditional familiars, and four additional “people” cards that were added for gender balance.
The deck and book come in a sturdy cardboard box with a lift-off top. The inside has an inset for the cards, to make them easy to access. The top of the box features card Number 29, Man, while he back of the box gives information on the cards.
The front cover for the companion book shows card Number 12, Birds (Owls). The introduction talks about this deck bringing the nature-based focus of pagan beliefs into the venue of the Lenormand oracle. The deck can be used as a traditional 36 card deck, or it can be used with the additional cards. The imagery has a distinctive Celtic feel to it, with the symbolism reflecting the pagan path.
The cards that reflect the pagan God are the two Tree cards, representing Oak King and the Holly King. The three cards representing the Goddess are the three Bird cards: songbirds represent the Maiden aspect of the Goddess, specifically Cliodna, chickens represent the Mother aspect of the Goddess, and Cerridwen, while owls symbolize the Crone aspect of the Goddess, and Blodeuwedd.
The companion book addresses the use of the Lenormand for spiritual, as well as divinatory purposes. McCracken also addresses timing through the eight Sabbats, and to using a range of interpretations (positive and negative) for the cards.
Each card is presented with a small black and white scan, Keywords, Timing, Person, Playing Card Association, Description, Meaning, Spiritual Readings, Dark and Light, Spell Use, Affirmation, and Deity.
At the end of the book there is information on combining cards, working with deity, using the cards in spells, and several card spreads, including a five card Lines spread, a five card Inner Cross spread, a nine card Mini Tableau, an eight or twelve card Paths spread, Dual and Triple Goddess spreads, a Moon Cycle spread, and a Year Ahead spread.
The cards are 2 ¼” by 3 ½”, of sturdy card stock. The backs are a medium yellow, with a darker yellow border on the two long sides, with a darker yellow circle in the middle. They are reversible. The card faces are borderless, with the card number in the upper left hand corner, and the playing card association in the loner right hand corner. The colors are intense, with the imagery nature/pagan oriented.
The following cards are examples of the diversity within this deck:
Number 5 – Tree (Oak)
Association: 7 of Hearts
The image here is of an old, gnarled oak tree, with full green leaves. Keywords include health, roots, and body/mind/spirit.
Number 5 – Tree (Holly)
Association: 7 of Hearts
The image here is of a holly tree with barren branches, covered in snow. At the bottom of the tree we see holly leaves and red holly berries. Keywords include health, roots, body/mind/spirit, and outdoors.
Number 16 – Stars
Association: 6 of Hearts
The image here is that of a male figure, on the deck of a boat in open water at night. There is a new moon in a star filled sky. Keywords include guidance, technology, and metastasis.
Number 23 – Mice
Association: 7 of Clubs
The imagery here is of mice in a storehouse. Keywords include loss, theft, and pollution.
Number 33 – Key
Association: 8 of Diamonds
The image here is that of a golden key sitting on a wooden table. Keywords include certainty, solutions, and mastery.
I fund this to be a well done deck, both the text and the imagery. The association with pagan imagery/symbology is carried out nicely. This deck can be read as a traditional 36 card Lenormand, or with the additional cards. The purpose and intent for this theme does not disappoint!
© 2000 – 2015 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without the written permission of the author.