on 26 October 2013
The Enchanted Lenormand Oracle is a very attractive book-and-deck set. The allure is not limited to the charming artwork of Virginia Lee, but the material provided by Caitlín Matthews in her invaluable accompanying book.
I'll deal with the cards first. There are the 36 illustrated playing cards that make a petit-Lenormand deck, along with three additional cards that are regretfully advertised as being "part of the deck" i.e. 39 as above. They're not per se.
True to the traditional workings of the method we call Lenormand, these cards feature the traditional, with some very minor variances, symbols. Virginia Lee has worked these in an aesthetically pleasing manner, placing them in a sphere, without detracting from the instant recognisability of ciphers. Laid out in a tableau, one can easily see what is far, near and so on.
There is a soft but not overtly feminine quality, similar to pastel work of the late XVIII and early XIX centuries. They're printed standard issue cardstock, as such they'll soon scuff and warp - I cannot hold that against them, as it's the same with all fortune-telling cards now that aren't released as "premier" edition. Plus cards are meant to be used, not revered as icons.
For me the book is the wonderful resource to recommend. I've been reading these cards for twenty-years, and it's frustrating not to be able to recommend an English resource of true "traditional" methodology. What does this mean? As Caitlín shows it's not the cards' pictures, or even meanings, but how we read.
The first book in English was Erna Droesbeke von Enge's "The Oracle of Mlle Lenormand", which sadly went out of print. Caitlín Matthews' scholarship is encyclopaedic, more complete than Ms. Droesbeke's, but the prose is wonderfully lively, so beginner, intermediate, or advanced would get something out it. It's an easy read; it makes sense, and it works.
All the meanings are included, how to build combinations in traditional style, along with Caitlín's own personal takes and experience. The latter, as mentioned before, is firmly grounded in the tradition you see in parlour practice that these cards belong to in Belgium, Germany and France.
If you're interested in Lenormand, this is the book I recommend. I'm afraid the bar has been set very high here. Andy Boroveshengra.
on 11 October 2013
I added these to my considerable collection a few weeks ago and they are now my favourite and most used pack. The beautiful, clear artwork has enhanced my reading - they certainly have a feeling of depth. Enchanted and enchanting they are! The smaller cards are also easy to handle and (importantly), they feel very good too. I also found the book easy to follow and useful - although I am not by any means a beginner, the guidance and spreads shown can only help to expand my skill. Really pleased I bought these, have used them often and will continue to do so I feel.
on 11 October 2013
I have had my set for days now and love it more each time I use it. The information and guidance in the book is great and so beautifully written, it feels like Caitlin is sitting next to you guiding your learning. Virginia's art is truly enchanting and the cards feel easy and shuffle well. My card stock is faultless and I would hate anyone to miss out on this gorgeous and exciting product due to a fear of any manufacturing issue, which is easily sorted (especially given how affordable it is). This is a deck I know I will carry on me always. Thank you Caitlin and Virginia. Love, love, love it!
on 12 October 2013
Today I was given the opportunity to work with the Enchanted Lenormand deck, with the inspiring guidance of Caitlin Matthews herself. This Enchanted Lenormand deck is a must-have, a great treasure for everyone who loves to work with fortune telling cards and oracles. The cards appear to be a phase in divination between the ancient shamanistic bones and shells oracles, of the divination systems deriving directly from nature, and the later more elaborated systems like the tarot cards. Although I have been working with Tarot cards for more than 40 years, working with these cards gave me a lot of extra insight into the direct experience of oracular systems deriving from western spiritual systems of the past. Thank you Caitlin, for making those more accessible to us! Ina Cüsters-van Bergen, (author of The Temple of High Magic), www.templeofstarlight.eu.
on 10 October 2013
I received this set a few days ago and it is a wonderful little kit; the book - which I read in a couple of days but which I will return to again and again to study - tells you everything you need to know in order to dive into the Lenormand universe. The tone and organisation of the book is very reader-friendly and if you know very little about this fascinating deck of cards, it will give you much to absorb long-term for proficient use of the oracle; and if you are already familiar with it, there'll still be much to stimulate new ways of thinking. I had always found the whole "Houses" way of reading a bit of a blur but this book elucidates it well. Plus of course the Grand Tableau, which isn't nearly as scarey as new readers might think. And the set comes with a delightful little deck of Lenormand cards designed by Virginia Lee. They are exquisite little things - the historic Lenormand images depicted in tiny crystal balls with gnarled branches and leaves clustered around them. So striking when laid out together, like a string of magic baubles.
There has been talk above about the quality of the cardstock. I honestly don't get this. The cards are fine; I don't know what readers are doing but there are no signs of fraying from where I'm divining. The cardstock is stiff and glossy, but they don't seem cardboardy or flimsy or fraying or anything. I shuffle normally and they really are fine...
on 10 October 2013
First of all, please do not forget that you will get the whole set, not just a deck. I am very positive for this Enchanted Lenormand set (speaking from the experience of the reader/owner of more than 30 Lenormand decks)
This set includes:
A. 39 cards: 36 traditional Lenormand cards + 3 extra cards; 2 alternative Man and Woman cards (for your own preference or for a gay couple reading) and a non-traditional Diviner card (for your own reading)
B. 160-page companion book written by Caitlín Matthews, one of the greatest cartomancers in this era who has written many occult, celtic, sharmanic and cartomancy books
C. A big Divination poster (about 53 x 78 cm OR 21 x 30-3/4 inch) for the 8x4 Big Picture spread (i.e. Grand Tableau), specially designed by Virginia Lee
, of which all are nicely packed in a sturdy box.
== CARD ARTWORKS ==
Card artworks are well designed by Virginia Lee (daughter of Alan Lee, creative director and Artist for Lord of the Rings) who also contributed to the work of Alan in some movies.
- Each symbol is presented in a Crystal Ball. You can find some tiny little things hidden in some cards, which also convey the card meanings such as Chain in the No.25 Ring card.
- Number of the cards and Fully illustrated Playing Card Insets are also well presented. When reading using the traditional Big Picture spread (i.e. Grand Tableau where all 36 cards are spreaded out), with such design, all cards are laced up together really well.
== CARD SIZE ==
Card size is 5.50 x 8.50 cm (2-3/16 x 3-3/8 inch), which is a true traditional size of Lenormand cards. This is unlike many bigger Lenormand decks printed nowadays, which are not well designed for being used in the Grand Tableau readings.
== CARD STOCK ==
Although, some reviewers negatively mentioned about the card stock, I would like to say that the card quality is not too bad at all. It's just different from other Lenormand decks.
Despite its Glossy coating, the cards are slippery and can be fanned out very well. This is unlike the glossy-but-too-sticky-coating of some tarot card decks.
Another key difference is that the card stock is sturdy/stiff, not flexible like other Lenormand cards. As such, they can be overhand-shuffled, but not riffle-shuffled. (Despite that, some told me that they still can riffle-shuffle their Enchanted Lenormand cards)
For your information, the Enchanted Lenormand Deck's thickness is about 5/8" or 1.8 cm, while the traditional Blue Owl Lenormand is about 7/16" or 1.0 cm.
Card size, colour, card cutting, etc. are acceptably great
== COMPANION BOOK ==
The 160-page companion book is the most interesting and valuable part of this Enchanted Lenormand set. The book size (12.0 x 17.0 cm OR 4-3/4 x 6-3/4 inch) is very perfect for being carried around and quite complement to this cute Enchanted Lenormand deck. The very best is that it is printed in COLOUR!!!
There are 4 chapters in this book.
1. Learning the Art of Lenormand, which is the introduction of the Lenormand card systems.
2. Through the Crystal Ball, where the meaning of each card are presented (with a Colour image of the card)
3. Spreading the Fortune; not-less-than 5 card spreads are presented with examples how to read cards
4. Playing Card Messages; this book seems to be the only one that talks about how to use Playing Card meanings for the Lenormand.
And many much much more information is condensed in this 160-page book. So, please do not miss this set if you love to learn Lenormand.
on 3 October 2015
Absolutely beautiful deck beautifully presented. The box contains a 39 card deck including an extra man, and extra woman and a card for The Diviner. The cards are small (85mm x 55mm) which I found to be a perfect size for easy handling. The artwork by Virginia Lee, is a genuine masterpiece of design. Each picture appears as if in a crystal ball in an apparent frame of twigs with a little playing card at the top above the crystal ball and an apparent 3D representation of the suit symbols in each corner.. You would think that with all that on such a small card it would seem cramped, but the genius of the design is that it doesn't seem cramped at all. Nothing has been sacrificed or made inconveniently small to save space. In fact you get the impression that Ms Lee had all the space in the world and used it to get all the lovely things she could think of into it.
The book, by Caitlyn Matthews, is a small paperback (170mm x 120mm) of 160 pages. Each card has its own double page spread with a hires colour reproduction of the card on it. The keywords are voluminous and divided into categories: Impact, Keywords, People, Love, Work, Finance and Business and Well Being; a section called Compare lists cards that are opposites or related eg 17 Stork is changes that happen to you whereas 22 Path is choices you make; Playing Card is a sentence or two about the significance of the playing card; [card] in Story points out folkloric and cultural references of the card. Finally there is a list of a dozen of more combinations of the card with other cards.
There are a number of useful spreads leading up to the Grand Tableau, including sections on Knighting, Mirroring and the use of significators all concisely explained. Then there are Playing Card Meanings, the use of Houses in Timing, mnemonic rhymes and summary card meanings. Caitlyn Matthews has packed it all in just like Virginia Lee has.
You may regard this book as a distillation of the divinatory parts of the author's Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook. This book however is quite enough not only to get you started but to keep you going for years as well. Unless you want to delve into the intellectual world of Lenormand practice you really don't need anything else.
There is also a large printed sheet which opens out into a paper reading mat for laying the cards out in the Grand Tableau, in which the entire deck is laid out for general readings. Each House (where each card is laid) is decorated like the card itself but with a number in the crystal ball instead of an image and a blank playing card above it. As with most such mats the cards obscures these numbers when laid out but beginners will soon get used to that.
The cards are so utterly usable and convenient in size, that it is a pity they don't have a box of their own that you can use to take them with you separately in a pocket or handbag. I found a lovely silver cigarette case in Camden Market into which they fitted exactly but a box in the style of the cards would have been nice.
I am not going to deduct any stars for that. I only thought of it because the beauty and cleverness of the cards had completely spoiled me. Only the most ungrateful beast in the world would give this deck less than five stars.
I don't want to put ideas into the publishers heads but in my opinion this deck is worth fifty pounds of anybody's money so buy it quick before they catch on.
on 2 April 2014
This could be such a great deck, but i was a little disappointed when i bought it.
The cards are thick and have a shiny finish.
However, the colors are muted and look like are worn through time. In the book, the colors are vivid and that is how they should be on the cards. I suppose the author wanted it that way, so that the cards could have that old feeling.
The cards should be a little bigger. They are 8,5 cm high and 5,5 cm wide. It is not necessary for them to have the tarot size, but at least the regular playing cards size.
The images are very beautiful but the borders (lost in the woods theme) are two big and we don't get to see the images like we should. Each card has on top the correspondent paying card, the image inside a cristal ball and on the bottom it's number. I f you don't know the name of the cards, you will have to check their number in the book.
The Lenormand Oracle has 36 Cards, but this set has 39 cards. The additional cards (the diviner, another lady and another gentleman) should not be indicated as part of the deck. I understand the need to create a card that represents the querent or reader (i don't need it but i know people that like to use it), but i fail to see the necessity of adding another lady and another gentleman. Anyway, these additional cards can be used, but should not be considered as part of the deck.
The book is well written and very well put together. This is a really thick book (160 pages), packed with lots of information, in several areas of life. Each card has a sheet (two pages) which comprises the general description and definition (about 8 or 9 lines), keywords for several areas of life (Impact, people, love work, finance, well-being), a comparison, the correspondent playing card, path in the story and selected card combinations. This is a little encyclopaedia with bits from here and there, but it still has a deficit of information, because it has lots of keywords but very little in explanation of the cards themselves. It is necessary a more detailed book to get to know the cards well.
Unfortunately, the book does not have combinations for all the cards in the deck, although there are combinations for every card. Still, it has a good section on layouts and how to interpret the cards in them.
I suggest the Gilded Reverie Lenormand. It is a great deck with bigger cards and full of vivid colours. Then you can buy a good book on the Lenormand Oracle Cards. Since there are now more books on the subject, you can choose to buy one without the deck.
on 27 October 2013
This new package from Caitlin Matthews and Virginia Lee is a triumph. If you're a newcomer to Lenormand divination, the set has no peer. Even for an experienced reader, the book provides a treasure chest of riches and the deck as illustrated by Lee is astonishingly beautiful.
The cards are roughly poker size, printed on sturdy gloss finish stock that shuffles easily. There are three extras added to the traditional deck. The first is the Diviner card, depicting Mlle Lenormand at her reading table. The others are additional `man' and `woman' cards for use when doing same sex relationship readings. Matthews gives a full set of meanings for the Diviner card also also provides several specific methods for using her within your readings. She's a useful addition to the deck and a lovely tribute to the woman whose name has become inseparable from the cards.
All but two of the other thirty six cards show traditional imagery. Taking her lead from the earliest decks which showed a birch switch rather than a whip, Matthews has called card 11 the Broom whilst retaining the traditional meanings. On card 36, the Christian Cross is replaced by the more inclusive `Crossing'. This card shows a footbridge leading across an abyss, allowing passage from barren to sunlit lands. Again, the basic meanings remain the same but as the author points out, this symbol represents all spiritual paths and trials rather than those attached to a single faith. The design is ingenious for if you need the traditional symbol to cling to, it's suggested in the shape of the bridge, the pathway and the grass sward on the other side of the abyss. That said, it's also easy to see the shape of a great bird or a Phoenix rising with outstretched wings. It's a lovely image whose ambiguity serves the deck well.
Artistically, Virginia Lee has created something quite unique. The iconography of each card is contained within a crystal ball set in a knot work of ivy. The traditional playing card inserts sit above the crystal ball whist the card number sits below. At the four corners of each card are the playing card suit emblems - a diamond, a spearhead (spade), a clover leaf (club) and a heart. All the elements of a traditional deck are here yet the presentation is both beautiful and original. The glass of each crystal ball is a subtly different colour from its neighbours and the visions within are seen from a dreamlike, fish eye perspective. All in all, the deck manages to be a visual feast without blurring the focus on card symbolism.
Equal praise goes to the 160 page book printed in full colour. Caitlin Matthew's text is concise and easy to follow, providing everything you need to become a fluent reader. All the basics are here along with the best possible introduction to working with the playing card inserts, something neglected within the previously available deck and book sets. Importantly, the early stages of the book provide a solid foundation on how to approach the deck before individual card meanings are examined. By the time you journey through the cards, you already understand the concepts of combinations, triplets, how to `frame' your enquiries and the way the language of these cards works. Having provided detailed introductions to each card in turn, the final sections deal with card layouts and the more advanced techniques such as playing card insert interpretation. The Grand Tableau method of reading with all 36 cards can seem daunting at first but Matthews explains the basics as well as a variety of supplementary techniques such as knighting, mirroring, working with topic cards and Lenormand Houses. Her approach is practical but it's also grounded in experience and solid research. In short, it's no nonsense and you couldn't ask for a better teacher.
The bonus feature of this package is a beautifully illustrated, fold out chart for Big Spread/Grand Tableau readings. Book, deck and chart come in a cigar box style package in deep jade with elegant silver embellishments. All in all it's difficult to fault this set. Beginners will be delighted but even the experienced reader will appreciate Caitlin Matthew's wisdom and solid approach. As for the artistic contribution of Virginia Lee, it speaks for itself. There are few decks more beautiful than this and it's sure to be treasured as a classic in years to come. This is a set that should be on every card reader's bookshelf.
on 1 March 2014
The cards are absolutely beautiful. There are three extra optional cards. I find the cards to be a good size and I've not had any problems with the quality at all.
The book is excellent. Really well written and helpful.
I'd gladly have paid the full price for the book, or the cards, to get both for this price is outstanding!