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Is That a Deck of 18th Century Divination Cards in Your Pocket, or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

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And now...a review!

Review: Lozzy's Complete Guide To Lenormand: Workbook Edition

I’m awful at cocktail parties.

I don’t handle smalltalk well. As an introvert who presents as an extrovert, the idea of asking what twenty people do for a living is exhausting. It’s much more interesting to really have one good, deep, revealing conversation. Which is why for over thirty years, I’m the weird chic who looks up at you as you’re going for seconds on the chilled shrimp and mumbles, “I’ve got a deck of Tarot cards in my pocket. Wanna meet on the porch in five minutes? If you’ve got questions, I’ve got answers.”

Reading Tarot for someone is always an interesting experience. There are people who spill out their life stories over the cards: how their relationships are going, what their dreams are, what they really think of those around them. Meaningful stuff, much better than standing in the kitchen looking at someone’s vacation pics on their phone. I once had a woman who I met at a party and took me up on my Tarot offer but refused to tell me anything about herself. Not even her name. So I shrugged and did my best, going on my gut alone, and halfway through the reading she started to shake, bolted upright and raced out of the room. I found out later through mutual acquaintances that I hit the nail on the head. So, divination can be memorable.

Imagine my shock after thirty years of reading Tarot and teaching workshops on its history and symbolism when I discovered there was another type of divination deck in town that I had never heard of: something called “Lenormand”. What the heck? What is this? There are tons or Oracle Decks out there, each with its own key to deciphering the meaning, but Lenormand was a type of deck. I called up a good friend who owns enough Oracle decks to fill a small warehouse to see if she had heard of Lenormand. She had not. How had we missed this?

I set out in search of a book to educate myself. Enter Lozzy's Complete Guide To Lenormand: Workbook Edition.

I quickly discovered Lozzy has a Lenormand site, but put off diving into that until I was done with the book. I ordered a basic Lenormand deck online so I could practice, and dove into the book, intending to read the whole thing and then practice with the cards on the second read through.

I’d like to start off by saying that the thing I appreciated the most about the book (besides the education) is the tone. I read a lot of instructional books and I don’t think I’ve ever giggled while reading one before. A lot of “how to” books on divination leave me feeling as though a) the writer is trying so hard to be a sage on their subject that I don’t feel connected to the information, or b) the writer tries to explain an archaic spiritual topic in an archaic spiritual way and loses me. Lozzy did neither of those.

Reading this book is like having a good friend plunk down next to you at the kitchen table on a Friday night after you’ve both just had WAY too much cheesecake and saying, “Hey, wanna learn this? It’s not hard.” Lozzy knows her topic and is so straightforward and full of camaraderie in her writing that you are absolutely sure you’ll learn this new thing in no time at all. I enjoyed hearing her voice come through in her writing.

The book is loaded with examples so that you can follow along with your deck and check yourself to make sure you are following along and absorbing things. There are just the right amount of these. The Workbook edition isn’t too workbook-y. Just a nice amount to make sure you have the lesson before moving on. She explains the history of Lenormand (the deck is named after a famous 18th Century French fortune-teller who was wildly popular in her day and supposedly advised some major players in the French revolution) and how the deck was actually part of a larger game designed by some enterprising Germans hoping to capitalize on the popularity of the Lenormand name.

Lozzy realizes most of her audience probably learned to read Tarot first, and does an excellent job comparing the two so that you can get everything straight in you mind. She tells you all the qualities of a Lenormand deck and explains that while Tarot is about a spiritual journey, the Lenormand deck is supposed to be more concrete and every day. Example: you might ask Tarot cards what your life’s mission is, but in contrast you might ask Lenormand what sorts of opportunities you should be on the lookout for at work today. They apply to different timelines and circumstances, and different personality types might like one or the other more.

She teaches basic card meanings, but encourages newbies not to get stuck just reading her card combinations out of the book. Lozzy wants you to be independent, and she has a nice step-by-step process in place to facilitate that.

In short, I loved this book, and the workbook sections had me reading Lenormand decks in a jiffy. It also helped me to understand what to look for when shopping for a deck so that I knew what was actually Lenormand versus someone’s far-out interpretation of Lenormand (bunches of extra cards, symbols that don’t really need to be there, etc.) The book was so good and gave me so much confidence that since I’m a painter, I am now embarking on a new project of making my own Lenormand deck. This means I’ll be sidling up to unsuspecting cocktail party guests with two divination decks in my pocket from now on!

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