Review Gilded Reverie Lenormand

Name : Gilded Reverie Lenormand
Author : Ciro Marchetti
Publisher : Königsfurt-Urania Verlag
Tradition : Oracle
Packaging : Hard cardboard box / 10.6 x 7.6 x 3.2 cm
Deck : 44 cards / laminated, glossy cards / 10.2 cm x 7.4 cm
Size : normal
Handbook : Booklet of 79 pages in B&W
Reverse side : No, the backs of the cards are not reversible.
Switch of 8/11 : No
Universe : Contemporary
Use : Prediction , Voyance

The equipment

The equipment

The cards are delivered in a sturdy cardboard box. They are laminated and glossy and of the correct thickness. The cards are smaller in size than the classic tarot card format, which ensures a very good grip. The cards have a golden edge. A card with a white front allows the owner to create his own card or to replace a lost card.

The history of the game

Mrs Lenormand's story is rather well known, there is even a Wikipedia page about her life. We know that Marie-Anne-Adélaïde Lenormand was born in 1772 from a humble origin. Apparently from childhood she showed great imagination and curiosity, sharpened by a lively mind. Raised in the royal abbey of the Benedictine ladies of Alençon, she began to give prophecies at a very young age. The perspicacity and truthfulness of these predictions made her not only noticed but also dismissed. She then went up to Paris in the middle of the French Revolution, opened a bookstore which became a clairvoyant cabinet. She had her first successes there before she was suspected and then locked up by the Committee of Public Salvation. However, she managed to make her way through the times and took advantage of each change of regime, the Empire under Napoleon and then the Restoration with Louis XVIII, to establish her prestige and her fortune. Did she really have a talent for clairvoyance? Perhaps. But it is certain that she had a great finesse of mind in the game of intrigue, a real ability to seduce her clientele, and a true sense of business and entrepreneurship. Some specialists also say that she had built up a real network of informants throughout Paris that allowed her to be very well informed about her customers and therefore to refine her predictions.

However, we have very little information about the games she used during her consultations. However, it is commonly accepted that she based her spreads on a set of 32-36 French sign cards (Club, Spades, Heart, Diamond) on which she could write annotations. It is said that she could have been inspired by the divinatory game of the German Johann Kaspar Hechtel (1771 - 1799) whose 36-card deck known as "Das Spiel der Hoffnung" (The Game of Hope) was first published in 1799. However, it is likely that Lenormand was inspired by Eteilla's game. Indeed, upon her arrival in Paris, Marie Lenormand met a fortune-teller named Mrs. Gilbert, who taught her the divinatory tarot grace of Etteilla (1738 - 1791). Eteilla printed her tarot for the first time in 1788-1789.

The booklet

1st part: Genesis of the game

The booklet

The book has 80 pages in B&W and is divided into 3 parts: an introduction to the Lenormand system, followed by the meaning of the cards, to finish with some printing methods.

The first part of the book is mainly about the introduction of 8 new cards: 37 - Time, 38 - Bridges, 39 - Dice, 40 - Mask, 41 - Well, 42 - Compass, 43 - Labyrinth, 44 - Magnifying glass. The author explains that he has added these 8 new cards in order to provide the game with additional clarification or perspective. For the same reasons, Ciro Marchetti doubled the cards 12 - Birds, 28 - Man, 29 - Woman. Before any draw, the user will therefore have to remove 3 cards 12, 28, 29 to keep those of his choice.

We learn that during his collaboration with Tali Goodwin for the writing of the book, Ciro Marchetti realized that his additions are also present in older games such as the game of the goose (1597).

Part 2: Meaning of the cards

Part 2: Meaning of the cards

Each card is evoked in one page. A small paragraph in italics, written in the first person (as if the card spoke for itself), gives a summary in a few sentences of the meaning of the card. Then a denser text develops the interpretation of the card and explains the reason for the symbolism used. I appreciate the few introspective sentences at the beginning, but I probably would have preferred a list of key words that is quicker and easier to memorize.

Part 3: Spreads

Part 3: Spreads

It is probably this last part of the book that interested me the most. Indeed I am used to draw the tarot, with draws of 5 to 10 locations, each one having a precise role deduced from the consultant's question. In the Lenormand tradition, the draws are rather invariant in the role of the slots and one can use many cards, up to half of the deck, in a single draw. Which, frankly, is a method that has difficulty convincing me.

It is specified that the two additional cards 28 - Male and 29 - Female can be kept / added to the game when a draw involves several people (I am hardly convinced of the relevance of such a proposition). The Owls (the second version of the 12 - Birds card) can also be added to the deck in addition to the original card by assigning different meanings to it. Unfortunately no new interpretation is given in this case.

The first spread proposed is the Lenormand Large Board Drawing where the whole game is displayed in front of you in 4 lines of 9 cards, i.e. 36 cards. Then we find the Significator card, then we interpret the horizontal line, the vertical line and the two diagonals from this card. This method is a classic and popular way of drawing Lenormand. Here we propose an extra step, where we keep 1 to 8 cards from the draw and then remove all the others. The 8 additional cards of the deck are then shuffled and each of the remaining cards is covered by one of the additional cards. The additional cards complete and clarify the interpretation of the spread.

The second spread run proposed is the Simple 9 Card Run which is a lighter variant of the previous run. After making up 3 decks of cards, 3 cards are drawn from the top of each deck to form a 9-card deck. The first line of 3 cards represents "The Guardian", the second line "The House" and the third and last line "The Fortune". The cards are read from left to right like reading a story, each card bringing an element to the narrative.

The third proposed draw is the daily fortune-telling spread where you deal 9 pairs of cards corresponding to the following roles: 1 - Someone you are going to meet, 2 - Someone you are going to take care of, 3 - Someone who will bother you, 4 - Something that will comfort you, 5 - Something that is waiting for you, 6 - Something that will help you, 7 - Something that will happen, 8 - Something you want, 9 - Something beautiful.

The fourth and final draw presented is the Chocolate Bar Draw. Eighteen cards are drawn and divided into 6 sections of 3 cards, each section dealing with a particular theme: 1 - Career, 2 - Knowledge, 3 - Wealth, 4 - Family, 5 - Health, 6 - Relationships.

The cards I like

What I appreciate in this Lenormand is that Ciro Marchetti has densified the often purified symbolism of the Lenormand cards, thus opening up and widening the interpretation of each card. His approach makes it possible to make the most of the Lenormand system.

6 - Cloud

In this card, I like the presence of the birds flying in the halo of the sun evoking a meaning like freedom, height, retreat. On the same card, we see a lightning bolt striking a tree, synonymous with destruction, or even the rain that can evoke the fertilization of the ground. This illustration brings a nuanced and balanced meaning to the traditional meaning.

12 - Birds

I like this card because it has two versions, one with birds perched around a feeder, evoking abundance, community, although at first glance the card speaks more about news and communication. In the second version with the owls, the card can tell us about rumors, gossip, but with their big eyes to see clearly in the night, the owls can invite you to sort out the true and false, to look with lucidity.

13 - Child

The child's card is of course about learning and immaturity, but with the games in front of him, the image can also evoke play, pleasure, memories, nostalgia, and even the beginning with the inscription "Once upon a time".

15 - Bear

The bear represents power, strength, protection. But in the vision of Marchetti who placed a polar bear in the drawing, we can also see a sign of purity, wisdom and even slowness and hibernation.

18 - Dog

The dog usually talks about friendship and loyalty. But with the leash around the dog's neck, the illustration can also mean dependence, alienation, situation of hold.

22 - Choice

The card talks about choices that are available and a decision to be made. In his vision, the author has shown stairs leading to both possibilities, indicating by the same token that all choices allow for evolution and growth. The two staircases, each leading to a door open to the sky, tell us that there is no one choice better than another, that the options are infinite.

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My opinion on Gilded Reverie Lenormand

Ciro Marchetti undoubtedly sublimated the Lenormand system, first by adding symbolism to the tradition, making interpretation easier and even extending it to other peripheral themes. It is also appreciable that the author has added 8 additional cards in order to enlarge the possibilities of interpretation. In addition, the illustrations are of high quality, and the usually negative cards have been provided with bright and rather positive images. This is the case for the whole game. This oracle is therefore accessible to the youngest or to beginners or sensitive practitioners, thanks to its simple symbols and its pleasant and positive illustrations. This game is undoubtedly one of the best Lenormand I have seen.

Also even if I prefer this game of Ciro Marchetti to the Kipper that he could make himself, which I review here , or even to other traditional Lenormands like the piatnik or even (review here ) or even to the Persian tarot of Mme Indira ( review here ). This game remains a Lenormand, a 150 year old oracle, originally used for clairvoyance and prediction. I am not sure that it is totally suitable for psychological draws, or at least other oracles such as the Gé Oracle ( review here ) or the Triad Oracle clearly ( review here ) have my preference for any psychological draw..

Despite everything, this kind of oracles (Kipper, Lenormand, etc.) having a simple content, can be intended for beginners who have difficulty in immersing themselves in the density and richness of the tarot. The assimilation of a deck of about 40 cards with simple symbols is faster than learning the Tarot with 78 cards. And the practitioner can compensate for the simplicity of the cards (and thus their lack of nuance and richness) by dealing more cards during a spread. This is a way to base the reading on a suitable amount of information, certainly a roundabout way, but still an acceptable one.

Also the novice, can start drawing cards with a Lenormand before using other denser and richer oracles. The experienced beginner will probably be interested in more recent oracles with a psychological approach.

"A very good Lenormand" Tweet
  • Prediction
  • Voyance
  • Easy-to-understand cards to start with divination
  • Cards too simple to deepen the learning of divination
of symbolism
of cards
of use
to children
in the study
3.1 / 5