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Review Clear The Deck Lenormand from Anouck ZANA

DATASHEET
Name : Clear The Deck Lenormand
Author : Anouck ZANA
Publisher : ClearTheDeck (self-publishing)
Tradition : Petit Lenormand
Packaging : Boîte carton dur / 9.5 x 7 x 2.8 cm / 3.54 x 2.7 x 0.78 in
Deck : 43 cards / matt, satin-finish / 8.9 cm / 3.14 in x 6.3 cm / 2.36 in
Size : standard
Handbook : 140-page booklet in B&W
Reverse side : No, the backs of the cards are not reversible.
Switch of 8/11 : No
Universe : Medieval / Renaissance
Use : Prediction , Personal development
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The Material

The Material

Right from opening the reinforced cardboard box, one discovers a rich and meticulous universe. Inside, 36 traditional cards are accompanied by 3 alternative cards: the candle replacing the coffin, the whale or the shark in place of the bear, and finally, the logbook, open or closed, taking the place of the book.

But Anouck ZANA doesn't stop there. He enriches the game with 4 additional cards: the plank (37), the cat (38), the kraken (39), and the cannon (40), thus adding an extra dimension to the divinatory practice. A small booklet of keywords accompanies the set, offering an intuitive first approach to the symbols.

The game is completed by a 140-page book, a real treasure trove of information. The first part is dedicated to the presentation of the author and Mademoiselle Lenormand, followed by a brief history of the Petit Lenormand and piracy, the central theme of this edition. The description of the 36 cards and the four additional cards is rich in detail and symbolism.

The last section of the book is particularly valuable for practitioners, whether they are novices or experienced. It addresses the art of asking relevant questions, the importance of keeping a logbook to track one's evolution, and the different methods of drawing. Clear explanations on the significator card, the reading of individual cards and combinations enrich our understanding. Finally, a FAQ answers common questions, and examples of draws such as the cut, the charged card, the compass, the five-card draw, your personal legend, and the nine-card draw concretely illustrate the concepts discussed.

The English edition : Not yet !

Please note: this review is based on material in French, but the author hopes to publish an English version of her deck. Support her by asking for the release date ! ^_^

The Author

The Author

Anouk Zana, also known as Clear-The-Deck, is an artist trained at the Estienne school of applied arts. Her encounter with the world of cartomancy dates back to 2019, but it was during the first lockdown in March 2020 that her passion for introspective and psychological tarot truly took flight. Guided by the works of Emmanuelle Iger, she finds a particular resonance with this approach that combines introspection and symbolism.

Clear The Deck was officially launched on December 31, 2020, on Instagram. Since then, Anouck regularly shares posts about her collection of games, creates thematic spreads. In March 2022, inspired by a wave of creativity, she gave birth to a new game: the Clear The Deck Lenormand.

The Booklet

The Booklet
The Booklet

In my exploration of Anouk Zana's Petit Lenormand, I appreciated the summary of the life of Mademoiselle Lenormand, this emblematic figure of cartomancy born in 1772. The history of the Petit Lenormand is equally fascinating, revealing that this game, contrary to popular belief, was not created by Mademoiselle Lenormand herself, but is actually of German origin. It was Philippe Lenormand who, in 1848, capitalized on the name of Marie-Anne Adélaïde Lenormand to promote the game of hope as a legacy of ancient cartomancy, thus contributing to its resounding success. An important reminder from the author.

The booklet also addresses piracy, demystifying certain prejudices and restoring truths about this revolutionary movement that shook the mentalities of the 18th century in Europe and beyond. This section is a timely reminder that cartomancy, like piracy, can be seen as a form of rebellion against established norms, a quest for freedom in understanding oneself and the world.

The structure of the booklet is meticulous, offering for each card two detailed pages that include keywords by category – nouns, verbs, adjectives – and the possibility of adding personal keywords to enrich the polarity of the card. The author then shares the story of each card, explaining her iconographic choices and replacing some traditional symbols with more contemporary representations. She concludes each description with a nuanced interpretation that deviates from tradition to offer a richer and more diversified perspective.

Anouk Zana insists on the non-predictive nature of her game, positioning it rather as a psychological tool. She emphasizes the importance of remembering that the power is in the hands of the consultant, not in the cards. This approach is particularly relevant in the context of Lenormand, often perceived as a strictly predictive tool. The use of a logbook is encouraged to personalize the experience and progress in the practice of cartomancy.

She also shares details about her own practice, expressing a preference for jumping cards and various methods of revealing and interpreting the cards. She discusses the importance of the significator in Lenormand and the need to interpret the cards in association rather than in isolation, offering advice for mastering the art of card combination.

Finally, the booklet presents four methods of drawing:

  • La coupe, which is simply shuffling the cards and cutting the deck in two.
  • La carte chargée, a three-card draw.
  • La boussole, a five-card draw (which is actually the cross spread).
  • Votre légende personelle, a nine-card draw accompanied by the use of a six-sided die.

This draw, the most original, is like a playful homage to the sailors and pirates of yore, who entertained themselves with dice and cards in the holds of ships, reminding us that cartomancy can also be a game, a personal adventure in self-discovery.

The Uniqueness of the Game

The current market is full of Lenormand games that respect the traditional structure of the 36 cards, often content to transpose the classic symbols into various thematic universes, such as those of unicorns or vampires. However, Anouk Zana's "Clear the Deck Lenormand" stands out clearly. This game is not limited to a simple graphic reinterpretation; it operates a true immersion into the world of 18th-century piracy, reassigning most of the traditional symbols to icons of piracy.

The coherence is palpable: the tavern replaces the house, the fort takes the place of the tower, and the knife succeeds the clover. Other cards retain their original essence, such as the whip, the star, the mouse, the clouds, the fish, and the anchor, which integrate with relevance and accuracy into the theme of piracy.

Learning and appropriating this game is both intuitive, as it is rooted in the Lenormand norm, and exhilarating, as it invites a new adventure. Although the general meaning of the cards remains faithful to the spirit of the original Lenormand system, the uniqueness and originality of the game require some acclimatization to fully grasp the nuances that differentiate it from the standard model. I must admit that a few draws were enough to familiarize myself with this captivating game.

alternative
A free PDF to print, cut out, and fold!

Key words for the 36 cards of the Petit Lenormand, to slip into your favorite deck. Your leaflet always with you, at hand, to guide you in your readings. Thanks to it, your interpretations gain in richness and subtlety.

The Cards I Like

In the "Petit Lenormand Clear the Deck" game by Anouk Zana, several cards particularly struck me with their finesse and the richness they bring to the classic standard of the Petit Lenormand. I was touched by the author's effort to weave links between the cards, where certain details are found from one card to another, thus creating coherence and facilitating the association for interpreting combinations. For example, the hammocks from card 20 - Rum (Garden) are found in card 24 - Rigging (Heart), OR the coins from card 9 - Treasure (Bouquet) also appear in card 29 - Sea Wolf (Man), OR the Mice which have their own card, of course, but are also found on the bonus card of the Cat. These subtle connections are rare in Petit Lenormand games and add an additional dimension to the reading.

Seahorse (Rider)

Seahorse (Rider)

The Seahorse card, associated with the Rider, is an intriguing choice. The seahorse, being a slow fish, gives this card a paradoxical dimension, suggesting waiting and patience rather than the speed usually associated with the rider.

Treasure (Bouquet)

Treasure (Bouquet)

The Treasure card also calls out to me; it symbolizes something as ephemeral as the Bouquet, not because it fades, but because fortune can be quickly squandered.

Cabin Boy (Child)

Cabin Boy (Child)

The Cabin Boy card deeply moves me. It reminds us that children aboard sailing ships did not have a carefree childhood but were instead plunged into a world of adults in conflict, performing thankless tasks such as cleaning the deck. This card offers a poignant perspective on the lives of children in a difficult historical context.

Rigging (Heart)

Rigging (Heart)

The Rigging card, replacing the Heart, evokes contracts signed between sailors, but also sentimental relationships, sometimes hidden, within this universe. It highlights the possibility of homosexual relationships in a world with strict societal norms, making the game inclusive and modern.

Privateer (Lily)

Privateer (Lily)

Card 30, Privateer, represented by the Letter of Marque, adds to the concept of purity and smoothness a notion of legitimacy, respect, and recognition that privateers obtained from states sanctioning their activities according to the laws of war.

Sun

Sun

Finally, card 31 of the Sun, with the horizon showing the reflection of a mountainous island surrounded by mists, speaks not only of rejoicing and fulfillment but also of goals that could be illusions or the dream of an idyllic life.

The four bonus cards:

Plank

Plank

The card 37, the Plank, confronts us with the unknown and evokes punishment or sanctions, reminding us that our actions have consequences and that we must assume our responsibilities.

Cat

Cat

The card 38, the Cat, offers an interesting counterpoint to the Mouse card and could be seen as complementary to the Dog card, here represented by the Dolphin, symbolizing freedom, entrepreneurship, and autonomy.

Kraken

Kraken

The card 39, the Kraken, introduces a dimension of shadow, introspection, and trauma, offering a darker perspective than that conveyed by the Whip card.

Cannon

Cannon

And the Cannon card, which, according to the author, speaks more of action than conflict, contrary to what the Whip card might suggest.

The cards I like less

I must admit that there is no card that I do not appreciate in this game (a sign of the quality of the author's work, as I am rather picky). In reality, it is not the cards themselves that pose a problem for me, but sometimes certain interpretations and symbolisms seem common or redundant to each other.

So what follows is not so much a critique of the game, but more a discussion around the interpretation grid of these cards, with two objectives:

  • To make the reader understand that reinventing the Lenormand system is quite a challenge!
  • To encourage the reader to create their own interpretation grid! And to make the game their own.

Compass vs Helm Vs Star

Compass vs Helm Vs Star
Compass vs Helm Vs Star
Compass vs Helm Vs Star

Take for example card 22, Compass, which replaces the Crossroads, card 17, Helm, which takes the place of the Stork, and card 16, the Star, which remains true to itself. These three cards ultimately seem to convey a similar idea: that of charting, following a path, and keeping a course. However, in the classic Lenormand system, these cards speak of distinct concepts: hope for the Star, novelty and migration for the Stork, and dilemma or choice for the Crossroads.

Hook Vs Anchor

Hook Vs Anchor
Hook Vs Anchor

Similarly, cards 10, Hook, and 35, Anchor, could evoke a notion of attachment or persistence. However, the Hook card may be too distinct from the Scythe and does not integrate the idea of break or the need to cut, which could be missing in the game as a whole. Indeed, there was the possibility of adding or using the pirate's saber more, which could have been interesting to associate with the idea of the Hook, evoking loss or the severed hand.

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My opinion on Clear The Deck Lenormand

I am constantly looking for games that renew the approach to cartomancy while remaining true to its roots. It is with this perspective that I approach the "Clear the Deck Lenormand" by Anouck Zana, a game that, in my opinion, breathes new life into the tradition of the Petit Lenormand.

This game is not simply a reinterpretation of the classic Lenormand cards; it transposes them into a universe of their own, creating a system that is both original and coherent. Although some may think my opinion is biased because my name appears in the acknowledgments of the book associated with the game, my participation in the crowdfunding does not influence my professional judgment. My fascination with the world of piracy, which could well stem from a past life as a privateer, only increases my appreciation for this game. Really, I am impartial! ^_^

When using the "Clear the Deck" instead of the standard Lenormand for professional readings, one discovers how wonderfully the world of piracy lends itself to it. The world of work is often compared to an ocean infested with sharks, where the law of the jungle reigns. Failures, successes, betrayals, alliances, and conflicts are all elements that make up our quest for professional treasure, symbolized by the Sun card.

Paradoxically, this universe is just as relevant for love readings. The quest for love is often likened to that of a hidden treasure, and the ocean of encounters can seem as vast and desolate as the seas traversed by pirates. Putting one's photo on Tinder is like throwing a bottle into the sea, hoping for a miraculous catch that would result in a lasting and fulfilling relationship.

The "Clear the Deck Petit Lenormand" immerses us in a world of dreams and brutality, disillusionment and success, reflecting the harshness of our current lives marked by individualism and selfishness, in a world plagued by global problems. At a time when Europe is struck by war (review written in June 2024), this game reminds us that our society can be as brutal, barbaric, and thirsty for freedom and revenge as the pirates of old.

If you are looking for a new experience with the Lenormand, I highly recommend this game. To get it, do not hesitate to contact Noucky directly via his Instagram page @clear_the_deck, as it is an independent creation, far from the mass distribution channels.

"A "Pirates" Lenormand !" Tweet
TYPE OF USE
  • Prediction
  • Personal development
PROS
  • A rich and true addition to the standard Petit Lenormand system
CONS
  • Cards a bit wide (Creators, never forget that we draw the Grand Tableau on a café table!)
MATERIAL QUALITY RATINGS
4
/5
Quality
Packaging
4
/5
Quality
cards
4
/5
Rating
Artistic
EASE OF INTERPRETATION RATINGS
3
/5
Richness
of symbolism
5
/5
Legibility
of cards
2
/5
Structure
level
EASY-TO-USE RATINGS
4
/5
Ease
of use
4
/5
Accessible
to children
3
/5
Interest
in the study
OVERALL RATING
3.7 / 5
SURVEY

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