Did Madame Lenormand practice Tasseography?

Tasseography or Tasseomancy is the art of reading coffee grounds or tea leaves. I find myself looking into any cup that has residue like chocolate or butter milk.

I had my coffee grounds read by that gipsy woman in Slovenia who also read the Zigeuner Wahrsagekarten deck (I didn’t know it was called that back then) and also by a Greek lady about 20 years ago. Both these woman were very precise in their predictions and they all did materialize.

An older lady I use to visit (to keep her company for a few hours) used to read my tea leaves whenever I went there and explained the symbols to me. I see many of these “tea leaves” meanings found to be quite similar to the Lenormand cards. I find this amusing. I bet you Madame Lenormand read coffee grounds as well- it was popular in Europe.

When you stop and think about it -you can read just about anything that has a form and appears to look like something you can identify- even clouds.

Sometimes when I finish my coffee I let the cup sit for a while (bad habit) before washing it up. Many times I see patterns inside the cup.

A person can surely go mad- if they see signs & symbols everywhere- but they are there, to be read.

Traditionally the handle of the cup is the person being read, provided the cup you are using has a handle. The deeper into the cup you go the further away into the future is the event/or situation. The symbols closer to the handle would represent the now or current time frame. 1/2 way down the sides of the cup would be probably 6 six months or so. Now this will change if you read the cup every day. For example if the coffee grounds/tea leaves look like a ring and is very close to the handle -the person will get married. It doesn’t mean they will get married over and over to different people if you keep seeing the ring. What surrounds the ring will tell you the circumstances around this pending marriage. This is where it gets tricky.

If there is a symbol of a long road from the ring (typically a trip, honeymoon) and the end of the road is blocked or filled in, then the person’s plans to go on this trip related to the wedding, or honeymoon is closed to the person getting the cup read.

The reason I know this to be a fact is because when the Greek lady read my coffee grounds saw a long road inside the cup being blocked. She told me there is a long trip ahead of me but I won’t be able to go. It made no sense to me and I told her that. I had no plans to go on any long distant trip. I did not see travel in my own cards, either.

Well about 6 months or so later there was a long trip. My husband of that time had to fly to Europe to his father’s funeral. I could not go – I was with pregnant with my son.

I think that there are many gifted people out there that are true psychics and could probably read anything & be fairly accurate. However, sometimes information does come in fuzzy- and the frequency is distorted thus the delivery of the information is not accurate. Interpretation is important, experience interpreting symbols is vital- guessing is not appropriate when you don’t know. Just say so- and be honest.

I read somewhere that Lenormand used to walk out of readings when she got stumped and told the person to come back after lunch. Sometimes her readings took 4 hours to complete. She could not produce on demand either, but in those days people would gladly wait because of her reputation. There was a certain “classiness” to those that practised cartomancy (with the exception of the Middle ages of course). I think that some of that respect is slipping away, through media bashing.
The familiar symbols on the Lenormand and other similar decks are found in coffee grounds/ tea leaves readings as well. If you know your cards- you can practice Tasseography with some success, too-

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9 thoughts on “Did Madame Lenormand practice Tasseography?

  1. I like this post because it highlights something that i have also found in readings. Tealeaves offer such a different, more abstract story than the tarot or other cards. I think it speaks to the intuition and imagination more.

  2. I like this post because it highlights something that i have also found in readings. Tealeaves offer such a different, more abstract story than the tarot or other cards. I think it speaks to the intuition and imagination more.

    And let me add that I totally agree that there use to be certain “classiness” as you said about readers… but that has been convoluted not only by the media but people who are looking for ways to controla and manipulate…. and people who are seeking “healing” trying to give it to others.

  3. Thank you Madame Seaqueen, for re-blogging this interesting post.

    I’ve spent a lot of time researching the life of Mlle. Lenormand and I have to say that I don’t know if she did practise tasseomancy or tasseography. 20th century authors often ascribe this to her, along with egg reading, but this isn’t fact supported by any primary source.

    From her own writings (which one does have to be careful of as she was a brilliant self-publicist) we can be only certain that she practised, professionally, reading a Bésigue pack, tarots (which were of the Marseille variety not Etteilla), a deck of Skat cards that also had pictures, and a form of palm reading where she would consult a book of illustrated hands, and her ‘Greek sticks’. She may have practised a form of astrology – but this isn’t easy to confirm, and I remain somewhat dubious as to what she meant.

    We have five people who consulted her that recorded quite detailed recollections, and none had access to each other’s writings, so they are very reliable primary sources and tend to corroborate. One tells us that she used to allow client’s to come back, at a later date (often a week or two), to collect a ‘horoscope’ of the reading she did – this is actually a written account of her predictions from card readings.

    • Hi Andy,

      Nice to hear from you. Thank you for all the information you provided. Sounds like you have done some solid research on your own. I’ve always felt that the Madame utilized Skat and Tarot cards (meanings) of that time. I think she probably did have have some Astrological background since some similar terminology can be found in the palm readings, ie: mount of venus, mercury finger (pinky), etc. I can’t remember where I read this but it must have been one the French books from the late 1800’s I’ve translated (tedious job) where it is stated she did read palms. With all the books she wrote (so it is recorded) you would think she would have kept a journey with her techniques which I suspect varied according to client.

      I thank you again for taking the time to keep in touch. I always enjoy reading your posts. You write from your heart and listen to your Inner Guidance. As they say, “keep on truckin'” I know I will. xox Madame Seaqueen

      • Madame Seaqueen I’m sorry I didn’t see your reply flag up on the dashboard. I have done some research on her life, and she is very interesting.

        Le Normand practised a “type” of palmistry, as we know from her own books, but it isn’t the type we tend to think of. What they did, mostly in the 18th century, was have books with different diagrams, and you’d find the hand that matched most closely to your client. We know she did this from two memoirs written by clients; they didn’t have access to each other’s writings, so they’re trustworthy.

        As a palmist myself, I know people find that hard to believe.

        If she did practise astrology, it would have been horary. Very few people knew the time they were born, and whilst we know she was a good mathematician, it’s unlikely she had an education enough to do primary directions. Pre-19 century astrologers did very isolated natal work, because of the amount of mathematics, and hence why astrologers were taught in universities pre-expulsion. They would tend to know only a couple of charts like the back of their hands (their patron, his children et cetera). We have no indication that Le Normand was bilingual – which casts a serious doubt on any astrology, because French translations of something like Bonatti or even Lilly didn’t exist. These are factors few of her biographers have ever taken into consideration, and why we know so little of the historical Le Normand. People tend to think, “Oh she went to Belgium” – but they spoke French!

        She made a decision not to record her methods. We don’t know why, but she took out several adds before her death in newspapers to say she had never taught or recorded. When she died, her nephew did the same, when someone advertised themselves as her pupil – this nephew took great lengths to distance himself from her fame, despite the fact he inherited a considerable fortune from his aunt’s labours!

      • Hi Andy:
        As always a pleasure to read your comments which are filled with researched facts. There will probably be more discoveries about the Lenormand if the interest lasts that long in her. We have re-visited her life but I feel the collective energy in her direction will shift … as with everything we must move forward. Hugs

      • Madame Seaqueen you’re too kind.

        I’m hopeful that some further research will be done into both areas. Currently, I’m in a minority, because I still think she might have owned a Lenormand deck, as I’ve found that there is some evidence to suggest that first “branded” Lenormands did suggest “as used by” as opposed to “created by”. Le Normand definitely signed her name “Le Normand” up till her death – we have documents in her own hand – and the shift to Lenormand occurs in France, and could be due to the business laws of the time, which would disprove, finally, the erroneous French view that she created the deck.

        As for the deck, I think we should have developments. Caítlin Matthews and Mary K Greer have both uncovered new stuff recently, and people such as yourself have furthered research with your blog. It’s not particularly easy, because Le Normand herself lived at a time where many records were destroyed, and her own historical footprint is circumscribed by her social class and gender – regretfully. And people really didn’t keep much records by way of card games sadly.

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