tips to read the 21 card Romany Layout

The traditional 21 Romany Layout has been around for a long time and is quite popular to this day. The traditional Past, Present and Future rows consists of 7 cards in each row. Each column (7 of them) has assigned meanings in the version I am going to write about. In my 12 card Trigger layout I explain that there is a past, present and future to the past, present and future.  You will see this technique demonstrated very nicely in the Romany layout Reading below.

To illustrate the 21 card Romany layout I am featuring the stunning Magisches Lenormand.

21 card Romany Layout
In case you want to try this version of the Romany layout let me explain a few things first.


7 columns with assigned meanings for each column. Column 1– you. Column 2– situation. Column 3- Opportunity or Challenges. Similar to the crossing card in the Tarot celtic cross layout. Column 4- Expected. The Now. Column 5– Surprise (the unexpected). Column 6– time frame of 3 months (you can adjust this). Column 7– time frame 6-9 months (you can adjust this)


The TOP row is the PAST.  The 3 left cards are distant past. The center card is similar to a trigger card.  The 3 right cards are recent past.

The MIDDLE row is the PRESENT/CURRENT. The 3 left cards are distant current. The center card is similar to a trigger card.  The 3 right cards are recent current.

The BOTTOM row is the FUTURE. The 3 left cards are near future. The center card is similar to a trigger card.  The 3 right cards are distant future (specific time frames determined by the last 2 columns)

Ok, without getting into debates about the words past, current and future as the past is the past. But the past can also be gauged. How long ago – months, years, etc. The same thing for the present or current. Now is now. When now is gone it’s the past. This can all happen simultaneously. Let’s just keep this real simple. Trust me on this one   🙂

Tips: The reading is for a female. You will notice that the Lady card has not appeared anywhere in the 21 cards. This means the female is not overly concerned about her past, present or future. She might care but isn’t obsessing about it.  Also, the Gentleman does show up. He is in the 3rd row (future), column 2 (situation) AND he falls in the near future of the future row. Most likely the time frame is within 3 months if not sooner. This does have some importance.

Next – look for theme or category cards. If you had something specific on your mind locate the card which you think represents what’s on your mind. Where is it? You can determine the circumstances around it being studying the row and column. What if you are thinking about the male represented by the Gentleman. Well, you already know where he is in the layout. The STORK and COFFIN have him caged in. Look to column #1 to see that the STORK falls in the You column.  Changes of course, within you towards him or because of something he did.  The COFFIN falls in column #3 Opportunities or Challenges.  The changes will induce some endings in the near future as these 3 cards fall to the left of the center card in the center row.

What brought on these changes of the STORK? The CLOUDS & LETTER cards are positioned in column #1.  The female (you column) obviously shared some unclear information with the male which created this shift in attitude. 

Follow me so far.    🙂   I won’t be doing the entire reading I just want to offer some tips in understanding the rows and columns.  The next column I want to study is the #6 – 3 months.

Past row: Scythe (Jack of Diamonds). Current row: Lily (Kings of Spades) Future row: Tower

The TOWER card falls in the group of 3 cards to the right of the center column indicating distant future. Since it falls in the 3 month column we have a specific time frame.  

Before I would even attempt to make a prediction of those cards and mainly because of the SCYTHE’s influence I would study the Surprise column #4 to see what the unexpected influences were.  

If you want you can Read the entire Past row, followed by the Present row, finishing off with the Future row. Then you can proceed to columns, etc. I look for the Significators first, then themes, then the cards of test but it depends if you have a question on your mind at the time of shuffle.

One more thing, since the Lady did not show up in the layout much of these experiences and influences of the cards will primarily affect the Gentleman. If the female is in a relationship with the Gentleman then she will go through some of the motions with him as well. For example: if the male ends his job (Anchor + Coffin in the Opportunities and Challenges column #3) for some reason this might affect the finances in 6 months (column 7), SCYTHE card rear ending the FISH card.   🙂   

10 thoughts on “tips to read the 21 card Romany Layout

  1. Thank you for sharing this. Wish you had time to do the whole reading. 🙂 Anyway, what affect does the trigger card have on the rows, if any? Or, it’s purpose, I should say… Thank you again !

  2. I have Le Jeu du Destin Antique 32 cards. Yesterday, I have an interview with it. I spread 9 cards as the image below. I don’t know to read it. Please help me understanding the meaning of this spread. Thanks.
    Position 1: 8 of spades; 2: 9 of Clubs reverse; 3: The Jack of Hearts reverse; 4: 7 of Hearts; 5: The Queens of spade reverse; 6: Ace of Hearts; 7: 8 of Clubs reverse; 8: 10 of Diamons; 9: The Queen of Clubs.
    I hope to receive your help. My email address:

    • Hi: Thanks for your question. The Romany Layout can be used with any deck of cards including the Le Jeu du Destin of 32 cards. I am not sure what layout you are doing with the 9 cards you are mentioning. I assist individuals with readings only as a post on my blog for others to read and learn as well. So if I interpret these cards they will be a post.
      What I need to know is what layout you are using? Is it just 9 cards in a row randomly? Each card has a meaning by the looks of it you are focusing on the playing cards insets. Let me know so that I have a better idea what you are doing. thanks. 🙂

      • Hi,
        Thanks for your reply.I used the method of layout from the manual book of Pianik follow this deck. After suffle the cards in my left hand, I extract 8 cards and layout the ninth card face-down on the table and continue to the nine cards in 3 rows, 3 pile randomly. This spread denotes past, present and future. That is all.
        May I ask you more question? If I want to know about the situation of my job or finance at the time and what is must doing? How I can use your layout? Thanks.

    • Thank you for your comment. The Romany Layout probably works well with many different decks which are “fortune telling” style decks. I found that the Symbolon cards are a bit more challenging to read in this layout because they are so unique to their own system. Seaqueen.

  3. Not sure if you mention this, but do you lay out the rows across ie cards 1 – 7 the past cards first OR do you lay the columns down? I have seen instructions both ways.

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