Reading a three card combination

I receive vast amounts of emails asking the same question in regards to interpreting combinations. Before, you even attempt a combination you should have some sort of understanding on what the cards’ meanings are that you are trying to combine. (& you already know that) You can select the meanings based on what you know them to be and see if the combination makes sense (process of deduction). We’ll talk about intuitive process later on….

Steps in combination reading:

  • select three cards you wish to study or pick three cards from a layout you have done
  • narrow down one – three meanings for each card for the purpose of this exercise. Let’s choose two meanings for each of the three cards. Not too little not too much. Horizontal three card layout.
  • write down the name of the cards with the two meanings like in the image below. (exercise not applicable to Significators). There are many other meanings you could add to the list but for the sake of this lesson let’s make it a little easier by only using two meanings.

[this linking process actually goes on in your head when studying combinations]

Exercise in reading combination

Exercise in reading combination

I will offer a few possible combinations to demonstrate how to link meanings. These suggestions are by no means the only possibilities:

  • betrayal+change+secret
  • betrayal+relocation+knowledge
  • betrayal+change+knowledge
  • betrayal+relocation+secret
  • old woman+change+secret
  • old woman+relocation+knowledge
  • old woman+change+knowledge
  • old woman+relocation+secret

I have not included the meaning for 10 because that is reserved for those who use a specific playing card system. Most of the time this card has to do with a large amount of money or a financially connected situation. The playing cards will give you another level of interpretation but unless you are clear on which playing card system you are going to use it is best not too incorporate that in the combination if you are just learning how to combine the Lenormand cards’ meanings. The Courts are common for additional information and even then, the meanings of the Courts will differ depending on your cartomancy background. 

  • Queen ♣+Queen+secret
  • Queen ♣+Queen+knowledge

Before I continue, I should mention that the middle card is often used as the focal point and then the remaining two cards are factored in. Usually, the two cards following the first card will expand on the first card’s meaning.

Note: the card before the STORK card reveals what/who is in process of change. The card following the STORK card reveals how or in what way.

For example:

  • betrayal+change+secret

a) A betrayal situation has caused some changes to come but the outcome is still a secret. (you can draw a clarification card for more info on the Book – keep this process simple)

b) There are changes as a consequence of some betrayal but the overall result remains a secret.

For example:

  • old woman+relocation+knowledge

a) An old woman will deal with a relocation and share her knowledge (talk about her experience). (clarification card can be drawn for more info on this knowledge – keep this process simple)

b) A relocation involving an old woman was quite the experience (knowledge).

For example:

  • Queen ♣+Queen+secret

a) two girlfriends share a secret. (draw clarification card to see if they spill the beans on this secret) Which way does the book face? Is the Queen facing the book?  Do the queens face each other?

b) a female member of the family is keeping a secret about her coworker.

Even if you have only two meanings for each card you can come up with lots of possible combinations. Once you get real comfortable in reading a three card combination you should be able to transfer this skill to five cards.  One important point is that you need to know where to stop combining. What I mean by this is you should establish the theme/topic of your combination. Of course, other cards will expand on this theme/topic and that would be like the “conjunction” of a sentence.

Like I have said so many times it is important to understand the spirit/meaning of each card. Most likely, before you discovered this deck you were probably already reading other decks of cards.

When you were a little boy or girl and were learning how to print the letters of the alphabet you were learning these letters so that you could make words. Most complete words could be represented by a picture. Other words you just memorized as part of Grammar. With these words you could read sentences and then little books and so on. Many Cartomancers see reading the Lenormand cards as learning a language.

Many cultures learn languages differently. Most Cartomancers learn the Lenormand cards in keeping with their “how to read” process of that culture.  Enjoy your cards. It’s just a fortune-telling game.

3 thoughts on “Reading a three card combination

  1. I just found this blog. i usually don’t read a lot of tarot blogs. I also write about tarot. I have never done Leonormand, but we seem to have a very similar reading style regardless of the system. I lay out the cards with positions (RWS) and then I look at the cards lay next to each other. For example, while people love getting the Lovers card, it is not good in an obstacle position. I then look for courts, to see if other people are involved. I even look for 10 of cups or 10 of Pentacles to see if the obstacle is marriage. If there aren’t any, I start looking for other cards (there are 78 cards, so I’m not going to go on).

    Another example is the Knights. The Knight of Wands and Swords. I specific look to see what direction and what they are facing. Whatever they are facing is where they are running to.

    I’m sure the Leonormad has a stricter system, but I found your blog very professional. I wouldn’t mind reading more about Leonormad. You’ve peaked my interested!



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