Reading the 5-card Lenormand layout – reading left to right

The 5-card layout is very popular these days. Most Lenormand card reader use the middle card as the focus or theme. I read left to right. It is up to the cartomancer to choose which technique best suits the ‘mood’ of the day. There are no hard rules with the exception of understanding the ‘spirit/energy’ of each card. Featuring Ciro Marchetti’s Gilded Reverie Lenormand. 

Moon– the opening card of the reading. Here we can determine what’s on the person’s mind or what the cards think the person should be addressing. This can be one in the same. In my experience, the individual getting the reading already knows why they are seeking the reading. In some cases, the client could just want to see what the cards advise. In such cases the client would still know on some level.

Given the Moon card is the very first card in the layout let’s really look at the various ways you can interpret it. 

  • Teeter tottering of emotions. The ebb and flow of feelings as with the tides on Earth. The Sun will intensify and strengthen the positive whereas the Clouds will increase the opposite.

  • Awareness of a situation, however, one’s belief system of the moment which may be distorted.

  • Sometimes indicates the mother.

  • The evening or nighttime.

  • Casts a shadow on adjoining cards. 

  • Knowing that the moon has different phases, the suggestion would be that the situation under inspection is going through a phase. A lunar cycle can be involved hinting at the time frame of 28 days.

  • Deep roots of the past.

  • In some cases it is a contributing influence to the other cards meanings in such a way that genuine clarity may be hidden.

  • Honor and a type of recognition. I think this is valid when the person getting the reading is in a position where that is a possibility.

How will you begin the reading? It is safe to say that the client’s feelings would play a significant role at this point. You could ask a few questions especially if they did not share the question with you. This will help narrow down some those potential meanings. Let’s say the client is reluctant to share you would just move on to the next card in a very smooth manner.

To save you some time in clicking links here is part of a post I wrote in 2007 about the Bear card.

“The Lenormand Bear card traditionally represents a male who holds an important position in the life of the person seeking the card reading. Can represent a father, grandfather, leader of an organization, etc. The energy of Bear is powerful and can be intimidating if abused. There is a hint of fear within this card as well when taken to suggest strength & power in that a weaker, more passive individual will tread carefully around such a person. To determine whether the energy is positive which it usually is -look towards the adjoining cards for clarification. When cards of struggle, confusion and agitation are nearby the person represented by the Bear card will extract the negative aspect of power & strength from this card.

Some Lenormand readers have indicated that this card can point to a money matter which makes sense because an owner of a business can be your manager/boss and be the person giving you a pay check. Other leaders can be bank managers who are surrounded by money. In my experience with the Bear card I have seen all the suggested meanings come out in the same reading.”

Ok. What do we know so far? Are the client’s emotions caught up in a financial situation or with an overbearing individual? I’d probably go with the financial situation at this point mainly because the ANCHOR card (suggesting work) follows the Lady card. Keep in mind that you can read these 5 cards in a multitude of ways arriving at very different predictions.

In fact this could be the client’s grandfather and the Moon card can represent the mother. I’d keep that in the back of my mind until I studied all the cards.

LADY: Well, this can be your client or it can be a special woman in your client’s life. You will know the answer to that, lol, since you already know at the time of the reading.  We know this woman is probably a solid individual (anchor) and perhaps a bit feisty (bear). She could even be a bit envious (bear) and boring (anchor).

Moving along to the Anchor card. I use this card to mean work/job, although in my very early posts on this blog I did use the Fox card. I think stating to the person they are thinking about their job in some way is a sure bet. If they say no, then you will have to be quick on your feet and segue to other level of meanings. Let’s say it is a work concern. Maybe the client feels unappreciated (moon) and is not getting paid enough (bear). Always keep in the mind the closing card. The Mouse is not exactly a promising energy in most cases. Something about the job will undergo downsizing or even a lay-off may be on the horizon.

The final card is our friend the Mouse. Let’s look closely at this card’s meanings.

The Lenormand Mouse is also associated with loss at a slow pace. The mouse is never hungry. It will continue to eat away at whatever it finds. The card near it is the meal so in this case it is the Anchor card (job). If another level of meaning is being use it can be depletion of energy. 

We do have BEAR and MOUSE situated in the layout but not side by side. This can mean a decrease in personal power although it would not be a primary concern. When read in relation to other people it will indicate that a controlling person or situation will go away and leave you alone or at least stop picking on you.

We also have LADY and MOUSE with one card in the middle. The client could be experiencing low self-esteem due to some situation or person (bear). There is a lack of confidence. If you are a male getting the reading there is a good mousy.jpgpossibility that the female you are interested in does not have a similar attraction.

From a 2006 post on this blog.  

“The Mouse card is usually considered a negative map (I use to call the cards ‘maps’ 🙂 ). It shows a reduction, decrease or loss. Loss comes in many ways through deceit, theft, neglect and depreciation. The card hints at a slow process. Filthy, unsanitary, disorders, swindles, bribes, displeasure, anguish, erosion, eating away at.” For the 35 combination meanings click here ➡ combinations

I would go with the job theme and the intense feelings surrounding this situation. The client should be aware that the financial situation could be decreased to due the elimination of the job or aspects of the job.  It is so much better when a client gives you a question because then you can summarize the cards accordingly.



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