interpretation techniques practice & ethics video tutorials Aug 15, 2023

Hi everyone, welcome back to the channel. Thank you as always for tuning back in. If you're new here, welcome, I'm Layla, the Lenormand Reader, and I am one of the few people who focuses almost exclusively on the amazing Lenormand deck. Be sure to check out all of the resources that I have for you on the website. All of it is linked in the description box.

So welcome to a new tutorial. In this tutorial, I want to go over what it means to get a sense of the overall energy of a reading. I think that often enough, we get a feel for what a reading is like. And often, this is a really important feeling. I think this applies in Tarot, any form of cartomancy, and really any form of divination. When you have a feeling about what to make of these symbols. And this really comes from your intuition, but also from your experience with the cards. And when it comes to learning more, we have a few tools that we can use to get an overall sense of the energy of a reading.

So what I have here is a nine-card portrait and we're going to use it as an example for how to get the energy of a reading.


Now, to start with, the energy of a reading is to a great extent going depend on the question being asked and the context of the question. And that is because the cards mean different things for different contexts. So depending on the question being asked, the cards might respond in a certain way. With a different question, they might respond in a different way.

And so the energy of the reading depends on the question and the context to a great extent.

So the question and the context of the question aside, there are several things that we can use based on the cards to help us determine the energy of the reading.

For starters, we might look at the cards on key positions within our layout.

In a portrait, there are two key positions: the first card and the central card. And the cards that figure in these key positions can have a lot of weight on the reading overall. So in this case, we have the Mountain and the ship. And these two cards point to travel, especially when they come together.

Now, when you look at the key positions, you might also compare them with the context of the question.

Are they aligned with the theme of the question being asked? Are they different? Does that difference tell you anything additional about the answer to the question? You might want to have this conversation with yourself or with your client or with the reading when it comes to comparing these cards and how they reflect back on the question.

Lenormand cards can be interpreted for any context. That's what I call correspondences and I talk about it a lot.

But sometimes the key position cards can be a little bit different. So for example, if you're asking a question about your career and your work and you get relationship cards, how do you make sense of these people in the context of your work question?

So again, it's going to depend on the specifics of the person you're reading for, but in general, people in a work situation might be people who are involved in your work life. You might seek their input or their help. You might network with them. They might help you with something on the job. So in this sense, the reading would focus you not just on your job, but on the people within your work situation that can help with that. So that's a simple example of how this might work.

So the first thing is to look at the key cards in a layout and see how they answer the question and also how they create an atmosphere for the rest of the cards.

Like we said, in a portrait, it's the first and the central card. In a single line, it would be the central card as well.

The next thing we can do is look at the overall energy of the reading.

This is a bit more subjective, but it's something that you can develop over time and with practice. You might get a sense of whether the reading is positive or negative, whether it's focused on the past, present, or future, whether it's about big changes or small ones.

Finally, you can also look at the individual cards in the reading and see how they contribute to the overall energy.

Some cards are more positive than others, some are more negative, some are more about the past, present, or future. By paying attention to all of these factors, you can start to get a sense of the overall energy of a reading. This can be helpful in understanding the meaning of the cards and in making predictions about the future.

In other layouts, there can be other kinds of structures or other key cards that you can use to get a sense of the energy of the reading.

For example, in the Grand Tableau, the first three cards on the top left of a Tableau often help set the tone for the rest of the reading. There are also central cards in a Tableau, and we might look at the corner cards as well for how the overall framework of the situation plays out. So you can tap into different key cards and key card structures to get a sense of how the reading is going to go, which sets the tone for the overall energy.

So that's one way to get an overall energy of the reading.


Another way we can get a sense of the overall energy of the reading is by looking at the balance of the positive and challenging cards.

When we have a majority of positive cards, there is a dominant positive energy to the reading. And when we have a majority of challenging cards, there is a generally challenging tone to the reading.

Of course, it's going to come down to the individual card meanings, but more often than not, when we have more positive than challenging cards, it's overall positive and vice versa.

So when we look at this example here, there are quite a few challenging cards. We have the Clouds, we have the Snake, and we have the Bird, which is not always challenging, but because there are nearby challenging cards, this can come out. And we have the Mountain which can sometimes be challenging as well, especially when there are other challenging cards.

Cards that are mainly challenging tend to bring out the other challenging aspects of cards that are prone to being challenging. So again, this combination element is very important in Lenormand.

And the Bear in this reading might be a little bit challenging because the Bear has a potentially challenging aspect, which is mainly the aspects of dominance, competition, and the idea of being overbearing. And so when we see it with other challenging cards, that aspect can come through.

So we have three or potentially four challenging cards in this reading, which tells us that overall, there are going to be some obstacles, some issues to get around.

Something else that stands out in this portrait is the relationship aspect. So we have relationships suggested in each of these cards in this column. The House is a card of home and family, the Dog is about peers or friends, and the Woman represents a person.

So having three cards in a nine-card layout is not that small. It's a third of the cards that focus on relationships. And the Bear and Snake can sometimes be associated with people. So this too brings the element of relationships into focus. And this is not so much of the energy, but it is a dominant theme that affects the overall focus of the layout.

So you look at the balance of challenging versus positive cards, and that could give you a good sense of the energy of the reading. And other cards can also suggest and contribute to this energy such as people cards or travel cards.

We have here the Mountain and the Ship, especially in these key positions. Like we said at the outset, the Bird is sometimes associated with short trips. So you look at these dominant themes and the dominant energy and you get a sense of where the reading is heading overall.

And that helps you get a better sense of where the reading is heading. It is also a good way to situate the details that you're going to get from weaving all of the lines and the columns and other details like the knight and the corner cards.


Now, the positive and challenging aspects of a card are directly associated with the main symbol of the card. But another technique we can use to get an overall sense of the energy of the reading is to use the pips.

The pips are the playing cards associated with Lenormand’s cards. They can be used to add another layer of meaning to the reading and to get a sense of the overall energy.

For example, a card with a high pip number, such as the 10, can suggest a lot of activity and movement. A card with a low pip number, such as the 2, can suggest a more quiet and reflective energy.

So by paying attention to the pips, we can get a better sense of the overall energy of the reading and the kind of energy that we can expect to manifest in the situation.

Now, the pips are the playing cards associated with each of the Lenormand cards. I've covered this pip element of the Lenormand cards in different resources, including videos and blog posts, which I'll link to in the description below. However, it's not as commonly used as the symbols in order to make sense of the cards.

Different authors have different preferences about how much they use the pips. For example, Caitlin Matthews has a lot to say about the pips, and I've also covered her work in a previous video.

The pips in the Lenormand deck are quite special. They have a few unique features.

For starters, because we only have 36 cards in the Lenormand deck, we don't have the full pip series. We have the ace, numbers 6 through 10, and the Jack, Queen, and King. This is because we have 36 cards and not the full 52-card deck.

Another unique feature of the pips in the Lenormand deck is that the challenging suit is not the suit of spades, which corresponds to the suit of swords in the Tarot deck. In Lenormand, the challenging suit is the suit of clubs.

Aside from these unique features, you can still use the pips in a general way to get a sense of the overall energy of your reading.

For example,

  • The clubs tend to be the challenging suit, and they also refer to responsibilities, complications, burdens, and obligations.
  • The suit of spades is about business, work, and activity. It's about discipline and responsibility.
  • The diamonds are like the earth element, the pentacles. They have to do with enterprise, money, and dynamism.
  • And the hearts are like in other suits like the tarot cups, which also corresponds to the hearts. It corresponds to emotions, feelings, relationships, and those sorts of areas.


So you can use the pips in order to get a sense of the overall energy of a reading.

In this example, we have four clubs: The 8 of clubs (the Mountain), the king of clubs (the Clouds), the queen of clubs (the Snake), and the 10 of clubs (the Bear). This means that the clubs are the dominant theme in this reading. We also have a couple of spades, a couple of hearts, and one diamond.

Since the clubs are the dominant suit in this reading and they are associated with challenges, we can see that this reading is overall challenging. We saw this from the challenging cards, mainly the Mountain, Clouds, and Snake. We also suggested that the Bear could potentially be challenging because of what's around it, and the Bird, which can be a bit of an anxiety-causing card, even though it is not a club.

The pips can come in pretty handy to get an overall sense of the energy of a reading. I do think it is one of the better ways to use the pips in a reading.

On this note, I want to let you know that I have a free resource that is dedicated to the pips. It's called the Pip Combinations Worksheet. You can download this right away and see what the clubs, hearts, diamonds, and spades mean. I also cover what the individual numbers mean, and the court cards mean.

In this worksheet, you practice combining a number with a suit and see what you come up with to train your interpretation skills.

Download your Free Guide to the Lenormand pips

On this note, we can also look at if there is a dominant number or a dominant court. In this case, we have three tens.

And there are ways to interpret card multiples. I do offer this in my course, and I have a worksheet for it. Some other authors have covered specific multiple interpretations as well, including Caitlin Matthews.

In general, the ten refers to connections, guidance, and mentorship. What's interesting is that we have the Bear and the Dog in this reading. Typically, the Dog is a card of the junior and the Bear is a card of someone senior. This really works out well with what tens generally mean.

So this could be a learning phase. It might be a good idea to be open to learning, to be willing to grow, to challenge our thinking a little bit, and to grow in new directions. This can be suggested through the cards.

We also have two kings. Again, the two kings are a specific multiple interpretation. I believe when one is black and one is red, it points to quarrels and differences. So again, this is another indication that there can be challenges.

So overall, we have three tens and two kings, and all of the other cards are unique.


To recap, we have a few tools that we can use in order to get an overall sense of the energy of the reading, we can look at:

  • Key positions in a layout and see how they impact the overall reading
  • Overall positive versus challenging aspects of the cards
  • Specific themes that come out, for example, here we saw relationships and travel, which contribute to the overall direction of the reading
  • Pip suits, numbers, and courts


These are my suggestions for how you can get an overall sense of the energy of the reading. I would really like to know what techniques you use? How do you tap into the overall energy of your reading? How do you figure it out if there are some techniques that you use or you just go with your feelings or it's a combination of the two? I would really like to hear your thoughts.

I hope this was helpful. As always, I look forward to your comments and until next time, thank you so much for watching and take very good care of yourself.

Master Lenormand's Card Meanings

Lenormand Reader’s Guides will help you master Lenormand’s card meanings and layouts from simple to complex. Kick-start your Lenormand journey today - and take advantage of the Three-Book Bundle discount!

Learn more about Lenormand Reader’s Master Guides