THE LENORMAND PIPS

card decks card meanings pips video tutorials May 28, 2021

Hi everyone! Welcome back to the channel and thank you for tuning back in. If you're new here, welcome, I'm Layla, the Lenormand Reader, and today folks, I want us to look at the Lenormand pips.

For this purpose I have a different deck with me today. I have this very special deck called the Palimpest deck. And I'm going to link this in the description box for where you can find it.

It's a very unique deck and I would have reviewed it separately from this video but because the Palimpest doesn't come with a guideBook or its own approach, there really isn't much to review in it except the design which you are going to see in this video.

And the reason I've chosen the Palimpest to talk about the pips is because on this deck, the pip inset of each Lenormand card is very clear. It is much clearer than the ones on my own deck. 

When a deck highlights the pips and the other insets this much, it's possible that the author tends to take them a lot into consideration.

For my part, my philosophy is to absorb any meaning associated with the insets into the main meaning of the card symbol. That's maybe a topic for another day.

So let's look at the Lenormand pips.


INTRODUCTION

To get started, the pip is basically the playing card associated with each of the Lenormand cards.

So let's just pick up the king of diamonds here, let's look at the card a bit more closely. So we have the main symbol of the card which is the Fish, we have the card number which is 34, and this number is the sequential number of the card in the Lenormand deck.

The Fish is number 34, the Rider is number 1, the first card of the deck, and the Cross is number 36, the last card of the deck.

So number 34 is close to the last card of the Lenormand deck, and we have the pip here. It is the king of Diamonds. This is the playing card association with the Fish.

Now, the Lenormand pips are a little bit different from other pips. We have four suits like we do in most playing cards and most Tarot cards. We have the hearts, the clubs, the diamonds, and the spades.

Now this would normally be associated with the four elements. The hearts are associated with water. The clubs are associated with fire. The diamonds are associated with earth. And the spades are associated with air.

Normally this would correspond as well to the four Tarot suits: The hearts correspond to the Tarot cups. The clubs correspond to the Tarot wands. The diamonds correspond to the Tarot pentacles. And the spades correspond to the Tarot swords.

There's going to be differences between the Lenormand suits and the Tarot suits, and we'll get to this in just a bit, though I don't plan to delve into much detail about this in this video.

So what I want us to do is look at the cards that are in each suit. And as we do that, we're going to discover that the Lenormand pips are a little bit different from other playing cards.

We have the ace, we have seven, eight, nine, ten, jacks, queens, and kings. So the Lenormand deck is a 36-card deck, and I think this comes from the Piquet game, which we can look at another day, in another video. It comes from the Game of Hope - that's also something we can look at another day.

The idea is that this is not a 52-card deck. This is a 36-card deck, and so there is an ace, but we do not have two, three, four, and five. We jump right next to six, all the way to jack, queen, and king. There is no Knight in Lenormand in the same way that we have in the Tarot. So that too is another difference.

OVERVIEW OF THE LENORMAND PIPS

So let's look at the suit of hearts.

The suit of hearts in Lenormand is much like the suit of cups in the Tarot. It's much like the element of water. It has to do with emotions, feelings, usually relationships. It has to do with support, but also there is a bit of moodiness that we see in the Lenormand cards.

So we have…

The ace of hearts is the Gentleman. This is a key significator card. We have the Star, that's the six of hearts. The seven of hearts is the Tree. The eight of hearts is the Moon. The nine of hearts is the Rider (card number 1). The ten of hearts is the Dog. The jack of hearts is the Heart itself. The queen of hearts is the Stork. And the king of hearts is the House.

This is interesting. The House is associated with the father, the Stork is associated with children, and the Heart is associated with love. And so the jack of hearts is well associated with our crush or a lover or someone we're attracted to.

The Dog is the card of friends, and the Rider is a card of the messenger. The Moon is all about feelings and intuitions but also honors and proposals. The Tree is about growth. The Star is about wish-fulfillment.

And the Gentleman is a neutral card that represents the readee in a reading, mainly when the readee is a man.

Now let's move on to the next set of cards here: The clubs. Similarly we have one, and then we hop over to six, all the way to the jack, queen, and king. 

Now notice these cards, what we have in here: We have the Ring as the ace. We have the Cross as the six. The seven is the Mice (in my deck, it's just one mouse, but it depends on the decks and that's totally fine). Eight is the Mountain. Nine is the Fox. Ten is the Bear. The jack is the Whip. The queen is the Snake. And the king is the Clouds.

So just from looking at this suit, we see that the suit of clubs in Lenormand is the challenging suit

We have lots of challenging cards in this suit. We have the Whip, Snake, and Clouds. All three of the people pips are challenging.

The Bear is often neutral but it can represent an obstacle or an enemy sometimes, especially when it comes with the Whip - in my dictionary at least. The Fox is often a card of deception.

The Mountain is often neutral, but it can represent obstacles. The Mice has to do with losses and glitches, and speed bumps here and there. The Cross can point to burdens.

And the ace (the Ring) is neutral. It points to relationships, and can in fact be really positive when we are asking about relationships, provided it is not surrounded by negative cards.

So mostly in this suit, we find challenging cards. This is different from the Tarot, where the clubs are associated with the wands, and the wands tend to be positive in the Tarot. It is the suit of swords which is associated with spades, that is challenging.

Let's look at the diamonds. So this is normally the suit of earth. It has to do with skill in the Tarot, money, tangible rewards. It also tends to be positive.

The ace is the beautiful Sun. The six is the Clover. Seven is the Bird, and can sometimes be challenging. The Key is number eight. The Coffin is number nine, and can also be a bit challenging. The Book is generally neutral. And number ten, the Scythe, is neutral but can be challenging - it is the jack. The queen is the Road. And the king is the Fish.

So the diamonds in Lenormand tend to have a mix of positive and challenging cards. The challenging cards tend to be neutral more often than not. The Scythe can be challenging, but it is a card of suddenness and swift change. The Coffin can point to rest, so it's not as challenging as the cards in the clubs.

So that's for the diamonds.

Now let's have a look through the spades.

We have the ace is the Woman. It is the significator card for our readee when the ready is a woman - most of the time. And again you must have seen my significator video where I talk a little bit about this and the gender aspect.

Tower is number six. Letter is number seven. Eight is the Garden - that's number 20. The Anchor as the nine of spades. The Ship is the ten. The jack is the Child. The queen is the Flowers. And the king is the Lily.

So the suit of spades in Lenormand has quite a few positive cards and neutral cards. We do not have challenging cards in the way that we have in the clubs.

So it's really the clubs suit in Lenormand that carries most of the challenging cards. And a few, maybe a couple of challenging cards in the Diamond.

In the spades, we have quite a few positive cards. We have the Flowers, Child, Ship, Anchor. These are generally positive on their own. They can take on negative influences - though maybe not so much the Flowers - depending on nearby cards. And the Lily, Garden, Letter and Tower, tend to be neutral cards.

 

So this is an overview of the pips.

MEANING OF THE SUITS, NUMBERS, AND COURTS

Now I want us to talk a little bit about what each of the suits mean, and then what each of the number and people pips mean.

So like we said,

  • The hearts are about feelings, relationships, support and sometimes a bit of moodiness, because of the Moon and some other cards in here.
  • The clubs are mainly the suit of challenges. They also bring responsibilities and obligations, so they have that sense of burden.
  • The suit of diamonds is about dynamism, enterprise, money, and tangible success.
  • And the spades have to do with business, work, structure, dependability, and also public interest. And I think the public interest element comes into play because of the Garden (society and community), and the Lily, which has to do with responsibility.

So that is what the suits in Lenormand generally mean.

Now let's look at the individual numbers and each of the jack, queen, and king. And let's go a little bit over what each of them means.

So I'm just using the suit of hearts to illustrate. But what I'm about to go through, the numbers and the people pips, applies to each of these suits.

  • Aces are about beginnings, of course. It's number 1, so it's associated with beginnings.
  • The sixes have to do with commitment, attainment, and sometimes transcendence. You can see here for example, the Star has to do with achieving much, wish-fulfillment, and really going beyond the day-to-day.
  • Sevens have to do with communication, sometimes assessment, and sometimes reminders. The Tree is not so much about communication, but it certainly invites this idea of contemplation which has to do with evaluating matters.
  • The eights have to do with status and community. For example, the Moon is about honors and recognition.
  • The nines have to do with movement or stillness. So there is this action is going to depend on the specifics of the card. It has to do also with transactions and often conclusions. And you must know from numerology that number nine is a number of completion. This also applies in the Tarot.
  • Number ten is about connection, guidance, and mentorship. Like nine, it also has to do with achievement. So the idea of mentorship can come through.

Now let us look at the jack, queen, and king:

  • Jacks have to do with energy and enthusiasm. They're usually really powerful in terms of momentum and can bring about excitement.
  • The queens are usually about resources, motives, and of course, have to do with nurturing because of their association with the archetypal feminine.
  • And kings have to do with dominion, that sense of control and maturity, which is also very similar to what we see in the Tarot suits.

And again in Lenormand, we do not have Knights like in the Tarot. So this is going through what each of the suits mean and what each of the numbers and people pips mean.

  

COMPARING PIP MEANINGS WITH CARD SYMBOLS

Now what does that do? It tells us that we can mix and match the number or the people pip with its suit and we can come up with a meaning.

In fact, I have a free resource for it: It's the Pip Combinations Worksheet that you can use to practice your interpretive ability by alchemizing, mixing if you like, and combining the meaning of the people pip or the number with its suit.

This way you can come up with your own meanings. And then after that, you can use this exercise to compare the meanings you came up with with the normal meaning of the symbol on the card.

This is a really interesting exercise to do if you want to focus on the pips in your Lenormand practice - because it will help you deepen your understanding of the card or maybe add layers to it, and that can be a really interesting exercise to do for your practice and readings.

So let's go through that a little bit and see what are the connections between a card's pip and its card symbol, starting with the hearts.

The ace of hearts is a beautiful association to the Gentleman, especially as a significator, someone who wants love, or our lover. It is a beautiful approach to interpret the Gentleman.

And remember that in classical Lenormand and back then in history, a lot of fortune telling and divination was geared towards women seeking a partner and these sorts of questions. So that could be one of the reasons why the Heart is the Gentleman.

The six of hearts, like we said, is about attainment and transcendence, and I think this works really well with the idea of the Star.

Seven is about assessment, communication, and reminders, and I think it also aligns well with the Tree. The heart pip here offers the idea of connecting with ourselves, the idea of considering and contemplating our growth and success.

Eights have to do with community, resolution, and status, and oftentimes, the Moon is associated with a sense of honor. And I think this also works well with the suit of hearts.

Nines in Lenormand are associated with movement and this is definitely a movement card. It's nice to see the Rider in the heart suit because sometimes the Rider is associated with love, and in fact, a “knight in shining armor”. So that is one reason why we could see the Rider in the hearts group.

Tens have to do with mentorship and support. The Dog is usually a really supportive card and it has to do with friends and friendship. It is also associated with loyalty. So I think this works well with the suit and the number itself.

The jack of hearts like we said, is that crush or our lover. So I do think it works really well with the jack of hearts. And the Stork being associated with children is also lovely for the queen of hearts. The king of hearts has to do with home, that sense of support, and the idea of families.

So the suit of hearts and the symbols in the suit of hearts are well aligned together. 

Let's move on to the clubs and see how the symbols are associated with the suit numbers and courts.

The suit of clubs is normally associated with challenges, obligations, and responsibilities.

The Ring is not so much about challenges. It's a neutral card but it can point to obligations, the idea of commitment, of having to live up to the expectations, keeping promises, and so on.

The sixes have to do with commitment and attainment and transcendence. The Cross (six of clubs) is well-aligned with this. It does have that sense of faith, it points to “the cross that we need to bear”, and the idea of learning the lessons of life. It's also associated with destiny. So I think that's another good alignment here.

Seven is normally associated with communication, assessment, and reminders, and the clubs are usually challenging, so yes, I think this is a good alignment with the symbol of the card. The Mouse is very good at being vigilant and it tells us to pay attention to the details.

Eight has to do with status and community, resolution, and it points to challenges. This is maybe a card where it's not so clear how the Mountain associates with the eight of clubs. But the idea that it can pose an obstacle aligns well with the clubs itself because the suit of clubs is associated with challenges. Perhaps the idea of resolution comes through when we overcome that obstacle.

Nines have to do with movement or stillness, sometimes transactions and conclusions. With the Fox here, it's a bit tricky. So this is another card where there could be a bit of a difference between the symbol itself and the meaning of the pip and suit. 

The Bear points to mentorship and it usually points to someone powerful and influential, someone like a manager or a boss, someone of influence, of authority, and I think it works well with number ten as well as the idea of clubs, because sometimes the Bear can represent someone intimidating and overbearing - quite literally. So I think this symbol aligns well with the suit and the pip.

The jack of clubs. So this is the troublemaker card. This is someone who is confrontational, argumentative, and I think it works really well with the jack and the clubs.

Similarly, the queen of clubs is someone who is manipulative and, you know, can be deceptive, and I think it works well with the queen and the clubs.

And the Clouds is someone who is all about tension and basically a stress ball, causing confusion, causing issues, raising dust in the air. I also think it is well aligned with the king of clubs.

So there also seems to be good alignment between the symbols and pips with the clubs.

Let's look at the diamonds.

The ace of diamonds is beautiful. The metaphor works well. The ace is beautiful for the Sun because the Sun is often associated with number one. The idea of the diamonds works well with the idea of the Sun shining its light, it nurtures life. So I think it's really well aligned with the element of earth.

The six of diamonds. I like this one. I like this alignment as well. The Clover is really good with luck and not so much destiny. I think some people read it as destiny. Personally, I think it's a bit too ‘day-to-day-ish’ to point to destiny, but I think it's really supportive with just trusting life. And I think it works well with the six and the diamonds.

The Birds I feel works well with the number seven because it’s about communication, and with the diamonds, it points to being practical and asking questions. It's interesting though that the Birds are about flying, so they would be associated with air perhaps more than diamonds.

But it really comes down to the meaning of the card, so that's why I feel that being a card of communication and you know, asking the right questions, negotiating, debating, works well with the seven of diamonds - because it's really about asking these questions to be anchored and rooted and being down to earth.

The eight of diamonds: the Key. This is a resolution. The Key is about success and finding solutions. 

Nine can be about endings and conclusions. And so the Coffin works well with it. The fact that it's a diamond card can indeed point to the earthly cycles of life and death.

And the ten of diamonds pointing to the Book here. The idea of mentorship and learning I think comes through rather well through the ten of diamonds. I'm good with that.

The jack is interesting here. The Scythe is a bit of a sharp one. I can see that there could be maybe a bit of a difference between the Scythe and the jack of diamonds.

And then the queen is associated with the Road. So this is usually someone who's a bit flaky.

When it comes to the people pips, we could look at that in a bit more depth in another video.

And the king of diamonds has to do with wealth, so I think the king is better aligned with the symbol than the queen and the jack. This is the king of diamonds, the idea of much achievement in wealth and prosperity.

So that is for the suit of Diamonds. There are some differences between the card symbols and the pips.

Let's move on to the suit of spades. Unlike the Tarot, the spades in Lenormand are not all that challenging. What do we have here...

We have the ace of spades. It’s the Woman. This is quite interesting and it's very interesting that in the Palimpest deck, we have a club symbol on her dress. Now that is quite mysterious. Isn't that interesting? That's a question for the designer.

So it's not really clear to me why the Woman would be the ace of spades, but given that the clubs are mainly associated with challenges, I suppose the Woman needs to be from a differently colored suit than the Gentleman. I guess for the elemental balance. And so Lenormand chose the spades because the clubs are otherwise challenging, and the Woman is not challenging - she is neutral.

The six of spades is the Tower, and yes I think that can point well to transcendence, the idea of attainment. The Tower is about you know, the “ivory tower”, the idea of experience, elevation, achieving, and reaching for the top.

Seven is about communication, and spades being about business, work, and structure, I think works well with the Letter. The Letter can also point to paperwork, so there can be some activities with regards to legal matters and administration.

The Garden is the eight of spades. It has to do with status and community, so it works very well with the Garden because the Garden often refers to society and community.

The nine of spades is the Anchor. Nines have to do with movement, stillness, transactions, and conclusions, and indeed the Anchor is very much about staying put and well-rooted.

The ten of spades is the Ship. This is definitely a movement card. It has to do with connections, guidance, and mentorship. I think the Ship can point to the idea of connections, the idea of reaching out and exploring, although maybe it is not as well-aligned with its suit and its pip as other cards.

The jack is the Child. This is really interesting. I'm not so sure this one aligns with the symbol as well.

The queen is the Flowers. The Flowers is not so much about business, structure, and work. It's really a more abundant and creative card. But like the jack, it also figures in the suit of spades.

But the king being the Lily I think works well with the pip and the suit, because the Lily has to do with maturity, the long-term, older age, and the king is associated with that sense of achievement, that sense of reaching the top. And the spades in Lenormand have to do with business, work, and structure. 

As with the Diamonds, the spades also seem to have mixed alignment between their symbols and pips.

So this is an overview of the pips.

 

HOW TO USE THE PIPS IN READINGS

For how to use the pips in a reading, well, there are different ways we can use pips in a reading.

If you have a majority of hearts, for example, the reading can be mainly about feelings and relationships. But if it's mainly another suit, then the reading might be about that suit mainly.

It's going to depend on how much you want to incorporate the suits into your reading.

In my personal approach, I sort of downplay the suits, and what I've done is I've looked at them, I've made sense of them, and then I've assimilated their meaning into the meaning of the symbol. So this way the card has integrity. But I might still look at the overall energy that the suit is bringing to the reading.

Another way we use the suits is to sum them up. I can go through this in another video. I think I want to close this video for now, but I do want to point you to a blog post that I've written about this and I do talk about the summing up technique.

So why don't you head over to that blog post, have a look through, see what you find about summing up, come back to me with any questions and queries, and then we can take up these techniques into another video.

 

So I hope you've enjoyed this overview of the pips. I'm really looking forward to your thoughts and comments about how you use the pips in Lenormand. So be sure to leave me a few comments below.

Before I let you go I want to remind you that I offer plenty of resources in Lenormand, and I offer the Master Course so be sure to look at the links in the description box, so that you can take advantage of them.

And until we meet again, I want to say thank you so much for tuning in, and take very good care of yourself!