How to Read a Lenormand Grand Tableau

How do you read Lenormand grand tableaus spreads, also known as tables? In this blog post, we look at how to interpret this Lenormand divination spread for beginners, including the house meanings. This 36 card layout is suitable for beginners, and fortune-tellers who are experienced in reading with this thirty-six-card reading system.

Grand Tableaus are Mount Everests of the Lenormand world. If you climb the summit, which is the GT, you can be confident that you can perform any other type of Lenormand spread. I recommend that you dive into reading with this spread. Even if you're learning and are a beginner, can master a Grand Tableau. I learned Lenormand in 2 days, so there's no excuse for not jumping into the deep end of fortune-telling and predicting the future with this spread.

How do you read Lenormand grand tableaus spreads, also known as tables? In this blog post, we look at how to interpret this Lenormand divination spread for beginners, including the house meanings. This 36 card layout is suitable for beginners, and fortune tellers who are experienced in this thirty six card reading system.

A Grand Tableau is a table of cards which is used in Lenormand. You can construct a table of 9×4 (which I will use here) or of 8×4 cards plus 4 ‘extra’ cards lined along the bottom of the Tableau. Because I nearly always use a 9×4, I am going to discuss this method here. Don’t worry as the positioning (or houses) mean pretty much the same no matter if it is a 9×4 or 8×4+4.

For more info on this check out What Should my Grand Tableau Look Like?

A NOTE ON WHERE THE CARDS ARE ‘LOOKING.'

Firstly, it should be noted that traditionally the direction which the cards are facing matter. Anything behind a significator represents the past. Anything in the direction which the significator is looking is the future. When placed on a Grand Tableau, my Lady card looks to the right. Therefore, the columns to the left of the card are the past, and anything in the columns to the right is the future.

When reading for a man (and using this deck) anything to their right is the past because the card looks left. Anything to the left is the future. Some people don't bother with which direction the cards as facing as this is quite an old-fashioned method of reading. For a fuller reading, however, I recommend it.

WAYS TO READ A GRAND TABLEAU

The Grand Tableau can be read in several ways and is a matter of preference and what you would like to achieve. Each method of reading a Grand Tableau has its strengths and limitations, and you don’t necessarily need to stick to one way of reading; I use both options depending on who I’m reading for. It is essential to decide what style you are going to read the Grand Tableau before shuffling. Don’t change your mind if you don’t get what you want!

There are other ways of conducting a Grand Tableau, but these are the ones which I use, so I am going to explain them. These general rules need to clarify before the positioning of the cards are told so if you don’t understand it don’t worry!

OPTION 1

Option one of reading with a Grand Tableau involves the use of a significator which represents the seeker. The gentleman card represents the seeker if they are male, the lady if they are female.

This option looks into the seekers past, present and future depending on where the significator lands. Anything at the left-hand side of the seeker (because this seeker is female and facing right) is their past, the column which the seeker is found is their present, and the cards to the right of the significator is the future. Here is an example of how to read a significator in a Lenormand Grand Tableau:

The gold cards are in the future because they are in front of the Lenormand significator (The Man). In this spread, all which is behind the significator is in pink.

The gold cards are in the future because they are in front of the Lenormand significator (The Man). In this spread, all which is behind the significator is in pink.

I have highlighted what I mean. The lady card is found in column 5 of our seeker’s Grand Tableau which we will use for this post. The pink overlay represents anything in the present. The mint overly is behind the significator; these are in the past. As the yellow overlay is to the right of the significator, these are things in the future which are yet to come into being.

For reference, here is the Man as a significator:

The gold cards are in the future because they are in front of the Lenormand significator (The Man). In this spread, all which is behind the significator is in pink.

The gold cards are in the future because they are in front of the Lenormand significator (The Man). In this spread, all which is behind the significator is in pink.

It should be noted that also if the significator card is placed ‘high up’ on the Grand Tableau (in the example the lady is in row 2 of the four rows), then they are in control of their life. If the significator is ‘low down’ on the GT (if it was in row 3 or 4) then at present the seeker is easily influenced by events and other people.

I often ask what happens if the significator is to the extreme left (column 1) or extreme right (column 9). If it is to the extreme left, then the seeker is going through a time of significant change, if it is to the extreme right, then they are too heavily influenced by their past.

If performing this reading for a client and they get their significator in column 9 then I let them decide if they would like the reading or would like to come back at a later date. A reasonable waiting period is six weeks.

Unfortunately, randomness is one of the weaknesses of this option of doing a Grand Tableau. Many seekers want to know the future, and if their Grand Tableau discusses the past because of where the significator is positioned it can be pretty annoying!

The thing is, the fact this option looks into the past (as long as the significator is not in column 1) is what makes this option an excellent way to read. I use this method of performing a Grand Tableau for people whom I haven’t read for before as looking into someone’s past is what convinces them you are a good reader. If someone wants to know something which doesn’t come up in your Grand Tableau, you can use a 3×3 square after your Grand Tableau. After reading someone more than once, I tend to use option two as a way of performing readings.

OPTION 2

Option 2 pretty has and is similar to doing a regular Tarot reading where you purely look into the present and future. Before the shuffling you can decide if you would like to look from the present into the year ahead, six weeks ahead, etc. You can even ask if there is anything in your life right now you should know about.

The limitations of this option are the fact that timing is not mapped out and you'll have to use your intuition to tell the difference between the past and future. If you are reading for yourself or an established seeker, though, this doesn’t matter too much. Next, I am going to discuss houses.

THE HOUSES

The different positions of a Grand Tableau are known as ‘houses.' It is in each of the houses where we find information on finances, love, etc. We can use the techniques (mirroring) which we have learned about previously to gain more knowledge for each of the cards.

The good thing about the Grand Tableau (GT for short) is that each of the house’s meaning reflects the card numbers. For example house 7 is the house of the snake, here you can find information about potential enemies and false friends. Therefore, if you get stuck on what a house represents find the card to jog your memory.

Here is a breakdown of each of the house’s general meanings.

1: The House of The Rider: This house reflects any messages you have or will receive.

2: The House of Clover: This house reflects where the seeker can find their luck lie or any gambles which they have taken.

3. The House of Ship: This house reflects any travels which the seeker has or will undertake. It can represent a significant event in anything from a bike journey to a trip around the world.

4. The House of The House: This house reflects anything socialized going on around the home.

5. The House of The Tree: This house represents the seeker's health and sometimes family traditions.

6. The House of Clouds: This house is anything which has or will confuse the seeker.

7. The House of Snake: In the house of the snake, we can find false friends and enemies.

8. The House of Coffin: This house foretells of previous or upcoming deaths and losses. Like the Death card in Tarot, it can in some cases be a symbolic death such as the end of a meaningful relationship or career.

9: The House of Bouquet: In this house, we can find where the seeker is appreciated or where they are due appreciation to someone else. It can also symbolize gifts they may give or receive.

10. The House of Scythe: This house represents quick endings and anything which needs to be or has been ‘cut out.'

11. The House of Whip. This house represents where the seeker (or someone in their lives) repeats the same thing over and over again, such as a mistake. It can also represent self-punishment and guilt.

12. The House of Birds: This house reflects chatter and gossip in the seeker's life.

13. The House of Child: This house can represent children and young people in the seeker's life. It can also be where they find enthusiasm and where they display a child like an attitude.

14. The House of Fox: This house can reflect the seeker's working life but also where they are cunning and sly.

15. The House of Bear: This house represents any authority figures in the seeker's life such as bosses and parents.

16. The House of Stars: Reflects the seeker's dreams and anything which may affect the seeker reaching them.

17. The House of Stork: This house foretells any significant changes which have or will happen.

18. The House of Dog: In this house, we can find information about the seeker's friends and any roles which they are playing.

19. The House of Tower: In this house, we can find the seekers ambitions and where they stand apart from other people. If they have had any official trouble, such as with government, it will show here.

20. The House of Garden: This house reflects anything related to socialization. It can be parties, gatherings and anywhere where people meet.

21. The House of Mountain: The House of Mountain foretells any long-term problems for the seeker.

22. The House of Crossroads: This house reflects any choices which the seeker has to make or will make in the future.

23. The House of Mice: In this house, we can find things which are causing the seeker stress. It can also reflect anything which deteriorates slowly over time, such as a relationship or a physical item such as a home.

24. The House of Heart: This house is self-explanatory. It represents love and relationships.

25: The House of Ring: This house reflects any commitments which the seeker may have.

26: The House of Book: In this house, we can find any secrets which the seeker or those around them may be harboring. This house can also represent education which the seeker has or will undergo.

27. The House of Letter: This house represents any messages which the seeker will receive. This house is often news which is received in the traditional sense (through the post) or any critical letters or documents.

28. The House of The Gentleman. If the seeker is male, then house 28 represents what their main focus is or what is significant. If the seeker is female, here we can find information about their soulmate.

29. The House of The Lady: If the seeker is female, then house 29 represents what is their primary focus or what is significant. If the seeker is male, here we can find information about their soulmate.

30. The House of Lily: In this house, we can find anything related to the family.

31. The House of Sun: This house reflects the seeker's successes and anything which affects them gaining the best which they have hoped for.

32. The House of Moon: In this house, we can find information about the seeker's reputation. It reflects an image which the seeker is putting out into the world with or without being aware of it.

33. The House of Key: This house reflects things of great importance which need addressing. It can be what you need to open up in yourself and what is shut off from yourself.

34. The House of Fish: This house represents the seeker's finances and resources.

35: The House of Anchor: This house reflects anything which the seeker will find is stable in their life for an extended period, such as their family, friends or relationships.

36. The House of Cross: Some modern diviners read this house as representing the seeker’s religion. However, traditionally The House of Cross represents any ‘crosses’ you bear, and burdens which you have.

The Interpretation

The Lenormand Grand Tableau we are about to interpret! - Love this deck? Purchase it  here !

The Lenormand Grand Tableau we are about to interpret! - Love this deck? Purchase it here!

Now I am going to interpret the full Grand Tableau we have used based on option two as this is the most complicated option which we have learned in this blog post, plus everything we have learned in previous posts, such as card meanings and mirroring. I will include the image several times in this post so that you don't have to keep scrolling back and forward!

I will note that some of these details seem a bit strange and obscure to come up in a reading about someone’s life. They are, however, geat because they work as good convincers for the seeker (that is if your reading is correct). I am aware my interpretations are quite old ‘fortune teller’ style readings. I suppose it is the difference in style; gypsy fortune teller’s readings tend to be about 90% prediction and 10% advice and self-development whereas a lot of gorges tend to sway more to the self-development side nowadays.

When conducting your own readings though always stick to your instincts: I am interpreting a GT to show you how it works. You should not memorize these combinations as combinations will change for every one you read for. That’s the challenging but rewarding part of Lenormand.

THE PAST

House 1: Moon mirrored by Tower and Tree: In the past, the seeker received news involving their reputation, possibly from a relative. They were surprised to discover that they have quite a high standing in the community and within their family.

House 2: Whip mirrored by Ring and Anchor: Previously, the seeker has been repeatedly lucky with their commitments. A recent commitment (possibly a marriage) has proved to be stable after repeated negatively.

House 3: The Rider mirrors House and Mountain: The seeker enjoys travel, like The Rider. The seeker may also prefer to visit mountainous regions and a holiday or home by mountains is essential. It is possible that the seeker has often moved home.

House 4: Fish is mirrored by Sun and Key: The seeker has spent a lot of money and resources on their home and takes great pride in it. Because of the seeker's job and her husband's job, they can afford their family the lifestyle which they want. They have also recently got their locks in their home changed. The changed locks could be on doors or windows.

House 10: Cross is mirrored by Gardens and Crossroads: The seeker has cut out any burdens to themselves in the past. Sacrifices came after much decision making and wasn’t a straightforward choice. I’m taking the gardens to assume it was a friend or group of friends whom they previously socialized with which caused them much grief.

House 11: Fox is mirrored by Child and Scythe: I take this combination to mean that previously, the seeker had repeatedly been stood on by others who were only out to get what they want. Betrayal is a pattern which repeated itself since childhood. The seeker is wiser to this now and has cut this out of her life.

House 12: Lily is mirrored by Snake and Stork: The seeker is aware of a piece of family gossip. These rumors involve a male relative (Lily) who possibly has an illegitimate child (Snake + Stork).

House 13: Ship mirrors Heart and Bouquet: The seeker is enthusiastic about travel. Previously they have taken children on holiday but have also gone on ‘couples only’ holidays, which brought the seeker joy. The seeker appreciates the fact that she has the kind of lifestyle to live out her love of travel.

House 19: Crossroads is mirrored by Cross and Clover: The seeker has previously made decisions which affect her ambitions. She has chosen wisely, however (Clover) instead of the other decision which would have been a heavy burden and a lot of hard work. I predict she made the right choices because of the Clover, as this is the card of luck. Due to the ‘cross’ and ‘crossroads’ being in the same place, I’m keen to bet she was brought up in a fundamentalist Christian type of household.

House 20: Scythe is mirrored by Clouds and Fox: As touched upon before, the seeker has cut a person or group of people out of her life. In this case, this person or people is represented by The Fox. There may be some regret and confusion overdoing this, though.

House 21: Snake is mirrored by Mice and Lily: The seeker has previously had long-term trouble with a sly relative. Their relationship has deteriorated over time.

House 22: Heart is mirrored by Ship and Gentleman: In the past, the seeker has made some decisions regarding moving across a vast distance with her husband. We know that she has often moved because this has been touched upon earlier.

House 28: Tower is mirrored by Moon and Bear: I will describe the seeker's soulmate. He probably has an ‘official’ type of job, such as with the government or council (Tower) where reputation is important (Moon), so he deals a lot with the public. He is most likely in a position of authority, and his mother will play a significant role in his life (Bear).

House 29: Anchor is mirrored by Whip and Letter: The seeker has probably visited a fortune teller because she is concerned about stability; this is of utmost importance to her. I take it from the Whip that there is something which has happened in the past which she is afraid will be repeated. I would guess her anxiety stems from unwanted communication with an individual. We will look into the future later to see if there is anything she needs to worry about.

House 30: Moutain is mirrored by The Rider and Dog: There are barriers with the family which is hard to overcome. I am keen to think that this obstacle may be distance as the Mountain is mirrored by The Rider and The Rider may have to ride across the mountains to get to the seeker (ain’t it fun how Lenormand works!). I would take Dog mirroring the family position to mean that the family pet, is one of the family. I would also take this pet to be older; they are established within the family home.

House 31: Sun is mirrored by Birds and Fish: The Sun in its own house means that the seeker has gained what it is she wanted from life and is enjoying her successes. There have been many resources to go around. Although she may be wealthy, she still likes a bargain. Recently, the seeker may have been on holiday after an excellent last-minute deal was spotted (birds = eagle eyes, eyes for detail, also birds move quickly hence why it is last minute).

THE PRESENT

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Love this Lenormand card deck? Purchase it here!

House 5: The Coffin is mirrored by Book: The seeker has recently received knowledge of a family illness. The seeker may be contemplating if she has inherited this illness.

House 14: Lady is mirrored by Stars: At present, Lady is highly concerned with her work. She may have hopes and aspirations to be more well known in her field. Because Lady is in The Fox house and is mirrored by Stars, I am keen to believe her job is more emotional and ‘softer’ than her husbands ‘official’position because of the nature associations.

House 18: Stars is mirrored by the Lady: Being in The House of Dog (the house of friendship), I would guess that the seeker is comparing her life with that of her friends. Her friends may have some things which she wishes to aspire to (Stars). There is a bit of friendly competition going on there.

House 27: Book is mirrored by Coffin: I would read this as the seeker has recently received a book in the post. The book, unless like me she reads about burial customs, will be a sorrowful story which contains a lot if death or is the last in its series (the Coffin can represent a final ending).

The Future

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Love this Lenormand deck? Purchase it here!

House 6: Key is mirrored by Birds and Fish: The seeker will find that shortly she will have trouble with her direction and what is important to her in life. I take it by the fish this is related to her career. She may hear a bit of gossip which starts off this questioning (we have already touched upon the fact she compares herself to others so it could be centered around that).

House 7: House mirrors The Rider and Dog: Here we will warn about false friends. I’m going to take a different spin on this interpretation to give the reader (yourself) an example of the different ways Lenormand can be read. Because this is the house of the Snake (an animal) and it mirrors The Rider (a horse rider) and also Dog (another animal), it can be taken that this ‘false friend’ may be a pet. Particularly a family pet (this is because the ‘false friends is a member of the home or family, implied by the House card). I would warn the seeker about a possible upcoming accident involving a family pet; watch they do not bite a child or the seeker.

House 8: Ring is mirrored by Letter and Whip: The seeker may see the end to a commitment in the future which has caused her suffering. I take by the letter that this commitment is not a relationship as such but something ‘official’ such as a contract.

House 9: Tree is mirrored by Moon and Bear: In the future, the seeker will show her appreciation to her family, in particular, her parents. I’m guessing this will be no surprise to the seeker as she already has a reputation for being grateful to her relatives (Moon mirrors Tree).

House 15: Bouquet is mirrored by Ship and Gentleman: In the house of authority we find a bouquet, which is mirrored by the gentleman. I read this to mean that in the seeker's marriage her husband wears the trousers, but he is also the romantic type. The relationship is old-fashioned but in a good way. In the future, her husband will show her appreciation by taking her on holiday abroad.

House 16: Stork is mirrored by Mice and Lily: In the future, the seeker will find herself longing for grandchildren (Lily tend to mean older relatives and the Stork, of course, can be read as a new baby). She may feel that slowly time will run out which will cause her stress.

House 17: Child is mirrored by Clouds and Fox: There is going to be some significant change which happens to do with a child, which confuses. I will take the child to represent one of the seekers children. There will be a ‘cunning’ fox-like character which enters their life which causes change and confusion.

House 18: Garden mirrored Clover and Cross. The future holds good socializing outdoors (Clover) with friends. I will note though that in some ways these will be burdensome to the seeker. This burden though could be as insignificant as a needs so I wouldn’t worry too much with the Clover in the mix!

House 24: Gentleman is mirrored by Heart and Bouquet: The seeker need not worry about her marriage (unless of course, the previous description of him does not match in which case she will meet her soulmate in the future). There are enough love and kindness there for the relationship to hold up into old age in the future.

House 25: Mice is mirrored by Snake and Stork: The seeker in the future will find herself very stressed by her multiple commitments and also changes happening around her. She may also be stressed by another woman who is in some way related to her responsibilities (I guess a workmate). The Snake is not too much of a concern though as storks are known to eat snakes in the wild. I take this to mean she will make changes necessary before this ‘snake’ becomes a severe problem.

House 26: Clouds mirrored Child and Scythe: In the future, the seeker will feel confusion about secrets which her child (or a child) may be harboring. This secret will either be about something violent (scythe), or the seeker may decide to cut this person out of her life.

House 27: Clover is mirrored by Garden and Crossroads: The seeker will be quite lucky with her letters and posts, there will be no delays. She may also find herself ordering gardening books. Another possibility is that she will receive an invitation to a social gathering through the post and possibly have to decide if she can attend or not.

House 33: Birds is mirrored by Key and Sun: The Key mirrors the Key position, so this message is of utmost importance! The seeker needs to get out and network a bit to improve her success. This socializing may be on social networks such as Twitter (like the birds). She has been told this information before but hasn’t listened. I guess that (because her relationship is fine), it is probably connected to work and to find business contacts.

House 34: Dog mirrors House and Mountains: In the future, the seeker's loyalties will lie to her resources and money. I’m sure she will find herself taking an enormous financial risk with her money (mountain of debt). She may take out a loan secured on her home.

House 35: Letter mirrors Ring and Anchor: The seeker will find her communications with other people will be stable, as well as her commitments.

House 36: Bear is mirrored by Tree and Tower: The seeker may find that in the future she will take on much burden of her family members and be seen as an authority figure. This doesn’t sound too negative, but she may find that she will have to give up much of herself to please her family. She may also find herself caring for her parents in their later years.

Well, folks that how you interpret a full Lenormand Grand Tableau! And, if you’re reading a Grand Tableau and you’re struggling to interpret what your cards mean in each of the houses, be sure to check out the Grand Tableau Reference

If you want to know more about reading Lenormand feel free to sign up below for a free Lenormand Combinations PDF guide. It is fun, it is free and it is downloadable on mobile, tablet and computer!


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Cheatsheet illustration: How to read a Lenormand Grand Tableau Spread for beginners. Shows the meanings of the houses and includes a free PDF to help with your layout and reading. Can be used with any deck while learning fortune telling.