The history of the deck: (If you know this feel free to skip this and go to the edition info.)
In tarot the traditional style deck is the Marseilles tarot in Lenormand the most go to deck that most Traditional Readers would say to reach for is the famous Blue Owl. It is these two icons of the divination world are that I hope to have brought together. Combining these two was a process unlike anything I had done before. The Blue Owl is a deck that has a life all it’s own in a reading. From ways the clouds blow to the direction of faces the deck is what is used in many of the traditional English courses out there today. It is that tradition that I wanted this deck made in, so following the Blue Own was my guide. If in the the Rider card of the Blue Own there was a castle then in the Lenormand deMarseilles there would be a castle. It’s not as cut and dry as it may sound because one also has to take into account the ascetics of the Marseilles and what would have been done at the time.
The artistic style of the Marseilles deck is truly at the root of tarot and has a clarity and simplicity all it’s own. The bold colors, the striking symbols and the stark white background all combine to make the images stand out. It’s that simplicity that I wanted to bring into the Lenormand deck. The clean lines and simple coloring lends itself to the reading style that traditional Lenormand is known for.
The art is a combination of hand drawings and actual woodcuts with each original image being hand painted. I wanted this deck to be made as much be hand as possible and not a photo collage deck so it took way more time then I had originally anticipated. I made the art originally in a longer thinner card evoking not only the older tarot deck out there but also a nod to the cigaret cards of the early 1900s’. Alas the cards will not be printed in that size but the art remains true to it’s original ratio. After a long debate I decided to not do any faux antiquing of the deck despite it being in vogue right now. I felt that it would take away from the crispness of the images.
Also something that was controversial was the use of the tarot suits in place of the traditional french playing cards. As this was an ‘art’ deck originally I thought the tarot would be something of a fun thing to place in instead of the playing cards, that was met with several exchanges back and forth on the how and why of it. That I head and had already planed to address so as you will see below there are two editions to choose from.
So finally after a good year or so of work the Lenormand de Marseilles is ready to go to press.It’s been a rather quiet journey not one rocked with photoshop overuse or drama, simple, serene and elegant …just like the Lenormand
In keeping with other decks I have done there will be two editions out.
The Illuminated Edition:
- Limited to 150 signed and numbered decks in the standard Bridge size card with linen finish
- Features the original Marseilles Tarot card inserts
- Titles are in French
- Roman Numeral style numbering
- The art is in full color unlike the color and b&w of the standard edition
- Comes with a mini version of the standard edition deck (the only time a mini will be made)
- Features stylized French playing card suits done in a Marseilles style with German suit colorings
- The art has been edited so that only the main symbol of the card is in color the rest is in fine lined black and white
- Titles are in English
- Modern numbering
- Standard Bridge size card with a linen finish
Well folks that’s that. This will be my final Lenormand deck because I feel that I’ve said all I have to day artistically about this wonderful reading system. I can’t thank everyone enough for their support over the years in bringing this reading system to light here in the States.