The Fortune Tellers Society

Walking the Path of Life, One Card at a Time

Why Learn Multiple Divination Tools?


I own and run Spellbound of Nyack, a small little shoppe (almost tiny) tucked away in an equally tiny indoor shopping center.  Most of what I tend to carry are candles and incense but you will find a growing selection of Divination tools and it is those, to my great delight, that cause the most conversations.  One conversation seems to win out over all others (except that is “which is your favorite deck” which I don’t answer )  and that is the question of “why would I want to learn different divination methods or tools?”

That is a great question!

You can read cards of Tarot, Kipper, Lenormand or Oracle Cards.  You can cast Charms or the Runes.  Shells and the Bones can be cast as well.  Astrology ( I don’t speak that language very well, lol) is yet another form of divination and the list goes on and on.  What different systems you learn isn’t really the point, learning them is and here is why, well actually the multiple here are whys are;

  • Validation, one system versus another giving the same answers or causing you to – see next bullet point
  • Further or more in-depth investigation on a topic
  • You may find certain tools fit you better for certain topics (this varies by person)
  • Having multiple systems gives you a “fallback” for when you seem to be having a rough time with one – could point to the bullet point just above
  • Often you find that studying one system leads to insights into another system you already have experience with – this happens more often then you may think
  • You can become “stale” reading with just one tool, mixing it up keeps you on your toes and ……

This list could go on easily for quite awhile and you can tell how I feel about this subject, its a good idea to read multiple systems/tools.

Now I am not saying you should go out and learn EVERY divination system out there because that leads to, excuse me here, half assed readings.  Why?  Unless you are retired and have a plethora of time on your hands (and even then its a stretch) its hard to become proficient in ALL the systems.  Take this from someone who again owns a shoppe and “lives” in the world of divination almost full time.

I personally am very proficient (I will NEVER say I have Mastered any system) with Tarot, Lenormand, Runes and yes its about time I be open about it, Kipper as well.  I am an intermediate type of skill level with Gypsy Cards and Deste Cards and…… I am a beginner in a few others, namely Charm casting.   Now remember I do this for a living and its my hobby as well, so don’t go judging yourself by me and also, anyone who knows me will know this is not about me bragging about what or how many systems I do know.

So what do I suggest for how many you should read?  Three – yep I gave you a number, Three.  If you become proficient in any three different systems you are pretty much good to go.  Now this doesn’t mean three different Tarot decks, yes I know they all speak a different dialect but it is the same language, before you go there.  If you choose three tools/systems – and I do suggest not all be card based – you will also have the added benefit of having stretched your mind by learning and, trust me it will happen as I said above, learning how the tools/systems relate and integrate.

So did I give you enough to think on?  I hope so!  Part of the goal here was to also challenge you to learn more, I am a big one on keeping everyone a life long student – keeps the brain young!

Until I blog next, Shuffle Well !!      Hugh


Rana George Lenormand, A Review

Perhaps the single most awaited Lenormand Deck ever, I received an advanced copy from US Games, Inc. in order to work with it and read the accompanying Little White Book (LWB) to write this review.  Much thanks to Lynn at US Games, Inc – how quickly you got this to me was quite amazing.  Now …… onto the Deck.

Lets get some basics done first-

The cards are 3 1/2 by 2 1/4 inches, just slightly under the “official” Bridge Card size.  The card stock is good and between the size, the card stock and the finish it shuffles very well straight out of the box.  The cards also have the playing card insets (something I enjoy and work with) as well as being numbered.  On the opposite side of the card from the number is an Arabic symbol (I do hope I am saying that correctly) that I am assuming is also indicative as to the number of the card.  It does add flair of the cards I will say.  I would be remiss if I did not say that the gold foil accents are tastefully done and there is a texture to the cards in the graphics that, well you have to see it to appreciate it.


The box is another good feature.  It is made of the more heavy duty type of double cardboard type of stock (sorry I have no idea what this is called) with a magnet closure.  If you own Maybe Lenormand, Ryan Edward’s deck also by US Games Inc, you will recognize the box type.  This box, and I judge it by the aforementioned deck of Ryan’s, holds up very well to the wear and tear that over time destroys the lesser boxes.

And the LWB – well this is not your Granny’s LWB that’s for sure.  Rana’s flair and style of writing is clearly seen in this informative book.  With her story telling ability and her informative yet informal way of reaching out from the pages, you don’t feel as you are being taught so much as you feel you are sitting with a friend on the sofa, enjoying a good cup of tea and the cards.  I admit I enjoy Rana’s writings immensely and this LWB is no exception.  I won’t spoil this by talking about it too much – just get your cozy chair ready for a good read.

And then there are the cards, oh yes the cards.  Rana is the reigning Princess of Lenormand and I also get that from watching her posts on FB as well as watching her antics with SnapChat she likes her bling and makeup.  This said was I a bit hesitant to look at these cards I have to admit, as much as I was anticipating them, yes I was a tad bit afraid – I am anything but a bling type of person but…… get your wallets, checkbooks and credit cards ready – you are going to want this deck.

You start going through the deck, and I did this before reading the LWB of course, and you feel transported.  Lush colors and scenes that arise from the cards are just an adventure unto themselves.  If going to a Middle Eastern Culture was on your bucket list, you just found a way of doing so without getting on a plane.  You will see that the image of card is front and center as should be on a Lenormand deck, they stayed true to the system and I applaud that.  The deck does include four extra cards and I admit now and make no excuse for it, I don’t use the extra cards in any decks I own so- you are on your own to review these, sorry gang!  Sorry that is a lie, I do use them with the Maybe Lenormand deck and that is because with them you then have a Gypsy Card style deck which I do enjoy reading with as well.

Now with this said, I sat down and played a bit, okay all night long to be honest, after I got home from my shoppe.  The cards and their images read well and easily while I was working in lines and the 3X3/Portrait Spread.  Again the images are placed well so you can quickly find them in the smaller spreads.

My issue with the deck, and sadly I have to say this, is when we get to the Grand Tableau.  The lush and exquisite art along with the upper and side placed borders can overwhelm you.  While I entirely enjoy all of this and realize the reason(s) behind it, I did find myself having to re-orientate myself a few times while reading GT’s with this deck.  But wait, the deck saves itself in a unique way!

The use of the border being upper and sides with no bottom border, and the style that was used in creating the border did in fact create, at least for me, a portal through which to view the cards. After a bit of time the GT became easier to read and orientate upon due to this “portal” effect.  I believe and with out speaking to Rana I have no way of knowing this (no I do not know Rana personally before you inquire) this was the intention of this border.  If so – BRAVO –  because you found a means to make a deck that was almost  destined go to my “its too busy to be of use” stack of Lenormand decks,  to being useable and enjoyably so.  In fact the more I used it, again I was up most of the night with them, this border had a focal ability I have only seen once before with a Lenormand deck, that was  the Enchanted Lenormand deck of Caitlin Matthews.  While I have and will continue to review decks as too busy for the Lenormand System, you may find this “portal” effect saves the day for you as it did for me.

You will also note the photo I took above, I do apologize but as you can tell a photographer I am not.  What I want you to notice is the back of the cards – they are stunning and works of art unto themselves.  The Hand of Fatima with a stylized RG – if this is not Rana’s trademark, it well should be.  This design also make shuffling a mesmerizing affair which – aids greatly in your concentration and focus, a huge plus to those who struggle with that issue when shuffling.

So a beautiful and useful deck and a well written LWB, an excellent job which  I would be remiss if I did not say this ;  What you have with this deck is a true collaboration of skills, arts, talents and time/energy.  Callie French put artwork to the vision of Rana George and US Games Inc. created it all around both of their work to create a package that any Lenormand reader I know will be very glad to purchase and use.  If you have been waiting patiently (or not so patiently) I can say this without reservation-

This deck was so worth the wait – you are holding a truly magickal Lenormand Deck

in your hands when you hold the Rana George Lenormand.  I can only hope you 

enjoy this deck as much as I did reviewing it and that it aids you in your readings

as the trusted friend which I am sure it is about to become for you!


Please note – I do not receive payment from the Publisher or Creators of the Decks and/or Books I review.  All insights and opinions are just that and they are my own personal ones at that, I do not consult with others.  If you have a Lenormand Deck or Book that you wish me to review (and remember I am going to point out its positive and negative points) please contact me via my website. I am available as a consultant on Lenormand Deck creation on a paid basis and do not review decks I have consulted upon.






You are NOT the Bear!

Welcome to what I am going to title my RANT about how Lenormand cards are being read.  If a RANT offends you – turn away now.


Lenormand is a System of Reading Cards, loud and clear understand this, it is a System of reading cards.  You do not need a Lenormand Deck (yes you are talking to a man who owns more then 30 different ones) as you can use a playing card deck and just take away the deuces through fives of each suit and have a perfectly useable deck to work with the Lenormand System.

So now we know its a System of reading cards not an actual card deck and being a System it has a means of working.  The System, no matter what “school” you are working with ( I put school in quotes as really its a term that only means a few of the cards meanings are different, as I have learned it at least)  all seem to agree on one point, #28 The Man/Gentleman stands for the Querent if they are Male, #29 The Lady stands for the Querent if they are Female. It is sort of that easy and straight forward or so I thought.

As of late I am seeing a trend that people are using and it makes no sense if you are using the Lenormand System.  The trend is that the Querent, and that includes ourselves if we are performing a self read, chooses another card to represent them.  Why you ask, well as best as I can understand it is because they best relate to that card.  The title of this posting gives you a prime example, The Bear.  I have heard on more then one occasion that this “represents me since I am the Mama Bear” or “I have Mother Bear energy”  or something of the like.

Now if you want to do this, thats fine as long as you realize that

  • You just stopped using the Lenormand System
  • You just took a Card with very important meanings (they all have them) and voided them

Now you see it is the second point I really take issue with because that leads back to point one as well.  #28 and #29 have the express purpose of 99.999999999999999% being the Querent and the other being the most important person of that gender in the life of or subject asked about.  They are built that way and by taking the Bear (I just chose that one not picking on it) and making it your Significator you just lost out on the card that stands for Power, Authority, Strength, and in some cases your Mother or Grandma.  What card are you going to use to signify those?   Oh you are going to use the Mountain for those, then what signifies……….  you see the trap you are falling into now don’t you?

The Lenormand System has been around and worked well, very well in my humble opinion, because it is well thought out.  When we start to tinker with it, well we start to fix something that is not broken to begin with.  We are also starting to go down a path most dangerous – losing the voice that Lenormand speaks in, it’s very blunt and down to earth, direct voice.  I cherish that voice and I find most are drawn to this system do.

So before you start relating cards to the Querent or allowing them to talk you into doing so, think about this – Over 200 years of experience is behind this System, do you really want to go and play with something that has such an exquisite track record?

Until we meet again!

PS – Mr Ryan Edward’s glorious Bear from his amazing deck, Maybe Lenormand has been with his kind permission as well as the deck publisher, US Games Inc.  Thank you to both!!!

Another Day, Another One of those Cards…

Yes it is time to take on a card that many people have troubles with,


Yes my friends its time to deal with the Snake!

this card is from Maybe Lenormand, by Ryan Edward, from US Games, Inc.

I have seen many ways of looking at this card and I have to say most of them are very valid, such as;

  • Malicious actions
  • Complications
  • Sedition (this one I love and I learned it from Andy B.)
  • Cables, Chains, Pipes (think of the form a snake can take)

Now those are just some of many that apply, one I do not agree with is the word Toxic – as snakes are not always Toxic/Venomous but that doesn’t mean they can’t be trouble none the less.  Now with these all listed where does the trouble come in?  Good question and I repeatedly see it when it is called into light when the Fox is also being looked at or compared to.

The Snake is a personal card, the Fox more impersonal.  The Snake goes for the heart, the emotions, and those things attached to such.  The Fox, well he is the survivor who is always looking to get ahead so then we should think of him as “he takes what he needs/wants” and doesn’t give a darn if you like it or not but….. it is not motivated by emotions – that is a hallmark of the Snake.  The Snake is the one who takes the boyfriend just because she can – The Fox would, but only if there was a reward of money or such tied to him.

So as noted above the Snake is complicated and normally so are “her” actions.  Yes ladies I hate to say it but this is a card normally seen as Female while the Fox is more Male.  No sexual prejudices here – remember when the card system came about in the very early 19th century.  Also see who is sitting as the playing card of this card, The Queen of Clubs.

So when faced with this card the first thing I do, and it sounds odd I admit, is I tell myself its not the Fox – if you do that and get rid of those associations straight away the card becomes much easier to read.

And, I hate to say it but, this card is the card of complications, don’t expect it to be easy to read because then, the Snake is not being The Snake!  As a Snake sheds it skins sometimes so do the layers we read of this card change as well.

Until the next card crosses my desk, happy shuffling!

Another of “Those Cards” postings

So the reaction to posting “those cards” in the Lenormand system was well received on the first card so lets try another shall we?  Lets work on the Cross this time around.  This card is from one of my go to decks, Maybe Lenormand, is created by Ryan Edward and is offered through most metaphysical stores or directly from US Games, Inc.


So we see this card and most people immediately think of burden – which in my opinion is the essence or core of this card.  Some will tell you about the spiritual aspects of this card and try to don rose tinted lens when viewing this card, but after too many years of seeing this card arrive in a casting I have yet to see it this way.  A spiritual burden perhaps, but not the sunny side of spiritual life that is for sure.

Now as I type this it dawns on me what the real issue might be with this card.  It is one I deal with, with my personal/in-person students from day one and I do so in a few different ways;

  1. Some cards are negative and you can try to put a spin on it but – that won’t work.
  2. Negative cards are good cards, remember we learn our best lessons from having issues and working through them, the cards are just showing us this.
  3. The cards are always right, its how we interpret them, or fail to, that is where the mistakes come in – oh people just love it when I say this but…… it is so true!

So lets now take those three points into consideration for a moment.  We want to keep a cards meaning true to itself (point one), we want to hear the lesson it is telling us and this we do by looking at the cards around it as well (point two) and we have to trust our cards  (point three) – or why are we doing this folks?

Now none of this is said to belittle anyone trying to give a positive reading to a client or themselves, heck no, quite the opposite.  The first part of giving a reading that is positive, at least the way I was taught, is to be honest with who we are reading for.  We are doing no favor for our client by not saying what we read in the cards.  Part of performing a reading is being practiced in how to convey the message of the cards in an appropriate manner.  If we then convey the message that the card(s), in this case the Cross, is telling us, then good, bad or ugly – its what the client needs to hear at the current time.

So next time you practice reading your Lenormand cards, try working with the  Cross card in combination with every other card in the deck.  When doing this see how you can best convey the essence of burden with the other cards you work with, don’t be a Spin Doctor, rather be a truth teller who speaks in a compassionate voice.

Until next I blog, Shuffle Well, Hugh

Lets discuss “that card” and lets start with the Coffin.

Greetings All !

I watch friends and students all get a look when “that card” shows up in their Lenormand reading.  Everyone seems to have a “that card” which bothers them and its high time I started talking about them, one specific card one at a time, and addressing these issues. Today lets deal with the Coffin shall we?


The above card is the Coffin from the Maybe Lenormand deck created by Ryan Edward and published by U.S. Games Systems Inc.

The Coffin – I have one student who sees it and immediately thinks someone is going to die, right then and there.  Okay yes a physical death can be indicated by the Coffin in Lenormand there is no doubt about it, but the number of times I have actually seen that happen, in many many readings please note and those over the course of more years then I care to admit to, I can count on one finger.  Yes just once I saw a death staring me right in the face and that’s it so lets suspend that fear for a bit while we explore the card a bit more.

The Coffin, as I read it, can mean many things, the most prevalent is that it is an ending.  Now this ending can be of the form of a job termination or a divorce when we are looking at a marriage – yikes you say?  Well some endings are for the better and sometimes divorce is a good option.  No one wants to see anyone in an abusive marriage – nuff said.

The Coffin also has a lot to do with illness, yes it is not the most positive card in the deck, you are right.  Many times, as always depending on the cards around the Coffin, it shows us this to prepare us to avoid the illness or in the worst case scenario to deal with it.

Now you want to get this Lenormand reader angry?  Read the Coffin as being transformation and see what happens to my blood pressure.  The card is not about transforming one thing into another, thats a change taking place so another card will handle that for you – lets say Stork.  Coffin is not, not, not repeat for those who think I am kidding, NOT about transformation.  Yes this is how I read but, this is how some of the best readers I have ever heard of and yes also from some of them I took  classes with, read as well.  In the event that you don’t like a card lets just agree that sugar coating it doesn’t make it better – what it does is it makes it something it isn’t and then, then you just get a poor reading.

Now as always the Coffin is always read within the context of what question you have asked is.  I have found over the course of time that how we perceive the Coffin is the issue, not the card itself and this will hold true with each card we visit as I blog some more about these cards.

Until the next time I hit the keys – Shuffle Well.

“I am overwhelmed with…”

Below is a Lenormand reading i recently performed for a client –


First things first is she wants to know “Why am I repeatedly feeling negative energies around me and being left drained?”  The question is all important in my  book and here we have something that is direct but not a Yes/No scenario – this I can work with.

Now lets look at the casting, I choose a 3X3 or Portrait Spread as it gives a lot of information and I cast it with the intention of the question in mind.  Please note that no cards were preselected and I did this wanting to know all the Present information, not Past/Present/Future as can be done with this format.

The cards used are a reproduction of  Das Spiel der Hofnung – The Game of Hope, from 1799 and are thought to be the original Lenormand style deck.  I adore these cards for their simplicity as well as elegant style and color all at once.

Okay the basics are covered – now onto the reading !

Right out of the gate we note the center card, the focus/issue of the casting is the Birds – well, well, well it would seem that here we have the root cause right in front of us, Anxiety.  I stated this and moved on quickly.  My next step is to always look at the corner pairings to find out the root cause of the focus/issue.  I take the top left corner with the bottom right corner to help describe it and then the top right corner with the bottom left to help describe that – its easier to do then it is to type it!  Mountain with Moon – work blockages, Key with Scythe – something important, something key (no pun intended) has been cut.  I can tell by the way my client has shifted in her chair and is leaning forward I am on the mark.

Now lets go to the cards in the center of the outer lines, I was taught they are called clusters by some, and they show up how issue is presenting itself.  Ship and Woman,  many ways to read this one so I skip ahead for a moment to the other set, Clouds and Tree its confusion that won’t move on and now as I look back at the the other two cards its a Woman who travels that causes this or……

So I could go further – but the lightbulb is going on over my clients head.  It seems that she feels this negative energy and being drained right after she (the Woman card represents my client ) visits her regional supervisor.   It seems this supervisor also likes to trim budgets and….. yes sometimes you need to go to the Card Reader to see what is happening right in front of you. My client tries to always see the best in people and was thinking it was some cause of her own that was doing this – ahem.

Now seriously why post this besides that last sentence?  Lenormand is known to show you things bluntly, plainly and without much fuss or muss.  I think without a doubt these cards I love so much just proved that.  Could I go on a bit more – sure and we did, but that part gets a bit more personal so I will keep that between my client and I.  If you read the cards though – its right there to see!

But I don’t want to do my daily’s

Whether it is Lenormand, Kipper, Gypsy Cards or Playing Cards I get this all the time-

Why do I have to do daily 3 card practice spreads?”

These 3 card daily’s never make any sense!”

and these are just two of the many and never ending questions or comments I get when I tell my students, both in-person and online, that they need to do the 3 card daily spread everyday – yes everyday.  Am I being a hard line old school do your lessons type – yep – and there is more then one good reason for it.

  1. You are doing a daily spread everyday – this integrates the cards you are working with into your daily life, it makes them a part of your daily routine hence a part of your normal life.  It doesn’t take the “special part” of reading cards away, as I sometimes hear, but rather it brings that special to your everyday life, and everyone can use a little special everyday right?
  2. When I teach daily practice spreads I also teach how to dial back the meanings of the cards.  Dial back is simple, you take the meaning and decrease it – an example is in Lenormand with have #8 The Coffin card.  If every time we saw this we said “Oh my god another one dead” when it popped up in a daily well we would be pretty lonely people in short order.  No instead we look at it as an ending but geez the Coffee Shop you go to everyday no longer offers that Triple Fudge Caffeine Buzzer you love every morning – okay that might be just as traumatic to you I admit.  What I am trying to say is that you start to the learn degrees of how cards can impact your life or other people when we practice daily’s.
  3. The many and various meaning of cards start to show themselves to you because quite frankly you are working with them more often so they have the chance to. When we only get study time once a week, after our favorite TV show and before bed, well the chances are the cards aren’t going to be able to show you as much.
  4. Over time, and yes this does take time, you gain proficiency with how the cards speak to you.  Each card system has a language and often with it a tone of voice, interacting with them daily exposes you to it so you pick it up faster.  Remember most card systems are speaking a language all their own and the best way to learn any new language is to use it daily.
  5. And last – BECAUSE I SAID SO.  Yes I can exhibit very parental tendencies when needed.

Okay, the last point is joking said (sort of) but the other points are quite on the mark.  If you are trying to be a card reader who is good at reading cards then you have to be serious about it.  Putting in the time, and it isn’t much time everyday once you get into the swing of it, is how you do it.

Another point I will admit to – you need to journal your daily findings – oh geez I hear the groans already – I will save that for another day!  What I will say is you are right, I didn’t teach you how to read a 3 card daily spread – another day for that as well.


It looks like its going to rain today

As a card reader, one of any skill level or experience, we all have readings that are challenging to convey to our Sitter.  It feels like you have to administer an injection and the patient is terrified of needles – yes it can feel that bad for both of you. The Sitter came to you, the how or why isn’t important, they came to you for a reading, for assistance of a sort and it is up to you to now “deliver the goods” and to do so well.

So how do we transmit this information, well there are a number of methods and you have to choose what works best for your own reading style.  The thing to remember is you DO have to tell them what is going on, challenging information is often exactly what the Sitter needs to hear.

The method I choose to use, even though my nickname in the Psychic Circles is “the Blunt Psychic”, is to follow the these steps after I identify what the Sitter may find to be challenging;

  1. Read em like I see them.  No extra frills or flourishes, sort of like an old episode of Dragnet – Just the facts.  Don’t downplay what the cards are saying neither should you hype them up, that is not your job as a Reader, your job is to hold the space of being neutral while you perform a reading and that means convey what the cards say.
  2. I then look around and look for ways that the CARDS tell me the person may be able to handle or cope with the challenge, if in fact a challenge does present itself.  I DO NOT play counselor or therapist and pull out of my magic bag some canned answers.  For the most part Readers are not trained Therapists or Counselors and legally (depending on where you live) can fall into issue if you start to counsel.  I don’t have to say this but I will – if the issue is medical you cannot diagnose or give a course of treatment as well.
  3. And then…. I am done

You read them like the are, we find out where the cards are giving the Sitter assistance and you convey that as well as convey where they may have a challenge – AH that is the key ,did you catch it?

May have a challenge – remember not I, nor you, nor any Reader on the planet is 100% on target at all times,  Nope – just doesn’t happen.  So keep that in your mind, No do not start second guessing yourself, Yes do realize you can make mistakes and always just read what the cards are saying.  I am a firm believer, a very firm believer, that the cards are ALWAYS right, it is how we interpret them that is where the mistakes come in.  Nuff said, leaving the soapbox for today.

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