The Fortune Tellers Society

Walking the Path of Life, One Card at a Time

And then this reading happens…..


It’s a Secret!

I have been reading cards for, well for more years then I really care to admit but okay I started when I was 5.  Really, some of my childhood friends still remember me with Tarot cards at that age. And why do I bring this up?  Well you would think I have built up a thick skin by now but…….

The other day I did a reading for someone and I was sort of dumbfounded with her response at the end.  “Well I THOUGHT that the cards would have shown what is important to me, not what you talked about.  I THOUGHT the real issues of my life and the  decisions I have made……….”  Okay you get the hint here, she was waiting for things to be said that were not, and she was upset about that in a big way, and I have to say it got under my skin and it took me a bit to realize why.

First off, as I have always said, the cards are always right, it’s how we interpret them that can be wrong.  Well I happened to remember this spread like the back of my hand (due to the way she reacted) and I re-constructed it and sat with it and guess what – I was spot on and I have not a doubt about it.  If you know me, then you know this is not ego talking, I took well over an hour dissecting this spread this time around just to make sure.  So then I took my cards and start getting nosey, if you will, about why the reaction and why she treated me so poorly.

Well we have to know the cards told me in great length what was going on here and why they didn’t address “what she THOUGHT’ would appear.   The answer – why bother talking about that, she has made up her mind, isn’t going to change it and why then address it?  On the surface she appears open to what you will say, she is not and has taken all steps to block any information that you might give her to the contrary of what she thinks is in her best interest.

She walked in and wanted validation is what this boiled down to and that’s okay many people do, but most people are also open to hearing a different twist on something – not this Lady and the cards knew it and just headed off into other areas of her life instead.  They knew that saying about “talking to a wall” and headed off the confrontation.  So where am I headed with this?  Good question.

I sense most of all this was a lesson in you can’t make everyone happy, even when you are trying your best and know you are on target.  People are going to hear what they want, judge how they want to and ultimately leave a reading with the information they want to – not necessarily what you said by the way.  If someone wants a reading from you, yet is totally not open to having a reading the cards will figure this out faster then you and….. won’t waste their time with giving information that isn’t going to be received kindly.  The  person isn’t blocking the cards from reading them, no they are just putting their time where best spent – on subjects that the person may be open to hearing about.

So the Secret of this?  Read the way you do and trust in your abilities AND trust in the cards.  People don’t block you from reading them, the cards just won’t play into their games and drama and allow you to get into a debate that you can’t win.

We consult cards to gain wisdom and insight, and they give us that in more ways then one. It’s not just the information they convey that is important, what the cards are not talking about can be just as important – think about that!  

Until we shuffle the cards together next, Happy Readings, Hugh

PS – many thanks to Sarah for allowing me to use her beautiful photo,   XOXO

This Clover “Issue”


On July 25th, I might be off a day, a video explaining a different way of reading the Clover (#2) card in the Lenormand Card System was posted by Donnaleigh.  The following day I started getting emails as to when did this meaning change, why did the meaning change and just general confusion.

Simple – it didn’t change!

What Donnaleigh is explaining in the video is that she is using a Brazilian method of reading the Lenormand cards when interpreting the meaning of the Clover.  She is not invalidating what you already know or how you should read the Clover – she is showing you another way to read it.  It is akin to the “Work” card being Moon here, Fox over there and…….    it is a different system of reading the cards, some call them Schools of how to read the cards.

Now if you look at it in terms of how many read the Clouds card and that Clouds can in fact take two cards, one of them being the Clover, and make it negative – I see where you are getting confused.  Is it then making the Clover “super” negative since it now has this little bit of not so good in it already?  My answer – I don’t know because I don’t read the Clover as Donnaleigh has outlined.

If you are using Essential Lenormand by Rana George or The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook by Caitlín Matthews reading the Clover may not work when interpreting with the way these two ladies present how to read cards either, so I can see the confusion there as well.  (I have not consulted with either of these two wonderful ladies before you ask or quote me here.) You need to decide if this way that Donnaleigh has presented makes sense to your way of reading Lenormand – no one else.  You also  then need to use this way of reading the Clover  consistently – keeping consistently in Lenormand Card meanings is Key, no pun intended.  Don’t use it when it is easier, faster, etc. use it and stick with it if it is your choice to use it.

What you were given in the video that Donnaleigh created about the Clover was information.  Now how you choose to use it, not use it or in fact abuse it – that is totally in the hands of you, the Reader.  I am writing this blog so that I have covered this subject and can politely say I won’t be addressing this “issue”, and its in quotes because I don’t think it is an issue, again.  Beating a dead horse – not my style.


Golden Tarot

Greetings All!

So you are so used to me talking about Lenormand it might come as a shock, pleasant I do hope, that I read Tarot as well.  On that note I was looking for a deck to use to teach a Tarot class with and I found this –


Golden Tarot – by US Games Inc.

created by Kat Black

This deck is just exquisite.  The cards are collages of artwork from the Late Middle Ages and early Renaissance period and it has been masterfully done to follow a Rider Waite Style of deck as much as the art can allow.  With the time period of the art kept in mind and my poor photography skills as noted above, you can see how rich and vibrant the art is – you almost want to garb your self in your Ren Faire best when you sit with them.  How this deck can transport you to another era by its artwork is an easy observation to make, experiencing it and how it can assist you with your readings – there my friends is where this deck creator proved herself.

The card stock is excellent and though a bit stiff at first should hold up well.  The edges are gold gilt – a favorite of mine I admit, so I would advise that you don’t “riffle” shuffle these as that constant bending of the cards can wreak havoc on the gilt.  You will also, like many new out of the box decks, have to go through and ensure that each card is separate from the others – they like to stick together like good friends do.  This all said once you break them in a little bit they do shuffle quite well and breaking them in gives you more time to look at the artwork.

The box is quite sturdy as well.  It is a lift off top/display type of box.  It works quite nicely as once you shuffle the cards you can lay out the spread of your choice and place the remaining cards back in the box.  Standing nicely as it does, if you need to pull another card from the deck to clarify something you will find them nicely at your finger tips and neatly together.  For those of you who might be a bit organized obsessed like I tend to be – this is a little piece of heaven on your reading table.

And last but not least is the Guidebook which accompanies the deck.  While you will find meanings for each card as is typical, you will also find a treasure trove information on art, specifically the parts of each card and what art pieces they came from.  Now while I am not an art historian by any stretch of the imagination I can already see I will be sitting down with my iPad and using Google to look up at least some of these pieces.  I think part of the fun of this will be seeing where the pieces came from and how Kat “pieced” these together.  I love a good puzzle to figure out , hence why I adore reading cards, so trying to see how this whole process happened is going to be interesting.

So if you are looking for a deck that will prove sturdy to stand up over time while also taking you back in time, look no further, Golden Tarot is for you.

Shuffle well my friends!



Another Deck?!?

As most of you already know I read the cards professionally as my full time job.  Tarot, Lenormand, Kipper and even Gypsy cards are available to my client’s depending on their needs and what is appropriate to their situation.  But at night…………. other cards come out !!

I love to work with decks and systems that are a bit more obscure during my free time.  Yes I am a hooked on divination and I make no excuses for it.  This being said about a year or perhaps more ago I came across this deck – Die Zauberkarten der Mademoiselle Le Normand – or – The Magickal Cards of Mlle Le Normand.  These cards were rediscovered by Caitlín Matthews who had the good fortune of also acquiring the booklet  that went with them.  The translation of the booklet was done for her by Helen Riding.


This deck is a delight for those like me who like multiple systems because you find different systems within this deck.  We have a mix of Gypsy, Kipper and Lenormand cards all here as well as some I have not seen anywhere else.  This deck is compromised of 46 cards so not all cards of any one system are found within AND you will find the cards you may know from another system have a much different meaning here.  For those of you who are up for a challenge – I highly suggest working with this deck.  The art work of the cards is wonderful and I must admit my photography skills are woefully inadequate to how beautiful these cards truly are.

Caitlin did a lot of work on the booklet that was supplied with the deck I purchased.  Besides the translation she added more contemporary or modern meanings to the cards and these proved quite helpful.  Then she also clarified and made sense of what I must admit is the most confusing system of shuffling and sorting cards out that I have seen in quite some time.  I admire Caitlín for her ability to “cut to the chase” and in setting the system of laying out the cards to be more simplified she did just that.  Bravo !!

Now where you get to have more fun is this – you have to really decide how to lay out the cards.  There are a couple of spreads in Caitlín’s booklet but I decided to go out on my own and work it differently, with what I think is great success.  You do have two significator cards, a Woman and Man (very reminiscent of other systems) and I always pull out one to lay with the spread I am working on giving me a deck of 45 then in play. From there I use what you may think of as a more a directional based Kipper style of reading method and as above I used a Star of 13 spread.  You will note the Woman card is center as the significator with the cards spread around it.  Depending on my question depends on the method of how I read it, again based on a Kipper spread.  Is this the only way to read with these cards – absolutely not but half the fun is figuring out what will work best for you!

So is this a Deck Review?  No it’s not.  What this blog is about is the idea that sometimes we have to shake things up, learning something new and change (as in this time the meanings of some cards) what we already know.   This leads us to exercise our divination minds, expand and modify how we work and hopefully learn how to work with cards, any cards that is, in a more flexible and fluid way.  I am all for working with traditional systems, anyone who knows me will attest to that, but I also find it interesting when we find a system without “all the pieces/parts” laid out for us, to use what we already know and put it to use in different ways.  Knowledge is never wasted unless it is not used.

You may find this deck at Caitlín’s website,  clicking this link should bring you right to the page with this deck but also look around at what other treasures she has there.

Shuffle well my friends!

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

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