1. Which decks do you read with and why?
Nadia: When it comes to Lenormand cards, I prefer more traditional and uncluttered styles, with playing cards inserts. My favorite, go-to, decks are a vintage Dondorf, and CartaMundi. Both of these packs have a lovely, time-capsule-like, feel to them. And most importantly, its easy to read them because I do not need to stop and wonder: “Is this the Clover or the Bouquet?” or “This must be the Snake because it’s card number 7, so why is a Chinese dragon is painted on it?”
I also like these particular decks because of the apparent directionality of the cards. For instance, it’s obvious what the Scythe is cutting, and where is the dark side of the Clouds.
Caitlín: My favourite decks are the Mertz, the Daveluy and the Lauren Forestell reprint of Das Spiel der Hoffnung. The Mertz is so clear and uncomplicated.
The Daveluy has the image, playing card, and text commentary in equal proportions upon the card and is useful for Near and Far or Distance style of reading. The smaller reprint of Das Spiel der Hoffnung is both delightful to work with but also useful when I read in a cramped space, which is often the case when I am travelling. Because I do a lot of world travel, I favour much smaller cards. In my handbag are a set of mini playing cards which came from a Christmas cracker. I just use the 6-Aces and upon them I’ve written their Lenormand number and name. These are always with me and can be read in any circumstances in public without remark.
Björn: When I started to learn Lenormand I had only one deck, the Cartamundi. This was my only deck for several years. I have a very special connection with this pack of cards. Nowadays I tend to use a different deck every day. Those I use most with my clients: Cartamundi, Piatnik, Daveluy, French Cartomancy, and Stralsunder.
I have an old Carreras pack, that I only use to read for my wife, myself, my family and close friends. The Daveluy is my personal favorite because of the brilliant artwork. Cartamundi is my long term partner and the Carreras is the most valuable Lenormand deck I own.
Stella: For the most part, I prefer using antique reproductions, since they follow Lenormand conventions. A lot of the newer decks have alterations that don’t take actual Lenormand reading into account. Form should always follow function. My three heavy rotation decks at the moment are Lauren Forestell’s print of Le Fanu’s Lilac Dondorf, which is my latest Dondorf pattern deck – I’ve worn out a couple of French Cartomancy decks and a Königsfurt. The Lilac is the Rolls Royce of Dondorf repros, though: original colors and a linen finish. It’s my at-home deck. And my purse deck is Lauren’s Purple Dragon, another Dondorf repro! Another one I use a lot is the Glück, I like the small size, tough cardstock, and the starkness of the images. It’s perfect for the Grand Tableau.
I have some other favorites that are delicate, like Caitlín’s Daveluy, and the Carreras cigarette cards. They’re my “for special” decks, like getting out the good china for company, lol. And I like the old standbys, like Cartamundi, Blue Owl and Piatnik. They’re inexpensive and always available, and they read well. But I use the Dondorf types and the Glück the most.