Le Grand Jeu, coup de trois about love

I often consult Le Grand Jeu when I need a quick but detailed answer to a specific question. One of the last readings I did was for single lady who wanted to know if and when she could expect to find true love…


The querent is represented by the female person card in the deck (Lady).

The “grand sujet” on the central Ace of Diamonds card shows a meeting between Mercury and Harpocrates. It depicts an atmosphere of utter discretion and confidentiality. The flower meaning warns for indiscretion surrounding this particular situation.


This is connected with the lady shown on the “sujet droite” of the 10 of Spades card to the left who is abusing someone’s trust by stealing something from a drawer.

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The police officer on the “sujet de gauche” of the Five of Diamonds is keeping a close eye on the situation though…

This card also has an astrological correspondence (sign of Scorpio) and serves as a time indicator; it refers to a period of 240 days or an age between 50-55 years.

Conclusion: the answer is yes, the lady will find true love, albeit in a rather unconventional way. It looks like circumstances will prevent her from acting freely.  The cards are advising her to be discrete, which could point to a relationship that might need to be kept silent for one reason or another. Other people might pose a threat (♠10) and there might be legal implications (5). The 50-55 time indicator (between the age of 50 and 55) shows that this is the period in her life that she needs to focus on. In that vein, the coming 240 days will be significant towards the unfolding of the events described by the cards.




Partner or friend?

Most card reading systems work with specific person cards that can be used to represent the querent or another male or female person.

In Petit Lenormand these cards are nº28, the Man and nº29, the Lady.


A very simple concept… When you are laying a Grand Tableau for a woman, she will be represented by nº29 and when you are consulting the cards for a man, he will be nº28, the Man. I don’t think anyone will ever question that.

A common misconception though, is the idea that the other person card automatically represents the spouse or partner, or future partner when the querent is not in a relationship. While that is definitely a possibility, it is never a guarantee. The second person card in the spread will be described by the cards surrounding it or the area of life that it falls close to. In a Grand Tableau for a lady, the Man might as well be a colleague when the Moon falls next to him, or a sick man or a doctor when he lands close to the Tree.

Is there a way to be certain that the other person card will act as the spouse or partner? Yes, but only if you set your intention accordingly before you lay out the cards. I personally only recommend this if there is a specific need to know more about a partner.

For a single lady for example, the positions of the Ring, Heart and Anchor will be much more telling in assessing the possibility of a future relationship than the placement of the Man, as he will often just represent a significant male who already forms part of a specific area of her life.


The Scythe: proceed with caution!

As an advocate of traditional cartomancy and authentic methodology, I think it’s very important to respect the logic of the system you are working with. Card reading implies the understanding of a coded message that needs to be correctly converted into a comprehensible language for yourself or your querent.

It is therefore logical to state that a card whose core meaning is negative, can never translate as a positive one. In this vein, the Scythe in Lenormand can’t ever be interpreted as a (positive) harvesting. The Scythe always implies a certain degree of danger or risk.

In a Grand Tableau, the risk that the Scythe embodies can be mitigated depending on its distance in relation to the significator and the presence of favourable cards nearby, but it will still express fear or uncertainty.



When the Scythe is being followed by a positive card such as the Clover, you could say that the danger expressed by the Scythe will be followed by contentment or small luck. In this case you will “harvest” satisfaction in spite of the risk. Considering the visual aspect of the card, the Scythe’s sharp side of the blade cuts into the Clover, posing a threat or danger to the positivity of the Clover even though the end result will be contentment in a storyboard type of reading. But as you can see, the element of risk is always there.

In cases where the Scythe is the conclusive or final card, it would be a terrible mistake to see it as a harvesting of some sort because then you would be turning it into a positive card, which it most definitely is not.

The only association that this card has with the harvest is the season that it represents: autumn.




“Aux Dames” – an ode to the ladies

Sometimes the most unusual places reveal the most unexpected treasures. When going through some of my antique decks, I stumbled upon this little gem that accompanied the first instructions of the “Le Petit Cartomancien” deck by Grimaud. An hommage to all the card reading ladies…


”A gallant man should always honour the ladies for the success of his undertakings. One might think I am merely being gallant when seeing this dedication, but that would only be part of the truth. As a matter of fact, I have an additional aim: our destiny is in the hands of the ladies; therefore it is only appropriate to dedicate a publication to them whose sole purpose is to reflect on the secrets of destiny. There is another reason that leads me to this as well. Often, when a beautiful lady consults the magical cards, she tries to lift a tip of the veil on the future.

She is only driven to this act of curiosity by pure tenderness, a laudable sentiment: it’s for a father, a son, a spouse, that she wants to look into the future. How she quivers when an ill-fated card appears before her eyes! How she rejoices at the sight of a good omen in favour of the one she loves! Oh ladies! You are more sensitive than we are, which is why you want to know the future. How happy is he who sees the one he cherishes foretell his destiny from the symbolic figures and reassure him that happiness is just around the corner! At that moment he believes not in the cards, but in his friend’s smile.”


Isn’t it just beautiful?

I hope you enjoyed it and wish you all – ladies and gallant men – a happy Valentines Day!



Question for the Petit Etteilla, Coup de Cinq

A female querent wants to know if applying for the position of  “front office manager” would be beneficial for her. I decided to consult the Petit Etteilla.


Etteilla cards are traditionally read from right to left. The first card is our (preselected) significator, the Lady of

The cards answer in their typical “Etteilla style”, loud and clear but with the necessary amount of drama. The 8 of ♠ speaks of “prudentia”, the centuries-old allegory for wisdom and prudence. The “family name” of the reversed King of ♠ is weakness/cowardice. The reversed 9 of ♣ refers to a gift (first name) and the 10 of  brings gold. The last card in the row is the 10 of ♣, “apple of eye”. Now we just need to translate this into a comprehensible language that fits the context of the question.


Dear A,

Regardless of what the cards are telling us, I would say just go for it if you are interested in the job. Unless your application might compromise your current position or situation. There is nothing in this spread that advises against applying for the job. Just keep in mind that you might not end up being the chosen one. The cards are telling you to be careful because there is a certain cowardice/unfairness at play that sees the contextual gold (the job) being offered to someone who has already been favoured (apple of eye).  

Nothing ventured, nothing gained, but it looks like someone else will grab the loot…



If you are interested in working with the Petit Etteilla system and want to learn how to read the cards as they should be read, I offer a unique course based on the original source. You can book it here.

The Snake and the Stork

When I first started reading Lenormand, an elderly lady once told me a very interesting story about the Snake and the Stork that has never left my mind. It’s funny and extremely accurate.

Did you know that in real life the Stork is the enemy of the Snake? The White Stork is a carnivore and feeds up on a variety of amphibians and reptiles including snakes…


So think about this whenever you see the Stork and the Snake lined up in a spread.

When you are looking at the outcome of a situation, or if this is a combination in the Grand Tableau, the Snake + Stork combo indicates that there will be a change after a bad time (lies, stress, etc.). The Stork always brings a change in this combination, a positive one. Take note of the card coming after the Stork to find out what the change will bring.

The Stork beats the Snake, at least if it’s in the Stork’s crosshairs, because the Snake will not dare to look at its predator. In nature, the Stork looks the Snake in the eye. Good wins over evil.


If the Snake happens to be in a situation where the Stork is not alert, the Snake will use her cold and calculated nature to cause a change for the worse.

The Stork may well eat Snakes, but the Snake is smart enough to hide behind the Stork’s back. The Queen of Clubs wins over the Queen of Hearts only if she can approach her unexpectedly … the Snake will always strike at unguarded moments.


In this combination, with the Stork preceding the Snake, the cards could point to an ominous change or a vitriolic turnaround.

The cards pictured in this post are from Carta Mundi, which is the most popular deck amongst the old generation of readers in Belgium. As a matter of fact, for most of them it’s the only deck they ever use. So when applying this little “technique” to your readings, keep in mind that you may have to make some adjustments, depending on the direction in which the Stork and Snake are facing in your deck.

Are there any particular directional combinations that you are paying attention to in your readings? Let us know in the comments!




Welcome to our blog!



To all the non-Dutch speaking followers of Björn’s work and lovers of traditional cartomancy, we created this blog especially for you! Many of you have been repeatedly asking for English versions of Björn’s articles so this is the place where you will soon be able to enjoy them. Apart from the translations of previously published content, we will of course add tons of new stuff as well, so stay tuned!

We will cover a myriad of cartomantic systems such as Playing Cards, Petit Lenormand, Grand & Petit Etteilla, Tarot de Marseille, Le Petit Cartomancien and much more. Apart from the knowledge and folklore of traditional cartomancy we are also passionate about ‘the process’ and consider it our mission to shed some more light on this forgotten but essential aspect of the art.

We hope you enjoy this journey as much as we do and look forward to interacting with you. Don’t forget to subscribe!

Thank you so much,

Ruth & Björn


Diseur de Bonne Aventure – Björn Meuris
Card reader, cartomancy teacher, blogger and author of the Petit Lenormand Encyclopedia.

Diseuse de Bonne Aventure – Ruth Gistelinck
Card reader and blogger.