In Paris, a fortuneteller named Marie-Anne Adelaide Lenormand was renowned for her card-reading skills. Though her deck wasn’t a tarot deck, her technique set the tone for generations of seers to follow. In fact, variations of her 36 card deck still exist. It’s known as the Petit Lenormand or the Gypsy Witch deck, and it’s still popular with cartomancers — people who tell fortunes with cards.
Marie Lenormand was born in Alencon, France in 1772. When she was 14, she started studying astrology, mythology, tarot, and numerology. During the French Revolution at the end of that century, members of the upper class visited her salon in Paris’ Rue de Tournan and consulted her about their futures. Unfortunately, some of them didn’t have much of a future, and Lenormand occasionally had to tell them they were doomed.
Marie even read cards for the Emperor Napoleon and his wife Josephine. Marie reportedly met them at a swanky, high-society party. Napoleon reportedly laughed out loud when she predicted that he would ascend to the throne of France. But later, when her prophecy came true and she followed up by predicting Napoleon’s eventual divorce from Josephine, the emperor had Marie imprisoned until the split was final. And later, when Marie predicted the fall of his empire, Napoleon banished her from Paris.
I offer tarot and astrology readings online and in person at my Haunted Antique Shop in DeLand, Florida. To schedule a reading, click here.