Spring is running wild and I am trying my best to enjoy the sunny blessings. Today we will cover the Lenormand’s most advanced game, the Grand Tableau. While I have identified with the German tradition more so than the French, but you can expect a bit of an eclectic mix of the traditions as we squeeze the juice out of this tableau. This is a completely different dynamic to that of the tarot, which has been our main focus. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy sharing it.

As I lay out the cards over the luscious reading cloth, I pay close attention to the houses versus the cards that land on them. This time around I had my first match, card # 18 Dog landed over the house of the Dog card. It is a friendship card, making me feel as though my friendships are reconciled and stable. I like to refer to each house lying under the card because it tells me a little bit about where I am at that point in time. Most of the times I checked, the results were quite beautiful. On the house of the Heart, the Moon card was drawn and I thought of the word “soulmates.” It made me smile. There are several other connections that made sense, like the Cross over the Lilies as Death. The position of the Cross card made me weary of the message, though, obviously. For the most part this is a very positive spread.

I usually start out by reading the first four cards to find out a little more about the spread. Then I look at the four corners also for a little more information.

Tree + Mice + Lady + Fish = A girl (me) needs to take care of her health if she wants to be fit for her line of work. When I check the houses under each card, I trace connections between them.

Tree + Rider = Family news. I had a call from my sister recently, whom I have not heard from in months.

Clover + Mice = Luck is not as it has been in previous months. Don’t take risks.

Lady + Ship = A voyage lies ahead, a new adventure. Change is in the air.

Fish + House = Finances are stable.

This Grand Tableau is talking about the circumstances around me as I prepare to make anew journey to improve my experience in my career.


Now that the general theme of the Grand Tableau has been established, we move to the four corners of the tableau to find out a little more information.

Tree + Snake + Ship + Man = There is a man in the family making a trip soon. I will leave it at that for now.

If we use the houses here, we get the following interpretations:

Tree + Rider = News about the family.

Snake + Coffin = Unpleasant end to something.

Ship + Ring = Contract is fulfilled.

Man + Moon = Resting.

Moving on…

There is an extra line of four at the bottom that can provide information about things we can’t change. Since I had some space in the spread cloth and Ciro Marchetti provides extra cards, — all of which I keep in my deck for my readings. It works for me even though it isn’t at all traditional! — I placed the extra cards to either side of the tableau. I use meanings from Mary K. Greer’s own interpretation to aid the reading. More on that later.

In the line of fate, I have Whip + Lilies + Child + Mask. This means that issues from childhood could be playing a role in the direction of the events, or that there is an underlying influence from childhood memories or past experience that is key to understanding this tableau. Now for the houses.

Whip + Key = A difficult chance.
Lilies + Fish = Spiritual work.
Child + Anchor = From a young age, lasting a long time.
Mask + Cross = Unable to show true identity. Taking off a mask.

This means: After hiding a gift for a long time, I have taken off the mask and made it my main source of income. I work in the spiritual field.


Mary K. Greer devised her own interpretation of the four extra cards in Ciro Marchetti's Gilded Reverie Lenormand. She meant it for use of the special cards outside the tableau, but I mixed them all together so I am counting the cards that landed on the positions.

1st: what's most important (for instance, Mask could suggest that the 'masked' Houses are extra important).
Key = Finding solutions. Unlocking doors to opportunity.

2nd: an obstacle - something that could get in the way of a clear interpretation or resolution.
Woman =
There is someone standing in my way of progress.

3rd: hidden wisdom, a teaching.
Path = Can go both ways depending on how ready we are to make a decision. Will make us choose one path or the other.

4th: moving on (Time indicates patience: it will take time before things will be resolved; Mask would say something significant in the future is still unknown; Dice - take a random chance; Bridge - Yes, now's the time to move on).
Dice = Take a gamble on luck and time. We don't have control, it happens by chance.

The first part is over. Now you know what this is all about, so it’s time to interpret the rest of the Grand Tableau. This is where it starts to get a little more complicated.

Identify your signifier and then try reading the 8 cards around it. It presents a scene to you. Mine was very easy to spot because it shows up at the very start of the reading. Unfortunately there are no more cards over the signifier, which means that I will have no look into the thoughts of the signifier. Since this is a demo, that is an interesting observation. This is not so much about thinking, it is more about what will happen. For more reference, we can read the line that strings down as well.

Lady + Bear + Birds + Rider + Whip = There is talk going on about work and family matters. Both at once, quite loud and quite out of control.

Now to read the cards around my signifier. I do so clockwise.

Lady + Fish + Heart + Bear + House + Mice = I focus on a line of work that involves helping others. It is a big company and it is stable, but it does sap me of my energy more than I would like to admit.

I found the signifier for my significant other at the very end of the tableau, and took the liberty to read his spread of 9:

Man + Letter + Moon + Man + Dice + Road (Path) + Mask + Cross + Mountain = At work, he is considering writing an important document to end his journey if a misfortune cannot be rectified. He is taking a gamble, to speak is to condemn himself and to stay quiet is to accept torture. The mask is the person involved, and quite interesting because I could see that person having two faces. He hopes for the best.

This speaks of two situations, actually. Interesting how they could converge.

Once we know what is going around the signifiers, we can use the famous knighting technique to find out a little more about them.

Lady + Fish + Heart + Anchor = I love my line of work and will continue to do it for a long time. It makes me happy. We could also add the houses to the interpretation.

Ship + House + Birds + Park =
Moving, but continuing the line of work in person. And each card can be combined with the corresponding house for more information.

Lady + Ship = Moving.
Fish + House = Working from home.
Heart + Birds = Gossip about love. Talking to a lover.
Park + Anchor = Staying in the community.

I string together the cards before the signifier, and those reaching back.

Ahead: Lady + Fish + Clover + Bridge + Tower + Snake = Be careful, mind your luck as you make your way to your new job. The job you thought you wanted could turn out not to be the one you thought you needed. Adding the houses, we get the following:

Lady + Ship = Moving.
Fish + House = Work from home.
Clover + Tree = Delicate health. Family issue.
Bridge + Clouds = Heaven. Not knowing.
Tower + Snake = Dishonest work place.
Snake + Coffin = Unfortunate event. Unfair end.

I see some overlap now. As you find you near the end of the tableau, the messages will continue to overlap until you can find no more new information.

Back: Mice + Tree = Family problem. A loss in the family from before could once more manifest or be talked about.
Mice + Clover =
Less luck.
Tree + Rider = Family news.

See? More overlap.

This is my favorite part. I tend to trace connections amongst signifiers, or find stories that are not directly a part of the tableau, but somehow influence it. I trace diagonal lines.

Bouquet + House + Lady + Heart + Coffin + Cross + Path + Man = After a beautiful start of a relationship, there is a tie being cut to a man of the family.

Since there was only one house corresponded with the card, I decided to draw a line over the Dog’s house. Yikes, maybe I shouldn’t have read that.

This is the end for now. There are many things you can try to really squeeze the meaning out of a reading. I recommend that you try it out and enjoy the process! I hope you will share your progress with me in the comments section or write to me with your own blog entry about how you have performed this reading. I love reading about how others go about their readings.



  1. This proved to be a helpful guide to me as I deciphered my first GT. Thank you, Valerie <3

    1. I am so glad! Happy reading and happy new year!!!

  2. interesting to me now its time for a reading.

  3. I do not understand the bridges and wish there was some combos to reference to. For instance bridges and coffin. Is this an end to any resolution?

    1. I would read that like burning a bridge, or end of a journey. The 3rd card needs to be before it specifying what the journey was about. What comes after Coffin is likely new or refers to another aspect.

  4. I am confused with the mask combination of my reading. I pulled mask, house, stars, tower, coffin. I put money down on a house but could not get the loan so I am trying to get my money back. How does the mask relate to the house?