The petit Lenormand as we know it today was based on an earlier card game called the Game of Hope that was created in Germany by Johann Kaspar Hechtel in 1799. He was a German businessman and designer of parlor games including the prototype for the Petit Lenormand. Click picture at left to take you to the Wikipedia page.
Instead of one playing card insert, this deck had two at the top, one of a French style, the other German, that accommodated various styles of play. The familiar Lenormand images we see today were the primary pictures. This pack was easily carried by travelers or soldiers that could create a spur-of-the-moment board game by laying out the cards 1-36 in six rows. Dice & tokens were used to move from one card to another. Interestingly, the directions that came with the deck also included instructions for a fortune telling game that could be laid out in the same way as the traditional Grand Tableau spread.
Marcus Katz and Tali Goodwin, authors of Learning Lenormand: Traditional Fortune Telling for Modern Life, recently licensed Das Spiel der Hofnung (Game of Hope) from the British Museum and had the original instructions translated from German to English by Steph Myriel Es-Tragon. If you would like to know how to play, you can download a PDF of the instructions from the original Game of Hope from their site:
UPDATE: It appears that the file cannot be found on their website. Here is a pdf download of the translation by Steph Myriel Es-Tragon to share with those who are having trouble finding it on the Learning Lenormand website.
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Maree Bento is a collage artist and practitioner of the mystical & healing arts.
She’s a professional tarot reader and veteran deck creator born under a Sagittarius Sun with a Libra Rising & Capricorn Moon conjunct Pallas Athena. She's been stepping up her astrology studies the last few years, after a years-long hobby interest in the subject.
Maree has been a licensed massage therapist for 17 years practicing various holistic modalities for body, mind, and spiritual well-being & connection.
Her background in the healing arts deepened her intuitive abilities and inspires her present approach to tarot, creativity, ritual, and divination.
She loves to travel and enjoys connecting with family, friends, & animals. She lives in Pacific NW U.S.A. with her beloved, David, and their huggable hound, Dante where they hike rain or shine.
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