Titania — Lenormand’s Psychodelic Sister

When the Lenormand has just started picking my interest, in the early stages of my addiction when I spent only a small amount of time and money on these cards, I came across images from Titania’s Fortune Cards — and they made me cringe. “Who?”, I thought to myself, “who would buy and enjoy such a horrid card set?”

To me it seemed a complete sensory overload with golden borders; like a vintage china plate stained with paint by a child’s fingertips.

Well, surprise, surprise! Here I am, a true Lenormand fiend, with Titania’s in hand, humming:

Sitting in an English garden waiting for the sun.
If the sun don’t come, you get a tan
From standing in the English rain.
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus, goo goo g’joob g’goo goo g’joob

In her book, Titania’s Fortune Cards — How to interpret the cards,  the author Tiania Harding explains that she’s been fascinated by the Lenormand ever since her mother’s friend, Marion Charlouis, read the cards at the age of 13. She explains:

These cards are a modern interpretation of those she [Charlouis] used: we have remained faithful to the symbol and much of the meaning she invested in each image, but have given a more up-to-date feel to communicate the different ways we now lead our lives.

I am not sure what to make of the ways Miss Harding leads her life in the year 2000, judging by the color palette of the cards. Though in my experience, these little, inverted and neony peculiarities trigger that nostalgic spot in myself were naive fantasies of Woodstock, free love, and LSD live. In my mind, these cards represent a 1960’s reincarnation of Mlle Lenormand.

Just Look at her, I hear my Spirit of Divination exclaiming:

Look! Today Marie Anne Adelaide is wearing nothing but her hair down. Swinging from side to side, she’s dancing to a psychodelic tune playing only in her mind.

What does she say? Does she have a message for us? I ask.

Groovy, replies my Spirit of Divination, She says, Groo-Vy.

The real reason I finally made the decision to purchase this deck was a few conversations on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum about the similarity of the Titania interpretations to the Russian school of Lenormand. Since there are no books in English on the subject, I ordered this deck and book set from The Book Depositary.

A week later, sitting in my office I observed a cooky 4X9 arrangement staring back at me from the hardwood floor. Suddenly I wasn’t cringing. The images, though painfully saturated, carried very clear and concise messages. The experience was very different from what I expected. There was no complex, multi-layerd meshing of meaning and art; like the collaged, new wave versions of Lenormand that have been flooding the market recently — vis a vie Melissa, Alice in Wonderland, and Les Vieus Jours.

I was immediately aware of the ease with which this pack communicates. Without numbers, words, playing card inserts, or multifaceted imagery the key symbols float atop the overly saturated backgrounds in an almost juvenile fashion. It doesn’t take long before a card bangs it’s meaning over your eyeball.

Looking through the book I did find some resemblance to the Russian school of Lenormand (at least compared to several Russian (online) sources and their English translation on the AT Forum), though other interpretations weren’t similar at all. For instance, this is what, Titania Hardy says of the Cross: “This is the card of destiny! You are looked after, and your road is in the hands of the gods.” The Russian sources, on the other hand, place a much heavier spin on this religious symbol — it represents the cross one has to bear, so to speak.

After a little bonding time, I actually found many cards attractive, in their own neony way. I really like the Tower and the Tree cards. And the Anchor and the Star are simply Psychobilly-adorable. But other cards I still find particularly unappealing. For instance, all I can think about when I look at the the Man and the Woman cards is “Barbie and Ken are getting married”. These really don’t work for me, and I have a hard time “charging” these for myself or my clients.

Finally, I am not sorry at all for investing in Titania’s deck. Like the 1960’s, there’s something endearingly hopeful and playful in this psychedelic pack of cards. And so, I leave you with a trippy version of Beatles’ I am the Walrus, performed by Bono in an original movie musical Across the Universe

Have a groovy week, y’all!

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7 thoughts on “Titania — Lenormand’s Psychodelic Sister

  1. Prince Le Normand (@princelenormand) says:

    I read this post affectionately. I have a handful of Lenormands: a few old ones, an Art Nouveau and the Mystical. I actually passed this one on to a friend when we were practicing together. Out of all them, I found this one the easiest to read. I think it is it’s boldness and the lack of too much detail and clutter. I had thought the artwork crude to begin with, but as I used it, I began to love those rich colours. Probably my favourite of the Lenormands I have owned. A real surprise. And I liked Titania’s book and combination interpretations too. Great set for a little price.

    • Madame Nadia says:

      The kick I get from these funny cards really surprises me. There’s something about their the mixture of their crudeness that really works. It’s like watermelon and Feta cheese; seemingly incomparable, but when consumed together on a hot summer day, taste heavenly.

  2. Cardseer says:

    Hi Nadia, I love your psychedelic 60’s take on the Titania cards! I debated long and hard before purchasing this deck because the images seemed so harsh to me. In the end I ordered it because so many people raved about the accompanying book. Happily I was not disappointed with the book, and surprisingly I absolutely fell in love with the cards. I agree that they’re hypnotic in a weird trippy kind of way. I was disappointed with the card stock though– and that’s the only reason I don’t use this deck more. Thanks for reminding me of the neon magic. 🙂

  3. loishastings says:

    Hi I have the Titania deck, and get on far better with it than my Lenormands, which seem a little too austere in comparison, at least on some days. I love the bright garish colours, though I did wonder if they were too childish at first, and thought maybe they were a poor relation of the Lenormands, but no, I am really very surprised at how well they work with me, and me with them. I like their no-nonsense imagery, and tend to use them for my weekly spreads the most.

    The Universe is trying to tell me I have enough cards now, I have ordered two decks from Amazon, one which got lost in the post and never arrived, and the other has been cancelled by the supplier. Not funny, Universe! (I am a cardaholic). But I get the message.

    Much lovexx
    L

  4. Marina says:

    This was one of my first Lenormand decks… it’s been a long time since I studied/used Lenormand, but when I did I used Titania’s method. And I really liked it! I realize her method is quite limited compared to others out there, like Treppner’s and Steinbach’s, but it holds a special place in my heart. And personally, I LOVE the cards! I love their design and bold colors, for me it’s a pleasure to read them. As a short-sighted person, cards with soft colors and tiny busy designs make me squint. With Titania’s cards, I never had this problem. 😛

    I am happy that you decided to give it a chance! ❤

  5. andybc says:

    I have to say Madame Nadia, I do like Titania’s deck.

    What I have found is they talk a little differently to my other Lenormands, which in a way gives them a lovely different feel. I have heard a few stories of where she came to those meanings. Whilst she has claimed a Russian influence, they are not totally akin to the Russian school meanings. But again – that’s the charm.

    I think you will like them very much.

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