“The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook by Caitlin Matthews is a wonderfully comprehensive and practical Lenormand guide. Matthews does a thorough job of presenting the history of the Oracle to give the reader a solid sense of the deck’s development over the centuries. The clear definitions, varied reading techniques, and extensive practice exercises are a helpful introduction to the deck for new readers, and provide insightful and challenging tools for the more experienced Lenormand reader to move well beyond basic cartomancy. Matthews has created an inspirational manual for Lenormand which can be a reader’s companion at all stages of their cartomantic career.”
The above is the short version of this review, provided to Inner Traditions for inclusion in the marketing materials for the book. For more detail, read on!
Allow me to start by saying that I have enjoyedCaitlin Matthews’ prolific output over the years. Her Da Vinci Enigma Tarot consumed my life for months when it came into my life. I greatly appreciate Matthews’ ability to combine historical scholarship with myth and magic to create her unique and intriguing take on the various oracles she studies.
The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook is the newest addition to Matthews’ body of work, and a most welcome book on the subject of Lenormand.
One of the things I appreciate most about Matthews’ work is her ability to present a complete and yet concise history of the topic. Her careful research and inclusion of up-to-the-minute developments is a refreshing change from the half vague, half sensational dramas that I’ve seen far too many other authors rely on in an attempt to lend legitimacy to their topic. Matthews takes great care to present factually correct and useful history.
The material is divided into four sections of 13 chapters, plus appendices, notes, bibliography, and index. Praise to the publishers for the index! Too many recent releases are omitting this important item, making it much harder for the reader to track down that one sentence they desperately want to find again.
In addition to card meanings and sample readings, Matthews also provides self-test items so the reader can check in with themselves about their grasp of the material. While my answers didn’t always match the ones in the answer key, it was quite helpful to think about the answer in the book and work through it, and then review my own answer.
Matthews provides a wide range of techniques to use within each reading to create a more meaningful experience for the client (and the reader–we learn so much each time we read for another!).
The sample readings are illustrated with cards from various Lenormand decks, including Matthews’ own The Enchanted Lenormand Oracle (you can read that review here), and my very favorite Lenormand, the Lenormand Revolution by Carrie Paris. Seeing the various representations of the same image among the different decks is useful and inspirational.
And so, in closing, I repeat: “Matthews has has created an inspirational manual for Lenormand which can be a reader’s companion at all stages of their cartomantic career.”