The layouts in Lenormand vary greatly in size and complexity and offer answers to “yes or no” questions as well detailed forecasts for up to several year into the future. Still, most of us tend to turn to the cards for immediate answers to pressing everyday concerns. For this, the five-card spread (also sometimes referred to as “a line of five”) is one of the more popular ways of gaining insight into the workings of the world and a glimpse into what is likely to pass. The layout is small enough not to take up much of your space nor time, and can be spread out anywhere at the blink of an eye. At the same time, it is definitely large enough to offer plenty of detail on any given topic.
The basic principle of reading a line of five is very similar to the previously discussed three-card reading. The best way to go about it, especially if you happen to be a novice, is to read it straight through – left to right, as if it were a sentence – treating each individual card as a word or an expression in your short story.
A line consisting of Tower + Bear + Clover + Fish + Scythe may thus be interpreted as “the large company you work for will stop giving out small financial bonuses.” To clarify this further, we should say that the Tower tends to stand for an official institution or place of business while the Bear normally amplifies the card that comes before it. The Clover on the other hand denotes a small (with particular emphasis on its diminutive quality) win, a brief stroke of luck, a bonus which, in this case, is of financial nature due to the Fish being next in line. All of this however is about to cease because our narrative, our sentence if you will, ends abruptly, as if cut off by the razor-sharp Scythe.
The other way of going about interpreting any five-card spread is to read in pairs, treating each couple of cards as a separate concept or idea. If we use the 1+2, 2+3, 3+4, 4+5 method, we need to make sure that we are not dragging the meaning of each card from the previous pair into the next, as already discussed in the post on card combinations.
One thing that differentiates the line of five from that of three cards is the possibility of multiple instances of “mirroring”, or pairing of cards on the opposite sides of the center. By using this method of combining card 1 with 5, and card 2 with 4, we can gain further insight into how the story will unfold. This creates a multi-faceted experience and offers far more detail we can work with. It also gives us another building block and another stepping stone on our way towards understanding the Grand tableau.