After the three-card spread, the line of five, the Portrait, the Trigger and the Petit tableau, finally comes the mother of all cartomantic layouts – the Grand tableau. It is the most comprehensive fortune-telling method you can use without reshuffling and rearranging the cards and employs literally the entire deck of the Lenormand. With all 36 cards laid out before you, it is very likely you may feel intimidated at first, having no idea where to begin. Still, there is no need to fear. The truth is – if you can read any of the above mentioned spreads – you can read the Grand Tableau. The whole thing rests on the same principles, and uses the same rules we have learned so far to give deeply insightful and extraordinarily precise forecasts. Cards are always read in pairs or strings and nearly any topic you need insight into can be treated as a separate ‘Portrait’. But let us establish the basics first.
There are two ways of reading the Grand tableau and, in this article, we will discuss the more traditional one. The cards are laid out with four rows of eight, plus a small fifth row at the bottom consisting of four cards. The second version is formed of four rows of nine and functions on the same principles as its Kipper counterpart but that is a topic left for another post. Our current focus is on the 8×4+4 formula. Reading it is not as hard as it may first appear.
Once all of the cards are before you, the first thing you ought to do is locate the significator. 28. Lady will serve as one for a female and 29. Gentleman will do for a male client. This will represent the querrent and serve as an anchor of the entire reading. The cards that are found to the left of our ‘person card’ will represent the past and those to the right the future. Just like with the Portrait, what is above is likely to belong to the realm of thoughts and aspirations while what is below will remind us of cold, hard reality. Of course, this is just a vague, general rule of thumb and your intuition will play a large part in forming the correct idea and assembling this seemingly kaleidoscopic jigsaw puzzle. Other rules apply too – pairs, corners, diagonals – you already know them all.
If there is a particular area of concern you may have, locating its symbol in the spread will help you greatly. The Tree will serve to inform you of health, House will stand for matters of your home and family , Heart will more than obviously focus on love, Fox on your current job, Bear on your boss, the Anchor on your overall career or life’s calling, Fish will correspond to money, and Ship to travel. Once you find what you’re looking for, simply treat the surrounding cards as an individual Portrait spread and you will easily gain insight into what is about to pass in the area of your life that is the most important to you at the time.
Considering the size of the Grand tableau, it is good to mention to idea of distance – the so-called near-and-far method. It happens so that, the closer a card is to your significator, the stronger influence it will have on it, and the farther away it may be, the less relevant it will be. The concept of directionality is also of importance as some cards face one way or the other (in particular the people cards, but also the Clouds, Scythe and Book) which then focuses their effect in one direction and thus modifies the meaning depending on how the other cards are positioned.
The possibilities of the Grand tableau are practically endless. Still, it is not a spread you should use on a daily basis. Considering its size and complexity, as well as the time frame it can cover (for it can go as far as one or even two years into the future), makes it a seasonal occassion, or at least a tool you pull when you have a set of interconnected issues at hand that you want to tackle. It’s a “general” reading but one that will provide you with A LOT of information. Use it wisely.