Over time it has become de rigueur to divide the Grand Tableau into the past, the present and the future. Despite the ubiquitous nature of this scheme, it was not always so. The original method instead saw the full board as showing the present and (near) future. Quite often, the diviner working with tableaus (of any cards) would deal two or three for their client. The first would describe the present and near future, the second the more distant future, etc.

The traditional version is the preference of both myself and my clientele. I reserve the past, the present and the future (PPF) variation for clients who want to focus on a specific topic or problem.

The Traditional All Future:

One reason diviners struggle with the older present and future scheme is it seems impenetrable. They find it hard to navigate it – where is “the start.” However, it is not too difficult.

The easiest way to read it is with a technique I refer to as division. It is a way of breaking the tableau up into four sections, according to the flow of time. So whatever timeframe you are using, it must be divided into four.

So, for April 2021, you can see each division is 7.5/8 days.

Division 1:

The first row and the first two columns.

Division 2:

The second row and the third and fourth columns.

Division 3:

The third row and the sixth and seventh columns.

Division 4:

The fourth row and the eighth and ninth columns.

The fifth column can be read as the “surprise.”

Now that you know what timeframe each division represents, you simply read in order. You start with the first row, and then you read the first two columns (top to bottom). Each row is just three trios. Each column two pairs.

Once that is done, you move to the second division and so on.

The division allows us to break the tableau into manageable chunks from an interpretive level. I have genuinely found that events augured do occur within the timeframe associated with the appropriate division about 90 per cent of the time. However, life is not neat, and division does not set a complete itinerary that Father Time will follow.

The Past, the Present and the Future:

Should you wish to use the PPF variety, you can see an example in my book: Lenormand Thirty-Six Cards. However, I will briefly outline the basics.

Once the cards are shuffled and cut, you deal them out in your preferred version of the Grand Tableau.

Next, you find the Significator. As always, that is the Child (for a man or woman under 20-years), the Lady or the Gentleman.

Once found, the cards to their left refer to the past and the cards to the right the future. The vertical column it occupies can be seen as the present or recent past (below) and now (above).

In the illustration below, you can see the scheme. The blue cards are the past and the red cards are the future. The green cards are the present.

There is another way.

If you have read the section on building combinations, you will be familiar with directionality. Readers who use directionality use the Significator cards’ facing to determine the past (behind) and the future (in front).

In the illustration below, you can see the Gentleman card’s future is on the left. In contrast, the left shows the Lady card’s past.

If you use directionality, I recommend that you also deal out the cards in the direction the Significator faces. Using the deck shown here, I would deal the cards right to left for a male client and left to right for a female client.

The Petit Lenormand/Cartomantes’ Cabinet © abCartomancy 2010 – 2021  

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