The Grand Tableau (meaning ‘big picture’), or full board, is the traditional way of laying and reading the Petit Lenormand. For many, including myself, it was how we learned to manipulate the cards. In fact, I believe all diviners using the Petit Lenormand should spend time studying the full board. Why? It is how the method was developed and what it was designed for. Studying the Grand Tableau is how you see the cards in their full glory.
The full board is a reflection of the Querent’s life. Specifically, it provides a view of the strands of Fate that comprise our reality. Each row or column can be seen as a thread in Fate’s weaving, and the cards are the circumstances, processes or chain of events that occur on that strand. When understood in this light the full board allows us to see how all the different strands intersect and affect each other. It is a mirror of reality: the big picture.
Over time, I have developed a way of reading the tableau that incorporates what I learned from my teachers and what I learned through practice, trial, and error. The latter is important: the more you read, the more you find your way of navigating.
As such, over time, you can adapt or dispense methods you first learn. My recommendation is to keep it simple; keep the focus on the cards, not on the techniques.
The Grand Tableau:
- Four Rows of Nine or 12 x 3: The Different Patterns.
- Near and Far: Mapping Engagement.
- Time and the Full Board: All Future or the Past, the Present and the Future.
- Les Maisons: House Systems.
- Step One: The Cut, the First Three Cards and the Corners.
- Step Two: Time Frame and From Left to Right and Top to Bottom.
- Step Three: Answering Questions.
The Petit Lenormand/Cartomantes’ Cabinet © abCartomancy 2010 – 2021