Marie Anne Lenormand

One of France’s most well-known early cartomancers and expert fortune-tellers though the Revolutionary duration, Marie-Anne Adelaide Lenormand (or Le Normand) (1772-1843) turned into not just or generally a cartomancer, but also used palmistry and different techniques for divination. For Tarot, she used the Etteilla deck.

Orphaned in Childhood

Marie-Anne changed into nonetheless a younger female when her mom died, leaving her together with her father and sister and brother. Father remarried, but when he died soon after, Marie-Anne and her brother and sister were left inside the care in their stepmother. When her step mom remarried, the three little Lenormands had been now entirely within the care of parents who had no blood relation to them, however who nonetheless organized for correct training, with the end result that Marie-Anne became sent off to a succession of faculties.

“Man has need of something excellent. It is better for him to are trying to find it in religion than in Mademoiselle Lenormand.”

Little Diviner

Showing psychic potential at the age of 7, and interested by many types of divination from an early age, on the Benedictine convent, she recklessly but efficiently prophesied the termination of the mother superior’s role and expected who her successor might be. This changed into considered one of her first excellent predictions, and were given her into trouble – and now not for the remaining time, since it’s neither wise to promise terrible fortune, nor wise to appear to advantage an excessive amount of have an impact on over the rich and effective. For this motive (she wrote), Napoleon Bonaparte resented her later have an impact on his wife, Josephine de Beauharnais.

Went to Paris

In time, she was apprenticed to a milliner. At the age of 14, Lenormand persuaded her step-mother to allow her to visit Paris to seek her fortune. Her step-father had her positioned at a shop wherein she learnt some e-book preserving and mathematics.

Little Scrivener

Shortly after she was able to set herself up at five rue de Tournon as a bookseller and secretary which worked as a front for her fortune-telling organisation. There she prospered as a fortune teller in the course of the French Revolutionary length.

She acquired good sized reputation, in part because of a knack for self-promoting and a later writing profession, but additionally because of her popularity, and the well-known names which got here to her door. Over the years she told the fortunes of many of France’s royal and innovative “elite.” Among her clients had been the Princess de Lamballe, the Superintendent of the Queen Marie Antoinette’s Household; Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, the Comte de Mirabeau; Robespierre, the unwell-fated Deputy of the Committee of Public Safety; the diplomat Talleyrand; Prince Metternich, and Czar Alexander of Russia.

Little Prisoner

Her parents were proud royalists, and early in her profession younger Marie-Anne joined in a plot to get Marie Antoinette out of prison (she says), however become arrested and imprisoned herself. While in prison she become passed a be aware from another prisoner, a white Creole female from Martinique, who had heard of Marie-Anne’s top notch predictions, and wanted a few solutions herself.

The Woman became a Lady

Madam de Beauharnais, referred to as Rose, was the wife of a French aristocrat, Alexandre François Marie de Beauharnais, Vicomte de Beauharnais (28 May 1760 – 23 July 1794). He became a General and had been president of the National Constituent Assembly. Accused of failing to safely protect Mainz, he was picked up by using the police in March 1794 at some stage in the Reign of Terror and imprisoned.

Rose have been picked up shortly after, each accused of being enemies of the Revolution: two of the many victims of the chaotic and murderous warfare of terror being waged with the aid of the revolutionary dictatorship. Along with many other political prisoners, she become aggravating to have her fortune advised. Rose became a touch superstitious.

Empress of the French

Marie-Anne answered to mention that after horrible misfortune, Rose could get better, marry a soldier, and could comply with him on his upward push to the top.

Soon satisfying the dire first prediction, Rose’s husband, regrettably, changed into guillotined. Five days later the Terror ended with the trial and execution of Robespierre, and the cease of the Committee of Public Safety (consistent with Lenormand she had formerly warned him). Within days, Rose changed into launched together with Marie-Anne, and lots of other fortunate survivors of the cruel Reign of Terror.

The Dead Don’t Complain

Rose soon sought out Marie-Anne at her vicinity at 5 rue de Tournon, and persisted to patronize the fortune teller after Rose–though now referred to as Joséphine (a call her new soldier husband preferred)–have become the spouse of Napoleon and the first Empress of the French.

Long Career

Marie-Anne Lenormand had an extended career as a fortune teller – through numerous French revolutions, and turned into imprisoned several instances, something that wasn’t unexpected given the temper of the instances and her royalist leanings. What can be surprising is that, more than Cagliostro, she changed into famous at a time in French history while superstition changed into supposed to be passé, while faith turned into weakened, and when suitable citizens were speculated to be committed to cause and virtue peculiarly.

Fortune, Fraud or Fantasy?

While biographers are careful to word that most of the first-class testimonies about Mlle. Lenormand stem from her personal writings, and are unsupported, she turned into now not tainted by way of accusations of fraud like Cagliostro and lots of others who plied similar trades. Her career become no longer strictly prison and her association with the effective factors of French politics for the duration of a time of civil conflict positioned her in a function to be a spy and a manipulator, and to be presumed to be one, as she became, through the Revolutionary Committee and through Napoleon himself, who distrusted her affect over his wife.

“…It changed into impossible for creativeness to conceive a greater hideous being. She gave the look of a gigantic toad, bloated and venomous. She had one walleye, however the other become a piercer. She wore a fur cap upon her head, from under which she glared out upon her horrified visitors.

The walls of the room have been protected with large bats, nailed by using their wings to the ceiling, crammed owls, cabalistic signs and symptoms, skeletons—in brief, the entirety that become in all likelihood to impress a susceptible or superstitious thoughts. This malignant-searching Hecate had spread out earlier than her several packs of playing cards, with all kinds of unusual figures and ciphers depicted on them. Her first query, uttered in a deep voice, turned into whether you would have the grand or petit jeu, which become merely a count of form. She then inquired your age, and what changed into the colour and the animal you favored. Then came, in an authoritative voice, the word “Coupez,” repeated at periods, till the needful wide variety of cards from the diverse packs had been selected and positioned in rows aspect by using aspect. No similarly questions were requested, and no attempt was made to discover who or what you were, or to watch upon your countenance the effect of the revelations.

She neither prophesied smooth matters to you nor tried to excite your fears, however regarded really to agree with in her personal strength. She knowledgeable me that I turned into un militaire, that I ought to be two times married and have numerous youngsters, and foretold many different events that have additionally come to pass, although I did no longer on the time agree with one word of the sibyl’s prediction.”

Mademoiselle Le Normand, in Celebrities of London and Paris, By Rees Howell Gronow.

A former Minister of Finance in both the Kingdoms of Westphalia and Württemberg (President Von Malchus; the Count Marienrode), determined her manner and preparation and idea her careful and methodical. At the realization of their assembly, he requested that she placed her observations in writing, which – after a few weeks had exceeded – she did. Comparing her sight reading along with her formal exposition, he referred to the similarity and detail, and concluded that to reproduce the identical effects, weeks apart, she should have based her predictions totally on the notes and formulae in the front of her, implying a strict technique and consistency she did no longer veer from.

While she used the Etteilla Tarot for her work. She did no longer restrict herself to that, and experimented with and used some of occult arts in her divination, notably palmistry. While it has been suggested that she decorated her successes and cultivated her reputation, she has now not been accused of fraud, and seemed each responsible and dedicated to her craft.

Fortune & Family

She retired as a very wealthy girl again to her local town of Alençon. Described in her later years as brief, fats, and simple, Lenomand become not acknowledged to be interested by marriage, and did no longer marry. However, while her sister died, she followed her two youngsters, and made the closing son her heir after the daughter died.

Dead Reckoning

Despite predicting she would live to over a hundred, Marie-Anne Lenormand died in 1843 at the age of 71. A deck of Tarot playing cards (the Lenormand Deck) was named in honour of her after her death, and remains famous nowadays, in particular in Germany.

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