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The Sirens’ Song, by Carrie Paris and Toni Savory

The Sirens’ Song: Divining the Depths with Lenormand & Kipper Cards, by Carrie Paris and Toni Savory
Weiser Books, 9781578638062, 144 pages, 78 cards, August 2023

Being somewhat of a newbie with Lenormand cards, I jumped at the chance to work with The Sirens’ Song: Diving the Depths with Lenomand & Kipper Cards by Carrie Paris and Toni Savory with contribution from Tina Hardt. The Sirens’ Song is a combination divination kit that contains 40 Lenormand cards and 38 Kipper cards. (What I know about Kipper cards would fit in an earbud!)

Paris is one of my favorite diviners and deck creators and I had an opportunity to meet with her for coffee at a tarot event several years ago. She is a generous, incredibly creative and gifted teacher and mentor. I’ve also “met” Savory on Zoom via her World Divination events, and her knowledge and enthusiasm for various types of card divination is contagious! When I heard that the two of them collaborated on this kit, I was very excited to learn more.

Paris has created four other tarot and Lenormand decks, as well as numerous charm casting kits. Her The Relative Tarot and The Beloved Dead kits are two of my favorites for communicating with the ancestors for messages and guidance to live my life. Paris is a very talented artist, who blends art and graphic elements from across many eras to create her decks and frequent Facebook posts. She has a master’s degree in the Cultural Study of Cosmology and Divination from the University of Kent, UK. Learn more about Paris at her website.

Savory (aka The Card Geek) founded the World Divination Association and hosts virtual teaching events several times a year with a collection of teachers and mentors. She is also well-known for hosting free events with classes on tarot, Lenormand, Kipper and other types of cards. She has created five other decks and written five books on card divination. Savory has researched Kipper decks for more than ten years, including spending time with the families of readers going back several generations. See more at her website.

Contributor Hardt is an author, who has worked with Paris to create the guidebooks for The Relative Tarot, The Beloved Dead, and The Sirens’ Song. She considers herself a diviner and enjoys sitting in circles and communicating with departed souls.

Paris and Savory have beautifully created this kit with a compact box in hushed tones of gray-blue and aqua. The teal lettering and haunting image of the siren and some of her underwater friends grace the cover of the box. Printed inside the kit, this lovely invocation greets you:

“May the Sirens’ Song guide you away from rocky shores and lure you into the dazzling depths of your own truth and mystery.”1

Next, you notice the guidebook, which provides a brief history of both Lenormand and Kipper cards, as well as how this deck came to be. Paris created the original Sirens’ Song Lenormand deck in 2017. Savory asked her to create a Kipper Deck and then the two of them combined both decks “into a single treasure chest because, at their core, these two card decks are kindred divinatory tools.”2

“Both the Kipper and Lenormand cards long to tell the reader a detailed, no-barnacle- unturned story, in which the Querent is always the main character. The potential for discovery is enormous. . . . The Petite Lenormand can serve as a gateway to the Kipper.”3

The guidebook was expertly structured to introduce you to the Lenormand style of reading and descriptions of the card meanings before flowing into the Kipper cards and their unique card descriptions. The creators made it clear that the cards can be used alone or in tandem, and they showed how each deck has its own “ability to tell a story, to sing you the song that you need to hear.”4

Unlike tarot and oracle decks, which are read intuitively, Lenormand cards are read symbolically, and Kipper cards are read quite literally. Lenormand deals with the outer world while Kipper deals with the interpersonal. Read together, the story the Sirens tell reveals the hidden meaning to be found in both people’s everyday lives and in societal issues they face.

This kit is so much fun! I enjoy the graphics, with the beautiful artwork and symbolism. Each of the images has an underwater creature theme, from an octopus to fish and so on. The cards are marked on the back with either a K for Kipper or an L for Lenormand, so you can keep the decks straight.

The spreads in the back of the guidebook were so helpful! I especially loved how they showed a three-card Lenormand reading and featured the three cards in each of the three positions. Paris and Savory also share how to do the Grand Tableau style of reading, which involves using all the cards in either deck. The deck creators also shared how to combine the cards and read a Grand Tableau of 36 cards created out of both decks. However, I think I will master the four, five or nine-card spreads before I venture into the deep waters of the Grand Tableau!

Yet the coloring on the front is the same, so it is not easy to distinguish between the decks for someone like me who was relatively new to the two styles of cards. Yes, the Lenormand deck features the miniature card symbols from playing cards in the top right-hand corner. Yes, the Kipper deck has different card images. But it may take me lots of practice to be able to distinguish between the two decks.

The cardstock was a nice weight, and the cards had a matte finish. I loved the small size, which made the cards easy for my small hands to shuffle. The guidebook was also a great size to tuck into a bag or purse and was printed in four-color with thumbnails of all cards. The paper was glossy, and the font was whimsical, to complement the underwater theme.

Armed with this background information, I decided to give the Lenormand cards a spin. I created a question regarding the launch of a new program I wanted to present to my community. I decided to use Paris’s spread called “The Tell it Like it is Spread.”

  • What it’s all about. The situation. The issue.
  • What it isn’t.
  • What it is.
  • How it turns out.

And here are the cards I drew:

  • Book – Unknown, Secrets, Reveals
  • Mountain- Challenge, Struggle, Resistance
  • Stork –Change, Alteration, Shift, Movement, Progress
  • Heart – Well-being, Love, Goodness

Creating my own sentence from the key words and the placement of the cards as shown, I saw the following:

Sharing my knowledge is NOT going to be challenging, so I may move ahead to schedule the event and know that all will be well.

Great first reading!

For the Kipper Cards, I decided to do a simple three-card spread. I placed the Siren significator card to the right as I asked my question: How may I support my daughter at this phase of her life, after her recent break-up? I drew three cards and placed them alongside the Siren card. The cards lined up as:

  • Long Road
  • Hope
  • High Honors
  • Siren

From this, I saw that recognition, maybe a promotion was forthcoming, especially since it was next to the Siren card. Hope was the next card, meaning manifestation of love, fame and/or fortune. Finally, I saw Long Road, which could be indicative of a great distance or maybe a time of two years. The fact that the Hope card was next to it said that the time may pass quickly and the road may not be rocky. From these cards, I saw that my daughter’s job will be very rewarding, and there is hope for her future in both love and fortune, although it may take some time. Wonderful reading!

The Sirens’ Song would be great for anyone who wants to learn or practice Lenormand or Kipper. I was a relative newbie to both styles of reading, and I enjoyed learning them very much. I could see myself keeping this deck by my desk to refer to when I had a quick question. For now, I’ll be off to check out one of Savory’s videos on Kipper cards on YouTube!

The Language of Lenormand, by Erika Robinson

The Language of Lenormand: A Practical Guide for Everyday Divination, by Erika Robinson
Weiser Books, 1578638054, 208 pages, October 2023

As both a book lover and a collector of Lenormand oracles, I was very excited to have the opportunity to review The Language of Lenormand: A Practical Guide for Everyday Divination by Erika Robinson.

Robinson’s skills as a seasoned card reader and a highly trained educator shine brightly throughout this delightful guide – her Harvard education and years of teaching English evidenced on every page.

The book’s beautiful cover caught my eye, and I was somewhat surprised and a bit disappointed that there was no deck accompanying this book (more on that later though because there is good news after all for us deck collectors).

Rightly named a “Practical Guide”, Robinson is actively teaching from the start. Set up like a workbook with questions and brainstorming activities winding up each chapter, the student has an opportunity to be fully engaged, helping make the learning process even smoother.

The Lenormand Oracle is comprised of 36 cards, with some decks having a few extra cards so that the sibyl and/or sitter may choose between different representations of specific cards. The cards are always read in combination with each other (no single card pulls as is often done with Tarot and other oracles). Memorizing the meanings of the cards is first and foremost to learning to read with them in combinations.

Chapter One begins by introducing the first three cards to us, explaining the images and their meanings as you might expect, but the chapter continues with something fresh by immediately teaching us how to read those three cards in several different combinations. Robinson also asks us to come up with some meanings on our own, and right away we are learning, thinking, and reading the cards ourselves. Brilliant!

The next six cards are described and added to our repertoire in Chapters Two and Three, and then for the following chapter we take a little break from learning new cards to talk about significators and different ways of using them. We learn this easily by playing with the cards we’ve studied so far. Then, we move on to learning a few more new cards in Chapter Five.  

I really enjoyed Robinson’s take on significators, so I was excited when she returned with more ideas about them in chapter six along with a technique called “mirroring” and our first “spreads” – using configurations of five cards and seven cards. 

The book continues in this fashion, teaching three cards per chapter and then layering our newfound learning with actual card reading in combinations along with additional techniques for determining what the cards are saying to us by using more cards in combination. These layers and combinations provide more and more clarity and detail. 

Robinson teaches a range of traditional spreads (also called “vignettes” in Lenormand parlance) using the Nine Box (a spread using 9 cards) for multiple examples as we work our way through learning the entire deck. Her use of the Nine Box reminded me of just how much information you can find using just nine cards. 

By the time we reach Chapter Eighteen we know the meanings of each card and how they work together in combinations. And now we are ready to take a crack at the biggest spread of all – the one that uses the entire deck – a giant spread famously known as The Grand Tableau.

When I was first learning to use the Lenormand oracle, I remember feeling equal amounts of excitement and dread about approaching such a huge spread. You may feel the same way, but fear not! Robinson provides us with lovely instructions on how to navigate the Grand Tableau walking us step-by-step through her entire process. The Grand Tableau can be quite an undertaking but with such clear instruction you can be sure to fully enjoy it!

Moving forward, we learn some new and original spreads including a twenty-three-card spread called Erika’s Reading that I used immediately and loved, and happily it was much appreciated by my sitter as well, as it validated quite a few details for them. Among the original ideas in this book, this is my favorite and one I plan on using a lot. It’s quicker than the Grand Tableau while still giving a wealth of information.  

I mentioned earlier that I was a bit disappointed that this book was not the guidebook for a new deck, but my disappointment vanished once I discovered that Robinson does have her own deck coming out. I peeked on Instagram and the cards are gorgeous. Unfortunately, the deck was a Kickstarter project that had closed by the time I went to investigate it. 

Hopefully, the deck will be available to those of us who were late to the party and missed the backer deadline. The deck is called Erika’s Lenormand of Hope and as thoughtful as her book is, I can only imagine that the same care went into producing her beautiful deck.

As someone who has been reading the Lenormand for almost a decade, I learned quite a few new things from The Language of Lenormand, and with personal stories and lots of reading examples it was fun and easy to read. This book is for anyone wanting to learn about the Lenormand oracle whether a beginner or a seasoned reader. There are new and original ideas here along with traditional Lenormand teachings and they are all presented in a very comprehensive way. A beautiful addition to any cartomancy library, highly recommended.