Lenormand is a 36 card system based on predictions while the Tarot is a 78 card system that's based on your intuition. That's more than double the Lenormand deck. I'll dive more into this below and cover how to even combine the two in a reading.
A good way to understand the differences is to see how they read for you. Tarot deals with the psychological aspects of the self, while the Lenormand deals with the practical side of the self.
When looking at a Tarot card you take into account the imagery, core meaning, colors, symbols, feeling, and atmosphere. Whereas the Lenormand, we really only need to look at the meaning of that card. An example of this is comparing the Lenormand Rider to the Tarot Fool.
The Fool represents a new beginning, an adventure, and innocence. In the Fool, we see a young, free-spirited figure, starting out on their journey into the unknown. This is the beginning of creativity and new goals. The Sun shows us a fresh start and relates to the potential of life. She is equipped with all her possessions in her bag which also features the eye of Horus, bringing about the beginning of days and the curiosity in life. The Fool and her companion represent the relationship between our animal natures and the higher spiritual self. The roses in her hair represent purity and innocence. A message from the fool is to take each day as a new adventure. Believe in yourself even if it seems foolish.
Now on to The Rider. In this card, we see someone who has arrived from a journey with their companion to deliver something. The Rider represents news, change, messages, discovery, a visitor, an opportunity, arrivals, or movement. The general message from the Rider is to be on the lookout for new information or someone coming into your life. Read surrounding cards for more insight. So here, you would look to the next card to see what kind of information or who would be entering your life. Perhaps it's the Coffin, then we would have bad news about an ending or a big change.
Now you can see the differences, Lenormand cannot be read alone and needs combinations and strings. The more cards, the better, for getting clear information. That's why you often see a Grand Tableau spread which is all 36 cards. I'll go over this massive spread in a later post, but you'll be reading past, present, future, diagonals, mirroring, and knighting techniques to get your information.
There's a special place in my heart for both systems and I love the rich history and backgrounds of both. Sometimes the Lenormand doesn't get as much spotlight but it's great for getting some predictions. Why not combine them both? Pull an intuitive Tarot card of the day and match it with a practical Lenormand card to "zone" in on what exactly the message is pertaining to.
Here's an example, say we draw the Tarot Fool and the Lenormand Rider. We will read the Tarot first and then apply the Lenormand meaning. The Fool might refer to a new beginning, where you are off on a new journey from some news you have received. The beginning was the Tarot and the end was the Lenormand. Combining the two make for a very accurate reading. You will create fluid sentences this way.
I hope you have enjoyed this article and even be willing to pick up both to use in a reading. It's fun always trying new techniques to elevate your practice.