The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005
Lenormand, Marie (May 27, 1772—June 25, 1843)
Witchcraft Hall of Fame
Marie Anne Adelaide Lenormand, an astrologer and fortune-teller, was known as “The Sibyl of the Faubourg Saint-Germain.” She was born in Alençon, France. She left for Paris at age 21 where she started a salon with a partner, Madame Gilbert. She achieved great popularity and was consulted by thousands.
Among those who consulted her were French revolutionaries Marat, Robespierre, and St Just, whose deaths she allegedly predicted, but she is most famous for her relationship with Josephine de Beauharnais, Napoleon’s future bride. Josephine, from Martinique, reputedly knew a thing or two about magic herself and was also a card-reader. Lenormand predicted her divorce from Napoleon, as well as Napoleon’s own rise and fall. Lenormand read Napoleon’s astrological chart for him.
When she correctly foretold Napoleon’s intention to divorce Josephine, Napoleon had Lenormand imprisoned until the divorce was finalized. When she predicted the downfall of his Empire, he banished her from Paris.
Lenormand designed her own 36-card fortunetelling system. Neither tarot nor playing cards but an original system, many decks are currently available, although not all give Lenormand credit. The Gypsy Witch Fortune-Telling Cards are reputedly based on her system.
Lenormand was also a skilled palm-reader and studied numerology and Kabalah.