One of my current projects is rewriting the Lenormand class at The Magickal Circle School. In connection with that, I hope to do more Lenormand readings here at Tarot Notes.
A common method used by Lenormand readers is a line of five cards designed to answer a question. To do this type of reading, you can either decide ahead of time what your focus card will be or you can "let the deck decide" what the focus card will be. You then read the cards to the left of the focus card as past influences or what lead up to the situation. The cards to the right of the focus card look to the future of the situation.
Below is an example of a Lenormand 5-card line. The cards were drawn at random, letting the deck decide what the focus card would be. The deck was shuffled between card draws. I am using the French Cartomancy deck by Lo Scarabeo.
The question being asked is: What does Mary need to know about her next relationship?
Focus Card: DOG (18) - This card tells us that Mary needs to recognize how important friendship and loyalty are to her in a relationship. She needs and wants someone who is helpful, protective, and loyal to her.
Past: ANCHOR (35) and HEARTS (24) - In the past, Mary wanted or had (or perhaps thought she had) a stable, safe relationship in which she and her partner were building a legacy together. From her perspective, this relationship was loving, romantic, and passionate. She was (or saw herself as) deeply emotionally involved, with her whole heart devoted to the relationship. (In the book The Secrets of the Lenormand Oracle, Sylvie Steinbach describes the Anchor/Hearts pair as "faithfulness, loyalty, unconditional love."
Future: COFFIN (8) and CHILD (13) - Looking towards the future, we see the strong possibility of important life alterations, a completion of a life cycle or period in Mary's life, the "end" of something. She may need to acknowledge that it's time to let go of the past and be hopeful. She may feel fragile and perhaps not certain she can handle a new relationship. Although she feels vulnerable, she may have to become more "like a child," to set fears aside, trust, and open herself up to emotional involvement. Another interpretation might be to look at the Coffin-Child pair as representing the end (death) of childlike innocence and naiveté. What Mary wanted or had (or thought she had) in the past, was simply not realistic and she needs to "bury" those unreasonable ideals in her next relationship. (Sylvie Steinbach describes this pair as "destructive youngster, depressed teen." It is possible that this is something she will have to deal with in her next relationship.)
Looking at the middle three cards (Heart, Dog, Coffin), we might suspect that a previous relationship ended because of a partner's actual physical death. In any case, looking only at those three cards, the lovely sentiments expressed by the Heart and Dog seem to come to a halt with the Coffin.