Fortune telling

 Fortune telling is a rather ancient occupation, and there is no nation on earth that does not have its own tradition of foreseeing the future.  People always wanted to know what would happen to them.  From the very moment that a person gained his mind, looking into the future has become one of the most important needs.  The unknown is excruciating for the spirit: there is nothing worse than the unknown.  The attitude to fortunetellers and soothsayers has always been ambiguous - they were feared and idolized.  At different times, they were burned at the stake, and offered up, honoring as mediators between God and people.  In any case, the attitude towards them was special, they were always distinguished from the crowd of "mere mortals."  The names of many soothsayers have sunk into oblivion, but the stories of the lives of some of them have been preserved in the memory of descendants.


 The most famous prophetess of the XIX century.  there was a Frenchwoman named Maria Anna Adelaide Le Normand.  She was born on May 27, 1772 in Alencon, a suburb of Paris, in the family of a wealthy merchant in the manufacture.  The arrival in the world of Mary was not the most successful - at the eighth month of pregnancy, the wife of the manufacturer fell.  This trauma was a threat to the life of the child.  But miraculously, the girl survived, although she remained with severe physical disabilities.  It is said that one leg was shorter than the other, and her left shoulder was higher than her right.  She was often tormented by headaches that foreshadowed either a change in weather, or someone else's misfortune.  Maria Anna early felt that she was different from all the other children.  She opened a different world, inaudible and invisible to others.  Often visions were intertwined with reality, and her mother had serious concerns about her child’s health.  Nevertheless, Mary successfully completed her studies at the parish school at the Church of Notre Dame de Beaune Secour, and, as soon as the girl passed through the sacrament of the First Communion, her parents gave her to continue their studies at the Benedictine monastery.

Staying in the monastery had a decisive influence on the formation of philosophy and mutual relations with the world of Mary Anna.  Unlike his peers, Lenormand spent all her free time in the monastery library among old manuscripts and treatises.  The girl mastered the Latin language, learned the Old and New Testaments, learned the secret symbolism of numbers, met the secrets of plants.


 After a while, Lenormand moved to Paris.  There she worked first as a saleswoman, but soon her unusual talent showed up.  In Paris, Maria met with divination on cards, as well as with the system of the famous fortuneteller Ettaila, by then already quite well-known (Ettaille began to use it in 1780).  After some time (in 1790), together with her friend, she opened her own salon on the Rue de Tournon, in which fate was predicted to interested ladies and gentlemen with the help of cards, astrology and other methods.  Maria was also interested in the “language of flowers” ​​and the preparation of smells.


 Soon she became a consultant to the richest and most influential people in the capital.  Salon Mademoiselle Lenormand gained immense popularity.  The whole world of the then revolutionary Paris was in it.  In 1793, the salon was visited by Marat, Saint-Just and Robespierre.  To all three, she foretold a violent death.  So it happened: Jean-Paul Marat was mortally wounded by Charlotte Corday a few months later, and two others were arrested and executed a year later.  Lenorman herself was arrested on suspicion of sympathy with the Jacobins, however, communications did the trick, and she was allowed to continue the practice.


 But most often the name of Maria Lenormann is mentioned next to Bonaparte and his wife, Josephine Beauharnais.  According to legend, at the first meeting, the fortuneteller predicted a crown to young Josephine and young Napoleon.  It is only natural that at that moment no one believed the prophetess.  But years passed, and ten years later I had to remember the prophecy.  Having come to power, Napoleon did not forget the fortunate prophetess: he presented her with a million francs, and she became the personal fortuneteller of the Empress Josephine.  It is said that Josephine often turned to Maria Lenorman for advice and knew from the predictions about the impending divorce from Napoleon and the inevitable defeat of the French army in Russia.

When Napoleon's relationship with his wife is very deteriorated, Maria came under the hot imp-tatarskoy hand. Judging by the books, Napoleon, as an ordinary man, angry, imagining that all advice and appeals to him and asked Josephine dictated "this greedy fortune teller", and decided to eliminate at least the "source of betrayal and corruption." In 1808 he sends Lenormand from the capital. But the link from the hustle of Paris played a positive role in the life of Mary. Secluded in village of quiet, she writes, "Prophetic memories of one of the sibyl about the reasons for her arrest," where it predicts the fall of Napoleon and the restoration of the Bourbons. The book was published only after the fall of Bonaparte.

In 1814, when Russian troops entered Paris, Lenormand visited future Decembrists Mikhail Lunin and Ippolit Muraviev-Apostol. In 1815, the famous fortune teller was presented in Paris to the Russian Emperor Alexander I.

However, the popularity and credibility of the "sibyl of Paris" in different segments of society for some was a bone in the throat. At the instigation of the Church Lenormand was tried in Paris in 1821, Mary was accused of heresy for her statements that she allegedly communicated with the Archangel Gabriel. The court sentenced her to one year imprisonment, high penalty, but the appeal to the Supreme court was successful, and she didn't have to serve his sentence. A crowd of people came to congratulate Mademoiselle Lenormand with her release. Since that time, she almost withdrew from politics, but remained extremely popular until his death on 23 June 1843, Countless people from different strata of society came to her funeral to pay tribute.

What's left to future generations in the heritage after the French fortune teller? Several books of memoirs about the famous compatriots and philosophical reflections on the future of France. Yes, a small book about predicting using numbers — although, in fairness, it should be noted that the authorship is very controversial. What cards were used by Marie Lenormand in fact, nobody knows. No record of the teller or her contemporaries on this subject left.

After Mary left something more — a Legend. Now Mademoiselle Lenormand is a generalized character. A variety of systems cards, the authorship of which easily now attributed to her, are wonderful samples of the amazing cultural phenomenon of the "French cartomancy".

The founder of French cartomantic can be considered the famous and mysterious occultist of the eighteenth century Etteilla. He claimed that he was able to unravel the mysteries of Egyptian priests, and found keys to understanding the Arcana of the Tarot. Developed Attallah system of maps, which he called Egyptian Tarot the Gypsy, was significantly different from the classic Tarot, had a number of features, and it is the undoubted ancestor of the French branch cartomantic. Etteilla introduced new approaches adapted to the high philosophy of the Tarot to everyday human needs, facilitated the procedure of prediction has made it possible to obtain simple, specific predictions and answers to questions.

Have cartomantic has its own distinctive features, its own laws, its own beautiful logic. It cannot be compared with Taro, because the total is only use cards with images.