Pandoracon Panel – 19th Century Fortune Telling Part 2

lenormand-cardsContinued from Part 1.

Correction on the Lenormand cards – while they were based on Mlle. Lenormands reading style, she used playing cards and the cards were neither used nor developed by Mlle. Lenormand

Robert allowed the audience to look at, play with, fondle, his cards as well.


One of the things about palmistry was no tools or devices other than the clients hands. That being said, they pretty much had to just take the readers words. Actual palm reading is very challenging because of all the little folds, but also because there is no such thing as a standard hand. Different sizes, genders, races. Palmistry lines take a long time to change, so there really isn’t a lot of room for change within readings in a short period of time. Readers would study using little hand models like this, or drawn charts. As you might notice, there are some astrological references to palmistry.  Modern palm readers use aids such as lights and magnifying lenses to get more detail.

Roll the bones… Dice reading  originates from the Greek astragalus, knuckle bone divination, but also just clever to use as dice are used for gaming. There are many ways, but in general, there is some type of charts with the numbers, the reader would cast them, and then reference them to how many dice, what numbers, and the numbers meanings. Dice used for divination were originally made from bone or ivory, and synthetics or plastics should be avoided for divination dice.

Tea leaf reading… was rather convenient as so much of society drank tea. You must have loose leaf tea in order to do tea leaf reading. There are some drawn up cups to assist, with symbols on them such as this. You may notice the astrological horoscopy symbols along the saucer, and bottom of the cup, as well as they other symbols towards the top of the cup. The astrology might give an indication of timing, and the other symbols would indicate what would happen. An alternate method, with a plain plain teacup, is to simply look at the settled grounds, and kind of imagine what they look like, and what that might mean would happen. The reading is quick, but takes awhile to brew, and make and drink the tea. Ideally, the consultant and the client would talk about the issue over tea, and then read the leaves/grounds for the answers.

Robert shows a tea leaf reading cup, and does a brief demonstration of what that might look like.

Questions from audience: What else might you consider for writing  / creative works?

“Keep in mind the realistic time frames of the methods. For tea, it must be brewed there would be conversation and drinking then the reading. With cards, probably 15-30 minutes, depending on the length. Scrying or crystal gazing takes a minimum of 30 minutes but usually over an hour to actually do, and then additional time to interpret. Lernormand cards would take awhile because of the unusual size of the spread. ”

Fortune telling tools or divination methods can also be used to creatively kickstart the generation of a story, or used within gaming.

Following the planned presentation, he discussed his personal approach and some experiences and other questions.

If you ever want to talk tarot , or book him for a reading, you can contact him through his website

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