Le Normand, Marie-Anne Adélaide(1772-1843)

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Le Normand, Marie-Anne Adélaide(1772-1843)

Famous French clairvoyant and fortune teller known as "The Sybil of the Faubourg Saint Germain." She was born at Alençon and became one of the most celebrated occultists and diviners of her day, though it might be said that her art was much more the product of sound judgment than of any supernatural gift.

She predicted their futures to Danton, Marat, Robespierre, and St. Just, but we hear no more of her under the years of the Directory (1795-99). When Josephine Beauharnais came into prominence as the intended wife of Napoleon, Le Normand was received at all those houses and salons where the future empress had any influence.

Josephine was extremely credulous and used to read her own fortunes to herself on the cards, but when she discovered that Le Normand was an adept at this art, she often had her in attendance to assist her in it. Even Napoleon himself, who was not without his own superstitions, had his horoscope read by her.

Le Normand soon set up her own salon in Paris, where she read people's fortunes by means of the cards. It is not certain whether these cards were of the nature of tarot cards, but it is more than likely that she used various methods. She occasionally divined the fortunes of others through playing games of piquet, sept, and other well-known card games of the day. There is anecdotal evidence that she told fortunes with ordinary playing cards, but there is also a tradition that she used a specially designed pack. She did not hide her methods from others, but the Parisian society of her day appears to have thought that her power of divination lay not only in the cards she manipulated but in her personality or occult insight.

After the fall of the emperor, Le Normand was in great demand among the Russian, German, and English officers in Paris, and even Emperor Alexander and other potentates consulted her. Shortly after this she went to Brussels, where she read the fortune of the Prince of Orange, but when she was discovered trying to cheat the customs officials, she was arrested and thrown into a Belgian prison.

By 1830 she had become quite forgotten, and when the newspapers announced her death on June 25, 1843, a great many people failed to remember her name. Le Normand had a great reputation for the accuracy of her predictions among all classes, from revolutionary heroes to emperors and royalty. What is said to be an authentic reproduction of the "Mademoiselle Le Normand Fortune Telling Cards" has long been reprinted in Europe and elsewhere and is currently marketed by U.S. Games Systems, Inc., New York, New York.