Interview with Kendra Hurteau, Co-Creator of, Under the Roses Lenormand

Under the Roses Lenormand is an amazing deck created by, created by Kendra Hurteau and Katrina Hill. You can check out my review of the deck, here. Kendra was kind enough to let me ask a few questions about the deck, and her work. Check it out!

Shaheen: How did you discover Lenormand?

Kendra: I belong to a Tarot guild in the Metro Detroit area.  One day, a day I will never forget, the book club host came in with a Lenormand deck.  She laid out a Grand Tableau and it was love at first sight.  I started looking for decks right away.

Shaheen: How did Under the Roses Lenormand begin?

Kendra: It actually began in the process of discovering the deck because when I looked for decks to work with I had the thought that I could create images I would want to work with.  At the time, there weren’t the abundance there are now of Petit Lenormand decks.  Several wonderful self-published decks are out there now but at the time I started with a gifted Piatnik and Melissa Hill’s self-published decks (the decks are still some of my favorites to this day).  At that point I had formulated a couple of ideas for tarot decks and was actually writing one up.  Ultimately, Lenormand won in the end though as I used it more and my fondness of it grew.  Katrina Hill is my daughter and she is a graphic designer.  I presented the concept of “Under the Roses” to her and she did a couple of concept images.  We liked it so much that we created a schedule and started working on the images.

Shaheen: What challenges did you face in the creation?

Kendra: Seeing as it was our first deck, there were many.  Initially, getting my imagination into her hands was the biggest hurdle.  Eventually, we shared a common vision for the images and a work pattern that made us both happy.  It was a balancing of both tradition and imagination the entire process.  Because it is original art we wanted it to have a specific expression.
Shaheen: How would you describe the soul of the deck?

Kendra: The soul of the deck… Secrets.

Shaheen: Why did you decide to add keywords to your cards?
Kendra: The resurgence of Lenormand is bringing in a lot of beginners.  I wanted the deck to be easily used by everyone.  It was so taboo and, yet, I knew how much the novice would appreciate it.  We knew it was likely we would issue an edition without them and we did.  In the long run though, I know we did the right thing.  Those decks were more in demand than the decks without the keywords.  And while a few readers initially complained, we had an abundance of people that thanked us for doing just that.  In the end, everyone was happy.

Shaheen: How has your vision of Lenormand changed since you created the deck?

Kendra: My vision has not changed much actually.  I still read and share it in the same way.  However, I have grown a much larger appreciation for the community of people who study and share it.  My views are not always the same as others but the effort involved in bringing Lenormand back is a group effort and the people in the forefront have my respect.

Shaheen: I love the name of the deck can you tell us more about it?

Kendra: It suggests that you can find the secrets within and I felt that appropriate for card divination.  To quote my own work… “Under the Roses” is a euphemism for buried secrets. The allusion comes from the Latin phrase “Sub Rosa” and dates back to classical Roman times when the rose became the symbol of confidentiality. The expression became well known in German literature eventually finding its way to English literature. Stories based around “Under the Rose” began showing up in the nineteen century and some of the later works were written about that time period.

Shaheen: You have announced that Under The Roses will be picked up by USG, So how does it feel to have your deck picked up by a major publisher?

Kendra: Amazing!  The story of how they found us is neat.  They actually discovered an old submission with four original concept images on it.  Apparently, it had gotten lost in the crowd.  They called asking to see more images, not knowing the deck was complete and self published.  Once they saw the website things moved quickly.
And to be picked up by U.S. Games Systems, Inc?  I still shake my head.  They are my favorite publishing company.  The artwork they put out is vibrant, the card stock is excellent, and as it turns out the people working there are wonderful.  The deck is due out through them later this year.

Shaheen: You read both Tarot and Lenormand at the same time, why and how does this affect the reading?

Kendra: I don’t read them in the same spread, but side by side.  They confirm each other and bring in a wealth of details.  With the Lenormand so literal and the tarot so intuitive, I think it gives me two views of the same picture.

Shaheen: Where do you see divination and cartomancy going in the future?

Kendra: Cartomancy can and does truly touch lives.  For me, the question is “How can we overcome the fear people have of card divination?” because, if the fear is overcome, the possibilities are endless.  General public perceptions are changing (though many still see it as “bad”).  It is quite possible that cartomancy could be used in professional atmospheres.

Shaheen: Is there anything about Lenormand that you find frustrating?

Kendra: Yes.  I respect the traditional systems of Lenormand as much as others, however I see that new readers can’t jump in and pick a system when they don’t even know how to read the cards yet.  It takes time to get to figure it out.  And some never elect to use a particular system.  I find no fault in that.  People are diverse and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  As long as they have selected keywords that work for them, the Lenormand will read accurately.

Shaheen: Does Under the Roses Lenormand address that issue?

Kendra: In a way.  The keywords are selected from many of the main traditions used, plus many other words to challenge the way a person might look at the card.  A traditionalist will likely find keywords they are accustomed to while a beginner will have a variety to choose from.  This was intentional in creating the keywords.  It actually took months to assemble so the issue could be addressed.  Therefore, “Under the Roses Lenormand” does not follow one tradition but embodies them all.

Take a look at my new project…  Kendra’s Vintage Petit Lenormand.  http://kendrahurteau.wix.com/vintagepetitlen or find it on facebook.  Thanks!

© Shaheen Miro 2013

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s