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Tarot Reflections

  February 15, 2003

Deck Review: Children Tarot
Sheila Hall, CTM

Sheila Hall has been studying the Tarot for 16 years. She has just received her CTM certification and is currently working towards her CTI. Sheila is an ATA mentor, reading on both the Free Tarot and Free Reading Networks, and also serves on the ATA Education Committee. She lives in Tennessee with her husband and two sons.


The Children Tarot is an unusual deck. The images depict the inner child within us with clowns, horses, and bicycles. They remind me of characters in fairy tales with kings and queens in a kingdom far away, or illustrations in children's books. This deck contains no nudity, and the only violent depiction I've seen is in the Seven of Swords, where a man in a top hat is holding a little girl over the flames of a fire. Even cards like Death, the Devil, and the Tower, are fairy-tale like, which makes this deck perfect for young children. Children can start at the beginning stages of learning about Tarot, and also use this deck for storytelling.

The deck is a made up of 78 cards, with the suits being titled Chalices, Swords, Wands, and Pentacles. Each card has the card title in five languages, although the LWB is written only in English.

The Children Tarot is a great deck for storytelling. The LWB includes a description for seven basic ingredients that make up a good story, and each card is briefly touched on with a leading idea or suggestion for a story, and a few keywords for the card's description. The seven basic ingredients of a story are discussed, and also make up seven positions for a circular-shaped spread.

An example for this is when I decided to work with the deck at creating a story. The first thing I needed was a Hero, which serves as the first ingredient, from the seven. The Hero card I drew was the Ten of Chalices. From the description in the LWB, I was offered to begin my story with the sentence "the patient wait of a loyal friend." Okay, so my Hero, who appears to look like a king or nobleman, is waiting for a friend, when..." and my story carries on from there. An example of a lead for a story from the Major Arcana using the Chariot is: A foreign prince..." By shuffling the deck and drawing cards, a story is built with each card that is laid out.

Fairy tales, myths, and stories provide us with a moral to learn. We are offered the considerations of "how to learn and what to teach" through telling stories. The LWB states that "Creating and listening to a tale therefore becomes a form of personal exploration..." Our imaginations are allowed to freely roam, and create fantastic stories, and the stories wouldn't even have to be based on fairy tales. The deck can act as a springboard of ideas for stories of all types, and for all ages.

We learn to read the Tarot, in much the same way. We begin by drawing a card to see what guidance we are provided with, and each card thereafter, adds more detail, and tells a story. Learning to read the Tarot in this way makes it easy to really read the images and relay the information when reading for others.

I see this deck as wonderful for young children. It allows them to create their own stories, by following along with the cards that are drawn. The deck offers the opportunity to free their imaginations to stretch and explore. Children can learn about creating stories, and telling them for others. They can learn about how things work or happen in sequences. Parents could also spend hours with children, working with the deck, and creating stories with their child. The deck is also great for storytellers, writers, and those who desire to strengthen their reading skills by using more of a story-telling format.

The Children Tarot is a Lo Scarabeo deck, available from Llewellyn:

Children Tarot By Lele Luzzati ISBN: 0-7387-0178-5


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