We’re not a ‘normal’ family. Our household consists of me, two small people and a couple of poodles.
Aside of the usual relational permeations, I am the mother of four adult daughters and the grandma of (at the time of writing) 6.25 grandchildren.
Two of those grandchildren are the small people that form our household. It’s confusing, life’s confusing but we do our best. So when your 6 year old comes running out of the school gates waving a stick with bits of string attached to it, showing you this magnificent thing she’s made, it is sensible to pause (once you have acknowledged the beautiful crafting of course).
It looks like a wand to me, a lovely twig-like rustic wand but then I would think that (wouldn’t I?). I’ve made those kind of mistakes before and I’m not sure the outburst of said child, if I incorrectly identify a piece of art, is something I can deal with particularly well on a rainy, Thursday afternoon, so I tactfully ask her to tell me about her work.
Upon further enquiry, she proudly announces it is actually, a wand!
Not any old wand a magic one to which her 3 year old brother exclaims ” Just like Grandma witches wand!” Now I’ve never heard myself described that way but if the hat fits….
Suddenly, the rain disappears, and there is no doubt that that wand,is, absolutely magical. For Reeal!
A little more post school chit chat occurred and I was sort of relieved to discover that it wasn’t just my child that had decided to make a wand that day, because despite the integration of all things mystical in our daily lives behind closed doors and my usual state of openness about such things (see the internal conflict) I am aware that not everyone ‘believes’ and yes, even Tarot ladies sometimes fear being judged!
Thankfully, it was the whole class making wands that afternoon, not that the small girl remembered the reason for doing so, she was just extremely delighted to be the proud new owner of her own manifestation tool. The good news is we won’t be burnt at the stake this week at least not by the school community!
The episode got my curiosity cells moving and for one moment I dipped into a conventional belief as to whether things that can be considered even vaguely occultish, should be around children unless depicted in a Harry Potter kind of Way. I wavered back and forth in momentarily paralysis. Certainly, there are many adults who hold strong opinions that Tarot and it’s paraphernalia, is frightening or evil and not to be messed with even by grown ups let alone small people.
I sat with that thought for a minute and then waved my magical wand and ‘swooshed’ that thought right away.
I was not brought up around tarot, as far as I know no one in my family had been interested in it, not then. There weren’t any strong views either way but I remembered I felt a nervousness about expressing an interest in the mystical cards. A friend’s parents had been quite negative on the subject but overall, I more than likely, was secretive about it, without due cause.
At the approximate age of 11 with full intent (origin unknown) I purposefully walked into a small shop and bought two items; a book of Marilyn Monroe photographs and my first pack of Tarot cards (what a combination you may think, but you could buy cigarettes in those days so it could have been worse).
That first deck, with its skulls and skeletons, morbidly named the tarot of the dead sparked off my love affair with Tarot, I still have it but don’t use it often. It wasn’t until my thirties that I started to really be able to use Tarot effectively (and I’ve written about that here). Nonetheless, my point is the seedling began in my youth.
My own children were interested, but I guess their experience was limited to my own learning. As they became teens, in usual teenage style they would pull out the cards or one of their friends would ask about their romantic life. A small circle would form and that would keep them occupied for a short while. There was a lot of seriousness. Teenagers have a LOT of questions but they don’t always want to openly ask them. This is where a deck of Oracle or Tarot cards can be useful to empower them to seek their own answers and reflect. It can bring them a sense of control over their destiny.
Once there was a limited choice. I think that’s how I ended up with a deck that looked like the graveyard had been raided! Nowadays, there are so many beautiful decks of oracle and tarot cards that are wonderful for younger children to explore with you and a whole range of decks ideal for teenagers that they can retire to their den and contemplate in full Hermit mode!
Simple three card layouts work well with teenagers. They often hold that ‘fortune teller’ type of image and want to know all the answers to their questions. They want that certainty. That security. To know for sure. They can use a book as a reference if that helps and many decks have their own booklet included. For them to truly gain value from tarot so that it’s not a gimmick or party trick (not that I don’t love a good party trick, I really do). But for them to gain trust and be able to use Tarot effectively, I would recommend combining oracle cards with affirmations that help increase confidence along side either a traditional Rider Waite deck perhaps one with the brightly coloured illustrations. I will be reviewing decks for children and teens in separate posts.
Another useful tool to use is journaling their thoughts and emotions
along with the cards they pulled can help them tap into their higher power and soon they will see how an accurate picture can be built through combining tarot and oracle.
For younger children, it is only likely that they will know about Tarot if you use cards at home or they have a their own “Witch relative/friend”.
I use cards daily, they are a familiar sight in our kitchen. The children know I work with them but despite spirituality being an integral part of my day, as with all aspects of life, I prefer for any learning to be led by the child’s genuine interest.
Young children love to pick up Tarot cards and touch them but, if you’re anything like me you may feel a bit funny about them having your favourites. I’ve had a least two decks destroyed by inquisitive toddlers so be warned. Perhaps anticipate their interest and buy them their own, that way they can do their own spreads alongside yours.
Being naturally curious, children ask questions. I tell them the cards are stories and the images give us clues to what is happening. That’s sufficient for them to be able to intuitively connect. Mostly my children enjoy laying the cards in spreads and telling me what’s going on and let me tell you it’s fantastical!
So should your offspring freak you out and declare they want to learn to read Tarot don’t despair they aren’t likely to be dragged into the depths of a fiery pit. They are more than likely going to learn to use a tool that helps them trust their intuition which may be useful throughout their life when they need to check in …. Or wait! Maybe just maybe it will help them incorporate just a dash of magic in their everyday life!
Rachelle Harris-Milham is a Mother, Grandma, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin and friend.
She reads tarot, writes and creates art
You can contact her here at rachelle@T4Tarot.com
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