Explaining Tarot to Children


In response tp the posts about doing readings for children, I would be very interested to know how you guys explain the Tarot to children. When I say explain, I don't mean in the way of teaching the Tarot, although I'm thinking about trying that with my sisters, so any help there would be appreciated, but I meantell them what the Tarot is, isn't, how it works, etc...

As I mentioned in a post under the 'Readings fro Children/Youth' post, my younger sister who is 9 is almost brainwashed when thinking about the concepts of the Tarot and it's related topics, and has been told many times that it's evil. How does one get around this? Can one actually push away these mental blocks at all?

Thanks in advance,



i think i must have mentioned this in a previous thread before the forum went down...

my son, while he was still speaking with me, actually taught me a few things about the tarot. he had no preconceived notions about it - in fact had never seen a deck or even heard about them, so perhaps this does not relate to your question. in any event...

i showed him my robin wood deck, and then went through each card with him, and asked him what the picture suggested to him. he must have been maybe 11 or 12 at the time. i was amazed at his insight. most of the cards, he accurately described the "book" meanings perfectly. a few of the cards, he offered a totally new perspective. my only wish is that i recorded his insights.

regarding techniques in "unlearning" negative feelings about the tarot, i'd imagine that would be somewhat difficult. children are extremely impressionable, especially before they reach their teens. of course, that might also work in your favor, but it seems in your case, the "wrong" impression has been ingrained in her mind already. perhaps waiting a bit until she is old enough to make her own decisions might be a prudent course of action.

luv and light,


My 10 year old daughter is just now showing an interest in my cards, stones, runes, etc. She knows which stones hold which energies better than I do! I do not feel that she is ready yet to understand all of the deeper implications of cards and runes yet. My daughter has a mild form of autism called Asperger's syndrom. While intellectually, she is 2-3 years ahead of her class, emotionally and socially she is 2-3 years behind. When she asked about the cards, I told her that they helped me think things through so I can make better decisions. My thought is because of her autism, telling her about every aspect of the Tarot may frighten or confuse her. I do not want her to have these kinds booundaries to overcome as she gets older. I hope that by giving her an honest answer about one of the milder aspects of the Tarot, she will be comfortable with them should she decide later to learn more.

As for my Runes, she just thinks that they are a way cool secret code. She knows how to write messages using them and has a ball leaving me "secret" messages all over the house! Again, a non-threatening introduction.


I don't have any children, but my sister (who lives next door) has two girls, ages 3 and 5. They have not taken an interest in any of my tarot decks, but the 5-year-old loves loves loves "Goddesses of the New Light" cards. She loves to look at them and she knows all their names by now. My family knows that I'm Pagan and I wonder how all this will play out as my nieces grow older. While my sister and my family is very liberal and understanding, her husband and his side of the family are strict Catholics and they also have these notions of tarot and witchcraft as being evil. But hopefully, my precense in my niece's lives will be enough to show them that none of this evil (or rather, that it doesn't have to be). And when they get older, they'll simply have to examine everything and decide for themselves, as we have all done at some point.

Meanwhile, I suggest that when your little sister says something negative, simply sit down and have a little chat. Calmly try to explain things to her in a way she'll understand. Where are all her crazy ideas coming from anyway?


Riotfemme: I'm not sure where all her ideas are coming from. I think most of it is from school. My parents are fairly liberal, yet in my house we haveonly two rules: We don't talk about politics. We don't talk about religion. So I'm pleased to say that my parents haven't brainwashed her with the concept of making one 'wrong move' and she's burning in eternal darkness... She also goes to Brownies, which is fairly controlling of young ones' minds...

I am Pagan, and she knows this, but I'm not sure she sees it as a 'proper' religion. She knows I worship the Celtic Gods, and just sees them as minor deities, or characters in a storybook (The Mabinogion, which she enjoys at bedtime!) She also found my bookshelf with all my Pagan and Tarot books on it, and started reading Teen Witch (I am very ashamed I have that book, no offense meant to Silver fans out there, I just don't like the book very much!) Later, when I was in the bath, she came in and asked me what would somebody do if they wanted to become a Witch but didn't know how to? I just replied that they would go and find out how themselves: The whole fun of a journey is the searching, not necessariy the destination. But now I think I'll be in big doggy poo if my parents find out and she actually does go out and search.. But my one defense is that I didn't teach her or anything. I just aswered one quetsion, she did the rest.

As to Tarot, she has quite a burning desire to learn it too. I asked my mum's permission, and she said she trusted me to teach her well. But now I have to work out HOW to teach her...

I think it will definitely have to be a long, deep discussion about the finer points of not accepting everything you're told, and the art of questioning everything! (I think that might be useful when first learning the Tarot)

Thanks for all your input guys!



it was for the very same reason you mentioned that i started doing readings for a couple of kids earlier this year. their mom--my co-worker--had learned that some relatives had told her son and daughter that the tarot and palm reader down the street from their house was a evil and a witch because of her line of business. all these kids had known before then was that the lady was a trusted neighbor. the mom was furious...when she told me about the whole thing, i shared a bit about my knowledge of tarot (i don't know much about palm reading). i even showed her the inner child cards, because she was especially impressed with the idea of cards based on fairy tales. she then asked me to share them with her kids.
i have since done several "readings" for her six year old boy and her nine year old girl. i really don't think of them as readings such as those i do for adults, because we don't institute much more structure than just creating stories with the cards. i say "we," because the kids take charge and jump right in with their own ideas, and we go from there. it's never "divinatory" in nature. i also never use my more traditional tarots with the devil, death or tower cards.
i have explained the tarot to them by sharing with them all kinds of art in books, and then how art creates different feelings and gives us stories.
their mom's greatest concern was that they did not continue to believe that any such practices were "evil." she says that a wonderful side-effect to all of this is that her kids recognize artists like van gogh and da vinci now!


Metaz: I really like the idea of reating stories with the Tarot. I do it myself, but it has never occurred to me to do that with my sister! She is keen on creative writing like I am, so maybe that'll help her get some ideas, aswell as give her ideas that the Tarot is informative and fun. It also means we get to spend recreational time together, which is always a nice breath of fresh air. I have the Robin Wood deck which is probably best to do this with, cuz of it's vibrant imagery, less 'scary' images on Death, the Devil, and the Tower, whilst it still holds much of the Tarot symbology and general form of traditional Tarot, albeit with a subtly Pagan outlook on things.... It really does scream out 'Fantasy Fiction' books!

Thankyou, thankyou.



Well, I just bought the Inner Child Cards, after much hesitation (About three months of it, actually!) and I am sure I made the right decision. Not only can I use these cards for readings, but they are excellent for kids my sister's age when making up stories. If course, cuz each card represents a fairytale, you can also retell that story.

I particlurlay like the Death card in this deck (Sleeping Beauty) It's probaly my fave actually, and totally dispells much of the stigma surrouding the Death card, and seems alot more symbolic than even the Rider Waite Death card!