Being a parent is one of nature’s great privileges. Caring and nurturing someone (or something) into existence and maturity is fulfillment made real.
Symbolically, any thing or project we create, supervise, or bring to fruition is our “baby”. The real thing is even more profound, and a greater privilege. Your kids, other kids, they are all precious and our greatest priority.
My first job was on a child-adolescent psychiatry unit. While I had just a small, supporting role, it was privilege to work with doctors and social workers who were 100% on the kid’s side against both illness that is no one’s fault and against some pretty bad social & family problems. I had no idea at the time that it would help me do Tarot readings later in life. It taught me to help kids as well as adults with the ideas Tarot can spark.
Tarot at parties where young families are around is special challenge for readers. Some parents don’t want kids anywhere around Tarot. But the kids are curious. Halloween is a children’s holiday in many respects, and this is the time of year when Tarot and young ones are most likely to cross paths.
Imagine you are working at a party or festival…and a wide eyed youngling wants to know what you are doing and can they have one too. Do you shoo them away? Read for them the same as anyone? Here is how I thread the needle:
- They have to have the OK from whatever adult that brought them (one time I was at a Halloween party FOR kids where it had been announced that age appropriate readings were available. Some poor little kid was physically yanked out of the reading chair by a frantic mother screeching something about “that devil stuff”)
- They get to pick how many times I shuffle, just like adults, so it sounds like an adult reading – and more importantly, engages them in the process.
- If you are going to be reading for a family friendly event, take the scary cards out ahead of time to prevent any anxieties…not so much for the kids (who are surprisingly sophisticated when it comes to Tarot because they still listen to their own intuition so well) but to reassure superstitious, religious or wary parents parents. Which is as it should be. It’s nothing personal toward you, after all. They are just protecting the most precious person in their life against something unknown to them that they perceive as a negative influence.
- If most of the people at the event are adults and you choose to work with a full deck, for kids I’ll spread the cards out face down and have them POINT to their card(s) so I can look at them before I turn them over. If it is one of the scary looking cards like death, devil, 10 of swords, etc I’ll have them pick again because that card is “just for grown ups”
- Even if you are a reader that works with predictions in you adult readings. NEVER ever ever make a prediction for a kid. They are the very definition of self-fulfilling prophecy. You have NO right to take that kind of privelidge with a child. Stick to age-appropriate advice and you’ll impress the youngling and win friends among the adults. I had a 4 year old, obviously energetic and rambunctious little boy once come to the table with mom in tow wanting a reading just like grandpa just had. He got the chariot…no surprise there, right? I asked him if he ever jumped on the sofa or climbed on things until his mom told him to get down. His eyes got huge and mom laughed out loud. The advice was, naturally, listen to your mom and be careful where you jump and climb. Easy, right?
Whether you are a kid or a kid at heart, it never fails to amaze me how Tarot can inspire the just-right words. Even for young ones who need a special brand of reading to preserve all the innocence and fun, Tarot is a fantastically useful tool. Crafting an age-appropriate reading is important for important for our smallest sitters, but it is also a good reminder for us as readers. It is important to remember the fun and lighthearted side of Tarot. Who better than children to remind us not to take ourselves and our craft quite so seriously. Life isn’t all ponderous and spiritual, neither is Tarot. The point is that the deck is a varied and complex tool that can point our intuition toward all aspects of the human experience…even the experience of being lighthearted, happy, and young.
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