Feedback on the Panda Reading

Feedback on the Panda Reading

The difference between tarot and storytelling is that tarot is done for or with a person who is seeking meaning out of the cards we’re reading.

When we’re telling stories it doesn’t matter how things connect or play out for a specific someone else, because we’re laying out a sequence of events and making meaning within a closed system.

Tarot seeks to either bring the querent (the person the reading is for) into that system, or to align the reading with the querent to add meaning to their situation.

How do we know if we found meaning – some connection to real life?

We ask questions, of ourselves (as readers) and of the querent(s).

In person – with a live reading face-to-face or via phone or video call – this sort of feedback is very natural and organic. I ask, “Does that resonate?” and the querent will let me know if that angle on the cards lines up with their situation.

Email or other distance readings (where the reader and querent are not face-to-face) cannot hold the same immediacy, but can still have value.

As I’ve expanded my practice into written readings, I ask follow-up questions of those I read for. I encourage anyone who reads for others to consider how questions such as these can both enrich your services, and provide confirmation of your instincts – which is a tremendous confidence-boost and can help a reader remember they’re not just shooting words into the void, they are touching lives. Read more

Kid-Friendly Tarot Decks

I’m not going to get into the nitty-gritty, here, or describe a bunch of decks in detail. This isn’t a geek-out post, though naturally opinions are still my own, and I don’t expect everyone to see things just the way I do.

This post is a picture-full starting spot for parents who are interested in introducing their kids to tarot, or even learning alongside them, without feeling the need to protect them from the images on the cards.

I know parents who are perfectly comfortable with “standard” decks, or “mild nudity” so they’re not the focus of this resource but still could find some more ideas. 🙂

One more thing: These recommendations are based only on imagery. Not all decks are equally useful for learning the system of tarot. But that list is a bit more complex, and is for another time.

I’ll mark the decks I feel are easiest to learn from – in case you want a hint now. These fit the popular RWS system (**), or have other helps, like key words or phrases on the card (*).

I am throwing bottom-limit age-suggestions at a number of decks here. However, user-compatibility is the most important thing. If the user doesn’t care about the imagery, if it doesn’t draw him or her into spending time with it, it won’t work. It’s no biggie, just a reminder that this practice – both choosing a deck and using the cards – is a terrific example of “child-led.” Read more

Tarot for Kids and Other Young People

Tarot and young people can be a natural combination. The variety of decks available today can help parents be sensitive to their kids’ (and their own) level of comfort while still offering the benefits of this storytelling system of cards.

Benefits of working with tarot include the chance to practice with new perspectives, increase self-awareness, and invest in problem-solving skills.

Why would tarot promote any of that? – What is tarot, really?

Tarot is a system of cards very like the 52-card pack families already use to play Spoons, Cribbage, or War. To get to the 78-card total, tarot decks also include 22 character or storytelling cards (called the Majors) and 4 more face cards (one for each suit).

The four suits are associated with four broad areas of life, and this is where we start to see some potential application for increased awareness/paying attention.

Our four standard suits (different deck designers play with different names for these, but what each of the the four cover remains consistent).

  • Wands (like clubs in a standard deck) are tied to fire, power, energy, and identity.
  • Cups (analogous to hearts) are tied to water, relationships, emotion and intuition.
  • Swords (spades) are tied to air, intellect, problems and problem-solving
  • Pentacles (diamonds) are tied to earth, money, the tangible world, and work.

These four categories can also apply in similar ways to parts of an individual’s life: their will/identity, emotions/relationships, smarts/mindset, and work/physical body.

Breaking down the bits of our life as each suit does (Ace through 10, for example,  cover iterations or elements of that suit’s focus) gives us a chance to be still and observe. It teaches tarot students – adults and young people alike – to pause and look at how different areas of their life interact.

It becomes a practical form of mindfulness or meditation. It gives the user something to look at, to focus on, which makes stillness and attention easier at any age.

And if parents are worried about potentially scary images or ideas (the Devil, for example, or the 10 of swords, if you’ve seen that image in a traditional deck), we cover these cards with the intent of neutralizing the fear, and showing how they can offer insight, fully separate from any religious imperatives.

These are the decks I recommend for child-users (recommendation based on images alone. Not all are equally easy for learning the system of tarot).

Several are available at our local Barnes & Noble, and I will bring decks from my own collection for those who don’t want to buy a deck, or who want to see some options before they choose their own.

I discovered tarot as an adult, and it was the tool that taught me how to think visually. I am excited for the chance to introduce children to the psychological tool that tarot can be, building self-awareness and a vocabulary of connections.