Categories and Sets: finding internal logic in learning tarot

Tarot “works” because of associations – whether that’s the story attached to a fairy tale in a themed deck, the Catholic imagery of countless decks, or the subtler reference to the character of a specific fandom.

Today I’m going to introduce a few categories of associations. None are essential for beginners, and maybe none are important in general (one of the beauties of non-dogmatic tarot is that it centers around what works for each practitioner), but they’re all examples of things my mind has wrapped around and that helped create another set of “hooks” for my memory and imagination to dig into.

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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