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Tarot for Kids by Theresa Reed and Kailey Whitman

Sometimes you have to go back to basics.

When I herd that Theresa Reed was doing a new Tarot deck for kids, I was intrigued. I love her work and her contributions to Tarot but I was insanely curious about how she would do a deck of Tarot cards for kids. I pre-ordered it mostly sight unseen and I have to say that I am enchanted and so so happy!

I’m often asked what Tarot deck would be good for kids and while there are a few of them, there has never been a deck designed primarily for kids. With art by Kailey Whitman and the book by Theresa Reed, this is a deck that anyone, even grown-up kids such as myself, will love. I love everything about this deck.

The guidebook by Theresa Reed is so well done. Each card is given a brief description using language that kids can understand and, even better, it doesn’t talk down to them. There are also journal prompts for each card that are designed to get kids thinking intuitively and creatively about the cards that they are drawing for themselves. There is even a brief introduction about what Tarot is and where it came from. There are three different spreads included and also a short section on how to ask good questions of the cards. Theresa Reed gives new Tarot readers just enough so that they are confidant in beginning their journey and encourages them to use their intuition. It’s a beautifully written little guidebook.

The art by Kailey Whitman is so beautiful and whimsical. I know that the deck is directed towards children, but the art just pulls you in regardless of your age. It’s diverse in terms of race and gender and what I love most about that is that any child can look at this deck and find themselves within the cards. Representation matters and it’s just done so effortlessly in Tarot for Kids. The art is beautiful and fresh and full of life and just makes me so happy, even the more negative cards. I love that not everything is given a positive spin, that the deck doesn’t turn away from the negative.

Some of the cards have been renamed. The Devil becomes The Bully, the Lovers become Best Friend, Temperance becomes Balance, Death becomes Change, The Heirophant becomes the Rules, the High Priestess becomes The Moon Queen and the Hanged Man becomes Patience. I love that they did this. It matches the feel of the deck and makes the meaning of the cards easier to understand. I also appreciate that Theresa notes what the cards are normally called in the guidebook. I love how it doesn’t gloss over any of the meaning and gives another angle to the cards for more experienced readers.

The box and cardstock are top notch. It’s a tuck box, but it’s really thick and well put together, perfect for those little hands I always struggle with tuck boxes, but this one was so well designed. The cards are a dream! They are overly large, much easier for those young eyes (or older ones!) to see the pictures. The cardstock is nice and thick and will be able to take a lot of wear. They are big cards and while I can shuffle them with little difficulty, it would be a lot easier for kids to lay the cards out on the floor or table and pick a card that calls to them. Theresa Reed even gives tips for shuffling in the guidebook. It’s a beautifully designed deck that is a pleasure to hold and look through.

The little kid in me is so happy with Tarot for Kids. It’s such a lovely surprise and I found myself enchanted by this lovely deck. I can’t wait to use it and to get to know the cards some more and see what stories I can tell. A superb deck for kids of every age!

Learn more here: https://www.thetarotlady.com/tarot-for-kids/

Me Times Three

I’ve had the honour of appearing in two Tarot decks and will be appearing in another one. In the Harley Spencer Tarot, I’m on the 5 of Cups extra card and in the Tower Takeover Tarot by Kaylani Perisho, I’m the Page of Wands. In an upcoming Tarot deck by Lucy Moringstar and Theresa Reed, I’ve been made the King of Wands. It’s interesting when I look at all three cards together. They form a journey of sorts and they are three different parts of me and my journey.

The 5 of Cups shows me trying to get the old feelings out of a bottle of ketchup that’s ladled old feelings. I love what Harley Spencer has done with his card as it gives it more substance. It gives this card hope in that I can actually get rid of the feelings that I’ve been holding on to and that have been holding me back. At the time when she put me on this card, I was actually wrestling with letting go of old feelings left by an abusive relationship.

The Page of Wands shows me falling from the Tower, my Wand adrift with the fire, as I fall to the ground. What will await me when I reach the ground? Will I be able to get up and start again? I love the fact that this card reads so differently with the Tower as the backdrop. Typically, the Page of Wands is just beginning a journey of creativity and discovery. In this card, I’ve let go of my Wand and my creative spirit and have to work at getting it back. This actually happens more often than I would want, especially when it comes to self confidence.

Finally, the King of Wands shows me smiling proud with my familiars: a lion, a wolf and a salamander. The King of Wands is full of light and the wisdom with which to use that light for a greater purpose. He’s wise and knows himself and trusts in his creative spirit. He’s kind and a fair ruler, able to inspire others simply by giving into his craft and creating. He is a man who knows his own spirit and is comfortable in his own skin.

All three cards are pieces of who I am and the steps that I’ve taken to get here. I’m so very proud to be on these three cards. I love how all three cards show the path that I’ve taken to becoming myself and the person I am today.

Fortunate by Kim Rashidi

I had the pleasure of reading Fortunate by Kim Rashidi. It’s a lovely book of seventy-eight poems. Each poem is about one card in a deck of Tarot cards. I loved her interpretation of the cards and their meanings. The poems were short, but they were thought provoking and actually helped me see some of the cards in a different way.

The poems are not laid out in the order. They are all randomly ordered, much like a Tarot deck would be. I love how I could open to a page randomly and find sage advice within the poems. A couple of times, I asked a question as I would have when using a Tarot deck. The answers from the poems were on point and very sound.

Now, there are a couple of things that bothered me. I didn’t like the fact that the table of contents is at the back of the book. I really disliked all the blank pages. I know that Rashidi says that the blank pages are for my own notes and doodles, but I really would have preferred a picture of the card the poem is about or just do away with the blank pages entirely. It also bothered me that not all the pages were numbered.

However, once I delved into the poems, it was to find myself enchanted. The poems are brief but no less powerful. The poems take you through an introspective journey and it’s one I plan to take again.

Get your copy here: https://www.amazon.ca/fortunate-kim-rashidi/dp/1725692708

Representation Matters In Tarot

For years, I did not see myself within the cards.

Living as a gay and disabled man, when I read with the cards I found it difficult to see myself. I know that Tarot goes beyond gender and race but there is just something so wonderful about picking up a deck and automatically seeing yourself without having to think about how you would fit into the cards.

For Pride Month, I thought I would take a deep dive into the decks where I’ve seen myself without having to look too deeply, the decks where I’ve immediately felt at home within the cards. I think it’s so important for anyone who uses Tarot to see themselves within the cards. It’s especially important during Pride Month.

Here are the decks I return to again and again that are unapologetically GLBTQ+:

The Numinous Tarot by Cedar McCloud

I love The Numinous Tarot for so many reasons. It’s a totally GLBTQ+ revisioning of the cards in bright and beautiful colour. There is representation of race and also disabilities. You can get your copy here: https://numinoustarotthird.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders

The Harley Spencer Tarot Deck by Harley Spencer

This deck is amazing. It’s queer positive and is so inclusive of gender, race and sexuality. I particularly love how in the Lovers card, the people are neither male nor female. They are just two beings who love each other. You can get your copy here, but upon publication it looks like the decks may be sold out except for the new factory-made edition: https://www.hs-tarot.com/

The Fifth Spirit Tarot by Charlie Claire Burgess

This deck is so inclusive and so wonderfully queer. It has people of every gender type and is inclusive of race and disability too! It goes beyond binaries and is wonderfully diverse in every possible way. You can get your copy here: https://www.fifthspirittarot.com/

The Urban Tarot by Robin Scott

I love this deck so much. It’s got representation of GLBTQ+ and gender, race and disabilities too. It’s wonderfully diverse and it’s more aligned with Thoth than RWS, but it’s so evocotave and wonderful. You can get your copy here: https://www.usgamesinc.com/the-urban-tarot.html

This Might Hurt Tarot by Isabella Rotman

I hear this deck. It’s wonderfully diverse and just so sweet and lovely. It’s got so much substance to it and it’s inclusive of GLBTQ+ and people with disabilities. It does a remarkable job of representing people from different races too. You can get your copy here:

https://www.thismighthurttarot.com/

Tarot of the Divine by Yoshi Yoshitani

This deck uses stories, legends and myths from all over the world to tell the story of the cards. It’s inclusive of GLBTQ+ and races from all over the world. I love how Yoshi chose each story or legend to represent each card and it’s so bright and colourful. You can get your copy here:

The Pride Tarot by US Games

This deck is a collaborative deck with all kinds of GLBTQ+ Tarot readers and artists creating cards for this deck. It is so wonderfully inclusive in terms of race and disability and of course being the Pride Tarot it’s unapologetically GLBTQ+ and oh so wonderful. You can get your copy here: https://www.usgamesinc.com/pride-tarot.html

The Uncommon Tarot by Shaheen Miro

This deck is a wonderful reimagining of the RWS we know and love and it includes beautiful collage artwork. It makes this deck somehow timeless and more current. It’s inclusive of gender, GLBTQ+ and race and is oh so lovely! You can get your copy here: https://redwheelweiser.com/detail.html?id=9781578637140

Any one of these decks would make a welcome addition to your collection or perhaps start you off on your Tarot journey.

Happy Pride Month to everyone! Be proud, be loud and let’s celebrate!

The Tower Takeover Tarot – Deck Review and Thoughts

I think that everyone can agree that 2020 was one heck of a year.

It was the year that brought us Covid and along with that there was so much upheaval as our lives changed forever. It was as if someone had hit some kind of a restart button and we were left to pick up the pieces.

After Covid began, I had seen this meme and laughed. 2020 really did feel like it was a year full of Towers where we had to constantly shift our perceptions as our foundations shifted beneath us. At the time, I thought a deck full of the Tower card would be funny and very kitschy and very appropriate for what we were all going through.

Kaylani Perisho, the creator of the Tower Takeover Tarot, took that original meme idea and instead of having a deck simply full of Tower cards, the infused the Tower card with each different Tarot card. This changed the meaning of the cards I knew so well. It took the idea from being funny and kitschy to being transformative and introspective. It added a depth to the cards that hadn’t been there before.

I was surprised that the Tower Takeover Tarot wasn’t simply another clone deck, but a deck that stood on it’s on merits. Take the Ace of Swords for example

Normally, this card marks the beginning of a new journey. The Sword brings mental clarity and perhaps a mental breakthrough as it cuts through all the mental thoughts that try to drag us down. It is a card of writers and philosophers, thinkers and doers. However, looking at this card I was stuck by it. The hand had let go of the Sword. What did it mean if the Sword was falling? After thinking about it for some time, what occurred to me was that maybe I was afraid of the clarity that a mental breakthrough would bring. I had chosen to let go of what the Sword promised instead of facing the change that needed to happen. See how much that changes the meaning of the card?

Or take the Strength card. The woman and the lion fall through the air from the Tower. I typically read this card as choosing to be courageous to love yourself. The woman normally befriends the lion who represents all the wild parts of herself. Loving yourself can be a difficult thing to do and the Strength card asks you to consider all the ways that you are worth of love. Well, what does it mean if they are falling from the Tower? I read this version of the card as turning away from self-love, choosing fear instead of choosing to love yourself. Self-love and self-compassion can be difficult to achieve, especially if our foundations have been shaken. When I look at this card, I read it as that I’m being asked why I would turn away from self-love when it is the one thing I truly need?

How about the Ace of Wands? Normally it is the start of a new creative journey, one that will take your spirit to new places and bring light and hope. It asks you what you will create and how that will change you and make your world brighter. Well, what does it mean when the hand lets go of the Wand and lets it fall from the Tower? Well, I read this card as turning away from what brings you joy, walking away from a creative endeavour that would bring light to your life, maybe out of fear for where the new creative project would take you. It’s a lost opportunity and you have to stop and think of why you’re letting it go instead of holding tight to the joy that it brings.

See what I mean? The tradition meaning of the card is turned on its head and forces you to take a deeper look within yourself and what is going on in your life. Far from being funny and kitschy, these cards are deep and introspective. I love how the cards in this deck make you really think about the different and deeper meanings of the cards.

I was honoured when Kaylani asked me if I wanted to be in the deck. Of course I said yes. I had no idea which card she had put me on until I received my deck the other day. I was thrilled to see that I had been placed on the Page of Wands card! Normally, the Page of Wands is at the start of a new journey, one that brings possibilities and new beginnings, inspiration and new ideas. However, what about the Page of Wands falling from the Tower? When I look at this card, I read it as a fear of beginning on a new journey, turning away from inspiration and what I’m capable of. When I hit the ground, I’ll have to begin again anyways. Why try to turn away from inspiration when it will always find me?

I love everything about this deck. It comes in a hard cigarette style case and the cardstock is fabulous.  The cardstock is wonderful and the deck shuffles so well, both regular and riffle shuffling. I love how bold the card backs are, more of that lightning striking across the back. It also comes with a small guidebook that is full of information, including spreads and different draws you can do as well as questions to ask. For such a little book, it packs a whole lot in there.

All in all, this is such a wonderful deck. I didn’t think that a deck full of nothing but Tower cards could be such a life changing, inspiring deck. Kaylani Perisho calls it a transformative deck and it certainly is that. The Tower Takeover Tarot is a wonderful deck and I love everything about it. So take a chance and get yourself one. You can buy it directly from Kaylani here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/868030256/tower-takeover-tarot-deck

Kaylani has done such a fantastic job taking something that could have been tacky and turning it into something that is a lovely tool for introspective guidance and counsel. She has paid so much attention to the quality of the cards and has taken so much care with the Tower Takeover Tarot every step of the way.

Take a chance and see what the Tower can teach you!