The Tarot deck reads your energy and responds to it. It can work for your relatives, friends, lovers and even your pets. And it even works for analyzing the lives and possibilities of children. But young tykes are impressionable, still developing, and do not yet require the entire deck of cards to describe their fate.
A Tarot reading for children should be dealt from a shuffled deck that consists of only a few cards. A child’s reading should draw from cards zero (the Fool) through nine (the Hermit) and all of the 16 court cards (four each of Pages, Knights, Queens and Kings).
The single digit Major Arcana cards are archetypes of our early programming. Developmentally, all that can be told about a child’s world is contained in these 26 cards. The first card of the Major Arcana with two digits is the 10, the Wheel of Fortune. This is the card of transition. Since we know that every child is in transition towards adulthood, there is no need to include this card or the Major Arcana cards that follow it.
Moreover, the Death and Devil cards are among the illustrations in the double digit Major Arcana. In other words, let’s skip the bodies rising out of graves (Judgment) and other such morbidity. Parts of the Tarot may be too scary for the unsuspecting child.
A reading for a child should involve a simplified structure. Instead of an elaborate Tree of Life spread, a simple three-card reading is best. The first card set down represents the Present, the second card set to the left of it represents the Foundation of the matter and a third card to its right represents Possibilities.
Advanced Tarot readers may recognize this as being similar to many three-card, past-present-future readings. It is the same idea, with less emphasis on the past or predicting a specific outcome. This is meant to assist the child in understanding and explaining his or her world.
Here are interpretations of the cards used for a child’s reading. These are meant to speak to the world of the child. Allow him or her to embrace the possibilities that the Tarot’s energy offers with the three cards dealt. Stick to the reading for a few months. More than one reading per month for a child waters down the Tarot’s impact in a young person’s development.
What does each card mean, in the context of a child’s life? The first card of the deck is a joker called The Fool. This card symbolizes freedom, recess, playtime, or just not having any homework. The other single-digit cards include:
- The Magician: Getting all your chores done, pleasing everyone.
- The High Priestess: Being more experienced than other kids.
- The Empress: Wanting new clothes or toys, especially when popular kids you know have them.
- The Emperor: Older kids, classmates with status and experience.
- The Hierophant: School, other authority figures in the external world outside the family.
- The Lovers: Your best friend, your favorite character in a book or a movie.
- The Chariot: Playing games, competing with a sibling or classmates, sports, excelling at a new challenge.
- Strength: Learning strengths and finding skills; finding ways to collaborate using your talents.
- The Hermit: Entertaining yourself, alone time, creating on your own.
These are the cards of the court that represent children. When a page appears in a child’s reading, it represents the child receiving the Tarot reading in his or her native, natural state. The suit adds a dimension as to the child’s nature: Wands represent creativity, Cups are emotions, Swords are verbal expression and cerebral analysis, and Pentacles represent integration with the material plane.
In a child’s reading, these cards represent change. Adults take small changes for granted, but they are still a big deal for children. A classmate or friend moving away can mean major upheaval for a child. When a Knight appears in his or her reading, it offers you the opportunity to talk about change in a safe and positive environment. Read the Page section for the specific application of each of the suits.
Queens and Kings
These cards represent the child’s parents. The overarching maternal and paternal influences in your child’s life are front and center when one or more Queens and/or Kings appear in a child’s reading. The suit, as explained in the Page paragraph above, applies a distinct nature to the maternal or paternal influence. It is important to stay neutral if you are the parent when one of these cards comes up. No matter the reality that you know, it is your reality. The Tarot is expressing your child’s reality. It is up to you to shape that positively for the future.