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Whimsical Tarot Companion Book

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 15 Apr 2003, and now archived in the Forum Library.



Khatruman  15 Apr 2003 
I just got the Whimsical Tarot deck to use with my son. He's five years old, and I thought it would be a wonderful exercise in developing his creativity and imagination, and perhaps foster a later love for tarot and spirituality. He is classified as a speech delayed child (had many ear infections during the crucial speech breakthrough stage and now has, in fact, had to have tubes put in his ears for the second time in his life), but he has made such remarkable progress that he is due to be declassified by second grade. One area of focus for him is storytelling, and I think these cards will be great for that. Also, he has several flash cards which he loves to work with.

In any case, I got the deck yesterday and the LWB only goes into some rote divinatory meanings for the cards, there is no background as to the images used in the cards. I am familiar with much of the imagery from folk and fairy tales, children's literature, and nursery rhyme. However, there are some images with which I am not familiar. I am looking at getting the companion book for the Whimsical tarot and wondered if anyone could tell me if it offers backgrounds into the stories used for the images.

Thanks bunches! :D 


Dakini  15 Apr 2003 
I got the Whimsical deck and companion book for my daughter, so I haven't read the book myself. I just looked thru it and it seems to go into more information than the LWB would.(about 200 pages) There's even a nice poem for the majors and it uses the characters depicted on the cards to explain the means. Amazon sometimes gives sample pages of the book.IMO its a nice set for children. Blessings Dakini 


Lee  15 Apr 2003 
Hi Khatruman, the Whimsical Tarot book does *not* relate the stories of the fairy tales used on the cards.

You might be interested to read my review, in which this was one of my pet peeves:

http://www.tarotpassages.com/whimsical-lb.htm

-- Lee :) 


Rose  15 Apr 2003 
I agree with Lee that the book doesn't help much with understanding this deck. Tarot passages has another review that lists the stories and characters that correspond with each card-which is about all the book does. Many if not most of the stories can be found on the internet.

http://www.tarotpassages.com/whimsicaldw.htm

Rose 


Khatruman  15 Apr 2003 
Quote:
Originally posted by Lee
Hi Khatruman, the Whimsical Tarot book does *not* relate the stories of the fairy tales used on the cards.

You might be interested to read my review, in which this was one of my pet peeves:
Thank you, Lee. The review was quite helpful. I think that, when I purchased the deck, I assumed that some changes would be made regarding card titles, such as Death and the Devil. I do agree with you on the Temperance issue also, that showing the card's opposite energy doesn't work. I do see High Priestess elements in the fairy godmother, but not particularly from how you said the book described it. Also, it seems from the little you said about the figure of the Fishwife, that the author doesn't have a grasp of the Hanged Man energy either. The hanging is not a punishment, but a way of looking at the world in a reverse perspective. And I am disappointed that the book doesn't explain the fairy tales used.

I agree that this was a disappointment in that it could have been done so much better. 


Khatruman  15 Apr 2003 
Quote:
Originally posted by Rose
Tarot passages has another review that lists the stories and characters that correspond with each card-which is about all the book does. Many if not most of the stories can be found on the internet.
Thank you so much, Rose. That is what I want. I teach folklore and folkstories in one of my night classes, and I pretty much know good places to find stories I am unfamiliar with. Knowing exactly what stories and what characters are used helps immensely with these cards. You saved me from buying the book... many thanks on that!

On a side note, I am noticing that many themed decks sold without books tend to have LWB's that are useless as far as understanding the themed symbology. They tend to give simple divinatory meanings that most tarotists already have 50 times over. 


Cerulean  15 Apr 2003 
This somewhat relates to some study that I am doing in fairy tale tarots:

http://www.overtheedgetarot.com/whimsicaltarotreview.htm

I almost thought the book was going to be worth getting and was considering this deck. I'm not so certain now.

Note, they also mention the Inner Child Cards. That was the first tarot that I gave to my younger sister and I believe those do discuss the stories behind the cards...but you might find the cards too large for a small child.

There's a mention of the Fiabe, a majors only deck from Lo Scarabeo, but the last image, for the world, was somewhat too adult for at least my nephew when he was five years old. (www.tarotpassages.com--Diane Wilkes review). By the way, the Fiabe was a commerative deck done on the 14th anniversary of a festival of the Blue Moon in Italy (Torino?)...I'm doing independent look-sees on that festival, and it seems in 1998, this deck of fairytale archetypes was done in conjunction with marianette/theatre/puppetry presentations of Allessandro Gigli.
Since I was looking at fairytale stories for adults, this is of interest to me, but not for kids...although it seems at least one puppeteer/clown advertises doing stories related to tarocchi and fiabe (fairytale archetypes) using this deck. 


Lee  15 Apr 2003 
Quote:
I think this is a sneaky ploy on the part of the publishers (I guess we're really talking here about US Games) to get us to buy the book! :D

-- Lee 


sunflowr  15 Apr 2003 
Quote:
Originally posted by Lee
Hi Khatruman, the Whimsical Tarot book does *not* relate the stories of the fairy tales used on the cards.

You might be interested to read my review, in which this was one of my pet peeves:

http://www.tarotpassages.com/whimsical-lb.htm

-- Lee :)


Hi Lee.. wow, what a review! ;) Actually, I am very grateful for reviews like this because I had been thinking of getting this deck someday and it would've confused the heck out of me. One thing tho.. about the devil (which yes I totaly agree that title shouldn't be in a child's deck), I like the illustration for it. It makes perfect sense to me that the strings don't quite reach his arms. He can break away at any time ... but does he? No. He is totally under the devil's spell. The devil can manipulate him, at will. Not without any actual strings. 


truthsayer  15 Apr 2003 
i like the inner child deck book and art better than the whimsical but i still love the whimsical. mary hanson roberts did the cards afterall, not the book. }) believe it or not, isha lerner's goal when she had the IC made so large it was so the small hands of a child could pick them up easier. i don't agree with her on that point. the cards per stories tend to be rather jungian in approach. however, i think the cards themselves would cultivate interesting stories sa they look more like a rorsach (sp?) test than the whimsical. i think they are probably more readable by a child but bear in mind the cards aren't based on the disney-fied version. the actual fairy tales psychological impact could be a little frightening. i don't have a fav b/t the majors or minors.

i think the whimsical works if you read it as if you were reading a rws deck instead of only seeing it as a deck based on fairy tales. the ways some of the cards are connected to fairy tales is a tad too abstract even for me. the book did help me in that it helped me at least link a story or concept to a card. i think this is what might make it difficult for a child as young as 5 who still thinks concretely and hasn't mastered abstract thought. i think IC is more concrete but it's also got an abstract side to challange adults. 


Khatruman  16 Apr 2003 
Quote:
Originally posted by truthsayer
i like the inner child deck book and art better than the whimsical ... i think they are probably more readable by a child but bear in mind the cards aren't based on the disney-fied version. the actual fairy tales psychological impact could be a little frightening.
NOT Disney-fied???? Well, I think that is a BONUS!!! :D Yes, my son has been Disney inundated, but I really do want him to get the real stuff. He is not an easily frightened child, and that is because I try not to shelter him. He watches the Harry Potter movies, which have some frightening aspects to them. He hasn't really gotten many nightmares to speak of. I truly admire the attitude about life that he seems to project: he is cautious of things, but not frightened of them. I noticed this first when he was 18 months old. He wanted to go on the big person's slide, to climb up himself. He approached it cautiously, taking steps with care, but didn't get frightened. Some toddlers would not be afraid, but they would plow through things to the point where, if an adult weren't there, they would just kill themselves.

Thanks for the advice on the Inner Child... if I see it cheaply... :D 


Rose  16 Apr 2003 
Khatruman,

I have one other suggestion for a young child's tarot. The Hello Tarot by Joe Rosales is based on Hello Kitty characters. The images basically follow the Rider-Waite-Smith cards (I love the fact that they still retain many of the symbols) and are kid friendly. This is a black and white deck that measures 4 1/2 x 3 inches. The disadvantage to these cards is that they are not laminated and are printed on thin card stock (i.e. they are virtually unusable as is). If I were using them for a child I would either laminate them or take them to a photocopy store and make larger copies on cardstock that a child could color. If you copy the cards you can also change the titles on the majors if you wish. If you order it through the author it is $15 (shipping included).

http://www.joerosales.com/catalog3.htm

Sample cards can be found here

http://www.wicce.com/hellokittypix.html

Rose 


truthsayer  16 Apr 2003 
what a great idea! the hello kitty! is such a neat deck and rated G. another idea is the simple tarot, the rota?, or the international icon tarot. they have simple symbols and are colorful. i wish they'd been around when i was learning tarot. they're "just the facts, m'am" decks. nothing too esoteric to be confusing. 


Khatruman  16 Apr 2003 
Not Hello, Kitty!!! Anything but HELLO, Kitty... the only thing worse would be if Barney put out a tarot... *L*

Actually, I want pictures and I want something that will stimulate his storytelling imagination, and get him introduced early to the classic folk literature. I want him to have an innate sense of folk story, something beyond the sanitized Disney age. Also, I want him to be away from marketing as much as possible; well, that isn't possible, but I want him not to be a sheep led to the Toys R Us counter... *L* 


Astraea  16 Apr 2003 
Khatruman, your son sounds like a very special, interesting person and your ideas about raising him are loving, sensitive and brave. I think that the Inner Child cards would make a valuable contribution to your son's creativity and understanding of the imaginal realm, and would complement the Whimsical deck. Kudos to you, and best wishes to you and your very fortunate child. 


Rose  16 Apr 2003 
Khatruman,

I don't know-I think I would enjoy a Barney tarot in which he was pierced by ten swords, and even better sticking his tongue out at someone and making them cry. Seriously, I really like the Hello tarot. The characters may be saccharine but the images, for the most part, retain the positive and negative meanings found in the Rider-Waite deck. That being said, I'm trying to look at tarot from the standpoint of what might interest a young child and stimulate him/her to think about the feelings and situations the cards evoke. The three of swords in the Hello tarot deck depicts two of the characters attacking each other with swords while a heart hanging above them is being ripped to pieces. My daughter is an adult now, but I can imagine her five year old voice telling me that when someone yells at her it feels like swords stabbing her in the heart (she was a bit of a drama queen and in fact got quite indignant when anyone yelled at her). I also think the cards in this deck can be used to make up stories. It would be easy to design a simple storytelling spread-Hero, Quest, Villain, Helper, Obstacle, Solution, Ending. Of course I'm looking at this strictly from the standpoint of introducing tarot cards to a child.

I certainly agree with your wish in wanting to instill in your son an appreciation for classic folk literature. He's lucky to have you as a father. The Whimsical Tarot and the Inner Child cards are definitely two possibilities to use along with fairy tales, in spite of their shortcomings (what deck doesn't have shortcomings). A great father-son project might be to make your own story based deck. Anyway, good luck and I would be interested to hear how your son responds to the Whimsical tarot.

Rose 


Cerulean  18 Apr 2003 
I was so taken with this discussion, that I opened another thread on tarot decks for general fairy tale archetypes. Someone suggested the Tarot of Oz, which actually has a small book-deck kit. I think the cards are small, bright and has clear, cheerful illustrations that might work well with the Whimsical deck.
Not to confuse anyone, but I thought some people were also suggesting alternative decks to try for the young at heart...and maybe this would be a growing one for kids as well...isn't there many many Oz books? Astrea was the brillant suggester, so if this works for others, kudos goes to her.
Hope this helps.
Mari H. 


The Whimsical Tarot Companion Book thread was originally posted on 15 Apr 2003 in the Tarot Decks board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the active threads in Tarot Decks, or read more archived threads.

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