Finally given in....


Well, for about a year now, my ten year old sister has been begging me to teach her Tarot. I asked Mum if I could, and she said wait until she's older. That was six months ago. Now, Nicola (The sis) has been nagging me so much, and I really wanna teach her, so I've given into her...

I gave her a deck which is good for beginners and said that she could come into my room any time and look at my decks and books, as long as she put them back properly. I gave her a book to read, and said she could read anything from my room whenever. I told her that if she had any questions, she could come to me. She did. We spent about an hour just talking about the Tarot, and symbolism mainly., I also showed her most of my decks, explaining to her why they were like they were, who made them, who used them, etc. Then I asked her to go away, and look at all teh Fool cards from each deck in her own time, and look at the symbolism in each card, then write it down with what she thinks it means. She's grasping it really quickly. Although we did stumble on to rocky terrain whilst discussing Death and the Devil, and the Lovers... I emphasised the fact that she should put her own meaning to each card, not just limit herself to the LWB meanings, and that the Tarot is not just a fortune telling tool.

My only concern is if Mum finds out. I know it's wrong to go against what she has said, but in a way it is right, to me, to be teaching Nicola the Tarot.... I'm really worried though about whether I'm doing the right thing.

Do you reckon I'm teaching her okay so far? I'm trying to remain as detached from her learning as possible, and let her do the research and exploring for herself, like I did. What I talk to her about is very informal, and in no particular order. Usually we just look at various cards and discuss them, aswell as the recurring motifs in them (Such as teh cliff in the Fool).

What do you think?


Major Tom

Aye - that's a slippery slope and there's sharks in the water below for sure. }>

I'm sure I've recommended this before and I'm practically positive someone else here told about it first. Tarot Games - 45 Playful Ways to Explore Tarot Cards Together by Cait Johnson & Maura D. Shaw - Chapter 4 "Games Especially (But Not Only) for Children. My advice is get the book - show it to Mum (she'll approve) and have some fun with Tarot Cards and your sister.

Besides the book has some great games to play with your boyfriend ;-) Or even your Mum! :D


You don't say how old you are. I assume you're living at home, too? Are you an adult? A minor? How much control does your mother have over you? What does she think of your being into Tarot? Is she THAT unreasonable? Unapproachable?

The problem is, at this point, you're damned if you do, damned if you don't. Your sister could easily have started researching this all on her own and it's good that she has you to teach her instead of jumping to wrong conclusions. On the other hand, it's always a bad idea to go behind a parent's back. Bad because your mother WILL find out. You just have to assume that. Don't say to yourself "What IF she find out," say "WHEN she finds out...." What will she do? How will she react? Now, ask yourself, how can you tell her what's happening in such a way as to avoid this reaction?

So talk with your sister and work out a way to tell your mother before she finds out on her own and reacts badly NOT necessarily because of what you're doing, but because she's hurt and angry that you disobeyed her.

You don't need to tell her you've started teaching Nichola already, but I'd advise that you (1) find out why Mom is opposed to this. What does she think Nichola is going to learn that a 10 year old shouldn't know? Why is mom scared of the tarot? Maybe mom's the one who needs the lesson. Explain to Mom what the tarot is and what the cards mean and maybe she'll realize this is much ado about nothing. (2) Remind her that making the tarot taboo gives it more allure than if she just let you teach it to Nichola. (3) Make her understand that you don't want Nichola sneaking around. That you want this all out in the open, comfortable and no big deal. Like so many other things, better Nichola get her curiosity and desire satified from you, a trusted and knowledgable relative, then from a stranger who doesn't know what they're talking about.

Also, you can appease mom by letting her set the rules (like no doing tarot readings for Nicola's friends without their mothers permission, that kind of thing).

You can try to keep this secret, but the more you do, the more you make it seem like a bad thing. Mothers, though intentional or unintentional snooping, find diaries, drugs, letters, porn mags...and tarot cards in their kids bedroom. Better to bring it all out into the open, to defuse the situation and make it no big deal, then to sneak around, waiting for fireworks.


Major Tom: Thanks for the recommendation. When I get money, no, correction: IF I get money, I'll buy that book. BTW: HOW RUDE! (About the boyfriend part... ;p )

Thirteen: Thankyou. I am still living at home with both my parents and two younger sisters. I am 17. My Mum knows I have been using Tarot since I was 9, and she doesn't really get that bothered about it. She knows they're not evil, and she's fairly open minded. We don't talk about Tarot at all really, or religion. We have a rule in my house that was set 25 years ago when Mum and Dad married: Two things that are not to be talked about are politics and religion, mainly cuz they can get heated, and cause difficulties. I have done Tarot study downstairs next to Mum whilst she's busy knitting, and she just takes it as normal. I even did a reading for my Grandad in front of her about a year ago. She knows I'm Pagan, and is very acceptng of it, although I don't think she quite understood it fuly when I explained, and I'd like her to know more about it, but last time I tried having a coversation with her about it she got all defensive and said that I was pushing my beliefs on her. (She's very defensive and stubborn! Gotta love her!)

She's not scared of Tarot, or anything I have studied. She knows me too well to think I would get myself involved in something 'evil' or morally 'wrong', etc. She has seen how Tarot has helped me grow in understanding of things. But she is just scared for Nicola. I think she is worried that some of the cards would not be right for her, and Nicola is avery sensitive child: She takes things very badly, and often has nightmares and silly fears based on something she saw on TV or read about in an Enid Blyton story! She is just worried that Death and teh Devil will impress themselves too much on Nicola... I think she's also worried that Nicola will depend too much on the cards.

Mum has control over all of us kids, as does Dad, but Mum has always said to me, it's my life, and she can't make me live it a certain way. When I told her I was Pagan (About a year and a half ago) she basically said she didn't mind, cuz religion is personal, but she was disappointed that I wasn't Christian, and that she was worried about the discrimination I would face...

She's not unreasonable, just sometimes unapproachable. As for your other points, they were very useful. I've already set rules down for Nicola myself, like not doing any readings for her friends, and at the moment, only doing readings when I'm watching (It's a useful way for her to learn too) I also told her not to tell anybody she's learning, esp. not Sarah, her 8 year old sister, cuz she would get jealous, and I don't think she's ready for Tarot yet.

Now, to answer the question, what will Mum do when she finds out? Hmmm... I think she'd probablynot say anything to Nicola about it, and confront me. I can't imagine her being that angry about it actually. In the conversation we had when I asked her if I could teach Nicola, she said she wasn't against it at all, just that maybe it would be best to leave it a while until she's more able to understand certain things. I'm hoping I can use the fact that I'm not really teching Nicola, I'm suggesting things to her, and discussing what she has found out herself with her, and I'm supplying her with the means to do how she pleases, but I'm not teaching her. Actually, that probably won't work. I think maybe the fact that I disobeyed her is more niggling me than it will her! She's a firm and strong willed mother, but she understands what it's like to be me. She is one of the most empathatic women I know. She's not unreasonable, and I think with a little mother-daughter heart to heart, she may well understand that Nicola is better off learning now, and being helped by me.

Just gotta get over the jealousy of the other sister now...

Thankyou very much for helping me. You've opened some new paths for me just by asking me questions. Thankyou.



Glad to give you a chance to muddle these things though. Often that's all we need, to get people asking us enough questions that we can come to our own conclusions :) I do have one suggestion, by the way, that might satify both Mom and Nichola--

You don't say if Nichola wants to be a Pagan, or if she just wants to learn Tarot. If she just wants to learn tarot, but her leanings are Christian, you could give her the Connolly deck. I'm sure you've seen it. Very beautiful, very gentle, very positive, and Christian. Very little that's scary--not even a devil card. If your mom is going to approve of any tarot deck, it'd be Connolly.

Or you could also go Moon Garden, which has fireflies instead of swords. It's a good little girl deck--unicorns and stuff. Very sweet. Perhaps your mom is right, that it might be best to start sensitive Nichola off on a more light-hearted deck. RW really does have some gruesome pics. Let us know how things go!


Kiama: I know your heart's in the right place. As long as you are living in your parents' home & your sister is a minor, being up front is important, especially as Nicola is looking to you as her older sis & her teacher!
Thirteen: You've covered all the bases--great job!

Major Tom

Kiama - When you set out on a programme of education it's always ueful to have a textbook }> That way you have something to show worried parents. Do you have any book you could share with your Mum? I can't really add to all the good advice you've already received about the importance of being open - except to say I agree. }>

Rude about the boyfriend? :D I only added that thought because I play some of the games with my girlfriend - and oddly enough - she has red hair and green eyes. ;-)


Thanks guys, you're so great! Thirteen: Nicola has enquired about what it is ot be Pagan, and what Pagan beliefs are, why I became Pagan, and if we worship the devil! She has found some of my books on the subject, but she has not wanted to become Pagan. Her school too is rather brainwashing, getting Born Agains in and telling them that if they don't worship Jesus they'll got to hell. (Not offending any Christians out there: But these people they got in were not very good representatives). Mum wasn't too keen on the idea of the school telling her kids what they should believe either, and I think she knows that whatever I do, Nicola will ask about. But I doubt Nicola will become Pagan. At least not yet anyway That's one thing I refuse to 'teach' her, or give her any help at all on. She's definitely too young, and I really WOULD get into trouble! Nicola, although she has been brought up Christain, is not that Christain. We don't go to church, etc.

Major: When I say HOW RUDE, I'm only kidding: It's just one of my phrases to show I'm pleasantly finding it cheeky.

Anyway, I'm looking at decks to give Nicola: I have the Moon Garden, and don't find it useful or easy to use, so I don't think I'll start her out on that one. The Nigel Jackson she said she really liked, and teh Robin Wood, aswell as the Universal Waite. (She's got good taste, this girl!)

Anyway, must rush off to English before the teacher realises I'm not there and has a go at me.



Ooh dear..,.. Big things are happening. You see, for four years now, Nicola has been the victim of verbal abuse from the same girl ,who also lives three doors down from us. Yesterday however, she (The girl) got her gang (Three other girls) to beat Nicola up. She was physically attacked. They threw her to the round, kicked her in the shins, and punched her in the stomach. Later on in class, the main bully's best friend kicked her and warned her not to tell anyone. Now, if there's one things I can't stand it's bullying. I cried my heart out in the bathroom for half an hour after Mum told me what happened to Nicola. I wasn't sad, I was angry. I gripped the towel rail so hard that I nearly pulled it off the wall.

Anyway, I really think teaching Nicola Tarot is gonna do wonders for he self esteem, and it may act as a focal point away from this constant bullying. I think it could give her the hope that she so needs.... This may actually be good for explaining to Mum why I am teaching Nicola.

It made me laugh about a month ago, cuz this bully decided she'd buy a book of really silly spells, and she told Nicola she was a 'proper Witch'. So Nicola, being intelligent and knowing about Paganism, turned around and asked if she worshipped the Goddess and God. Ha! Nice one Nicola!

Please, if you have a minute, could you send some love and light to help Nicola through these hard times, and at the moment, I'm working on praying for healing for the bully.... She's the one that needs help.




It sounds like it's time to teach the little one Karate (how to block puches, not start trouble).

In regards to a deck, why not a theme deck that has a book with stories as well as meanings in it. My "Back to Tarot" deck was the Legend - The Arthurian Tarot. It has beautiful pictures and each card relates to a story about King Arthurs time. The Mythic Tarot is the same way. This way she can learn about mythology of some sort and Tarot.

Good luck Big Sis