The Halloween costume I mentioned in the last post was inspired by the character, Prunella on the Arthur show.
Prunella is a a peach colored rat who is interested in yoga, fortune telling, and paranormal phenomena. In one episode her sister, Rubella, makes a cootie catcher as a gift for Prunella's half birthday and claims that it can tell the future. We made cootie catchers after watching and started talking about other ways people play with telling fortunes. The cootie catcher gives very definite answers, maybe you remember from grade school, things like:
you can bet on it
not in your dreams...
Just like in the episode, some people around here were not too thrilled with the cootie catcher's answers. I remember feeling the same way about my magic 8 ball. This got me thinking about Tarot cards; the way they act as a Rorschach test of sorts, and allow you to explore aspects of life without pushing definite answers. I looked up "children's tarot cards" on-line, not sure if I would find any. It seems that others had the same idea because there was a list of results for various ways the tarot deck could be re-imagined for children. These days the tarot deck could incorporate anything from astrology, Kabbalah, runes, I Ching, animals....so you can see how children's fables and storybook characters could find their place in the major arcana. These cards deal the human condition and their titles might remind you of fables, or Shakespeare characters. I see it as a good way to explore the human condition with the child leading the way. There is no need to lend belief to the occult to use the cards; the Tarot has been a source of inspiration and creativity for individuals simply by sparking their imaginations.
I decided to ask my kids if they wanted to illustrate their own set. After taking a look at how diverse the decks are, they dove in with their own ideas about what strength, justice, earth, fool...might look like to them.
My daughter went from curiosity about Prunella's cootie catcher, to dressing like a fortune teller for Halloween and doing "readings" (which consist of selecting some cards and then telling a story around them). The tarot deck is a work in progress and I will post some pictures soon if I get the artist's permission.