Tarot for Children

February 7, 2010

I want my three young daughters to have an interest in learning the tarot. In fact, I even have fantasies of helping each of them create their own deck while they are still young. Perhaps, I should wait until they know their ABC’s, but it’s never too soon to start looking for a childrens’ deck, is it?

 Of the decks I found online that are designed for children, The Whimsical Tarot stood out as the most popular. This deck is designed by Dorothy Morrison and illustrated by Mary Hansen-Roberts, the Hansen-Roberts Tarot artist. The images are based on nursery rhymes and fairy tales and, according to Aeclectic Tarot, “is a friendly, cute, but not sickly sweet tarot deck.”

 Here is a useful article, “Teaching the Tarot to Children:”


 Here is a link to card images and a number of reviews of The Whimsical Tarot on Aeclectic’s site:


Think kids can’t design their own deck? A Miss Sophie M. White designed her own Major and Minor Arcana at the age of five:


The Kabbalah Tree: A Journey of Balance and Growth, Rachel Pollack

February 3, 2010

“As above, so below.”

 Award-winning author Rachel Pollack explores kabbalah’s primary image of The Tree of Life in The Kabbalah Tree, published in 2004.  The complexity of artist Hermann Haindl’s Tree of Life poster (included with the book) necessitates this work – first to provide the reader with a “kabbalah primer” and second, to delve into the meanings of Haindl’s detailed imagery. In addition to covering the history of the image, Pollack discusses the four worlds, ten Sephiroth and  twenty-two pathways along the Tree. The last chapter of the book details the Western esoteric tradition’s kabbalistic correlation between the tarot and the Tree and the Hebrew alphabet.

 A great review by Bonnie Cehovet can be found on Aeclectic Tarot:


Houses in the Tree of Life, Hercel V. Schultz

February 2, 2010

And I beheld the Tree of Life,

The Tree of Destiny,

The way of all things, and

Its folded bark was iron, and rust

lay new in every crease.

The morning dew giving life and death.

And upon its crown

lay thick the leaves and leaves,

and leaves uncounted

each with their own writing

and each in His own Book.


Hercel V. Schultz

Houses in the Tree of Life

The Haindl Tarot, Hermann Haindl

February 2, 2010

“The Haindl Tarot drew people first of all by the rare quality of its art. A painter who has devoted his life to his work, Hermann Haindl brought to his pictures a skill and sophistication rare in modern Tarot decks. Drawn in by the unusual beauty of the cards, people who became familiar with the cards and learned how to use them discovered something more profound: a way of living dedicated to the sacred wonder of the Earth.”

 -from Haindl Tarot: A Reader’s Handbook byRachel Pollack

 The tarot deck designed by the artist Hermann Haindl draws upon many esoteric and religious traditions, including Native American, the Holy Grail, the I Ching, Kabbalah and the Runes. The 22 Major Arcana cards are rich in detail and symbolism. The 56 Minor Arcana cards consist of four suits that relate to different elements and cultures. Swords represent air, the south and Egypt; wands are fire, the east and India; cups are water, the north and Europe; stones are earth, the west and America.

 While the deck was first published about twenty years ago, it is still in print and a popular choice for more advanced readers and collectors. The deck comes with the standard Little White Book (LWB) based on The Haindl Tarot volumes 1 and 2, written by Rachel Pollack. In addition to the comprehensive two volume set, Rachel Pollack later wrote Haindl Tarot: A Reader’s Handbook. I recommend purchasing both the two volume set and the handbook.  On Amazon.com, I only found The Haindl Tarot: The Minor Arcana (volume 2) currently in print.  The Haindl Tarot: The Major Arcana (volume 1) and the handbook can be purchased used.

 Here is a link on Aeclectic Tarot for two reviews (one by Andryh and the other by Bonnie Cehovet) and some sample images of the deck:


Spiritual Growth Through Relationships

January 29, 2010

Relationship represents the greatest challenge for the individual, for it is only in relationship to others that unresolved problems still existing within the individual psyche are affected and activated. Many individuals withdraw from interaction with others, so they can maintain the illusion that the problems arise from the other person because one feels disturbance only in his or her presence, and not by oneself.

However, the less contact is cultivated, the more acute the longing for contact becomes. This, then, is a different kind of pain – the pain of loneliness and frustration. But contact makes it difficult to maintain for any length of time the illusion that the inner self is faultless and harmonious. It requires mental aberration to claim for too long that one’s problems in relationship are caused only by others and not by oneself. This is why relationships are simultaneously a fulfillment, a challenge, and a gauge to one’s inner state. The friction that arises out of relating with others can be a sharp instrument of purification and self-recognition if one is inclined to use it.

By withdrawing from this challenge and sacrificing the fulfillment of intimate contact, many inner problems are never called into play. The illusion of inner peace and unity that comes from avoidance of relating has even led to concepts that spiritual growth is being furthered by isolation. Nothing could be further from the truth. This statement must not be confused with the notion that intervals of seclusion are necessary for inner concentration and self-confrontation. But these periods should always alternate with contact — and the more intimate such contact is, the more it expresses spiritual maturity.

– from “The Spiritual Significance of Relationship” by Eva Pierrakos


January 27, 2010

“We are miserable because we are too much in the self. What does it mean when I say we are too much in the self? And what exactly happens when we are too much in the self? Either you can be in existence or you can be in the self – both are not possible together. To be in the self means to be apart, to be separate. To be in the self means to become an island. To be in the self means to draw a boundary line around you. To be in the self means to make a distinction between ‘this I am’ and ‘that I am not’. The definition, the boundary, between ‘I’ and ‘not I’ is what the self is – the self isolates. And it makes you frozen – you are no longer flowing. If you are flowing the self cannot exist. Hence people have become almost like ice-cubes. They don’t have any warmth, they don’t have any love – love is warmth and they are afraid of love. If warmth comes to them they will start melting and the boundaries will disappear. In love the boundaries disappear; in joy also the boundaries disappear, because joy is not cold.”

-Osho, Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol. 1, Ch. 5 and text attributed to the 3 of Clouds (compare the 3 of Swords in any RWS-style deck) in the Osho Zen Tarot: The Transcendental Game of Zen

The Osho Zen Tarot: The Transcendental Game of Zen

January 26, 2010

“His trust is tremendous; his trust is so pure that nobody can corrupt it.”

–Osho on The Fool

The Osho Zen Tarot: The Transcendental Game of Zen is a wonderful deck for collectors, experienced tarot readers, and even those new to tarot. This 79-card deck (there is one extra unnumbered card entitled, “The Master”) is based on the teachings of Osho, born in 1931. The accompanying book, Tarot in the Spirit of Zen – The Game of Life is well worth reading, as it expounds on the Major and Minor card meanings and interpretations. In my bass-ackwards fashion, I posted a blog entry about this book earlier this month.

 Read excellent reviews of this deck at Aeclectic Tarot: http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/cards/osho-zen/review.shtml

 Evelyn Henry’s review on Tarot Passages provides some background information on Osho: http://www.tarotpassages.com/osho2.htm

 Read more about Osho and Osho International Foundation: http://www.osho.com



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