“Down through the centuries, the tarot has undergone many facelifts and artistic changes. But its message remains the same. By tuning into the vibrations of the cards’ images, we gain a deeper understanding of ourselves, our life path, and our future.” – Maria Shaw
If you know a young adult who would like to learn Tarot—or perhaps you happen to be a teen—beginning the process can bee as easy as obtaining Maria Shaw’s Tarot Kit for Teens. This admirable kit contains the Universal Tarot deck, a black organdy bag, and a 173-page companion book written by Ms. Shaw.
Written in an accessible and friendly tone, Ms. Shaw instructs teens on everything from preparing for readings to making a Tarot bag, deck storage and clearing to comprehensive spreads. She gives a brief history of Tarot and describes the difference between the Major and Minor Arcana—as well as explains the significance of the court cards, aces, number cards, and suits.
The second half of the companion book to Maria Shaw’s Tarot Kit for Teens provides black and white images of each card from the Universal Tarot, as well as keywords and interpretations for upright and reversed meanings.
Rather than talk down to teens, Ms. Shaw speaks respectfully and frankly, imparting the knowledge that her mother—herself once a professional Tarot reader and astrologer—passed down to her. She even covers timing events via the four suits and the court cards, and outlines spreads such as the Celtic Cross and the 12-House Zodiac spread.
Ms. Shaw’s card interpretations are quite good, but obviously geared towards those in school—often focusing on education, friends, romantic interests, and relationships with parents, teachers and other authority figures.
However, I did find it odd that she advocates yes/no questions and that she attributes the suit of swords strictly to conflicts and arguments—rather than explaining that swords govern the realm of intellect, communication, beliefs, and judgments.
It’s great that Maria Shaw’s Tarot Kit for Teens includes a deck, so teens don’t have to scrounge around trying to find the “perfect” deck—and the black bag is a nice touch, too (even though it will likely not withstand rigorous use for any length of time). Granted, the Universal Tarot isn’t the most attractive deck, but at least there’s a sense of movement to the images. And, since many Tarot books refer to Rider-Waite-Smith imagery, the Universal Tarot is close enough to that respected template. So if you’re in the market for an all-in-one Tarot kit for young adults, Maria Shaw’s Tarot Kit for Teens is a solid beginning point on the fascinating road to self-discovery and increased awareness.
Below are 10 images from the Universal Tarot:
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