Earlier this month my 5 year old daughter shocked me by asking if she could have her own deck of tarot cards. We already sit and talk about the meanings of different cards, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. She also is very adept at caring for our altars, and clearly has a love for the path we follow in this house. So I set about looking for a deck that might be child friendly - and I found Happy Tarot! Check out our first impressions below.
The Happy Tarot certainly lives up to it’s name - it is a warm hearted and optimistic deck situated in a whimsical candy-land. However, the Happy Tarot is far from fatuous; it has a strong foundation in the Rider Waite Smith standard and all cards have scenes that are instantly recognizable from their classic forebear.
The world of the Happy Tarot is gently humorous with with great attention paid to charming details. The countryside in which the inhabitants reside is a mouthwatering confection of children's sweets and favorite desserts. Mountains are topped with sweet sauces and giant cherries, a confetti of sprinkles, candy, lollipops, and ice creams and frozen treats lie on the ground; fairy floss trees and flowers made from boiled sweets sprout in gardens and rural scenes. Towers including those in The Moon, Death, and the Falling Tower appear to be giant chocolate bars, houses and castles are inevitably constructed from gingerbread.
The suits themselves are denoted by sugary goodies: Cups are ice cream sundaes, Pentacles are cookies and macaroons, Wands are depicted by popsicle sticks, lollipops, chocolate curls, and marshmallows on sticks; and Swords are shown as children's wooden toy swords. The inhabitants of Happy Tarot world are a cheery lot, although an occasional sad face creeps in to the appropriate cards. They are of that curious species – children or childlike people, at least in appearance, yet engaged in adult activities.
The Happy Tarot is a 78 card deck. The 22 card Major Arcana the standard RWS ordering; the cards have no titles, only Roman numerals. The 56 card Minor Arcana are Cups, Pentacles,Wands, and Swords; and the court cards are King, Queen, Knight, and Page. The suits are indicated by symbols at the top of the cards, and the Courts are indicated by symbols at the bottom of the cards. The deck measures 66 x 120 mm which is a standard size for Lo Scarabeo tarots.
The card stock is excellent. They have a low sheen gloss, are very smooth and flexible. These cards fit nicely in the hands and shuffle very well. The print quality is of a very high standard, there are no bleeds or blurring. The images are crisp and clean. The palette is vibrant candy colors – fairy floss pink, minty greens, soft lavenders, caramel and chocolate browns, buttery yellows, apricots, and grape shades.
While the Major Arcana embraces the full rainbow of colors, the suit of Cups is dominated by greens, Pentacles are predominantly shades of golden tan and apricot, Wands are dominated by sugary candy pinks, and Swords are primarily muted mauves and greys the color of stormy skies. The artist, Serena Ficca’s style is reminiscent of children's picture books, innocent, sweet, charming, guileless and really cute.
Each card has a narrow sandy colored border around each picture.There is a fine white lacy frill at the top and bottom of each image, and the numbers and symbols on each card are in an innocuous tan. The design on the back, clouds,trees,stars, candy, a big eyed moon or perhaps a peppermint, is fully reversible. The packaging is a lightweight cardboard box with scenes from the deck on all sides. It protects the cards well enough, but will not withstand heavy handling or rough treatment.
The Little White Book is 63 pages, with instructions in five languages – English, Italian, Spanish, French, and German. There is an introduction to the concept of the happy tarot and information on how to use the cards. A standard 3-card spread is included, but with fairly vague instruction as to how to use it to its best advantage. The instructions in general err on the side of optimism and hopefulness. The divinatory meanings are fairly standard but are quite positive and inclined to look for the best possible outcome. Each definition comes with a summary piece of advice which always begins with “You can find happiness by…”, some quite sanguine yet genuinely warm guidance.
The Happy Tarot initially appears to be a little childish but it is far from that. With its strong Rider Waite Smith foundations this is a totally functional deck with a powerfully optimistic outlook. It will work as well for an experienced reader as a novice – and if you are looking for a deck that eschews negativity in favor of a consistently positive outlook – this is it! It is a deck that will work well for both the young and the young at heart. And if you are looking for a child friendly tarot, then the Happy Tarot is undoubtedly one of the very best. Want to snag your very own copy? Click the link below. (please note that this is an affiliate link, and with every purchase we make a small commission to keep the coffee flowing!)
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