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Tarot for Teens
by M.J. Abadie

Tarot for Teens Written for teens but with the awareness that teens soon become adults, Tarot for Teens is intelligent, insightful, and alert to teen-specific issues and challenges. I found the content interesting and comprehensive, and the book was a joyful, heartening read.

Abadie presents a thorough overview of the tarot that can be used as a reference guide as well as a teen's introduction to tarot. She seems to have remembered what it was like to be a teenager, and writes with understanding and compassion about these passionate years. Her approach to tarot stresses self-discovery, personal growth, spiritual needs balanced with the material, empowerment, and honesty. This approach is especially healthy for teens, who deserve a realistic entry to tarot, one that avoids drama and an overblown aura of mystery.

The structure of the book is well thought out, although at one point while reading the meanings of the cards, I did wonder if it was getting a little too repetitive. Further into the book, the repetition made sense, and struck me as a useful way of teaching. Needless to say, card meanings are well covered and often mention teen-specific problems - such as upcoming exams, miscommunication with parents, social pressures, job choices, and relationships. The issue of sex is mentioned a number of times, but suggestions about sexual relationships seem always to emphasize being careful and rational. In addition, spiritual concerns and religious questions are also given light here.

Not only was I impressed by the content aimed specifically at teens, I found Abadie's writing voice itself quite impressive. Her writing is sedate and intelligent. There is no hype, no excited urgency, or pep-rally shouting; but she succeeds at getting across a clear message that each individual has the power to create the life he or she wishes for, and can overcome obstacles that may even seem out of one's control. She effectively shares the knowledge that life changes; nothing is permanent or static. Many teens need to hear these messages and don't. Often, it is the teen who needs it most who doesn't receive positive reinforcement, boosts to self-confidence, or the reminder that life exists outside of high school. Abadie does more than present tarot and its meanings. She gives tarot to teens as a tool for truly helping them work toward a life that they may just be recognizing belongs to them.

The book is equally appropriate for girls and boys, and could easily be used beyond teen years. It includes many references to college, career choices, and employment opportunities after high school. It is sprinkled generously throughout with "Teen Tarot Tips," insightful quotes, tarot games, and interesting bits of information. The layout of the pages is very attractive. Black and white images of the Rider-Waite Tarot accompany card interpretations, and simple stars and moons decorate pages here and there. Of interest will be the information Abadie offers on numerology and astrology and their significance to tarot work. I think there could have been more spreads, but those offered are good, solid ones. I would have also liked to see a list of recommended tarot books and resources. A subtle slant toward goddess-oriented spirituality may put a few people off, but it is not a blatant bias.

I highly recommend Tarot for Teens. Given along with the Rider-Waite Tarot and a cool tarot bag, it would be a great addition to a young person's path of self-discovery.


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