When I was a little girl, I was obsessed with all things “witchy.” I would pore over the ads for spells in the back of my mother’s gossip rags. I read and re-read Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth. My signature filled out that tiny library card. Oh, how I wanted to have those powers!
Many young girls can probably relate to this. Thankfully, there are so many resources now for mystically-inclined kids. For example, The Junior Witch’s Handbook: A Kid’s Guide to White Magic, Spells, and Rituals by Nikki Van De Car is a wonderful book filled with potions, spells, rituals, and information geared towards issues that interest children such as friendship and personal fulfillment. Beautifully illustrated with clear instructions – this is the book I would have loved to have back in the day. If you have a budding witch in your life, this is the book to get.
There was a section in the book that grabbed my attention called DIY Oracle Cards. Because I’m totally into crafty things and all sorts of tarot stuff, I wanted to know more. The author answered my questions and here they are:
What is an oracle deck and how might it be helpful for younger folks?
Nikki: I define an oracle deck as pieces of paper with pretty pictures on them! That’s all they are to me, honestly—but I use them to help me reach conclusions about something I already intuitively know inside. I feel like kids, in particular, are really well-attuned for that sort of thing!
In your book, The Junior Witch’s Handbook, you have a section on creating your own DIY Oracle Deck. Why create your own when there are so many on the market?
Nikki: Well, the thing about oracle decks is that they come with set meanings. Tarot cards have specific, agreed-upon meanings that don’t vary from deck to deck, but oracle decks can make their own meanings. But the thing is, whether I’m using tarot or someone else’s oracle deck, I tend to imbue each card with my own, personal meaning—and that only gets to be more true the more I use it. So I thought, why not make your own, with meanings you are giving the deck? It’s just so fun to make things, to put your own artistic and imaginative spin on something—and you can make sure you’re creating a deck that will give you the answers you need to the kinds of questions you want to ask.
Can you share a couple of suggestions on what types of materials and creative supplies a child might use to create their Oracle Deck?
Nikki: My daughter made hers out of colored paper and gel pens! But you could use card stock if you want something a little more durable, or watercolor paper if that’s the medium you want to work in. You could use the backs of coasters from restaurants, index cards—anything! You could sprinkle them with glitter, add stickers, scraps of paper or feathers or leaves, or tear out pictures from magazines. It’s really whatever sounds like something that would be fun for you to make.
What if you’re not sure what to put on your Oracle Deck? What sort of inspiration might you want to consider?
Nikki: My daughter literally sat down to draw whatever came into her head and then wrote down the meanings on the card afterward. So she drew a chalice, and for her, it meant receiving, luck, and wealth. I drew a watermelon, and that meant summer, which evokes all kinds of things, like freedom, warmth, lazy days, and so forth. If you’re really not sure what to put on the deck, you could pick up your favorite book and pick one word or phrase from a random page, and keep going. You’ll probably find that you get some pretty interesting cards!
So cool! I highly recommend trying this out with your children – or getting a copy of The Junior Witch’s Handbook so they can learn how to do it themselves.
About the author
Nikki Van De Car is a blogger, mother, writer, crafter, and lover of all things mystical. She is the author of Practical Magic, Magical Places, The No-Kill Garden, SereKNITy, Feng Crochet, and What to Knit When You’re Expecting, and the founder of two popular knitting blogs. Nikki lives with her family in Hawaii.