Interview with Isha Lerner
Inner Child Cards
An interview with Isha Lerner
By Erin M. Kelly
At a time when people run the risk of losing their imaginations to excessive television and mass-media advertising, the Inner Child Cards, created by two professional astrologers with extensive backgrounds in tarot symbols, acted on a wonderful vision of fairy tales and the tarot. They explored the idea one summer morning in 1988, at the time of a full moon. They found the mystical force of the tarot to be a graceful companion to the mystery teachings of fairy tales and myth in a deck of cards for children and the young at heart.
"Revelations showered down on us like brilliant falling stars," said authors Isha and Mark Lerner. "We were impregnated by a vision and wisdom beyond ourselves. To say this project has been inspiring for us would be an understatement."
It had been an ongoing manifestation since an initial meeting at the Findhorn Foundation in Forres, Scotland, in 1977, where Isha and Mark met up with several hundred people working with personal transformation and planetary service. Together they set free the ideas and inspirations that were gestating for several years. The deck is like a butterfly, liberated from the cocoon, open to the light and dancing with the fire.
"My deepest inspiration was my own pain and childhood longings, and learning through teachings of my mother who was strong and respectable," Isha said. "She taught us that our tears are the elixir and that our pain is an unpolished jewel of potential radiance. My deepest hope is to bring forward that message."
The deck has been translated in six languages, hitting a worldwide audience. "It has been very rewarding," Isha said. Many specialists are using the cards for past life recall, in children’s shelters and for child therapy. They are also used in remembering the lost innocence of childhood memories and have been inspirational in opening the channel of the heart. "It’s really incredible what children see in these cards," Lerner said.
Inner Child Cards are an evolutionary expression of the wisdom and magic of the tarot. The tarot is an ageless body of knowledge whose origin is not determined. However, the first actual tarot deck was recorded to be found in the twelfth century in Europe. In the Inner Child cards, suggestion of early imprints of rhyme, riddle and verse become the stepping stone toward maturation and imagination for those who study them. Hundreds of decks continued to be created - from many cultures and in all corners of the world. In designing the Inner Child Cards, Mark and Isha Lerner have revealed the beauty, wisdom, joy and innocence embedded in the twenty-two Major Trumps. "We were striving to create a deck that parents, teachers and families could utilize without getting lost in a myriad of arcane meanings that are difficult to fathom," Isha said.
Isha and Mark Lerner were inspired to create these cards through curiosity and innocence. "We wanted a deck to be safe in the hands of people of all ages including children. I have three daughters ages 20, 18 and 6, and it was important to do this for them. My husband at the time and I put our heart and soul into this project and worked on it for seven years. It was part of our own journey to find wholeness again..." Isha explained.
The ornate cards were visualized by Isha after meditating on each image. "I brought the image down and then had them illustrated by Christopher Guilfoil." Impressionistic and colorfully vibrant, the Inner Child Cards stir the imagination and express the movement of the cards’ meaning. The tarot images help to bridge the faceted pieces of our broken self. These images probe the soul, unveil the power of light and dark and unleash the impulse to understand desire, love and conflict. From the deep perception of "story hood" archetypes comes the awakening of subconscious forces that, in time, heal the spirit. For instance, the story of "Sleeping Beauty" and the Death card are parallel in meaning if you understand the deeper messages of personal metamorphosis at the core of the fairy tale and the thirteenth Trump. In an interesting way children are being taught about the magic of the tarot and the twenty-two-fold path of destiny through fairy tales. They have been given a "key" to the treasure chest of the hidden meaning in fairy tales and ancient folklore. Inner Child Cards has ordered the fairy tales into a magical sequence on the royal road of the tarot.
"These stories of yesteryear imply solutions. They are never meant to give answers, to judge, to punish or to dismiss the reality that, while we are mortal beings, we are not unlike the magnificent fairies, angels and wizards encountered in childhood literature, Lerner says.
"Life’s riddles and complexities are not solved in words but in foresight, clear vision and experience. The inward knowledge renews the soul’s life. We all feel more youthful and vibrant as we grow into the imaginative world. Because human beings must enter life through the gates of childhood, fairy tales will always be here. They provide a fertile meeting point for the simple, young mind and the wisdom of age."
Fairy tales themselves speak to the alchemy of the soul. They have reached and touched people more than I would have ever imagined... I have been very grateful. "The inner child cards are a tiny facet of a greater collective of healing tools," explained Isha. "When used, they can be part of the treasure chest of interpersonal and personal healing."
Isha Lerner has been working with flower essences, astrology, tarot and the healing arts for the wholeness of her adult life. She learned the value of nature and beauty while living in Hawaii in early years, and later at the Findhorn Foundation in Forres, Scotland where she was a community member for four years.
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An international astrologer, tarot consultant, lecturer, and Writer, Isha has been a staff member and writer for the monthly astrological journal, Welcome To Planet Earth, and has authored two notable works: The Inner Child Cards: A Journey Through Fairy Tales, Myth, and Nature published by Bear and Co, in 1993, and The Power Of Flowers, Triple Goddess Tarot, and Tarot of the Four Elements
Isha is owner and creator of Power of Flower Healing Essence Company. The flower essences are a high vibrational healing method which work at the cellular level as well as the higher levels of consciousness. Visit Power of Flower's here: https://www.powerfloweressences.com/
Isha lives in Eugene, Oregon. Her work is dedicated to and inspired by the unfolding beauty of her three daughters, Gabrielle, Katya and Sophie and five grandchildren: Francesca, Kingston, Kora, Nino, and Ari.