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Forgot Your Tarot? There’s an App for That!

This post was written by Donald Michael Kraig
on March 7, 2010 | Comments (5)

I’ve been a computer geek for a long time. The first computer I bought was a kit where I had to solder all of the parts and sockets into place. I had constructed several electronic kits before (mostly from Heathkit), but this was actually the first one that worked the first time I powered it up. It was made by a company called PAIA and was designed to control a music synthesizer kit they also sold. You programmed it by entering code two symbols at a time. The code that was used was hexidecimal, an alphanumeric code just like our regular decimal system (0–9) except you need to have 16 fingers. You had to key in hundreds of code entries to get it to work. If you made a mistake in entering even one letter or number you had to restart from the beginning. I learned to be accurate very quickly. And there was no hard drive to store the correct code, but it did let you record it onto a cassette tape. This storage system sort of worked. Sometimes.

Over the years I’ve had several computers and worked with dozens of computers. I was even a computer assistant instructor at USC a decade ago, teaching both Windows and Macintosh, the Microsoft Office Suite, plus drawing, video, and 3D animation applications.

The thing that’s really amazing is how technology has advanced. I now carry in my pocket a computer that’s literally hundreds of times more powerful than that first kit I built. The computer in my pocket is called an iPhone.

Compared to the total number of cellular phones that are available, the number of iPhones in the real world is actually quite small. And yet I’m surprised at the number of them that I see around. When I was recently giving workshops at the Pantheacon convention in San Jose, California, it seemed like half of all the phones were iPhones. So I’m going to guess that many of you reading this either have an iPhone or are planning on getting one.

Like all “smart phones,” the iPhone has lots of computer applications or “apps” specifically designed to run on it. I have games, photo editing tools, tools for working around the house, an application that lets me scan the UPC on something and compare prices in stores near me and on the internet, psychology tests, information on virtually every prescription drug available, astrology programs, and lots more.

I’m a Tarot Geek, Too!

Besides being a computer geek I’m also a Tarot geek. I own dozens of Tarot decks and have reviewed many of them for Llewellyn’s Encyclopedia. I’ve studied the Tarot for years and was awarded the title of Certified Tarot Grandmaster many years ago.

I like to plan out when and where I’m taking my cards. I don’t carry a deck everywhere. Inevitably, however, I’m asked to give Tarot readings. Without a deck that’s difficult to do. Luckily, as the commercials say, there’s an app for that.

In fact, if you go to the on-line store for iPhone apps, there are close to 200 Tarot apps. My favorites are from a company called Garlic Software for a couple of reasons. First, each has nine different types of readings, not just one or two. Second, these apps are clear, elegant, and easy to use. Third, unlike some of the others that seem to have been just thrown together, these are well thought out, as if they are a second generation of Tarot apps designed by people who care about what they’re doing and are professionals. And finally, there is the art. Unlike other apps that are mostly copies of the RWS (of varying quality), each Garlic app uses one of three artistically spectacular and highly practical for real work decks. The three apps are available separately and feature the Fairy Tale Tarot, the Mystic Dreamer Tarot, or the Mystic Faerie Tarot [I've linked them to some additional information about the traditional forms of the decks].

If you have an iPhone, and would like to get direct information on these apps, here are the links:

The Fairy Tale Tarot App …… The Mystic Dreamer Tarot App……The Mystic Faerie Tarot App

Or maybe you have other Tarot apps you prefer or would like to recommend for the iPhone or other smart phones. Please share them with our readers by leaving a comment.

Reader Comments

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#1 
Written By Kyle
on March 7th, 2010 @ 4:43 pm

This was a good posting. I don’t have an iPhone, but I’ve often wondered about the accuracy of doing computer-generated readings.

Maybe Don and the readers here can share their experiences not only using iPhone tarot apps, but also which websites give good computer readings.

I’ve used facade.com and Llewellyn’s own website for “virtual” tarot readings. The fourthdimension.net has a tarot site where you can do a reading with Crowley’s deck, and you can even save your readings. However, you can’t do reversals on that site.

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#2 
Written By Rainer
on July 12th, 2010 @ 5:31 am

Apart from iPhone apps, you may be interested in http://www.AmboCarta.com, a free tarot software (and other decks too – Lenormand decks for example) on the internet.
What’s very special about it: It’s not generating readings, it’s a tool for reading the cards to others over the internet.
While you read the cards, your querent can shuffle, cut and draw cards herself. For your support, there are already some meanings for cards, even from different sources.
AmboCarta is free, so you can try out the virtual card tables just for the fun of it.
…and don’t forget to tell your friends about it ;-)

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#3 
Written By Brandi Palechek
on July 12th, 2010 @ 10:53 am

There are two additional Tarot apps available that are based on decks published by Llewellyn:

Goddess Inspiration Oracle
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/goddess-inspiration-oracle/id348940349?mt=8

Legacy of the Divine
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/legacy-of-the-divine-tarot/id374068453?mt=8

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#4 
Written By Brynn
on November 25th, 2010 @ 1:57 am

I would love to have what we have on this site on iPhone – an app that lets you choose from these particular decks and spreads, and includes the same explanations we have here. I really like the way it works here but I have yet to come across and app that is similar in terms of feel and ease of use.

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#5 
Written By Lisa Dick
on May 30th, 2011 @ 12:49 am

Would like to see these apps available for Droid phone also.

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