“Tarot Spreads” App for iPhone and iPad
The brain-child of Nancy Hendrickson, with collaboration from Anthony Newell and Frederick P. West, this handy little app means you need never be at a loss for an appropriate tarot spread for any occasion. Available for both the iPhone and the iPad, the app contains nearly forty spreads, covering categories from “Career” to “Relationships”, and from “Time Related Spreads” to more “Spiritual Focused Spreads”. Some are simple, some far more complex – from two cards to pretty much the whole deck!
The basic premise is that you pick a type of spread, and then a particular one from the category of your choice. On the first page (visible at the same time as the menu on the iPad version, due to the larger screen) you get some information about the spread: what to use it for, how to choose the cards (whether by shuffling and dealing, laying out piles, or choosing cards face up), and a little background to the spread. Then you press the “deal” button, and the next page shows the layout of the cards. Touching a card (or sometimes group of cards) brings up an explanation of the position, and how to read it. In the iPad version, this information appears in the side screen, so that you don’t have to go back and forth between the meanings and the actual spread. The cards appear just as numbers – this is an app for using as a learning aid, or alongside your own deck (real or virtual), and doesn’t function for an actual reading.
Tarot luminaries such as Barbara Moore, Bonnie Cehovet, Catherine Chapman, Robert M. Place, Joanna Powell Colbert, James Wells and James Ricklef, to name but a few, contributed spreads to the app. These can be accessed either through the “Categories” menu, then choosing “Celebrity Spreads”, or directly through the “Celebrity” menu, and are clearly attributed. The introductory page for each of these spreads, in addition to the kind of explanation given for other spreads, also includes information on the “celebrity” and a link to one of their pages. All the other spreads were designed by Nancy Hendrickson.
I do have a few quibbles with this first version, however, which will hopefully be ironed out in future up-dates. Firstly, after you’ve “dealt” the spread, you can only go back to the main menu, not where you started from. Not helpful if you’ve forgotten which category you were looking at, or what the name of the spread was. Secondly, the index is not listed alphabetically! This makes it so much harder to orient yourself, and seems a rather obvious oversight.
Another quibble specifically with the iPad version is that the app only runs in one direction, using the breadth of the screen to enable seeing the spread dealt and the positional meanings at the same time. However, this means having to have the iPad what feels like the wrong way up to me. Most other apps utilise the accelerometer function in these devices to orient the page to where you are, and I hope this functionality will be incorporated into later versions.
Overall, I prefer the iPad version because you can continue to see the spread layout at the same time as the info on positional meanings. However, the iPhone version is still very useable, especially as it is possible to move back and forth between the positional meanings and the spread very easily – no having to go back to the main menu there!
The app retails at £2.39, and has to be bought separately for the two different versions. Still, it’s much cheaper than any of the tarot spread books available on the market, and is easily carried with you wherever you are.
Despite the minor issues mentioned, overall the idea is an interesting and useful one. Many people look for specific spreads for timing issues or romantic questions, and here there are a great selection of ideas to help with whatever question you have.