Did you miss out on the limited run of the eerily beautiful Bohemian Gothic Tarot from Magical Realist Press? Have you spent the years since wandering the halls of your castle, late at night, weeping and wailing at the cruelty of Fate?
Weep and wander no more, dear friend! Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov have teamed with Oceanhouse Media and released the Bohemian Gothic Tarot app for iOS and Android!
The app resides on my iPhone 4G and on my iPad 2. (Yes, I really need to replace my phone, but September is sooo close – I just need my phone to stay working a little while longer!)
Back to the app. It is stunningly gorgeous, as one expects from everything done by Magical Realist. The frames and settings for the cards fit the mood and theme of the deck perfectly, and are amazing art all by themselves.
The app itself is easy to use, with clear menu choices and uncluttered navigation. Card selection is done by scrolling through a carousel of the cards and tapping the center card. The spread itself is shown with grey boxes at the bottom of the screen. Each box turns white when you read the corresponding card.
You can use the spread diagram to navigate the carousel of selected cards, but you have to tap on the card in the carousel to view the card; tapping the corresponding box in the layout doesn’t pull up the card, which took several readings before it became a natural gesture.
Spreads can be saved and/or emailed to share or create an archive.
There are six pre-set spreads, and no free-form spread option. You can, of course, use the pre-set spread and assign your own meanings to the positions. The app does not do reversals, which is covered with great eloquence in the section titled “The Structure of This App” and provides an excellent overview of working with dark decks.
The app contains an incredible amount of background information on the deck, Tarot history, and working with the cards. A sharply clever summary from Dan Pelletier rounds out the “Information” section; read that, if nothing else, before working with the app.
The app has a whooshing audio effect that plays when a card is turned over. This effect can be turned off. Note that if you work with this sound effect on, the app will disable any other audio you have going in the background when you turn the first card.
As well as including material from the book for the card meanings, the creators have added a section called “Some further ways to consider this card” which are a helpful way to move beyond the key words and basic narrative of the card. As the text explains: “These cards invite us to step beyond the meanings and associations that we usually apply and delve deeper to, perhaps, uncover events and emotions that we find harder to confront.”
I’ve tried a lot of Tarot apps, and deleted most of them. This beauty, however, has a permanent home on my iPad.
To get you in the mood for the app, check out this beautiful video from Magical Realist, which shows off the deck – and Prague – at its intriguing and seductive best.