I’m falling for digital tarot apps. This is something I would never have admitted had a twist of life not forced me to acknowledge my potential tech-witch side. The twist of life happened to be emergency surgery, and ensuing bed rest without access to my tarot cards.
I was doubtful but desperate when I downloaded the Tarot of Trees to my android. It was a deck I’d been thinking of purchasing. I had no idea what it would look like digitally, and I uncharacteristically chose to trust the previews on the app’s page.
I performed my first digital tarot reading in my hospital bed while souped up on some really great painkillers. It was also one of the most on point readings I’d ever done for myself. I did more readings with the deck while laid up and they continued to be on point. Even when I wasn’t reading for myself.
Tarot is an intuitive journey, and there’s no reason the sight of cards on a digital screen would be very different from seeing them on a table.
If you believe that pouring particular energy and intention into your cards is what gives you your reading result, then it makes sense that your energy is all that is required to bring up the cards you are meant to read in that moment. If you believe that tarot is a psychological rather than psychic tool and the 78 images are just triggers for inner insight then their digital rendering should make no difference to that process.
Moreover, digital apps make tarot accessible in important ways.
They often cost much less than their physical counterparts while providing the same images and information. In fact, a lot of apps come with a built in guidebook that may be an extra charge if purchased physically. For folks just starting out in tarot, the apps also often come with built in spreads with options to customize like in most digital decks by The Fool’s Dog company. In some apps, you can even shuffle the cards digitally! Another great feature of some apps, is the voice option where the cards are read to you as they come up- either through your phone’s accessibility options or in some cases the audio option is built into the app.
If you are looking to start a tarot journal, but haven’t quite gotten the hang of it, tarot apps often come with journal options where you can save a reading and add your own commentary. This way you can track your tarot journey, complete with the reading’s images. Apps like the Golden Thread Tarot even have options to track frequency of card appearances and your emotional reaction to your readings!
Or perhaps you’d just like to preview a deck before you buy it? In this way digital tarot apps are a bargain way to look over the cards and keep the sample– unfortunately there’s often no returns on digital purchases. For example, I know now that the physical version of Chrysalis Tarot and I are not meant to be but I don’t mind turning to the digital version once in a while. The Fool’s Dog carries an impressive variety of decks like The Linestrider Tarot, Tarot Mucha, and The Shadowscapes Tarot; they also have some free sampler apps that give you a preview of the decks they carry with the apps capabilities.
Let’s never forget about convenience and safety! Tarot apps are also great in environments that aren’t tarot friendly, like your more ‘traditional’ workplace or a family dinner table. Or maybe you’re on the bus or subway and want to work a little tarot on your commute. (Don’t Tarot and Drive.) The possibilities are endless.
I definitely started off as a skeptic, however I’ve come to appreciate digital tarot apps for their ease of use and especially their usefulness in making tarot accessible to wider communities.
I convince you yet? Or maybe you needed no convincing and have a favorite tarot app. Let me know, I’d love to get recommendations for great apps!
Hi, I’m Asali! I’m a Black queer femme earthworker passionate about tarot, tea, and healing work. Schedule a card reading with me for a deeply clarifying intuitive tarot session. You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, drop me a line!