5th Realm Tarot Software CD

This Tarot program combines tarot and astrology. The deck used to illustrate the program was apparently designed specifically for the program. The art is interesting. It is done in collage with what looks like clip art, combined with photographic backgrounds. Death has been renamed "Transition" and the World has been rename "Entirety."

The first screen lets you pick a significator based on the elements. Once chosen, a blow up of the card will appear with a list of correspondences including Sun Sign, Gemstone, Element (called Sign in the program), Planet and Lucky Colors. You then choose from four spreads: The Ten Card Wheel, The Nine Card Celtic, The Seven Card Crescent and The Seven Card Star. The spreads are also assigned to the elements and the top of the screen advises, "If in doubt, choose by the elements." Once you have chosen the spread, the cards are laid out in a circle for you to choose from. You also choose whether the reading is for a male or a female.  The cards are then turned over and interpreted in groups of two. Individually, the card meanings are a bit idiosyncratic, but those familiar with the Golden Dawn meanings will generally recognize several of the keywords. For example:

Two of Swords - Delays - difficulties - quarrels - agreements

Ace of Wands - New start - ideas - optimism - energy - good news

It is when cards are read in two card combinations - which is how the program reads them, that things get really idiosyncratic. Consider:

Two of Swords/ Ace of Wands - There is unfounded gossip in your work area, but don't take it seriously. When the gossip reaches your ears don't even consider the content.

I don't know how that came about from the two cards previously described. It could be due to the position in the spread, but alas, we are not given any information about the positions in the spread. At the end of the reading, you get a summary, which is the same as the meaning of the first two cards read. You can also look up individual cards and see their image and meaning.

The program also contains astrological options. You can click a button and find out information on each of the twelve signs of the Zodiac. The information is a brief write up on Personality, Love and Partners, Career, or what the program calls Characteristics.  You can also input your birthday to get your "True Star Sign." This takes into account the procession of the equinoxes and gives a brief explanation of the phenomena. It also displays a chart of the heavens, with the stars for each sign shown. You can zoom in or out on the chart to get a better view. The information provided is very basic, and while those totally unfamiliar with astrology might find it useful, even those who just read their daily horoscope in the newspaper will find little new here. 

The program can play background music, which is sort of New Agey and rather unobtrusive. You can also turn the music off. You can also print the results of your spread. The program's strong point is its ease of use. Its weak points are its lack of explanations about the spread positions about how the card combination meanings were derived, or about Tarot in general. There is a help file, but it primarily explains how the program works. Very little tarot information or spread information is provided. Most tarot readers who have gotten beyond a very basic stage will probably find this program bewildering. The lack of explanations about the spreads and the idiosyncratic combination meanings will only frustrate a knowledgeable reader. On the other hand if I knew nothing about tarot or astrology and just wanted to get a quick fortune read, or to read about the basics of astrology, this program could be useful. 

See cards from the 5th Realm Tarot Deck

5th Realm Tarot Program
Focus Multimedia Company

Images Copyright 2000 Focus Multimedia Company

Review is Copyright 2000 by Michele Jackson
Page is Copyright  2000 by Diane Wilkes