The Tarot Card Boardboard.gif (14001 bytes) - Review by Michele Jackson

This device is an 18" X 24" board, that folds to 9" X 12" for carrying. It was designed "to recall instant meaning to all 78 cards." It has 12 spaces in the center of the board numbered zero to 11, that can be adapted to various layouts. It provides instructions for laying out six different spreads, including a variation of the Celtic Cross. The spreads are:

The space marked zero is generally used for the significator and the space numbered 11 is used to hold the remainder of the deck. The meanings for the Major Arcana cards are listed on the right side of the card spaces and the meanings for the Minor Arcana and Court cards, by suit, are listed on the left side of the card spaces. Upright and reversed meanings are given. The Major Arcana also have zodiac signs assigned to some of the cards, though the assignments of the Chariot and Temperance seem to be reversed. Perhaps that is the manufacturer's personal preference. Since these assignments are not annotated on the board itself, the user can use whatever assignments he or she is comfortable with. I also found the meaning for Temperance rather idiosyncratic  - "Control food, drink, smoking, dieting or spending," though most of the other meanings were "traditional."

Each card space describes the meaning of its position in the spread. For example card number one states: "Represents your reading or the general condition surrounding the question asked." The spreads described above make use of these descriptions and use the appropriate spaces for their layouts. Each card space also shows the symbol and dates for the signs of the zodiac. I think this is to assist those unfamiliar with Astrology in choosing a significator by birth date. At the bottom of the board there are directions for use of the board.

The board comes with a booklet called a "Reference Guide." It provides some background information on the Tarot Card Board and background information on the Tarot. The historical information provided is brief and tries to stick to verifiable facts, vice myth, though I think the author was not too careful about mixing the history of playing cards and Tarot cards together. There is also some introductory astrological information, though the writer advises the user not to attempt astrologically based Tarot readings unless well versed in astrology.  There is general information about how to do a reading and instructions for using the board to read and to study. A sample 11 card reading is also provided.

The board I received came in a gold trimmed, black velvet carrying case. The case is large enough to hold the board, the booklet and a deck of cards. The publisher recommends using the Waite deck and the meanings provided on the board are geared towards the Waite deck, but the deck will also work with a clone, or a Waite derived deck. The entire product looks good and is really rather unobtrusive when covered with cards.

I recommend this product for beginners who are not yet sure of all the card meanings. It might also prove useful as a table cover in lieu of a reading cloth.

You can order here, or from the address or phone number below.

The Tarot Card Board
House of Illusion
3850 Costa Bella Drive
La Mesa, CA
(619) 466-0136
Fax (619) 589-0949


Review Copyright 1999  Michele Jackson
Page Copyright 2000 Diane Wilkes