Snapshots of Wisdom: The Tarot Dice by Tarotocy, Inc. and
Review by Geraldine Amaral
What a clever and unique idea! I stumbled upon the site for Tarot Dice one day by accident, while looking for some other Tarot site. I promptly ordered it. Tarot Dice is described as “a new and exciting Tarot system for the new millennium.” The packaging is smart -- a large, long tube and inside the tube are the 13 dice, a rubber mat and of course a Little White Book (LWB). I was fascinated by the carved images that provide a “snapshot” of each card’s meaning. Obviously, they have to be pretty compact to be able to fit onto the face of the die. So the 22 Major Arcana have one essential image to convey the central meaning of the card and the 56 Minor Arcana have the image of the suit (cups, wands, swords, or pentacles) with the appropriate number.
The dice themselves are quite large and have a nice feel to them. The images are engraved in black (on the white die) and they are easy to see. It was fun looking at the little carved images to see which specific element from a card was chosen and how it was depicted.
Some great examples:
The Death Die The Hermit Die
The little white booklet (LWB) shows a picture and gives a brief explanation of each die. The explanations are rather terse, typical and not particularly profound, but I think this would be a great review for beginners in Tarot -- those who have begun their study and want to try a new way of reinforcing and testing their knowledge. The LWB offers a short history of the Tarot and an explanation of the Tarot Dice. These introductory remarks were short, but quite good. The LWB was written by “The Harrow.” I was curious about who this might be and wondered how the Tarot Dice were created and developed. Could The Harrow be related to the Mystery Man on the Tarot Dice mat? In any event, I liked the writing style; it was succinct, but had a warm, friendly and sincere tone to it.
The little rubber mat shows a layout format with the image of a man in the background. You lay the dice out by asking your question, shaking the dice up in the tube and then laying them out in a straight line. You place them on the mat in the order in which they slip out of the tube. Very ingenious, although I didn’t particularly like the image of the man in the foreground of the mat. He is a robed man, with a long beard -- kind of a cross between Jesus and Charles Manson. I thought his face was a little spooky and I decided to do a reading without the mat. Maybe I am missing something here, but who is this mystery man and why/how is he associated with Tarot? He holds an open book in his hands, similar I suppose to the book held by the High Priestess. Perhaps the point is that he, too, holds the book of knowledge and the intuitive door to all the sacred mysteries. But since his facial expression is a bit on the menacing side, it really dominates the layout mat.
I asked what advice the Tarot Dice had for me regarding my discouragement about a certain area of my life. I shook the dice in the tube and let only three dice fall out. They were: the Nine of Wands, the Sun and the Judgement card.
I liked this. The Nine of Wands is me now, ever vigilant, but tired of the struggle. The Sun promises new hope, new energy, and the Judgement card seems to show success and celebration, thinking and acting outside the box for spectacular results. You think my interpretation is a little biased?
If I didn’t already know the meanings of the corresponding cards (to the dice that I threw), I might have had trouble understanding the message, but using the Tarot Dice was a fun and an interesting way to tap into the Tarot system. Recommended especially for beginners, but also for more experienced Tarot enthusiasts who might be feeling stuck or stagnant with the cards and who want a fresh approach to the Tarot.
$29.95 plus $9.95 for shipping. Check out the website for ordering information and other Tarot information.
Geraldine Amaral is the author of Tarot Celebrations: Honoring the Inner Voice and publisher of “Celebrating the Tarot Journal”. She also made a tarot instructional video entitled “Tarot 1-2-3.” For information about Geraldine's unique and empowering Tarot classes, to receive a complimentary copy of her Tarot Journal or to find out how to order her video, call 703-671-7421 or email. You may also visit her website.
Review © 2003 Geraldine Amaral
Page © 2003 Diane Wilkes