Here are quick reviews of a handful of free divination apps available on the iPad. This isn’t all the apps available, but it is most of the free ones related to runes and Tarot, my preferred divination methods. Sadly, only one or two of them were worth hanging onto.
Ask the Runes – This app has very poorly written English, and the graphics aren’t very good; they look glaringly computer-created rather than realistic. Don’t bother to download it.
Rune Draw – Similar to the above, but this one might be good for humor value, if only because some of the “interpretations” of the runes sound like badly-translated fortune cookies. The app lets you choose whether you want an interpretation related to “Self,” “Money,” “Love,” or “Work,” and the meanings given do vary, but they’re often vague to the point of uselessness, as in: “There will be a breakthrough within one year.”
Rune Magic Lite – This one I would consider using for the feature that lets you scroll through runes and interpretations to study them, but you have to pay for each and every reading you get by buying a set of ten readings for a dollar. No, it’s not that expensive, but it’s much more sneaky than charging a flat rate for an infinitely reuseable app. Most of the interpretations are pretty good and comparable to what you’d get in most books, but the one for Uruz (“abyss”?) is totally off-the-wall to me. Finally, the single-rune cast works okay, but part of the app’s frame cuts off the bottom of the interpretations in the three-rune cast, which makes it much less useful.
Tarot Lite – There are two versions of this app available for download separately. Both use the Major Arcana only and do a “Classic French” five-card spread; one of them uses the standard RWS images and the other uses a redrawn version of the Tarot of Marseilles, which has a red-and-blue theme and slightly abstract appearance. Interpretations are okay but not great.
Tarot Free – I don’t recognize the version of the Major Arcana used in this app, but it looks a bit like the Tarot of Marseilles; I may be totally off base, though. Unfortunately, the images for Justice and Strength are attached to the wrong interpretations, and the Moon and Sun images are swapped as well. It does try to specialize the card readings to each of the five positions – Surprises, Blinkers, People, Gifts, and Guidance – but the mistakes in the deck make me think this wasn’t put together with a lot of care and concern. An in-app purchase allows users to upgrade and get readings from the full deck, using either RWS or the current deck. I don’t think it’s worth it to pay money to find out if the upgrade corrects the errors I noticed.
TarotPad Free – This has a strange layout that only appears in landscape format – it just ignores you if you rotate the iPad to the portrait orientation. It uses the RWS deck and an interesting seven-card layout: Past, Present, and Future, Influences, Hopes and Fears, and Outcome, plus What To Do. It incorporates reversed cards and has well-written interpretations; I’ll be playing with this one a little more to see if I continue to like it.
Goddess Tarot – I am thrilled with this app’s ability to explore the full deck of the Goddess Tarot. I’ll be spending some time with it and may consider getting the deck as a result; I wouldn’t have been willing to pay for it without seeing this kind of detail. The free version lets you do a one-card draw, and the paid version gives multiple-card readings in a variety of layouts and lets you do journaling along with saved readings. The art is beautiful, as well, and if you have any interest in exploring goddesses, Tarot, or the intersection of the two, this is a fun place to start.
PS – Many thanks to Hecate for suggesting the Goddess Tarot app to me!