Review by Solandia
Matrix Professional Tarot Software for Windows is a nicely packaged CD-ROM containing a good-looking and very versatile Tarot reading program. It has ten decks, nineteen spreads, a simple user interface, and multiple options for spread display. It is easy for a beginner to use, but is customisable enough to keep the expert reader amused.
My first view of the program was of a resizable window with a dark grey background and an overlaid patterned 'tabletop'. Labelled rectangles representing card positions in a spread. 78 tabs are on the far right hand side, one for each card. The left hand side displays the Matrix logo, and underneath the various menus for accessing program functions.
The menus allow you to save, load and print readings, and there are options to do a reading with the major arcana or court cards only, use reversed cards, astrological keys, or even sounds are various stages. You can also change the pattern used on the 'tabletop'.
To do a reading, you first choose a deck from the Decks menu (there are ten decks to choose from for readings; the Aquarian, Cloisters, Gareth-Knight, Motherpeace, Morgan-Greer, Native American, Swiss, Sacred Rose, Rider-Waite, or Ukiyoe) then click the Shuffle and Deal buttons or select the cards individually from the right-hand-side tabs.
The program deals all cards face-up, either one at a time or all at once depending on your settings. The cards in the spread layout are unfortunately quite small and it is necessary to click on each card to see a close-up view of the image and read the card title. Only then can you appreciate the sharp, clear quality and colour of the card images. (Ah, the benefits of a CD-ROM, so much more space to play with, and no bandwidth limitations…)
The Show Cards window displays a much larger card picture, as well as the title, meaning of the card position in the spread, and a description (some are just a single sentence, others two or three paragraphs). The text is from Nancy Garen's book, Tarot Made Easy.
The method used to generate descriptions is interesting…. Each card has multiple meanings, categorised into Desire, Success, Love, Work/Career, Beginnings, Surprises, Guidance, Action and so on, and it depends on the position in the spread as to which meaning is presented.
There are 19 different tarot spreads to use, from one or three cards, Celtic Cross, Horoscope, and themed spreads like Love, Relationships, Psychological. It's also possible to create your own spreads with the Spread Designer. You can choose card layout, deal order, comments for each position, and which categories of card meanings are displayed.
I definitely recommend the Matrix Professional Tarot Software if you're interested in computerised reading. The card images are high quality, the interpretations extensive, and the software user-friendly and customisable. I give it five stars.
Kate Hill (also known as Solandia) is the founder and editor of Aeclectic Tarot, and has reviewed more than 200 decks over the years.