Review by Solandia
The Rider Tarot Software has been in use for fifteen years. It is a downloadable shareware program for Windows, designed to offer a variety of tarot readings using images from the Rider-Waite deck. It has undergone a lot of revision over the years, and has very recently been updated for the release of Version 6.
This software runs as a full-screen window with a black background and a silvery fairy image, and the words Rider Tarot The Greatest Arcane in red. You click on the left-hand fairy to continue and read through the program's credits. Click on the fairy again and you are into the tarot reading part of the program.
While the program was designed around a majors only deck and the Zodiac Spread, there are several other options. There are radio buttons to choose the Deck Selection - 22 or 78 card Rider-Waite. There are eleven tarot spreads to choose from, ranging from the Star Spread, the Daily or Weekly Horoscope to the Consquences or Question/Answer spread.
The first screen asks you to think about your question, optionally write it in the space provided, and then click on the Shuffle and Lay Cards button. (Choose your deck and spread selection first from the radio buttons on the right first). The tarot spread is then displayed with numbered form buttons showing the relevant card positions in the tarot spread.
Clicking on one of the form buttons views the individual card window, which contains a larger card image, the card number and title, a phrase description, the position title, the positive or negative attributes of the cards and finally a general description. (I presume when it shows negative attributes it means a reversed card, but all card images are shown upright.) The card images used are borderless Rider-Waite images in flat colour.
Music is a big feature of this program with 20 different tracks for you to listen to while using the virtual tarot cards. It's also possible to turn it off, however, if you prefer quiet for your readings.
While the interface isn't slick and pretty, the Rider Tarot software is simple, effective, and easily available. No ordering of CDs or software packages required - you can download the software and try it out for yourself. But remember, this program is shareware, not freeware. If you like it and use it, you should send a donation to the creator.
Note: This review covered Rider Tarot Software version 6
Kate Hill (also known as Solandia) is the founder and editor of Aeclectic Tarot, and has reviewed more than 200 decks over the years.