Review by Bonnie Cehovet
Review of The Tarot Discovery Kit - A Dynamic Journey to Yourself and Beyond
It is always fun to work with material from Amy Zerner and Monte Farber - the quality is there, the presentation is dynamic, and the artwork ... well, the artwork is stunning, to say the least. "The Tarot Discovery Kit" consists of a traditional 78 card deck (the "Zerner-Farber Tarot"), with a gold silk bag to store the cards in, a sixty page companion book (the "Discovery Kit Guidebook"), and an interactive DVD.
The companion book begins by listing the individual cards, and the pages they can be found on. The sections are color coded: the Major Arcana is lavender, Wands are Sand, Hearts (Cups) are pink, Swords are blue, and Pentacles are green. The Major Arcana carries traditional titles and numbering (Strength is VIII, Justice is XI), the suits are Wands, Hearts (Cups), Swords, and Pentacles, and the Court Cards are King, Queen, Prince, and Princess.
In the introduction, Monte notes that the information in this kit was developed through the work that he and Amy have been doing for decades. Through Amy's art, and his words, their focus has been on making the truths inherent in ancient knowledge and personal power accessible to everyone. The Tarot works because it accesses true power and wisdom from within.
The is a comprehensive section on meditating with the Zerner-Farber Tarot, using the tool of White Light Visualization. The reader is literally walked through the process, which includes working with the DVD. Also included is information on how to work with the DVD.
There is a Quick Guide for choosing a meditation card, listing the card's name and number, along with the type of meditation and how it is placed in the reader's life.
There is a section on reading the cards, including doing one-card readings. The steps in doing a reading are listed as:
1. Select the question that is right for you. 2. Relax, repeat your question to yourself as you shuffle your Tarot card deck. Now pick a card to answer the question that you have selected. 3. Look up the meaning of the card you selected.
Each of the 78 Tarot cards are presented with a small color scan, the card name and number, a keyword, a message, and the outcome. From the book:
1 - The Magician: Energy
Message: You need to personally manipulate things to make your desires a reality. Tap the infinite energy of the universe through visualization. Inventory your resources. Use them to manifest the creative control you seek.
Outcome: You will personally exert creative control to make things happen your way. You may discover energy and resources that help you resolve your situation favorably. You may learn the power of visualization to help you manifest your dreams.
At the end of the book is an 11 card Celtic Cross Spread (including a Significator), a short paragraph on learning from answers that you do not like, and how to keep a Tarot Discovery Journal, including a template that covers your chosen card, your interpretation, and your reflection (notes made a some time after you have worked with a card).
The DVD plays a large part in this system. Original animations (and soothing music) make is easy to meditate on the cards through interaction with the sights, sounds and lessons within the card. Monte lists the advantages of using this system as including:
1. An increase in patience and compassion for others and yourself
2. Greater understanding of your circumstances and motivations
3. Strengthening of intuitive and psychic abilities
4. Moments of great joy, calm, and insight
5. Consciousness of the next step on your path
6. Awareness of the symbols around you
7. Memories of forgotten events and possibly past and even future lives
8. Experience of spiritual peace and power
The opening menu on the DVD includes six sections:
1. The Major Arcana
2. The Suit of Wands
3. The Suit of Swords
4. The Suit of Hearts
5. The Suit of Pentacles
6. The Tarot Discover Theater
Clicking on any of the first five sections bring up another screen where the individual cards are listed. Clicking on an individual card will bring up an animated meditation for that specific card. Each meditation lasts approximately one and one-half minutes.
There are five major "featurettes" on the DVD:
1. Entering Sacred Space - This is an excellent section that talks about the ability that Tarot has to take us deeply within ourselves, and how divination helps us make use of the power that we find there.
2. The Grounding Ritual - Here we find a soothing meditation that takes us through each of the elemental energies (Fire, Water, Air, and Earth).
3. What Is the Tarot? - This section is about Tarot history, and the type of knowledge that is held within the Tarot.
4. The Major Arcana - This section is a highly creative journey that the viewer takes along with the Fool. It puts each of the cards of the Major Arcana into wonderful perspective.
5. The Minor Arcana - This section goes into the meaning of numbers, the numbered cards and the court cards.
The deck itself is small - 2 1/4" by 3 3/4" - on good quality, glossy card stock. The backs are a muted burgundy, with inner light pink borders, with pink shell-like icons in each corner. In the center is what appears to be a letter graphic in light pink, set in such a manner that it would not be possible to tell whether the cards were drawn upright or reversed.
The face of the cards is a gorgeous fabric collage. At the bottom of the Major Arcana cards the number is set into a black diamond, form, with the card title in light colors against a colored background. The Pips (numbered cards) show the suit icon, with the card number and suit written in text against a colored background on the bottom of the card. The Court Cards show the suit icon, followed by the card rank and suit in text against a colored background on the bottom of the card.
The deck is absolutely stunning, the book is well presented, and the DVD shows creativity and easy accessibility. Movement between the screens was quite easy. While the marketing on this kit appears to be for the Tarot novice, I think that it holds something for everyone.
© February 2007
Bonnie Cehovet is Certified Tarot Grand Master, a professional Tarot reader with over ten years experience, a Reiki Master/Teacher and a writer. Bonnie has served in various capacities with the American Tarot Association, is co-founder of the World Tarot Network, and Vice President (as well as Director of Certification) for the American Board For Tarot Certification. She has had articles appear in the 2004 and 2005 Llewellyn Tarot Reader.