"Meditating on the Tarot is a process of self-revelation, of opening the heart and mind to what is meaningful in the present moment. These meditations lead to deeper insights and take you closer to the experience of your divine self and that greater, wiser part of your inner being. Consult the cards as an everyday spiritual practice or whenever you need clarity on an issue." - Monte Farber and Amy Zerner
For almost 30 years, fabric artist Amy Zerner and author/psychic Monte Farber have combined their deep love for each other with their fascination for self-discovery, resulting in oracles, books, art, and decks that are as beautiful as they are immediately useful.
In what is, to my knowledge, the *only* DVD Tarot kit on the market, The Tarot Discovery Kit offers a multi-media extravaganza, combining original music, animated art, melodic voice talents, and concise--yet profound--meditative insights on the Tarot. For this box set, The Enchanted Couple have included a DVD jam-packed with goodies, a full-color 60-page guidebook, gold satin drawstring bag AND their 78-card Zerner/Farber Tarot deck.
For those unfamiliar with the Zerner/Farber tarot, each card depicts intricate fabric collages designed by Amy, designed to capture archetypal symbols, dreams and fantasies. (The Enchanted Tarot is a larger version of this deck, having white and purple borders.)
According to the authors, the benefits of meditating on the Tarot one card at a time are multi-fold:
* An increase in patience and compassion for yourself and others
* Greater understanding of your circumstances and motivations
* Strengthening of intuitive and psychic abilities
* Moments of great joy, calm, and insight
* Consciousness of the next step on your path
* Awareness of the symbols around you
* Memories of forgotten events and possibly past or future lives
* Experience of spiritual peace and power
After shuffling the Zerner/Farber Tarot deck and picking a card at random--or, choosing to focus consciously on a particular card--you can then access an animated visual meditation from the main menu of the DVD. The main menu of the Tarot Discovery Kit DVD has five 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 Discovery Theater
The Tarot Discovery Theater presents five featurettes:
1. Entering Sacred Space
2. The Grounding Ritual
3. What Is the Tarot? (Tarot documentary)
4. The Major Arcana (an engaging "story" of the Fool's Journey--and how each of the 22 Majors enrich and influence the Fool from an archetypal perspective)
5. The Minor Arcana (an excellent documentary exploring the origins and meaning of Tarot numerology embodied in the Minors, the four suits and what they govern, and the function of the Court Cards)
Each of the individual card meditations last approximately a minute and a half, featuring several (excellent!) male and female narrators and showcasing animated versions of every Zerner/Farber tarot illustration. Since I've never seen a visual meditation with Tarot cards before, I didn't know what to expect (but wondered if they'd be on the "fluffy", dreamy side).
Somewhat surprisingly, the narrations are rich with solid interpretation, incisive guidance, and fresh ways of experiencing each card. Needless to say, I was impressed!
In the companion book, messages and outcomes are provided for all 78 cards--along with color illustrations of each card image. The wisdom of the text is NOT a repeat of what's on the DVD--so you get additional information on the Tarot.
In addition to giving Tarot enthusiasts a feast for both ears and eyes, Amy and Monte show us their playful side with pictures of their wedding, Amy's gorgeous "spiritual couture", and photos of their adorable feline muse, Mr. Zane. (You have to highlight their name on the menu to discover these personal and personable goodies.)
I'm surprised that no one has melded the Tarot with visual, animated meditations until now, but it's NOT surprising that it's Amy and Monte who have brought us The Tarot Discovery Kit. (If you've seen the luxurious animated movies and readings on their site, you know what I mean!)
My only criticism of this set is the DVD, which, for me, doesn't display well on my PC. I tried two different players, and when choosing the full-screen option, card edges seem shaky, as does some of the animated elements. This can be very distracting. Everything looks good in small-screen mode, as does the presentation on a regular TV set. I much prefer experiencing the DVD on my TVs, even though some of the images appear a bit pixel-ly (a slight digital "blockiness"). (Note: Monte assures me he cannot reproduce the jiggling, but even the replacement DVD peformed this way on two of my PS2 players--and the DVD player in my PC.)
The original music accompanying the menus, meditations, and documentaries is absolutely gorgeous, as are the exceptional voice talents. The archetypal visuals resonate on a deep level, and the storytelling nature of the meditations bypass the rational mind--touching ancient, deeper parts of the psyche. The Tarot Discovery Kit is a fantastic tool for beginners (I wish it had been available when *I* began studying Tarot!), yet it also serves as a grounding, meditative, wise journey for those familiar with the cards.
(To see 10 images from the Zerner/Farber deck, visit the Reviews--Decks section at [...])
Janet Boyer, author of The Back in Time Tarot Book: Picture the Past, Experience the Cards, Understand the Present (coming Fall 2008 from Hampton Roads Publishing)