The Instant Tarot Reader - Monte Farber and Amy Zerner
“The tarot adds spice to your life, but you cannot live on spice alone. Your free will to make decisions is your ‘main course’. The Instant Tarot Reader has been designed to help you properly access the tarot’s ancient truths and put them to use. It is our sincere desire that our creation will help you to better understand your own inner voice and its ability to direct you.” – Monte Farber and Amy Zerner
Monte Farber and Amy Zerner—known fondly in the mystical community as The Enchanted Couple—are the foremost designers of interactive divination systems or, as they like to call them, “spiritual power tools.”
Images of Amy’s award-winning mixed media fabric collages infuse these tools with elegance, beauty, and intuitive savvy, while Monte’s engaging, lucid prose makes esoteric concepts accessible to all.
The Instant Tarot Reader is no exception, with Monte and Amy weaving original art and Tarot expertise with the Celtic Cross Spread—resulting in a Tarot kit consisting of a 342-page illustrated hardcover book and the lovely 78-card Zerner/Farber deck. To my knowledge, no book has ever provided card interpretations for EVERY position of this popular 11-card spread—a template devised to enable beginners to read Tarot practically out-of-the box.
With detailed instructions, helpful diagrams, and a handy index, readers can easily navigate the companion book. Not a fan of the Celtic Cross spread? No worries—I’m not either. Yet, the ingenious layout of The Instant Tarot Reader book allows individuals to ask any question using a one-card or three-card spread—and STILL access relevant interpretations! (Note: Monte and Amy don’t use reversals, so no reversed meanings are provided.)
For example, say you want to ask “What is blocking me from attaining my goal?” After mindfully shuffling the Zerner/Farber deck and drawing a card, you would then consult the card meaning under position 3 “What blocks you”. Or, let’s say you as “What aspect of life shall I meditate on today?” You would then consult the card meaning for position 6 “What crowns you”. So using the entire Celtic Spread layout for a reading is NOT necessary to benefit from this kit.
Although The Instant Tarot Reader is designed around the Zerner/Farber deck, any Rider-Waite-Smith deck could be used with the companion book. Approximately 4 inches high and 2 ¼ inches wide, the Zerner/Farber deck features fully reversible backings and are wonderful to work with—and shuffle—because of their smaller size. They come nestled in a pocket, and both the hardcover book and deck fit in a larger enclosed cover perfect for storing right on the shelf.
The Instant Tarot Reader was one of my first Tarot experiences and, at the time, I found it difficult to use. I think this is because I’ve abhorred the Celtic Cross spread from day one, and because I’m the type that learns best by deeply exploring on my own our terms—rather than having meanings merely spoon-fed to me. However, there’s no shame in learning to read Tarot by accessing the wisdom of Tarot authors and using their interpretations while you become more comfortable with the cards! It’s just not the best way for *me* to learn.
However, now that I’ve read Tarot for years, I’m re-discovering the beauty of the Zerner/Farber deck—especially after using Monte and Amy’s interactive Tarot Discovery Kit. In fact, I’ve been using this as my primary deck for several weeks now. Even the hardcover Instant Tarot Reader book has provided some unexpected insights after I pulled it off the shelf for review!
If you’re drawn to the Celtic Cross spread and would like to learn Tarot by leaning on the wisdom of one of the mystical community’s foremost divination experts, The Instant Tarot Reader will give you everything you need to start you on your journey. However, if you like the looks of the Zerner/Farber deck but prefer a visual, intuitive approach to the cards using animated DVD meditations, then you may prefer the Tarot Discovery Kit instead.
Below are 10 images from this deck. To see 9 more images, click here.