If you have been paying attention to the trends in the worlds of tarot and esoterica, you’ll know that Golden Thread Tarot is one of the biggest names in the tarot app industry. It is one of the most popular tarot apps on the market and has easily become one of the most recognizable apps in the sphere of magic.
The Golden Thread Tarot app is worth it because it gives beginner tarot readers with an accessible way to get to know the tarot. The app offers options for virtual single-card daily readings as well as more complex spreads. While it does have some fallbacks, I recommend it.
If you’re looking for a new way to work with tarot or if you’re a newbie to tarot, keep reading more of my thoughts on the topic.
On the whole, there are more pros than cons to the Golden Thread Tarot app. Having a virtual tarot app is a great addition to a tarot reader’s arsenal because it means that you can give and take readings on the go without having to carry around a physical deck in your bag.
This particular app is really excellent because of the layout, simplicity, and the way the creators have centered the app around tarot philosophy. The format is exactly what I would be looking for out of a tarot app where I need one, and because of this, I’ll be readily recommending it to my peers.
Here are the main reasons why I like the Golden Thread app:
Golden Thread’s biggest strength is its simplicity—it is not flashy or distracting, and it’s actually ad-free, which I’m always a fan of. Golden Thread is a minimalist app in that it does not have too many visuals or options for the users to get lost in. This is important because it keeps the user’s attention on the tarot and away from games or settings.
When you first open the app, you create an account, and the app directs you to the page entitled “My Mirror.” The Mirror is the section of the app that allows you to record single-card daily readings as well as keep track of patterns that show up in your readings. These help users engage more deeply with the tarot.
The Mirror displays one card at the top of the page, which can be tapped to “flip” as your daily card, which resets every day at midnight, according to the app.
Below the daily card are the categories of your log, which include “Positivity,” “Questions Asked,” “Suits,” “Most Common Emotion,” and “Topics.” Underneath those is the link to “Next Lesson,” which directs you to the four lessons that the app offers.
You will notice that there are only a couple options, which include “Explore Yourself,” “Explore Tarot,” and “About Us,” as well as their respective subcategories if you click the triple-stack symbol at the upper left corner of the app. This helps the reader easily navigate the few pages of Golden Thread.
The next aspect of the Golden Thread Tarot app that I really like is how it looks. Much like Golden Thread’s other app Labyrinthos, this app is meticulously designed. Golden Thread is a dark app, with a blackish-blue background that sets it apart from other apps with light backgrounds.
The script and many of the illustrations on this app are light white and gold, which reflect the aesthetics of the physical and virtual variations of the Golden Thread deck. This deck is used as inspiration for the rest of the app, which follows its art-deco design.
While the app itself prioritizes the white on navy stylization, the cards themselves are bright gold on black, which gives them a mysterious and esoteric feel that other decks like the Rider-Waite do not always reflect. Because the Golden Thread app uses its own deck as the baseline for their tarot education, all of the workings of the app are inspired by this design.
When it comes to the text in the app, the font is small but clear. Nothing about the app is unreadable, which is helpful because it was designed with complete tarot newbies in mind. The date, description, and “Save to Log” button at the top of the screen are all clearly readable, and so are the links and page descriptions that follow.
Options for Virtual and Physical Readings
Creating a tarot app isn’t easy work. Because the tarot is such a tangible, tactile modality, it can be difficult to make it translate to a screen. Because of this, there is a lot of room for tarot apps to “flop.” If app developers make “shuffling” the cards too hard or lengthy, people lose interest, while if the shuffling process is too short, then they lose some sense of mystery.
Golden Thread does a great job of bridging the physical-to-virtual gap with their app. It should be the creators’ priority to optimize the user’s virtual reading experience as a tarot app. Virtual Tarot “decks” make it more accessible for people to read tarot cards, especially if they have limited mobility or funds.
What Golden Thread does for its users is to give them a randomizing tarot “reading” option. The first and most important option for this app is the daily pull. As mentioned before, there is an un-flipped card at the top of the screen. It can be tapped and read as your daily card.
This daily card is refreshed every day at midnight and is used as a touchstone in the app as a way to learn the meanings of cards and reflect on your day. Along with this daily card, there are several options for multi-card spreads under the “Get Reading” tab at the screen’s left side.
There are options for love, career, growth, spiritual, and general readings underneath this section. There are four options for love readings, four options for career readings, one option for a growth reading, two options for spiritual readings, and five options for general readings.
Once you select what kind of reading you want to give yourself, you have the option to pick either a digital reading or a physical reading. If you select a digital reading, you are redirected to a screen with a number of un-flipped cards (depending on which reading style you selected). When you tap the cards, they will randomly generate.
If you select a physical reading, a screen pops up with a 90-second timer to shuffle your cards and focus on your question. Once the timer is up (or you skip it), you can select your cards from your physical deck and input them on the app. The app will then give you their interpretation of the cards you have chosen so you can practice reading with your own deck.
One of the best parts of this app is that it is not just a virtual deck, but rather a combination of a virtual deck and educational material. The combination of the deck and the lessons that Golden Thread provides make this app unique and special.
If you open the left side of the app, underneath the “Explore Tarot” option, you can select the “Lessons” tab, which will direct you to the app’s educational portion. Once you have opened the lessons up, you will find four different options.
Here are the four options:
An Introduction to Tarot
The first option underneath lessons is “An Introduction to Tarot.” This part of the app offers a baseline of knowledge to people who are just starting out with the divination modality. I would suggest that app users actually begin here before they start tapping away at cards for readings. If you’re totally new at the tarot, start with this first lesson.
The Meaning of Magic
The second lesson that Golden Thread offers is a lesson called “The Meaning of Magic.” This quick little lesson is an introduction to the more esoteric philosophies behind the use of tarot cards. Depending on the traditions that you come from and what religions and belief systems you are a part of, you may already know these ideas, while for others, they will be brand new.
The third lesson on the app is on the major arcana. For tarot newbies, the major arcana cards are the 22 cards that have characters on them, starting from the Fool and ending at the World. Each of these cards portrays part of a story or a journey (what is often called the Fool’s Journey). When these cards come up in a reading, they are highly important and can represent a person, energy, or position you are in.
The fourth lesson on the app is about the minor arcana—what the app calls the “system within.” These are the remaining 56 cards of four suits (wands, cups, pentacles, and swords) that fill in the details within the major arcana framework. They are energies, actions, circumstances, or people. This lesson is brief but potent, much like the one on the major arcana.
While I really enjoyed using the Golden Thread app, there were a few things about it that I would like to change. These issues are not overwhelming or so frustrating that they inhibit app use, but they should be kept in mind for people who might not like particular app usage aspects.
The first major issue I have with the Golden Thread Tarot app is that the categorization of many of the options in the app isn’t clear. What I mean is that, when you open up the app for the first time, while the layout of the app is relatively intuitive—the daily card is at the top, the options are in the upper left-hand corner, everything is scrollable—the text that surrounds those details isn’t easily understood.
The place where the unclear text is first obvious is when you scroll down the app’s main screen. The date makes sense, the “Save to Log” button is intuitive, but when you scroll beneath the daily read section, things start to get confusing.
There are four rectangles underneath the “Save to Log” button. The first of these rectangles reads “Positivity.” At first, I was confused by this section—I had no idea what aspect of the cards this category referred to because it could have been so many different things. After working through a couple of readings, I figured out that this was a way to try to quantify the feelings you have towards the cards.
After you log your readings, it gives you the option to log how negative or positive you felt towards the card, because even if you pull a stereotypically “negative” card, you may feel positive toward it because of your life circumstances. While I think that this section is helpful, it needs a better description to make new app users aware of the functions of the app.
While most of these rectangles actually make sense, there is another one, along with the “Positivity” segment, that is unclear. The “Topics” category towards the bottom of the screen didn’t click at first, because, much like the “Positivity” category, it doesn’t explain what the topics are in reference to.
After I explored a bit more into the app, I discovered that this section of the app is where all the topics for your readings are stored. While it made sense after a bit of looking, this was still an annoying issue and could easily be resolved by changing the category to “Most Frequent Topics Queried.”
Too Much Overlap With Labyrinthos Tarot App
The other issue I have with this app is the amount of overlap with the Labyrinthos Tarot app. Labyrinthos is another tarot app created by the creators of Golden Thread. Because of this, there is a lot of shared information between the two apps that make it seem as though the two apps could simply be combined.
As I mentioned previously, one of the traits that make Golden Thread such a great app is its simplicity—everything you need is right there in the app in a relatively intuitive way. It’s an app centered around tarot lessons and simplification.
However, the Labyrinthos app acts similarly. Labyrinthos also acts as a virtual tarot deck combined with a lesson platform. Labyrinthos uses the same deck (the signature Golden Thread art-deco deck) and relies on similar reading and education philosophies. While Labyrinthos goes deeper into the lessons and is more gamified, they have a lot of overlap.
I feel that there is no need to have a separate Golden Thread app apart from the Labyrinthos app. The Golden Thread app would be exceptional if the creators added a few more in-depth lessons to the mix since they’re just a little short. They could take them from the Labyrinthos app and ditch the gamified layout, and they’d have an exquisite app on their hands.
Golden Thread is a unique app that gives people an easy way to read tarot on their phones. This is a great option for people who don’t have the money to invest in a physical tarot deck, or who don’t have the mobility to be able to handle and shuffle thin cards.
One of the things that are so great about the app is that it combines a virtual tarot deck with a tarot lesson platform. The virtual reading options are helpful because they shuffle the cards for you with randomizing software, but the app also allows you to use their layouts with your own physical cards and log that into their system.
The app has four lessons integrated into the system, which are helpful for people who are new at using tarot cards. They’re about crucial concepts to being an effective tarot reader, but the lessons are still manageable for people who don’t understand esoteric concepts yet.
The app, in all its excellence, does have a few drawbacks, however. The first thing that is frustrating about the app is that it’s a little unclear about how it categorizes the subjects. A few times in the app, the text does not quite explain the purpose of a section or a setting, and it takes a little bit of exploring to figure out what its intention is.
The second drawback to this app is the fact that it heavily overlaps with its sister app, Labyrinthos. Labyrinthos is centered around a gamified approach to tarot and deeper lessons, while Golden Thread gives more attention to the categorization and recording of readings. This can be frustrating because the creators would be well-suited to turn them into one app, but they both serve good purposes.
All in all, Golden Thread is an excellent tarot app that I would recommend to anyone looking for a simple way to access tarot lessons and a free virtual deck.