About Orphalese Tarot

The name "Orphalese" comes from the book of inspirational poetry called The Prophet, written by the Lebanese poet and philosopher Khalil Gibran (1883-1931). Gibran was raised in a religous environment but he looked beyond religion to what is spiritual in everyone. A teacher and prophet awaits the ship that will take him back from the city of Orphalese, where he has lived, to the isle of his birth. While he waits for this ship he answers questions from the people of Orphalese. The obvious idea is that he is waiting to die and Orphalese is a metaphor for this world. The people of Orphalese do not appear to be particularly bright or spiritual. They worry a lot about everyday things and their questions reflect this, so probably we are all "people of Orphalese". A Google search will lead you to pages where you can find sample chapters from this book.

The program began in 2002 as an experiment, because I was trying to learn a new programming language, C#, and I thought a tarot card emulator would be a nice way of playing around with some of its interesting new features. It came as a surprise to discover that there was a certain amount of interest in a tarot program that doesn't offer to tell your fortune. Almost all other tarot programs are primarily concerned with emulating a human tarot reader. This one mainly just tries to emulate a pack of cards. It does have plenty of extra features, but none of them that claim to be anything magical, just useful tools for the student of tarot.

I have recently changed the website slightly. For a long time I tried to give it a corporate feel, employing the corporate "we" etc, because I thought this would inspire confidence in visitors to the site and make them more likely to buy the program. In fact I have a day job, and this website and the program are things that I keep running in the evenings and at weekends, as and when I get the chance. Where you come across the word "we" on this website it either means "me", because I haven't got around to updating the text yet, or "we" when it is a reference to the community of users who help the program in ways ranging from language translation to deck design, to compiling and uploading spreads, to providing suggestions on the forum, etc.

Richard Jefferies