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Database FAQ


Q: What is the Tarot Garden database?

A: The Tarot Garden database is an online searchable resource for information on tarot decks. The process of entering information is ongoing, but when the first data entry phase is complete, we estimate that the database will include information on nearly 2,000 tarots and cartomantic decks, making it by far the largest source of tarot deck information on the Internet. Information listed in the database includes: deck title, designer(s) / author(s) / artist(s), country of publication, publication year, publication status number of cards, a basic description of the deck, mention of important references that list the tarot (such as Kaplan's Encyclopedias or Manteia), and the Tarot Garden inventory status of the title (Boutique, offline inventory, special order, or unavailable). Most entries include a button that will display a half-dozen scanned samples from the deck.

Q: What is the difference between the Database and the Boutique?

A: In our integrated data system, the difference between the database and the Boutique is admittedly rather vague, yet still important. The Boutique, of course, lists the items we have for sale, divided up into convenient categories that should be helpful to collectors. When viewing an item in the Boutique, you will see a slightly different set of details, including pricing and availability information. Other than browsing the Boutique by the predefined categories, there is no direct way to search the Boutique for a specific listing.

In contrast, the database is fully searchable in a number of ways. Our "QuickSearch" feature -- displayed near the upper-left-hand corner of almost every Tarot Garden webpage -- allows you to quickly access the database and seek information by title, author, or a combination of both. Our database predefined searches allow you to easily access Tarot Garden selections by availability -- Boutique, offline inventory, special order, or in-stock. This provides you with more information about which titles are actually available through the Tarot Garden than is apparent from simply browsing the Boutique. And our advanced search feature lets you search our entire database -- including titles that are not currently available through the Tarot Garden -- in a number of different ways, including country of publication and "category / theme."

If you find a deck that you're seeking through our database, there will be a link from the database listing to the Boutique listing if the deck is available through the Tarot Garden Boutique. You can use this link to call up the title and review the pricing and availability information, to send a Gift Alert, or to place the item in your Tarot Garden shopping cart.

Q: How do I search the database for decks of interest?

A: There are three general methods for searching the Tarot Garden database:

  • QuickSearch. This feature is now available on almost every Tarot Garden webpage. The QuickSearch feature, found in the upper left-hand corner of most pages (including this one), allows you to enter pieces of deck titles, or designer/author/illustrator names, or both, in order to carry out a search for a specific selection. You can use the buttons provided to specify that all of the words should be included in the sought-after selections ("Find all these words"), or that any one of the words you enter should generate a match ("Find any of these words").

  • Predefined Searches. The predefined searches are quick-and-easy ways to view our listing of decks by their Tarot Garden availability status. The "Boutique" search lists all items shown in our Boutique, but without dividing them into sections. The "Offline Inventory" search lists all items that are in stock, but not shown in our Boutique. The "Special Order" search lists all items that are not in-stock but are believed to be available by special order. And the "In Stock" search searches both the Boutique and Offline Inventory to display all selections available for immediate purchase and shipment (note that out-of-stock Boutique selections are eliminated from the "In Stock" search). To access the predefined searches, simply click "Database" on the navigation bar at the top of any Tarot Garden webpage, and then select the predefined search you want from the menu that appears on the page.

  • Advanced Searches. These can be both more specific and more general than the QuickSearch. For example, you can more specifically indicate whether your search terms should be compared against the deck title or designer/author/illustrator information. (The QuickSearch automatically compares your search terms against both of these items of information.) Alternatively, you may search by other criteria of interest, such as the deck's country of publication or its "category/theme." To access the advanced search screen, simply click "Database" on the navigation bar at the top of any Tarot Garden webpage, and then select "Advanced Search" from the navigation sub-bar that appears below.

Q: How can I link to a specific listing in your database?

A: We welcome direct links to our database, as long as they conform to the format described here. It is possible to isolate our database listings by title or country of publication. The general link format is as follows:


You can narrow the results returned by the link if you include both title and country criteria. To accomplish this, use an ampersand (&) between the two parameters, as follows:

For multi-word searches on title, use plus (+) signs between the words. For example, to link to the "Tarot of the Cat People," you could use either of the following URLs:


Because there are no other tarots in our database with the words "Cat People" in the title, the second, shorter link would work as well as the first. Using only the word "Cat," however, would bring up a longer list of entries, as there are several tarots that include "Cat" as a title word.

Conversely, for country searches, the country name must be entered without spaces. For titles published in the United States, use "U.S.A." (with periods, but no spaces) for the country criteria. For example, to link to a listing of titles published in New Zealand, the URL would be:

Note: title and country link terms are not case senstive.

Q: I tried linking directly to an entry in your database, but the link returned more than one title. Why?

A: There are four reasons why a database link may return more than one entry:

  1. The title criteria is too general. The information provided after the "view_title=" portion of the database URL should include enough words to isolate the desired selection from other decks that may include the same word. For example, simply typing "celtic" after the "view_title=" parameter would return a rather long list of databse entries, as there are a large number of decks and sets that employ the word "Celtic" in their titles. In such a case, it would be essential to include more title words (connected by the + symbol); for example, "celtic+wisdom" or "celtic+dragon".

  2. The criteria is embedded inside the title of another listing. Links using very short title criteria are particularly prone to this problem. For example, using only the word "ring" after the "view_title=" parameter would not only list the "Fairy Ring" and "Lord of the Rings" tarots, but also the "Caring Psychic Family" and "Gringonneur (redrawn)" tarots. To correct this problem, the recommended approach, once again, is to use more title words (e.g., "fairy+ring" or "lord+of+the+rings").

  3. The listings may contact "keywords" that match your title selection words. In addition to the title itself, title searches are carried out on "keywords" that have been included with each listing. These keywords were added to increase the possibility of a correct match when executing a title search. For example, the criteria "alice" will generate a match with the "Wonderland Tarot," even though the word "Alice" is not actually included in the title of this deck. Because it is often referred to as the "Alice in Wonderland" tarot, it was necessary to be able to produce a match should a searcher use this title as the criteria. The keywords are not listed anywhere, and are not available for viewing; if you are generating an unexpected match, a "hidden keyword" is the most likely cause. Once again, try making your link more specific by including more of the title's actual words. Sometimes even the addition of the word "tarot" in the appropriate place will fix the problem. Note that this problem is particularly prevelent with decks that have both English- and non-English titles that are commonly known, because the title translation (or several translations) may have been included in the keyword list.

  4. There are actually two tarots with the exact same name in the database. Although rare, this does occasionally happen. The "Art Nourveau" tarots are one example. In some cases, we have attempted to make the titles "isolatable" from one another by including the primary creator/designer name as a keyword. Thus, "art+nouveau+myers" could be used to isolate the Myers "Nouveau" tarot from that of Castelli. However, this is not yet possible in all cases; therefore, when we have not included a designer's name as one of the keywords, you cannot separate listings bearing the same title at this time.

Q: What if I find an error or problem in the database?

A: While we strive for accuracy in all of our database entries, we are only human. As such, there are inevitably problems or inaccuracies that escape our detection during our initial reviews of the listings. Therefore, we welcome our site visitors to write and alert us if something seems amiss. If you find a factual error (wrong publication year or country, for example), omissions (e.g., designer/illustrated/author information not shown), or problem (broken picture link, for example), write to us at with the details, and we will do our best to make corrections as soon as possible.

Additional Information: Tarot Garden Database Search "Secrets."

There are a couple of other ways to use the Deck QuickSearch box that can enhance the way you search and browse our database:

  1. If you simply click the "Go" button next to the "Deck QuickSearch" input box, our system will return a list of all items in our database, 10 listings at a time. Use the links provided on the results pages to move through the pages of the search results.

  2. We have coded "alpha codes" into the "keywords" lists of all of our decks, so you can isolate sections of the database by their alphabetical "section" (i.e., all "A" decks, all "N" decks, etc.) The format is: "alpha"+letter (no space). So, for example, to list all decks alphabetized under "P," you would enter "alphaP" into the "Deck QuickSearch" box. To bring up titles with "numerical" titles, and therefore alphabetized before "A" (the "723 Tarot," for example), enter "alpha1" (that's the number "one" after the string "alpha").

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This site maintained by The Tarot Garden; Jeannette K. Roth and Dan M. Pelletier, proprietors.

This page © 2001 - 2008, Jeannette Roth and the Tarot Garden, Inc. Images of tarot cards on this site are copyrighted to their respective designers, artists, and publishers, and are used for example purposes only; no copyright infringement is intended. Unauthorized use of our website material, including articles, text descriptions, database listings, image scans, and other Intellectual Properties contained herein, without our express written permission is strictly prohibited;.see our FAQ for additional information. Questions regarding this page should be directed to