A little known fact about me is that I have had this incredible love for tarot cards since I was a child. There’s just something about them, this enchanting and mesmerizing quality they have. I have been collecting decks for years now, I have everything from classic decks to a fairy deck and even a Lord of the Rings inspired one. I have been eyeing The Vampire Tarot for quite some time now, every time I see it beautifully displayed in a book shop I want it, and now I finally have it.
The Vampire Tarot ties the tales and mythic figures associated with the vampire legend to the equally iconographic figures and forms of the tarot. This deck is a beautifully rendered, fully realized tarot, capable of providing a clear reading to those that use it. But beyond that, it explores the history of the vampire starting with Bram Stoker’s classic 1897 novel, Dracula, as well as those writings that inspired Stoker and the vampire lore that derived from it.
Included is a colored, fully illustrated seventy-eight card deck, and an extensively researched book that guides the reader through the subtleties and parallels within The Vampire Tarot, providing a guide for getting the most out of reading.
Created by Robert Place, an expert in the world of tarot, this deck is incredibly well done. Not only is the deck impressive, but so is the thoroughly researched companion book. The book not only covers the meaning behind each card, but also the history each one represents.
Here’s the break down of what I liked and what I really disliked about The Vampire Tarot.
- The artwork displayed on each card is very eye-catching. The style is fairly simple, yet it still has that enchanting impact. I also love that dark gothic feel; the cards definitely give off that classic horror vibe.
- Robert Place is clearly very knowledgeable on tarot. This deck encompasses every important aspect of regular decks. Not a single message or meaning is forgotten here.
- The companion novel is fantastic in its own right. It covers the rich history of tarot, explaining not only the historic roots of the cards but also divination in general. As for the vampire history, I was amazed at the amount of research Place put into it. It is surprisingly well done, and this is coming from me, someone who has spent years studying vampires.
- The amount of work and thought that went into creating such an excellent deck and companion book blows my mind. This is definitely a BIG project to take on and Place did an astounding job.
- The cards are very large, which makes them difficult to handle. Shuffling a deck is no easy task when the cards don’t even fit in your hand. They were also very thick cards, which also added to the difficulties.
- One thing that is a pro in some ways but a con in others is that the cards are covered in a thick gloss. The glossy finish makes them durable and makes the color pop on each card, however, that gloss makes the cards stick together. When I opened the deck for the first time it was one rock-hard solid block, I spent a good 10 minutes separating each and every card from one another. However, once I peeled them all apart and played with them a bit the stickiness wasn’t a big issue. The gloss is still annoying though. I’ve never had a high-gloss tarot deck before, and personally, I don’t care much for it.
As you can see, there are far more pros than cons here. Due to the ridiculous size of the cards, I can’t see this being someone’s main deck, but it is definitely a worthwhile deck to have. The Vampire Tarot is an excellent collector’s deck, one that would even look lovely on display (it comes in a stunning box). The Vampire Tarot is sure to impress not only tarot devotees but vampire fans as well.