Tarot cards have been a part of the occult almost since they were created. Originally, the Tarot were playing cards used for games in France and Italy, but even playing cards have been used for divinatory purposes almost since their creation. As the centuries have passed, and anything to do with magic and divination was demonized by the Church, Tarot cards have more and more been associated with darker powers. So it makes sense to create a vampire Tarot deck. What else has more allure and mystery?
There are actually several vampire Tarot decks in existence today. There is the Vampire of the Eternal Night deck, the Vampire Tarot by Natatlie Hertz, and this Vampire Tarot, by Robert M. Place. Place’s Vampire Tarot is my favorite vampire version. It recognizes the great storytellers of the vampire legend, such as John Polidori as the Knight of Garlic Flowers. The suits of the Minor Arcana have changed slightly in this deck. Swords have been replaced with knives, chalices with holy water, wands with stakes, and pentacles with garlic flowers.
Many familiar faces in vampire lore make an appearance here. From their authors, Lord Byron (King of Knives), Edgar Allen Poe (Knight of Stakes), Bram Stoker (King of Garlic Flowers), and Samuel Taylor Coleridge (Knight of Knives), and many more, to their creations: The Night-Mare of Life-In-Death (Knave of Knives), Carmilla (Knave of Holy Water), Lord Ruthven (Knave of Garlic Flower), Jonathan Harker (The Fool), and Ligeia (Knave of Stakes).
It’s a beautiful and macabre deck; vampire crawling in through windows, skulls and bones and graveyards. Wolves and forests and nighttime, bats and skeletons. Blood of course, and moonlight and stars and bony corpses. It shows night scenery, and vampires in flames or with victims. The back of the cards shows a screaming vampire face which is the same upside-down as it is right-side up. It is a brilliant and imaginative deck, wonderful for anyone who enjoys Tarot or just likes vampires.