Ian Daniels; Llewellyn Publications; £30
This is a very dark gothic deck; perfect for those involved with the Goth subculture or a fascination with vampire mythology. The Tarot of Vampyres‘ cards follow the traditional titles, but in the Minor Arcana, the Cups are replaced with Grails; Swords have become Knives; Wands are displaced by Sceptres; and Pentacles are Skulls instead. And the Court Cards are Lords, Queens, Princes and Daughters rather than Kings, Queens, Knights and Pages. The images themselves are also very different from the ordinary Rider Waite decks and the figures take up most of the cards.
In the accompanying book, Phantasmagoria, Daniels cites the Jungian concept of shadow, and of facing one’s fears. The deck’s imagery is certainly intimidating, in a dark and gothic way, which is further enhanced by the beautiful pale faces that stare out from the cards at the viewer and send shivers down your spine. There is also an emphasis on the seductive side of the vampire myth, with the figures in suggestive or intimidating poses. And because of the differences and the sexual implications in the illustrations, this deck is definitely not for beginners or the faint of heart, but it is perfect for horror writers.
The Tarot of Vampyres deck is also available as an app by Fool’s Dog LLP on iTunes for £3.99 and Google Store for £3.79.
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