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The Vampire Tarot Paperback – Bargain Price, June 23, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
Thematically, the deck is primarily focused on Bram Stoker's Dracula, the quintessential Vampire novel, although he draws on the lore and traditions of vampires dating back to the Greeks. The glossy, sharp-edged (a nice touch!) cards are drawn from a variety of of other Gothic, Romantic (the movement, not the sentiment, which is why Lord Byron, Franz Liszt and other, possibly unexpected, people appear in the Court cards) and vampire imagery. The images are arrestingly beautiful and frequently disturbing, dancing along the themes of death and resurrection, blood and salvation, madness and creativity. Place uses the alchemical quest for enlightenment, the desire for immortality that informs the vampire mythos and the Tarot facility for mapping the progress of the soul to craft a timely and satisfyingly coherent themed deck.
The book is a fascinating exploration of the history of Tarot and the evolution of the accoutrements of the Vampire legend, pulling from a wide research base, and a valuable contribution in itself to Tarot literature. Place brings the earlier versions of Tarot from the early Renaissance to the development of the Marseilles style decks back into descriptions of the Tarot, which enriches the descriptions of the cards and their meanings. Between the information on vampires and the elaboration of Tarot imagery and history, the book gives one a lot to chew on.
The production values are very high - good quality card stock, a densely packed booked and a handsome storage box.
On to the images. If you are familiar with Robert Place, you know that some of his interpretations are different from the standard Rider Waite, and more in line with Marseilles-type interpretations. That said, the images he has chosen can be interpreted in a number of ways and are not inconsistent with the more widespread (in America, anyway) RWS meanings, with the exception being the Cups suit, where the author really diverges from the Rider Waite system (the 8 of cups, for example, shows a stack of weapons, and the card meaning is "variety"). Also, the minor suits are renamed: Garlic Flowers for Pentacles, Holy Water for Cups, Stakes for Wands, and Knives for Swords. All are weapons used to defeat vampires.
There is a hefty companion book describing in great detail the Bram Stoker novel Dracula, which inspired this deck (although other sources are used, including works of Poe and Coleridge). There is also a long history of tarot, which will be familiar to those who have already read Place's other works. The companion book does a good job with meanings on the major arcana, but the descriptions for the minor arcana are short, and feel a little perfunctory. Again, this is consistent with the companion books for Place's other decks.Read more ›
The matching book offers a tour of vampire and Tarot particularities: "The History and Philosophy of the Tarot"; "The Vampire in Legend and Art"; "The Vampire Tarot Trumps"; "The Minor Suits and the Tools of the Slayer"; and a guide to using the cards. The author cautions those who are familiar with his previous sets- based on alchemical, Christian and Buddhist symbolism and mystical philosophy- that he has not crossed over to the dark side. Death, rebirth and eternal life are the constant themes of myth. The Vampire Tarot celebrates the literary vampire as an ancient mythological creature focusing on mortality and the nature of the soul. These are no clumsy, frightening monsters from village folklore; rather, "the literary vampire is an esthetic creation of romantic poets... influenced by the gods of mythology".
If you are a tarot aficionado, the cards speak for themselves. If you are a neophyte, consider The Vampire Tarot a challenge, an opportunity to expand the mind and embrace the great themes of rebirth and immortality, an archetype of the unconscious on a journey of transformation. Luan Gaines/2009.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excellent addition to any tarot collection, especially that of vampires. Very pleased with the images and the quality of this product.Published 3 months ago by Sandrine
The description makes it sound like the tarot cards are also included, but they're not. I'm happy with the book, so will be keeping it.Published 6 months ago by Blissful
I love this deck and it's legitimately my everyday deck now, even though I'm usually a snobby historical deck person. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Peligro Wayne
I own and love this deck, rather a lot. I definitely recommend it. Watch my full review on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_dMBeYwEI4Published 14 months ago by Lucius Matthiesen
I'm giving this item five stars because I consider it one of the most beautiful decks I've ever owned/seen. There is one HUGE problem with it though, it is absolutely UNUSABLE. Read morePublished 15 months ago by E.Greene
Trimmed off the white, rounded the corners, and it works great. Natural state it's a bit big and awkward to shuffle. Great artwork. Might buy another to frame & display.Published on July 16, 2014 by Scott
This deck offers extraordinary scholarship coupled with gorgeous illustration. Robert Place is a living jewel in the tarot community and immerses himself in pursuing the accurate... Read morePublished on July 16, 2014 by Pgilly