- Karten: 312 Seiten
- Verlag: Llewellyn Pubn; Auflage: Tcr Crds/P (1. Oktober 2010)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0738711918
- ISBN-13: 978-0738711911
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13,7 x 6,1 x 20,8 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 139.221 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
The Tarot of Vampyres [With Phantasmagoria] (Englisch) Karten – 1. Oktober 2010
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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Known for his gothic romance and fantasy fiction illustrations; Daniels has been a professional illustrator for nearly 2 decades. He has illustrated numerous books on vampires, faeries, Celtic lands and forgotten realms. His art is displayed in galleries across the UK and the US. Ian Daniels was born and raised in Kent.
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The cards measure 2 3/4" x 4 5/8" and feature backs which aren't quite reversible, but enough so that it's difficult enough to tell at a glance which side is up. The cards are bordered on three sides with black. The titles on the bottom are surrounded by vines. It looks as though the titles could almost be gravestone headings. I do like the black borders, even though some of it is already chipping off (showing white) after two weeks of usage. This doesn't bother me anywhere near as much as if the borders were white to begin with. The black borders were definitely a good call with this deck. The card stock is lovely, very easily and smoothly shuffled.
The Majors are unnumbered, which is quite refreshing. Those who have conflicting views on where Justice and Strength should fit in the deck will find this a happy compromise for all.
The suits are named Scepters, Grails, Knives and Skulls. The Courts are titled Lord, Queen, Prince and Daughter. The Lords follow Thoth tradition, as they are the ones on horseback.
I was surprised to find many variations on vampyres in the deck. There are quite a few hybrid creatures, mixing vampyre with serpent, wolf, angel, gorgon/siren, feline, demon. This definitely helps keep the cards from seeming monotonous, giving it that extra little something to keep you interested.
For me, the hardest part of writing a review is when a deck has so many fantastic cards, that it's difficult to highlight only a select few, and struggling with which ones to display. So that I can end on a happy note, I will first discuss the cards I'm not a fan of.
I do have two least favorite cards. The first is the most jarring card in the deck for me. It's the only one I find to be violently gory. The Hanged Man shows a demon vampire hanging upside down on a cross while blood pours out of his mouth, creating a bloody fountain depositing into a natural basin at the foot of the cross. I get an evil vibe from it that makes me uncomfortable... but maybe that's the whole point.
The other card I'm not fond of is the Nine of Grails. There's something extremely unappealing about the woman's face. She reminds me of someone who repels me, but I can't put my finger on who. It also has a bit of a dirty-movie feel to it. Definitely doesn't give me the "Nine of Grails" feel when I look at it.
Two cards out of seventy-eight isn't bad. And I can even imagine myself eventually acquiring an appreciation for the Hanged Man, so it's really just the one.
Favorites. That's much harder. This deck is so beautiful. I even appreciate the bits of blood trickling out of the corners of so many of the vampyres' mouths, because it's tastefully done (so to speak!).
(The cards I refer to in this review can be viewed on my blog under "Reviews")
The Lovers card is amazing. Romantic and haunting, it gives off that feeling of "nothing else exists but this moment". The Five of Knives captures my attention, and holds it there for a long while, each time I look at this card. It feels both dangerous and peaceful at the same time which is a fascinating paradox. The Four of Knives is another card that grabs my eyes and keeps them there as I yearn to know more about what is going on in the scene. The Three of Knives is one of the many cards in the deck that (thankfully) strays from RWS tradition. It is yet another which begs us to interpret what has just happened with this girl as she sits in the snow covered graveyard, barely clothed (considering the weather) with a bloody knife, a rose and black bird.
The Four of Grails is, interestingly enough, the only card which shows the predator/prey scene in the present moment of The Bite. And it's done so beautifully.
I love the Ace of Skulls, which has a Day of the Dead vibe to it. I adore the contrast of the purple roses against the lifeless hues of the thorny vines. The High Priestess is beyond gorgeous and mesmerizing with her floating book before her. The Eight of Scepters made me laugh at first because it's such an angry, passionate, aggressive take on this card, though it's a nice stray from the usual (boring) eight sticks flying in the air. It definitely captures the rapidity of "something happening, and happening NOW!"
I like the variety of personalities on the Daughter and Queen cards. For example, there is a stark contrast between the Daughter of Knives and Daughter of Skulls. The former exudes the vibe of a rebellious teenage girl while the latter is more down to earth and has a calmer attitude (reminding me both physically and demeanor-wise of Ellen Page). The Daughter of Scepters (and Queen alike) is sultry and seductive, while the Daughter of Grails appears more emotional.
The cards read very fluidly. The emotions of the vampyres are palpable and relatable. The expressions on their faces, or the setting of the scenes are very telling, yet at the same time mysterious enough to get you to delve further into the stories they attempt to tell you. The images draw you in and facilitate readings that are more emotional/intuitive than logical. If you allow yourself to enter the scenes, they will tell you a story to help you with your inquiry.
One of the things I love about tarot is that, as a reader, you will never cease learning. You can read the cards from youth to old age, and continue learning all the way. Phantasmagoria is a wonderful reminder of this truth.
There are many deck/book sets where you think, after browsing the book, "I definitely could've done without the book and saved myself a few bucks." Phantasmagoria is NOT one of those books. It's more than worth the price of the set. The book can stand alone, and really deserves a review all its own.
The 301-page book is written with a quantum view of the world, and thus, the cards. It explains such things as how the blood in the cards symbolize life force energy, how shadows aren't always negative, and throughout the pages, the author strongly affirms personal power and the ability we have to create the lives of our choosing. The interpretations are so well thought out and described in a way that I've never read before in a tarot book. It's a great read for any tarot reader, whether novice or seasoned.
The book begins with an Intro & Background, starting with the background for the inspiration behind Phantasmagoria. The subsections following are Fear and the Shadow, The Hunger, The Blood Rose, The Nature of Matter & Time, and The Tarot of Vampyres.
The second section "Alchemy - About the Cards" provides your basic information about the cards and includes a couple charts linking certain cards with their elemental/planetary/zodiacal correspondence. There's also a section on Kabala and the Sephiroth.
The third section, "The Awakening" includes nine spreads and 5 exercises.
The fourth section, "Kith & Kin" includes information on creating your own personal Vampyre name, as well as a chart to help you configure your personal cards, based on your birth. These include your Dynasty card (Major Arcana), Vampyre Clan (which of the four suits you belong to), a Bloodline card (a Minor Arcana card), and your Vampyre Court Card. Once you know these, you can discover your Ancestry and Descendency cards.
The card interpretations are divided into sections. First is the brief Alchemy and Kindred Spirits associations for the card. Then the Essence (which is a list of keywords and phrases). The Message provides an in-depth interpretation on the meaning of each card, which is followed by the Analysis & Symbolism, which details the card imagery and symbolism. Lastly, the Shadow interpretation is given.
I'd say, on average, the length of each interpretation is about 3 pages long, with the Major Arcana often being even longer. The detailing is immaculate, and the author takes such a deep, thoughtful, quantum look at each card.
Judging the kit as a team, it's got to be the best value I've probably ever seen for a deck/book set. Ian Daniels' artwork and writing are both stunning and captivating. The deck and the book could each stand alone on their own merits. Together as a set, they are an combination worthy of awe.
See below for more card images.
Suits: Grails, Scepters, Knives, Skulls
Court Titles: Daughter, Prince, Queen, Lord
Justice/Strength: Majors are unnumbered
Card Size: 2 3/4" x 4 5/8"
(See my blog for images of the cards and readings I've done with this deck.)
Firey crosses and bloodstained lips, pallid creatures and hairy horned beasts, purple roses and ornate skulls--this is the stuff of the Vampyre Tarot.
While the Vampyre Tarot by Ian Daniels isn't the first Gothic, vampire-themed Tarot to enter the marketplace, it's arguably the finest--thanks to both the superb card illustrations and the exceptional 301-page companion book.
A veritable (blood) feast for those who love vampires, the Vampyre Tarot box set delights the eyes with unexpected coloring (emerald roses!), painting effects (airbrush glows!), intricate details (dress fringe!) and photorealistic renderings of human, animal and beast.
In fact, the Vampyre Tarot may very well enchant those lacking interest in the vampire craze or so-called "dark" decks. I know this first-hand, because I'm now under its spell! Never expecting to be so enamored with a vampire deck, I find myself grabbing for these cards for most personal readings these days. It reads so clearly and honestly, and I admire its unusual, dynamic perspective on familiar archetypes.
Measuring approximately 4 ¾ x 2 ¾ inches, the cards of the Vampyre Tarot feature a thin black border around the illustrations and an ornate stonework banner at the bottom. The Major Arcana lacks numbering and the Minor suits follow the designation of Knives (Swords), Scepters (Wands), Grails (Cups) and Skulls (Pentacles). The almost-but-not-quite reversible backings depict thorny, intertwined branches with a red rose in the middle, and the background looks to be blood-spattered stone (a grave marker, perhaps?).
It would be enough to own this lavish deck, but the Phantasmagoria book is (far) beyond most deck companions. You'll not find fluff here, although Ian Daniels (who also wrote the book) possesses poetic prowess (say THAT three times fast!). Nor will you find a shallow understanding of Tarot and related metaphysical fields (as in many Llewellyn Tarot deck companion books--and you KNOW what I mean).
What IS remarkable about the Vampyre Tarot companion is its intelligence, insight and perspective--on both Tarot AND esoteric wisdom.
You'll find solid Kabbalistic correlations and explanations in Phantasmagoria, as well as astrological and numerological considerations.
But what I find especially impressive about Phantasmagoria is the author's spiritual and psychological understanding of the vampire mythos and how it relates to everyday life--including human longing, fears and responses. The way he correlates these profound insights with each Tarot card--weaving in numerological, Kabbalistic, astrological and Jungian considerations--truly an amazing treat.
Absorbing, profound, informative, illuminating--all these words apply to the companion book. What an incredible surprise for me! And the cards? Can bloody figures be beautiful? Can demonic creatures be beguiling? Can skulls be lovely, graveyards inviting and dead branches alluring? Can vampire cards be--dare I say it--spiritual? Yes!
If you cross hand-painted versions of Ciro Marchetti's detailed digital art (especially fabric fringing and metal work) with Will Worthington's sumptuous egg tempera pieces--and apply that to gothic creatures and landscapes--you'll get an idea of the luscious illustrations in the Vampyre Tarot.
I have only two minor criticisms of this box set: firstly, the companion book does NOT contain grayscale replications of each card. If you're like me and enjoy reading a companion book without having to lug around the actual cards (say, as your relaxing outside), then this is a bit of a pain (although Daniels does adequately describe most cards).
Also, I feel that such a fine box set deserved an ornate bag--or ANY bag, really. However, all we get is the plain white cardboard box to store the cards. Speaking of cards, make sure you check your set! Mine was missing the 9 of Scepters, but had two 10 of Scepters cards. After emailing Llewellyn Customer Service a super-friendly and competent gal named Jackie responded right back and I had a replacement card within a week (not to mention great recommends on Flux titles and some catalogues!).
Having said that, the Vampyre Tarot blows away brethren decks like Bob Place's Vampire Tarot (don't like it) and the Bohemian Gothic Tarot (can't compete with this set). However, I will say that I adore the art of the CGI Vampires Tarot of the Eternal Night just as well as the Vampyre Tarot--or maybe a bit more so, because I feel that Davide Corsi's deck displays a bit more variety than the Vampyre Tarot (for example, older vampires, half-bat creatures, coffins and range of emotion).
If you're into vampires, you must get the Vampyre Tarot ASAP (if you already haven't). The companion book is packed with card meanings, symbolism, spreads, alchemical correlations, personal card portraits and charts. Even if you're not "into" vampires (I'm not), you may find this box set a special, unexpected treasure; at the very least, it would be great for Halloween readings or to have as an art deck!
(To see 18 large, full-color cards from this deck, visit the REVIEWS--DECKS section at [...])
-- Janet Boyer, author of Back in Time Tarot
Yes, the art captures the eye, but the devotion given to the organization of the deck is what makes this one of the better decks I've come across in a while.
Perhaps even more importantly, the book is very thorough when it comes to explainations, symbolism, and meanings. Tarot, as an art form, is very well described and explained for those who may be newer to the practice. There is also a fascinating section pertaining to horiscopes. Depending on one's sign, the book describes bloodline, court, and destiny cards that help the questioner understand where they are and where they are going. I was pleased to read detailed discriptions and meanings about all aspects of the art on the deck. The meanings given to each of the individual cards is well thought out and well explained.
I found myself fascinated by this deck.
After a few uses, I was very pleased with the feel of the cards. They fit well in the hands and are easy to use. Also, the interpretations of the major and minor arcana were very unique.
I highly recommond this deck to tarot enthusiasts. I look forward to using this deck on a regular basis.
Then there's the book, "Phantasmagoria". Content-wise, I found the book well-written and helpful, but the glaring omission was pictures of the actual cards, which is really what the book is about. Also, the layout is very unwieldy, making it more of a chore to reference individual cards than is really necessary. There are no page breaks for each individual card. Instead the text runs from one page to the next with only subject dividers to help the reader. It's a pity, really, because the substance of the book describes the cards and their meanings very well. Unfortunately, you have to be careful lest you find yourself reading about the wrong card. Tarot books are intended for referring to, not reading straight through like a novel. Very poor publishing choices here.
I give Daniels' deck a solid 5 Stars, but the box and the book only rank a 3.
The book accompanying this deck is superb...it also surprised me. It does so much more than the standard accompanying booklet in expanding new dimensions of the card meanings. There is depth and subtlety in these interpretations.