A friend of mine recently purchased The Tarot of Vampyres for me as a belated Yule gift (thanks, girl!). When I first requested the gift, I knew that I would like the deck, having previewed the cards and the accompanying book – entitled Phantasmagoria – at Amazon.com, but, I was not expecting to love it!
I have been in love with vampires since I was a young girl but I typically do not mix my fantasy and my spirituality. Personally, I do not see the value in owning a Lord of the Rings Oracle or performing bibliomancy using H.P. Lovecraft books, etc. I have nothing against people who engage in such practices but it does not hold much water for my own spiritual path. Well…it didn’t until now; The Tarot of the Vampyres has changed my mind and my rule. I think it has so profoundly changed my mind because Vampyres is not an intellectually or spiritually pansy-ass deck for cheap pay-per-thrills. No, in fact it is a deck that you can take as seriously as any other quality tarot deck with solid symbolism, meaningful card descriptions, thoughtful imagery, and intradeck consistency. Many decks that tap fantasy themes cannot make similar claims about their construction. When it comes to blending fantasy and spirituality, I guess it ultimately would not work (no matter how well done) if the fantasy world being tapped did not resonate with you. Vampires are meaningful for me because I have spent a lot of time thinking about who, what, and why they are, what they mean to me and to people in general through their appearance in cinema and literature, and what they might signify about the human consciousness and spiritual condition. I realize now that vampires “do it for me” one some level because I have thought about them in depth. If others can claim the same of Lovecraft then who am I to deny them their bliss.
Ian Daniels, the deck illustrator and author of the accompanying book has taken the time to create a focused deck that is not only interested in darkness, fears, and shadows but also in hope, joy, love, and wisdom. The deck is balanced and it has cards and images that speak to various important aspects of human life. One thing I will say is that the deck emphasizes the inner mindscape. If you want concrete advice about your finances, that may be harder for a less experienced reader to glean from the cards, but you just may ferret out what intra- and extra-psychic forces are instigating your financial troubles or successes. It may not tell you who your next lover will be, but it just may help you determine what aspects of your own psyche he or she will stimulate (for better or worse).
Overall, I am very pleased with this deck and I cannot wait to do additional work with it in the coming months. Kudos to Ian Daniels for a great deck!