OMG you guys. We’re in an apartment finally and the lighting is amazing. So be prepared for better pictures (I hope), and I may even go and redo some older pics!
I was so excited about the awesome lighting that I decided I better review the Tarot of the Vampyres!
Please pardon typos. The WordPress app doesn’t have a spellchecker.
Publisher: Llewellyn 2010
Artist/Author: Ian Daniels
System: 58 cards
Suits: Wands are Scepters, Cups are Grails, Swords are Knives, Pentacles are Skulls
Court Cards: Pages are Daughters, Princes, Queens, Kings are Lords
The art seemed dark (like, physically, not theamatically) and hard to see. The card stock was very disappointing. It’s just so thin. It’s only slightly better than printer paper! (slight exaggeration). I don’t feel like they will hold up to a lot of abuse.
But as a second first impression now that I’m not living in dimly lit cave… the art isn’t too dark. It’s even more beautiful than I thought. It’s practically living. I love it! Lighting has not made me feel better about the cardstock however 😉
OK so my favorite cards are all pretty much the Queens and Daughters. They have my favorite art and they are just begging to tell their stories! I especially love the Queen and Daugher of Knives. I have a whole story with a world planned out just from looking through these cards for one night.
And, these aren’t specifically cards that I really liked but I felt the need to point out that there are creatures other than vampires in this deck. Here’s a few examples:
Weird/Least Favorite Cards
Ten of Knives: If you don’t like sexy, bosomy ladies, you won’t like this deck. I don’t mind it in moderation, or if done well. The artist doesn’t do it super well, this is the worst example. But I don’t mind too much.
The Fool: Look at him. He really does look like a fool. But he looks like he’s in a corny musical and he’s just being very dramatic. This is my least favorite card, possibly of all time, of any deck. It’s just… weird.
Nine of Knives: Love the art but it just doesn’t say “Nine of Knives” to me, y’know?
The Hanged Man: This one is a weird one for me, I think. It’s bound to make some religious people uncomfortable and I just didn’t expect it out of this deck. Meh. I’d like to have seen something else here, but it does get points for originality!
The Devil: It works, but it’s just not my fav Devil card (which is probably my fav card in general). It’s a bit over the top, sort of cheesy and theatrical like the Fool. Meh.
The Tower: I just wanted to toss this one in. I actually really like it! It’s a bit different for a Tower card but it still works.
I cannot for the life of me read with this deck. And I don’t really want to, either. It’s just a bit offputting. I have yet to think “Oh, I want to do a spread with the Vampyre deck!”. I’m curious about perhaps using it with Shadow work if I decide to try it, and it does inspire stories I want to write. So there’s that.
Fuck this cardstock. It’s very thin and easy to shuffle but I’ve barely used them and they’re already bending. They won’t last long. The finish is matte, not super matte but just a bit. The size is OK. Standard I guess.
I forgot to photograph the back, but is is lovely. Nice dark, moody art with a rose and thorns. It is reversable.
I heard a lot of praise for this book while I was considering getting this deck. I honestly feel like I haven’t looked at it nearly as much as I wanted to, especially for this review. It’s certainly not a bad book. I just don’t ever feel a draw to book specific decks.
It’s broken up into two sections with a few chapters. I was happy to see the book talk about Shadow work, if only a little. I’ve been curious about learning about it so that helped out some. There’s the typical talk about the background of the deck, spreads, stuff like that. All very worth looking at actually.
There are no photos for the cards, which is always a bummer for me, but there is a good deal of information. Each card talks about it’s Alchemy, Kindred Spirits, Essence, Message, Analysis & Symbolism, and Shadow.
I don’t think Ian does reversals, but instead the Shadow aspect of the cards instead? I’m a little lost on that, I will have to dig around more to figure that out.
Beginner Friendly: 3/5
This is a tough rating. If this deck was giving to me as my first deck 15 years ago, I don’t know where I’d be today in my Tarot journey. If you’re a beginner and you like how it looks, yes get it. If you click with it and you get it, that’s excellent. But if it just doesn’t work out don’t let it deter you from trying other decks.
I love the art. It’s beautiful, dark, but full of light and life (ironically enough). I think there’s a little too many vampires depicted with drinking problems. I kind of want to take a napkin and whipe all their mouths. And there is the “problem” with some of the boobs. Other than that, Ian Daniels paints a very lively, vivid world that really makes me want to dive in and tell stories. Lovelovelove.
The borders are black, not too thick but of course I always prefer borderless cards. The area with the text at the bottom is just lovely, perfect.
The Box: .5/5
OK I didn’t keep the box. It was just one of those giant flimsy Llewellyn boxes with a smaller inner white box to keep the cards from getting banged around. The cards were shrink wrapped and I didn’t have the heart to keep them in that crummy little white box.
Very pretty deck. Love how dark and moody it is. Can’t read with it worth a dark. Will probably collect a lot of dust unless I get into Shadow work or really learn how to use Tarot to write stories as I really can’t read with them for some reason.
If you have the money and you want the deck, get it, at the very least it’s a great collector’s deck! Make sure you have a bag or box for it. Maybe get a backup copy if you plan on using it a lot.