I'm sure everyone out there can relate - you find a deck online that you are drawn to, that you MUST have. You order, wait patiently (ok maybe not too patient) stalk the mail man on delivery day and then you open the package and instantly deflate. Check out my response to the Gothic Tarot by Joseph Vargo.
You say things like "did I really pay money for these?" and "I'll never be able to read with them". The artwork is fantastic but I just couldn't connect with the cards. Maybe it's because they don't really fit all the traditional meanings... I don't know. I put them away, destined to be sold in the near future, but something made me stop everytime that I went to list them. Odd, right?
So I started looking around at the reviews for this deck, and thought surely someone must have something good to say. Then I stumbled on this review from Wolfy James:
Imagine a world filled with mist, darkness and gloom where light shines through. Elegant, passionate and sensual characters wander through the mist and the darkness of this world, their hearts full of darkness and full of light. Vampires, werewolves, witches, gargoyles, angels, ghosts, are among the characters found on the cards and each of them reveals the cards's meanings in a particular way. The Gothic Tarot is an awesome gothic deck wonderfully drawn by the talented Joseph Vargo. The Gothic Tarot is published independently by Vargo himself. There is no need to be worried though, the publication is done professionally, the box is nice and the little white book is well done. The deck in itself is of good quality for an independent publication, the cards are a bit thin though; they have a hard smell, that goes away after a few weeks, and unfortunately the scratches stand out because of the black background. The little white book is pretty average for a LWB. Frankly, this deck is so great it would have been neat to have a real small book with it, with Vargo talking about his deck and the cards and his art, similarly to the small book that comes with The Golden Tarot (Kat Black). Many have made that suggestion. (message to Vargo: Please! Please!) I suggest, for those who love this deck, to buy a second copy while the deck is still available.
The review was intoxicating. Surely I must have missed something when I opened the deck? Maybe I was having a bad hair day. Who knows! I decided that I should give the deck a second chance so I pulled it out of it's wooden prison and shuffled the cards. It was funny, it was almost like they shivered in my hands a little. It startled me enough that I dropped the deck, but I scooped them up and started again. This time they were quiet. Hmmm, let's ask what I can expect from my first week back to school:
The cards I drew were the King of Pentacles, The High Priest, 4 of Swords and Death. I know that the Death card rarely means actually death, but boy is this card CREEPY! Anyway, let's look a little closer. The King of Pentacles features a vampire atop a castle wall, casually leaning against a horned gargoyle. This guy is take charge, and will do what he must to defend what is his. He tells me that any struggles I have this week will ultimately benefit me. Good news so far... Next we look at the High Priest card. This bat eared dude looks king of like a cat faced egyptian mummy, in a sarcophogus. He is meant to correspond with the Hierophant card in traditional decks. He is all about personal wisdom, and seems to be telling me that I will be getting some guidance on the "meaning of life" and my place in it. Next was the 4 of Swords, which always concerns me when it shows up in a reading. We see a woman lovingly bent over the skeleton - as if letting him know it's OK to move on... wait, what? Interesting that I have never gotten that vibe off the 4 of Swords before. It really has a peaceful vibe despite the macbre setting. Looks like I might need to let go of some things to find peace. I can live with that. Finally we have Death. This guy is CRAZY CREEPY! His tattered robes almost look like flesh hanging off of him, and he stands in a misty graveyard with a raven on his arm. Looks like I will have to accept the inevitable and use it to move on. Funny, they all seem to tie in together really well.
Maybe I'll keep this deck a little longer....
22 years of tarot experience, 20 years experience as a mom, and a lifetime of knowledge is just rattling around in here!