Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
ENCYCLOPEDIA
Glossary
What's New
Most Popular
List of Articles

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

September/October Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Encyclopedia
Print this Term Print this Article

Review of the Royo Dark Tarot Deck

This article was written by Barbara Moore on December 14, 2012
posted under Royo Dark Tarot

Summary

The Royo Dark Tarot is a rare treasure. It blends magnificent art with dark fantasy and gothic themes as well as traditional Tarot card meanings to create a deck that is not just a cool dark deck, but one that you will want to study and read with on a regular basis.

In-Depth Review

The Royo Dark Tarot is an evolution and completion of the Black Tarot by the Dark Fantasy artist, Luis Royo. His work really is magnificent, which is reason enough to get this deck. The deck does follow the Rider-Waite-Smith tradition but in a subtle way. By that I mean, if you saw the images without the titles, you may not immediately know which card they are supposed to be. But if you see the card name with the image, you see the connection quite easily. Because they are a bit unique, you can gain a new level of understanding of that card or see it from a new perspective. 

Royo is indeed dark fantasy and there are graphic, and what some might consider to be slightly provocative cards. For example, in the 2 of Cups, a couple is kissing. He holds her arms. Her hands are clearly in the front of his very low slung pants and I assume she is fondling him, although we do not see that clearly. To some this may be offensive or something they don't want in their Tarot. For others, it is hot, provocative, and intriguing. Whatever your opinion, it is a powerful image.

That's what I noticed as I went through these cards…these small details that added so much to the images. There are several angels in this deck. They are not cute cherubs but beings of intense might and majesty. The point where the wings meet the shoulders is so well rendered that I can feel the power…and what I can only assume to be great pain. Royo is quite the master of the evocative detail. 

I started pulling out cards to talk to you about, but the pile grew so quickly that I had to cut it back to just a few. 

The 6 of Pentacles shows a female angel clad in white, who looks very human in form, alive and natural. She is kneeling on the ground, holding and comforting a male angel who looks dark (in color) and mechanical (in texture). They contrast so greatly and yet share similarities. He is tortured and perhaps dying, empty, his life draining from him. She is filled compassion and love, which she seems to be giving to him, or wanting to give. The image is so intensely poignant. It highlights the connections between to the giver and receiver. It shows what they share in such a powerful moment. 

The 7 of Cups shows a woman, dressed in white, gazing intently off to the side. On her head she wears a strange headpiece made of a human skull. It is festooned with pearls and lace. The booklet says: 

In the realm of imagination, between dreams and delusions, the white bride has learned the language of death. 

This card is usually noted for confusion, for the inability to make a choice, for perhaps seeing options through rose-colored glasses. Royo pushes deeper, underneath that common experience, to find out what is possible at a soul level. She is a bride, ready to commit to a choice, but in the time between she learns something about life and death and more than likely, herself. 

There are plenty of excellent dark fantasy and gothic-styled decks available. For one that takes the familiar RWS meanings a bit deeper, not just darker, I suggest the Royo Dark Tarot. This one, with its incredible symbols and magnificent art, is the complete package.

Deck Attributes

Name of deck: Royo Dark Tarot

Publisher: Lo Scarabeo

ISBN: 9780738733616

Creator's name: Luis Royo

Brief biography of creator: Extremely popular Spanish artist known for dark fantasy.

Artist's name: Luis Royo

Name of accompanying booklet: Royo Dark Tarot

Number of pages of booklet: Booklet is 86 pages; 14 in English

Authors of booklet: Luis Royo

Available in a boxed kit?: No

Reading Uses: General

Artistic Style: Dark fantasy

Tarot, Divination Deck, Other: Tarot

Does it follow Rider-Waite-Smith Standard?: Yes

Does it have extra cards?: No


I am often asked how I catch some of the most incredible evidence ever captured on a battlefield. It is relatively simple, but many people are not willing to do what is necessary to capture a paranormal event. If, however, you are one of those rare individuals who not only want to experience the paranormal, but capture it—read on! As a means of... read this article
Gettysburg: Beyond a Shadow of a Doubt
Celtic Tree Magic: 6 Ways to Work with Sacred Trees
Ritual: Thelemic Refuge
The Dark Side of Your Moon
3 Ways (Yoga Included!) To Shift Your Body Image

Most recent posts:
Samhain Thoughts...
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Sonja Sadovsky, author of the new Priestess and the Pen. The wheel turns, and another Samhain is...

Empowering Readings, part 1
When someone asks “what if” they are usually worried about the outcome of something they are considering doing. They may be looking for assurances...

Less Is Better!
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Jean-Louis de Biasi, author of Secrets and Practices of the Freemasons, The Divine Arcana of the Aurum...




Llewellyn's 2015 Astrological Calendar Llewellyn's 2015 Astrological Calendar
82nd Edition of the World's Best Known, Most Trusted Astrology Calendar

By: Llewellyn
Price: $14.99 US,  $16.99 CAN
Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Datebook Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Datebook
By: Llewellyn
Price: $10.99 US,  $12.50 CAN
Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Calendar Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Calendar
By: Llewellyn
Price: $13.99 US,  $15.95 CAN
Llewellyn's 2015 Daily Planetary Guide Llewellyn's 2015 Daily Planetary Guide
Complete Astrology At-A-Glance

By: Llewellyn
Price: $12.99 US,  $14.95 CAN
Llewellyn's 2015 Moon Sign Book Llewellyn's 2015 Moon Sign Book
Conscious Living by the Cycles of the Moon

By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN