Vampires have evolved in our collective consciousness and creative imaginations from the wretched, disgusting monster of folklore to the current very dangerous but also very sexy sophisticated man of the world. This deck practically oozes sophistication, sex appeal, and danger. It also presents its share of the monstrous, the tragic, and dreadful. All seventy-eight cards work together to create to world that is complex and fascinating. Each vampire pictured has a story, depth, and interest. We find much to fear, much to empathize with, and much to sorrow for.
The art reflects all this as each card looks like nothing less than a still from a wonderfully produced movie. The Major Arcana cards are numbered only; the Minors have a number and suit designator and the court cards have symbols representing the suit and rank. There is very little to compete with the art, allowing for a very visual experience. In addition, the cards all seem to be snapshots from the same movie. That is not to say they all look the same. On the contrary, there is great variety in the characters and settings. But they all have the same feel, which makes it very easy to weave the images together into a story. This makes the art of interpreting a spread very enjoyable and interesting.
Because the images flow together very naturally, interpretations happen with surprising ease. Although based on traditional RWS images, the cards are viewed from a very different lens, giving you fresh ways of thinking about the cards. Because the cards are illustrated from the point of view of the vampire, it is up to you to interpret the cards in a way relevant to human life. The readings are more archetypal, allegorical, and metaphorical. The lack of words on the cards enhances this experience. The deck achieves a wonderful balance between structure and innovation. Readings depend on equal amounts of logic and of a more intuitive response.
The deck comes in a kit as well. The kit box is sturdy with a nice magnetic closure. A full-sized, full-color book by Barbara Moore is included. Each card is examined from a dark, a human, and a light approach. The dark approach is the shadow side of the card and the light approach is a more spiritual aspect. In addition, there is a little section called “The Vampire’s Story” for each card, providing a little story prompt to inspire the imagination. For the court cards, the story is a brief bit of monologue as if spoken by the character in the card.
Of course there are ample directions for performing a reading using a variety of spreads. But there is also a bit of fun. Vampires are nothing if not dramatic and theatrical, so there is a short section of ideas for hosting a vampire-themed party. Everything in that section is meant for entertainment but one never knows what kind of truth will emerge in the midst of a joke.
The book also shares ideas for journaling with this deck. Finally, because of the very nature of vampires, this deck is rare in that it is ideal for shadow work and intense personal exploration. It truly transcends run-of-the-mill Tarot decks and will lead you to insights in your readings that you've never discovered before.