THE VICTORIAN ROMANTIC TAROT



The Victorian Romantic Tarot is new to my collection and feels like a necessary addition to any. I now have a deck I love in two sizes. Weeks ago I had no idea if I would be able to read it with precision, but as of this moment I don't really care. Whether I currently understand the semantics or not won't matter; I will be studying the semantics of this deck and two others from now until the end of year. I feel very drawn to Alexander Daniloff's tarot deck, to the Tarot of Prague and to the Victorian Romantic Tarot. Notice two of them are done by Baba Studio, also known as the Magic-Realist Press. Their work is divine!



I don't want to spoil the book for you, but I will mention some highlights that made it very special for me. If briefly touches upon the Victorian obsession with Egypt, the taboo to fortune telling, and how influential people of the time were touched by fortune telling through cards. It redefines the history of tarot within logic and divination as I used to know it. While carefully delineating meanings for us in both keywords and stories, the Victorian Romantic is intended for intuitive use and personal connections. The book itself states that although the information is provided, the best route to go is to develop your own meanings from experience. Sure, many books on tarot say that! However, when you get into practice, you will find that having both perspectives will really aid you in readings.

I have always thought that I was born a few centuries too late. Even with the conscious sacrifice of some hygienic necessities, I have wanted to live in the French Rococó ever since I first learned about the time period in school. I love the discipline — and discrete lack thereof — exercised at the time. Terms such as 'romantic ideals', 'language of flowers' and 'courtship rules' really resonate with me. I was unconsciously brought up to love rules, discipline and romanticism, and I do so madly.



This is a great deck to use in the spring. It has an inherent sweetness to it that is hard to come by, and I especially like the fact that the illustrations convey traditional artwork. Don't get me wrong — I love contemporary art and find stylization to be pretty rockin', but there is something special about Pre-Raphaelite, Neoclassical, Victorian, Rococó and Medieval art periods. They pull us through portals into moments in time that have been frozen for this very purpose. Some of the cards look like paintings, not all of them look like engravings, which is actually quite nice and makes them come alive for me. They read wonderfully and they merit further study. The companion book will help with starting out, but the rest is up to us.

INTERVIEW WITH THE VICTORIAN ROMANTIC TAROT:


What is your most important characteristic?
King of Wands.
This deck steals the show. The world is its stage and it is the only player! I get the sense that music keeps it in harmony, and that its song is meant to touch the lives of those who linger around it. This deck is really different from all of the other tarot decks that I have and it shows. I'll just have to go with the flow on this one and dance to it's song. It'll be much easier to get acquainted that way!

What are your strengths as a tarot deck?
The World. This is possibly my favorite depiction of the World card. Watch her float! Her tray is loaded with roses and wildflowers. The circumstances look really warm and inviting; I'd love to spend a day with them frolicking in the beauty of nature. The use of white space is great, it conveys the atmosphere as open. Anything can happen here!

What are your limits?
The Star. This deck has bared its soul through numerous readings around the globe. After you're stripped to the public, all that there is, is all you can give. She looks coy and inviting at the same time, with her drapes barely covering her as she basks in the moonlight. This is an intimate card portraying the deck as an intimate experience, one that shouldn't be shared with too many people.

What are you here to teach me?
The Chariot.
To pick up the pace when I run into a different manner of dialogue from the cards. I slow down considerably when I have to adjust to the new imagery and the symbols it brings. It's saying, "hey! Pull your act together and go with what you feel, we're a little short of time and we have to go!" Taking control of the reigns as you're on your way forward isn't easy, but that's what I am going to get some help with.

How can I best learn to collaborate with you?
Three of Swords. Releasing stress and pressure from waking life. In the place of beauty and mystery there is no room for daily life troubles in the way. Release trouble, release uncertainty and embrace a whole new side of things. If there will be grief present, accept it but count on a friend nearby that will be willing to listen and offer help. This looks like the deck to come to when I am having trouble, which is a good support to have!

What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
The Hermit. Seeking enlightenment or answers by yourself. It makes sense, since some decks prefer to be used with other people. This one prefers to be used in solitude. Light a candle, dim the lights, put some music on and turn your phone off kind of readings are suggested. Taking away all the noise and withdrawing to a quiet place to think is necessary. To cut away our daily worries, we need to look after ourselves first. I really like that!

Which card do you want to show off?
Nine of Swords. A woman sleepwalks. She is not presently aware of the dangers she is in. She seems to be in a state of hypnosis more so than sleep, and might have a rude awakening once she finds out where she got herself to. Sometimes we carry so many troubles in our minds that we let them carry through into sleep and dreams. We really hurt ourselves when we are overwhelmed with our own thoughts. The circumstances can be quite literally a nightmare.

How do you see me?
Three of Cups. Under siege of the circumstances. I don't quite have the control that I need yet, and if I take to say something, I should watch my words before I do. We tend to run with the circumstances as they are, instead of taking the time to pause and really feel what we do. Logic overrides feeling, and when that happens, we love sensitivity. Focus.

How do you see yourself?
Nine of Pentacles. As a token of wealth offered from a lovely time period. The woman has her head turned towards the right, to the future. She stares with confidence, although her pose is one of relaxation. She loiters through the garden, her estate is right behind her. She doesn't need to go too far to find what she seeks.. happiness and contentment.



This tarot deck sings to you! The scenes are narrative. This is the perfect deck to talk with a friend over some tea in a sunny afternoon. I might just find a parasol and walk through a dream world for a few months. I love it!
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