When I first saw the Victorian Romantic Tarot, I wasn’t too impressed with it. It reminded me a lot of my Grandmother and the style of illustration she frequently saw. It felt like the wrong deck just because I was so crazy about the Bohemian Gothic. When I first got the second edition of the Victorian Romantic Tarot, I was very surprised by how readable it is right out of the box, even though it does not read as a traditional RWS. It has life to it, and can suggest some very personal answers. I found that there was no need to limit it to convention, which it could be, but does not necessarily need to be. Why limit it? It’s organic in how it speaks; a kind of melodious whisper coming from engravings that have been given a second chance at life. Repurposing these images in a tarot deck was very clever, and I love the restorations as well as the digital collaging of more than one engraving to create something new. Gorgeous! A job well done!
When I first saw the Gold edition, it was on Tumblr. Someone published a photo of their deck along with the gorgeous journal that comes with it, which I lack. It had a gorgeous portrait of Bacchus and a mermaid. Wow! When I saw that depiction of the extra Lovers card, I decided I had to have it. I didn’t have to wait very long for a moderately priced one to come to me. It was even in like new condition! Yes, definitely waiting for me all of these years, slumbering in its bag. The one I bought went for a steal considering what it goes for now. It came in a Victorian Flower Oracle bag, or at least one with JJ Grandville’s illustration. The bag is also no longer in print. I thought to re-house it, but as I thought more carefully, I realized it was part of this deck’s history, and that maybe it would be more appropriate to keep it this way.
Wow! These have a similar iridescence to them as the Alice Tarot, which was published late in 2014. In candlelight or dim lights at night, this deck looks really stunning. The details pop out without feeling out of place. They picked good places for the iridescence.
The paper worries me a little. It is thin, lovely crunchy quality and color! However, sometimes I feel like I might have been able to bend or crease it if I had not been more careful. I riffle shuffle my decks, no matter how rare or expensive they are. If they are mine, they will be used. No precious treatment, — it reads as not having enough interest to use it anyway, — because they were made to be used. I will probably remedy this with a backup copy when one becomes available to me. This aspect of it makes me want to use the Victorian Romantic second edition or mini, of which I have more than one copy. The thing is, I tend to resonate with the first editions of the Baba Studio body of work. This applies to the Baroque Bohemian Cats' Tarot, which I really love, but can’t connect to as well with the third edition. This is the version of the Victorian Romantic that I resonate with, so this is the one that will get the most mileage.
It’s still pretty new to me, and so I must spend more time with it. I want to read that intuitive personality that decks give out to their owners properly before putting it in circulation for work.
INTERVIEW WITH THE VICTORIAN ROMANTIC GOLD:
♡ What is your most important characteristic?
Ten of Coins. The epitome of wealth; product of a labor of love. Pride over years of hard work. All you want, all you desire is presented to you in a friendly, no, beautiful way. How could you resist? How could you say no to something so beautiful?
♡ What are your strengths as a tarot deck?
Nine of Coins. I am out in the open, gleaming in the sunlight. Complete; with everything you need. I am also beautiful. You get form and function from a rare deck that is increasingly hard to find.
♡ What are your limits?
The Star. I don’t lend myself to limitations; I am free. I roam free. I’ll go as far as your imagination allows for me to go. Look how beautiful! I am at my best in low lights at night. I’ll roam the depths of your imagination and dreams if you let me — we shouldn’t shy away form the things that make us happy!
♡ What are you here to teach me?
Three of Swords. I am here to teach you how to handle pain and difficulties. I’m going to allow you a companion in difficult times. I’m your companion, bringing you news in tales told by artwork of past times. Don’t be afraid, you’re not alone.
♡ How can I best learn to collaborate with you?
Five of Swords. Allow the scene to play out before you as a classical movie would. It will be loud, elegantly — but humorously — dressed, and in the form of something familiar. Try a new approach to something old to break the mold. Then cry!
♡ What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
Page of Cups. I bring you solace and cheers. You will learn to view the world through fresh eyes. You will learn to love again; freely and without any restraints. It will help you connect to a sweeter side, as if you were just learning to connect with your emotions.
♡ Which card do you want to show off?
Eight of Coins. The one denoting hard, arduous tasks and work. Try not to mistakee beauty with an equivalent of flimsiness. Those finishing touches of gleaming ink help me stand out over others. Work hard and you’ll reap the benefits too!
♡ How do you see me?
Four of Pentacles. I see you as the collector; sitting over her riches and her ancient lore and not sharing most of it with the world. The one who hordes in case good things will run out instead of spreading it out into the world like love. You will learn plenty with me!
♡ How do you see yourself?
Five of Coins. I feel like a hand-me-down. An orphan. I was not valued or ever appreciated in my household; left to waste rather than being used and worn with love. I was brought into being to be used, and instead I’ve been neglected! Languishing in a drawer or closet for years. If you won’t use me either, give me away to someone who will!
These are long since out of print and hard to find. You can, however, find the First Edition as well as the second on the Internet if you look carefully.