Let’s keep rolling with great decks to use in the summer. Despite my dedicated use of the Victorian Romantic in winter times, I’m really feeling these new card backs. I feel like it is another great deck to pull out as the summer rages on. The deck is based on original engravings from 19th century artists, and those images have been collaged and repurposed to narrate the Rider-Waite Smith tradition. Using it is much like enjoying the cool breeze on a particularly sunny day. You can apply RWS or freely read what is on the table before you.

When the Victorian Romantic Tarot first came out it was a huge hit. It was voted #1 in the Aeclectic Tarot community forums several years in a row.

Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov of the Baba Studio worked on what would be formally the third edition of their Victorian Romantic Tarot deck. You’d think they’d have settled for it being perfect already; they have a somewhat cult following of readers that are passionate about the art. Some readers went as far as to collect all of the available versions of the deck. I am one of them.

The second incarnation of this deck was absolutely stunning with metallic gold edges and blue-green brocade backs. I fell in love with it when I saw its new royal blue backs contrasted with alabaster whimsy. It’s stunning! And the card illustrations were much improved.

I am so impressed with this deck. I looooove how the details come to life thanks to the metallic overlay. The color on the cards turn to jewel tones when the sun goes down and you light a candle. I thoroughly recommend you try this to get the most enjoyment out of your cards. It can make the colors really pop and the act of reading your cards feel more special.

The changes made to the deck are the kind we can unanimously agree benefit it. The card backs are now royal blue with white whimsical flourishes outlined in gold. Emblazoned with the abbreviation of its name in the center of the card backs. The backs are fully reversible, so you won’t be able to tell which one is in the reverse. They fan out fine and the card stock is thin but sturdy. It’s somewhat buttery matte card stock that feels like skin. It’s my favorite kind of card stock; I find it lasts the longest.

Enjoy some time poring over the cards in gentle candlelight, allowing the Victorians to whisper prophecy and advice. Delight in a deck that all the professionals in the field of divination love madly and swear by. Get lost in scenes of clear and tempestuous weather, and look at the narrative qualities the weather can suggest. It offers an illustrative aspect of the deck for me that points out to how clear or how heavy the feelings of the people involved are. Its great for figuring out somebody’s current state of feeling or mindset. Try it and tell me how it works for you.

Get to know the characters whose personalities and state of feeling become clear due to body language and facial expression.

What is your most important characteristic?
Justice. Fairness. Don't expect to be tipped to extremes or rash decisions. Work with this deck when you have time to sit down and contemplate the options you are presented with and how to apply them to your life. Come prepared with clarity of mind to do some of the real work. No bs, no added color.

What are your strengths as a tarot deck?
The Lovers. One of the strengths in this deck is that it points out when you are being idealistic and viewing life through rose-colored glasses. If the situation you find yourself in is one-sided, you will soon know. Anything lackluster or any dissatisfaction gets highlighted with grace. In other words, prepare to swallow the bitter drink you’ve been running from.

What are your limits?
Strength. The question got echoed by a card that can signify restraint or self control. The deck can be gentle but forceful in its delivery of messages. If you’re not ready for the truth, perhaps think it over before you ask. This deck won’t be sugarcoating the situation for you.

What are you here to teach me?
Three of Swords. This deck can teach us how to handle grief when hurting over someone or something we love. I would identify is as the faithful companion at his owner’s heel. A hand that lands on your shoulder when you most need warmth. Your reality will remain the way it is and it will still be harsh, but you’ll have a balm of support until the pain dissipates. Grit your teeth and keep going. It gets better eventually.

I’m impressed at how often the Three of Swords has popped up as the answer for this question throughout all the years I have been reviewing card decks.

How can I best learn to collaborate with you?
Six of Swords. You can best learn to connect the use of this deck and your life by being less attached to the outcome. Be mindful of the process in this journey you are on. Letting go of circumstances that don’t benefit you can be harmful, but you waste less time and effort if you are conscious of them. In this life what we are most guaranteed is change, and this card beautifully illustrates the transience we feel when we are at a turning point or in the midst of a big, previously unforeseen change.

Accepting that life will continue to push forward and change is part of the equation and something we need to accept seeing as we can’t always influence it or the direction we turn to.

What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
Eight of Wands. You’ll be in for an exciting time. Sometimes your options will be right within your grasp, other times you will realize you have rushed head first into falling passionately for somebody. Eventually your circumstances slow down and you’ll have more time to consider what is in front of you.

As you gain confidence you will pick up your pace, and in the process you may find the thrill energizing. Move forward in your life with assertion.

Which card do you want to show off?
Six of Coins. Something that helps you plenty is to accept reality as is, as the two sixes present in the reading imply.

Even if the guise is glamorous, expect humbling and grounding readings. You won’t be sugarcoating and adorning reality, but faced with the more gruesome aspects of it.

How do you see me?
The Star. Vulnerable, at times naive and idealistic. Well intended and delicate in feelings. In search of better times and new chapters. Expressing your feelings freely, and exploring new experiences with coy zest. Still healing, although slowly.

How do you see yourself?
Ten of Swords. As a source of support in times of despair, defeat and emotional exhaustion.

A bit of a brisk reading, but what else could you expect from the Victorians?

If you'd like to see more of their work, check out my review of the Alice Tarot. Thanks for reading!


This summer has been for Pokémon Go, more sunshine than I am used to absorbing with my skin, happy buzzing with my lover, dancing, Synthwave, palm trees, massive heat, and lots of tarot readings. With the trees in full color and the sun burning down our necks, but a great time to be had anyway.

Today I want to talk about a deck I pre-ordered earlier in the spring. It is called Tarotwave, made by Kenna Calabro. It was inspired by glitch, space art and Vaporwave.

I think the most attention-calling aspect of this deck is its festive card backs. We have a holo sheen, scan lines, palm trees and sunset skies. Go down the rabbit hole into a fantasy world dominated by pink, purple and minty hues. A real delight for any Synthwave and Vaporware fan. I love the neon, scan lined collages reinterpreting the tools I have used and loved for 19 years of my life. They completely freshen up how I read and break me out of my comfort zone.

I was surprised with the card stock used for Tarotwave. It's thick matte cardstock, fans out easily enough, but if you'd like an extra slip I'd recommend using some fanning powder. I might just to help with the shuffling and breaking them in. The cards are standard size and they come with a lovely two part box that is sturdy enough to keep them in permanently. I thought the box was rather stunning!

Even though human presence is minimal in the deck, it really doesn’t affect how this deck reads. If anything it mixes the traditional RWS scenes with pips in just the right amount. When I was reading with it, I found this didn't upset the balance of my readings as it has in the past with decks excluding live human figures. All this does is encourage you to tune into your intuition to deliver a different reading every time. This deck is full of feel good vibes which you will find will make you smile. I find this deck to be both easy to read with and non-intimidating to people who aren’t quite comfortable with the tarot. All I can foresee is delight over how beautiful the cards are.

The fantastical aspects to Tarotwave are quite stellar. I could easily see myself navigating through a fictional cyberspace in which these elements all come to life and interact with one another. If you are a writer and you want to break out of a writing funk, this deck is certainly for you. Just let your imagination run as you dream up a crazy cyberpunk alternate reality, somewhere in a world no one could even fathom how to arrive at without a secret pass code or a hidden key.

Tech and Tumblr witches love this deck already. I could see the cards being worked into amulets for iPhone and iPad screens, discrete enough not to be noticed by people who are not in the practice of the craft. It's so useful for this! As if we needed another reason to purchase this deck...

If nothing else, these are 78 exceptional art pieces to delight your day in an affirmative way with their retro tones. I got very positive vibes from the deck as I was reading with it, and the fact it doesn't have any really scary scenes makes it less intimidating for people who are reluctant to seek readings.

This deck arrived in the perfect time to enjoy it. With its vivid colors I feel like it is a deck I will reach out to use every summer especially. It can really be enjoyed all year round if you like. It’s just so full of life, I'm delighted pairing this deck with the current season. Sit out in the garden, have your pet with you, sip on something cool as you fan our 78 steps for where your next day will go.

What is your most important characteristic?
Death. I can get you to accept radical changes that you have no control over. Where letting go starts out as an obstacle for most, in your experience with this deck you will come to realize why letting go is important. Sometimes we take our problems too seriously and then later come to see it’s all in our heads.

Stop living inside your head. Get out there and live to see yourself achieve you full potential. Don’t hold yourself back.

What are your strengths as a tarot deck?
Six of Cups. I’ll give you a thorough understanding of events from your past that used to confuse you. You can look in hindsight with more clarity to reach acceptance of reality, or aspects of it you might be in conflict with. A reality check to keep you from viewing reality through rose-colored glasses, if you will.

What are your limits?
Temperance. Some events require patience for time to pass before we can have our turn to influence our circumstances. Despite our intentions we cannot always be behind the wheel or somehow in control of the next direction we are going in. Controlling impulses is a challenge in self-mastery, and it is something that is also accomplished over time. We need to learn to work with what we have until more is made available to us. With that said, keep this in mind and you will suffer less.

What are you here to teach me?
Nine of Cups. It is possible to be happy even if not everything turns out the way you wanted it to. Part of what frees us of our constraints is when we accept reality for what it is, without being bothered by the things we have no control over. It feels like true happiness is achieved when we find ourselves grounded in present time, appreciating the little gestures that give our life light and color.

There is so much to enjoy right in front of us, and we can lose the perspective easily when we focus on that one small thing we don’t have. In hindsight, the things we want won’t necessarily present a radical change in our lives. Once we sate our thirst for something we’ve been in search of, something new becomes the object of our desire. Be happy with what you’ve got in the moment and you’ll be free of the stress of not having.

How can I best learn to collaborate with you?
Three of Wands. Use these cards to identify steps in your journey. These steps are opportunities for turning points or trying new things. Find the highlighted alternative routes and you will then find the options are numerous. We spend a lot of time waiting on and actively seeking to act to make our dreams come true.

What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
Justice. Finding a balance for our lives is a tricky task to undertake. It can take numerous attempts until we find the way to achieve progress. Each new boundary surpassed is an achievement and should keep us motivated. By being mindful of where we want to go, we shape a clearer path for ourselves. It makes navigating through life easier, and difficult choices manageable to make.

Which card do you want to show off?
Three of Coins. This card shows off some computer monitors and an outrun style city scape.

We are in the midst of a hive. There are countless lives coexisting all around one another, working towards the accomplishment of their own goals. Chasing our own dreams can take up a lot of time and energy, but that’s what we are all in the quest of. There is an underlying current beneath it all. As we concentrate, the silence we leave in the environment around us speaks for itself. As we are occupied working on what matters to us, all the problems that distract us from our best selves melt away. This is a key moment, where we take the present time and claim it for our own, working on something that matters to us and validates our existence.

How do you see me?
Three of Cups. Full of life, thriving when connecting with others. Despite how draining social interactions can be for introverts, you bask in the love of your close circle of friends and loved ones. They are your pillars, keeping you sane in times of stress and celebrating with you when you’re enjoying the pleasures life has to offer. A smile is contagious, and so is genuine laughter.

How do you see yourself?
Page of Coins. Brand new to the world, published recently. This deck offers a refreshing look into the world of tarot. If you let it sway you along, you could find yourself breaking free of traditional meanings and into new grounds. You surprise yourself when you allow yourself to be led by the clues. Using this deck with others can set a safe environment in which they can open up to you and not feel intimidated by the cards that fall on the table.

This deck arrived with a “wish you were here…” postcard. The finishing touch for a kiss of summer, wouldn’t you think?

I am very surprised with the results I got when reading with this deck. Definitely give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.

There you have it. Hope you're enjoying the summer!