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!

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