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Victorian Romantic Tarot Kit: Based on Original Victorian Engravings Paperback – 11 Sep 2006


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Paperback, 11 Sep 2006
£481.55
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Product details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Magic Realist Press; Box Tcr Cr edition (11 Sept. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905572026
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905572021
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 16.6 x 4.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,297,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By ILONACAT on 20 Oct. 2006
Format: Paperback
Tarot decks designed by the Magic Realist Press, in the form of Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov, are rapidly becoming decks against which other Tarots are judged. First there was the Tarot of Prague, then the Baroque Bohemian Cats Tarot, both beautifully-judged collage decks, the kind of collage where you can't spot the joins. Two more Tarot decks followed, and an Oracle, also two fine books demonstrating the same high artistic standards and, also, sense of fun.

So we get to the Victorian Romantic Tarot, not a collage deck but a deck composed of 78 Victorian engravings, some of them spliced together, or cropped, or otherwise altered to enhance the required effect. Apart from a couple of cards, none of these images is well-known, and many of their creators (from Germany, from what is now the Czech Republic, from France and Britain and America) are now completely forgotten. But what images ! There is medievalism and the Victorian love of the Orient (the Emperor is an Egyptian pharoah, the Hierophant an Islamic teacher). There are scenes of Ancient Greece and Rome, and quite a few fairies and nympths, and there are many genre paintings depicting realistic aspects of Victorian life.

And it's not just art, it also does work very well as Tarot, with the images matched beautifully with the usual interpretations. The Rider-Waite tradition is a guiding influence but the images are much richer than that remark might imply-they are great to use in any form of creative work as so many of them suggest a narrative. I am finding them a joy to work with, both in readings and in creative writing exercises and as meditative tools.

Tarot enthusiasts who wish to discover a deep, attractive and effective deck would be advised to look at this one. It would also please any lovers of Victoriana, whether or not they are acquainted with Tarot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Beaver on 28 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
This deck has hit the spot for me. I've used many decks over the years and studied scores of others to try and find the deck that fits me. In one of my reviews I described the Druid Craft Tarot as possibly the best yet, but I've had to change my mind.

I wish this deck had been around longer to spend more time with it. Never has a deck had a better capacity for narrative than this one. The images are so well chosen and manipulated. There is little occult nonsense nor an artificial system enforced on it, just great images that respects tarot imagery but goes further. Some of these cards just blew me away with the power of the images especially The Star, The Moon, 6 of Swords and the Aces. I won't pretend that every one is perfect, but this deck has fewer duffs than any other I've seen

These cards really work well for helping readers through their problems. Alternatively they would be perfect for stimulating creative writing, or for meditation.

The colours are good - not too garish as befits the Victorian era - and the card stock perfect for shuffling and handling.

The accompanying booklet is by far the best I've ever come across. It deserves recognition for the writing quality on its own. The authors write clearly, offering insights into life that are mature, sensitive, humorous, down-to-earth, profound and helpful. Read their meaning of the 4 of wands for example. There is a very sensible account of the tarot and its uses. I am happy to just read through the book at bed time, treating it as good literature and a guide to life. Using this deck is very much a guide to life, which is the purpose of the tarot.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After seeing a friend's deck, I ordered this through Amazon only to learn afterwards it was book only. The seller was contacted for me and she VERY kindly added the card deck wrapped in her own purple silk scarf with no price increase. They therefore feel special as well as containing an enormous amount of easily translatable symbolism in beautiful pictures. I'm delighted !!! I just wish descriptions of items are described as "whole" or "parts of" (instead of "paperback" - as opposed to hardback) to avoid confusion. The 'Amazon Help' personnel have been very helpful in such matters, thank you.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 18 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Another Beautiful Deck From Baba Studio 30 Nov. 2006
By Janet Boyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"When Alex and I first decided to do this deck, we were driven, quite simply, by finding a remarkable old edition of a book of art engravings published in Germany in the late nineteenth century. Looking through the very dusty pages, we were excited by the pictures that we found there. So much of the work we saw had been largely overlooked or even denigrated by formal art history. Neither Pre-Raphaelite or Impressionist, it mostly fell into the categories of Victorian genre painting, or Victorian Classicism, which nowadays quite unfashionable. Yet it was often done with extreme technical skill and, it weemed to us, with narrative flair too. These were paintings that, first and foremost, told stories." - From the companion book

Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov--the creative pair from baba studio that birthed the Tarot of Prague, Baroque Bohemian Cats' Tarot and The Fairytale Tarot--have turned their attention on little-known 19th century art.

The result? The Victorian Romantic Tarot.

As with The Fairytale Tarot, one of my favorite elements of this box set is Karen's insightful prose. I have read every word of the 216-page companion book, and as always, I've come away with new insights about the Tarot. The Victorian Romantic Tarot serves up juxtaposition between two worlds, which multiplies possible meanings for the cards. For example, the unabashed female Devil card could indicate that "wickedness can bring both independence and liberation" just as much as pointing to materialistic indulgence!

And while most associate steely determination with The Chariot, the authors' choice of image could just as readily point to "enjoying the ride", as indicated by two of four the female riders. So is the destination--perhaps ruthless pursued--the goal...or is the joy in the journey?

Despite the images culled from a "bygone" era, The Victorian Romantic Tarot expands the meanings and applications of many--if not all--the cards, as Karen's insights actually updates the Tarot for modern sensibilities. (No easy feat!)

Admittedly, I'm no fan of history, but the historical and social tidbits found in the companion book are downright fascinating. For example, Karen mentions how most of us take for granted that childhood is a special time and that children need to be treated differently from adults. Yet, in the mid-1800's, children were regarded as "little adults"--and could even be tried and sentenced to death for petty crime. In the description of the 6 of Cups card, we find out that one such child--only 8 years old--was hung in London!

When elaborating on the 4 of Swords card, the author mentions the tomb-effigy of the RWS card--and mentions how tombs are often inscribed with epitaphs. Summing up a life in a few words, the idea of epitaphs as related to the 4 of Swords card does indeed lead us to another profound way of thinking: perhaps the time of "retreat" indicated by this card points to consider our life purpose? (Or, in my case, during a personal reading I realized--thanks to Karen's insights--that a reversed 4 of Swords indicated that it would be best if I STOPPED ruminating about "the purpose of my life"!)

I loved how the author compared and contrasted The Hermit and The Hanged Man on page 62, as well as her correlation with the 4 of Wands to rock concerts--a place where one is "permitted" to be a bit outrageous, much like the costumed show-women illustrated on the Victorian Romantic Tarot version of this card. I found it interesting that Karen mentions that the buttoned-up crowd may well envy the outrageousness and spontaneity of these women, but to the performers, it's "just another day's work". Recently, I read some portions of a memoir by the drummer of my favorite rock band. I was surprised--and, admittedly, disappointed--that he viewed his performance as "work"...and that he considered fans a nuisance. Much like the perspectives shared by Ms. Mahony, it goes to show that the grass may NOT be greener on "the stage"--and that even our personal idols or those we envy have their own issues and demons (and perhaps see their fame, talent, and fortune far different than their fans!).

Two other cards of note from the Victorian Romantic Tarot are Temperance--which shows a woman steering a boat, reminding us the value of navigating a "middle path", and The Tower, which shows two men clinging to a capsized boat reminiscent of the Christian cross--perhaps reminding us of the value of faith during hard times. (In fact, those familiar and comfortable with Christian iconography will find this deck especially accessible, in my opinion.)

Karen's explanation of the Court cards is especially adept--rescuing them from the annals of rote memory and thrusting them into living, breathing states of being. What a treasure, especially since the Courts are often the most problematic cards for Tarot readers!

The images of The Victorian Romantic Tarot are expressive enough to be read on their own, but I feel the companion book adds much depth and breadth to this deck. When I first saw the images of these cards, I admit to being less than thrilled. I just didn't resonate with the imagery, despite the illustrations conveying all-too-human emotions and scenarios. However, after reading the companion book, the cards seemed to "open up" for me.

While I did perform several readings with this deck--including the "Looking Back, Looking Forward" spread created expressly for The Victorian Romantic Tarot--I feel that, for me, it's probably a deck best for journaling and self reflection. (Then again, I rarely read for myself for divinatory purposes--maybe only a few times a year.) I haven't yet read for clients, but did read for my husband. The reading I performed for him was actually quite amusing and literal, as well as accurate: he asked me what he needed to do to feel better, and I drew The Hanged Man, the 10 of Wands, and the 3 of Pentacles. He quickly pointed out that he needed to suspend/stop (Hanged Man) working 10 hour shifts (!) and focus on having fun with me and my son (the 3 of Pentacles, which, incidentally, shows a man carving a toy from the branch of a Christmas tree. Christmas happens to be our favorite holiday, and my 8 year old already has his tree up!) So we got quite a laugh about the literalness of this deck, especially since my husband is growing tired of the mandatory 10-hour days he's been having to work for the last few weeks!

Well, on to a bit of pesky housekeeping for those who require certain specifications with a Tarot deck:

* The Majors are unnumbered, so you can use Justice and Strength any way you darn well please
* The suits are Cups/Water, Swords/Air, Wands/Fire, and Pentacles/Earth
* Court Cards are Page, Knight, Queen and King
* Card backings are fully reversible, with an intricate gilt filigree framed by lovely burgundy lines and tiny heart accents
* In addition to upright meanings, reversals are also given consideration in the companion book
* There are two Lovers cards, but you can only get the extra card if you buy the Gold edition from the creators
* Six spreads are provided, including two designed for use with The Victorian Romantic Tarot. Sample readings of both are explained--with illustrations

The Victorian Romantic Tarot would make a fine first deck for those new to Tarot, especially if the images resonate. Tarot enthusiasts and seasoned users will find something new in this box set, thanks to Karen's sparkling, insightful prose. Granted, there are some typos and errors in this book (e.g. page 146 says "the 8 of Wands" instead of the correct "8 of Swords" and "sale off" is mistakenly used instead of "sail off"), but they become rather "so what?" in light of this fresh offering to the Tarot world.

Kudos to Karen and Alex for another great Tarot deck!

(To see 10 card images from this deck, visit the Reviews--Decks section at [...])

Janet Boyer, author of The Back in Time Tarot Book: Picture the Past, Experience the Cards, Understand the Present (coming Fall 2008 from Hampton Roads Publishing)
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The Box Set 21 Nov. 2006
By Janet Boyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
(Note: This review is about the box set, which includes Ms. Mahony's companion book. The deck alone doesn't come with the companion book.)

"When Alex and I first decided to do this deck, we were driven, quite simply, by finding a remarkable old edition of a book of art engravings published in Germany in the late nineteenth century. Looking through the very dusty pages, we were excited by the pictures that we found there. So much of the work we saw had been largely overlooked or even denigrated by formal art history. Neither Pre-Raphaelite or Impressionist, it mostly fell into the categories of Victorian genre painting, or Victorian Classicism, which nowadays quite unfashionable. Yet it was often done with extreme technical skill and, it weemed to us, with narrative flair too. These were paintings that, first and foremost, told stories." - From the companion book

Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov--the creative pair from baba studio that birthed the Tarot of Prague, Baroque Bohemian Cats' Tarot and The Fairytale Tarot--have turned their attention on little-known 19th century art.

The result? The Victorian Romantic Tarot.

As with The Fairytale Tarot, one of my favorite elements of this box set is Karen's insightful prose. I have read every word of the 216-page companion book, and as always, I've come away with new insights about the Tarot. The Victorian Romantic Tarot serves up juxtaposition between two worlds, which multiplies possible meanings for the cards. For example, the unabashed female Devil card could indicate that "wickedness can bring both independence and liberation" just as much as pointing to materialistic indulgence!

And while most associate steely determination with The Chariot, the authors' choice of image could just as readily point to "enjoying the ride", as indicated by two of four the female riders. So is the destination--perhaps ruthless pursued--the goal...or is the joy in the journey?

Despite the images culled from a "bygone" era, The Victorian Romantic Tarot expands the meanings and applications of many--if not all--the cards, as Karen's insights actually updates the Tarot for modern sensibilities. (No easy feat!)

Admittedly, I'm no fan of history, but the historical and social tidbits found in the companion book are downright fascinating. For example, Karen mentions how most of us take for granted that childhood is a special time and that children need to be treated differently from adults. Yet, in the mid-1800's, children were regarded as "little adults"--and could even be tried and sentenced to death for petty crime. In the description of the 6 of Cups card, we find out that one such child--only 8 years old--was hung in London!

When elaborating on the 4 of Swords card, the author mentions the tomb-effigy of the RWS card--and mentions how tombs are often inscribed with epitaphs. Summing up a life in a few words, the idea of epitaphs as related to the 4 of Swords card does indeed lead us to another profound way of thinking: perhaps the time of "retreat" indicated by this card points to consider our life purpose? (Or, in my case, during a personal reading I realized--thanks to Karen's insights--that a reversed 4 of Swords indicated that it would be best if I STOPPED ruminating about "the purpose of my life"!)

I loved how the author compared and contrasted The Hermit and The Hanged Man on page 62, as well as her correlation with the 4 of Wands to rock concerts--a place where one is "permitted" to be a bit outrageous, much like the costumed show-women illustrated on the Victorian Romantic Tarot version of this card. I found it interesting that Karen mentions that the buttoned-up crowd may well envy the outrageousness and spontaneity of these women, but to the performers, it's "just another day's work". Recently, I read some portions of a memoir by the drummer of my favorite rock band. I was surprised--and, admittedly, disappointed--that he viewed his performance as "work"...and that he considered fans a nuisance. Much like the perspectives shared by Ms. Mahony, it goes to show that the grass may NOT be greener on "the stage"--and that even our personal idols or those we envy have their own issues and demons (and perhaps see their fame, talent, and fortune far different than their fans!).

Two other cards of note from the Victorian Romantic Tarot are Temperance--which shows a woman steering a boat, reminding us the value of navigating a "middle path", and The Tower, which shows two men clinging to a capsized boat reminiscent of the Christian cross--perhaps reminding us of the value of faith during hard times. (In fact, those familiar and comfortable with Christian iconography will find this deck especially accessible, in my opinion.)

Karen's explanation of the Court cards is especially adept--rescuing them from the annals of rote memory and thrusting them into living, breathing states of being. What a treasure, especially since the Courts are often the most problematic cards for Tarot readers!

The images of The Victorian Romantic Tarot are expressive enough to be read on their own, but I feel the companion book adds much depth and breadth to this deck. When I first saw the images of these cards, I admit to being less than thrilled. I just didn't resonate with the imagery, despite the illustrations conveying all-too-human emotions and scenarios. However, after reading the companion book, the cards seemed to "open up" for me.

While I did perform several readings with this deck--including the "Looking Back, Looking Forward" spread created expressly for The Victorian Romantic Tarot--I feel that, for me, it's probably a deck best for journaling and self reflection. (Then again, I rarely read for myself for divinatory purposes--maybe only a few times a year.) I haven't yet read for clients, but did read for my husband. The reading I performed for him was actually quite amusing and literal, as well as accurate: he asked me what he needed to do to feel better, and I drew The Hanged Man, the 10 of Wands, and the 3 of Pentacles. He quickly pointed out that he needed to suspend/stop (Hanged Man) working 10 hour shifts (!) and focus on having fun with me and my son (the 3 of Pentacles, which, incidentally, shows a man carving a toy from the branch of a Christmas tree. Christmas happens to be our favorite holiday, and my 8 year old already has his tree up!) So we got quite a laugh about the literalness of this deck, especially since my husband is growing tired of the mandatory 10-hour days he's been having to work for the last few weeks!

Well, on to a bit of pesky housekeeping for those who require certain specifications with a Tarot deck:

* The Majors are unnumbered, so you can use Justice and Strength any way you darn well please
* The suits are Cups/Water, Swords/Air, Wands/Fire, and Pentacles/Earth
* Court Cards are Page, Knight, Queen and King
* Card backings are fully reversible, with an intricate gilt filigree framed by lovely burgundy lines and tiny heart accents
* In addition to upright meanings, reversals are also given consideration in the companion book
* There are two Lovers cards, but you can only get the extra card if you buy the Gold edition from the creators
* Six spreads are provided, including two designed for use with The Victorian Romantic Tarot. Sample readings of both are explained--with illustrations

The Victorian Romantic Tarot would make a fine first deck for those new to Tarot, especially if the images resonate. Tarot enthusiasts and seasoned users will find something new in this box set, thanks to Karen's sparkling, insightful prose. Granted, there are some typos and errors in this book (e.g. page 146 says "the 8 of Wands" instead of the correct "8 of Swords" and "sale off" is mistakenly used instead of "sail off"), but they become rather "so what?" in light of this fresh offering to the Tarot world.

Kudos to Karen and Alex for another great Tarot deck!

(To see 10 card images from this deck, visit the Reviews--Decks section at [...])

Janet Boyer, author of The Back in Time Tarot Book: Picture the Past, Experience the Cards, Understand the Present (coming Fall 2008 from Hampton Roads Publishing)
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
excellent book with delightful and thoughtful images 4 Nov. 2006
By Elizabeth Cherry Owen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well..

Those Magic Realists just continue to delight. I have been working with this deck daily for about two weeks now- since its first arrival on the shores of Maine- and I continue to astonished by the seamless intergration of art with meaning. Both Alex and Karen are brilliant artists and thinkers!!!!

I have studied Victorian art for twenty-five years, so perhaps this is the deck for which I have been just waiting to come along. (My sister says I am not allowed to use the word "resonate" anymore-it sounds too trendy)
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A wonderfull deck, it flows! 23 Dec. 2006
By M. Meunier - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I just received my Victorian Romantic tarot , and was so thrill.

The packaging was nice. The cards are very beautiful, somewhat unusual and intriguing at first, a little different from what one expect, but very close from the Rider-Waite interpretation. It is very hard to describe.

At first, I didn't dare to use them. This is the first deck that gave me this strange feeling, but after a few days, I just can't leave them alone. And I love them.

Sure the cards are beautiful, very beautiful and frankly very more striking than the scan on the net. The printing is very well done, sharp and crisp, the cards are flexible and thin, some complain, but it is very fine for me and they seem resistant enough. And they are easy to mix.

The deck is really striking, and I am very thrill with it. It was love at first sight and I know that this love will last. I would buy it again! And again n gold!

By the way, I love so much these pictures that I ordered a regular kit from Amazon just to get the book and the descriptions of the sources and inspiration!.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Not what I ordered...but beautiful. 9 Aug. 2011
By Kami Robinson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered "The Victorian Romantic Tarot KIT", but I received the RUSSIAN version of "The Victorian Romantic Tarot CARDS" only. I will not be returning the deck because it is a beautiful deck, and OOP. (Out Of Print) I have been attempting for some time to acquire the3 English version , and the KIT! I really wanted the book to help with card interpretations. As it is I had to look up the deck on "Magic Realist Press"'s website, to even identify the cards. The deck was un-opened. However when I opened it I was surprised to find the cards out of order, some even upside down. Several of the cards have a flaw that almost looks like a crease or a line 1/3 of the way down. It's not bad, but I noticed it. Obviously this was a printing fault , rather than a fault of the seller. However it IS the sellers fault that they were advertised as the full KIT, not a deck only. And while I had looked at the Russian version before, I did NOT order it. I am not deducting any stars because the deck itself is wonderful. I LOVE everything Karen and Alex make! I highly recommend any and all products by Baba Studio's and Magic Realist Press! I am thrilled to finally own these cards , they will just require a bit of extra effort on my part to learn them, and track down a companion book. (also OOP!) I believe all the extra effort in acquiring and learning this deck will bond me to it deeper and will pay off in spades in the readings!
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