The Vampire Tarot Deck by Nathalie Hertz     Review by Robert Moyer

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Quote: (From the instruction booklet.) "The Vampire Tarot offers a unique view into the surreal."  Indeed, this it does. Images of the Vampire Tarot are sharp, angular, very dark and definitely surreal, often haunting, sometimes ugly. This is not to say that the images are unpleasing. I am not familiar with these dark images though. I consider myself a vampire aficionado, and have read many of the works on such fascinating and dark creatures. I personally have portrayed many of these known creatures in my acting career. But, I don't know these vampires. This is not bad, but at the same time, now that I have seen them, I don't want to know them anymore. I will say that the images do contradict the stereotypes we know. Perhaps Ms. Hertz was striving to not be cliché.

As pure art work Ms. Hertz has achieved a beautifully evocative and provocative expression of tarot, albeit a bit too dark for my tastes.

When a new deck comes into my hands I immediately judge whether I like the deck by the images on the Major Arcana or the deck. For the most part I do like these images especially that of the Hermit and Hanged Man. The Hermit is reminiscent of Nosferatu. I like that. The Hanged Man appearing as a hanging bat is almost whimsical. I found the Devil cold, not charismatic at all. I would have almost liked to have seen the images of Dracula utilized here. When I would concentrate this image of the Devil, I would see the length of his fangs and wish I could recommend a good orthodontist. The central figure of The World card is not masculine as the booklet suggests. For me it appears more like a dominatrix. Why? I have always thought The World should be of neither gender, yet of both.

It is the use of what I might call "punk rock" visions in the work that somewhat throws me. I look upon punk rock as making something of potential beauty ugly and visa versa. Thus making ugly endurable. Perhaps I am taking this a bit too seriously.

I feel Ms. Hertz had more fun with the Minor Arcana, based on the symbology and the near cartoon effect I sense from the art work. I like the court cards less. My favorite pip cards are the Three and Four of Cups, and the Six of Pentacles because of the playfulness of the meanings. I saw Lestat in the Page of Cups. Strange how the suit of Wands suggests the image of the stake, the Swords suggests coldness of thought, the Cups the heat of passion, and the Pentacles the diplomacy and practicality of matter.

Nathalie Hertz was born in France in 1968. She studied at the Art School of Rienes; in France. Her techniques are primarily gouache, coloring pencils, India and Colored Ink and black lead. She works the mediums well. Making me want to see the originals, the larger picture. Ms. Hertz is an avid Tarot collector and hopes to give her readers a positive insight to life. I feel she missed out on this last point in the Vampire Tarot, but has created a more lasting and positive image for her readers in her Fantastical Tarot. The Vampire deck is clever and well thought out; a good tool for Neo-Gothics.

If you would like to purchase this deck, click here.

Read another review of this deck here.

Vampire Tarot by Nathalie Hertz
Published by US Games
ISBN#: 1-57281-291-5

Cards © 2000 US Games
Review © 2001 Robert Moyer
Page © 2001 Diane Wilkes

Robert Moyer is a Certified Tarot Master with the American Tarot Association. He has been reading Tarot since the age of 19; and been doing cartomancy since the age of 13.  He is the host of an alternative thought program on a local station, BCTV, called "Tuning In."  Robert does professional consultations and classes in Reading, Allentown, and the Baltimore area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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