Gothic Tarot by Vargo

Here is a review I wrote for Aeclectic, it was edited, and I’m putting it here (unedited), since I wrote it, might give reviews of my other decks as well.

Gothic Tarot by Vargo

Imagine a world filled with mist, darkness and gloom where light shines through. Elegant, passionate and sensual characters wander through the mist and the darkness of this world, their hearts full of darkness and full of light. Vampires, werewolves, witches, gargoyles, angels, ghosts, are among the characters found on the cards. Each of them reveals the cards’s meanings in a particular way. The Gothic Tarot is an awesome gothic deck wonderfully drawn by the talented Joseph Vargo.

The Gothic Tarot is published independantly by Vargo himself. There is no need to be worried though, the publication is done professionaly, the box is nice and the little white book well done. The deck in itself is of good quality for an independant publication, the cards are a bit thin though; they have a hard smell, that goes away after a few weeks, and unfortunatly the scratches appear better because of the black background. The little white book is pretty average for a LWB. Frankly, this deck is so great it would have been neat to have a real small book with it, with Vargo talking about his deck and the cards and his art, similarly to the small book that comes with The Golden Tarot (Kat Black). Many have made that suggestion. (message to Vargo: Please! Please!) I suggest, for those who love this deck, to buy a second copy while the deck is still available.

Thankfully for everyone, as Vargo was working on the majors, and wanting to have unillustrated pips for the minor arcana, he heard about the Rider-Waite Smith Tarot and its fully illustrated pips. This is what gave him the idea to fully illustrate the minors. I’m saying thankfully because, even though the majors are really well done, the prettiest cards are among the minors. I don’t think I would have loved this deck as much as I do if the minors would have not been illustrated. The minors follow the RWS’s tradition. The titles are regular RWS titles, even though Strength and Justice are switch, la Marseille (Justice being VIII and Strength being XI). The back of the cards is not reversible. The deck is larger than average (7.5 cm X 12.6 cm), which allows for the art to come out better, and for this deck, it’s just perfect.

Many cards in the deck are based on previous art of works by Joseph Vargo. It seems Vargo had some fun reinventing his art to fit with the meanings of the cards. I don’t know if Vargo created some art specificaly for this tarot though. Be happy, the collage work doesn’t show. So, getting the deck is a cheap way to get most of Vargo’s art of works, especially at 15$US, with free shipping to the US residents (you have to buy it directly to Vargo’s website though for that).
While some might think this deck is just an art deck or a curiosity, one of those theme decks, this deck is actually quite workable, deep and intuitive. Even though the atmosphere is dark and gothic, the readings are not necessery dark and negative. I have made many light, good and positive readings with it, contrary to what people might think, and to the surprise of my querents. There’s not as much blood in the deck as people think. The effects are usually more atmospheric and left to the imagination than fully showed.

Here’s what I wrote for The Lovers – VI:

The back of the card is the same as the Empress and the High Priest. Here are the Lovers, in a door within a vault. The arch has a pillar on each side, and on each side of the arch stands the guardians (representing an initiation), skeletons with wings. A woman, wearing a white nightgown, is embraced tenderly and passionatly from behind by a vampire dressed in black, and gives her a kiss on the neck, before bitting her and making her belong to him, joined in eternity.
Him, dressed in black, and her, in white, makes me think of this act as a loss of innocence, loss of virginity. The others cards before refered to spiritual and material aspect, with this one is emotional, passionate and sexual. Giving yourself totally, your love, your body, your blood and your soul. And this is also a big commitment, for it is for eternity. She still can run away, if she really wants to, I don’t think this vampire would take her by force; it is entire up to her to stay or not, she has to surrender to be taken.

The Gothic Tarot is dear to my heart and I’m more than happy to have it in my collection. It fulfills the Romantic (and here I’m talking about the Romantic period in the 19th century), dark and gothic in me. The deck softly whispers to your ears and chats with you, hypnotic, and invites you in… Will you succumb?

If you want to study this deck and seek its depth, you can go to The Gothic Tarot by Vargo Study Group Forum on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum here: http://www.tarotforum.net/forumdisplay.php?f=103

Vargo’s Gothic Website

This is a past blog entry from MySpace.

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The joy of a new cell phone

I got myself a cell phone lately. I’m stuck with some undesirables who keep calling me and plenty of wrong numbers which I still get 5 years later after moving in here. The worse with the wrong phone number category is that they actually call the right number but not the right person, so sometimes they harass me persuaded the person they want to talk to simply doesn’t want to talk to them, and they keep calling anyway. I remember when I got this phone number I was happy to see how easy it is to remember, how simple, something like 1234. Now I regret it because there are people out there who give my phone number as fake in order to get rid of some people, and guess who ends up dealing with them? If at least people were confusing my number with some restaurant I would take it better, after all who doesn’t get confused on a new number, plus now if you don’t punch your number in the coming 2 seconds you have to restart everything all over again, worse soon we will have to punch around 10-11 numbers just to call local… in 2 seconds. I got so many calls for one person in particular, I got to tell you, I hate this woman, I’m tempted to search her just to yell at her. Image hosting by Photobucket Image hosting by Photobucket Let’s not forget the telemarketers in the lot.

My problem is that I hate phones, hearing one ringing is to me an act of aggression and intrusion of my quiet home. So having people not leaving me any message on my answer machine and keep calling again and again, or leaving gibberish that doesn’t concern me is highly annoying. I was raised that phones were not to be answered, same with the door. Frankly I don’t understand people’s obsession with answering the phone and the door, babies died in their bath that way because mommy just couldn’t not answer the door or phone (I’m not kidding, this is a fact, tragedy like this happens everyday). This is oh so silly. Worse are the people with cell phones who end up with no private life anymore now that they’re accessible everywhere, and believe me, when a boss gives you a cell phone, it’s not a gift, it’s to ensure you’ll come to work at any time with no excuse at your disposal. I’ve always promised myself not to get one of those cell phones, but as they say: "Never say never".

I learned recently that cell phones numbers are not in the white papers. This is my main prerogative for getting a cell phone. Not only I get a new number but this one is unreachable, only people I know will use this one. Getting an answer machine is an extra I can’t afford so I’m not getting one but the knowledge only people I know will call will push me more to answer the phone compared to average time before when I was never doing it. I’ll get rid soon of my main line so there will only be my cell phone. I rarely speak on the phone so I won’t get conned on this matter since I have a quota and I have to pay extra for each extra minute, but since I never speak on the phone that won’t happen. Skype, MSN Messenger and emails fit my needs perfectly since everyone I know have the internet.

So I went to get the cell phone last week on friday. Even though I’m not fond of phones, I love technology, computers and gadgets so I was looking forward to play with it and see how it works. Now that I have it I’m not giving it back. It fulfills many of my needs strangely…

I’m a messy person. I’m a well organised, well planned, messy forgetful person. On one side my books and CDs are organized in an alphabetical and chorological way while everything else is a jungle. Or I should say was since I’ve changed a lot since, been working hard these last months. I followed on iVillage mini-courses on how to be more organised, while I was zealous during the courses my enthusiasm fell flat once it was over. Plus I’m a packrat, can’t throw anything in the garbage. It’s true at some point your possessions possess you. I had so much stuff it was driving me crazy, plus the mess… I even got a depression over my mess because it’s all I could see in my place, I was imprisoned by my possessions. Image hosting by Photobucket And when I’m too overwhelmed I end up giving up and not doing anything. Image hosting by Photobucket The website Get Organized Now! has helped me a lot in this matter, in particular her weekly newsletter with new tips and ways to boost you, including her blog and forums. I’ve done so much in the last year, I’ve thrown so much stuff in the garbage and recycle bin, gave many items away. I still have a lot of stuff but everything is neat and well arranged, I breath better now, everything is lighter. Now my challenge is to keep up with cleaning and well organizing my place and keeping it well arranged, which is easier said than done. Still, this winter I made another cleaning through my books and I have a bit more space on my bookshelves now, since I got new books I had to make space for them. I discovered the reasons that don’t help me in being well organised are that 1 – I’m a procrastinator, 2 – I’m lazy and 3 – my emotions sometimes make me not do anything whether because I’m a bit depressed or too happy because I don’t want to spoil my happiness with chores, 4 – I’m forgetful, so forgetful that I almost forgot to put it on the list. Of course, maybe you think here I’m being a little too obsessed, the problem here is that I’ve noticed that I’m very sensitive to my environment, my apartment has to be pretty and well arranged, open sunny and spacy, otherwise I get depressed. Last time it happened, I had the courage to get up and make the biggest clean up of my life, will I have this courage again? Now I just want to keep up so that I don’t get overwhelmed and controlled by my possessions again. In other words, I gained back the control of my life and I want to keep it. I’ve checked for agendas and calendars to put everything there in order to remember everything, all the things I have to do. The problem is I never check them. I’ve tried using my computer with alarms but my computer has to be open for this and it doesn’t work when I’m playing a game. The author on Get Organized Now! said to use something that we love as agendas and keep it close, since I love technology and gadgets, I thought about getting one of those pocketPC but they are way to expensive for me so I let it go.

Up until I got my cell phone, which comes with an agenda, calculator, alarm, memo, tasks manager, chrono, address book, etc. I downloaded some apps like lists manager, budget manager, tips calculator, etc. In other words, I have within my phone all the applications necessary to be well organised and all this for free since I didn’t buy my phone but got it for free with a 2-years contract. I’m rather very well impressed by the phone and as I said, I don’t plan to bring it back. Actually I use more the apps on it than the phone itself. I downloaded a few games as well so I know what to do when I’m stuck to wait in line. I had to do my shopping and to go to the grocery store and I had my lists on me in the phone and it was easier to deal with than the usual piece of paper I usually bring. Yeah, I’m starting to love those cell phones… Image hosting by PhotobucketImage hosting by PhotobucketImage hosting by Photobucket

In case you wonder which phone I got, here it is: Sony Ericsson K300a

Of course, I have to use Silent Hill midi tunes as ringtones.

This is a past blog entry from MySpace.