Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Vampire Tarot : Part 2

Earlier this week I posted about this Tarot deck. I have a Tarot collection (related to Jungian psychology), but no longer do readings.

I'd purchased this gorgeous deck a week ago, but waited until the time was right to open the box: Tonight. Actually I've not yet removed the shrink wrap from the cards themselves to savor the art, and won't until the time is right.

A bit of humor: The box lid is difficult to remove from the box itself. It is a very snug fit and it occurred to me if an actual vampire had this much trouble lifting a coffin lid, s/he'd have suffocated already - lol!

Tucked inside the black gem of a box is the shrink-wrapped deck of cards, snug in a recessed compartment; above and covering the cards is a beautiful soft-cover book which design matches the box lid's exterior. It is 227 pages and filled not only with an overview of Bram Stoker's "Dracula," but also a history of the Tarot and then a general (though concise) history of vampirism in Europe.

If you've ever wondered why vampire legends abounded in Eastern Europe versus Western Europe (I vaguely have but never pursued it), I came across an interesting bit of history in the book: After "The Great Schism" of 1054 (the split of the eastern Greek Church and western Roman Catholic), the Greek Church continued its belief in vampires, i.e. that an uncorrupted corpse was a sign of an evildoer whom sacred ground had rejected. The RC Church held a radically different view: Uncorrupted corpses were a sure sign of a saint. Also (going further back in time), during Charlemagne's reign (800 - 814 AD) the RC Church forbade belief in vampires. However, once the Inquisition geared up centuries know the rest: "Everyone's a heretic" -- including the now very real vampire.

I am very much looking forward to reading the **treasure trove** of historical information in the book!

Another humorous note: While browsing through the short section on Tarot history and black/white reproduced images of standard (other deck) Trumps, I thought I read "Lemonade." :-O Huh?! No, it is "Le Monde": French for "The World" of course.

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