One of the main reasons I don’t read the Tarot with reversals is because of how a reversed image disrupts my intuitive flow. The thing that first grabbed my attention about the Vice Versa Tarot deck was the thought that this was a deck that would allow for reversals without the cards being upside down. This doesn’t mean I am about to adopt a binary view of the cards; I still believe in each arcanum carrying the full spectrum of light and dark but I thought this might be a quicker way of seeing which end of the spectrum we are dealing with. I also hoped that this might be a way to add more depth to my readings. In order to find out the full implications of having two images for each card, I will probably have to work with the deck for quite a while though.
The Vice Versa Tarot deck and book set reviewed here was created by Massimiliano Filadoro and Davide Corsi. The lushly illustrated companion book is written by Lunea Featherstone. You can also buy the Tarot deck on its own. Chatting to some fellow Tarotists who already own this deck made me decide to get the set rather than just the deck and I’m glad I did because the book is well written and explains fully how one side differs from the other symbolically and in terms of interpretation for divination purposes. That’s not to say you can’t read intuitively with this RWS-based deck – you absolutely can… but you get clued in more quickly about some of the clever ideas behind the images if you have access to the book.
This is the first Lo Scarabeo set that I have bought that has the flip top lid with a magnetic lock. It seems the Schiffer Publishing way of presenting sets is catching on and you won’t hear me complaining about that. The box is sturdy and the cards are held in place by a card board frame inside the box. The book fits snugly on top of the cards and I believe it may be safe to store the cards upright in this box but as always, if you want to make sure the cards don’t bend at all in storage, lay the box flat.
I read in some reviews that the borderless (yay!) cards are rather thin. To me they are perfect. They feel a bit like more recent Llewellyn decks, i.e. smooth (though glossier), flexible and not too thick. The perfect thickness for easy shuffling of the cards. But I do appreciate that others may prefer thicker cardstock. I doubt very much I will see anyone complaining about the four language titles and ugly white borders being gone though. Rather than written titles, you have Numbers and symbols on the eggshell coloured bottom border.
The artwork is going to be down to personal taste of course but I really like it. It feels alive to me. I admire the artist’s imagination for coming up with the two sides of the cards in some really ingenious ways. For the court card ‘this’ side shows the outer person and for ‘that’ side, we get to see more of the inner life of a person. I can totally see how this might be very helpful in readings and may well be the strongest point in the case for creating a deck with double printed sides.
The same layout is used throughout the Minor Arcana in the Vice Versa Tarot companion book.
For the Majors we get a beautiful large print of each card image…
When it comes to shuffling the Vice Versa Tarot deck for the first time, I suggest spreading the cards out on a table, messing them around and lightly tossing them so that you get a good mix of ‘this’ way up and ‘that.’
Vice Versa Tarot Deck Interview
1. Describe yourself in three words or less – 9 of Swords
VVT: Total worrywort, insomniac
2. How would your best friend describe you using only three words? – Queen of Cups
VVTT: Sensitive and intuitive
3. What gift do you bring? – King of Wands
VTT: The ability to clarify your vision and set goals
Me: That’s great – both for myself and for clients… Awesome!
4. What do you expect in return? – The Hierophant (the only card that came out ‘reversed’)
VVT: The willingness to rebel against tradition and authority. You know your stuff so you are ready for a different take on the Tarot to expand your horizons.
Me: Damn straight!
5. How can you help me serve? – Knight of Wands
VVT: I can give you back a sense of adventure about the Tarot… It should be fun, yes? The more fun you have with it, the more you and your clients will benefit from the lessons I bring.
Me: That makes total sense.
6. Is there anything else you would like to tell me about yourself? – Queen of Wands
VVT: I can really light the creative fire under your belly if you use me to brainstorm for writing projects etc. I’m also great for giving make-over advice.
Me: Yay, I have a really good feeling about working together with you!
My own thoughts after the interview with the Vice Versa Tarot: With four court cards in this reading out of a total of six cards, I feel this deck is going to be really great for looking into personal development issues. I can’t wait to see how the ‘outer’ vs ‘inner’ aspects will affect the readings… There is a lot of Fire there too, which is great for stoking the embers of creativity. This is a humble deck that doesn’t seem to realise how awesome it truly is. I’m really looking forward to getting to know the Vice Versa Tarot better!
Love and Blessings,