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isthmus nekoi's Avatar
isthmus nekoi  isthmus nekoi is offline
Join Date: 14 Aug 2001
Location: toronto, canada
Posts: 2,529
isthmus nekoi 
(((V e r t i g o)))

Welcome to the Vertigo study group!

Right now, we're a pretty small grp, but feel free to join in. We're hoping to discuss in the future:

- background of the comics used and how they relate to the respective cards
- maybe a little background on Dave McKean
- details about the cards that aren't mentioned in the book
- dealing w/reading the minors which deviate a lot from the traditional Rider Waite meanings

For your convenience, the entire deck (as well as lots of other wonderful Dave McKean art, including his Particle Tarot) is available for viewing here:
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truthsayer's Avatar
truthsayer  truthsayer is offline
Join Date: 08 Aug 2001
Location: where mists and dreams meet
Posts: 2,951
Thumbs up

i'd like to participate in this group but i don't know how time will go. i've got myself going into so many projects right now. but i do love the vertigo and will at least try to read the posts the rest of you post.
Top   #2
isthmus nekoi's Avatar
isthmus nekoi  isthmus nekoi is offline
Join Date: 14 Aug 2001
Location: toronto, canada
Posts: 2,529
isthmus nekoi 

I guess we can begin w/our intros!

I bought the Vertigo rerelease almost last year (Aug 2000). I wasn't really into tarot at the time, but I really love Dave McKean's artwork, plus I'd read a number of Sandman issues, as well as the Enigma. I had researched about tarot and really clicked w/the deck so I started using it right away. I didn't find it too dark - if anything, popular decks like Robin Wood struck me as too bright (not to say that I don't think RW isn't a great deck, it's just not for me)...

I liked how the images often subverted the traditional meanings of the cards, especially w/the abstract minors which I find fit closer to a numerical association - ie the dreaming 10s symbolizing wholeness, totality and completion. Granted, I found this made readings more difficult, esp when what Pollack had written wasn't working for me. There are certain cards I still struggle w/ even though they come up often. So if anyone has cards they have problems w/, or have any insights, I hope we can discuss them here.

Perhaps we can begin w/the majors that deviate greatly from the traditional meanings and then move onto the minors...

Majors that initially threw me for a loop:
The High Priestess (Mad Hettie?!!)
The Chariot

I know a lot of ppl don't like the Star card. I personally never had a problem w/it. I do find it is much rawer, more insistent, or urgent than Rider-Waite's Star. But I think the gold water is beautiful. The whole thing reminds me of Japanese rope bondage, although whether this is what Mr. McKean had in mind remains to be seen ^_~
Top   #3
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Riversea  Riversea is offline
Join Date: 27 Apr 2002
Location: Astoria, OR USA
Posts: 290
I'm here!

I started a new part-time job in late May, and so have been trying to settle into a routine. As a result, I haven't spent much time lately at Aeclectic.

We (my husband and I) purchased the original Vertigo Tarot release in 1995. We weren't that interested in Tarot at that time, but we were fans of the Sandman comics and Dave McKean's art. So, we bought the set when it was released. (And I continue to kick myself for not snapping up every Vertigo set our local comic shop had months later at half price. They couldn't sell them!!! sigh...)

When we first got it, we did a few spreads using the majors. We could sort of read many of them, since we had some familarity with most of the characters. The minors we didn't touch for the most part.

Due to the Vertigo deck, I have no fear of the Hierophant. In fact, I'm quite fond of it (and that affection has transfered across to the Hierophant in the other decks I have.)

It's a good thing that I learned to like the Hierophant early, it's become MY card. Numerlogically it's mine, and it shows up quite frequently in spreads. I recently got two new decks, did the new deck spread, and both times the first card pulled from the deck was my good friend, the Hierophant.

The Hierophant in the Vertigo is the Sandman himself- Lord Morpheus. From the comics, I was quite fond of the character and welcomed his card when it appeared for me.

My husband's favorite card is The Empress in the Vertigo. He thinks it might be his all-time favorite Tarot image.

Temperance is also a favorite of ours due to the humor of using the character of Delirium as the angel.

Our favorite cards, of course, are those that relate to the Sandman stories, though we also read Books of Magic (The Magician), The Geek (The Emperor), and Black Orchid (Strength).

I also find some of the images in the non-character cards wonderful. Judgement is quite joyful. The Star card has never bothered me, the use of the golden light/water is beautiful.

The cards, while on the darkish side, are more complex to me rather than actually dark.

I think I'd like to get a reprint of the deck, and save wear and tear on the original. The box has suffered some bumps and tears (our cat threw it on the floor a few times off of a high shelf!), but the book and cards are still in nice shape.

I'm looking forward to getting to know the majors better and the minors at all!
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isthmus nekoi's Avatar
isthmus nekoi  isthmus nekoi is offline
Join Date: 14 Aug 2001
Location: toronto, canada
Posts: 2,529
isthmus nekoi 

You know, I always thought Morpheus was *perfect* for the Hierophant, and I love this card too. It's my 'total animus' card, so V's got my fave depiction so far. In other decks, the guy can be portrayed as this stuck up patriarch related w/state systems like education and the spiritual part gets left on the periphery. True, Morpheus has a strong sense of order (such a stickler for hospitality!), but at the same time, the order of his realm - the dreaming - is not straightforward or logical... like how Cain's always killing poor Abel There's also something a little subversive w/choosing Dream, I think. While he may act according to his rules and order, stressing responsibility and what not, he still manages to constantly mess up his relationships w/women...

I like Judgment as a non-character card. It's like you can hear the horns crunching gold. Reminds me of a birthing, the opening of the horn like a uterus. I also think Destiny is an interesting choice as the Wheel of Fortune. It sort of shifts the meaning from the actual Fates themselves to knowing about them, or being conscious of them, or at least trying to be - his book is there, but you can't quite make out the words... I like the Fool as well - only read about John in an early Sandman, but I like the darker, not-so-innocent take.
Top   #5
Richard1  Richard1 is offline
Join Date: 01 Mar 2003
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 89

Eh, it looks like it's been a while since anyone's posted here, but what the hey.
The Vertigo deck was the first deck I ever Riversea, I wasn't into Tarot at all, but I loved Dave McKean. I used it a bit in '95, then put it away until last year, when I started working with it pretty extensively. Howver, due to the fact that most of the cards twist or subvert the traditional meanings, I moved on to the Thoth deck.
I still love the Vertigo cards, though. They seemed to give quite accurate readings...I just found it hard to move beyond the descriptions in the book, some of which weren't terribly helpful.
The Nine of Pentacles always bothered didn't seem like the money was being wasted, but rather thrown up into the air...a sign of abundance. I suppose that links it more to the traditional meaning, but it's the complete opposite of what Rachel Pollack says about it.
And yes, Morpheus wants a perfect Hierophant (although I think he would've made a good Magician as well), but I think we can all agree that the most perfect fit is Death...
Top   #6
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Silverlotus  Silverlotus is offline
Join Date: 31 Oct 2002
Location: Vaughan, ON, Canada
Posts: 991

I'm curious is the cards are useable if you have never read Sandman. I would guess that they would be more meaningful if you had, but are they all but useless without having read any of that comic?
Top   #7
truthsayer's Avatar
truthsayer  truthsayer is offline
Join Date: 08 Aug 2001
Location: where mists and dreams meet
Posts: 2,951

i think the deck is probably readable without reading sandman. it's an interesting deck visually and good for free association. it doesn't correlate strongly with traditional tarot but i like unique interps. the best way i could describe is if i'm using an oracle instead of tarot but the oracle is reminiscent of tarot. i would need the book to check some meanings until i got comfortable and read what i could straight off the top. the more you use it the more usable it becomes.
Top   #8
Kaz's Avatar
Kaz  Kaz is offline
Join Date: 28 Oct 2001
Location: netherlands
Posts: 2,070

cant find the vertigo tarot on that webby, did find the particle majors, some cards are gorgeous!
anyone can send me to the right place to see the vertigo tarot cards?

Top   #9
Pollux's Avatar
Pollux  Pollux is offline
Join Date: 23 Aug 2001
Location: Brescia (Northern Italy), sometimes Pisa or Naples
Posts: 2,990

Okay, let's get this Study Group going again - at least for one day! *lol*

My intro: I knew next to nothing about David McKean nor his art, but obviously I WAS into tarot when I got my deck - last Octber. I only knew some of his works as seen on the web, and read bits, simply because I loved the pictures I saw here on Aeclectic and I wanted to see more!

I got my deck from Lee's generous hands, the DC Comics reprint. And it obviously is among my favourites, even though I never talk about it. There are many "kind" of fav decks for me, those I like best for reading, for artwork, for dis and dat and bla bla bla - I think this has got good points in all the uses and characteristics a deck can have.
The artwork is stunning, nothing I could say about it to render the beauty and atmosphere. And the deck is dark-y but cosily so, without excesses, and I can use some darkness when I read the cards, I just dig it. It is very very readable, it must be theartowkr cs I know nothing about the comics and all, and I nanage to use it very very well (even though I would rather keep it for myself... mwahaha. It's my confident, my secret dark spiritual mate).

I have not read any comic books related to the characters, I am so puzzled at it all when Mrs Pollack mentions heroes and angels and such... I really have no clue! I just played a bit of Sandman on PSX, and honestly I found the game dull big time despite the intriguing story. *lol*
I like what's in the book all the same, it makes sense even though it refers to situations I don't know. It works fine all the same, so who cares!

Oh, and I wanted to say, the edition has got very very very floppy and flimsy cards. I am laminating them myself by hand - I stole a transparent plastic sheet somewhere, and I am going through the process wasting so much time!!! It's really difficult, the plastic gets damaged and sticked very easily and I must mind every movement I do. Also, it doesn't stick perfect so I have to remove all the air bubbles between plastic and card - and it takes ages!!!
Anyway I am sure I have the most beautiful Vertigo deck of the boards...

AND, I have no problems with interpretations, I don't even see this huge difference of the majors from the tradition - but I haven't read all the book. If I will, I will surely discard anything I find irrelevant and simply go my own way.

The Hierophant is AWESOME, I agree! Even though, I repeat, I know nothing about such Morpheus and/or Sandman comics. I simply find the image beautifully synthetic and representative of the archetypes. The colours RULE!!!! Awesome, probably the best card in the deck...
... AFTER DEATH!!!! OH MY THIS IS THE BEST CARD EVER!!!!! So please anyone who can DO tell me more about the character chosen and why it is so good for Death. I think I will have to print that card and redraw it somewhere representative. Like a possible Book of Shadows... I LOVE IT!!!


Originally posted by Kaz
anyone can send me to the right place to see the vertigo tarot cards?
There you go Kaz...
Top   #10



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