The Gothic Tarot by Vargo -- a masculine deck, or a feminine deck?


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I agree with you that all the sexy women in the deck are there to appeal to men, a gothic version of the erotic calendars. Hot women are always used to sell cars to men. But here it is done elegantlty, and vampirism and eroticism are related a lot, so to me, seeing sexy vampires on this deck is not indecent. But women in the deck aren't weak creatures under the sujetion of men, which is an aspect that I like very much; it can be a strong appeal as well on other women.

I Haven't taken the time to count how many women, men in the deck there are, but I've noticed that men are most of the time fully cloted in the deck, while women are depicted as sexy and erotic.

It's a dark deck and large; I prefer large decks personaly, even if my hands are way too small to shuffle them. There is not much color in the deck as well, a few colorful cards appear here and there but that's it. My feminine side is fully satisfied with my Enchanted Tarot (Zerner-Farber), and with this deck I can finally express my dark and masculine sides.


Ever notice that romance novels (literature from the wrong side of the tracks (“Oh my – he classified Romance Novels as ‘Literature!”)) have as a principle figure a woman, and they’re written for women?

This is deck for both men and women. It evokes a gothic eroticism that some in fact may feel uncomfortable with. Scantily clad un-dead and Nosferatu protagonists are not everybody’s cup of tea.

So absolutely – it’s a chick deck.

It’s a deck for manly men.


It's a romantic deck, that's for sure, but women have no trouble being romantic, and in our modern era many men still find that shameful to be romantic. I guess men who are comfortable with themselves and accept their romantic side are comfortable with this deck. As I said earlier, the women in the deck are not victims but predators like men, using their sex-appeal to get what they want.

When I think romantic, I don't always think about the fluffy romanticism we have nowadays, I often think Romantic, the Romantic period in the 19th century. Let's just say that I studied French litterature in college. The Romantics were people writting dark, terrible and touching stories and poems, mixing what was bad with good, gruesomeness with beauty, best exemple is "Une charogne" by Baudelaire, describing a corpse in a beautiful poem. I think this deck has a lot of repulsion-attaction, gruesome-beautiful aspects, typical of the Romantic period.

When I think about this deck, I think about a short story written by one of my favourite author Théophile Gautier (19th century author): La Morte amoureuse. In this story, a young priest falls in love with a female vampire and they become lovers. She loves him as well, and she resists many times to take his life away or to make him become a monster like her. At the end, she is killed and the priest is in shock to discover she was a monster.

Originally posted by Umbrae It’s a deck for manly men.

Would you care to explain what you mean by that?


*blush* I'm bisexual, so...

well, I feel this is a feminine deck. It just appeals to my feminine side more. I just.... can't envision a male handling this deck, except to drool over the women (i'm SORRY for sounding so sexist!!!)

I'm a gothic lit student as well... and there is this card that makes me certain that this is a feminine deck. Take a look at the Emperor Card. Sure, the male looks all commanding and domineering, but the fact is he is surrounded by three females. I believe this protrays men's need for women to assure his superiority, when in actual fact the women are in a giggling conspiracy to keep the man happy so that they might profit and benefit from it.

Just my two cents worth... please excuse me if I offend by my comments.


I'm not fond of nudity in general (like The Cosmic Tribe deck, I think), but in this deck, I'm not bothered at all. Actually, I wish the men in the deck would be less dressed. We, the women, have nothing to drool over. Guys get tons of sexy chics but we get nothing. Not fair!

I just checked and, so far, only four cards in the deck show some man's skin: The Sun, The Moon, Knight Of Wands (I don't like the guy on it, so to me that one doesn't count) and the Ten Of Cups. And to me, the Ten Of Cups is the sexiest of the three (there's also The Lovers, but the guy on it is all dressed). So, that makes one card (two, with The Lovers) I drool over, one in 78 cards. I don't know how many cards Umbrae drools over, but I'm sure it's more than one.


Masculine or feminine…the answer is undoubtedly – yes.

There are a few cards I like but don’t drool over. Cards where I say – “I wanna be him!” Like the 10 of Cups.

I find the Queen of Wands pure sex, as are the 4 and Queen of Pentacles (I love the way the woman caresses the gargoyle in the 4).

In the non-sexual, there are many very strong cards depicting both male and female characters. The 6 of Swords is strong – as is the 7 and the Queen. How about the 6 of Wands for pure female strength?

Likewise there are many strong male images.

So for me, I find the deck very female/male in many aspects.


I wanted to read again La Morte amoureuse by Gautier lately, when I saw one of Gautier's quotes in the introduction. I found it lovely, so I've decided to translated it and share it with you.

"Gautier writes verses in honor of Victor Hugo and identifies to the doomed poet's ideal, then in fashion. He will recognize later, not without humor: "It was fashion then to be pale, livid, green, a little cadaveric, if possible. This was giving the fateful byronien's look."

So, the goth look is based from the fateful byronien's look, in the 19th century, fom the poet Lord Byron. ;)


The Goth look is *indeed* based on Lord Byron's fashion statements, but let's not forget what the gaunt, thin, pale faces with dark eye circles, and tired, listless, melancholy demeanor came from - Consumption!

The "consumptive" look became romanticized mostly by Byron, but also Shelley and other Victorian contemporaries. The look remains, only slightly altered of course, popular even today.


Although I don't really participate, I find the Goth look quite interesting. My daughter is a mild Goth, and I get her cool clothes all the time.....ehehe

As for the deck being masculine or feminine, I would say it was Goth. It seems hard to me to put it any other way as the style is very dark and sexy, for both sexes. It is about image and romance, but not in a happy world. It is a much darker fantasy that is drawn upon. It is mystical, mysterious, unwholesome, in a sense.

Oh well, so much for making any sense! :)