THE SISTERS: Using The Bohemian Gothic as a "shadow" deck for The Victorian Romantic

strings of life

THE SISTERS: Using The Bohemian Gothic as a "shadow" deck for The Victorian Romantic

I know that many have read with The Bohemian Gothic Tarot as a shadow deck to The Victorian Romantic Tarot, so I wanted to start a thread where we could discuss thoughts, observations, readings and anything else that comes to mind when working with both "sister" decks together.

The Bohemian Gothic may be the "Dark Sister" and a strong deck that stands on its own, but it can also aid with insightful and honest readings when paired with The Victorian Romantic.

Shadow work can be powerful and emotional, so remember that this is a public forum. With that said, we can still discuss quite a range of interpretations and feelings.

There are many ways to use The Bohemian Gothic as a shadow deck--from drawing a card or spread from The Victorian Romantic and then pulling the same cards from The Bohemian Gothic, or combining the decks into one deck (mentioned by baba-prague). It's up to you!

This thread is similar to the lounge concept used other areas on this forum.

Happy posting!


I don't have either of these decks, but I think this is a brilliant idea! I sometimes mix decks up when I do readings, to get a different "view point". This should be an excellent way of doing shadow work.


This subject has been discussed on and off for a while.

I have both decks and they are among the most beloved of my relatively small collection and I use them both a lot.

However I tend to pick one deck at a time depending on the question or my mood.
I have shuffled both decks together in the past but the readings seemed somewhat muddled and confused though others may have better luck than I. I tend to read a card's light and dark aspects, both its negative and positive sides in a reading anyway, to get a well rounded idea of its influences.
I don't use reversals or uprights I read ALL its aspects, as we can have influences in our lives from both ends of the spectrum, it is neither, nor.

I tend to use the VR when doing day to day general readings for myself or others and the BG when I am asking about deeper, darker, as you say "shadow" questions dealing with the hard stuff such as a break-in to my car, depression, looking honestly and hard at myself etc.

The thing is though that both decks for me will read equally well for any kind of reading, be it a shadow reading or not. So I guess this is not quite what you meant in your original idea.

I look forward to hearing and adding to what others think.


I compared the 8 of cups BG and VR this morning. I thought it interesting how brave and resigned the woman on the BG card looked, it was as if she had garnished power through the decision that she was going to walk with her shadows and proceed into a new situation. The VR card was more sad, resigned but sad. They were both walking away from a negative situation, and both definitely looked certain, however the dog in the VR card gave pause, and that (a form of uncertainty, and also a feeling of finality)made the woman's plight seem more painful than in the BG where she looked more at home in her own self, she looks like she has reached a point where she is ready to go through the tough times willingly, and step into that terrifying dark and shadowy hallway with dark doorways teasing from the side.


I've always liked the *concept* doing a light-and-dark reading with these two decks, but I find I never actually do it. Perhaps it's because I basically would be handling 158 cards (I'm using the Gold VR and Silver BG, so I have two extra cards) per reading, and that seems pretty cumbersome.

I tried a three card "shadowed" spread the other day, and it's amazing how black the BG cards look next to the VR.

Is anyone actually doing this regularly? Or is it a novelty?


I don't own the Victorian Romantic and don't intend to, so I cannot compare them or talk about how different they feel. But I do think reading with two decks at once would indeed be a hassle. I tried tarot + oracle a few times years ago and I never never did it again. Sometimes I do but only for important matters and not at the same time, I prefer taking the time to digest the reading first.


I came up with a "dialectical spread" designed to take advantage of the differing personalities of the two decks. My attempt is here.

Note that it does not involve mixing the two decks together before the reading, which I have never tried (boy, would that be a pain to shuffle).

:heart: M_M~


I think it might be interesting to pair the Gothic with the Fairytale Tarot by MagicRealist as a childhood fears or terrors deck. Might be interesting....


Satori said:
I think it might be interesting to pair the Gothic with the Fairytale Tarot by MagicRealist as a childhood fears or terrors deck. Might be interesting....
Now THAT is an excellent thought, and suggests further spread ideas! I should note that Karen M. includes a "Secret Fears" spread designed specifically for the BoGo in its companion book, so I could use that as a starting point. I haven't really studied the Fairytale's companion book yet (although I just purchased the kit) and there may also be a spread there that would lend itself to just such a reading. I'm not sure I would use more than one of the Fairytale cards for a mixed reading, though, because each card tells such a strong story.

:heart: M_M~