Gothic Tarot by Joseph Vargo Deck
Darkness frightens all the weak in spirit. But she is able to give everything to strong people: getting rid of fears, attachments; obtaining divination abilities and so on. The Gothic Tarot deck by Joseph Vargo invites you to cross the line of the material world and look into the other world. It is only important to be able to remain human in this reality inhabited by vampires and demons.
History of creation of the Joseph Vargo Gothic Tarot Deck
Joseph Vargo is a very mysterious and extraordinary person. Since childhood, he was fond of mysticism, the unknown. At a more mature age, the man devoted himself to creativity – he began to paint pictures, stories. Then he created his own musical group Nox Arcana. It is not surprising that all of his creations are somehow devoted to the "behind the scenes" of life. The crowning achievement of creativity in 2002 was the publication of Joseph Vargo’s own Gothic Tarot deck.
However, the author had to work hard for the magic tool to see the light of day. At the beginning of the century, his deck came down too dark and gloomy, "devilish". Who knew that it was with Joseph Vargo’s Gothic Tarot that a new chapter in the world of predictions would begin. The cards will become the progenitors of later versions, reflecting all the darkest and most unsightly. But, at the beginning of the 2000s, publishing houses flatly refused to work with a man. The author had no choice but to independently engage in the promotion of his own work for his own money.
As a result, the Gothic Tarot cards by Joseph Vargo very quickly gained fame. Practitioners were struck by the unique style, language of the deck. And until now it is published all over the world, attracting buyers with its gloominess. Complete with Arcana is a unique book-guide to the world of Darkness – Compendium. It shows the meanings of both upright and reversed positions. However, this book is only available in English.
Key features of the Gothic Tarot by Joseph Vargo
If you go through the schemes and schools, then everything is quite traditional. Moreover, Joseph Vargo’s Gothic Tarot is in many ways similar to Waite’s classics. There are only 22 Major Arcana, 56 minor ones. Strength is number 11, and Justice is 8. This approach leads the viewer to an understandable English system. Plots and meanings also draw parallels with ordinary cards. However, all the heroes seem to be transferred to the sinister world of Darkness, full of dangers. The questioner is invited to make a journey deep into himself in order to explore his own fears and vices.
The Major Arcana in Joseph Vargo’s Gothic Tarot deck reflect the classic archetypes. Even the names of the cards remained the same as those of Arthur Waite. But the images themselves are far from the original. For example, the Jester is a young man standing at a stone gate. A black dog roams beside him. It would seem that here is a carefree boy and his faithful friend. But here the emphasis is still on a certain transition, the beginning of a new stage of life. Well, or the death of something old. The Fool here personifies the need to get rid of everything obsolete and the search for new meanings. In some ways, this interpretation resembles the Arcana Death.
The High Priestess, Empress, Priest and Lovers are shown as statues on a pedestal. All the characters are very reminiscent of wax figures – cold and distant. What can not be said about the hero of the Emperor Arcana. A male vampire sits on a throne surrounded by three beauties. This image refers to Count Dracula from the film Van Helsing, although the film was released two years later. In general, Joseph Vargo’s Gothic Tarot deck is replete with otherworldly entities, personifications of evil.
But, the originality of this mantic instrument is not limited to the major group. The Minor Arcana of Joseph Vargo’s Gothic Tarot deck are breathtaking in their plots. In part, they resemble classical motifs, but this is only at first glance. An example is the Five of Pentacles. The character here is a certain entity in black robes, making its way through a foggy cemetery. Two skeletons lie on the ground, as if referring the viewer to the standard vagrants from Waite’s Five of Pentacles. That is, this dark deck turns the situation around, focusing on something evil and imperfect. The monster can be read as poverty itself, a black bar.
Style and symbolism of the deck
As the name of the deck suggests, the cards reflect a gloomy world where the rays of the sun do not reach. This is the kingdom of the moon, in which terrible crimes against conscience, deals with the Devil are possible. The Gothic Tarot deck by Joseph Vargo is vampires, werewolves, gargoyles and ghosts. The person here is considered exclusively from the point of view of vices, sins. Even on the Lovers card, a couple is depicted – an ordinary woman and a bloodthirsty vampire. I wonder if the lady will agree to become the same or give up her love for the sake of saving her soul …
But, if we talk about the technical side of the Gothic Tarot deck by Joseph Vargo, then everything is quite simple – the images are placed in a black frame, a Roman numeral is applied at the top, and at the bottom there is a signature of the suit or name. Shades are chosen very gloomy. However, to emphasize some details, the author made color accents. Nevertheless, frightening paintings still abound in black, to one degree or another.
The suits of the Gothic Tarot deck by Joseph Vargo are interesting. Each group here has its own characteristic characters. Cups are beautiful women and men, most likely vampires. Swords are cold-blooded killers, albeit with an attractive appearance. Pentacles are stone sculptures in the form of cunning demons, ghosts. Wands – various infernal entities holding scepters with scarlet stones in their hands.
Interpretation of the Joseph Vargo Gothic Tarot cards
The interpretation of the Gothic Tarot deck by Joseph Vargo can be done using correspondences with the classics. Here, the Two of Pentacles will still denote indecision, as in Rider-Waite. The Queen of Pentacles again symbolizes the fiery character and passion, the heroine is in charge, but in her darker incarnation. In general, the author seems to alter the well-known meanings, reshape them to suit his own created space.
But even beginners can easily deal with Joseph Vargo’s Gothic Tarot. There are no astrological or kabbalistic correspondences here. The picture itself and the number are offered for analysis. At the same time, it is worth focusing on your own feelings, intuition. Each practitioner will eventually have an original vision of a particular card. The questioner just needs to pick up the deck as often as possible.
What questions is the deck suitable for?
The Gothic Tarot by Joseph Vargo is a dark magical tool. That is why the deck is suitable for analyzing the shadow side of the personality, identifying fears, destructive addictions. It is worth taking it in hand in the most difficult and confusing circumstances. The Arcana will help to understand even in criminal situations, to understand the motives of the criminal, to see his "demons". The characters here are personified human vices and weaknesses. In fact, all evil is created by people themselves. But, it also means that everything is subject to man. Even base desires can be dealt with if you follow the advice from this Tarot.
Another deck will help in working with spirits, departed people. The Gothic Tarot by Joseph Vargo is replete with images of ghosts. It’s worth using it to your advantage. For the practice of divination, you will need a “live” photo of the person of interest. This mantic instrument can be considered an alternative to the Ouija board. The main thing is not to forget about your own safety, to monitor the situation and the mood of the disturbed "guest".
Who are the Joseph Vargo Gothic Tarot cards for?
The deck will appeal to connoisseurs of the work of Joseph Vargo himself. He’s like a dark prince invited to visit his gothic estate somewhere in Pennsylvania. Any creation always reflects the character of the creator. Fortune-telling on the Gothic Tarot by Joseph Vargo will appeal to all those who are immersed in mysticism and are not afraid of the ugly side of life. Darkness is just a stage on the path of finding yourself. It must be accepted. Denial will only exacerbate the conflict with yourself. Prediction can become a hint on this difficult path.
Also, the Gothic Tarot deck by Joseph Vargo is suitable for people working with necrotic magic, dealing with witchcraft. There are demons here, entities of the lower world. You can contact them through the Arcana themselves. Answers are able to come immediately in the form of a stream of thoughts or through dreams. The main thing is not to be afraid, not to show your own fear. If you use Joseph Vargo’s Gothic Tarot spreads correctly, you can forever forget about weaknesses. Cards can teach you how to work with various forces and become like your favorite characters in terms of steadfastness and power.