Saturday, July 28, 2012

Review: The Zombie Tarot: An Oracle of the Undead

The Zombie Tarot: An Oracle of the Undead
Instructions By: Stacey Graham
Illustrated By: Paul Kepple & Ralph Geroni of Headcase Design
Set includes: Instruction Booklet, Illustrated Box and 78 Cards (no jokers)

Summary via Amazon:
You’ve never seen tarot cards quite like these. Imagine the celebrated “Rider Deck” infused with the horrors of Night of the Living Dead, and the result is The Zombie Tarot—a crazy, campy interpretation of a classic divination system.

In this zombified parallel universe, wands become limbs, pentacles are biohazard symbols, and the Major Arcana is full of shambling corpses. Along with the 78-card deck, readers will receive instructions in a 96-page full-color book; its contents explain how to survive the zombie apocalypse and forecast your future using one of three different card layouts.

The secrets of The Zombie Tarot await you!

This deck is very 1950's but with zombies, which is very reminiscent of Fido. Like Fido it is hysterical, weird, but all around great. The illustrations are a very well done photo montage of Americana meeting the terrible tragedy that is the zombie apocalypse. Each card contains a great deal of symbolism that is common to that era with it's use of cold war imagery and technology. I also particularly want to note the Magician and the High Priestess cards. These were very well done because depending on your zombie story, zombies are usually created by science, or magic and these two cards recognize that.

I enjoyed the very idea of this deck as it ties in the idea of mortality, quick exchange of information, with a  very in your face attitude. It has a great tone that you will not find in a more serious tarot deck. The Zombie Tarot is also commendable for not de-fanging the monsters. There is always that undercurrent of danger when there are zombies about in this deck even in the more cutesy cards.

When it comes to tarot the cards must contain all the symbolism it can so that the reader and the client can understand the meanings of the cards to give a good reading. As a tarot reader, I must point out that the symbolism in the cards doesn't always at times relate to its meaning that has been established for centuries. This could makes things quite difficult for a tarot reader who is established and knows his/her cards backwards and forwards. This discrepancy with the symbolism may cause misunderstanding in the card's meaning for a client. For those that don't read cards for others, many clients jump to conclusions based on the card's image until the reader either agree or clears up the meaning for them. For instance many people get scared if the Death card appears. The Death card is not a bad card and actually represents change. However it has a bad reputation due to Franciscan monks a few centuries ago misunderstanding that the card.

As a zombie fiction lover and a tarot lover I couldn't wait for this deck to come out! I had it on hold way before release date and then Quirk Books contacted me and I couldn't have been happier! I am so glad that I was able to see this deck up close, have fun with it and work with it. I gladly give this deck a three rating. As a zombie fan I would highly recommend this deck! It has all the wonderful and terrifying things that make up the zombie genre. As a tarot reader this set was great fun and a definite must-see but I wouldn't recommend it for serious use. 

Pictures of some of my favorite cards:

No comments: