Deck Title – The Victorian Romantic Tarot, 3rd Edition
Creator/Artist – Alex Ukolov and Karen Mahoney
Publisher – Baba Barock Ltd (Independent)
Date purchased - 2018
My 1st Edition of this deck has seen more pub tables than your average pint glass. As such, it had seen better days so I invested in the latest pristine version. Fortunately for the 3rd Edition (and my liver) I no longer frequent the inns and taverns of the UK.
I was planning to do this deck review a little bit further down the line. The Victorian Romantic Tarot is my long-term deck, you see. We’ve been together so many years, there’s so much to say and at the same time it’s so difficult to put into words why we’ve stuck together. Then, just the other day, I read an email from the creators, Baba Studios, advising that they were low on stock and would likely sell out soon. So, I thought I’d put together a short review, just in case you’re wondering if this is the deck for you and you want to snap it up before it disappears for a few years.
Favourite/Stand Out Cards
An impossible task when I am so connected to this deck but here’s my best try:
7 of Pentacles – the traditional RWS image reminds me of a gardener having a tea break so I’ve always had a kind of ‘meh’ response to this card. The reason I love this card in the Victorian Romantic 3rd Edition is because of the beautiful yellow roses. I can imagine this lady having some kind of Victorian melodrama going on in her drawing room. She’s escaped to the bottom of her walled garden to tend to her roses and consider her next move. The image has really elevated the status of this card for me.
The Four Knights – The court cards are sometimes the ones that take the longest to get to grips with when you're learing to read Tarot. In this deck, the four Knights are so well depicted, I think it really helps the reader understand the cards. There’s the charming Knight of Wands. He’s here now but you know he’s going to jump on that horse, gallop off and disappoint his admirer any moment now. The Knight of Pentacles has both feet on the ground, no horse in sight. He’s reliable and not going anywhere fast. His youthful appearance shows his purity of intent. He’s dedicated to hard work.
The Knight of Swords swoops in and saves the damsel in distress but he’s not looking at her as she's draped across the back of his horse. He’s too busy looking out toward the cause of the problem, his excited expression showing he’s more interested in winning the fight than saving the victim.
The field of dreams is literally reflected in the Knight of Cups. He really is a Knight in shining armour. With his group of devoted fans, he looks like a Victorian version of the latest pop star or famous actor. His expression is as impenetrable as his protective shell however. Do we ever really know what he wants, how he feels and what will make him happy? Does he?
This is the best deck for…anyone who is serious about reading cards. It is a very stylish deck and has been used in an article in the UK Harper’s Bazaar recently alongside some beautiful jewels. If there was a TV advert for this deck, I’d imagine Sir Lawrence Olivier starring in it. It’s a classy deck but worked just as well for me reading in pubs, so don’t feel like you have to speak with a plummy accent and spend your days in a Chelsea townhouse to justify purchasing this deck.
Where to buy
www.baba-store.com (not an affiliate link)