What I liked about the Tarot Gothica:
- Beautiful graphics
- Life-like pictures that make it feel “real”
- Clear, concise meanings in the booklet w/ an additional two sentences exploring the meaning of the individual cards
What I didn’t like about the Tarot Gothica:
- Cheap paper
- Large pixels
- Not durable–will most likely be damaged in, say, a purse
Tarot Gothica’s paper quality is that bad?
When I first peeled away the Tarot Gothica booklet that is common with Tarot decks I was thrilled. The graphics were vibrant and real but, unfortunately, as soon as I (gracefully) tipped the deck into my hand I was disappointed. The paper was thin, so thin that it almost immediately ruined the deck for me. Tarot is many things: an art form, it’s a form of divination and a tool to explore your life and answer the questions you struggle with. If you’re going to invest $25 into a Tarot deck you should be getting quality cards that won’t bend if you dhold them wrong.
Let’s take a look at the graphics
I’m big into graphics. Tarot of the Night had subpar graphics but was on excellent, thick paper, well-deserving of the craft. It was this that compelled me to give a rather positive review, even though the graphics were Sims 3-styled. Tarot Gothica isn’t going to hold up for frequent use, the way Tarot decks are meant to be used and used again. In my case, that has the potential to be a problem. I like to carry my decks with me in a muslin bag to make the deck as light and portable as possible. This decks just won’t hold up in my purse unless it’s in the sturdy box it comes in; my purse is heavy as-is without a full Tarot deck in a heavy box.
That’s not all, you see
There was another huge problem with this deck: the pixels. Tarot Gothica is incredibly pixelated. I was viewing the Tarot Gothica as if it were on an old-fashioned TV screen. However, because of the poor quality of the paper on which they were printed, this deck is the least heavy deck I own, which is could be a positive aspect. The characters on the cards are the main feature of this deck, not the environment around them. Some decks, like the Housewives Tarot Deck for instance, have backgrounds that are intricate and are part of the story that the decks tell; it is not so with the Tarot Gothica. The humans depicted on the card are the main story, though there are various degrees of how intense the backgrounds are.
For instance, the 9 of Swords depicts a woman in a gothic/Western dress that is holding her severed head above her neck. The background is incredibly simplistic and has nothing but a door at first glance. If you were to look at the background in more detail, there is a grim reaper hiding in the background. The first few times I explored this card I didn’t see it and when I wasn’t aware of it, it was still plenty true to the 9 of Swords. As the booklet says, “Horror,” which describes the card with or without the knowledge that the Grim Reaper hides in the far right corner.
Here’s the deal
The deck reads well but the quality of the deck, even though the pictures are amazing, detract from the experience of using them, though not necessarily of owning them. The box itself is quite beautiful, the quality is significantly better than the cards themselves. The graphics on the box are significantly better though more simplistic than the cards themselves.
The Tarot Gothica deck may be for you if…
You don’t intend on using them on a regular basis, or if you don’t plan on carting them around in anything other than the box in which they came. The Tarot Gothica is a great addition to a collection, for those of us who can’t get enough of artsy Tarot, and the cheap paper and large pixellation should not necessarily be a deterrent to these cards.
Thank you Schiffer Publishing for sending me this deck. Reviewing it was my pleasure and I hope to continue to review for you in the near and distant future.