The Vikings Tarot is a deck inspired by Norse mythology and the culture of the ancient Scandinavian warriors. It features images of gods, goddesses, and legendary figures such as Odin, Thor, and Loki. The suits in this deck are Swords, Spears, Bows, and Shields, and the court cards include the King, Queen, Knight, and Page. The deck is meant to be used for divination and self-exploration, with each card representing a different aspect of the self or the world around us. Some possible interpretations of the Vikings Tarot include the power of strength and courage, the importance of family and community, and the need to embrace change and adaptability.
It is a deck of 78 cards based on Norse mythology and the culture of the Viking Age. It features illustrations of Norse gods, goddesses, and other figures from Viking mythology, as well as scenes and symbols from Viking life and culture. The deck is divided into the Major Arcana, which represents the major life events and lessons of the human journey, and the Minor Arcana, which represents the day-to-day experiences and challenges of life. The Vikings Tarot is a powerful tool for divination and self-exploration, and is suitable for both beginner and experienced readers.
"The traditional iconography of the Tarot united with the epic deeds of Odin, Thor, the Aesir, and the Vanir. A world of poetry and legend, courage and spirit, death and rebirth1."
The concept for Viking Tarot deck is from Manfredi Toraldo, who also created the Olympus Tarot and Durer Tarot (also published by Lo Scarabeo). The artwork is by Sergio Tisselli, new to the world of Tarot art. The deck is based on the culture and legends of the 'Vikings', a loose term for the groups of Scandinavian raiders who invaded and settled parts of Europe, Britain, and even North America in the ninth to eleventh centuries. They have a reputation for being barbarians, heroic and bloodthirsty warriors, but they also had a complex and diverse culture that included merchants, craftsmen, traders and farmers1.
The two distinct groups of gods in Norse mythology, the Aesir and the Vanir are both represented in the cards. The Aesir are the 'supreme' gods, like Loki, Frigg, Thor and Odin, and have been associated with the major arcana. The Vanir are the indigenous gods of agriculture & domestic life, and these have been linked with the suit of Chalices. Wands are represented by Giants, Pentacles by Dwarves & Elves (with blue skin and pointed ears). Men, as intelligent beings and the 'instruments of destiny' represent the Swords suit. The Vikings were a male-oriented culture, so the Vikings Tarot does reflect this. Women are by no means omitted, but the majority of cards do depict men or male entities in action1.
The art appears to be watercolor, and has a misty, slightly dreamy effect. The colors are muted and occasionally dull - lots of browns and grays - but that is natural. The art style is consistent across the whole deck, but the cards have an individuality rather than a sameness. I like the effective use of sky, lighting and background in these cards. The background matches the story of the card and is an extra visual clue. Happy scenes like the Ten of Cups have a clear blue sky, the Eight of Chalices has a sunset, and mixed cards like the Ten of Wands or the Moon have a partially cloudy sky. Clear light plays around the Magician, the Hierophant is illuminated in his dark chamber by a single shaft of light, while the Devil has a background of rocks and snow. Out of all the cards, my favorite card is the Queen of Chalices. She is purple-clad and with a diadem on her brow, cup in both hands. She sits on the snowy shores of a reflective lake, and above her the sky blazes with a thousand stars2.
The Vikings Tarot brings alive the mystery and magic of this bloodthirsty yet poetic Nordic culture, while its symbology retains recognizable links with traditional tarot. The Viking Tarot deck is one that could be easily picked up and read by anyone with some Tarot experience2.
Vikings Tarot is a Viking-themed Tarot deck. This deck was painted by Sergio Tisselli in a soft and diffused style. Many of the pictures are somewhat indistinct, as if seen through an invisible fog. To be honest, I don't care much for the art style selected. I'd have preferred bolder and clearer illustrations -- and much more symbolism on the cards. That said, some of the cards are brilliantly evocative of the Viking era and full of symbolism. At the other end of the scale, there are a few cards so indistinct that I could not tell what the illustration is supposed to depict without cheating and looking in the booklet2.
The Major Arcana depict the Aesir and places associated with them such as Asgard. The suits of Minor Arcana depict giants (wands), the Vanir (cups), dwarves and elves (pentacles), and humans (swords). According to the key in the accompanying booklet, each card in the Minor Arcana depicts a specific event or person from mythology. The deck seems to be fairly standard in interpretation and in basic symbolism, although the art style makes it harder to pick up and read than it needs to be2.
This deck comes with a small 64 page booklet filled with tiny text. Only one-fifth of the booklet is in English (the other languages are Italian, Spanish, French, and German). This booklet provides background information on the deck as well as a brief description and meaning for each of the cards. Each of the Major Arcana receives a five to eight line description and a couple of lines of interpretation keywords, while each Minor Arcana card only receives a one or two line descriptive title and three keywords or phrases to aid interpretation. One non-standard tarot spread is described2.
The Vikings Tarot is an interesting attempt at a Viking-themed Tarot deck. With better illustrations it would probably be a much more successful deck. This isn't a deck to give to a beginner as he will probably find it frustrating to learn to read. A more experienced reader will have fewer problems, but will have to study the deck before trying to seriously read with it. A collector who has an interest in Norse mythology will find this deck worth considering2.
Each card in the deck is associated with a specific meaning, and the deck is often used for divination and self-discovery. Some people believe that the Vikings Tarot can help them gain insight into their past, present, and future, as well as their personal growth and development. Why don’t you check it out yourself?