Rarely do I buy a tarot deck without having first done a bit of research.  I want to make sure I feel some sort of connection with the imagery before I invest.

Yesterday was one of those days where I didn’t do that.

Yesterday was a terrible, terrible day.  After hoping it would be great, I was only rewarded with disappointment.  I’m not going to get too far into details right now, because they’re not really that important.  At 5 pm Saturday afternoon I felt like shit.

James, my loving boyfriend who spares no expense to spoil me rotten in every way possible, was due for work.  He handed me a $20 bill and said “If you use it, great.  Ask yourself if whatever you spend it on would be something I would get for you anyways.  If not, give it back and we’ll find something else.”

I really wanted to consult my cards, but I had left them at home, thinking that Saturday afternoon and evening would have been more event filled than they really were.  James went to work and I moped around downtown for a bit more before I convinced myself to go elsewhere.  I wound up at Barnes and Noble.

It’s been a while since I’ve been to a bookstore and made a purchase that didn’t later leave me feeling unsatisfied.  Usually I make a beeline for the new age section and then run down the aisle realizing that they have the same crap every time.

In intriguing tarot deck caught my eye.  It wasn’t boxed with a 248-page book, some Styrofoam and some air; it was just in wrapped in cellophane.  

I had never heard of the Royo Dark tarot before.  I tried to look up what information I could on my “smart” phone.  That failed.  I kept feeling like I should get it.  It would be fun.  And James would like it too, so I was getting something for both of us.

I carried it with me as I wandered the store for another hour or so, feeling all the more disenchanted by the claims of books that promised me I could write a novel in 90 days, fantasies that just didn’t call out to me to explore, and the various topics pressed together into kits that populated the discount section.

James called me to let me know he was off work three hours early.  We met up at the closet IHOP and went through the deck together, marveling at the artwork.  Even the quick run-through proved I would not be disappointed in my purchase.

The Royo Dark Tarot is published by Lo Scarabeo.  The illustrations are by Luis Royo, and they are fantastic.  I decided to do an introductory reading, to get a feel for the deck and how it speaks.


AO:  Greetings!!  I’m so glad to meet you!  Tell me a little about yourself.  What is your most important characteristic?

RT: 8 of Cups — “On the planet of angels, over looking a sea of words, when thoughts and emotions can fill the sky.  I’m a visionary, a pair of binoculars into the depths of emotion.  I can help you look past what you feel and show you clearly what you need to see.

AO: Oh, interesting.  What are your greatest strengths as a deck?

RT: Temperance — “No darkness can exist without light, no life without nourishment, no soul without compassion.  This is the cage where our inner child is kept safe, and where we dream of love, before the flesh may take over.”  I’m pure, I’m balanced.  I provide the ways to tip the scales back to that thin moment of perfection.  Constant balance cannot be achieved; I put the dance of scales into motion.

AO: What are your limits as a deck?

RT: Death — “This represents the daughter of the night, the sister of dreams over fields of putrefaction, of pain, of sadness, of decomposition, of corruption.  Regeneration of new phantoms and demons.  Where the old bones only serve as armor.”  Sometimes I may raise the dead, things you do not wish to think about or experience any more.  I can only lead you to the end of a cycle.  I can only show you the gateway to the next life.  It’s up to you to walk through it, if you choose.

AO: What do you bring to the table?  What can you teach me?

RT: 2 of Wands — “Achievement.  Domination over your shadows.”  I can teach you the Dance of the Scales.

AO: How can I best learn from and collaborate with you?

RT: Queen of Pentacles — “Opulence and luxury .  Sexuality in all its forms, without restraint, may let a person empty and craving for a different love.”  Explore me.  The forbidden is only the uncharted territory.  There is more to me than you will be able to find out in this one scratch of a reading.  Explore me wholly.

AO:  Is that an invitation?  Okay, last question.  What is the potential outcome of our relationship?

RT: 10 of Swords — “Conflict, war, victory in blood.  What needs to be done.”  I am your fellow soldier.  When the bloodshed begins, I will be by your side, to push you forward, to carry you when you can no longer crawl.  I will be there while you do the unthinkable.

I am a darker, heavier deck than you are used to.  I will be there in battle, and I’ll be there when you have flashbacks to help guide you through the torment of memory.  I know your battles; I was there, too.  And I’ll be able to help you through the world of light after we have truly experienced the worst of the world of darkness.

AO: Wow… you really do bring a lot to the table.  I look forward to working with you in the future.

RT: You are very welcome.