If you have read one of my previous articles: Tarot decks to get excited about in 2023 then you would have seen a tarot deck inspired by the hit television show Buffy The Vampire Slayer. As a teenager in the late 90's, I grew up with Buffy. We graduated from high school the same year and like many others I watched every week becoming invested in the Angel and Buffy storyline while I had a crush on bad boy Spike who we all loved to hate but really just loved. I even had a yellow Mexican walking fish that I called Spike. When I was curating a list of Tarot Decks that were coming out in 2023, I always place an emphasis on pop culture because I love when it crosses over into the Tarot realm, and this was no different. I am a tarot novice and while still learning, sometimes it is hard to grasp the meanings of all 78 cards. So when a pop culture deck is done correctly, I find if you have knowledge of the show or movie the cards are depicting, it makes reading the cards a million times easier because a picture tells a thousand words. So let's have a look at the Buffy tarot and see how it stacks up! (This is based on Buffy the TV Show and not the movie which was also pretty cool and I was HUGE Luke Perry fan, but I must confess I loved the tv show more!)
In every generation, there is a chosen one--explore your destiny like Buffy the Vampire Slayer with this magical and bold take on the traditional 78-card tarot deck. This set features the heroes you love, casting Buffy, Willow, Angel, Spike, Xander, Giles, and more in gorgeous original illustrations based on classic tarot iconography. Featuring both major and minor arcana, the set also includes a helpful guidebook explaining each card's meaning and simple instructions for easy readings. Packaged in a sturdy, decorative gift box, this alluring tarot deck is the perfect gift for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan or tarot enthusiast.
ORIGINAL ART: Each of the 78 cards in this deck and the booklet features never-before-seen original Buffy the Vampire Slayer-themed art.
GUIDEBOOK INCLUDED: This unique deck includes a guidebook to help tarot practitioners of all skill levels do fun and informed readings.
BEAUTIFUL GIFT: The tarot deck and guidebook are packaged in a deluxe gift box perfect for gift-giving.
OFFICIAL LICENSED BUFFY DECK: This is the only official licensed Buffy the Vampire Slayer deck and guide.
25TH ANNIVERSARY: This deck is the perfect way to celebrate 25 years of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
by Karl James Mountford (Artist), Gilly (Author)
First of all, has it really been 25 years? Wow, that would make me ..... never mind!
Let's start with the box. It is colourful and made of a good thick stock (which is sometimes lacking when it comes to Tarot boxes). As mine was posted all the way from the UK via Book Depository, it held up the journey well with no damage at all and the sturdiness will keep the cards in good condition for many years to come. Inside was a full guidebook and of course the cards.
The guidebook itself is a good size which I like because if you are mobile with your cards, you can pop it in your bag if you like to keep it with you. The cards themselves are the typical size that you expect with these kinds of decks. I don't like it when Tarot cards are only the size of playing cards. These are the typical Tarot size of 7 x 12cm which for me personally is a perfect size. The card stock is pretty decent and not too thin and flimsy so I do see these lasting. The cards themselves seem to have a light coating on them and are initially quite stiff when removed from the box. Some of the cards were stuck together which can be common in these kinds of decks. It took a few shuffles and to bend the cards a little to stop them from clumping together (again something I find common in mass-produced decks). Most people have a process of bending, flicking, shuffling etc to wear in the cards which I kind of find is part of the fun of exploring a new deck. It feels like it makes it more personal while you develop a connection with the cards.
The Major Arcana can make or break a deck like this because you want to resonate with the characters and see them represented properly through the cards. I think this deck really pulls this off. As I opened it for the first time I giggled a few times and smiled when I saw some of the references. Some of my favourites are Giles as the Hierophant - there is really no other choice for this card in my opinion. Willow is the Magician, Xander the Fool, Evil Willow the Devil, Angel is Justice and Spike as the hanged man are just a few of my favourites. Willow and Tara are represented as The Lovers card, however, I would have personally liked to see Spike and Drusilla in this spot but given they eventually broke up, I can see why Willow and Tara was a better choice. A special mention here goes to the Death card showing the Gentlemen from the episode HUSH because it is one of the most iconic episodes and this card represents it perfectly! If you are not familiar with it, almost the entire episode was done in silence as the Gentlemen take away everyone's ability to speak so that they may claim their victims. They were terrifying even to me as an adult. The guide explains the meaning of each card in the Major Arcana and how it relates to the character chosen adding in that special touch beyond just writing the generic meaning of the card.
One of the things I dislike about specialised decks is that sometimes after the Major Arcana is done, there are generic cards and symbols used for the Minor Arcana because they either have run out of ideas or don't quite know how to make it work. Delightfully, the Minor Arcana has been thoughtfully put together with illustrations depicting different iconic scenes from the television series meaning if you don't quite know the meaning of the Minor Arcana cards (like me), if you know the show, you can really tap into the meaning and representation of the card and resonate with it even more.
The 4 card categories have changed slightly to fit into the Buffy The Vampire Slayer Theme
Swords has become Scythes
Stakes have appropriately replaced Wands (of course)
Chalices replace Cups and Pentacles remain the same.
Again as with the Major Arcana, in the guidebook, each card in the Minor Arcana goes into detail about its meaning while also referencing its connection to the show. The Minor Arcana is often a lot harder for novices like myself to read because they deal with the daily grind and really get you thinking. When you have such a connection to the show, you can look at the picture and instantly know what the card needs to tell you and the guidebook can help fill in those blanks if you need to.
I purchased my deck from the book depository. The price was pretty reasonable and what I would expect to pay for a mass-produced Tarot deck of this nature. I really have to give the creators kudos here because it has been put together in such a detailed and thoughtful way. With a show so iconic, as a big fan I feel like they have really done the show justice. It has successfully brought Buffy into the Tarotverse and done so in a great way! I have been disappointed by so many pop culture-related decks that seem to have been put together as a money grab but this one seems to have been created by people who love the show and the characters as much as the fans do. The meanings are appropriately matched and while there may have been a few instances where I would have used a different reference, they have done such an amazing job I am in awe. I think out of the 30 + tarot decks I now own, this may just be my favourite!
** I am not an amazon affiliate nor have I been asked to promote this product. I paid for and purchased this deck.
Photos by Sarah LLIFS
If you enjoy LLIFS, consider buying me a book (otherwise known as buy me a coffee but I don't drink coffee and I LOVE books). Your donation helps to fund the LLIFS website so everyone can continue to access great paranormal content and resources for FREE!Follow LLIFS on Facebook
Don't forget to follow the Facebook page for regular updates
Join the mailing list to receive weekly updates of NEW articles. Never miss an article again!
Buy the latest and past issues Haunted Magazine
Check out the books written by LLIFS