You awaken suddenly to find yourself trapped within a pine box. You pry at the lid and hinges, fear threat-ening to overcome your reason. That is when you find it, the small package wrapped in black cloth. Search-ing within its folds you find a letter and what seems to be a sort of deck of cards. With trembling hands you open the letter, somehow able to read its contents de-spite the lack of any visible light.
My child, if you are reading these words, it is my happy duty to inform you that you have died.
Died? Then that means... this is... I'm in a...
Don't let this small inconvenience trouble you; you have been given a great gift - one not bestowed on many of your kind. My sacred blood now runs in your veins and you will find that it shall stir within you powers and abilities some may regard as... inhuman. You are a victim no longer-you are a predator, beautiful, lethal and eternal. I offer you one other gift to guide you in the loneliness of the shadow realm. The peasants regard it as some sort of game or petty pas-time but in your hands, my progeny, it shall reveal the in-visible world to you. The images depicted on the cards will speak to you in my voice of the lore of our kind and the wis-dom ofour many centuries. The past,present and yes even the future may be known when interpreted correctly.
I wish you well,
P.S. Do be sure to find a way to extricate yourself from this coffin within the next few hours. If you don't feed before dawn... well I won't bore you with the details.
Shadow Dance: This is a special section unique to Tar-ot V that explores the ways that you might view the card as it relates to your own shadow work. It will at-tempt to help you identify what archetypes are trig-gering to your shadow. See Shadow Work with the Tar-ot V below.
Reversed: This offers a consideration of how the meanings of the card is changed when it is inverted. This is something of an advanced technique and is not recommended for beginners.
Keywords: To help new readers navigate the mighty mysteries of the Major Arcana, three keywords are of-fered for each of them. These are intended to help ground the meanings of these cards.
0.THE FOOL-The thirst is everything.The steady pulse of it beckons to you - emboldens you to seek out your prey in the night. Heed the call, let it move you, drawing you out ofsleep and doubt and into an existence that is worth some-thing. You will risk anything for just one more taste of it.
Divination: A new journey begins. Answer the call that you feel in your veins. Leap into action now and pursue satisfaction. Throw caution to the wind.
Shadow Dance: You have permission to be unre-strained.This shadow can cause us to judge others for being childish. Set aside heavy burdens and feel what it is to be free.
Reversed: Beware of unnecessary risks and reckless behavior.
Keywords: Spontaneity, Adventure,Destiny
I. THE MAGICIAN - It is your indomitable will that makes you an apex predator. It began the moment you chose to break free of the dust and the earth, rising up to fill your lungs with the night air. You have been entrusted with the emblems of the four bloodlines for all of their gifts are yours and with them you may claim any desire.
Divination:Visualize your goal and claim it. Make use of your many skills to achieve what others cannot.Stay in motion, maneuver and manifest what you want. Don't leave dreams locked away, make them your re-ality.
Shadow Dance: You have permission to act confident-ly. This shaclow can cause us to mistrust anyone who seems brash or self-assured and believe we are sup-posed to remain small. Don't hide yourself in darkness. Reversed: Charm and manipulation rather than real skill,a lack of willpower needed to push forward. Keywords:Willpower, Adeptness,Versatility
II. PRIESTESS-In the quiet and stillness of the night you will hear and you will understand. The blood is not merely food - it is all the memories, hopes and fears of one life dis-tilled down into a rich and delectable concoction.Shut out the old unwanted sermons of others and open yourself to what you hear and feel within.
Divination: Open the inner eye and trust in your intu-ition. Signs and portents around you reveal the truth. Take the middle road between two extremes.
Shadow Dance: You have permission to be mystical. This shaclow makes us roll our eyes at those who trust their inner gifts and abilities. Tune in to the cosmos.
Reversed: Fear can blind you to the truth,your mind
may be playing tricks on you.
Keywords: Intuition, Passivity,Gnosis
III. EMPRESS - Unburden yourself and accept the plea-sures of life eternal. The Mother of our kind cares for all her children, bestowing upon them the gift of undying beauty. Set down the tools of war and accept the flask she offers you. Divination: Maternal care is needed, prioritize plea-sure and kindness. This is a time for creation - mani-festing your own dreams and projects and giving them all necessary attention. Learn to nurture yourself, give and receive love.
Shadow Dance: You have permission to be imperfect. Holding yourself to impossible ideals will only result in seeing others as high above you and resenting them for it.
Reversed: Too much love can smother us when un-
checked.Give space to others.
IV.EMPEROR-Gird yourself with armor and prepare for conquest and battle. At times such as these it is unwise to trust too much to compassion and even less to mercy.There are laws, even for immortals. Set down the chalice of plea-sure and pledge your fealty. Cold blood and a straight spine may serve you well.
Divination: You will benefit from structure and being assertive and direct. When you lead, speak your mind and demand respect from those around you. Pay close attention to the details.
Shadow Dance: You have permission to take com-mand. This shadow can make us confuse leadership with tyranny and bullying. Don't be afraid to take the lead and to ask others to follow.
Reversed:Dictators are easily overthrown; consider a compromise and a lighter touch.
Keywords: Dominance, Leadership,Discipline
V.HIEROPHANT-The wisdom of the past may serve you in the present moment. Your immortal sire gifted you with their blood, initiating you into our tradition and pass-ing an ancient spark over to your keeping. Heed their words, follow their guidance,join the choir of the faithful and you will earn the keys to paradise.
Divination: The benefits of education.A conservative approach may be warranted. Have faith in traditions and in the tried and true method. Seek out mentors and teachers who will help you develop your talents.
Shadow Dance: You have permission to be conven-tional. This shadow can play upon people's fears of tra-dition and organized religion and equate those things with the hatreds and harshness of the most zealous fol-lowers. Playing by the rules is not weakness.
Reversed: Out with the old and in with the new, reject others' perceptions and expectations of you and forge your own path.
VI.THE LOVERS-The life eternal should not be spent totally alone. In the shadows we shall encounter those who contain our missing pieces. We must be selective to whom we give our trust but when you find the one who makes your blood quicken at their touch, lose yourselfin their embrace. Divination: A decision must be made between two di-verging paths; choose to listen to your heart and let
it take you places you have never been. In unity, two halves create something new.
Shadow Dance:You have permission to be loved and to feel worthy of love. This shadow can often cause us to project our own fears onto the people who love us and to imagine hostile intent. Embrace both your inner masculine and feminine qualities.
Reversed: Follow your own path a bit further and keep your own counsel. Let your head rule your heart. Keywords:Choices,Partnership,Romance
VII. THE CHARIOT- Our kind tend to travel in style. Ifyou wish to reach your destination, momentum and a team compliant to your will can help you do so. Rise above the ranks of the mortals and speed toward your destiny and conquer all in your path.
Divination: This is a sign of achievement and glo-ry.Quell the chaos around you so that your journey may be smooth. Push for what you desire. Spiritual as-cension and personal evolution as will be yours if you commit to the journey.
Shadow Dance: You have permission to be ambitious. This shadow can cause us to mistrust those who seek for more in life. Gratitude is good but wanting more is not a sin.
Reversed: Your plans are not quite ready to be set in motion. Ego inflation can cause us to miss critical de-tails.
VIII. STRENGTH - Some say it's garlic's purifying pow-ers that make it anathema to our kind. This is especially true when it is wielded by one who has mastered their own fears. Such a person shines with an unstoppable inner light. Divination: Self-control and inner mastery give you the power to defeat the inner saboteur. Be strong and resolute; stand your ground in the face of conflict. Hold yourself to a high standard. An iron resolve will allow you to tame the beast.
Shadow Dance: You have permission to erect strong boundaries. This shadow can make us resent the bound-aries of others, imagining they are a judgment against
us. When this is a “bright shadow" it manifests as a fear
of vulnerability or of others seeing our humanity.
Reversed:Ease up on the reins and let yourself relax. This may also indicate you will need more time and more resources to achieve what you set out for. You cannot do everything on your own.
IX.THE HERMIT - At times, the elders of our kind will leave behind the weakness of their humanity and the politi-cal games vampires so delight in. They make their way into the wilderness and seek wisdom in the shadows of the deep caverns of the world. The young will seek them out for an-swers only they can provide.
Divination:The right path can be found when you withdraw from the world and seek out the truth on your own. Close your ears to the opinions of others and make your own way. Be cautious and careful, act-ing only after meditation and introspection.
Shadow Dance: You have permission to follow your own path. This shadow can cause us to fear that we aren't where we “should” be in life or that our present loneliness will lastforever. Sometimes one voice must be willing to challenge the wisdom of the group.
Reversed: Be careful that you do not suffer needlessly in silence. You may be making things harder on your-self without realizing it. Open up and let others in. Keywords: Solitude, Avoidance,Contemplation
X.THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE - Fate Es a CTel Mis-tress, dwelling at the center of the wheel of life,death,and rebirth.Though she favors none of her children more than the others, her greatest gift is opportunity. She opens door-ways of possibility for the quick and the capable to leap through in the moments before they close again.
Divination: A change in your fortunes is on the hori-zon and you will need to be ready to pivot and adapt. A new cycle begins, bringing fresh possibilities. Pay attention to synchronicities that signal the hand of destiny.
Shadow Dance: You have permission to be opportu-nistic. This shadow can cause us to blame failures on pure hard luck, avoiding the difficult truths about re-curring obstacles. Seek a way to change the pattern.
Reversed:What goes up must come down. Instabili-ty and volatility can hamper growth. Don't be hasty or leap before the opportune moment.
Keywords: Metamorphosis, Spontaneity,Luck
XI.JUSTICE-Our kind does not submit to the petty laws of mortals. We live by a simpler, sacred code: cause and ef-fect,action and reaction,predator and prey. In the pursuit ofyour desires do not waver; hesitation is a waste of energy. Above all else,be true to your own nature.
Divination:Balance in all things is key. Be clear about your goals and take the most direct route to achieving them. Be careful of the finer details, what you put out you will receive back.
Shadow Dance: You have permission to speak your truth. We can easily be coerced into living another's lie to make them comfortable. Value your authenticity more than their comforts.
Reversed: Imbalance and misalignment can mar the most carefully laid plans. Be careful that bias and prej-udice do not blind your good judgement.
XII.THE HANGED MAN-By day we must slumber, a deep sleep like a living death. During this time, we are most vulnerable-easy prey for any hunter. And yet from this tor-
por we arise refreshed and renewed. We die at sunrise to be
fully reborn in our power.
Divination: The natural order of things may be upend-edl and plans may be delayed.Let go; surrender to the present moment, find a place of stillness and consider a new point of view. This orcleal may initiate you into deeper understanding of greater mysteries.
Shadow Dance: You have permission to be vulnerable. This shadow can cause us to resent or despise those who do not seem to be in control, thinking of them as eternal victims. There is power in recognizing you are a human being with human limitations.
Reversed: It is time to arise from your long slumber. You have taken the time you need and the moment is ripe to leap.
XIII.DEATH-Long are our lives and great are our pow-ers but even the illustrious vampire must fear the Reaper who seeks us out. Fortunately, ours is a life surrounded by death. From our mortal loved ones who fall by the wayside to the countless lives we drink we are surrounded by a mul-titude of bittersweet partings.
Divination: A chapter is coming to a close.Release at-tachment to the sun that is setting and embrace the possibility of a new dawn rising. Find closure and make peace. It is worth pointing out that the death in-dicated by this card is nearly always metaphorical rath-er than physical.
Shadow Dance: You have permission to let go. This shadow causes us to fear that any form of loss is a fail-ure on our part. It can also point to extreme discomfort with our own mortality. Live in the moment, it is the present that is eternal.
Reversed: This is a sign of stagnation, a thing drawn out far beyond its natural cycle. Inertia can keep us from making progress.
Keywords: Dissolution, Completion, Transition
XIV.TEMPERANCE- The hunt requires incredible pa-tience and self-control. Asavage beast flailing in its ag-gression will scare off its prey. Stalk your quarry with cool-ness of mind and a light tread until the moment when you must strike.
Divination:A moderate approach is required.Learn to bring just enough to the present situation. Balance brings harmony and will serve better than absolutes as will being able to see both sides of the situation and taking the middle road.
Shadow Dance: You have permission to compromise. This shadow can drive us to feeling that extreme mea-sures are the only viable options and to see peace-makers as cowards. Reaching out to your opponent in friendship can be a winning strategy.
Reversed: It indicates dissonance,and inability to adapt to change. It feels like resisting the natural flow, rather than join it.
XV.THE DEVIL-Fierce as we may be,there are other dark and dangerous creatures that walk the night. Where we are noble predators, demons seek twisted deals to claim the souls of the unwary. Their subtle poisons eat away at their victims until nothing is left but an empty husk. You have to appreciate their enthusiasm for their work.
Divination:Become aware of the chains that bind you. Vital energy may be directed towards unhealthy ends. Hidden costs may be piling up without your noticing them.
Shadow Dance: You have permission to seek pleasure. This card represents the ultimate shadow projection, giving a frightening face to everything we have ever been told is wrong for us. Your most hidden desires cry out to be released, to be acted up and to be realized. Reversed:Chains are broken and our fears cease to haunt us. When you refuse to give in to sources of negativity, they burn themselves out and trouble you no longer. Keywords:Addiction, Beguilement,Deviousness
XVI.THE TOWER-The romantic novels are true,we once ruled our kingdoms from majestic castles that pro-claimed our power to the far corners of the land. It was this arrogance that brought the hunters down upon us.Burned out of our ancestral homes, we have had to find what safe-ty we can in the shadows.
Divination: Even the strongest of foundations can crumble when they no longer serve. This card often warns us of upcoming chaos or calamity. Structures and institutions fail and it is up to individuals.
Shadow Dance: You have permission to break down. This shadow causes us to judge those whose lives seem to be “messy” or who cannot “keep it together.”Do not put up a false face for the convenience of others; let the small things fall apart if they must and seek the help you need.
Reversed:A crisis averted. When this card is reversed it suggests that it is possible to avoid greater catastrophe. Keywords:Calamity,Upheaval,Emancipation
XVII.THE STARS-We are like those bright jewels in the heavens. Lonely in the darkness but burning with vitality, beauty and grace that will echo through the millennia. We have left behind the humdrum mortal grinding existence to take wing and fly beneath the stars.
Divination: Ihis torelels a iii restoring and rejuvenating you. Open yourself to di-vine grace, believe in your dreams and you will be up-lifted. This is your time.
Shadow Dance: You have permission tobe an opti-mist. This shadow causes us to laugh at those gullible, dewy-eyed people who think things are going to get better. This is especially the case when it comes to be-lief in the spiritual and supernatural realms. Reject the cynicism of others, and fly free.
Reversed: Inverted, this card suggests that the hope you feel may be false. Take a more conventional,prac-tical approach and make choices based on what you are certain of rather than what you wish for.
XVIII. THE MOON-There are many legends of the pow-ers of the ferocious and terrible vampire. The dark giftsare not the same for all of us, who knows what abilities you will manifest in time. But greater still are the fearful tales the hu-mans whisper of us in the night. Use this to your advantage. Divination: The mind can play tricks on you, espe-cially when you are afraid. Things are not as they seem and with stillness and observation you may see what is happening beneath the surface. Do not trust too easily
in surface impressions,
Shadow Dance: You have permission to be strange.
This shadow causes us to see those who trust their in-
tuition as deranged or irrational. You comprehend that
there is more to the world than we can see.
Reversed: This is a time to be imaginative and let your mind wander wherever it wills. Trust the whispers of your intuition and see where they lead you.
XIX. THE SUN - There is no enemy of the vampire more deadly than the accursed burning eye of day. Its radiance purges all things of darkness and illuminates all the shadowy places in which we may hide. The humans say 'sunlight is the best disinfectant' - they have no idea how right they are. Divination: This is a card of certainty, warmth and clar-ity. It trumpets a triumphant 'yes' to your dreams, prom-ises success and proclaims that you are on the correct path. Take in all of the new information you are receiv-ing and allow yourself to be playful and spontaneous. Shadow Dance: You have permission to be glorious. A
'bright shadow' can make us feel like we must hide our strengths away so as not to stand out from the crowd or be seen as arrogant. This lie causes us to lock away the best parts of ourselves; shine and let others be warmed by your light.
Reversed:When reversed,the sun's light is only slight-ly dimmed. Find a way to make peace with minor im-perfections and don't let small setbacks keep you from enjoying the blessings you receive.
Keywords: Brightness,Improvisation, Certainty
XX.JUDGEMENT-We are the ones who will not sleep. Our souls do not wait for some silly end times to be given permission to arise and answer the pull of destiny. Let the mortals wait in their boxes in the shadows of their crum-bling cathedrals. We have too much living to do.
Divination:You have found a path that calls to your heart; take the steps to evolve beyond old limitations. You have waited long enough to shed your cocoon and let the world see your true self. Can indicate a decision will be made in your favor.
Shadow Dance:You have permission to use your in-fluence. This shadow whispers to us that when our
choices affect another, we may be impacting their free will. The truth is all paths connect in some way and we cannot escape our effect on others.
Reversed: When inverted the time is not yet ripe for you to heed the call or possibly the decision is made to not begin this path just yet. Delays and decisions made in opposition to you.
Keywords: Awakening, Renewal,Settlement
XXI.THE WORLD-As you have come to understand by now, my most worthy child of the night, you are many things, containing multitudes. You are both beast and an-gel and by combining these forces within you will achieve your greatest desire. When you sight your prey, like a soar-ing raptor, fall upon them with all your will and you will be unstoppable.
Divination: This card depicts the culmination of your present path and the attainment of your goal. It rep-resents more than simple victory, it also shows the in-credible transformation that has taken place within in order to reach this point. We are never finished grow-ing but we do have moments where we reach new heights like this one.
Shadow Dance: You have permission to be a whole person. People will label you, compartmentalize you and try to affix their impressions to you and react when you don't fit neatly into that box. This shadow causes us to mistrust anyone who does too well or seems too capable,muttering jealousy and recriminations.
Reversed: Most often this indicates a delay in complet-
ing the task at hand or that more struggle will be need-
ed to see things through. At times it can also speak of
feeling one's “world has turned upside down.”
The Bloodline of Passion
ACE OF CUPS-It all begins with the blood.The sweet ichor is what gives life to our ageless bodies and fills our shadowed souls.
Divination: An emotional beginning, something is ready to be born. Artistic endeavors. Gifts may be offered and your intuitive senses may be height-ened.
Shadow Dance: To be open-hearted and malleable is to be seen as naive, inconsistent and lacking in resolve. Or even worse: fluffy.
Reversed: Closed off, a beginning is delayed.Avoid-ing overindulgence.
2 OF CUPS - Eternity is far too long a time to be alone. Find one who is worthy of your trust.
Divination: The desire for connection. Let down your defenses and speak freely from the heart. Build a bridge to resolve differences.
Shadow Dance: The desire to be loved can turn into fears of unworthiness and become codependence.
Reversed: Difficulties in reconciling two hearts.Want-ing two different things from one another.
3 OF CUPS-When the dark gift enters your veins,your heightened senses will be awakened to the world as you have never experienced it before.
Divination: Take a moment to celebrate things as they are. See the best in the people around you. Gratitude will lift your spirits.
Shadow Dance: Prioritizing appropriateness and self-sufficiency can lead to too much austerity which
can even explode into overindulgence. Be careful of too much moderation.
Reversed: Feeling alone even in a crowded room or that your circle doesn't seeyou.
4 OF CUPS- There is no such thing as “enough" for our kind. Comfort is a plateau from which to sight our next Cupnb
Divination:Dissatisfaction with the present moment and an awareness that something is missing.Discomfort with no immediate solutions. Daydreams will lead the way.
Shadow Dance: We can push ourselves too hard to stay busy or productive to the point that we aren't sure if we even want what we are working for. Allow your-self to pause and reflect on what brings true pleasure. Reversed: The threshold of revelation, a new solution presents itself. Accept an offer.
5 OF CUPS-There are some who hesitate to accept the new life gifted to them by their sire and mourn the joys they could have experienced had they retained their brief hu-man lives.Fools.
Divination: Grief, loss and disappointment. Let your heart break for what could have been and then follow a new road with greater possibilities. Try to see beyond imperfections.
Shadow Dance: To be disappointed or left wanting is to be fussy, ungrateful or troublesome. This shad-ow can make someone into the “black sheep" of their group and accept things as they are.
Reversed: Some small hope remains, it is not yet time to write off a loss or move on.
6 OF CUPS - Children have always been a reminder to aging mortals that their time will soon draw to a close.For'
we who will remain eternally young, the trick is to stay
young at heart. No one likes a bore.
Divination: The joys of youth, longing for a simpler time. Take a more childlike approach. Keep things sim-ple. Offer kindness to someone who is suffering.
Shadow Dance: Those who pursue that which the cul-ture considers frivolous or unserious will be branded juve-nile, childish and unripe. This shadow laughs at entertain-ing and unproductive pursuits and urges us to “grow up”. Reversed: Focus first and foremost on yourself. Some-thing unpleasant or challenging needs to be attended to.
7 OF CUPS - When you're going to live forever, reinven-tion is a necessity. We have the ability to choose who we will be in the coming age.
Divination: A world of different possibilities is laid before you and it is your difficult task to select from among them. Find a way to make your fantasy a reality. Shadow Dance: When we take on a new identity there will be those who see it as a false face. Keeping others in boxes is comfortable. This shadow tries to blind us to personal progress.
Reversed: Avoid flights of fancy for the moment.Op-portunities may be revealed as illusions.
8 OF CUPS - The dark change is particularly cruel for the faithful. They must strive to find a new road to the di-vine light that kindled their spirit.
Divination: It is time to leave the old path you have pursued. Something fresh is calling to you. Make peace and leave behind that which no longer serves.
Shadow Dance: Change, especially a dramatic one, is easily misinterpreted as aimlessness or lack of commit-ment. This shadow can urge us to stay too long where we don't belong in the name of virtue.
Reversed: The challenges of the present may be recon-ciled. Push further to see what may be accomplished.
9 OF CUPS-Mortals tell tales of a paradise filled with unending youth and pleasure. What they find in that se-cret place tends to be... unsettling but ultimately fulfilling. Divination: Wishes will be granted and desires achieved. Don't hold back now, live abundantly and celebrate with gratitude for all you have received. Shadow Dance: Luck, attainment and satisfaction can cause envy and jealousy to bubble to the surface. We can imagine that success makes others superficial. Reversed: Beware what you wish for. Your current pursuit may disappoint you.
10 OF CUPS-It's the simple pleasures that give life meaning. A drafty old manor house with a view of the moors, plenty of unsuspecting peasants... such bliss.
Divination:Stable contentment and the attainment of a lasting peace. Take time to enjoy thecomforts you have accumulated.
Shadow Dance: In a world obsessed with “more” hav-ing enough seems. like giving up. This shadow makes satisfaction seem like complacency and worthwhile achievements feel small.
Reversed:Feeling lonely in a crowd and ill at ease with others.
PAGE OF CUPS-Of all their traits, I think it is the mortals' sense of creativity that poses the greatest dan-ger for us.
Divination: A curious and artistic soul. Let your imag-ination run free and don't try to let your logical self-im-pede its ability to find unexpected solutions and see greater depths.
Shadow Dance: When this shadow is misunderstood, they seem to be a fake and their unique insights ring hollow or sound like pretentious nonsense. Not every-one can see what you see.
Reversed: Getting lost in a daydream, not heeding in-tuitive insights.
KNIGHT OF CUPS -In the early days after the trans-formation, a young vampire can be overwhelmed by the need to experience the whole world through their newly heightened senses.
Divination: A passionate soul who wears their heart on their sleeve.Pursue your interests uncritically and embark upon a grand adventure. Enjoy a romantic fling.
Shadow Dance: The shadow of this Knight often seems to be the bad girl or bad boy our parents warned us about. Their spontaneous path seems aimless and self-indulgent.
Reversed: Be careful with rash decisions based on emotion. The Knight's natural charisma turns out to be calculated manipulation or seduction.
QUEEN OF CUPS-Despite the common wisdom,be-ing beloved rather than feared has its advantages, especial-ly when you consider the ready food supply.
Divination: An open-hearted soul who listens devot-edly. Make use of compassion and empathy with oth-ers. When people feel seen and heard they will bare their hearts and souls to you.
Shadow Dance: People easily confuse kindness with foolishness. This shadow makes us fear that if we open up to others they will hurt us or take advantage. There are those who assume altruism is a gambit and noth-ing more.
Reversed: Sensitivity can quickly become oversensi-tivity if you allow yourself to become too deeply at-tached. Don't lower all of your defenses.
KING OF CUPS-The exemplary hospitality of the vam-pire is a useful tool, putting peasants, minions and prey at ease as they marvel at your largesse.
Divination: A steady soul and a helpful advisor. Bal-ancing emotion and logic will give you the clearest map for how to proceed. Consider the merits of pro-fessional counseling.
Shadow Dance:People who have mastered their emo-tions can be seen as heartless or pedantic.This shadow equates calmness with not caring.
Reversed: Weakness of character, double dealing and treachery.
The Bloodline of Riches
ACE OF PENTACLES-As soon as possible, be sure to establish a secure lair for yourself where you may rest from the hunt and hide away from prying eyes.
Divination: A firm beginning, a seed has been planted. Invest your energy and resources into things that will grow and allow you to thrive. Good fortunewill follow. Shadow Dance: Those who act carefully and cau-tiously can be seen as cowards or self-involved. This shadow tricks us into equating “grounded” with “catatonic.”
Reversed: The present course is unlikely to yield the fruits you hope for -better to plant a seed elsewhere.
2 OF PENTACLES-We are a midpoint between man and monster, and it's quite tricky at times to maintain that equilibrium.
Divination: Focus on the present moment. Many things need your attention and you may need to devote much of your will and strength to maintaining balance between work, home and your inner life.
Shadow Dance: It is a great injustice that those who are seen to struggle with keeping things together are vilified as flawed or unstable. This shadow suggests imperfection is failure waiting to happen.
Reversed: Let go of the need for balance. Let one side win so you can give yourself over to it com-pletely.
3 OF PENTACLES-Necromancy is a demanding art; dangerous to the extreme but those who succeed become un-disputed masters of life and death. It helps when the dead whisper their encouragement.
Divination:You have honed your skills - it's time to prove yourself. Collaborate with others who have com-plimentary talents. Hard work pays off, delegate tasks to others so you can focus.
Shadow Dance: People who are driven to improve themselves and lead can be seen as obsessive, domi-neering or workaholics. Many mistrust excellence.
Reversed: Challenges arise in blending with others and clashes become likely. Forces conspire to keep you from doing your best work.
4 OF PENTACLES-A partnership between a mortal and a vampire takes quite a bit of trust on their part and immense restraint on ours.
Divination: Seek out stability and be careful with how you spend your resources of time, energy and money.
Build firm boundaries but be careful not to cut yourself
off from others entirely.
Shadow Dance: To take care of yourself and your needs first is to invoke the unforgivable sin of greed. We can make ourselves suffer greatly in the name of appearing pious.
Reversed: Let the walls come down, release attach-ment to material things and embrace unearthly joys.
5 OF PENTACLES-It is unwise to make one's home in a churchyard. The faithful are so rarely accommodat-ing to our kind.
Divination: Prepare yourself for struggle and strife. This card is especially challenging when finances are an issue. What's worse is that those who should be there to help you seem to vanish.
Shadow Dance: Visible suffering and poverty makes others uncomfortable, causing them to look the other way.This shadow tells us that we must persevere in si-lence or we are a burden.
Reversed: “Every raincloud runs out of rain.”Woes come to an end and unlooked for assistance is like-ly to appear.
6 OF PENTACLES-Give freely and you will find your lackeys and henchmen are less likely to sharpen stakes by day. Divination: Generosity toward those in need. There is an opportunity to correct an imbalance and restore harmony. Charity is rewarded.
Shadow Dance: We have been trained to mistrust the generosity of others, to imagine someone is taking ad-vantage or attempting to manipulate. This shadow casts piety as haughtiness.
Reversed: Be careful not to give too much of yourself and burn out. Look to your own needs.
7 OF PENTACLES - The saints lie there in their cold graves waiting for a day of judgement to deliver eternal life. Perhaps that will pay offfor them some day?
Divination: A long slow period with little visible change lies ahead and boredom is likely to ensue. Have faith that you have done what you can in making a long-term investment.
Shadow Dance: This shadow judges all who aren't do-ing “enough” with their lives. It urges us to fill up our time with busy work and to always seek some way to improve our lot. It never lets one rest.
Reversed: Don't wait forever for a promised reward. Release sunk costs and consider your next move.
8 OF PENTACLES-Becoming one of the truly great mem-bers ofour kind takes years of polish. Oh,and an ascot helps. Divination: Apply yourself fully to the task at hand. Taking on the full burden of work hones your skills and delivers new insights that you can only learn by doing. Careful study will be rewarded.
Shadow Dance: To be earnest and driven invites criti-cisms of superiority and competitiveness. This shadow names hard workers killjoys and sycophants.
Reversed:Take it easy, giving yourself over too fully to the grind will wear you away.
9 OF PENTACLES-None of our great leaders ever took power by meekly waiting for it to be given to them.
Divination: Trust in your vision and rely upon your independence. Your work and discipline have earned this moment, now is the time to claim what is yours. Insist on your point of view.
Shadow Dance: Heavy is the head that wears the crown. Some will call you despot or tyrant. This shad-ow asserts that all success must be collaborative.
Reversed: The moment is not quite ripe. Be careful that you see your tasks through to completion and don't move. You may need aid from others.
10 OF PENTACLES-The training of a vampire hunt-er is brutal and demanding but the result is a powerful and deadly foe. They pass down centuries of knowledge and sa-cred artifacts to their members.
Divination:Attainment of all you have worked for. A lasting legacy that will live on and benefit others. Stay grounded, prioritize security and keep the big picture in mind.
Shadow Dance: So often success is seen as unde-served. This shadow persuades us to ignore the work that was done and to believe that all wealth is an evil.
Reversed:Sometimes the thing we seek cannot be found in material success or in the aspirations other people have for us. Find your own road.
PAGE OF PENTACLES-Do not underestimate the hunters. They are puny mortals,yes, but they are methodi-cal and dedicated to our destruction.
Divination: A careful and deliberate soul. Pay attention to the small details and allow your curiosity to move you forward. Lay the foundation a little bit at a time.
Shadow Dance: In this raucous world, careful cautious types tend to get stepped on. They are seen as pawns in other people's games with no vision of their own.
Reversed: Too much focus on detail can become per-fectionism and obsession. Don't sweat every detail and give yourself a break.
KNIGHT OF PENTACLES-Fangs and claws are won-derful but the secret to a successful hunt is preparation, pa-tience,and perseverance.
Divination: A dedicated and hard-working soul. Take a straight-forward approach to the situation putting in all the effort that you can. Be diligent and avoid short-cuts and you shall accomplish what you set out to do. Shadow Dance: This shadow tempts us to believe that the worst thing we could ever be is boring. It suggests that the people who care about honor and duty aren't truly alive.
Reversed: When inverted the Knight can find them-selves in a deep rut with a need to break free with some spontaneity.
QUEEN OF PENTACLES-Some vampires refuse to hide behind mortal costumes and personas. They revel in the cold truth of the night and the dust of the grave.
Divination: An earthy and practical soul. Seek comfort and peace; stay out of your head and focus on what is real,tangible and helpful to you. Find inspiration in closeness to nature.
Shadow Dance: This Queen is derided as being too in love with earthly things. This shadow suggests that to enjoy the material world is to reject the spiritual.
Reversed:When taken to the extreme, this Queen can be too obsessed with taking care of everyone around her and overcome by lack mentality.
KING OF PENTACLES-Even the ageless are marked, not by the passage of time, but by the hardships we endure in our struggles to gain what we seek.
Divination: A pragmatic and productive soul. This is a sign of earned abundance; you will reap rich re-gards for the work you have done. Lead by example and share your prosperity with others.
Shadow Dance: “Haves” tend to be demonized by “have-nots" no matter how hard they worked for what
they possess. This shadow hints that all who attain for.
tune must have done so by immoral means.
Reversed: Be careful of the dangers of hubris and pride.Success sometimes makes us feel invincible and we stumble in our carelessness.
The Bloodline of Vitality
ACE OF WANDS-Fools think we are creatures of death. Bah! Vampires are fuller of life than any other being on this planet. Revel in your unending vitality.
Divination:An intense beginning; an adventure will soon commence. Life seems full of possibilities and new energy. Clear your schedule of anything that does not spark joy in you.
Shadow Dance:Wildness can terrify us. This shadow feels that spirit bubbling up from within and panics at the thought that they might not be able to contain it. Reversed:Unspent energy, feeling the desire without being able to name it. A delayed beginning.
2 OF WANDS-A true conqueror needs only two things. a target and desire.
Divination: You long for adventure and to expand your horizons; it's time to formulate a plan.Get ready to step out of your comfort zone to see your vision through. Fear of falling is what keeps us from fly-ing free.
Shadow Dance: Risk takers and jet setters seem to have everything come so easily to them. This shadow convinces us to stay safe at home and put dreams on a shelf.
Reversed: Focus on the here and now; there are things
to attend to before moving on.
3 OF WANDS - When in doubt just ask yourself 'Why stop now?
Divination: You're on the move and it's too late to let fear hold you back. This is the card of visionary, blazing a trail for others to follow.Each step brings you clos-er to the manifestation of your desire. Take a chance.
Shadow Dance: This shadow derides anyone who dreams too big or takes risks. They are seen as too dreamy and unrealistic to know their limits or their place.
Reversed: Plan ahead for delays and setbacks. The go-ing might not be as easy as you would hope.
4 OF WANDS-Vampire celebrations tend to leave a... pronounced effect on our surroundings.
Divination:Festivities and celebrations, come togeth-er with others to mark your success. Don't wait for per-fection, allow projects and endeavors to come to a con clusion with gratitude for what you have experienced.
Shadow Dance: When we push too hard for perfec-tion in every detail it can stop us from ever appreci-ating what we have. It can isolate us from those who want to share in our success.
Reversed: Disharmony with friends and family, a lack of stability or structural integrity.
5 OF WANDS-We vampires are fearsome foes;it's true, and yet there are some terrors of the night that even we will not face if we can avoid it.
Divination: Conflict, aggression and combativeness, differences of opinion become arguments and com-petitions.Moving forward becomes difficult without a leader and agreement on how to proceed.
Shadow Dance: In the name of harmony,we may of-ten suppress any debate or differences of opinion. This shadow suggests to us that disagreement is count-er-productive and anti-social.
Reversed: Friendly competition allows for the testing of ideas and the training of our skills.
6 OF WANDS-In battle,lead from the front. It puts your allies at ease knowing you won't stab them in the back. Divination: The sign of a visionary, this card suggests forward movement for your ideas and assures victory. Your star is rising and you will receive greater recogni-tion for your talents.
Shadow Dance: This shadow implies that to take a place of prominence is a sure sign of arrogance,haugh-tiness and pride. It plants seeds of doubt and fears of public failure.
Reversed:The current plan may require greater test-ing. Listen to the feedback of others.
7 OF WANDS-The deadly games and intrigues of the vampires' court require a spine of steel and fiery resolve.
Divination: Prepare yourself for a contest of wills. You may need to take a stand to defend your position.Have faith and hold your ground. Be certain you know what you want and act.
Shadow Dance: It can be hard to love highly argu-mentative or defensive people. This shadow implies that we are imposters and our truth shall be revealed. Reversed:When reversed, this card warns of becoming overwhelmed.Take a step back from present difficulties.
8 OF WANDS-Why walk when you can fly? Divination: Things tend to take off at great speed when this card appears and it may also herald a quick
landing is in sight. Devote yourself fully to the most important task at hand and give it undivided focus. Embrace flow.
Shadow Dance: Change, especially change of your surroundings and circumstances can be terrifying. This shadow whispers that everything is moving too quick-ly and the safest response is to shut down or remain small and unmoving.
Reversed: Reversed, this card can suggest that there is too much change happening at too brisk a pace and your eventual landing is likely to be erratic.
9 OF WANDS-The guardians of our places of power are renowned for their resilience-and for the way their position tends to erode their humanity terribly.
Divination: Be aware of the stress and tension you are experiencing as you follow your present path. Jour-ney's end is in sight but a final confrontation and push is likely necessary to reach your goal. Try not to let yourself be ground down.
Shadow Dance: In a world of constant feedback, de-fensiveness can make one seem closed-minded or self-conscious. This shadow makes us doubt the truth in our hearts and tells us it would be easier to go along with the crowd.
Reversed: It's time to lower your defenses and consid-er other points of view.
10 OF WANDS - To rule a city takes every ounce of a vampire's strength and tremendous will, but the power is worth the price.
Divination: The attainment of your desires is near. Find the strength inside to cross the finish line and you will have what you have worked so hard to achieve. Know your limits and pace yourself accordingly.
Shadow Dance: This is the shadow of the martyr, the one who has to attend to everything themselves. Be certain the voice urging you to continue comes from you and not from a need to please others.
Reversed: Delegation of tasks to others is necessary, to continue on the present course by yourself will be a folly.
PAGE OF WANDS - A hunter's training begins at an early age, the vigor and zealotry of the young is unpar-alleled.
Divination: A bright and energetic soul. Do all that you can to satisly your curiosity and greet each chal-lenge optimistically, as a puzzle to be solved. An im-portant message may soon arrive.
Shadow Dance: This shadow laughs at childlike won-der and intimates that hope is for the naive. It can cause us to doubt there is anything over the horizon. Reversed: Be careful that your eagerness to start some-
thing new isn't a dlistraction from your greater goals.
KNIGHT OF WANDS-When your heart is truly in-vested in the pursuit, things like incineration prove to be no more than a minor annoyance.
Divination: An ardent and enthusiastic soul. Pursue your desire with all the passion in your heart and all the haste you can manage. Live life with the certainty that you are in a grand adventure.
Shadow Dance:We look down on those who burn too brightly, assuming they will burn themselves out be-fore they realize it. This Knight seems too big,too loud, too imposing to be respected.
Reversed: Don't let your confidence balloon into over-confidence or your adventure will become an unman-ageable mess.
QUEEN OF WANDS - The secret to entertaining others is to first be sure you're having a marvelous time yourself. Divination: A bold and charming soul. Give yourself over tothat which you truly love and your ecstasy will be infectious to others. Your gifts of charisma and mag-netism can open doors for you.
Shadow Dance: The center of attention tends to have a large target on their back. This shadow asserts that those with big personalities must be fakes and cannot be trusted.
Reversed: Enthusiasm can easily spark impatience with others, be careful not to let your temper run away with itself.
KING OF WANDS-Achieving the legendary hypnotism of the vampire is a matter of desiring an outcome so com-pletely that those in your presence cannot helIp but desire it themselves.
Divination: An inspiring and authoritative soul. Trust in your vision and use political acumen to win over others to your side. This is the time to have the au-dacity to take command. Be direct in communicating your needs.
Shadow Dance: People who truly believe in them-selves are incredibly intimidating. This shadow makes us fear ulterior motives and asks us to step away lest we get burned by their light.
Reversed: The King's allure is all for effect. He uses his skill to flash and dazzle his audience.
The Bloodline of War
ACE OF SWORDS-Nothing clears a path like steel in your hands and steel in your veins.
Divination: A promising beginning, an opportunity will present itself. It is time to embark on a new jour-ney which requires cutting away that which no longer serves you or could hold you back. Seek out the truth at the heart of the matter, letting all else slip away.
Shadow Dance: Clutter is comforting and to take a minimalist approach can seem like ingratitude. Clear-ing away falsehoods means we must confront difficult truths.
Reversed:More clarity is needed before you can begin. Until that is achieved progress will be sluggish.
2 OF SWORDS - Turning a mortal lover into one of our kind is choice not easily made - eternity is a long time after all. Divination:You face a challenging dlecision;reflection and meditation are required before you can be certain of your next steps. Release attachment to results,deter-mine what information you truly need and seek it out. Shadow Dance: Hesitation can easily appear to be a lack of conviction. This shadow urges us to rely on in-stinct when our intellect asks us to pause and wait. Reversed:No easy choice is available and you may be-come overloaded even trying. Try to take a few of the first tentative steps.
3 OF SWORDS-It's those whom we most love that are
capable ofthe most devastating betrayals.
Divination: This is a card of pain and of heartache,
you may find yourself clinging tightly to old wounds
and regrets rather than allowing them to heal. Be very careful about allowing yourself to become too vulnera-ble in the present situation.
Shadow Dance: This shadow can trick us into ove-ridentifying with all of the sadness and misery we have experienced. It urges us to believe it will all be magical-ly better if we just wait.
Reversed: Powerful healing is about to begin. Old wounds close when you choose to forgive the ones who caused you harm, especially yourself.
4 OF SWORDS-It takes three days after death for the dark gift to manifest and bring a new vampire to life. Three beautiful days of perfect bliss.
Divination: Cease all struggles and let the balm of rest and recovery soothe your spirit. Disengage from any form of conflict and allow yourself the luxury of time and self-care. In your repose, you will find new strength and vigor.
Shadow Dance: In a world obsessed with activity and productivity, rest of any kind from a nap to a hol-iday seems to be the height of indulgence. This shad-ow pushes us to get back into fraybefore we are ready. Reversed:New energy fills and restores you; it is time to arise and begin again.
5 OF SWORDS-Deceptions and disguises are useful but sometimes one must rely on cold brutality to get the job done.
Divination: Conflict and a struggle for dominance are inevitable. Victory will require aggressive tactics and a refusal to back down. If you are not ready for this fight it would be best to retreat to a position of safety.
Shadow Dance: This is the ultimate card of the bul-ly. But when it is a shadow projection it suggests that
we are unwilling to stand up for our COnvictioris. It.
equates ambition with brutishness.
Reversed:This hints at the possibility of negotiation. People are now willing to set their differences aside.
6 OF SWORDS-Once you've drained a city dry enough to attract attention, it's best to depart for a distant shore be-fore the hunters catch up to you.
Divination: A fresh start is needed and a critical transi-tion will soon begin.Leave behind places and situations you have outgrown. Pay close attention to your mood and step away from anything dragging you down.
Shadow Dance:To depart for greener shores can seem like a failure. This shadow tries to ensnare us and keep us from forging a new path.
Reversed:When reversed, the travel suggested by this card seems to be blocked. The past can have a way of catching up to us.
7 OF SWORDS-Never let something so petty as the laws of reality get between you and your desires.
Divination: Deception is afoot. Consider an uncon-ventional approach to your situation. Find a way to sneak around your most challenging obstacles rather
than facing them head on.
Shadow Dance:Those who won't play by the rules
can be vilified as cheats when all they did was employa
creative solution no one else dreamed of. This shadow
insists that there is only one path to victory.
Reversed:You may find your creativity is blocked and despite a desire for an alternate route you will need to
accept a conventional approach.
8 OF SWORDS-Nothing helps you confound and cor-ner your prey like calling up a nice mist.
Divination:You may find yourself trapped in a partic-ularly difficult and confusing situation. Sudden move-ments will not aid you, it would be better to rely on logic and reason as you puzzle your way out.
Shadow Dance: This painful shadow can fool us into blaming the victim for their circumstances.We may imagine everyone is responsible for their own prob-lems and neglect to offer a helping hand.
Reversed: When inverted, the mists clear and we see our surroundings (and ourselves) for what they truly are.
9 OF SWORDS - The night poses no problem for us. It's the darkness within that can be all consuming.
Divination: Doubt, dismay and stress hamper your progress. Caution is useful but this indicates excessive worry holds you back from achieving your full poten-tial. Be careful you do not needlessly burn yourself out with worry.
Shadow Dance: This devious shadow will direct your focus on anything at all except the real problem with-in. When we don't want to see our own faults, we can wear ourselves out chasing phantoms.
Reversed: This is a time to “sweat the details” and fo-cus your attention on perfectly navigating the present dilemma. Some stress is warranted.
10 OF SWORDS-There's something so satisfying about that last look of defeat in your prey's eyes when they realize their time has run out.
Divination: A difficult ending is likely in the present situation. It would be better to prepare a retreat than to continue to struggle against a situation that shows no sign of improving.
Shadow Dance:Every ending is an opportunity if you are willing to learn from your mistakes. But this shadow
goads us into fighting for a losing cause and blaming our difficulties on anything except our own decisions. Reversed: After a long, difficult period, healing begins to take place. Past painsvanish.
PAGE OF SWORDS-No matter how many traps or guards you set about your lair, a hunter always manag-es to slip through.
Divination:A resourceful, observant soul. Pay atten-tion to all the details and verify the truth for yourself rather than relying on others. This Page makes an ex-cellent detective,finding secrets long thought hidden.
Shadow Dance: No one trusts you when you know too much. This shadow whispers that anyone who takes an interest must be a spy, stalker or have ulte-rior motives.
Reversed:When inverted the Page can think too high-ly of their skills at perception and draw imperfect con-clusions. Don't trust first impressions.
KNIGHT OF SWORDS-When selecting minions,pri-oritize ruthless efficiency over manners at dinner.
Divination: A forthright and capable soul. The Knight acts swiftly and thinks about it later. They are direct and willing to risk much in order to attain their desires. This is a time for daring and action, don't hold back.
Shadow Dance: It is considered terribly rude to ac-tually speak your mind. We must be polite, wait our turn, accommodate others all around us this shadow tells us as it wraps us in chains.
Reversed: Callousness and thoughtlessness, try to show restraint and look before you leap.
QUEEN OF SWORDS-Many have underestimated her. It was their final mistake.
Divination: A wise and discerning soul. The Queen has learned from the pain of her past and avoids mak-ing the same mistake twice. Avoid sentimentality and rely upon your intellect to provide the guidance you need.
Shadow Dance: People who make strategic decisions rather than emotional ones seem to have hearts as cold as ice. We imagine they are bitter and must be unhap-py because we cannot understand them.
Reversed: The Queen's sharp tongue can be used as a weapon. Be careful that your words are not spoken in service to cruelty or malice.
KING OF SWORDS - To rule for centuries on end re-quires you to take a rather longer view of events than most. Divination: A brilliantand commanding soul. The King rules his subjects with a firm hand and has abso-lute faith in his vision because he has tested it careful-ly.Gather knowledge and lead with confidence. Do not budge on what is important to you.
Shadow Dance: No one wants to be the ogre, the one who must perform the difficult, often painful task that is best for everyone in the long run. This shadow asks you to surrender to the will and comfort of others rath-er than fight.
Reversed: Inverted, this King's great intellect serves only himself, dominating others into submission.
SHADOW WORK WITH THE TAROT V
The best political, social, and spiritual work we can do is to withdraw the projection ofour shadow onto others.-Carl Gustav Jung
Vampires offer the perfect symbol with which we can begin to explore the nebulous realm of the uncon-scious. They are monsters and in their ferocity we see aspects of ourselves that we are deeply uncomfort-able with.
There are a few ways for you to begin. Think about a recent experience that was especially triggering for you. Maybe you reacted in unexpected anger to something that was said to you or even something you saw in a film or red in a book.Flip through the cards face up and set aside any that you feel you can associate with the triggering experience.
The thing that triggered us is likely to point to a fear we have about ourselves. It has been said that the thing you think isthe most wrong with the world to-day is likely an issue you struggle with inside.
Consider first what seems to be very monstrous, dif-ficult or negative about the card. How do you feel about people who exhibit this behavior in the real world? Explore your extreme dislike of this trait.
Take a breath and look at the card again, this time think about the ways that the vampire that seems to be appealing. If you could be an immortal supernatu-ral creature who didn't have to worry about any con-sequences, what might you enjoy about reveling in this forbidden trait.
Refer to the text from the Shadow Dance section of the guidebook for this card and consider this new in-formation alongside what you have already uncov-
ered. For the Major Arcana, this will begin with the
phrase “you have permission to...”
Now ask yourself: is there any way that I can allow myself to explore the taboos I have encountered in this card? Don't push yourself beyond what is com-fortable for you at present. The goal of this work is to explore your hidden depths and make conscious choices about things that have been residing in your unconscious mind. And it cannot be overstat-ed enough: have compassion for yourself throughout this process; it is incredibly brave to tread into the realm of the shadow.
If you prefer, you may simply ask the cards to re-veal an important shadow aspect for you to consid-er, shuffle and draw a few cards from the deck. You might also choose before performing a reading to in-terpret any reversed cards as having messages about their shadow aspects. Be sure to invert some of the cards as you shuffle.