This is a follow up to my previous review of the original 1st edition The Vitriolic Tarot deck, which you can read here. I might consolidate these separate reviews somehow somewhere further down the line… but as of right now they exists as two separate blog posts.
The expansion pack is for the 1st Edition Vitriolic Tarot and it includes seven new cards: Mercury, Sulphur, Salt, Wands, Swords, Cups and Coins,(more on these later). the It also comes with a set of instructions for how you can implement the new cards in your original Vitriolic deck, as well as alchemical correspondences, descriptions of the iconography and divinatory interpretations. The cards are identical in size and finish as the originals, and they of course have the same exact card back too. This means that there’s no issues with adding them to your old deck. Plug and play, as the kids say. And it brings the deck to a nice round total of 30 cards (the Major Arcana has two Fool cards (An Alpha and an Omega).
The first three of these seven cards, Sulphur, Mercury and Salt represents the Alchemical trinity, also known as the thrice-great Hermetic mystery.
Sulphur is soul, Mercury is mind (spirit-intellect) and Salt is body. They can also be divided into a multitude of other things, like for instance:
- Hot – Wet – Cold
- Fire – Smoke – Ash
- Active – Neutral – Passive
- Sun – Mercury – Moon
- Odin – Vile – Ve
- Art – Magick – Science
I could go on and on, but I encourage you to go find your own connections, and while its suggested in the little white book that you’d use these three cards as clarifiers, and qualifiers in your reads, I offer another alternative, which is to utilise them as modular three-card read templates. Deal them out at random, on decide before hand the order you lay them out in.
The last 4 cards are Wands, Swords, Cups and Coins. For those already familiar with tarot, the meaning of these are very obvious. They are the four suits of the Minor Arcana, which represents the four common elements, Fire, Air, Water and Earth respectively.
There’s lots of ways to utilise The Vitriolic Tarot. You can look at it from a purely alchemical view point. i.e. as a learning tool or an interactive study guide, in which these additional cards will no doubt prove to be very helpful. It’s great as a meditative focus by pulling one card at a time, but it works extremely well in a traditional divinatory way too. Either with or without the seven new cards shuffled in, and I have experimented with both, even though at the time of writing I prefer to have the new cards separate, and using them to expand (see what I did there?) on my reads instead.
It also works great in conjunction with other decks, and before this expansion pack was released I made joint reads with the Vitriolic Major Arcana and the adopted Minor Arcana from the Aetheric version of the Dark Exact Tarot. I’ve been experimenting with making Frankenstein decks like this a lot recently, and in this case I really wanted to see how it might possibly work together with a fuller deck, and I have to say that the results were really interesting. It resulted in a couple of experimental spreads that I hope to share with you in the future.
If you already own the first edition without these 7 extra cards, and you love it, then it really is a no brainer: Get this Expansion pack now! However, if you don’t have this deck yet, but are looking for something a little different and more unique than what you usually see on the market these days, then the second edition might just be for you. Especially if you are into the more esoteric aspect of the Tarot, and if you have more than a little passing interest in alchemy.
This truly is one of my all-time favourite decks, and one that I use all the time, particularly for my own personal reads, and with the seven additional cards thrown in the mix, it definitely adds an extra dimension or two, or three.
The Vitriolic 2nd edition is out now and it contains the extra expansion pack cards as well as an expanded booklet with the new content mentioned above.