Vlad Dracula Tarot
The Vlad Dracula Tarot is a 78 card Tarot deck created by occultist and author Travis McHenry. It is a carefully researched biographical account of the life of Vlad the Impaler.
The author visited Romania in 2019 while researching the deck. His journey was documented in the documentary web series "In the Footsteps of Vlad Dracula," which was released on YouTube to coincide with the first publication of the deck.
The Vlad Dracula Tarot consists of original artwork done in the style of 15th century woodcuts by Russian artist Nikita Vuimin. All cards of the Major Arcana as well as the court cards of the Minor Arcana feature people who were prominent in the life of Vlad the Impaler, including Sultan Mehmed II (The Emperor), Pope Pius II (The Hierophant), and Radu the Handsome (Knight of Cups).
Many of the cards include imagery depicting the brutal nature of Vlad's reign over Wallachia, including the Forest of the Impaled, the Nailing of the Turbans, the mass execution of the poor, and numerous impaling scenes. Vlad's own death is depicted twice in the deck, once as the Death card (showing Vlad's head on a stake) and a second time on the Ten of Wands (showing Vlad stabbed by many spears).
The deck was originally published in March 2020 by Bloodstone Studios as The Tarot of Vlad Dracula. It launched as part of a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised over $50,000. This version of the deck was envisioned as authentic woodcuts printed without colorization, although the card background was meant to resemble the pages of an aged book.
After the original edition sold out, the deck was licensed by Rockpool Publishing for reprinting in a new mass market edition.
The mass market edition released by Rockpool Publishing features some key differences from the original version:
- Expanded, full color guidebook.
- Color woodcuts instead of black and white woodcuts.
- More intricate borders.