The Spolia Tarot is a collaboration between artist Jen May and writer Jessa Crispin.
Jen's work, colorful and earthy, with a feminine vibe and pulling from many historical sources, seemed perfect for a tarot deck. (Also she is a Scorpio.) Jessa had been working as a tarot card reader for about six years, and was very interested in the history of the deck, the deeper meaning of the imagery, and how the history of not only the tarot but other forms of mysticism and occult study. The preparation of this deck took 3 years.
Jen works with collage, making the word Spolia appropriate for a title, as it means using rubble as building material. It also felt fitting for the time we are living in, as institutions, gender norms, religions, and ideas about how a society should function are all tumbling down and need to be rebuilt. We both believe that intuition and spirit are essential tools for guiding us through this process.
The images were used from history, from alchemy and mysticism, from mythology and the natural world to create a lush deck layered with meaning. Jessa has been studying the symbolism of the tarot for years, and they were meticulous about using the colors, flowers, crystals and stones, animals, and other imagery associated with each specific tarot card or its astrological associations.
This deck is a variation on an older Italian deck called the Minchiate, which had 97 cards rather than the more standard 78 card deck. they added a few of the Minchiate's other cards, like one card for each astrological sign, and one for each of the elements. You'll find instructions on how to use them yourself in the 32 page manual that is included with the deck.
The design work on the deck, manual, and box was done by Tara Romeo.
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The Spolia Tarot
The Spolia Tarot deck includes 94 Illustrated cards. Extra cards are zodiac and elements. 56 page manual.
The Second Edition was printed with an environmentally sustainable printer in Canada. This edition of the deck allows for easier shuffling as the surface of the cards is matte and smooth with no additional lamination.