Self-Published, 2016, $35.00
Purchase at: http://www.thetarotofbones.com/
Review by Erin
Full disclosure first: Lupa is a really REALLY good friend of mine, and I’ve reviewed a lot of her works. However, that being said I’m going to be totally honest in this review.
This is a specialty deck. It is nearly an oracle deck, but it isn’t a deck that a new tarot reader can pick up and start reading with. I’ll talk about the several reasons for that in a while.
The artwork shines in this deck. Lupa is a member of the “Vulture Culture”, which is a shorthand way of saying that she works with dead animals. This includes taxidermy, but mostly her art expresses itself in taking bones, leather and fur, and releasing the spirits of those items (if they want to leave), recycling it into something beautiful and selling it to those of us who appreciate this.
So, I have the deck now, and the artwork is GORGEOUS. She took the animal bones and other items she uses in her artwork, assembled them into a display and had them photographed for the various cards. This is 78 different assemblages, and there’s an extra card that she had made as a thank you for those who supported her Kickstarter. So that’s 79. And they are beautiful.
I do have to give a few warnings. This is not a standard deck, mainly because there’s no visual mnemonics to help in an interpretation. There is only the name of the card and the visual with the bones. So someone who is using it must have the cards and their meanings memorized. There is no little white book with it that gives meaning interpretation or what the bones are and mean.
There is a separate book that you can buy along with the deck that gives all that. I highly recommend that you get the book in addition to the deck. Lupa has done a lot of research and this is a very informative in the lore of the animals and the bones. It’s a fantastic resource.
I admit that since there was no LWB included, it looked strange to me with the companion book. When I expressed this to Lupa, she let me know that there was a LWB of a type, online. I was surprised by this as I didn’t know it, but now I feel silly for not expecting this in the first place. This guide is located at http://www.thetarotofbones.com/the-cards and you should probably go and make some sort of document of this for reference.
The reason that Lupa didn’t include a LWB is because she was saving trees/paper. I had thought that including a cover card with the information on where to find the digital LWB, but she pointed out that it would use resources again. Then I actually read the box, and found that there is a link on it to the site for the card interpretation, and I felt really stupid.
So, this isn’t a traditional deck, it is a specialist deck, and with the addition of “the Happy Squirrel” card, it is almost an oracle deck. Once everything is said and sifted, I give this deck 4 stars out of 5, and with the companion book, 4 1/2 stars. This is a beautiful deck, well done, the book is well researched and written, and if you have a practice based on animals, shamanism, green witchcraft, or animal based, you must have this in your collection.