Ready for another deck review?! The Spolia Tarot deck landed in my hands and I've been anxiously waiting for it to arrive! I pre-ordered this deck back in early May after missing the Kickstarter. I was a bit on the fence since while I do love collage, I haven't yet owned a deck that was collage themed so I wasn't sure how I would connect with it but... (spoiler alert) I love it!
The Spolia Tarot deck's artwork was done by Jen May, the little white book (LWB) was written by Jessa Crispin, and it was designed by Tara Romeo - what a team! I'm a massive fan of Jessa Crispin's writing, in fact The Creative Tarot is my absolute favorite tarot book on the market. It's one that really speaks my language best and I recommend it to everyone who asks!
This deck really blew me away! I created a big hype for myself while waiting for this deck to ship so I was really afraid I was setting myself up to be disappointed... but it was far from that. I'm in love! From the artwork to the LWB to the card stock and box, everything was on point with my expectations and more.
The deck uses the word "coin" instead of "pentacle" and I love that! I use "coins" when talking about the pentacle suits as it's how I relate to this suit the most, so seeing that written on the cards made me very happy. Also, the deck comes with 16 extra cards - 12 zodiac cards and 4 elemental cards. You can use these or not, I decided to leave them in the deck as I find they add an extra layer to the reading, almost like combining oracle and tarot.
The deck was printed in Italy and it really gives off a "rich" feel to it, the deck just feels really good to the touch. The box is gorgeous and simple, I was afraid to break the seal so I popped it open from the bottom with a butter knife - a little trick I learned when opening playing card decks. The deck was well worth the wait and I'm so glad they did a 2nd printing!
A few of my favorite cards
It was really hard to just a few cards, I love them all! Some cards speak really loud and clear for me, while others are just beautifully done and well executed. My absolute favorite cards in the deck is the Devil. It's simple and it leaves much room for interpretation. The Devil has been a favorite card of mine lately and it's one I look for first in a deck, I love a good devil! The 6 of Coins - I really like the exchange being played out in this card. There are hands giving, receiving, and waiting. It just speaks really well for me and I love how it was done. I also love the Judgement and Justice cards, the hand shake in the Justice card and the snake changing in the other card just makes me smile. Lastly, I love the 9 of Swords in this deck, you can really feel this card and the mental torment, the booklet describes it perfectly:
"The brain can eat itself if you let it... we can spin demons out of thin air"
The card stock lives up to the price of the deck, which was around $50 at the time that I ordered it! I hate when you pay a lot for a deck and the card stock falls flat, that was not the case with this deck at all. The cards have a satin like finish that feels divine in your hands. While the cards are thick, they aren't super stiff like some decks I've had. It's hard to explain, but these cards are like a soft-stiff? Not even sure what that means but it's the best way to explain it so I'm going with it! I'm fairly rough with my cards and I haven't seen any chips at all in the card stock or any notice of wear, which I normally see after one day of use... again, I'm rough. I think the cards will hold up really well over time!
I know I always say "this deck shuffles like butter".... but it's true again in this case. This is one of those satin finished decks that shuffles so nicely. You can hear the cards slide while shuffling too, it's an addicting sound. Now, this is a fat stacked deck, I'm not kidding.... look at the image below, it's thick! It's a bit wider and taller than your standard tarot deck, it's like a brick. I have to shuffle it a tiny bit differently than I normally do. As usual, I have to at least get a few riffle shuffles in before I start my overhand but to do this, I have to split the deck into two piles and riffle them each first. I can overhand shuffle the whole deck just fine, it's just the riffle shuffle that is a bit tricky. If you have small hands it may be a bit tricky, just a heads up!
In the package
There are two options for this deck - the first being just the deck, and the second is the deck with spread cloth. I'm kicking myself for not getting the second option but in reality, I know I won't use the spread cloth often so I'll live.
The deck comes with the box (which is beautifully made), the booklet, and the cards. I also received a mini postcard print of the High Priestess in my box. I love it and need to figure out if I want to frame it or stick it somewhere.
While I rarely get excited about a LWB, this was an exception. Jessa Crispin wrote the damn book and it's amazing! I don't often reference back to the booklet with each deck but I can't help but not see what she wrote about for each card, it's so on point and so well said. The booklet is written just like her other book, The Creative Tarot,, where she groups up the cards in order by rank rather than suit order. This is how I tend to order my study journal as well, I like to be able to quickly compare all 3's or all the Knight's, rather than hunt each one down within their own suit.
The book is short and to the point, it's around 52 pages I think and also notes the extra cards. There is no extra stuff in this booklet, it goes right into the cards and nothing more, which I really like.
I have added a new little point in my reviews, diversity. This has always been a main focus for me when buying a deck but it's quickly becoming a major decider in whether or not I purchase it. So I thought I would note the level of diversity in each deck from here on out in my reviews. Being a collaged deck, I wasn't sure what would be represented in the cards. Originally I said there was a "vast amount of poc being represented" but after closer inspection (and talking to another person on IG) I came to realize that there is only a little amount, which is good but still not great. I think there could have been a lot more room for diversity. As far as body sizes, I see a lot of bodies with full hips and soft bellies, which makes me happy. In fact, I just noticed that the Empress has a double chin and I love it. This is my birth card and I too am in this club, haha! I find it so important to be able to find at least one card in a deck that you can relate to and see yourself in.
I'm pretty sure you can tell that I'm in love with this deck! I've had a chance to work with it for a few days now and it reads so well for me, this is for sure a deck that I will be using a lot. The readings come out very clear and direct, so far all have been incredibly on point for me. I've been using it for daily pulls, yesterdays weekly reading, and in a current July tarot challenge... it's called me out several times now.
This deck didn't quite fit in my standard deck bags that I make and sell, so I had to whip up a custom sized bag for it the other night to fit the thickness of it. A few other people on Instagram have raised their hands for this bag size so I will for sure add a few of these to my shop soon! FYI: You'll be seeing a lot of this deck on the blog for sure!
⤳ Buy this deck HERE
If you have this deck, how are you liking it?
Or is it on your wishlist?
Let me know in the comments below!