With Halloween and Bonfire Night just around the corner, it seems only right to feature and to review an awesome, autumnal tarot deck such as The Bonefire Tarot – a vivid, hand-painted Rider-Waite based tarot deck inspired by the vintage, old-school tattoo flash of Sailor Jerry Collins.
The Bonefire Tarot is the ideal tarot deck for the explorative reader as it features visual keys and symbols to enhance and encourage intuitive reading.
Designed and created by Gabi Angus-West, The Bonefire Tarot began as a painting based upon ‘The Lovers’ which was created in honour of an engaged couple, who sadly never got to ‘tie the knot’. From there, Gabi began dabbling with creating lucky talismans upon small canvases and she later painted larger works of art in the hope that she’d be able to sell her work but sadly, it wasn’t to be…
Gabi continued painting and began to spot patterns and symbolism within her tattoo based artwork, it was around about then that she began studying the tarot and found it to be a wealth of inspiration for her artwork, thus The Bonefire Tarot was born.
A Little History
Bonfire of banfire, is the old English root of the modern word ‘bonfire’. Back in pagan times, the winters were dark, cold, and deemed dangerous times of hibernation for people, animals, and crops. During the festival of Beltane, the Shining Fire was the focus of the festivities and as the day arrived housefires would be extinguished as the Beltane fire was constructed and lit.
Sacrificial bones were collected to place at the base of the fire and as nothing was wasted – the hide from animals would be worn to signify warmth alongside the flames of the fire. Annual bathing took place, old linen and clothes were burnt as new clothes and garments replaced them. This was a time of ritualistic deep cleansing, new beginnings and rebirth.
Lives were begun and transformed by the dying embers of the bonfire, which would brightly announce the new year from the old.
The Bonefire Tarot is packaged in a large, sturdy box featuring a navy cardboard insert and matching ribbon pull tab and hinges. For storage purposes, the deck has been split into two and the guidebook is neatly placed on top. Though I’m not keen on decks being split in packaging, I rather like the design of this box as it looks very much like a woven basket rather than cardboard.
Given that the cards are packaged in two separate piles, I hopped onto the sewing machine and whizzed up a pouch to store this beautiful deck within (see above).
The Bonefire Tarot is a large, non-edged, glossy tarot deck which features black borders, gold italic, titling font and beautiful, bright imagery throughout. The Bonefire Tarot is an easy deck to shuffle, though may require a larger pouch/ bag if are looking to purchase alternative storage solutions.
The Bonefire Tarot features an extensive colour-printed guidebook that includes a lengthy, informative preface, information upon the major arcana, information upon the minor arcana, a comprehensive guide to each and every card within the deck, a glossary of the symbols and their meanings, three simple spread examples and further information upon Gabi, the artist and creator.
The Bonefire Tarot guidebook is a chunky, extensive guide to the tarot which offers far more than just ‘a little white book’/ information leaflet ever could – this is an ideal guide for beginners and an enjoyable read for experienced tarot readers.
Reading With The Bonefire Tarot
Readings seem so easy with this deck as there is such much detail featured within the imagery printed on each card. There seems to be so many messages to pick up and to pass on, this deck really does offer a wealth of information and is an absoloute joy to work with.
Though each of the cards has been titled (within the base of the black border) with gold, italic font, each card also features titling within the artwork – this is ideal for those readers who prefer to trim the borders of their tarot decks. Personally, I wouldn’t dare change a thing about any tarot deck, especially not this deck as it is perfect just the way it is!
The Major Arcana
The major arcana cards feature archetypal roles and figures in a range of bold, vibrant colours. The cards are busy and the imagery is rich which enables easy and intuitive reading as there’s just so much to see!
The Minor Arcana
The minor arcana suits each have their own style, look and set of common symbols which are concerned with life’s little details. Once again, the cards are rich, vibrant and full of detail – ideal for drawing intuitive readings from.
Having worked continuously with The Bonefire Tarot for the past three days, I am completely and utterly head over heels in love with this deck. Much like the dark sky set against the bright flames of a bonfire – The Bonefire Tarot is so incredibly colourful whilst wonderfully dark – it truly is the most awesome autumn tarot deck I’ve ever come across.
Purchasing & Pricing Information
Published by Red Feather (Schiffer) The Bonefire Tarot is available to purchase directly from Schiffer for $34.99. For those of you within the UK, The Bonefire Tarot is available online from Gazelle Book Services for £33.99 or alternatively can be purchased via Amazon for (as of October 2020) only £24.54
To summarise, The Bonefire Tarot is a bright, rich, vivid and vibrant tattoo-based tarot deck ideal for tarot readers of any level. This is an awesome, autumnal themed deck which I would thoroughly recommend to family, friends and readers worldwide.
For further information upon The Bonefire Tarot or alternative Red Feather/ Schiffer products visit www.schifferbooks.com
Disclosure: I was sent the above product for the purpose of this post however all opinions are my own.