The Spolia Tarot is a collaboration between artist Jen May and myself, Jessa Crispin. Jen and I had been working together on tarot imagery, she was illustrating a series of pieces I had written about specific cards, when we decided to work together to create a whole deck.
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.) I had been working as a tarot card reader for about six years, and I 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. We thought it would take us about a year to complete. That was three and a half years ago.
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.
We use images from history, from alchemy and mysticism, from mythology and the natural world to create a lush deck layered with meaning. I have been studying the symbolism of the tarot for years, and we were meticulous about using the colors, flowers, crystals and stones, animals, and other imagery associated with each specific tarot card or its astrological associations.
As one of the decks I learned to read with was a Minchiate, an older Italian deck with 97 cards rather than the more standard 78 card deck, we added a few of the Minchiate's other cards, like one card for each astrological sign, and one for each of the elements. I find these cards very useful in my readings with clients, and with my own personal readings, and you'll find instructions on how to use them yourself in the 32 page manual I wrote that is included with the deck.
All of the artwork by Jen May is complete and the deck and packaging has been designed by Tara Romeo. We will be sending the deck to print as soon as the money has been raised.
Thank you for your support and interest. The Spolia deck has been a labor of love, we can't wait for all of you to see it, too.
Risks and challenges
There are few risks involved - The artwork is completed, the design and lay out of the deck is completed, and we have received a quote from our printer. Once the money has been raised we are ready to submit the files to be printer. It will take approximately 60 days from the day we submit the work to the printer to have the completed deck in our hands, which we would then send out to you right away.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)