Executed in a style inspired by vintage-era tattoo art, artist Gabi Angus-West's Bonefire Tarot is at once ambitious and unpretentious. Endeavoring to provide a fresh perspective on the Rider-Waite-Smith images (although sometimes rejecting them entirely), the brightly-colored tableaus stand in prominent contrast to the latter's muted Victorian-era tones, unapologetically imbuing each image with energy and strength.
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I was very excited to receive the Bonefire Tarot. The images I'd seen on line had such vibrant colors and evocative imagery that I just knew it would be an excellent deck for readings. And I was not disappointed! Gabi Angus-West''s work is even more beautiful when I had the cards in my eager hands. The colors are breathtaking and the images of the cards can take my mind in familiar directions as learned in the RWS, but often lead me to new thoughts. I have had the Bonefire Tarot for a couple of weeks now and have done several readings with it. I have found it easy to read with, though the twist that I find in many cards gives me reason to think a little harder and find new directions for my intuition to wander in. Now, having said that - and make no mistake, I love the deck - it does have one problem for me, but it is in the physical make-up of the cards. With most of my Tarot decks, even ones printed on heavier card stock (such as the Touchstone for example), I can shuffle using a faro-style method. However, this deck won't work with that, the edges don't want to slide past one another. Okay, I tried riffle-shuffling, but the cards are very thick and stiff and this didn't work well either. Even with the robustness of the cards, I still found that either shuffling method was damaging the edges. Fortunately, I remembered a method my father taught me when I was young and couldn't handle cards very well, and as that doesn't cause any impact on the edges, I will be using that method with this deck. Overall, the Bonefire Tarot is one of the most beautiful decks I have. If you're familiar with the RWS and Golden Dawn systems, you will get along well with this deck. However, be aware that the cards are difficult to handle due to being very thick and stiff.