Crystal Bone Tarot: by Jace Anderson (2018, self-published)
MINIMAL. LAYERED. SIMPLE. DEEP. At first glance, you wouldn’t see much in the no-frills white tuck box of the Crystal Bone Tarot, finished with a custom title sticker. Still, we all know by now not to judge a deck by its box. And this “little white box” is hiding some cool stuff inside. But don’t let this minimalist box deter you. There’s a deluxe option to get the box done up with custom art by creator Jace Anderson, as well as silver or gold gilding on the card edges.
The backs of the card are sleek and minimal, which is right up my alley (GIMME ALL THE BLACK AND WHITE DECKS). I dig the 3-barred cross and geometrical line work. I first interpreted the symbols as a juxtaposition of the Star of David and the Cross of Christ. Am I right? Hard to tell, as I didn’t have the guidebook to give more insight (NOTE: one can be purchased separately from the deck), but the art also incorporates the “as above/so below” and elemental symbols. So, I think it’s safe to say, the design will work for a variety of readers. PLUS — it’s reversible!
The Wands and Pentacles suit names have been changed to Bones and Crystals, respectively, with Cups and Swords remaining the same. CRYSTAL BONE, anyone? The Fool card has no title but is noted by the “00” at the bottom. And The World card is updated to The Universe. There’s a mix of humans, aliens and inanimate objects throughout the deck. But there’s also an intriguing dichotomy between age and youth, alien and earth. The line work creates subtle movement in the images, some which are beautiful to look at, others which create a curiosity that makes me pause. Yet the longer I work with the deck, the less unsettling the art has become (for the most part).
One super cool bit that Jace did is including an elemental association in each suit. It’s not obtrusive, indeed, sometimes you barely see it, but they’re there. In doing so, it really makes you dig into the art, and introduces a deeper connection with the deck. It’s an invisible thread between the cards which I thought was a genius touch.
My absolute favorite part of the Crystal Bone Tarot is the sketchbook art style. It’s like a peek into the artist’s mind. But also another dimension, another soul. There’s a lot of wisdom waiting to be shared within these cards, and I think it would be a really great deck for ancestor or akashic records work.
In case you missed it, Jace is also musician. Check out his music at www.jaceandersonrecords.com when you pick up your copy of the Crystal Bone Tarot.