Review: She Wolfe Tarot
Title: She Wolfe Tarot
Author: Devany Amber Wolfe
Afterforward: Nicolas Petricca
Publisher: Independent Publishing
Number of Cards: 80
Pages In Guidebook: 184
Card Size: Oracle Size
Where to Purchase: Serpentfire
Top Three Favorite Cards: Saturn, Hanged Being, Death
Why I Bought This Deck...
I've been a big of Devany's work for a while now. It's futuristic, art deco and surrealist wrapped all into one with strong elements of Egyptian Symbolism. The hard symbolism and style creates a nice balance to the softer feminine energy of the characters. Its IMO, a perfect balance between the masculine and feminine energies.
I never got her first deck. I wanted to but I had a whole list of other decks that I wanted to get first. Then when time came to purchase, I found myself in a different place energetically than what I felt the deck could offer. In 2016 and the years leading to it, I was smack in the middle of some deep, intense shadow work. However in 2017, I rediscovered my light and started feeling more called to lighter, softer energies. I felt like She Wolfe had touches of the darker energy of Serpentfire but much softer overall so I jumped at the chance to buy it when she put it up for presale. 2018 has become more about balance and merging the two energies so I do plan to move forward with purchasing the Serpentfire Tarot and using them together.
If you've read my reviews before, you know that I'm kind of a box snob. I prefer to keep my decks in their original box so a good, strong box is always a desire for me. This box is as sturdy as they come and very well made and the pieces are a perfect, snug fit. The only thing I didn't like about the box is that it doesn't have the half circles (not sure what those are called, tabs maybe?) on the side that make it easy to open. I have a hard time getting the box open sometimes. But the trouble is worth the wait. Inside of the bottom is a beautiful poem and the top features the same pattern on the backs of the cards (I saw on her instagram that the backs are changing).
The cards themselves are rose gold gilded which is stunning and a perfect match to the overall deck... very good choice. The card stock is fine, not too thick or thin. The cards are more of an oracle size which is a challenge for me to shuffle because I have small hands. Not my preference but certainly not a dealbreaker. The finish of the cards have a light gloss that do pick up a glare (if you're into taking photos) but looks beautiful in person.
The book is pretty well done except for the names (more on that later). It has an intro, how to use the book, 4 spreads, a glossary and resource pages. I loved the spreads as they weren't your traditional past/present/future spread which I find to be a waste in a guidebook. I loved the inclusion of full/new moon spread. I get questions about how to read for the moon all of the time so seeing someone write out a spread was a pleasant surprise. What I really love is the glossary. I absolutely love seeing artists rewrite the tarot in their own words but we as spiritual teachers often forget that not everyone is familiar with some of the terms we use, myself included. I found the glossary to be a thoughtful touch for those who maybe don't know that much about some aspects of the spiritual path.
Each card has a light (upright) description, a shadow (reversed) description, keywords and a mantra. The only card that didn't have a mantra was the Saturn card. Or at least that's the only one that I could find. I'm not sure if that was intentionally or a mistake. But that does bring me to the inclusion of two additional major arcana cards: saturn and mercury. I just started my first saturn return so having that additional card hit a personal note for me and it happened to be the first card that I pulled from the deck. The mercury card is for communication and makes total sense in a tarot deck for me. What is a tarot reading but a communication from the divine?
What I Liked About It...
Number one, I love the color palette. I'm so into that soft, dusty rose right now making this deck my favorite at the moment in terms of aesthetics. I also really like the overall cohesiveness of the deck. Each element ties together perfectly and you can tell Devany put a lot of time and effort into this creation. As I noted previously, I loved seeing the additional cards. I always love to see artist reinventing the tarot. People are probably most familiar with the Rider-Waite style but that deck is actually pretty new. Tarot has been around for hundreds of years with as many versions so I really applaud artists who think outside the box. The artwork is very abstract which again, is a nice change from the more common symbols found in most decks. I especially love the Hanged Being card who is actually floating on a stone block. The imagery is new and fresh and a much needed update, IMO. I also really liked the Death and Hermit cards, Ace of Wands and eight of wands.
What I Didn't Like...
Ok, let me start by saying I do love this deck but there is one big thing that has been a point of annoyance for me and that is some of the names of the major arcana. As I've said several times now, I love to see artists interpreting decks in new ways and making changes that prompts us to see tarot in new lights. With that said, I have no problem that some of the names are different from Rider-Waite. I do however, have a problem that some of the names of the cards are completely different in the guidebook. The cards aren't numbered nor are there any photos in the book for reference which means the consumer is left with the task of figuring out which description belongs to which card. Though this is only the case for a small handful. Fortunately I've been reading tarot for years so it wasn't that hard for me to figure out. But the first couple of readings with this deck left me searching through every single page of the major arcana, wondering where the hell the description was.
Let me give you an example. Take the card "Lust", in the book, that card is titled "Strength"; "Divine Feminine" is "Empress" in the book; and "Aeon" is "Judgement" in the book. Now here's the stranger part: There are four additional name changes but those cards are titled correctly in the book. "Cosmic Union" which is the world card says "Cosmic Union" in the book. The same goes for "Balance", "Will of Mars" and "Hanged Being". I cannot understand why the others weren't done the same way and it makes me even more annoyed. I'm sure the artist had her reasons for doing so but I think that's something she should change.
I Recommend These Cards For...
I don't recommend this deck for beginners, one because of the names and two because the artwork is abstract. The artwork is gorgeous but I don't think the symbols necessarily point to each card's original meaning. I do recommend this deck to someone is trying to deepen their intuition. I think abstract decks are perfect for that practice. It forces you to rely a lot more on the intuitive guidance you receive instead of memorizing the more widely accepted meanings.