Hey everyone! Long time no blog. There are some good reasons for it, but don’t want to bore anyone with the details. Stay hydrated, stay cool this summer, and enjoy this new blog post!
I wanted to do something a little different and highlight one of my favourite things to have entered my life since 2018: The Goatbunny Tarot. Goatbunny is a Montréal-based artist (though she frequently has art shows in the USA, too) with tons of style and attitude! Go check out her Patreon, website and Instagram because her art is amazing.
I first discovered that Goatbunny was working on a tarot deck when I saw posts about her big WIP project on her Instagram, and I immediately let her know that I was super interested. I don’t have a big tarot card collection, but I immediately knew this was going to be something special.
So let’s dive into this deck, that has so many beautiful features and details.
First off, these cards are beautiful to the touch. The cardstock is wonderful, and the printing, cutting, and gluing of the backs to the faces is very well done.. The sheen and detail on the backing is eye-catching without being overwhelming, emphasizing the deck’s mostly upbeat colour palette.
The cards are hand-assembled, and a really nice size to hold, as I tend to like tall, thin cards. I’ve shown this deck to several friends who love tarot cards, including one who is a collector. She was blown away by the quality of the cards, considering they are an indie deck that was put together almost completely by the original artist. The Goatbunny Tarot stands up to scrutiny and continued use. I’ve been using them since fall of 2018, and a year later, they are still my go-to deck for daily readings.
The suits are atypical, but hilarious. The Waffles are Coins or Pentacles, the Knives are Swords, the Mugs are Cups, the Pens are Staves — and it translates really well to the overall theme of each suits. Waffles for what sustains you materially, Knives for what protects or hurts you, Mugs as an emotional, and, crucially, relationship barometer (think two friends sharing a moment over mugs of coffee or tea) and Pens for what drive you and give you meaning — ambition, creation. Goatbunny admitted to doing a lot of research into the Rider-Waite Tarot, and it clearly shows with how rich and detailed each card is. Every single detail — from the colours, to the objects, to the animals, to the scenery — is intentional.
And while the Suits are wonderful, I think my favourite aspect of this deck is honestly the Major Arcana. Because they are awesome. Each Major Arcana card is a really thoughtful yet attitude-filled remix of the original.
Several of my favourites are above and below —
- Six, The Lovers, becomes The Best Buds (Yet also represents the relationship and connection between the natural world and the urban world.)
- Seven, The Chariot, becomes The Ride (I love the nighttime landscape, the open possibilities of an endless, empty night road.)
- Sixteen, The Tower, becomes The Arsonist (I completely love the Racoon a.k.a. Trash Panda, setting fire to the trash, surrounded by newspapers and gasoline. There are so many layers to this one.)
- Thirteen, Death, becomes The Gardener (Note that the Gardener is Death. And dawn is often considered a great time for gardening!)
I also love the 0 and 21 cards of the Major Arcana, as the new beginning and ending. The Fool’s been replaced with The Punk with a backpack and a taped-up baseball bat to replace the Fool’s walking stick or staff — as well as a squeegee held over one shoulder. It’s an update to the Fool that I find particularly timely and well-thought out. I particularly love this card. The Fool reminds us that sometimes the first steps on any journey may look deeply strange from the outside, and in many ways was always a card about resistance and going against the grain — which in itself is a deeply optimistic, deeply hopeful position to take.
The Network, or The Cloud, is also a pretty wonderful take on The World card. It departs dramatically from the World as a concept, and brings us to the cloud, connecting several of the key characters from the rest of the deck. You’ll notice the Trash Panda, ahem, the Raccoon from The Arsonist Card with his trademark lighter and grin.
I wholeheartedly recommend this Tarot deck for folks who work with city spirits, folks who want a modern deck, folks who collect Tarot cards, and folks who appreciate good art. It’s a really thoughtful and beautiful deck, with a ton of details. Even after almost a year of continuous use, I feel every time I take it out that I’m learning new things about how the deck works, about the cards, about how the whole is connected and interlocks.
I do know Goatbunny prints these in limited batches and only has a few available at any time, so I don’t know when they’ll next be in stock or for sale, but do check out Goatbunny’s Patreon, website and Instagram for updates. Supporting local independent artists is just good solidarity! Especially when they create such incredible things for us.