A few weeks ago I made a purchase of the Steampunk Tarot and I can honestly say it is my favourite deck at the moment. Barbara Moore’s Tarot expertise and the amazing art of Aly Fell combine to make this really extraordinary deck.
“Step into a world of roaring engines and gleaming metal, top hats and corseted silk gowns, brass goggles and gliding dirigibles… where alternate histories play out in a film reel of adventure, fantasy, and magic.” -From the blurb
This is far more than a novelty deck, and I’ve had some wonderful insights as well as shockingly accurate readings during ritual with them so far!
I am also working my way through Around the Tarot in 78 days as well as Tarot and astrology, while working with these cards and working on my Fools journey project.
I also picked up a copy of the Tarot Spreads book by Barbara Moore and decided to give one of the spreads a go, which is the subject of this Tarot Tuesday!
Extract from Tarot Spreads- Barbara Moore p 120 Walking the Talk Spread
“People seem to either love or hate the Hierophant. For those who don’t care for Arcana 5, it represents oppression and rigid dogma. Among those who like the card you’ll find many opinions about the meaning. The inspiration for this spread is my take on that card on representing the intersection of spirituality and everyday life. That is, how do we express our beliefs in daily life? How well do we walk our talk? “
I really do quite like the representation of the Hierophant in the Steampunk deck despite not loving it in my Robin wood deck. I, however, do not have a very strong reaction against the Hierophant as I like to read beyond the image as well.
“Before beginning, separate your deck into the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. Use the Major Arcana cards for positions 1-6, which represent your Divine or Higher Self and ideals. Use the Minor cards for positions 7-12, which represent your practices in everyday life.”
“This spread makes comparing ideals and practice easy. You can see at a glance how your actions are reflecting (or not reflecting) your beliefs.”
I really like this comparison between higher self and ideals and how we practice in everyday life, it helps to bring perspective as well as pinpoint problem areas where we are not acting in a way that expresses our true selves.
October is a wonderful time for spiritual reflection for me, as it is both spring and Halloween month. I do not celebrate Beltane and rather enjoy the Horror Festivities of the month along with the balance of wonderful spring time energies. It is also very near the time where I first dedicated myself to the Craft, and allows me to review my growth and where I am going.
1: What you believe- your main spiritual belief or philosophy
Death- I actually had a hearty laugh when “Death” popped up here in this position. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you will know exactly why. If you haven’t then I’ll give you the quick run-down. On my page about the Craft of the three ways I explain how Transformation is the Essence of what I practice, not only because Transformation is an important magical and mystical process that brings about growth, but also because I am Priestess to Hekate and Anubis, two psychopomp-ic deities.
Both Anubis and Hekate are Reapers in that they guide souls of the dead to the Underworld or Duat. They are both concerned with the process of transformation both through physical death and the shamanic death that we may experience on our paths. While Hekate cuts the cords and slices us to the bone, Anubis Mummifies and devours us. All of these processes of transformation are important to my practices and this is where my Main spiritual philosophies lie.
7: How you live your beliefs- the way you apply your beliefs
“This is it: This right here, right now. This is the heart of my life” p 173 Steampunk tarot
In Tarot the 10 of cups represents the completion and wholeness of emotional life, which can include a happy home, marriage and a happy relationship, wonderful friendships, and connection. In a spiritual context this card means for me a completeness that comes from spiritual and emotional connection fully experienced. It is Love, it is the connection that one feels with everyone and everything in the universe. It is living in the moment, and taking pride and happiness in emotional and domestic affairs. In some ways it relates to my kitchen/domestic witchery.
The couple in the Steampunk tarot are sitting under an archway of cups, in a courtyard, they’ve carved out a happy and full moment, and are fully connected, in that moment. This card suggests that I live my beliefs through carving out those moments of personal integration and emotional connection with the universe.
2: Your message- the part of your beliefs that you share with the world
“Magic is always there. Learn to feel it.” p 49 Steampunk tarot
This was quite an interesting insight into how I express my beliefs in the world. I have always said that magic is in every moment, that magic is everywhere and that all it takes is acknowledging its presence in order to tap into it. It is a basic principle of Kitchen Witchery, that every act can be a magical act, it is merely our perceptions and intentions that need to change it.
The magician is Master, he is learned, he is able to manifest change according to his Will. He is able to do this because of his connection to the magical current which he recognises is within everything. I only hope that I try to emulate this in my own life. My most profound magical workings happen in that magical connection with the universe where I am able to tap into every magical moment and dance it.
8: what the words you say convey about your beliefs to others
Queen of Cups
“This is a gift. It comes at a price” p 263 Steampunk Tarot
The Queen of cups is intuitively connected to the current of emotions. She is Water of Water. She is magic, and art, and emotion.
“Deep ties and transformational art come from within, from your heart, from your soul. You cut yourself and let yourself weaken, empty…you become a vessel that is filled with wonders and mysteries that you never dreamed possible. Whatever you are imagining now, it is a pale reflection of what can be.” 263
She is sacrifice…
These are important aspects of my craft and on FB and life I wax lyrical about purification and sacrifice, emotions, and intuitive living. The path of the Witch, especially a Witch dedicated to forces of transformation is a form of self-sacrifice jumping in the fires or in this case waters of renewal and change.
3: What you believe about giving and sharing with others.
The Emperor is a card of 4, he is stability and balance, the square and the authority of the throne. He is provider, he is responsibility, he is not only commanding he is “Command”. In the context of this spread The Emperor indicates that sharing and giving of knowledge to others is a huge responsibility. He provides and in doing so he has to ensure that the knowledge that he is providing is correct and that it is balanced. He shares and what he shares he must be careful about as not everyone is ready for certain lessons.
Not only that but he has to ensure that he does not become completely absorbed in his authority, he is the essence of the 4 king cards in balance, and he must ensure that he balances those elements correctly or one of the elements/qualities will overtake him, bossiness, dogma, quick temper, arrogance, materialism, fraud, selfishness, injustice, weakness.
9: How you actually give and share with the world.
“What are you willing to die for?”
“What are you willing to fight for?” p133 Steampunk tarot
Very rarely in self-reflection is a solely positive reading possible. This card shows the more negative habits I have picked up in my life and how I react to sharing and expressing my beliefs in the real world…
“There is no doubt whatsoever in her mind; she knows she is right. There are those who believe just as vehemently that she is wrong. ” 133
I think at times I can be so hard-headed that I cannot see another person’s perspective. And this makes interacting with others quite the challenge. I dislike authority, which makes The Emperor in the previous position all the more ironic and humorous. While I’m standing up on my podium, fighting and dying for my beliefs and indeed opinions there are other perspectives that I’m missing.
Luckily one is always able to work on these negative aspects. In order for me to feel ready and balanced enough to be a leader, teacher, provider of knowledge I need to come to terms with other perspectives. stubbornness can turn into determination to grow and change and be a better example to others.
This card also hints that my values and beliefs are a source of strength for me. I can still be fuelled with the passion of fiery wands while not being taken over by my own certainties.
4: What you feel in the deepest part of your heart.
When I received this card in this position I was reminded of a previous reading of mine with the Anubis oracle where I received Sothis- Star consciousness. traditionally The Star is a card of guidance and hope. She is enlightenment and promise, fulfillment and devotion, reflection and release.
In the Anubis Oracle Sothis is described as “the star of humanity and true bodhisattva, calling forth the best in each of us and inspiring us to step into our greater selves and offer our own unique gifts back to the world.” p60
In the context of this reading and in this position, Star consciousness and knowing that we are of the stars as we are of the earth; knowing that we each have a purpose and that in following my path I am accepting my place in the order of things is the thing which drives me. It is why I feel the pull to priestesshood of my gods, why I feel that ritual is a way in which for me to bring myself to higher consciousness. And in accepting my star self I am accepting the beauty of the universe and connection to all.
10: How you express this core feeling to the world.
“This is my credo: clarity of vision, strength of will, and unshakable determination. And yes, it is working for me” p 121
According to around the Tarot in 78 days in a spiritual context this card indicates that we :
“have made a mission and an investment in our life based on our true vision we cannot know where this will lead us, but we can be secure in the knowledge we have done our work to the best of our ability.”
This in relation to the previous card The Star, indicates to me that in accepting star consciousness and accepting my position and mission in this life, finding this life’s purpose I am able to bring what i need and want into my life. This also relates quite well to The Magician previously and the The Chariot in position 6.
5: What you believe about taking action regarding your beliefs.
“If it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger” p95 Steampunk Tarot
Again as tarot is a mirror as expressed by Gerd B. Ziegler, the inner and outer worlds are expressed, and even the ugly or unpleasant reflections are shown. The tower is what I believe about taking action, and it is true. Always afraid to surrender, let go and experience the chaos of change I fear doing certain things in my practice. The Tower is destruction, and destruction tends to change many things which one might not want to have changed. Sometimes, just sometimes I really do appreciate the reprieve of silent and quiet Hermitude, to taking action.
Of course all the upheaval I’ve experienced at various points has indeed made me stronger, but it doesn’t make me want to invite it into my life through certain rituals, i.e surrender to ritual experiences (another reminder of a previous reading and experience of Anubis where he told me to “Surrender”.)
11: What you actually do about acting on your beliefs.
Queen of wands
“Why are you still sitting there? For goodness’ sake why am I still sitting here? Allons-y! p260 Steampunk Tarot
Of course spiritual complacency just doesn’t work and we actually do have to push forward and work through it. So I tend to push myself anyway and work ritual, putting into action the knowledge that I’ve gained from books. With the Fire of Water pushing me through, heating me up with inspiration, assurance and assertiveness I am able to move forward and actually DO something, and I let go of the fear and surrender to experience.
6: The Path you are on and what you want to move toward.
The charioteer is in perfect control of the forces of darkness and light, male and female, yin and yang. The charioteer has mastered control and balance of opposing forces and is able to drive, ride and activate True Will.
Progress, Mastery, Skill, Sense of Purpose. The Charioteer is the path I’m forging for myself currently in my life. I aim to be a better witch and magician, not for control of others but for self-control and spiritual enlightenment. It is important in my practice to integrate my shadow self, to acknowledge myself as both Self and Higher Self, and integrate that with Id in order for my true purpose (looking back at the Star and 3 of wands) to become acknowledged and lived.
12: How you walk this path and how are you actually moving forward.
This card is often considered the card of solitude and independence, and takes place often within a garden or courtyard with the presence of a bird. It is the solitary path that I am currently on, I take pleasure and inspiration from others experiences but ultimately and for now my path is a solitary one and is not necessarily easy, but requires plenty of discipline “The taming of the falcon” and determination. It is also a path of cultivation and self mastery- again this relates to the Chariot, Magician and 3 of Wands.
Overall I am very impressed with the cards, the spread and the reading. It is clear that I have areas that need work, and I am willing to work on them, but I am very happy with where I am currently in my path and where I want to move toward.