Saturday, 21 January 2012

Death and the Lady

This week I will be drawing from Charissa Drengsen's Steampunk Tarot, which I reviewed earlier in the week and also used for a video reading.  It is a lovely self-published deck which first came out in 2010.  I think the photo collage aspect with old-fashioned images juxtaposed with scientific implements and strange costumes works very well for a genre that calls itself retro-futuristic and which highlights reusing and re-functioning objects of all kinds.

I have to admit, one reason why I got this deck was as a place-holder while I wait for Barbara Moore's fabulous-looking Steampunk Tarot, due out this April.  I am more of a fan of cartoon art than photo collage, and I think Barbara is a fabulous writer and tarotist, so it's high on my wishlist for this year!  For any TABI-ites reading, or anyone considering joining, there's a wonderful offer for those going in on a TABI group pre-order.  Not only do we get more than £5 off the Amazon price (that's already over half of the TABI annual membership fee!), but the companion books will be signed by Barbara, and she's promised a little something extra, too (don't you just love surprises?!)  For those outwith the UK, you'd have to pay whatever postage costs were beyond the UK postage, but it's still a bargain, and a treat!  So, if you're a member head over to the forum and search for Steampunk, and if you're not, think about joining

Anyhow, back to Charissa Drengsen's Steampunk Tarot, and for this first draw I pulled Death.  One benefit of a self-published deck is that it can be quirkier and less mainstream than if it went through a big publishing house.  That is certainly the case here, as this is a rather racy version of Death.  There is a naked, veiled woman with a skeleton standing over her, his scythe poised between her legs.  I like this, suggesting as it does the link between death, sexuality, and new beginnings...

Sexual pleasure has an aspect of death to it: we let go of our sense of self, if only for a few moments, to become one with another.  This letting go can be quite hard, it feels scary to be so vulnerable, and to lose our everyday control and notions of who we are.  And it can be so messy ;)  Yep, definitely like death.  As for the benefits, though...

This is my card for the year, and I can certainly get behind this: a need to let go of ideas about what I should be doing, and who I should be; to allow myself to just enjoy the moment, whatever it brings.  Still, those things may need to be mourned before I can move on.  As for today, we're here at a lovely spa in the English countryside.  So, what I hope to let go of are stress and other people's expectations - and a bit of nooky wouldn't go amiss!

I am grateful for some time away with my love, with no deadlines, and not even a mobile phone :o


  1. I used to have one of the big, pearly copies of this deck. Very pretty, and interesting, but I couldn't read with it worth a damn so I traded it away. Like you, I am also VERY eagerly awaiting the Llewellyn Steampunk tarot. Enjoy your week with this one :]

  2. Hi SB,

    Ooh, I didn't know there'd been a big, pearly copy - sounds rather lovely. I've actually been enjoying this deck - did a reading for a querent with it today. Still, I don't think it'll become a favourite. Maybe I should wait til the end of the week to judge, though :)