|The Steampunk Tarot. Text by Barbara Moore,|
artwork by Aly Fell. © 2012, Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. 2143 Wooddale
Drive. Woodbury, MN 55125. All rights reserved. Used by permission of the
I find this version of the card rather more menacing than many, a notion confirmed by Barbara's edge-of-your-seat description of this woman's fear (beautifully written, this book really is a gem). The Eight Swords are all attached to the throne-like chair she sits in. So, presumably, if she just stood up she would be free. However, because the swords are attached to a clockwork mechanism, I wonder if they move, if they are already about to slice her up? Also, the way that they are all at different angles makes it so if she leans just a little one way or another she may be cut.
There's something about this image of swords attached to clockwork which acts as a strong reminder that the suit of swords is often associated with the mind, with thoughts and doubts. Barbara Moore also associates it with systems and communication. In any case, it brings to mind the expression "I could see the wheels turning in her mind." So, our own churning mind brings these thoughts and doubts within cutting distance, slicing up our self esteem, making us fearful.
I notice that her dress is orange - as well as, of course, fabulous, as the genre demands ;) While I suspect that Barbara has notions of the meaning of different colours, she doesn't specify this in the book, so I will go with my own. For me, orange represents the second chakra, the svadhisthana, associated with sexuality, and with our role in society. So, these fears which plague her may be to do with how others perceive and respond to her, about her place in the world. She also wears a white blouse, suggesting a pure heart.
All this leads me to a sense of being tormented by worries about what others will think of you, while trying to do your best. That's certainly something I associate with being a mother, particularly of a disabled child. I've had people tell me to my face that his problems are due to my being an "old" mother - I was 36 when he was born. Although I know it isn't true (he got an infection when he was born that resulted in severe brain damage), there are plenty of other things for me to worry about.
In this, I also see how people react to Big Boy - when I say he's disabled people often have no idea what that means. For example, coming on holiday here the nice folks who rent this cottage thought it meant he wouldn't be able to walk, which isn't the case. Assumptions which are so easy to make, based on ideas that people have about something which is generally little understood.
I am grateful for times when I can set aside my assumptions, and when others can do the same.