Friday, 6 April 2012

Throne of Swords

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
For this last day with the Steampunk Tarot (Llewellyn, 2012) by Barbara Moore and Aly Fell, the Eight of Swords pays us a visit.

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.


  1. Stunned. I can't believe the things people say. Not sure if I am horrified more by the fact that they are rude enough to air these thoughts or that they even believe them.

    I can see you sitting in that chair, dodging the swords of other people's ignorance.

    I hope you are all having a lovely holiday!

  2. That is a really powerful image!
    I'm sorry you have been on the receiving end of such thoughtless comments. I wonder if these people really think about the hurt they cause.

  3. It is often difficult for readers to refer to their own lives and experiences when discussing a card meaning. It puts opinion beyond academic into experiential - thank you for that trust

  4. I also get the thought of looking at this that sometimes when pulled in different directions as a woman something else will "take a jab", sometimes you need to stop and think of yourself instead of trying to go in all different directions.

  5. How awful.

    I know the pain of such rude assumptions. I am really upset that people said that to you to your face. How awful! And simply not true. As you said, that is making such a big assumption. And that isn't even 'OLD'. Hah! There are women in my family who had children late into their 40's with absolutely no repercussions.

    Anyway...I send you happy blessings for a wonderful weekend. Miss blogging and commenting on your lovely blog. I've been so absorbed in this dang mural. I need to finish ASAP so I can get back to reality in a good way.


  6. Thank you all for the supportive comments. It's strange, despite having written and posted this, I found it hard to respond to comments, almost as though they had made it more real.

    Some really interesting visuals and ideas here - L.M.Tea, I think that's an excellent point about feeling people take jabs at you, and needing to think of yourself. PLN, you made me smile with the idea of dodging other people's ignorance :) MM, thanks as ever for your caring and support. Lyn, thanks for your comment - I think that's very true, I feel that way too about personalising the card interpretations. 78mirrors, I guess those people have their own stories which led to the comments, which probably blinded them to thinking about how it might be taken, ah well.

    Wishing you all a good Easter!

  7. Great post and thread, thank you everyone. This deck arrived last week and we can't put it down.

  8. Hi Claire-Marie, hope you both have a lovely time with this deck! I'm still using it for my personal readings, and loving it ;)