I took today off(ish) – I still had a lot to get done, but I let myself focus on the things I wanted to do.
One important project was to get started on tidying up my bedroom so that I can set up a small desk and have a space to write, where I can close the door and have some quiet to work even on days when the kids are here. Right now my office space is in the dining room, and that’s fine when the kids are occupied or not here, but it doesn’t work when they’re loud or need attention.
As I was organizing things, I came across the Steampunk Tarot.
I bought it over a year and a half ago and had never opened it. I bought it at a difficult period in my life and it never felt like the right time to open it and use it. I bought it for the wrong reasons – it was supposed to be something that would help me bond with my partner, at a time when he was still unsure whether being with me was the right thing for him. I bought it out of desperation, and the hope that I could, by offering enough fun bonding activities, force the connection.
I should have trusted that the connection wouldn’t need to be forced, and I should have known that forcing it wouldn’t be the right way to approach it anyway.
Thankfully, even though I bought the deck for the wrong reasons, I never opened it and tried to use it the way I had first intended. Instead, it sat in its cellophane for a long time, until today.
Today, it felt right.
I was here, at home, alone. The house was quiet. I cleared off some space on the kitchen table, opened up the deck, and shuffled.
It felt really good.
The cards felt good.
The steampunk design felt good.
It just felt like the right time to meet this new deck.
When I was done shuffling, I cut the deck and drew a card.
From the book (edited):
“Thank you for your kind aid. Instead of devouring you, I will serve you.”
Core meaning: Calm control and healing that brings strength.
Cards from older tarot decks show a human wrestling a wild lion. This expressed the idea that people had a wild, or evil, side of themselves that must be constantly fought, repressed, and controlled or it would take them over and utterly destroy them.
This woman suggests a different tack. She believes the lion that stalks her is simply a symbol of her shadow self. In Jungian terms, the shadow self is comprised of all the parts of ourselves that we dislike, don’t value, and are ashamed of. These parts, she says, are not bad in and of themselves; rather, they are aspects of ourselves that have been wounded.
She counsels that we approach our inner monsters with compassion, because that makes it easier to determine what caused the damage in the first place. Once we identify the root cause, we can remove it, just as she has extracted that gear from her lion’s paw. Yes, it hurts, and yes, it is scary. The lion will probably roar – you may even get scratched or bitten. But it must be done, for only then can healing begin. From this healing comes strength.
What we hid from – our anger, our fear, our emotional needs [I would add, our trauma] – we now welcome and learn how to express in our lives in a healthy and useful manner.
When confronted with the Strength card, you are well advised to tap into your deepest inner strength and express it with calm compassion. The infinity symbol in this card represents your connection with all aspects of yourself. In this card, it creates amazing strength. Find that connection; feel that strength.
This was both exactly what I needed to hear, and exactly what I have been talking about recently. It felt like such a lovely confirmation.
I’ve spent a bit of time with the book and it just feels so good. I love steampunk aesthetic, and I love the ways in which steampunk culture has the potential to envision inclusive and socially just past-futures. (That said, I don’t love how a lot of steampunk culture ends up being very colonialist, white supremacist, heteronormative, transantagonistic, and misogynist.)
I’m so glad I found this deck today, and had some time to spend with it. I am pretty excited about seeing what stories we can tell together, and I love the reminder to find wholeness and integration, to make space for my monsters and to find strength in healing.