Thursday, 1 December 2016

What is Steampunk?

Steampunk involves dressing up in retro clothing and visiting places with equally inventively dressed companions! It might appear trivial and superficial but it is good fun. It is also possible to take a closer look at a particular era and there this is fascinating movement which has many deeper implications.

Steampunk is a social movement - with a conscience. Manners, mutual respect, tolerance and consideration, education and a sharing of information are a vital part. It’s beneficial; when people get together for Steampunk, the outcomes are surprising. The biggest UK event is 'Asylum' in Lincoln which will take place on 13th-14th-15th September 2013. It’s a friendly and inclusive community without prejudice of age, race, culture and background.

Steampunk, for instance, draws on a certain era for inspiration, such as Victorian times when Spiritualism, mediumship and occultism became established. Steampunk is a space to explore the roots of our practises, and to enjoy them. Dressed in the clothes of the era of your choice, in Steampunk you can explore whatever setting, time, place or culture you find attractive. You can become a lord, a peasant, an inventor, an exotic dancer, or explore cultures from other countries. It’s an addictive process, and political and social aspects also reveal themselves, such as historical feminism or the discomforts of colonialism (which hasn’t entirely been eradicated). Whether you mean to or not, by dabbling in Steampunk you will become more aware of the past and the present, and perhaps gain an insight into the future!

Pagans often like to consider the possibility of a golden age, before Christianity, ancient Rome or patriarchy. Nostalgia for that which never was is a large part of what makes Steampunk so enjoyable! If you want to be the archetypal witch-like grandmother for instance, here’s your chance! Historians were not always entirely honest about their sources and they had their reasons, perhaps a lack of existing research or the difficulty of presenting new ideas, but Steampunk is not burdened by the unknown! We invent things to suit ourselves but we are honest about presenting our falsehoods. By imagining our past, we can also imagine how we want the future to be.

Steampunk isn’t just learning about the past. It’s about enjoying the 'now'. It’s what you can do today, and tomorrow, and by wanting to do that with positive regard for everyone and with good grace and a sense of fair play. Article by Nimue Brown Visit: 

Video from Watkins Books:

The Victorian Steampunk Tarot – Unravel the Mysteries of the Past, Present and Future, by Liz Dean and illustrated by Bev Speight. Published by Cico Books. The magnetised flip lip box includes a full deck of 78 tarot cards and a full colour explanatory booklet of each card.
The deck is very loosely based on the Rider-Waite deck but each card carries an individual computer graphic artwork to express the spirit of Victorian steampunk, the age of steam with modern counter culture anything is possible, plasma screens, hot air balloons, the era of Jules Verne, Mary Shelley, Edgar with, for instance, clockwork hearts and butterflies, deconstructed burlesque and brass spyglasses. The cards can be interpreted either upright or upturned thought the backs are intended for exclusively upright use. 

Each major arcana card is provided with a basic message with the astrological sign and keywords and a longer explanation of the card’s meaning both upright and upturned. Each minor arcana card is given an upright and upturned explanation. This is a creative tarot deck which centres on the Victorian’s love of botanical collections and the natural world. The Cups are depicted as dragonflies, the wands as moths, the swords as bees and the pentacles as beetles. The booklet provides information on how to prepare for a reading by creating space and attuning to the cards, protecting and cleansing them. There is also guidance for readers on what to do if you are unable to make sense of a reading. There are spreads, such as a 3 card reading for past, present and future, a 2 card spirit message, how to get a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer by laying the cards three times, 7 cards to answer a question, the week or year ahead with 7 or 13 cards and the 10 card cross. 

The cards can be used for beginners or experienced readers. There are lots of images in these cards and they make an enjoyable gift for those who like vintage items or for a novelty fancy dress event.   Reviewer: Wendy Stokes

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