Review – The Steampunk Tarot

The Steampunk Tarot - Barbara Moore & Aly Fell

The Steampunk Tarot

 Author – Barbara Moore

Artist – Aly Fell

Publisher – Llewellyn Publications 2012

ISBN:  978-0-7387-2638-0


“What the past would look like if the future had happened sooner.”

“What happens when Goths discover the color brown.”

It was a couple of years ago the first time I heard the term “Steampunk” ever used, and was immediately intrigued.  It’s two words “Steam Punk” that I would never have thought to be smushed together.   Then, after looking it up online, I discover that I am somewhat familiar with the “genre”, I just didn’t realize that it had its own name, let alone a very large following.

The world of Steampunk is a sensual world immersed in textures, gears, clockworks, bustles, top hats, oodles of imagination and an abundance of attitude.  In my opinion, the Steampunk Tarot fits snugly into this world reflecting these aspects and many more.

Some Technical Tidbits

  • 78 Art Cards with black borders (standard Llewellyn size)
  • 22 Major Arcana & 56 Minor Arcana
  • 312 page Manual which includes a black and white full page scan for each card; A core meaning; Reading tip; A quote reflecting both the theme and the core meaning; Expanded text with description; No reversed meanings.
  • Four suits:  Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles
  • Court:  King, Queen, Knight, and Page
  • 5 spreads with instructions
  • non-reversible card backs illustrate a collaboration of gears and mechanisms incorporating the symbols of the 4 suits
  • Fully illustrated standard card board box

The Steampunk Tarot Manual is gorgeous both inside and out, each page richly decorated with an Ivy-Filigree design in each corner (I love filigree) on bright white paper.  You can see an example of this design on the box front and on the Manual cover above.

The cards themselves are beautifully illustrated, but the card stock feels a bit flimsy.  They shuffle easily though, sliding smoothly with a finish not too slick or too sticky.  The border takes up only a small margin, but personally I prefer a larger card to better see the detail in the images. And, I miss the inclusion of the organza bag that used to come with these tarot kits, that was such a nice touch.

Now it’s time to take a look at a few selected cards that I have chosen as some of my favorites.

The Steampunk Tarot

  • The Hierophant:  “Your every thought, word, and action expresses the truth of your soul.”  Core meaning:  Living faith in everyday life.
  • Ace of Pentacles:  “How does it feel to hold the potential of the world in your hand?”  Core meaning:  An opportunity for prosperity.
  • Three of Swords:  “The misuse of tools can lead to a mickle mess.”  Core meaning:  Sorrow caused by knowledge.
  • The Tower:  “If it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger.”  Core meaning:  An unexpected event that changes everything.

The Steampunk Tarot

  • Ten of Wands:  “What is more burdensome: the past that is known or the future that is unknown?”  Core meaning:  Carrying a large burden or many burdens.
  • The Chariot:  “Despite any concerns you may have, I am in control of this situation.”  Core meaning:  The triumph of will in difficult circumstances.
  • Queen of Cups:  “This is a gift; it comes at a price.”  Core meaning:  Someone who supports and nurtures emotions, relationships, and artistic endeavors.
  • Queen of Swords:  “Of course I will accompany you to the private garden.  Don’t mind the sword, it is just part of the outfit.”  Core meaning:  Someone who supports and nurtures new ideas, systems, and communication.

I think the Queens are an interesting pair.  I thought they looked as if they were posed in the wrong portrait.  It seems to me they could easily switch frames and props and be more at home.  What do you think?

Thank you for joining me in a look at The Steampunk Tarot.  I hope you have enjoyed visiting with this deck as much as I have.

Until next time. Happy Tarot’ing and Wishing You Always an Enchanted Journey.


Be sure to check out this review and lots more in the newest edition of Attune Magazine. 

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