Thursday, September 27, 2012

Gemstones of the Zodiac Part 7: Jasper

Welcome to Part 7 of our “Gemstones of the Zodiac” series.

The seventh sign of the Zodiac is Libra (September 22 - October 22).  The Mystical Zodiac stone for Libra is Jasper.

Jaspers are all opaque, composite stones, made up of chalcedony, microcrystalline quartz and other minerals.  This is why so many jaspers have either bands of color, or patterns, and is also why there are jaspers of almost every color.
The name jasper means “spotted or speckled stone”, and is derived from the Latin ”iaspidem”, and the Green “iaspis”.

History/Mythology

Jasper is one of the oldest known stones.  On Minoan Crete, archeological digs have unearthed seals carved out of jasper dating back to 1800 BC.

Many cultures valued jasper stones.  The Bible refers to jasper as a direct gift from God, and was the first foundation stone in the New Jerusalem.  Indians in Asia, as well as Native Americans in the US, used jasper as a rain stone and for healing.  In Ancient Egypt, scarabs were carved out of jasper.  The Egyptians believed the stone would increase your sexual energy.



Jasper Types and Properties

There are dozens of types of jasper, each with its own properties.  I will take you through some of my favorites, and explain their properties:



Brecciated Jasper:


Brecciated Jasper
Brecciated jasper gets its name from the word breccia, meaning composed of broken fragments of minerals or rock cemented together by a fine-grained matrix, that can be either similar to or different from the composition of the fragments.  The matrix you see in brecciated jasper is composed partly of hematite.  This makes is a good grounding stone, especially when you are feeling overwhelmed.  It absorbs negative energy, and helps with healing and recovery.


Kambaba Jasper:


Kambaba jasper has also been referred to in the past as fossilized stromatolite algae.  It is found in Africa.  It is used for helping relax and focus your state of mind.  It is also thought to help rid the body of toxins so that the body can better absorb the necessary minerals.


Imperial Jasper:



Imperial Jasper is good for finding your center, getting balanced, grounding.  It is a stone found only in Mexico.


Moukaite Jasper:



Moukaite jasper is a great stone for helping with the mind.  It assists in decision making by giving us flexibility and openness, as well as increasing energy and promoting new ideas.  It can also remove the elements that are getting in the way of decisions and growth, and other distractions.


Fancy Jasper:



Fancy jasper, which comes in many colors, assists in healing, and bringing about wholeness.  It helps people to lighten up and enjoy themselves.  It can also help build inner confidence.


Red Creek Jasper:


Red creek jasper is my personal favorite.  It is a relatively new stone, having been found in China recently.  This jasper has the most amazing and complex series of matrices and color palettes of any stone.
It is good for helping bring issues to light long before they become big, unmanageable problems.
These are just some of the many jaspers that exist.  As I said, there are dozens, and I hope you enjoy exploring them all in the future.  Jaspers really are a great series of stones.


Cleanse and Purify Your Stones

For information on how to cleanse your stones, see this article by Diane Fergurson, published recently on Mind Body Spirit Odyssey.




~  ~  ~



You can read Giani's Tarot reviews in the Review section of this blog.
This is the seventh article in this wonderful series, and I am definitely looking forward to reading more
 in the upcoming months!  I thank Giani
 for his wonderful continued contributions to Mind Body Spirit Odyssey. 

The beautiful jewelry pictured above can be found in Giani's shop on CraftStar.
                                                                                  
 ~ diane
 

Series Article Part 1 - Opals 
Series Article Part 2 - Sapphire
Series Article 3 - Amethyst
Series Article 4 - Moonstone
Series Article 5 - Diamonds 
Series Article 6 - Agate




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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Mind Body Spirit Artist Series: Steelgoddess

When I recently showcased the enchanting artwork of the Steelgoddess as the daily feature on our Mind Body Spirit Marketplace Facebook page, the reaction to her work was so overwhelming , I knew I had to interview her for our Artist Series. This is one busy lady, but I'm very happy she was able to spend some time with MBS to tell us a little bit about her magical world of imagination!    
                                                                                                                  ~ diane fergurson 


Midnight Magic
MBS:  Tell us a little bit about your background.  How did you get started in art?

Steelgoddess:  From a very early age I discovered I had a gift. It’s no wonder my favorite subject through school was art. What started out as a fun thing to do at my leisure became a full blown passion in high school. At the age of 16 my parents decided to move from the city to a rural farm town. I went from a class size of hundreds of students to around 20 kids. I never felt like I fit in and so in my attempt to cope, I turned to art to fill my loneliness. That’s when I really blossomed as an artist and considered making my passion into a career. It wasn’t until I was 25 that I made the decision to focus on my art as a full time job while being at home with my children.

I initially taught myself how to paint with acrylics, but after a few years with this medium, I bought a Wacom tablet and migrated to digital art. It was one of the best decisions I ever made! I searched the internet for tutorials and little by little I gained the confidence to experiment with different techniques and created the style I have today.

Wicked Nursery Tales

MBS: Your work really does have a unique look to it.  How would you describe your style?

Steelgoddess:  That is always a surprise to me because I don't think I have a unique style. I have heard that compliment enough times now though, I suspect it must be true! I enjoy capturing certain moods and expressions that are easily relatable to the viewer. My favorite subjects to illustrate are ones that tell a story and engage the viewer to experience a positive emotion. My ultimate inspiration belongs to Norman Rockwell who was a master at taking a snapshot of people’s ordinary lives and finding the humor and joy in that moment. With this in mind, my goal is to create similar moments in my character’s lives. For instance, my latest creation - "Wicked Nursery Tales" - focuses on the Wicked Witch sharing a tender moment with her beloved flying monkeys. She has such a horrid reputation, I wanted to portray her in a more upbeat light. I like to think viewers can relate as there are mornings we start off our day with a bit of Wicked Witch and are reminded to take stock of simple things that can turn our day completely around."  

Enchantment
MBS:  You mentioned above that you use a Wacom Tablet.  I was surprised to read that your artwork is digital -it looks so painterly to me.  Are the illustrations all digital?  Or is it a mix?  What is your process?

Steelgoddess:  My illustrations are created entirely on a Wacom Tablet. It's a bit of trickery I use in Photoshop with textures. My rule is to never make it look like you are using a texture but rather as a means to add depth to your illustration. My favorite images are speckled cement jpgs. By changing the layer style of an "overlay" and reducing the opacity, it will give your layers a distressed watercolor look. This is a lot of fun! Sometimes I will end up using 2 different textures to create the look I want. I typically keep the textures as black and white so as to not interfere with my color palette.    

Hoodwinked Fairy
MBS:  How long does it normally take you to complete a piece?  Do you work on more then one piece at once?

Steelgoddess:  I typically only work one piece at a time. Depending on the complexity and depth of the illustration, it can take between 9 to 50 hours to finish a painting. For instance, "The Crow of Crescent Hill" was 15 hours of work while "Wicked Nursery Tales" was close to the 50 hour mark.  


MBS: One thing that drew me to your work is that you explore metaphysical or spiritual themes in such a positive, lighthearted way.  The imagery is very warm and inviting.  It draws the viewer in.
Do you have a favorite theme or character that you like to explore, or that you find yourself repeating and coming back to?

Steelgoddess:  I enjoy exploring upbeat subject matters that invite the viewer to smile, bask and experience positive emotions while engaging their imagination to add to the story that is already laid out for them.. The themes I paint are either humorous metaphors of events I have experienced in my life or are directly influenced by my Spirit Guides, nature, animals and the Devic Kingdom. I am often guided as I illustrate and have learned to listen to my intuition and hunches as they are direct messages from guides and our invisible friends. There are a few characters I wish to revisit such as the Hobbit, Miss. Tittles (rabbit), mischievous mice and the Wicked Witch. They have taken up real estate in my imagination and are deserving of more storylines! As far as the spiritual aspect, this naturally flows from the characters and are not necessarily planned out. It is more of a byproduct and essence of who they are.    
 

MBS:  What is a typical work day like for you?

Steelgoddess:  My day starts at 5:30 with a stout cup of coffee. It is a challenge to find time to illustrate between filling orders and running a business. I like to start my mornings off fairly early. After a 10 hour work day, I usually call it quits around dinner time. I am an early riser so it's not too difficult for me to sacrifice a bit of sleep in the name of art!  

Pumpkin Prosperity Spell
MBS:  Any current projects or shows in the works?  What are you currently working on?

Steelgoddess:  I will be attending Faeriecon East between November 9-11 in Baltimore, Maryland. I am super excited to have been invited to attend such an awesome show with tons of super talented artists and performers! I am working on a few special pieces to bring with me such as hand painted Mortar and Pestles and bowls. To learn more about the show and ticket info, please visit their website:  www.faeriecon.com/ 


The Mystic of Darkwind
MBS:  I've notice that you sell quite a bit of work online, through Etsy.
What prompted you to sell online, and how has social networking worked as a tool towards your increased visibility and sales?


Steelgoddess:  I wanted to find a way to stay at home with my children and work. I stumbled across a few amazing artists through Ebay who were able to make a descent living while following their passion. This got me thinking and I decided to give it a try. I initially worked part time at the Girls and Boys Club and squeezed in painting in my free time. When my sales starting reaching a consistent fair price, I felt confident to transition to a full time artist. I have found word of mouth has been a tremendous help in networking. Facebook is a wonderful tool as well. I enjoy selling on Etsy and have to commend them for helping artisans connect with larger audiences. The ability to add shops to favorites and circles has broadened my footprint in fans and sales.      



MBS:  Any advice you have for those who wish to (seriously) pursue an artistic path?

Steelgoddess:  Paint what you love and follow your intuition. This will naturally create your own unique niche. Personally, I believe majority of fans and collectors gravitate towards artists who evoke positive emotions. This is my only rule I follow in choosing what subjects to paint. As long as it is fun and uplifting to me, that is my gift I am giving to the universe. Spend time studying artists work who you admire. Get a feel for their color schemes and techniques. Practice, practice, practice! Perseverance and patience pays off. Always remember to have fun!    


~ thank you!



For more information about the Steelgoddess and her artwork, you can visit her shop The Magic and Mischief of Steelgoddess




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Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Visit to The Magic Moon in Saratoga Springs, New York

When visiting different parts of the country, one of the things I enjoy doing in conjunction with the Mind Body Spirit Odyssey blog, is to check out the local Metaphysical shop.  Just by stepping through the door I can automatically tell quite a bit about the community, the shop's owner, how knowledgeable the workers are, and also whether one type of belief system or practice tends to predominant in the area.  After I visit I always manage to go away having gained new insights into different belief systems, and/or I learn a new tip or technique that can be of benefit to myself and others (such as the information about how to cleanse healing stones, that I wrote about in this article).

One of the nicest experiences I've had in quite a while came during a visit to Saratoga Springs, NY,  stopping by The Magic Moon metaphysical boutique.  While there, shop manager Kirsten happily filled me in on the shop's history (it was established in 1974) it's products and services, and a little bit about the metaphysical and wellness community that thrives in the area.

In addition to horse racing, Saratoga Springs has long healing history dating back to before the 1600's. This is because of the actual mineral springs that are in the area, which are believed to contain medicinal and healing properties.  Around the turn of the century the railroad would bring thousands of people up from the New York City area to the famous mineral springs and as a result, over the years a very solid healing and wellness community grew and became established within the area.

I've found it interesting that other communities that I have visited in the United States that have a similar history with mineral springs and hot springs, also have a very strong healing and wellness community.  Areas such as Pagosa Springs, Colorado and Manitou Springs Colorado come to mind.

At the Magic Moon in Saratoga Springs you will find a very well stocked shop with a variety of items for all kinds of interests.  In addition to a wonderful selection of jewelry, shirts, bags, incense, cards and alter decorations, this store has a very large selection of Tarot Cards and also one of the largest book/library sections that I have seen in quite awhile.  That's where I spent most of my time.  What I found so refreshing is that the books not only cover a wide range of topics and belief systems, but there is a also good selection for all levels of learning and awareness.  In other words, they just don't carry mass market beginner books.

I saw at least 5 different quality brands of essential oil, and when I inquired about them Kirsten was very thorough and knowledgeable in her explanation of them to me.  She also stressed that it is very important that people do not fall for the pyramid schemes that are currently going around with essential oils, and that the user should never, ever ingest them for any reason - no matter what you're told.  Essential oils are very potent, and they will do damage to the esophagus.  

*I'd like to note here, that this is why it is so important when people purchase products for healing or metaphysical purposes that you have a trained, qualified, knowledgeable person that assists you and guides you.  There are too many mass market items on the shelves these days that are just complete trash.  The quality is inferior and many times the sales person does not possess the training and knowledge base to adequately assist and guide the customer with their purchase.  A lot vendors want to make a quick dollar, and there are many desperate, unhappy people who want a quick fix to their problem.  Not a good match.  Just like anything else in life, be careful what you buy and how you use it.  Just because someone works in a store does not mean that they know what they are doing, and just because someone says they read tarot cards, are psychic, etc... does not mean that they are good at it.*

The Magic Moon also has a tarot card reader that is available for appointments (who was accurate with my reading), and the shop also serves as an excellent referral source for people who need help that they do not provide or are beyond their scope of services, such as regular counseling services, acupuncture, message therapy, reiki, etc.  In fact when I was in the shop, several local practitioners  just stopped in to say hello, including a reiki master who resides in the area.

If you are ever in Saratoga Springs, stop into the Magic Moon and say hi.  And if you already live in the area, I would definitely urge you to take advantage of this wonderful little resource in your midst and their very knowledgeable shop manager.  The shop is located at 15 Phila Street in the heart of the city's historical shopping district.  I had a nice morning, and thoroughly enjoyed my visit.


~ diane fergurson



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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Manifesting Destiny - Conversations With Healer Darren Orr


MBS:  I was having a discussion with some people the other day, and someone made the off handed remark that because of the way that a mutual friend had acted, they predicted that a certain future outcome was inevitable for them.  Another person who was standing with us then made the statement, "you better watch what you say, or you will manifest it."

Will the event really become manifested, or are you really predicting something that's going to happen anyway?  OR, if you really want to expand on that thought, does it have to do with time lines? Could it become manifested on this time line but not another?? Or does it even get that involved at all???  lol

Autumn Decor, Tree Reflection Print by Jude McConkey
Darren:  Yes it gets that involved and everything you mentioned is factored into the equation and outcome and probably alot more haha! You are doing both: it's being manifested because you said it and you are seeing the fruition of a habitual pattern not in balance with your friends destiny.

Everyone has a destiny--a reason why you were born, a reason why you are living at this time on Earth. We can go into this deeper from a Classical Chinese medicine perspective but it must be in person because truth cannot be expressed in words on paper or over the cloud, only through a direct vibrational experience.

Yes, you are predicting something that is going to happen. If you are friends with someone else and overtime you come to understand their mind (patterns, behaviors, habits) then it is relatively easy to predict outcomes based on past behavior. What do most people use as the basis of their current experience and future decisions?---their past. So the past, for most, informs their future without them ever being present of the only moment that they are alive---now and now and now!!  Or, for most people, even being aware that this pattern exists - which is most unfortunate. As my teachers teacher states "anyone who doesn't live in the present moment is committing a form of spiritual suicide" and thus cannot fulfill their mandate from heaven or destiny in this lifetime. 

The question becomes, are your choices and actions in life based on your true nature and your own spirit?  That truthful internal voice?  Or, is your truth stifled and unduly influenced by external sources ...ie family, friends, media, Internet, society, religion, culture???  Or, are you simply an amalgamation of these factors?  Or... have you even bothered to take the time to understand your own mind???
That is an important question to ask oneself.

It is worthless to read and reiterate someone else's words, practices, forms, teachings. All of those came from one who originally thought outside the box, a true independent thinker. This is what my lineage, Formless Daoism and Inner Strength teaches as it's foundation--to be an independent thinker.  The most meaningful teaching comes directly from one's own experience. All else is fallacy and plagiarism. You must speak and live your own truth. You are utterly unique. Over 70 trillion combinations of genes and cells and you are a unique combination and manifestation never seen before in creation and never to be seen again.

So, why follow anyone but your own spirit?  The greatest master you will ever find resides inside your own Being.
The teacher is so necessary and revered in every culture because it points you back to your own spirit -- the uniqueness which holds and enfolds all which if you connect with it while living, will unfold and manifest your destiny in this lifetime.

Everyone is a creator. Everyone creates their own life.  Even if they abdicate that responsibility and play the martyr or victim role they still choose the filtered glasses with which they choose to see the world through and act upon.  It can become manifest in this timeline based on your friends choices or it can be manifested in another dimension or another lifetime.

At this point one needs to look to the highest form of science we in the west know of, quantum physics. We are finding with each new discovery that our most modern scientific method directly correlates to the ancient teachings of many cultures. As the famous physicist David Bohm states "the universe may be nothing more than a hologram of your own Mind".
This is exactly the 'Truth' that QiGong Masters pointed at 8,000 years ago using 'internal' technology.

What does that statement invoke in you?
Does it make you think? 

Depending on the quantum physicist you are quoting there can be anywhere from 3 to 26 dimensions or more. Your choices determine whether the unlimited field of potentiality and possibility is broken into a particle or a wave. Using the metaphor of the ocean, the quantum realm is an ocean of unlimited potentiality and possibilities where your choices take this unlimited wave and break it into 1 path, wave or particle that you surf and that 1 path out of many becomes your so called "reality".   But if there are other dimensions then potentially you are making different decisions in each dimension and each produces a unique outcome and destiny.

Think about that!

Here we can reference the Hiesenburg principle which states simply that the observer changes that which is observed. This has HUGE implications for healing from a medical QiGong perspective but even mores for our scientific method and how research is conducted.

Said in another way- what you give conscious awareness to, you change. Your intention in some aspects has more of an effect on the field of awareness and consciousness, that is life, than do your actions.

From a jing level physical matter perspective, everyone has a timeline. Life is a terminal illness.  From the moment you are born it is a countdown to your death. You only get so many breaths. Can you face that fact and live moment to moment with that awareness, not be fearful and use it to increase your presence in the eternal now?  It's the only thing one can truly count on.  If you are born you will die. The question becomes how are you going to live your death?? The way you live your life is the way you will live your death. We are born with a destiny, but our individual choices from moment to moment affect this destiny and our ability to fulfill and manifest it in our lifetime and within a given time line.  If you don't find the time to deal with and understand your mind in life, you WILL deal with at death, it's your choice.

This is why spiritual disciplines like Medical QiGong were created.  So you can keep your body as healthy, vital and supple for as long as possible.  Regulating the Mind, reducing stress, harmonizing internal and external energies into 1.  Honing your intention to awaken your spirit so you can manifest your own individual, unique destiny in this lifetime for the benefit of all life, both formed and formless.



Darren Orr is a Doctor of Classical Chinese Medicine in Medical QiGong Therapy with a specialization in Dao-yin. He is currently training in ShenGong to be a Formless Daoist Priest. He is a Medical QiGong Master, nationally certified massage, bodywork and somatic therapist, Reiki Master, sound healer, Dao yoga, Dao Yin and meditation teacher. Darren is an A-Z practitioner specializing in life-altering illness, palliative care for the terminally ill, bereavement services for family, cancer, PTSD, fibromyalgia, addiction, mental/emotional imbalances, chronic pain and stress management as well as preventative medicine. CEU courses, lectures, workshops, seminars, classes, qi parties, and corporate wellness programs also available. Serving the tri-state area in a triangle from Philadelphia to NYC to Atlantic City Nj. Long Distance therapy also available.

You can contact Darren at:  d.orr333@gmail.com 

You may also be interested in reading our interview with Darren about healing and the practice of Qigong.



Also his articles for our blog include:
Shedding Our Acquired Life Roles and Medical Qigong
Spiritual Warrior


 


Autumn Decor Tree Reflection print is courtesy of photographer Jude McConkey.
  Prints are available through her shop on Etsy.






   Follow the daily updates of the Mind Body Spirit Marketplace on Facebook and Tumblr.







Sunday, September 9, 2012

Mind Body Spirit Odyssey Review: The Steampunk Tarot


Barbara Moore, one of the lead tarot scholars today, in cooperation with artist Aly Fell, has created one of the most unique decks I have seen in some time, The Steampunk Tarot.



If you unfamiliar with steampunk, or for those who have heard the word but never quite understood what it meant, let me take a minute to get you up to speed.

Steampunk is a blending of science fiction, fantasy, and alternate history.  Some good examples are the kind of machinery found in the works of H.G. Wells or Jules Verne.    Victorian England, and The Old West of the United States, are two popular places used in steampunk fiction.  (Those of you who saw The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen or the Wild Wild West movie get the idea of what we’re describing here).  The wild contraptions and mechanics used are created with the idea that the the industrial revolution has already started, but not to the point where electricity has been developed, hence we have steam-driven vehicles and smaller devices using clockwork style mechanisms.

The clockwork mechanism aspects of steampunk are portrayed rather beautifully on the back of every card

The Minor Arcana - Numbered Cards

For those of you who are well-versed in the traditional Rider Waite deck, this deck will be an easy fit for you, as the overall concepts are similar.  So, you will have a very small learning curve if you want to add this unique deck to your repertoire.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with Rider Waite, Barbara makes it very easy to study this deck quickly.  The accompanying manual starts off each card description with a simple quote, designed to get you to think about the card and its imagery.

Here we will look at one numbered card from each of the four suits.



For example, the Ace of Pentacles is all about opportunities for prosperity.  The section on this card starts off with the quote “How does it feel to hold the potential of the world in your hand?”.  This concept is so beautifully conceived in the artwork of the card.



One of my personal favorites is the Ten of Wands (a card that comes up in every single reading anyone has ever done for me).  The description starts off with the great quote “Which is more burdensome: that past that is known or the future that is unknown?”.  Many of the tarot decks I have seen show the person carrying the ten wands in front of them, or shows them grounded in some way.  What is unique about the Steampunk Tarot interpretation of the card is twofold.  First, this woman is carrying these wands (her “burden”) on her back.  Since these burdens are issues from the past, it only makes sense that they be behind her.  I am not sure why so many other decks have these burdens in front of the person.  Secondly, look at the cards strewn about her.  The ones behind her are face up.  These are the past, the things that are already known to her.  Now, look at the cards in front of her.  They are still turned down.  They are her uncertain future.  I have never seen this card interpreted in this way before.  This is a wonderful, powerful, image, and wholly indicative of the art and concepts of this deck.




The Seven of Cups, with its quote “In this moment, all possible futures exist - until you pick one.” beautifully captures the concept of having many possible choices.  Each of the seven cups depicted on the card has a different item inside them.  They run the gamut from potentially positive to potentially negative.  There are cards of tangible items as well as emotional ones.  Some are grounded, and some are airborne.  The full range of choice is very well represented here.



The Six of Swords (“A lady always knows when it’s time to leave.”) is another that wonderfully depicts its concept in a new way.  This card suggests that leaving the situation would be the best way to resolve it.  To illuminate this concept, we see the person on a flying machine.  To help illustrate the idea of “taking flight”, we can see that all six of the swords are pointing in the same direction, the direction in which the flying machine is headed.  As an extra bonus, the accompanying book suggests that, when doing a reading, if The Chariot of any Knights are also present in the reading, this should be taken as a sign that leaving the situation is all the more urgent.  A great tip!

The Minor Arcana - Court Cards

The court cards are where some this deck starts to set itself apart from other decks.  In this deck, all four pages and three of the four knights are depicted by women.


The Page of Pentacles (“Because adventure always awaits, and so I am always prepared.”) is ready for the next adventure.  She is showing emerging from behind a curtain.  This woman has prepared herself well, and is more than ready to take the stage and seize her moment.


See how the Knight of Wands (“I assure you, I do not need to read those hieroglyphics in order to conquer this situation.”) holds her wand.  It is not held casually.  The way she is holding it, it can be thrust forward, thrust backwards, or held up in front of her to block a potential attack.  She is ready to take any action necessary.  She does not need a plan, does not to consider any past actions, and does not need convincing (traits of the other suits).  The sparkle emanating from the wand is almost akin to a twinkle in your eye.  Even the wand itself appears to be ready to act.


Perhaps the crown jewel of the court cards, the Queen of Pentacles (“Let your inner light be reflected in the outer world; loveliness is next to godliness.”) is the Grande Dame, and she knows it.  From her porcelain features, to her satin dress, to the gold banister, everything in the card just radiates.  And yet, notice how wonderfully simple the overall look of the card is.  She does not need any fancy ornamentation.  She knows that the simplest things just need to shine, to elevate themselves above the simple.  Also note that everything has a function as well, nothing is in excess.  She is unadorned elegance.

The Major Arcana

In The Chariot (“Despite any concerns you may have, I am in control of this situation.”), we see a person who is fully in charge.  They have control of the vehicle, and are leading it in the direction in which they wish to go.  There are several different Elizabethan and Steampunk literary series in which heroines carry parasols filled with unique gadgets and weapons.  This card is also a tip of the cap to those heroines.  It also employs a wonderful depiction of a steam-driven vehicle.


The Devil is one of the best images in this deck.  The machine, created by these people, has become so big and powerful, that is has taken complete control of the situation.  The people in this card are being controlled by the machine, and forced to continually keep it functioning.  The idea here is that whatever the situation is that you created, it is now to the point where you can no longer be objective about it, because you are too busy keeping it going to be able to step back and realize what is really going on.  You are too busy feeding the beast to see how much control it now has over you.  This is, truly, one of the best images in the entire deck.


Lastly, we come to The World.  This woman has conquered everything.  Behind her are the symbols for Earth, Air, Fire and Water.  Unlike other cards of ending in this deck, this one is a more positive ending, as it depicts that the journey that she started was successfully completed, and that she is now ready for her next journey.  

And, hopefully, with this deck, you too will be ready for your next journey.

The only concern I have with this deck is that the cards are just a little on the flimsy side.  I wish they had been made of stronger card stock.  When using these, I would shuffle them with great care.  But, that is not enough of a concern to stop me from recommending this deck.  This is truly one of the most beautiful decks I have ever seen.  With the popularity of the Steampunk Movement, I am surprised a deck as not reached the forefront sooner.  Thankfully, we have a scholar like Barbara Moore to bring her unique vision to this concept.  The accompanying manual has a lot of useful information on each card, and also shows you ways to reinterpret old spreads in a new way, to bring out the most in this deck.  Tarot collectors as well as Steampunk collectors will enjoy these cards for years to come.

Those of you who are planning to attend TeslaCon3 in Nov/Dec 2012 will have the opportunity to see Barbara Moore present this deck herself.  What a treat!

For more information on the deck itself, you can visit www.steampunktarot.com.
The Steampunk Tarot is published by Llewellyn Publications.

Enjoy!


~ Giani




Additional Tarot reviews by Giani can be found in the Review section of our blog.

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