Monday, October 14, 2013

#CBR5 Review #48: The Steampunk Tarot Manual by Barbara Moore and Aly Fell

I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of tarot cards: how they work, the different beliefs behind them, and more than anything, the symbolism involved. And so, on the spur of a moment, I picked up a book (and set of cards!) on tarot, these ones specifically being in the style of Steampunk. Why not just a regular deck? Because these ones looked beautiful, and I’ve sort of been digging the whole steampunk thing lately. And surprisingly, I feel like I made a bit of a connection to these cards, as weird as that may sound. The images just strike something in me, even if I don’t quite know how to do the whole “reading” thing yet, except for on a level of personal interpretation.

In any case, what is included in The Steampunk Tarot Manual is a reasonably comprehensive layout of all the different cards in a typical tarot deck, their standard meanings, and a few different ideas as to what this might mean, especially given the images in the steampunk style. It also includes illustrations of each card by Aly Fell, and a description of a few different types of spreads and reading methods by Barbara Moore. The illustrations and drawings are just gorgeous, and I feel like I have quite a good grasp of what each of the cards means now. However, there were a few here or there that relied a bit more on telling a story that didn’t truly lay any concrete information out, which frustrated me as to what exactly was trying to be said about those particular cards. But maybe that goes with the whole, “learn to tell a story” idea in terms of doing tarot readings. Speaking of which, if there is one thing that I wish was expanded on further in this book is a more detailed rundown of how to do readings and interpret cards when they are put together or placed in different areas of spreads. I do understand that a lot of that comes down to personal interpretations, but it is still a little confusing as to how to even go about it at this point.

But, at the end of the day, this guidebook was helpful to get a good grasp on the basics of tarot cards and the ideas behind them. Maybe with a little further reading I will have a greater handle on this newfound hobby of mine. For now, however, this was a decent starting point. Maybe not the most complete of guides, but quite easy to understand, not judgmental as to one particular set of beliefs or use for the cards, and very much adhering to its overall theme.

[Be sure to check out more reviews on the Cannonball Read group blog]

The Knight of Cups Card
The Page of Swords Card

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