Steampunk Tarot Deck
Great for those who love to make or embellish their books of shadows
The 2nd Annual Alaska Steamposium is next week in Anchorage and we are very excited about being returning vendors! Steampunk, with its old-world aesthetics and tie-ins of spiritualism and cult societies of the Victorian era, is a subculture many witches love. Whether or not you're able to join us next week, you can still lavish the steampunk witch in your life (especially if it is yourself) with these magickal gifts.
Steampunk Tarot Deck
3 to choose from!
For the crafty witch
Great for those who love to make or embellish their books of shadows
Arcana: The Tarot Poetry Anthology is a diverse collection of 78 poems, including original verse and new translations by contemporary writers and Tarot readers. The book can be pre-ordered through the publisher, Minor Arcana Press.
Tarot poetry began in Renaissance Italy with artists like Teofilo Folengo. Many famous poets–including T.S. Eliot, W.B. Yeats, and Marge Piercy–have used Tarot in their work since. Our era is now blessed with our own poetic creations as those featured in Arcana. Editor Marjorie Jensen has brought many of these amazing poets together from an international community including Rachel Pollack, Tanya Joyce, Cecilia Llompart, and Sierra Nelson.
I see that you are both a tarot reader and a lover of books as well as an editor. What got you into tarot? Would you mind sharing with us your favorite tarot deck?
My mom reads Tarot and gifted me my first deck—the Aquarian Tarot—when I was about fourteen. My paternal grandmother read intuitively with playing cards, so I guess you could say my love of reading cards runs on both sides of the family! Currently, my favorite decks are the Paulina Tarot, the Wizards Tarot, and the Rider-Waite-Smith.
What initially inspired the Arcana Tarot Poetry anthology?
When I started writing my unrhymed sonnet sequence based on the Major Arcana, I wanted to read an anthology of Tarot poetry. I like research, and I found a number of books and poems by individual poets, but no one had created a volume of Tarot poems that brought together multiple authors. So I decided to make the book I wanted to read.
Minor Arcana Press calls Arcana a "muse: enchanting, inspiring, and empowering." What are some ways that the tarot has inspired and empowered you?
I love writing with the Tarot and using it in writing workshops. Collecting Tarot is like collecting art (but generally on a much smaller and cheaper scale), and I find art to be a wonderful muse. Also, I feel that the Tarot enriches my spiritual practice—my private rituals as well as the spiritual connections I make when reading for others.
Arcana is described as "groundbreaking" in its uniting poetry and tarot. Before this project, you published articles like "Structuring Sonnets and Tarot Spreads” in Tarosophist International. Do you foresee a trend of combining tarot with poetry, art, and literature in the future?
There are some deep connections between Tarot, art, and poetry, going back to renaissance Italy, and what we are able to do now with the internet allows niche communities—like Tarot poets—to come together and be seen. One of the things I enjoyed with this project was seeing how writing from people who spend more time in Tarot circles harmonized with writing from people who spend more time in poetry circles. Both poets and Tarotists give readings, but now a little more light is being shed on how similar those readings can be. And I think this light will continue to grow.
When this book first came into view to the public it was being crowdfunded through Indiegogo. Why did you and Minor Arcana Press choose to use crowdfunding for the project initially?
Indiegogo did not make its crowdfunded goal, how did this effect printing and publishing the book?
Minor Arcana Press is a small non-profit with a limited budget, so we thought that crowdfunding would be a good way to help cover printing costs and other costs of making the book. Not making the Indiegogo goal means we will be publishing fewer copies of the book. Later this year we will also be putting out an e-book edition so more copies can enter the world, but we will have a very limited press run of paperback editions. Also, not making the goal inspired amazing generosity—for instance, Mary K. Greer offered to waive her fee for the introduction. Gifts like hers made it possible for us to still put out a small press run of physical copies.
What was it like working with authors and artists like Rachel Pollack (one of the poetry authors), Siolo Thompson (who did the interior art and front cover) and Mary K. Greer (who did the intro to the book)?
In addition to Mary’s generosity, and both her and Rachel have been wonderfully supportive. They have also been very accessible and welcoming. Anne Bean, Minor Arcana Press’ layout designer, worked more closely with Siolo than I did (I believe they knew each other before this project because they are both based in Seattle). I feel very blessed to have so many talented women involved in this project—I have been inspired by their words and images.
Some of our readers are both tarot enthusiasts and writers. As an editor, what advice can you give them if they are interested in writing for a project like this in the future?
Be yourself. After reading hundreds of submissions, I think the best poems draw on personal experience/experimentation/style. The worst seemed to regurgitate all the clichés about Tarot. Utilize the Tarot to find your distinct voice.
Minor Arcana Press is having a launch party for Arcana on August 26th. Will you be there? What can readers expect at this online shindig?
I will be there! The launch party will be held at Hugo House in Seattle—I’ve never been to Seattle before. There will be Tarot readings as well as poetry readings, and I hope we will be able to post some pictures/videos online. I’m planning on having similar events in other locations, especially Oakland (where I live).
Will there be more like this anthology in the future for us to look forward to?
I really enjoyed making this book, and would be interested in creating another anthology in a couple years. In the meantime, I plan to finish and publish my Major Arcana sonnets (which are nearly complete!). And I have some fiction that my muses are demanding I work on after that, so my next anthology might end up being a multi-genre collection with drama, fiction, and essays as well as poetry.
The smell of pine mulch from last season's Christmas tree crop.
Sun, rain, and mud on your pirate boots.
Kilted lads going 'regimental.'
A comparison of walking sticks among men old and young and always a murmur of "Gandalf."
Wenches in corsets with 'vast tracks of land' ready at hand with their favorite hue of harlot red lipstick.
Men dressed up as dragons and unicorns and parrots.
Children running and gasping an argument over whether a peasant can become a knight.
Turkey legs all smokey and salty with a cup of sweet mead.
Songs flitting through the air on errant breezes, one moment the raunchy tavern tune, the next a ballad of love at harvest.
Exclamations that my tarot readings are "scary good" as the client gets up from the querent's chair still staring at the tarot cards that predicted their change of business, their need to stop self-criticism, or upcoming travel.
Pewter mugs of hot chai among the discussion of period beverages.
Escaped ladies of court who buy illicit hair pins and rings. Damsels that dare to go walking without escort.
Envy of the silk and skin of belly dancers as the sun heats period costume layers. Jealousy of warm cloaks and stockings as the clouds block the heat.
"Who is your favorite? Red, Green, or Blue?"
Squabbles of partners for peasant dancing along with the yearly bemoaning of the lack of available men.
The making of new friends and the discussions of court drama.
Fools hunting treasure with acrobatic skills, throwing their flags and telling their jokes that both cause giggles and confusion.
Fairy lasses flitting over crystals, unable to choose between amethyst or clear.
Axe throwing and stage battles and children with boffer swords - and the need for the parents to buy a new sheild.
Sighs at the end as we return to the real world among the discussions on mead vs. ale hangovers and as to whether new costumes are tax deductible.
These are just a few of my favorite things at the 3 Barons Fair in Anchorage, AK this year. This was our 3 year as vendors with this event and we had a marvelous time! Thank you to the many who stopped in to say hi, get a reading, or renew your magickal tool chest with our wares. Those of you who could not make it, we hope to see you next year and that you will enjoy the following photos:
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Hi! I'm December, the more talkative half of the Seer&Sundry team. Along with reading Tarot, my passion is helping people live a magickal life every day & writing about all things witchy. You'll find all three topics that I love here!
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