June 1st and we are into summer! I was looking over the short reading I did for Beltane, reflecting that the cards lined up fairly well with how May turned out. I ended up spending a good deal of time with family in May – time that hadn’t been planned or expected, so that was really very nice. The Fool, which had made an appearance in that reading, is still a good guide for me through the upcoming months. So much will be changing in my personal life that it is difficult to know just how to navigate them.

A Reading for June

Today I’m doing a quick reading that looks at things a little bit differently. This past weekend I visited my dad out of state. I visit often as his dementia progresses. My family are fortunate that he still remembers his loved ones and engages in conversation as much as he is able to. But it still brings me great sadness to see him go through this. It has been an extremely difficult process. I’ve had numerous dreams about him through this and I have also been experiencing rather massive episodes of nostalgia as I visit him as well as my hometown so frequently. So, that is one thing, and I had touched on it in that May 1st reading – this looking back, this intense awareness of the past. I’d like some guidance on how to ease those feelings of nostalgia, bring them down a bit. These feelings form the basis of Card One: the place of nostalgia, the past, how do I invite it to channel into something else?

I also have some really difficult changes coming this summer that have left me – in anticipation of them – feeling a bit at sea. Questions arise about my own place, the solidity, the permanence. Card Two therefore looks at: grounding, finding / recognizing stability.

At the same time, I am enjoying the season, and I’m very much enjoying moving a little away from the whole pandemic experience. I’m still sticking to some covid precautions simply because I do see my dad so often and he is vulnerable (though, he has had covid twice now and he has gotten through it fine). But overall things are appearing to have gained a certain level of “normalcy” (I mean, we can debate how normal things are or ever will be, but generally speaking we go about our lives much as we did before). So, focusing on simple enjoyment and living day to day life, Card Three: the present, the positive, what inspires or empowers.

I’m adding a fourth card to this reading to round things out a little. Card Four is simply: an outlook towards the future, vision, awareness, insight, to facing the coming months with strength and acceptance.

Steampunk Insights

I chose The Steampunk Tarot by John and Caitlin Matthews for this reading because I’m in a steampunky mood, I love this set, and the accompanying guidebook is very well written and insightful. I have found that readings done with this deck are often uncanny in their precision.

Cards drawn:

  1. 0 – The Apprentice
  2. Four of Airships
  3. XV – Cyborg
  4. XIV – Spirit Gauge

Card 1 – 0 – The Apprentice

Right off the bat I find it interesting that the first card drawn is 0, what is commonly the Fool of course, given my May reading referenced above. The Steampunk Tarot offers a bit more insight than what is typical however and expresses the card’s meaning through the steampunk aesthetic. A short excerpt from the guidebook says, “The impulse of the Apprentice is innocent and uncomplicated, for he is one of the youngest of the Gods of the Machine. Like you, he holds all the possibilities in his heart in a childlike way, and just wants to implement what his vision promises.” It also advises, “Prepare to play with the possibilities that present themselves. … A sense of optimism and adventure will see you through…” The interpretation suggests to me that rather than try to resist or diminish feelings of nostalgia, perhaps it would be fulfilling to actually allow them, inviting them with joy rather than sadness, and embracing the warmer memories from childhood.

Card 2 – Four of Airships

This would typically be the Four of Swords, as the suit of Airships in this deck rules the element Air – or, as the authors put it, the airways – corresponding with Swords. Another very interesting draw here, as it shows an airship that has been grounded, forcing its pilot to take a much-needed break. The guidebook specifically says, “The airship is grounded for a time, allowing the captain to take some down-time while repairs are completed,” and it continues, “Stability of energy and environment is essential as a platform to work from. What space are you making for your health and well-being…?” These are a few examples of how precise the cards of this set can be, echoing my own wording for this card’s placement! The Four of Airships brings a slightly more positive point of view to the traditional Four of Swords – also a card of rest and recovery; this card suggests a more empowering experience. Going into the coming months I have been tending to wish for a greater sense of control in order to gain a stronger feeling of stability, but this card points out that in order to feel that stability, I must actually ground myself first.

Card 3 – XV – Cyborg

Usually, I’m not particularly crazy about drawing the Devil, which this card corresponds with, but it certainly does have its place in our readings. In the style I would expect from the authors, much insight and wisdom are shared, and the card offers relevant depth and meaning. A short excerpt, “As one of the Gods of the Machine, the Cyborg challenges you to find a place of balance rather than forge the chains of habit.” This line alone makes a lot of sense for my question and for this card placement. It also advises, “When you allow the limitation of fear or the colonization of obsession, you enter into an indulgent captivity. … You feel limited by being in the shadow of something fearful.” Indeed. It also speaks of past traumas and their influence on the present. This card hits the nail on the head in pointing to underlying fears about the coming months. It indicates clearly that the present – as much as I have been enjoying the new season – is still shadowed too greatly by these uncertainties.

Card 4 – XIV – Spirit Gauge

The Spirit Gauge corresponds to the traditional card of Temperance. Here it is described as “a guardian of all that is alive,” and “As one of the primary Gods of the Machine, the Spirit Gauge is the place where opposites meet and unite. Steam is a powerful medium of this world, as is human strength.” It advises, “When you learn to adapt and negotiate, you can find the balancing point.” Very similar to Temperance, the Spirit Gauge encourages finding balance. I think this is a perfect card for this position, and for looking forward at the coming weeks and months.

Depth and Meaning

This reading has given me more to think about than I expected when I decided to draw a few cards today. This is one of those readings that immediately resonated and will also stick with me for a few days as I contemplate the cards’ meanings.

You can learn more about this set and read user reviews at Amazon: The Steampunk Tarot by John and Caitlin Matthews.

You may also be interested in my May 2022 Reading for Beltane.

As always, please feel free to get in touch with questions or comments or a quick hello. Thanks for reading! ~ Nellie

Brief excerpts from The Steampunk Tarot: Wisdom from the Gods of the Machine, by John and Caitlin Matthews

The Steampunk Tarot
by John and Caitlin Matthews, illustrated by Wil Kinghan
illustrated guidebook and box