Steampunk Tarot: Wisdom from the Gods of the Machine

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this deck by the publisher for review purposes.

The Steampunk Tarot: Wisdom from the Gods of the Machine
was created by John and Caitlin Matthews and illustrated by Wil Kinghan.

Details: published by Tuttle Publishing in 2012, this deck and book set comes in a nice sturdy box. The cards are of a thick stock with a matte finish.



  • The creative, fresh approach to each Tarot card
  • Excellent companion book with a bounty of great Tarot spreads


  • Cards can be challenging to read sometimes – this is definitely an advanced deck!

First of all, I will be totally honest. I don’t really get Steampunk. Even after reading the explanation of Steampunk in the companion book, as well as other online sources, I still don’t understand what it is. I feel the same way about Steampunk as I do about video games and team sports – I just don’t get it!

That said, this is a very fine deck and I am confident that lovers of Steampunk will be delighted to work with these cards.

This deck is perfect if you have been reading Tarot for a while and are really craving a challenge. This deck loosely follows the Rider-Waite-Smith format, with many of the Major Arcana being renamed, as well as the four suits. Swords are Airships, Cups are Submersibles, Wands are Engines and Pentacles are Leviathans.


The creators of The Steampunk Tarot: Wisdom from the Gods of the Machine have taken many creative liberties in their interpretation of each card, bringing a fresh perspective to the Tarot. In other words, the images and symbols are often quite different from what you might expect if you’re used to reading with a standard, Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot deck.

This is no cookie cutter deck! In some ways, this can make the cards difficult to read. The meanings are not immediately apparent and the unique symbolism on the cards really forces you to spend quality time with each card. Contemplating and fostering a deeper understanding of each card helps you develop a stronger grasp of Tarot in general – which is always a good thing!

That said, this is not the best deck for “quickie” readings. Instead, make a pot of tea, hunker down for the evening and let yourself get lost in this deck, for within it is a whole world just waiting to be explored.

The best part about this deck and book set is that in the companion book, next to the explanation of each Major Arcana card, is a different four-card Tarot spread. These spreads were simple, fantastic and so much fun! I will definitely be revisiting those spreads time and time again.


The companion book is great. Each card is explained in detail, which is helpful with a deck like this, where the meaning behind the images and symbols isn’t always obvious. The book also offers various ways of interpreting each card, four Steampunk-themed Tarot spreads at the back and some tips on doing readings – all good, juicy stuff!

These cards have a distinctly industrial-masculine vibe to them. There are plenty of women in this deck, but the machine theme feels very masculine. There are lots of gears, pipes, goggles and helmets – all things I associate with dudes.

There’s lots of stuff going on in these cards. If you are a fan of cards that are jam packed with images, this one delivers! The many images in each card can stimulate your imagination and intuition in many different ways. But if you get overwhelmed easily, you may find these cards too busy.

To sum it all up, The Steampunk Tarot: Wisdom from the Gods of the Machine is a fresh, unique deck that will get your creative and intuitive juices flowing. Lovers of Steampunk (and even those who have no idea what Steampunk even is) will find this deck exciting and adventurous to work with!

Buying options:
Tuttle Publishing

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