Gushing. Dark. Freakishness. Nostalgia. Kick-ass. Love. Silicon Dawn.


I’m having high hopes for the Tarot of the Silicon Dawn.

Ever since I saw the first images of the deck-in-progress over at Aeclectic Tarot, I knew this one would be a good one. Any creation where neither gender nor morals are a binary, where sexuality isn’t only a matter of genitals (or even bodies), where meanings are twisted and many-layered, where shapeshifting is taking for granted, where language (in both pictures and words) takes its references and metaphors from many sources and mixes them into one deliciously complex cocktail that changes taste with every sip, where colors aren’t predominantly pastel, and where intelligence is a sparkling undercurrent throughout it all is pretty much guaranteed to land in the small area of things I highly, highly appreciate. Especially if it features the kinds (yes, plural) of femininity that I find myself connected to. The Tarot of the Silicon Dawn delivered on all of these accounts before I even had the deck.

So far, I’ve deliberately ignored most other people’s opinions about the deck because I wanted to discover it on my own. What I did notice, however, was that this deck didn’t seem ‘meh’ to anyone.

This morning, I read the introductory bits of the companion book. And then I thought I really should properly meet this deck after I’ve looked longingly at it from afar for such a long time (the creation process started in 2007). I hope this isn’t turning into some awkward fan-meets-star situation. Instead, I’m hoping for us to develop a sisterfreak companionship, and/or to find another Auntie of the Kate Bornstein kind. But hey, no pressure.

So here we are. *shuffle, shuffle* Hi. :-)

Four of Wands. *deep sigh* Hi. Uh, excuse the mess. I was busy planning my escape.

Oh. Sorry. You look a bit defensive. I guess my expectations are a bit intimidating?

Fool (-1). Aaaaaaarrghh! Get your filthy tentacles off me!

*stepping back, hands held up in a deescalating gesture* Whoa. You seem a bit jumpy today. How about we find ourselves a quiet spot and I buy you a drink?

White galaxy. *blank stare* Sure.

Okay. How about here: Seven of Wands.

*raising eyebrow* You have a strange taste in quiet spots. Not quite what I expected. But I guess it’s fine as long as  you brought an extra blanket. And you mentioned a drink?

Well, what would you like?

Nine of Wands. I know a party we could crash. *suppressed smile* There will be butches.

*laughing* Alright, I see you’ve already figured me out. So, while we walk over there, why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself. Like, what’s the most important thing I should know about you?

Ten of Swords. I’m depressed and paranoid. My world is dark and hopeless. I’m bleeding from my eyes.

*thinking to myself* Oh, another attempt at scaring me away. Nice try, sweetheart.
*saying out loud* Sorry to hear you’re feeling like shit right now. Let me know if you need me to just shut up and listen or if you want my ideas.

And what’s that piece of paper all about?

99 of Wands. I’m overwhelmed by ideas, by things to do, by worlds to create and inhabit, by the hugeness of the Universe. It’s all too much for me to deal with. Wanna go look at baby animals?

Sure, if you need a squeal-mate I’m all yours. The last thing I squealed about was a tiny little mouse that I saw on our terrace. It had huuuge black eyes and big ears, and a teeny, tiny, thin tail. I was surprised it even went out in that kind of freezing cold. So I put some seeds out near the entrance of its home. By the way, I get the thing about being petrified by all the things I want to do. What are all those Wands cards about anyway?

Queen of (VOID). Have you ever been in the desert at night and saw how many fucking stars there actually are? And then you lost all sense of who you are in relation to that?

Not quite at that level, no. But I’m also not quite sure who I am at this point in my life, so I can relate to the bit about lacking a point of reference of appropriate scale to measure yourself against. I thought you might be such a point of reference for me. A point. Not the point. What do you think?

The High Priestess. You need a new stage, baby. You need to come out from the observing position behind the scenes and put yourself into the spotlight. “Transmit messages about who you are. No matter who you are.” Remember San Francisco. Remember the kraß. Remember the magic. You have all the credentials you need. Now start dancing again.

Wow. You’re quoting Team Dresch at me? Girl, you do speak my language. At least an ancient form of it.
So you think I need to look at my own past, the parts that I’m sorely missing from back then? And then I suppose I’m meant to find a space where I can do a revival performance of that? Like we did with Rocky Horror? But isn’t that all just nostalgia? How can I get back to these parts when I feel so disconnected from them that I’m not even sure it was really me who did these things? And when there are other parts that I really don’t want to reconnect with?

The Chariot. You’re analyzing things so much that you’re in danger of breaking them. That didn’t work for poetry, and it doesn’t work for this. Are you aware that this is backstage from the High Priestess? You gotta focus on getting your butt in gear, on reconnecting your mind with your body. Apparently you have friends to help you with that.

Touché on the need to reconnect mind and body. I guess it’s no coincidence that we’re moving away from the cooler colors here? So what’s a good next step to take to move towards this reconnection?

Two of Pentacles. Get naked. Push your buttons. Tell yourself the stories of your tattoos again. Think about snakes and wings. Make it simple.

I think I know what you mean… And I think that’s plenty for me to think about for now. By which I mean, I’ll need to let this one sink in a bit. Chew on it. Digest it. You know.

Anything else you want to tell me before we part ways for now?

Six of Wands. “Dip me in honey and throw me to the goth chicks.”

I love you. That’s a Kate Bornstein quote. This is also a pretty Lady-Gaga-esque picture. I think I’ll go download some music.
But before I leave you for now, tell me how are you feeling now?

The Hermit. I’m feeling a little foolish for all the drama. But I don’t mind because I feel inspired in a totally manageable shape. I’ll be in my batcave, tweaking the cogs. Or maybe it’s a holodeck. In any case, I’m busy now. See you later.

See you. And, hey, if you ever feel like the Ten of Swords again, go read some Kate Bornstein. She has some great ideas for things to do instead of dying. Love ya, babe.


Phew. I think that went pretty well for a first encounter. I’m happy the Silicon Dawn seems willing and able to plunge right into the middle of any mess instead of wasting time with small talk and pleasantries. Even at a casual glance or two, these cards offer so many different perspectives each that I could totally go over this selection again and come up with yet another level of this conversation. And I haven’t even started to read what Egypt Urnash herself says about them in the book.

Yes indeed. This is a good one. Definitely a deck that I’d pick for an extended period of exclusive use in a heartbeat. IT has enough queer (here used mostly but not exclusively in the sense of “weird, odd, strange”) philosophy, kinky spirituality, and brilliant foolishness to keep me challenged and inspired for much longer than this brief meeting.


7 responses »

  1. heh, yes i love it too and could quite happy settle with silicon dawn for months on end and not look back!
    in fact I envy you right now!

  2. Don’t you just LOVE how this deck ‘talks’? Blunt and hilarious and totally accurate and just what you need to hear and…your gushing has me gushing again :]

    Have a fun week with this one. I know I loved working with it. Also, reading this post made me smile.

  3. Yes, the Silicon Dawn does seem to have a very distinct voice. I don’t remember any other deck whose voice is so apparent.
    I know many decks that are easier to access, but I admit I already have a soft spot for her (and it’s definitely a ‘she’) seeming randomness and blunt intensity. And I do love me a good challenge, and she definitely seems to offer that, in both content and form of her messages.

  4. I swear Cat, your posts often make me laugh, but they always give me plenty to thing about! I am trying SO hard not to be enabled on this deck. The only drawback I see though is the switch with the suits/elements, which most people don’t seem to mind anyway. Oh dear… :)

  5. Hey Egypt, thanks for dropping by and for the link to the bigger picture!

    I was also grinning when I saw all these “woe me!” cards, although I still can’t quite explain why. Maybe because that voice was so oddly familiar – and I liked that. I like to imagine there’s a secret freak code running through it that I can partly decipher because I’ve spent a lot of time in some kind of freakspace myself. Still do. And every now and then it all dissolves into “us humans.” Or maybe even “us beings.” I’m still chewing on that one. (And I get the impression the your deck inspires strange philosophic/random ramblings in me. That’s a compliment.)

  6. Great writing, thank you.
    Reading your blog’s backlog is going to be fun.

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