Charissa Drengsen

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Charissa Drengsen - Steampunk Tarot 1 Magician


Charissa Drengsen is the creator of Steampunk Tarot; a 78 card deck, self published in 2010. The collage imagery is an alchemical brew of modern and Victorian era attire, mad science fiction visions and contemporary attitudes, with a dark sensual streak running through it.

The borders of the deck are an original Art Nouveau design with Steampunk elements incorporated in warm sepia tones. The backs are printed in full color. Traditional symbolism associated with the Tarot can be found in the cards albeit sometimes in mysterious and unusual ways and is often 'tongue in cheek'. The cards have standard Tarot titles with Strength being card 8 and Justice card 11 (following the Waite-Smith model). The Major Arcana numbering system does not use Roman numerals. The 4 suits are the familiar wands, cups, swords and pentacles and the court cards are page, knight, queen and king.

The deck is also available as an App for Android. The app was designed by Aron Price of TarotBot and the fanciful imagery is backlit brilliantly by the light of the cell phone (technology and digital art can create such gorgeous offspring). The Droid app offers 6 types of Tarot spreads and a method to share or save readings online.

There is also a Pictorial Key to the Steampunk Tarot available that is printed as a 52 page, 4-color glossy book measuring 9 x 7 inches (22.9 x 17.8 cm), bound with soft cover. It contains images of each of the 78 tarot cards, and an intro, with a Steampunk definition, a discussion of how the Kaballah relates to Tarot, interpretations for each of the cards, and special pages describing the four Minor Arcana suits and their symbology within the Steampunk genre, a couple sample card spreads, and an outline of the Tarot basic elements.

Deck & Book Creator

Charissa Drengsen

Publishing details

The artist produces the deck in small editions while experimenting with different formats and keeping up with the demand for this imaginative work of Tarot lore. She offers the deck in a few different sizes and formats such as a poker deck size, large version - 3.5 x 5.5 inch (8.9 x 14 cm) deck; professionally printed on white glossy card stock with archival four color inks. And limited, signed and numbered special editions printed professionally on 120lb Italian pearlescent quartz cardstock.

A and a PDF CD is also available. This Pictorial Key to the Steampunk Tarot is beautifully printed as a 52 page, 4-color glossy book measuring 9 x 7 inches (22.9 x 17.8 cm), bound with soft cover.

Year of Publication



Self-published by the artist. Her studio: Curly-Cue Design, in Petaluma, California

Deck creation and/or publication process

The collages for Steampunk Tarot were done digitally over a two year span. Her work is influenced by post-modernism, theoretical quantum physics, vintage sensibilities, 21st Century sub-cultures, and a fascination with dystopia and decline of civilization.

She grew up with the Waite-Smith, Motherpeace, and Thoth decks in her household. While connecting with the underlying archetypes of the Tarot, she challenged herself to create a body of work that used these archetypes as a vessel for new images.

Creator's comments

The artist describes the deck as a digital collage tarot deck for navigating the gear-driven apocalypse. A blend of post-modern and tribal, ancient and contemporary, traditional and subcultural. The Steampunk Tarot builds a rusty metal bridge to the edge of your subconscious.

Creator's websites

  • [1] Artist's site on Etsy which has the deck in a few sizes and formats
  • [2] Webpage where the version described is posted
  • [3] Artists homepage
  • [4] Steampunk Tarot Companion Book
  • [5] Steampunk Tarot as Android App


  • [6] Review with cards by Arnell Ando
  • [7] Write-up with images by Solandia

Online Deck Images - links