A few days ago, my Druid friend Shaun asked me if I could design a meditation based on Steampunk. My default reaction was ‘yes’, and then I sat down and thought about it. A meditation needs to do something. It needs to take you deeper in, or expand your mind in some way. There are meditations that are just about relaxing yourself, but that didn’t seem right for an application of Steampunk ideas. Steampunk is too dynamic for that.
Steampunk is also essentially a social and aesthetic movement. How to make that into a meaningful meditation without just playing with surfaces? I considered working round the four elements, but that seemed a bit of a cop-out, not least because I’ve put together a few element based meditations already (See Druidry and Meditation on the Books page http://www.druidlife.wordress.com/books). Really speaking, I’d just be wrapping relevant technology around existing ideas, and that felt like a cheat. I don’t just want to play with surfaces. The other thing is, steam technology burned a lot of coal, it wasn’t very green, which isn’t very Druidy, so the more I thought about it, the less this seemed like a good idea.
So where did that leave me? I confess that there was a brief crisis around just how much Steampunk Druidry you could actually do, and whether it was possible to have anything with more depth. I floated out the Secret Order of Steampunk Druids as much for fun as anything else. Can Steampunk Druidry be anything more than a bit of dressing up and having a giggle?
Here’s what I’ve come up with. It plays to one of the core Steampunk images, it deals in social connection, relationship and visualisation. I think it ticks all the necessary boxes.
Take some time to settle and slow your breath as you normally would when meditating. Then, picture yourself as a cog. Shiny or dull, large or small, well used or pristine… what kind of a cog are you? Every tooth around your cog is a point at which you connect with the world. Every time you turn, other things, other people turn their cogs in response. What causes you to turn? What are you turning? Picture yourself as a cog, be it a small one or a large one, and see how you fit in with all the other cogs, and try to visualise the sort of machine you belong to. Is it the sort of machine that goes round fixing broken things, or is yours a wrecking machine? Are you part of a really clever machine that makes amazing discoveries? Is your machine going somewhere, or just round in circles? Do you like how it looks? Is this a machine you are glad to be part of, or do you need to break out and roll off somewhere else? See where it takes you…