Issue Four of Steampunk Magazine is out -- free to download and print at home, or buy a handsomely printed object from the publishers for a mere $3. In this ish, steampunky stories and biographies, an interview with New Weird shakers Ann and Jeff VanderMeer and makers Donna Lynch and Steve Archer, DIY millinery, making a Jacob's Ladder, learning to plate stuff with brass, and the straight dope on Victorian hallucinogens. 82 pages!
Trance Devices were popular in Victorian times for their ability
to unlock the imagination. Poets, artists, and thinkers of all
fields dabbled in the varieties of trance. Trances were commonly
induced by hypnotism, among other methods. One of the more
inventive trance-inducing devices was called the “witch’s cradle”.
It was a swing-like device in which a person hung from a series of
ropes balanced in such a way that it was impossible for the person
to reach equilibrium. The individual was put in the harness in a
darkened room and left to sway, turn and spin about in complete darkness, never coming to rest. Soon the person was “freed of
various psychological ailments. What is less known is that they orientation” and started to hallucinate like in a dream.
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