TAROT CORRUPT




The Tarot Corrupt by Marcel Ruitjers is amazing. It features tasteful use of colors, and not so tasteful imagery that will make you and your querent both double take. Every now and then you come across a deck that shakes your morals. A deck that may make you feel as if you’ve gone down the left hand path. This one shakes me up, perhaps more than decks that scare other people (Savage Tarot, Sinister Tarot, Wormweird Tarot) because it

Something that really threw me off course and into a wild path was the fact that the majors have been rearranged and the numbers are very different. There is also - and + card that feel like energy charges and reminders. Because of that, it became clear to me that the illustrator means for the deck to be its own thing. The card stock is buttery and slippery, shuffles easily for me. It is stiff and sturdy with very little yield in the bend.

The cards come in a standard size and will tempt come collectors to trim the edges. Trimming the edges will also trim out the artist copyright in the back. I don’t think Marcel Ruijters will appreciate that.



When I look through the deck, it gives me a sort of left hand path way to look at the archetypes. Many of the cards are reversed in meaning from what they usually are. The cards demand your concentration and pull you into what seems to be a medieval influenced alternate history depicted in engravings. I feel as if I fell down a portal to Beetlejuice’s Neitherworld. How does anyone prepare for such a voyage? It is reminiscent of Through the Looking Glass; the rules that govern our lives work in reverse in this world. And that is exactly its charm!

I am endeared by the humor and drawn in by the darkness of the cards. Body language and direction of eyesight is important. I see some characters looking towards each other, some looking at one while they look elsewhere. It’s amusing to see how some characters shy away from others, and how some confront others head on.

The cards are expressive. Each one stands as a different scene in a different world, so the deck does not progress in a story told by each suit. This feeds the randomness of the deck.You are in for an adventure that is maddening and humorous!

There is not much difference in how the Major Arcana cards are depicted and how the Minor Arcana cards are depicted. They all have more or less the same amount of detail. Throughout the cards you will find skeletons, animals, mythical creatures, monsters and nuns.Yes, nuns. You read me right!




What is your most important characteristic?
King of Cups. This card shows the desire to climb through all of the possible difficulties to get to one’s goal. The King of Cups is depicted alone in a boat, with his goblet raised and his hand on the engine. There’s a good chance he’s drunk as he rushes forward, with a storm brewing over him. He doesn’t care how tough the going gets, he’s willing to overcome his difficulties to get to shore and join his family.

This is almost a metaphor for navigating through life with assurance even if the circumstances don’t look so promising.

What are your strengths as a tarot deck?
The Hermit. Through one’s own inner battles there can be a beautiful moment of enlightenment. Things that are otherwise unknown to you come to show themselves when you least expect it, and in tones you wouldn’t expect. You have the tools to work yourself out of any situation that you find in that causes you stress, so long as you have faith and you invest effort in helping yourself out. Even if you are on a solitary journey, there is always a remedy and an option you can use.

What are your limits?
The Fool. The nun has a cross in her mouth as she goes, too preoccupied with her thoughts to respond to the flying spaghetti monster in the background. The bridge she just crossed is on fire, and she is too simple minded to mind.

I like the bite in this tarot deck.



What are you here to teach me?
Nine of Pentacles. If you wait patiently, the answers will come to you. It may feel like a knock to the head, or like a golden sun dawning upon you, stretching out its rays of light and wisdom. However gracefully you accept the message will be how prepared you are for it. Be patient and wait for it to happen to you.

How can I best learn to collaborate with you?
Three of Wands. Patience is the main ingredient in this equation. Allow yourself to be swayed by the motions of the facts, rhythmically moved by the spontaneity and the momentum. Pay attention at the nearby signs, and try to fit them in where they might be relevant. Until then, just sit contently and allow yourself to be moved by the cards.

What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
The Chariot. Whenever you find yourself in tough situations, hang on and have faith. Allow yourself to be pulled along with the aid of your cards, and you'll find your way through. The only way out is through, even if you have the misfortune of having the one leading you lose their head. When you're on a rocky road, things can get dangerous and exits can get smaller, but you need to allow your heart to be your compass. Keep your thoughts sharp and you should be able to evade any impending tragedy.



Which card do you want to show off?
The Empress. Even when you find yourself in a predicament, you have a friend with plans to break you out of it. You're not stuck in whatever position you find yourself in, but you need to be cooperative if you really want to get out. So long as you understand the circumstances of your condition, you should also know the weak points of the trap keeping you captive so that you can plan a getaway.

How do you see me?
Queen of Swords. You use your inner truths to purify yourself and with your sword you cut away the impurities that plague you. You don't have time for trolls or ideas without formation. What you care about is the practical: Sustenance, truth and personal development. You are transparent to the world around you but often misunderstood. Even though it doesn't affect you much because you don't let it, it still disconnects you from the rest.

How do you see yourself?
Truth. You tell the truth even when it gets ugly. Honest to a fault, even when plagued by misfortunes. It can't be helped; sometimes life just deals you a bad card and you have to maneuver around it to sustain yourself.



I think this deck will pair well with the Kitty Kahane for readings. More on that later!
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MEET THE BATDABS




When I first lay eyes on the Batdabs, I think hearts came out of my eyes. It was an instant connection, I knew they had to come home with me by the numbers. They’re going to end up sprinkled throughout apartment decore and on my altar as makeshift poppets. I can’t wait to start breathing life into them through my line of work.

Bat dabs are the creation of Magweno, a very talented toymaker from North Scotland. The skill with which she breathes life into her creations is staggering and humbling all at the same time. It’s such a pleasure knowing these lovelies were crafted with love in a foreign land and made their way all across the world to my home in California. I smile to myself just thinking about their brief adventures back and forth, since I had to send them back for a touch up.

Batdabs are actually only available during Abdab Season, which runs from September to November. There are other darling corvids and rudas, which are rams. All of the cool!





They fit in the palm of my hand and their fur is very soft. Their noses look like gothic hearts to me, as do noses on skulls usually. I personally treat them with lots of care, but the toys themselves are sturdy enough and will stand through time if they aren't tampered with. I believe they aren't to risk handling too much too often, getting dents and imperfections on them is not going to suit them.

I’ve had a lot of fun rotating them around the apartment and posing them with my vintage tea cups. They look like they could almost spring to life! And as I sit here with my crystals, spirits and Batdabs, I do feel I am in excellent company.

I keep one of them at my work desk to accompany me throughout all of my work loads, but I intend to use them as makeshift magic poppets or as vessels for my spirit guides.






Materials: acrylic paint, resin, steel shot weighting, polyester stuffing, fake fur.

Since I've had them, I've noticed the importance of having lively elements in the environment. I feel more inspired, and I definitely feel like they help pull my living space together. They personalize my apartment, spreading some of my personality and interests throughout what is actually a very minimalistic place. Guests love them, too. Not a single person that visits me fails to spot the Batdabs and marvel over them.

These toys bring me joy. I hope they at least brought a smile to your face!




My Batdabs came with personalized name cards. Mine are:Yangara, Vahe and Munch.

If you'd like to check out Magweno's online presence, you can find her shop on Etsy. Tumblr. Instagram. Drop by and pay her a compliment on her beautiful work!


RELEASE THE PAIN WITH GRACE




Let’s talk about a difficult subject: Loss. Particularly, loss of friends.

This has been the bane of my existence ever since I was in elementary school. Back then, the lost connections were quickly mended because you could almost immediately replace a friend to play with for another one. As I got older, though, so grew my attachments to people and the notion that the more I invested in them, the more I would strengthen our bond. I was wrong.

Loss is a natural event, and it is one that brings pain along if we resist it. I have found that in order to show myself compassion, I can perhaps allow myself to cry over it for a period of time. Once that time is up, I owe it to myself to nurture my broken spirit and to keep going. It builds strength, but in the face of loss, there is no strength that can control or prevent. Once the loss is effective, what is gone is gone. And that’s that.

I’ve always been extremely tender of heart, but equally sharp with my tongue. It is perhaps the make up for the Queen of Swords, the lonely widow who is disconnected from others and protective of herself, but still human. She still feels, she’s just been through enough to harden her heart and make her cool with logic. Logic protects the heart in this case.

I’ve shed a large number of tears in the past year because of my connections to others being severed. My emotional attachments don’t allow me to go down without really feeling it first. And it’s getting more acute the closer I get to my Saturn Return coming. I know what my biggest lessons are going to be because they’ve already been manifesting in my life. Saturn Return is going to be a real hoot!



The cosmos are not to be blamed for every misfortune in our lives, but I have noticed that these events have been happening during the retrogrades, the most recent of which is the retrograde of Mars in my sign, Libra. My Moon is in Aries and so is my Mars house, so its been affecting me in various aspects.

Today, I’ve set a single card on the table to honor these feelings, with the intention of letting go of this sense of loss. The ultimate shedding.

In this reflection I want to state that I accept the cards I’ve been dealt. I accept that as humans we are not perfect and we make mistakes. But firstly I want to recognize that I make mistakes and that I am not exempt from learning. Each experience will guide me with the honesty of what life has to offer, and I accept the tough lessons with grace.

If I’ve been abrasive to others, may they forgive me someday. I always act with what I think is the best course of action at the time, but I do make mistakes.



Now I understand why they say new beginnings come with the Death card. It’s because when you shed old connections and clean out the remnants of burnt bridges, you become lighter. With those connections no longer slowing down your progress, you are free to continue exploring what lies on the other end of loss. Even though your spirit is broken from the notion of having let go, a sense of hope creeps up on you when you start taking the first few steps forward. A measure of progress will be according to whether or not you try looking back at what there was before the loss. Once you are accepting, you’ve found liberation from your pain. Once it’s over, you become tender again and reborn to a new life of possibilities.



After writing this post, I feel so much better. I don't get to talk about my musings often, simply because they can be abstract and hard to place in words. The best epiphanies come in quiet contemplation with the self.

Death illustration compliments of visionary artist Dave McKean. Ouija board compliments of Parker Brothers.
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ALEX AND ANI MAGIC BRACELETS





I’ve never been the type of girl to load up on accessories. Magic is what happens all around us as we journey through our lives... And yet, there is space to charge a piece with intention and high frequency which we can keep with us. Usually, there is a main piece I use that is seen if you really look but not entirely noticeable. My arms usually go bare or with rings on my fingers. The most I used were necklaces. Now I'm getting used to a different kind of intention setting, and it involves a delicate piece of jewelry!

Back in April I was looking for Mother’s Day presents for my Mom. She is very special to me and I wanted to surprise her with something sleek. She loves all that sparkles and shines, which naturally made me walk into Alex and Ani out of curiosity. Cue internal glitter explosion! I must have asked the salesperson to see way too many mix and match combinations, but I walked out of the store glowing because I felt I had built a custom piece for somebody very special in my life. It was dreamlike!

Alex and Ani has great selections that are also very versatile. You can pile on as much mix and match as you like, or you can wear a delicate bracelet or bangle. It’s really up to personal preference and style. I love how expressive the charms can be, and how each charm has a meaning and a theme. All pieces come with an illustrated card that lists the meaning for each symbol. When gifting friend or lover, it feels like you can find a meaning for every walk of life, and that's a lovely thing.

I love the elements present in some of the bangles. What starts out as a very simple piece takes on life with the color or the shape of the charm. I have found that depending on what I feel like, what I slip onto my wrist keeps me happy throughout the day. I feel the good vibes of the symbol, and take it on as an amulet or a shield to protect me throughout the day. Currently, my favorite to wear by itself is the Luna Moth bangle.





For those of you that lile a bit of drama in your outfits, there is a piece for you. Or several. I’ve found my collection to have bits of my personality, and the way I wear my jewelry is very different from how my Mom wears hers. My style reflects my interests in divination and the Zodiac. I’ve gotten different selections, but when I put my bangles on, I feel like a total witch.

IN MY COLLECTION:

Bumblebee Charm Bangle by UNICEF
Driven • Loyal • Conscientious
in Gold

Big and Little Dipper Set of Two Charm Bangles by Big Brothers
Big Sisters of AmericaConstant • Haven • Brilliant
In Silver

Romance Heart Wrap Rose Gold x 2
Emotion • Attraction • Passion
In Rose Gold

Libra Celestial Wheel Charm Bangle
Fair • Balanced • Harmonious
In Gold

July Birth Month Charm Bangle
Passion • Contentment • Love
In Gold

Luna Moth Charm Bangle
Faith • Fulfillment • Vulnerability
In Silver

Jellyfish Charm Bangle (Not pictured)
Luminous • Flow • Surreal
In Silver

September Birth Month Charm Bangle (Not pictured)
Clarity • Wisdom • Tranquility
In Gold




Since I got started, I’ve signed up to receive their newsletter and I obsess about he collection I already have. Its been nice to day dream about pieces I’d like to get as well. I guess this is what it feels like to identify with the treats your gender indulges in. I was starting to think I was a lost cause!

Every time I slip a bangle on, I feel like I’m putting on a piece of positivity and a shiny reminder to love myself more. That’s worth a lot to me.

This was not a sponsored post. I genuinely endorse this product!
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MAGIC IN PRAGUE




Let’s talk about one of my many loves, the Tarot of Prague. I got the 1st Edition off Lisa Frideborg of Tarotize. She was great to give me the opportunity to own it. I interviewed the deck and realized there was something very special about it.

Earlier last year, the Baba Studio found 15 Tarot of Prague 2nd Edition decks in one of their cupboards. They decided to sell them online. Those decks went in about half an hour when they were listed, but I managed to snag myself a copy with a bag. Later on, they put the remaining bags for sale and I snagged a second one to house my backup deck in. I’ve got a total of three now, with one copy of the first edition and two copies of the second. I have the original Strength bag from their first run which currently houses my Poisoncage Tarot and the two limited edition bags, housing my two 2nd Edition Tarot of Prague sets.



These bags are really amazing to look at. The quality is that of which you are used to from the more recent productions of the Baba Studio, but having options for both sides of the bag takes it a little further to me. Some days when I am working, I turn it over to either side depending on the type of theme I want to have going on in my work station. The card backs on the back of the cards are pure magic, especially since the Tarot of Prague card backs have an anagram used to fend off demons.

SIGNATESIGNATEMEREMETENGISETANGIS
ROMATIBISUBITOMOTIBUSIBITAMOR

The translation of this would be "Revel yourself in the form os a sign (in the sky) in vain you reach for me, I am your desire. Rome, through movement (stars) suddenly love comes to you." Its purpose? Well, apparently it was put there to fool any demons that might want to harm the tower. It is believed that these demons, faced with a word puzzle, would read it again and again, unable to figure it out, until they became exhausted and went away. Who knows, perhaps it worked? — The Tarot of Prague. Karen Mahony. p. 22-23.

Ever since I read the book, I’ve been wanting to visit Prague. The City of the Alchemists sounds like it would be a wonderful place to go for leisure as for enriching the intellect. I’d love to get lost in their cobblestone streets of magic!]

A few years ago I thought that this tarot deck would never again be re-printed. Much to my surprise, I was very wrong. And I am so happy that I was! Another misconception that I held is that it couldn’t possibly be improved much more. It was already perfect, after all! — Wrong again. Even the box and the book got a huge makeover, and they are breathtaking!

You can view a previous review of this deck’s second edition here. For the third edition, 1,500 were printed and 1,300 were placed for sale. The other 200 have been reserved for the Magic Prague tours, where the Baba Studio entertains guests and teaches them about the magical city of the alchemists.

The card stock is perhaps my favorite. I don’t know what it is about it, it’s matte like the Alice Tarot, but it’s crunchy and it shuffles perfectly.I love the card stock, it’s so perfect. It feels like skin… or like wax. Hard to describe, but a pleasant experience to the sense of touch. When you fan these cards out, they catch the light and reflect back to you. Like ancient mirrors!



The way the cold stamping is applied makes the cards look as if they have elements coming to life or emphasizing things for you to look at. The dimension that it feeds the illustrations is nothing short of magic! Everything looks even more beautiful under candlelight or late at night with a light to accompany you through the reading. For example, in the right light, the lobster in The Moon really stands out to me. When I look at the card in natural daylight, it isn’t so obvious unless I turn the card at an angle.

Because the previous versions didn’t have the cold stamping, the illustrations looked to me like statues in compositions that resemble storytelling tableaus. Now, the cards feel like they are immersed in magic and gold tipped by the occult, there is definitely more life in them. They feel like an alchemical wonder!

Something I feel though when I handle these cards is that they are great for use with high magic in practice. They can also sing if you decide to meditate and project into them. They will look great propped up in an altar or charging a candle with intention.

If I ever go to Prague, I will be sure to hunt down many of my favorites to photograph juxtaposed by the cards. Some of my favorite cards are the one that show off the architecture at night time or with added allure. (Ace of Cups, Ten of Cups, Wheel of Fortune, The Moon.)

I waited for this deck to come in the mail so eagerly, but it arrived when I was out for holiday. Making the time to sit down with it took some effort, but I think I’ve finally got it down!

Some of my favorite Baba Studio drawstring pouches are in fact those from the Tarot of Prague. I thought I’d emphasize the fact by photographing my collection, which houses a few other decks I work with.




What is your most important characteristic?
King of Wands. This card serves as a reminder to bear your lifestyle and practices loudly. To wear them with pride will ring true to your best self, which in turn feeds your courage. You will feel empowered and generally in control once you accept this as the outcome and proceed!

What are your strengths as a tarot deck?
The Sun. This deck draws upon the energy of the present time, pushing us to play to our strengths. Trust and goodnatured laughs are tools to help is on our way through life, seeking out the better experiences and the moments that bring us joy. This deck will serve to remind us to seek the joys in life’s magic.

What are your limits?
Seven of Coins. The limits lie in the limits of the imagination. If you close your mind off to possibilities, nothing new will happen. Try not to fall into the comfort zone of assuming things will remain as they have been. Seek alternatives, seek new courses of action to challenge what you feel is safe. That’s really how new adventures start and how better possibilities start to make themselves known to you.



What are you here to teach me?
Page of Wands. This tarot deck wants to show us not to dim ourselves out. This speaks volumes to me in the importance of personal style becoming an expression of personality and outward expression. How you express and carry yourself will be the way that the outside world perceives us. Having a loud and clear voice will make us stand out as courageous individuals fueled by our own imagination and vision. Follow your passions tirelessly!

How can I best learn to collaborate with you?
Four of Swords. Wait until the right time to read. Wait until you’re absolutely ready to seek out new opinions and ways of thinking. Perspectives change when we are ready for them. Until then, it’s okay to lay low and to seek introspective thinking to guard our thoughts. The entire world doesn’t need to know our plans.

What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
Four of Wands. Success. Coming into and owning your full potential to enjoy by yourself and with others. Injecting yourself with passion will inspire others to do the same. After you’ve asserted grounds for yourself, you may come to find that those close to you rejoice and admire you for it. This tarot deck is a very positive tool for self-empowerment.



Which card do you want to show off?
Queen of Coins. This Baba Studio project has been worked out to perfection under the critical eyes of its makers. Much like offspring, now it goes out into the world to make a life for itself. There is a great sense of success, of beauty and of strength. I feel like it’s a complete success, and this deck is proud of how it came out.

How do you see me?
The Magician. What an interesting card pull! The Magician stands here as one who possesses all of the tools and the skills to make great things happen. What initially starts out as just a vision ends up gaining a full body of energy to propel the concept. As above, so below. That which is envisioned will spring into manifestation once it has been brought forth into being. Work hard, work ardently and your dreams come true.

How do you see yourself?
Ace of Swords. This deck is sharp in tone, the message would be hard to skew. It is a tool for delivering a powerful truth and depicting a reality to be reckoned with. On the table of The Magician it is a useful tool to cut away toxic connections and to promote clarity of thought. When used incorrectly, this means the psyche turns aggressive and prone to assumption. The deck implores you to remain clear of thinking and goals.

This deck has been given a new lease of life. It really sings! If you’re curious about getting yourself a copy, you can visit the Baba Studio online or like their Facebook page.
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