BABA STUDIO CONTEST

Exciting news! Exciting news!

I won a contest that the Baba Studio / Magic-Realist Press began two weeks ago. We had an opportunity to publish an entry once a day for a chance to win an Alice Tarot deck and a tarot bag of choice, out of their wide selection. I chose their Limited Edition Hierophant bag with pink paisley silk back. Simply stunning!

THE CHALLENGE:
This is the giveaway post!

A giveaway to celebrate 300 members. The prize will be a standard Alice Tarot deck, worth 88 Euros, AND a tarot bag of your choice (any one we have in stock). Sent free anywhere in the world. We will choose the most interesting/fun/intriguing entry! Or perhaps the most "curiouser and curiouser" one!


To enter, please:
1. Post a picture of a card from The Alice Tarot ON THIS THREAD (there are albums of pictures here, if you would rather not take your own photo) and tell us what you either like or find interesting about the card.

You don't have to share your post to enter, but if you would like to, that would of course be lovely.

2. You can post once a day, as many times as you like. But a different card each time please (I mean, you should put a card that's different from the last one you posted each time - it can be the same as someone else's choice).
3. The competition will run for two weeks.

Let the giveaway begin!


MY ENTRIES:

01. The Moon.
I have decided to do my entry as a meditation projecting into the Moon card. Hope you enjoy the entry as much as I enjoyed the journey!

[...Did I slip, did I fall? No, I jumped. I went far, but some would say not enough. And yet here I am, free-falling.

There are all kinds of curious items accompanying me on my voyage. I see playing cards, tea cups, and books. Many of my favorite day-to-day items. Playing cards can be used for divination and so can tea cups with tasseography. This must be a journey of the spirit to find itself, the beginning of the path to finding spiritual enlightenment. Intuition is harnessed with tools, but it springs from the soul and the imagination; the heart especially. We all rely on our intuition to solve common problems, as well as the preoccupations that riddle our minds. We are capable of so much wonder when we tap into ourselves and just let go.

These colors are all so stunning, the light is just right to adjust to the pale glow of the moon overhead. It’s all I see as I come down save for the branches of the tree I was sitting by.

I guess that sometimes you have to let go of control in order to find what you are looking for, or where you want to go. I’m ready to learn, I’m ready to embrace the trip in order to attain from it the lesson I am to learn.]


02. The Hierophant.
When I saw The Hierophant for the first time, I was blown away. This scene is one of my favorites from the book. It makes you stop and look at life from an existentialist point of view, from a magical point of view, from the bird's eye view... What a teacher!

Who are you? Are you who you think you are, or who others perceive you to be? Do you know who you really are, or just who you think you are?

It’s a riveting scene. He’s smoking a hookah, blowing forms into the smoke. Knowledge can be snobby with this Hierophant, but he still pushes the journey along. His guidance is golden at a time when things feel pretty lost.

He makes me feel like I can relate him to the strictness of teachers in schools as I was growing up. I didn’t quite understand why their disciplinary measures were so extreme, but for them it was a day to day thing. They had a message to get out to many students who were not all attentive, yet there they were as authoritative figures unlocking information for our education. Protocol.

The caterpillar is the closest symbol — in my opinion — of a religious experience guided by a person in the book. He is a shaman when looked into through the eyes of metaphysics and magic.

And the colors! Evocative of deep thought, compassion, and to me a hint of divine presence. The deep blues and the contrasting magentas are stunning, and further drive us into the general environment of the card. We even have a little friend peeking from underneath the caterpillar’s mushroom. It’s stunning!

I’d like to sit with him and ask him to tell me a story, but I think he would just blow smoke in my face and ask me if I know who I am.

Continuing with the journey...


03. Eight of Coins.
Gather round, gather round! The tea party is about to start...

Sit up! Stand down! Gather round, gather round!

Would you like a tart or three? Just don’t let the Knave of Hearts near them, he nearly lost his head the last time.

Aren’t they lovely? Made with the best of care, to share in conversation.

What to talk about? — Be careful, don’t stain the whimsical tablecloth. It is vintage... The Queen will have your head for it! — It’s lovely, though, isn’t it?

So let’s talk about progress. Do you work hard? Are you good at what you do? You should be, but if you are not there is always time to improve. Do more, try less. You will get better in time.

Take these tarts for example; practice makes perfect! They didn’t come out this perfect the first time they were made.

Keep going if you slow down, it’s all part of the process.

Take new projects. Learn a craft. Learn to sow!

Do as your heart dictates.

Oh, dear, time to go. You’re late!


04. Judgement.
Cards. Wonderful archetypes of life. We have in them a binary of red and black over white. Red for passion and love, black for repentance and fermentation. White for transcendence and pardon.

52 cards for 52 weeks in a lunar calendar year. 4 suits for 4 seasons in a year. 13 cards per suit, as 13 weeks in each season, and 13 lunar cycles in a year.

If we follow the lunar calendar, it is a perfect match.

Each card has an archetype it upholds, or as some would come to think, lives by. It gives them personality and purpose. All cards interact with one another, news travels fast. Lastly but most importantly, all cards bow down to their Queen.

Here we have three very naughty cards that have been caught red handed by the Queen, painting the roses red. She had specified that she wanted them to be red to begin with, and this turned out to be a very costly error. They tried to cover up their mistakes, but by then it was too late… they had already been spotted!

They can feel her sternly steely eyes as they burn holes into their backs. She is angry, and one of them will pay… if not all. But what are we to fear most? Her sharp eyes or her sharp tongue?

Word travels fast. She is quick to condemn, and at times not because of merit, but because she can. Her presence makes everybody quake.

Verdict? “Off with their heads!!!"

(Playing card calendar attributes credited to Ana Cortez, author of the Playing Card Oracles book!)


05. Ten of Cups.
Sharing a personal, magical album with you… My trip down the rabbit hole for my birthday! I went to an Alice in Wonderland themed café to celebrate. Caterpillars, Cheshire Cat, playing cards, mazes, my friends, and my Mom… It was surreal!

I found myself coming down the stairs... I arrived at a secret book passageway that let me through to the maze. The suits motifs were everywhere, tastefully decorating the environment. Wonders! Cards everywhere! Mirrors! A heart chandelier! Alice herself taking our order?

I have been to Wonderland and back. This was what felt like a real life manifestation of the Ten of Cups. Friends and family all around you, feeling the warmth of the attention and their love radiate. Delighting in food and drinks, singing to music and being thankful for everything that you have, and you have experienced.

My cups were full and life was full of blessings, the table was full of love and care. I remember hopping in my seat from the excitement a few times. I read tarot for my friends, wishing I had a more appropriately themed deck to use at the time. My life felt whole and realized. I was very happy!

Everything was topsy-turvy in the most wondrous of ways, and the whole place was in an underground. As soon as the book passageway slid closed, the music grew dim and soon disappeared. Going back up the steps, I had left wonderland and I had come back to reality, changed through an experience that remains in my heart to this day.

The journey continues...


06. Page of Cups.
Messages can come from very unexpected places sometimes, but they carry purpose and they are meant to be heard. When you accept to live a life of magic and you come to find that most things are not coincidental. And yet, there is always the possibility of chance and serendipity. They are wildcards.

Take the Footman fish. He’s so well dressed, but in the end, he’s just a fish. Notice is tail fin poking out from under his lavish coat. How did he sprout legs? Would he be better with lemon or breaded? Of all delights… He could have been a fortune cookie instead. You get the message, then you eat the envoy. Delicious!

Letters were such an important method of communication. Still today they hold the secrets to many romances starting or many relationships breaking up. A formal letter with a seal contains a very important message. What could this one be? — Oh, dear!

Invitations that are personally delivered should hold a great deal of importance. How else would you know when to meet the Queen for crochet?

Remember to RSVP! If not, it could be off with your head. No one refuses the Queen…

RESULTS ARE IN:
And we have not one winner for the giveaway, but two!

We decided that as the entries were so good, we would give not only the main prize of the Alice Tarot deck and choice of tarot bag as stated, but also a special runner-up prize of a $40 coupon for Baba Store to be put towards any purchase.

So... the winners are...

First prize goes to Monica Laura, for her creative, interesting and very insightful posts about the cards.

Runner-up prize goes to Claudia Ferrari for the really lovely visuals that accompanied her thoughtful posts.

Congratulations!

We hope to do another giveaway here in the New Year. Thanks again for all your brilliant entries.
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U R I L I A




Coming back to visit the tropics always makes me miss my lifestyle in California, so today we are going to do a reminiscing of sorts. I'm taking you guys all the way back to October! In support of my boyfriend's efforts, I went to see his band live at three venues. Although I had seen it before with DoA, I got to help and be part of the process of everything, even make-up.

VENUES:
The Lucky Strike
Toxic Tuesdays at Loaded Hollywood
Bar Sinister


I hadn’t been drawn out to a metal show very often just because I’m trying to be kind to my ears. They get a lot of exposure to loud sounds, and that feeling of ears ringing afterwards sometimes makes me worry. I come from the generation that has their ears plugged in basically 24/7, and now that I have realized what it means to have auditory health, I’ve become much more conscious to what I subject my ears to.

The show itself is brütal. It’s fun to see behind the scenes when you are in good company. Today we're just going to let the photos speak for themselves as a sort of visual diary. Have a look!




                   




                   




                

Are you spooked? I think I am… a little! But I had so much fun!
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THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE LIVE AT THE ROXY



When I was in college, my Holy Trinity was HIM, The Birthday Massacre and AFI. I listened to some black metal and industrial, but these are essentially the bands that got me started. Later on I had to dig to find what is good or what I resonated with. My Winamp skin was this one, and soon thereafter the iPod came out and I got a 4GB. I filled it mostly with :Wumpscut:, Blutengel, AFI, Rammstein, and The Birthday Massacre.

People would ask me, “what are your favorite bands?”“Birthday whaaa?” In Puerto Rico, the early 2000s meant you were heavily dependent on the Internet to find music that wasn't reggaeton. I never resonated with the things people were listening to, it was totally outside my genre. When I finally had access to darker music, I'd try to turn others onto it. Not enough people knew how much good stuff was out there! Every time they responded as if they haven't heard of the band, I told them it was pop music that told horror stories. This was right when Violet came out. I was in love!

Fast forward to today, the band closest to me has opened for them before or played with them in festivals scattered across the world. They would tell me about it and my eyes would get really big with excitement. I’d tell them about how jealous I was that they got that experience, and felt like they don’t know how much the rest of us in Puerto Rico miss out on the things we love. We don’t really have bands like that come out our way!




Well, how to describe this experience in a fair way? The concert totally ROCKED. The opening bands were okay, but I was really only there to see TBM. Red Paintings did a great cover of Mad World, New Years Day has its own following and their lead singer is firkin' gorgeous beyond belief, but what got me really excited was the intro before TBM comes on stage. It’s a medley of their songs that is very atmospheric and comes without vocals.

When the curtains were pulled, we saw the band in personalized uniforms. Those boys looked so attractive! I was super crushing on Rainbow, who happened to be right in front of me the whole show. Swoon! Eye candy... They really made me smile, though. Their energy on stage is great, and they play with so much passion. ♡♡







When the band started, two things became apparent: They sing with high energy and they love their fans. I’ve never seen so much rapport with the crowd and appreciation for them being there. Chibi waved at me, later on reaching out for my hand. I squealed like crazy whenever she would do something cute to people near me. She dedicated a song to somebody having a bad day, and had the crowd sing Happy Birthday for the sound guy whose birthday was the next day. So much love going around!!!

SETLIST:
♡ Red Stars
♡ Destroyer
♡ Divide
♡ Diaries
♡ Superstition
♡ Pins And Needles
♡ Video Kid
♡ Lovers End
♡ Alibis
♡ Beyond
♡ Kill the Lights
♡ Leaving Tonight
♡ The Other Side
♡ Blue
♡ Control
♡ Forever
♡ Always
♡ In the Dark

ENCORE:
♡ Happy Birthday
♡ Sleepwalking
♡ Midnight





I had an amazing time at the show. Still today my feet hurt from jumping around in my heels. It was absolutely worth the time and the effort to get there. When you’re on your own, you get to enjoy the experience truly. I got immersed in their music, and for a couple of hours I was really living it.

Very thankful for the opportunity to have seen a band I admired for years and years. I love The Birthday Massacre!!!





If you get the chance to, you MUST see them live!!!
♡♡

HELLO WITCHES Nº113




Last night I went to a Birthday Massacre concert and it was AMAZING!!! My feet still hurt from hopping around on my heels all night, and my ears aren't doing too good either. I forgot my earplugs... Not very wise on my part given how sensitive my hearing has become.

Being out and about to enjoy myself even though others don't understand what it is I enjoy really makes me feel more independent. I'll never worry enough about what others think to the point of it being an influence on how I choose to live my life. I do as I need, and in the process I have found my personal voice strengthen. It's the best!

Anyway, I went back to the classics for today's Hello Witches post, and we're going to be looking into these together.

I love how evocative these cards are even though the minors have such a rhythmic simplicity to them. It isn't the same to interact with a scene than to do so with whimsical motifs and elements patterned in a space. I rather like it even though I don't always vibe with it. These illustrations are quite beautiful. I got this deck because of the way the majors are depicted. The courts are lovely too! Perhaps with enough use, a review will pop up here eventually.



Monday. King of Wands. You are dealing with an impulsive man of passion. He sits on his own but his gaze is set towards the future. It can be said he is a visionary; but it can also be said he is getting ahead of himself because of his impulses. Give yourself time to make the decisions you want to make and need to make. Don’t rush!

Tuesday. Strength. Keep things on hold, and stay on top of your game. This is a difficult situation, to me it looks like she is really struggling to keep that lion tame. Even in the face of opposing some danger or risk, it is important to keep your poise and your composure. No one wants to deal with a disheveled mess trying to figure out their problems by causing more! Be careful.

Wednesday. Ace of Cups. Romance is sacred. Manifesting it must be sacred too. Have an open heart and allow yourself to get close to those you love only long enough to feel it. Feeling love is a riveting emotion, it will reverberate throughout your soul if you let it. Honor it.



Thursday. Two of Coins. Juggling circumstances and situations is not as happy as it looks, especially when you are going back and forth between two worlds and lives. With a change coming soon, it is important to keep juggling the circumstances.

Friday. The World Rx. Well this sucks. This card reversed is supposedly not so bad according to other readers, but given the atmosphere surrounding it, I quite disagree. I feel like all attempts to be nice are trumped by the reversal. Nothing goes according to plan today. Shut down.

Saturday. The Lovers Rx. Things look up side down still today, which is a worrisome situation. It seems like division and problems come today, as well as disagreements. No good. Feels defensive.



Sunday. Page of Coins. A small gift or token of appreciation to try and salvage things, but given the circumstances it might come too late.

What to avoid. The Devil. Don’t let yourself be controlled or put on a muzzle. Let go of your desires if they do not help you and stay away from trouble. Don’t look to upset the situation and strive to do the right thing always.

What to strive for. The Magician. Don’t be clear if you can. Look after your tools, keep yourself sedated with some wine and give yourself the chance to make something cool happen. Forget about the outside world and focus on your craft, even if it means peddling.



Clarifier. The Fool. Take a risk and see where it takes you. What have you got to lose anyway? Just jump into it, THEN worry about what happens next!

This week seems tricky. How do you tackle your tricky weeks?
♡♡

HELLO WITCHES Nº112





Exciting news! Exciting news!

I won a contest that the Baba Studio / Magic-Realist Press began two weeks ago. We had an opportunity to publish an entry once a day for a chance to win an Alice Tarot deck and a tarot bag of choice, out of their wide selection. I will write more about it when the package comes! I’m even going to include the original entries for your entertainment! Yay!!

I have not been able to focus today in the slightest. Been alternating amongst cooking, chatting with friends online, working with clients, calling people back home, and checking the updates of the Baba Studio giveaway. And of course, writing this entry out. It took forever!

Today we are going back to an old favorite, Alexander Daniloff’s Tarot. It is beautiful! Some of the card placements make me chuckle. The Carte Blanche looks a little ominous as well. Spooky! What's going to happen on this day??



Monday. Six of Coins. Giving back to those responsible for you being where you are. Seek not to alienate others; seek to give kindness, just as you have been given. I see it as a help, or as an exchange of something given for something received.

I also tie it to the Baba Studio giveaway I am so excited about. They are doing an act of kindness, and gave me an opportunity I was not expecting at all.

Tuesday. Page of Cups. A truce. A sweet gesture of love and appreciation, even if not in a fully developed manner. I feel like he brings a sweet message of love, but given the banner that he holds, it could also be pretty bold for such an innocent look.

Wednesday. Carte Blanche. No message. You do as you like, or you allow yourself a moment of secrecy. It also feels like it might be a day in which nothing happens.



Thursday. Queen of Coins. This one made me chuckle a little. It's Thanksgiving! Embodied in the perfect card, as well. I don't celebrate winter holidays, but this card gives a feeling of wealth at home and being very cozy. You'll have everything you need on a day like today, and that's super! Treat yourself.

Friday. Knight of Coins. Comfort, security and promise. This is a reliable and dashing presence, but it feels like it can be a little flashy. Try not to show off too much if you can help it; that can actually rub people the wrong way sometimes. In light of everything, remember how important it is to be humble!

Saturday. Ten of Cups. Security. Emotional stability and fulfillment. It's such a good, good feeling when your live feels like it is full of love, care and understanding. It is something I consider to be equivalent to having all that you need. In love, we feel nurtured and happy. There is seldom need for anything else.



Sunday. Four of Cups. Boredom after all of the excitement. Taking to drinking to reminisce and dream. Sometimes when there is much of a good thing, people tend to lose their passion for it and their connection to it. It feels like people who have a lot of abundance and positivity in their lives can get bored, if we go based off the sequential order of this week in the cards.

What to avoid. Ace of Cups. Emotions that flow too freely can get a little compromising. Constant output of love can be read the wrong way. Control it and control your emotions. I do feel that this is a reminder that things happen in cycles, and you must be ready to help the motions. Don't let things stagnate if you want to see progress.

What to strive for. Death. Change. Let go of the past! Don't go down with the things that you know deep inside you have to let go of. Don't be a slave to the things you hang onto. Remember that sometimes you just have to let go to continue forward on your quest for evolution. What do you seek to attain? Remember that some sacrifices you make are out of your control, and must come to be accepted sooner or later because, well... that's life!

What a crazy week is about to commence! I am looking forward to it, in truth.
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