THE MARCHETTI TAROT




The new Marchetti Tarot is said to be the last tarot deck Ciro Marchetti will give us. I was fawning over the Retrospective Tarot and the Tarot Grand Luxe when I came across this jewel. Instant hearts for eyes! Also instant checkout. lol

I have collected Ciro Marchetti’s self-published decks since I first found out about them, but  I think the real milestone was January 2013 when the Gilded Reverie Lenormand came out. I had two copies of the Gilded Reverie Lenormand, a copy of the self-published Legacy of the Divine Tarot, four copies of the Tarot of Dreams 2nd edition, The original Gilded Royale Tarot, the self-published Oracle of Visions and two copies of the smaller Tarot Royale. Now I own the Marchetti Tarot and I am eyeing the Restrospective Tarot, which is a compilation of all his favorite cards from his decks. The cards are frosted in white with silver gilded edges. They cards also have some very stunning back designs. I’d be sorry to miss out on that one.

But for now, we focus on this one. The cards are 2.75 x 4.75, in my hand they seem to be about standard size. The card stock is thick and has no yield. The shuffle is a crunchy, stiff task for tiny hands like mine. With time they may get somewhat broken into with smooth, feathered edges. The gilding seems to have been applied by hand, it is a soft and shiny gold. Truly a luxury card experience.





Ciro Marchetti’s art is greatly improved in this deck and looks more magic-realist. The interpretation of each card is imaginative, which is a challenge in itself for somebody who has made so many tarot decks already to reinvent. How many times can you paint more or less the same scene and proudly walk away declaring you nailed it? For Ciro, that’s about ten times now. What an artist!

Something I enjoy when working with these cards is the environment in each card. It brings part of the magic of the imaginary world these events are happening in to you, while still keeping legibility. I think that these are loosely based on the Rider-Waite Smith tradition of tarot with an artistic twist or new interpretation.

If you stare at a card long enough it may give the illusion that it shifts or moves. The characters are lifelike. I see motion implied in the artistic strokes. There are elements in movement, especially the water in the suit of Cups. So dreamy!

Each suit has its own color scheme, except for the Major Arcana. Visually this ties most of the cards into group according to color and perceived mood. Depending on how many hues you are working with in your reading, you could pick up on outside influences that slightly affect you without your knowledge. In practical use all of these qualities can be used to spring to mind some new interpetations for your reading. It all depends on which way the wind blows!

If this is his last piece to contribute to the world of divination, we got lucky. He put a lot of love into this one and it shows. We can only hope that this deck will one day make its way into the mass market. It is a stunning addition to the world of tarot, and one many people would enjoy using in their craft with gusto!





What is your most important characteristic?
Queen of Cups. Seemingly cold images that bring a lot of understanding of the cycles and inner currents inside of us. A transparent look into the heart and the psyche, gentle and reassuring. It may be a shy experience at first but you will find yourself warming up to it.

What are your strengths as a tarot deck?
Ten of Coins. The culmination of many years of work and artistic contemplation of the tarot. This is a labor of love crowned with pride for artistic achievement. It has a lot to offer the tarot reader and will be easy to work with once familiarized.

What are your limits?
Nine of Cups. Your limits are how you structure or otherwise box in your dreams. Reading tarot is an intuitive practice, one that requires a connection to your inner self and the ability to connect to others empathically. If you are able to metaphorically stand in their shoes and understand their life you can then patiently explain it back to them and bring a hue of reality to the rose-colored glasses they might be looking at their life through.



What are you here to teach me?
The Magician. I am here to teach you the gift of foresight and responsibility to yourself. In understanding the tools you are working with you can achieve the realization of your dreams from concept to prototype to finished result. If you trust in yourself and your abilities there is no limit to what you can create. You just need to believe in it.

How can I best learn to collaborate with you?
Three of Coins. In three steps, but generally just diving into it and getting your hands dirty. Starting anew means you have to start thinking about ways to approach problems differently. It is in your new creative solutions you find the potential to do bigger and better things. Take advice from those with more experience and put your efforts into your next achievement.

What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
Knight of Swords. The news you seek may seem cold and calloused in response. That's what happens when messages come through with precision and lack of decorum. Using this deck you will have a sharp sense of de-cluttering your life, and will find you can picture the outcome before the circumstances are over. This deck spares no one's feelings.



Which card do you want to show off?
King of Swords. Mind over heart in matters of fortune telling. This deck seeks to inspire all the while giving messages with clarity. Watch for sharp edges, if you are sensitive you might thing this deck is strong. You'll be sticking through the facts and finding truth without the attached tangled of feelings.

How do you see me?
The Empress. This card is following me around lately. The Empress signifies growing into your most adult self, having an understanding of the world and shouldering responsibility. Seeking personal growth, seeking to be there for others on their journey. Simply being grounded in the present with the gift of unconditional love. Knowing this and enjoying the experience is enough.

How do you see yourself?
Six of Swords. A journey of the psyche that takes time to show signs of change or comfort. These transitional periods shed insight into the past and help you understand what you are leaving behind, but the real puzzle is actually the future you are slowly approaching. This card signifies movement, implying we are seeking a direction for personal growth. No matter where we go, what we have learned comes with us.



Its been a while since a new release has captivated my attention enough to make me add another deck to my bulging tarot collection. At 362 decks I can finally say I am running out of storage space in my living quarters, but it had to happen eventually. I’m not mad about it, my card collection brings me lots of joy.

I am really enjoying using this since it arrived a couple of weeks ago. This is a great tarot deck to work with, and the culmination of work of an amazing artist. A deluxe experience in a tactile and visual sense. Well worth the investment!
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ENDLESS NIGHT VAMPIRE BALL




Last night the raging storm that is Endless Night claimed the Los Angeles, shining rays magic light and filling the air with mystery. My dear friend Father Sebastiaan throws spectacular parties, this one included a performance by The Crüxshadows and all kinds of sultry dancers, plus two djs. Your heart swells with excitement as you saunter up to the venue to find everybody finely and imaginatively dressed, living out their best Nightside fantasy. Endless Night provides safe space for people to tastefully explore their vampire persona and to express themselves among the like-minded.  There was a VIP lounge where I offered tarot readings all night and a dungeon with vendors, another dj and BDSM activity.

The presence of the current is palpable at every Endless Night event. At midnight we howl collectively, bringing out that instinctual part of ourselves that wants to come out and play. Throughout the night there were videographers and photographers documenting the event. There was also a red carpet from 9-10 P.M. with Whiskey Shotz.



At the start of the year all the emissaries for Endless Night gather weekly to promote the event and get all of the special features that patrons enjoy on the night of the event set up. We take great care in looking after one another and in looking after our guests. The team puts a lot of effort into encouraging others to dream up elaborate costumes and to tour with the Sabertooth Clan as they celebrate Endless Night in all of the different cities.

My sitters always remind me how different everybody is and lives. I get the opportunity to connect to different people and to offer them advice on their concerns. Connecting to others is the biggest reward of my work, I get so electric whenever I get to bond with people so intimately. Sometimes it is our first time meeting and yet we walk out of it as friends. Every single one of my sitters enveloped me in a warm hug and thanked me for our conversation.

Later on in the night Chris and I challenged one another to a game of Magic: The Gathering. He played Cult of Rakdos{B}{R}  while I took to the air with the Orzhov Syndicate{W}{B}. Chris is a seasoned played and a formidable opponent. While we enjoy card games frequently in person and online, it was a special moment for us to play in the lounge, immersed in our own world. Just Chris and Monica things... He had plenty of mana and I only had 4 for most of the game. When the game ended I think I had 6.





During the night I had the joy of reading for Chris. To challenge me he asked me about a subject very close to our hearts. I found myself surprised that you can read for somebody you know well and still discover something new about them. The line of clients continued and I got pulled back into fortune telling, and into the worlds of the people I had the chance to read for. Every instance felt different, as if the signatures in the energy of each person tinted the interaction with their own hue.

About what feels like an hour later he returns to find me reclined on the loveseat, resting. I know he can see the way my facial expression softens and I smile when I see him. After a few moments of mystery he presented me with a beautiful handmade collar. I think my eyes must have popped out of my skull. I loved the collar so much. It is a leather collar with lace trip and two heart padlocks, one to lock it properly in the back. This time around I got to keep a set of keys to it. The keys are special because they also have hearts on them.  I proudly wear his name around my neck as a reminder of the commitment I made to give myself to him. This is my most dressy collar yet, and now I get to remember how much I love him and how special this night was every time I wear it. I am truly lucky.




After I was done with my readings we took to the dance floor. By then it was 1 in the morning and most of our friends had left. We both love dancing. Around 2 A.M. we went back home. I was afraid I'd be too electric from the event to fall asleep, but sometime around 3:30 A.M. I got lulled into heavy slumber next to my boyfriend and his two cats. We had a nice time exploring the depths of the darkness as well as exploring each other.




Thank you Father Sebastiaan and Joy in the Dark for the wonderful memories you provide us with year after year. Maybe we will have the delight to join you in Vegas for another sultry vampire weekend.

Despite being a very busy night for me, I still got to dance and see my friends. And I had the best company I could hope for with an incredibly attentive boyfriend supporting and loving me. For that I should always be grateful.

Until next year.
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GOODBYE




Grandfather passed away last night. The news came as I was cleaning out my closet. When I heard about what happened it knocked the wind out of me; I went into shock and hung up the phone without saying anything. I sat on my bed and stared at my reflection in the mirror, feeling alarms going off. I felt overwhelmed by feelings of grief at a time when all there is available is to suffer in silence. Alone.

I feel so much gratitude to him for raising me and mentoring me in various aspects of my life. His life story was one of overcoming limitations and finding great success. He traveled to every country and saw the world, then came back with trophy souvenirs to remember his travels by. He did everything he ever wanted to do and he started a very close-knit family. We have done everything together. He went to all my graduations. He infected me with my love for tactile paper and the postal service. He taught me discipline and seriousness, but above all he taught me diligence and honesty.



One day when I was a kid he drove me to the post office and taught me the very comical "proper way" to mail out letters. He instructed me to tell the mailbox where my letter was going, and to say goodbye to the letter as you pushed it into the slot of the mailbox. The letter made a soft klunk as it hit the floor of the mailbox. I still remember the intensity of the sun as it hit that parking lot and the way my young face was reflected on the window as I peered out from my seat. I had light brown hair and my eyes were two large, deep pools of antimatter. My hair was swept back into a ponytail that got messy from my running around the house. I had loose streaks of wavy hair framing my face. The memory is so distant now that I rememember it as if I was looking at a Kodak photo. The edges of the photo have started to weather and yellow with time. It feels as if you're looking through a time machine at a very different set of hues from the vivid colors you can see around you now.  Memory fades as it ages.

I remember when he taught me how to cook, how affectionately he explained step by step of his process. He was so proud of how methodical he was, and the precision with which he carried out his organization was militant. As militant as I am. His office was spotless, and his pens were all borrowed at some point when I was going to school. I used so many of his sticky notes.

I remember long afternoons at his house, watching Tom and Jerry on the television and eating hearty home cooked meals that were prepared with lots of love. I had a quiet retreat with a ton of room to run and grow in, undisturbed by anybody as long as I was around them. Both of my grandparents sought to shelter me from the world and raised me with more love than I've ever known from any other person. They fed my love for dinosaurs, coloring books, space, science, aliens, Disney, Japan, pets, birds, doing the right thing, and cooking/eating. I didn't know anything other than how to enjoy life and how to eat myself into a coma in my time at their house.



As relieved as I am that he is no longer in pain from the Hellish holidays we just endured together, I feel the hole his departure has left. I feel more alone, one step closer to a future where I have no one who remembers my story or saw it happen.

I have to sit through an entire day of travel to go home and I am dreading it. Having someone around forever makes you feel they'll never be absent. He knew me my entire life. I only saw one third of his.

I am writing this entry today to commemorate our relationship. My heart is broken. He was unconscious the last time I said goodbye to him in person. I wonder if he remembered I visited the hospital at all.

I'll never forget his jovial humor. He made jokes most of the day and he knew how to enjoy life to the fullest. I'll never forget the lessons he taught me and the stories he shared with me. I was so lucky to have met him and to have grown up in his care.



Then the day that it happened I recorded this last bit, "I look forward to having lunch with you again."

CHLORINE




The new Twenty One Pilots video for Chlorine came out on January 22nd, 2019. Chlorine is from the Trench album, a deeply emotional sonic journey that dropped on October 5, 2918.

In the video, Tyler Joseph and Joshua Dun are filling a pool up with water to encourage Ned the jackalope to come out of hiding. It becomes apparent that Ned isn’t very enthusiastic about he conditions they expect him to come thrive in, and because of that he refuses to stay out and interact with him. He doesn’t want to enjoy himself, he just seems reclusive. Despite their efforts filling the pool up with water and chlorine, Ned just doesn’t want to cooperate. 

Even when the pool is nearly filled, Ned still doesn’t want to come out. They dump the chlorine into the pool and make it warm, possibly exhausting themselves in the process. Ned finally comes out and dives in, enjoying himself as his horns grow. He swims around a while. It's nice to see him refreshed and exercising.

At the end of it all the pool has been emptied again and Joseph Tyler is sitting at the bottom, visibly exhausted. To me, it even looks like he's possibly depressed. Ned apathetically walks up to him and gets offered to drink from his cup, but he doesn’t seem to like it and he is ungrateful for Joseph Tyler’s efforts to make him happy. They seem estranged from one another, like there is a ton of work invested in keeping them connected. His horns are once more back to a smaller size, he has gone back into himself.

The first time I saw this video I was confused. 

Joseph doesn’t drink from the cup once, and instead offers it to Ned who doesn’t seem too enthusiastic to drink from it either even after all that work to coax him out of hiding.



Twenty One Pilots
share a message I can get behind. They talk at length about struggling with depression, struggling not to go with the call to kill yourself. It takes a lot to keep working on getting out of the dark mindset, just as Dema keeps people trapped. I love songs like Car Radio and Ode To Sleep. They illustrate the weight of the shadows that persistently haunt us. More recently, Legend has been very relevant to me personally.

As a struggling artist I relate to this song and video on a personal level. While I feel the compulsive need to create, achieving it takes a lot of work and often exhausts me. I stress a lot about how I don’t do it enough despite wanting to. I stress about meeting my responsibilities and getting everything done. When I finally have some time to myself I have no energy left to funnel towards my creativity. I’m spent. The rest of the night is spent feeling guilty, and feeling like a failure.

I know I’m not alone and I know many other creatives struggle with a persistent block. On the days we do endorse our skills we feel better, and that’s enough to keep us going.

It’s even harder though when your passion becomes your responsibility. When you’re facing the big challenge of having to overcome yourself. It hinders your ability to be free because of the pressure of what you need to do still. It lends itself to a ton of stress, and to burnout.



Anyway, it's important to address mental health. It is even more important to look after yours. If you feel you are dealing with burnout, please remember to be kind to yourself. Give yourself some time to decompress. Show yourself some compassion; it's necessary.

I feel like this blog has been a great outlet for me in my own time of need. It has encouraged people to reach out to me privately with their own stories. Writing about how you feel really helps digesting the reality and reaching your own personal truths. Keep a journal, reach out to your loved ones and try to remember in the scope of everything what matters the most is finding your happiness.

Check out the video!
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CLOAK & DAGGER 01/08/2019



Last Tuesday I took my boyfriend to my favorite club and introduced him to all my Nightside friends. He even got to meet my dear friend Father Sebastiaan. I was overcome with an ecstatic sense of euphoria the entire night, hugging everybody for the first time in the new calendar year and feeling proud of the company on my arm. Its these moments I live for, and I want to commemorate the love of the night posting our photobooth portraits.

We had an amazing time. I'm so happy I can share the magic of my Cloak & Dagger community with somebody outside of it. I'm also very happy we have a safe space to express ourselves and to explore the highlights that can be found hiding in very dimly candlelit tables in the darkness.

I felt really lucky to enjoy the company of my beloved in my most favorite club. Holding his hand in the darkness validated many of the struggles we've overcome, just to earn us a moment for us like this one. He makes my heart sing so loud.



Really enjoying the momentum we got into at the start of 2019. I wish for us all to be successful in progressing towards the kind of people we want to end up turning into. On my end I'm trying to prioritize what really matters in hobbies, priorities and especially connections to other people.

The Serious Relationship Relationship Club.
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