DARKNESS OF LIGHT TAROT




Since we are touching up on the subject of inner darkness lately, I figured it was the best time to unearth the Darkness of Light Tarot by Tony diMauro from my vault. I’ve been meaning to review this deck ever since I first got it, but now is when I finally have the ability to sit down and contemplate it. I guess I wanted to dedicate myself to this deck to really get to know it and have some more educated impressions.

The web site for the Darkness of Light Tarot states the following:
The deck strives to paint an honest portrait of nature: it doesn't shy away from dark themes but instead embraces them, weaving both darkness and light together to tell the story of the Fool's journey. Tony diMauro

The inherent darkness of this deck really appeals to me. This deck is unapologetic for its darkness, which is tastefully depicted. A lot of these illustrations look like they could be transitional scenes in dark dreams or nightmares. The darkest cards are powerful, and even the happiest ones have an aura of darkness that pulses through the reader. The feelings evoked aren't murky; instead they resonate very clearly with the reader. Sometimes I can hear sound in my mind that is evoked from the action in the cards. Delightful whispers from my work tools!

Something that really impressed me about this deck is how well it reads out of the box. Whether you are just starting out or a seasoned expert, there is life in these illustrations. You can read according to tradition, or because the cards take on life of their own. They read very easily no matter how seasoned of a reader you are. These cards would be fun to meditate into for spiritual work or simply for the purpose of bonding with your cards in a creative way. I want to learn to read them using every little detail, and that comes with getting to know them over time.

Will the inner voice I hear when I read with them change? The deck almost has a shape shifting vibe to it. If you have a taste for darkness, then this deck is certainly for you.





I have always wanted a deck like this. There was much need for it! Mostly black, beautifully artful renditions of people, and natural aspects that seem to come alive. I appreciate that there are no bright pops of color, and that what is rightfully light is sources of light. I definitely pay attention to the time of day and the mood of the environment in the cards, and use those indicators to influence my readings.

This deck is doing for me what The Wild Unknown Tarot did for a lot of people in the tarot community. When the Wild Unknown Tarot came out, it spread like wildfire for its connection to nature and the stylized black/white pen & ink illustrations with pops of color. But it didn't have humans in it. I can't use a deck if it doesn't have the human figure in it, and this one does.

The values in these cards all go together really well as an overall system. Even though I think these cards are digital paintings, to me they almost look like stylized oil paintings and I love that. I also enjoyed the use of darkness to create a somewhat ethereal space that makes you feel like anything could happen. Magic!

I look over all the cards and there is not a single one I don’t like. That’s an achievement! You enjoy reading with a deck more when you agree with all the cards and how they depict these archetypes we have grown to know and love.




What is your most important characteristic?
Three of Cups. The completion of this project merits celebration. Not only does it fill a necessary void that existed within the options for decks to read with, but it is also a skillful rendition of something that can be both dark and beautiful. It is also elegant, which is a feat in itself to pull off. We start this card interview off with a celebration of the achievement it is. It’s a strong deck that is dark and still manages to keep a balance. I appreciate that it isn’t at an extreme. It is just right!

When it first came out, this deck was definitely celebrated. I was off on holiday so I was unable to connect with it until I got back. And now that I am, I understand the hype. This deck sings!

What are your strengths as a tarot deck?
Eight of Cups. Try not to fit this deck in only as a Rider-Waite clone if you can help it. Seek out the elements that set it apart as an artist’s original work. Look into how it is different and admire it for its individuality. It ventures away from tradition ever so slightly.

Know your strengths. If you walk away from something, let it be because you don’t have the energy to invest in it to do it justice.

What are your limits?
The Sun. There are areas of your life that you may be more attached to than you are willing to admit. Even if you are close to something and feel you have a clear point of view, be open to the possibility that there may still be parts of the situation you don’t understand.

If your pride or ego get in the way, it can’t be helped. The Sun in a negative position in a spread is only slightly less bright. It’s really a positive indicative.



What are you here to teach me?
The Star. I am here to teach you how to find the light in the darkest of situations. So long are you are open and vulnerable you will be able to tune into something outside of yourself. You will just come to understand, and by then you will know what you have to do to act.

Standing vulnerable before others is not easy. It takes courage to open up to someone and share your personal truth also. Trusting is a vulnerable act because you are sharing something intimate about yourself with somebody else. We have this same trust in our fate sometimes.

How can I best learn to collaborate with you?
Ten of Coins. Find your comfort zone. Make the space moody and conductive for the experience you will have with your cards. Go there in your mind as well. Make yourself present and aware, then begin. You can find warmth and comfort even in the darkness. It helps if your reading space is conductive to focus and introspection.

What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
Three of Coins. It's going to take some work and experimentation reading for different types of people with it. Concepts will change on the intent for them to be manifesting. Once you understand how to peel back the layers to find deeper meaning you will also find yourself more comfortable trying new things. Be patient! Work through it.



Which card do you want to show off?
Five of Wands. There is beauty even in the darkness and even in the difficult cards to draw. For every difficult set of news to tell there will be something to buffer and hold us over. It is important though that we accept what is outside our control and commit to work through the negativity instead of getting taken under by it.

How do you see me?
King of Cups. Tuned into empathy and compassion, easily influenced. Seeking out something more when there is something good just beside you. The restlessness is to catch something prized when in reality you already have a lot going for you that is worthy of praise and admiration. Try not to focus so much on what is outside your control, it makes you feel heavy. There is no reason to subject your feelings to that.

How do you see yourself?
Queen of Swords. Sharp and tough as nails. No one shakes your perspective or sways you without first facing the sharp end of your blade. At your best you are eloquent and immaculate with your words. At your worst, you decimate people.



This is the kind of world I live and thrive in, a world of darkness. Those of us that dwell in Gothic subculture especially will have a fondness for this deck. It speaks to us in a way we understand, because we live a life of dark glamour and this is the closest to our interests as we will ever get in the tarot. I love this deck! Thank you for reading.
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ANTHOLOGY



This explains everything. Thank you, Social Repose. The Empress EP did something for me. It shed a lot of light on my own inner shadows, imperfections that I have wrestled with and buckled under.

Do you ever have those moments in which your soul looks itself in the mirror and the mirror cracks? You stand there for a moment, stunned. The seconds roll by seemingly on tap, but you're there in the middle of it with no notion of time passing. You are more focused on the highlights and definition of a personal discovery. Becoming more conscious of the self sometimes comes with shock and jolt. Your vision slowly starts to expand, dark spaces have light shed on them and you begin to fill in the blanks. You make more sense of yourself and get acquainted with the parts of you that nobody could possibly love, but it's still you and you have to learn how to love yourself somehow.

I've had those moments recently. They have kept me introspective for days. At the end of it, I am more patient with myself. Kinder and more accepting. Understanding my flaws has brought acceptance, and acquiesced the war that broke out within me such a long time ago. I waged the most brutal of wars with myself, but that's pretty much over now. And for that I am immensely thankful.

Coming out of dark times with a better understanding of your shortcomings and limits is necessary. I have gotten so much better at saying no, at respecting other peoples' boundaries and definitely at having my own boundaries be respected. I started to take care of myself and found so many answers to questions that needed tending to. And here I am, a work in progress but loads happier. But most importantly, I am at peace. This was definitely not an easy state of mind to achieve.



In light of the Social Repose public scandal, some of us have found our own personal truths. It is definitely possible to learn or gain new perspective from someone else's mistakes. Sometimes you can see two sides of yourself reflected in two people whose lives are alien to you, but whose feelings you deeply resonate with. That's so intense! There is definitely quite a bit of darkness being exposed, and watching them endure it under public scrutiny has made examples of both of them.

I am first and foremost grateful for these lessons. Grateful to Richie and Jaclyn for being brave enough to confront this difficult time and still have the courage to share their thoughts on the Internet. I am also grateful to those who have shown me compassion at times when I have most needed it, even if I don't necessarily deserve it. I am grateful to those who respected and protected my boundaries even if they disagreed with my actions or point of view. They set some great examples. I feel grateful to having been given the space to pick my life back up after the disasters I went through in years past. I am still a work in progress, but I am doing better every day.



Let's turn to the cards. There are quiet conversations yet to be had.

How can we learn from our dark nature?



Four cards fall on the table. Ten of WandsEight of Swords The WorldQueen of Swords

It starts with staying away from messy situations and with not loading ourselves with more weight than we can carry. It's so easy to get consumed by the extra weight we needlessly carry. So much weight gets placed on our shoulders, and some of those burdens make no sense to slave to. We build our own mental prisons with walls to keep help out, in fear of personal attack. The worst thing we can do to ourselves is wage wars with the mirror. The Queen of Swords sees her stoic face reflecting back from the blade of her sword. She revels in her solitude, her words are her gift to the rest and her contribution to this world.

We can learn not to resist circumstances, as that generates pain. We can open ourselves up to accept the world as it is, interacting with it and being ready to defend ourselves and our position. There is so much going on around us; it feels like our home planet is enduring challenge after challenge. In a place where there are so many opinions and paths of life, no two people share the same experiences or perspectives 100%. We need to endorse tolerance, and we also need to protect our personal space. Boundaries keep us comfortable for as long as we need, and the moment somebody oversteps ours we tend to fight back. We need to hold ourselves at the standard we have defined ourselves to be at, and sometimes that includes setting examples or making examples of other people.

Hello, signifier. Its been a while since I have seen you. Cool and calm Queen of Swords, how I've missed you. You choose how your interactions go and you are so impeccable with your words. 馃棥馃棥馃棥

Advice from the cards,



The MoonSix of CupsKing of CoinsSix of Wands

Do as the most stable of your friends do. Don't get absorbed into the manic mindsets, intense and messy feelings, or in the confusion of not being able to see what's ahead. Not knowing can be maddening when you're asking yourself. Don't dwell on that which you no longer have any power over. If it's in the past, that's where it stays. You can't change it or how others feel about it, but you can look after yourself and you can do better. You can strive to be stronger and not to act on impulse. Think things through before you act and you may find you left the murk of confusion in your past, where it belongs.

In conclusion,
I have to admit that I've been thinking about this for so long now. I have started opening up to people and telling them about some of my inner battles. Being vulnerable and sharing something less than glamorous about yourself is really hard to do, it certainly takes courage. But for those of us who don't wish to be caught in the same cycle year after year, relationship after relationship; the work needs to be done. It's not easy, it's certainly not pleasant to go through, but it's necessary.

Take it slow, breathe. Take some personal space, let others make their decisions. Live with your own. Do no harm but take no shit. In other words, move on and don't look back.

It's interesting how life works. I've had so much to contemplate over the past few months. Grateful for all the light being shed in the darkest patches. Mysteries spring to life and understanding. And yet, I'm not perfect. I will likely have relapses and I will likely continue to make mistakes, but I want to improve and that's what I set out to do.

Thanks for reading.
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ANNUAL REVIEW 2018




Here we are again, the close of the wheel. Samsara does its thing. The catharsis of losing body armor. Shields, spikes and poison gone. All gone!

Coming to the end of a cycle feels like getting out at a bus stop and standing out there in the open with your luggage. You brought only just enough for the ride, and you know that all that lies ahead is new. Nothing will be like anything you know now. Whether you move to a new city or some back from a long vacation, things feel different somehow. Life opens new chapters, and off we go. I am in this place currently. I’ve got no clue what lies ahead, but here I am diving face first into a new adventure. I am living with so much intensity, that it goes just as my lover states: Driving impossibly fast through the countryside without a seat belt on and a wide smile on my face. Danger doesn’t scare me, I’m fucking fearless now.

Watching others change is easy, you’re already on the outside and you can understand what they are going through if you are attentive enough. But you don’t have the same luxury with yourself unless you are very thorough with a mirror or you record yourself regularly. I don’t do either of these things, so I often miss the transition from one point to another. What happens is that I get reacquainted with myself once I have already changed. By then, there’s no going back.

Can I just say though how stoked I am for 2018? The wheel has been reset and new things are coming. I’ve bid my dues. Goodbye.

Ever since things have taken a turn for the better, I’ve been injected with a refreshing sense of zest for life and adventure. A last hurrah of sorts, if you will.

Feeling energized and called back to days of adventure, in which the course is figured out as we go along more so than by having been outlined already. This is new. For once I’m not defining the path where things will go. I define plans for adventures and bonding experiences, but where I go next will be decided as I am going from point A to point B. I’ve never been this new to life!



October. Ten of Cups.
And we’re off to a good start. My mood is better than it has been in years and I am actually looking forward to it. I’ve got so many plans for days of celebration, the month promises to be a turnt up one. Crowned by candles and drinks aplenty, hopefully in the company of my friends. This is my birthday month, a time to pause and count my blessings, thank my spirit court and prepare for messages from my ancestors. I am grateful to have reached this point, grateful to be well and to have reasons to smile.

November. Knight of Wands.
Burning through time, acting on impulse. This is the kind of adventure that isn’t thought over quite well enough but ends up being really passionate, possibly even full of unexpected surprises. Let your intuition be your guide as you rush through a path of fire and debris. Anything you zoom by, you do so with confidence. Traveling light, fast and invisible. Trailblazing.

Flirt game came strong this month! Pack the good nature and saucy smiles, it looks like you’re going to need them. You may find yourself facing passion so strong it smothers. Corruption is sweet.

December. Five of Coins.
After all the partying dies down, we are left with the space in need of cleaning up and getting organized. It’s okay to say no if you are tired, it’s okay to skip out on something big to have some quiet time at home. After all the ruckus, look to find your center. Replenish your resources. Make new plans later, for now just nurture and rest. You need it.

January. Page of Coins.
It’s a challenge to balance your light and your darkness, dayside self and nightside self. After you’ve rested and recuperated some, you’ll be ready for something new. Start to gather ideas, start to work more seriously on projects. Observe and learn. Keep an open mind. It’s possible you’ll have a new work venture. Full speed ahead!



February. Nine of Cups.
Joyful celebration. The heart’s desire/wishes coming true. Something good is happening, a reason to make announcements. This moment is important, so pay close attention to what happens then. Otherwise, continue to enjoy and to celebrate life. Rally all those that you love close to you and share your blessings with them.

March. Ten of Coins.
Making the home cozy. Feeling more at home, welcoming others to your home. A full house is a busy one. Maybe [finally] going back home after what could be a 6-7 month exile from my motherland. I'd like to visit before then, but you never know.

April. Five of Swords.
Annoying. There can’t always be peace and smiles. For this month, the best piece of advice is to hold back from your instinctual response. Think things through. Don’t act or speak without thinking. Ask yourself if it is necessary to participate or if any good will come of it. If the answer is no, turn your back and keep walking. You don’t have time for bullshit.

May. Queen of Wands.
Creativity, beauty without bounds. Use your paint brush as your magic wand, breathe life into concepts that have been gracing your dreams with color. Assume a position of charisma and goodnatured extroversion. Seek to bring people together with you at their center, entertaining them.

Cut through the drama, ignore any loudmouths causing you grief. Look through it all to their intentions, then ask yourself if you really want to participate or not.


June. Four of Cups.
Dreams, dreams, drinks. Have you found yourself dreaming and day dreaming for too long? What’s the use of that? How about you get up off your comfortable chair and go explore instead? Whenever feelings stagnate and you feel yourself being dragged back into a contented rut, break yourself out of that by forcing yourself back in motion. Try to avoid unnecessarily being dragged back into bitter reminders. Don’t make any hasty decisions.

July. The Lovers.
Lovers coming together. A connection so insane it feels like mind reading. Words meant only for one set of ears. Actions that penetrate right through you as if a shot gun had been fired right into your chest. I see you. I feel you. I love you.

Choices aren’t easy all the time. Often times you have to leave something else behind to assume the path of your new future, and that’s okay. Keep moving forward with the knowledge that it will be okay because you’re not alone. You have somebody backing you up and whispering kind words of love. Keep going.

August. Justice.
Cold truth does not yell over the others or overexert itself. Cold truth waits its turn to come out, and then it weighs what is and what is not. Is your heart heavy with burdens? Is it light? Decide. Trials are coming up ahead and you need to be ready to affront them. Proceed with confidence if your heart is light. Proceed with caution if you’ve got things to hide.

September. Eight of Cups.
Some things you have to walk away from with a heavy hear when there is no alternative. Give thanks for what nurtured your spirit and release that which only holds you back. In this life, change is always guaranteed. You can get with it or you can be dragged by it. It’s better if you cooperate though, because resistance generates pain. Don’t fall for that.


Clarifier. Ace of Coins. New opportunities. A period of growth is starting, as this card casts an aura of its influence over the next set of twelve months.

I don’t know if my newfound optimism is casting an unrealistic sheen of hope and joyfulness on my reading, but I am really hoping that it is in one way or another. This card draw has really excited me for the next year coming up! Now that I’ve got a whole new outlook on life, I want to get lost in the world and I wish to traverse new horizons. I am getting to know myself again as I get to know what’s out there, too.

It's going to be a crazy adventure for sure. Cheers, to a life lived with intensity.
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CLOAK & DAGGER FEST



How to describe the madness of the weekend and still do it justice? I'll try my best!

Spaceland, Restless Nites and Cloak & Dagger threw together a monster of a music festival featuring some of the best acts that play dark music. Attendees had their mind repeatedly blown by the variety and quality of the music acts. Cloak & Dagger members were given their own wristbands to access VIP areas and gain access to the Biergarten, which I thought was really cool of them to do. They take after their own.






FRIDAY ACTS:
♡ Tr/st
♡ Jesus and Mary Chain
♡ Ho99o9
♡ Drab Majesty
♡ LovexTerror
♡ Tropic of Cancer

It took a while to understand quite how the different rooms and wristbands worked, but the acts I got to see were all excellent. The night actually got kicked off with the LXT show, for which we had a great location. I was blown away by Adam Bravin's performance as a lead singer. The squad rocked out to several acts until the time came to see Tr/st.



Let's talk about Tr/st. When Alfons Robert came on stage, I nearly lost it. We happened to be right in the center, a few rows from the stage. The squad was all there, and we got caught dancing all up on one another. The energy went up about three levels during this show, and it was definitely very enjoyable. This was the band I had come to see, and unfortunately they got cut off before they could play a lot of my favorite songs. But still, this was my first time seeing them and it was a treat. Definitely hope to see them perform again soon.

Since this performance, I've had the blues. They definitely left me wanting to see more!




SATURDAY ACTS:
♡ She Wants Revenge
♡ Poptone
♡ Ramsey
♡ Zombi
♡ Nostalghia
♡ The Soft Moon
♡ Ohgr

The second day had stellar acts as well. I wove in and out of sets to be able to catch the ones that were going on at the same time and managed to see most every band I wanted to see perform. Come the end of the night they did "ritual" minus the ritual and spoke about the Cloak and Dagger community. We wound down the night with Tear You Apart. It was amazing to see She Wants Revenge live after delighting in having DJ Adam 12 spin tracks for us every Tuesday.

It was very rewarding to bump into Cloak family throughout the event, there is a special current tying all of us together.



Impressions by Annie Lesser
If you see a telephones ringing, pick them up. One of them will send you on a scavenger hunt. It all starts with the blonde that has a green scarf, she is dancing among the crowd. Go up to her and tell her the password, then she will send you on your way to the woman with the drawers. The drawers take you through a journey to your past. You inspect tangles, the broken self, and scent. I had fun discovering my own magic with her.

Once I was done with her, she told me to go visit the statue woman at the Tower. The statue woman took me down to the basement and into a dark room with almost no space. There, I had something whispered in my ear. I received a hug right before she disappeared. I stumbled out of that room with confusion.

Later on, somebody took us to the topmost room at the Globe theater. Tyliner, his friend, Andrew and I all ended up telling each other our truths — well, more like our secrets. The last experiene I had was Rain. I went down to the basement where I was told to go in through the door. There, Terence and I looked at the rain. We had a thought-provoking conversation.The experience was an immersive one for sure. I walked back out of there pensive.

                 

Really enjoyed the event, looking forward to see what they will come up with next year. It's bound to be an event to plan the year around! Thank you so much, Cloak & Dagger crew!
♡♡

DEPECHE MODE GLOBAL SPIRIT TOUR



We need to interrupt the regular schedule to talk about a mind-altering experience I just had last night. I know we haven’t even talked about Marrakech yet, but you guys need to hear this now.

Last night Depeche Mode played the Global Spirit Tour at the Hollywood Bowl. The event started at 7:30P.M., but we arrived at 8:30P.M. And missed out on Warpaint's set, Just getting there was a mission, the street was jam packed with traffic and the place is so big that it looked like a giant ant farm. It was overflowing with hustle, bustle and street food. Being an empath and being pelted with his much coming at you from all sides gives you a sense of euphoria as the excitement mounts. Energy sensitive people were likely extremely overwhelmed and hyper. I certainly was!

I was delighted with our seats, and the company was excellent. We felt the entire set deeply within our hearts and souls. There was a cathartic release of tears and old emotions thrown back out into the world, and with the space that it created I felt myself filling up with love. An overwhelming amount of joy, gratitude and love flooded me. I haven’t felt this alive in years!

It was incredibly easy to get lost in the music. I wish I could recreate the atmosphere and mindset for you in words, but it's very difficult. You feel the excitement in waves, and the more that people cheer the more you feel your body will spontaneously combust. The weather was divine, it wasn't humid or hot like it has been the past few days. Everybody was having fun in an extremely safe environment. There were many cop cars there at the ready in case an attack broke out. I felt completely liberated and able to express myself. There's no price on that.





The setlist was incredible! I think I even enjoyed it more than the ’13 Delta Machine Tour and Soulsavers.

GLOBAL SPIRIT TOUR SETLIST
♡ Revolution (Beatles song)
♡ Cover Me
♡ Going Backwards
♡ It’s No Good (Tour Debut)
♡ Barrel of a Gun
♡ A Pain That I’m Used To (Jacques Lu Cont Rmx)
♡ Corrupt
♡ In Your Room (馃敟馃敟馃敟 Can you say sizzling?)
♡ World In My Eyes
♡ Cover Me
♡ Insight
♡ Home
♡ Poison Heart
♡ Where’s the Revolution
♡ Wrong
♡ Everything Counts
♡ Stripped
♡ Enjoy the Silence
♡ Never Let Me Down Again

ENCORE:
♡ Shake the Disease
♡ Walking in My Shoes
♡ Black Celebration
♡ I Feel You
♡ Personal Jesus

Insane, right??



After the show, we scrambled. I didn’t get to see my Cloak squad even though they were present. The insanity of the crowds was overwhelming, and luckily we didn't get stuck. Instead, we walked to Boardner’s for Blue Mondays. The night took a turn for the wild, we partied so hard. I ran into Marco, which I met recently at the last Ruin. Christopher was also there, so we had a great dance troupe. All smiles!

After the club, Silvia and I went to grab a bite to eat. We opened up to each other about our secrets and laughed plenty. With open hearts it is easier to see into the soul of the people you are facing. We were glowing, winding down a successful outing with intense love overflowing. Despite all of the insanity of the past few years, life is good. We had the best time!

Now I’ve got memories to last me through the day. Tonight is Diplo's guest dj set at Cloak and Dagger. The Cloak squad gives me so much life! Ever since I met them earlier this year, these people have changed my life. We are going to dance the night away in our church like sanctuary. There will be sonic romance. There will be a sickening amount of photo booth pictures taken and the dancing will burn us clean again. Yes!



I love Los Angeles. I love the intensity of the life I am living. I love that you are all supporting me after such a hard time and filling my heart with some much-needed love. I’ve been starving for too long. Thank you!

My birthday is this Sunday. I promise I will write about the Marrakech trip soon!
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