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.



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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EPIC TAROT



Today I am going to review Riccardo Minetti and Paolo Martinello's Epic Tarot by Lo Scarabeo.

This is a strong fantasy deck that includes mythical creatures and imaginative worlds to explore or interact with. Some of the sights are imbued with fantastical imagination and will inspire you to look past traditional systems of reading the tarot cards. Fantasy lends itself to narrative almost seamlessly. I love the fact you have a range of small creatures going all the way to colossal golems. I like how interactions between all the sentient beings in the cards can correlate with our own personal paths and struggles.

I am a huge endorser of feeding the imagination and keeping a logical foundation throughout. It is through dreaming that we allow ourselves to formulate plans that are uplifting and keep us purposeful. Being lit with inspiration will keep us working harder towards achieving what we hope will one day come to pass.

The colors are mostly shady, with some pastel contrasts to build dreamy layers in the illustrations. This deck is best approached with an imaginative, open mind and a warm heart.

The illustration quality is really nice. Despite the mood of the illustrations being different, this deck definitely reminds me a lot of the Universal Fantasy Tarot, which I loved since I first laid eyes on it. 

The Epic Tarot comes in a standard Lo Scarabeo box, and the card format is very comfortable to use since the cards and card stock are thin. I find this deck format very easy to shuffle and fan out. The cards have fully reversible backs and attractive framing borders, which change color according to the suit. There are no titles to identify the cards, just number and suits or illustrated courts.






I need to note in this review that the court cards are very confusing to read. Pages, Knights, Queens and Kings have been changed to Unicorns, Griffins, Phoenixes and Dragons. I can’t tell which is which intuitively and need to check the booklet to figure out what they are. I can especially not tell what is a Griffin or Dragon. If you have a white gel pen or light metallic marker you can write on them. I, myself plan to write down what is what in a post-it to keep close when doing my readings. I like the way these cards look and don’t intend to write on them. Because of this change in the court cards I wouldn’t recommend this deck for beginners. If you want to learn the tarot tradition you can still pick from a variety of other beautiful decks. But I think everybody is entitled to start their tarot journey as they see fit, though. So if this is the deck for you, full speed ahead! You’ll figure out what the courts are meant to represent eventually.



I have been using this deck for a few months now and I find it very easy to get adjusted to. You will appreciate the change in scenery and characters because it will allow you to take what is in front of you and weave the story according to the nuances of your situation. For this reason I’d recommend this deck for artists and writers especially. Keep the craft alive!

If the upcoming interview is any proof, this deck is still able to deliver sound advice that feels custom tailored to your situation. All you will need is the time to decode the message, and to keep things moving in forward motion.





What is your most important characteristic?
The Empress. Holding space for yourself and others can become a responsibility you take on lovingly. I intuit this means the advice you derive from readings will sound like advice you get from a knowledgeable parent that has shared the same experience. This means that when you tune into the mindset of looking into your life, you should have patience with yourself and be accepting of the circumstances. Know that you hold your own space and can make just about any experience manageable so long as you still have some influence over it.

What are your strengths as a tarot deck?
Emperor. Persuasive strength that comes lacking in intimidation. You can be sure answers will be direct. It feels like the answers will seem apparent at first glance once you’ve gotten settled in and adjusted to reading with this deck.

What are your limits?
Nine of Swords. If you are anxious or outside yourself, your focus on deriving intuitive messages will dwindle. It is possible your anxiety towards needing to know will stress you out. Because of this I’d advise taking a few deep breaths, getting grounded back in your space and emotionally detaching from anything you are about to look into so you can be fair. Avoid getting overwhelmed by pacing yourself.



What are you here to teach me?
Four of Cups. If you are getting discouraged by circumstances you are in you didn’t see coming, don’t pressure yourself further. Instead of being bitter, huffing and puffing, try instead to give yourself time with your mind off the issue. Distract yourself, rest, do something that matters to you. The time will come when it is important that you do something again. Until then, take it easy.

How can I best learn to collaborate with you?
Judgment. Learn to answer calls for action. Be prepared before it is time to act. You can achieve this by planning. You can achieve this as you develop foresight. If it is not something you were born with then trust it’s just a matter of time until things start making more sense. The difference is knowing when you are called to act, and learning to identify when to hold back and be patient still.

What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
Six of Swords. Taking a risk can feel like throwing it all to the wind. You don’t get lost if you know where you want to go, because you set the intention. If you are uncertain about your future, you can use this deck to figure out where you’ll be going next. If you trust intuition you should find the path becomes clear the further into it you venture.



Which card do you want to show off?
Five of Swords. Often the most difficult times in our lives are the ones that encourage us to push forward. Being faced with the most dire of circumstances can force us to reinvent ourselves and to find a way. All we need to do is believe in ourselves. This is really eerily optimistic for this kind of card. Even when faced with tasks that overwhelm us, we can use the power of thought to create new solutions.

How do you see me?
The Lovers. Immersed in an intimate bonding experience. It takes being open and vulnerable to consecrate the art of connecting to others. I curate that experience, and live it in example.

How do you see yourself?
Three of Coins. A deck that will work with you, for you through the toughest circumstances. There will be as many options present as you allow yourself to see.



Visit Numerology Sign for really great tarot card meanings!

I really like this deck and feel it is often overlooked. I've had mind to rotate it into my work table to use with others, but haven't done so because some treats you just want to reserve for yourself. I get so much enjoyment out of using it that I don't want to exploit its magic treating it like a workhorse.

It is worth checking out! Let me know what you think of it if you've interacted with it.
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PROMISE RINGS


After careful consideration and acknowledgement of how I felt I decided to give my lover a promise ring, to repeat the decision we took to commit to one another one year ago. This blossoming relationship has brought us both intimate moments of joy and childlike enthusiasm for adventure. At the close of the year I summed up the highlights to our year and found we had done a ton and taken an overwhelming amount of photos, despite many instances going undocumented. Those tender moments live on in memory only.

It is with great joy that I am writing today to document something very special happening. I don’t get the privilege of participating in life-altering rituals every day. This instance was a real treat for me, as I’ve never been graced with the honor of asking somebody to formally commit to me.

As our relationship matures we have noticed the nuanced changes in our own personalities. Each one of us has been influenced slightly and started to change according to the union. It fills you with love when you grow together.



Ever since I slipped that ring on Chris’ finger I feel proud about it. I want to shout it from the rooftops. It’s a good feeling to have more than enough, and to be steadily crafting the sacred space of home in the heart of the person you love.

We should all hope to be so lucky as to find somebody who accepts us with all our flaws and sticks by our side with reaffirming faith in that things will work out for the best.



Rachel Nash, the creatrix who crafted these rings is a true artisan. I went crazy for her designs as soon as I saw them. She patiently ushered me through the process and had many ideas to accommodate my custom requests. Please endorse her skills!

"Let’s cherish our lives together and take nothing for granted."


Rings by Rachel Nash of Upscale Hare.
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YEAR IN REVIEW 2018




The end of year always seems to sneak up. From the 31st of October forward, time speeds up and you end up at the close of the year before you know it. So much to do still! The crunch time is real. But we're up for it and so we're diving in straight away!

I hope you've all enjoyed winding down the year. Thank you for accompanying me and making 2018 a year truly worth living. Your supports, comments, smiles, memories made all stay with me because that's where I find life's true value. All of these moments are my treasures and I will keep them with gratitude burning in my heart. I had the pleasure of crossing paths with many souls I cared about, and thanks to them I have found my own identity and purpose reaffirmed in my weakest moments. Friends and supporters deserve a special place in our hearts.



This year I turned 30, so I stand at the door of the next decade of my life. Like last year I don’t really know what to anticipate, but I’m going into it with high hopes, an open heart and an open mind. I’m really hoping to start getting back in touch with my friends next year. I’m also hoping to get to make a finished paper cut-out piece to hang in my living room. The to-do list never seems to slow down, it only ever keeps on growing.


There were a ton of highlights and photos taken this year, so this year we’re going to do something a little different than in previous years. We’re going to focus on the positive. There was a ton of positivity laced with new experiences even if my main focus was at times derailed.




JANUARY:
+ We formalized our relationship on the first day of the year
+ I got collared
+ Saw Marilyn Manson in concert (but was too faded to remember it!)
+ Saw Excision’s The Paradox tour





FEBRUARY:

+ I started drawing again
+ Endless Night Vampire Ball
+ Mr Leelahel took me to Disneyland!
+ Silvia hosted a dinner party



MARCH:

+ Datsik's Ninja Nation tour
+ Met Riot Ten
+ Dating Mr Leelahel
+ Mark Hamill's Hollywood star ceremony
+ Dinner with Silvia
+ Space Yacht




APRIL:

+ Playing Pokémon Go
+ Santa Monica Pier date
+ Lollivamp's birthday party
+ I read tarot for Sailor Neptune's voice actress
+ La Brea Tar Pits date
+ Silvia’s place
+ Depeche Mode brunch
+ Dion Timmer 420 show with rare Excision b2b
+ The Avengers (💜 Dr Strange 💜)
+ Slushii
+ Silvia visits




MAY:

+ Das Bunker: Star Wars night
+ La Brea Tar Pits pokéhunting
+ Cloak & Dagger
+ IAMX concert
+ Puerto Rico tip
+ Charmander community day
+ Kambo
- Seascape wedding trip
+ Mr Leelahel worked at my place
+ Visiting Silvia+ Started therapy




JUNE:
+ Mr Leelahel's birthday
+ Silvia & Alex’s
+ Made up with Crystal
+ The Grove pokéhunting
+ Therapy



JULY:

+ Brunch date
+ Therapy
+ Squirrel Squad community day
+ Julia’s birthday at Dave N’ Buster’s
+ Day drinking
+ Puerto Rico



AUGUST:
+ Playing dominoes with Grandpa
+ Grandpa’s 90th birthday celebration
+ Making up for lost time
+ Lonzo’s with Silvia for her birthday
+ Getting real domestic
+ Ho-Oh raids
+ Meeting Silvia
+ Therapy



SEPTEMBER:
+ Special outing+ Tar Pits and card shop date
+ Meeting Silvia
+ Frost arrived
+ Palm Springs trip
+ The Midnight
+ Subtronics & BTSM
+ Therapy




OCTOBER:
+ Deoxys raid
+ Mom visits+ Positive first week
+ The Haunting of Hill House
+ 30th birthday
- Bickering
+ Cloak & Dagger birthday celebration
+ Cloak & Dagger Halloween celebration
+ Knott's Scary Farm
+ Therapy



NOVEMBER:

+ Celebrating 10 months together over a romantic dinner
+ Magic: the Gathering
+ Community day
+ Breakroom 86
+ Teemo found
+ Topanga Canyon cottage house romance
+ Thanksgiving dinner
+ Inn of the Seventh Ray
+ Bought us customized promise rings
+ Therapy





DECEMBER:

+ Mercy Kill
- Missed the Yule celebration
+ San Diego trip
- Puerto Rico trip

--- Grandpa fell into sickbed and it tore my heart to shreds






December
sucked. Between May and December I don’t know which month was more difficult—That’s a lie, actually. December felt like a trap. I hated it.
 Grandfather represents one of the pillars of my upbringing and spent every day from me since I was a toddler until I went off to college. His condition ruined everybody's end of year in my family. I've been absolutely inconsolable since it started happening. Weeks before it happened I started having suggestive dreams and finding black moths outside my apartment. It all clicked when Mr Leelahel started dreaming about weddings and funerals. Twice.



(1)DESCRIBE 2018 IN THREE WORDS:
(A) Stressful.
(B) Maturing.
(C) Romantic.




(2) WHICH CONCERTS DID YOU VISIT IN 2018?

Marilyn Manson, DJ Amazonica, The Midnight x 2, Riot Ten x 2, Excision x 2, Subtronics x 2, Yakz, Barely Alive, Monxx, Dion Timmer x 2, Dubloadz, Cookie Monsta, Phase One, Sullivan King, Zomboy, Virtual Riot, Slushii, and Black Tiger Sex Machine.

I purchased two tickets to see Tr/st play and didn’t make it to either show, unfortunately.




(3) WHAT WERE YOUR THREE FAVORITE MOMENTS IN 2018?
(A) Romance in the Topanga Canyon. The clean mountain air did me so well, and I slept better in the quiet than I remember having slept in months. I fell in love all over again and started seeing life differently during this trip.
(B) The confession that we loved each other for the first time. ♡♡
(C) Playing Magic: the Gathering Arena. It’s my favorite stress relief lately. I'm hoping to start making custom decks with dinosaurs in them once I get the hang of more advanced rank play. So far I like white and black decks, white and blue decks, and white and green decks.



(4) WHICH ONE WAS YOUR FAVORITE MONTH IN 2018?

November. This was the month I felt change settle, and all my attempts started yielding productive results. It redeemed me of my stress and the sadness I have fruitlessly been dragging. November was by far my most optimistic month in 2018.


Our Cottage in the Canyon adventure illustrates the very surface of the most humbling gift of love I've ever been given. I don't know that it can be topped by any other life experience.

To be honest I had many really great moments in 2018, but as I said earlier in this post much of the year got obscured in the shadow of my problems I’ve been trying to solve. I think this last year’s highlight timeline stands as proof of how eventful and meaningful 2018 has been for me.


(5) WHO WERE THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE OF 2018?



Chris. The incoming train I didn't see coming. Chris feels like home. He holds a safe space for me wherever we go. I love the little details of our relationship, nuances in our vocabulary we reserve for each other. My newest travel partner, and one that pushes me to try new experiences with a mischievous smile. He has rewarded me with some of my favorite moments this year, from quiet moments burning incense in his room to slumber parties and theme parks. We have things are are just ours, such as playing Pokémon Go at the club, or our many dates to go on raids and to enjoy community day.

He's the trickster that infuriates me and yet leaves me still wanting to kiss him afterwards. When I look at him I feel overcome by feelings of admiration and the responsibility to protect our union. I'm grateful he's by my side and I can't wait to put a promise ring on him tonight.



Silvia. This Italian beauty has earned my love time and time again, mentoring me in my worst moments and teaching me about life from her experience. She has had an intense life but a beautiful one also, and every day she walks this Earth is a day I feel privileged to call her my friend. Our favorite outings are dance nights and brunches. I admire her like a little sister looks up to an older sister. If there's anything she could ever need, I'd be there for her in a heartbeat. Silvia reminds me of the evanescence of life, and how important it is to just be in the moment. She's such a boss lady!



John.

I met John the very first month I lived in Los Angeles. Our friendship has blossomed slowly, but every time I see him I end up throwing my arms around him and embracing him. He's a generous and sweet, classy man. I love him more than he knows. He throws the biggest goth parties in Los Angeles, my favorite being Star Wars Night, and introduced me to my beloved community, Cloak & Dagger. Aside from that we share the same tastes for popular culture and music, and find ourselves bonding over media whenever we meet.



Frost & Teemo: This year I made the decision to go off the radar socially. Much of this year was spent as a ghost, or more accurately as the third house cat. I spent a lot of time giving love to Teemo and Frost, who are both fun to be around until it's time to go to bed.

David. Mr Le Rouge was a wonderful friend to me this year. We exchanged innermost thoughts and insight about life and the way people life. About a life lived as a spiritual worker with all the private challenges that brings. About the achievement of being able to blend your spiritual practices into your personal life without making it a spectable everybody finds out about. Thank you David!



(6) HAVE YOU MADE PLANS FOR TRAVELING IN 2019?

No! This is the first year I don’t have my sights set to travel anywhere new. I think my focus will be on traveling to Puerto Rico to spend time with my family in their time of need.


I'll go anywhere Mr Leelahel asks me to go, though. Now, if I could only drag him to Lost Lands...



(7) BEST BOOK YOU READ IN 2018?

Undefended Love. My friend Silvia gifted me this book early in 2018 and I ended up having many open moments scribbling thoughts into the margins of the pages.




(8) 5 MUSICIANS YOU LISTENED TO WAY TOO MUCH IN 2018:

♡ SOCIAL REPOSE
♡ SUBTRONICS
♡ TWENTY ONE PILOTS
♡ MARS ARGO
♡ PRINCE




(9) WHAT DO YOU LOOK FORWARD TO IN 2019?
There’s quite a bit I’m excited about coming up…


I’m looking forward to getting back into gaming. Mr Leelahel has inspired me to pick up the Pokémon trading card game, Magic: The Gathering and MTG Arena, Star Wars Destiny, Overwatch, Smash Bros, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and other 3DS or console games. He also very generously gifted me his pc computer to get started playing games not accessible to the Mac operating system. Gaming has helped me learn to distract myself and relax. Where I had limited myself to various Fire Emblem games on my 3DS for the past 5 years, I find taking it more seriously has brought me a lot of joy. It is a major black hole for time, though, and I sadly can’t devote more than two hours to it a night.


I’m looking forward to finally getting my driver’s license handled because that will most assuredly cement my identity as a Los† Angelene. LA is home now, and I couldn’t see myself anywhere else other than with Mr Leelahel and the cats. They’re my family away from home and I probably love them too much.


I’m looking forward to spend more time in the kitchen. Learning to become proficient with your cooking takes trials and errors and can sometimes feel like a huge drain of energy, but I really love cooking and I love sharing meals with people I care about. I am hoping to spend some time learning to make grandmother style meals from scratch. Yes!


More than anything, I am hoping to live a healthier life. My psyche has taken a ton of beatings for as long as I can remember. My top priority for next year is to learn to coexist peacefully, and most importantly to learn to relax. I want to be as lighthearted as the people surrounding me know to be. For me it’s an uphill climb and a very serious challenge, as it is just not natural to me.



IN RETROSPECT,

It’s amazing how a little bit of fresh mountain air cleared my mind of heavy thoughts. I have been changing my perspective on life lately, feeling more optimistic about the future in general.


This year I realized I dragged stress, living and breathing in mindsets that kept me with a short fuse and low tolerance for anything other than what would help me keep moving forward. It took going to therapy and spending time in a really relaxed household situation to open my eyes to how stressful my life was for me and the people closest to me. This month was emotionally brutal and I have felt myself regressing, but I am reminding myself that if anybody needs to give compassion, it is me towards myself. I am the first to resort to self-loathing and belittling jokes to lighten the mood, but the truth is I’ve been struggling to keep the consistency. I’ve also been struggling to keep it positive despite all the amazing experiences I was blessed with this year.


Therapy was immensely productive because it helped me learn from my past mistakes and gave me tools to have more productive relationships. Ever since the realization came to me I started investing effort in learning how to relax as well as getting organized and managing my time more effectively. It was a great lesson for somebody who didn’t realize adulthood had long settled. I often compare myself to kids in their parents shoes, but this year I realized I’m in already immersed in adulthood. It really sobered me up to start working towards all the important tasks I procrastinated on while I was more focused on my survival than on what I needed to get done to live as a thriving adult.


Now I don’t know what to expect and I’d be lying if I told you I’m not scared of the staggering to-do lists of things I need to catch up on, but at the same time I am so relieved to have left those dark chapters behind me. I have finally been able to gain control of a depression that crippled me to the point of feeling suicidal. I give thanks for having left all of that behind.


I don’t think I’ll ever fully get over the burn and the embarrassment of everything that transpired from my early childhood until 2017, but I broke the cycle and I am living a much healthier life now.


This year I learned I can be just as happy, if not more happy without the need for a decadent and seductive underground party. I don't need to sedate myself from feeling normal emotions and experiencing life through open and clear eyes. I don't need to be keeping secrets. I don't need to be dismissive of people who don't like or understand my lifestyle. I found a lot of joy in day-to-day domesticity, flanked by some very loving people.



Wherever you ring in 2019, be safe and have fun! Thank you if you've made it this far, this might be my most lengthy entry yet. I hadn't realized how much I actually got done with all the time I spent inside the trenches of my mind. 2018 was a really great year after all!

Let’s cherish our lives together and take nothing for granted.

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