I haven’t been compelled to write card reviews lately because I am bored with reviewing. I feel like the decks coming out resonate with other people. I haven’t been inspired to make a purchase in a while. This deck of cards definitely deserved a space in my collection, and I've been resonating with it like crazy. So much in fact that I purchased two copies. You never know when you need a backup!

I first heard about it during the Kickstarter campaign. He was offering a little Ouija board in the limited edition and yes/no coins that looked amazing! I remember that it was late in 2013, I found out about it during work and decided to make my contribution for two decks. I figured I'd find use for them both, or use one for both playing cards and for divination. I could collect the spare or keep it as backup, as mentioned before. This is a common trait in collectors such as myself; we find a deck that we consider to be a jewel. We think ahead into the future, telling ourselves that it could be scarce in the moment that we need it. Something like that. I feel so safe being in possession of two copies.

When I first held the box in my hands, I was very impressed. No matter where you look at it from, the tiny details on it are delightful. Let’s get started with the feel of the paper… it feels grainy and sturdy. It’s a matte finish with a copper colored foil overlay. The colors are black, ash gray and copper. The top says GOODBYE. The front has all of the suits, a winged skeleton between the sun and the moon. On the bottom, two hands come out of the clouds with an eye on each. The whole composition is framed elegantly, and textured as well. On the sides, you have the name of the deck. On the back of the box, the tuck die shows the skeleton. There is a Ouija board composite that is also on the back of the cards. On the bottom of the box, it lists the distributor as Dead on Paper and gives you the address. With pride it tells you this is an American product.

When you pop open the box, you get a breathtaking surprise. Contained on the inside is a foil damask pattern. It feels like a vampire’s boudoir in there! So beautiful. I gasped when I first noticed it. No details went without being thought about. The designer ensured the quality of this product, and I am truly glad to have two sets. Mine came with a free print that has been made, signed and numbered by Chris himself. I got 1158 / 1172. Whew! I can’t believe he went through the arduous task of making so many of these. When I think about the time it must have taken and the effort, it makes me even prouder to own the product. One of the last in the batch, too. I consider myself way lucky.

You take out the cards and are presented with excellent quality. You get two extra jokers, a gaff card and a yes or no card. Convenient! He considered that this would in fact be used for divination or entertainment… and he was right. I intended to purchase this deck to read along with the Playing Card Oracles method. [Since it requires memorization of the suit placement on each of the cards, I will use it as a more advanced level of cartomancy. I am still getting comfortable with it. I digress, though, that is a post for another day!]

The cards are stunning. I noticed the damask that is on the tuck part of the box as a texture on the fact of the cards. This really brought the project together for me!

The court cards are amazing! I recognize some of the people from the séance picture on the cards, which really resonates with me. That picture used to resonate a lot with me. I also like the others, they are quite imaginative. I’ve never seen cards this beautiful. The card stock is sturdy, luxurious and shuffles like butter. They’re so slippery!

My favorite suit is the suit of hearts. It looks amazing! Well, in truth, all the cards do.

I have a tip to know how the cards are upright: Dots at the top right corner are the strongest. Otherwise you won’t be able to tell if they are upright or not. Pay close attention to them when you first look at your cards so that you will know to identify the orientation of the card for your readings and general neatness. If you lose track, refer to the Ace of Spades and look into the dot clutter on the right. It is exactly the same on all the card backs


What is your most important characteristic?
4 The West Wind. An atmosphere of compassion and warmth is represented in the card. Gentle persuasion to lift the spirits, inviting us to put worry aside. There is harmony and understanding, opposing sides can find common ground and comfort.

What are your limits?
Fata Morgana. Coming from the Arthurian Tales, meaning the spell of Morgana. Over the course of time, many illusions will be cast upon our hearts. They are only shadow images, reflections lacking depth. It’s easy for you to be led astray. Can you still find your center? This deck will help you do just that. Beautiful!

What are you here to teach me?
Dango. Constantly walking the line between fantasy and reality, between the possible and the impossible. Perform the balancing act going on faith, or working under intense pressure. Try and catch hold of it, and it will disappear out of sight, such as inspiration often foes.

How can I best learn to collaborate with you?
3 The Necklace. Objects of value will be strung together, connected. Suggesting alignment of energies that creates something new, vibrant and transformational. This is a spiritual calling.

What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
Sword of Enchantment. The presence of something special. Unexplainable events come into being. Opportunities magically present themselves. The right person coincidentally happens to be at the right place, right time. Directing spiritual traffic even without conscious intention.

Which card of you want to show off?
Mardoc. The conqueror without mercy or compassion. This is a king whose castle has no walls, whose kingdom is limited only by the length and breadth of the Earth itself. His home is where he makes it, where his conquest demands.

9 The Throne of Spiders.
Have situations gone out of hand? Earthly values, concerns, addictions have become all consuming. Matter is winning the battle over spirit. We are not victims. We are creatures of choice, though sometimes the choices are very difficult. When carrying our burdens involves the ultimate price, it is often better to cut the load than be buried by it. Don't let anybody drain you and don't overwork yourself. Let go if you have to.

How do you see me?
Ignita. WOW! This is a card I ran into in the wild last March. A strong sense of self and a person’s own individuality. Spiritual values and transformation. A new project manifesting itself. It is the most pure form of the element of fire, which can be inspiration or motivation to do something. It can also be passion.

How do you see yourself?
The Enemies. Like rock against rock, sword against sword, this card represents the ultimate clash: two energies equally pitted in strength and determination. Resolution is a final concept for this card. Often there is a perception that one side or the other must win, must conquer the other. Cooperation and understanding is the lesson of this card.

Since I am not yet a buff in playing card divination, I have paraphrased these meanings off of Ana Cortez’s Playing Card Oracles: Source Book for Divination. I started to learn to use it last year, and this deck serves as motivation to keep the study going. This is the start of a beautiful friendship, the mystifying playing cards and I! You'll love this system to compliment the Mystifying Oracle Playing Cards.

It inspires me to host a cartomancy party for my own birthday, and to treat guests to a show tied in with actual readings. It would be really cool to play out a fantasy for them. If a party fails, it would be so cool to do a similar style of photoshoot with the deck for my personal portfolio as a cartomantic fortune teller.

I think about this in a steampunk saloon or parlor somewhere. Including myself in the fantasy, I see myself in a corset and bustle skirt matching the colors of the cards. The warm grays, reds and black. I see shiny embroidery of the damask on the corset. My hands have lace glovelets, my pale hands are contrasted by the metallic dark red on my nails. I will sit back with my deck and shuffle quietly the fates of my sitters. The querent asks me something, only to be dealt a hand of cards that will whisper to them of their fate.

Oh yeah! Are your cards making you day dream lately? I hope you enjoyed this review. Please support Chris Ovdiyenko’s future endeavors. His talent deserves reward and praise! Would you like to purchase your own copy?


I wanted to share with you an amazing experience that I had last weekend. Wow, what a crazy weekend it was! It was a long time coming; the first time I heard about this concert was back in October, around the last few times I hung out with Hugo. We had a lot of anticipation time to per pare for the spectacle.

On Saturday, I set out with Justin and Crystal to a private VIP party to meet Combichrist, Aesthetic Perfection and Youth Code. It was held at Complex, LA. You'd never guess, but we were the only ones on the dance floor. After a week of fantasizing about the dance floor, nobody cared if anybody else was watching. Shortly afterwards, we were joined by a few people that felt like getting their dance on. It was beautiful; for a little while we all swayed and weaved through that dance floor.

We took a break to go to the patio, where we met Mitchell. He does merch work for Combichrist, and he was very kind. The four of us sat together in polite conversation, trading stories and impressions. He took me to meet Andy, the Combichrist lead singer. We got our photo taken and I was telling him my story with the band, then he promptly embraced his girlfriend in a kiss and forgot about the conversation. I laughed as I walked away, rolling my eyes but understanding all too well, but disappointed in how inattentive he was to me. He really didn't care that a fan was there to see him and meet him. If he got the impression I was looking for romance, he's quite wrong.

From the moment I stepped into the venue, I was greeted by friendly staff. The place looks like a Baroque / Victorian night time playground, it is so tastefully decorated. I would definitely rate Club Avalon as an upscale nightclub, and one I'd love to come back to in order to see my favorite bands play. Wow... I just can't transmit through words how amazing it was to be standing amongst a thousand goths with some very awesome bands playing. I have never seen so many gothic music enthusiasts together in the same place, and they all looked so beautiful. Corsets, kanekalon dread hair, extravagant make-up and platform boots with many, many buckets. It felt like home to me, and that's exactly the kind of feeling I have been looking for in nightlife. I loved it!

Aesthetic Perfection did great. I spent most of their show socializing with familiar faces and looking for a decent place to stand, though.

Suicide Commando was killing it. Since the moment he came out, you could feel the excitement in the crowd. I started out watching them from a teal wristband balcony, then moved to the main area to get a closer look. Everyone was dancing and feeling it, and Johan was living up to the expectations I had for Suicide Commando. In truth, this is the band that I came to see, and I was very glad to see them live. They started off with Bind, Torture and Kill. The energy that he had going on the stage was passed onto the crowd, who loved him for it. Unfortunately, after three songs it seems that Johan suffered lesions to his leg and had to be removed from the stage. About half an hour later, the staff comes back out to tell us he's on his way to the hospital, and may need surgery for his leg. It crushed us all. Me especially, after having been looking forward to see Johan perform live. Suicide Commando's work :Wumpscut:, Velvet Acid Christ, Combichrist, VNV Nation, and Covenant are responsible for my love of Industrial music and gothic nightlife. In one night, I got to see two bands from this list perform. Magic!!

As a result, Combichrist played an extended set. The concert hall suddenly got really rugged. Two mosh pits opened up, and fists were pumping in the air. There was so much rage in the air, I was glad to be in a discrete niche behind the sound check guys. They there centric and had a great view, without the risk of being pelted by the slew of fists in the crowd. Super good spot!

After having met Andy the night before, I wasn't very enthused with the impression that they made. Mitchell was very friendly, though, and invited me to chat with him at the Combichrist merchandising booth. I said I'd see him at the VIP party, but it seems he couldn't get out of work in time to chat. Come the VIP meet and greet I was too tired, and not really into meeting any of the bands. There was not enough energy to take another go at making conversation with Andy, and Johan was not there because he was probably off somewhere getting his leg treated. I did, however, run into John Giovanazzi a.k.a. Rev John, the visionary that made this activity possible. He's very smart and well-educated. You can easily strike up a conversation with him, which is very rare so far for the people I have met in this scene. However, those that are worth talking to make it a tolerable task. I've met some wonderful individuals here in California.

Activities like these leave an impression in you. It would be grand to have them on a more regular basis, but it seems that having enough time to prepare for an event builds up enough anticipation to get a decent attendance list. It was marvelous to see so many people at a venue to enjoy this type of music. One of the many reasons why coming to live in California is a wise decision. Are you sold yet? ; )

Overall, great success! I had a splendid night out. I have many news to share with you, some of which will be shocking for long-time readers and friends. I hope to be able to get them out to you soon; sometimes I don't get to post around here as much as I would like to. There is so, so much to share with you...

Wishing you a lovely weekend!