2014 IN REVIEW


January
+ Saw Alvin and squared out the past.
+ Worked at the Steampunk Symposium aboard the Queen Mary, saw Abney Park play!
+ Met Robert and Jody from Abney Park
+ Bonded with Roger
- My friend Hugo passed away
+ Went to Uniform Night at Batcave, 1 year since I met Hugo and Roger


February
- Hugo’s funeral
+ Got to know Roger
+Taking care of Animal
+Hung out with Niki
+ Saw Kyary Pamyu Pamyu live


March
+ Kim visited
+ Taking care of Animal
+ Clubbing fun
+ Villain’s Ball at Batcave… lots of fun!


April
+ Taking care of Animal
+ Saw Crosses live
+ Mom met Roger
+ Renaissance Festival
+ Saw Combichrist and Suicide Commando
+ Went to a VIP Combichrist meet and greet
+ Roger asked me to be his girlfriend


May
- Missed out on Mastodon and Gojira
+ Roger’s birthday adventure
+ Tripnotic
- Fallout with Niki
+ Saw Dawn of Ashes live at their last show


June
+ Saw Ginger V live
+ Saw De/Vision and Carved Souls live
+ Saw Julien-K live


July
+ Séance with Crystal
+ Adam’s birthday celebrations
+ Met Duckie/Carlo
+ Las Vegas trip for Roger’s Mom’s wedding


August
+ Trip to Puerto Rico
+ Hung out with Mom and J. Much needed!
+ Grandpa’s 86th birthday
+ Release the Bats Puerto Rico
+ Bubble tea romance


September
+ Trip to the Dominican Republic
+ Returning to Los Angeles
+ Went to Aless’ house warming party
- Séance gone wrong


October
- Swollen eyelid
+ Dawn of Ashes’ first show as Urilia
+ Mom’s coming to Los Angeles!
+ My 26th birthday at some really beautiful places
+ Touring my favorite city and partying like crazy
+ IAMX concert. Scream!!!


November
+ Began process for playing card oracle certification
+ Met Max
- The last Batcave Hollywood event
+ The Birthday Massacre concert


December
+ Mode:M with Adam to celebrate my last club night before Puerto Rico
+ Puerto Rico trip
+ Reconciliation with my aunt
+ Hanging out with Mom and J. Very necessary!
+ Pledged for the IAMX pre-listening party
- Someone maliciously ripped my work off and didn't accept responsibility

(1) DESCRIBE 2012 IN THREE WORDS:
(A) DEATH.
(B) FALLOUTS.
(C) LESSONS.


(2) WHICH CONCERTS DID YOU VISIT IN 2014?
Abney Park, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Combichrist x 2, Suicide Commando, Crosses, Dawn of Ashes, Ginger V, Carved Souls, De/Vision, Julien-K, Urilia x 3, The Birthday Massacre, and New Years Day.

Wow, those are really very many concerts. Considerably more than the past five years!

(3) WHAT WERE YOUR THREE FAVORITE MOMENTS IN 2014?

(A) Working on board the Queen Mary and seeing Abney Park live. Meeting Abney Park, hanging out with them and getting things signed by them.
(B) The trip to the Dominican Republic with my Mom. We had so much fun!
(C) IAMX night. MAGIC! WOW!


(4) WHICH ONE WAS YOUR FAVORITE MONTH?
That’s always a tough decision for me to take given there has been so, so much growth in store for me this year. It was a very hard year, particularly because of all the losses. Saying goodbye to people isn’t easy for me, and I have to face a lot of sudden departures.

I really loved August. Went someplace I've never been to before, in the company of my Mom, who happens to be one of my favorite people on the planet. She rocks! We had a lot of fun getting drunk at the bar and feasting off the most delectable delights.

(5) WHO WERE THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE OF 2014?
 ROGER: My new boyfriend. I never would have believed you if you had told me we would end up dating. When I first met him in person, I wasn’t exactly nice to him, but he persisted with a good face. He never turned on me or resented the fact I did all that was possible to push him away from me. We’ve been through a lot together, which has inevitably brought us closer and demolished the defensive barriers we both placed to keep one another out. I feel like the story of how we met is a bit of a comedy and I have a hard time taking it seriously, but I can’t deny the fact his presence in my life is special. We explore the psyche together, and while I am still learning to read and understand him, I feel like he takes his time to do it as well. ♡♡



J: Of course. How not? This sweet angel of a man has always been there, in the laughter and through all of the tantrums. He reads me so well. We don't even need to talk for him to know what I am thinking. He is worth his weight in gold, and I only wish that we could be sharing the adventures face to face as we used to. We understand one another and we support one another unconditionally. You don't find people like this all the time. He is everything to me, and I could never see my life without him. My Mom loves him, my Grandfather raves about how wonderful he is, and about how badly he wants J to remain in my life. He has a spark to him that attracts people to his life, makes them love him madly, and keeps them around for the laughs. J is real, he is all that is good, and he is the closest person to me to this day. I could not see my life without him and my Mom in it. What an honor to have you! Please don't ever leave.

♡ ADAM: Oh my! I did not expect this relationship to come into my life, but it did and I am so thankful! Adam is very caring and he is the life of the party. He loves to live his life, and he loves making memories with people. I think he brings people together, and I think he’s also very positive. I like that he’s a good listener and he’s always willing to accommodate others. Its been almost a year since he came, and since then I have learned that there are good-natured people out there. He is a terrific listener, and he is very real. I love his authenticity. I love Adam!

CRYSTAL: Sweet, sweet Crystal! The Queen Bee of the club, mommy-to-be and seriously gorgeous girl. She turns heads and she drives the boys crazy. I feel like I am part of her family. She just took me in one day, and after that we never separated. I've learned to open up to people because of her. In turn, she has taught me some of the tough experiences you can encounter in Los Angeles. She's my guiding light!


(6) HAVE YOU MADE PLANS FOR TRAVELING IN 2015?
This year I’m making it back to Japan without doubt. I can’t stand another year not being in my most favorite place on Earth!

I will also be back in Puerto Rico at some point this year.



(7) BEST BOOK YOU READ IN 2014?
The Playing Card Oracles. I started dissecting it in January and went all the way up to November before I finished it. Its been a very enlightening read, crammed with information. I would put it down every now and then and months would go by, but then I would pick it up and get immersed back into it.
It inspired me to pursue a professional certification to read playing cards as an oracle. I am taking the courses with Ana Cortez, author of the Playing Card Oracles. So excited!

(8) 5 MUSICIANS YOU LISTENED TO WAY TOO MUCH IN 2014:

DEPECHE MODE
ABNEY PARK
IAMX
BLUTENGEL
AND ONE


(9) WHAT DO YOU LOOK FORWARD TO IN 2015?
I need to make my way back to Tokyo. My soul is begging me to find my way back to the most magical city on Earth.

I am also looking forward to getting my own place and to getting my car situation sorted out. If you didn’t already know, there is no chance I will ever be moving back to Puerto Rico. By choice.

Lastly, I am looking forward to selling stragglers from my tarot card collection. Also, to enjoy the jewels that I have. Some of these decks are hard to find, and only being kept because I resonate so much with them.

I would like to update my lists and offer more variety on my blog. We might be giving Hello Witches a rest for a while and focusing on other divinatory practices that branch out from the tarot cards. Tea leaves, oracle cards, playing cards, and so on. Are you in?


IN RETROSPECT,
I am currently very happy with the life that I live in Los Angeles, and to go anywhere else would be to deny my spirit what is good for it. I have learned so much about myself and the life I want to live within just one year of living here. I realized that I am still growing and progressing as a person. Even though I cannot see the progress as evident as when I was in college, I can still see something changing in myself.

First and foremost, I have never ever before been this positive. My body image self-esteem are all very healthy—the best they’ve ever been—as a result, I’m much more happy and willing to share the love with others as well. Because I am happy, I notice that the people I tend to gravitate towards are happy as well. In an unspoken call for entries, being the best possible expression of myself has attracted others with very similar mindsets. The result is a group of people that love each other and celebrate life together.

I have learned to live with a lot of things that I never thought I would accept, even people that I previously could not stomach. I feel like the more experience I gain, the more tolerant and accepting I am of others. It doesn’t mean that I do not prefer to spend time with people that have similar interests, though. Tarot readers and gothic people are still my favorite crowd.



LESSONS LEARNED:
Love in abundance.
Always have a goal. Or several.
Invest effort in looking nice.
Don’t let anyone step on you.
Tell your friends you love them.
Let go of friends that show you they don’t love you.
Work hard.
Feed your creativity.
Stand up for yourself. Always.
Pamper yourself.
Share your opinions.
Spread love, and don’t watch who it goes to.

Thanks for all the lessons, 2014! It’s time to put you to rest because there is a whole new year coming up!
♡♡

ON FLATTERY AND COPYCATS


There are few things in life I dislike more than a charlatan. Liars rub me the wrong way. There is no reason to act like something you are not, and passing off someone's intellectual property as your own does not make you look good no matter what you say.


I stumbled upon this last night by chance, four weeks after it was published. It is a copy of my Sun and Moon illustration.

BEHOLD THE IMPOSTOR:



Save for the apparent splicing of two illustrations into one, these are pretty much exactly the same concepts. She blatantly offered to show somebody the proof that she made it on her laptop. Then she told somebody I know that she likes to take advantage of the inspiration when it comes. Yeah, I wonder where that inspiration came from?

Let's have a look at where it came from.

THE ORIGINAL:



PROOF OF AUTHENTICITY:





If you are going to rip someone off and publish it for all your friends to see, at least invest effort in doing a better job than the original.

Now all I have left to do is to write to the platform and ask them to take it down.

I don't like being cyber bullied and told I am nothing and nobody, only to be copied so shamelessly. Shame on you, Kisaki Jun aka Frances Padilla aka Isyth Hawke. You should have known better.
♡♡

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.
♡♡

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!
♡♡
♡♡