XX: Mouth to Mouth

Here is some poetry/potential song lyrics I wrote earlier this year.


Mouth to Mouth

You were the one who poisoned me

I slept a hundred years

This bane has been with me since birth

A childhood wrapped in tears

The king was cruel, the queen was weak

Their god was poisoned too

I took a path down easy street

To prove what I could do

Will my life stay blue

Or can I change it back to pink?

Give me mouth to mouth

(Mouth to mouth)

What’s a girl to do

With her life on the brink

Cuz her ship might sink?

Give me mouth to mouth

Sleeping Beauty will wake up

Some day

Give me mouth to mouth

The rent on easy street’s not cheap

It sure don’t work for you

My wallet’s filled with them cheap thrills

I came, I saw you lose

So many tried to wake me up

But no one broke the spell

The nightmares slowly filled my cup

And sleep felt more like Hell

Will my life stay blue

Or can I change it back to pink?

Give me mouth to mouth

(Mouth to mouth)

What’s a girl to do

With her life on the brink

Cuz her ship might sink?

Give me mouth to mouth

Sleeping Beauty will wake up

Some day

Give me mouth to mouth

By the unbreaking power of three times three

By pink, by blue

By green

A leader, a fighter

And a healer

Brainwash spell don’t work on me

Done with once upon a dream

I dried my tears up and wiped them

Away

Now we’re breaking out

Will my life stay blue

Or can I change it back to pink?

Give me mouth to mouth

(Mouth to mouth)

What’s a girl to do with her life on the brink

Cuz her ship might sink?

Give me mouth to mouth

Sleeping Beauty will wake up

Some day

Give me mouth to mouth

Give me mouth to mouth

Give me mouth to mouth


Photos by @lloydsphotos17


XIX: Birth of Venus

 


I’ve been going through a personal metamorphosis this year. I’ve alluded to details of my personal history, but I would like to share some parts of my story more openly so that you might have a clearer understanding of where I’m coming from and why I hold certain beliefs. Although my tale has a sense of despair and helplessness in some places, this is not a pity-party or self-victimization. My goal is to inspire and empower other women through my own experience.


I grew up in a conservative, very Christian, very patriarchal family environment. My siblings and I were all homeschooled K-12. Modesty and purity were strictly enforced. My sisters and I were not allowed to wear: skirts above the knee, strapless tops, spaghetti straps, midriff-showing jeans, two-piece swimsuits, tight jeans, short shorts, or body glitter. We were not allowed to wear clear nail polish until we were thirteen, we had to wait to cut or style our hair (aside from basic yearly trims) until we were eighteen, and we had to wait to make “permanent body modifications” like getting our ears pierced until we were eighteen.


Concerning physical contact with the opposite gender, we were not allowed to hold hands, kiss, or snuggle until we were engaged. And sex? That was something saved exclusively for marriage. Our virginity was the most valuable gift we could ever give to our future husbands on our wedding night. I once asked my mom what she would do if she was held at gunpoint and forced to choose between taking hard drugs or having premarital sex. She chose hard drugs, because at least that would not permanently “devalue” her worth as a woman.


Despite this incredulous brainwashing regarding my sexuality, I knew from a very young age that I was a Goddess. My mom showed me an art book when I was two years old and I immediately fell in love with the “Rokeby Venus” by Diego Velazquez. I was hooked on what I called “naked lady paintings.” I poured over art books and scoured museums for depictions of the female body. My interest was not in the least bit sexual. I didn’t even know what sex was. Grown women were stunning to me and it filled my little heart with such joy and appreciation to see them resplendent in bits of flowing fabric, ropes of pearls, and glinting candlelit jewels. I took to spending the majority of the day draped in baby blankets and plastic bead jewelry, posing before the mirror pretending to be Venus. My parents quickly put a stop to my Goddess obsession once they realized the intensity of its existence. Sheets were hung over our living room mirrors and POST-ITS were stuck over the “naked lady paintings” in our art books. What was a very pure interest in the celebration and self-embodiment of female beauty was twisted into accusations of an inappropriate sexual fascination and/or an overwhelming sin of vanity.


On top of this, my dad was/is an atrocious parent. Emotionally detached, hyper-critical, and authoritarian, he never validated us girls regarding our beauty or physical appearance. My dad never validated us about anything we did. There’d be times when we’d slave away for months (or years) pursuing a specific academic skill. Finally, our father would give us a grudging mutter of approval, but it always came with a grain of “well it’s about time you perfected this” salt. Nothing was ever good enough for him, because he could never be good enough for himself. Which, as his kid, is NOT my problem or my responsibility. If you feel like such shit about yourself and decided to take those self-loathing feelings out on everyone else around you, then you should definitely never create your own children.


Interestingly enough, I recently found out that my farther had been warned on different occasions by multiple family members that his coldhearted, critical, and disparaging attitude could wreak havoc on the self-esteem of his children. Specifically, my father was cautioned that I had the disposition to seek out replicas of my father in the men I dated, trying to make up for years of neglect and disapproval by seeking affirmation and approval from bitter men. Did dear daddy listen? Nope.


I grew up quickly and I grew up wild, sand to a pearl, woman from a child. My interest in female beauty evolved into a passion for fashion, specifically vintage clothing. I had heard about this crazy older dude in the next town over who owned a giant vintage warehouse. I was eighteen and he was forty-five. He was a former heroin addict and had a reputation for beating his girlfriends…but the dynamic with my father had creative a severe “Beauty and the Beast” syndrome within my silly teenage heart. (Ironically, my father also beat me on a regular basis. I recall a specific time when my eight-year-old self was beat bloody on Christmas Eve for interrupting conversation at the dinner table. But that’s a separate story.) I was allured by this older and mysterious man, determined to change him for the better and convert him over to love. I was also a virgin and convinced that losing my virginity to this dude would seal us together forever in a state of dark romance and truest love. As you can imagine, that didn’t exactly go as planned.


This guy was extremely controlling, kept me isolated in his building for days at a time, and started physically assaulting me five months after I moved in with him. I wanted to get out of this relationship, but I hadn’t told my parents we were together because I was unsure and afraid of their reaction. (My immediate family thought I was living with a female friend.) I had confided in a trusted aunt and uncle that I was dating and living with this guy. My aunt and uncle weren’t thrilled about this relationship decision, but they tried to be understanding and supportive. I eventually told them that he had been getting physically abusive with me. I wasn’t sure what to do and I felt stuck and helpless. When I told my relatives that this guy was hitting me, they got really worried and told my parents, hoping they would help.


My parents’ reaction to finding out their nineteen-year-old daughter was stuck in a relationship with an older man who beat her? They promptly cut me off from my college tuition. My parents claimed (and still hold to this claim) that they had every right to stop providing for me because I had been hiding my relationship (and non-virgin status) from them. Their support consisted of paying for my college. That was it. I wasn’t using the money for anything other than school. I was getting A’s and B’s in class. I was working two jobs. And my adolescent teenage self was dealing with the mental and emotional effects of being verbally and physically abused on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis.


I’ve had to do a lot of hard and honest thinking about this situation. I was punished for being in an abusive relationship. Was it because I had deceived my parents about this relationship or was it because I had lost my “purity?” If a woman’s virginity was the most highly-prized thing about her, then what was the value in a cherry-popped daughter? It didn’t make sense to my parents to support my education any longer because I was essentially now a permanently worthless and deflowered individual. A squashed rose, a chipped teacup, a stale cupcake. Maybe someone would eventually come along and marry me, but it would be mostly out of pity and I’d have to be super grateful that someone wanted to be with my second-best non-virgin self. My parents’ rules were more important to them than love. They approached my situation with logos based on a twisted ethos. Pathos had walked the plank, along with my hymen.


My parents have damaged my self-esteem on a level far deeper and twisted level than my ex-boyfriend ever did. I’ve tried to talk to them about this situation, but their (only) reaction is to heap me with profuse guilt and shame. This situation occurred in 2012, and the past five years have been a confusing stumble through life for me. There’ve been areas where I’ve succeeded and received praise, but this makes me depressed because *I* know that I haven’t been operating at my highest potential. As a teenager, I was a highly creative and highly motivated individual. I was very passionate about projects I was doing and had a healthy combination of artistic intuition and practical application. The combined abuse from my first relationship with my parents’ subsequent shaming of that relationship made me feel like a very worthless individual. A worthless individual can’t create much when it comes to a creative career or a happy and fulfilling life. I felt guilty for existing, I felt ashamed for surviving my relationship, I felt like a half-human thing playacting at life. Because, you know, I had engaged in sex and wasn’t a virgin any more. And that was bad and horrible and I should be punished and live out a penitently half-assed existence.


But you know what? My feelings of worthlessness have been very anti-Goddess. And very untrue to my actual self. The more I read about truly empowered women, the more I realize how a woman’s sexuality belongs to her and no one else. Virginity is not The Best Wedding Present. Why would any sane and confident woman want to limit her sexuality to the confines of marriage? That’s like a Goddess refusing to be a Goddess until she gets picked up and plopped into the prison-temple of marriage. I can’t believe how many women have been brainwashed into believing that their truest Goddess nature should be reserved for marriage.


Sure, get married if you want. Buy a blueberry muffin at your local coffee shop if you want. If you want to get a banana muffin instead, that’s fine too. If you don’t want to get married, that’s fine too. Who cares? Marriage is a choice, not a stamp of approval on your worth as a human. That’s not reality. If you think that’s reality, you’re probably still indoctrinated on varying levels of self-retarding religious brainwashing.


I am a Goddess. I love beauty and I love love. Worship me. Honor me. Love me. Worship, honor, and love the Goddess in YOU. Every woman is different and will manifest her own special version of the Goddess in her own way. You are your own Goddess. Be and do your own Goddess self, already.


The Goddess seeps into all areas of life and being. She is present when I decorate my home. She is present when I dance. She is present when I adorn myself. She is present when I go for a long walk. She is present when I write. She is present when I create collage art by piecing together bits of found beauty. She is present when I stare into the flames of a slow-burning frankincense candle. She is present when I stare in the flames of a slow-burning lover’s eyes. She is present. Always.


I am because the Goddess. The Goddess is because I am.

I AM.


xoxo,

~Hope Diamond


Photos by Jo Cass.


XVIII: Goblin Queens Don’t Pay Dues


Happy Wednesday! I’ve spent most of today composing music and writing. Based on my own observations, it would appear that my creative cycle generally flows in a series of triple phases.


PHASE ONE: INTAKE

This is the phase where inspiration is absorbed. Such information could be personal emotional processing, mental growth, exposure to new philosophies, participation in exciting events, indulging in beautiful experiences or in sacred ritual. I wrote this list quite organically, but now that I think about it there does seem to be a pattern of events within the Intake Phase. Emotional/metal breakdown, emotional/mental growth, enhancing this growth through outside resources, clearing my mind through social activity, and sealing the deal with magick.


PHASE TWO: GERMINATION

Depending on the level of emotional/mental breakdown, I sometimes find myself running through the aforementioned pattern more than once in order to get everything through my system. Some of my revelations will start to take seed and grow, while others need a little more time to fully flesh out their germination process. This can be a frustrating phase. Certain percentages of my mind and heart are thrilled to be devoted to experiencing this amazing new growth, while other percentages of my mind and heart frustratingly work on untangling the stubbornly-knotted finishing touches. This is the part where I’m lecturing myself: “Yep, this is annoying. You definitely need to be writing about this, but unfortunately you’re under end-of-process stress and can’t actually produce anything. So please just make sure to safely drop any arising ideas into the creative memory bank. Thanks!”


PHASE THREE: OUTTAKE

The emotional/mental breakdown has been fully processed and alchemized into a personally earth-shattering EPIPHANY. Yay for epiphanies! I live for epiphanies. They are the best thing ever. There’s nothing more wonderful than taking a newly born sparkling baby epiphany and writing about it. I used to limit my epiphany-sharing to my personal journal and Facebook posts but I’ve found it more challenging and creatively rewarding to turn personal epiphanies into universally-applicable epiphanies that can be played, sang, and performed in theatrically badass immersion.

Right now, it would appear that I am in between phases two and three of the current cycle. This would explain the “sitting inside my house all day” syndrome. Which isn’t typical behavior of my extroverted hyper-bubbly self, but people change. And I haven’t always been aware of my Epiphany Manifestation Purpose so it’s very interesting to figure out ways to accommodate this more introspective and ruminating side of Hope Diamond. (This is pretty much just a complicated way of saying that I’m an extroverted introvert.)



On a somewhat unrelated note, I’d like to take a moment to discuss the concept of “paying your dues.” I don’t believe in paying dues. I refuse to pay these mythological dues. Paying dues is something that does not exist to me. Now before you start stereotyping me as some entitled pretty girl who expects to get what she wants solely because of her looks, let me explain to you what I DO believe in. I believe in working hard. But wait, isn’t working hard the exact same thing as paying your dues? No, it’s not. Here’s why.


You wanna get a good job out of college? Pay your dues! You wanna be a successful artist? Pay your dues! You wanna be a successful AND financially prosperous artist? You’d better pay those fucking dues! You wanna be a rockstar? DUES MUST BE PAID VERY HEAVILY FOR THIS. I’ve experienced receiving this type of advice and been witness to others receiving similar advice. The younger, excited, hopeful person expresses their wishes, dreams, and desires. The older, jaded, bitter, holier-than-thou, and largely unsuccessful person responds with telling the hopeful person that they need to pay their dues before they can reap the benefits of glory. What an awful attitude!


Paying dues is presented in such a light where the person with the dream intrinsically has what it takes to get what they want, but for some unexplained reason they are forced to run this torture gauntlet of trials and tribulations to prove their worth until they can be finally accepted and receive the fruits of their blood, sweat, and tears.  It’s no wonder than paying dues sets the stage for someone to halfheartedly go through the actions of taking the steps needed to complete their dreams. If you’re resentfully sloughing through these imagined depths of despair, it’s very unlikely that you will retain your inner sparkle and hope needed to actually manifest your desires once you get to the other side.  The more you suffer, the more success you can potentially achieve. (Or so these promoters of due-paying say.)


Paying dues is a sneaky negative concept related to an underlying sense of low self esteem and unworthiness of reaching your desired goal(s.) Paying dues robs people of personal power and personal responsibility. It’s as if paying your dues is a magick bean for success—digesting this bean is horrible, but once it’s out of your system you’ll get exactly what you want. Telling someone to pay their dues actually creates a sense of entitlement, resentment towards hard work, and unreasonable expectations regarding success. This isn’t a mindset or a process I wish to choose for myself. I don’t enjoy being miserable and I don’t enjoy paying dues. I would like to catch all the little dues in a bottle and promptly flush them all down the nearest toilet to a watery grave. No more dues shall exist! No more dues shall be paid!

Hmmm. So how do I reach my goals now if all the dues have perished? Well, what do I enjoy doing?


I enjoy working hard. Working hard is empowering. It gives the individual in question a sense of strength and the ability to actually manifest their wishes. OK, so you want to reach this goal? Cool! Working hard is being excited about completing all the little baby steps and making these little baby steps a fun process and learning experience. You receive immediate gratification from completing small steps, so you’ll naturally keep wanting to complete small steps because you become hooked to the endorphin rush of completion. You gain pleasure from completing goals, small and large. The completion process in and of itself is the foundation for this enjoyment.


On top of this enjoyment, you can layer the individual enjoyment of completing different types of goals. Some goals are completed through collaborations with others. Some goals are completed through a series of smaller completed goals. Some goals are completed through one large project dedication. No matter what type of goal you set out to achieve, you will be all the more positive and hopeful because these unique goals rest upon your unconditional love of completing them.


The concept of working hard promotes innovation, high self esteem, creativity, resilience, and a steadfast belief in one’s goals and purpose. Working hard gives you a sense of responsibility and self-created joy. A good work ethic is a lifetime quality which can be applied to endless goals, purposes, wishes, dreams, manifestations, and quests. You took pleasure in the process of reaching one goal, so you’ll naturally take pleasure in the process of reaching a second unrelated goal.  You took pleasure in the process of reaching a mini goal, so you’ll take pleasure in the process of reaching a big goal.


A good work ethic can also play out into other areas of life outside of the personal goal-achieving department. You’ll naturally put more effort into building quality friendships, quality romantic relationships, and practical security. Working hard can make you a wealthier person on so many wonderful and unique levels. You can live an enriched and satisfied life in a garden of your own cultivation and creation. Or perhaps it’s a blend of your beautiful garden with the gardens of other hard working individuals.


The next time someone tells me (or suggests to me) that I need to “pay my dues” before I can have what I want, I will have this answer prepared for them: “No thanks. I don’t believe in paying dues. I believe in working hard. Have you ever tried doing that?”


xoxo,

Hope Diamond—Star of Venus & Queen of the Faerie Realm


XVII: A Crash Diet in Tarot

A friend expressed to me her interest in exploring the Tarot, asking if I could give her any advice for a beginner. I figured she’s not the only person out there who’s curious about the Tarot, so I present to you my nutshell-version explanation of the Tarot. Please understand that this is my own personal understanding and interpretation of the Tarot. Always make sure to explore multiple sources of education and opinion concerning such matters!

WHAT IS TAROT?

The Tarot is a specific type of card deck (similar but not exactly like the traditional card deck depicted in Alice in Wonderland), originally created some time during the 15th century.

Personally, I believe that the gap between entertainment and divination use of the Tarot is nonexistent. The intensely symbolic meaning within the actual structure of the cards is such that it seems very unreasonable to assume that this tool was not fundamentally created without the intention for personally-applicable spiritual guidance.

Hands down, my favorite Tarot deck is the Rider-Waite. I believe that this deck most clearly depicts the messages found within the Tarot. (Any visual verbiage in this article will be in reference to the Rider-Waite deck.)

THE INTENSELY SYMBOLIC MEANING OF THE MINOR ARCANA

(Cue: drumroll, followed by gong)

Standard playing cards have four suits: Hearts, Spades, Clubs, and Diamonds. The Tarot also has four suits (or four Houses): Pentacles, Cups, Wands, and Swords. These Houses are called the Minor Arcana. Each house has a King, Queen, Knight, Page, Ace, and numeric 1-10 cards.

The House of Pentacles corresponds to the element of Earth. Pentacles represent our worldly and physical matters: our jobs, our careers, our money, our material possessions, and our grounding. This is the house of having your shit together. Practicality can’t directly buy you emotional satisfaction, but it can put a roof over your head, feed your family, and provide you with material possession that you have every right to appreciate and enjoy.

The House of Cups connects to the element of Water. Cups symbolize our feelings and our emotions: our feelings of fear, our feelings of numbness (yes, feeling numb is a feeling), our feelings of love, and our feelings of joy. Cups show how our feelings affect our relationships and interactions with other people. May your cup runneth over with the emotion of pure love and subsequently result in respectful and loving relationships with other people.

The House of Wands hails to the element of Fire. Wands correlate with our personal wishes, hopes, and dreams. This is the house of creative pursuit and expression via the arts, writing, entrepreneurship, science, and innovation. If you can dream it, you can make that dream happen—so dream big. All you need is one little match or one tiny piece of flint and steel to set the sparks on the bonfire waiting to happen.

The House of Swords represents the element of Air. Swords stand for rational thought, logic, and conflict. Where there is a will, there is a way. Sometimes, wills clash externally between opposing forces or internally between contrasting decisions. But conflict isn’t always bad or stressful. It’s important to be able to focus and think when presented with emotionally-charged dilemmas or problematic areas of life. In the words of Rene Descartes, “I think, therefore I am.”

APPLICATION OF THE MINOR ARCANA

These Houses of Minor Arcana demonstrate the ways in which life presents us with an ever-evolving set of unique circumstances. In a Tarot reading, the cards of the Minor Arcana are meant to offer insight as to the practical, emotional, creative, and rational makeup regarding our current state of being.

THE INTENSLEY SYMBOLIC MEANING OF THE MAJOR ARCANA

(Cue: drumroll, followed by gong and chimes)

The Major Arcana is something you don’t find in a standard set of playing cards. Numbered zero through twenty-one, these twenty-two cards are as follows:

0: The Fool, I: The Magician, II: The High Priestess, III: The Empress, IV: The Emperor, V: The Hierophant, VI: The Lovers, VII: The Chariot, VIII: Strength, IX: The Hermit, X: Wheel of Fortune, XI: Justice, XII: The Hanged Man, XIII: Death, XIV: Temperance, XV: The Devil, XVI: The Tower, XVII: The Star, XVIII: The Moon, XIX: The Sun, XX: Judgment, XXI: The World.

APPLICATION OF THE MAJOR ARCANA

While the Minor Arcana represent different aspects or situations in life, the Major Arcana signify specific individuals that step in and out of our experience. The Major Arcana can help to identify other people or showcase our own incarnation of self (or the way in which we view ourselves in our own mind’s eye.) The Major Arcana is a legacy of archetypes, like a set of mystical and historic cartoon characters.

I find it helpful to choose to identify with one or two of these Major Arcana as a way to gain added practical value and spiritual insight in my own Tarot readings. The High Priestess and The Star have always spoken to me the strongest. Intuitively, I felt connected to these two cards since my first understanding of the Tarot. As I’ve grown over the years, it becomes more apparent to me how the specific meanings behind these cards have always related to my own past experiences, present journey, and future goals. Perhaps for you, it can be equally comforting to forge this type of bond with something so symbolic and universal.

READING THE TAROT

Now that you hopefully know and understand a little bit more about the Tarot, it’s time to talk Tarot reading as a practice. There are many ways to give (or receive) a Tarot reading. Personally, I find that using your intuition is best when orchestrating the layout of the cards. Your intuition should also be a building block of the message you see within the cards, grounded on the intrinsic meaning of the Minor and Major Arcana as previously elaborated.

A simple, yet insightful layout is a three-card reading. Shuffle the deck, then divide the deck into three stacks (of balanced or disbalanced proportion.) Pick the top card from each stack, setting aside the rest of the cards. The first card represents your past, the second card represents your present, and the third card represents your future if you continue on your present path with no change. If you’re totally stumped and need extra advice, feel free to pull a fourth card from the set-aside stack.

Don’t stress out if you feel that you don’t “get” Tarot right away. Tarot is a spiritual tool that’s meant to help you, not a be-all-end-all fortune telling device. Ultimately, it’s not a good idea to put your entire future and personal responsibility in the hands of a card deck.

If you’re using a can opener to open a can of tomato sauce, the end goal is to enjoy the sauce inside the can. If you’re having trouble opening the can, you may want to make sure the opener is working properly. (Or you may want to take a look at the can itself to make sure that it’s not covered in grease or that you’re not placing leverage on an area of dented can.) If you become overly distracted by the can opener, you won’t be able to appreciate what’s inside the can itself.

XVI: Fretboard of Life

Fretboard of Life

by Hope Diamond

Since spring of 2016, I’ve been conjuring up big dreams for an illustrious musical future in fantasy infused heavy metal rockstardom. Prior to last November, my musical skills consisted of singing and writing lyric-focused songs, reinforced with a faded familiarity of the piano from years of highly loathed childhood lessons.
Subconsciously, I knew I was very limited in my technical understanding of music as a whole. I didn’t like that I only knew how to sing. Sticking to the instrument of voice works for some people, but I like to know my shit from the ground up in an all-encompassing capacity. Knowing my shit in the world of music means hammering some theory basics into my brain and revisiting the idea of playing an instrument in addition to my own vocal chords. I knew I didn’t want to be parked behind a keyboard all the time. Instinctively, I felt drawn to the aggression and wild sexiness of the guitar.
I began to take guitar lessons last November. Some interesting differences arose between my former knowledge of piano-based music theory and the fresh perspective provided with guitar. Keyboards moved on one plane. You could play a keyboard back and forth from left to right, but the direction was always horizontal. Even the slightly raised black keys were just little hiccups in a continual horizonal direction. There was one way forward and one way backward and that was that.
Guitars moved along the fretboards up and down the neck of the instrument. BUT (and here’s the first giant revelation that blew my mind), you could also play the guitar in a totally perpendicular direction in relation to the six strings! This was (and is) an incredibly exotic concept to my piano-indoctrinated brain. Different notes could be made depending on which string you pressed and in what place that string fell upon the fretboard. BUT (and here’s the second giant revelation that blew my mind), although the strings sounded individual, the pattern of notes remained consistent for each string. The only difference was that the strings started on different notes because each string was intrinsically tuned to a different note from the get go. So much balance is within this imperfect perfection, a simultaneous contradiction and affirmation of its own existence. Consistency within chaos.
I began to see similarities between the components of the guitar and the human experience. There are different strings. There are different people. Sometimes, you retune a string to become another note. Sometimes, you retune a mind or a heart to become another person. And sometimes, a person retunes themselves.
When guitar strings are properly tuned, each string will sound unique even when it’s played on the same fret. The song of life presents humanity with a similar set of choices and potential experiences (frets.) But who we are as people (strings) determines what choices (frets) we will make to create the life (song) we want. Not every person wants to play the same song. But every person must play a song. Even if your song is simply the continuous sound of the string that you are, that string keeps strumming until the day you die.
Make sure your string is in tune with who you know you are. Some strings have been made ridiculously out of tune since birth. Other strings are ridiculously twisted out of tune later on in life. It is your duty to yourself as a string to get in touch with your intuition. Your intuition will whisper in the tiniest and most quiet voice of perfect truth what note you are as a string. Listen to that little voice. Tune accordingly. Once you are properly tuned, you will make choices that compliment and complete the song of your own life.
On that note (no pun intended), I shall leave my keyboard (cue: unintended second pun), get up from my computer and play guitar.

xoxo,

Hope Diamond

Photos by Tifani Truelove.

XV: The Tower, Part 1


(Please note that the numeric titles of these posts are not associated with the numbers of the Tarot discussed in the post. All post titles are sequential; this is the 15th post on this blog.)

THE TOWER is the 16th card of the Major Arcana. When this card comes up in a reading, you don’t have to explain any hidden mysteries of what it means. Almost every person for whom I’ve pulled THE TOWER immediately displays a visible sign of anxiety or annoyance when this card gets turned over. This goes both ways, as THE TOWER also arises in a large percentage of the Tarot readings I’ve performed on myself. “What a nice Tarot reading I’m having…ohh great, THE TOWER. Now what?”

A somber stone tower, build upon a mound of rough rock stands etched against a cloudy blackened sky. A zig zag bolt of yellow lightning strikes the top of the tower, tossing off the golden crown that seems to have been resting atop the tower’s pinnacle. Flames erupt from the striking point of the lightning bolt, spreading throughout the body of the tower and spilling out the windows. Falling down from this catastrophe are a man and a woman. Both figures are cloaked in flowing garments, and the woman wears a crown. Their faces show expressions of almost comically caricaturized fear and surprise.

Traditionally, THE TOWER represents dramatic change. Just as the lightning disrupts the monarchy of the crown and burns up the inside of the tower, swift alterations will also come into your own life. Forget peaceful transitions! THE TOWER is like a slap in the face. Most often, you find yourself assuming that this predicted change will be a negative once. But guess what? Change can be most excellent. If you’re focusing on making your own life a better experience, than have no fear if this card shows up in your Tarot spread.

Maybe you’ll suddenly realize that a friend you thought you could trust has actually been spreading nasty rumors about you. Or perhaps you’ll get fired from that boring yet steady job that paid the bills but drained your artistic spirit. Situations like these can be stressful, but try to force yourself to be grateful for these experiences (I know, it’s easier said than done.) Your lightness and good is unable to flourish if you’re surrounded by negative people or negative things. If a close friend is actually a backstabbing gossip, then what true encouragement or support could they offer you? Take such a falling out as an opportunity to become more aware of hidden motives, but also as a moment in which you can lay fresh earth for new seeds of friendship to grow. If you lost your day job, think of your newfound free time as a well to zero in on personal goals, learning new skills, or cultivating your creative skills and hobbies.

THE TOWER does not symbolize change that is wholly positive. These aren’t the kind of changes where a wonderful lover walks into your life out of the blue or a vocational door randomly opens. THE TOWER is filled with fire. Fire cleanses. If you don’t want this fire to demolish what you want to remain in your life, then you must bring forth something for the fire to consume. You must give something up. In order to gain, you must make a sacrifice. And sometimes the sacrifices you must make aren’t in the power of your own will. If change a la THE TOWER seems to be happening to you right now, try to focus on the empty spaces that have been created due to this alteration. Fill these empty spaces with good things, better things. It may take time, but your future self will thank you for it. Weeks from now, months from now, or even years from now, you’ll look back on this time in your life and be able to give thanks for what THE TOWER means.

xoxo,

Hope Diamond

Photos by Tifani Truelove