INTROSPECTION




Experience has proven to be the best teacher. That which you refuse to learn time and time again will count as resistance, which generates pain. All resistance does is keep you in the loop, a cycle which becomes increasingly difficult to break out of.

One of the wisest lessons life has taught me in the last ten years of my life has been that you can't control what other people do or think. Often times you also have no influence over their actions. As frustrating as it can be, you can explain yourself multiple times over from different angels in attempt to connect and get on the same wavelength. Those who simply don't wish to see your point of view won't even budge, and that's just the way life is. Insisting makes the situation tense or awkward, and people close their windows of attention. After they've been saturated, they are no longer listening. The person explaining is expending time and energy unwisely. It is wasted.

Throughout my 20s I always felt I knew best. I psychoanalyzed all the people in my life and felt the responsibility to point them in the direction of what I understood was the best version of what they could be. Later on I found out what they wanted in reality was different from my well-intended carved out path. Then I finally came to the realization it isn't my responsibility to help or save people in my personal life. This just happens to be what I dedicated myself to for a living, but it doesn't need to translate over into my off time from work. That has helped me stop wasting my energy and time. I also came to accept I wasn't always right.

Last Wednesday when I met up with my mentor La Gitana Patricia, she grinned at me and asked me if I'm still trying to save people that often just end up being unnecessary weight on my shoulders. She told me that the down side to being a psychic seer is understanding others because it often leads to disappointment. You know they can do better and get frustrated when they end up not investing effort into working things out in a manner that fulfills your standards of the potential you see in them.

Time and experience teach you that you don't necessarily know best, you just find a possible outcome for which there are many others in the pile.



Experience has taught me that it isn't my responsibility to try influence others, no matter how well intended the impulse might be. Knowing this has saved me some frustration and has instead helped me circumvent back to what really matters: to prioritize myself. To prioritize my own growth.

I've consciously been putting a lot of work into my psyche for the past six or seven months. It has paid off plenty, despite there still being much work to do. But it has made the biggest difference in my moods. Every day I walk this new path I shape myself to be able to live a peaceful and more productive life. It sucks to take a good look at yourself and to see yourself as a broken down fairground, but now that I've been at it a while I feel much better. I did the work. I've let go of some bad habits and been focused instead on improving as a person. Even though I'm not quite there yet I am still grateful to have the opportunity to progress. For a while there I kept overriding the same behaviors and going nowhere with them.

This year I turn 30. Months after the end of my Saturn Return I am now thinking about the chapter coming up ahead. The next decade won't feel any different but will be symbolic for a new stage in my life. The purpose of the Saturn Return is to clear the slate for that next chapter. Well, here I stand pretty much naked. The Saturn Return aggressively cleared everything and everyone out of my life. I removed and also caused people to leave my life. From here, there is really no way to go but forward. I think the biggest challenge has actually been to master my impulses, particularly the more passionate ones.

There is truth to the hypothesis that we are placed on this Earth to master ourselves.

I can feel my conscious efforts turning inwards, and it makes perfect sense. But I wouldn't have known this lesson had it been dangling before my eyes for years. Are things perfect now? Not by any stretch, but I am learning and that counts.

I have found I don't hold grudges forever; time makes letting go of grudges possible. While I wouldn't want to reintegrate the people who hurt me back into my life, I have walked away with a newfound understanding of how not to approach situations. Sometimes I still get scared of the notion that I won't have the ability to learn from my mistakes due to not being ready or not having absorbed a lesson properly, but I can't feed the storms that brew inside of me. They will engulf and consume me if I let them.

Time has this magic effect about it of sobering us up. Even though I can see my own flaws more clearly now I try not to mind them so much. What it is really about is learning and progressing. Change is something I have always been comfortable with, but now I see it more as a pacemaker. The challenge is not to be dragged by it.


I'm not the same person I used to be. Try as you might to box me back in, I don't fit inside that old box anymore. I've changed.
♡♡

KAMBO CEREMONY


Today I went to visit my mentor, La Gitana Patricia. We go way back to work done in 2010—2013. These were the years of my formation as a professional psychic. All the most powerful things come in threes, right?

During that time I did salvia divinorum and Ayahuasca, of which I have already talked about on this blog. On Tuesday, May 15th, 2018 I participated in a Kambo frog ceremony. 馃惛 Kambo is Native American medicine extracted from frog secretion. Poison. It is known as the vaccine of the forest and treats addiction, depression, anxiety, migraines, organ diseases, chronic pain, cancer, fertility problems, restoring the immune system and the mind. It is believed to expel negative energy or evil spirits. There are no clinical studies that confirm the success of this treatment, but from personal experience I can say I vouch for it with full confidence. 

I was to drink two liters and a half of water before the medicine was introduced. My healer burnt four dots on my arm and then administered the frog poison with a ritual knife. Today we are going to talk about the experience and its miraculous after effects.

 All it took was one ceremony to feel the difference!

My palms were breaking out in cold sweats because of how anxious I was... But the burns barely even stung, and the poison did not sting as it was administered. I didn’t feel anything at all, I just knew it started working because of my altered state of being.



— Don't be fooled by the attractiveness of my teacher. His medicine is Hellfire!! 馃惛 馃惛 馃惛

I get muscle spasms on my left foot with certain regularity as of a few years back, and its been quite inconvenient to deal with. I felt a warm sensation shoot right to my foot, so I sat back and stretched my leg out. That same sensation burnt from my arm into my brain. I sat for about a minute in a state of surprise, then I doubled over and puked into a bucket.

After that things got intense. The burning sensation engulfed me and I felt sick to my stomach. I puked numerous times while the healer soothed me. She treated me with so much care while I moaned and purged. She even tied my hair behind my back.

My lips got hot and swollen, and so did much of my face. Patricia came into the room and sat with me, asking how the process was going. I glanced up to see concern across her face. It reminded me of December 18, 2012 when I lay strewn across the forest floor, writhing in agony from the stern clutches of the Ayahuasca brew. I was as miserable then as I was now. In my mind I repeated my intention for the trip over and over, drowning out a fit of rage in which I asked myself why I put myself through these hard tests. I don’t enjoy the process, healing hurts. And yet there I was, doubled over a bucket. lol

Five minutes in I was begging for it to be over. It was so intense. The process continued for about 20 minutes. 40 minutes later I was exhausted but felt lighter, with peace washing over me. Basking in the afterglow of my inner battle, I felt a sense of accomplishment. Similar to when I first fell in love with my boyfriend Christopher. He made me feel like my past meant nothing, all I needed was his saving grace. I had my heart flooded with overwhelming love, and it has been the biggest blessing in the past seven years of my life. Well, this experience had a very similar effect to that. To me, it felt somewhat miraculous. Sometimes I drag myself through my life, but since the ceremony there is a spring in my step.

The relief I felt after the ceremony was in fact not just the physical soothing. It was actually the fact I had purged feelings I unconsciously carried with me. Invisible ailments, the kind you can feel but can't quite identify. What I got was the feeling of inner peace. You can't put a price on that! Throughout the day I noticed that the intention I had set for my ceremony had in fact been accomplished.



Healing takes time, and unfortunately it takes numerous ceremonies. But this first one was a milestone, and for that I am immensely thankful. Despite my temporary suffering I came out of this with a newfound sense of direction, and most importantly, reaffirmed in my faith for the path I lead my life in. For the first time since I can remember I was excited about my life mission, and excited to get back into making something. The battle to end my artist block has been extensive, but I have since then made new pieces and feel it slowly becoming a habitual practice.

I thanked my healer before and after the ceremony. She was patient and kind, but above all she was loving towards a stranger. That’s rare. After the ceremony we sat together and had a heart to heart about what it means to be healers nowadays. We shared experiences and I had the opportunity to interpret some dreams for her. It was a profound bonding experience with another girl of about my age that lives a very extraordinary life. And today of all days our paths crossed for the first time. I am immensely grateful! Especially since its been exactly a year since my tumultuous break up. What a great personal reward!

In all honesty I feel compelled to experience this ceremony again despite its unpleasant effects. 20 minutes of suffering are well worth the afterglow that comes and lasts for an entire 24 hours after the fact. It made me conscious of the fact we need to heal ourselves constantly, even if healing is a painful endeavor. Let’s be real here, healing hurts. I don’t enjoy going through it, but the fact remains this is the path I chose. I commit to stick to it and to keep helping people find their way. Eventually I think I will be employing other, more advanced methods. But for now, cards and ceremonies. I’ve got so much work to do.

Immensely grateful to this amazing experience that I had. Now I have my very first tattoo thanks to the ceremony. Four burn marks permanently singed into my skin. It will serve as a reminder of my inner battles and how far I am willing to go to work on improving myself. You can't tame determination. I’ve done some pretty risky things to heal myself of the mundane tangles I found myself trapped in, and now have plans to visit Mount Shasta for an extraordinary event held for seers, by seers. It seems the journey ahead is still one fraught with trials and difficult ceremonies, but my spirit is set on traversing through it and I promise to you all that I am going to make it. Just watch.

Disclaimer: If you feel inspired to experience this, please be safe. Drink two liters of water and don’t eat anything on the day of your ceremony. Don’t just find any random to do it. Find somebody you can trust because they will be taking care of you. I did this in a safe space flanked by people who love me and because of that I was able to let go of my modesty to just be a human going through an unpleasant healing experience. I walked out of there as if on the clouds. You will want the same going for yourself.


Thank you so much for reading.  馃惛馃惛♡♡

GOLDEN BOTTICELLI TAROT REVIEW



I've been sitting on this review for a few years because I had not yet found exactly what I wanted to talk about. Now that its almost springtime and the crisp winter cold is nearly leaving us, I find myself reaching out for decks that reflect this change in the weather. In the Golden Botticelli Tarot you will find vivid green foliage and clear blue skies, in my idea the embodiment of the spring.

Here is a deck that will please art history enthusiasts, anyone who like Renaissance art decks on their table. The landscapes in the are pleasing, and some are definitely exalted by the opulent brocade gilding. Any time I see golden details in the sky I connect it to divine presence. Much like the message you'd take from a dream interpretation. Juxtaposing the gold brocade of the cards and the modest fashions of the folks of the 1400s. The emphasis of whimsical patterns and motifs in the deck is a true delight to me.





In this deck you will find angels, and cherubs tasking themselves to be Cupid. There are also men of the cloth present. Perhaps not the most relatable characters when compared to day-to-day standards, but still figures that can help make connections for relevant situations happening now. When using these cards you will employ these enchanting figures from the past to prompt further introspection.

I like that these cards are not Rider-Waite Smith clones. You can very easily derive new meanings and stray from having your readings start to feel repetitive. I know that staring at the same symbols for a prolonged period can start to make my readings sound more like canned responses out of the same card combinations. Having new symbols to draw from adds a challenge on the spot. Giving your intuition new problems to solve could very well result in seeing familiar cards from a different light. I like that type of experimentation in my readings, it keeps my work from wilting into monotony. Once you've read tarot for 18 years you find that you crave a challenge.

Here we have a tarot deck I did not expect to resonate with as much as I did. Ever since I got the Alice Tarot late in 2014, I realized that I am very fond of tarot decks with gold leaf or otherwise metallic overlays. They glimmer when you turn them over if you have them lit by candles or a lamp at night time. Simply stunning! The drama really adds to the message of the tableau. It enhances the spread for you somehow.



These cards would look stunning accompanied by candle light for a public event in the evening or night time, but I recommend familiarizing yourself well enough with the symbols in the cards before reading with them for others. Strangers especially, since they generally might not appreciate you taking longer than you should have to decipher the symbols in the cards. And these were not designed with the needs of tarot readers in mind.

Lo Scarabeo’s card stock is matte and thin; if you are to careful as you shuffle, you could crease the cards or the borders. The proportions of the card make it fit nicely in my hands; I like the fact they are more slim than the Vertigo Tarot. They are also just slightly shorter than standard tarot cards, which really helps me hold them better with my small hands.





What is your most important characteristic:
Justice.

Bringing fairness and balance in areas of your life in which you may be lacking it. Weighing the good with the bad to show you that there is good in the bad, to give hope. Also brings you down from illusion to remind you that some things that look too good to be true, are. It grounds us.

What are your strengths as a tarot deck?
Six of Wands.

A positive force encouraging you. An aid with which to accomplish your goals and give yourself a reason to celebrate your merits. A tool for affirmations and progressive actions. Support.

What are your limits?
The Star.

Limiting your imagination to run off cues from a querent. While allowing others to steer the reading where they want it to go, sometimes it is better to state all that is in store. I don’t mean to kill your illusions, just to bring you back to Earth. Intuition can only do so much.



What are you here to teach me?
Five of Wands.

Some success takes various attempts — and failures — first. You’ll have to go the long route to find what you think you need. Often times it won’t be what you thought it would be, so you need to keep an open mind to that possibility.

How can I best learn to collaborate with you?
The Sun.

Feel pride in what you do; honor your efforts. Find yourself immersed in all that you can be. Enjoy what you do and be happy for it. You are on the right path and you know it, you feel it. It's that warm glow you radiate that translates into courage. Be comfortable in knowing it all comes depending on your efforts and enthusiasm.

What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
King of Cups.

A regal, yet loving and complete relationship. This is all you could hope for to train your intuition and reach the next step. You will tap into your deepest feelings as well as into the subconscious. Stare with longing into the reflections of your life, then reach out to accept what is there. The gift of the present moment with added hues of what happens around you. Reality strongly influenced by circumstance.



♡ Which card do you want to show off?
Page of Swords.

Swiftness of action and realization. Delving into the past on guard, ready to take on monsters in the form of ghosts from the past. With intellect alight and wands to cut. Cut through the much to the truth.

♡ How do you see me?
Strength.

Wielding great power of authority with beauty and grace. Able to control difficult situations without much need for effort because of experience. When needed, a disciplinary action keeps affairs in place.

♡ How do you see yourself?
Queen of Swords.

Piercing through the much with clarity. Not playing games. Very serious and not going to waste any time playing games. Wearing a crest of valor in hard times.



I resonate with the personality of this deck because I feel myself reflected in it, kind of like getting advice from an old soul.
♡♡

EXCISION 2018 TOUR FEATURING THE PARADOX



Let’s talk about a new addition to my iTunes play listing habits that I haven’t been able to put down since. I got heavily into Dubstep a few months ago and it has slowly been taking up more of my attention. Its gotten pretty feverish and I know my Twitter friends have not exactly enjoyed getting pelted by the slew of rants about Dubstep and Riddim. They're pulling through though and giving me the space I need to express myself. I am really enjoying the music! It's so out of character, though.

Excision brought The Paradox tour for two sold out shows at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino, CA. The event was held on the weekend of January 19/20. I actually saw everybody that was performing and was there for a brutal whole nine hours of bass. You can imagine how raw it left my ears even with ear plugs in the entire time. The festival was boasting face-melting 150,000 watts of bass. Music that moves you.

Getting through security wasn’t as bad as it had been for Countdown NYE, which was held at the same venue last December and was an exponentially larger show by at least 2/3. It felt good to tread those stomping grounds again, I really like the atmosphere of Basshead raves and hope to share experiences with my own squad in the future. Finding people that are as heavily into it as you is rare unless you're at the events.

I think the most mind-blowing act other than the ones I was there to see was Um.., a LA local music project that goes hard and has experimental sound. I’ve been crushing on their music ever since. It’s great when you find new music you love as you are there to see a band you really love. Definitely going to be showing this act some warm support in the months to come. They're currently on tour with 12th Planet.

Monxx killed it, nothing new. His set was heavy and enjoyable. I had a great view of the stage and I got to get down to all my favorite bangers. 10/10.











Oh man, that was brutal. I appreciated having the rail from Downlink all the way through Excision, after raging hard for most of the concept you start to get sore. I was definitely feeling the long hours standing in a cramped space with people going nuts all around my safe spot.

EXCISION'S THE PARADOX:
By the time the final boss came up I was pretty tired and worried that I wouldn’t have enough energy to enjoy Excision. Sure enough, when they revealed the massive stage with the Lost Lands intro I LOST IT. The euphoria that erupted from the crowd was contagious, and I enjoyed that set thoroughly. It was great to have my own safety bubble on the rail. You can headbang or just watch and have a great time doing either one of those options.

I think Jeff’s mixing for a live set is excellent, the song choices were straight bangers. It was rewarding to experience much of the same set that people that went to Lost Lands in 2017 got to hear. The visuals were actually quite stunning too, there were some Japanese animation influences I rather liked. The kaleidoscope of dinosaurs and cyborgs was a real delight. While he didn’t play The Wonky Song, that song had dropped earlier on in the night. I think the highlights of my night were Bommer x Crowell - Yasuo (Ivory 'Wizuo' Remix), Excision & Dion Timmer - Her (Wooli Remix), Robo Kitty, Whyel - Bleed No More, Downlink - Absolute Fire, and of course Riot Ten - Railbreaker.

What comes after a high climb is usually a real low drop. Missing the festival environment and the experience with the music especially since the event happened. It’s a long wait until March, and I have since been craving another rave. Datsik is bringing Riot Ten b2b Squnto. Not gonna’ lie, it’s going to be wild.

That's the thing about subcultures, when you first get into them they completely absorb you. I want to experience all of this great music live, to get familiar with the artists and the community built around them. That aspect of music scenes is really rewarding to observe. You see some wild happenings in those crowds, and once the event is done no one likely thinks about it twice. If you didn't see it, then it didn't happen. Much like magic.



Thanks for reading, hope you've enjoyed the first month of 2018. I think I've got more card reviews coming up in February. Let's take a break from talking about music for a while.

Event photos compliments of ODAGYO.
♡♡

THE THIRD EYE TAROT




The Third Eye Tarot was illustrated by @brittsart. She takes commissions if you'd like a custom made illustration. I'm planning on getting one made!
I love how well this deck reads straight out of the box. You can just as easily spot the influences of the traditional symbols and can run with the new, almost gestural quality of the characters in these illustrations. Their animated emotions make it easy to envision how they would move next. That adds a rather refreshing layer of life to readings.

There was definitely a need for a deck of this style in the divination community. It will surely please a lot of the Tumblr witches crawling over the Tumblrsphere. There are so many of us!

Something you can tell right away when looking over these cards is that their backgrounds are not color gradients in most cases. This detaches the concepts and actions from context and makes for more possibilities of environment. These events could happen just about anywhere! Something else that I rather like is that the characters in the cards have very expressive faces. This conveys feelings really well and will help a lot of people relate how they feel to how the characters in the cards feel.






The card stock is sturdy and buttery, it also does not yield much. Will endure use and age gracefully, and fans out very smoothly. The card backs are extremely attractive, they actually kind of remind me of what a quilt with psychic motifs would look like. I rather like the open eyes. You can tell if a card is upright or not. These cards are kept in a Limited Edition pouch that I quite love made by the Baba Studio. Ivory with silver embroidery. The inner lining is mint and reminds me of the card backs. Perfect fit!

The feel of this deck is also quite wonderful! You get a lighthearted and positive feeling just by looking at the illustrations. The color palette delights with the contrast of minty pastel colors versus fully saturated dark colors and textured backdrops. This deck caters to what I love the most about manga and fantasy illustration. It almost has a MMORPG feel to it that evokes nostalgia and happy memories. The result is a feel good reading no matter how dark the subject!

Something many will be able to appreciate is the illustration style. Bright colors, sketchy lines that are gestural and suggest this being drawn by hand even if it is illustrated in a digital medium. I love that about it! The style is also very current and will attract young readers to the world of divination, which I am looking forward to have happen. The community needs more fresh eyes.

Whether you’re looking for an art deck or for a serious tool to use, you’re going to enjoy your experience with this tarot deck. I think it is best to pull out when you need a pick me up. The kind humor of the cards could just about turn any bad day around. I know that is when I will reach out for it the most.

I found out about this deck thanks to @tarot-dreams on Tumblr. We both followed the deck as it was a work in progress and really looked forward to the day it would finally be published. When it first came out, he was actually the one who alerted me to it having become available. We geeked out about it together.

Without further ado, let's take a stab at the interview spread. Conversations with cards...




What is your most important characteristic?
Queen of Coins. This card equates this tarot deck to a dependable friend that is always eager to hear your latest update and willing to look after you. Whether your life is going well or not, they always have something wise to say and are willing to invest time in helping you feel better. This is the type of relationship that is uplifting and that you feel like coming back to because you know you can trust that friend.

What are your strengths as a tarot deck?
Seven of Swords. Warning the querent about upcoming difficulties ahead of time so they can see it coming and plan accordingly. There are less casualties when conflict is forewarned, but then it is also up to the querent to follow the suggested steps forward. It's really a collaborative effort.

But the warnings will be there, clear as day. You need only be conscious of your surroundings.

What are your limits?
Nine of Wands. Don't try to tackle it all in one sitting. Take your time with each issue and case, devote the energy to tend to each situation carefully. There will be news you don't like that may rub you the wrong way, but try to see where it's coming from before you get upset. It is easy enough to get jaded with how life wears us out sometimes, but putting in the effort to understand another point of view can be helpful.



What are you here to teach me?
Wheel of Fortune. Using this tarot deck is meant to teach us how to be at peace with and accepting of change. Changes are natural, and many times necessary for you to be able to move forward with your life. That feeling of hanging on in the hopes to keep circumstances as they have been often times leads to disappointment.

Learn to balance the good and the bad, then roll with it. Don't get stuck trying to protect the dying!

How can I best learn to collaborate with you?
King of Wands. This King has a good-natured smile in him. Move forward with enthusiasm and full courage in yourself. Encourage others much in the same way you may feel encouraged by the good vibes of the deck. I like the implication of passing the torch and being contagious with encouragement. Be less concerned with what others will think of your decisions, and try to focus instead on the wild pursuit of your dreams.

What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
Nine of Swords. Ouch! Learning to accept bad news with grace. Learn to identify the influences in your life that are overstepping your boundaries and hurting you. Process how you feel before you cut those influences out, but definitely get rid of the negativity. It isn't doing anything other than hurting you. I guess by the time you've worked with this deck enough you'll be able to see it coming before it hits. (Refer to question #02.)



Which card do you want to show off?
Death. Good one. A lot of the issues we face can be outside our control. Following the undertones suggesting to accept change and circumstances as they are, I come to find with this interview spread that the cards are supportive of letting go that which no longer serves. It's okay to let things go and it is also okay to watch circumstances die. Chances are there are new chapters waiting to commence immediately after we've cleared the slate.

As hard as it is to accept endings, it can also be a liberating feeling once its all said and done.

How do you see me?
Ace of Cups. Aww. This resonates with me on a personal level because of where I am currently at in my life. Accepting of and giving love. Being tuned into feelings and letting the intuition serve as a compass. Giving up resistance and just accepting what comes with an open heart can be a challenge, but it feels good. Investing the effort into being an open channel of good vibes most certainly pays off. ✌️✌️

How do you see yourself?
Ten of Coins. Full circle, back to the very start of this interview spread. This deck is very much like a reliable friend to turn to when life gets difficult, or just when you need some advice. There is a prevalent warm aura cast around your spreads, a mental glow that feigns the feeling of being in good company. Good vibes all around!



The Third Eye Tarot
is an endearing artist deck. It reads just as well as a Rider-Waite Smith with its more casual and laid back vibe. The fantasy and almost MMORPG elements just add to it. I rather like this deck and I hope you enjoy the review.
♡♡

MARRAKECH: THE CITY OF THE MAGIC DOORS




Oh, I’m in love! I’m in love with a pink city that comes alive at sundown. In the mornings, the sweet African breeze is cool and crisp. I'd wake up before 5A.M. every day, and hear the call to prayer from my balcony. The sun had barely started to shine and the glow of my computer screen tints my face in blue. As I type out morning e-mails and messages, I feel content with where things are at in my life. This is the best place to be in the moment in, and I don't waste time being outside of myself. I can hear the birds chirping from the riad and the streets are less busy.

The best part of the day is starting it out with th茅 de menthe in the morning. I have at least six cups because I love the fresh mint so much that now it’s a part of my routine. Do it over again for lunch and dinner, and in my friend's shops. I wish this was a practice I could bring back with me to America.

As you walk through the labyrinth, you get some sights! Stray cats roam the streets like lazy royalty, there are beautiful iron doors with pastel colors or stark black and white patterns. I did not cross a door I did not love for its rustic, artisanal qualities. The streets are cobblestoned and many of the walls of he labyrinth have been worn down by the desert’s climate. Many of the patterns seen overhead are in lace. What a Romantic place! Agrabah has come to life!







The shops open form 11A.M. until 10P.M. In some cases, some shops close at 11P.M. or midnight. The shopkeepers are always active, and they will remember you. I have never quite seen hustling game like they have it in the Middle East. The people of the Medina are expert hagglers and hustlers. Both Mom and I learned a thing or two about closing a sale simply from interacting with them.

Another highlight from Marrakech is the attention that you get. It doesn't matter if you're clearly not responsive, it won't discourage them from trying. Everybody gets it, it's hard to avoid when you're passing by the streets.

“Excuse me! Excuse me!” “Espa帽a?” “How many camels?”

I don’t think I’ve ever received so many compliments in a day. These people will do anything to lure you into their shop and sell you something!






At first, you can easily get overwhelmed by the hustle and the noise. I sure was! It took me a full set of 24 hours before I felt more confident navigating the labyrinth of the Medina, and two full days to feel comfortable being out past 8p.m.

The next we found ourselves walking through the door of our riad at 1:30a.m., arms heavy with two handira and accompanying pillow cases. I was glowing with excitement. These marriage blankets are made in the mountains by Berber women, commitments to their marriage. With growing popularity, they have started to produce these blankets in other colors, but the traditional ones are the white ones. Those were also really gorgeous.

I ended up purchasing three: an XL black one, a medium white one and a small purple one. I can't tell you which one I love more! It is simply impossible to. They are all gorgeous, but my white one will be the one getting the most use.

Haggling the prices for the handira blankets was an experience. Well, finding them was, as well. We went around the entire Medina looking for the right style and scale. After combing through shops and piling blanket after blanket atop one another, we met the charming Mouad. Sitting at the 4th floor of this Moroccan artisanship superstore, the piles flopped on the floor as we sat around, drinking the most delicious mint tea I had during my time in Morocco.




Another quiet source of magic in Marrakech is their garlands. I have a tendency to notice light patterns wherever I go, so these shops were quite a delight. After admiring tea sets, bridal dresses and marriage blankets, the one regret I have is being unable to bring some garlands back. They were all so gorgeous!

The shopping here is unparalleled. Truly. I still dream of some of the tea sets I saw while hunting for my handira blankets. I think we lost count of how many times we came back to the Medina. Something else that we enjoyed that I didn't get to take a photo of is the dried fruit and nuts vendors. I'd delight in some grapefruit juice and dried apricots for snacking and keeping cool. Soooo good!




With each new blanket that flopped onto the floor, I cheered. Those handmade patterns and sequins delight! I saw them in all colors and sizes, and ended up going home with a large black one and a medium white one with some of the most beautiful little details I have seen on handira to date. Now I regularly flop around my bed and delight in the magic of my marriage blankets. I found a third purple one to drape over my couch, and it delights my day every morning when I first walk out of my room.

We took a day to go to the desert of Palmeraie, delighting in camel rides and stopping to drink some water. It was some of the best fun we’ve had in months. When we were done, we got dropped off in the new city of Gueliz. There, we found some really excellent restaurants and a modern Marrakech that we couldn’t help but fall in love with. We kept repeating how impressed we were with what Morocco has to offer, and how much we enjoyed the culture despite how different it is from our own.









I took great enjoyment from kaftan hunting at the Medina. Isibella asked me to bring her back a dress, and I had a great time haggling with vendors. One of them recognized me in the street randomly and greeted me as you would a long time friend.

We went to the Yves Saint Laurent Museum and to a few castles. I think my favorite exhibit was that of the Berebere people and how they accessorized themselves.

At night our usual go-to place to have dinner was this Spanish restaurant, where we’d sneak wine and delight in candlelit dinner. We became friends with the owners who shared their life stories with us and greeted us with gusto every evening.

Witnessing sun down on a rooftop in the Medina is something else. I’ll never forget the contrasting pinks and teals in the night sky.







The walk back to our riad every night was hustling and bustling. The markets take on new life at night. Many a time we would find our way back at midnight without concern for our safety even though we traversed the streets of Marrakech alone. It is truly a wonderful, magical place.

On our last day in Marrakech we took a tour to the Atlas mountains to visit a Berber village. I got to hang out with the locals and they taught me how to make argan oil for any ailment you can think of. I saw some more handira that I fantasized about taking home and ended up hiking the Atlas mountains.

The hike was extremely dangerous. There were no ropes to help keep you grounded and the rocks were at times slippery. I found myself asking, “why do I do this to myself?” when I had to go up a thin metal latter that had nothing but rocks after. I only made it because the tour guide helped me get through it.

It was well worth the risk though in my opinion. I found peace in the Atlas mountains. After visiting the waterfall, I fell asleep in a nearby resting area with blankets and pillows. I woke up to silence and the feeling that everything was falling into place. I found myself at peace with myself. No noise, no concerns or burdens. No self-loathing. All of my problems and dramas had gone away for that moment and I felt truly happy. I sat there meditating and enjoying the African breeze, marveling at the sacred grounds I tread.




Still today I can close my eyes and go back there. I remember the way the light of day hit the boulders and the shadows it cast because of it. I remember the clear water of the waterfall and how refreshing it was to sit by it, contemplating my life.

The answer is that I say yes to adventure because it helps define me as an individual. I’ve done some amazing things and found happiness because of it. My happiness is not dependent on others most of the time, but rather in the amazing events I experience. I am a very solitary person, but I find joy in sharing my blessings with others when they wish to participate.

This trip was so good for me. Still today I find myself craving mint tea and feeling the African breeze on my face. These pictures are enough to last me for a while, though, and for that I am thankful.








The lace city delighted me with its mint tea and wild, wild streets. Oh, to traverse the maze of the Medina is a dream come true. I miss it all the time, but I'm glad I got to experience its magic first hand.

It's also kind of sad, but I lost my moonstone necklace in New York on my way back from the trip. Many times I thought to give it back or pass it on, but I wasn't expecting to part with it this way. I kind of wish I hadn't brought it, but that part of my life is over so I chalked it up to time claiming it when my time with it was up. Kind of an emotional conclusion to a venture of self-discovery. I wonder where it ended up.

Edit: I have since replaced the moonstone necklace. Now it only has my initials, and all feels right.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful 2018!
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