Daily Tarot::Daughter of Knives (reversed)

Tarot of Vampyres

Visually, this is one of my least favorite cards in the Tarot of Vampyres deck. I don’t particularly like the appearance of this young Vampyress – preferring more womanly vampyres over some little girl…and I hate her fucking boots. However, reading the card I get the impression she has killed with a cool detachment.

I’ve always viewed children as being more vicious and cold-blooded than adults. Devoid of the concepts of morality, they know where and when to strike – as seen with this young killer. There’s no grace or seduction here, just pure animalistic lust. Think Lord of the Flies.

Message:  I need to push aside my inherent tempestuous nature and strike with heartless precision.

(Known as the Princess of the Rushing Winds and Lotus of the Palace of Air, the Page of Swords stands for rebelliousness, cleverness, and knowing one’s own power.)

Image © Ian Daniels

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Daily Tarot::8 of Grails (reversed)

Tarot of Vampyres

Saturn is the planet of Karma and governs old age. He’s the taskmaster – all about hard work, discipline, and responsibilities. Astrologically, Pisces is brimming with ethereal emotions – the very antithesis of Saturn. These two are most certainly at odds with one another…the heaviness of Saturn is suffocating the life out of Pisces.

adj. extremely delicate and light in a way that seems too perfect
for this world; heavenly or spiritual

n.  a person or thing that is the direct opposite of someone
or something else; a contrast or opposition between two things

In the Tarot of Vampyres, we see a masked Vampyre in tattered clothing holding a bloodied chalice. His wrists are bound together by chains. A gargoyle appears to be holding another cup which is emitting a sickly green flame. This may be the source of the noxious gas (Saturn) which has permeated his realm and explains the protective mask he wears.

adj. harmful, poisonous, or very unpleasant

Like this Vampyre Lord, you’ve allowed a toxic wasteland to flourish which is smothering your vital life force. As a result, this situation is paralyzing; preventing you from taking any action other than hiding behind a mask. Reversed, the 8 of Cups is urging you find the strength and courage to purge your “kingdom”, restoring it (and yourself) to a healthy environment in which your happiness, dreams, and desires can be fulfilled.

(The 8 of Cups is also known as the Lord of Abandoned Success. Aligned with Saturn in Pisces, when appearing in Reverse it represents restlessness, stagnation, hopelessness, and denial of personal happiness/fulfillment.)

Image © Ian Daniels

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Daily Tarot::Prince of Skulls (reversed)

Tarot of Vampyres

Unlike most of the cards in the Tarot of Vampyres, the Prince of Skulls is wearing rich shades of brown – showing his deep connection to Mother Earth. He also has a “softer” appearance when compared to the other three Princes/Knights in the deck. I find his face a bit feminine, although not so much that it overrides his masculinity. It may just be that this Vampyre was turned at a young age.

This Knight is a grounding influence, urging you to pay attention to the mundane parts of your life. HOWEVER, don’t allow yourself to get stuck being too sensible. You’ll find a sensual, wild streak in even the most practical people. Surround yourself with material comforts; indulge all your senses today.

(As Lord of the Wild and Fertile Land and King of the Spirits of Earth, the Knight of Pentacles embodies sensual masculinity, honesty, patience, and a pragmatic sense of purpose.)

Image © Ian Daniels

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Horror::The Mephisto Waltz (1971)

A top-notch cast keeps The Mephisto Waltz (named after a piano piece written by Franz Liszt) from feeling too much like a made-for-TV offering, and the score is chillingly appropriate for this story of Satan worship and body-swapping. Curt Jürgens, Barbara Parkins, and Jacqueline Bisset are all perfect in their respective roles. Although Alan Alda did a fine job with his character, I wished they had cast someone sexier. I had a hard time seeing him as the object of (the womens’) lust.

“They say the truth is, once you’ve had one of them [a Satan-worshipper]
nothing else will quite satisfy you.”

The movie never lets you forget the timeframe in which it was filmed: the interiors of the Clarkson house are quintessential 1970’s California Pacific Coast style (i.e., Play Misty for Me, The Sandpiper); a “swinging party” scene complete with animal-masked partygoers (and one human-masked dog); stylized cinematography and dream imagery; and plenty of bell-sleeves, floaty caftans, polyester, turtle-necks, flared pants, and halter dresses. It’s also a kinky, amoral, eerie, creepy, and atmospheric little thriller.

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The mask worn by the black dog is that of William Shatner,
the same style mask worn by Michael Myers in the original Halloween (1978).

It should come as no surprise that Barbara Parkins has been a personal favorite of mine (she plays the femme fatale here like she was born to it).

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