Storm Arcana

Intuitive Visionary Coach & Founder of Arcana Academy

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WonderCon Weekend: Pirates & Cowboys!

Tiki Tour with Dave JohnsonRead about this amazing event HERE!
Darwyn Amanda Jimmy

Get all of the details about this spectacular event HERE!  I’ll see you there!

Barry Windsor-Smith Week: Batman 3-D


Batman is looking a bit scattered, er maybe shattered is the better word.  Is that Bruce under the cowl or is it the Joker?!  Is it both?  You can learn a bit more about Batman in 3-D here.

Dolce & Gabbana’s Era of Glamourous Depression

The following pictures are from Dolce & Gabbana‘s Man Fashion Show for their Winter 2011 line.   D&G said they were inspired by Baaria, a movie about three generations in a Sicilian village coping with fascism, war, communism and the Mafia.
dgbeginsAll of the clothes have a depression era working class kind of look to them.

Love the hat and vest combination, if not the sneer of the model.  Notice the damage done to the sweater of the model behind this one.  Shoes are scuffed and the fabric has an already lived in quality.

Nice boots!  Is this model wearing a D&G version of long johns?

This guy was the centerpiece for the show.  He even led all of the models out for the group runway walk.


Backstage all the guys line up like tin soldiers.
dghotnessThis guy knows how to flash a friendly face at the camera!
dgsuit2I dig this monochromatic grey ensemble.

More questioning faces.  I do like these clothes.  There’s something about them that says casual and expressive at the same time.  Like you could go visit a vineyard in Italy or read poetry in Greenwich Village.  A bit Bohemian, perhaps even Beatnik, but definitely a throwback to another time.  These designs seem steeped in nostalgia.  I’ve never paid attention to a men’s fashion line like this before, nor been so captivated.  I find myself going back to it again and again.

Spotlight on Marco Walker

As shop manager of Swankety Swank, I do my best to stay informed about the work of artists in San Francisco.  I came across the photography of Marco Walker while reading a copy of inGEN magazine and was blown away.  His website has some beautiful work, but here’s two of my favorites!
Marco Walker: Boy & Fire
This image has a captivating story to it with the anguished boy and the fire behind him. I love how the foggy atmosphere adds an ethereal quality to the narrative.
Marco Walker: Girl in Hay
This young woman reminds me of the myths of Persephone, Gaia and Demeter as she appears to be rising from the hay field. Her makeup is minimal but still striking and I like the minimal color palette in this photograph. There’s many more gorgeous photos awaiting you at Marco Walker’s site!

Living the Lyrics: “For Your Eyes Only” by Sheena Easton

This song has been on my mind all day! So I thought by sharing it with you, dear reader, that it might find it’s way back to the musical ether from which it came. Consider it an internet exorcism if you will. No, I have no opinion on the Bond film it is from. I’m more apt to remember a Bond film song than the film. The one exception is perhaps “A View to a Kill” because it had Grace Jones in it! She was awesome! I did own the title song by Duran Duran on an actual record which is unusual for me because I never really collected records. However, I did play that 45 single over and over again!  Regardless, here is Sheena Easton serving some serious face while shadow assassins spar around closeups of her lips!

For Your Eyes Only by Sheena Easton

For your eyes only, can see me through the night
For your eyes only, I never need to hide
You can see so much in me, so much in me that`s new
I never felt until I looked at you

For your eyes only, only for you
You`ll see what noone else can see, and now I`m breaking free
For your eyes only, only for you
The love I know you need in me, the fantasy you`ve freed in me
Only for you, only for you

For your eyes only, the nights are never cold
You really know me, that`s all I need to know
Maybe I`m an open book because I know you`re mine
But you won`t need to read between the lines

For your eyes only, only for you
You see what no one else can see, and now I`m breaking free
For your eyes only, only for you
The passions that collide in me, the wild abandoned side of me
Only for you, for your eyes only

What I’m Reading Right Now: The Witch Of Portobello by Paulo Coelho


Paulo Coelho first came to my attention when a friend let me borrow her copy of “The Alchemist.”  It was not what I expected it to be.  It was much more.  I’ve read a lot of books about following your path, listening to your dreams and redefining your goals. Not many of them were better than a retelling of JosephCampbell‘s Hero’s Myth mixed with a dash of New Age self help chatter.  They came across didactic.  They never touched my soul.  Then I read “The Alchemist.”  It had heart.  I never felt that it was trying to instruct me on how to live, I simply followed the young man in the story and learned from his example.  “The Alchemist” gave me a new system of thinking because it gave me symbols that I could use to apply to my life.  It did this by paring down language to its most evocative.  It told a simple story in a vibrant way.

Imagine my delight when another friend lent me a second book by Coelho, “The Witch of Portabello”.  The inside book jacket sleeve says: “How can find the courage to always be true to ourselves–even if we are unsure of who we are?”  The book explores that question by telling the story of an amazing woman named Athena through the many people who knew (and did not know) her.  Each chapter has different characters narrating the story, leaving the reader to piece the narrative together.  It tends to keep one on their toes and creates a vivid portrait of Athena.

Athena channels a higher beimg  named Hagia Sophia,  who is simply another aspect of herself, during monthly group meetings.  In these time of divine transcendance, she teaches many moral imperatives such as:

“You are what you believe yourself to be.”

“Don’t be like those people who believe in ‘positive thinking’ and tell themselves that they’re loved and strong and capable.  You don’t need to do that, because you know it already.  And when you doubt it…just laugh.  Laugh at your worries and insecurities.  View your anxieties with humor.  It will be difficult at first, but you’ll gradually get used to it.” (152)

This is no New Age parable.  This is real counsel, completely applicable to anyone’s life.  It takes the ephemeral and makes it tangible.  The topic of breaking off the chains of self doubt is visisted many times throughout Athena’s story.  She is not willing to live another’s idea of her destiny. 

“We all have a duty to love and to allow love to manifest in the way it thinks best.  We cannot and must not be frightened when the powers of darkness want to make themselves heard, thos same powers that introduced the word sin merely to control our hearts and minds.”

Athena uses the story of Jesus as propenent of unconditional love and quotes many instances from the Bible when he uses compassion instead of guilt or shame to help his followers.

“What is sin?  It is a sin to prevent Love from showing itself.  And the Mother is Love.  We are entering a new world in which we can choose to follow our own steps, not those that society forces us to take.  If necessary, we will confront the forces of darkness again…But but no one will silence our voice or our heart.”  (229)

Love is often the subject of her talks. 

“The man before me suffers for something he believes he has never received–my love.  But the man beyond your self understands that all pain, anxiety, and feelings of abandonement are unnecessary and childish.  I love you.  Not in the way that your human side wants, but in the way that the divine spark wants.  We inhabit the same tent, which was placed on our oath by her.  There we understand we are not the slaves of our feelings, but their masters.  We serve and are served, we open the doors of our rooms and we embrace.  Perhaps we kiss too, because everything that happens very intensely on earth will have its counterpart on the invisible plain.  And you know that I’m not trying to provoke you, that I’m not toying with your feelings when I say that.'”

Her follower, Philemon asks:

“‘What is love then?'”

And she responds:

“‘The soul, blood, and body of the Great Mother.  I love you as exiled souls love each other when they meet in the middle of the desert.  There will never be anything physical between us, but no passion is in vain, no love is ever wasted.  If the Mother awoke that love in your heart, she awoke it in mine too, although your heart perhaps feels it more readily.  The energy of love can never be lost–it is more powerful than anything and shows itself in many ways.'”      (256)

It is definitely worth your while to pick up “The Alchemist” or “The Witch of Portobello” and glean from the stories their divine human wisdom.  The world is richer for having Paulo Coelho in it!

Living the Lyrics: “Endless” by IRIS


Lately when I go outside
The skies cry that the worst is over
Is this the place we are supposed to be?
Something is reaching out to me
Should I be walking back or forward?
Is the wait enough to make you go down on your knees?

Maybe, we’ll be alright
In a long run that seems like heaven
Like hearing silence far away
And lifting high
I know the pressure is on
In a race for the life of endless love
If it seems too much
All these things are endless

Midnight has been calling me
With a feeling that could be deadly
I can love the fall ’cause that’s a part of me
Drifting in several different worlds
With the stars colliding all around you
I can feel the distance to a past that’s on its way.

Wonder Woman Wednesday: Lightning & Leather

Wonder Woman #39 by Aaron Lopresti Wonder Woman is positively electrifying in this amazing cover by Aaron Lopresti (#39). If you’ve been reading Wonder Woman lately you know how Gail Simone has been putting Diana through her paces in a big way! If you haven’t been reading, you can might consider jumping on now! Big things are in store for everyone’s amazing Amazon!
Wonder Woman #37 by Aaron LoprestiAchilles holds Diana in a headlock while she is menaced by her–mother!?!  This cover of issue #37 is another beautiful piece of art by regular Wonder Woman artist Aaron Lopresti!
Wonder WomanThis lifelike Wonder Woman design originated from the creative powers behind Fan Art Exhibit!  There are also images of this suit battle damaged and a gorgeous rendition of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons!  I encourage you to check out the other wonderful photo manipulations on this site!

I ♥ Scarlett Johansson!

scarlett widowI think it might have been Lost in Translation that made me fall in love with Scarlett Johansson.   She was gorgeous, yes, but she had a range of emotions as well as a lyrical grace.  She knew the power of nuance.  She reminded me of the Goddess Pelé, a volcanic being whose calm exterior belies her smoking interior.  She’s lava in lipstick.

And she’s going to be Black Widow in Iron Man II!  I am so happy!  Especially after Entertainment Weekly featured her on the cover (and inside the issue)!  I think her costume is well designed, but then it’s hard to get a black bodysuit wrong.  The wrist bracelets are a tad small, but designed well.  We can’t see her belt to judge whether she has the Black Widow hourglass symbol yet, but here’s hoping!  As for the girl curls, at first I was a bit taken aback, because I think they add a youthful (almost teenager) dimension to the look which is hard to reconcile with my idea of Natasha (I think curls would be too much maintenance for her), but it’s still pretty.  At least they didn’t recreate the short cut she sometimes sports in the comics.  That would have been too severe a look for my taste.


Scarlett is also featured in the new issue of fashion magazine W in a Dolce & Gabanna ad that is very Marilyn Monroe inspired (not that you needed to be told that).  The picture above is almost like the one in the magazine, but Scarlett is looking more at the viewer instead of to the side and the background is a leopard print instead of white silk.  I actually prefer the print version quite a bit more.  I came across the one above while looking for  a copy of the print ad online and did not find it.  This one is lovely as well.   There’s more pictures from this promotional shoot at Fashion Week Daily.  And you might want to peruse some of Steven Klein’s photography while on W magazine’s site.  There’s some gorgeous work there and one shoot actually features the designers Dolce & Gabbana that is simply stunning.

What I’m Reading Right Now: sexyouality

Comes the Dawn

After a while you learn the subtle difference
between holding a hand and obtaining a soul
and you learn love doesn’t mean leaning
and company doesn mean security

and you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t promises
and you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes open
with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child
and you learn to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while,
you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much

so you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure
and that you really ARE strong
and you really do have worth

and you learn and learn.

With every goodbye, you learn.


Seems like ever since I attended Goteblud‘s opening, I’ve been a bit obsessed by ‘zines.  And thanks to all of  the political rulings over Gay Marriage, I’ve been reviewing my feelings about marriage and relationships in general.  

Recently my friend Suki Divine lent me her copy of sexyouality:  challenging the culture of monogamy.  That’s where the above poem came from.  No author is attributed to the piece, but the issue is printed in England (1999) by GodhavenInk publications.  There’s many essays on sex and relationships, focusing on monogamy and polyamory (as the title references).  The essays rely heavily on quotations to back up their theses about sex and culture.  I think three quotes in particular are worth sharing.  

The first is by Terence McKenna:

“I think the most dangerous parts of the current cultural trance are pretty obvious:  male domination, materialism, and the absence of spirit.  Monogamy is another one in there.  These are cultural styles which, if not overcome, will probably contribute to our ever more rapid acceleration toward, if not extinction, at least a profound brutalisation of life.”

Another by Henry Rollins:

“It’s hilarious to me when someone says that someone belongs to them, like ‘That’s my girl.’  What a crock.  No one belongs to anybody.  Fuck slavery.  Do what you want…Such mental torment over petty, trivial, emotional displays such as jealousy;  it’s a form of laziness.  You all should loosen up.”

And my favorite by Deborah Anapol:

“Intimate relationships at their best are a path to higher consciousness and greater self knowledge, largely because of the valuable feedback – or mirroring effect – one receives from a beloved.  Having more than one partner at a time not only increases the available quantity of feedback, it also makes it harder to blame your partner for the problems you might be creating in the relationship.  In other words, multiple partners can actually help you become a more responsible person.”

I don’t know how I personally feel about the whole monogamy versus polyamory debate.  I know that this ‘zine opened my mind to new ways of thinking about relationships, but I don’t know if they would be right for me.  I suppose I too have been indoctrinated in the classic Snow White “One Day My Prince Will Come” kind of  mindset.  Seems to me that it’s a lot of work to date one person, let alone a village.  I do think jealousy and ownership are messed up ways to relate to your beloved, and maybe it is unreasonable to ask one person to be your everything, and yes, our society has really backwards ways of thinking about sex and sexuality.  However, I don’t think polyamory is necessarily a prescription for everyone’s needs.  It’s probably best to take the whole monogamy versus polyamory and apply it on a case by case individual basis.  

I’ve never liked the ownership aspects of marriage, but I also think making a lifelong commitment to one’s partner is  pretty amazing.  The whole thing gets more complicated when you start to analyze the rights one gets when the government legitimizes your relationship.  I might not like the idea of marriage, but it starts to look pretty good when you start considering legal rights.  Anyway, I’m just touching on these ideas in a cursory fashion.  I’m not up to the task of really analyzing them any more than that right now.

The last page of sexyouality reprints a poem by Kahlil Gibran which I think is a pretty succinct way of looking at the whole coupling thing:


You were born together, and together you shall be for evermore.

You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.

Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of time.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness.

And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your being.

Fill each others cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each of you be alone.

Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart, 

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.


You can order a copy of sexyouality here.

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