poetry is not a luxury

on this day of love, which is everyday, enjoy this essay by the goddess Audre Lorde. bless the black mother who has taught us all to love with resilience and all our might. honor those women in your life whose essence and grace have inspired your creativity and nourished your soul. 

poetry is not a luxury by Audre Lorde

The quality of light by which we scrutinize our lives has direct bearing upon the product which we live, and upon the changes which we hope to bring about through those lives. It is within this light that we form those ideas by which we pursue our magic and make it realized. This is poetry as illumination, for it is through poetry that we give name to those ideas which are, until the poem, nameless and formless-about to be birthed, but already felt. That distillation of experience from which true poetry springs births thought as dream births concept, as feeling births idea, as knowledge births (precedes) understanding.

As we learn to bear the intimacy of scrutiny, and to flourish within it, as we learn to use the products of that scrutiny for power within our living, those fears which rule our lives and form our silences begin to lose their control over us.

For each of us as women, there is a dark place within where hidden and growing our true spirit rises, "Beautiful and tough as chestnut/stanchions against our nightmare of weakness" and of impotence.

These places of possibility within ourselves are dark because they are ancient and hidden; they have survived and grown strong through darkness. Within these deep places, each one of us holds an incredible reserve of creativity and power, of unexamined and unrecorded emotion and feeling. The woman's place of power within each of us is neither white nor surface; it is dark, it is ancient, and it is deep.

When we view living, in the european mode, only as a problem to be solved, we then rely solely upon our ideas to make us free, for these were what the white fathers told us were precious.

But as we become more in touch with our own ancient, black, non-european view of living as a situation to be experienced and interacted with, we learn more and more to cherish our feelings, and to respect those hidden sources of our power from where true knowledge and therefore lasting action comes.

At this point in time, I believe that women carry within ourselves the possibility for fusion of these two approaches as keystone for survival, and we come closest to this combination in our poetry. I speak here of poetry as the revelation or distillation of experience, not the sterile word play that, too often, the white fathers distorted the word poetry to mean — in order to cover their desperate wish for imagination without insight.

For women, then, poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action.

Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought. The farthest external horizons of our hopes and fears are cobbled by our poems, carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives.

As they become known and accepted to ourselves, our feelings, and the honest exploration of them, become sanctuaries and fortresses and spawning grounds for the most radical and daring of ideas, the house of difference so necessary to change and the conceptualization of any meaningful action. Right now, I could name at least ten ideas I would have once found intolerable or incomprehensible and frightening, except as they came after dreams and poems. This is not idle fantasy, but the true meaning of "it feels right to me." We can train ourselves to respect our feelings, and to discipline (transpose) them into a language that matches those feelings so they can be shared. And where that language does not yet exist, it is our poetry which helps to fashion it. Poetry is not only dream or vision, it is the skeleton architecture of our lives.

Possibility is neither forever nor instant. It is also not easy to sustain belief in its efficacy. We can sometimes work long and hard to establish one beachhead of real resistance to the deaths we are expected to live, only to have that beachhead assaulted or threatened by canards we have been socialized to fear, or by the withdrawal of those approvals that we have been warned to seek for safety. We see ourselves diminished or softened by the falsely benign accusations of childishness, of non-universality, of self-centeredness, of sensuality. And who asks the question: am I altering your aura, your ideas, your dreams, or am I merely moving you to temporary and reactive action? (Even the latter is no mean task, but one that must be rather seen within the context of a true alteration of the texture of our lives.)

The white fathers told us, I think therefore I am; and the black mothers in each of us-the poet-whispers in our dreams, I feel therefore I can be free. Poetry coins the language to express and charter this revolutionary awareness and demand, the implementation of that freedom. However, experience has taught us that the action in the now is also always necessary. Our children cannot dream unless they live, they cannot live unless they are nourished, and who else will feed them the real food without which their dreams will be no different from ours?

Sometimes we drug ourselves with dreams of new ideas. The head will save us. The brain alone will set us free. But there are no new ideas still waiting in the wings to save us as women, as human. There are only old and forgotten ones, new combinations, extrapolations and recognitions from within ourselves, along with the renewed courage to try them out. And we must constantly encourage ourselves and each other to attempt the heretical actions our dreams imply and some of our old ideas disparage. In the forefront of our move toward change, there is only our poetry to hint at possibility made real. Our poems formulate the implications of ourselves, what we feel within and dare make real (or bring action into accordance with), our fears, our hopes, our most cherished terrors.

For within structures defined by profit, by linear power, by institutional dehumanization, our feelings were not meant to survive. Kept around as unavoidable adjuncts or pleasant pastimes, feelings were meant to kneel to thought as we were meant to kneel to men. But women have survived. As poets. And there are no new pains. We have felt them all already. We have hidden that fact in the same place where we have hidden our power. They lie in our dreams, and it is our dreams that point the way to freedom. They are made realizable through our poems that give us the strength and courage to see, to feel, to speak, and to dare.

If what we need to dream, to move our spirits most deeply and directly toward and through promise, is a luxury, then we have given up the core-the fountain-of our power, our womanness; we have give up the future of our worlds.

For there are no new ideas. There are only new ways of making them felt, of examining what our ideas really mean (feel like) on Sunday morning at 7 AM, after brunch, during wild love, making war, giving birth; while we suffer the old longings, battle the old warnings and fears of being silent and impotent and alone, while tasting our new possibilities and strengths.


haii snow day! enjoy this hibernation time and watch this brilliant film! (one of my favorites) Claudine! released on april 22nd, 1974 and starring Diahann Carroll and James Earl Jones. set in Harlem, Diahann's character, Claudine, a single mother of 6 falls in love with James' character, Rupert.  Claudine, who is on welfare, has been married twice and at this point does not believe that she will find love again. plus her welfare check is dependent on her single status, thus if she ever remarries they will cut her government assistance. this very real love story displays the difficulties of single black motherhood, and black love in general. 

and to top it all off, the film is scored by the one and only, Curtis Mayfield, and performed by Gladys Knight and The Pips. (it really gets no better than this yall!) the soundtrack is gorgeous! it features a gorgeous remake of the mayfield classic "the makings of you." 

please enjoy with a full link to the film below! 

looking through the window

happy bearth to the one and only Michael Jackson. We love you! Please enjoy a live version of one of our favorite Jackson 5 songs, "looking through the window," live from paris in 1972. clad in custom suits this video is a true gem. "looking through the window" was written by Chicago born song-writer and actor, Clifton Davis. Clifton also wrote our other favorite Jackson 5 song, "never can say goodbye." What lush arrangements, funky grooves, tight harmonies, all with the heart-wrenching cries of young a Michael Jackson. it is truly genius song writing and performing. what a a pleasure to see the whole clan perform together.  it is eternal. so pure. true american folklore.

more from the performance below!

The Jackson 5 live from Mexico in 1975!

In the half between world

After a year of studying performance rendered in animation, artist ivan forde has selected and complied these short vignettes in which we bare witness to cosmic events of creation versus destruction in all out combat. "In the Half-Between world" takes its name from a poem by jazz musician Sun Ra. Collaborating with Philadelphia native producer Absent Avery to arrange the score, the musician sampled Mr. Ra's "Thats how i feel" from the 1978 record, Lanquidity.

Betty Davis | funk | sex | pioneer

There would be no Prince, Madonna, Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis (in the 1970’s), or Lil Kim, if it weren’t for Betty Davis and her explosive, courageous, erotic, gender bending, bluesy, and funky music. Betty’s voice purrs, growls, and scratches through her deliciously written lyrics. A blues woman to the bone, Betty took her southern roots, and mixed them with raw funk, soul, and psychedelic rock. A woman well ahead of her time, she pushed boundaries with her avant-garde fashion sense, amazing afro, and provocative lyrics.

She was born in 1945 in Durham, North Carolina with the maiden name Mabry. A true southern gal, Betty grew up on her grandmother’s farm,  where she woke up every morning to slop the hogs, with the blues, ham hocks, and black-eye-peas all in her veins. Her grandmother had a vast collection of blues records so at an early age Betty become influenced by the heavy blues sounds of Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, BB King, Lightning Hopkins, and Big Mama Thorton. Betty wrote her first song when she was twelve, aptly titled “I’m Gonna Bake That Cake of Love.”

In her teenage years her father got a job as a foreman on a steel mill in an industrial town near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her family moved and she got her first dose of city life. While a teenager in Pittsburgh she was an introvert, writing songs and sketching clothing designs. Betty moved to New York City when she was sixteen to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She became emerged in the fashion world as a budding designer and a successful model, gracing the covers of Seventeen, Ebony, and Glamour. The gorgeous young woman enjoyed the easy money she earned from modeling but song-writing was always her true passion.

In 1966 when Betty was 21 she went to the East Village night club, Electric Circus, where the Chamber Brothers were performing and presented them with a song she wrote, “Uptown in Harlem.” An anthem for the black Mecca of the world, the song chants “I’m going uptown to Harlem/I’m gonna let my hair down in Harlem/If a taxi won’t take me I’ll catch a train/I’ll go underground I’ll get there just the same.” A simple yet political song that speaks of joys and troubles that still affect us to this day. The Chamber Brothers included “Uptown in Harlem” in their 1967 album, Time Has Come.


Davis also wrote songs for the Commodores who needed her keen lyricism. The songs she wrote helped them get signed to Motown. Betty was beginning to make her mark as a phenomenal lyricist for some of the premier funk, soul, and rock acts of the ’60s.

22 year old Betty met brilliant trumpeter and bandleader Miles Davis who was almost twice her age. Miles could not resist the undeniable coolness that Betty exuded, so he had to know her. The steamy pair married in 1969 only after a year of knowing each other. By this time Betty had already graced the cover of Miles’s 1968 album, Filles de Killimanjaro. “Mademoiselle Mabry” served as Miles’s muse as well as a very influential musician in his life. During the pivotal two years they were together, Betty introduced Miles to the sounds of her good friend Jimi Hendrix, who middle aged Miles was not hip to. Inspired by the sounds of the younger generation Miles decided to push his music to uncharted territory, and thus spawned  “jazz fusion.” Miles completely reinvented himself and released the ground breaking album Bitches Brew in 1970, which Betty also helped name.

Betty was supposedly too wild for Miles and their relationship strained. They divorced in 1969 with allegations that Betty and Jimii Hendrix had an affair. Amongst the turmoil and allegations Betty and Miles Davis served as one of the most influential musical couples of the twentieth century. The year following her divorce with Miles, Jimi Hendrix died, and Betty lost one of the most influential musicians in her life.

Though Betty never thought of herself as a performer, that is what she became after the release of her self titled album released in 1973. 28 year old Davis collaborated with Greg Errico, Sly Stone’s drummer to produce the album.  Errico assembled the best  funk and soul musicians on the West Cost. The cast included Sly Stone’s bassist Larry Graham, guitarist Neal Schon of Santana, the Pointer Sisters on background vocals, and members of Graham Central Station and Tower of Power on drums and horns. The songs on the album were based on funk grooves, bluesy guitar riffs, gritty percussion and Betty’s raunchy lyrics and vocal sass. Songs off the album include “If I’m in Luck I Might Get Picked Up,” “Anti-Love Song” and “Your Man My Man.” Betty was undeniably bold, possessing sexual agency through her lyrics that revealed her sexual desires, the cruel side to love and the experience of extra marital affairs.

She went on to produce, write, and arrange, her second and third albums, They Say I'm Different and Nasty Gal in 1974 and 1975 respectively. These albums continue her provocative word play, raunchy lyrics, and kitten like pur. With scandalous songs like, "He was a Big Freak" where she describes how she use to "beat him with a turquoise chain." Davis paved the way for performers who wanted to express their sexuality in their music in creative, daring, and honest ways- the foremother of the brazen lady mc. A true wild woman. Davis never achieved commercial success, was highly criticized for her lyrical content, and was banned from radio stations. She stopped releasing music after 1975 and has been living out of the public eye in Pennsylvania since. Despite her musical genius and overall impact on funk music and fusion, Betty Davis still passes the radar of many music fans. Well before music videos Betty created a personal for herself so that her image and music seamlessly coincided, creating an unforgettable vision and sound of the 1970s. 

written by Tamara Davidson

originally published on revive-music.com in 2011.



Bianca Jagger | Muse

we are utterly inspired by the fiercely feminine and androgynous presence of the beautiful, Nicaraguan born former actress and now human rights activist, Bianca Jagger. she is able to kill it in a suit or a long dress as she is unabashedly herself. please enjoy some of our favorite images of her as she is effortlessly fashionable exuding vulnerability and strength within each foto. 

flash of the spirit

we are a huge fan of scholar Robert Farris Thompson. author of seminal books such as Flash of the Spirit and The Aesthetics of the Cool. one of the worlds most renowned scholars on african diasporic spirituality and the arts. find a lovely quote below from the book The Aesthetics of the Cool. James Brown exemplifies black cool as a performer. if you get a chance also check out the hbo documentary on james brown, Mr. Dynamite The Rise of James Brown.

Cosmic Slop | Space Traders

in april i attended the afrofuturism film festival at BAM. i had the pleasure of viewing a once in a life time screening of the series, Cosmic Slop. called a "multicultural twilight zone,"the trilogy was created by Reginald Hudlin and executive produced by Reginald and his brother Warrington Hudlin. Reginald was also the director of House Party and Boomerang. the triology aired on HBO in 1994, hosted by George Clinton it borrows it's title from the 1973 Funkadelic album. unfortunately after the pilot season was aired HBO received death threats concerning the radical topics covered in the series including racism, catholicism, african spirituality, and domestic violence. HBO was force to stop the airing of the series and it was eventually banned. because of this it is very rare to be able to view the trilogy in its entirety! viewing the series in 2015 i can say that it was light years ahead of its time! there is nothing like this on tv now and i don't think there has ever been. i can see why it was banned! its honesty, accuracy, and creativity, created a truly masterful piece of work. it is a shame that more people are not able to see it. 

luckily the first part of the trilogy entitled, Space Traders, based off the short story written by Derrick Bell is available on youtube. the premise of the story is that aliens come to the earth and essentially promise world peace and a solution to poverty and hunger in exchange for all black people on earth. the aliens do not say what they will do with the black people, but they just ask for every human with melanin. you can imagine the the raucous this stirs! it is a really an incredible story, transformative, uncomfortable, painful, and also rather humorous to watch this episode. 

please watch below! comments are encouraged! this is a really great conversation starter. if you are interested in reading the short story, Space Traders written by Derrick Bell you can find the pdf here. also if anyone is interested in collaborating in putting on a screening of this please email blackdecoolsun@gmail.com

Sun Ra | this planet is doomed

below find excerpts from poems from Sun Ra's poetry book This Planet is Doomed. 

"the player sat in space as all players do.."

space age needs

there must be a cosmic

dimension of music 

which is attuned

to the space-age needs 

of the rulers

as well as the peoples of the earth.

angels & demons

my music sings of the discipline of the depths

and darkness of space as matter

and matter of outer space as tone, and it

relates-reaches through the void to stars

beyond the places of thought-worlds

without names

touch the stars

at night I sleep my sleep 

and dream my dreams 

reach into the darkness

and touch the stars

place them in new places

where I would have them

pattern them into another design

of another tomorrow's destiny

I am an instrument

I am an instrument

the timbre of my voice flies with the winds of heaven

I belong to the one who is more than a musician

he is an artist

I live to be his pleasure,

I do not flee from him when he comes to me

for instrument are not sufficient in themselves

they are old and lifeless without tortured hands and mind

the artist holds myself tenderly in his hands

first he touches the strings of my heart

too fine to be in tune with the universe

then suddenly vibrant thoughts strikes there

and music from the world of time and space is born

I am strange

I am strange

my mind is tinted with the colors of madness

they fight in silent furor in the effort to dissolve each other

I am strange 

I have a potent degree of love that is so unwise

in one world that it is wisdom in another

I am strange

I no longer have respect for hate

for I am stronger than hate...

collages by Tamara Renée Davidson 

June | Tarotscopes

June | Tarotscopes

Salome by Romare Bearden

Salome by Romare Bearden

June’s Theme I 3 of Pentacles

Work. Collaboration. Innovation. Development. Community. Teamwork. Partnership. Creativity. June is the month of all this and more. We are facing a month of great changes in almost all areas of our lives but only to be met with much success and happiness after the transition occurs. The best advice is to hang on tight and to allow the wave to ride itself out. Much of our external world cannot be trusted and you should not look toward anyone to make decisions for you. You are required to search within and to finally listen to your own wisdom and desires. Parts of your past will be resurfacing and it is up to you to distinguish what is to be recycled and reused, and what is to be eliminated once and for all. When you are done sorting your piles, don’t look back and continue building forward. The next 6 months are life-changing and quite radical for you. I can assure you that you will never be the same. There is an importance on self-sufficiency and developing your own tribe of individuals whom can support each other and carry on a great network system. Competition will not work in this new system, everyone will be expected to share their knowledge and love with one another but take full accountability in their lives. Be honest and kind with those that you encounter and stay open to your own personal signs that indicate a deeper meaning/mystery to life that will cause you to be receptive in ways you could not imagine.

Virgo I Page of Wands, 3 of Wands, Kings of Swords

June lends itself to be quite the adventurous month, heavy with positive energy, forward momentum and much gusto on your part. It’s as if you have awakened from a deep slumber because you are truly feeling yourself and all of your potential this month and the universe will reflect that back at you in so many ways so stay humble, grounded in purpose and woke. The Page of Wands carries the energy of traveling from one location to the next; the way i see it, Virgos, is that you are elevating in various areas of your life during this month. Anything that has been stalled for you, you will notice a shift and change in it progressing towards better results. Be it love, finances, your career, personal pursuits, it is important that you maintain that laser focus on what you want out of these sectors.. What do YOU want? Bear that in mind in June because the pages are turning to reveal exactly what you desire & it is up to you to clean up the edges and ensure things look exactly how you want them to be. You are leveling up in life, an exciting time that we have not seen in awhile, rejoice in your work but do not relax just yet! The 3 of Wands is the continuation of your past work. Some major projects, goals and intentions are actualized this month, only to leave you wondering what your next big move will be. You may just shock those around you with a great profound revelation, or a spontaneous decision on your part. This comes out of the blue, but is not as farfetched as it may sound because it does indeed align itself with your other expectations and desires out of life. Whatever it may be, it seems like you are laying down the tracks for how your life will be 5-10 years from now, so it is HUGE!! The King of Swords requires that in the midst of your excitement and fiery action, that you still maintain some logic and reason in your decisions. Balance your mind and your heart and trust your instinct when it comes to other relationships you have with individuals; be as honest, open & straightforward as possible. With such success, this is not the time to beat around the bush or have others play games. The King of Swords aces communication and may solidify an important negotiation, contract or future deal to operate with a big group of people. Whether this is initiated by your own creative endeavors or it is proposed to you, do not shy away from what you feel you deserve & the role you want to play in this project. The world is yours right now. 

Aries I 5 of Wands, Magician, Strength

There is a sense of liberation that June will bring you. The 5 of Wands gives me the inclination that you have been battling bouts of inner resistance or second guessing your own nature which has caused you some discord and conflict. You need to trust that you are much wiser & perceptive than you believe, sometimes the evidence for this is not readily available; a test in faith will deliver your answers to you. In the past there has been a great deal of comparison that you’ve observed, perhaps you have been highly introspective about areas of your life and aspects of yourself that you have felt the need to size up your journey & being with others whom are celebrating small successes. You might have wondered what is taking you so long to catch up. Life is not a competition, everyone has their own individual path to experience & lessons to learn along the way. Aries, you are in store for great thing that you can barely imagine! In fact, this month you make the conscious decision to offer yourself tough love and move yourself ahead of the game. Focus on yourself! No one is living your life but you & you halter your progress by giving your energy to someone else’s game. The 5 of Wands tells me that you are willing to fight to conquer and drown your demons. You have a clearer perspective on your priorities & how you choose to spend your time & thoughts. Every moment is too precocious for you to squander it on comparison. The Magician tells me that in June, you will be putting yourself on the throne. No more excuses, you come into alignment with your personal power and will, demonstrating that no only to yourself but to the world around you. Anything that you claim will be actualized; be mindful of what you intend to take action on & use your energy efficiently. It would not surprise me if people came up to you wondering what your magic formula is for inducing such a drastic change inside of you; it was bound to happen sooner or later, you just had to come to terms with slow & steady progress. Important lessons from the past will keep you alert this month, allowing you to stay humble & proud of how far you’ve gone. This is such a giant leap for you because you have been known to jump to conclusions & formulate false assumptions before observing all the details first. This is about respecting your spiritual & mental health as a priority. You feel more solid and ready to conquer your goals; your amount of self-respect and honor will fly through the roof!

Libra I 9 of Swords, 9 of Pentacles, 10 of Pentacles

The 9 of Swords points that you will be dealing with internal conflict or have been for quite some time. This card always advices others to let loose and be more relaxed, as this is not as serious as it seems. You may have a lot on your plate but if you intend to tackle it on with ease and grace with the assistance of the universe, it makes a great difference in your life. In order to let go, be mindful of the quality of thoughts you are thinking. The 9 of Swords is heavy with repetitive thoughts, evaluating, assessing and planning. There is much responsibility called from you that involves calculating finances and other individuals involved in projects that the wise thing would be to be pro-active regarding your next move. An overburden of responsibility is actually a blessing in disguise. Be careful what you wish for, what you have been working toward is coming in major bulks and it is up to your analytical mind to organize it all. The 9 of Swords forewarns against inefficient and wasteful thinking, especially when it is targeted towards the self. Set out a time to evaluate your next move in life and accomplish some insight during that time to prevent from being obsessed with the same thing. Get your answers and move on, this is not the month to waste time. Balance this reality with a dose of the 9 of Pentacles’ energy, self-care, luxury & abundance. June will bring out the vanity in you, this responsibility allows you to be a valued leader and will propel you toward recognition in some aspect. It is an excellent time to socialize and flaunt your magic. You will be called into the spotlight to express your new project or connect with new and influential people in the same area. This is a release from recent pressure, although it does seem like an aspect of your work regardless of the fun. The 9 of Pentacles is then followed by the 10 of Pentacles, which both rule the material realm. This is excellent news for you energetically; it denotes a stronger sense of purpose, a solid foundation and gradual momentum. The sense of perfect timing is obvious and your psychic abilities are heightened during this time! Whatever you have been doing to cause this success, make sure you know what it is so that you can replicate it. You will be surrounded by very loving individuals & new spirits whom can help you along the way. If you are in a love affair or desire to be in one, this influence proves to be very spicy and loving for you; much admiration is shared so bask in the positive vibes. An increase in finances is also noted this month, perhaps towards the middle into the end of June. The 10 of Pentacles reveals that you are comfortable in your charm and can lead/dictate others to bid your will. This is most likely to be used in a creative project, you may gather a group for a passionate cause or throw a grand celebration of sorts that has a business element to it. The 10 of Pentacles is about teamwork and partnership; it is serious, so your inspiration to collaborate with others will have a great growth span and impact into your future.

Scorpio I 10 of Wands, 3 of Cups, The World

The 10 of Wands is the exertion you are emitting from forcing aspects of your life into place. Whenever i see this card, I am reminded of how I can be a control freak and want to micro-manage all the elements of my life until they end up in the right place but that is not how things work, Scorpio. The final push to the end of a project or a time of great void, the 10 of Wands indicates that you are going about a harder way than you should. This is the card that promotes efficiency and ease. By carrying all these sticks of action, you are placing more pressure on yourself than need be. Relax and ease into your future with a knowingness that everything is falling into it place organically, as it should. This can also represent a fear of change, something major is shifting around you & you may not know how to go with the flow but it is important to just release resistance and allow the wave to carry you to your next destination. It will be a very beautiful outcome. The 3 of Cups is all about celebration! The weather is warmer, you are feeling highly of yourself and of your potential and this is about a reunion or a strong connection/bond on the horizon that will help you to shift your perspective and lighten up your load tremendously. The 3 of Cups brings an abundance of feminine energy, whether or not you are a male or female or both, you will be surrounded by an abundance of love, flirtation and excitement. Bask in these positive vibes because they will rejuvenate you and show that life is to be cherished and enjoyed in every moment. You are beginning to learn more deeply about pleasure and how to attain it from your everyday actions. This is a spiritual lesson that will radically change your life. A side of you has been drained from the trivial pursuit of work, finances & status, allow June to expose to you a new way of living and accept what comes with open arms. The World is a card that predicts just that, open possibilities! You have mentally thrown around some options that can shift your direction of life in ways that others would not see coming. This is a wilder more carefree side to yourself that you are gaining comfort in and are ready to show the world. Maybe it is because you simply don’t care for the opinions of others and you are placing your needs above everyone else, the World emphasizes your personal experience on this plane and also places great responsibility on you to ensure that you can deliver for yourself. This is a great realization that you have and can signify the end to an old chapter in your life, a spiritual graduation. You have leveled up and have enough wisdom in your disposal to navigate yourself successfully through your next cycle. This card also denote a wide influence of power that you yield, you may feel strongly towards giving back to your community or impacting the world with your vision. Utilize the month of June to advance on these dreams and create a blueprint that you can take action on.

Aquarius I Hierophant, 4 of Wands, Emperor

This is a powerful month for you Aquarius, you are surrounded by much masculine energy that is inspiring you to laser down your focus and race ahead of the game. The Hierophant is all about internal structure and organization; getting down to the details of what you intend to do in this life, what you desire to feel like and the effect that you will have on others. Your influence is potent and you may want to seek various mediums to express your point of view, regardless of what that is, many resonate with it and you just may create a cult following because you immolate a deep truth that resides in many, which has been forgotten or ignored. June is spent cultivating your own inner voice and following through with that higher being. There is no separation between your higher self and your everyday self & you finally realize this, making you a full force of wisdom. People will gravitate to your clarity and joy that you bring but you also deal with a sense of detachment from the mundane world that allows you to be grounded yet otherworldly. The 4 of Wands is attaining that balance and finally learning how to manage life by staying grounded. This is a huge project that has been marinating inside of you, a renovation of your inner being and external environment. You feel the need to clean, re-decorate or throw out items from your personal space in order to make room for this new identity that you are developing into. This card can also represent a marriage with the self, where you make an agreement never to compromise a way of being, or to go back into the past where you lose a sense of self that makes you feel powerless. You are channeling amazing insight and will be gaining much clarity over your past actions regarding the individuals that have or had surrounded you at one point. You are the company that you keep & karmicallly it is time for a level up, so June is providing opportunity to forgive and move on or to build upon relationships and to gain a broader knowledge of self. The Emperor is that element of yourself that need to feel validated, appreciated and desired. It brings out elements of ourselves that crave to be the authoritative figure amongst our peers but also reflects upon us our relationship with authority and our father figures. Your connection to your father will play a vital role in comprehending your relationships with others and how you choose to project yourself in life. It is important to decipher this connection for your own healing and personal growth. From this, you can be sure to organize yourself and your perspective by knowing where your motives stem from. 

Gemini I Knight of Pentacles, Queen of Rods, Hierophant

You are filled with ambition and courage this month, Gemini. It’s as if, a new page has turned and you’ve gained a new perspective on your fears and limitations because you are not allowing anything or anyone to hold you back. The Knight of Pentacles is well protected and blessed with enough vision and will power to see through any journey, from start to finish. You are extremely focused and motivated towards a cause or potentially causes that appeal to your heart. A routine that you decide to develop this month, proves itself to be efficient and successful in your pursuits. It is important for you to not take large risks this month but to move slowly with calculated moves where you can see results occurring for you. This gives you the confidence to continue on with your dreams and the encouragement to know that you are heading in the right direction. Stay true to your dreams and your commitments and don’t be afraid to let loose once in awhile. The Queen of Rods encourages you to shake things up in your life. It is time to live more spontaneously and to surprise not only yourself but those around you. The Knight of Pentacles indicates consistency within our foundations (home, finances, career, family, friends, etc) but all other areas require much creativity and playfulness in order to balance out the whole picture. Don’t take things so seriously, most of the time what you perceive has nothing to do with you but with others people’s perceptions of themselves or quite possibly their projections. By living large, you break the cycle of inner thought and excessive brain activity. In June, you are living for yourself and gaining much from your flamboyant experiences. Many will want to join you for a good time. Under the influence of the Queen of Rods, you gain a Hierophant type of image and personality. This means that you appear larger-than-life this month, with much profound wisdom echoing from your mouth and memorable presence. People will remember you for how you made them feel and your ability to heal them by inadvertently doing so. Not only will you find yourself making advanced moves in your career front but you are to be recognized as a charming extrovert with the ability to get their way. Work your magic for good this month & you will reap the rewards later this year.

Capricorn I 9 of Cups, Queen of Cups, 3 of Cups

Things are manifesting for you at the speed of light that it could be challenging for you to keep up but they are all essentially miniature version of your dreams that indicate bigger things are around the corner for you. June gets you excited for your future and you can expect to receive an abundance of great news in regards of your personal investments and how you have been spending your time. This excellent, as you are known to daydream and fantasize about your future rather than being pro-active & fire oriented. The 9 of Cups inspires you to dream big and think large; what you have set out to accomplish is being actualized little-by-little, so go above & beyond what you think you can achieve. The influence of this card can denote an auspicious energy around you which seems like the midas touch, whatever you decide to adventure on has a successful quality to it, leaving you fulfilled on all levels. The Queen of Cups brings you a high romantic quality this month, the energy is filled with hope and potential new beginnings. If you are already involved, this is symbolic of a purity in your relationship that reminds you of how things were when you first began. There is an immense amount of playfulness that surrounds this love quality and you are a flirtatious magnet for what you want to attract. If you are single, have fun with this influence. The universe is brining this opportunity along so you can pick and choose your desired experiences and get a chance to know this refreshing side of yourself but remain grounded and honest with your expectations so that no one falls too deeply under your charm. The 3 of Cups picks up on this vibes and tells us that there is much to celebrate and many social events to be involved in. Why not multi-task and make yourself be known by networking an celebrating yourself. If you have an agenda in mind, it can most definitely be accomplished by the help of individuals in positions of power. You are strategically placed the month in random situations that can benefit you highly if you come about it from an angle of advantage. What is my purpose here? Who am I supposed to meet? Who am I supposed to help? These are questions that can help weed out distractions and get you straight to the point. By narrowing down your focus, you’ll reap more of the rewards that you are so greatly surrounded by. 

Leo I Wheel of Fortune, Hierophant, The Moon

Hang on tight Leo, the roller coaster of chaos is not over yet! June continues to provide some intense experiences for you brought by the Wheel of Fortune as it has for the past couple of months. Trust that this is the universe’s way of revealing what needs to be seen by you, pay attention! Patterns, subconscious habits, personal belief systems and blockages are being flown at your face so that you can acknowledge what needs to be adjusted and changed in order to operate as the best you possible. Projections from other individuals are strong, what you find to dislike or like in others is revealing something inside of yourself that needs attention. There is much to learn from the past couple of months and karmically, you will be getting a break from the perpetual changes, not in a literal sense but a mental one. You finally grasp that you are not in control and the best way to cope with the situation at hand is to ride the wave and see where it takes you. The Hierophant ensures much spiritual development during this time. You will be gaining massive clarity over your purpose and functionality in the world. A great “aha” moment is in store when you have a heart to heart with a distant friend or someone who hold great importance in your past. Your understanding of old parts of yourself enables you to be more compassionate with the “younger” you. There is a sense of nostalgia and the need to retrace your steps to understand the “bigger picture” with your decision making process. Are you aware of the way you operate in life? The Moon will heighten all your hidden shadows and innermost feelings this month, allowing you to heal from some trauma that has kept you at bay. It’s best not to avoid or fight the feelings because there is much wisdom stored in them. You want to make sense out of these revelations and allow them to be fully felt so that they don’t come knocking at your door at an inconvenient  time in the future. The Moon recommends that you engage in more spiritually sound activities, although June will be packed with much action, you are reminded to spend time alone performing your own personal ritual whatever that may be. You are keeping something really valuable from yourself that could be the key to all your questions and limitations. In order to discover this secret, stillness and silence are required to dig deep and excavate your spirit’s messages. Write, sing, dance, walk through nature, spend time with children, talk to your elders, participate in humanitarian work, meditate… there are a myriad of ways for you to cultivate your intuition and to discover what you are keeping from you. June is the month to make a new commitment to yourself. Once you discover what you’d like that to be, make sure you honor it. 

Sagittarius I Strength, 5 of Wands, Temperance

It’s time to slow down and be a bit more deliberate in speech and action. The Strength card represents a nurturing side to yourself that is in development; you are capable of tending to your own needs more without getting into a panic or anxiety frenzy. It is the analytical side to you that is balanced with the need to always perform and accomplish tasks. June is the month where you are able to release the pedal gain perspective on the more important things in life. You will find yourself spending more time with family & friends, investing time in doing things that really matter, where you can serve others and help others in some way. You are a rock for many individuals around you, providing them sound advice from your personal experience. This element to you can also put you in an authoritative position whether its in your career or other aspect of your life. Because you tend to not put things off, people rely on you to get the job done or to communicate with tact and honesty. It is important for you to clear out any heaviness that you may feel inside, as you are encountering many different energies that can clog your own. The 5 of Wands tells me that there might be some applied pressure on your end. The irony is that you personally don’t like to beat around the bush, yet there seems to be something that you are avoiding within yourself. Be it a decision, a conclusion or a realization that you rather not analyze, you will have to face this head on sooner or later. This card can indicate self-doubt or energy that you are projecting towards yourself. If you think you are not ready for the next step, you are. Pay close attention to what your soul & spirit are telling you. The Temperance is all about divine timing and taking the next step when you feel it is right in your heart. Chances are, you already know what that next step is and either you are stalling or waiting for someone to make that move/decision for you. You have a clear purpose in this life and without making that move, the rest of your puzzle pieces will not be complete. This is the catalyst for positive change in your life, as frightening or painful as it may be, you are divinely supported by invisible forces that are rooting for you. Make that move.

Pisces I 10 of Pentacles, 6 of Swords, 4 of Pentacles

There is a need for immense bonding, for your voice to be heard and acknowledged and to gather individuals for a cause that you highly passionate about. The 10 of Pentacles is a massive gathering that is to occur in June where you play a pivotal role. This event will bring you a plethora of ideas that motivate you to shift things around in your home life and/or personal life. You make a final decision with a spontaneous fantasy that you have been playing repetitively in your head for sometime. It seems like many other people also are supportive of you in this choice but you may not feel inclined to reveal your motives all at once. It is best to disclose your ideas to maybe two people, tops… that is until you have everything locked int its place. What you are involved in, is a serious commitment in one form or another and may take years to formalize. it could very much be a new move, or a drastic shift in education/career or the decision to give birth (in either the literal or figurative sense). You are in a highly creative mode and are fertile with possibilities and love that you want to be a part of every little thing. There is only so much that you can do, Pisces, so take heed on what is most important to you and participate in your own personal cleansing. The 6 of Swords indicates the desire to be separated from an idea or possibly items or individuals in your life. Your spirit is leaning towards more harmony, unity and happiness and there are certain components around you that are not conducive to that vibe or lifestyle. In attempts to get where you want to go & be, there is much spring cleaning involved. Donate items, forgive individuals, revisit the past and learn what it was meant to teach you & move forward without looking back. The 4 of Pentacles indicates the desire to save and to harvest great thoughts and potentially money. You are building a big nest for the future and will do anything you can to ensure that it is undisturbed and stable. Assuming that you are rebuilding from where the 6 of Swords left off, be selective with whom you choose to spend your time and energy with. You deserve the best and thus only the best energy and intentions should surround you. Keep your guard up in terms of your spending habits and the influence of those close to you. This may require a little bit of isolation but it is important to get your internal state solid and secure before you start paying attention to the consultation of others. Your words and your intuition is golden this month. Stick to your gut and continue building up that prosperity wealth. 

Taurus I 4 of Wands, Death, 10 of Cups

There is so much to learn and to absorb from around you as shown by the 4 of Wands. You may be inspired to travel and whether that is near or far, the experience will provide life-changing clarity. June has you celebrating who you truly are, that means no comparison or competition with others. It is time that this finally settled in. You are living in a care-free mind, observing the habits and opinions of others and deciphering how you have come to develop your own. This is almost a psychedelic influence that occurred in an organic nature. The wise individual that you’ve known yourself to be has finally caught up with the rest of you. You are able to walk the talk and take permission from no-one, from here on in, you pave your own way. Boundaries are affirmed and you have your own personal set of codes/laws that you abide by to ensure that you stay afloat, balanced and peaceful. You find popular culture to be trivial and may even discover yourself to be quite bored, which inspires you to seek out different outlets of expression. Don’t be surprised if you take up new philosophies, hobbies or a lifestyle that is inherently more radical than what most practice or seek. This is a rebellious stage for you but a safe one at that. You are coming to terms with Death, and the reality that it may be encountered at any moment so living life fearlessly and with gratitude and adventure is of the utmost importance to you. There is great internal change happening inside of you that requires you to consult your inner child. This process is very unfamiliar to some and may be awkward but our inner child never dies, we just adapt to a more magic-less overburdened way of being. Any pain or fear you are encountering should be address with open arms and a curiosity to discover its roots. There is a big chance that you will overcome a childhood fear or worry that has lingered on til this day. Working on yourself, in terms of wanting to strive to be a better individual on all platforms will bring you many rewards in June. The 10 of Cups will reveal to you that by living a relax and comforted life, you become a magnet to incredible opportunity and experiences that your heart has always desired. You must want this change, Taurus. At times there could be aspects of you where you are confounded by the frustration and challenged that life brings you but what you do not realize is that you subconsciously thrive for the struggle. Once again, something in your childhood is in relation to this pattern, so dig in deep and see what you can find. There is magic in store for you on all levels from here on in. You reach a level of maturity where you are comfortable in helping yourself, no excuses or complaints delivered. The 10 of Cups will ensure that you are met with open arms and a bright future.

Cancer I Emperor, Temperance, King of Rods

June is an aggressive month for you, you feel the call to take on more responsibility and action in your career and personal life because of the Emperor’s influence. These past months you’ve been performing at bare minimum but for some reason you are inspired to go above and beyond and surpass the authoritative figures around you. This may call for some distant studying, observing and learning from those who have been and are successful, taking notes and analyzing where we can follow suit. There is quite the paternal vibe echoing through this month and you are very much so reminded of your father in some ways. Perhaps you have a quality of his that can help you thrive and will be needing to bring that out into the forefront. If you feel the inclination to do so, honor this feeling in whichever way you are inspired to take action. The aggression encountered in June is more with the self than it is with those in opposition to you. Prepared to be tested in your ideas and desires. If you are ambitious with money, then make sure you know how to handle large amount of it or clientele. You will have your hands busy so knowing how to keep your center and perspective will help a great deal. The Temperance warns you to stay level headed, everyone is operating in their own level of consciousness and there is nothing you can do about that but either offer your best advice if needed or lead by example. Try not to get too tyrannical, be it in your relationships or career; people can feel your energy even if unspoken and will attempt to avoid your tornado path at all costs. Your job is to be efficient in every moment, in every task and to unite your mind and your intention to get things done. A great deal of success can be manifested as a result of your first week of work done in June. Do not put things off until last or another person will gladly take the opportunity to outshine your efforts. The King of Rods shows me that you are not playing games this month! You want what is yours and will do anything to advance. Be open to the suggestions of other people but trust your intuition when something does not feel sound. This card can indicate distant travel as well, and could be the need for a vacation but i am uncertain if you will be wanting to take that break. You are so swift and cunning in your actions that most will be amazed at your progress towards the end of the year. There is a definite time for honor and recognition in the near future, but use this month to make the right moves and to leap 10 steps ahead. Be mindful of your stress levels and eating habits, as your momentum may cause some health concerns. 

By Tatianna Tarot


we are pleased to feature the amazing artwork of our dear friend Tulsi Maya. these images are from her COPS! series under her moniker "prettywhores." Tulsi describes prettywhores as "the darling & the dirty". Tulsi is an Australian artist who "vomits up futuristic nostalgia." she is quite prolific and diverse in her imagery. The COPS! series stroke me particularly because it tackles the prevalent issue of police brutality which Tulsi describes,"as a new form of genocide against people of color." and indeed she is absolutely right. this week alone we have seen police harassment against peaceful teens in Texas and the suicide of our black angel, Kalief Browder. Tulsi uses archival black and white images of police harassment and integrates surrealism and fantasy with her illustrations. the police officers become literal monsters with tentacles, horns, and ghoulish eyes. we are a big fan of fantasy, surrealism, and science fiction at black de cool sun, because it offers us ways to push the boundaries of the way we look at our reality. Please check out the work below. 

COPS!” // _ _ _ is love // push and shove

COPS!” //
_ _ _ is love //
push and shove

prettywhores >> “COPS!” // broken hearts of harlem    

prettywhores >>
“COPS!” //
broken hearts
of harlem


prettywhores >>   “COPS!” //   s̶e̶r̶v̶e̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶p̶r̶o̶t̶e̶c̶t̶ //   curb and reject II

prettywhores >>
“COPS!” //
s̶e̶r̶v̶e̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶p̶r̶o̶t̶e̶c̶t̶ //
curb and reject II

prettywhores >>   “COPS!” //   dope king //   secret stash III

prettywhores >>
“COPS!” //
dope king //
secret stash III

prettywhores >>   “COPS!” //   can't see the forest   for the trees   

prettywhores >>
“COPS!” //
can't see the forest
for the trees

prettywhores >>  “COPS!” // secret stash II      art created by tulsi maya © info.prettywhores@gmail.com  http://thedarlingandthedirty.tumblr.com/

prettywhores >>
“COPS!” // secret stash II


art created by tulsi maya © info.prettywhores@gmail.com


Nikki Giovanni | I Wrote A Good Omelet

Goddes Nikki Giovanni's bearth was on June 7th! Happy Bearth to the Gemini Queen. Find one of my favorite love poems by her below. 

I Wrote A Good Omelet

I wrote a good omelet...and ate 
a hot poem... after loving you

Buttoned my car...and drove my 
coat home...in the rain... 
after loving you

I goed on red...and stopped on 
green...floating somewhere in between... 
being here and being there... 
after loving you

I rolled my bed...turned down 
my hair...slightly 
confused but...I don't care...

Laid out my teeth...and gargled my 
gown...then I stood 
...and laid me down...

To sleep... 
after loving you