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Dear Readers, I wanted to take a moment to catch you up on life in the Pacific Northwest at The House of Hunt residence. For those readers who follow the turning of the Wheel; Mabon occurred the weekend of Folsom and in every sense it was a time of gathering, gratitude and abundance. We came together to celebrate and share the fruit of our creative labors. Night and day were in equal balance, and The House members were all together in our former home of San Francisco.san-francisco-real-estate-market-trends-3.jpg

The Wheel now prepares to turn again. The nights have grown colder; the fiery colored leaves that were shaken from the trees during the tornado now lay under foot, sodden with recent rainfall. The winds of change have arrived, riding on the back of a tornado no less, a powerful metaphor indeed.d04aae2a759e509e86aa6fa9cc335343Summers End is almost upon us; Samhain, Halloween, All Saints Day and Dia de Mortes, lay just around the corner.  For some it is a time of dress up and candy, for others a more solemn occasion of remembering those that have passed to the other side, where the veil that separates this life from the next is at its thinnest. For a few of my readers it is also a time known as the Spiritual New Year.385ffac8482f3e104c3571966c620ef2

It is in this time of change, where the witching hour draws close that I sought out a decidedly magical friend of mine, Nick, from Page of Wands Tarot. Nick did a reading for me last week, a tarot reading that is. I had a question and I needed some advice on the outcome of two different choices. I know you have been in this situation, dear reader, where it just seemed impossible to untangle the plusses and minuses from one choice to another, no matter how hard you looked. I could feel the wind on my back urging me to make a choice and yet which choice to make. So it is with this metaphoric fog in my brain, I knocked on the door of Page of Wands Tarot. The outcome of our encounter was insight, clarity and thankfully no more fog.

Over the next few months I will be introducing you to some of the performers in The House of Hunt and some of the fabulous people we spend time with. October, felt like the perfect time to introduce you to Nick, our divination expert.

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Nick how did this begin for you?

I have had a fascination with tarot since my early teen years. However, it was not until 2013 that I actually began to study and read tarot for myself. During one of the darkest times of my life, it served as a tremendous source of centering, direction, and reassurance.

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How did you start doing tarot for others?

As I began to dig deeper into this craft, others began to come to me seeking the same guidance that I had found for myself. This is what inspired me to start Page of Wands Tarot. I created a platform that allows me to help others with the skill that I have developed. Just like the page of wands “himself”, my hope is to boldly explore new territories seeking truth and enlightenment.

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What is the most memorable experience with Tarot that you have encountered?

My most memorable tarot experience was the day that I decided to go buy my first deck (which is still the one I use to this day). I remember getting back to my car and opening it for the very first time. I was so excited!!!! My intuition was telling me that that step was the beginning of something which would change my life in a very positive way.

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What does this weekend mean to you and how will you be celebrating?

For me, Samhain is a time for being open to learning from the past. Many different traditions recognize the thinning of the veil between physical and spiritual during this time. It is often filled with many different ancestral traditions, which for me can include learning from one’s past self.nick2If any of my readers wish for your services how do they get in contact with you and how do you do your readings?

I can be contacted directly through my Facebook Page. I do intuitive tarot reading, readings can be conveyed face to face or via email, text, Skype, Facetime, etc.

How much are your readings?

This is a donation based service (recommended donation $10-$20). It is my goal to make this accessible to as many people as possible.

Well dear readers whatever you believe in, may your forthcoming weekend be all that you need and desire it to be. Until next time, hold onto your hats and may your cauldrons be ever full.

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Dearest friends and followers,

I wanted to take a moment of your precious time, to address some questions and comments that have come up repeatedly over the years, in particular, following a photoshoot.

“You always look so in your photos<insert compliment>, I wish I could do that, but I am not <insert adjective>”

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Liliane Hunt Image by John Goyer

 

You can do it. Not wishing to thoroughly ruin my twistedly evil reputation, but yes anyone (even you, yes YOU) can stand in front of a camera and look beautiful. First of all, try to extract from your consciousness all those things you heard about what beauty is supposed to look like. (This also works for handsome, or any other word that speaks to your soul.) Everything you learned from television, magazines and the media in general.  Now take it all, scoop it up into a ball, open your door or window and breathe in deep. Curse, shout if it feels right, exhale and throw that rubbish as far away as possible. Wash your hands, take a shower, sage, go for a run, dance, whatever allows you to feel cleansed from the lies you have been told your entire life, because that is exactly what they are.

You are beautiful, handsome, cheeky, cute, dashing, sexy, pretty in every size, in every gender on the spectrum, in every race, every color and physicality imaginable and every damn age. It’s true, it really is. I know I have a reputation for being wicked, but you’re just going to have to trust me on this.

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Sheba Ameera aka Weebit

Now we have sorted out why you think you can’t, let’s move on to step two!

“I would really love to take pictures like you but I don’t know how to get started.”

Find a photographer you want to work with and that you feel comfortable around. Maybe you have seen their work and think it’s awesome, or maybe you and a friend want to start shooting together.

Discuss the kind of pictures you want to take, what you feel comfortable with or not comfortable with, be upfront and candid. If you don’t know this person, try to find some background on them, people they have worked with before. Vet them.

Decide on a theme, a look, an overall idea, or just go with how the wind blows.  There are no rules.

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Liliane Hunt Image by John Goyer

I have a bit of a reputation for my outfits, but the reality is you do not need a fancy whatever to look good, you really don’t. The first dress I wore in my very first shoot came from a thrift store and, if memory serves me correctly, I think it was under $10 . If you are one of those people who struggle to find things that fit your body. I get it, I really do (I’m one of those people too). So if you are shooting from the front, pin or clamp the back, or get someone to sew you into it. No one will ever be the wiser; you wouldn’t believe how many shoots I have done with cheats like these.IMAG3876

Have fun, experiment, if clothes aren’t for you, but shooting in the buff isn’t something you feel super comfortable with either, you do have options. Body paint, fabric, draped strategically, if you are trying to do this as economically as possible, look around your home, your apartment, see what you can adapt and be creative. Take risks, sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t, it is all part of the fun.

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Liliane Hunt and Jessi K Image by John Goyer

If you are working with an experienced photographer he will likely have lighting, or have a sense of how to work with what you have at home. If this is just you and a friend starting at the beginning, teach yourself some basics, “how?” you ask, Google is your friend.  The lighting can make or break a shot so it’s always something to keep in mind.

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Image of Ed Mestre by John Goyer

Those are the basics, the rest is simply the icing. Well one more piece of advice, if you are not shooting in a studio, rather on location, or at home; take a few moments to check your space for something that you don’t want in the shot. This can be as simple as moving the sofa and discovering a dust bunny. It really is worth the time to double check.

“How did you get started in all this?”

Twenty plus years of theater both in England and the U.S. preceded my very first outing to Folsom Street Fair nine years ago, that particular adventure began with a tremendously rocky beginning.

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Liliane Hunt 2007, the beginning.

I had been grieving the death of my father, the threat of having to leave the US due to my Visa running out, and the dissolution of a four year relationship all at the same time. You might say I was miserable and quite soggy in my misery. Finally, Mr. Wizard (yes the infamous House of Hunt Wizard), suggested, in his Wizardly way, that I had been miserable long enough and now I needed to live life and go to Folsom Street Fair.  So I got up, got out of bed, put on an outfit that I felt good in, and that I had actually helped design a few months back, and off we went to Folsom. I literally had no idea what I was walking into, however I trusted Mr. Wizard. A very important quality to remember when choosing your wizard, or did he choose me? I guess we will never know. If I asked him I guarantee he would chuckle and answer the question with a question. IMG_4774

The sun was shining, I laughed for the first time in a very long time, and there were photographers. I had fun, and at some point over that evening or the next day (I forget), I ended up on the front page of The Chronicle and somewhere near Paris Hilton in the society pages of SF Luxe with the statement,  “Mistress Liliane best dressed at Folsom, some might say the only dressed.”FolsomStreetFair2007_LilianeHuntTheHouseofHunt

Now this in a nutshell started the whole ball rolling, because people started asking what I was going to do the following year. Then people started asking me to come to events in my outfits, then with my entourage, then could I do something on stage, and then what would I like to do on stage and how long for and so on… and that my friends is how it all began.

“If you could give any advice what would it be?”

When you find yourself immersed in a vat of lemon juice, I am not talking simple lemon throwing; I am talking full immersion. Keep swimming, keep moving, doggy paddle, do whatever it takes to keep moving, because sooner or later this too will pass. Sometimes the passing is that you find resolution in yourself and strength you never knew you had. Situations don’t necessarily change, but your ability to process them does. Be kind to yourself, love yourself, and nurture yourself. Find what gives you joy and do it. Be mindful of what you put in, on and around your body. Surround yourself with good people and people that call you on your stuff and nonsense when it needs to be called out. Perform an act of kindness for no other reason than to be compassionate and make this a habit. Draw your boundaries firmly and respect your boundaries. Allow love in your life in whatever form feels right, plants, animals, people it doesn’t matter allow love, give it and be open to receiving it.IMAG0130_1

Create something awesome! It doesn’t matter what it is. It could be food, music, art; it doesn’t even have to sound arty just create. Push yourself and give yourself permission to rest. Listen to your body and do not toss away the seeds of your dreams, plant them, water them and let them grow.

With many thanks and gratitude to all the amazing people in my life who have made this extraordinary journey possible. Lifetimes of gratitude to Mr. Wizard for being the very first person to believe in what I was creating and insisting I go to Folsom. So much love for the beautiful women, men (and those in-between) in my life that inspire me on a daily basis. You know who you are, cheeky, handsome, cute, pretty, sexy… YOU.

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The organization and planning of the Leather Contingent began in January, with the organizers Jay Hemphill and Michael Holeman, two of the loveliest gentleman to work, plan and take tea with.  By May the corralling of the ponies from across the states began and deciding who would have the honor of carrying our Leather Marshalls Race Bannon, Leland Carina and our two VIP’s Tyler McCormick and Aaron safely along Market Street for the entirety Pride Parade. The ponies who made the cut were Splinter and Whimsy, Tinny, and Sparky.  Standing and trotting in soaring San Francisco heat,(yes I did mention San Francisco and heat) to give our VIP’s the experience of a lifetime, an honoring of their service to the community, by the community honoring them.

So as the followers of Liliane Hunt’s personal diary will know, Ms Liliane knows a little thing or two about clothes.  It began with my Grandmother, who never walked out of the house without her hair and make up immaculately done.  She modeled when she was younger and consulted my very small opinion on which blouse to wear with which suit.  It was she who taught me about couture and the art of tailor made clothes.  My mother inherited the gene by making period costumes and teaching me how to sew by hand.  I remember a sewing project once where, at the age of around six my teacher declared my work to be done on a sewing machine, my mother marched my teacher over to the window and told her to look again.  My teacher, needless to say back down and admitted she was incorrect.  Then there was Shirley, to put it briefly she is and was a remarkable women, who lives and lived a remarkably international life.  She entertained on the finest of levels, knew what was the best and why it was the best and did it all herself.  Looking back, I can see the women who have influenced my life and encouraged me to step forth and create beauty and art and to always keep it real.  People who know me know that I take what I do seriously, what I wear seriously, but never take myself too seriously.

So typically for Pride and Folsom I have something custom-made, or buy couture.  Its my thing.  I create my art through my clothes and indulge my fetishism.  I also know a thing or two about quality and service.  Service, in many ways is my profession and lifestyle, I know it when I see it and when I don’t.  Excellent quality and excellent service do not always come hand in glove, even if the glove is couture.  I have in fact begun to wonder if the rarity of good manners in everyday life and the desire to not just sell you something, but provide you equally excellent service has begun to fade.  If it is indeed a dying art.  When I design an outfit for an event I know it will be photographed, so the fit, must be just right, I take into consideration the designer that I am advertising, and the message that I am delivering.  Sometimes knee-high Frye combat boots, a couture evening gown with leather opera gloves and an absolutely exquisite hat give exactly the right message.  My handsome entourage for San Francisco Pride were a pack of combat puppies, a leather puppy, a wolf and a pony, so one needs to be practical about these things.

With every big event there is always something unexpected that occurs.  The House of Hunt endeavor to make things look as seamless as possible, but each year there is always something.  This year it was the postal service, they lost my hat, in fact they didn’t just lose my guaranteed delivery package, they hung up on two of the people who called to enquire how my beautiful hat had vanished.  I then called the office of Mr. Song Millinery to ask what do about my missing hat.  My event was Sunday and today was Friday and I still had no hat.  I didn’t know that I was speaking to the designer himself until half way through our conversation.  Instead of hanging up and blaming the postal service, we began to strategize.  He phoned friends and knew someone who worked on an airline.  We discussed if we could fly another hat from Detroit to San Francisco to arrive in time for Pride.  Fortunatly, the following morning, the hat appeared.  I held my breath and opened the box, it was exquisite.  An absolutely beautiful work of art.  I immediately phoned Mr. Song to deliver the good news, the hat had arrived and I loved it. I also mentioned that SF Pride is not exactly Royal Ascot, but we do indeed have our own home-grown royalty and couture most certainly does not go unnoticed.

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