I was in Mexico City last week, playing music and savoring the city. After a particularly intense and inebriated late-night jam, my partner and I were unwinding with our friends, debating our trajectory, when two of our Mexican hosts exclaimed in unison, “Patrick Miller!” — a phrase brimming with mystery.

Seven of us packed into two cars, and headed to Patrick Miller — a strangely-monikered disco in Roma Norte stuffed to the rafters with dancing bodies of all forms and ages. From above, we witnessed spontaneous circles coalesce within the amorphous mass on the dance floor. Inside each circle, ferocious dance battles erupted before an ever-morphing audience, some dancing, some motionless, some using canes or wheelchairs, all radiant with smiles and awe.

The joy freely bursting from dancers of all backgrounds in this club says more about love than 1,000 valentines. Joy and love are the essence of life, and expressing them can often be a frightening wager. For some, the danger of free expression is explicit, political, physical and omnipresent. But everyone in love must confront the less tangible dangers of giving up the self, of potential rejection, of immersing one’s soul in the other. Love must overcome the fear to thrive, to even exist.

Hence our question for the tarot:

“How can I overcome fear on Valentine’s Day, to truly, freely, and openly love?”

XVIII La Lune (The Moon)

The light of The Moon is a reflection, the energy beamed back by a fully receptive mirror to the other. Two towers stand on either side of the card, one with steps to its facade but no door; one with a door but no clear path to its threshold.

Fear locks us within our towers, but outside, basking in the lunar energy of reflected emotion, animals feed and intuitive creativity lurks in the pools of our psyche. Listening, receiving our loved ones fully, and sending love back — unconditionally and without judgement or anxiety — frees us from fear and nourishes the other.

XVI La Maison Dieu (The Tower)

A blast of energy from above — or within — demolishes a stone tower, as celebrants tumble before its edifice, showered by glittering debris.

As we listen and receive, The Tower that imprisons us crumbles, pierced from above, freeing us from our self-constructed prisons of fear, anxiety and self-doubt.

XI La Force (Strength)

A woman restrains a flesh-colored beast, symbolizing active, conscious channeling of our primal instincts and intuitions.

If we can establish a virtuous cycle of reflected energy, our isolating towers will shatter, and we will dance together beneath the ruins, bathed in abundance. But once tapped, our egos must direct the everyday application of our love — just as mere words are meaningless without feelings behind them, mere feelings are powerless unexpressed.

Buy the flowers, feather your love nest, take that trip to Mexico.

I use the Marseille deck restored by Philippe Camoin and Alejandro Jodorowsky, and I follow Jodorowsky’s reading strategy: Look to the details of the cards themselves for meaning, not to traditional interpretations (although these are certainly useful).

I draw three cards from the major arcana, taking the triad to mean a narrative progression, if not strictly “past, present, future.”