Palabras: La Romantica

Taking advantage of getting away for the weekend, there was plenty of time for me to write, cook, eat, and watch movies. I stayed in my robe a good part of Saturday. This was all very unlike me and I loved it. I’m the one who is usually up before dawn charging forward with a list of things to do. The past few weekends have been hectic as have my work days. I decided to pull the card early today. Smudging myself and the cards with sage, shuffling and fanning the cards out were how I began, as usual. I love routine. Together, Graciella la Gitana, my spirit guide and I pulled the card- La Romantica- the romantic.

Image: The image is that of a young girl, long dark hair flowing behind her in the breeze, who is leaving a large estate. Her left hand holds her wrap close to her. The right hand holds onto the wrought iron railing that leads to the stairs. Behind her is a large decorative window. There is shrubbery, apparently well tended, in front of the window. A crease in her skirt, near her creative center, has the shape of the crescent moon.

Words: Slight wistfulness and hope. No promises are made. The day moves ahead without prescription. Know that the universes are in rhythm. Patterns flow. Moving ahead when the time is right. The challenge is to allow it to happen naturally and not attempt to do the shifting.

Read: The romantic one “romanticizes” the actual set of events or possibilities. The dress on the young woman in the card appears to be of light chiffon and the bodice is tight. It reveals a heart shaped top that covers her youthful breasts. The girl looks to be escaping some sort of gala or celebration. She wears no jewelry and her shoes are in the style of Mary Jane’s. Clearly she is not ready for the event she leaves. Her objective brain protects herself and her subjective brain tells her to leave. We see her running down the stairs. When we are immature in our world experience, we find ourselves longing for places, people and things that are far beyond our ability to handle them. There is wisdom to not rushing things, allowing nature to take its course and letting time take time. Surrendering to the larger ebb and flow of life’s cycles provides a safe place to step aside and to wait for our turn- in fulfilling the dream that we so desire.

Palabras: La Muerte

We went to visit a dear friend, yesterday, who is very ill in the hospital; she’s been very helpful to my spouse and me in our spiritual lives. We did energetic healing work, prayed for her and translated “hospitalese” for her son. As a nurse, I take for granted the language of medicine. I hope that I translated it to the language of healing. Afterward, I read a poem I’d written at Bluestockings in NYC with a Latina writing group, La Pluma y La Tinta that I’d helped to found with Raquel Penzo. We’re on hiatus but still get together to read. Busy day, diverse as life can be. This is why I’m pulling this card today and didn’t last evening. I first smudged myself and the cards with sage, shuffled and fanned the cards. Together, Graciella la Gitana, my spirit guide and I pulled the card- La Muerte – the death card.

Image: The image is that of a male hiding behind a wall or doorway. He stands with his eyes gleaming, darting furtively. In his right hand he holds a dagger, ready to plunge at a moment’s notice. Is he the hunted or the hunter? Is his fear well-founded or a manifestation of thoughts that are unclear and an inability to discern the truth of the situation?

Words: Reflect on the actions you are about to make. They may bring discomfort and distress. You can stop what you are doing swiftly. Let your heart bleed into your brain and create a pure channel from which to work.

 Read: Frightened at first when I pulled this card, as always. Why is it that the death card- no matter how long I’ve been reading oracles- is alarming? Death is about transformation- from the old to a new way. There are so many ways to read this. We can live in fear and ruminate about something bad happening. We can wait for it-whatever that awful thing is- to take a prominent place in our lives. The truth is that the other shoe will always drop. The truck will come bounding round the corner. Actions that we take are the ones that end up more determining than the one situation we are sure will make or break or lives forever. This message to me is one of taking time to stop, reflect, meditate on what is important and take positive action. It may not seemingly change the events at hand but a pure channel is one that makes living with the consequences and results much easier. Heart and brain together make for a place of serenity when they are linked and not blocked with fear.

Palabras: The Wagon

This is the second general reading of the New Year that I’ve done using my Palabras de Graciella La Gitana- Spiritual Oracle.  This weekend was a lazy, happy time. Not much work. Yay! Instead, we had friends, including their dog, who shared laughs, singing, and lots of food with us. We spent the morning at one of the state parks. A couple of us ran and a couple walked in the brisk air. The path surrounded a lake that was quite frozen. There weren’t many people on the road. We passed one couple with their beautiful white dog who I think was smiling- the dog, I mean. I couldn’t be sure because of the branch he held between his teeth- but his tail was definitely wagging. The four of us engaged in exercise, somewhat together, but not altogether, we all did what we wanted to at our own paces. Lovely. Tonight as I began this reading, I first smudged myself and the cards with sage, shuffled and fanned the cards. Together, Graciella and I pulled the card- The Wagon.

Image: The image is that of the side of a wagon. A step ladder is at its side along with a bucket of paint. There is a box with a jar there too. A hammer is thrown on the ground in front of the step that leads to the wagon’s door. There is a large sign on the side of the closed wagon. It says- Crystal Readings. A couple of stars adorn the sign too.  

Words: The spirit is housed within one’s body. Take a moment and feel the breeze come in through the narrow window. Curtains are gently flaring. Breathe. Take stock. Note. Is your wagon frayed? What is closed and what is open? Are there sounds, colors, scents? What aspects of the body need tending to by its spiritual owner?

 Read: Many questions to ponder. Sit quietly. Feel your body and listen to what it may be saying. At the New Year many of us attempt to jump start a whole new fitness plan. Others of us have paid lip service but haven’t taken action as yet. Even others have been attending to a physical exercise regimen for a while and have done so on automatic pilot. Changes in our physical beings such as illness, colds, or plain old feeling run down may mean that a few tweaks are in order. Rest is an important part of a physical regimen. Are you getting the sleep that you need? Being up at night with a case of the worries due to stress can be helped. Runners run. Great. Would a few strength training exercises make that run just a bit more easy and enjoyable? Listen to your breath? Are you struggling? Just because your best buddy can cycle in the cold or run in frigid temperatures doesn’t always mean that you can. You might be able to with a few adjustments. Run a bit slower. Give up that after meal cigarette that you’ve been clinging onto- no one the wiser. Each individual has his or her own delicate balance. Get acquainted with your own. Maybe treat yourself to a consultation or two with a personal trainer. Pop the yoga DVD in that you bought last year. Don’t be shy. The family member you dread watching you, may actually join you. The suggestion to have a physical examination and a doctor’s go ahead before starting an exercise program is a sound one. Most of us don’t know that our arteries are blocked, that our hemoglobin has dipped below the norm or that we need more protein in our diets. There are internet sources, books, articles and, most especially, trained professionals that are available to give you the information you want.  Check out your old wagon. Shiny new wheels, tightening up some screws or a coat of paint may be all you need to carry your spirit happily into the New Year.

Spiritual Sightings I


Meandering through New York City is something I’ve taken for granted. There are tourists doing what they do best – they walk slowly. Mothers chat on cell phones while maneuvering strollers. Construction workers carry large slabs of drywall. Panhandlers discreetly ask for coins- not pans. The greyness of the city is large. It’s cold. Mostly everyone is in a hurry. No one is gathering at outdoor cafes.  After the holiday, discarded Christmas evergreens are strewn on sidewalks awaiting pick-up. A few chilled dogs are walked by their similarly freezing human companions.

 Very much aware that my state of mind and spiritual condition are an inside job, I’ve still been on the lookout for something that might zap me with some peace and tranquility-I’m only human. Daydreaming about new things that I’d like to get involved in for the New Year 2012- I decided that this year I will add a new category to my blog. It will be called Spiritual Sightings. I was one of those little girls who jumped for joy when I heard the old black and white flick, Song of Bernadette, was going to be on television for the umpteenth time. I screamed with delight when Jennifer Jones lifted her eyes in awe at the sighting of the Virgin Mary. This still happens- not only when I watch an old flick but at all the odd times that ‘things that make the spiritual happen’ show themselves to me.


Going to work a few days a week I pass a shop called La Sirena NYC. The owner Dina Lear has held the doors open for twelve years. She travels frequently to Mexico and brings back wonderful folk art objects of all types. Her sign calls them ‘chucherias’- a word I’ve always loved. They are, of course, for sale but I think they are there for so much more. On the front step is her statue of Our lady of Guadalupe. An icon you might say! I say so much more. The shop is located on E. 3rd Street on the Lower East Side, right off Second Avenue. The statue with rose petals thrown at her feet lend beauty and a profound sense of spirit to what otherwise might be a bleak part of New York City. 

Across the street is a Shelter for Homeless Men. The men gather for a talk, a smoke or a quick interaction of some sort. There’s often an ambulance or a squad car in front of it. To know that just a stone’s throw away is the statue, a symbol of deep love for the humans in our world shifts my perspective whenever I pass by. This is not about religion but a sense of spirituality, community and well-being for all of us- whatever our backgrounds or hopes and aspirations may be.

 When I stepped into La Sirena NYC for a quick chat with Dina, one of the first things she did was talk about the shelter and the men who are there. Her sense of community is apparent. Dina goes beyond herself as a shop manager to one who cares about history, culture and her brethren. What a breath of fresh air. Go over for a visit when you’re in town. She and Our Lady in whatever form would love to see you.

*Deep breath* *Gives Thanks*

Are there unexpected places in your community where you go for a breath of spirit?



Palabras: La Luna

I’ve decided to post the weekly spiritual read from my Palabras de Graciella La Gitana- Spiritual Oracle here on this site. Ambivalent for a time, I finally came to the decision when having dinner with some friends the other night. We spoke about the wonders of being our whole selves- whatever that may be. There is a little sadness that comes along with taking a hiatus from my LatinaLibations blogspot. But there is comfort in being fully myself and not parceling out the different aspects of myself in ways I hadn’t even thought about. Posting meditative practices, information received from within and other delights, that I’m not even sure what they are yet, equals me being more out front with who I am as a reader and a writer. So for 2012, I’ve decided to make some changes and this is one of them. First, as always, I smudged with sage, found Graciella wanted to smoke a cigar, lit one, shuffled and fanned the cards. I threw a beautiful black, flowery shawl I’d been gifted with be a client and together, Graciella and I pulled the card- La Luna.

Image: The image is that of a woman, seen from behind, arms upraised praying to the crescent moon. She stands on sand dunes. The shapes of pyramids are in the dark distance. In her right hand, she hold a feather held high. The trick of the eyes shows that it may actually be a slender knife. It is a prayer instrument, for sure, that may also be used in sacrifice, of one’s self. Smoke encircles the figure, probably from a fire she stands in front of-unseen to the reader.

Words: Beauty and intuition of the Feminine nature. Take time to sit still. Allow the voices to come to you. Allow the visualizations to be shown directly to you. Clear vision, clear hearing, and knowing from deep within.

Read: There is much beauty coming to you in this New Year. The sacrifices and love that you have freely given will be returned to you in sight, sound and voice. Listen for the messages you yearned to hear and sought longingly for- they will come. While your life may have seemed barren, all that you prayed for has been heard. Look around you with love in your eyes so that you will not miss the ways in which you are gifted. Particulars of prayers answered may not look exactly how you wanted but they will be answered. Especially meditate-for most of the answers that you seek are within you and are ready for you to listen to when you take the time for them. Again, I say, especially meditate. Most of your comfort, healing, and reprieve along with the sweet juices of life will come to you in this form. You will receive what you have so long sought.

I would love to hear how this message inspires or invokes a response within you!

Palabras- The South


This week the oracle traveled to the Met, Central Park and Flushing Meadow Park. The illustrator, Mara Cordova, is vacationing back at home in Brooklyn. While not abstaining from a jam packed fun filled week, she carried a few cards with her daily, along with her sketch pad. Graciella is at yet another level of copy. Her beauty and feeling is simultaneously simple with great depth. I am seeing and understanding things that I’ve never before in the cards. Although I started the process by listening to Graciella’s words, my daughter has continued the process and is taking La Gitana’s story to a new level. Tonight, I gathered up the cards, gave them and all of us a great big smudge and centered. The card I pulled along with Graciella was the South card.

 Image: The image is of Graciella. She is standing in a meadow with magnificent trees in the distance. There are flowers at her side. Graciella’s eyes are closed and she is breathing in the energy that surrounds her.

Words: Raise your face to the sun. Trust what is being freely shared with you. There are no answers other than the soft feeling of comfort on your shoulders that offers protection as you travel on your way. All will be shown clearly in its due time.

Read: Immediately I think of the Morning Tobacco Prayer. “To trust and innocence, simplicity, to little mouse, to  the  good road home, to the south, I pray for your power and spirit to come in.” This is one part of a beautiful prayer that I was gifted with many years ago. To share in a spiritual life one is provided with community, one doesn’t have to do anything alone. While we aspire, have hopes and dreams we are also in the great position of not being in ultimate control of anything. Whew! That would just be too much for anyone of us, despite what we may think. I’ve often heard, “I don’t know what Higher Power is but I do know it’s not me.” We are allowed to fret about outcomes, we can pray for things to happen, and gather ourselves up into frenzies, losing all sensibility as we spin. What we don’t have to do is to think we’re in charge. We will be protected and can depend on those who come into our lives to support us, in whatever small ways, as we realize our true potentials.

Let me know how this card takes shape in your life this week. I’d love to hear from you.

Palabras- La Gitana

 Burning sage cleansed the room. A fan of feathers swirled away energy no longer needed. I sat, centered and grounded myself to pull today’s card with Graciella, la Gitana. In shuffling the cards I saw the many different faces and anticipated which card would come forward with its message today. We pulled the card, as I felt Graciella’s energy infuse me. I was ready. La Gitana! Again. This was the same card I pulled the last Sunday evening I sat ready for the read. While this isn’t the celebrate card, this is the message I received. Celebrate yourselves and your lives! 

Image: Graciella la Gitana dances barefoot. She is wearing her swishy skirt, her hair is swinging loose and she holds the tambourine high with ribbons twirling. Next to her sits a male who is smiling as he plays a guitar. On her other side is a parrot who sits on his stand, watching over all. Behind her is a curtain that hides another room. Next to that room is a door that has a ring hanging on it. On closer inspection the ring is shaped like an animal bone-a bull’s horn or the crescent moon.

Words: Tambourine jingling, guitar strumming. Others have told you about your identity. Stories have been told about you. Movies and songs have been written about you. It is important for others to think what they need. You know who you are. You know what your identity is. Keep the mystery.

Read: Apparently Graciella wants us to receive her message again. Celebrate! Dance. Let the vibration of sound course through you. Allow yourself to be the instrument of happiness, your truth, your destiny! It’s none of your business what others think of you. Did you do the right thing? Did you buy the right outfit? Did you serve the right dessert? These things are superfluous to who we are meant to be on the planet. Being who we are, without the need to defend ourselves, decreases our tendencies to limit ourselves. We don’t have to offend in order to get our point or ourselves across. Doing this with love is gift giving to ourselves and to those around us. To freely be ourselves is something many of us have walked centuries across to accomplish. Start today, in one action, in one moment.  The gentleness or ferocity of this feat depends on you.

Palabras- La Gitana

This has been a weekend of great personal reward. There were dreams that I’d forgotten I had that actually came true.  It seems to be a theme with me that only when I surrender my hopes and desires that suddenly they manifest before me. It never fails. The days that I say “Today, I will turn it over,” nothing much happens. The times I really let go and allow Spirit to be in charge is when I receive the thing I’ve so been wanting. It may not be in the form I thought I wanted it to be but, nevertheless, whatever it is appears in the form it should be. So, it was important for me to settle in, center, ground myself and then pull the card with Graciella, who it seems, has been celebrating a bit on her own.

Image: Graciella la Gitana dances barefoot. She is wearing her swishy skirt, her hair is swinging loose and she holds the tambourine high with ribbons twirling. Next to her sits a male who is smiling as he plays a guitar. On her other side is a parrot who sits on his stand, watching over all. Behind her is a curtain that hides another room. Next to that room is a door that has a ring hanging on it. On closer inspection the ring is shaped like an animal bone-a bull’s horn or the crescent moon.

Words: Tambourine jingling, guitar strumming. Others have told you about your identity. Stories have been told about you. Movies and songs have been written about you. It is important for others to think what they need. You know who you are. You know what your identity is. Keep the mystery.

Read: The resounding message I heard as I pulled this card is to be yourself, fully and as much as you can. There are always parts of ourselves that we don’t know yet. The old adage “More will be revealed” may be true but there is something to be said for honoring yourself fully today. Obviously, Graciella is depicted in these cards today as dancing in celebration, but of what? She has taken off her shoes and dances barefoot allowing the vibration of what is below to come through her but still being connected to that which is above. Being in touch with something higher is symbolized in the crescent moon-her femininity and faith in something greater than herself that illuminates her. We can say that the male sings and she dances. This is truly symbolic of her two natures- the masculine and the feminine together- complementing each other. She is not afraid to be herself, in full regalia, of a woman who loves life. The parrot is also colorful, exotic and will repeat everything that it hears. She is not afraid to be herself. While others think they know her they can never know her as much as she does herself. To thine own self be true.

Palabras: The Spiral

 The last time I pulled the Spiral card I’d also just came in from a walk with my partner and dogs. Today there was a street fair with children playing, teenagers playing carnival-type games and stalls with many different types of food to choose from. Because it was very warm, we cut our walk short and returned home. After finishing up a few odds and ends, I sat, centered and evoked the energy of Graciella, la Gitana, who reminded me that we did not pull a card last week. But being in today, we were ready to pull today’s. Graciella was wearing her red skirt with white blouse. She was also wearing her reading glasses. As I write this she admonishes me and tells me that I don’t have to write that she uses reading glasses-it brings forth a certain connotation of her age. Old enough for lots of wisdom is what I think, but the energy is, oh so, playful and of the feminine. We pulled the Spiral Card together. The card was pulled in a reverse. I don’t usually read reverse in this oracle but today I felt it necessary to do so.

Image: The image is that of a tambourine. It has colorful ribbon hanging from its perimeter. They are blowing in the breeze. Two of the ribbons are intertwined- the shape is reminiscent of a strand of DNA.

Words: Climb up the double helix of the spiral. Know you have been in similar situations before. The current one is merely reminiscent of the ones experienced in the past. This is not a repeat performance. What you have learned previously, whether in the current life, or past, should hold you in good stead.

 Read: The tambourine was depicted today as an open circle of light surrounded by ribbons. The ribbons seemed almost octopus- like. They had become tentacles reaching out for many things at once. While this is okay, all you multi-taskers, take care to gather yourself to yourself, as you assume new roles. What has been done with those that are still streaming in the wind? There is a gaiety to taking on new projects; new jobs and expanding our creative selves but take caution that the ends of the ribbon already in motion do not become frayed or forgotten.

I also see two of ribbon engaged in their double helix dance. We often have the tendency to believe that things aren’t different when we see them “in the same old way” context. But at this point in our lives we should take comfort in the fact the nothing is ever the same. It may feel that way but in actuality it isn’t.

The way that two of the ribbons intertwine reminded me of the caduceus symbol. The caduceus is an ancient Greek symbol of a staff that was carried by Hermes, messenger of the gods to humans. As a Roman god, Hermes is known as Mercury. Because the caduceus is known to represent the alchemical process, I offer the message today as the expectation of swift change to come. The areas most likely affected will be writing and the negotiation associated with business.

See how this fits for you this week and let me know. As I continue to develop this oracle, I welcome your experiences on how these readings have fit for you!

May you walk in the Beauty of Light!


Palabras-The Cape

 Cheers and celebration brought the athletes through the finish line at the triathlon I attended today. While the letters spelled out “Finish”- in reality, there is usually no true finality. The athlete picks up his or her medal, packs up a load of gear and goes home reveling in a performance well done. They also calculate what could have been done differently for a personal better race time and begin to strategize for their next race. The preparation is done days, months and years before the spectators have the opportunity to yell, yay! Although I hadn’t raced today, I was exhausted and came home to nap before I sat down to pull this card with Graciella, la Gitana. Even before we had completed the centering process, I began to hear her message and the card, The Cape, merely confirmed what I was already told.

Image: The toreador is seen from behind. His cape takes center stage while his figure is unseen within the fabric that swirls and twirls in the air. The entirety of his form is hidden. His facial features are also unseen as his back is to the reader.  The toreador’s hat sits atop his head.

Words: Swirling in the air, the cape is used to hide, tease and protect. It disguises the figure that moves forth within.  Wear it well. Maneuver it like a second skin, a well-thought out and calculated movement. It is planned execution of thought, action and results. You are ready for the fight.   

Read: The message I received in pulling this card was that this is a week of completing projects that have been honed. Take the project, wait no more and send it out into the universe. It is time for others to see it and to experience your creativity. If you have been stalling or fearful, wait no more. This is the time that you and everyone else have been waiting for. The wise choice of waiting for your project to be completed, with a commitment toward responsibility, can go astray if you then never make the decision to bring it forward into the world. Our creations are meant for ourselves-to a degree. We are born to share our gifts with others so we can all experience the fullness of the lives of others and new perspectives in the world. How many times have you been to a museum and have stood in front of a piece that brought you a whole new colorful way to perceive the world? Without experiencing the perspective of the artist, our own experience is not challenged or sometimes even defined.  Find the gift that is within you and bring it forward for the rest of us to learn from and to enjoy. Just as the athlete, the toreador practices, hones and skillfully shows his expertise to those who are waiting to cheer, olé!