Winter Solstice 2012

Morning StillStill here! That’s the sentiment I hear when I read Facebook updates and twitter comments on this lovely rainy and windy morning. The Mayans were wrong, what do they know anyway! That was one of the fb status updates I read. And what then? We snicker into our sleeves and keep doing the same things we’ve been doing expecting different results? Or do we consider the higher message that has been, by some, totally ignored.

This is the shortest day of the year. We are now looking forward to the sunny days to come. In this part of the world this is the beginning of the winter season and it will be a while before the balmy, sunny, and carefree days of summer are upon us. That means we still trudge forward making the best of what we’ve got. But what did it all mean? Was it something to pay attention to? The second part of the refrain that the world was going to end on December 21, 2012 was the oft not mentioned “as we know it.” That means something different for each of us.

Even if I didn’t subscribe to this type of thinking or to what the Mayans had to say, I could still sit and meditate on what this means to me. I am only one in a great Universe and a great Universe it is! What can I do to change my ways and bring forward peace and love into a world that has been hostage to fear and violence? I will sit in prayer, meditate and let the messages and vision of a more loving and accepting world take root in me. I will do what I can to channel that message outward, letting it flow like the waters, the wind, the fires and the many earth changes. Today, I commit to acknowledge, in clarity, that we as a whole we need change and do my best to effect it. It really doesn’t matter whether we believed in the Mayan prophecy. We heard the message, some of us laughed, some of us got scared and some of us yawned. What we do with our beings on this planet to become connected and loving beings is what counts the most. Think about your part and I will think about mine. I will reach out to you in my vision and I hope you reach back.

The Ultimate Holiday Gift

Holidays have come to mean gifting and receiving for many of us. The season becomes a whirlwind of activity. There’s tree trimming, candle lighting, cooking and shopping sprees. Some of us knock ourselves out with expectations. This bustle can lead to emotional exhaustion, a perfect medium for growing resentments. There is a solution. The ultimate in holiday gifts this year is forgiveness! I’ve decided to gift myself with it first.

I recently sat to listen to a talk given by Marianne Williamson based on her new book The Law of Divine Compensation. Suffice it to say I’m still sifting through the words I heard and the images I received through the prayer and meditation that we shared in during the talk.

Pushing tissue paper, ribbon and credit cards aside, I’ve taken some time for introspection. I believe that I can see within myself a bit more clearly. As I envisioned Higher Power holding me as I looked within, I came across some realizations. I have held resentments against people for actions I believed they took that ultimately harmed me. These are my perceptions alone and who is the one who is still smarting? I think it’s me. There’s an old saying that holding onto resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die. My old angers can be defined as righteous that can be further defined as self-righteous. Yeah? So what? Blaming others for my misery gets tiring. I become depressed and glum. My higher self tells me to “Let it go, Theresa. Don’t be so hard on yourself.” Holding onto resentment doesn’t allow us to grow and be the persons our coded DNA intended. This certainly does not mean that we should keep ourselves in unhealthy situations but the spaces between our ears can be such dark and lonely places.

During Marianne’s meditation I went deep. I saw the faces of people I believed had harmed me. My connection was that I loved those faces at one time or other and still do in in some cases. I sent their images breaths of love. Did they receive it? I don’t know. I do know that the old anger, hurt and resentments within me are dissipating. I can move forward in new relationship to them but mostly to myself. It feels good to be weightless- even after eating those holiday butter cookies. I love being my higher self. It feels good. I don’t have to make the choice between being right or happy. Forgiveness gives me both. Forgiveness is the gift that keeps on giving. It’s priceless.

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.

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!

Mortality Muse

 Lately I’ve tooled around with the idea of death-my own. There are many reasons why I would. Turning on the news brings images of horrendous devastation, in a month or so it will be the anniversary of my sister’s death and so on. I’ve also been a nurse for the last many, many years and have been at death’s bedside in some shape or form in what seems like always. I’ve had close one’s die, the earliest being my slightly older sister when I was eleven. The last was my mother’s, a little over a decade ago. I loved them dearly. With all the deaths I’ve encountered, I’ve leant myself to them in some way, physical, mental, emotional and, especially, spiritual.

I recently completed the Brooklyn Half-Marathon (13.1 miles of all of you non-runners). I finished exhausted. I’d over trained and didn’t enjoy it as I usually do. I told my partner that if I were ever to die running and she overheard someone mention that’s just how I would want it, that she should deny it for me. I told her that I’d much prefer to die propped on pillows autographing my published books for my fans. If by some chance I hadn’t been published and any one said that I hadn’t realized my dream, that she should argue that point too. One of the last editors that I sent my manuscript to may not have taken my book, but she took me under her wing. That was enough, I realized. Yes, I still want to be published the old-fashioned way, but I have received more with my rejections than I could ever have thought possible. As my brain streamed along the points I want clarified after my death, I decided I wanted my children to know that there is no third sibling, half or otherwise lurking about waiting to cash in on their meager inheritance. They could feel free to fight over paying my debts as much as they want to, together!

I realize that my death anxiety comes from a lack of control and powerlessness of how things will be. Not, I see, in the future, but in my past. I’m not so worried about whether I have to hang out at St. Peter’s gate until I come up with a good joke. If I’m in pain, I trust that some good doctor or nurse will load me with analgesics until I float. Whether my death is sudden or slow, I believe that with the support I have, that somehow I will persevere until I cross to the other side. I’ve decided not to worry about meeting my mother at the pearly gates and that she will complain that I spent too much money I things I didn’t need. Or that my sister might say, “You shouldn’t have done that when you were fifteen, thank the heavens I was your guardian angel and got you out of that scrape.”

Since I have no idea what my last day will be like, I am choosing to live until I die. I say that with the humor and love and deep appreciation for all those who have gone before me, in fear, in grace and acceptance. I have faith that I will be taken care of and the petty thoughts that consume me will be put to rest. I keep all of those who are in the pain of experiencing the death of their loved ones, anticipated or otherwise, in my heart. I pray for all of those who are in the process of crossing over and are in the pain of leaving the ones they love behind. This topic is so much bigger than a thought, a phrase, or a paragraph. For some reason I’ve been moved to address it and I have. For me, living means taking action an sharing what is important to me. I have so much love for so many people, that I want them to know that I am happy, have no regrets and wish them as full and as useful a life as I’ve had up until now. I hope I can read this blog in thirty or forty years and remember how I felt and what I was thinking today. If not, today is enough.

Meditate, Don’t Vegetate

Sitting with Oh Shinnah Fastwolf, during the earlier years of my spiritual awakeness, I’d laugh when she’d say “you have to meditate, honey, not vegetate.”  Oh Shinnah, my beloved Mohawk-Apache-Scot teacher said many things that I’ve come to repeat over the years. A couple of my favorite sayings were “You have to shoot your arrow and follow it, no matter where it goes” and, “When you get to the edge of a cliff you might have to jump because you might die anyway.” These words come from an elder who is filled with wisdom and humor and are the ones I remember whenever there is something I may be shivering in fear about-usually change.

On Sunday, in my PALABRAS spiritual reading, I wrote about meditating. Today I kept thinking about just that-listening to one’s inner voice. Meditating comes in many different forms. I tend to meditate using my quiet morning run, the Emerald Tablets or another form of ceremony. Meditating can seem simple or complex. It may take the form of sitting in front of a lit white candle, in the solitude of a chosen sacred space or sharing the sacred pipe with the two legged and four legged who are in my spiritual circle. I can sit in the white foam as the waves ebb and flow, rhythmically, and listen for the voice of the Great Goddess Mother wash over me.  It all sounds very mystical but my favorite meditation was as I sat in front of the vast ocean and heard, “Don’t wear a red swim suit.” I couldn’t believe my ears. I thought it was hilarious but I got rid of the red and now only wear shades and patterns of blue to my Mother’s shore now.

By meditating one receives the messages meant for them. I love to do readings for everyone who asks but I also encourage learning to purposely listen for messages from Spirit. Praying is talking to your Higher Power-whoever or whatever that might be. Meditating is listening to that same Being. There is joy in sitting in the tranquility of quiet. There is illumination in drawing in knowledge with all of our senses. Opening to communication with that which gives comfort, support and love just can’t be beat.

I have a built-in forgetter, if something’s good for me I promptly forget to do it. That could be eating right, exercising and even going to bed at a reasonable time. So for whatever reason, for the second time this week, I’m moved to write about meditating. We need quiet time. Sometimes when my dog, Chutney, barks just once too often in her shrill high-pitched way, I give her quiet time. She sits in the kitchen for a few moments, gets her bearings and comes out again. The quiet time does her good. It does me good too.  This message may be a reminder to myself of the feeling of wholeness and serenity I receive during the act of meditation. So I will try to remember those words “Meditate don’t vegetate.” Hope you will too.

May you walk in Beauty!