The Full Thunder Moon

This July Full Thunder Moon is also known as the Full Buck Moon. There is also a partial eclipse that we won’t see in North America and last, but not least, Mercury is in retrograde. Have you run for the hills yet?

The Thunder Moon is aptly named because of the many thunderstorms that take place in July. We give thanks for the waters that drench the parched earth. As always, it’s a time to pray for the Earth’s balance as some areas are deluged with floods while others are arid. The clouds conspire to reveal or conceal what should be known. Last evening’s Brooklyn sky showed the moon cloaked in secrecy. What is it that I should know I asked in my prayer to the moon last night. Will the eclipse reveal it?

Be like the buck and stay rooted and grounded if you’re unsure in any situation. The buck flees swiftly if he senses danger. The buck’s set of antlers show that he’s achieved a state of grace, maturity, and wisdom. This is the perfect energy when Mercury is in retrograde. Take a few moments to be certain of the actions you should take before engaging in what might be a miscommunication due to haste.

I believe that so many posts and writings about the moon are popular and we yearn to commune with the moon’s energy and have her wisdom behind us. But are we in tune with the moon on a daily basis or just when we see a splash of excitement? A blood moon!! An eclipse!! A full moon!!

Acquaint yourself with the waxing and waning energies of the moon all month long. What do the phases mean for you personally? Grandmother Moon has much to tell if only we’d listen.

In the light of the silvery moon,


Graciella la Gitana Weekly Spiritual Reading

As usual the week was a blur. It’s Monday evening and I’ve pulled this week’s card from Graciella la Gitana’s Oracle deck. This time I didn’t smudge with sage but did ground and center- allowing myself to merge with Graciella’s loving energy.

If you’ve started working with your personal deck you’ve probably become familiar with Graciella’s energies that are compassionate and embracing. After a time it is easy to distinguish the differences in her spiritual presence as to your own beings. There’s a certain lightness and confidence that I believe comes with her wisdom and wit.

Today, together we pulled the Fear/Temor card. There was no trepidation when I tuned the card over after I’d shuffled and fanned them out in order to pull it from the deck.

I remembered a story about this card. Once I’d pulled it and was a bit fearful as I anticipated what was to come that day. When I arrived at work, one of the staff members ran to me and disclosed she’d inadvertently shared a pie with other staff members that I’d received from a company we’re affiliated with. She was terrified wondering my reaction would be. In this image, we see the round disk or pie that the female is holding. I was relieved when I realized that was the image or situation I’d almost dreaded. We have a good laugh. I don’t need a whole pie but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t eat it if I had the opportunity.

In this reading, I see the feminine energy leaving the old ways that is represented by the institution behind her. It can be anxiety producing to leave the old and walk towards the new. Unburden yourself at a pace that’s comfortable for you. Walk toward what resonates with you and away from that which no long serves you. The greenery shows a full lushness in the environment that surrounds her.

Let me know how this reading may show itself in your world this week. Tell me how you experience Graciella’s energies. We’d both love to know.


Theresa and Graciella

Graciella la Gitana Oracle © Weekly Reading

I’d hoped to have another post done this week before today, but there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Yesterday, I attended The Latina Fifty Plus Organization’s yearly luncheon at Fordham University. The founder, Maria Aponte, was amazing as always. She ran the event flawlessly. To experience the gathering of a large, too often invisible, community who dedicates themselves to various much needed activities and projects, is heart warming. I hope Maria will mosey over here and blog about her dream organization and how it has grown over the last six years. I, at least, can hope she’ll let me interview her as soon as the confetti settles!

After a spiritual activity earlier this afternoon, I began to prepare to pull today’s card. I had pulled the Traveler Card this morning and felt that maybe I wanted to talk about that one. I pulled a card to ask Graciella la Gitana what she preferred, together we pulled the Position Card. That told me that I had options and could do whatever I wanted. So, the Traveler/Viajera card it is. I love Graciella la Gitana.

The Traveler/La Viajera

I also love this card! La Viajera, the traveler, was originally called La Moderna. La Moderna, the modern one, is a woman who goes against the grain and leaves home in a time that was unlikely. Today’s young women think nothing of picking up and leaving her family for college, for love, for adventure, and move assuredly along with the knowledge that they’ll be okay. That things will always turn out right. That they could never stay at home without venturing forth and trying on their lives as many of us tried on new dresses.

I believe this card pays homage, in this particular reading, to the young women that the women of the Latina 50 Plus organization represent. We chose to leave our homes when it was not popular. We tried out new things becoming feminists, independent women, who sought out universities, our own apartments, and knew that if we didn’t do these things that our own daughters would not have the opportunities that we had to carve out for them.

The image of the traveler, Graciella reminds me, is of the feminine who closes her eyes and goes within. She travels in meditation across worlds and across not universities, but universes. We don’t have to leave home to enter multiple realms or become aware of the parallel universes and dualities of our lives. We can do that through introspection. So close your eyes and hold onto your seat. You can travel as far as you allow yourself. Let yourself become to be!

In light and love,

Graciella and Theresa

Graciella la Gitana Oracle © Weekly Reading

This weekend we accomplished so many things. The most important was grooming our doggies. They are summer ready now. We hung out for a while and then decided that an early evening walk was in order. I’m still recuperating from all the book events of last week that were amazing. The walk in the park, my favorite playground, was calming, restful, and meditative. It was a great way to end a lovely Sunday.

I burnt a good bit of sage in the abalone shell and smudged myself and the deck and most of the apartment to be exact. I remembered to open the window so all the energy that doesn’t belong in the room could leave. I centered and asked Graciella what is it that she wanted to share this week. I shuffled the cards, fanned them out on the desk and closed my eyes allowing my fingers to find the concept. The fool/tonto card was revealed. Who wants that? Especially after pulling it last week. I had thought carefully about my choices that day, not wanting to be foolish. It wasn’t until the end of the day when I was about to fall asleep that I realized the situation when my foolishness occurred. But let’s move on to this week’s reading.

The image is that of a man reaching through clear waters for a treasure. He is not looking toward it though and is distracted by a shiny light coming his way. I usually see this light as card headlights, but today I rather think it’s an explosion happening somewhere in the forest. There is a rabbit, that I know to be symbolic of fertility but also of fear. The rabbit is usually a careful sort who resides in his warren with this friends, family, and brood. The network he or she has created is meant for safety. These connections of burrows are made carefully and wisely. It’s significant that this rabbit has stepped out of his safety zone. What actions are you planning to take this week that may cause distress? Is your eye on the prize? Is it worth it? The man is holding a purple cloth in his left hand. I believe it’s a sack to put his stolen treasures in. Will you be caught in the act of something that may not be the wisest choice? The notion of coming out of one’s comfort area can be a frightening one. Be certain that when take an action this week, it is a thoughtfully made one. There is no need to do anything alone. Taking a chance is recommended and can be fun. But make sure it’s one that can withstand the light and doesn’t have to be hidden in the dark.

In light and love,

Graciella and Theresa


Honoring our ancestors on Juneteenth

What did they do on this day in 1865?

Who were they?

Would a statement of freedom ever truly encompass all the aspects of their lives?

Did they hope it would?

Is it too late to change the past?

I have many questions

I light a white candle for those who came before me

I pour libations for their spirits

And to never forget from where I come


Graciella la Gitana Oracle © Weekly Reading

I’ve got lots to write about at so many levels regarding my recent book launch and reading for my latest novel Coney Island Siren. Truly, after all was done I sort of just felt super exhausted. There were months of prep including phone calls, decisions to be made, and food to be ordered. Anyone who’s had a big event knows all about the process. So, I haven’t written a post describing the butterflies and the strengths or the illusions and the realities. This weekend I basically hung out at the house and gardened. Watched TV. Explored the tarot in a deeper manner. Did all those things that help me to feel like myself again. I’m the introvert who occasionally acts like an extrovert.

I have two events coming up this week. They’re on the side bar to the right of this post here. The first is Wednesday at Word Up! in Washington Heights at 6:30pm. I’ll be on a panel taking about Crafting the Artists Life and how we artists make it in a location that isn’t all that art friendly. Raquel Penzo, of La Pluma y La Tinta is moderating. Orlando Ferrand, poet and translator extraordinaire, and Maria Fernanda, Poet. The second is called The Power of the P! Organized by the talented dynamic Alicia Anabel Santos at BAAD- Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance. This one is on Thursday evening at 7:00pm. I’ll also be attending a concert with my spouse and so on. It’s important for me to commit to taking some minutes each day, during this very busy season, to center, ground, and meditate. Allow Spirit to talk to me. I need to listen. This will so help me to respond in a healthy and sane way to this week’s busyness.

Together Graciella la Gitana and I shuffled the oracle deck. We centered. Grounded. Allowed the feeling of tranquility to wash through us and unite us. We fanned the deck out on the desk and with my right hand, I pulled the card that felt right. I should mention, if I haven’t before, that at the tarot classes I’d recently taken the expert instructor, Robert M. Place, advised us to pull a different way with our left hands as that is our intuitive side. Graciella prefers me to use my right hand for some reason. I do as she asks. We pulled the Contemplation card.

This card is so beautiful to me when I look at it. The female takes time to meditate on what is at hand. In this case there are the different fabrics that I imagine she goes to buy at a bazaar. I’m sure that she haggles on the price of the fabrics. What is it that she is looking for? Does she settle if she doesn’t find the fabrics that she prefers? These are all questions that only she can answer. The rich greens of the shrubs outside behind her nicely match the darker velvety green of the drape above her. Or is that a drape? It may be another fabric that she could take home with her to concoct a gorgeous confection. This female, who I will call Graciella, is at home here at the bazaar as she bides her time looking for the perfect item for herself. She has no fear that she will be taken advantage of as she closes her eyes. There is the vibration of calmness and tranquility. She wears some of her gold baubles, jewelry she corrects me, and is self-assured. Bring that self-confidence with you wherever you go this week. Take your time. Be strong in knowing who you are. It’s not about having a big ego. It’s about knowing who you are. One doesn’t have to demand respect. One who self-respects brings that vibe wherever they go. Bring your self-respect with you. It will always be your friend and greatest ally.

In light and love,

Graciella and Theresa

Graciella la Gitana Oracle © Weekly Reading

Tonight, I made sure to smudge myself and the oracle deck with sage lit in my abalone shell as I prepared to pull the card. We’d spent what seemed like hours in traffic at the Lincoln Tunnel because of a bus fire. I hope everyone was okay there. When we were finally close to home we couldn’t proceed up the block because of police activity. There were obstructions all over the place tonight. I didn’t want to bring that energy into the reading.

After I smudged, I placed the cards down in the manner that I’d learned in a recent tarot class. Graciella was not having it. I felt her insistence that I fan the cards out on the desk surface. Graciella is partial to fans . Together we merged our energies and we pulled the Position card.

The Position Card

I love the idea of the textures and deep reds of the fabrics in this image. We see the female’s back and her alluring shoulders. She’s no innocent and she is at the ready to make a choice! We see only two of the words on the wheel of fortune, the wheel of life. They are fear or love. The female sees that there is more that we don’t see from our perspective. She needn’t get stuck by allowing only the two polar opposites as options for herself. The purple skirt she has tied around her waist and the crowns that are seen in the middle of the wheel show that she is of royalty. She must treat her self as one of a higher nature when she makes her choice. The honorable value of her being is intrinsic to everything in this image.

Have fun as you make choices in your life this week. Take the high road, yet don’t mind being a little risque. Wear your choices in a ribald manner. Be saucy, be earthy, yet don’t forget who you are and what you deserve. Taking a chance at a carnival is the epitome of indulging in trying something new and different.

Let us know how this works out in your world this week! We want to know.

In fancies of love and chance,

Graciella and Theresa

International Latino Book Award Finalists!

I’m a bit stunned at receiving the news that our Graciella la Gitana Oracle/Oráculo de Graciella la Gitana is a finalist at this years International Latino Book Awards. I’m thrilled too and especially glad that the illustrator, Mara Alicia Cordova, my daughter, is a finalist along with me. That fact is beyond my wildest dreams. We’ve placed in the Best Art Book and Best Latino Focused Book Design categories. Wow. Just wow!

From seed thought to penning sample illustrations to figuring out whether we were using CMYK to RGB it took us fifteen years to complete this project. I’m glowing and marveling that my spiritual work and my loving close relationship with Graciella, one of my spirit guides, has enabled these very special oracle cards to come to fruition. I thank Patricia Dornelles, my VP and spouse, for her attentiveness and commitment to making sure the box and booklet design and cover were perfect for the oracle. I thank Orlando Ferrand for his finesse in translation and for being true to the spirit of the words so the magic could come through the portal of this work. I also thank Cindy Hochman for her editing suggestions of the lyrical prose.

I can’t help but shake my head. There were many times during the last fifteen years as I dug into my creative aka spiritual work that I’d received downright advice to give up the ship. Agents and publishing companies often didn’t take a soft stance when they offered their opinions of my work. I’m glad that I didn’t walk the plank as almost suggested. The vision of my work falling into the ocean wasn’t a pretty sight. These experiences helped me to learn to value myself and the worth of my work. It was definitely an inside job with the outside tears sometimes rolling down my cheeks. An agent I’d submitted Covering the Sun with My Hand to actually wrote me an email saying my writing stunk. Literally. I wiped away my tears and jumped right back in. That novel, just as Nights of Indigo Blue, won International Latino Book Awards.

Pollen Press was developed by me because I needed a company that would be truly behind me from the finances to the late nights editing ‘just one more time.’ This post isn’t about ‘how you like me now?’ It’s coming from a place of encouragement to not give up your dreams because someone else thinks you’ll never be any good. Believe in yourself. Develop a thick skin that allows well deserved critique and love to permeate into your self. This will help you to grow to be the person you journeyed to this planet to be. As Graciella would say, Compasión is for others, but it is for you too.



Book Launch for Coney Island Siren

The book launch for Coney Island Siren is almost here and you’re invited. If you’re anywhere near the Nuyorican Poets Café on the lower east side of Manhattan on June 12 from 6-8pm I’d love to see you. In fact, in New York, with its plentiful trains, boats, cabs, and buses, there is no way that you’re not close by.

If you can’t get there or prefer Brooklyn, I’ll be reading at Café con Libros Bookstore on Prospect Place off Rogers Avenue on June 14 from 6-8pm. It will be first come first served so come early for a seat!

I don’t think that I posted about my two previous book launches before the fact. I might have written something up afterward. I struggle being a true introvert that loves to sit in my cave using my writing implements and going into the light of day in that extroverted sort of way. A co-worker was shocked when I recently told her that I was an introvert. I’ve got a few people fooled I think!

The book. Coney Island Siren. I am surprised at how much I love how it turned out. It’s different than my first two novels. It should be, shouldn’t it? It’s an entirely different story. The characters started talking to me several years ago. First it was Maggie. A nurse. That’s familiar to me. She started by getting entirely zoned into the beach with it’s blue sky and waters at Coney Island. I thought to myself, I love this as I’ve loved the beach all of my life. But then her boyfriend, Frank, started talking and I thought, oh no, not exactly who I want to listen to! But I kept listening and began writing. They’re an insistent couple. They wanted their story told. But then, a few months later, I began hearing another character. Two protagonists! Say what! This one, Ellen, was a young woman who began describing her life through journal entries.

I have to admit that in the past I haven’t particularly cared for journal entries in or letters in novels. I’ve usually read through them quickly to get to the meat of the story. Well, they are the meat of the story. I apologize to any authors that I might have done that to! In this novel, Ellen writes in her journal and is proficient at poetry. I don’t think I could ever write that type of poetry. It’s lyrical and on point in describing the circumstances and her profound feelings. I’m glad Ellen came through!

Well, these characters are in turmoil and intertwined. Somehow, the image of the ouroboros comes to me when I think of Maggie and Frank. The ouroboros is an ancient symbol of a snake or serpent eating its own tail, signifying infinity and the cycle of birth and death. Frank and Maggie devour each other in all ways. The relationship is scary, yet intoxicating.

I’ve warned my adult children that the book is sizzling! They don’t care, they said. They’ve separated me from being an author to being their mom a long time ago! It’s about time I’ve caught up. But still, I’d love for you to catch up. With me. I hope to see you at the launch or reading. It would be great if you rsvp’d the Eventbrite on this page (over on your right). I’d like to have enough tasty goodies.

I’m sure that I’ll be writing about this again. I’m so excited!

If you can’t get to the launches, you can pre-order at or but I hope to see you there!

Graciella la Gitana Oracle © Weekly Reading

I’ve just reread the previous weekly reading and Graciella and I had discussed the concept of the Prisoner/Prisionera. Reflecting on how that showed itself in my life on the surface isn’t so easy to see. I’m my own free agent. In fact, I like to think of myself as happy, joyous, and free. I do see how I place very high expectations on myself and am then disappointed when I’m not able to check off the full one hundred things on my list that I’ve set out to accomplish. It isn’t a pattern that always me to pat myself on the back. My tendency to overload myself brings an almost certainty that at some point, if only for a moment, I tell myself that I’m not doing anything. Yes, that’s a big leap, isn’t it?

When I use my smart phone calendar for my to-do list, I delete the tasks that I’ve completed. They disappear into the ethers and then it seems really true that nothing was done. There is no paper-trail. This past week I bought a day planner. A good old-fashioned one that I’ve entered notes into and manually check off what I’ve accomplished. It’s on one hand crazy making because it shows me how much I try to get done. On the other hand, I am not upset with myself because I didn’t accomplish what I set out to do. This week, I’ve also enlisted the help of others at a higher level trusting them to do what they said they would. I don’t want to make myself my own prisoner! More on this to come in a later post.

Today, Graciella and I prepared the cards as usual for our reading. I centered and allowed Graciella’s energy to merge with mine. We breathed and together we pulled a card from the fanned-out spread on my desk. We pulled the Health/Salud card.


What strikes me most in this card is the woman’s eyes and how they directly look into those of the male in the card. Her eyes are filled with compassion. Compassionate Consciousness© , I’ve found over the last year, is Graciella’s charge in the world. How do we take care of others as we are taking care of ourselves? If the person that I am tending to in healing ways is to move toward a healthy state, I must take care of myself too. I see the aura of the male in this image as full of holes that are at once draining his own illness from his body but simultaneously sucking the energies of the healthier female who, in her compassion, sits to offer healing. This is not the image of carnal love. A male sits on the bed grooving toward the woman who brings him promises of love. It is one of equals who give and receive in the best way they can dependent on the balances of energetics that they have agreed to work on with together. Have you found yourself drained after caring for someone? Even if that person is someone that you love or care for deeply? Sometimes it’s easier to care for a stranger than our loved relatives, spouses, or friends. How do you give without being drained?

As conduits of healing, we are obligated to care for ourselves so that our auras don’t end up looking like Swiss cheese. Otherwise, our energies diminish and we can’t take care of ourselves, let alone anyone else. What methods do you use to replenish your energy stores? Sometimes we have to use more energy in a healthy way for that to happen. We may take long walks, run, bike, swim, or engage in breathing and yoga exercises. Our bodies cry out for exercise! We meditate, pray, take deep breaths as we face the sky filled with the night stars or the day’s shining sun. We read a mystery that takes us on a journey far from our daily existences. Sometimes we hold the hand of a child and skip along with them. Or we may even rub our puppy’s belly for a while. Those are actions that will always bring balance into our lives.

What ways do you re-balance, re-gain, re-unite with yourself to gain a harmonic perspective? Do you take time out for yourself as easily as you do for another?

Reflect. I’d love to know what you do. And so would many others!

In light and love,

Graciella and Theresa