Graciella la Gitana Oracle © Weekly Reading

The North/El Norte

Tonight I felt so lazy in pulling this week’s card. I’d written a few more lines to the second installment of my Daisy Muñiz mystery series- Murder at the Gowanus Canal and wanted to just sit and add more but the manuscript will wait for me to come back to it. The last week and a half has been jam packed. Yesterday, I had the great pleasure of sharing in Comité Noviembre that is a grand family event at Hostos Center for the Arts that’s held yearly. Puerto Rican artists and authors come together and it becomes, well, a festival! I plan to share a bit more on that this week, but other things were also cooking. We returned from packing up our little house in Puerto Rico as we have placed it on the market. My Dad  got sick so I spent vital time with him. My dear aunt, who was 99 years old, crossed over and we went to the wake. Not to mention I managed to weave in getting back to work this week too. Are there enough hours in the day? What have you been doing? When I speak to friends and family, we are all moving so quickly.

But I did pull the card. As usual, I smudged with sage, shuffled the cards, and fanned them out on a clear smooth surface. I centered and joined with Graciella’s energy. Together we pulled the North/Norte card from the oracle deck.

The north! of course. Be at peace with the goings on at this time of year. The north speaks of the ancestors. It speaks of those who have been our relatives, either those elders that continue to guide us or those who have already crossed through the veils. They are the ones that have shared their great wisdoms with us. The one we yearn to be with as they feed us with the rich stories of their lives, teaching us how to live in grace, in honor, and with dignity.

For myself, today is my sister’s birthday. She crossed over at the age of fifteen. She was my elder. I feel her presence strongly at this time of the year especially. The anniversary of my mother’s death comes on November 27. She left us at Thanksgiving time. It is bittersweet when those we love cross over.  I remember the unexpected feeling of relief when my mom passed. The knowledge she was no longer suffering helped my own grief along with a multitude of other feelings that came with her crossing. I spoke with a cousin today who shared a similar story. We were able to give each other strength at this difficult time of thin veils.

At some point today, I had the realization that I have become an elder. I’m no longer the child who was emotionally hurt so many years ago. That is part of my fiber but I’m now one of the ones that share the wisdoms that come with living many years on the planet. It was interesting to realize that. Why didn’t I notice that before when I looked in the mirror at  my gray locks. It’s good for me to know that I have something to offer others who are now feeling what I have in the past. I have the opportunity to share as the wise one.

Graciella and I would both love to know how you are dealing with the North, the thin veils, and this time of nostalgia during the holiday season. Won’t you share that with us? We invite you to leave a comment below.

con mucho cariño,

Graciella y Theresa

 

Graciella la Gitana Oracle ©️Weekly Reading

Cambios/Changes

We just returned from a Mexican restaurant, La Frontera, here in Puerto Rico. The food was delicious and the service very nice. We sat outdoors and enjoyed this beautiful clear 75 degree weather. Last evening we ate at El Sarten Criollo where I usually eat mofongo. But last night I ate asopao de pollo. Chicken soup with broth that’s to die for with rice that’s perfectly cooked. It’s with a full and happy belly that I pulled a card with Graciella.

Tonight I didn’t smudge, but was sure to center and join with Graciella’s energy as I especially asked that the message I channel would be a general one for all for this week. I’ve been focused on the packing here in Puerto Rico as I’ve just placed my house on the market and didn’t want any mix-ups.

Together we shuffled, fanned the oracle cards, out and pulled the  Changes/Cambios card. This card tells us to be mindful of things, activities, and situations that will change. Keep the idea of quickness in mind. There’s no time to dwell or ruminate on our desires or wants. Be ready to jump into action..

This card brings forth sweetness such as the sugar I see falling out of the canister. In this particular read I also see a sliver of gold. Something that might have been lost shows up again.

This reading foretells that something good is coming. Be ready for it. Be sharp and on the lookout. It may entail family or loved ones. This may be your week!

Con mucho cariño

Theresa y Graciella ❤️

Savoring the Sweet

 

Two years ago I packed up most in my little house in Puerto Rico with the help of my son and we boarded a plane back to New York. With my father in tow, in a wheelchair, and two little dogs we must have made a spectacle going through customs. I was almost certain that it was the right decision to bring my Dad back to the home that I knew, not the one he’d become accustomed to and enjoyed for eight years. Living in Puerto Rico had been, for him, the realization of a dream to return to his home town. My uncle and aunt were in frequent contact with him. There were games of dominoes held on the porch. Relatives and friends found their way to the little yellow and white house we call home on the island. Little by little the family dynamics changed, my aunt passed away suddenly, my uncle became bedridden, and my father began forgetting how to get home when he picked up his morning bread at la Panadería. He stubbornly refused to come home to New York, Not yet!

A neighbor called me one Saturday morning to tell me that the police were going to issue an order for my arrest for neglecting my father if I didn’t come and take care of him quickly. I flew down the next morning and stayed with him for a month. I thought about staying in Puerto Rico. I almost quit my job. I decided to return to work the night he wouldn’t go inside and it was late. I worried that I couldn’t handle it myself and I was right. My dad was very ill. He could barely get around. We found out through MRIs and CT Scans that he not only had multiple strokes but he also had Alzheimer’s disease. We went through the ups and downs of moving him into our Brooklyn apartment that had never been his. The sound of the lock opening in the middle of the night as he attempted to flee is something that I’ll never forget. The progression of home attendants that didn’t work out for various reasons was disheartening. It was tough to say the least. We’re fortunate that we found a fairly affordable assisted living facility for him. He is well taken care of and I can sleep at night without burdensome worry.

Two years later I’m back in Puerto Rico and have placed my little yellow and white house on the market. My anxiety has been high. I’ve been torn between the idea of letting go of a dream. I can truly understand what emotional hoarding is all about. I know deep in my heart that when I do sell the house that I will be left with a blessed open space in me for new things that my Higher Power wants me to experience. Being tied to an empty house is not fruitful for me. There are so many losses I feel about my dad. His guitar playing, his singing, and most definitely his cooking! I miss his storytelling. I miss him. He’s still very much alive but I miss him. The interactions stolen by progressive Alzheimer’s disease is heartbreaking. But the house is not my father.

I imagine that a new family will move into this lovely space and enjoy meals here such as the ones we cooked in our happy kitchen. They will appreciate the early morning sun pouring through the dining room windows, and the neighbors who are caring and kind and who weathered Maria- that awful hurricane that devastated the island. They will enjoy the nearby beaches, the glorious sunsets, and the sounds of the coquis chirping throughout the night.

I don’t have all the answers. I know that the house captured my heart and that as I ease through the motions of selling it that someone else will come forward and also feel the life and love that this corner of the world holds. So, we’re packing and sharing memories. Today, my daughter reminded me that I can come back to this beloved island whenever I want. It’s bittersweet this trip, but the sweetness is one that I savor. We’ve had a good run here on Puerto Rico. My dad got to live out meaningful years here. We visited often and loved every day we were here. For all this, I am grateful.

 

Graciella la Gitana Oracle © Weekly Reading

The North/El Norte

Tonight’s read came after a day filled with accomplishments and a few challenges that seemed insurmountable at the time. The clocks are moved back an hour and our physicals are expected to work with the prescribed rhythms. I’m not sure mine will tomorrow morning but that’s the assumption (insert tongue in cheek here).

This time in preparing to pull a card from Graciella’s oracle, instead of smudging with sage, I decided to smoke the deck. I lit a cigar and let the smoke from it waft over the deck. It felt right. A cigar goes well with a read on most days for me. In the usual manner I shuffled the cards, fanned them out on a clutter free space, and mingled my energies with Graciella’s. Together we pulled the North card.

The North belongs to the ‘old ones and those gone by’- our ancestors both on this plane and of the realms of those who have crossed over to the other side of the veils. We look to our elders, here and gone by, for wisdom, for guidance, for the beauty of truth and direction in trudging our destinies. The image of water, in the case, is offered for reflection like a looking glass or a mirror that shows us what we need to know. It’s important for us not to forget that we also carry the wisdom of centuries within our bones, our sinews, ourselves.

The trees seem to be a barrier of protection against the fortress that is nestled between them and the icy mountain tops. Use nature and natural forces to protect yourself as often as you can during this coming week. The flags atop the fortress remind us to stay alert. We must be proud of who we are and what we do. We signal to others who we are by how high we carry our pride afloat. The fortress may also be depicted as the old schools and institutions that not only hold our places of learning, education, but of elections. These are reminders of the institutions that are not easy to change. Use this time of election to vote. The older manner of voting was to flick those little flags down in small booths and in this way we effected change. We may use different means to vote today but we are still effecting change in our use of the vote. Get out there and make your voice heard this week. This is what a warrior does! A warrior woops his or her call as it strikes for change! Our lives and those of our fellow human beings are depending on it.

All is made beautiful!

Theresa and Graciella

Graciella la Gitana Oracle © Weekly Reading

 

As is the way in pulling a card from the Graciella la Gitana Oracle © I made sure the white candle was lit, it’s flame burned brightly. I next smudged with sage and a feather fan. I even smudged the doggies who walked into my spiritual space to investigate the goings on. I centered and merged with Graciella’s spirit that most lovingly shuffled the oracle deck and together we pulled the Health/Salud card.

I must admit that I was surprised because we recently pulled that card for this weekly reading. But quickly, I received the message that should be shared tonight. Our world is  a very sick one. In light on the assassinations and attempted murders on the national front, we are all personally involved in pain, hate, resentment, and anger. What a lust for hurt! My own dismay at my feelings must be counteracted with love, compassion, forgiveness, and healing in whatever service or level that I may reach. We are all different and must accept what we and others are able to give as we move to condemn the rhetoric, the demands of the twisted, and those who seek to harm.

Our actions in healing and changing our world to a better one absolutely includes prayers. It includes us personally engaging in whatever activity we indulge in that may bring happiness and joy to ourselves and to others. Stress levels decrease when individuals cook with their children, while telling stories of our ancestors. It also decreases when one runs in a group, in a solitary manner, or sings, or plays an instrument that raises our vibrations.

This card depicts the male and female aspect communicating. The language is seen through the expressions, the fervor, the ability to yield to the love and the voice of another. We must listen to each other for understanding to take place in communication. We must also speak out to share our viewpoints. This speak comes in many forms. For some it is a whisper, for others it is a solid voice that doesn’t quiver in fear. Again, it is what we can manage in a healing way. Communicating our needs in our personal lives with our families is often not easy. It can also be challenging in the world outside of our walls. One of our most effective ways to communicate is to vote.

If we want our society to be a healthy one, with the masculine and feminine in balance, we must not hold our visions to ourselves. Look around you. Observe your world. What ways can we employ to make it healthy again?

Con much cariño,

Theresa y Graciella

Full Hunter’s Moon

whats-your-sign.com

October’s Full Hunter’s Moon is most exciting! Autumn is fully here. The colors of the leaves are magnificent and there’s a chill in the air! The image of the hunter brings Ochosi, warrior in the Orisha tradition, to mind! Ochosi’s hunt is done for necessity, for food, for clothing, and warmth to his or her family.  For survival. This is the way of the Natives who don’t waste the blessed resources that are provided for them by nature.

The modern hunter who kills game for sport is not the hunter that I am speaking about here. That is the one who does so without any consideration of the balance of the Earth. The one who kills for trophy and for decoration of his or her living spaces. The one who does so for recognition in a photo shoot.

During this time of the full moon, you are challenged to go deep within. Meditate. Reflect. Be in the stillness of the truth you hold that is not visible to those outside of your being. Observe within. How do you operate during these tentative times? There is much chaos and conflict in many aspects of the Earth at this time. Can you be honest in your appraisal of your intentions and motives?

Oh Shinnah Fastwolf, my native teacher, prodded me into moving toward my newer self years ago when she charged me with Shooting my arrow and following it! That was not a easy task. It meant being in my truth and living it honestly, but I shouldn’t do it mowing others down in order to fulfill my needs. That was not an easy task. Fulfilling our needs takes courage and honesty and also a sensitivity towards others in our lives.

During a time of Oh Shinnah’s teachings at her home in Colorado, a group of us were guided in meditation. I remember sharing afterward about a spiritual connection with beautiful deer that I was blessed with during the meditation. Shortly after that a woman shared her father’s experience of killing most of a herd of deer that were paralyzed in fear during his hunt and his regret later. I was horrified that she would share such a thing after I’d just spoken about the opening of my heart through the love of the deer.

originalbotanica.com

Openness, sensitivity, and sharing of love with others may come at a cost. But then again, it may not. The idea is to shoot your arrow and follow it and accept and work with the results of that action. Heed the true characteristics of the Hunter during this moon. They are of respect, of esteem for self and others, and a regard of nature and the tentative balance of the life on this planet.

Be true to yourself and to the Earth. Both the Moon and the Earth ask that you participate in the balance of each, in this relationship of life.

All is made beautiful,

Theresa ♥

Graciella la Gitana Oracle © Weekly Reading

Graciella la Gitana Oracle

Welcome to this week’s reading from Graciella la Gitana Oracle. As is our custom, I smudge with sage, light a white candle, and center myself. Feeling at one with Graciella la Gitana’s spiritual energy, together we focus our intent on what the message is that she would like to send out into the world. Her aim, as always, is to bring compassion into the world.

Together, we shuffled the deck, fanned out the cards, and pulled the Spiral/Espiral card. The image shows the tambourine that Graciella uses in dance, in music, and during gleeful celebrations. These are lighthearted activities that we need in our worlds to keep ourselves balanced. The ribbons that extend from the instrument are reminiscent of the double helix- like DNA strands that code our ancestry. While we may believe that we are undergoing the same as in past situations, we must remember that we have moved up on the rungs of the spiral. We may be familiar with the positioning but we have grown, we have learned, and we have progressed. Others may treat us as though we have not learned our lessons, but within we know differently and are encouraged to respond in a manner that depicts our development. Our progress may not easily be apparent, therefore, we must take the time to recognize our advancements as Graciella so lovingly encourages us to do.

Con mucho cariño

Theresa y Graciella

The Graciella la Gitana Oracle/El Oráculo de Graciella la Gitana © is ready for pre-order. This 56 card Oracle deck and accompanying booklet offers verses in both English and Spanish. Pre-order will be available via the store on this site this week. We also plan to pull a quick daily morning read that will show on Instagram. You can find us under Latinalibations.

 

 

Rockettes, Holidays, and Pressure

Washingtonexaminer.com

This morning I saw the first television commercial for the annual Radio City Music Hall Rockette Show. The Rockettes are all things perfect. Tall. Thin. Lovely faces and long legs. They dance in precision. But instead of seeing them I experienced a flashback of the Christmas scene in Covering the Sun with My Hand my first novel. Julia Acevedo is trying to tempt her brother René to go to see the Rockettes. He is aghast that she would suggest it. René is paranoid and becomes increasingly agitated. Julia eventually becomes terrified and calls the police who storm the apartment. Mami is in denial of the severity of her son’s illness and clutches at her curlers. Papi is nowhere to be found. Actually, he is in the social club around the corner having a few beers- quite a few.  This is the picture of a family in chaos.

A chill went through me when this scene flashed in my mind. This is a true scenario for many families. For René it began with the stress of his first year of college with exams scheduled during the holiday. He couldn’t handle the tension building and the increasing demands of his life. The symptoms of his Schizophrenia were exploding. Young adults are frequently afflicted with the early symptoms of this particular mental illness in college.

Covering the Sun with My Hand

These are difficult dynamics to negotiate. Some of us are truly powerless against the ills that befall us. But we can ask for help.  I think about the years that I worked on a mobile crisis team going to people’s homes and doing my best to provide tools for families that would decrease stress, diminish or eradicate symptoms, and provide support. Sometimes sitting around a table drinking coffee helped the clients, the families, and most certainly me.

My novel is merely a story but a story is a life told. If you know someone who is in need of mental health care, reach out. Everyone can make choices in various types of treatment options. They may choose to take medication or not. They may choose to have individual therapy or not. They may choose to isolate or to be part of a group. One of the most important things we can do is to provide support. Be there. Decrease the pressure in the pressure cooker.

vintage pressure cooker

If you are experiencing an emergency dial 911.

Otherwise check out the following links:

https://www.nami.org/

https://www.nami.org/Find-Support/NAMI-Programs/Nami-Family-Support-Group

Graciella la Gitana Oracle © Weekly Reading

 

Graciella la Gitana Oracle

The weekend was filled with friends, food, and partaking of spiritual sustenance. There was celebration and ceremony. I’m not able to do any of these things alone and they are all done by choice.  These are some of the activities that allow me to refuel so that I can do the other things that may be my life’s work but also may leave me vulnerable or feeling drained- no matter how much I love my work or feel that it is my chosen path. While I may have chosen to do my work, I fully believe that my Higher Power and chosen me to do the service that I do.

Graciella la Gitana Oracle- Health-Salud

Reading for week of October 14, 2018:

This evening I went through my regular ritual of smudging with sage in my abalone shell. I had first lit a candle, one of the tall boys, and shuffled and fanned the cards. Before I pulled the card, I centered and felt myself become one with my spirit guide, Graciella la Gitana. We pulled the card together. It was the Health-Salud card that came to the front of the room to speak for us. Health is one of those fundamental aspects of ourselves that we must tend to on a daily basis in one way or another. Health encompasses the body-mind-spiritual connection. There are other aspects such as financial and housing concerns that need to addressed to keep ourselves balanced and feeling a sense of general well-being.

Last Monday I ended up having a cold and was glad to leave work finally at five. While I was sitting on the train imagining the comfort of my bed I received a call that my eighty eight year old Dad was in the hospital with similar symptoms and fever. Instead of curling up, I walked my pups, had a quick dinner, and spent the evening in the emergency room with him until the doctor determined a quick treatment and discharge back to his assisted living facility would help him get on the right track. I eventually got home and slept a great restorative sleep. He was better the next day and I was a few days later. A couple of days ago, my spouse received disappointing news and is now pretty sick too.

The card shows one in need of help and the other tending to that person. Whether the treatment be herbs, bandages, or the love of another that can help a person heal there are certain things that we mustn’t take for granted. The green area rug shows me the foundation of the earth that we need to stay grounded and is reminiscent of the outdoors that will provide us with fresh air. The green also reminds me of how a walk in nature, especially these days with the autumn leaves crunching underfoot, will take me a long way toward the tranquility that I often miss in the city that is bustling and busy and often chaotic. It is okay to take to my bed sometimes and pull those covers up to my neck if I need to remove myself from the pandemonium of my world. The old saying, Stop the world, I need to get off, may be exactly what needs to be done in order to return a refreshed version of ourselves.

Con mucho cariño,

Theresa y Graciella 

More on Spiritual Familiars

The Love Potion by Evelyn De Morgan

Last Sunday night’s reading was fascinating for me. I hadn’t given much thought to familiars until Graciella pointed one out when we pulled the Wind- Viento Card from the Oracle deck. The little white dog that accompanies Graciella shows up in several of the cards. There is also a larger brown dog that sits by her side when she engages in divinatory practices. I was intrigued and decided to search for more information. I was captured by the concept of familiars.

I was initially dismayed to see that familiars are thought to be demonic. It’s probably because I have my own little white dog, who is my heart. There is nothing demonic about my four-legged, except for when she tries to bite my fingers when she’s had enough of human contact. She does this instead of walking away like most beings. I believe that since familiars are thought of in the context of working with witches that, of course, they would be thought of as demonic starting in medieval times. During witch hunts, cats were feared just as the wise women who were close to the earth, who used natural remedies that worked, and who were healers in every sense of the word. What could be more frightening in those times, just as to many today, than a woman who could bring healing change to the ill in dark times?

The reading I did revealed that familiars often choose who they will work with. It reminds me that my pup, Ginger, was sitting in a cage as we walked by searching for our forever pet. She made eye contact with me and barked, simultaneously hitting the cage latch. I knew immediately that she was mine. That we needed to listen and bring her home. She actually chose Chutney, our younger pooch, but that’s another story. Ginger would have preferred the chinchilla but Chutney resembled one closely enough as a teeny pup. Some other familiars come in the forms of toads, birds, rabbits, and ferrets. 

Familiars have also been called fairies and their main purpose is to serve a witch or young witch, providing protection for them as they come into their new powers (Wilby, 2005). Fairies, wood nymphs, and such are thought of as more pure than animal familiars. It’s said that when separated from their human that they become weak or drained of their own energy. This reminds me of Peter Pan. Tinkerbell certainly lost her juice when she couldn’t flit about doing what she does.

There’s so much I still want to learn about familiars. Do you know something that you could share in comments below about familiars? Please do!

Below is a book to explore:

Wilby, Emma (2005). Cunning Folk and Familiar Spirits: Shamanistic Visionary Traditions in Early Modern British Witchcraft and Magic. Brighton: Sussex Academic Press