Graciella’s Spiritual Reading in the time of the Full Beaver Moon

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A full moon is at its zenith in terms of waxing. We think of waxing as the time to work towards things or take action on what we’d like to come to fruition. The full beaver moon certainly depicts one who is busy building, developing, storing, or demolishing in a quest for creation. When we create there’s usually a hope that whatever structure we’ve built will be strong and withstand monsoon rains and winds if need be. We use our strong teeth to whittle, to break, to tug, as we establish our place on this earth.

Along with the traditional native view points of the Beaver Moon, we are also enjoying Taurus in the Full Moon. We Taureans are sure footed bulls and love to have comfort, the kind such as the beaver has worked hard for and we may look lazy standing there chewing our grass. We are really sensual beings and are enjoying the fruits of our labor. We Taureans also often allow things to slide until it becomes just a little too much for us. Then, watch out, we will stampede and anything in our way should be wary. We will do our best to attempt to stop what we believe is not for higher good, either personal or universal.

Graciella la Gitana Oracle- Earth/Tierra

Graciella’s reading for this week, comes from the Earth/Tierra card. As we, not only Taureans but everyone of all signs, gaze upon the beauty of our accomplishments, eat from the abundance of what we’ve grown and gathered this autumn, and look toward the coming season, are strongly encouraged to return a gift to the Earth. It reminds me of smoking pipe in a spiritual manner. We always put a little tobacco back into our pouches when we’ve filled up the bowls of our pipe. We always give back.

Now is the time to give thanks for what has been created. It is also time to offer libations to the Earth. It is always time to do either.

With love,

Graciella and Theresa

Spiritual Family Matters

All Souls’ Day. Día de los Muertos. Halloween. Samhain. Something’s in the air and it may be ghostly. Ghostly can also be described as spiritual. At this time of the year, I love to remind everyone that we are ever closer to our loved ones who have crossed over. We feel something or know in our hearts that there is an energetic charge that may not be so apparent at other times during the year.

Social media posts across the board name announce these autumn times almost as gleefully as a pumpkin latte. But do we drink pumpkin latte all year long? Probably not, otherwise there wouldn’t be so much excitement. Are the face-painted-picture-taking-worshippers attending to their ancestors all year long? Maybe. Are the altar-picture-takers doing so for effect? What is the reason for sharing such personal information about oneself? To prove we are spiritual? Possibly. Maybe it’s to share without words the incredible beauty of one’s life with others as encouragement.

Honoring one’s ancestors sounds wonderful. The ones we recognize may or may not have been blood relations but somehow we’ve forged a relationship with them. We may create a small altar for them with items chosen to provide light and clarity for them as they progress in spirit form. A candle. A glass or bowl of water. A cigar. A cup of espresso. A small bouquet of flowers. Your altar. Your choice.

Some of us may not want to honor our dead, despite what our spiritually focused friends suggest. Theoretically it sounds good. Emotionally it may sting. Our ancestors may have abused or neglected us, our siblings, or our parents. We may be in the process of attempting to sever that link of dysfunctional behavior in our blood line and that’s laudable. Again, your choice.

If that’s how we feel that’s okay. Just as we tend to the mental, physical, and emotional aspects of ourselves, so it is the same with our spiritual selves. We’re advised to see a doctor when starting a new exercise program or a financial advisor when we are no longer able to ignore the letters I-R-A. We’d never be pushed to run a full Marathon on the first day we put on our kicks. We wouldn’t be advised to empty our entire prudent reserve and drain it into a new IRA. One day at a time. Making ourselves healthy can be a long slow process. We could consult a spiritual advisor of our choice or someone highly recommended by someone who’s actions we respect.

When honoring our blood line ancestors we needn’t white wash the past. What’s done is done but we have the ability not to respond as we did in the past. We’re not in the business of expectations but sometimes even with our dead we’re able to heal our relationships with outside help. My own relationships with my relatives who have crossed over continue to develop in a nourishing sort of way. I’m not blinded to truths but I’m open to human failings and strengths- theirs and my own.

For some it may mean lighting that candle and saying a quick ‘thank you’ or ‘you’re forgiven and I’m forgiven’ as actions in order to start the healing process. Maybe next year, we may eagerly await the thin veils between us and the other world as we do our pumpkin spice latte.

How do you manage this time of year?


Graciella la Gitana Oracle © Weekly Reading- Treachery/Traición


What is so wonderful about this buffoon is that he is us. We are him. How often are we unable to see our true reflections and how we are seen in the world? I think, in my case, often. Are you downplaying yourself? Not allowing yourself the full glory that you are? Maybe old tapes continue to rewind and you are unable to listen to your inner being because the old beliefs take precedent over the self knowledge that might be benefitting to you- if only you’d let it.

Or maybe it’s the opposite! Oh my! Maybe your ego has spoken a little too loudly and not allowed the true spirit of what you are made of shine through. The idea of going from novice to expert entails a process. One that may take longer than you’d like. Have you just completed a program and are now about to teach? That’s fine. But what about the experts who are seasoned and have years of experience who you are eating lunch with? Maybe it’s time to take a listen. A listen and learn break.

Not all sizes fit all- as much as we’d like to believe they do. Allow the expert assist you in finding your feet again. Land gently on the earth or in the water as our friend in the image probably will. Don’t allow yourself to be blocked because you are missing your true essence or asking for feedback from someone who also doesn’t see you as you are- a special light in this space and time.

Graciella insists that I send her love and wishes for goodness in your lives. That is her and my desire for you! And don’t forget to take time to meditate!

With love,

Graciella and Theresa

Domestic violence lives on

We’re nearing the end of October and the time for recognition of those who’ve perished or are in the act of perishing to domestic violence. But the violence will continue. One out of three women and one out of four men have experienced physical violence by an intimate partner. One in seven women and one in twenty five men have been injured by an intimate partner. These numbers don’t include the ones that live with mental, emotional, and spiritual torment on the daily by their loved ones.

In my work life, I am a psychiatric practitioner at a women’s mental health shelter. I would say that ninety percent of the women I speak with having lived through some form of sexual, physical, or mental abuse as children or have watched parents who are in DV relationships. Sometimes it is a biological parent and sometimes its a step parent. The violence continues at foster homes and in group homes during adolescence. There is always someone ready to violate another. In the shelter this colors the relationships between the women. The lack of trust and fear of or actual betrayal is impressive in its significance. Really, how does one trust after being involved in such violence sometimes intermittently or constantly in one’s life?

There’s lots of alcohol and cannabis use that comes along with the territory. This substance use works until it doesn’t anymore. Until one finds themselves in a shelter because there are no more sofas to safely sleep on or the non-ceasing train rides prove to be too much to handle. According to the AA Grapevine, 21 percent of women and 23 percent of men have been harmed because of someone else’s drinking in the previous twelve months. These harms include threats, harassment, property damage, vandalism, and physical aggession, or family and financial problems. The list goes on.

This isn’t my usual blog post. But I was moved to share some of the specifics about domestic violence. Because I sit with these affected women most days at my place of work, maybe my perspective is skewed. Maybe if I worked in a bank I might see a bruised cheekbone or a woman wearing sunglasses indoors. Instead, the abuse is upfront and placed on my desk in my tiny office. The experience is offered to me. I in turn offer some possible healing techniques from referrals to maybe just listening because she isn’t ready to make a change and has told me flat out that is her decision. My placement with these women is my spiritual work. It’s my calling. I guess this is why it was important for me to write my novel on this awful disease of violence.

Coney Island Siren: a novel

Each time I’ve read Coney Island Siren my novel about domestic violence at events someone has come to me afterward to tell me that it is their story. They tell me that I must have been in a relationship where violence ensued. They tell me the story is real. It is. It’s a hard story for the protagonist, Maggie Fuentes, who I believe whispered her story in my ear. It is real for many and maybe even some of you reading this post.

Here are some contacts if you or someone you know are in this type of relationship:

If you are in immediate danger, call 911

NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence.

Domestic Violence and Abuse: Recognizing the Signs of an Abusive Relationship and Getting Help

Graciella la Gitana Oracle © Weekly Reading- Intimacy

Graciella la Gitana Oracle-Intimacy

While it may seem that the light glare in this frame is due to the photographer’s (moi) amateur status, I see something else. There is shadow in this frame and immediately above the image of the couple is a shining light. I’ve recently come from a pilgrimage across parts of France into Spain on a quest to know the Black Madonna. I’m still processing the journey. I’ve thought of writing a blog post about it, but it’s still a blur.

People have asked me what my favorite parts were. The food? The desserts? How was the travel? Surprisingly, there’s so much I haven’t been able to answer. What I can honestly say is that I feel as though my DNA or my energy patterns have changed. It’s going to take a while, if ever, that I can speak to this trip fully.

In pulling the Intimacy/Intimidad card, I speak for myself and Graciella regarding the subtleties of relationship. There are our relationships with others that on the surface I see in this card. As I gaze more deeply into the image I see myself and my relationship with both my masculine and feminine aspects. They seem to be in profound marriage. My polarities have wed. I am both in the darkness and in the light. When I sat in a crypt in Montserrat, I heard the clear message to spend as much time in the light as I do in the dark. While I should spend time with my shadowy private self in meditation and in prayer with my Higher Power, I should also share my joy with others in the light of the world that I’m privileged to experience.

During the trip, I was in constant rhythm of rising from crypts to gardens to mountain tops. I gifted myself with communion of life in all places. These rhythms are reminiscent of what I experience with the ebb and flow of the oceans when I visit the shores.

These perceptions are wholly unexpected by me as I offer this week’s reading. Graciella tells me to share this narrative as I describe this read on Intimacy. She asks that you contemplate this reading and observe how it is in union with your story this week, this day, this moment. That we are all aspects of each other and this is how we share and learn. She reminds me to share her love for you. It is deep. Remember that Graciella’s purpose in reaching out through the veils to us is about love and compassion.

May your heart and mind be in peace,

Graciella and Theresa

Graciella la Gitana Oracle © Weekly Reading-Winter/Invierno


Sometimes we enjoy the solitude that the winter brings. I spent the day at La Fortaleza Project event at PS 109 Art Space in East Harlem. The joy for me was the creativity, the music, the spoken word, the read word, the dancing, and especially the smiles of the bright eyed children. Each person shared their aché- their individual inherent power- something we all have. I’d mentioned to a fellow author that the day was unnatural for writers. We usually spend our time alone tapping out words and here we were reading and speaking aloud, networking, dancing, and feeling the rhythm of the drum beat in our souls. What I may think of as unnatural was actually quite natural.

The paradox of being in stillness is moving in tandem with the outside world. Our inside forces keep time with the outside forces. Energetically, we are both. Dynamic and still. Active and quiet. Yin and yang. The winter card tells us that there is life teeming under what seems to be dormant. Cycles of life are made of rest, then rejuvenation and, ultimately, bears fruit when the timing is right.

I’m a fan of Chani Nicholas whose astrological reads are astounding in their detail and sensitivity to all of life’s cycles. I spent some time on her website today as we are in the full moon. The Hunter’s Moon. I’ve tried to think of what I can share about the full moon this month as I usually write a post on the full moon and what it’s meaning is for me that I can share. When I think of an aspect of Chani’s reading that speaks about the finishing up of projects, Graciella’s winter card read, and the full moon, it all becomes quite heady.

The message I receive that I share with you is to think about what it is that you’ve been hunting for. Hunting as the hunter does, quietly in wait for its prey. Underneath the blanketed snow, what seeds have you sown? What creations and projects have not bloomed when you thought they would? What have you wanted with all of your heart? What have you allowed to languish because self-sabotage became stronger than self-motivation?

Graciella says that sometimes we must wait for nature’s law to kick in. We may be ready to strike but our prey has found itself a comfy corner in the field next to ours. Do we betray our instincts by giving up? Or do we rearrange ourselves comfortably while we wait? We may pick up other projects. We may work on shorter term objectives while our goal gathers the natural energy and the okay that the time is right for completion. Achieving our goals is about us, but also about allowing for Something Higher to announce that our Spring has arrived. Be at peace in your heart during this beautiful full moon. Be at peace waiting for your rhythmic cycle to dance its way towards you. Be at peace.

Much love and gratitude,

Graciella and Theresa

Check out

Festival of Books/El Festival del Libro

Festival of Books/El Festival del Libro

Youth & students are especially welcomed!
Win a collection of books for your school. Admission is free (books aren’t). Average cost $10 to $25. Note that there are exceptions to that rule.
Noticias locales estaran disponible hacer reportajes desde El Festival del Libro el miercoles dia 9 de octubre.
Llamamos a tod@s a que asisten ese dia para mostrar apoyo por nuestra herencia bilingue. Estudiantes y jovenes quienes asisten pueden ganar el premio de una colección de libros para sus escuelas.
Entrada es gratis (libros no). El costo por un libro viene entre $10 y $25 dolares. Hay excepciones.

I’ll have a table with my books and Graciella’s Oracle and other additions. Join me and other wonderful authors for this fabulous day!

See you there!


Graciella la Gitana Oracle © Weekly Reading- Sobriety


During this past week, I shared a facebook meme about how an alcoholic could be known by his or her first name + their last name. This is so different than the common meme such as one’s dragon name could be obtained by adding the color of one’s socks + the last thing that person ate. My dragon name would be tattletale grey- turkey sandwich. It’s so much funnier on facebook. Anyway, there were a lot of likes to that alcoholic naming meme. Today, when I pulled a card from Graciella’s oracle deck the concept of Sobriety/Sobriedad came up. Ha! She has a sense of humor.

The image of a hand inserting a key into a lock is oh so interesting. This is the first time I’ve realized that by opening the lock the individual will be releasing herself to the outside realm. It’s usually the opposite, isn’t it? We unlock our doors to go inside our homes or offices. These places are usually locked to outsiders who can only gain access by being granted permission by the owners of the abodes. In this case, we are allowing ourselves the liberties that can only come with going outside of ourselves.

There is such beauty in the vista outside of this door. The greenery of the grounds is surrounded by a wonderful mountainous range. The grace of dancing along fields may be countered by the challenge of crossing more difficult terrain. There takes a certain Sobriety to navigate the lives we live. Actions called for take more of a deliberate consciousness than just not taking a drink as one usually thinks of when considering sobriety. Mindfulness. Thoughtfulness. Conscientiousness. Sensitivity. All of these concepts are integral to Sobriety.

The charm bracelet brings to mind the experiences, strengths, and hopes that the individual wears as a talisman. The jewelry is personal yet is open for the world to see. Be yourself as you encounter new things and older things from a different perspective this week when you meet the world. Take your time to discern the choices provided to you in this beckoning universe that has so much in store for you!

In light and love,

Theresa and Graciella

Leaving Paris

Walking along the Seine beneath a light drizzle of rain. The Lovre. Enjoying the subtleties of fashion. A leather jacket. Casual sloop of shoulders. Eating fromage at a sidewalk bistro. Remembering to say merci instead of thank you.

Visiting Paris was really never on my bucket list but the Goddess had other plans for me. This stop was my honey’s and my short vacay before we headed out to the Black Madonna tour beginning in France and ending in Spain. We’re on to meet our group.

The things that happen when you’ve called out your name to the Mother are as profound as deep. For that I give thanks!

River Seine

ILBA 2019 Winners!

Best news to receive in Paris! International Latino Book Awards-Latino Literary Now Thank You!


Best Latino Focused Book Design

FIRST PLACE Graciella la Gitana Oracle / El Oráculo de Graciella la Gitana, Theresa Varela, illustrated by Mara Alicia Cordova; Pollen Press Publishing LLC; USA/Puerto Rican; New York City

Best Arts Book

HONORABLE MENTION Graciella la Gitana Oracle / El Oráculo de Graciella la Gitana, Theresa Varela, illustrated by Mara Alicia Cordova; Pollen Press Publishing LLC; USA/Puerto Rican; New York City