Spring is here! It’s exciting to experience the blooming trees, shrubs, and flowers in this part of the world. We need Nature and She needs us. Last week, we were in Key West. The trip was spontaneously planned after I was advised by my doc that I needed a vacation. I told her we planned one for later on this year. She advised that now was the time.. We went. I believe my spirit guides spoke through my doc because they know that I listen to her.
Those are some of the photos I took. My sense of awe and tranquility far surpasses my photography skills. We even went jet skiing. I alternated between closing my eyes and feeling at one with the water with feeling as though I was riding a horse on some of the more powerful waves.
But now, I’m back to sitting with Graciella and pulling a card for this week’s reading. We smudged to glorious sage, shuffled, and centered. Again, together we pulled the North Card. This one seems to be a favorite of Graciella’s.
This week the North reminds us to honor our ancestors, our truth, our backgrounds, and our backstories. There are memories and associations with each that we may not want to dwell on and that is fine. We are often pointed to by others who want to accuse us of not being enough or being too much. We receive the message that we’ve done wrong or we are stalked and clung onto by others who may want what they think we have. It’s important to know who we are from the inside out. By familiarizing yourself with your ancestors and guides you can glean the clues of what makes you who you are. Some of it you may love and some may bring up feelings of discomfort. Reflecting on our histories and those who came before us will undoubtedly free us from the ties that bind us. Let’s give ourselves opportunities to look into the mirrors of the lakes within. Let’s not adhere strictly to notions created about ourselves by others. Let’s listen to our ancestors and honor those roads they have paved for us. We now have the ability and tools to further those paths. If you feel you don’t have the tools, reach out. Look to the healthy-hearted ones for some guidance on which tools might be appropriate for you as you dig into the fertile ground of your existence.
It’s late morning and I’m sitting to write down this week’s reading courtesy of Graciella. I usually do this late afternoon, but today as I did the meditation for my next Graciella project, I pulled two cards. She has me doing both. Graciella is not afraid of work. I’ve mentioned she is a task master and I must keep up with her in order to channel her work of Compassionate Consciousness. I may have previously mentioned that I’m in the process of a book that goes into depth regarding the concepts that the oracle deck introduced.
Balancing the spiritual with the material is sometimes tricky. When I originally designed the oracle deck booklet I had included a section of the history of Graciella and also descriptions of several layouts that can be used while reading the cards. You may have noticed that layouts are not included in the small booklet that comes with the deck. The printing company allowed for a certain number of pages that included exactly what is there. I made the decision to write a second book that would cover the rest of the information. Each day I sit in meditation with a pulled card, listen to what Graciella would like me say, and write the information down. This activity expands on the lyrical poem on each concept that is in the current book. I also have more information on themes within the cards and will sit with the illustrator, Mara Alicia Cordova, to discuss her perceptions about the cards that are so rich in texture, depth, and color! I’m hoping to have the book ready by the end of the year. Actions into vision!
I’ve also had the joy of doing Oracle workshops and each time I’ve learned new things about the deck and the process. If you’d like to host one let me know. We’ve had loads of fun learning to read the cards and sharing spiritual insights.
When I pulled the card for the meditation, two came up. The one for this week is the Water/Agua card.
This card is the epitome of having fun where you are in the glory and loving energy of the feminine principle of water. Will you be out in the rain? Will you wash your auto this week? We can be glum and grumble about the drops of water that we dodge from. Or we can enjoy them. That old adage of April showers bringing May flowers reminds us that when days are rainy or gloomy that sunshine is certain to appear later for us. This week comes the arrival of Aries in the new moon on the fifth. day. This is a time when we are faced with the energies of being emboldened, we are likely to feel a surge to start something new, to shout out to the Universes in ways that may not be usual to us. Welcome this week of new. Allow yourself to be awash in the waters of the Great Mother! She is there for us as we have been for her. Allow your masculine energies to combine with your feminine. The strong points of each will aide you as you move forward in this new enterprise. Be there for yourself!
I waver between writing about the various situations in my life or going immediately to the reading for the week. There was a recent post I read where someone had lots to say about the blogger who went on and on about her upbringing and neighborhood when the ultimate post was going to be a recipe. I do believe there are times I don’t write enough about what I’m doing. I was intrigued by Julia Alvarez, I believe, who wrote on her website that she wasn’t blogging because she was writing. Blogging is like cross-training. It can’t always be a long novel. Or can it? I don’t know because I’m blogging and working a regular job and writing novels in-between times.
What’s up is that my novel Coney Island Siren is just about done. I’m down to the very last edits. I’ve given out a few Advanced Readers Copies and generally feel great about the book. The book launch will be at the Nuyorican Poets Café in NYC on June 12 and I’m doing a reading, conversation, and signing at Café con Libros on June 14th in my hometown of Brooklyn. I hope to see you there. There will be a couple of other spots I’ll be with the newest of my literary libations and I’ll let you know here and on other social media places like facebook and Instagram.
I’m back to the weekly reading. Last week I must admit I was busy at a private party hosted in the Bronx by an author buddy for a Graciella Workshop. There were seven of us in total. We had a great time. Eating, talking, teaching, and learning how to read the oracle decks using several layouts. I’m in the process of writing a second Oracle book that includes the layouts with explanations and much more discussion of each concept. Graciella is a task master! There’s lots of meditation involved in obtaining the information so there I go in-between times again. Don’t forget that if you’re interested in hosting a workshop, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tonight as usual I smudged myself and the oracle deck with wonderfully smelling sage in my abalone shell. I shuffled the cards, fanned them out facedown on my desk, and pulled. The North/El Norte card appeared.
It’s here that as Graciella merged her energy with mine that I immediately heard and felt, Ask the ancestors! What have you made of your relationships with your ancestors? Are you close to them? Do you hear them whisper in your ear? Do you allow them to help you as you walk a path that is often rocky? Do you allow them to help steer you away from obstructions? Some of us are not so knowledgeable about the North and the reference to the old ones and those gone by. There are still those here on this side of the veils who come before us and those who have already crossed over who are rich with wisdom for us to learn from. Again, today I see red flags of warning or alertness for us to take note of. That’s not to say that danger is in the air, it’s to say that we can be aware of pitfalls and possible dangers that we don’t need to get entangled or embroiled in if we listen to the prophecy of the elders. There are many points of advice or suggestions that are handed to us that can alleviate a mountain of problems if only we’d listen. Sometimes we are too headstrong and want to do things our way. That’s fine if we first attempt to discern whether the old way is a way that will allay potential stressors or whether we need to walk on those jagged stones in order to determine who we are. Sometimes we do but then again, sometimes we don’t. We may use that available energy and passion for other more worthwhile things in our lives. Look for the flags this week and listen!
After a weekend of relaxation and errands, I’m happy to come to the oracle. The oracle continues to give me guidance in my day and especially in the observance of what may be in store for me. It’s not as though the messages strike me like lightning, but it’s more of a subtle knowing and understanding revealed that I look forward to when I pull from the deck.
As always, most importantly I join with my spirit guide, Graciella, who has gifted us with the concepts and images. I spoke with someone recently who said he felt Graciella’s spirit as he played with the cards. I affirm that she is present in each card doing. It is her energy and decision to share her wisdom in compassionate consciousness that we join with when we work with the deck. We centered, lit a white candle, shuffled the cards three times, fanned them on my worktable, and pulled one. The card that showed itself is the Fertility/ Fertilidad card.
This is a magnificent card! I love the deep purple of royalty of the pouch that holds, what? I’m not sure. I do know that each individual has his or her own cache of riches that is filled with promise. It’s important to know what your store of treasure is, where it is, and how you closely you hold it to your breast. There are coins here that seem to be falling out of the pouch. Tonight, I see the possibility that the pouch of goodness may have been placed on the coins. The coins seem to be antique gold that are riches of their own, separate from the pouch’s valuables. The green leaves surrounding the pouch and the coins are light in color, and that tells me something new, something that is growing, fresh like the spring leaves that will soon poke through the earth wet by the snow and rains will be encountered.
Look within to yourself. Find that precious object or objects belonging especially to you and listen for your next steps as it shows itself to you.
Every morning, I pull a card from the Graciella la Gitana Oracle deck. Although I’ve been working with the cards for over fifteen years, I gain new insights and I’ve come to rely on the guidance that each card gives me. Graciella speaks through the cards and she is the most excellent spirit guide.
When I pull a card for the weekly reading it is a different card than the one I’ve pulled that morning. Today, Graciella and I combined our energies and we smudged with sage in the abalone shell. We shuffled the deck three times and placed the cards on my work table this time. I was a bit surprised to see that the same card I pulled this morning was the one that jumped out. The Cape/la Capa.
This card speaks to being ready to take action. That is an action in itself. We should have protection when we act. That is symbolized by the red color of the cape. Don’t confuse the red for anger, it is for protection in this case. The protection should be something that the individual has already devised for themselves. What looms large in this sitting is the stone wall that the person is facing. What does the phenomena of a stone wall mean to you? For some it is a memorable event that took place when the LGBTQ persons who were at the Stonewall Inn bar in the West Village decided that they were not going to continue putting up with being treated abominably only because of their choices to live fully as who they were meant to be. I’d like to add, as children of God. We are all worthy and valuable in this world. There may be a time this week when you are asked, maybe not in words, to stand up for yourself and take a decisive, not divisive, stance to proclaim that you are here! You mean something! You are important to this world and are ready to take a stand. A little drama may be in order. You are up to the task. You have been prepared!
Last week’s post was about Change and there was a lot of change for me that I noticed especially toward the end of the week. Most of the changes that took place were of the inside of the chest kind- the ones that affect the heart. I’m feeling lighter, less worried about a toppling skyscraper falling down on my, and felt a clarity I seemed to have missed without even realizing that I was a bit hazy. I’ve added a Twitter account for Pollen Press and you can find us @LlcPollen! I’m excited about that. I already have one follower there. Come on over and check us out there. Ahem, once you’re done with this post.
Graciella and I chose the weekly card together as usual. I smudged with sage in my beloved abalone shell. We centered and gathered our energies together. Shuffled. Fanned. Pull a card. Voila! The Ancestors Card!
This is indeed one of my favorite cards of all! It reminds me that we are never alone. That we are here because of the ones that came before us and that we must never forget that we remain connected although they are on the spiritual plane. This week I did a wonderful spiritual reading for someone and the ancestors were in full force. I was reminded then, as now, that we can do small things to remind our ancestors that they are still in our light and love. What do we remember they loved? A cup of black coffee, a cigar, a deck of playing cards? A piece of cake dripping with honey? What do you remember about your ancestors that you can use to pay homage to them? A white candle, a glass of water on your altar, or a picture that shows them in the prime of health may be thought of by some as mementos, yes, but they are something more. They show that you still respect, love, and are providing the warmth, love, light, and progress for their spirits as they traverse in their ways through the Universe, providing you and me with light, love, protection, and guidance.
Some of us are also conscious of our ancestors that walk with us that may not be of the blood line we carry. These spirit guides also attend to us, whisper in our ears, hold our hands, and navigate us through the challenges and the celebrations of our daily lives. Think about your spirit guides today and give thanks either silently in prayer or by speaking aloud to the night skies. Your relationship with your ancestor is a sacred one. Be there for your ancestor. Your ancestor is there for you!
Graciella and I pulled this week’s card as usual. We’d tried last week, but I couldn’t seem to get the post picture inserted. I have to admit I was frustrated and irritated. My spouse and I were planning to go out and I had forty-five minutes to get the post in. Well, forty-five minutes later I was still tooling around with the picture that refused to show vertically. It insisted on a horizontal layout. At some point, I let it go. I needed to move on and that was the card I’d chosen- the traveler. I also felt that I wasn’t ready to start the oracle readings up yet. I needed to do the easier thing. So after three-quarters of an hour of going uphill I gave up. I am in a phase of letting things be so that’s what I finally did. I can be stubborn. It’s a Varela trait.
Today, Graciella and I shuffled the oracle deck. We fanned them out on the dining room table. This time I didn’t smudge. I think it will be okay. Together we pulled the Change/Cambios card.
The card image shows an arm reaching up for a particular cannister. In the process of doing so, it seems that another cannister has inadvertently fallen open. In the sweet sugar or flour that is spilled, there is another image. One of a chain of golden links that is in the shape of a heart. Sugar and flour are usually used to create a baked good or a confection. We may have to work a little bit for the tasty muffin or pie but it is usually well worth it when we bite down into it. While there could be minor annoyances, such as having to clean up a spill, the idea that something unexpected and pleasant may show up spontaneously in a favorable way, is the idea that Graciella would like to share.
A friend had sent me a beautifully touching letter today. She’d read yesterday’s post on the loss of my father and how I am adjusting. At the end she wished me all the courage I could muster as I move forward on this voyage. It was heartfelt and I’m in gratitude at the love sent in that letter. Today’s card speaks to the wonder and fulfillment about to be experienced in changes that will be encountered. I think that they’ve already begun. One example is me picking up a needlepoint piece that I’d put down a couple of years ago. I didn’t have the concentration or the patience to work on that piece. This weekend the ease of the needle work was calming and yes, comforting.
If you experience an unexpected satisfying change this week, will you share it here with us?
I’m back at my latest novel Coney Island Siren. The final corrections are nerve-wracking. I have excellent notes and comments from my editor, but am still anxious that I’ll miss something. I will. That’s what makes me human. Hopefully, any errors will be kept to a minimum. It felt good to be back in the text and the poetry. I still love the book after years of writing it and months of editing. I’m planning to have advance reader copies ready within the next couple of months. Let me know if you’re interested. I’ll see what I can do. There’ll only be a few but maybe you’ll be on the receiving end of an ARC. The book release will be in June of 2019. Soon there!
I have a candle burning in the background and could hear Graciella trying to get my attention. It’s Sunday evening and time for a weekly reading. She’s on time. So I am. Finally. I smudged myself and the oracle deck with white sage and feathers. Together, Graciella and I centered, took a few deep breaths, and shuffled the deck three times. We spread the cards out face down in a fan-like formation and asked for this week’s message. We pulled one. The Toreador-Matador Card! ¡Olé!
This is the card that came up multiple times at the Artisans Annual Holiday Market at El Barrio’s Art Space that I attended recently with other artists and authors. This card just kept popping up!
As the toreador who circles, who embodies the concept of stealth, we are ready to strike repeatedly at all costs of life to satisfy the audience. We strive to complete the transaction that we believe we are bound to and cannot consider extricating ourselves from. The truth is that we can remove ourselves from anything we are in conflict with at any time. We are not robotic in our maneuvers. The toreador seems to be in union with the bull. Watching its every move. Planning the execution. But the toreador also has his or her eye on the blood-thirsty crowd who has gathered to see what for some is a barbaric fight. The same grace that is needed for this bloody dance is also one that may be used to save the one who may actually need the saving. Is it the intended target, such as the bull? The audience who has paid a fee for the spectacle? Or is it the toreador who might benefit by walking away? During the week, look to see where this might fit in your drama. It may be a quick strategy. It may not even be your own, but one that you are allowed to be privy to. Share your experience in the comments when you experience it. Graciella and I are certain that you will have the opportunity.
After a day of watching television and relaxing with a run thrown in, I’m feeling a bit back to myself. I’m finally back to writing. Two and a half pages for my second Daisy novel to be exact. I don’t keep a word count. That’s a bit excessive for me. Daisy spoke to me and I was able to give her attention. She’s patient. And so are you. I’ve had a few people ask me at some recent events, when my next Daisy novel will be ready. Soon, guys. We’re working at it. She’s persistent and that’s one of her strengths. Today I received a call from the hospice chaplain for my Dad. We talked about my Dad’s needs and mine. It’s been a revelation to be on this journey and realize I truly have lots of help from many sources. To have the ability to tell the chaplain that I’m in a good spiritual place is a gift.
As I prepared to pull this week’s card from Graciella’s oracle deck, I thought about the positivity of the holiday week. I wondered what type of celebratory card that we’d pull. I smudged myself and the cards with a good dose of white sage. I felt Graciella’s energy merge with mine as I shuffled the deck and fanned the cards out on my desk. I felt excited about what I sure would be a pleasure filled concept. Together, we pulled the Treachery/Traición card. What! Treachery card! How dare Graciella! But so it is. I actually took a moment away from the card to deal with my disappointment in the card. But I’m over it now and ready to tackle Graciella’s message.
The text that is provided in the booklet says, Blinded by your own reflection, Self-will binds, Allow awareness to surge through your being, Refrain from self-betrayal. The Spanish translation is: Quedarse ciego con su propio reflejo, La obstinación ata, Permite que la concencia aumente a través de tu ser, abstenerse de la auto-traición.
What I take these words to mean, in this particular reading, is to not limit ourselves to our desires, wants, and perceived needs. There is a much bigger picture to consider. The image shows the gentleman tied up and hanging from a branch. Fairly innocuous as he’s held up by his coattails. His feet are reflected in the water. Where has he been? Where is he going? Where does he believe himself to be on his path? His hat floats below him. A hat such as this type is often symbolic of pride for many. Has he lost his head? We see Graciella sitting in a meditative pose at the side of the pond. The pond is clear and will show many things as long as Graciella or we are willing to look at what is below the surface. In her hand she holds a clear quartz crystal. What better tool is there to bring us clarity? To bring us to the light within.
The message of meditating to bring clarity to ourselves is apparent. But we can also, during this time of holiday celebration, are encouraged to not be shallow as the pond. We can allow our masculine and feminine sides to merge and be whole in spirit and mind. We are encouraged to reflect upon our reflections! Are we open to the simplicity in giving and receiving, such as a crystal point that channels energy both from ourselves to others and from others to ourselves? Be open. Be reflective. Let the joy of giving and receiving come to you without pre-conceived notions. The celebration may just be in that!
Happy holidays my loved ones! May you bask in joy and love!
I made it a point this week to keep last Sunday’s read up front in terms of my experience. The concept of the Sun/Sol showed up clearly for me. The meaning wasn’t news that I might be unhappy to receive. But it did arrive with a starkness, a clarity of vision, of knowledge that I would be ill-advised to deny. Did I have to do anything about the information? No. But it was still helpful to know and it started a series of talks for me to begin managing an important part of my life.
Today, I smudged myself and the oracle with white sage. It smells so wonderful. I shuffled the cards three times, and fanned them out on an uncluttered surface, my creative table. I felt Graciella’s energy merge with mine as I centered and together we pulled the Change/Cambios card from the oracle deck.
Change! Yet again, we receive the message that change is afoot. What else is new? The image shows the hand reaching for two cannisters when there is one on the counter that is spilling sugar. Surprisingly, a piece of jewelry is also seen in the sugar. The wall tiles are vividly colored and today I see them as Christmas decorations already hanging. Can you see that too?
As we become busy with the holiday season, it would be prudent to take the time to tend to what needs to be done before we attempt to do more. Are we buying things we already have? Are we neglecting basic things because we are harried and in a rush. What might we be purposefully neglecting because we believe that cleaning up our messes will take up too much time.
Take a moment. Look around. Where in our lives are things neglected or ignored because we believe that other things take precedent? The festivities are already here. We don’t have to look too far for them. We can create fun and happiness while still taking the time to take care of the things that ultimately bring a sweetness to our lives unrealized in our daily activities.