Sunday evening rolls around just as quickly as Monday morning. It’s a time that I usually start fretting about what I did or didn’t do. I look around me and see so many things that I haven’t had the chance to get to and then I start wishing for the next weekend. When I do this my opportunities to enjoy discoveries are reduced. I’m in next Friday. Wait, it’s Sunday. What might help is looking down at my feet and seeing where I’m planted.
I just spent the afternoon with a circle of women who embody grace, love, and all the gifts that a compassionate Mother could provide. These are women who are spiritual, creative, loving, and talented and are not afraid to share their gifts with the world. I’m in awe that the Mother Goddess saw to it that we would each take a little time from our extremely busy and full lives to share the gifts of healing and spirit with each other. Wow.
So now, I sit to pull the oracle concept card that Graciella la Gitana wants to share with us. We meld our energies and shuffle the cards. We fan them out on the table and we ground and center with our breath. Together we pull the Treachery/Traición card. Didn’t we just pull that card recently for the weekly reading?
This is a simple message of awareness. We must take care of not being obstructed by our self-wills that may prohibit us from experiencing exactly what our higher self believes would benefit us. How many times do we say, I know! when someone suggests something to us? Have we put our hands up to ward off advice either in work or in play because we just don’t want to take in new information? This week I plan to meet with a new collaborator in my work setting. Do I say, I’ve been doing this without your help for so long that what could you possibly offer me now? If I accept the fresh perspective of another who might be holding a crystal of light as the woman in the image is I may learn something. How do I step away from my ego and allow another to teach me something new or different. Otherwise I may be like the gentleman who hangs from a tree by his suit jacket. Do I turn into a buffoon because I cannot be open and my will binds my way?
Today I pray that I can be open to the newness that my higher self would always have me experience. I’ll leave my jaded, know-it-all attitude at home. I’ll say thank you!
I like to joke and sing about today being the first day of the rest of my life. My inner consciousness truly believes that. I don’t leave my knowledge and experience behind. I take them with me and mix it with the suggestions of another and come up with a totally new recipe. I think I will like it. I hope you do too.
The heat is a beast up here in NYC this weekend and everywhere else I hear. I’m sort of melting but it’s okay because I prefer that to freezing toes. There is so much going on in the world. I’m trying to keep a cool line of tranquility and perseverance while also trying to keep a this too shall pass type of attitude. My mom used to say that to me all the time when I was a kid. Sometimes I wish time would go faster than it actually does- at least when it’s something I’m not happy about. We all have our roles on this planet. That’s probably exactly why the West card turned up today when Graciella and I pulled from the oracle deck.
What’s perfect about this card is that it’s all about looking within. The water reflects us like a mirror. We can’t really look outside of ourselves and hope that change will be made out there. By someone. By someone else. That’s an awfully frequent hope that I have. Someone else will do something. But what is that thing that we want changed that we can’t do ourselves? I’ve promised myself that I won’t be a political lout for the next year and then some. I’ll just keep being my spiritual self and vote when the time is here again, but already I’m rattled. Sorry if we don’t share political views but that’s okay. It’s important for all of us to speak our voices out into the world.
There’s lots of finger pointing even among friends. What are you doing? To be quiet is to be complicit I read a lot on social media. But what if we’re just not announcing what we’re doing? And what if we are announcing what we actually are not doing but feel would get a rise out of others. All these thoughts are quieted when Graciella’s energy merges with mine and we pull the cards. What is my message that I am to share with you? It’s to look at our reflections in the deep waters. It’s the message of introspection. Graciella is my calming influence and I’m grateful to be in touch with this wonderful spirit guide. The image depicts me. A big old rock in the ocean. The waves may crash all over me but I’m to remain steady. Maybe there are crusty little algae and the like growing on my shiny surface. They may be annoying but we can live together. The larger majesty of the Mother’s will eventually overtakes us with one huge whoosh. We are quieted again and ready to enjoy the serene beauty that envelops us.
Not sure if this week’s message is clear. The message is Look Within. That’s where it starts and that’s where it ends. The endless cycle of the ocean’s wave are like eternity. It goes on without us. Look within. Do your part. I’ll try my very best to do mine.
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.
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.