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?

XOX,
Theresa

Graciella la Gitana Oracle © Weekly Reading- The Fortune Teller

Wouldn’t we all like to know where we’re headed? To know what is next on our horizons? For many of us, having a full spiritual life guides us toward the inner knowing that lights our way in this world. Prayer and meditation are essential in cultivating a personal spiritual garden that flourishes with life.

There are so many of us though who are still looking for a spiritual path. Others may be in need of the words or symbols of an outside source to help us remember. We humans all too often forget the roads we are on due to the many distractions we encounter in our daily lives. We may have a question that needs to be answered or someone to help us shed light on a problem that we’ve been unable to resolve.

In this card, the Fortune Teller/La Adivinadora acts as the medium in which we obtain the information that we have been unable to come to on our own. The age old practice of scrying water, tarot, oracles, bones, and shells for enlightenment can be that outside, yet inner source, for us to query. This practice doesn’t change your future, only you can do that. Having more insight into a situation can help to avert or avoid circumstances that one may need to stay clear from or provide clarity and direct one closer to more fruitful ways of living.

Spiritual garden

Think of a spiritual consultation as a way of cultivating your spiritual garden. Guidance on what may need to be weeded out, what perennials to plant, and what annuals or seasonal plantings to intersperse among the others is oh so helpful. Look to outside aide for your queries this week. None of us can do it all alone.

With love and affection,

Theresa and Graciella

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

Treading water

I took swimming lessons at the YWCA the summer that I completed the fourth grade, the summer that my sister died. Treading, from afar on the tiled deck, seemed almost relaxing. The counselor had on her swim cap, with the elastic strap and fastener held under her chin. She invited us in almost lazily with a large smile on her face. I couldn’t tell from my angle that her legs were moving furiously under the water. I was tested a couple of weeks later. I timed in for a full thirty seconds. Treading water was something that has always remained a challenge for me. I can float and swim both on my belly and on my back at a decent rate. Treading water seemed synonymous with how I walked on the earth back them. Everything seemed hard.

I haven’t written since January 20. Shortly after that date we’d received the call from the hospice nurse that my Dad was declining. By the 25th, she suggested that we call family for last good-byes. He was moving quickly into his transition. We sat with him for the next three days. We prayed. All of us. Family members wove in and out of the room. He knew us. He gave a little wave of his hand whenever we were in his vision. He crossed over on the twenty-eighth of January. I feel as though I’ve been treading water since then.

There’s usually a check list in my head at all times. It’s part of my monkey-brain. I jump from one thing to the next, making sure that everything is okay. The check list has changed from making sure my dad’s needs were met, to funeral arrangements, and business calls, to now. My check list has turned to re-checking. Was I there enough for him? Did I do the best for him? Was he comfortable? Mostly, was I fully present as his daughter? My head tells me yes. My heart has tricked me a couple of times into feeling I could have done more. My head reminds me that I did the best I could for the man, who at all the stops of life, did the best he could for me. We were a great team.

Last night I woke up thinking that a big part of my life is gone. Duh! Of course, it is. Yesterday, I had a short meditation and there he was walking toward me readying for a game of dominoes. This is a process, not an event. At some point, I’d placed a picture of The Never-Ending Story on my Facebook page. The quote is “Nothing is lost… everything is transformed.” I will see how that will manifest in my life. I feel him. I see him. Our love continues. He is with Mom, my sister, and his parents and siblings again. I’ve been blessed to have him all of these years.

I’ve the deep desire to go to the beach. I know that I can feel him there too. We spent many afternoons there during the last couple of years. It’s too cold to jump in the water. I won’t tread furiously. I think this time I will let the ocean’s energy wash over me in the cold breeze. I will allow the healing to be a gentle process. I will just be.

Graciella la Gitana Oracle © Weekly Reading

What could I possibly write about the full Super Blood Wolf Moon? I can say that it coincides with the only full lunar eclipse of 2019. I’ve read Chani Nicholas’s and Heather’s at Rising Moon Healing Center takes on it. They are experts at reading the moon and I expect you to run over to their websites and learn all of the intricacies of what this auspicious moon brings to your life in star and sun signs and all the rest. To me, the full wolf moon is the time to remember the homeless and the hungry. The ones who pull blankets over themselves as they lay against the cold concrete sidewalks and the ones who do the same in forests, less visible, but are there never the less.

theapopkavoice.com

In the image, I see the wolf howling for those who are still in need. I hear the plaintive cry to be heard. The wolf who is true to his purpose, sticks steadfastly to his message, to his relationships, to his mission. I too call out into the night and hope that I can stick to my purpose too. The challenge of praying to the moon is to be aware of prayers answered and to proceed with intent and love. The notion that I or my life will be transformed with the full moon is just that- a notion. I must heed my task throughout the year along with the waxing and waning of the energies of the moon. It’s the time between the astrologer’s blog post that counts the most. I must stay true- like the wolf.

Tonight, I shuffled Graciella’s oracle deck. I breathed, centered, and with Graciella’s energy melded with mine, we chose a card from the deck. We pulled the South-Sur Card.

Graciella la Gitana South-Sur Card


Walk in trust and innocence. Know that you are taken care of. Look to the sun and let it caress your face. There are things that may be unclear, may be harsh, or that you are unable to understand. Drop your shoulders and breathe. As the energy of the moon, as the energy of the sun, and the stars enfold you, know that there is something much bigger than you in process. Being vulnerable, allowing that we don’t know everything, or have all the answers all of the time is often felt as burdensome. Look to see where the magic is. Grant that Something, wonderful and good, the power to calm and to soothe you. Love is the answer.

Con todo amor,

Graciella y Theresa

Graciella la Gitana Oracle © Weekly Reading

Yesterday I updated my blog site and I’m totally unfamiliar with this new style of blogging that is all behind the scenes to the finished product. That just about wraps up the way everything is going in my life. The exterior seems fairly smooth but the interior me is adjusting to all things new and different. Last Sunday evening, Graciella and I drew the Change/ Cambios oracle card and it was on point as always. 

Today was filled with holiday shopping,  visiting my Dad at the assisted living facility, and grocery shopping. It all went off without a hitch other than the  increased traffic that’s to be expected at this time of year. It all seemed mundane except for the car that was pulled over on the expressway filled with bullet holes. It made me think of how fortunate I am and that my loved one or myself wasn’t in that car or that I don’t have a child in a cage awaiting deportation and that I walked throughout the day with my spouse bickering at times like spoiled teenagers. I’m truly blessed. I wrote a few pages in my second Daisy novel WIP and got a nudge from Graciella. It was time to pull this week’s card

 We smudged ourselves and the Oracle. We shuffled the cards, fanned them out on my writing desk, and pulled the one that called out. Together we pulled the East/Este card. 

                 East/Este Graciella la Gitana Oracle

I immediately think of Morning Tobacco prayers that call to the four directions. The East is the place of the new day, new beginnings, the light that is within us and in our surroundings. It is the place of Eagle spirit that according to Sams in her Animal Medicine cards tells us to stay in the light of Spirit and not to get mired in the mud as can easily happen when we don’t stay in the light.

We learn to shine our shine as very young children. At some point it becomes a choice whether we want to be in the light and not get stuck in the negativity that is so prevalent as we age and are offered choices to gossip, to be mean, not to give an answer, or maybe laugh if someone fumbles or trips. This card reminds us about the peace and tranquility that comes to us in the simplicity of illumination. Today I see the image of the card as one of growth and of being tethered to beauty if we allow it. The barren trees may be from our backgrounds, maybe we had a childhood wasn’t that great or happy, but today we still have the opportunity to meet and greet the light of the sun that is rising. That whatever the background or our baggage we can still make the choice to be in the light. That whatever is going on around us in this chaotic and dark world filled with charlatans and persons who may not want to be in the light, we can not only be in the light but be the light. 

Make your choice, pray to golden eagle, that you too, may fly high with Spirit!

Our love and light,

Graciella y Theresa

The In-between Times

The notion of in-between times was so romantic to me when I first heard of them. I’d learned of the power of Spirit coming through at dawn and dusk. Those were the times to meditate and to slide through those slivers of space where I could experience more than my seeming regular world could afford me. I learned to scry water, to read cards, to listen with all of my senses and slowly built a foundation to always be in touch with Spirit.

This mid-morning, I find myself sitting at my computer. I am writing a few more pages in my slowly emerging second Daisy mystery novel. There’s a strong feeling of peace within my heart. I’ve placed all other things aside for this time. I’ve come to realize this is an in-between time too.  We received the shipment of our boxes of personal belongings that we sent up from Puerto Rico as we prepared to place our house on the market. We opened them last night and pulled out pots, pans, and art work from Puerto Rican artisans that we cherished and enjoyed several times a year on our trips to the island. I placed a few pieces of art up on my wall and can now enjoy them every day of the year.

This in-between time is bittersweet. I loved my little house in Puerto Rico. This is a time of letting go but also a time of accepting new things into my life. As I wait for a call from the realtor, I pray that the family who is meant to have the house ambles through the serene neighborhood. That they may speak with one of the vecinos who were so helpful to me over the years. The ones who shared food with my Dad. The ones who helped fix the television for him when he started losing the ability to do the things that we take for granted. The ones who called me to tell me it was time to check on him and that the time he needed me more than he wanted had finally come.

This chasm of time is one for Spirit to come through. The feeling of serenity is strong in my office/spiritual space. It is strong within me. It reminds me of walking through the Camuy caves in Puerto Rico. The bats hung above us occasionally tittering. The rocks whispered secrets from our ancient ones. The waters trickled- gently guiding us- ensuring we wouldn’t skate on the slippery paths we tread. I am grateful for this time. I can accept the changes that life brings and anticipate the beautiful new days ahead. I can sit in this moment of time and listen as Spirit tells me that all is okay for today.

I hope that you feel that too. ♥

Theresa

 

Stalling for time

We had lots of chaos at our house during the spring when a harsh wind took down several of the tall pines on our property. We hired the landscaper to pull down whatever trees and branches were still dangling. After carting lots of the branches off and grinding huge stumps, the landscaper’s truck broke down. It seemed like we’d never be rid of the last tree carcass that took up the back of the house.

Our prayer and meditation site had also been blocked by fallen trees way in the back and we decided he could help us by moving some rocks to bring it closer to the house. The landscaper got the truck repaired but found a busted part that was made by the repair person. That was fixed eventually too. He’s finally finished the whole job. Trees and rocks are moved. Our prayer and meditation site is serene perfection. The fairies are happy and so are we.

That’s all just a snapshot of the backstory of my life. The frontstory about my writing is that it’s also stalled. My computer went dead. I couldn’t decide which computer I wanted to replace it. It seemed like there was a big old foot on the brake of my life. I eventually got a replacement writing implement. But I couldn’t write because I’m tying up two projects that have been in the gestational stage forever.

I guess they’re twins. The oracle is being born first. That makes it the younger twin who is scouting out the road for the older twin, Coney Island Siren. The oracle is on a hard path already. It’s kind of born but not. We’re having template issues with the printing company and just can’t seem to get it right.

I’m hoping these problems will be resolved like the trees, the rocks, and the computer. It’s taken group effort for each of these projects to be completed. Every person on the team is incredibly motivated, talented, and giving their all. While I’m dealing with technicalities and administrative processes my creative writing is quietly waiting for its turn to be back in my frontstory.

It seems like time is stalled. A few months back during my trip to Cuba a wise elder told me to get rid of my watches that had stopped running. I had donated a couple but held onto two. One was my Timex that takes a lick in’ and keeps on tickin’ and the other is my Mercury watch. The face is of the mercury dime with wings to fly. I especially love this image of mercury. It reminds me of the FTD symbol. Ready to go and deliver at a moments notice. The deeper meaning for me is that Mercury is also Hermès Thrice Born, Hermès Trismetigus, who is adept in alchemical processes.

I went to a local jeweler convinced I’d have to be rid of it’s lovely silver mesh band that I thought was beyond repair. He suggested leather but then looked at me and said, I think you prefer silver. Of course, I’m a child of the moon! He told me he could easily fix it. A few minutes later both watches were ticking. The jeweler was just another person who stepped in to make things work for me.

Time is rolling nicely again. There have been solutions and resolutions to things that I couldn’t figure out by myself. My impatience will admonish me about all the things I’m not accomplishing. When I’m right-sized I know something or someone other than me will come forth and help me and my creative endeavors move forward nicely again.

I prayed that to the moon

XO

Theresa

The Pink Moon

almanac.com

The full pink moon called me out of a deep slumber this morning.  I realize that I’ve been writing a little something about the full moons this year although I admit I don’t really know anything about astrology or astronomy. I do like to think about what the month will bring in terms of the phases of the moon. The moons just call to me. I am a daughter of the moon.

The idea of a pink moon is compelling. It reminds me of things new and tender and gentle. The image I chose to represent this moon is one of beauty. As I think about the moon a few images jump out at me. The weather has started to change here in NYC. The flowering trees are budding. The bushes are showing growth and the streets are cleaner from the heavy rains that are kinder to our neighborhoods than many of us are.

Yesterday, I was picking up the smaller branches left over from the nor’easter that devastated our area in PA. As I was walking across the lawn, piling up the remains, I felt a sense of loss and grief about the beautiful pine tree that had come down in the storm. I knew deep inside that the other trees missed it too. I told my spouse and we planned to do a corn meal prayer to acknowledge all that it has meant to us over the years that we have been on the property.

We had thought about taking the tree down a couple of years ago. It groaned. It whistled. It made all sorts of noise and it was huge. We were fearful that it would come down on our house or fall toward the front of the property and come down on cars on the road. We had a tree specialist who came out and told us that the tree was just talking to us. That it had some years left in it and we should leave it alone. We did. It left when it was ready.

The tree meant many wonderful things to us. It shaded and protected us from the sometimes harsh elements. It was a home to many a crow, blue jay, or hawk that came to a stop there for a rest. It also gave the hummingbirds a place to sit between their jaunts to the feeders filled with sweet waters. The tree was life. A gentle life that we experienced as we sat on the porch on  many a warm sunny day. We are thankful for our time with that tree and we our now getting used to the openness in that space. The sun shines into our living room a bit more now without the tree’s foliage blocking it.

Bringing those thoughts to the pink moon, I am again visualizing new things. Things that are new need gentle tending to, like plants, flowers, new friendships, projects and especially, our feelings. This is a time of growth. Of being gardeners of our lives. What have we let go of that no longer serves us? What needs pruning?  What would we like to see bloom? How is it do we wish to be in the world?

Welcome to the newness of the spring and to the newness in ourselves!

xo

Theresa

 

Writing: being in the middle

Social media forums such as Facebook and Twitter have me thinking about all the books I haven’t written and all the planned creative work that sits on the shelves in my mind and office. I curl up my toes at the photos of people who are seemingly doing it all. They are guest appearing and guest blogging all over America, while getting their writing published. On my good days, I cheer the completed projects and am contented to be connected with such illustrious  people. On gloomy days, I ponder all I haven’t done yet.

I remember being taken aback when I went to Julia Alvarez’s website that showed the covers of her published books and a note that said something to the effect of ‘I’m not blogging because I’m writing.’ Boo-yah! This was on the heels of being advised of the necessity of blogging to connect with readers and writers alike. I’m told my writing career depends on it.

If you take a good look at my blog post dates you’ll see I don’t blog all that often. People haven’t swarmed to read every word and make insightful and inciteful comments. On a day of light, I congratulate myself on the creative work I’ve offered to the Universe and on a somber day, think it’s never enough and possibly, I’m not enough. Being in the middle is a perfect reminder that ‘shoulds ‘and ‘coulds’ are to be avoided in my vocabulary of words.

As a ‘literati’ (dubbed years ago by my doctoral dissertation chair) which can be defined as one of the educated class or one interested in literature (I like the second definition better, yup) I must be true to the rhythm of the words that flow through me and to the ever changing patterns of life. I’m well aware that to compare is to despair.

I’m proud of the creative work I’ve completed and birthed into the world and excited about the new creations waiting to be born. Gestation periods vary, some creations are birthed rather quickly, others are high risk and need extra help, while others are endured and enjoyed simultaneously. It’s essential for me as a writer to ‘be in the middle’ and do my part just for today.

Blogging has helped me to develop the muscle of not ruminating over a brief written piece, to happily realize I can change my mind about my opinions, and to continue developing my voice on paper. I also get the pleasure of sharing myself with others and that is something that is often missing in the isolation of writing as a practice. So for today, I will blog, as well as continue digging into my other projects. A few are standing in the wings, readying to take their places on stage.

Happy writing!