Palabras: Spiritual Oracle- Fertility.

 

Rethinking, revising, rewriting. These have been the three major elements of my weekend, thus far. I started my morning, as I have been for the last five weeks, writing my three pages as suggested in Julia Cameron’s The Prosperous Heart. I’d woken up on the negative side of the bed but by the time I finished the pages I had taken a turn toward the positive. The old shadows and doubts were cleared away in the process letting in room for light, excitement and anticipation of my continuing process. In fact, I realize that my personal writing has taken on a new slant. It now includes affirmations that I believe and clear visualization of goals achieved. Wow. These three pages have become a mix of prayer and meditation. They allow me to de-clutter, de-stress and disavow the stuff that “yuck” is made of. Having finished part of my morning plan earlier than I anticipated, I decided I would use this time to pull the weekly card. This leaves my evening open for free time to be me and enjoy the fruits of my work. I shuffled, smudged and fanned the cards out. I centered and allowed Graciella la Gitana’s carefree energy to merge with my own. We pulled the Fertility card.

Image: The image is that of a bulging pouch filled with jewels and gems that spill out onto a background of dark velvet.  

Words: About to give birth. Pregnant with the abundance of life. Giving forth to that which is expected, yet that which is still unknown. Keep steady as this new beginning bursts forth. It is rich with possibilities. The potential realized is forthcoming.

Read: New cycles in life and work are apparent in your life today. Look to where it manifests. Is it a novel, is it a baby or is it the tiny sprig of green that peeps in your garden this fine day?  Each one of us is blessed with a creative center from which that we generate takes form. It’s important to get to know your personal creation. What is that thing that makes your heart swell and allows you to feel the abundance of all that is good in this life? It may be different from that of your best friend or closest colleague and only you can determine exactly what it is. We may be infectiously affected by that of someone else and that may be your clue as to where you decide to place your energies. Have you thought of spending time with something that your neighbor is now doing? You wouldn’t be ‘stealing’ their idea. You might go along with them to that new yoga class where you will find the ‘you’ that’s ready to emerge. Taking sewing or fencing classes with a buddy will help you to cut your own cloth. There is crazy excitement in beginning a new creation. Yes, if it is a baby you will tend to spit up, crying, piles of soiled lap pads but that would never negate the joy that the baby brings to your life. Just the same, a novel will bring a sense of accomplishment and pride when you see the bound pages and intriguing cover. Rock on, people, enjoy the tedium and the hard work; it will only bring the joy you so deserve!

Are there any new or old ‘new’ projects you’d like to share about here? Are there stumbling blocks you’ve encountered or ways that you’ve found that cleared the obstacles?

Palabras: Loyalty

I sit at a window overlooking the woods. There is snow coming down and the flakes seem to be getting    larger. Today has been one of those days that I take a minute to give thanks for the abundance of wonderful people, opportunities and “stuff” that I have. I took a moment to smudge myself and the cards with sage, I centered and then I asked Graciella, La Gitana, what her message for us is today. I felt her presence as light as a breeze as I pulled the card with her. The card that we chose is the Loyalty card.

Image: The image for this card is of a cloaked woman who is standing at a crossroad. At this intersection stands a large cross with some flowers planted in the earth surrounding it. The figure stands amid what seem to be miles of pasture land. We cannot see the woman’s features because her back is turned away from the reader. Her hood hangs and her hair seems to be wrapped in a sort of turban-like headdress.  She holds what looks like two pieces of palm or twigs in her hand.

Words: Loyal to the situation to a fault. Are you loyal to yourself or to what is expected of you? Lift your head and your eyes to the sky. Be brave.

Read: The figure stands at the crossroads and there is actually the figure of a cross there. It looks like the ones that are left to commemorate the life of a person whose life has been taken in an accident. There are so many ways to read this. The possibility of not going on with our own lives because of the traumatic loss of another is something many of us contemplate, at probably some unconscious level. How can we go on despite the fact that others meaningful to us no longer have the opportunity? This type of thinking may not be consigned only to death. All too often the survivor of whatever discomforting experience may feel guilt about continuing forward and living fully as their path warrants. The symbol of the cross may of course be taken as a religious symbol but it doesn’t have to be limited to that. The number four is known for its expanse of its significance. A few meanings that come to mind are the four corners, the four directions, and the four seasons. While three is the number for transformation and change, actually crossing the intersection brings solidity to the change that we expected or feared when we happened upon the opportunity to make a change.  Go across that street or that barrier that you may have erected for yourself. While we are responsible for our own decisions and the awareness of the consequences of the actions we take, we are not responsible for the responses by others. Being accountable and answering for our actions impacts our decisions. In our thoughtfulness we may also be brave- guilt is not the same as responsibility.

Spiritual Sightings II- carfaith

Please welcome, Libby Clarke! Libby is an artist, designer and educator living in Brooklyn, New York. She specializes in conceptual art pieces she calls “paper products to save the world.” Her skills include woodcut, silkscreen, letterpress, and anything to do with computerized graphic design. She currently works as an Assistant Professor at the New York CIty College of Technology.
 

After sharing my desire to share Spiritual Sightings whenever I came upon them, my friend, Libby Clarke, went a step further and took some pics and shared them with me. I am sharing them with you. Some of her art work can be found at http://monstressproductions.com

In the world of the mundane, we get to experience some pretty wonderful things. Walking down a street or two gives us the opportunity to use our senses in many different ways. Here is a series of photos that Libby calls carfaith. Interestingly, I got caught up in the reflection of each shot. It took me a minute to fully appreciate the intended focal point of each shot. I think ultimately that’s exactly what I’m supposed to do. Reflect. Take another minute. Appreciate.

I had also glimpsed some of the spiritual doo-dads hanging from various rearview mirrors before I received Libby’s pictures. The point is that I didn’t take my camera out. I got a little shy doing that. The reflecting dashboards became another excuse. I wondered if there was going to be enough diversity in the relics. I didn’t want to offend anyone by having too many rosaries, not enough of anything else.

Our car, not in this series, holds several prayer bundles- ceremonially made. It holds a beaded little Chief and a cowrie shell bound in leather. All meaningful to us. There was a lot of thought that went into what we hung on our rearview mirror. I often wonder whether people say a prayer with what they hang there.

I’d gone on a spiritual quest called the Journey of the Waters once with my dear Oh Shinnah Fastwolf- a teacher I’m proud to have learned many things from. As a passenger in the rented SUV, riding the Ouray Mountain in Colorado, I was a bit terrified of the massive drop. The car skeletons that dotted the mountain didn’t help to assuage my fear. Prior to starting the drive early that day we smudged the car with sage, created a cornmeal path and rattled as we chanted. On our way back to the hotel that night, it was practically pitch black except for the magnificent stars that spread across the sky. Suddenly, a few us in the car heard rattling and the smell of burning sage from our seats. We knew we were safe. It was all about having a bit of carfaith. I’d practically forgotten that this magical day had actually happened. My friend, Libby, brought it back by using her senses on some New York City streets. For this I am grateful.

Thanks, Libby, for helping us to keep the faith!

Palabras: La Romantica

Taking advantage of getting away for the weekend, there was plenty of time for me to write, cook, eat, and watch movies. I stayed in my robe a good part of Saturday. This was all very unlike me and I loved it. I’m the one who is usually up before dawn charging forward with a list of things to do. The past few weekends have been hectic as have my work days. I decided to pull the card early today. Smudging myself and the cards with sage, shuffling and fanning the cards out were how I began, as usual. I love routine. Together, Graciella la Gitana, my spirit guide and I pulled the card- La Romantica- the romantic.

Image: The image is that of a young girl, long dark hair flowing behind her in the breeze, who is leaving a large estate. Her left hand holds her wrap close to her. The right hand holds onto the wrought iron railing that leads to the stairs. Behind her is a large decorative window. There is shrubbery, apparently well tended, in front of the window. A crease in her skirt, near her creative center, has the shape of the crescent moon.

Words: Slight wistfulness and hope. No promises are made. The day moves ahead without prescription. Know that the universes are in rhythm. Patterns flow. Moving ahead when the time is right. The challenge is to allow it to happen naturally and not attempt to do the shifting.

Read: The romantic one “romanticizes” the actual set of events or possibilities. The dress on the young woman in the card appears to be of light chiffon and the bodice is tight. It reveals a heart shaped top that covers her youthful breasts. The girl looks to be escaping some sort of gala or celebration. She wears no jewelry and her shoes are in the style of Mary Jane’s. Clearly she is not ready for the event she leaves. Her objective brain protects herself and her subjective brain tells her to leave. We see her running down the stairs. When we are immature in our world experience, we find ourselves longing for places, people and things that are far beyond our ability to handle them. There is wisdom to not rushing things, allowing nature to take its course and letting time take time. Surrendering to the larger ebb and flow of life’s cycles provides a safe place to step aside and to wait for our turn- in fulfilling the dream that we so desire.

Palabras: La Muerte

We went to visit a dear friend, yesterday, who is very ill in the hospital; she’s been very helpful to my spouse and me in our spiritual lives. We did energetic healing work, prayed for her and translated “hospitalese” for her son. As a nurse, I take for granted the language of medicine. I hope that I translated it to the language of healing. Afterward, I read a poem I’d written at Bluestockings in NYC with a Latina writing group, La Pluma y La Tinta that I’d helped to found with Raquel Penzo. We’re on hiatus but still get together to read. Busy day, diverse as life can be. This is why I’m pulling this card today and didn’t last evening. I first smudged myself and the cards with sage, shuffled and fanned the cards. Together, Graciella la Gitana, my spirit guide and I pulled the card- La Muerte – the death card.

Image: The image is that of a male hiding behind a wall or doorway. He stands with his eyes gleaming, darting furtively. In his right hand he holds a dagger, ready to plunge at a moment’s notice. Is he the hunted or the hunter? Is his fear well-founded or a manifestation of thoughts that are unclear and an inability to discern the truth of the situation?

Words: Reflect on the actions you are about to make. They may bring discomfort and distress. You can stop what you are doing swiftly. Let your heart bleed into your brain and create a pure channel from which to work.

 Read: Frightened at first when I pulled this card, as always. Why is it that the death card- no matter how long I’ve been reading oracles- is alarming? Death is about transformation- from the old to a new way. There are so many ways to read this. We can live in fear and ruminate about something bad happening. We can wait for it-whatever that awful thing is- to take a prominent place in our lives. The truth is that the other shoe will always drop. The truck will come bounding round the corner. Actions that we take are the ones that end up more determining than the one situation we are sure will make or break or lives forever. This message to me is one of taking time to stop, reflect, meditate on what is important and take positive action. It may not seemingly change the events at hand but a pure channel is one that makes living with the consequences and results much easier. Heart and brain together make for a place of serenity when they are linked and not blocked with fear.

Palabras: The Wagon

This is the second general reading of the New Year that I’ve done using my Palabras de Graciella La Gitana- Spiritual Oracle.  This weekend was a lazy, happy time. Not much work. Yay! Instead, we had friends, including their dog, who shared laughs, singing, and lots of food with us. We spent the morning at one of the state parks. A couple of us ran and a couple walked in the brisk air. The path surrounded a lake that was quite frozen. There weren’t many people on the road. We passed one couple with their beautiful white dog who I think was smiling- the dog, I mean. I couldn’t be sure because of the branch he held between his teeth- but his tail was definitely wagging. The four of us engaged in exercise, somewhat together, but not altogether, we all did what we wanted to at our own paces. Lovely. Tonight as I began this reading, I first smudged myself and the cards with sage, shuffled and fanned the cards. Together, Graciella and I pulled the card- The Wagon.

Image: The image is that of the side of a wagon. A step ladder is at its side along with a bucket of paint. There is a box with a jar there too. A hammer is thrown on the ground in front of the step that leads to the wagon’s door. There is a large sign on the side of the closed wagon. It says- Crystal Readings. A couple of stars adorn the sign too.  

Words: The spirit is housed within one’s body. Take a moment and feel the breeze come in through the narrow window. Curtains are gently flaring. Breathe. Take stock. Note. Is your wagon frayed? What is closed and what is open? Are there sounds, colors, scents? What aspects of the body need tending to by its spiritual owner?

 Read: Many questions to ponder. Sit quietly. Feel your body and listen to what it may be saying. At the New Year many of us attempt to jump start a whole new fitness plan. Others of us have paid lip service but haven’t taken action as yet. Even others have been attending to a physical exercise regimen for a while and have done so on automatic pilot. Changes in our physical beings such as illness, colds, or plain old feeling run down may mean that a few tweaks are in order. Rest is an important part of a physical regimen. Are you getting the sleep that you need? Being up at night with a case of the worries due to stress can be helped. Runners run. Great. Would a few strength training exercises make that run just a bit more easy and enjoyable? Listen to your breath? Are you struggling? Just because your best buddy can cycle in the cold or run in frigid temperatures doesn’t always mean that you can. You might be able to with a few adjustments. Run a bit slower. Give up that after meal cigarette that you’ve been clinging onto- no one the wiser. Each individual has his or her own delicate balance. Get acquainted with your own. Maybe treat yourself to a consultation or two with a personal trainer. Pop the yoga DVD in that you bought last year. Don’t be shy. The family member you dread watching you, may actually join you. The suggestion to have a physical examination and a doctor’s go ahead before starting an exercise program is a sound one. Most of us don’t know that our arteries are blocked, that our hemoglobin has dipped below the norm or that we need more protein in our diets. There are internet sources, books, articles and, most especially, trained professionals that are available to give you the information you want.  Check out your old wagon. Shiny new wheels, tightening up some screws or a coat of paint may be all you need to carry your spirit happily into the New Year.

Spiritual Sightings I

 

Meandering through New York City is something I’ve taken for granted. There are tourists doing what they do best – they walk slowly. Mothers chat on cell phones while maneuvering strollers. Construction workers carry large slabs of drywall. Panhandlers discreetly ask for coins- not pans. The greyness of the city is large. It’s cold. Mostly everyone is in a hurry. No one is gathering at outdoor cafes.  After the holiday, discarded Christmas evergreens are strewn on sidewalks awaiting pick-up. A few chilled dogs are walked by their similarly freezing human companions.

 Very much aware that my state of mind and spiritual condition are an inside job, I’ve still been on the lookout for something that might zap me with some peace and tranquility-I’m only human. Daydreaming about new things that I’d like to get involved in for the New Year 2012- I decided that this year I will add a new category to my blog. It will be called Spiritual Sightings. I was one of those little girls who jumped for joy when I heard the old black and white flick, Song of Bernadette, was going to be on television for the umpteenth time. I screamed with delight when Jennifer Jones lifted her eyes in awe at the sighting of the Virgin Mary. This still happens- not only when I watch an old flick but at all the odd times that ‘things that make the spiritual happen’ show themselves to me.

 

Going to work a few days a week I pass a shop called La Sirena NYC. The owner Dina Lear has held the doors open for twelve years. She travels frequently to Mexico and brings back wonderful folk art objects of all types. Her sign calls them ‘chucherias’- a word I’ve always loved. They are, of course, for sale but I think they are there for so much more. On the front step is her statue of Our lady of Guadalupe. An icon you might say! I say so much more. The shop is located on E. 3rd Street on the Lower East Side, right off Second Avenue. The statue with rose petals thrown at her feet lend beauty and a profound sense of spirit to what otherwise might be a bleak part of New York City. 

Across the street is a Shelter for Homeless Men. The men gather for a talk, a smoke or a quick interaction of some sort. There’s often an ambulance or a squad car in front of it. To know that just a stone’s throw away is the statue, a symbol of deep love for the humans in our world shifts my perspective whenever I pass by. This is not about religion but a sense of spirituality, community and well-being for all of us- whatever our backgrounds or hopes and aspirations may be.

 When I stepped into La Sirena NYC for a quick chat with Dina, one of the first things she did was talk about the shelter and the men who are there. Her sense of community is apparent. Dina goes beyond herself as a shop manager to one who cares about history, culture and her brethren. What a breath of fresh air. Go over for a visit when you’re in town. She and Our Lady in whatever form would love to see you.

*Deep breath* *Gives Thanks*

Are there unexpected places in your community where you go for a breath of spirit?

 

 

Palabras: La Luna

I’ve decided to post the weekly spiritual read from my Palabras de Graciella La Gitana- Spiritual Oracle here on this site. Ambivalent for a time, I finally came to the decision when having dinner with some friends the other night. We spoke about the wonders of being our whole selves- whatever that may be. There is a little sadness that comes along with taking a hiatus from my LatinaLibations blogspot. But there is comfort in being fully myself and not parceling out the different aspects of myself in ways I hadn’t even thought about. Posting meditative practices, information received from within and other delights, that I’m not even sure what they are yet, equals me being more out front with who I am as a reader and a writer. So for 2012, I’ve decided to make some changes and this is one of them. First, as always, I smudged with sage, found Graciella wanted to smoke a cigar, lit one, shuffled and fanned the cards. I threw a beautiful black, flowery shawl I’d been gifted with be a client and together, Graciella and I pulled the card- La Luna.

Image: The image is that of a woman, seen from behind, arms upraised praying to the crescent moon. She stands on sand dunes. The shapes of pyramids are in the dark distance. In her right hand, she hold a feather held high. The trick of the eyes shows that it may actually be a slender knife. It is a prayer instrument, for sure, that may also be used in sacrifice, of one’s self. Smoke encircles the figure, probably from a fire she stands in front of-unseen to the reader.

Words: Beauty and intuition of the Feminine nature. Take time to sit still. Allow the voices to come to you. Allow the visualizations to be shown directly to you. Clear vision, clear hearing, and knowing from deep within.

Read: There is much beauty coming to you in this New Year. The sacrifices and love that you have freely given will be returned to you in sight, sound and voice. Listen for the messages you yearned to hear and sought longingly for- they will come. While your life may have seemed barren, all that you prayed for has been heard. Look around you with love in your eyes so that you will not miss the ways in which you are gifted. Particulars of prayers answered may not look exactly how you wanted but they will be answered. Especially meditate-for most of the answers that you seek are within you and are ready for you to listen to when you take the time for them. Again, I say, especially meditate. Most of your comfort, healing, and reprieve along with the sweet juices of life will come to you in this form. You will receive what you have so long sought.

I would love to hear how this message inspires or invokes a response within you!

Palabras- The South

 

This week the oracle traveled to the Met, Central Park and Flushing Meadow Park. The illustrator, Mara Cordova, is vacationing back at home in Brooklyn. While not abstaining from a jam packed fun filled week, she carried a few cards with her daily, along with her sketch pad. Graciella is at yet another level of copy. Her beauty and feeling is simultaneously simple with great depth. I am seeing and understanding things that I’ve never before in the cards. Although I started the process by listening to Graciella’s words, my daughter has continued the process and is taking La Gitana’s story to a new level. Tonight, I gathered up the cards, gave them and all of us a great big smudge and centered. The card I pulled along with Graciella was the South card.

 Image: The image is of Graciella. She is standing in a meadow with magnificent trees in the distance. There are flowers at her side. Graciella’s eyes are closed and she is breathing in the energy that surrounds her.

Words: Raise your face to the sun. Trust what is being freely shared with you. There are no answers other than the soft feeling of comfort on your shoulders that offers protection as you travel on your way. All will be shown clearly in its due time.

Read: Immediately I think of the Morning Tobacco Prayer. “To trust and innocence, simplicity, to little mouse, to  the  good road home, to the south, I pray for your power and spirit to come in.” This is one part of a beautiful prayer that I was gifted with many years ago. To share in a spiritual life one is provided with community, one doesn’t have to do anything alone. While we aspire, have hopes and dreams we are also in the great position of not being in ultimate control of anything. Whew! That would just be too much for anyone of us, despite what we may think. I’ve often heard, “I don’t know what Higher Power is but I do know it’s not me.” We are allowed to fret about outcomes, we can pray for things to happen, and gather ourselves up into frenzies, losing all sensibility as we spin. What we don’t have to do is to think we’re in charge. We will be protected and can depend on those who come into our lives to support us, in whatever small ways, as we realize our true potentials.

Let me know how this card takes shape in your life this week. I’d love to hear from you.

Palabras- La Gitana

 Burning sage cleansed the room. A fan of feathers swirled away energy no longer needed. I sat, centered and grounded myself to pull today’s card with Graciella, la Gitana. In shuffling the cards I saw the many different faces and anticipated which card would come forward with its message today. We pulled the card, as I felt Graciella’s energy infuse me. I was ready. La Gitana! Again. This was the same card I pulled the last Sunday evening I sat ready for the read. While this isn’t the celebrate card, this is the message I received. Celebrate yourselves and your lives! 

Image: Graciella la Gitana dances barefoot. She is wearing her swishy skirt, her hair is swinging loose and she holds the tambourine high with ribbons twirling. Next to her sits a male who is smiling as he plays a guitar. On her other side is a parrot who sits on his stand, watching over all. Behind her is a curtain that hides another room. Next to that room is a door that has a ring hanging on it. On closer inspection the ring is shaped like an animal bone-a bull’s horn or the crescent moon.

Words: Tambourine jingling, guitar strumming. Others have told you about your identity. Stories have been told about you. Movies and songs have been written about you. It is important for others to think what they need. You know who you are. You know what your identity is. Keep the mystery.

Read: Apparently Graciella wants us to receive her message again. Celebrate! Dance. Let the vibration of sound course through you. Allow yourself to be the instrument of happiness, your truth, your destiny! It’s none of your business what others think of you. Did you do the right thing? Did you buy the right outfit? Did you serve the right dessert? These things are superfluous to who we are meant to be on the planet. Being who we are, without the need to defend ourselves, decreases our tendencies to limit ourselves. We don’t have to offend in order to get our point or ourselves across. Doing this with love is gift giving to ourselves and to those around us. To freely be ourselves is something many of us have walked centuries across to accomplish. Start today, in one action, in one moment.  The gentleness or ferocity of this feat depends on you.