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.
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.
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.
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.
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!