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.

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Palabras- La Gitana

This has been a weekend of great personal reward. There were dreams that I’d forgotten I had that actually came true.  It seems to be a theme with me that only when I surrender my hopes and desires that suddenly they manifest before me. It never fails. The days that I say “Today, I will turn it over,” nothing much happens. The times I really let go and allow Spirit to be in charge is when I receive the thing I’ve so been wanting. It may not be in the form I thought I wanted it to be but, nevertheless, whatever it is appears in the form it should be. So, it was important for me to settle in, center, ground myself and then pull the card with Graciella, who it seems, has been celebrating a bit on her own.

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: The resounding message I heard as I pulled this card is to be yourself, fully and as much as you can. There are always parts of ourselves that we don’t know yet. The old adage “More will be revealed” may be true but there is something to be said for honoring yourself fully today. Obviously, Graciella is depicted in these cards today as dancing in celebration, but of what? She has taken off her shoes and dances barefoot allowing the vibration of what is below to come through her but still being connected to that which is above. Being in touch with something higher is symbolized in the crescent moon-her femininity and faith in something greater than herself that illuminates her. We can say that the male sings and she dances. This is truly symbolic of her two natures- the masculine and the feminine together- complementing each other. She is not afraid to be herself, in full regalia, of a woman who loves life. The parrot is also colorful, exotic and will repeat everything that it hears. She is not afraid to be herself. While others think they know her they can never know her as much as she does herself. To thine own self be true.

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Palabras: The Spiral

 The last time I pulled the Spiral card I’d also just came in from a walk with my partner and dogs. Today there was a street fair with children playing, teenagers playing carnival-type games and stalls with many different types of food to choose from. Because it was very warm, we cut our walk short and returned home. After finishing up a few odds and ends, I sat, centered and evoked the energy of Graciella, la Gitana, who reminded me that we did not pull a card last week. But being in today, we were ready to pull today’s. Graciella was wearing her red skirt with white blouse. She was also wearing her reading glasses. As I write this she admonishes me and tells me that I don’t have to write that she uses reading glasses-it brings forth a certain connotation of her age. Old enough for lots of wisdom is what I think, but the energy is, oh so, playful and of the feminine. We pulled the Spiral Card together. The card was pulled in a reverse. I don’t usually read reverse in this oracle but today I felt it necessary to do so.

Image: The image is that of a tambourine. It has colorful ribbon hanging from its perimeter. They are blowing in the breeze. Two of the ribbons are intertwined- the shape is reminiscent of a strand of DNA.

Words: Climb up the double helix of the spiral. Know you have been in similar situations before. The current one is merely reminiscent of the ones experienced in the past. This is not a repeat performance. What you have learned previously, whether in the current life, or past, should hold you in good stead.

 Read: The tambourine was depicted today as an open circle of light surrounded by ribbons. The ribbons seemed almost octopus- like. They had become tentacles reaching out for many things at once. While this is okay, all you multi-taskers, take care to gather yourself to yourself, as you assume new roles. What has been done with those that are still streaming in the wind? There is a gaiety to taking on new projects; new jobs and expanding our creative selves but take caution that the ends of the ribbon already in motion do not become frayed or forgotten.

I also see two of ribbon engaged in their double helix dance. We often have the tendency to believe that things aren’t different when we see them “in the same old way” context. But at this point in our lives we should take comfort in the fact the nothing is ever the same. It may feel that way but in actuality it isn’t.

The way that two of the ribbons intertwine reminded me of the caduceus symbol. The caduceus is an ancient Greek symbol of a staff that was carried by Hermes, messenger of the gods to humans. As a Roman god, Hermes is known as Mercury. Because the caduceus is known to represent the alchemical process, I offer the message today as the expectation of swift change to come. The areas most likely affected will be writing and the negotiation associated with business.

See how this fits for you this week and let me know. As I continue to develop this oracle, I welcome your experiences on how these readings have fit for you!

May you walk in the Beauty of Light!

 

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Palabras-The Cape

 Cheers and celebration brought the athletes through the finish line at the triathlon I attended today. While the letters spelled out “Finish”- in reality, there is usually no true finality. The athlete picks up his or her medal, packs up a load of gear and goes home reveling in a performance well done. They also calculate what could have been done differently for a personal better race time and begin to strategize for their next race. The preparation is done days, months and years before the spectators have the opportunity to yell, yay! Although I hadn’t raced today, I was exhausted and came home to nap before I sat down to pull this card with Graciella, la Gitana. Even before we had completed the centering process, I began to hear her message and the card, The Cape, merely confirmed what I was already told.

Image: The toreador is seen from behind. His cape takes center stage while his figure is unseen within the fabric that swirls and twirls in the air. The entirety of his form is hidden. His facial features are also unseen as his back is to the reader.  The toreador’s hat sits atop his head.

Words: Swirling in the air, the cape is used to hide, tease and protect. It disguises the figure that moves forth within.  Wear it well. Maneuver it like a second skin, a well-thought out and calculated movement. It is planned execution of thought, action and results. You are ready for the fight.   

Read: The message I received in pulling this card was that this is a week of completing projects that have been honed. Take the project, wait no more and send it out into the universe. It is time for others to see it and to experience your creativity. If you have been stalling or fearful, wait no more. This is the time that you and everyone else have been waiting for. The wise choice of waiting for your project to be completed, with a commitment toward responsibility, can go astray if you then never make the decision to bring it forward into the world. Our creations are meant for ourselves-to a degree. We are born to share our gifts with others so we can all experience the fullness of the lives of others and new perspectives in the world. How many times have you been to a museum and have stood in front of a piece that brought you a whole new colorful way to perceive the world? Without experiencing the perspective of the artist, our own experience is not challenged or sometimes even defined.  Find the gift that is within you and bring it forward for the rest of us to learn from and to enjoy. Just as the athlete, the toreador practices, hones and skillfully shows his expertise to those who are waiting to cheer, olé!

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Mortality Muse

 Lately I’ve tooled around with the idea of death-my own. There are many reasons why I would. Turning on the news brings images of horrendous devastation, in a month or so it will be the anniversary of my sister’s death and so on. I’ve also been a nurse for the last many, many years and have been at death’s bedside in some shape or form in what seems like always. I’ve had close one’s die, the earliest being my slightly older sister when I was eleven. The last was my mother’s, a little over a decade ago. I loved them dearly. With all the deaths I’ve encountered, I’ve leant myself to them in some way, physical, mental, emotional and, especially, spiritual.

I recently completed the Brooklyn Half-Marathon (13.1 miles of all of you non-runners). I finished exhausted. I’d over trained and didn’t enjoy it as I usually do. I told my partner that if I were ever to die running and she overheard someone mention that’s just how I would want it, that she should deny it for me. I told her that I’d much prefer to die propped on pillows autographing my published books for my fans. If by some chance I hadn’t been published and any one said that I hadn’t realized my dream, that she should argue that point too. One of the last editors that I sent my manuscript to may not have taken my book, but she took me under her wing. That was enough, I realized. Yes, I still want to be published the old-fashioned way, but I have received more with my rejections than I could ever have thought possible. As my brain streamed along the points I want clarified after my death, I decided I wanted my children to know that there is no third sibling, half or otherwise lurking about waiting to cash in on their meager inheritance. They could feel free to fight over paying my debts as much as they want to, together!

I realize that my death anxiety comes from a lack of control and powerlessness of how things will be. Not, I see, in the future, but in my past. I’m not so worried about whether I have to hang out at St. Peter’s gate until I come up with a good joke. If I’m in pain, I trust that some good doctor or nurse will load me with analgesics until I float. Whether my death is sudden or slow, I believe that with the support I have, that somehow I will persevere until I cross to the other side. I’ve decided not to worry about meeting my mother at the pearly gates and that she will complain that I spent too much money I things I didn’t need. Or that my sister might say, “You shouldn’t have done that when you were fifteen, thank the heavens I was your guardian angel and got you out of that scrape.”

Since I have no idea what my last day will be like, I am choosing to live until I die. I say that with the humor and love and deep appreciation for all those who have gone before me, in fear, in grace and acceptance. I have faith that I will be taken care of and the petty thoughts that consume me will be put to rest. I keep all of those who are in the pain of experiencing the death of their loved ones, anticipated or otherwise, in my heart. I pray for all of those who are in the process of crossing over and are in the pain of leaving the ones they love behind. This topic is so much bigger than a thought, a phrase, or a paragraph. For some reason I’ve been moved to address it and I have. For me, living means taking action an sharing what is important to me. I have so much love for so many people, that I want them to know that I am happy, have no regrets and wish them as full and as useful a life as I’ve had up until now. I hope I can read this blog in thirty or forty years and remember how I felt and what I was thinking today. If not, today is enough.

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Palabras- El Fuego

Lighting candles and Tiki torches this afternoon, I was dismayed at the poor quality matches that barely burned. I lit one after another- a bit frustrated, until finally my task was done. Afterwards, I spent the afternoon with dear friends, all loved for the special beings that they are.  We had a very delicious barbecue, sat together and told stories of things important and humorous. We shared titles of books deemed intriguing. Toward the latter part of the evening I excused myself to pull the card from the oracle belonging to Graciella, la Gitana. I could feel her very business-like, she wore glasses and I felt as though she’s been writing in the ethers again. I smudged, centered and asking her the message for today, we pulled the Fuego card- the fire.

 El Fuego

Image: Very simply- the image is of fire. If one gazes into the fire images can be seen.

Words:  The dance lives in the fire. Look deeply to discern the spirit and sacred of life. Listen to the hiss, feel the heat. Observe the embers and the worlds they show you. Do not be afraid and offer to it the respect it has earned from the beginning.

Read: Tonight, in this fire, I discerned elves, dogs and rabbits. These images change, apparently, since I’ve never seen them in the card until tonight. The representations of these images bring forth illusion, magic, loyalty and fear, anticipation and fertility in the creative realm. There is truly magic in the air. You are the creator of your world and the turns that your destiny takes. Yes, there is some truth to the notion of a predestined future but there is nothing that cannot be changed by taking action and accepting the responsibility of your life. This card is about the passion that is but a small flicker of fire within when we are born. What we do with this life force remains to be seen, experienced and most importantly, acknowledged. Awaiting the words of another to free us or to open the door to our many worlds unknown can result in our fires staying turned down on low and never rising, giving heat to who we are meant to be and can be in our lifetimes. Take some time, make a fire, whether it be in your meditation or in your fire pit, go ahead, allow the fire to burn away what keeps you back from smoldering as the fiery, passionate person you are. This is not to be done with fear or with a lack of sensibility. Do it with purpose. Embrace who you really are and love who you find within the deep recesses of your being, who you may never have encountered before.

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Palabras-Spiral

The Spiral

It’s late evening and I’ve just come in from a short walk with my partner and dogs. We are planning for a small celebration next weekend. Getting bogged down in the details, I realize that I want to enjoy myself and those who will take part. I always do, eventually, but to get from here to there means allowing myself to see the bigger picture and not get caught up in too many of the small details. I sat and centered, preparing to pull the card with Graciella, la Gitana. I look forward to her message. We pulled the Spiral Card together.

Image: The image is that of a tambourine. It has colorful ribbons hanging from its perimeter. They are blowing in the breeze. Two of the ribbons are intertwined- the shape is reminiscent of a strand of DNA. Because of the position of the tambourine in the corner of the card, it may also be taken for the sun with its rays streaming out from it.

Words: Climb up the double helix of the spiral. Know you have been in similar situations before. The current one is merely reminiscent of the ones experienced in the past. This is not a repeat performance. What you have learned previously, whether in the current life, or past, should hold you in good stead.

 Read: This reading is heartening. While this is a general message that Graciella shares with all readers and writers, it is one that is personally pleasurable for me. Just earlier, I’d made a statement about doing the same thing, expecting different results, basically.  In my heart, I truly didn’t believe it at the time, but said it anyway. It was a default statement, something I say when things don’t seem to be going my way or how I believe they should be. It didn’t ring true and I forgot that I made the statement a few minutes later. In pulling this card, I’m reminded of how throughout eternities and during just this lifetime it seems we are faced with similar situations and don’t really see the progress we’ve made or the differences in a situation unless we really take a closer scrutiny of it.  The other message is that the image of the tambourine tells us to enjoy, celebrate and experience the music in our lives. Music can be heard and felt in so many different ways. The patterns are there, just as in the double helix, which may seem to be repeated but are never quite experienced in the same way. Graciella says open your eyes, enjoy what’s going on-there are many things to be grateful for-it’s up to you to experience them.

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Palabras- El Tonto

Just returning from a pool where I swam for a little less than an hour, I walked home with my partner. We spoke about plans to swim in the lake and the anxiety that entailed. Whether it’s fish swimming between one’s feet or the absolute darkness one encounters there are many details to attend to when one is swimming far from shore. I sat down and centered, prepared my usual ritual for the card to be pulled by Graciella, la Gitana. As I shuffled the cards, Graciellacame through tonight with a quill pen in hand. I knew that in the ethers she has been writing. For a moment I thought I would pull the writer’s card but no, she had other things in mind. As I felt her energy channel through me we pulled a card and came up with El Tonto. Now what does she mean by pulling this card?!

El Tonto

Image: The image is that of a male who is sitting at the side of a lake. He is wearing a hat and tux with a bow tie. His sleeves are rolled up. The man’s arm dangles into the edge of the lake. There seems to be a box in the water. He does not see it since his face is turned towards the woods. Behind him, a few yards away, stands a long eared rabbit on its hind legs.

Words: Wanting things to happen quickly. Believing that what easily comes is easily kept. Prepare the soil. Nurture the roots. The flowers will not bloom or worse yet, burst once without the beauty of a single petal thereafter. Water with tears if you must.

Read: The words that are used to describe the card seem to be quite descriptive of what’s at hand here. Of course, Graciella holding her pen and wearing black framed glasses in her image are indicative of her representation of being a writer. For those of us who write this applies, as well as to all creative persons who are working steadfastly and tirelessly at their craft. It’s so tempting to want to have a published book, a screen play in the top ten at the box office- just fill in the blank and name whatever your creation happens to be. Who wouldn’t want to be at the top without having put much work into it? I’m sure most of us think we’d be happy but that wouldn’t last very long. If we don’t do the work we may, heavens forbid, be one hit ‘wonders’. We end up ‘wondering’ what the heck happened and why the thing we were so excited about ended up being just a flash in the pan! Keep your eye on the prize but to make the most of your fertility, continue to till the soil, revise and refine, let the object settle before moving it about. It will all be worth it, Graciella promises you that!

Until next week!

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Talking animals?

“He thinks that animals give him direction, you know, tell him right from wrong,” she said as she rolled her eyes.

This was a typical water cooler conversation. I didn’t say it out loud, but I thought – ‘Hey, I believe that animals give messages too.’ I’m the psych and he’s the client and we are apparently on the same page with this one. 

A spiritual tool I cut my teeth on was Jamie Sams’ Medicine Cards.  These cards act as an oracle rather than as a tarot. They can be used in different type of spreads and they were the first cards that I used as a divination instrument.  Each animal depicted in the deck may describe a characteristic or way of being. I used them all the time, learning what animals were actually my allies. I read about the ones that were hanging around to help me out and what characteristics of myself that I needed to be wary of and which to value. Living in the city when I was getting acquainted with the ways of animals, from birds, to mammals, to fish, to insects, you name it, I realized that I could communicate with a moose despite the fact I was sitting in a kitchen in New York City.

When I heard that the client believed that he can communicate with animals, I thought, the first thing these folks need is to broaden their horizons; the second is to find out about the spiritual and cultural belief systems that frame his life. There are so many different systems that it’s virtually impossible to know the details of all of them. We may have expertise in some things but not everything. This gentleman’s thinking may be distorted in a psychiatric context or quite canny in a spiritual one. The situation needs more exploration, education and acceptance. I’d be happy to chat about it with him and others who are excited about the idea of communicating with animals.

I know for myself that when I drive and a certain bird careens near my car that I need to be on the alert. Deer may be crossing at dusk; an SUV may be throttling for all its worth at me or someone may be too buzzed to pay attention to that stop sign. It’s all happened. I know when I see a blue jay fly near me that it’s a time to honor that fierceness that’s within me. I only know this because of the years I’ve spent sitting with the Medicine Cards or Ted Andrews’ Animal Speak , meditating and by developing relationships with the real animals that come my way. I’ve dealt with buck, bears, buzzards, snakes and skunks in the woods behind our house. Each one has brought a special message to me that I’ve had to examine myself about in terms of its meaning. The dream world brings me close to other animals that I am not in contact with during the day- yet are other important communicators.

There is so much to share about and learn and I am open to what you think about this! Tell me who you listen to and who warns you of danger coming down the road, I’d love to know!

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Palabras- Caridad

 I am feeling great today; in fact, I’ve just finished a twelve mile run in preparation for a half marathon I will be doing in two weeks. Today is also Mother’s Day. There are so many messages of love everywhere we turn. I had a conversation this morning about celebrating Mother’s Day and the expectations of that as opposed to showing one’s love every day, holiday or not. I prefer the latter. So with lots of thoughts tumbling in my brain I smudged and centered and asked Graciella, my Gitana, what her message is for us today. I didn’t want my opinions to get mixed up in this at all. The first thing I felt was Graciella’s unbounded love for me. I had the image of her taking a lacy type of necklace and putting it around my neck as a Mother’s Day gift. She said she did it because she wanted to, that simple. This gift from the ethers I will cherish in my heart. I’m sure when I wear it there may be a few who will actually see it. This is divine! Graciella pulled the card and I wanted to cry. It was the Caridad card. What love there is today!

Caridad

Image: There is the image of a pair of hands that are opened. They hold a beautiful flower. On the wrists are bracelets. One is a simple bangle; the other two are more ornate. There is an object at the side. It is difficult to decipher what it is.

Words: Charity, the sweetness of giving without expectation of reward because the gain is in the giving. Providing service for others is the stepping stone for liberation of the self.

Read: Opening one’s heart to give and receive love may be a challenging feat for many. I see the object to the side of the depicted hands today as some sort of a piñata. During the well awaited piñata opening at a party, there is the blinded batterer who hammers away attempting to gain candies and toys, in this case, analogous to love. The usually beautifully decorated piñata is, with luck, opened up but cast aside in a harsh way, in fact, as a throw away in order for the partygoers to ravage the sweetness that is within. Giving and receiving a kindness, a service and love can be done in a much more compassionate and kind way. We don’t have to destroy in order to receive what we think will be good for us. We don’t have to scurry on our knees, pushing others aside for the sweetness of life, such as the candies from a piñata. Be thoughtful in your thoughts and in your words. The hand you give with is the hand with which you receive. Be gentle with others in each action, listen to the way you speak and hear the messages that you are given. Discern to see if the love you seek is really there. If you are feeling like the discarded piñata then contemplate on the actions you can take to change your situation. Remember, we can’t change others-only ourselves. In this world of tumultuous change, hardship and often, violence, we can be the arrow tips that strike with love, compassion and peace, for ourselves and those around us.

May you walk in beauty!

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