Invisible Ink

Since turning 40 I feel like I just picked up all this amazing gear, from power ups to skins (so much Fortnite talk with my boys out of school and my nephew staying with us).

You know what I mean. I’ve been given access to a whole new wing of an amazingly historical house where the woodwork is artwork and the attention to detail in the furnishings is proof that the owner really does love the place.

I’m a victim/survivor/living with an inner child that suffered emotional, physical and sexual trauma. The therapy I’ve had is negligible (not even a year my whole life). Instead, I detached myself from my inner child. She became a girl, in a book I read where these awful things happened and she could never feel safe.

I just realized, now, that when I read the book to my husband, close friends, even family, or to myself as a compulsory act before I finally fell asleep, it was only half of the story.

Lately, I have been allowing myself to read between the lines. Like invisible ink revealing itself, I am remembering sweet moments. My mother is an incredibly talented gardener. Dare I say she is truly gifted. She always had the best garden on the block. She would spend days building tiers with Belgian block and two by fours. In high school, I would walk home from the bus and she would be there, knee deep in coffee and eggshell compost fed soil, or standing, long legged with dirt under her fingernails and a smile on her face watering the Celosia she planted in the walkway up to the house. I always laughed when I saw the deep fuschias and bright yellows because Celosia sounds a little like celosa in Spanish. Celosa means jealous. When my mother was in her truth and owning the divine side of her femininity, you couldn’t help but be a little celosa. At least that’s how other women looked at her.

So where am I going with all this?

By not reading the invisible ink I’ve cut myself off from my shadow self. The one who loves plants and flowers and nature and earthly sensuality.

I would end the reading of “mystory” with the “I told you she was a witch, born on Halloween!” She really is born on Halloween. But I used that as quick proof to others that she was as I portrayed her. Evil. Nothing else.

She can cook in a way that heals you and comforts aches you didn’t know you had. There were moments of her frenzied baking sprees. For months I went to school with freshly baked cookies (some for me and some for friends).

For a long time, I did the exact opposite of my mother. If she went left at a crossroads in her life, I went right. I was running as fast as my legs could carry me away from her looming presence and firm grip around me.

Now that the ink is seeping through, I’m ready to see the words, follow my heart by following all the good my mother taught me.

I am taking an Intro to Herbalism class with Herbal Academy* and I feel more in my element as I sit on my deck, with some lemon water, a book on Kundalini yoga, my laptop and the breeze through the trees. The bluest sky without a cloud in it as if to tell me “here. Now you write”. Hell, I realized that my dream wedding before life hit was at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens!!! My earliest memory of Halloween was where she dressed me up as Mother Nature. She took flowers from the dollar store, removed the stems and attached the blooms to an old sheet, cut out a hole for my head and used the rest of the flowers for my crown. My life long affair with plants stems from my mother!

And my mother and I share the same Aquarian moon. Come on! How did I miss it?

I wonder what else I’ll find as I uncover the words my inner child subconsciously covered when she was protecting herself from all the sadness.

I’m finally facing what I wasn’t ready to. This is part of my new truth.

* Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. I only recommend what I use and love.

Croning Myself

One of my favorite intuitive tarot readers shared that she contributed to a magazine I hadn’t heard about. Always wanting to know what she has to say, I went to the site and ordered a digital copy of the magazine without batting an eyelash. Well, it turned out that she contributed to the second volume, coming out this week. However, the mistaken download, carried a message that I my soul needed to put into words.

Croning Myself Beethovens Fifth by Pamela Colman Smith Currently Cristina

The magazine I am referring to is Ravenous Zine:

A print journal for wild women developing creative & intuitive prowess while connecting to the earth & moon cycles.

Sounds like it is right up my lunar loving aisle.

The article that grabbed me in my mistaken download and wouldn’t let go was “The Crone” by Claire Everson.

I immediately wondered if there were others out there, like me.

So just what is a Crone?

Derived from the word ‘crown’, the halo of light that represents wisdom, in antiquity a crone was the female keeper of wisdom and magic.

At 40.5 years old (on June 14th but who’s keeping track), I’m living at the “Mother” stage of the Maiden/Mother/Crone evolution, looking towards my wise Crone years. Everson is 35 and feels she is “between two epochs of the female journey.” Not so much Maiden anymore, not a Mother yet, and a while from Crone status. This difference still had me intrigued. I was there once. How does she feel about it?

She was searching for a Crone to speak with to learn more about her life, and found one. She wanted to find a woman who could teach her how to age gracefully in a world where youth is everything. It seemed she was searching for a “what’s it like” perspective, which hey, I would LOVE that too.

I don’t have a Crone in my life to learn from. My mother and I don’t speak for personal safety reasons, and my sweet Grandmother passed over a decade ago. This leaves me no one from whom to gain wisdom about aging gracefully, telling me that dyeing my hair is a waste of time (love my grays), and how you mysteriously find yourself more beautiful as the days go by, but it’s a different kind of beautiful so don’t be scared if you don’t recognize yourself.

It’s something I didn’t know I was missing out on until I read Everson’s article.

I didn’t know that reflecting and making personal (read difficult) decisions about who I am, want, need and believe in was just a part of my Maiden/Mother/Crone evolution. Read this exchange about growing older between Everson and EarthThunder, the 71 year old Crone medicine woman she found living in Idaho:

Everson: As a female, do you think it’s up to us to change the way we’re valued as we get older?

EarthThunder: Yes. Yes, definitely. Whether it’s passion, or it’s work, or it’s education-whatever it is, every individual has the responsibility to declare who she is. It’s not another’s job to remember who you are, it’s your job to help others remember who you are.

Croning Myself The Moon Sacred Feminine Tarot Currently Cristina.jpg
From Tarot of The Sacred Feminine by Floreana Nativo, Franco Rivolli for Lo Scarabeo

Well look at that, I thought? All this time, (for the past couple of years – it started when I began making constellation embroidered hoops of all things!) I’ve been Croning myself. I started a new journey, instead of continuing on the old journey of my former self. I didn’t know. I knew it felt different. I knew it rang truer than anything I have ever experienced. This transofrmation is so deep and profound, it blows my mind every day honestly. I try to journal it all to keep up with all of the a-ha moments, and life downloads, but I really can’t keep up.

Oh, mirror in the sky
What is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changin’ ocean tides?
– “Landslide” Fleetwood Mac

I still feel like I live between Mother and Crone, but my goals are different. It’s not so much about how I am going to make a mark, more so than it is, how I going to live my declaration in an authentically potent and transparent way.

If you would like to get this magazine, head over to their Instagram page and follow, or better yet, pre-order Volume 2.

What lessons have you learned from the Crone’s in your life? Share their wisdom in the comments for all of us.

A Peek into My Tarot Journal

I thought I would share my tarot journal with you. A tarot journal is so important for a reader. This is where you write your reflections, spreads you love, happenings, and so much more. I use a purple composition book and write my heart out every morning. This is how I start:

Time: 11:55AM ET

Moon: 10.2% waxing crescent ♌

☉♊ v/c 6/17 11:25PM to 6/18 4:40AM

Amethyst, Lapis Lazuli, Selenite, Clear Quartz

Shuffled cards. Pulled from Centennial Smith Waite, Rebel Deck, and the Hedgewitch Botanical Oracle.

I see an entire story play out in my head and felt my usual rush of ‘deep knowing’ then thought “How? It can’t ever be that easy can it?

A Peek into my Journal 2 Currently Cristina

Didn’t I pull that recently?

Eat your fucking vegetables”?

Open my phone to check my IG feed.

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It seems you all prefer the push to the gentle nudge for shot in the arm tarot readings. Here's the lazy edition. Lazy because I didn't get up from my chair to get you a white background shot. Forgive me? Of course you do . I I I of W A N D S . Rx You've fallen off the wagon haven't you? All the structure you put into place for writing that novel, losing those last 10 pounds, walking 10k steps a day, writing down what you're grateful for before bed each night. Whatever your wagon is, you've kinda lost track a bit. That's totally ok. We accept the entire journey, not just the parts we shine at (that's called ego). Lucky for us, we get another shot, a clean slate, every single day. Do what you promised yourself you would do. Get back to work. The shortcut is the actual work. Didn't you know?

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Hmmm, two days ago. I’ll reshuffle the Rebel Deck and pull another card to see if my initial rush was, in fact, a fluke.

“Imagine that I pull the same card?! HA!”

and what comes back out?

“EAT YOUR FUCKING VEGGIES”.

So this IS totally the medicine.

Why do I doubt myself…

Five of Pentacles Rx (Reversed), Elderberry Ritual, “Eat your fucking vegetables.”.

Ok. Here we go…

You’ve lost just about everything you can. Everything has been picked over and there’s nothing left. Is that really true? That you have nothing left? You may allow circumstances to knock you down but you always, always have your roots. Do you see them in the stained glass of the card? Each root ending in stars.

A Peek into my Journal 6 Currently Cristina

You’ve just been pruned back to your roots, given another chance to really start over and get it all right this time. By right, you mean authentic. Right for you. Not the right you’ve worn like a bad Party City costume.

So how do you grow your roots upward again (and finally)? How do you keep them healthy? How do you keep the roots from getting gnarled the moment you flicker a look at something else?

A Peek into my Journal 7 Currently Cristina

Elderberry / Ritual.

Hello? Hmm, Elderberry is a dark purple / blue almost black. Relates to the Third Eye Chakra.

Third eye chakra relates to your inner knowing. Your higher state of consciousness. Developed with meditation and yoga. Interesting.

From The Hedgewitch’s Field Guide by Siolo Thompson.

Mentioned in many early texts on magic + witchcraft. Each elder tree is believed to hold a feminine guardian spirit known as the Elder Tree Mother or “Hylde-Moer”.

I gotta look her up. (Add it to the list 😒).

Grabs phone and Googles the definition for the word ritual as a jumping off point, another crumb on the trail.

Here it is, ritual:

Ritual: a religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order.

This means we start small, with rituals. Waking up in the morning, planting our feet on the ground, and saying thank you. Doesn’t matter to whom or what, even if it’s you, so long as it is important to you personally, and deeply. Say ‘thank you’ to the soul’s recognition of creation.

A Peek into my Journal 4 Currently Cristina

Oh, and eat your fucking vegetables!! Connect to the earth in some way every day. Make this a ritual, too. From eating whole foods, to walking barefoot on the grass, to sitting under a tree. The secret to growing solid roots into a beautifully blossoming plant?

Coming home to, and embracing every part of who we are: the hidden beauty of our roots, and what we share on the surface that pales in comparison.

I blow out my candle.

Reflections on The Tower

I am always researching, studying and perfecting my craft. Whether that’s yoga, religion, chakras, meditation or personal growth, to name a few, I am always reading about some topic that has a hold on me at that particular moment. I have been reading this book by Marcus Katz and Tali Goodman titled “Secrets of the Waite-Smith Tarot: The True Story of the World’s Most Popular Tarot” and am completely hooked. It’s given me a thirst to learn more about Pamela Colman-Smith, the illustrator of the deck, and Arthur Edward Waite, co-creator of the deck.

Reflections on The Tower Currently Cristina 3.png

Before we go on, I know there is a lot of discussion around even using the Rider-Waite deck because Pamela did a huge bulk of the creating and made pennies for it (no royalties – this is by far the most famous tarot deck ever!) While Arthur Edward Smith lived lavishly off of the proceeds. She was absolutely taken advantage of and should have been given her due. But when I think about it, she has this larger than life space in the heart of any lover of tarot (myself included), I know so many tarot enthusiasts who feel the same way and we are all so grateful for her work. To learn more about the Queen of Tarot, head here, here, and here. There are more resources within these links to keep you in the rabbit hole for a minute! You’re welcome!

Back to the book, within the first few pages, I about lost my lunch when I read this:

What has struck me the most is that a century of speculation has overlaid Pamela’s life and images. The conspiracy theories of hidden Masonic stories and other esoterica have long obscured a simple secret: Pamela was a child of the theatre, a storyteller, and a Catholic convert. Waite was also Catholic—albeit of a peculiar kind— as his second tarot images make clear.

This is the true secret of the Waite-Smith Tarot — it was a rectification of the power of symbolism to provide universal access to a hidden sanctuary of mystical experience created by a bohemian Catholic artist and a Catholic mystic, presented through the theatrical tradition.

I am (was) a Catholic convert. I am a child of the theatre (I played Maria in West Side Story along with a few other roles and spent a lot of my high school years waiting in the TKS line for “two-fers” on Broadway (two for the price of one tickets!), I’m all about that bohemian lifestyle. I feel like Pamela is more than the illustrator here, we share some of the same life experiences separated by over a century!

Side note, I have yet to tackle the coming from Catholicism as a convert, and now, reading tarot, becoming a yoga teacher, and keeping crystals in my bra. I don’t know that I will, or ever will need to. Every time I try to write about it, I get sidetracked by how it may be perceived by others. Still working on that.

There’s also this from Faerie Magazine:

By 1911, Colman Smith had converted to Catholicism, taking on the middle name Mary. Though this seems like a sad turn for a spiritually adventurous artist, she urged friends to join in her converting, as the Catholic Church was “such fun!” Perhaps she could feel the pagan undertones in so much of the Roman Catholic Church’s pomp and circumstance. In any case, Catholics were an oppressed minority in the U.K., and while Colman Smith’s conversion might seem like a move toward conservatism today, at the time it likely only enhanced her eccentricity.

In the first chapter, Katz and Goodman share a spread called Waite’s Rose Cross Spread. As I was reading the book, I thought I would do the spread for myself.

Reflections on The Tower Currently Cristina 2

While the entire reading was truly relevant, affirming and eye-opening. It was the second position of the cards that really stood out for me for a couple of reasons. The first, is it’s the Tower; one of the scarier cards in the deck. Two; because the position of the card relates to “what protects [me] and also hinders [me] – it is a challenge card to [my] spiritual progress at this moment.

What is the Tower at its most basic? Change. Tearing down of the old to make way for the new. A shattering and cracking of your very foundation so it all comes tumbling down around you. The lightning shown on the card comes from somewhere else. Where? And who is sending it? Does it even matter? For me, I look at the lightening as something that is going to fire me up in a way that I have no choice but to change. And that is so true in my personal life.

As I look back, there has always been some external force, or catalyst for me to change everything and start anew. Responses from others as I change range from shock, acceptance, indifference and everything in between. It’s made it so the only constant in my life is change. I always thought that to be a positive attribute. If it’s not working I tear it all down and start again. But, according to this spread, it can also be my “thorn” i.e. what protects me and what hurts me.

Change hurts me in that it can alienate people, circumstances and communities from my life who don’t share the new views that I do. Change is difficult for people to process and while I am certainly sensitive to the ruffles I may cause with my “course correction” because that’s what I feel it is for me, I have to do what I feel in my heart to be true. I get one chance and one body, mind, and soul to to this life with. I can’t live it for anyone else but me. But I’m still working on this, remember?

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

– Walt Whitman

Maybe now I understand why I never shied away from the Tower card. It always excites me. ‘Big changes coming? Can’t wait! Bring it on!’ But in all seriousness, this is why I have always loved Tarot–each card shows you shades of yourself that you can’t see unless you are pointed toward it. The Tarot nudges you to look at who you are consciously, and subconsciously so you can course correct after having thoroughly meditated on every aspect of the situation.

There are more take-aways from this reading that I would love to share with you over the course of the coming weeks. This spread is done with just the Major Arcana, the 22 cards that focus on larger overarching themes and life lessons, so there is a lot we can chew on. Next week, we will go backward and look at the first position of this reading, The High Priestess.

How do you feel when you see The Tower in a reading? If you’ve never had a reading before, how does this card feel when you see it here? Share in the comments!

My New Moon Ritual

Much like my spirituality, my new moon manifesting ritual is a little eclectic. In this post, I share my new moon manifesting ritual. This is best done three days before or after the new moon. Best bet, the day before, of, or after. With the super moon in Gemini coming up on June 14 at 12:43pm PT I wanted to share and give you time to join in with me!

At the end of this post, I have a surprise for you, so stay tuned!

beautiful young woman with stylish jewelry. night dream concept

When the moon is dark and invisible, I set new moon intentions for myself. Usually, I make anywhere from 3-5. You could technically make as many wishes as you’d like, but I don’t commit to more than that. You’ll see what I mean later.

Making new moon wishes in the dark of and allowing those quiet seeds of possibility be planted while no one else is watching seemed exhilarating to me. This meant that I could wish big, and wish without judgement, or the usual ridicule and doubt. I was in a season of transformation and growth. I was in between remaining Catholic, turning away and deciding what spirituality was for me, or just walk away from all of it. What had I to lose, wishing to live as the truest form of myself, the butterfly I always knew was inside?

I gathered my materials. Anything that meant anything to me was placed on a table where I could write. A picture of me and my grandmother. She is a huge influence in my life. She dreamed big and achieved more than even she expected for herself. It was my grandmother who introduced me to Catholicism, and the idea of other faiths, spiritualities and beliefs. She even took me to my first yoga class. She had to be at my new moon manifestation ritual. I added a tiny brass jeweled elephant. Another nod to my grandmother as she wore them all the time, but also because of their symbolism. Elephants are strong, never forget, are loyal and wise. I wanted all of those qualities with me. I had a candle, some incense, a journal and pen. This was just to create a sacred space. I wanted the setting to be just as sacred as the ritual. If that means essential oils instead of incense, a giraffe instead of an elephant, sage clearing or palo santo, what matters is that it matters to you.

I cleared the space (and myself) with a sage bundle. Then I lit my candle. Well, it was a tealight (use what you have!) I took a few deep breaths into my belly and began to quiet my mind. After a few breaths, I began the process of relaxing and scanning my body. Where there was tension, I breathed into it and tried to relax a little more. I thought about what I would look like if I were truly happy? What would I look like? How would I sound? Where would I be going for lunch? You get the gist. Over time, I created the image in my minds eye of what free felt like for me. I fluttered my eyes open and holding on to that image, I thought about how I could make that image a reality.

I fluttered my eyes open and started to write.

In the present tense, I wrote about yoga as a profession, my marriage, my circle of friends,

abundance and spirituality. For example, instead of writing “I will be a great tarot reader”. I wrote, “I am an intuitive, empathic tarot reader. I read confidently, and give clients the deep, truthful medicine they are looking for”.

After I wrote a few wishes that made my soul burn just thinking about them (are there any other kind worth wishing?), I added a few others that weren’t as huge as the other wishes. Like goal setting, you want to make some achievable to keep you motivated. The same applies to making new moon wishes. If all you have are massive, pie in the sky wishes, that may take some time for everything to align. You want to keep the energy of manifestation moving. I then wrote my wishes in dry erase marker on the mirror in my bedroom.

When I was all done, I knew I had to prepare for the real work. Manifesting isn’t just making a wish and calling it a day. There is work required by you. If you want something, it can’t be the Universe that does all the legwork. I continually showed the universe that I meant what I wished for. Using this same example, I started to do tarot readings for myself and journaled all of the cards for every reading. I created another journal where I listed out each card and created a reference for myself. I read for my husband, friends, and on social media. I listened to podcasts and read books. I signed up for a few classes with readers that I admire. You see, the real juice with tarot is intuition anyway. How better to strengthen that, than by feeling confident in my technical (as much as you can get with tarot) knowledge? That’s all I was really asking for. The strengthening of my intuition (and you know what that looked like is all in my journal!). The bringing back of my mojo, so to speak.

Now can you imagine if you had 10 wishes? That’s a lot to keep track of and work toward. I did this my first month and I was so overwhelmed. Slow and steady wins the race.

In subsequent phases of the moon, I check in with my wish list. I write down any notable events related to the wishes in my journal. I also check in to see if my wishes are still relevant to me. If the only constant is change, it makes total sense that my feelings or sense of urgency I felt during the new moon, could change.

When it comes to my tarot wish, I was able to cross it out completely.

About a month ago, I received a message from my yoga studio asking if I would read tarot cards as part of a “self care day” next month with other healing modalities being offered. I’m so glad I kept my new moon wishes. I was able to go back and cross it off, but made sure to record the date, just for fun. I wanted to see how long it took. Some people burn their new moon wishes, but I prefer to keep them around and refer back to them. I love to see the timing, and evolution of my wishes.

As a recap, here’s how I make new moon wishes:

Gather your items.

Get candles, incense, sage, a picture of someone who inspires you, or inspires strength in you. Crystals, essential oils, a cup of tea if that helps, or even a little statue of your favorite animal.

Grab a journal (I use a plain composition book), and a pen and set up your space.

Set up your space.

Wherever you’ve chosen to spend this time, whether at a table, kitchen counter, desk, the floor (careful with candles here!) set up your space so you have room to set up your soul. If you want to burn sage to clear the energy of the space you’ll be working in, bonus!

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Shot in the arm ! K N I G H T of S W O R D S . You are moving with such a swiftness, and courage it's really incredible. If you are heading into some shit with your swift sword high above you ready to cut it all down, be sure your heart is in the right place. Be sure that what your fighting for is right, whether for you, or the person/people/issues you want to protect. Otherwise, we have to look at what the motives are here . If you're not looking to aim that sword of truth and justice for a higher cause, you are being shady AF. And you know it. Hell, even the horse knows it. See how it looks back at the Knight like, ummmmm you sure, partner?? Don't let shit get ugly. Keep your intentions on the up and up. Sometimes it's not about just you. ⚔️

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Set up your soul.

Light your candle or incense. Sit in a comfortable chair, or on the floor. Take a few deep breaths and settle the mind. Begin to scan the body and breathe into spaces of tension. Think about who you are at your most free. What do you look like? Where are you going? What do your bedsheets look like? You get the picture. Really get specific. When you’re relaxed you can open your eyes and begin to write.

Begin to write.

Write down the wishes that burn your soul. You know, the ones that fire you up. Make sure your wishes are in the present tense. The Universe won’t conspire with you on something you believe you already have (words are powerful). Be sure to add some achievable smaller wishes on the list. Keep that energy right. When you’ve whittled your list down to 3-5 it’s time to get to work.

Get to work.

Take your list and put it where you can see it. This could mean have it up on the refrigerator, write them in dry erase board on your bathroom mirror (or less dramatic on a post it note). You could even write one for each place you frequent throughout the day. This will keep your wishes before you at all times. Recalling that energy of the new moon every time you see it and read the words you wrote. Depending on what you wished for, you’ll want to learn more about the subject, lean into situations that present themselves where you ordinarily wouldn’t, meditate, exercise, journal whatever will help keep you in that space of flow. Don’t forget to check back in.

Check back in.

Refer back to your wishes and write down any progress you made towards them. Was there anything that happened that is aligned with the outcome of any of these wishes? Are there any you can cross out? Add the date on there too. This is great to look back on because it’s a concrete reminder that you can make things happen with the Universe’s help! You can do this daily, or at waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous.

Then we have our full moon, which is all about releasing and letting go of what no longer serves us. But let’s save that ritual for next time.

A few other tips:

  • Be sure to write neatly and cleanly. You want to show the Universe that you are taking this seriously. Nothing says I don’t care more than tomato sauce and wine from dinner spilled onto your wishlist.
  • Make sure you set aside time for this ritual. Try to go to a quiet room, if possible. You want to give this time all of your attention and focus.
  • Each month, be sure to update your wishes on a fresh clean page. With the full moon, you’ve shed the old. Don’t bring the old into the present. Ever.
  • Sometimes, I take an epsom salt bath on before I start. It’s a great way to clear your energy completely, and prepare for this ritual.
  • To keep track of where the moon is in it’s cycle and what zodiac sign it’s in, I use Deluxe Moon app.

Wanna go deeper?

I always add a New Moon tarot spread to my personal ritual.

With tarot we attempt to help people understand themselves, and what life holds for them by creating a story of their lives. – Rachel Pollack

In the spirit of new, I have just added a New Moon spread to my offerings. Each month, I’ll open my books for New Moon readings one day prior, the day of, and the day after each new moon. Let’s create a story around your life during the New Moon in Gemini around communication, your thoughts and what you believe about yourself. Each month’s spreads will be flavored by the sign it’s in. Connect with me here and let’s talk!

Dates:

  • June 12-14 Gemini: Communication and thoughts.
  • July 11-13 Cancer Emotions and your nurturing instincts.
  • August 10-12 Leo More emotions, but more ‘about you’ emotions. Think you, in a powersuit.

Are you ready for the New Super Moon in Gemini on Wednesday at 12:43pm PT? What are some of your wishes (if you’d like to share!).

No Longer Stuck in Traffic

Currently Cristina No longer stuck in traffic

I finally realized what my purpose is while shaving my legs in my stand-up shower. Sometimes, massive soul downloads happen this way; when you least expect it, and when your body is in a completely uncomfortable position.

I washed my body, avoiding the task of retro fitting myself into the tight space of my stand up shower. As I went to lift my leg to brace my foot up against the wall, I realized that I exerted a little more effort than usual. I’ve noticed this about myself lately. I need extra nudges, I guess it comes with getting older. Now I know what you would say. Cristina, you’re 40! But I feel as if I’ve lived longer than that. I’ve certainly seen more than I should have given my childhood and adolescence.

In that moment, I asked myself “How many times have I done this? Shaved my legs, I mean?” I immediately had a flashback of when I shaved my legs for the first time. The night before going to an amusement park. I wanted to wear shorts. I was 11.

Currently Cristina No longer stuck in traffic
📸: instagram.com/alex.iby

Have I really carried everything with me for this long? The shame, regret, sadness, anger, until I really began to feel the extra effort required of my body? 40? Really?” At the Sagittarius Full Moon last week, I wrote down everything that I had been carrying with me emotionally. The wounds are some I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Ever.

As much as I had scoffed the idea of writing down the baggage, I finally embraced it and then set the list on fire. I knew my reluctance was because if I saw it on paper, then it was real. I wrote as quickly as I could to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

The shift I felt as I saw it burn was immediate. Like the sun breaking through the heaviest, stormiest clouds. Here I thought I had gotten past all of it. I am pretty put together, or so people have said. There are times when even my husband says “I don’t know how you made it out of that family and life, to be as you are now.” I didn’t know either until I braced my leg against the slippery tile wall.

I am a walking cautionary tale. I am here to share the gift of my wounds, my freedom and all of the lessons in between. I feel so strongly that I want to keep people, women especially, from carrying around shame and guilt for longer than they need to. Shame is the silent killer for us. For me. It’s so sneaky and small. It comes in the night when we are trying to sleep and embeds itself in our psyche, like a tick digging under an unsuspecting dogs’ skin in the summer. It slowly sucks the marrow of our dreams, hopes, strength, courage and wisdom. It chips away at our rightful experience to take up space in this world, to be as we are, no more, no less. To embrace ourselves with such authenticity that we teach others how to embrace us with the same care and delight.
I’ve been through some shit, and I’ll tell you this, I shouldn’t be sane. I shouldn’t be kind. I shouldn’t be a doting mother. I shouldn’t have a deeply committed marriage. No one would be surprised if I was in jail, on drugs, or dead.

Currently Cristina No longer stuck in traffic

My husband came up with the tagline for this blog. I finally found my calling as a yoga teacher (in training), writing, being a mother, and sharing my tarot reading gifts through the lens of my trauma. He said “it’s like you’re no longer stuck in traffic, babe.” I’m not. And neither are you.

I am here to hold space for you, for me, for us.

The Light Side

I live by the moon cycles. Sometimes it looks and feels as it “should” where I am introspective and winding things down when the moon wanes. I ramp up when the moon is waxing, releasing and feeling totally energized at the full moon. I “should” then be called to plant new seeds and start new projects during the new moon, when she can’t be seen in the sky (shhh, she’s creating!). Usually, the moon comes and goes and I have to be aware of the cycle consciously or I won’t extract the flavor, know what I mean?

Full Moon in Sagittarius Currently Cristina Cristina Trinidad
Actual Full Moon in Sagittarius at Tribe Yoga Center (my home yoga studio)

This month, with the Full Moon in Sagittarius, I have been on it like white on rice since the New Moon in Taurus. People, I planted them seeds, I have been working on myself by reading, listening to podcasts, and daily journaling, tarot pulls, asana practice along with yoga and teacher training. As a Sag, (Sun sign) I am all about the quest for truth, philosophy, wisdom and of course, religion (Hi Hierophant, I see you as my birth card!). I also know that I don’t like to be hemmed in, I need freedom, I need space to grow, I also need to be better about shoving my foot in my mouth! I didn’t know that I would feel this moon so strongly.

After my last my post, where I shed some skin, I feel positively radiant. While I think that post sloughed away the larger particles, and residue from a skin that no longer looks or feels like me; the ritual I worked alone yesterday brought out this bright polished look – that honestly, who the hell cares if others can’t see it? I can and it’s luminous.

Cristina Trinidad Currently Cristina Tarot Yoga

Using Lunar Abundance by Ezzie Spencer, PhD, I skipped ahead to the Full Moon section, and decided that it was time. The chapter has some journal prompts around who’s slighted you, how you may have slighted others, recognizing what you are afraid of, and what you really fear?

After a morning of tarot spreads for the Sagittarius Full Moon by Ethony and then the Many Moons book, it as all there. All that was coming through was around walking away even if you’ve always thought it was right, because it no longer serves, dealing with emotions that arise and revealing long hidden beliefs (read lies) about myself, and surrendering to my edges and not beyond. I was ready to answer these journal prompts honestly, and with a scrupulosity I hadn’t shone on my soul before.

I started to scribble, answering the questions in a rather shallow way. I thought I didn’t have answers, not any that were meaningful. Turned out I had parts of answers, lists of answers, and after 4 pages of the meatiest, scariest, unfurling answers, I had nothing more to say. I folded up the sheets of paper into a small, little square (a visual representation of the metaphorical box I kept all of my shit in. You know, the seemingly good, the bad, and the ugly shit). I grabbed my little cast iron cauldron (yes, I have one), my altar candle, a white pillar that I dressed with rosemary and red glitter (because glitter always wins), and walked out on to my deck and burned it up! As I saw my words crinkle and disappear into white, thin veils of ash, I felt like I was finally letting it go.

For years, I thought I let things go, moved through past hurts, disappointments, embarrassments, and shame. No. I was just picking it up, and setting it down again, over and over as if I was training my muscles to learn to one day hurl it as far away from me as possible. Yesterday, I realized that I didn’t need to practice anymore, I just needed to lose the fear around what happens next.

I share this for those that are going through some inexplicable life shit. Questions, whirlwinds of possible answers, other people’s opinions, feelings of am I doing this life thing right?, and what will people say? These are the resources I used. This is how I did the work. The only way out is through, and although it’s taken me decades, I can finally say, I’m through and ready for the other side, the light side after the long, dark tunnel I kept myself in.

I highly recommend the books I mentioned above. They are transformative, and a guide for those that are a little lost within themselves.

Other books / resources I am knee deep in and have helped in my soul-light-work that I recommend:

If you ever want to chat, have questions, I’m here.

To illumination, radiance, and fine polish.