THE HERMIT

hermit-1Unlike any other card in my tarot series, The Hermit found its way to me. I had scheduled to shoot with Mary but I had no idea what card to pick. And for the first time, I was okay with that- I didn’t want to know. So what did I do? I went inside, played some Chelsea Wolfe (aka my current obsession), took out my deck, and meditated on what exactly it is that I needed at that moment- what was the universe trying to teach me? I didn’t even divide the major or minor arcana, I wanted to pick a card that I was meant to work with, and it turns out I did. The Hermit urges us to go inward- it’s a wake up call to remember that we have all the answers we need within us, it’s just a matter of listening. Just like the turtle has it’s shell and it can retreat inward, finding it’s home wherever it is, so can we. hermit-8This semester, this past summer, and this past year have been a whirlwind and they have taught me more about myself than any semester or summer or year prior. For the first time I don’t feel the need to prove myself to anyone,  I don’t feel the need to make sure any certain person likes me. For the first time the only person I am focused on loving is myself, and when I pulled the Hermit it was like a love spell straight to my heart. I’d been wanting to turn inward, get back to my yoga practice and focus on what gives me inner purpose and all of the sudden, I was pulling this card to remind me that YES- that’s what I should do, that’s what I needed, and that’s what I did. hermit-11What does The Hermit teach us? The Hermit speaks of vulnerability, of shedding your layers and moving inward, of finding the answers in your own connection to the universe, to the world around you, and to yourself. In The Wild Unknown deck, it says the Hermit’s one of the most valued and celebrated creatures because through going inward, The Hermit’s able to find knowledge and wisdom it can share. The Hermit is a cosmic kick in the butt to just stop, to listen, meditate and ponder- the most important things in this life are the moments we often rush over, the pearls of beauty we find in ananda- the bliss of being.

hermit-13The idea of the turtle really resonated with me when I was trying to figure out how to represent this card. The simplicity of wearing your home on your back is both obvious and profound, and the idea of finding home in my own bones is something I’ve been trying to work with. I decided to wear my spiked leather jacket for this post because it’s a barrier between me and the world- it gives me the confidence and strength to own my sh**. Pieces like my leather jacket are my shell- they’re my protection as I move through this life, especially as someone who can be passed over as vulnerable or weak because of my small frame. I wore a vintage nightgown that I got from Ivory for this same reason- there’s a sense of vulnerability that comes with wearing your home on your back. I wanted to represent going inward by wearing something really delicate. Embracing The Hermit means dealing with your own issues face on- finding them, learning from them and hopefully growing from them. It also means picking up your shell, knowing you’re your own home, and continuing along your own path as you explore what it means to tune into yourself.  hermit-35hermit-37hermit-18hermit-23hermit-24hermit-32hermit-53hermit-52hermit-63hermit-56hermit-77hermit-73hermit-72hermit-78hermit-79hermit-80hermit-86hermit-83hermit-87Of course, I had to reinterpret the classic version of this card, (green!) cape and all. So thankful for Mary who always takes amazing photos and helps my vision come to life.

Here’s to going inward.
XXX,
Gabriela

The Secret Garden of Temperance

There are cards that are easy to interpret and there are ones that are a bit trickier. Temperance is one of those cards that tends to stump me when it comes up in a reading. The tarot resonates in funny ways and I’m sure this is a hard card for me because it’s what I have trouble internalizing most; balance. The universe always has perfect timing, and Mercury was retrograde as I shot this look (thankfully it’s direct again!) This past retrograde was all about digging up the past, learning from the muck and moving forward… it was rough. Sometimes you have to go on and move forward and keep going with life; find your footing and balance between harsh elements. That’s exactly what this card teaches us.cardTemperance speaks of working with opposing elements and using them to find balance. Battle water with fire, earth with air. Temperance is a card of renewal, a flowing stream promising something better, something easier. I was so excited to shoot with  my favorite, Mary Decrescenzio, after what feels like years of not working together. Although lots of rain made the waterfalls we shot at murky, it still felt perfect to shoot among the flowing water; it’s exactly what Temperance represents. This card talks about moderation, about working among the elements and not giving or taking too much. Temperance is a card of healing, of renewal. It is, more than anything, a little glimmer of hope.gabbi-2Temperance urges us to find a sense of honesty, of balance and a sense of purity with what we do. Not too hot, not too cold…just right. It speaks of being like the heron and find your balance and find peace in a sense of opposition. I wanted to interpret this card surrounded by water, with pieces in sweet blue and just a touch of red (lipstick always counts). I picked up this wonderful vintage teddy from my job, Hip Wa Zee, and paired it with this sweet little robe I got from my friend Ivory who runs an incredibly curated vintage shop called Forgotten Feather Vintage. I was feeling very “Secret Garden” since we took so many photos amidst the incredible foliage. gabbi-3All you can do in life is take little baby steps every day. Learning from the past to move forward. Learning from the fire so you know to add a little more water next time. Temperance reminds us to find our own secret garden, our own place of peace. A safe haven to remind us that once we find balance, everything else will fall into place. Here’s to a fresh start and learning from the ease of the water.gabbi-5 gabbi-8 gabbi-7gabbi-23gabbi-28gabbi-30gabbi-36gabbi-45gabbi-25gabbi-49gabbi-57gabbi-64gabbi-81gabbi-70gabbi-74gabbi-91gabbi-89gabbi-103gabbi-20agabbi-21agabbi-107gabbi-121gabbi-112gabbi-126gabbi-129gabbi-127

Here’s to finding balance and moving forward.

Namaste,

Gabriela

 

POWER

It’s almost halfway into the first month of the new year. It’s been 2015 for two weeks! Who would have thought. And although it’s been an incredible two weeks, I think that it’s also the perfect time to step back, asses, and once again, dig deep. Things are constantly shifting and changing, and it’s in the moments when I resist that change that I have to step back and ask why. Personally, there comes a point when I’m drifting to sleep that my body is totally and utterly relaxed and I start to feel like I’m floating. It’s almost like pre-lucid dreaming; a moment when I can retain awareness without fully being conscious of it. I always have really interesting realizations during this point in my messed up sleep cycle (I love staying awake super late) and this happened the other night. It was about power. Who would have guessed. image3Power. It’s a word I throw around often. I love “dressing to feel powerful”, and being able to “channel my power” for whatever ending I’m hoping happens as a result. I love harnessing my own power. My personal power is a completely separate entity to power or control over others; I don’t want to have power over other people or situations. I am never for the game of manipulation. But power can be dangerous; it can consume us. Power can be an egos driving force. For someone who likes to plan, and who uses logic and who loves knowing what’s going on, power can be dangerous. Having so much control over myself, and my spirit and my own power means it’s harder for me to deal with people and situations that I can’t control. My thirst for empowerment has left me with a real need to surrender. I can wear all the black I want, and wear red lipstick and I can feel so powerful, but at the end of the day, sometimes letting go is the most powerful action I can perform.image1

Kim Krans, the artist behind The Wild Unknown tarot deck, posted this spread on Instagram. One card for each month of the year, with one card being the overarching “theme”. Two weeks into the month and I finally had enough time and energy to follow through. It seems as if this year is all over the board, from heartbreak and self empowerment to finding comfort in my home. The theme for the year, however, is one of my favorite cards, The Moon. View More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/gabbiAh, the moon. She’s inspired photoshoots, poems and hopefully in 15+ years, my daughters name. The Moon, however, can be a somewhat questionable card. In this deck, it’s credited with “lack of direction, vivid dreams and fears”. The moon, however, to me, is linked with goddess, intuition and a consciousness that’s not always readily available during the day. The moon is darkness, and it’s true, in the dark directions get muddy and tangled, and often you will find yourself lost. After realizing my thirst for personal power, however, the words “lack of direction” sort of feels refreshing. Lack of direction could mean existing in the moment, with nowhere to be but now. Lack of direction could mean lack of power, a vulnerability that once again, is necessary for growth. Vivid dreams. Fear. Ahhh, fear, an old friend. Look how you’ve woven yourself into my year. What scares me more than not having power? Nothing.  And I’ve learned to bask in my fear, in trusting that there’s growth to be found in it. To me, The Moon means existing in the moment, surrendering to the present, vivid intuition and finding growth through what scares you the most.

image22015. It’s a year that will be linked to the moon, and fear, and surrendering. This year I will love more, resist less and let myself exist. Power is important, but there’s an effortlessness necessary in maintaing that sort of power, isn’t there?

Here’s to all the surrendering that comes with letting this year unfold.

Namaste,

Gabriela

The Magician

There’s a certain power that arises when you tap into your own intuition, into your own spirit, and declare to the universe that YOU are the one in charge of your own manifestations and actions. I think this sort of surrender is an ongoing process, and it’s one that I’m trying my best to practice each and every day. I think it’s important to keep in mind that although you may not have control over situations that arise in your life, you do have control over how you handle those situations. I think in this way, gratuity and positive intention really make a difference in the way that you deal with life’s punches; because here’s the thing, shit happens. It does. We don’t have control over that, but we do have control over how we view and handle those situations. It’s when it feels like life’s trying us most that gratuity becomes the key in coping.

View More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/magicianDon’t get me wrong, I think every emotion is worthy; the good and the “bad”. But I also believe that it’s easy to get stuck in an emotion, in a past story, and I also believe that gratuity for the present moment, as well as the past and the future, is the key to getting out of this rut.

The Magician sings of this sort of intentive action. She is inner strength, manifestation and power. She uses all the elements at her disposal to create. In this case, The Magician uses the suites of the tarot deck, the chalice, the wand, the sword and the pentacle, to conjure up whatever she so desires. The Magician is the second card in the tarot, although she is number one in the deck. The Chariot sings of movement forward, of inner strength being a guiding light of sorts. The Magician is this inner strength, this inner power, which is used to create and manifest whatever you want. View More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/magicianThe Magician sings a gratuitous song. She reminds us that we have control over ourselves, we are the ones driving our own chariot onward, creating our own path, manifesting whatever it is we so desire. The Magician is is the card of the individual, speaking to individual action and manifestation. When drawn in a reading, The Magician is a reminder that we have power to cultivate, that maybe we’re not seeing the bigger picture; maybe we’re not realizing the power of our own intentive manifestations. The Magician reminds us that we have the elements necessary to manifest our intention into reality.

I wanted to feel alive, regal, and (my version of) colorful in this outfit. I wanted to feel cloaked, and protected and magickal. I wore the dress I wore for my 20th birthday layered under a big, knit sweater and I added layered necklaces and a scarf i cinched around my waist. I wore two different mala beads around my wrist, wrapped my pentacle necklace into a bracelet, grabbed my skeleton hand chalice and figured I would grab a wand from the forest and use my eyes as daggers to round up all the suites in the card. I wanted to feel draped and covered with jewel tones, I wanted to feel strong and powerful, I wanted to feel like I was magick manifested. View More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/magician View More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/magician View More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/magicianView More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/magicianView More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/magician View More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/magician View More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/magicianView More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/magician View More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/magician View More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/magician View More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/magicianView More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/magicianView More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/magicianView More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/magicianView More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/magicianView More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/magicianView More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/magicianView More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/magicianView More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/magicianView More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/magicianView More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/magicianDress: Urban Outfitters/ Sweater: Zara/ Necklaces: H&M and Forever 21/ Shoes: Jeffrey CampbellView More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/magicianI’m so thankful for Mary and her amazing spirit. Working with her on this series has been absolutely amazing and I’m going to miss her while I’m in London! I can’t wait to continue this series and keep up with this beautiful woman. Find Mary’s Facebook HERE and her website HERE.

Namaste,

Gabriela

The Chariot

I don’t believe in cosmic coincidence. I don’t believe that things just happen; that which feeds our soul, those people who impact our lives, the moments where we stop and really and truly feel, to me, aren’t coincidence. One of my favorite ways to describe the tarot to people who are learning about it is as a map to places within ourselves that we’re unaware of. When I’m reading the cards, I imagine they’re blank until I flip them over; there’s a possibility that I can pull any card, and the one I pull is the one that I’m meant to. I don’t believe that  an accurate reading is a coincidence; I think that it’s channeling the same cosmic destiny of sorts that we see with the things I mentioned above; people and places and experiences that are literally too good to be thought of as coincidence. View More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/gabsThe Chariot has been beckoning to me. I’ve always been drawn to this card, and finding out two people I’m close to dubbed this their card of choice only furthers the significance of it.The artwork on this card is easily one of my favorites in the deck, and that’s no surprise since the beauty of the card is mirrored by the significance of what it represents. The Chariot is the seventh card in the tarot deck. She sings of action and movement forward guided by intuition. She speaks of direction and in a way, change. She is determination, she is knowing that movement, any movement, is better than staying stagnant. November was an intense month, where I found myself in an energetic and spiritual rut. It’s only within the past couple of days, specifically yesterday thanks to the powerful full moon, that I’ve started to find my footing once again. Today, this card has special significance. Today, The Chariot is telling me to keep going, to keep moving forward. View More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/gabsI chose to represent this card with silver, black and a lilac lip. My WITCH bag had to be brought out, because for me witchcraft is an extension of guided, intuitive movement and action like the card itself. I wanted a subtle equestrian feel to my look, so I chose to represent that with a silver leotard and a wide brimmed, vintage hat.I pulled this look knowing that I wanted to feel powerful, I wanted to feel capable and more than anything else, I wanted to feel like the one guiding my own chariot forward. View More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/gabs View More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/gabs View More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/gabsView More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/gabs View More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/gabs View More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/gabs View More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/gabs View More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/gabsView More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/gabsView More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/gabsView More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/gabsView More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/gabsView More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/gabsView More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/gabsView More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/gabsView More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/gabsView More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/gabsView More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/gabsLeotard: Amazon/ Hot Pants: ASOS/ Skirt: Urban Outfitters/ Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell/ Cardigan: American Threads/ Necklace: Extollo Jewelry/Purse: Dolls Kill/ Tarot deck: The Wild UnknownView More: http://marydecrescenziophotographer.pass.us/gabsToday, I urge you to find that which drives you onward. Find what feeds your soul, what speaks to you of destiny. Listen to your intuition. Know that you are capable, powerful and regardless of whatever else life throws at you, you are still guiding your own chariot.

It’s been so wonderful to work with the beautiful Mary DeCrescenzio. I am so thankful for her, for her spirit and for helping me make this series possible. Check out her beautiful work HERE and find her on Facebook HERE.

Namaste,

Gabriela