A Quadrifecta of Delightful Experiences

Pilipinasblitz Forever:
Reflections of a lifelong learner
By Blesilda (Bles) Carmona ©2015

A QUADRIFECTA OF DELIGHTFUL EXPERIENCES

Quadri-one: Last Oct. 10, Saturday evening, my sister E, J (her S.O.), and I watched “The Martian” (directed by Ridley Scott) at Century Hayward. Hot daymn! Damon is hot in this one, and one of the ways I define “hot” is if someone is scientifically inclined, like MacGyver perhaps, or here in this film, botanist/engineer Mark Watney. Libra native Damon is a delight to behold onscreen, oozing with self-confidence, charisma, and smarts. Actually he had me at “Good Will Hunting (1997),” this precious precocious screenwriter/filmmaker/actor. I don’t want to spoil it for those who have not seen the film yet, and I don’t recommend movies lightly, but you should definitely see the “The Martian.” Winner line from Damon’s character: “I’m going to have to science the s**t out of this.”

For those of you on a budget, I propose a system on how to determine what is worth watching on the big screen. So for example, there you are in the cinema, watching the “revista” or trailers of films to come. You see the trailer of something called, let’s say, “Easter Lilies,” which is a rom-com, “Daisy Fades,” which is a tearjerker, and “Black Jasmine Patrol,” an action movie. Of course, first determine which of these three you like most. Supposing you love them all, the next step is to ask yourself which one has the most “cinematic” features. Which film lends itself to the big-screen experience? If you like the explosions, fight scenes, wide shots of dystopian landscapes, and other characteristics best visualized on the big screen – then the choice is easy, right? You can always catch the other films you missed on DVD, Netflix, and other more intimate streaming media when they become available later.

Quadri-two: Still, that did not stop me and my friends from watching the Filipino film called “Etiquette for Mistresses” the following week, on Oct. 15 (Thu) at Century Union City. This is based on the book with the same title which was written by social commentator Jullie Yap Daza in 1992. Honestly, I thought I was going to be bored by the film, but I was pleasantly surprised at how the narrative engaged me. Mr. Armando Dela Cruz, a respected film critic in the Philippines (filmpolicereviews.com) put his finger on the one scene that I marveled at and told my friend Yvonne about: “While the film is technically sound—a confrontation scene between Georgina (Kris Aquino) and Chloe (Claudine Barretto), surely the film’s highlight, makes for a compelling moment what with its single-shot chiaroscuro beauty…” Reading that, I felt my own observation vetted by expert opinion, which tells me that my eyes were not playing tricks on me. It was a single-camera, one-continuous-shot “eksena.” Director Chito Roño really knew his stuff on that one. Other co-stars are Iza Calzado, Cheena Crab, and Kim Chiu.

Here are some of the rules that mistresses (and mistresses-in-training, ref: see film) must observe:
1. You’re a mistress, not the wife. Know your place!
2. Mistresses don’t complain. It is the wife’s role.
3. Even if he tells you he loves you more than his wife, don’t let that get into your head.
4. Mistresses should not call the man first; wait for him to call.
5. Mistresses should avoid the wife as much as possible.
6. Mistresses should be able to give up Valentine’s Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Holy Week, and his birthday.
7. As much as possible don’t patronize the wife’s beauty parlor, jewelry shop, dress shop, or father confessor.
8. Wives have their own network of spies and amigas. It is helpful for the mistress to have her own.
9. Perish all thought that someday you’ll be number one.
10. When all fails, leave him.

And the moral of the story is —? Far be it from me to impose morals. I guess that if you’re interested enough, you can always catch “Etiquette…” when it’s out on other media and then decide for yourselves.

Quadri-three: Last Oct. 24 (Sat), the Bataan Legacy Historical Society (BLHS) held its conference at the Koret Auditorium of the Main branch of the San Francisco Public Library. BLHS is a non-profit 501c (3) organization. Its mission is to educate the public on the historical significance of the Bataan Death March and World War II in the Philippines by presenting the war from different perspectives – Filipinos, Americans, soldiers, and civilians. During the conference, we heard from various sectors affected by the Second World War: civilian prisoners of war, infantrymen, military officers and other veterans. Notable personages also spoke, among them State Superintendent of Education Tom Torlakson, Philippine Consul General (“ConGen”) Henry Bensurto, Jr., David Chiu of the California State Assembly, and Congressman Mike Honda. Of course, we also heard from BLHS Executive Director & Founder, Ms. Cecilia I. Gaerlan, and Ms. Consuelo Hall-McHugh, Founding Member of Memorare Manila 1945. There were many an instance during the panelists’ “testimony” that I had to hold back my tears. A part of me is saying, “Why bother listening to these hurtful, cruel war memories?” but then another part of me says, “As long as your gut and tear ducts are affected by war, then you know deep inside that war in any form is wrong and should not be allowed to continue.”

Another good thing that happened in this conference was that I was able to connect with a long-lost relative. She was one of the panelists in the Battle for Manila forum: Mrs. Marietta Carmona-Flores. After the program, several people approached Tita Marietta, wanting to set up appointments so that they could hear more of her experiences as a young girl in the midst of war. The common feedback was that Tita M’s emotional delivery of her statements made it appear like it was a “declamation,” and this moved a lot of people in the audience, aside from the atrocities and horrors that she was recounting. In conclusion, Cong. Mike Honda said that lobbying for the benefits and salary of war veterans should be a community affair, not just the job of the Representative.

Quadri-four: Oct. 31(Sat), my sister E and I went to the “Everyday Mystic Halloween Fair” hosted by Cinthia Varkevisser at the Angel Light Bookstore in Berkeley, owned and managed by Ms. Valencia Chan. Cinthia is a channel, energy reader, graphologist, and coach (www.everydaymystic.com). On this day, a handful of her students were giving 10-minute readings for $10 as part of their practicum. Ms. Cinthia herself was available for readings, and she made me realize things about myself, even going as far as to suggest a “brand” for my astrology and tarot readings to help me along. I also got a reading from Ms. Nancy Leung, a certified massage practitioner who combines Swedish, Shiatsu, Trigger Point, and Deep Tissue Massage with energy reading and interpretation. Needless to say, my sister and I (with J as our chaperone), both having the Life Path number of 7 (the number of the loner, the seeker) are truly into these mystical things and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Every now and then it’s good to get the perspective of someone who can be totally objective with you since she does not know you except for the energy and vibes you give out. It may sound “woo-woo” to some of you and rightly so because metaphysical issues are not really your cup of tea (or tea leaves). It’s all right. Really. Each of us is on a personal journey which you and I know is never the same for any two individuals. At the end of the day, what remains is a live-and-let-live sensibility that does not coerce and force, but loves and respects.

We will always be drawn to the things, people, and phenomena that interest us and capture our imagination. My hope is that, to paraphrase Jalaluddin Rumi, we can still meet in that field beyond all these conflicting ideas.

Maybe someday, huh?

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“Once upon a sacred animal totem class” in this week’s issue of the Manila Mail (Sept. 23-29, 2015; page A5)

Pilipinasblitz Forever
A column by Bles Carmona
For the week of Sept. 23-29, 2015

Once upon a sacred animal totem class

The setting: Angel Light Books in Berkeley one Saturday afternoon. The topic: sacred animal totems. The instructor: Ms. Evelyn Mazza, evelynmaz@yahoo.com. When we speak about animal totems, we also need to speak about the shaman. A shaman is a healer who traverses the spiritual path in an elevated state of consciousness. The shaman can cure people, drive away evil spirits, and generally perform spiritual or “priest-like” functions for the community to which she/he belongs.

Ms. Evelyn comes from a Filipino family whose maternal lineage has the gift of being able to do “readings.” She started having prophetic dreams when she was about 8-10 years old, but she was too busy leading her life that she really didn’t pay these dreams any mind. Later on, already in the USA, she took her Bachelor’s degree and graduate courses in Family Counseling, and the changes in her life led her to the spiritual path. Here is how the Angel Light Metaphysical School website describes her: “Evelyn is an advocate for spiritual development, earth magic, and higher consciousness. As a practicing psychic medium, psychometry reader, healer, angel card reader, she conducts classes every 3rd Saturday of the month at Angel Light Bookstore. She offers mini psychic/past life readings on the 1st Saturday of the month as well as private phone and house readings. Evelyn teaches the Fairy Magic Class, Animal Totem Class, and the Mediumship Course.”

Sacred animal totems, the topic of the class, are part of an approach called Earth-Centered Spirituality. Usually associated with Native American spiritual practices, these animals are our spirit guides, flanking us from the “nine” directions, which are: North, South, East, West, above, below, right, left, and center. Here are a couple of Navajo prayers that the class started with while the room was being smudged with sage:

“I honor the East, Spirit of Swan, power of honesty.
I honor the South, Spirit of Cougar, power of service.
I honor the West, Spirit of Michael, power of courage.
I honor the North, Spirit of Deer, power of compassion.”
(Cowan, T. “Shamanism as a Spiritual Practice for Daily Life,” 1996)

“Beauty behind me, with it I wander
Beauty below me, with it I wander
Beauty above me, with it I wander
Beauty all around me, with it I wander
In old age traveling, with it I wander
I am on the beautiful trail, with it I wander.”
(Holtzin, R.K. “Beauty Lost: Glen Canyon Before Lake Powell,” 2015)

Animal spirit guides are with us in our unique shamanic journey, representing patterns of energy within us, our talents, and potentials. By knowing our power animals, their qualities flow more positively within our energy fields. Ms. Evelyn asked me about the animal I feel an affinity with, so I said “dog,” and she said that loyalty and intelligence is important to me, as well as a sense of playfulness. During the guided meditation, for which I had to relax, take deep breaths, and be still, Ms. Evelyn asked me what I saw.

Bles: I see the color brown.
Evelyn: Brown… that’s very grounding. Do you see any animal wanting to communicate with you?
Bles: I see a “maya” (a sparrow)…
Evelyn: And what is the maya’s message to you?
Bles: It wants me to be lighthearted.
Evelyn: Yes, it wants you to soar. To be free. What else do you see?
Bles: I see a brown bear.

Ms. Evelyn said that the brown bear stands for groundedness, strength against adversity, and being in touch with the cycles of the Earth and of nature. In my mind I was remembering an intriguing novel about bear-worship I once read called “Shardik” by Richard Adams, author of my other favorite novel, “Watership Down” which in turn is about hares. I didn’t know that turtles are also emblematic of groundedness and slowing down one’s pace in life, or that snakes are powerfully connected to the life force and primal energy. When I think of snakes, I am imagining the green snake in the fictional novel “Marie Laveau” by Francine Prose, the book that started me on the road to metaphysics when I read it at 13 years old. All of these thoughts and memories were evoked during the guided meditation and now as I write this afterwards. Being a firm believer that everything is connected and that there are meaningful coincidences, I think that my spirit animals are urging me to re-establish my connection to the Source so that the mundane complexities of life do not overwhelm me or make me afraid. Like Ms. Evelyn advised me, “You just need to prioritize.”

Ms. Evelyn Mazza has raised readings to an art form. She does the following: Aura, Spirit Guide, House, and Past Life Readings. Next up is her “Psychic Development for Beginners” class, a three-Friday class (Sept. 25, Oct. 2, and Oct. 9) to be held from 7-9 PM at Angel Light Books. In this class you will learn basic grounding, shielding, and protection techniques. There will be guided meditations to connect with your spirit guides. You will also begin to develop your clairvoyant (clear-seeing), clairaudient (clear-hearing), clairsentient (clear-feeling), and claircognizant (clear-knowing) skills. You will also exchange readings with each other. If any of these is striking a resonant chord in you, you can email Ms. Evelyn Mazza at evelynmaz@yahoo.com for inquiries about this upcoming Psychic Development for Beginners class.

But for now, because of the class, I know what my sacred animal totems are. I will be the woman who runs with the dog, lumbers with the bear, and soars with the sparrow.

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blessingsandlight725@gmail.com

“AN ANGEL CARD READING WITH MS. MARIA SAN JUAN, THE HEALING DIVA” in this week’s issue of the MANILA MAIL (Dec. 3-9, 2014, page A7)

Pilipinasblitz Forever
A column by Bles Carmona
For the week of Dec. 3-9, 2014
AN ANGEL CARD READING WITH MS. MARIA SAN JUAN, THE HEALING DIVA
“Admit the truth to yourself and act accordingly.”

Drawn from the Archangel Michael Oracle Deck, that’s the title of the final card picked for me by Ms. Maria San Juan, the Healing Diva. It was supposed to be the final takeaway message for me from the angelic realms. It happened one rainy Saturday afternoon. What led to that message from Archangel Michael, the things that transpired during the hour-long angel card reading, and the strength and encouragement I gained through my encounter with Ms. Maria, I may not be able to share all, preferring to keep some things to myself. But let’s work up to the finale by starting somewhere from the beginning.

I was referred to Ms. Maria San Juan by Ms. Helena Mazzariello (www.spiritinjoy.com), who conducts angel fairs, psychic readings, aura cleansings, and classes at the Angel Light Books In Berkeley. Ms. Helena thought it might be cool, she said, since “Maria” is also a Filipina like me, so Ms. Helena gave me Maria’s card. As soon as I was able, I visited Maria’s website, http://www.thehealingdiva.com, consuming everything with eagerness and excitement about finally having the chance to connect with a fellow Filipina-American who was also into the metaphysical. When I read her blog, I remember crying as I was reading a couple of separate entries about messages from specific angels like Archangels Michael and Raphael. With such a visceral (read: gut) reaction to her writings, I decided to go ahead and make an appointment with Ms. Maria. I must admit that I was a bit intimidated by her title, “The Healing Diva,” such that I was having this vision of someone who was so full of herself because she knows the extent of whatever psychic powers and angelic connections she claims to have. How wrong I was, as it turns out. I was wrong to make blanket assumptions like that. You can never meet a woman as down-to-earth, friendly, no-frills, and approachable as her.

Her brand-new ecru business card with a photo of an upturned left hand with a globe of light emanating from it has the following information:
The Healing Diva-Channeling messages and healing energy from the angelic realm
Maria San Juan, Psychic Medium & Angel Reiki Master
650-720-3248
healingdva@gmail.com (Please take note that there is no “i” in “dva.”)
http://www.thehealingdiva.com (This is Ms. Maria’s website where you can find information about the services she offers, her fee schedule, what to expect, and the Frequent Buyer Program. You can also read testimonials, her “Maria’s Mind Blogs,” and how to contact her.)

Please allow Ms. Maria San Juan to describe herself to you in her own words (from her website): Hello everyone! My name is Maria San Juan. I was born and raised in Salinas, California. However, I have made the Bay Area, specifically the East Bay, my home for the last 2 decades. I also refer to Malolos, Bulacan, Philippines as “my 2nd home” because when I’m not in the Bay Area, you can definitely find me there. Looking back at my life, I’ve always felt different. I can say that my gifts can be traced as far back as my childhood years. I believe I was 6 years old when I had my first “awakening” and felt the protective presence of Angels surrounding me. I always knew I was protected because my guardian angels were the ones who also guided me back to my parents whenever I thought I was lost, so I NEVER GOT LOST. Despite this feeling of security, I never told anyone about my guardian angels. Besides, I didn’t have anyone to encourage or mentor me and having guardian angels, as benevolent as they are, was not accepted in society during that time. Then, in my teen years, my gifts of clairvoyance and manifestation were blossoming. I was seeing images and event that had not happen yet play like a movie through my 3rd eye. Then, before I knew it the situation either changed or manifested as needed. My teen instincts were on point each time I told my friends, “we shouldn’t go to that party or drive down that road” – we almost always seem to avoid some catastrophe because we followed my instinct. I didn’t realize my gift for what it was at that time because I thought this was normal that everyone had this. So eventually, I manifested a layer or rather layers of protection binding my powers until they were ready to come back. This was manifested by convincing myself that there was no such thing as magic, angels and the spirit world. Through the years, I’ve been told countless times that I have healing hands and that my words were healings in itself–people always seem to find comfort in my hugs and conversations. Then, my gifts were triggered by a tragic loss of a loved one a few years ago. One day, I came into Angel Light Books in Berkeley, California, and felt the loving energy there like I’ve returned home after a very long trip. I began my “re-awakening” there as an Angel Reader and an Angel Reiki Practitioner under the direction of Diana Dorell. I have also studied under the direction of Dr. Doreen Virtue, the “Angel Lady”, known to give instructions on the Angelic Realm. Both Dr. Virtue and Ms. Dorell have instructed me on cultivating my God-given Psychic and Healing gifts. I am also a blogger and a writer; I write for self-healing, release and to let others know that they are not alone on their journey. Writing ultimately is my salvation, there I can express myself uncensored, unfiltered and escape to another realm.

Hence, I came into my calling as a “Powerful Lightworker” in the last few years and I revel in this journey. With this Journey of Life, I perform a balancing feat as: a Writer, a Certified Angel Card Reader® and a Certified Angel Reiki™ I, II and III/Master Teacher (certified by Diana Dorell, Reiki Master Teacher). I have been conducting Angel Readings since 2009; and I’ve been an Angel Reiki Practitioner since 2010. Life is grand, I enjoy living in the moment and I can only look forward to what God/Goddess has in store for me and YOU!!! I look forward to hearing from You and meeting with You. Please check periodically for my blogs and updates on my novel publication(s). THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR VISITING MY PAGE! AS ALWAYS, LOVE, LIGHT & COMPASSION TO YOU.

I had an hour-long angel card reading with Ms. Maria so that I could tell your firsthand how it was. Ms. Maria will tell you that each reading is as unique as each seeker she serves. No two readings are the same. There is at least one constant factor, and that is what she calls her “Diva Spread” of seven cards representing different phases like the past, the present, the issue or block, the past as it affects the present, advice to heal the block, immediate action to take, and the projected outcome. Ms. Maria’s entire angel card reading for me, along with channeled messages from the Archangels, angels, and one ancestor of mine, and a “temporary” aura tune-up – all these experiences were ones of illumination, assistance, and deep healing. The long and short of it is that I highly recommend Ms. Maria San Juan, The Healing Diva, for those of you who would like angelic guidance through an Angel Card Reading or a session of Angel Reiki, which is a combination of “hands-on energy work” combined with channeled messages from the angels. Maria San Juan is one of us, a kababayan who speaks Tagalog as well as she speaks English. I am proud and honored to be able to bring her to the forefront of your collective consciousness. I am sure that we will be hearing about Maria San Juan more often soon enough.

Now let’s return to the final card turned up for me, a message from Archangel Michael, which was apparently how Ms. Maria always concludes her readings. St. Michael says to me: “Admit the truth to yourself and act accordingly.” Here is the accompanying prayer that Ms. Maria asked me to address to Archangel Michael in a regular manner for 10 days or more, as needed: “I appreciate your support in helping me face my feelings with grace and acceptance so that I can be lovingly honest with myself and others. Thank you, Archangel Michael, for giving me courage and strength.”

A-men. A-women.

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Find advisor Blesilda44 at KEEN.com, 1-800-ASK-KEEN (1-800-275-5336), extension 05226567 either by phone or chat: Mon-Fri 7-10 pm, Sat-Sun 7-11 pm Pacific. I speak English, Tagalog, and some Spanish. For personal readings (fee required), email me here: blessingsandlight725@gmail.com

“GIVING THANKS EACH CHANCE WE GET” in this week’s issue of the MANILA MAIL (Nov. 26-Dec. 2, 2014, page A7)

Pilipinasblitz Forever
A column by Bles Carmona
For the week of Nov. 26-Dec. 2, 2014

GIVING THANKS EACH CHANCE WE GET

Happy Thanksgiving Week to everyone! I know that once we settled here, we Filipino-Americans did as the Americans have done such that we have learned to adopt Thanksgiving as our own holiday, too, although the historical reasons for celebrating it are largely North American in nature. The so-called first Thanksgiving was a romanticized account of how the colonists and the Native Americans shared a meal. According to History.com, “In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states.” For the record, we are neither ignoring the bad blood between the two camps nor overlooking the violence and injustice perpetrated by the “white man” against the Native Americans. Instead, during this season we just choose to focus on the many ways we are giving thanks for all the blessings we receive, and yes, even for the trials, from a God/Goddess who does not discriminate based on skin color and other markers of our differences. Personally, I believe that we are all united by love and compassion, which in my book are the only true religions. But then, that’s just me.

I have kept a gratitude journal for several years now. I do admit that there were periods when my entries were sporadic and uninspired. During those times, I may have been feeling depressed or frustrated. Perhaps during 50% of those “dry spells,” I remember trying very hard to write at least a couple of entries like, “I am grateful for a room of my own” or “I thank God for my comfortable, lived-in slippers.” I try to notice every single thing, every little thing, which normally I’d be taking for granted when I’m being thankful for the big things, the exuberant feelings, the dramatic events. Therefore, throughout the years, I have come to a personal conclusion: it is when I’m going through a dark night of the soul that I must try harder to find things, people, and events in my life to be thankful for, because you know what? Any which one of those could be taken away from me at any time. In short, what I’m trying to say is I’d like to exhort you to appreciate the people and things in your life and to be thankful for them. A wise woman told me lately that there is a difference between appreciation and gratitude, and I think I’m beginning to understand now. Appreciation is when we have a sensitive awareness of people and things just because they are there, while gratitude or thankfulness is usually our reaction when we asked for a favor and it was granted.

One of my adult learners, Benjamin, is also doing a gratitude journal and sometimes we read out our entries to each other during our tutoring sessions. Aside from being a springboard to correct any grammatical or spelling errors (if any), his handwritten journal gives me a precious insight into how he thinks and feels. There was one statement he wrote that I couldn’t forget because it had a profound impact on me: “I thank God that the earth is round with four corners. Even if people are different, they are all the same.” Benjamin even accompanied his entry with a crayon-drawn quasi-realistic globe with the continents mapped in and a cross in the middle of the globe to signify the four major directions. He really got into it.

Browsing through my latest gratitude journal, here are some things that I have thanked God and Goddess for:
1. I am thankful for the few friends that I have. They may not be that many but I have experienced their love, support, and loyalty. I am also thankful for my wonderful family.
2. I am thankful for my ability to read. This ability alone expands my world, influences my point of view, and spurs me into action.
3. I am thankful for my comfortable clothes and shoes that keep me warm even in the coldest weather.
4. I am thankful to be able to ride AC Transit Bus #22 (my main transportation to and from Chabot College where I go to school).
5. I am thankful that I went out on a date with him today (whomever “him” is at the moment).

And so on and so forth. The idea for me here was to give thanks every chance I got lest I just let the moment pass and take all those bountiful blessings and seemingly inconsequential things for granted. Our Great Father and Great Mother have been good to me. I have even come to terms with my disability, bipolar disorder, and somehow turned it into a wellspring of inspiration for meeting people with disabilities like me, as well as healers of the mind, body, and spirit, and other very interesting people. If not for my illness, I wouldn’t have had the privilege, 14 years ago, of founding the Biopsychosocial Support and Interaction Group (BISIG) which was the first support group for people with mental disorders in the entire Philippines at the time. If not for my illness, I wouldn’t have met my wonderful members, most of whom are living drama-free productive lives these days. I am thankful that after much trial and error, I have learned not to be ashamed of my mental illness anymore and to do my best to live as normal a life as possible given my limitations.

Now just this past Sunday, I happened to be at the Angel Light Books in Berkeley again for their Thanksgiving Psychic Fair. As a “thank you” to all the loyal customers who have frequented the shop, store owner Ms. Valencia Chan asked us to join her for complimentary hors d’ oeuvres, pumpkin pie, and ginger peach tea. All of us who were in the store that day received a free gemstone heart which we picked with our eyes closed from her elegant black velvet pouch. I got a red jasper which Ms. Valencia said is supposed to energize the blood and increase one’s stamina. Goodness knows, with finals week coming up soon, I need all the help I can get. There were readers there for Chinese Fortune Telling, Tarot, Palm Reading, and African Shell Reading available for $20 for each type for 15 minutes, as usual. Of course, I haven’t experienced an African Shell Reading yet so that’s what I went for. Ms. Khadijah Grant, dressed in traditional African garb, was my reader. There was an invocation to my ancestors since according to Ms. Khadijah, they are always available to help. She asked me to move my right hand three times among the shells, coins, stones, etc., heaped over a circular symbol on her table mat. The long and short of it is that I need to get more grounded and that I am being urged to use more of my gifts for the benefit of others. She asked me to do a “mineral meditation” since minerals stand for memories – part of my grounding work, acknowledgement of my ancestors, and a call for guidance from the Earth itself where I am to do my future work.

As I am wont to say to myself as I feel my beating heart, “It is well with my soul.” It truly is. It is well with my soul. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

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Find advisor Blesilda44 at KEEN.com, 1-800-ASK-KEEN (1-800-275-5336), extension 05226567 either by phone or chat: Mon-Fri 7-10 pm, Sat-Sun 7-11 pm Pacific. I speak English, Tagalog, and some Spanish. For personal readings (fee required), email me here: blessingsandlight725@gmail.com

“ADVENTURING AGAIN AT ANGEL LIGHT BOOKS” in this week’s issue of the MANILA MAIL (Nov. 19-25, 2014)

Pilipinasblitz Forever
A column by Bles Carmona
For the week of Nov. 19-25, 2014
ADVENTURING AGAIN AT ANGEL LIGHT BOOKS

It was the third Sunday of November. Per Angel Light Books and Gifts Store tradition, the third Sunday of the month is when the Angel Light Metaphysical Fair is held. The Angel Light Store, located in Berkeley, is “your one stop store for all your Metaphysical needs,” like their business card states. I would have to agree. The Angellightstore.com business card has a color picture of the Archangel Chamuel (the archangel of peaceful relationships/love), as well as the important data like the address: 3347 MLK Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94703; the phone number: (510) 985-1600; and the email: info@angellightstore.com. I think that when you read further, at one point you will feel the urge to at least check out their online store, or maybe even the Angel Light School of Metaphysics which offers certifications and courses in the psychic and healing arts in-house or online. If you’re curious, please check it out: http://www.angellightschool.com

I already wrote a column about this book store in the May 28-June 3, 2014 issue of the Manila Mail, but here’s an update. Let’s go back to the Angel Light Metaphysical Fair to which I recently went and which regularly happens on the third Sunday of the month. There were a couple of readers present: Ms. Eloise Hill and Ms. Helena Mazzariello, as well as a Reiki Master, Ms. Catherine Walters who gives free Reiki sessions. During these fairs, a 15-minute reading only costs $20 which I think is very reasonable considering that these effective and experienced professionals charge a much higher price during regular individual sessions with them. You can check out all their offerings on their respective websites: Candle Stone Tarot (www.eloisehill.net), http://www.spiritinjoy.com (Ms. Helena Mazzariello), and http://www.guidedchange.com (Ms. Catherine Walters).

This is my first time to go to one of this store’s fairs and I guess I was a bit overwhelmed. There were times during the sessions that I felt I’ve spaced out and missed hearing some important points that these readers wanted to get across to me, but as Ms. Cathy told me later, “It doesn’t matter. What your conscious mind may miss, your subconscious mind retains.”

My first 15-minute session was with Ms. Eloise Hill. She is a writer, psychic (clairaudient/clairvoyant/clairsentient), and tarot reader. She was an acute-care nurse for a number of years before deciding to write and nurture her more intuitive side. She is the author of a couple of the Eileen McGrath Tarot Series of mystery books, “Eight of Pentacles” and “The Queen of the Barley Moon,” now available at Amazon. She also teaches individual classes and courses on Thoth Tarot 101, Divination 101 (rune-casting, tea-leaf reading, and palm reading), Wicca 101, Chakras 101, and Astral Projection. She hosts the Psychic/Tarot Faire at Angel Light every first Saturday of the month. For my reading, I chose for her to do a tarot reading for me. Ms. Eloise uses the Thoth deck so I’m not quite familiar with the imagery since I work with the traditional Rider-Waite deck myself. But hey, I was there with a mindset to learn new things and expand my grasp of the metaphysical, after all. The points I would like to share with you from Ms. Eloise’s sessions are: 1. It looks like the next 3-6 years would be more favorable for me. 2. I must learn not to “over-give,” but to balance giving and receiving. 3. I will be reconnecting with my strengths, and will have the strength to let go of habits or mindsets that do not serve me anymore. (Quitting smoking, anyone? More exercise and less food intake, maybe? Charging for my readings instead of giving them away for free most of the time?)

Next, I had a psychic reading and aura cleansing with Ms. Helena Mazzariello. She is an artist, clairvoyant, healer, and teacher. Among the readings she offers are: clairvoyant, past life, aura/chakra, Ascended Master, pet, house healings, Akashic records, plus female energy tune-ups, substance addiction healings and deprogrammings. She told me that the aura around me is a distinct shade of blue (she didn’t know it was my favorite color) with a bit of red thrown in, which is good for action and assertiveness. She taught me how to ground myself from the very top of my head (crown chakra), down to my feet, and way, way down below the earth where I must let go of these certain brown-colored “depressed” energy that’s not even my own. Upon reflection, I do admit that in the course of my listening with compassion to other people like my tarot clients or my friends, sometimes I tend to feel their pain too much and end up feeling depleted and sad myself. Now Ms. Helena tells me that there is a way to shield ourselves from other people’s energy, to establish some boundaries, and to ground ourselves. She asked me, “Do you meditate?” I answered honestly: no. Ever the optimistic one, she told me of one very simple and effective type of meditation: the shower meditation. Yes, take a shower! The water sluices down from the top of your head and the water, carrying all the negative energy, goes down the drain and deep into the earth. Cleanse your aura, take a showah, right? (Grin.)

Finally, I sampled the free Reiki session offered by Ms. Catherine Walters. Ms. Cathy, aside from being a Reiki Master, is also a clinical hypnotherapist. She began the session by giving me an orientation about what Reiki is, especially what it means: “rei” means universal, and “ki” means energy (also called “chi”). In effect, Reiki is the universal energy all around us, and Ms. Cathy is quick to qualify that she is just the conduit. During the actual session itself, I was seated in a swivel chair with Ms. Cathy standing behind me with her hands on my shoulders, explaining that although the hands can be placed anywhere, she chose the shoulders for their proximity to the heart. She began to speak about energy and healing while her hands were on my shoulders. Later on, I told her honestly that at some point I must have spaced out because although I was hearing her voice, I couldn’t understand what was being said. That prompted her remark about our subconscious catching it anyway if our conscious mind ever missed anything. We discussed gratitude and appreciation (there is a difference, she said) and how to make my crown chakra (masculine) work with my throat and heart chakras (feminine). They must work together, not just one or the other, and she said that I would reach a lot of like-minded people through the written word.

As for the owner of Angel Light, Ms. Valencia Chan, here’s her bio from the Instructors tab of the School website: “Valencia has owned and operated Angel Light Books and Gifts since 1989. An avid metaphysician, she has studied in depth topics including astrology, tarot, crystals, and feng shui. She received her certification in astrology in 1987 from Experience Astrology in San Francisco and for Feng Shui in 1996 from Feng Shui Design in Grass Valley. Being Chinese, feng shui has always been an integral part of her culture. Her knowledge of crystals includes attending workshops from various teachers, studying from an extensive library of books and most of all from her personal experience of selling and giving away thousands of stones over the years. “I’m always amazed at how the perfect stone will find its way to the person who would most benefit from its power.” Valencia teaches How to Read the Rider Waite Tarot Cards, Astrology 101, Feng Shui 101, Crystal Awareness, Stones Awareness, and Chakra Awareness.” There are more classes, fairs, and special events scheduled in the near future. The store’s website is quite updated so please check it out for the details, and the gracious Ms. Valencia is always just a phone call away. I definitely had a great time at the Fair and will come again one of these days! (pilipinasblitz@gmail.com)