Monthly Archives: July 2017

Message of The Cardinal: Bird Sexism and The New Moon in Leo

Cardinals have existed in NYC forever but I only started noticing them in parks a couple of years ago. Though I can’t see how I’ve missed them all this time. They’re the most brilliant, bold, hard to miss birds ever!

I took my mom to the New York Botanical Garden last week and saw the first one I’ve seen all Summer. And then last Sunday while walking through Fort Tryon Park with my husband, I spotted another. I got close enough to take a picture and posted it on IG where I mentioned that I tend to think of Cardinals only as male, since I make the immediate association with Cardinals in the Catholics church that they’re named after and I felt bad about that because this one could very well be a female. Indeed, one of my followers identified the Cardinal in my photo as female because of the dusty brown coat and I confirmed the id through google. Why did I choose to confront my own bird sexism at that moment? Who knows! Maybe I felt her feminine bird vibes.

LOL!!!

Cut to the New Moon in Leo and it’s connection to the spiritual meaning of Cardinals.

I don’t practice my New Moon and Full moon rituals consistently like I should but I am generally always aware of the phases. In relation to my cycle, my flow of energy and the energy of those around me, my cat being more high strung than usual, the moon phases are always connected.

Not surprisingly, the New Moon in Leo is all about finding your authentic voice and using it to express and fulfill your desires and taking bold risks towards manifesting your dreams. Leo, at it’s best, is a proud, noble and heroic sign, all qualities that I sometimes struggle with representing in a substantial way. But when I see the Cardinal, something about it draws me closer without thinking twice. The Cardinal’s bright red color and pointy crest with black framing its eyes and beak, is so attractive, regal and alert. It is visually and spiritually inspiring as well as unmistakably easy to spot. Cardinals are a bright beacon of courage and a call to action.

The confidence flowing from the Cardinal exemplifies the recognition of its own powers and gifts, and doesn’t take it lightly or for granted

If a Cardinal has flown into your realm today, spend time in retreat and ask yourself, what could be the message from the Cardinal be showing me? Do I need to own my power? Do I need to slow down? Only you can know what the message is, and how to put it to use in your life…

Black Leos2

For me, the Cardinal represents the ushering in of Leo New Moon energy. Leos don’t shrink for anyone. In fact, they seek unabashedly to be seen, receive recognition, honor and notoriety in whatever path they choose to dedicate themselves wholly and nobly in service to others. Think President Obama, Angela Basset, Iman, Viola Davis, Marcus Garvey and James Baldwin who are just a few among many Leos who best exemplify these qualities

It’s time for me to untangle myself fully from learned associations of low self worth, shyness and fear and step up to the task of being unapologetic in the ways I work, love, self care, create, play, rest and restore myself. The first steps I’ve taken forward have been shaky and uncomfortable. But growth usually is. Leo demands self promotion, courage, and authenticity. It also requires that you are aware of of your own purpose and gifts. No one can advocate for you like you can for yourself.

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Who Am I to…

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

-Marianne Williamson

Have you heard this quote before? It’s from “A Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson, a book I really do need to read again. I was laying in bed one Friday morning, not wanting to get up for several reasons and observing the thoughts my mind engaged in as a way of self protection, avoiding confrontation, and comforting myself. I even remembered some dreams I was having.

If you check out your dreams, not necessarily the exact details but the feels, the general scenarios and the people who pop up, you get to know what is your subconscious spinning an escapism narrative involving comfort against fear, anxiety, and unhappiness and what is your intuition speaking to you from beyond all that, which is something that can happen even when you’re awake.

Continue reading Who Am I to…

Notes on 4:44: Black Male Vulnerability

You know I thug em, fuck em, love em, leave em 
Cause I don’t fuckin’ need em
Take em out the hood, keep em lookin’ good
But I don’t fuckin’ feed em 

-Big Pimpin

Jay-Z

Everybody wants to be needed on some level

Chris Rock

 

My brother was the one who brought Jay Z into my world. And a lot of what my brother paid close attention to when I was growing up inevitably entered my consciousness as well. X-Men comic books, metal ninja stars, GI Joe, Hip Hop…

I remember my brother buying a lot of Jay’s albums and a long landscape poster of Jay Z on his bedroom wall. I didn’t think he was attractive. He just looked like a regular dude to me, whatever that means, but his confidence was undeniable. And I remember thinking, who is this guy? What capital does he have to impress me with if he’s not super good looking? When I listened to him, I got it right away. He was not unlike like Sinatra who was also no studio heart throb. That didn’t matter though. He was gonna do it his way.

Continue reading Notes on 4:44: Black Male Vulnerability

Hearting Cardi B…again

If you a pusssy you get popped,

you a groupie you a op,

Bet you come around my way,

you can’t hang around my block.

And I just checked my accounts,

Turns out I’m rich, I’m rich, I’m rich.

I put my hand upon my hip,

I bet you dip, he dip, she dip…

So I woke up Monday morning and spirit told me I needed some music. I woke up my iphone and looked st 4:44 but then I was like, lemme listen to a woman’s voice for a change. I’ve switched to Tidal since 4:44 dropped and I’m still rebuilding my playlists there. I pulled up Solange and played “A Seat at the Table while putting on my make up and dressing for work. But when I hit the street, I played “Bodack Yellow.” And when I got on the train I played “Bodack Yellow.” And when I got off the train I played “Bodack Yellow.” And on my way to buy breakfast, I played “Bodack Yellow.”

You get the point…

Turns out my girl Khalilah, who has loved Cardi for much longer, was on that Bodack Yellow wave length that morning as well.

It was instinctual. I think it may have been the culmination of residual collective feminine energy that I got from the our weekend Soul Sistah Series “Spirit of Intimacy” event. In this case, Cardi B on “Bodack Yellow” just delivers on a gut level, a power level. It just hits on all the right places. And I know many will say it’s ghetto, ratchet, ignorant, maybe even exploitative. But I can’t help what I feel. With music, I listen with my heart or I try to. And I can’t deny it. The more I listen to Cardi B, the more I really like her, the more I really hear an authentic, fighting but sweet person inside. Even in her decisions to alter her appearance, I get authentic, no bullshit reasoning. Plus, I never knew a woman could have a deep and cute voice at the same time. LOL!! She’s so hood and tough and adorable.

Who does that?

But I’m not intimidated by her toughness. I respect her gangsta. I’m inspired by her. And as I said before, I never in a million years expected to even like her.

I’m discovering that Cardi B has more than just a couple of marbles rolling around in her head. She reminds me of girls I went to high school with that I looked down on and reduced to a stereotype because my colonized mind couldn’t imagine that their values were worth considering. She also reminds me of girls who made me laugh about silly shit in high school and whom I harmonized with in class on some fluffy pop song in a moment of candid downtime.

Ultimately, Cardi is a real woman, who pushes and punches through all the haterade to defy the forces who tell her who she should and shouldn’t be and what she does and doesn’t deserve in life. Many years ago, I was easily one of those people.

Today, I need Cardi B in my life. I need Bodack Yellows and Pop Offs to get my energy up sometimes and feel unstoppable. You see male rappers do that as well, but a woman like Cardi B. puts the Pussy glitter as gold in the mix. And then all I can do is feel dope as hell.

LOL!

Thank goodness for evolution.

 

My First Successful Eye Shadow Look using more than two colors! LOL!

This past weekend, I had a little down time and decided that since I had no plans to leave the apartment, I should start practicing one of my favorite eye shadow looks, demonstrated flawlessly by my eyeshadow guru, Kelsee Briana Jai. I have to do it like this, when I have time to play and make mistakes so that hopefully, when I’m hustling out the door in the morning I can execute beautiful eye looks in only a few minutes. After I was done doing the look, I edited a short bootleg, no-tutorial, eyeshadow tutorial and kind of a review of the products I used. LOL!

Yes, that’s as crazy as it sounds. Cudos to you ladies who can look at your face while talking and putting on make-up at the same time! I’m not there yet!

Enjoy my just so pretty silliness and sparkle porn!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Tidal Got Me: 4:44 and The Story of OJ

Light nigga, dark nigga, faux nigga, real nigga
Rich nigga, poor nigga, house nigga, field nigga
Still nigga, still nigga

I was up late Friday night doing some work and conversing with Khalilah through Whatsapp. Jay Z’s 4:44 album dropped and she was raving about it. I learned about it from Mahershala Ali as he is featured in a video component of the album. I am a Mahershali Ali Day 1 stan just so you know. That short snippet of him punching a boxing bag with Danny Glover as his coach had me at hello. And then there’s Jay-Z’s lyrics over a laid back and emotionally nostalgic beat.

Letter to my father that I never wrote?

WHAT? Who is not immediately pulled in by that? But when I looked for it on iTunes it wasn’t there, and I learned from Khalilah, that it might never be released on other digital streaming platforms. I grew more and more annoyed with every social media rave review. This shit is really only on Tidal! I cannot begin to explain how frustrating and how dope that is at the same time. So I signed up. It’s the same price a month as Apple Music and is owned by Jay-Z. I think it’s a Boss move. He got my money, and I got an exclusive, powerful, elevated, beautiful, revolutionary and transformative Black experience.

I’m not gonna go into the album right now. I’ve listened to it once and really like it but I still need some time with it. Lets talk about the video for “The Oj Story”and how it gave me everything I didn’t even know I needed or could have in my life like 2 minutes in.

You wanna know how Jewish people own all the property in America?

Jay Bo on the cornerI think a semester long course on Jay’s choice of visual narrative, the lyrics, the symbolism, his message about generating wealth in the Black community and how much money has been made off of Black people to generate wealth for Whites could be taught on this track and video right now. There would be a waiting list a mile long to sign up for it.

The credits open to an animated cartoon cotton field  in the style of racist minstrel animation of the 1920s. I noted how close the opening was to Warner Bros cartoons like Bugs Bunny that I used to watch daily as a girl. Jay-Z plays a character called Jay-Bo, a version of Little Black Sambo.  Nina Oj StoryHe narrates as a laid back, cool and “free” agent in this animation that was created to dehumanize, humiliate and clown Black people at a time when “Civil Rights” was a distant dream. A sample of Nina Simone’s “Four Women” plays as an animated Nina Simone plays piano in a Burlesque club and Jay raps about how credit is more important than making it rain.

Very early on you see a wooden cross being erected invisibly into the sky. It gives me chills because my body knows this is not about Christianity. Or is it? The next time we see the cross is in the background of a landscape of slaves picking cotton in unison. The cross bears down on them oppressively from on high. Is he commenting on the way in which Christianity has kept us controlled, rootless and poor?

The scene that really stays with me (I’ve only viewed three times so far) is when Jay-Bo sings the rhythmic but sobering hook, with a noose around his neck in front of a crowd of racist White onlookers who are all watching him hang. In the corner we see one little White boy turn to the viewer and smile from ear to ear.

YOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

JAAAAYY!!!

I bought some artwork for 1 million
2 years later, that shit worth 2 million
Few years later, that shit worth 8 million
I can’t wait to give this shit to my children

Y’all think it’s bougie, I’m like, it’s fine
But I’m trying to give you a million dollars worth of game for $9.99

Screen Shot 2017-06-30 at 10.53.46 PM

At the end of the video, Black people in the city borough neighborhoods jump for joy as Jay drops fistfuls of cash on them, a happy ending as it were. Why not? Why are we the only ones who get taught that money is the root of all evil and that we have to Sambo our way through life, turning the other cheek and pouring all of our money into a system that continues to divide and murder us?

It is masterful. No pun intended. Well, actually Jay is the master, so pun intended. Listen, I rarely try to talk anyone into doing anything I do just because I love it but if you’re Black and you don’t already subscribe to Tidal, you need to do it now. Just do it to experience this album. You can cancel anytime. But if you understand anything about the message of this album at all, at this time in Black history, then you will keep subscribing.

Nobody wins when the family feuds.

Oh, I’ll get to the album review soon…