Birth place: Fortuna, California
Current Residency: New Orleans, Louisiana
Occupation: Owner of MyUrbanIllumination.com, Tarot Reader & Healer/Spiritual Therapist
What was your upbringing? What is your cultural background?
I was raised in Brooklyn, NY my whole life - my parents were in the military when they had me and immediately flew back home once I arrived but divorced shortly after. As a result, my father gained full custody and i never established a relationship with my mother’s family until recently. My father’s end is predominantly Puerto Rican, with heavy Afro-Taino heritage & some Spaniard + Chilean influences, whereas my mother is Black, Native American, Polynesian w/ Indonesian roots. I grew up in the hood, living in the projects of Bedstuy and absolutely loving every minute of it. It was a melting pot of blacks and latinos so I had the best of both worlds & culture in my home. My father is an artist and was very adamant on exposing me to other forms of life, art, music, and cultures one could not access in the hood at a very young age, so we always spent our weekends visiting museums, traveling or doing fun activities that kept my brain sharp.
Are any of the women or men in your family (ancestors included) involved in spiritual work/divination?
My father is technically an open Medium but a non-practicing one. It’s a skillset that suddenly came to him once my grandfather passed and he’s still navigating its realms but it’s definitely one that intimidates him and one that he has no control of. He’s the only one I’m aware of from that lineage that has been consciously open to the spirit world and spirit work, but hasn’t truly dived into it. On my mother’s end, my aunts and uncles have revealed to me that Magick runs heavily in our blood line. My Great-Grandmother & Grandmother practiced the dark arts consciously in their younger years and since seeing the reprocussions of such actions have claimed a more religious life. I have also been told that my Mother has practiced dabbling in magic but I’m not aware of the extent as my family can be hush-hush about these things. I am aware that I had a great-aunt that passed in her younger years and was well versed in Tarot, so it certainly runs on both ends.
So when did you know you were called to this? Do you mind sharing your journey?
Magick has always been a prevalent force in my life. Raised by a Pisces dad, I was exposed to the possibilities of other worlds existing through quantum physics, various ways of connecting to ourselves spiritually and knowing that we’re more than just a physical body. Our home was filled with books on Edgar Cayce, Nostradamus, Buddhism, Taoism, Creative Visualization, How to read Auras and balance Chakras, etc, so I was exposed to spirituality, healing and the power of our minds at a very early age. I was supported to discover my own path in all aspects of life and was allowed freedom to explore whatever spiritual practices and traditions that I most resonated with as long as they came with good & pure intentions. Essentially, I was taught that we are all interconnected and in many ways, most practices if not all, have commonalities that make them the same, just varying in personal mythologies, pathways and perspectives.
Knowing this, I dived into particular practices that I feel best exemplified my connection to the divine. Ancestral wise, my Puerto-Rican grandma always made “remedios,” herbal remedies that were home-made conjure healing tinctures that served to cure or aid people with their intentions because she was raised in “el campo,” which is essentially the nature ghettos of P.R, parts that were deemed “uncivilized” and some what primitive compared to the industrial parts of the land. I gained the love for learning about herbs and mixing my own tinctures and oils from her and our Afro-Latino customs. She is Christian (Catholic) with an open mind, often curious about magic yet held some resistance towards it, especially Santeria since her exposure was generally negative and taboo. Her compassion and acceptance for all walks of life and skepticism towards Santeria, made me more of a curious person to want to dive in and explore African Spirituality and ancestral magic as a tool for self-transformation and healing.
With Tarot in particular, I ended up discover a deck of cards as a child in her home and playing with them as if I could read cards (playing cards mind you). No one ever taught me or introduced me into divination. It was an organic process and an innate attraction that I’ve always had in me. I also would read palms at that age, with no explanation of what i was doing. I thought it was a game at the time and i never questioned why i was playing it, lol. I curiosity of this world kept growing and i would read books on paganism and meditation, worked in spiritual shops from my teens and onward and read there as a Tarot practitioner while learning how to perform spells & ritual work for clients. Spirituality & Magic has always been a part of my life.
What was the event or moment that confirmed this was your calling?
There was never a definitive time where I realized this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I focused a majority of my life dancing professionally and teaching dance, while doing Tarot on the side but it wasn’t until my father mentioned that I could really create it into a great online business, after listening to an NPR interview w/ a woman who had quit her corporate job to start an online tarot business. The impact that my readings have on the lives of others, sustains me and lets me know that I’m serving one of my many purposes. But I believe that I have many callings in life, not just this one.
How did you come up with Urban Illumination?
I got the idea from working in several Metaphysical, Botanica & Spiritual shops throughout the years and feeling like they were missing something. Either the market was wicked gentrified and Spirituality was being sold as a lifestyle gimmick or the environment was unwelcoming or there wasn’t enough education that empowered customers to learn or know more of this world. I envisioned My Urban Illumination as a platform that would appeal those from all walks of life and educate them on various spiritual traditions and practices that can help empower their path, strengthen their connection to Spirit and demystify the truth of these practices. I was inspired by my neighborhood in Bedstuy, and how it would be amazing to have some spiritual outlet in an urban environment that focused on mindfulness, conscious growth and spiritual knowledge of self, hence, My Urban Illumination.
What makes you different from other energy workers?
A couple of things: I’ve been doing this for over 2 decades, so I didn’t just venture into the practice when it became popularized within the past couple of years. Magic has always been a part of my story and life, perhaps that’s why so many people connect with my messages, because i’ve accumulated enough references and experience to write about over time and make it relatable to others on a universal level. I also consider myself a well-rounded person, who has interests and talents other than spiritual/energy work. Sometime energy workers can tie themselves into an identity where they only associate with spiritual matters. I’m a down-to-earth person with many interests and passions that i communicate about and can integrate into my spiritual practice. It’s good for people to know that you’re realistic and approachable, rather than all this love & light fluff. I’m still a Brooklyn girl at heart that’s testing out what she preaches and sometimes gets it wrong too.
What are your rituals to keep yourself balanced and in tuned?
It’s more of the simple things that work for me. I engage in intentional prayer when I wake, over the food and drinks I take and before I sleep, is a must. I take my time in the morning to relax with my fiance and we both check in energetically on how we’re feeling, what we’re setting out to do for the day while eating breakfast, cuddling and pulling each other’s cards. We also pray together regarding what we are grateful for and what we are looking to create in our lives; i see this more of claiming what you want and projecting gratitude and appreciation as well. This keeps us grounded and aware of our ancestors, spirits and higher selves - and is a link that keeps us connected. I take frequent spiritual baths to cleanse myself from all the work and energy I’ve been doing with clients and from picking up around town and I enjoy using spiritual sprays w/ blessed water & herbs as a refreshment. Also, frequently checking in with my Babalawo, which is a close friend of ours, also helps to keep me balanced and on the right path.
What are the various spiritual paths that you pull from to create your own center of beliefs?
I find that all spiritual paths share a common thread, which is their connection to Source energy & that consciousness is embedded in us all. So the study of consciousness & quantum physics, has always been a part of my path from a spiritual/scientific standpoint. It helps me understand the mechanics behind my power as a spirit being in a physical body. I pull predominantly from African-Spiritual practices & belief systems, including Ifa, some Haitian Vodou ideologies and now that i’m in New Orleans, I’m increasingly incorporating Hoodoo practices into my everyday life.
When did you discover you were with child/pregnant? Do you mind sharing your experience? Was it a conscious or unconscious conception?
February 1st, the day that Beyonce made her official announcement with the twins funny enough, I had purchased a pregnancy test that I took while on a quick 15 min break from an online Astrology course I was taking. I had suspicions that I could be pregnant but since Jay & I took precautionary measure, I thought perhaps I could just have have a late cycle - but the test came out positive. It was an overwhelming experience because we didn’t plan it but I can’t say that the baby didn’t go unnoticed. I had received guidance from 4 intuitives/psychics prior to me moving to New Orleans that all picked up on a child. Also the time I had conceived #babymagic was the very same time a year prior that I had experienced a loss, in which I was advised through one my spirit guides that a child would arrive once I could learn from the experience and be more savvy with the spirit realm. I was told that my future child would guide me, so although initially I felt apprehensive about the pregnancy, I quickly grew to accept and love this blessing. This is why I gave her the label #babymagic, because in many ways, she was prophesied to me.
Now that you are soon-to-be mom how has it affected your work?
I’m honoring myself more than ever, whereas I used to throw myself into my work and disregard boundaries, my personal energy and need for breaks. I’ve gotten fearless in communicating my expectations and demands, more creative in my approach, more confident in my own judgement and intuition and certainly more respectful of my time, space and energy - especially now that my daughter is sharing that. I have had a boost of drive and passion, to the point that I can see myself dedicating time to a trillion other side projects but most importantly being pregnant has shown me how to slow down and honor this gradual pace. I’m not working at the same speed as I have before but as result, I’ve been happier and mentally healthier.
Do you mind sharing your expectations and/or fears in becoming a mother?
I expect to conquer it all with my child and to introduce to her that it’s possible with will power, discipline and love. I don’t anticipate slowing down in my path just because I’m a mother, having a child empowers me to do it all and I’m excited to show this world to her, as I didn’t have my own mother to show me. I want her to know the power of magic that lies within her and to guide her in using it to transform the world around her. I have no fears; everything is in divine order and I was made for this.
What have you learned about yourself thus far during your pregnancy?
Ha! This is something Jay and I both learned individually of each other, and that is, we’re too nice. Boundaries were important before but now that I’m in mama lioness mode, they’re more important more than ever. I used to be tactful and direct in delivering my messages but now I don’t care. I’m unapologetic with expressing what I like/ don’t like, who I like and don’t like and taking extra measure to protect myself and my family. I now recognize the power of my voice and everyday the power of my being as a whole. The fact that I have the ability to conceive a child is still surreal to me. It makes me feel unstoppable in many ways, so I’m learning that there’s just so much I can be achieving and I’ve barely scratched the surface.
Has your little one intuitively spoken to you and if so, do you mind sharing one experience you feel comfortable sharing?
She’s speaks all the time, telepathically! I joke to people and say that i’m birthing a dragon, a powerhouse of sorts but I truly believe it. Our connection has been immediate from the start and she contains immense fire energy, an undeniable commanding presence mixed with grace and playful curiosity.
What would you define as a healthy spirit worker?
Someone who can discern what is the truth for themselves and doesn’t force others to follow their views but empowers them to discover their own connection to spirit. They enforce proper boundaries to respect themselves & others.
The ability to access an innate energy of possibility and creativity within and to hone that through love, accountability and action. It is acknowledgement and respect towards the responsibilities one has with their manifestations, physical and non-physical and the awareness that they can do it all as a woman. It is the sacrifice one takes to cultivate a better, more conscious version of themselves in their child. It is seeing the beauty in every experience and how that gives birth to something greater in retrospect.
The ability to flow with what is, trusting in the magic of the universe and to be receptive to one’s power as a channel of spirit. It is the power of being and containing all possibilities in one.
The ability to influence others through your own actions, emotions and thoughts. A force that wills us to manifest our dreams and desires.
One’s personal connection to the divine and how they perceive themselves as part of the divine.
Peaceful acceptance and appreciation of what is. A resonance with your truth and what is right for you.
Timeless resources or advice you can use to help you evolve from your current state of being.
What are some words of wisdom you would share for someone pursuing this path?
This path is an ever evolving one. Who you were 2 weeks ago isn’t who you are now, accept that change is inevitable and don’t resist it. Take sacred time to learn yourself more than ever before, to ask yourself deep introspective questions and to remain a healthy skeptic. Accept all forms of who you show up to be in this body, as you gracefully learn how to create which one is most appropriate for you. And in all transitions, be fearless in your quest for truth, never compromise your own gut and feelings. You know what’s best for you.
IF you don't know yet... Do you think it's a Boy or Girl?
#BabyMagic is a firey Girl!!!