Guest Post · Practice · spirituality · Tarot Spread

Influence of Culture in My Spiritual Practice

Friends!  I’ve met so many amazing people through social media (primarily Instagram) who share my interests of tarot and exploring spirituality.  We all have different specialties, or areas on which we like to focus.  Because of this, I’m bringing on some awesome guest bloggers at Exploringly Yours to share their knowledge of different topics on which I’m not particularly well-versed.  Today’s Guest Post is by my lovely friend, Dianna.  I got to meet Dianna in person last time I was in Chicago, and we had a lot of fun exploring local metaphysical shops (which was a bust, unfortunately), and drinking beer at Revolution Brewing.  Dianna introduces herself below so I’ll turn it over to her…….

Hello Exploringly Yours readers!  Before we dig into talking about my experience with how culture has shaped my spirituality I wanted to give you a brief introduction.  I am a fellow tarot and oracle card reader, crystal lover, and aspiring writer.  I am also a mom of two, I was born in Mexico and now live in the USA.  By day I work in a health center doing community engagement, I get to meet a lot of people and create content for social media.  By night I am an Instagram enthusiast, you can find me at @unearthing_the_gift_.  I also have a blog, which you can visit here.  I’m excited to share with you how my culture has shaped my current spiritual practice and I hope that you will share how your culture has, or has not, impacted your spiritual practice in the comments.

First, I thought I would share what my current spiritual practice looks like.  I am not a religious person, so I don’t follow a set religion.  That said, I am fascinated by religion in an intellectual level and love learning about the different beliefs systems in the world.  I don’t believe spirituality and religion are mutually exclusive, I do think that sometimes religion has lost the spirituality part, but that is a topic for a different blog post.

My current spiritual practice involves the use of tarot and oracle cards for reflection and guidance.  I incorporate crystals into my spiritual practice during meditation and when I am reading cards.  I also connect with Spirit Guides and Ascended Masters and consider them important partners/teachers in my spiritual journey.  (Julia Eve wrote a great guest post about that too, which you can find here.)   More recently I have started to learn about the Akashic Records and hope to be able to use this new skill to help others get closer to their soul’s purpose.  I also use writing and journaling as a tool in my spiritual practice.  I love exploring different ways of expressing and experiencing my creative and spiritual journeys.

My Mexican heritage has influenced my spiritual path in many different ways.  Being Mexican means that I am a place/person where the convergence of two distinct worlds (the pre-hispanic and the Spanish) takes place.  Both of these worlds, which collided a long long time ago, have rich and deep cultural and spiritual histories, which I am just beginning to discover.

When I was growing up in Mexico, although my family and I weren’t Catholic, many of the celebrations that the whole town took part in were Catholic with underlying pre-hispanic rituals/beliefs woven into them.  Catholicism in Latin countries (as in other countries) is inextricably woven in with pre-hispanic religions.  In small towns you have the priests, the doctors, and the curanderas (witch doctors/healers) as the three figures of authority who can perform healing.  My family, and everyone else really, went to la curandera to heal ailments of the spirit which were being manifested in the body, el mal de ojo (the evil eye), el susto (best described as chronic spiritual sickness), las limpias (spiritual cleansings).  I was taken to la curandera a few times, and my mom and grandpa used to do a “diy” version of limpias at home too.  

Many of the things I am learning now as I develop my spiritual practice are things that I had already witnessed and participated in before.  This has helped me feel more comfortable with adopting spiritual practices, especially when their background is pre-hispanic civilizations.  I feel I have a claim to them, that it is okay for me to use them, and that I am not appropriating them.  Appropriation is a topic that has been on my mind for a while.  For example, I also feel a great interest in Celtic spirituality, but I am not a Celt or of Celtic heritage, so I ask myself: do I have the right to lay claim to Celtic beliefs even though it’s not my culture?  I have decided that it is okay do follow your spiritual path where ever it takes you.

I still have much to explore and learn, which is exciting.  My spiritual practice is continually evolving as I learn and discover new ways of connecting with Spirit.  Connecting with my roots and Ancestors is a message that I have been receiving through my card readings and dreams lately and I hope to continue to explore that in the months to come.  On my list of things to explore are also shamanism, celtic spirituality, and the Popol Vu (one of the few pre-hispanic holy texts that survived colonization).  

I wanted to leave you with a little something to help you explore how your own cultural roots are shaping your spiritual practice, so here is a small spread to help you get that started.

IMG_20170304_133238

  1.  The current state of my spiritual journey.
  2.  What three gifts has my cultural background/heritage bestowed upon me to help me in my spiritual journey?
  3.  In what subconscious ways is my cultural background/heritage influencing my spiritual journey? (Pick one or more cards).

If you do the spread let us know in the comments, I’d love to hear how it went!

Thank you Alaina for this opportunity to contribute to your lovely blog!

***

How cool.  I’d love to hear in the comments how any of you have been affected (or not!) by the intersection of culture and spirituality.  What practices have been passed on to you by your family, are inherent to communities you grew up in, or a part of cultures you belong to?  What influences you now that may not be part of what you were taught when growing up?

exploringly yours,
Alaina x

10 thoughts on “Influence of Culture in My Spiritual Practice

  1. Great post Dianna! Although I grew up in religious Roman Catholic family, we still believed in supernatural occurrences and superstition. The Italian equivalent to “el mal de ojo” is called “malocchio” also meaning “the evil eye” – which is usually passed onto an unsuspecting victim through envy, anger and other harsh emotions which may manifest physically (like getting migraines) or in unfortunate “bad luck” situations. I vaguely remember the process in “diagnosing” someone – it involved dowsing with the person’s jewelry over a bowl of oil and water and reading answers from the liquid. I dont remember much else but will definitely research if other rituals were performed. I meant to look into this a while ago – thanks for the prompt!!

    1. Thanks for sharing! I think it’s so interesting when traditions are passed down through family, especially when they are superstitious beliefs that run parallel to religious beliefs.

  2. In my area (East of Spain), the cult to Tanit (an iberian-phoenician goddess related with the Moon) was very important before the Roman Empire conquered these lands.

    When I do any ritual related with the Moon I like to have a figure of her in my altar.

    The only bad thing is that we know very little things about the Iberian culture. Their religion had influences from the phoenicians, egyptians and greeks.

    1. Spain is so interesting to me! When I was in college I learned about the different people of Spain, how they all had different backgrounds, some from the north are even descendants of the Celts. I was not familiar with Tanit, thanks for sharing that!

      1. I was surprised that, where I live this zone was full of temples to Tanit. They have almost found archaeological sites in every city near the coast in my area. That’s why I got so interested in her.

        One funny thing is that there’s a small zone in the North of Spain, called the Basque Country. Their language (euskera) is older than latin and has survived until nowadays. Its origin is still uncertain but it could have influence from both cultures. Maybe that’s how celts used to talk? If you get to listen it, it sounds so strange xDDD

      2. How cool. Thanks for sharing your experiences! I would love to connect more with the gods and goddesses of my ancestors’ lands. It’s great that you have that connection, and use Tanit in your current ritual work.

  3. Dianna, I love the spread that you developed and can’t wait to try it out. My oldest daughter is of Mexican descent and her paternal grandmother was mainly indigenous. She has been exploring Mexican indigenous religion and spirituality and culture, and this past weekend we spent time at a local powwow where she was able to see Aztec dancers for the first time. It was beautiful for her to experience that. My mother’s family is mainly Italian-Argentine, and my husband is Cuban, so we have quite a mix of Latin America in our household (among other things!). I wonder what the cleansings are like in your cultural upbringing, and how similar (or different) they may be from las limpias we use in Santería. Thanks for sharing some of your story!

    1. Very cool, Olivia, that you’re helping your daughter to seek out parts of her heritage. I saw some photos on Facebook and it looks like your family had a great time 🙂

    2. I did see your pics on IG, it looked like a lot of fun! Sorry it took me a while to reply. I am just starting to learn about Mayan astrology and I’m so excited! Will be sharing more as I learn more 😊.

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