I’m an Italian-American of Sicilian descent born and raised in Queens, New York. My earliest years in the 1960’s were spent playing in the finished basement and postage stamp sized backyard of a semi-detached three-story home owned by my father’s parents. We were fortunate to enjoy the extra space provided by the shared driveway between our house and our neighbors. My grandmother looked after me most of the day while both my grandfather and father were at work. My mother, who rarely took an interest in me or anyone else for that matter, hibernated in our matchbox sized two-bedroom apartment that occupied the third floor of the home.
My grandmother was somewhat religious and VERY superstitious. She insisted that my father, her pride and joy, never remove his 14K gold crucifix, St. Christopher medal, and Italian horn (Cornicello). These talismans were sure to protect him from any malady – especially the “Evil Eye” (Malocchio). The Evil Eye is believed to be a curse that is brought upon a person through the malicious stare by someone who is jealous of him or her.
My grandmother was a great storyteller. She told me stories about the angels and how they were God’s helpers. She told me the story of how St. Michael the Archangel banished Lucifer from Heaven because he was envious of God’s power and control and how God was so extremely pleased by Archangel Michael’s loyalty that He put him in charge of the other angels. She even helped alleviate my fear of loud cracks of thunder explaining that it was, “…just the angels bowling.” Yes – bowling. I told you she was a great storyteller. It worked nonetheless; I believed it and no longer became frightened by the noise of thunder as I visualized the angels rolling their bowling balls sending the pins crashing and banging against each other.
When my brother, Louis was born, we outgrew our tiny third floor apartment. My parents had saved enough money to purchase their first home. The timing was just right, as the house next door to my mother’s parents had just come up for sale. It was a small brick row house just a few blocks away within walking distance from where we were living with my father’s parents. In those days, most of our extended family lived either in the same neighborhood, or just a short ride away.
My happiest memories are the times spent with my maternal grandmother. I called her, “Nanny” or “Nan”. Nanny was extremely empathic and highly intuitive. Like my other grandmother, she was also somewhat religious but not as superstitious. I refer to both of my grandmothers as, “somewhat religious” since they weren’t the type to go to church every Sunday, but did attend on occasion and they did believe in and follow many of the Roman Catholic traditions.
My mother was psychic. She often spoke about her premonitions. She also indulged in the use of the Ouija board and tarot card reading. Nanny had the gift of knowing what you were feeling and both my mother and Nan could communicate with each other and me telepathically.
Nanny was also a great storyteller. She read me stories from the Holy Bible. My favorites were those that included angelic interventions and prophecies. Nanny would describe the vivid scenes like the one in Genesis of the story of Jacob’s Ladder where in a dream, Jacob sees angels of God running up and down a ladder that extends from the earth way up into Heaven. I also loved hearing the story of the Annunciation as narrated in Luke – when Archangel Gabriel comes to Mary and informs her that she is going to be the Mother of God’s only Son and to call Him, “Jesus.”
Fast-forward to the new millennium…
After having spent several years reading tarot professionally, I lost my inspiration for doing readings because I was grieving the loss of my sweet and loving Nanny. She was the most important woman in my life, taking the place of my mother from whom I had become estranged (a long story that is far too personal to share). Nan was the only person in my entire family that truly cared about my younger brother and me. I don’t know what would have become of us if it weren’t for her.
One day while browsing in my favorite bookstore, I silently asked God to point me towards something that would inspire me to get back into reading my tarot cards. I really missed doing readings for people. It’s a great feeling when a client tells you how much the reading you did for them has helped them. I wanted to be able to get back to my spiritual work as a tarot card reader.
I made my way over to the bookstore’s metaphysical section, hoping to find something that would ignite that spark for me again. Just then I noticed a book titled, Healing with the Angels by Doreen Virtue, PhD. I picked up the book and began leafing through it. Almost immediately I felt that I needed to read this book. Still feeling that I had to have something more, I walked over to the shelves where the tarot and oracle cards were stocked. That’s when I came upon a deck titled, Archangel Oracle Cards created by the same author as the book I was now holding in my hand. Instantly, I knew that I needed this deck too!
I had been to this bookstore so many times, always browsing the metaphysical section. It now appeared quite obvious to me that this was a popular author who had been writing for a long time, as there were many books and decks with her name on them. I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t noticed any of them before, since they took up such a great deal of prime eye-level shelf space making them really hard to miss.
I purchased both items that day and as soon as I began reading that book and working with that deck, I felt the heaviness in my heart begin to lift. Every time I pulled cards for myself, they had just the right message I needed to hear – very similar to how my tarot cards used to somehow always address the issue at hand. It wasn’t long before I felt compelled to pick up my tarot cards and do a reading for myself. This time, I followed it with an angel card reading and discovered how well the angel card messages complemented the tarot reading. Whatever issue the tarot uncovered, the archangels followed up with great advice and inspiration.
A new day had dawned. The dark clouds lifted and I felt alive again. I felt like me again. I had the desire to go back to doing my spiritual work, which at the time was as a tarot reader. Only now, I had taken my readings to a whole new level. I had the angels supporting me and in turn, I began sharing their divine and loving guidance with others.
I had no idea then that the angels would take me as far as they have. I went on to become a radio host; I became the cofounder of the International Association of Angel Practitioners (IAAP) and AngelPractitioners.com, an organization formed to educate and support spiritual entrepreneurs all over the world. I began creating courses for anyone who wants to learn how to work with angels, read tarot and angel cards, hone their intuition, and develop their psychic abilities. I’ve written my first book, ANGEL PRACTITIONER HANDBOOK: A Foundation Guide. I’ve also received invitations to be interviewed several times on some local cable T.V. shows and enjoyed that experience.
Now, I’ve been inspired to take part in this blog site and share my journey and what I have learned with anyone who is interested in the topics that the angels motivate me to write about.