Ministerial Muses—4.28.2018—Santa Muerte


“They shouldn’t be disrespectful to Santa Muerte,” she heard a voice say. She had come out with her morning coffee and discovered that the totem to the saint which she had created, with a metal cross, roses, acorns and skulls, had been bent sideways during the night. She knew it wasn’t the wind. The pole it was attached to was too slender to offer much resistance.

“No,” she thought, “it was the young dealers across the street.” They had a habit of vandalizing her property in small ways. (Killing a plant with transmission fluid. Breaking a window in a shed. Leaving an old tire in her driveway.) The bend in the pole looked like it had been made by somebody grabbing it and hanging off it. “Santa Muerte shouldn’t be messed with,” she heard.

There were times when she could see an image of “Grandpa”, the father to the young dealers, laughing at her. She always knew when she saw it that they were targeting her again. This time they had targeted the totem she had created to request Santa Muerte’s energy of protection for her property. (A raised middle finger to the folk saint if there ever was one.)

She shouldn’t have been surprised that they were willing to challenge the Saint of the Abyss. The drug culture had come to believe that Santa Muerte worked for them, no spirituality involved. They “worshipped” her with the same violence that they used in business. And their wrath was swift when she disappointed them. They thought themselves to be the purveyors of destruction. They considered Santa Muerte to be their handmaiden.

The truth is that energy is not negative unless human thinking perceives it that way. Death was walled off when society began embracing the fear of women. Women gave birth, so it must somehow be their fault that people die. And dying is a bad thing, right? We are only now beginning to question the validity of that line of thought. Crops must die in the fall and return their unused nutrients to the soil to prepare for a new crop in the spring. Santa Muerte of the Abyss brings rejuvenation and prosperity. But sacrifice is required. For every step forward, something must be left behind. We must dance with death in order to truly embrace life.

When a new step up in awareness is approached, there will be a loss. Something valued by the aspirant will be taken away, a favorite piece of jewelry, a favorite scarf, a treasured skill, even a desired person. The aspirant must then choose. Either keep looking to the horizon for what is about to emerge, or turn back and focus on resentment for what is gone. It sounds simple enough but it is the difference between moving forward and having to go back to the beginnning in the next life and try again.

The bent pole bothered her but she didn’t seem to be able to make herself deal with the task of straightening it. There was an energy around it that pushed back. “Let them see what they did.”

She wasn’t home when “it” happened — and it was weeks before she even found out that “it” had happened. But suddenly she was overcome with the need to straighten out the pole that Santa Muerte”s totem was attached to. There was a sense of relief when it was finally righted. She expected it to be vandalized again, but oddly it was left alone, upright and intact.

Then she approached a neighbor one afternoon for a favor and found out that one of the young dealers had been badly injured riding his motorcycle (just before she had straightened out Santa Muerte’s pole). His stepson was following behind on a scooter. He turned to see where the child was. It was on a curve, a curve that the dealers had parked full to purposely create a traffic hazard for law-abiding neighbors. The car, who probably didn’t see him coming because of the mess on the right-of-way, hit him. It happened at the end of her driveway. The driveway that she had to back out of knowing that she couldn’t see cars/trucks approaching and they couldn’t see her because of the constant mess the dealers had in the right-of-way.

The people that she talked to didn’t know whether or not the young dealer survived, but the crash pad that he and other dealers inhabited up the block was vacated by all of them the next day. Was there an inter-cartel war going on? Did one of the neighbors finally reach the end of their rope with the constant abuse and take matters into their own hands? (Someone had driven into the young dealers’ yard awhile back to run over a vicious dachshund they let run loose terrorizing the neighborhood.)

Sometimes an accident is just an accident. But her legs had gone weak under her when her neighbor showed her a picture of the young dealer lying at the end of her driveway with paramedics on either side of him. She had asked to be protected from the negativity. She was careful not to ask that it be sent back from whence it came. She had left “how” up to Santa Muerte.

Excerpted from The Fairie Encounters © 2018 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

Ministerial Muses—4.8.2018—Arts&Eats

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Arts and Eats is closing.

I’m desolate to be losing one of my favorite restaurants, but I’m so glad that Jim and Donna are going to scale back on the stressful pursuit of business advancement and begin adding personal enjoyment time to their lives (like a trip to the Galapagos in September).


Star Chef Jim Copening (941-243-1492) will be available for private engagements.


Artist/entrepreneur Donna Slawsky hasn’t let on to what she will be up to but I’m sure it will be something exciting.

Arts and Eats’ grand finale will be their special Mother’s Day spread. They are booking up quickly for their last month. If you haven’t experienced Jim’s down-to-earth gourmet creations, I suggest you make a reservation soon. The Village of the Arts will miss them, but those of us who have been regular customers will be looking forward to the next chapter.

This husband and wife team represent the entrepreneurial best of what Bradenton has attracted the past few decades. I hope the developer overlay that is sweeping over Manatee County now has left some room for motivated, high-level talent like theirs to find a foothold here going forward.

© 2018 Anna Jedrziewski and Spirit Connection New York, Inc.

Ministerial Muses—3.11.2018

Posted March 11th, 2018 by anna and filed in "Real. Authentic. Florida.", Manatee County, FL, Ministerial Muses
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Celebration of Herbie Rose!

Mother Nature held the rain at bay yesterday as people gathered in The Village of The Arts to celebrate the life and memory of Herbie Rose, premiere Florida artist and visionary founder of The Village of The Arts.

Village restaurants contributed food for a spectacular fest.

Graciela Giles, Herbie’s wife, thanked everyone for coming and began the festivities by introducing Argentinian dancers to get things off to “lively” start.

Then Graciela invited people to come to the mike and share their thoughts about Herbie. The heartfelt, and often humorous, remarks reflected Herbie’s quiet and inspiring touch. Among those speaking were Mayor Wayne Poston…

…and Jo Ellen Gorris, one of the first artists to embrace Herbie’s vision for our extraordinary artists’ community.

Herbie’s legacy is just beginning to be recognized. As an artist, teacher, and community activist, there are few who can match his contribution to Bradenton and to Florida. May his memory become stronger as the years go by.

Ministerial Muses.2.11.18

Posted February 10th, 2018 by anna and filed in "Real. Authentic. Florida.", Manatee County, FL, Mid-Town Manatee?, Ministerial Muses
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Changes in a changing neighborhood

Much to my relief, Jeff Wallace is back next door running our historic neighborhood auto repair business. Legally, it’s Jeff’s Auto Repair now, but it will always be Jack’s Auto Repair to those of us who have lived here for decades.

Jack Wilson founded the business back when my grandparents were living here. He still comes back from West Virginia every winter to help out next door. Jack hired Charles Godshall and sold him the business when he retired. Charlie hired Jeff and sold him the business when he retired. Jeff added the Tuesday Night Book Club, a funky lot who meet once a week and make the neighborhood a safer place after dark. Once the unlicensed junk auto businesses started rolling over the neighborhood a decade ago, making things as unsightly and unlivable as they could for pre-existing homeowners and small businesses, Jeff finally decided it was time to move to Georgia. But the ties to Old Florida aren’t easily broken and in a few years he was back. A year ago he was able to move back to the original Jack’s Auto property, next door to me. The Tuesday Night Book Club is meeting next door again!

Jeff’s renewed presence is such a gift to me. He doesn’t sell drugs or stolen auto parts (no gang members dropping by). He’s a terrific mechanic who’s always busy with legitimate work. He runs a licensed business, subject to inspection, and he pays taxes, lots of taxes. His employees don’t wear electronic ankle bracelets or drive vehicles with window-rattling stereos and expired license plates smeared with mud. He doesn’t park heavy commercial vehicles on the public right-of-way nights and weekends and leave the engines running for hours making noise and gas fumes. He doesn’t let old, noisy industrial compressors run outdoors for hours and hours. He doesn’t pour toxic waste products along my property line after dark. He doesn’t abuse his guard dogs to make them vicious and then let them run loose in the neighborhood to poop in other people’s yards so he doesn’t have to clean up after them.

But it wasn’t any the above things that prompted me to write this Musing. It was, rather, another historic event. A few months ago, Jeff hired the first woman mechanic in this “good old boy” neighborhood.

He hired Abbie right out of school and is training her. And—I admit much to my feminist surprise—so is the original “good old boy” Jack Wilson. She’s already starting to pull her own weight, with high praise from both her mentors. I happened to be there last week when she finally got a car with a difficult problem started. Jeff said, “I’d tell you ‘you’re the MAN’ except I can’t”. Abbie and I quickly agreed that we both had enough ego-strength to accept being called “the MAN” if it was meant as praise. To which Jeff replied, “Grab the other end of this while I tighten it, Abbie …”

©2018 Anna Jedrziewski and Spirit Connection New York, Inc.

Garden e-Diary—2.19.17

Posted February 19th, 2017 by anna and filed in "Real. Authentic. Florida.", Garden e-Diary, Manatee County, FL, Mid-Town Manatee?
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It’s been a long time since I updated you about the Goddess Garden and its surrounding plant beds. My life has been complicated for awhile  and the Garden e-Diary is one of the things that fell by the wayside. I’m in the process of reorganizing now and trying to get back on track with some of the things I have neglected.

The bougainvillea I planted in the center of the front bed is thriving and blooming happily. The oleander that I divided and replanted in the hexagonal beds on either side of the bougainvillea is doing well also.

In addition to being winter, we’ve had mostly dry conditions in Bradenton for the past few months. Some of my plants are struggling BUT, of course, the weeds are proliferating. The Mango Bed at the west end of the front bed is a good example. I weeded it throughly before I left town on Thanksgiving. It was overgrown again when I returned.

I managed to make time to weed it again before I left town, carefully pulling weeds around the ornamental peanut vines that are meant to be ground cover. The peanut vine has thinned considerable with the drought conditions, but is spreading at the same time. I’m hoping for it to really take over this next growing season. I also trimmed the tips off the little mango tree to encourage it to bush rather than sprawl. I added additional mulch in between the plants I’m trying to encourage (after I took the photo below).

I got the weeds back under basic control before I left town. I will be spending more time at the Florida center this spring and hope to really get things shaped up. I will keep you posted!

Ministerial Muses—2.12.17

Posted February 12th, 2017 by anna and filed in "Real. Authentic. Florida.", Manatee County, FL, Ministerial Muses
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Yesterday’s fundraising sale at Herbie Rose’s studio in the Village of the Arts was a HUGE success!

Volunteers helped water colorist Graciela Giles, Herbie’s wife, get an incredible amount of Herbie’s paintings hung. Local restaurants provided food — and people turned out in droves all day to help support this Manatee mentor in his later years.

Herbie laid the foundation for the growth of creativity here in Bradentnon. We see the manifestation of his vision in the Village of the Arts and the soon-to-begin playful expansion of the South Florida Museum.

I attended the event with Jo Ellen Gorris, owner of one of the original 13 Village studios (Clay in the Garden). She told me that she watched Herbie’s painting show on PBS years ago.

As Bradenton works to put itself on the map as a city of the future, it’s nice to know that we aren’t forgetting the people who have brought us this far.

Ministerial Muses—2.5.17

Posted February 5th, 2017 by anna and filed in "Real. Authentic. Florida.", Manatee County, FL, Ministerial Muses
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My friend Jo Ellen and I went to a lecture at The Ringling Museum last Tuesday. Anne Patterson was talking about installing Pathless Woods, her fun and inventive room-sized work of art.

If you haven’t experienced this wonder of ribbon and light, I highly encourage you to do so. It’s touchable art that seduces, entertains, and surprises. Bring your inner child if you really want to experience it completely. This is not an intellectual enterprise, despite the fact that Patterson’s credentials are stellar.

I first discovered this special art piece two months ago when my friend Bernie Popovich and I visited the museum to see the new Asian Wing. A security guard told us not to miss Pathless Woods and we didn’t. We were both enchanted.

Hearing about how Patterson, originally schooled as a set designer, stumbled upon this vision, and then figured out how to implement it, only added to my appreciation of the piece. The fact that local volunteers and USF students were involved in the installation made it even more special.

Patterson is working on an installation for Cincinnati next, different but equally exciting. If you enjoy creative experiences, I suggest you keep an eye on her. For me she is not only a compelling artist but someone who has turned her creative skills into a modern-day ministry. (Children lie on the floor and look up at the ribbons floating over head. Adults are now following their example. Enough said.)

Many thanks to The Ringling for bringing this artist to our attention and for giving us the opportunity to engage her one-on-one!

Garden e-Diary–5.8.16

I planted a small Blue Daze at the front of Goddess Garden about a year ago. When I got back to town this time, it was almost a goner. I started watering it every morning and slowly it began producing new leaves. This morning it surprised me with SIX little blue flowers!

Six is the number of serenity. Blue flowers are said to be miraculous. I’ve been feeling a lot of stress since I’ve been back because it seems like there is more that needs done can I can manage, and I’ve been telling the guides and the faeries that I need a miracle. It looks like one is on the way. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Garden e-Diary–Cinco de Mayo

The birds in the cage attached to my back fence seem to have survived the horrific deluge that we had last night.

Someone suggested that they are fighting cocks being raised for that awful, illegal enterprise. Meanwhile, it looked like whoever had added wood to the top of the cage to shelter them from the rain.

But a closer look suggests that they were just dumping more waste. Did I mention that this is the utility easement?

Garden e-Diary—5.1.16

When I got back to Florida, I was greeted by the faeries and Mr. Beyer’s bright pink lilies. It was a nice welcome home.

There were also lots of the little bushes of white flowers that the butterflies and honey bees love. I call them  wildflowers. Most Floridians refer to them as weeds. I’ve been pulling them out of the flower beds and yard since I got here, leaving a few clusters here and there for the bees.

I planted five little palm tree sprouts when I was here last time and they seemed to be off to a good start. Only two of them survived the dry spell without me, however. Fortunately, there are plenty of new sprouts around the yard thanks to our industrious squirrel population. I’ve transplanted three new ones so far.

I also divided the old oleander in the front bed and planted half of it in the spot where the newer one used to be. That one was killed by the drug dealers with transmission fluid, you remember. We’ll hope they leave this one alone.

The original oleander is thirty years old, but I trimmed it up and we’ll see if it has a few more years left in it. It’s an original old Florida version, the kind that makes seed pods, not a newer hybrid. I’m hoping I can salvage both chunks of it.

On Friday, I realized that the dead foliage on the Sabal Palm at the back of the property was a fire hazard with everything so dry. I headed back to clean it up and discovered that someone had attached a chicken coop to my back fence.

And they bent the fence rail to do it.

I knew the faeries were a bit out of sorts when I arrived but I was too tired and busy to think about why. Now I know what they are upset about. Aside from the vandalism to my fence, and the obvious health hazards, these poor birds are out in that cage in 90° heat!!! I cleared the tinder from my palm tree and went back to pulling weeds in the front bed. Gardening is supposed to be relaxing, isn’t it?