Digame: Esoteric Esa is Decolonizing Ancestral Spiritual Practices

Jasmin Alejandrez-Prasad aka Esoteric Esa is an astrologer, psychic tarot reader, and bruja and founder of Souliminati

Esoteric Esa digame

Photo courtesy of Esoteric Esa

Jasmin Alejandrez-Prasad aka Esoteric Esa is an astrologer, psychic tarot reader, and bruja and founder of Souliminati. She created the Modern Spiritual Latina oracle and hosts the award-winning podcast, Better Work Bitch!聽She is dedicated to eliminating the negative misconceptions around spiritual work including brujer铆a and decolonizing spiritual practices. The Mexican-Peruvian entrepreneur’s oracle deck is the first of its kind featuring 28 oracles that pay tribute to聽 Mesoamerican and South American spiritual ancestry through detailed symbolism, astrology, brujeria, esotericism, herbal knowledge, numerology, and sacred cultural landmarks of indigenous ancestors. She writes about spirituality and astrology (including for HipLatina) and in 2023 she is offering spiritual work courses and private mentorship programs.

Which Latina(s) have had the greatest impact on your life and why?

Frida Kahlo, Selena and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have all had tremendous impact on my life in a positive way. They’re all brave and unapologetic with their beliefs like myself. Selena being adamant by expressing herself through her wardrobe that was considered too risqu茅 by her traditional father was so inspiring to me at a young age. She displayed an example of what breaking machismo Latinx stigmas looked like and I was doing that on my own as early as elementary school. Not wearing bustiers of course, but I was challenging the masculine hetero-norms in my culture and household, and she was an example of self-empowerment even when you’re being gaslighted. Reassurance I needed early on in my childhood to positively reinforce my own bravery.

If you could meet a Latina icon who is no longer alive, who would it be and why?

I would love to sit with Mexican Poet, Philosopher and Nun, Sor Juana In茅s de la Cruz. During her time in the 1600s, religion was one of the very limited methods a woman could receive any education. She was a feminist and publicly wrote many pieces on the importance of education access for women. I’d like to know more about how she continued the courage to fight on for such radical change. She was a creator of original thought, and that’s something that’s always been rare, most especially in today’s era.

What is the best piece of advice you鈥檝e ever received?

“You have to know where you come from in order to know where you’re going.” My dad.

If you could pursue a career in an industry other than your own, what would it be and why?

Feels so silly to say, but singing. I’d want to be an Opera singer. I actually have a descent voice for it, but I am super shy about this secret. I would like to get formal training before I die, however.

Who was the first person to believe in your dreams/goals?

My mother hands down. She taught me early on to dream big and never told me my aspirations were too far fetched.

What do you wish more people understood about what you do?

I wish they understood how much work goes into holding myself accountable and how much active shadow work it takes to operate at a level of integrity and quality with regards to all the intuitive channeling invested in spiritual services. It’s daily practice, constant self-awareness and accountability, and discipline needed in order to do this work ethically. Doesn’t mean I’m a moral compass, it simply means I’m a work in progress willing to honestly and lovingly partake in the healing journey alongside everyone else because I am not superior. That’s what makes a great spiritualist and accurate reader.

What motivates you?

The knowing that my professional work is part of keeping my grandmother’s legacy alive. She was my first maestra, she is my muse and she is part of everything I do. My grandmother was a Psychic Tarot Reader for many years. Her final year before her passing, she passed on everything she could to me, unknowlingly that her time would come. I am so grateful for our final conversations. I wish we could be here together doing this work, but now I do it in her honor, aside from it being my passion.

How did you end up on the professional path you鈥檙e on now?

I decided to leave my well established corporate job. I failed twice before I successfully became an entrepreneur. It took a lot of perseverance and a lot of, “f*ck this shit! I deserve better!” moments to be where I am now. I learned from several worthy and beautiful teachers before I took on any labels or titles. I am a big believer in receiving true apprenticeship work. Nowadays people Google and think that makes them a professional.

What is your greatest professional achievement so far? Personal achievement?

My greatest professional achievement and personal go hand-in-hand really. I am writer. I didn’t become a writer, I believed I was a writer and therefore I am. As a little girl I had many diarys and journals where I would write poems. As early as 5 years old. I studied Journalism and PR in college and when I landed my first “big girl job,” one of my first bosses (who was a female) ripped my writing apart. She tore my spirit apart and encouraged me to do something else in terms of profession. She said my writing was horrible and it wasn’t the line of work for me. I believed her, and I was heartbroken. It took years to trust my writing. I worked at it, and secretly would practice differing writing formats. I never thought I would be a contributing writer for online media. When I started writing for HipLatina, I was so grateful, and also ashamed. Worried my writing wouldn’t be good enough. I had amazing editors who helped me strengthen my writing and now I write for Cosmopolitan online and other beautiful publications. My dream of healing my wounded writer came full circle.

What is a goal you have that you haven鈥檛 accomplished yet and what are you doing to get closer to accomplishing it?

My next goal is to get my writing published in print. I can’t spill in what ways just yet. It’s a nice surprise that I am getting very close to accomplishing.

What pop culture moment made you feel seen?

I’d have to say, seeing Jennifer Lopez sing at the Inauguration of President Joe Biden. Sure, one could debate on her vocal range and performance of the song’s execution. But seeing a Boricua, a Latina, and someone I’ve always admired in media be up there front-and-center for the nation to watch ring in a new era was emotional for me. Say what you want about JLo, but that woman works hard, and that moment was exemplary of the power of women, Latines, and children of immigrants, and how we can be part of the American Dream. In fact, we ARE the American Dream. We deserve to be acknowledged and our the sacrifices of our ancestors are part of the history of this Country. I felt seen and I was proud to see her have that moment of recognition.

How do you practice self care?

It hasn’t been easy for me to practice self care. I struggled with that up until my first year of being an entrepreneur. Growing up, I wasn’t taught what self care was or looked like. Until I hit burnout as an entrepreneur. I practice self care through my spiritual practices of course, but also through writing poetry, spending time with people who create safety for me, and by forcing myself to rest when needed.

Quick Fire:

Shoutout an Instagram account that could use more love and tell us why you鈥檙e a fan:

@colorsyouthorg because their work centers LGBTQ affirmative counseling for humans under 25 years old, which is a critical time for navigating personal identity. Especially since it is a known fact that LGBTQ+ young adults and teens are at a higher risk for suicide.

Shoutout your favorite Latina owned business and why:

This is not fair! LOL So many! @recla.ma founded by Cindy Rodriguez. She’s helping women of color reconnect with nature while developing spiritual grounding techinques through hikes. It’s beautiful to witness the group of women she organizes each hike. She’s also Indigenous Peruana and a phenomenal music playlist curator.

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