The Queen of Swords

A Photo Essay documenting a Limpia performed by Marlha Sanchez on Alejandra Ramirez, photographed by Carolina Adame.

The Queen of Swords

A Poem by Alejandra Ramirez

Its okay, mija

It’s okay, we know you’ve been through some shit

We know you’ve been hurt

We know you’ve been living for everyone but yourself

But, you are safe now

No te preocupes, no pasa nada

Enough is enough

Let yourself fly como una mariposa poderosa

Your movement is sacred

Your energy is sacred

It moves to the rhythm of the wind como las plantas

Everything you need is right inside of you

You are all you will ever need

Find solace in your body

Your body loves you and it needs you to love it back

Let la madre naturaleza shower you in its glory

Feel the warmth of el sol

Feel the coolness of la luna

Feel the rocky soil through your footing of la tierra

Feel the waters of your ancestors cleansing you 

Feel the energy of las plantas

And breathe in the air that gives you so much to live for

You are community made

You are ancestor made

You are resilient 

You are love

You are ever evolving wisdom

Una chingona

Una chismosa

Una brujita 

Mujer educada y poderosa 

Today is your day

A start to living your chingona lifestyle to the fullest 

You are so deserving of all the magia, glitter, & tequila this world has to offer

Take it, con amor

Close your eyes

Let go of everything you’ve been told and unlearn

Unlearn and start over

Con paciencia, mija, sin prisa

They have been waiting for you, chiquita 

Continue on what they’ve started

Thoughts from Marlha Sanchez- La Curandera

When Carolina reached out to me to collaborate with her on this session I almost said no. See, I’ve always come from a place of wanting to protect the medicines, songs, traditions that have been taught to me (which is still a thing). And there’s so many layers to this from colorsim, racism, colonization, patriarchy and capitalism which all intertwine and muddle all together.

I’ve struggled so much with putting myself out there in these ways because of this . . . . there are some very real risks that come along with that. So I prayed on it. 

When looking at opportunities like these it’s so important to feel good about who we’re collaborating with – we have to know that there is a respect and honoring of the work that goes into our work. And it’s also important to feel good about who the client is – is this energetic work something that is really wanted, needed and respected or is it just for the cool photo. This isn’t a photo op, but it is a marking of a momentous occasion that was captured with respect and intention – it’s sacred.

Coming to the place where I feel even a little bit ok with stepping into this more comes with so much sweat, tears, years of learning with many teachers and it’s not something to be taken lightly. Though it’s so trendy now to claim this, it has cost so much from so many for us to be where we are now . . .  to practice and be ourselves out loud. And I think about my Ancestors who were shunned from their own families for helping people with readings and medicine. I think of the wisdom that knowledge that was passed down in hushed whispers from sister to sister and grandmother to grandchild in dark moments of sickness and privacy. . . . and I am grateful. Grateful that some of it made it to me. 

This session was medicine for all of us. It was a transition for all of us. It was beautiful together as creative Mamàs to usher this powerful young woman into this new phase of HER life, empowered, and with so much intention. Claiming all of this for herself and for her Ancestors. We are so lacking in calling in ceremonies to mark transitions and important markers in our lives. I feel very blessed to have a community to call on when we’ve needed ceremonies big and small and I wish that for more of us. That we begin to be in relationship with people who know us, know traditional ways and can help us step onto the roads in our lives that will help us heal backwards & forwards in our lineages, honoring the lands we’re on and their original caretakers as well as our own.

Project Creators

Carolina Adame
Carolina Adame

Carolina is a photographer who works to uplift and bring representation to BIPOC families, communities, and small businesses. She currently resides in Bellflower,, CA–Tongva Lands. 


Alejandra Ramirez
Alejandra Ramirez

Ale is a Latinx activist who proudly lives with Fibromyalgia. She is co-host of IntersXional Healing which is streaming via all podcast platforms. She currently resides in Claremont, CA–Tongva Lands. 


Marlha Sanchez
Marlha Sanchez

Marlha is an Homeschool Educator, Mother of 2 living in Santa Ana – Ajachamen & Tongva lands.  


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