We sat down with Nicole Adriana Casanova, a self-proclaimed soul architect, a fitting title for this reiki master, healer, yoga instructor, and human movement and meditation teacher among other areas of mastery! We talked about her path to healing work and the upcoming Sound + Light energy soundbath she is presenting in partnership with Anna Toonk at Space Ninety 8 next week.
Can you introduce yourself please: tell us more about who you are, where you’re from, and what you do?
I come from Puerto Rico, I moved to the continental U.S. when I was just under 5, english is my second language. Spanish is arguably my first, but it's a close tie with Music. I grew up in a very musical and religious household and my family was unintentionally insular within the Latino/Hispanic community where we lived in South Florida. I didn't have the where with all to be grateful for this at the time, but I am happy about it in retrospect. Praise, devotion, and connection have been integral to the development of my intuition and self knowledge, and catalytic in Soul Architecture- my healing work
You have a vast amount of experience in the wellness and healing world, being a certified Yoga Instructor, Reiki Master, and Movement and Meditation Teacher among other areas of expertise. Where did your journey in these fields begin and how have you evolved?
People ask me this all of the time and if I am being very honest I didn't really have that aha moment, though I certainly have them all the time. For me my connection to spirit, to the earth, the winds, the waters, the cosmos, my ancestors, and the unseen realms was never not there. Of course I learned how not to talk about it very early on, but by trying to avoid engaging that connection I made myself very depressed. My depression led to anxiety, anxiety to insomnia, and through insomnia I accidentally stumbled upon yoga as a teenager. I couldn't sleep so I would take myself out of bed and practice a combination of gentle fluid movement and holding static shapes until my energy shifted and it felt complete. Of course I had no idea at the time that those shapes where asanas and the movement was Tai Chi.
The most potent marker of my evolution has been compassion. The deeper teachings of compassion and service have really helped free me from having an attachment to a specific outcome. This is important when dealing with others, especially in the realm of healing, activation, and empowerment. I have learned to really listen to what people say about themselves versus what my intuition and instinct tell me about who they truly are. What people say and think about themselves will always manifest as reality. Compassion has taught me to never try to change anyone- even if that is what they come to me for- but to expand they way they understand and interface with reality, and to introduce alternative ways of thinking.This is where the magic happens. It's been such a gift to apply and gets easier and easier with time.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love witnessing the light that radiates through someone's eyes, smile, voice, and actions when they remember themselves. I am not sure that I know the words to describe the beauty of this exact experience, I am not even certain that they exist, but it is so utterly inspiring. It adds a very special richness to my life.
Tell us more about Love Letters to Earth, your oracle deck.
Love Letters to Earth is the product of deep listening. Each card is a prayer, the embodiment of a meditative vision. They first came to me as these beautiful vibrating mandalas and symbols of light and had such a profound effect of my state of being. Later they asked to be expressed, so I endeavored to do so to the best of my ability. Each time connecting to a different intention until several years later, I had unearthed my very own light language. These cards are my medicine for the earth and her people, a technology for healing, activation, and remembering. Love Letters is a vibrational alphabet, a depiction of how water molecules in the air around me take shape as I enter a ceremonial or intuitive space and connect to the energy present.
As a Reiki Master, I also wanted to share the tremendous and far reaching benefit of that lineage, so I attuned each card to Reiki. Of course, this deck can be used the same way as any other oracle, but it carries that extra healing and purifying vibration of Reiki for added mystery and support.
What projects do you have on the horizon?
Well SOUND + Light, of course! Ha ha. This is a magical beginning for very powerful transformation and emerging community. Anna and I are so grateful to Space Ninety 8 for the platform to share what we've cultivated personally for the last 10 years. And in general to Urban Outfitters for all the high vibe product and artists they are representing, as well as the willingness to integrate previously disparate worlds and ways of being by hosting offerings that address matters of spirit and wellness.
My upcoming Sky Teachings Retreat in Greece is feeling more and more attractive, especially in the doldrums of winter. I am also working on a book right now and that is taking a lot of good space.
This year and all the crazy things that have transpired have called me into action in a very clear way, so I am out in the community a lot more and holding space for a lot more people. In this regard, really activating my sense of what being a steward of peace means for me and what that looks like for my engagement in the world. Also, on a very intimate level, self care, living my practice, drinking my own medicine... Offerings wise, I am especially excited about all things mandala, sound, and dance. I used to teach twerkshops in Bushwick several years ago but that had a low shelf life, and while it's been easier for me to integrate the various healing modalities, I have learned and share them in my Soul Sessions. Light Body is the first time I am really doing so with the physical and meditative practices I have studied.
Tell us what inspires you. How do you find new inspiration?
Honestly I am very inspired by life. I get very activated by nature and landscapes, it's like church to me. I love dreams, the astral realm, and the unconscious. I find refuge in indigenous wisdom and simplicity. I am very moved by the Goddess- Quan Yin, Mother Mary and Mary Magdalene, Venus, Artemis, The Lady of the Lake and also by great thinkers and mystics- Carl Jung, Nicholas Roerick, Hilma Af Klint, Friday Kahlo, Dr. Serge Reynaud de La Ferrier, and my teacher, Maestro Manuel Ruffino, a Taino Elder. I find great joy in animals, plants, fruit, crystals, and instruments. The women in my life are a great source of inspiration for me. Most importantly my mom and dad, my brother and sister. All of the children of earth. My partner.
What can someone expect to experience at Sound + Light at Space Ninety 8?
A beautiful exploration of sound and healing. A sense of sacred community and aligned inclusivity. An enchanted journey and opportunity to remember. A moment to let go of everything they are carrying for a couple of hours and just relax, reset, and receive.
What are some of favorite places in NYC?
I love Golden Drum in Greenpoint. Golden Drum is dedicated to studying the sacred traditions of humanity. I study and share there and the community is very gifted. Zalla Pilates is amazing, the teachers there are so knowledgable and friendly. Also a big fan of The Alchemist's Kitchen and Maha Rose for all my magical shopping. The Alchemist's Kitchen also has some of the yummiest food and elixirs in town. Juicery Kitchen is a second home of mine, the people there feel like family and the food is so healthy. The End Brooklyn is the home of my new and absolute favorite elixir, The Amethyst Latte. Diner, Jungle Cafe, Mesa Coyocan for more of a sit down eating situation. My go to shops are Homecoming and Crest Hardware for plants and such. Known to Man Brooklyn, and Concrete and Water for that perfect piece of clothing, Urban for undies and sleep wear, Woops Bakeshop has the yummiest macaroons for when I have a sweet tooth. Williamsburg for pretty much everything, I love my neighborhood!
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Photos: Ashley Glynn and Imani Frances
Join us for Sound + Light presented by Anna Toonk and Nicole Adriana Casanova at Space Ninety 8 on Tuesday, April 4th from 7-9:30pm. Elixirs provided by The End Brooklyn. Sign-up HERE.