Entertainment

Latinos Mourn The Death Of Astrological Legend Walter Mercado Who Died During Día De Los Muertos

Latinos are in disbelief to learn that the infamous Puerto Rican astrologer, Walter Mercado, died, at age 87, on Saturday. For more than 50 years, Mercado’s televised passion for astrological predictions, refusal to conform to gender roles, and mucho, mucho amor for his fans has secured a beloved space in the Latino zeitgeist. Whether your memory of Mercado was hearing your mom yell, “Callaté!” when his segment aired or memorizing your horoscope for the following day, every day, Mercado’s daily presence on your living room TV made him part of the family.

The public expects his immediate family to announce the cause of his passing, though San Juan’s Auxilio Mutuo Hospital spokeswoman, Sofia Luquis, did confirm his death on November 2, 2019.

Walter Mercado, a Pisces, was born at sea but lived and died in Puerto Rico.

Credit: @JuhemNR / Twitter

According to a biography published by Puerto Rico’s Foundation for Popular Culture, Mercado was born on March 9, 1932, on a ship traveling from Spain to Puerto Rico. He grew up in Ponce, Puerto Rico, where he later began his career in Puerto Rican telenovelas. Though his fame grew to all of Latin America, Mercado largely remained in Puerto Rico throughout his life.

The astrological legend Walter Mercado gifted us decades of accurate and life-changing predictions.

Credit: @BubbleTEar1 / Twitter

Mercaado happened to be at a studio when the star of a guest segment didn’t show up. Producer Elín Ortíz asked him to use a 15-minute segment to offer astrological divinations. Boricuas loved him, and he was soon made a regular.

Recently, Mercado opened up about his gender-nonconformity.

Credit: @Carrasquillo / Twitter

“I’m so into who I am, and I do [what] feels right for me,” Mercado explained to Remezcla. “I’m so connected to people and to the divine for that. That I look feminine with a cape? Everyone knows we have two energies – yin and yang – and I know how to balance them. If I have to be a warrior, then I’ll be that. If I have to be soft and subtle, I can be that, too.”

“He never identified as queer,” one mourner tweeted, “But it felt like he refused to be constrained by gender norms and antiquated ideas of masculinity. He even rejected our understanding of time. When an interviewer once asked his age, Walter Mercado responded “Soy ageless.” AGELESS NEVER DIES, BEBÉ.”

Mercado was a pioneer and icon in the LGBTQ+ Latino community.

Credit: @SheisDash / Twitter

Mercado never discussed his sexuality but courageously expressed his gender to millions of viewers decades before rampant machísmo and homophobia were regularly challenged. Like an actual LGBT superhero, Mercado was known for wearing bejeweled and sequined capes.

At one point, Mercado owned more than 2,000 capes, twelve of which were put on display in Miami in August.

Credit: HistorryMiami Museum

The HistoryMiami Museum put on a popular exhibit of his “costumes, mementos, and ephemera, on display for the first time ever” in its exhibit, Mucho, Mucho Amor: 50 Years of Walter Mercado, according to the museum website.

Mercado made a dazzling grand entrance, on a gold plated throne that was wheeled through the crowd.

Credit: @OfficialJoelF / Twitter

Wearing a gold sequined three-piece suit, 88-year-old Mercado blew kisses to his fans and posed for photographs as he met the cheering crowd one by one. Some received a coveted reading from the internationally acclaimed astrologer, which were likely some of the last divinations in his 50-year long career.

Mercado garnered 120 million Latino viewers every day for more than 30 years.

Credit: @hagtastic / Twitter

Basically, you, your abuela, and your mamá would gather in the living room every day to watch the icon deliver the wisdom we all needed. Today, Latinos are trying to tap into what made him so special to us all. “Our mothers, tias and tios relied on his advice,” one Twitter user shared, “but I think what captivated his 120 million daily viewers was his positivity and how he radiated mucho, mucho, mucho, amorrrrrr.”

Latinos are lamenting the loss of a decades-long tried and true New Year’s Eve tradition with Mercado.

Credit: THE NEW HERALD / YouTube

At the end of every year, Mercado gives a special segment on what each sign can expect from the new year. The mourning process for Mercado will extend at least until the New Year, as Latinos celebrate NYE without him. “I’m not an astrology buff but Walter was an icon and part of the family,” a mourner tweets, “New years will be so different without his segment his messages/horoscopes promoted optimism, love, and perseverance. Every evening he gave us hope, despite struggles, the stars showed a great future.”

Last year, Mercado predicted that Trump may be impeached in 2019.

Credit: @no_mamex / Instagram

Ok, so his exact Miami Herald-translated words were, “Donald Trump, the controversial president, will face his worst year and perhaps even impeachment.” This headline was published in The LA Times on January 2. Trump is currently undergoing an impeachment inquiry.

Beyond the loss of Mercado, it feels like a piece of our childhood died this weekend.

Credit: @lizzhuerta / Twitter

Ms. Lizz Huerta isn’t the first Latino to tweet about how Mercado’s death feels like the loss of something so innocent and pure from our childhoods. We all have such rich memories of how he was able to unite generations, though in varying ways. “My Tía would sit there and watch him weekly,” one dubious Latino tweeted. “I loved her dearly and while I would shake my head at her, if it made her happy to watch him, it was fine with me. She never sent money either which is why I was ok with it.”

We hope Mercado’s feeling mucho, mucho amor from wherever he is now.

Credit: @mijadoris / @cyberguurl / Twitter

Mercado passed on the final day of Día de Los Muertos, prompting Latinos to reaffirm Mercado’s destiny to transition to the stars themselves. Que descanse en Paz, Walter Mercado. You truly were a celestial being on this earth.

READ: Walter Mercado Got Real About His Flamboyant Style And Why He’s Long Said ‘No’ To Extreme Gender Conformity And Machismo

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

A Human Rights Attorney Is Being Accused Of Falsely Posing As A Latina During Her Career

Culture

A Human Rights Attorney Is Being Accused Of Falsely Posing As A Latina During Her Career

¡Voice Latina! / YouTube

Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan is the outgoing president of the National Lawyers Guild and her departure has taken a sudden turn. After years as an attorney, many are now accusing the attorney of posing as a Latina.

Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan is facing mounting scrutiny and backlash for her claims that she is Latina.

According to a post on Prism, Bannan has a history of claiming her Latinidad. The post points out several interviews the attorney has given over the years with different publications where she explicitly claims that she is part of the Latino community. In one YouTube video with ¡Voice Latina!, Bannan explicitly says that “as a woman, as an individual, as a Latina” she is inspired to do the work she does because of her hero Oscar López Rivera.

People are calling on others to do better about who they choose to represent various communities.

Representation matters, especially when it comes to the issues that are facing our various communities. It is important to make sure that the representation reflects those being represented. According to Prism, Bannan has been pushing a narrative that she is of Puerto Rican and Colombian heritage for over a decade. She has even spoken out as a Puerto Rican woman that is fighting for the island’s statehood.

There are multiple media moments when Bannan claimed Latino heritage, according to reports.

Prism points to an interview conducted in 2007 where she allegedly told “El Diario” that her heritage was “a little bit Spanish, a little bit Colombian, and a Sephardic Jew.”

“I am racially white, and have always said that. However my cultural identity was formed as a result of my family, both chosen and chosen for me, and that has always been Latinx,” Bannan wrote on Facebook Monday following the story. “My identity is my most authentic expression of who I am and how I pay honor to the people who have formed me since I was a child.”

The story is garnering so much attention because of Hilaria Baldwin and her claims of being Spanish.

Baldwin misled people into believing that she was of Spanish descent when she was a white woman born in Boston. Prism was able to decipher that Bannan is a white woman born in Georgia whose family immigrated from Ireland, Italy, and Russia.

READ: Why Do People Care If Hilaria Baldwin’s Spanish Accent Is Fake Or Not, Anyway?

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

2020 Has Been A Mess: Here Are The Best New Year’s Limpias According To Your Sign

Culture

2020 Has Been A Mess: Here Are The Best New Year’s Limpias According To Your Sign

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Each culture has their own traditions to celebrate the start of the new year and growing up Latinx, we know that there’s nothing quite like a spiritual cleanse or ‘Limpia’ for those who want to revive their energy after being exposed to negative energy. So keep reading to find limpias and rituals curated for each Zodiac sign.

Let’s face it: this year has been an emotional and physical rollercoaster. It’s left so many of us completely dazed and confused and wondering what our future could look like.

Now, more than ever, we need to create a space for personal reflection and get in touch with our powerful inner witch. Plus, spending time, energy, and intention on your goals through ritual work adds a little bit of an extra sparkle to them that may just inspire you to follow through.

Aries

limpias
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The first sign of the zodiac is competitive, courageous, with a ‘winner’ mindset. As a fire sign, Aries can be very emotionally charged —and as 2020 continues to throw some curve balls, we need a ritual with an opposing element like water, to help balance and flush out those high temps.

Here’s a simple ritual:

Fill a glass with purified water and find a place of solitude with no distractions (cell phone off).

Create an intention of what you learned in 2019 that you want to continue growing and learning in 2020.

Visualize that intention being poured into the glass of water. Visualize the element of water cleansing and purifying the negative thoughts.

After taking a moment of gratitude to connect and visualize your intention, release the intention back into the earth by pouring the water on the ground.

Taurus

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Taurus are some of the most loyal elements of the zodiac. They are reliable, consistent and calm. You’ve probably had a less tumultuous year than most – either financially or work-wise. But keep those good, prosperous vibes going with this simple limpia:

Recite a personal prayer to connect you with your source (the higher power you believe most in)

Open windows or doors so that dense energies can flow out.

Light a dried lavender flower bundle like you would palo santo or sage and move the extinguished bundle around your space to cleanse away the negative energetic residue of 2020.

Gemini

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Geminis are full of curiosity, and inquisitive knowledge. But it‘s this mindfulness and curiosity what causes that tendency towards indecision. Being indecisive probably led you down some interesting lessons this past year.

Recite a personal prayer to connect you with your source (the higher power you believe most in)

Open windows or doors so that dense energies can flow out.

In a fire-proof bowl or cauldron, light a piece of charcoal like you would sage or palo santo. Place fennel seeds on the smoking charcoal and pour a small amount of cedar oil on the fennel to increase the burn.

Fan the smoke around you and your space to cleanse away the negative energetic residue of 2020.

Close the ritual with a prayer of affirmation and love.

Cancer

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With the moon as your ruling planet, you are one of the most intuitive signs. You are loved for being attentive and nurturing and this can be draining your energy. Self-care should be an important topic for you going at all times but especially now thanks to everything going on in our world. Here’s a ritual for a spiritual baño to help you cleanse from negative vibes and ease into more chill ones.

Run warm water and fill tub to your liking.

Add sea salt and chamomile allowing the properties to expel in the water.

Place healong crystals of your choosing around the tub, or inside if they don’t have a negative reaction to water.

Light some candles to help you relax, and soak in the warm bath.

Visualize the chamomile and salts working their magic, releasing dense energy from your aura.

Enjoy for as long as you need and close with a prayer of gratitude.

Leo

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You shine bright like the sun. Leo is one of the most charismatic signs of the Zodiac. You live passionately and are usually center stage or the life of the party. For so many, especially Leos, 2020 has been a powerful check against ego and self-identity. A year full of highs and lows helped both make you humble and proud of who you are. Here’s a spiritual bath to help soothe your inner fire.

Run warm water and fill tub to your liking.

Add a handful of dried lavender allowing the properties to expand in the water.

Add a tablespoon of Florida water to the bath —or as much as you feel guided to pour.

Soak in the warm water and envision yourself connecting with the lavender to help you soothe and cool down the overuse of fire within you. Ask for guidance toward a more balanced temperament.

Enjoy for as long as you need and close with a prayer of gratitude.

Virgo

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This sign is known for it’s meticulous attention to detail and impeccable work. Your grounded nature allows you to be practical and get things done —which is something many other signs lack. 2020 is likely throwing you off of your stable nature which has left you feeling frazzled at times. Enjoy the following cleanse to assist you in cleaning yourself of dense negative energy and freeing new space to allow new opportunities into your life.

Make bundles of fresh rosemary (one for each room with a bed and another for a small altar)

Spray or sprinkle Florida water onto bundles.

Pray over the rosemary bundles and connect with the higher power you believe in, and ask for assistance in welcoming in fresh energy before the year ends.

Place a bundle under every bed in your place and another in an altar.

Keep the bundles in place until they’ve dried out completely.

Once they’ve dried out (2 weeks approximately) throw them away in a dumpster at least 2 miles away from your home.

The rosemary will clear out dense energy and will allow a clear mind for your analytical brain.

Libra

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Balance is your safe haven. Structure and diplomacy are ideal for a Libra to thrive. Spending so much time with your head in the clouds requires some time for you to feel more grounded —and that’s exactly what this limpia will help you do.

Set a bowl full of water and salt in the middle of the room you wish to cleanse.

Light an ethically sourced bundle of sage and state a protection intention

Work the smoke from your sage, from the North corner of the room, to the east, south and western corners.

Direct the energy you’re clearing, into the bowl with salt. The saltwater will soak up all the energy you need to release –from anger, to confusion.

Once done with the sage, place it safely somewhere it can extinguish itself until the smoke goes out.

Center yourself in the middle of the room with a black crystal or tourmaline (make sure you sage the tourmaline too), and ask Mother Earth in gratitude, to help you feel more grounded as an air sign.

Scorpio

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This year you were focused and you dedicated a lot of time to areas where you feel that you are in a position of power: work, relationships, etc. If you worked hard, you experience positive karma paying you back in return. You might have had some harsh realizations that triggered you emotionally though. So cut yourself some slack with this limpia to help you revive the energy of your space.

Place purified water in a pot to boil

Once boiling, add fresh basil.

Squeeze 2 fresh lemons into the boiling water.

Allow the water to cool down and place it in a spray bottle. This will be your purification water.

Spray it in rooms, use it to clean desks or mop your floors.

You can use it all year round.

Sagittarius

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2020 has tested your ways of communication. The latest mercury retrograde might have affected some of your friendships or relationships. You learned how to express yourself but also how to not lash out. Here’s a fire limpia to help release any personal, professional or romantic blockages that have been created in 2020.

Pray over fennel seeds to seek for the release from any blockages created in the year.

Light a charcoal block until it sparks and place inside a cauldron or fire-proof pot.

Place copal carefully onto the charcoal and the fennel seeds on top while the charcoal is lit and heated. Pour some ‘road opener’ oil (find it at your local botanica or or spiritual shop) on it and let it smoke.

Perform a self limpia —use the smoke to wash over your head.

Scoop the smoke over your head and down every chakra point up to the soles of your feet.

Work the cauldron in circles over your arms and legs until the smoke goes out.

Remaining smoke can be used to cleanse your room.

Capricorn

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You’re naturally driven and ambitious, but this year’s unprecedented drama and some recent retrogrades might have felt like you were being pulled backward which made you feel anxious. This ritual will help get rid of that left-over anxiety and return you to your usual tenacious self.

Connect with your higher power of love and protection.

Cleanse a smokey quartz stone

Meditate your intention over a dark brown candle. Cut the wick before lighting and pour patchouli oil over the candle for added protection and spiritual grounding.

Write your intention and goals for the rest of the year and propose them to planet Saturn for added discipline and assistance.

Light the candle and place the crystal on top of your paper of intention. Connect and meditate with the crystal for 5 minutes.

Keep the candle lit for the next 8 days or as long as it burns.

Aquarius

The Best New Year’s Limpias
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The innovative ones. Working through and shattering old patterns was a big behavior for Aquarius in 2019 – but then came 2020. Leave all the clutter of the mind and our world behind and make way for the greatness to come. This simple spiritual bath will help you come back to center and focus your mind.

Light a white candle

Pray over a bundle of eucalyptus and the candle, stating your purpose for the new year.

Place the white candle in the bathroom with you.

Run a warm bath with epsom salt (2 tb spoons) and place the eucalyptus around the showerhead so that the stream of wafter runs through the properties of the plant.

Drop some essential oil into the bath and soak for as long as you need. Pour the bath water over your head (chakra) and let it touch every part of your body.

Keep the bundle on your shower head until you no longer feel the properties of the plant in the water, then dispose of it 2 miles away from your home.

Pisces

The Best New Year’s Limpias
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The most emotional and sensitive sign of the Zodiac. You spend a lot of time dealing between what is real and what isn’t —with your innate ability to tap into other realms. Here’s a simple water cleanse —your natural habitat!— to help connect you with your intention and wishes for the new year.

Fill a glass with purified water and find a place of solitude with no distractions (cell phone off).

Create an intention of what this year has taught you – about who you are, what you value, what you yearn for – for the rest of 2020 and beyond.

Visualize that intention being poured into the glass of water. Visualize the element of water cleansing and purifying the negative thoughts.

After taking a moment of gratitude to connect and visualize your intention, release the intention back into the earth by pouring the water on the ground.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com