Tarot of the Week--Knight of Swords

“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth.” ― William Faulkner

There is a deep level of courage to each of the Knights of the Minor Arcana. This is what distinguishes them as court cards, and what makes the Knight the most powerful force in the Court. I have written a background post about the Court Cards, which I link to each time I write about the Court Cards, so here is that link.

Let's talk about this courage. The Knight is a more mature energy than the Page, which is still green with new eyes and approach to his Element. He carries messages, but doesn't quite fight a battle yet. The King on the other hand is the wisdom and maturity of his Element. The Knight is the one waging a war, fighting for his own truth, for his beliefs. He is out there, the face of the Court and of his Suit. He travels to the distant lands. He listens. He bridges his passion with his sense of justice. The Knight of Swords has an interesting perspective, and perspective is clearly the key word here, as Swords reigns the element of Air, and of the mind, logic, communications, and perception. With the Tarot, perception is a vital part of understanding the Swords. For the Mind often betrays the heart and the spirit in Tarot. The Tarot was developed as a tool to connect with the Mystical elements of our own spirituality for the early Tarot readers and developers. This was a tool of the Christian Mystic, after all. So the Tarot has a complicated relationship with Logic and Science and the Mind as the one that talks us out of our true wisdom.

The Knight of Swords fights his battles with both heart and mind. Much of this struggle is internal, as it is for the entire suit of Swords. This is evident in the background of the Knight of Swords, who is shown rushing forward into the wind, the trees and clouds evidently strewn across the sky from the wind. He doesn't fear this adversity. He grimaces, but he is determined.This Knight enjoys sparring intellectually, a good adversary is worth his wait to this Knight. His curiosity, intellectual interest, and search for the truth remain important for the Knight of Swords, but the irony of this Knight is that he is passionate about his mind. Don't be mistaken, he leads with his head, but his heart is not far behind. It is simply not the same passion that the Knight of Cups leads with. There is nothing maudlin or sentimental about this Knight. He is not necessarily as artist or musician. He is a logician, a thinker, a heady fighter of justice and truth. Think lawyer, police officer, economist, teacher, engineer, accountant...he uses his mind as his ultimate tool. He is drawn to fights that are about justice, and while others find this sentimental, to the Knight of Swords, it just makes good sense to treat people well. He doesn't fair well with small talk, or simple gossip. It is not his game or interest. He find these things deplorable, and often makes his opinion known. This Knight can be sarcastic, quick-witted, or even cynical to others. Downright negative to those who live in the heart space that doesn't want to hear about murder, rape and betrayal, but for this Knight, this is just realism, not cynicism. The Knight of Swords might say, the glass isn't half full or half empty, it is simply not the correct size.

If this card comes for you, it might signify that you are speaking your truth, or must stand up for yourself of others in the name of justice and equality. It can foretell a spontaneous event, or unexpected situation in which you must use your logic, common sense and clear speech. This Knight indicates a courage there that needs to be tapped into. You might be afraid of speaking your truth, but the Knight bolsters you. You are ready! Champion your cause. Fight for your sense of justice and fairness, it is time to jump on the back of that gorgeous steed and ride into the wind. These Knights often come for other people in your life who may be Air signs--Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. They often fall between the ages of 18-35 and can indicate men or women, but the feeling of the person is one of action, movement and courage. 

In the reversed position, this Knight is incredibly challenging to you. It can be an overly opinionated, negative, pushy, cruel, unfair and brutal person. When I say brutal I mean, mentally, verbally and physically abusive in some way. The person might be narrow minded, and unfair. See, when the Swords can reversed, he often see this type of reversal of the things they hold most dear in the upright position, like equality and justice. They turn that into their own sense of self-righteous justice.

Because of the movement in this card, the Knight of Swords can be a card that POPS up in your life, and can mean some situation or person has suddenly popped up. Reversed, it can mean someone is leaving quickly from your life. This is a less common interpretation, but this movement with this Knight, and intellect.

Let me know what you think about the Knight of Swords below in the comments. 

crystals for pregnancy

Okay, so I thought I would take this opportunity in my pregnancy to talk about some great crystals for pregnancy and fertility support. Again, crystal healing is a complementary healing modality, and can work vibrationally to help facilitate healing. I am not a doctor. But see a doctor too, particularly in pregnancy. Disclaimer over!

From 12 O'clock, Carnelian sphere, Garnet, Orange Calcite, raw Carnelian, and Fire Agate.

From 12 O'clock, Carnelian sphere, Garnet, Orange Calcite, raw Carnelian, and Fire Agate.

Crystals can be amazing allies in pregnancy and for fertility support. You can run the gamut with crystals for pregnancy support and fertility issues. Sacral Chakra stones often help support good uterine health and energies, so you can always turn to our tried and true favorites when you are trying to conceive--Carnelian and Orange Calcite are two perennial favorites of mine. I love the deep red stones also for Fertility support like Ruby, Garnet (Almandine and Spessartine are great allies), Fire Agate and Cuprite are some personal favorites. Shiva Lingam is a great support for all issues dealing with the reproductive system in both men and women.

Pregnancy itself is a time of great ungrounding. You are nauseated, headache-y, spacey...those are all signs of ungrounding. Things that make you go hmmmmm...so grounding stones can often be the best friend of a newly pregnant person. As your pregnancy progresses, we often find ourselves unstable from our new center of gravity, so these stones are wonderful for that too. Most of the time, I recommend the dark stones of Smoky Quartz and Black Tourmaline, but for pregnancy, think RED! Red Jasper is a great ally for this work, Mookaite as well, Red Calcite, and Garnet. 

For nausea associated with morning sickness and pregnancy, Golden Apatite is my Go-To. I created some gem water with Golden Apatite and steeped some ginger tea with it. Kicks out the swirly yuckies.

Stones for anxiety, high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia from Upper Right, Lepidolite, Lithium Quartz, Sodalite, Petalite in the middle, Rhodochrosite, Larimar, and two more pieces of Lepidolite. 

Stones for anxiety, high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia from Upper Right, Lepidolite, Lithium Quartz, Sodalite, Petalite in the middle, Rhodochrosite, Larimar, and two more pieces of Lepidolite. 

If you are diagnosed with High Blood Pressure, pre-eclampsia or are going through anxiety, some wonderful allies are Petalite (MY GO-TO!), Sodalite, Lithium Quartz, Lepidolite, Rhodochrosite, and Larimar. Any issues with gestational diabetes can be helped with Honey Calcite, Chrysocolla, and Sodalite. Anemia often arises in pregnancy and Bloodstone is wonderful for that, as is Tiger Iron.

For all around pregnancy support, my absolute hands-down favorite stone is Moonstone. It is associated with the Goddess and used during women's moon cycles. It is considered the healing stone for women, and with our deep association with the Moon, I find it healing, feminine and beautifully enhancing of my experience of pregnancy. My teacher Hibiscus Moon has a wonderful post on her take on fertility and pregnancy stones which include a great deal of heart stones. Crystals for Fertility and Pregnancy. Her go-tos are Jade, Rose Quartz, Unakite, and Moonstone--all beautiful resonance for a beautiful pregnancy.

My crystal recommendations have developed during this pregnancy. I'm looking down at ten days before my own labor and birthing for my fifth pregnancy. Yikes. What will I be carrying with me into labor? My Chrysocolla heart will be with me. I am going to be wearing my Moonstone pendants and earrings, so Moonstone out of the wazoo (literally). I think I will keep a piece of Unakite close. It reminds me of my mentor Hibiscus Moon and brings the heart and Mother Earth earth together. Garnet is a must-have for me. I might grid the bed in Garnets. Petalite in my bra to keep my blood pressure and anxiety down. And a Ruby to rub on my belly during labor. My children love doing this for me, so it will give them some good mojo for our laboring.  

My laboring bag will include from Left to right, Garnet, Petalite, Moonstone pendant on Labradorite and earrings, Moonstone Angel gifted to me from Peter Jarvis of L.A. Crystal Energies, and my Chrysocolla heart sitting in front of my beautiful Gaia statue given to me by my husband. 

My laboring bag will include from Left to right, Garnet, Petalite, Moonstone pendant on Labradorite and earrings, Moonstone Angel gifted to me from Peter Jarvis of L.A. Crystal Energies, and my Chrysocolla heart sitting in front of my beautiful Gaia statue given to me by my husband. 

So, what crystals have you worked with for pregnancy? What are your go-to for fertility work? Share your experience below and let me know what you thought of this post. Smooches.

Tarot of the Week--Nine of Cups

“Formerly, when I would feel a desire to understand someone, or myself, I would take into consideration not actions, in which everything is relative, but wishes. Tell me what you want and I'll tell you who you are.” ― Anton Chekhov

There is no more auspicious card in the Tarot than the Nine of Cups. It is nicknamed the "Wish Fulfillment Card", and it features a rather contented man sitting in a semi-circle of filled cups. He wears a red cap, symbolizing his wealth and material success. His arms cross over his solar plexus. He is done with his work. Life is good for him. He has succeeded. Marcia Masino called this the "Wine, Woman, and Song Card," which I love. We see enjoyment of life's sensuality and finer aspects. This card brings good health, wealth and enjoyment.

Tarot is often not what is seems exactly. It is hard to take these beautiful cards of happiness, contentment and comfort at face value, and indeed, we shouldn't. There is more here than meets the eye. Let's talk about the numerology of Nine. This is the number of attainment. But as the Tarot often challenges us, what is one man's completion is another man's beginning. We complete school, only to move into the business world. And with this Nine, it is no different, except we are talking about the emotional suit of the Cups, and so we must delve deeper into the psyche to understand the Nine of Cups.

For most Tarot readers, the Nine of Cups is a blessing anywhere in a reading. It is a sign of good luck, good fortune. It tells the Seeker that their wishes are coming true, but like the Chinese curse--May you get what you wish for--we must talk about what our wishes are and if they are aligned with our Highest Good. AHA! And there is the rub in the Nine of Cups. It says nothing about whether your wishes are aligned with what is best for all. You may be focusing on winning the heart of Mr. So-and-So, the handsome co-worker, but he may have secrets, abusive pasts, or other skeletons in the closet. The card says, "You are getting what you wish for, now WORK ON WHAT YOU REALLY WISH FOR!" This work calls for the surrounding cards, and for our own inner wisdom. What it calls for is to align with Divine Will.

This quote by Chekhov really sums up for me what the real work of the Nine of Cups is about. "Formerly, when I would feel a desire to understand someone, or myself, I would take into consideration not actions, in which everything is relative, but wishes. Tell me what you want and I'll tell you who you are."  I know this sounds trite and easy to dismiss. We often think these things apply to other people, but it is really difficult and important spiritual work to figure out what exactly you want. Let's take the example of the co-worker. Here's a handsome, knowledgeable co-worker, who is professional and kind to us in the workplace. That's a great starting place--we know he works hard, is kind and we have similar interests. But we actually don't know much about who is he. So, here we may wish for him to be interested in us, or ask us out. Maybe a better wish is to be ready for a partner, a soul mate, someone we are attracted to physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. We often don't voice that, or write the qualities we value in a partner. We often meet people and say, "Close enough. This might be my last chance at love, I better snatch it up." The real work is knowing what exactly you want in the life. This can be as specific as demeanor, values, habits...when I was manifesting my partner, I wrote a list of qualities I wanted, including going to bed early, and waking up early. Hey, I'm a morning person! I was in a long term relationship with someone who slept until noon. That is literally seven hours of my morning wasted. I love getting up and putzing around cafes, or diners, or farmer's markets. By the time I was tired and ready for bed, he was just getting his groove on. So, when this card comes for my clients, I give them homework. What is it that you want? We need to voice that clearly, eloquently, and honestly. No writing things that sound good. If you are a jealous person by nature, than a good partner for you would be someone who values your insecurities, rather than a flirty partner. No harm in asking to not compromise on that. 

Whether you see this as the Law of Attraction or not, I think it is helpful to state and write out what you want. If you don't know, how will the universe know? And how will you recognize it when it gets here? The Nine of Cups begs you to be honest, authentic and do your work. Tarot often lives in this liminal land between support and forcing you to do your spiritual and emotional homework. Take our example--from switching to "I wish for Mr. So-and So" from "I wish to be ready for my partner",  you are signaling Spirit that you are ready for your spiritual work. It means you are ready to do the hard work that has been preventing you from bringing in your soul mate relationship. It doesn't mean that your Twin Flame is coming NOW, but it means you are beginning the work of releasing all the blockages to a healthy, whole relationship. It is important work, unvalued in this society, but Spirit doesn't let us off easily.

So, the Nine of Cups is about your wishes, and your indulgences and ultimately, your emotional wants, and stating them. As the Nine of Cups crosses his solar plexus, this card signals that this work isn't physical, or from your will center. This is turning things over to your Higher Self, your guides, Spirit, God by tapping into your intuition, your emotional being, your Divine Feminine. Isn't that ironic? This card is NOT about your will, even though it is about your wishes. It is being receptive to your own desires, needs, and wants, rather than pushing forward into a space where your ego and superficial desires rule your will. Upper chakra work, really, or maybe it is better put--the work of Nine of Cups is an inside job. It is hard work to tap into your Intuitive side and really allow Spirit to guide your wishes to your Highest Good. My wishes are often very simple these days--Your will, not mine, be done. Because my will gets me into trouble. It is about me having an extra piece of cake, or chasing the wrong handsome partner after the other, or driving fast because I am late, or taking a job that pays a ton of money, but leaves me spent with no time for self-care.

In the Reversed position, the Nine of Cups can signal overindulgence in material things, carnal delights and the sensual pleasures of eating too much, drinking too much, smoking too much, sexing too much...think Gluttony and Greed. Like I said, the Nine of Cups is a blessing anywhere in your reading, so this reversed thing really is a reminder to watch it. Don't overindulge, just enjoy your life, and may you wish for what you already have. 

 

using crystals in your environment

Tonight, my partner Kate Pruiett and I are honored as always to teach the monthly Crystal Workshop at Alta View Wellness Center. We are covering Manifesting Abundance tonight, and it couldn't be more needed and important right now for so many of us. We are going to be covering the root and solar plexus chakras, abundance stones, and changing our thinking that keeps up trapped in a poverty mindset. It should be a ton of fun.

This crystal bowl sits in my guest bathroom for guests to explore and use in their own ways.

This crystal bowl sits in my guest bathroom for guests to explore and use in their own ways.

One thing we touch on tonight is ways to use abundance crystals in your daily life. We talk gem elixirs, grids, Feng Shui, mojo bags, and more. One of my favorite ways to use crystals is to put them in my environment. In my extra bathroom, I have a beautiful bowl of crystals that I encourage my visitors to touch, explore, even grab and take a crystal that calls to them. These crystals I purchased in a pound of mixed crystals from one of my favorite shops. I used it in my early studies to learn how to identify some crystals, and now have the bowl as a way for my kids, family and friends to have to same awe I do at the variety and beauty of crystals.

I also keep crystals on my altar space to reflect the personal spiritual work I am doing. As I move into Visual Quest this month with Pixie Lighthorse, I constructed a creativity grid, and keep some powerful third and second chakra stones on my altar, including Tiger Iron and Fire Agate. Throughout the year, I keep my quartz cluster on my altar all the time, as a staple of the clarity I desire. These stones and the symbols I keep on my altar tend to reflect my personal work, but as a family, we also set intentions and focus on group work.

My current altar features a creativity grid with Carnelian and Clear Quartz. A Red Tail Hawk wing sits behind my Buddha with some owl feathers, a Tiger Iron chunk, two Fire Agates,and some clear quartz.

My current altar features a creativity grid with Carnelian and Clear Quartz. A Red Tail Hawk wing sits behind my Buddha with some owl feathers, a Tiger Iron chunk, two Fire Agates,and some clear quartz.

On my side board, I have two turkey wings, a Red Jasper Sphere, Copper and some pine cones and Pumpkins from our yard.

On my side board, I have two turkey wings, a Red Jasper Sphere, Copper and some pine cones and Pumpkins from our yard.

To reflect that family work and spirit, I keep crystals in our shared spaces. The heart of our family is our open concept kitchen, dining room and living room. Throughout the year, I change my side board and hutch decor to reflect the seasons, including crystals and symbols that are meaningful to my family. In our living, I always keep this beautiful wooden basket my mother gave me. I change the crystals inside the basket to reflect the Wheel of the Year and my family's growing and changing intentions. One of our favorite themes is abundance, and this is a great way to use crystals.

Choosing a beautiful vessel for your crystals is important. Something you love like a beautiful shallow pottery bowl, wooden bowl or basket, glass, or even a gemstone carved bowl filled with stones, herbs and important symbols for your intention. In an Abundance Basket, you might have Citrine, Green Aventurine, Pyrite, Tiger Eye, or Carnelian with Calendula or Sage with acorns (symbols of building stable roots) or feathers, symbols of working with your angels, or soaring high. Whatever you choose will be perfect for you. 

This Abundance basket contains Smoky Quartz, Citrine and Carnelian with sage.

This Abundance basket contains Smoky Quartz, Citrine and Carnelian with sage.

I often include an intention in the basket, and charge it as a grid with Reiki or energy healing. My children love to help me with this. We always start with a prayer and a statement of our gratitude. We each list something we are grateful for, and I am the one that often thanks Great Spirit for the lessons we learned from the last time we set an intention. I often guide them in meditation by telling them to imagine that they are breathing in light from Father Sky through their crown and breathing up light from the Mother Earth through their feet. I then tell them to watch it mix in their heart and turn either a pink or green color (my son's favorite color is green, and my daughter's is pink, so there is a reason for this madness), and then breathe love into the basket. As they are breathing, I state our intention as a family and ask God to remove any obstacles keeping us from obtaining our goals. The kids love taking part in rituals with us.

Our family loves to gather in our living room in front of the fire, and we are always looking at the basket, charging it with our family's love and nurturing. Here are some sacred spaces in our home and ways we use crystals throughout our environment. Share some of your favorite ways to use crystals in your home and with your children.


Tarot of the Week-King of Wands

“There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into sun” ― Pablo Picasso

We are residing squarely in the Court Cards these last few Tarots of the Week, so let's just get to it. As always, you might find this post helpful which discusses the role of Court Cards in a reading. Visiting us today is the King of Wands--the red-headed King of Fire. His persona is one of passion, creativity, ambition. The Kings have a certain je ne sai quois, but you know it when you feel it. Or perhaps it is a wisdom, a grasping of their strengths and weakness, a domination over their suit's attributes. And boy, do those Wands benefit from that wisdom and domination.

The Wands are the sign of Fire--passionate, creative, sexual, dynamic. Fire people often have fits of creativity, but also fits of anger, passion, rage, and self-absorption. With the Wands more than any other suit, ego and confidence are vital allies for their work. They direct their ego for their benefit. We often demonize the ego, but when directed into our creativity, it can often be our most prized ally. Wands often delight in the competition as much as the outcome. The Wands are the ones in front of the group--leading, teaching, performing and entertaining. They are the innovators, and creators. The Knight's passion often overwhelms those around him. He is intense, passionate, sexual, angry.

But the King's fire has tempered itself into a small, hot flame in his heart. He holds back from the bonfire that consumes everyone in its vicinity. He knows how to work with his own passion. He has matured, and this is crucial to understanding the way this King works in readings (or any King). He has learned the lessons of his suit. He no longer falls into the bait of his ego wanting to show all he knows, or goading others into a fight, or rushing into an ill-fated relationship. He has lost the insecurity he may have felt, and really believes in his own power and creative possibility. There is a level of mastery to his passion that comes through beautifully. 

Because he has reached some level of achievement, he also redirects his passions to Others. This is key for understanding the King of Wands. If the Knight and Page are ego-driven, the King has learned some of the lesson of the ego. (All Wands are still prone to self-absorption on some level.) He has achieved what he wants. He is satisfied in his ego, and moves outward, ready to help others. New enterprises and experiences still excite this King, so he is always searching for a new passion. You might find these people obsessive over a hobby or pet cause. This King might be leading a humanitarian cause or dedicating time and money to an organization he believes in. But again, this comes after his own success.

In general, this King is charming, dynamic, alluring. He often reeks of success and accomplishment. With all Wands people, he takes life by the horns, so to speak. He feels the sensual pleasures are to be had here, life is to be lived. He is a generous person, and often warm and affectionate, and honest. His honesty can sometimes sting, but you always know where you stand. He tends to be attracted to dynamic, creative people too, so you often know where you stand. This King is a wonderful friend and terrific ally, unless he is reversed, then watch yourself.

The Reversed King of Wands often has not achieved all he believes he deserves. It often brings an underlying resentment with the world. He can be vengeful, violent, often angry, biting. Think of how fire licks up at others, and this is how this King often behaves to people who cross him. He is quite often arrogant. In fact, arrogance might be his most defining characteristic. He is someone who disowns others who do not adhere to his strict ideas of the how his world should run. He can be punishing and severe to those around him. If you pull a reversed King of Wands about yourself, it is important to ask yourself how you are managing your ego. This can be an indication that you are being self-absorbed, arrogant or vindictive. Tarot challenges us to look at the way we are handling our passions and if they are becoming obsessions and if we are making things all about ourselves.

Of course, most people are both some strengths and some weaknesses, and we often have to look at these Court Cards as a combination of both. The Reversed often comes up about another person when we are seeing or interacting with their Shadow attributes rather than their full Highest Selves, and the Upright when we are allied with them. This King of Wands can also indicate a mature man, and by mature, I mean a man over 35 or who has achieved some sort of goal he set for himself. It can also be a woman. Remember the Kings are about wisdom and maturity of the suit's attributes, and that is a genderless idea. King of Wands can be the Astrological suits of Aries, Leo or Sagittarius. Or they can represent red-haired folk, though this is mutable. Let me know what you think below.  

how to heal the king of cups reversed

Hi Angie, 

I loved your description of the King of Cups posted on January 8, 2014 .

cups14.jpg

I live with a King of Cups.  She is an empath with strong emotions and equally strong resistance to them, meaning she cannot express them.  As a result, she has extreme difficulty relating to people and is literally breaking apart, spiritually and physically. How does the King of Cups heal himself?

She drew the King of Cups in position two, the crossing card.  I know that only she can heal herself but she has all but given up. Can you provide suggestions or reference material that may help?

Thank you, Yvonne

Wow, Yvonne, what a fantastic question. It really nails why I read Tarot and what I think the goal of Tarot should be--to read the energy around a situation and find a path to healing.

The King of Cups generally embodies both the positive and negative attributes of any suit. Remember that when you are reading and a Court Card comes up either in the upright or reversed position, most people aren't all positive attributes or all their shadow (though some people might project all shadowy elements in a certain situation, like work.) Particularly in the obstacle position, we can see how the King of Cups' shadow attributes can be the challenge for the person, rather than their strength. You can read about the King in this post, I am not going to rewrite what that person looks like

The Cups rule emotions, so the Heart and Sacral Chakras are really illuminated with Cups people. Though Heart is traditionally an Air element chakra, it seems more fitting to me and in Tarot work to be associated with Water. Emotions and what we feel are intrinsically tied to Cups people. Sacral chakra, ruling our sex relations as well as creative endeavors, is also a Water chakra, so we can see how our emotions and sexual relations often are fundamentally tied together. Empaths are often represented through Cups Court Cards. What you describe about empaths with strong emotions and equally strong resistance to them is entirely normal. We learn to survive our sensitivities and gifts. If your partner was not taught how to shield her emotions from other people, or not given healthy and strong boundaries as a child, she had to survive that experience through shutting down feeling of emotions. 

We must remember that this survival was necessary for her, rather than punishing it (I am talking more about her punishing herself for not feeling her emotions) to honor it in some way. I always like to do release ceremonies and to thank my shadow self for keeping me together at a time when I had no other allies or emotional tools. (The New Moon is a great time to do this type of ceremony, or the Winter Solstice.) I often thank my alcoholism for getting me through my life. Alcohol worked for me when I had no other emotional tools, but then it stopped working for me, and became the blockage to my emotional growth and connection to other people. When I do a release, I honor the ways in which I survived, but also how I truly want to live. So, release, then invite a new way of being into your life.

I am a huge fan of the book Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff. She has some great insights on how to become self-compassionate, and how to feel an emotion without falling apart, or allowing it to become an obsession. This is another of the reversed King's attributes--being obsessed with a story about a negative emotion. "So and So hurt me, and this is how they hurt me. Isn't So and So a terrible person?" It is being mind-centered, rather than heart centered, and it is a way of not feeling the feeling. Emotions change fairly quickly, but we often sit in the story, because it is more comfortable for us than the emotion. So a story about hurt, betrayal, or chaos becomes more comfortable than anger or forgiveness. I love Pema Chodron's article on anger. But if we sit in anger, and do not react to it, and get deeper with the feeling, we often note it is a deep childhood pain that has arisen again. Often, when someone is empathic, we often see them shut it all down, so they cannot feel emotions at all. But this comes at a deep cost of connection with other humans.

But as you have identified, the King of Cups is a ruler of his emotions, not an escaper. He embodies the wisdom of his Suit, meaning, he has come to understand his own emotions and how to feel the feeling and then move to the next feeling. Kings of Cups who have not learned this lesson come to deal with their emotions in escapist ways, like addiction through alcohol, drugs, food, other people, gambling, anything to get out of the feeling that is uncomfortable. Dealing with addiction, if this is what your King of Cups is facing, is a whole post in and of itself, but naming it, owning it, and getting help is so very vital. You can email me privately if this is something you are facing, and would like some help navigating this part of the healing for King of Cups. But on the larger issue, I would first suggest examining where the fear of emotions comes from--Was it picking up other people's emotions too intensely? Was it being ridiculed or punished for her emotions? Was there no one there to walk with your King of Cups, to allow her to feel her vulnerability in a safe place? There are probably a thousand questions here. Once you identify that, you can take a course of action. 

For the first question, I would say, learn grounding, shielding and empathic tools. There are so many resources online for empaths right now. I recently wrote about my healing work and empathic abilities in my newsletter. I also have written a ton about protection and grounding. This work is so so so important for empaths, healers, lightworkers and any of us who run away from emotions. Ground. Understand one's self. Great stones to help with grounding and shielding are Black Tourmaline, Hematite, Smoky Quartz, Onyx, Obsidian, Garnet, Dravite (Champagne Tourmaline), and Shungite among others. Get barefoot. Visualize your protection shield up in public and know you are allowed to feel your feelings, but not allowed to feel other people's feelings.

 If it was the second, then some healing needs to come around the childhood wounds of being a sensitive person. We often hear, "You are too sensitive" being bandied around as an insult, but it is a beautiful quality to have. To empathize and live in compassion. Of course, it is a detriment if we feel other people's feelings for them, and I have found Pixie Campbell's courses on Shadow work and Boundaries absolutely invaluable in learning about our shadow self and how it plays out in our daily life, and how boundaries are so vital to the empath. (I wrote about working with Shadow here.) Carolyn Myss also does amazing work around understanding and working with the Shadow. Her book Sacred Contracts is a wonderful resource for understanding how archetypes come to play out in our life. Tarot deals with Archetypes too, so I find a natural connection there. One thing that Pixie says is that you can talk to your Shadow self when it begins to rear up. When your King of Cups begins to shut down at an emotional time, she can talk to her Shadow child. "It is okay, babe. I know that used to work for us, but it isn't anymore. I got this one. I am an adult now, I can protect us both." She tells of the image of putting your protective Shadow self in a papoose and carrying her with you. It isn't a punishing stance you take with those instincts, but an understanding that they are no longer working for you.

For the last question, remember that our vulnerability, our authentic self is worthy, beautiful, and compassionate. She wants to emote, express, and be whole in front of someone. This is why she feels broken apart. She is literally broken apart. Her insides aren't matching her outsides. A great practice is to have your King of Cups choose someone to be absolutely herself in front of. This might be you, though do not take it personally if it isn't. We often first have to choose a therapist or neutral third party. Make sure the person is trustworthy. This is the thing-- Vulnerability is a Gift. Each person gets to decide who is worthy of this gift. (Of course, Brene Brown is a wonderful amazing resource in the world of Shame and Vulnerability. If you haven't heard her TED talk, run right now to hear it. I will wait right here.) It is a good thing to practice boundaries and not share all our intimate feelings with everyone we meet. But it becomes a problem when it is no one. Our human push is to connect with others, even us introverts. This person simply will hold space while the person gets comfortable feeling his or her emotions. They may prompt to go deeper into a feeling or story. What was behind that hurt? Go deeper. The most important aspect of this is to make sure this space is safe. The King of Cups's experience in the past was one of ridicule or punishment when they did express emotions, so it really is so vital to ensure she is safe in this space.  When the King of Cups emotes, it will simply be met with what works for her. She may determine that before the session. "If I cry, can you hold me? If I cry, can you cry with me? If I cry, can you simply close your eyes and breathe?" If you are abiding the person crying, resist handing them a tissue. That is often a mark to people that crying is inappropriate and needs to stop. Also know that if she doesn't cry, there is nothing wrong with her. Some people emote by laughing or screaming or moaning.

The goal is to become more heart-centered. What does that mean, exactly? Heart centeredness is, what my teacher called, the Highest Form of Spiritual Love, or rather the unconditional love towards the self and others. To achieve heart centeredness, we must release judgment of ourselves and others. We filter through the heart rather than the mind, and we often work actively to feel our own feelings and not other people's feelings. This work is lifelong work for the Empath. I can tell you in my crystal healing practice I often help my clients move into the heart space energetically through crystal healing, Reiki and simple space holding. Great crystals for heart work are Rhodonite, Rose Quartz, Rhodochrosite, Green Aventurine, Jade, Pink Tourmaline, Ruby in Fuschite, Kunzite, and Watermelon Tourmaline. I often manually open the heart chakra and allow my clients to cry. Touch is also vitally important for water healing, so think massage, Reiki and other healing modalities where gentle touch happens in a safe environment.

Your question reminded me of an episode of a local NPR program on WHYY called Voices in the Family. This episode features Brene Brown and Kristin Neff. Amazing stuff that might help shed some insight too. I hope this helps, and please let me know if you want some follow-up here, or if something doesn't make sense. 

Much love, Angie

tarot of the week--page of cups

“The young habitually mistake lust for love, they're infested with idealism of all kinds.” ― Margaret Atwood

Ah, the young and idealistic! We venture into the week holding hands with the young Page of Cups. You can get no more idealistic than this Page. For a quick reminder of the Court Cards and their role in the Tarot, this piece explains each of their roles in the Shakespearean drama of the Tarot.

Pages, just for a brief reflection, are the youngest of the Tarot. They often deal with the children in our lives, or the, ahem, young at heart. (You can also call them eternally immature!) They are also the messengers of the Tarot and often come when one is receiving messages around the suit's attributes. The Page holds all the energy of the Cups, the suit of Water. So, we are talking emotions, art, love, relationships, creativity, romance. We see the young Page in his fancy outfit with spring flowers adorning his tunic. This represents a new beginning, as Pages often herald. It is our own feelings and perceptions of ourselves as neophytes, apprentices, or newbies in some arena. In the case of the Page of Cups, this might mean feeling those new pangs of young love. Young, either in age or time. In this way, you might find yourself pulling a Page of Cups when you have left a long-term relationship and are beginning to date again, but feeling like it is your first time dating. Pages have to be seen in the realm of perception as much as reality, if that makes sense.

This Page is the high school first love personified. There is obsession at times, mistakes, goofiness, game playing, but it is always sincere. He flirts (you can pull this if there is an exciting flirtation going on rather than a full-blown romance.) He writes poetry, builds monuments to his love, serenades, but leaves when the emotions get too deep. The Cups often swirl around romance and love questions, so he often has that reputation. But the Cups also deal with emotions, so one can pull this card when one is dealing with new emotions, or a new way of relating to his own emotions. Maybe he is trying to set new boundaries, or communicate in a more authentic way. Maybe the Seeker is beginning to see a therapist and uncover and name her emotions in a new way. 

Cups are also the psychic and spiritual suit, so sometimes this card comes when one is beginning their psychic or spiritual journey. We can see this represented in the fish in the the chalice. Because of the association with messages and the messenger, this card can indicate that the Seeker has received or will receive an inspirational message of some kind. Depending on the cards around this one, this can come through sleep (think dream cards like the Two of Swords, Nine of Swords, the Star or the Moon.) The idea of a new beginning can also come with the Page of Cups, but this would be a new creative idea or medium, like taking guitar lessons, or creative journaling when one has been a painter. 

Pages represent people in our life as well. Pages often come to represent children or younger people for the Seeker. Again, this can be a immature person of any age. The idea is that they feel young. Page of Cups are people under the astrological signs of Pisces, Cancer or Scorpio. They are romantic types, often dreamers. They day dream and stare off into space. They create love and poetry. They are charming and magnetic, often connecting with many people emotionally. They are often highly sensitive, imaginative, loving, affectionate, kind, and intuitive. Young empaths can be described as Page of Cups-ish. They often need external discipline to thrive, because they aren't quite built with that kind of stick-to-it-ness. In the reversed position, we really see this play out, as Pages of Cups can jump from one thing to another, never really finishing anything. Reversed, they often have discipline problems, and can escape reality all together through overindulgence in alcohol, drugs, eating, gambling, sex and any escapist techniques. Reversed, they can often be recluses, fearing judgment ,as their sensitivity and empathic skills turn against them in some ways. They often struggle with irresponsibility and would rather spend money on travel than something boring like rent. In this way, they can often become demanding and entitled, feeling expectant that others take care of them so they can pursue their own passions. Again, this is the reversed view of this Page.

In general, though, the Page of Cups is heart-centered, and sincere, artistic and romantic. What do you think of this Page? How do you use it in your readings? Let me know in the comments!

angelite

A few months ago, I wrote a post about Angelic Communication. This included information about channeling and working with Angelic energy, and in that post, I wrote about a few stones that I like to work with for Angel work. But lately, I have been so drawn to working with Angelite in my jewelry making and crystal healing work, I thought I would talk a bit more in-depth about Angelite.

Angelite or Blue Anhydrite is mostly found in Peru with a Mohs hardness of 3.5. The blue of Angelite gorgeously resonates with the throat chakra, third eye and crown, making it ideal for channeling and angel work. I have a large, beautiful piece of Angelite, and the outside is a bumpy, strange looking white. Personally, I just adore the color, fall into it. It reminds me of something from space, or the deep ocean. In this way, it looks like peace, something that appears bumpy and difficult on the outside is a calm, blue ocean spreading over you.

The gentle frequency of Angelite makes it ideal in jewelry and for grids in the home that promote peace, tranquility and angel protection. It is a wonderful ally for working with one's angels, ascended masters, and guides. So, what does that mean exactly? It means Angelite is a wonderful way to interpret, hear, and channel angelic, master, and guide energy. It has a frequency that helps you entrain with angelic frequency. The only requirement from you is quiet listening, trust and belief, which is easier said than done, right?

Remember the throat does not just govern speaking, it governs listening. This is why the throat chakra is so vital for third eye work. Enter Angelite, which helps align all three of the upper seven chakras--Throat, Third Eye and Crown. Part of the draw of angels to Angelite is the serenity and peace it holds. It also attracts our loved ones who have transitioned, so Angelite is a wonderful ally for mediumship as well. In this way, Angelite is also an amazing tool for automatic writing and tapping into intuition. It is my belief that our guides, angels and ascended masters communicate with us constantly. They are the ones orchestrating your signs and symbols, gently guiding you on your spiritual path (the one you signed up with before incarnating as a human). You asked them then to guide you, so they do try. But so often, we stop listening to them. Angelite helps reopen those channels for listening.

Angelite helps in that state of meditation and receiving messages. Angelite assists with dream work, including lucid dreaming and accessing the Akashic records. This all doesn't happen without a bit of work, of course. Sleep with Angelite next to your bed, or under the pillow. Meditate with Angelite. Bring it into your bedroom and grid your bed. Create an Angelic communication grid. Take some mediumship and channeling workshops. Ask the angels for clearer hearing. I connected with Doreen Virtue's work early on my journey, and found her work to help me understand how to work with the angels in every aspect of my life.

Many of us are attracted to Angelite because of its calming and gentle frequency. And Angelite assists with our earthly concerns as well. Compassionate communication and gentle healing of Throat Chakra imbalances makes it a wonderful addition to your crystal collection. Placing Angelite in centrally located places during an event where words can get heated and uncomfortable is a wonderful way to use Angelite. It helps soothe gossipy and sharp tongues. If you are interested in bridging both the human uses and angelic, it would be only fitting to call in Archangel Gabriel to help you use compassionate language and to hear the person.

I use Angelite most often in grids. I find it resonates beautifully with Danburite and Kunzite for Angelic and Spirit Guide work. I also use it in grids for Distance Reiki. I always invoke the angels in this work, so it only stands to reason I use their stone. I find a natural connection between Angelite and Apophyllite, as well as Petalite. Something about their resonances feel similar to me, and so naturally pair them in grids and angelic work. 

What do you think of Angelite? Let me know in the comments.

 

tarot of the week--three of pentacles

“Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it” ― Gautama Buddha

There is another quote that pops into mind when I think of the Three of Pentacles--"Choose a job you love, and you never work a day in your life." We walk back into the world of career, family and home with the Three of Pentacles. Pentacles deal with the material--things, work, home, family, career, money. But each Pentacle has its own, shall we say, particular flavor. The Threes are about growth and expansion. And this Three holds amazing promise in it.

We greet the Three of Pentacles with three people--the artisan, the priest and the benefactor. The artisan creates the beautiful pentacle carvings on the walls of the church or monastery, while the monk and benefactor look on. They discuss his work, looking over his plans. This three deals with career in a meaty, substantial way. It brings together the Two's balance and the One's potential into a soul path. And this is what the Three is about. He is an artist, and artisan, but he is not whimsical in the slightest. He is making plans, watching them come to fruition. 

There are never mistakes in the Tarot, and the backdrop of the church and monastery is important. His work, though physical and demanding, is sacred. He is blessed by the priest/monk/abbot, and he is rewarded financially by the benefactor. These three come together for one goal--a sanctuary. This relationship is mutually beneficial to all three of the participants. There is no charity, so to speak. These are people working hard to serve the Divine, the people and each other.

This card certainly harkens to the Empress III in the Major Arcana, ripe with creativity and innovation. Yet it holds its own personality. It is one of beautiful support on your path. It holds new levels of gratification, and the promise of spiritual, creative and financial fulfillment. I often pull this card for people who have figured out and are working their soul purpose. Not simply as a hobby, or volunteer basis, but someone getting paid for work they feel is their soul path. They have all three pillars of career fulfillment--creativity, spiritual growth and financial comfort. This card comes when someone is on their path, or working their path. There also is an implicit understanding that this fulfillment comes with partners--the monk and benefactor. We do not work in a vacuum and part of the fulfillment comes with the human connection element.

There are no "gifts" in this card. The Artisan works and worked damn hard to get to the point that he is trusted with the heart of the Church. He has poured his own heart and soul into his passion and craft. And it shows in every thing he does. As you can see, he doesn't even put down his tools to talk to his benefactor and priest. He continues working. Hard work blesses this artisan. He has worked hard to hone his craft and become confident in his expertise.

There is a strong creative side to the Three of Pentacles. This is the Card of the Artisan after all, but it can really cover any path where you feel creative in some way. I use that word often in this blog. Most often this is associated with the traditional arts--music, painting, writing, sculpture, dance, etc...but I do not mean to imply that when I say creative. I mean, how do you approach your work? How do you approach life? Creativity is a way of being, rather than a traditional artsy fartsy endeavor. Think of how you approach problems on the job. Are you working your creative muscle there?

This card comes when the Seeker becomes an expert, or competent in their chosen field. They are drawing clients and customers, and on the path of financial stability and professional achievement. It can indicate getting a degree or finishing training in some way and moving to the level of artisan, rather than apprentice. It also means that the Seeker is receiving some financial and spiritual fulfillment in their chosen career. They feel that their work is important and helping others. They are in service. This can be a cheerful Starbucks worker who smiles at each customer, to a social worker who helps destitute children. Spirit does not necessarily distinguish between these two types of service. They are equally important.

Reversed, this card can indicate someone is not working up to their potential. Or rather they have all the talent, but none of the hard work and drive to push their potential into a true career. They may be whining about how people won't buy from them, or hire them, but the truth is that they themselves are not working hard enough. It can also indicate that they are still apprentices and needing more direction in their career. The lack here is of workmanship, drive and hard work. These are the driving forces that make the Upright Three of Pentacles successful. This card also may be pulled when the Seeker is feeling unfulfilled in their work, and the streams of income are beginning to dry up. This is Spirit's way of pushing that person to make some major changes in their outlook and career.

As always, I'd love to hear your take on the Three of Pentacles, and any Tarot card I cover here. I am thinking about offering some on-line courses for Tarot in the upcoming months. If you are interested, please let me know by sending me an email at themoonandstone@gmail.com.

tarot of the week--the star

“Only in the darkness can you see the stars.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

We welcome October with a gift from the Major Arcana and Spirit--the Star. It is indeed a blessed card, one of beautiful images and messages. Here kneels Mother Earth, or perhaps, as Marcia Masino envisions her, the goddess Isis Urania. I think she might be the goddess Astraea, the goddess of the Cosmos. She symbolizes justice, innocence, and purity, and she fled Earth because of our human wickedness. The celestial virgin is said to return  to bring with her Utopia, peace and enlightenment. This falls in line with the promises of the Star, which gives us hope of a new dawn.

The Star is number XVII of the Major Arcana, and she follows the Tower. After the demolition of all we hold dear, she balances with two jugs of water, one to feed and nurture Earth, and another to replenish the Spirit. She is also anointing, blessing, bestowing beautiful gifts to the recipient of this card. Of course, water has many meanings in the Tarot--it is a psychic symbol, one of emotions, one of love. The Star's associations with water are hard to miss. The Star exists in the psyche. For she is the ultimate hope, after the Tower, that things can be righted. Her pouring water into water shows her ability to transmute energies from death and destruction to rebirth and blossoming of the soul.

The goddess is crowned with eight stars in the sky. Eight is the number here, as XVII is numerologically an Eight. (1+0+5+2=8). Eights are about power and success, often from a wellspring of self-healing and self-knowledge. So much of what the Star represents is quite esoteric. It is hope. It is optimism. It is the belief in one's own healing power. It is about self-acceptance. It is about surrendering to win. This is what the step from the Tower to the Star means after all. That we step from absolute powerlessness into our own healing power. The Tower is about ego and bravado and building false protection against knowing ourselves and admitting our weaknesses. We are not in control, the Tower reminds us. But the Star says, you are only in control of your own healing. Your own knowledge. Your own humility.

There is no mistake that seven stars are small and one large star rises in the center. For these stars represent the chakra system, and seeking our own healing. The huge star in the middle is our connection to the Divine. The Soul Star chakra, it is called, the one that connects us directly with our guides, angels and the Divine. Many Tarot readers think the Star is a weak card, one of only self-belief, but in that way, I believe it is a powerful card. One of healing and self-work. The work of the Star begins with meditation. Visualizations are important and chakra balancing work is vital. Seek it through energy healing, Reiki, crystal healing and other modalities that directly work with the chakra system to help realign, balance, and facilitate healing. 

What we find in the Star is the steps toward faith. I love this quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. For often we come to the Star's wisdom after a dark time, when we are recognizing that our way, our shadow selves, are running the show. But this is not a place of despair, it is a starting point of enlightenment, so grab hold and begin the hard work of self-healing. Reversed, the Star indicates the recognition of your own healing needs to be grasped. It often tells of blockages in the chakras, and blockages to success and power. We sometimes see it reversed when someone is going through a depression and cannot manifest any hope. Again, chakra balancing and healing work is often prescribed for this time. 

calcite

Calcite treatment on my blog is indicative of a larger problem with amazing crystalline allies--we often take the best ones for granted. Calcite, I vow to do better by you!

How I've gone a year without talking about Calcite is mind-blowing to me, but here we are. Beautiful Calcite--abundant, useful, healing. It is tough to know where to begin with it. There are so many varieties of Calcite--colors and uses; each could get their own write-up. Rather I'm going to take a few of the lovelies I use in my practice and share their uses and wisdom. 

Calcite is a calcium carbonate mineral with a hardness of 3. It is one of the most abundant crystals, and is found on every continent. It occurs in countless colors and formations, but most Calcite works gently to remove blockages and cleanse the auric field, so it is a wonderful ally with its coordinating chakra. I've known many crystal healers that use full Calcite layouts, since there is a Calcite for each chakra. And certainly, you can find large Calcite reasonably priced. Calcite is often confused for other stones, like a gemmy Rose or Smoky Quartz, or even Snowy Quartz. Calcite has a waxy look to it, like it's been dipped in wax. For geologists, there are some ways to tell the difference. Some Calcite fluoresces under a black light, which always looks cool.  Calcite bubbles when Hydrochloric Acid is dropped on it. (Why, yes, I do have  HCl in my geology toolkit.) It is significantly softer than Quartz, which means it is easily scratched with a Quartz crystal, but not the other way around. (Of course, you then have a scratch on your Calcite.) My kids often come in my house with rocks that are treasure, and they claim it is quartz. These are some easy ways to tell the difference.  Some of the most useful varieties of Calcite are Orange, Blue, Green, Optical or Clear, Honey, Pink Mangano and Stellar Beam.

Clear Calcite, sometimes called Icelandic Spar, is colorless, and often comes in rhombohedral shapes. It is double refractive, so when you view something through the Clear, it looks like it is doubled. It resonates with all the Chakras, but like Clear Quartz is a particular ally to the crown, helping with insight, clarity and forgiveness. Calcite clears out those blockages, so think of clearing stones as one to pave the way for compassion, empathy and forgiveness. I most often use Clear Calcite, or Optical Calcite in layouts where I need clarity and focus around a topic, most often forgiveness layouts.

Blue Calcite resonates deeply with the throat and third eye, a wonderful combination for channeling and psychic work. It is incredibly calming, and helps empaths deal with other people's emotions. I find it to be incredibly spiritual and resonant. It helps remove blockages in the third eye, clearing the way for psychic work, dream work, and visioning. It also can help with clarity, but in a different way than Optical, though they would work beautifully together in this way. Blue Calcite helps remove that great "I" vision of only seeing things from one perspective, and is particularly useful for people who can't "see" the other person's point of view. 

Green Calcite resonates with the Heart Chakra, and all you have to do is hold this stone to feel that energy. It also has that beautiful calming energy on the emotions, particularly anger from heartbreak. Calcite's reputation for removing blockages isn't limited to the other colors only, Green Calcite helps remove blockages in heart issues, like resentments, anger, and unhealthy patterns in relationships. Like many green stones, it is great for physical healing as well, so you can place it on a bruise or strain and the pain dissipates. I love using Green Calcite in Metta meditations, or lovingkindness meditations. 

Orange Calcite is probably the Calcite I use most often in my practice as it beautifully works with the Second or Sacral chakra, and yet isn't as full-on as some other of those sexual and creative stones. Yes, it helps remove blockages to creative and sexual energy. I find it a wonderful ally to those going through menopause. It is an energetic stone, and helps to transmit a kind of passion and energy that doesn't overwhelm, but inspires. It is great for stimulating the metabolism and helping to add a little fire to the mix. Orange Calcite removes other blockages too. I find it is a wonderful ally for discerning what is not serving one's Highest Good, and for release ceremonies, particularly with fire.

One Calcite that my partner uses often, but is not in my toolkit is Mangano Pink Calcite. It also resonates with the Fourth Chakra, or the Heart Chakra. It is a stone of empathy from my understanding, and helps people who have difficulty connecting with their emotions. It is one of those stones I need to work with and understand more before I share more, so if you are tuned up with Mangano, share your experiences in the comments. These are the Calcites in my practice, but Honey Calcite is quite abundant, though I don't work with it often, resonating with the Third Chakra, or Solar Plexus, and Stellar Beam Calcite also a great metaphysical ally. And Red Calcite resonating with the Root. Let me know how you use Calcite in the comments. And as always it is my great honor to talk about crystals with you.


tarot of the week--king of swords

“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” ― Benjamin Franklin

Ah, the beautiful court cards. You can read more about them right here. And none more regal than the King of Swords. Let's take in his elegance for a moment, shall we?

The King of Swords rules the element of Air. We often use "air" as an insult, such as calling someone an airhead, or saying they're airy fairy, but the element of Air rules the mind and anything associated with the mind, logic, rationale, and of course communication. We whisper and scream and pass lots of hot AIR between us. The Swords rule the throat chakra (and the third eye and crown to some extent.) Swords, particularly the King, love discussions, even arguments and debates, on topics of global topics, political situations, war, philosophy and humanitarian interests. He is fair, and enjoys listening as well as talking. He believes in the power of language and discussion. 

This King of Swords is twenty feet tall, no? He stands talls, strong, decisive. We can tell that simply by his stance and readiness with his sword. He has been through hardships, and has fought many battles--both of the wits and of the physical. This has given him wisdom and discernment as his key features. He is an excellent judge of character and can get himself out of sticky situations often without using his sword at all. Simply reading people and speaking. He catalogues people, studies them as a scientist. He knows the brains of men. This is where the throat comes in so strongly for Swords, for often it is the penchant for being beautifully articulate and diplomatic that wins their battles. We see this contrasted in the Knight, who often speeds off into battle before all the facts are in.

What is it about this King that is so alluring? Well, as with all court cards, when you pull the King of Swords in a reading, first we must determine if this is your energy or another person's energy. Swords rule the astrological signs of Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. The King of Swords tends to be someone in a job like lawyer, doctor, judge, mediator, diplomat, humanitarian or decision maker of some kind. He is determined, judicious, intellectual, and incredibly articulate. When this King is upright, he is honest,  diplomatic, fair. More often than not, he is a professional. He tends to play his cards close to his chest emotionally.

Emotions are not where any of the Swords like to hang out and dissect. He'd much rather talk politics of some far away land, than his own emotional state. Swords don't trust their emotions, and tend to rely on their mind above any feelings. And yet your mind is often guided by its own agenda.  This is why the Swords tend to be such difficult cards in the Tarot. They are about perception. Often perception above reality. They teach the lesson that our own logic can betray us easily if we aren't practicing due diligence with our facts. Swords also tend to be their own Gods, placing self-reliance and self-will over trusting in God. The King has learned this lesson the hard way many times. I imagine him going through his Eight of Swords prison, Nine of Swords nights, and Ten of Sword transformation. You win an argument with a Sword by presenting some cold stone facts. It is important to remember that Kings represent the suits best attributes in a human, so we also must imagine that they have faced their own demons with their suit.

This is what arises with the reversed King--the demons of Swords. They tend to be unfair, prejudiced, malicious. and unkind. They demand loyalty and punish anyone who they perceive to have crossed them. Reversed Kings of Swords seek revenge, and often completely crush their opponent. It is not simply about winning for them, they want to ruthlessly punish anyone who opposes their logic. They turn their articulation into manipulation and often hold resentments for years. They embody that Klingon saying that revenge is a dish best served cold. They never forget a slight, the reversed King of Sword. The logic turns cold, icy. Woe is the person who crosses a reversed King of Sword with some power behind their anger. He can be brutal somewhat sadistic. We often see this card reversed with an abusive partner--male or female. This is the card of the controlling, punishing abuser. 

As with most cards, when the Reversed appears, you have to decide to what level this has occurred. Most of us aren't fully upright or reversed, are we? We tend to have some wonderful qualities and things to work on. King of Swords is no different. We often see one part of this reversed aspect in any upright person. We can see their vengeful attitudes, or their ability to manipulate with their words. This is evident in how we see lawyers, right? They study the law intensely for years, learning to emotionally detach and see both sides of an argument. Yet they have a reputation for lying. But that isn't fair, is it? Their job is to argue one side of an argument to win whether they emotionally agree with it or not. This is the issue with perception. It twists the truth.

Let me know what you think in the comments, and as always, I am grateful to share some Tarot wisdom. I'm also thinking of doing a Tarot course via the internets based on my in-person work. If you think you might be interested in this, please send me an email at themoonandstone@gmail.com.

chrysocolla

A few months ago, working on a client, I had this amazing vision of Mother Earth knitting a blanket to put over a client. I often Reiki the feet, putting my sitz bones on the floor of my office to connect with Mother Earth during crystal healing sessions. I see the most incredible scenes of nature and healing in that space of quiet with a client. This one in particular was so intense and beautiful, I was almost drawn to tears. The blanket itself was knitted with moss, leaves, flowers, and dirt. As Gaia finished this incredibly healing blanket and placed it over my client, it turned into a heart--a Chrysocolla heart, to be exact--that warmed her in much the same way as a blanket would.

I have carried that image around with me since then, thinking of this earth-knitted healing we must do over our hearts. I'll be honest, I don't work with Chrysocolla much. I have a few tumblies for when my intuition pushes me to share with a client for their healing mojo bag. But with 4000+ types of crystals in the world, it is not surprising that most get left off my list of crystals I always work with. But this vision...I couldn't shake it. And a few weeks ago, while at my local metaphysical shop Heaven & Nature, I spied a Chrysocolla heart and scooped it up.

Chrysocolla is a copper silicate, which shouldn't be surprising with those amazing colors. It has a Mohs hardness of 2-4, which also means, beyond just the copper content, it shouldn't really go near water. It is often found with other Copper silicates like Malachite and Azurite, and sometimes has Cuprite in its mix. It resonates with the throat and heart chakras, and has a strong root connection. For me, it feels strongly feminine, maybe because of my vision of Gaia, and very healing, nurturing and maternal.

The connection between the throat and the heart is a strong, beautiful healing bridge. That bridge in and of itself can be empowering, if we can make that energetic flow possible. Chrysocolla seems like a perfect ally in this way, helping one express their power with heart-centeredness. When I say a stone is feminine, this doesn't mean it is off limits to men. Quite the contrary, feminine stones, I'm thinking Cuprite and Moonstone, can be strong allies for men to balance with the Divine Feminine within themselves, just as women can benefit from some masculine stones like Pyrite. Chrysocolla seems to open a channel to Gaia, or at least, that is what my vision seemed to tell me, to receive her Divine nurturing and love, as well as pass that onto those around you. Naisha Ahsian, in the Book of Stones, talks of Chrysocolla as a teaching stone, and a great ally for those in the speaking professions. "Chrysocolla is a powerful model for consciously considering the way one puts one's energy into the world," she goes on to share. "One can speak and say nothing, or remain silent and speak volumes. Chrysocolla teaches the value of both sound and silence." This to me was an AHA moment, as I am learning this hard lesson right now, as I navigate silence and speaking in new ways.

I'd love to hear how you interact with Chrysocolla. As with every stone, I am working with Chrysocolla to learn more about its energies and lessons, and invite you to journey with her.

tarot of the week--six of cups

Nostalgia ain't what is used to be. --Old Smart Ass saying.

Or maybe it was something I came up with...feels like I heard it somewhere before, and I am missing those days. We are back in the Tarot saddle this week with the Six of Cups. By all rights, it is a cute, endearing card for most people. And it is for Tarot readers too. To refresh your memory on Cups and Sixes as groups. Cups deal with emotions. They are the water element of the Tarot, and often cover topics around how we feel, emote, relate to other people. The Sixes are about balance, as all even cards are to one extent or the other, but the sixes are about restoring balancing after upheaval. 

What we see in the Six of Cups is two children, one male and one female, standing in what looks like a village square. He has six cups each filled with flowers and he is handing one to a little girl. The interpretations of this card are so wildly varied that I often get whiplash reading them, so let's just begin with the clear cut interpretation, then delve a little deeper. When we talk about restoring balance after an upheaval, often this card comes to represent returning to a place of childlike enthusiasm after facing hard times. At work, we may relate to this experience of being bogged down with daily busy work, chores, responsibilities, and forgetting our excitement at being a teacher, or lawyer, for example, with all the ideals we once had going into our chosen profession. This card reminds us or validates for us, that we are remembering our ideals, the place we once held sacred for us. 

Childhood's harmony, puppy love and happiness are all here in spades. I often pull this card in questions about marriage when couples are re-falling in love, or rediscovering that part of their partner that made them fall deeply in love to begin with. It can come on special days like anniversaries or birthdays. Love and family are strong in this card, so I often go there with general readings, than work or hobbies. This can also be about returning to the home or family, or country of origin. Sometimes when we return home to care for an elderly or ailing parent, or another sibling. So much of this card is about finding that joy of childhood again, and it is often a joyous, positive card to get. 

HOWEVER, some Tarot readers see something completely different in the Six of Cups. Beth Owl's Daughter points out the seemingly off kilter perspective of this card. The children seem like tiny adults, and the cups are larger in proportion to the surroundings and children than other cups. So, what to make of that? For me, I think it is so perceptive and interesting this take. Because nostalgia and memory are such fickle friends. They remember things larger, more exaggerated, better even. The Good Old Days are often that good when we really break it down, but they are part of the larger greener grass syndrome some of us face. Particularly watery signs get stuck in a place that romanticizes the past. There is no mistake that this Six harkens to the Major arcana Six of the Lovers. Is this a little version of the Lovers? Or is it a perversion of the Lovers? Remembering a happy time that was just a wee bit off, like a dream, or a fantasy of happy days.

All this is also predicated on the assumption that you had a happy past. Many people have traumatic childhoods filled with scenes of flower giving and perfect Sunday school outfits hiding bruises and fighting. The Six of Cups is mysterious indeed, and we have to be curious when we pull this for a client. What of your childhood? Was it distorted? Was there a facade of normalcy, but something sinister underneath? What about the early days of your relationship? Perhaps you had foreshadowing of current issues.

Reversed, this card asks  you to let go of the past and the romanticization of the early days. It can indicate a rigidity in one's beliefs and an unwillingness to move forward. Also, some of the latter points I brought up often arise in the reversed  presentation of this card.

Let me know what you think in the comments. I'm excited to be readying for my Introduction to Tarot class this evening at Alta View Wellness Center in Harrisburg. We have room for more, so call to get in at 717-221-0133.

stones for grief support

I have written about grief quite a bit. For year, actually, I had a blog devoted to discussing grief and parenting. It surprises me that I haven't written about stones for grief support. Why crystals for grief? We often feel helpless when others are walking through the Dark Valley of grief and loss. We ourselves feel lost and in a dark wood when we have lost someone close to us. I certainly walk through cycles of grief in my life. My daughter died on Winter Solstice, and the time when the day is shortest, I begin my descent into the cold world of grief. And yet, it isn't as desolate and cold as I imagine. Grief is the deepest expression of love and longing. We do not grieve that which is unimportant to us. Each year as it approaches my daughter's death day and birthday, I find myself remembering those dark days of comprehending the impermanence of the human condition, and the reality that we will live without her bright soul. I welcome that time. For most of the year, I live this life without her. It is an ache I have grown accustomed to. Yet there is something comforting and necessary about my season of grief. Rather than a sad time, it is a time for my family to come together and love her, honor her, parent her. We hold her together, our collective memory, our survival of this horrible situation.

This grief grid was created for grieving parents on Kindness Day in 2013. It contains Rose Quartz, Green Aventurine, Dravite, and Apache Tears. Under the center stone contains the names of the parents and the child they lost. 

This grief grid was created for grieving parents on Kindness Day in 2013. It contains Rose Quartz, Green Aventurine, Dravite, and Apache Tears. Under the center stone contains the names of the parents and the child they lost. 

We tend to label grief as BAD. But in my experience, grief opens a door to love. It is a heart-centered experience. And grief is not just one emotion. It is an experience of many emotions and thoughts--joy, gratitude, anger, sadness, longing, loneliness, guilt, pride, compassion, empathy, selfishness...I could go on all day. Remember it is when we suppress emotions, feelings, instincts, that our body begins to manifest dis-ease. But when we honor the emotion--good, bad, ugly--we honor all of our human-ness. That is why we are here, after all. A spiritual being having a human experience.

Crystal support during these times of grief is incredible helpful. Most crystals recommended for grief support help us remain heart-centered. The first stone mentioned with grief support usually is Apache Tear. Apache Tear is a form of Black Obsidian. The lore around Apache Tear dates back to the late 1800s. A group of Apache warrior in battle against US Calvary were outnumbered and facing defeat. They chose to ride off a cliff than be killed by the American soldiers. It is said that the women of the tribe cried tears on the mountain over their fallen men, and their tears turned to stone as they hit the ground. Apache Leap Mountain is where this took place, it located in Southeastern Arizona. It is quite beautiful there. You can read more about the legend here. Because of this lore, it is said to assist with grief and loss. 

Another beautiful stone for grief support is Dravite, or Champagne Tourmaline. It is a dark brown Tourmaline, and it is wonderful to help ground and emote. And also it is wonderful for self-care and self-love, which are two things most of find difficult in times of emotional struggle.

I am also fond of Smoky Quartz for grief support as it is a strong protector and grounder. Remember that most of our fears of emoting and feeling grief is feeling out of control, or that once we start crying we will not stop. These black stones actually help you feel safe, secure and allow you to emote. It also protects your feelings from others. Think of how vulnerable we feel when we are emotional or grieving. If we see a Hallmark commercial, we burst into tears. Well, these dark stones--Dravite, Smoky Quartz and Apache Tear--help protect your EMF and keep your feelings to yourself.

I also include heart stones in grief mojo bags or grids. Some great stones to includes are Rhodochrosite, Rose Quartz, Green Aventurine, and Garnet, which is not usually put into the mix here with grief, but I think it is a wonderful ally.

So, you have these stones, now what? I love to gift a mojo bag of stones to a friend who has just lost a relative, friend or pet. But grief is not limited to the death of someone. We experience grief when our marriage falls apart, or we lose a job, or get sick and face a new way of living. Grief experience should not be limited to one experience of grief--death. So, yes, MOJO BAGS! It is a great support. I also love to create grids for my friends who are experiencing grief or death anniversaries. And send them distance Reiki. I always ask permission (Number one rule of energy work!).

tarot of the week--two of pentacles

“Juggling is an illusion. ... In reality, the balls are being independently caught and thrown in rapid succession. ... It is actually task switching.” ― Gary Keller

Okay, Spirit, three Pentacles in three weeks time? We are in the sign of Virgo, which is one of the Earth signs, and life gets very Earthy in September, no? Back to school, work, summer vacations end, abundance reigns. These Pentacles deal with our material issues, and by that I don't always mean our obsession with material things, but rather our earthly concerns--home, career, money, family. Twos concern us with balance. When you look at the numerology of the Tarot's Minor Arcana, you can see that most of the even cards deal with balance of some kind. Twos have that specific quality of yin-yang balance (dark/light, male/female), duality, partnerships, choice. Often, the twos come with romantic partnerships, or business partnerships as their underlying theme. That does not always necessarily hold true, but often this balance is about a relationship.

The Two of Pentacles shows a man juggling two Pentacles, and dancing, perhaps. The Leminscate curves around both Pentacles, suggesting something spiritual about these two pentacles. We don't know where he is standing--either the shore, or on a boat itself, but we see the turbulent sea behind him, and ships being tossed around. One of my favorite Tarot writers and teachers talks about this as one of Pamela Colman's stage cards; wherein, the figure appears to be on stage. Is he an actor, or is this life? Contemplating that differentiation fascinates me, and just brings another level to the card interpretation all together. For me, I have always seen this man on a boat, while other boats are tossing and turning in the background, and presumably the boat that is supposed to be his solid, stable ground is also nauseously bouncing over the waves. But not this man, he is balanced, dancing with the ups and downs, appearing graceful in the process.

This card appears to me when someone faces work-life balance issues--a working mother, a single parent, or a workaholic facing increasing pressure from a partner to dial back work pressures. There is nothing about this figure that suggests struggle, so we must remember that this juggling is done with panache and grace. Despite the turbulent seas, the figure is balanced, and in control. There are two possessions, (and for the sake of argument, let's call his family a possession) he is balancing. Two things of great importance that he is juggling. The quote I chose today is one I feel bears repeating--when we are juggling, we give the illusion of balancing both balls in some magical state, but the truth is, we are taking care of two tasks equally well.

Timing here is key. He catches, he throws, and within that pattern, the infinity symbol, or leminscate, holds them in perfect balance. Let's talk about the leminscate. We see this in a number of cards--the Magician, Strength, the World, and the Two of Pentacles. Beyond its use in mathematics and geometry, the infinity symbol captures that essence of the unimaginably large, the infinite, the cosmos, and further, God, or the Creator, or perhaps that which is too big to contemplate. In this way, the connection of the Leminscate in the Tarot is that connection to the Divine wisdom.

The infinite understanding and endless Love of a Higher Power in implicit in the understanding of God in this way--infinite love, compassion, knowing, kindness, power. When you turn your will over, or rather surrender your power to the Divine will, you ironically tap into that infinite power. It gives you power. In most Tarot cards, the Leminscate sits that the head of the figure on the card--the Magician and the Strength--showing their crown chakra connected to the infinite. In the Two, the Leminscate sits around the body, illuminating the hand nadis, and the heart. I do not think this is an accident, as finding our balance between our career and financial concerns and those of our loved ones, or maybe it is more helpful to think of it as connecting to your Soul Path, opens us to that unconditional Divine love we so desperately seek. It also gives weight to the concerns of the Two of Pentacles, Sure we can balance and juggle, but when we are committed to our Spiritual Path, the juggling becomes part of our spiritual practice. I believe the Leminscate in this case is giving some weight to this work of ours, and reminding us to balance it with our little people, partners, four-legged familiars, and our downtime with our career and the way we make money, we become more abundant, not less. This is incredibly important for our spiritual work--to find a place to rejuvenate and take care of the self.

Marcia Masino takes a different approach to the Leminscate. Her interpretation is that the Infinity symbol represents the fact that change is inevitable and ultimately out of our hands. The more flexible we can be, the better our outlook on life will be. I agree only that flexibility is a deep concern with this card. How are you shifting with the ebbs and flows of your life? How are the demands weighing on you, lifting you? How flexible can you be? Some situation in which this two appears is the Seeker is holding two jobs, starting a new business while keeping a full time other job, is a single parent, or balancing work-life issues, struggling to balance a new relationship with a demanding career. 

In the reversed, the Pentacles are dropped and the Seeker feels like a failure in this pursuit of balance. To right the card, the Seeker is advised to find a way to become more flexible, or to opt out of the balance all together. Choose one or the other. Self-care, doing your best to release all the excess demands that are not serving the Seeker's highest good and goals. These are some practical ways to release and right the Two of Pentacles.

As always, I appreciate your comments and insights into the Tarot. So share them below.

tarot of the week--five of pentacles

"I do not at all understand the mystery of grace--only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us." --Anne Lamott

I choose my Tarot of the Week randomly, so it is absolutely fascinating to follow last week's Four of Pentacles with the Five this week, because there is an arc in the Pentacles that is fascinating and intricate. Last week's Four of Pentacles showed a rich man hoarding his wealth, closing his heart chakra to others, his earth star chakra to Mother Earth and the connections we feel to all living beings, and the Crown Chakra off to the Divine. The Four of Pentacles is often called the Miser card, and the Five is called the Poverty card, but far more than just poverty is happening in this scene.

e see two people, a man and woman, in rags. Walking through the snow barefoot, sick, injured. They are in a desperate place. And behind them a stained glass window shines with Five Pentacles, forming an anchor. Around the anchor are grapes and leaves, symbols of fertility and abundance. Their plight is desperate and they are clearly destitute, suffering, in need. 

So much can be said about these two. One opinion I have come to with this card is that these two are a couple, and that will come into play in a bit. When I say there is an arc in the Pentacles, what I mean is that the themes build and morph into important lessons around money, possessions, and family. We start with the Ace, which is the divine financial push, the new beginning with money. In the Two, you see the balance of home and career, money and spirituality, come into the equation. The Three deals with working hard, finding investors and following your dream. The Four deals with achieving financial success and becoming possessive, closed off and filled with fear of losing the money. The Five is the fear realized. This is the rock bottom.

What does that mean? I love J.K. Rowling's quite--Rock Bottom is the solid foundation in which I built my life. And this is the opportunity that the Five offers to its recipient.  ives in the Tarot have a reputation as being rather, ahem, challenging. They are cards of upheaval, action, and change. But with everything in the Tarot, the good can hinder and the bad opens the door to real transformation and spiritual growth. It is not epitomized more clearly than in the Five of Pentacles. The illumination in this card, the anchor here, is the church. It will give these people a place to stay, some bread, heal their wounds. But their largest wounds are their spiritual wounds, and this card acknowledges this spiritual loss. 

I don't think it is any mystery why this card comes after the Miser card. Tarot pushes us toward a spiritual life. We serve, love, give, purify, and then realize. Grace in given in each of the Aces. We see it symbolized in this hand coming from the sky, handing us the gifts of that suit. As we travel through the suit, we squander it. Our ego becomes enmeshed in it, around it, because of it. These are the human lessons we are here to learn. Tarot consistently and gently reminds you to refocus on the spiritual. If we lose the spiritual, we lose the gift. 

This card comes when we face sickness, financial worries, addiction, loss, injury and other suffering that befalls us. If we recently lost a job or money stream, this can appear as the fear of poverty. It is a card of Lack. Lack of food. Lack of health. Lack of Job. I said earlier that we have to think of these two as a couple, because the idea of sickness and in health, richer or poorer, are very strong undertones here. This can be something affecting you or your partner, or your children. The most important part of this loss, as I said earlier, is the spiritual loss. So, this card asks you to reprioritize. Find your spiritual center. Where is the place that calms you? What spiritual teacher, what church or spiritual center? What is the prayer, the thought, the meditation? Go to it. Recenter. While your injuries will take time to heal, you can soothe the spiritual pain first.

You may pull this card if you are ready to leave your marriage because of finances or sickness. Or if you have left a marriage and holding onto guilt because of this outdated idea. It is a reminder that this is playing into your subconscious. Tarot doesn't make any judgments about that, it just reminds you of these vows and how they are playing in your life.

Whatever your fears are with the Poverty card, it is important to remember that this card offers so much promise and optimism. Spirit is reminding you of your spiritual center, and the attachments you have to material wealth. Spirit wants to shelter you, care for you, heal you, and if you humble yourself before Spirit, the fear will leave, the feeling of lack will also leave. Reversed, this card is a validation of the hardships and suffering you once faced and congratulating you on finding your spiritual center again.

Let me know what you think in the comments, and happy reading, loves.

 

tarot of the week--four of pentacles

“Getting money is not all a man's business: to cultivate kindness is a valuable part of the business of life.” ― Samuel Johnson

Whenever we delve into the world of Pentacles, we deal with money, home, family, security--the earthly concerns. The Four comes on the heels of the Three of Pentacles, a card of the artisan. Fours are about stability, the kind of balance that doesn't teeter, or get thrown off its legs easily. Think four legs of a table.

Yet the Four of Pentacles shows the misuse of that stability. A king is shown feet on two pentacles, holding one over his heart and one over his crown (both literal and physical). A successful city stands in the background, showing his success. But the sky is decidedly grey, and the king, wrapped in red (the color of material success), shows a frown, and a clinging to his coins.

When I said this Four comes on the heels of the Three, we see this often in the Tarot--a journey through cards. We can often learn a great deal about the card by looking at what comes before and what follows the card. A fellow works hard at his craft, and then achieves. The three shows an artisan who has a benefactor and a priest as his supporter, and so he has this nod from the Divine and from the earthly concerns. In the Four, we see someone decidedly rich and affluent. He has achieved his financial desires, but he clings tightly to his money, so tightly, it is blocking three important chakras: his heart, his crown, or his connection to the Divine, and his earth start, or his connection to the earth.

He has achieved, but this is not what Spirit wants for your abundance. Abundance thinking dictates that we share, invest, donate to achieve more. But this man's thinking limits his achieving more money. He has cut himself off from more abundance, guidance, connection. This is all the man will get, or so he fears, so he holds on tightly. Too tightly to feel much of anything but his cold coins. This card comes when we cling too tightly to something--money, resources, people, food, a lucrative, but soul-sucking job, a relationship or person. This card is often called the Miser card. And right it should, this man is not generous. His posture screams, "MINE!"

One thing to clarify is that this man is NOT the King of Pentacles, who often is defined by his generosity. This is the false King. He is playing king, leader. His need for control has made him King of his own warped domain. But he is a miser, a rich man without the heart to make changes in the world around him. The key words of this card are Possession, Control, and Blocking. The need to possess, the need to control and the active blocking of change.

When someone pulls this card, I ask them what they are afraid to lose, not to what they are clinging too tightly. This comes, most often, by a need to control a situation. Though it looks like money, and that can certainly be part of this Fours aspect, the need for control often comes in other forms, like the need to control another person. These coins can be replaced for anything--a person, a house, a job, co-workers. Tarot's underlying themes arise time after time, particularly the Tarot's belief about control, which is that you ain't got none. So, anytime control comes up as a desire of the ego, Tarot clicks its tongue, "Let me know how that works out for you, 'mkay?" And this is the lesson of this card, when our ego tries to control something or someone, we are blocked from the sunshine of the Spirit. We are blocked from other people. We are blocked from Mother Earth. We are blocked from growth and change and all that we need to flourish as spiritual beings.

Now, there are some definite times that this card arises--when there are estates or money issues within a family, this card sometimes arises as an acknowledgement of the struggle. In this case, the advice of the card is to loosen your grip on the estate, and allow Spirit to guide. The phrase, Would you rather be happy or right? comes to mind.  Other times it comes when someone is jealous or possessive about the Seeker, or the Seeker is those things in a relationship. Look at cards around this card. Are you seeing the Emperor or Chariot? Often this is a male dominance situation, or an abusive possession.  Ten of Pentacles reinforces the estate or will reading. Inner family conflict with these two cards together.

Reversed Four of Pentacles is simply this feeling, but less intense. Perhaps a lessening, or a growing. So you may be noticing yourself getting more possessive, and clinging from fear to something,and it is Spirit's way of warning you, "Careful, love,  you are going to upright this card any day." Or you may have noticed it yourself and are making changes. Spirit often nods or validates our struggles.

What do you think? What does the Four mean to you? Share in our comment section!

anniversary winner

Thank you all for celebrating my blogiversary with me, and a year of Moon + Stone Healing. It has been a gift to be part of your life in this way. I have some winners. First of all, I sent each of you some Distance Reiki as I was preparing for my selection. I wrote out names twice for all those on my newsletter. And pulled the local people out separately from the people in for the package. So, for an in-person crystal healing session, I pulled...

Devany LeDrew

I'm so excited for you, Devany. Email me to make a session with me. I'm available any day next week, and on Saturdays. I can't wait to share crystal healing with you!

And for the remote mama earth package, I pulled...

AURELIA

Yippee!! I'm so excited to get your package together for you. Please send me your address when you get a chance. And absolutely I will be holding weekend workshops in the near future. You can always find my events listed on the EVENTS tab on this website. I try to keep it up to date!

Thank you all again.

tarot of the week--judgement

“The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence.” ― Jiddu Krishnamurti

We arrive again in the Major Arcana, and the penultimate card, actually, of the Major Arcana--Judgment. Here the dead stand in their tombs and caskets, accepting the horn of Archangel Gabriel as they call their souls home. It is a celebration of acceptance. Their caskets float on a sea and the sky is clear and bright. Most of us recognize this scene--it is Judgement day, and the dead are risen. But Tarot is decidedly non-punishing, and certainly does not foretell death or resurrection. So, what is going on here?

The resurrection here is the absence of judgement. All the Dead, not just a select few, are welcomed by the Archangel, the messenger of Good News. This is the absence of judgement, rather than the doling out of punishment and acceptance. I always felt this card was about Divine Love at its core, and the ways in which we project our own fears and anxieties onto our religions. The mystical Tarot releases all that, and asks you to as well. You have been through the Fool's Journey, walking the lessons of the Fool through the Major Arcana. You have met the Magician and the Priestess,Mother and Father, the Pope and the Lovers, and the Chariot, Strength and the Hermit. You have spun the Wheel of Fortune then met Justice, the Gallows and Death. Temperance balanced you, and the Devil swayed you to your base needs, and the Tower brought them down. The Moon, the Stars and the Sun introduced you to the shadow and light selves. And here you are, the card before last, meeting judgment. What have you learned?

Release.

This is the core message of the Judgement card. You are your own prison guard, your own torturer, your own judge and jury. Release judgement. Krishnamurti nailed it in his quote above (when doesn't he?) "The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence." He isn't talking about native smarts, he's talking about emotional intelligence. That space inside us that wants to label and judge all of us and all around us. When we release judgement, and get curious (do I harp on that too much?) we transform ourselves. This release isn't simply release of judgment, but fear, anxieties, anger, unforgiveness, arrogance--these are all forms of judgement. We recognize the limitless potential within us when we release this judgement of ourselves and others. What I mean by that is that our own oppression comes from this idea that we can't. We can't draw properly, or we can't take that class, or we can't quit our jobs. We can. This allows the whole you to emerge, and find this triumph within the spirit, mind and body. 

My favorite Tarot writer, Marcia Marsino, talks about the ocean as the collective unconsious in the imagery of the Judgment card, and it reminded me of this Buddhist idea of moksha, or nirvana, or enlightenment. It is like we are each a drop of water, individual and understanding ourselves to be contained within the confines of this drop of water. We see its boundaries, right? But once it falls into the ocean with billions of other drops of water, we don't differentiate ourselves from the whole any longer. We are part of this vast, powerful ocean, and yet we are still a drop of water, but we cannot be extracted as such. Our essence, all we carry in that drop, is now part of the collective. This is what enlightenment is said to be, but Judgment asks you to look beyond the limits of your ego today and see yourself as only part of the whole. Can you see beyond the limits of your ego? 

This idea is some heavy spiritual work, and not exactly the core message for everyone. Down deep, yes, Spirit asks you to see beyond, but on a day to day basis, when I pull this card in the reading, I generally ask the person to release judgment about themselves. This often comes for people going through divorce, or job issues, or wrestling with life choices. Release judgment. I must say it every reading. It is a common theme from Spirit to mankind. Spirit loves you unconditionally, can you love yourself this way?

Judgment may also ask you to use your moral center to make a decision. You may see some cards that indicate this interpretation around you, like a Knight of Swords, or Strength. It may mean standing against others, but you must speak for love, compassion and the universal whole, rather than the individual. 

Reversed indicates a kind of refusal to release judgment, anger, unforgiveness, and the inability to release a person or situation. This can also indicate a fear of change. Remember that the core message of Judgment is release, so think of this as a refusal to release.

As always, I love writing these Tarot columns, certainly, I am coming to the end of the deck in a few months, and when I do, I may begin selecting randomly, or start a new deck. I'd love to plunge more into the Wild Unknown imagery. Let me know which you prefer, and if you didn't see, I'm celebrating my one year anniversary of Moon + Stone. Visit this post to enter the giveaway, and celebrate with me.

For those in the Harrisburg area, I have lined up some classes at Alta View for those interested, I am teaching an Introduction to Tarot workshop for four weeks starting Wednesday, September 17th at 7pm. They will run Wednesday nights from 7p-9pm. On the fifth week, we will open our doors for our student readers to work with the public. We invite our students to invite friends and family to practice on. All reading are on a love donation basis, and we will donate the money to a local charity decided by the class. Shoot me an email if you are interested at themoonandstone@gmail.com, or call Alta View at 717-221-0133. Space is limited. The class costs $125 for the four weeks.