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.

anniversary + a giveaway

Throughout my life, I have held many jobs--dishwasher, barista, ice cream scooper, artist assistant, waitress, babysitter, copywriter, student, personnel manager, marketing assistant, marketing coordinator, trainer, cook, painter, illustrator, graphic designer, website manager, writer, database designer, counter girl, tarot reader. Now crystal healer, crystal coach, energy worker, sacred artist, and writer. I have loved each one of job for their unique gifts (yes, even dishwashing!) I began working at age 13 at a local restaurant and pub and I didn't stop working until I decided to stay home with my daughter Beatrice. And then work was 24/7. No performance reviews. No raises. No vacation. No clocking out. That job has been my most fulfilling, most challenging, and most enlightening. I has also kept me teachable and humble. My children often teach me how to mother them, and how to nurture them. One loves cuddles and kisses and flowery language, the other loves to wrestle and have his distance until he is ready.

Parenting gives me an opportunity to practice the spiritual principles and tenets I hold most dear in all moments of my day. Testing my patience daily, parenting challenges me to reflect, embrace and honor the deep, limitless well of unconditional love that we all possess. It also challenges me to accept the parts of me I find most difficult to love. I could go on and on about being a mother, but suffice to say, I now try to approach all things with the same humility. 

Last year, I graduated from Hibiscus Moon Crystal Academy with a CCH, or Certified Crystal Healer certification*, having completed level II of Reiki. All these things I loved to do were bubbling up--painting, creating jewelry, writing, crystal healing, energy work, reading cards...I birthed another child last year, the Moon + Stone Healing Studio. When the vision came, the name quickly followed--a place that combines sacred art, writing, healing work, gentle wisdom, tarot, and crystals, yet gave me room to be present with my children and husband, When it all fell into place, I knew, without a doubt, that the Moon + Stone Healing Studio was my path.

It has been challenging, requiring a different kind of patience, hard work, perseverance, and dedication than raising my children, but many of the lessons that have come to me through the Moon + Stone are similar to the ones I learned through parenting. My lessons involve authenticity, honesty, unconditional love, and self-acceptance. I learned some hard lessons about wounded healers,  and the ways in which I am also wounded. And I have met so many more amazing women and men on this journey with the Moon + Stone. 

It is the place I belong, it is the Roots I had been deeply seeking. After establishing a nice clientele in the brief four months the Moon + Stone Healing was located in South Jersey, I picked up and moved to an area where I knew no one, had no community, no colleagues. So much of what held me back in my previous incarnations was my fear of vulnerability. When I came here, I went into places, introduced myself, put my hand out, and said, "I'm new here. I am a healer. What can you tell me about this place?" Three years ago, I would have been incapable of putting myself out in this way. A cashier at the Giant offered to go out for coffee with me. Women invited me to gatherings, and healing circles. A new friend Kathleen invited me to a Shamanic Healing circle at a local Wellness Center. It was there that Sharon Muzio asked me to come talk to her about working with her.

In June, I joined Alta View Wellness Center as a practitioner. The Moon + Stone Healing morphed again into a different studio for crystal healing jewelry and products and a home for my writing. At Alta View, I am surrounded by such incredible, warm healers. It is the nurturing, nourishing environment I have been craving for decades. I am so grateful to be a practitioner in Sharon's practice. I am still establishing my clients at Alta View, and getting the word out about crystal healing, which is a bit difficult for this overachieving healer, but I absolutely feel at home at Alta View. My Moon + Stone Healing jewelry has also found a home in Alta View's beautiful boutique.

One year ago this month, I launched the Moon + Stone Healing, and I feel so honored to be here, so honored to walk this path with you. In celebration of a year of the Moon + Stone, I want to thank you for reading, following along, joining my classes, booking sessions with me, and ultimately for allowing me to walk this path with you. Bowing deeply to each of you. 

To thank you, I want to gift two of you with something from my hands.

There are actually two offerings--one for my local readers and one for all the amazing beings reading all over the world. For my local readers, I am offering a free crystal healing session at Alta View Wellness Center in Harrisburg, PA. My crystal healing sessions last for one hour and normally run $75. Crystal healing helps re-align energetic frequencies, removes emotional & energetic blocks, while allowing for soul learning, healing & spiritual growth. It is gentle and effective, assisting all areas of the body. (You can also sign up if you are willing to travel to Harrisburg, PA, for a healing session. I cannot travel or do distance healing sessions.)

For my readers scattered to the four corners of the Earth, I am offering a Moon + Stone Healing package with a pair of my beautiful crystal healing earrings, a chakra balancing bath with crystals, and a hand-painted watercolor of Archangel Jophiel. This painting is 5"x7" and perfect for an altar or sacred space. 

To enter this giveaway, you must comment on this blog post. If you are signed up for my weekly newsletter, mention that in your comment and you will get a second entry in the contest. Yes, you can absolutely sign up today for my newsletter. Sign up right here. In your blog comment, please tell me how you found the Moon + Stone Healing, and what post has impacted you the most or what you like the most about this space. Also, if you are local, let me know that, so you can be entered for a free crystal healing.

If you are interested in the package, let me know what chakra you would like to have your package tailored to. Below is a list of the chakras and what aspects they govern:

Root: Grounding, security, survival, safety, and connection to Earth
Sacral: Creativity, sexuality and emotions
Solar Plexus: Wisdom, power and self-esteem
Heart: Love, compassion and balance.
Throat: Communication, eloquence, and listening
Third eye: Intuition, clarity, and visioning.
Crown: Divine connection, prayer, and meditation.

I honor you all deeply and am so grateful to each of you for allowing me to serve in this way. Thank you. I will choose a winner next Friday, August 16th.

Much love,

Angie

*By the way,  enrollment is opening for both the CCH and ACM courses at Hibiscus Moon. If you enroll in Hibiscus Moon Crystal Academy using my affiliate link, I get some beautiful energy, and you an amazing career. Click here to use my affiliate link to enroll. You won't regret it.

 

UPDATE: the Contest is closed for now. Thank you for your interest.

tarot of the week--nine of wands

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” ― Charles Darwin

I always pick my Tarot of the Week card randomly, and have been often surprised at how often is matches my life, and the energy around the people I know. So many people are talking about this defensiveness bubbling up, or feeling solitary, alone, battling, or a feeling of being protective, or on edge. There is a lot going on in the Nine of Wands, and it is not bad in the slightest. This Nine, I have found in my experience in readings, validates this feeling, and helps give a positive view of the next phase of their lives.

Tarot writers often call the Nine of Wands the Defense card. It is easy to see why. The Nine of Wands stands at the ready, head bandaged, leaning on his staff. He is guarded, weary, clearly tired. Without any Tarot knowledge whatsoever we can discern a few things about this lad from the start. He's been through a battle, but not quite through the war yet. His posture is decidedly defensive, but there is positivity throughout this card. The sky is clear blue, the wands are sprouting saplings, symbolizing new growth. All is created for survival here. As Darwin said, "“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” The Nine of Wands has adapted to his circumstances by building a wall of Wands, and standing in a position that has been successful before.

We know the Nines are the numerological equivalent of the end of a cycle. We saw it in the Nine of Pentacles, and the Nine of Swords. But Nines never show a proverbial end with champagne, confetti, and a vacation, rather they show us at the penultimate point, or the point before the end. As Tarot writers often say about this card, you may have won the battle, but the war is not quite over. The Wands are the suit of Fire--creativity, work, passion, enterprise and action. Often this card arrives when work or your creative endeavors are feeling like a battle royale. Sometimes this card comes around reputation and family, but I often find it in my readings around the workplace, and workplace politics. This card shows a man bandaged, acknowledging that he has scars and bruises. This conflict hurts him. Remember scars grow on people who survive, not on the dead. It is a strange way to say something that is supposed to be positive, but the Nine of Wands acknowledges how hard won your successes are. It is often said, the war is not about winning, but about surviving. And in this case, there is a victory in still standing. But we also know more battles are coming. This man is a survivor. His defensiveness has helped him. He is ready or prepared. 

So, in the upright, Spirit reminds you that you should be defensive and ready for another battle. That standing up for yourself is an important aspect of this time. You have gone through a cycle of this, and are preparing for another cycle of it, but this time you are more prepared. If you are reading for someone's health, the Nine of Wands can indicate that the person is strengthening and fighting, and they are victorious about some aspect of a serious health crisis. When I read for chakras, I often see this card as a blocked heart chakra. And I often say to the person that this is a good thing. The heart is a gift you give to people. We must think of our vulnerability as a precious gift we only give to those who deserve it. So, to block the chakras to another can be very protective, and important. We must learn to shield our energies when we encounter someone unworthy of its value.

But this is the issues we encounter in the challenge position, or the reversed position. Is the defensiveness now working against you? We have all met defensive people, and it can be more than off-putting. It raises your own defenses. So, the reversed Nine of Wands tells us that our defensiveness is not longer serving our Highest Good. It also appears for those who are so bruised and scarred from the past, that they are unable to put their defenses down and trust another person. Not just the heart is blocked, but the entire chakra system from chakras 1-4 are blocked. The throat is not, however, which can mean that someone is getting into battle with their words, and no connection to their heart. See how dangerous that can be?

Let me know about your experience with the Nine of Wands, and what you think of these Tarot posts. I cannot believe I have been writing here for a year. Can you? Maybe I need a little blog celebration? Weeeeeee!! 

 

clear quartz

Writing a crystal post about Clear Quartz feels impossible. It is like writing a post on bugs, then only talking about ladybird beetles, lightning bugs, and butterflies. But I would be remiss not to talk about Clear Quartz as best I can. Last week, on my sister's WTER radio show Sacred Connections, I talked briefly about what makes Clear Quartz important and an all-around amazing stone.

But let's talk about the basics on Clear Quartz. Clear Quartz is a silicon dioxide crystal with a Mohs hardness of 7. It is one of the most abundant crystals on the planet. Nearly every person I know with a crystal obsession started by finding quartz in their backyard. Clear Quartz is colorless, hexagonal with naturally faceted terminations (though the terminations are not always a guarantee, because of the way it grows and interferes with the stones and growth around it.) Quartz crystals are known for their piezoelectricity, which makes it useful in radios, watches, computers, etc. Where crystals and crystal healing was traditionally found, you will find Quartz crystals. There are ancient South American carved Clear Quartz crystal skulls. It is found in tombs throughout Europe. The Australian Aborigines believed it mystical and sacred. All through the world, Clear Quartz has been revered and used in tools, healing, spiritual work, and for artistic value. 

Clear Quartz comes in so many shapes and formations, I thought I would show you a few. Starting at the top, this large Quartz cluster shows beautifully how clear Quartz is formed. When one of those points breaks off, you have what is called a single terminated quartz, or a clear quartz which was allowed to naturally terminate to a point. Clockwise  you see a wee cluster, next to a single terminated quartz, in the front, five o'clock position, this is a polished and shaped double terminated quartz, which means it was a rock crystals that was cut and polished into a six-sided. Very famous Vogel crystals are said to be cut and polished to a specifically cut angle to match the pyramids of Giza. They are quite expensive. This is not a Vogel. Next to it is an Elestial Quartz with Enhydros (hint, this is my favorite), a Tantric Twin, to the left is a naturally double terminated clear Quartz, and next to that another Twin. You can see my Clear Quartz sphere, which I use a great deal in grids. And then next to it and behind it, some cut and polished towers.

Clear Quartz comes in so many shapes and formations, I thought I would show you a few. Starting at the top, this large Quartz cluster shows beautifully how clear Quartz is formed. When one of those points breaks off, you have what is called a single terminated quartz, or a clear quartz which was allowed to naturally terminate to a point. Clockwise  you see a wee cluster, next to a single terminated quartz, in the front, five o'clock position, this is a polished and shaped double terminated quartz, which means it was a rock crystals that was cut and polished into a six-sided. Very famous Vogel crystals are said to be cut and polished to a specifically cut angle to match the pyramids of Giza. They are quite expensive. This is not a Vogel. Next to it is an Elestial Quartz with Enhydros (hint, this is my favorite), a Tantric Twin, to the left is a naturally double terminated clear Quartz, and next to that another Twin. You can see my Clear Quartz sphere, which I use a great deal in grids. And then next to it and behind it, some cut and polished towers.

There are many varieties of Quartz; many of which I have covered in this blog already. Citrine, Smoky Quartz, Amethyst and Rose Quartz all started out as Clear Quartz, but through millennia have interacted with things in their environment to give them different color and attributes. Smoky Quartz was 

So, what is the deal with Clear Quartz? Well, it has many many many attributes. Because of its clarity, it is known to bring clarity and be a channel for Divine wisdom and love. It is said to raise the vibration to bring spiritual awareness. With the higher vibration, one clears the way for opening one's consciousness. Meditation with Clear Quartz is said to help manifest one's intentions and goals, by giving one the clarity to envision the goal being achieved.

Clear Quartz is a Crystal Healers main ally in work. It is wonderful for assisting in chakra balancing, opening and closing chakras, expanding consciousness, assisting in spiritual understanding, connection with guides, past life recall, manifestation, psychic abilities, peace, purification and cleansing of spaces. Clear Quartz also amplifies energy, so it is incredibly useful when you want to amplify your own positive energy in a space where others might not be so positive. That is why it is often worn over the heart chakra--to amplify the love vibration. Clear Quartz's amplification powers make it ideal in grids, as it helps amplify the crystals already working toward your beautiful intention. But its amplification qualities can also make it challenging. Particularly when you are trying to decrease an attribute or emotion. For example, if you were trying to release fear, you wouldn't want to use Clear Quartz as an ally, because it indiscriminately amplifies the existing emotion. Rather you might want to use a stone that helps transmute that fear like Black Tourmaline. Also, in public space, sometimes other energies can be amplified through Clear Quartz, so I am diligent about wearing it only on certain occasions. 

One of its most important characteristics is its programmability and storability. And that is probably something that boggles most people when I write it, but Clear Quartz can resonate to the vibration you are emitting and then store it beautifully. One can learn to program a Clear Quartz for a specific duty--chakra balancing, channeling assistance, anxiety relief, psychic surgery, cleansing the auric field of psychic debris...you think it, you can program it. I have some crystals programmed for my healing practice. If you Google programming a Clear Quartz crystal, you will no doubt find hundreds of opinions on how one can do this. I certainly learned a way from my teacher Hibiscus Moon which I think is the best way, but I encourage you to search for the way that feels best to you and from a teacher you respect. 

There are stones called Master Crystals, so channeled by Katrina Raphaell. She is the guru on this subject, and often the entire subject or idea of Master Crystals gets bastardized by others not completely aware or familiar with the lineage of this idea. Katrina Raphaell believes there are twelve Master Crystals that, recognizable by their particular formation, have been programmed by Mother Earth (or guides) for specific spiritual work. These formations are often small idiosyncrasies with the facets and formations, but I have to admit that when I find one of these, I can feel the difference. I talked about one of these formations a few weeks ago called Tantric Twin. Lemurian Seed crystals, another blog post from a month or so ago, are said to be programmed by the ancient Lemurian race. All of these crystals have different names, based on their "programming" but they are all Clear Quartz crystals. So don't get too confused if you are in a metaphysical bookstore or crystal shop and see what look like Clear Quartz crystals with the names, Elestial, Generator, Record Keeper, Laser Wand, Faden, et al. These are the names of the Master Crystals. Their formations make them more valuable. In the upcoming months, I will cover some of these Master Crystals more in-depth.

Again, this post seems woefully incomplete, but hopefully gives you some footing in the world of Clear Quartz. Please ask questions in the comments about anything in this post or anywhere on my blog. And as always, I am seeing crystal healing clients at Alta View Wellness Center in Harrisburg, PA. You can find more information about crystal healing on this website or Alta View's website. Also, my teacher Hibiscus Moon is getting ready for fall classes starting September 1st for both her Certified Crystal Master Course, and Advanced Crystal Master course. You can use the link below and tell them I sent you when you sign up. 


tarot of the week--eight of cups

“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralysed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds' wings.” ― Rumi

This week's Tarot card of the week comes from the suit of Cups. Cups hold the water element, which governs feelings and emotions, love or the lack thereof. The heavy emotions of the Cups bleed into many realms, and it is quite simplistic to just say emotions. Cups govern intuition, artistic pursuits (music, painting, poetry, sculpture), psychic abilities, spiritual pursuits, cycles, ebbs and flows (think the tides). The heart rules over the head with Cups, and thus its issues govern this eternal grappling between logic and emotion.

The Eight of Cups has much going on in its symbolism. We see a man crossing water away from eight cups balanced upon each other. He holds a staff and wears red. He travels toward mountains. In the night sky, a full moon and the waning moon watches him leave. He does not look back or show emotion in the slightest, or if he doesn, we cannot see. He travels onward. 

Eights reign the balance, success and power realms of the Tarot. In the Major Arcana, Strength appears as the Eight Card, showing a woman of infinite wisdom petting a lion, or rather the balance between her emotions and intellect. We see a different kind of balance here, but the same tug of war between what we have and what we desire. Our first indication that balance is out of whack is the placement of the cups in the foreground. We have eight, a balanced, even number, but divided five and three, showing a lack of balance. We need some rearranging for symmetry. Other Tarot writers see this as a missing cup; however you see it, it is about not being balanced, not having all you need for fulfillment. It is no mistake that Pamela Colman Smith chose to present the cups with this imbalance. This is precisely what the man is walking away from. His attempt at balance have failed. He has rearranged the Cups, and cannot find what is missing, or how to balance them. It is the best he can do. Red, symbolizing the material, has not been enough to fulfill him. He wants more. Often this more is emotional, creative, and spiritual. The Cups urge us to that place. So, this man might be leaving his family, or his job, but he is opting for more, and more than likely, it is his soul path. He may have been working a 9a-5p desk job, but he can no longer ignore the fact that he was born to be an artist, or musician. Or his wife and he might have a perfectly civilized relationship, but there has never been a spark of love and intimacy. 

The moon cycles tell us something about his life as well. His life was once full, as the moon was once full, but it is not waning, or decreasing. His material life is not fulfilling him any longer. He is ready for find new purpose, new significance to his pursuits. One thing we have to remember that he is searching for balance. Money often has these bad connotations in spiritual circles, but money is an exchange of energy. The pursuit of the Eight of Cups is to find a balance in the exchange of energy. What he is giving no longer matches what he is getting whether that is with work or his relationship, or a friendship no longer serving his Highest Good. I'm using the pronoun He here, but of course, this is a unisex card. It deals with anyone not fulfilled in some way. 

The Eight of Cups is also a moving card, one of two, that can be pulled to indicate the Seeker might be moving house. (The Six of Wands is the other moving card.) We often say, for both those cards, it is the Moving Card or the Moving On Card. This card often comes after a long grappling on whether this move is right and correct for the Seeker, it is not an insistent or impulsive card. it often comes after much soul searching, it is why the man on the card doesn't have to turn around. He knows exactly what he is leaving and why. When one is ready to move on, this card appears. When this card comes for someone in the Seeker's life, it is important to emphasize that this is not about them, but about the soul searching of the other person. This is a card not to take personally. It is about the individual, not what they are leaving, but what they are walking toward. Mountains always suggest stability--both the situational stability and the stability of the Seeker.

When you pull this card in a romantic question, you can probe deeper. Is the Seeker in a rut? Fulfilled? Thinking about leaving? Is the creative energy stifled? Of course in work situations, the same applies. There is promise here of better horizons if one moves on, so if the Seeker is asking the question if this is the time to move on, then the answer is yes. In the Reversed position, this card indicates enjoying family, friends, parties. it can indicate a new relationship after leaving an emotionally unfulfilling one. It tends to be an extroverted type of card in the Reversed (whereas the upright position suggests solitude for self-contemplation and soul-searching.). There is flirting, fun, dating, new loves and lots of social gatherings. It is the period after moving to moving on and enjoying life again.

Hope you enjoyed this interpretation of the Eight of Cups. Please put any questions in the comment section, or any comments about your interpretation of the Eight of Cups. 

 

tarot of the week--nine of pentacles

Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing. ― Theodore Roosevelt

Elegance. Refinement. Restraint. All these qualities appear this week in the Lady of the Nine of Pentacles. But she is far more than her fancy gardens, her estate, and her golden attire. She attained her wealth and good standing.

Let's begin with some of the clues to what is going on in the Nine of Pentacles. Firstly, we know Pentacles rule the roost, so to speak. Pentacles govern career, work, the estate, home and matters of the family. The Nines are cards of completion. We often think of Ten as the end of the Minor Arcana road, but Nines are actually the number of completion (Tens are the number of new beginning after that cycle completion.) So, the Nine is about completion of some kind. We see this in all the Nines, and some Nines are dark, while others are wonderful. The Pentacles and Cups have very abundant completions; whereas the Wands and Swords are about reaching completion because someone is defeated (or in a war of some kind.) This Nine marks abundant attainment. We can see this in the garden m'lady stands in so gracefully. The grapes hang heavy with fruit, but not sloppily. Their cultivation shows much care and hard work. She has trained them on a trellis through thoughtful gardening. The trees stand in the back, also pruned, but stable and steady and mark a symbolic double tower, like the Moon, where she prepares to walk into her next journey. This fertility represents manifestation of her dreams. She has completed a cycle and reaped the fruits of her hard work. 

She stands absolutely gorgeously with a hooded falcon on her arm. It may seem strange that this woman of grace and dignity stands with a predator, trained to hunt and kill, but that is precisely what you are supposed to know about her. She is disciplined and controlled. She has trained her bird and her self in the art of restraint and passion. The Falcon, like other predators featured in the symbolism of the Tarot, shows her Shadow self quite clearly. She works hard, she hunts what she wants. But she doesn't wantonly use this part of her personality. She has trained it, cultivated it much like her grapes. She has earned a fortune and created an estate precisely because she knows when to use her falcon instincts and when to pull back her predatory instincts. Her confidence and self-reliance exudes from every bit of her.

People often remark on her aloneness. This is part of her personality--her independence. This may have defined her attainment, but it does not define her. She is self-reliant, self-assured, and courageous. Others might not see that. Her picture can tell a very different story to an outsider. I've heard many Tarot readers call this woman, a woman of leisure. Or a widow with an inheritance. Or a divorcee with a huge alimony. And perhaps she is now. The Pentacles are below her eyesight now. She doesn't worry about money. She is concerned with the finer things in life now. Concerned, perhaps, isn't the word. Interested is better here. But she is not without money, she has earned this place behind the stone wall. But rest assured, however her money came to her, she worked hard for it.

Birds, particularly this gorgeous one, often represent wisdom, so it would be remiss not to mention her wisdom and self-control again. It makes her intriguing and important. I have seen many interpretations for this card from this card representing stay-at-home mothers or housewives to materialistic, "kept" women to the interpretation I have gave of a self-made woman. I think her abundance, grace and honor keep this card from some of the more insulting or negative interpretations. But she is certainly a woman of fertility and abundance. She wears Gold and Red, both colors of abundance and material wealth.

When I pull this card, I often feel the person is reaping the fruits are their hard work. That hard work cycle is at an end, and they may be entering a new abundant period. Again, this card is just about attainment, achievement and discipline, not necessarily about the next cycle. But it does tell us that these lessons learned in this cycle can be applied to the next cycle easily. I often remind my client to enjoy the fruits are their hard work in some way, and focus on something other than working or money. This is a gift Lady Nine gives us--her hard work affords her this life style. I also think it shows that a new working situation might be upon the person where they are working independently, either as a contractor or business owner. They understand self-sacrifice and are willing to do that for an abundant end. This card is nothing if not a card of measured endeavors. 

Reversed, however, this card is about deprivation, perhaps loss. It can show the opposite of the hardworking, industrial, measured woman, but someone careless with the fertile field they are given to work with. Remember, the field is fertile, but if it is not tended, pruned and worked, it will not produce fruit. This is the message of the reversed Nine of Pentacles. It also shows a lack of wisdom in financial or career moves. A lack of confidence or deferral to someone else might be indicated here. It can also mean that someone's wealth or snobbery is cutting them off from society and the rest of the world. That is the extreme version of that. It can mean that someone is isolating in their home because of fear of their animal or base instincts, or because they feel different than others. This can be indicated for a housewife, or stay-at-home mother who is afraid of her own potential.

Let me know what you think in the comments below, and as always, share your insights with me there too. 

danburite

Every so often, amongst my group of crystal healer colleagues, every one seems to be working with the same stone. This was the case last fall when my fellow Advanced Crystal Masters were posting pictures of Danburite in grids, in elixirs, straight pieces, lovely meditation space dotted with Danburite. I had of course seen Danburite, but I hadn't worked with it on my own. Only a few weeks earlier, though, I had picked up a beautiful piece at a local crystal shop. As these things go, their enthusiasm and amazing work with Danburite inspired me to actually sit with the piece in meditation.

WOWEE! It is hard to believe I went so long without working with this amazing stone. Danburite's clean, high vibration works cellularly. It is truly an amazing stone, so I thought I would cover it today in our crystal of the week. Danburite is a colorless prismatic stone with linear striations running parallel to the length of the stone. At times, it can be a pale pink or yellow, but most often it is clear. Their terminations are usually chisel-shaped, and they are often four-sided. Their Mohs hardness is 7 to 7.5. 

Danburite resonates with the heart chakra and crown chakras, as well as the Etheric Chakras (8-12), which include the Soul Star. With this chakra combination, Danburite is a wonderful ally for work with guides, angels, channeling and astral journeying. When one is going through ascension or opening to channel, working with Danburite can help quell some of those transitional symptoms that plague some lightworkers in the early days. It is also a gentle and natural destresser and anti-anxiety. 

Danburite has a natural joy and uplifting quality to it that makes it wonderful for elixirs and jewelry. Naisha Ahsian has a wonderful statement about Danburite, "In healing work, Danburite assists one in overcoming fear of intimacy with the Divine." That nails it. It helps open your heart to the Divine when it has been closed due to past programming, religious trauma or prejudices with religion. It helps with heart opening and heart centeredness, so is a great ally in times when we are mired in unforgiveness or anger.

Danburite is a natural ally for meditation work and prayer. You can hold it in your non-dominant hand to help you receive guidance from angels, guides and ascended masters. Let me know what you think of Danburite and how you work with it in daily life, or in your healing practice in the comments below. And as always, any questions that arise, please put it below. You can also sign up for my newsletters right here. I also am a healer and practitioner at Alta View Wellness Center. My fellow crystal healer Kate Pruiett and I will be hosting crystal classes the first Thursday of the month at Alta View, so you can connect with crystal healing in your daily life. Stay abreast of these developments by signing up for Alta View's newsletter heon Alta View's home page. As always, you can book an appointment with me at 717.221.0133.

tarot of the week-queen of wands

“You have to be burning with 'an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right.' If you're not passionate enough from the start, you'll never stick it out.” ― Steve Jobs

As we move through humid Summer here in Pennsylvania, it does not surprise me in the least to pull Queen of Wands. She rules the summer heat and the element of Fire. Court cards in Tarot mirror the Court of the playing cards in some ways--as there is a King and Queen, the Knight (or Jack) is the action and power holder for the element, and the Page is the young messenger of the suit, often representing new beginnings, immature energy, or young people, of course. All the Court Cards represent people in the Seeker's life, or some aspect of the Seeker himself. We often find clues of this around the Court Card in a layout. You can read more about Court Cards in this post. Queens hold a special place in the Court--they are the only women in the Court, so they represent women over the age of 18. (Pages represent all young people, regardless of gender.)

Queen of Wands, as I mentioned above, is the ruler of the Element of Fire. She sits on her throne, holding a sunflower and a staff. A black cat sits at her feet, and lions adorn her throne. She wears gold and her throne is orange. Queen of Wands can be a woman of any fire sign--Aries, Leo or Sagittarius, though she does resonate most with Leo. Her lions give her away. But there is more about this Queen that screams LEO! She sits, legs open, facing you. Her strength and confidence oozing through the card. Leos are traditionally strong, inspiring leaders, and this Queen embodies that leadership. Her face is not unkind, though. She is known for her warmth and kindness. And this is why I loved Steve Jobs's quote--Queen of Wands inspires through her passion, creativity, and belief in her cause.

Fire reigns all creative endeavors--art, poetry, writing, sculpture, pottery, music, acting. Fire also rules the creativity needed to navigate a boring job, or a creative approach to a normal problem. Many of my clients don't resonate with this artistic idea of the Wands, because they are not traditional artists, but they do resonate with doing things at work differently, or taking a creative approach to an ordinary problem. Fire inspires and asserts. And this Queen is no different. Her entire approach is dynamic, sexy, ambitious, courageous and independent. These Queens are often performers, or great in front of an audience. They have a certain fiery charisma that draws other to them. I want to say they are extroverted (most of them think they are to an extent), but the black cat at her feet suggests another aspect of her--observant, quiet and private.

Queens of Wands do not wear their heart on their sleeve, even as they are passionate and dynamic. They protect their vulnerability fiercely, yet they are optimistic and positive women on the outside. These Queens can also be quite career-focused. Again, the posture and stance is important here. She takes charge. Her entire demeanor is more like a King than a traditional Queen. This Queen's independence is important to her, and she will ensure that she does not rely on others without a back-up plan. So, if you are in business with a Queen of Wands, create your own back-up plan. They don't often partner up for long. And they don't respect others who are weak or too vulnerable. They expect you to match their own strength.

So, who is the woman you seeing when you pull a Queen of Wands in a layout?

A woman who is warm, spirited, often ambitious and career driven. She is good at convincing others of her plans, and she can be a wonderful politicker or diplomat. In this way, she gets along with all different types of people. She finds people fascinating in a way. People often agree to her way after she convinces them its their way! She has that uncanny knack for reassuring people and having the utmost confidence in herself as a manifestor. She hones her communication skills through private self-expressive avenues like creative journaling, writing, or artistic endeavors. This is highly private part of her--the reflective, spiritual being that ensures her strength through creative outlets. She lets few in, and is quite protective of that inner circle. She will cut you out of it if you show any disloyalty. This private/public aspect of herself makes her very attractive to others, who want to know more, who want into her private club.  She holds a beautiful air of mystery and intrigue. It can even seem like she has a bit of an entourage, but Queens of Wands enjoy networking and bringing people together, so it is not necessarily for show. She just wants everyone who adores her around her! (And who doesn't?)

The Queen of Wands performs beautifully and lights up on stage. She is creative, resourceful and brave with her work. Often people watch her with envy, because her ease in front of others seems magical. The Queen of Wands oozes sex appeal. She is charismatic, sexual, and highly seductive.  She sometimes uses her seductiveness and charisma as a weapon. She likes healthy competition, and it may be one of the things that other women find difficult about her, particularly in regards to her sexuality. Queen of Wands don't see people as couples or units, they see individuals. This is the aspect they most need for themselves and respect in others--independence. So, they don't always see partnerships as their problem, rather it is the partnered person's problem. Queen of Wands will often set a goal and try to achieve it, including the sexual conquest of others. This shows up most prevalently in the reversed aspect of the Queen of Wands, which I will talk more about below. In relationships, Queen of Wands want to be fired up, so they often like to see every day as a choice to be with their partner, husband or wife. They aren't too keen on obligatory relationships. 

The Queen of Wands I have met often get obsessive about their passions, and make others around them interested too. She has an air of authority, whether she is on the PTA or the Senate. Her confidence can be infectious and she is given leadership roles wherever she lands. But her Sunflower holds the power of the Sun, and links her to that optimism and positive outlook. She is happy and sunny, and often doesn't sweat the small stuff. You don't like her? Ah, well, there are three hundred people in her life who do. She doesn't care. That attitude is part of what makes her so damn attractive!

When you pull a Queen of Wands in a reading about yourself, ask where leadership is called for. Where do you need to infuse some creativity and passion? Where can you embody this Queen energy? How can you boost your confidence? I see the Queen of Wand ruling the solar plexus, so if you want to tap into her energy, focus on the Sun aspects of this dynamic Queen. Solar plexus stones that work beautifully in this way are Sunstone, Citrine, Golden Topaz, Golden Apatite, and Pyrite. My friend Kate recently introduced me to Flat Pyrite Suns, which work beautifully on the Solar Plexus. 

When you pull the Queen of Wands reversed, we are looking at some of the darker aspects of these fiery women. You might have someone in your life who is exploiting some of their Queen of Wands aspects. These are seductive people, who turn their sexuality into their greatest weapon. Their goals reign supreme, often before others. She can be ruthless in her competitiveness. Remember when I said, Queen of Wands don't sweat the small stuff? Well, reversed Queen of Wands are all about the small stuff. They are vengeful, arrogant, self-obsessed, and narcissistic. They can be greedy and selfish and wage small wars against people who stand in their way. They cause small character assassinations through their spread of gossip and storytelling. This is the misuse of creative fire and charisma. And with that passionate obsessiveness they get, if they set you in their scope, they will not stop until you are ruined. 

Much more likely is that you will meet a less severe reversed Queen of Wands. She can be forceful to the point of pushy. Egotistical, she can manipulate and become overly domineering. Taking the leadership role without it being given to her. She's the one dominating the conversation, interrupting others, talking of her own accomplishments. She uses her sexuality to her own ends, and often enters a room with a kind of bravado and attention grabbing need. She is good at twisting the truth to craft arguments to her own end. There isn't that happy feeling to her, but rather a more sinister feeling. One that feels like dark magic. 

In general, Queen of Wands are magical people. Dynamic, creative, fiery, and interesting. They are the scholars on the TED talk, and the leaders of the pack. They adorn beautifully and know how to capture your attention. Match their energy, and you dazzle them. Let me know what you think in the comments.

jaspers, agates, and chalcedony, oh my!

My bowl of mixed stones that sits in my guest bathroom. I have identified most of these, but I love when people put their hand in these crystals, and pick one they are attracted to. It is a wonderful way to invite your guests to check out stones, and it keeps stones in your environment.

My bowl of mixed stones that sits in my guest bathroom. I have identified most of these, but I love when people put their hand in these crystals, and pick one they are attracted to. It is a wonderful way to invite your guests to check out stones, and it keeps stones in your environment.

If you have perused a crystal shop, you have no doubt come across a Jasper or two in your life. When I first began to come obsessed, uh, I mean, personally interested in crystals as an adult, I would order a pound of mixed stones so I could identify and play with some rocks. If you have done this, then you know how difficult this actually is. No amount of gorgeously photographed crystals can help you identify all these similarly colored beauties. Identifying the one or two Amethyst, Rose Quartz and Snowy Quartz is the easy part. It is the rest of the gang that becomes confounding. There is this whole grouping of "Quartz Family" crystals that all have the same Mohs hardness (sorry, that test won't work here) and even the same colors. In this grouping, you face quite a few Jaspers, and then a gaggle of Agates, and the cluster of Chalcedony. Some of these look quite a bit alike. So what is what? And what's the deal with Chalcedony, Agates and Jaspers? How in the world do you tell them apart?

All three of these crystals are a variety of Quartz with a Mohs hardness of about 7 (Jaspers can be about a 6.5), which means that they are all compatible with water. Always check Hibiscus Moon's Toxic Stone list to make sure it doesn't contain any minerals that might be toxic in water though. They are all gorgeously colored, because each of these Quartz varieties are silicon dioxide (Quartz) mixed with other crystals. 

So, let's talk about the differences of these words. Chalcedony is the general name given to any quartz crystal with a microcrystalline, or cryptocrystalline structure. When you look under a microscope at the crystal, you can see the crystal structure. If the structure is less than 30 microns(1/1000th of a millimeter) in size, it is said to be microcrystalline. Clear Quartz, Smoky Quartz, Amethyst and Citrine have a macrocrystalline structure, which you can see holding the crystal, right? That is the structure. So, when you look at a microcrystalline Quartz family crystal under a microscope,  you can see the same Quartz crystal shape that you see in a large Clear Quartz crystal, except it is 1/1000th of the a millimeter. This is why crystals are geometrically perfect and maintain a stable vibration. Crystals ROCK!

Blue Lace Agate on the left and Blue Chalcedony on the right. Note the banding on the agate.

Blue Lace Agate on the left and Blue Chalcedony on the right. Note the banding on the agate.

So Chalcedony covers Jaspers and Agates under its umbrella, yet there are some crystals that are called Chalcedony. Carnelian, Bloodstone and Chrysoprase, as well as Blue and Purple Chalcedony are straight Chalcedony. They differ in their arrangement from Jaspers and Agates. Chalcedony are arranged in fibrous layers, unlike Jaspers which are arranged in grains. We'll talk about that in a little bit. Agates are also arranged in fibrous layers (making this even more confusing.) One way to distinguish, and someone correct me here if I'm wrong, but I believe that Chalcedony are concentrically banded and the banding is larger. Agates are banded as well, but Chalcedony often have bands that extend beyond the individual crystals, so they may be hard to see. Take Carnelian for example. Most people who buy small tumbled Carnelian, never see the bands. So, the way to tell the difference FOR THE MOST PART is this question: Can you see the bands? If yes, then Agate. If not, then perhaps Chalcedony. This is fairly obvious when you look at a Chalcedony and Agate next to each other. I chose a Blue Chalcedony and Blue Lace Agate next to each other. You can see the difference in their banding, no? 

Agate slice in a window of the cabin we rented last summer. Agate slices beautifully show the translucency that defines agates.

Agate slice in a window of the cabin we rented last summer. Agate slices beautifully show the translucency that defines agates.

There is also a difference in the diaphenity, or the way light passes through the stone. Agates are translucent to semi-transparent, which means light passes through the crystal. You can often find dyed Agates at toy stores, or novelty shops for sale. They are thinly sliced, and look awesome in windows. I have a few in my meditation room. Whereas Chalcedony can be translucent, but also can be transparent and opaque. I have had Carnelians that are nearly translucent, but also had some cut too thick to be translucent, but you can tell, if sliced thinly, light would come through. Jaspers on the other hand are opaque. Light never passes through. So, you can tell by holding your stone up to the light. Can you see anything on the other side? Can you see light streaming through it? Does it appear to light up? When you move your hand between the stone and the light source, does it change the way your crystal looks? 

On the right, Carnelian, which is a form of Chalcedony. because of this large sphere, you can see the striations from its layers on this. Unlike the Red Jasper on the left, which doesn't have banding, but you can see the foreign matter, which makes Red Jasper so beautiful. In these two, you can see how the diaphenity differs between Jaspers and Chalcedonies. Jasper absorbs the light because it is opaque, while the Carnelian illuminates in the sunlight.

On the right, Carnelian, which is a form of Chalcedony. because of this large sphere, you can see the striations from its layers on this. Unlike the Red Jasper on the left, which doesn't have banding, but you can see the foreign matter, which makes Red Jasper so beautiful. In these two, you can see how the diaphenity differs between Jaspers and Chalcedonies. Jasper absorbs the light because it is opaque, while the Carnelian illuminates in the sunlight.

Jaspers are opaque, because they are an amalgam of silicon dioxide and upto 20% foreign matter, which is what makes Jaspers so gorgeous. Jasper comes from the Greek word meaning "Spotted Stone" so Jaspers often have different markings from Chalcedony and Agates. What gets confusing is some of the lasting misnomers in the crystal world. Moss Agate, for example, NOT technically an agate, but stays in the category. Same with Dendritic Agate. Those are the exceptions, though.

Jaspers differ from one another drastically because of the way they mix with that 20% of foreign matter. Starting in the front and moving clockwise: Unakite, Brown Jasper, Unsure of this jasper, but sure it is one,Red Jasper, two Yellow Jaspers, Picture Jasper, Leopard Skin Jasper, and Dalmatian Stone.

Jaspers differ from one another drastically because of the way they mix with that 20% of foreign matter. Starting in the front and moving clockwise: Unakite, Brown Jasper, Unsure of this jasper, but sure it is one,Red Jasper, two Yellow Jaspers, Picture Jasper, Leopard Skin Jasper, and Dalmatian Stone.

Jaspers are formed much differently than Agates and Chalcedony, which you can probably tell from just looking at them. Agates tend to form near volcanic activity where water rich with silica runs through fissures in igneous rock. This creates a kind of thick silica gel, which over time builds us on the wall and forms microcrystalline structure. This is why the layers develop. Jaspers on the other hand are formed by a kind of cementing, which you can see in Granites as well. Silica cements to other materials forming these amazing stones. A great example of this is in the Dalmatian Jasper or Unakite. You can see the cementing. Now don't get me wrong, Jaspers can be striated or banded, like Picture Jasper. But the key difference is the diaphenity. 

Metaphysically speaking, each type of Chalcedony, Jasper and Agate has its own properties based on color, weight, size, etc. Agates have the reputation of having a lower vibration, which is wonderful for stabilizing and grounding. As my blog progresses, i will be covering some of these wonderful Quartz family stones individually. Today, my plan was to talk about Red Jasper, but this took over my head, so I thought I would share. 

I love creating conversation, so join in the comments below and add your thoughts and experience with these stones. If you have a specific question about a specific jasper, agate or chalcedony, just leave it in the comments below.

tarot of the week--the tower

“There is only one kind of shock worse than the totally unexpected: the expected for which one has refused to prepare.” ― Mary Renault

There aren't many cards that strike fear into the heart of tarot clients as deeply as the Tower. We travel into the Major Arcana to meet this gloomy teacher. Number 16, the Tower follows the Devil in the Fool's Journey. When we begin to "walk" each card as the Fool does, we begin to see the way the cards grow and challenge you. Death, thirteen in the Major Arcana, deals with massive change and transformation. Fourteen, Temperance, balances your talk and your walk, asking you to protect your new transformation with moderation. Attachment marks the Fifteen Devil card. This card lacks balance and autonomy. Powerlessness against one's attachment to another, or addiction, or anything that stands between you and Source. The Tower shows destruction, unexpected challenge, natural disaster, and suffering. Loss of attachment marks the Tower (among other things), but let's start with some background here. 

The Tower's black background informs us immediately that things are rough. Two people fall out of this large tower on a high mountain. Lightning strikes the top of the tower again, as a storm rages around the scene. A crown, or the cornice of the building (at least, that is what I assume that is) falls off the top, exposing the building. Clouds surround the Tower. After 9/11, many people found the Tower to be profounding disturbing and prophetic. I see it as a profound metaphor for our spiritual awakening, but we'll get there.

As I reflect on the entire 78 card Tarot, I cannot recall one other card that functions in the way that the Tower function. It signals an unexpected upset or disaster. The "unexpected" tends to be key here. Many Tarot readers stress that the Tower is not something you can prepare for, which is not quite where I stand on the Tower myself. Interestingly, in Arthur Waite's own Pictorial Key to the Tarot, he tries to dispel this myth. He sees this as not a physical destruction, but a spiritual and emotional one. He says, it is the ""House of the Mind, when evil has prevailed therein." He also used the phrase, the House of Doctrine. He makes it clear (in his usual convoluted language) that these Towers that come down are always the Towers that man himself built, not God. What Arthur Waite intended, and what the modern Tarot reader sees in the Tower are often two different things. But there is much to glean about the card's meaning from Waite's intention.

Most interpretations of this card stick fairly close to the unexpected, or external change coming in the life of the Seeker when the Tower is pulled. It is precisely why the Tower is so feared. We all can handle the changes we control, but what about these unexpected hiccups in life? Or the huge losses we suddenly face. These can be as large as job loss, house fire, or car accident. On the other hand, it can be running into an ex at a restaurant with your best friend. Or suffering a last confrontation with someone who brings down some wall you thought could protect you. This is how I see the Tower--what walls have you built and how will they come down? It is the ultimate wake-up call. Get WITH IT!! Open to your spiritual self. Trust in Great Spirit (or however you conceive of the Source). Know your walls will not protect you from the truth you are locking away. The Tower appears so that you may align spiritually, emotionally, physically (perhaps) and mentally.

We often see that, no? That we become spiritually and emotionally tight. "I'm fine if I just avoid any temptation, human being, or dangerous emotion." As the saying goes, it is easy to be a holy man on top of the mountain. We may only practice daily meditation and prayer, or turn our will over to God when things are rough, but in good times, when we are all locked away in our Tower away from any irritation, emotional pain or upset, we don't plug into the Divine. We play God. We are the almighty self-reliant savior from our own suffering. This is the great lie we tell ourselves--if we just build enough walls, we will be safe from suffering. Further, we can PREVENT suffering. We live in gated communities to protect ourselves from crime. If we just avoid this mean person, that dangerous part of town, or if we stop taking lovers all together, life will be peachy and our heart will never hurt. But this is the great illusion, the mother of untruth. 

All of this is isolation--isolation from other people, from God and most importantly, from our own selves. We are spiritual beings here for a human experience. The human experience includes connection, compassion and suffering. Yes, SUFFERING. It is part of the deal as a human. It is the first noble truth and none of us, not the most prepared, diligent, or type A among us, are immune from suffering. The illusion that goes hand-in-hand with the illusion that we can prevent suffering, if that we ever were in control to begin with. We are powerless against all, even those things we thought we had power over. And so, the quote I chose for the Tower by Mary Renault is, "There is only one kind of shock worse than the totally unexpected: the expected for which one has refused to prepare.” Because to me, every day is a day to prepare for an unexpected shock. It is the one thing for which we can prepare--we have no idea what is going to happen. And how do you prepare for the unexpected--prayer, meditation, and being good to all around you, just my humble opinion here.

Marcia Masino says this amazing, beautiful thing about the Tower, "The wake-up call is a blessing bestowed upon the walled up characters in the trump." The Tower? A blessing? She goes on to say, "Spiritual truth directly strikes them, creating a great leveling; they are blasted from their position." She sees the Tower as a dismantling of limiting beliefs.

Remember that this liberation from your self-limiting beliefs often is a painful journey. (Aren't they all?) And the Tower validates that this won't be easy. You don't depict two people falling to their death out of a burning building with no suffering, but it is the catalyst to great emotional and spiritual awakening. The Tarot uses death, not as a punishment or fearful outcome, but as the greatest of awakenings. Death IS enlightenment in the Rider-Waite . The Tower begs you to move into the destruction, rather than away from it. Help the walls come down, rather than build a whole new stronger, more isolating Tower, but rather to look at what illusions you were clinging to, and how you can see the whole truth.

Reversed, the Tower means virtually the same thing, but it is not unexpected. The upset is more gradual, less violent to the soul. And it is usually exactly what the Seeker is thinking when she or he first sees the Tower, tends to be a confrontation with someone, or an already disintegrating relationship. I sometimes talk about using Tarot for energy healing and chakra readings, if you consistently pull the Tower, this is a Root Chakra issue. One that can be beautifully aligned through earthing, grounding, and affirmations about your own safety and security.

This is our practice this week--to embrace our most difficult challenges as our greatest teachers. Our destroyed walls are our spiritual awakenings, and once we throw those bricks to the side, we can be free.

tantric twin crystal

Last week, I wrote about Lemurian Seed Crystals and talked about the Master Crystals. I am actually traveling this week, but brought one crystal with me--my Tantric Twin Crystal. As the months go on, I will continue discussing these "Master Crystals" from time to time. Katrina Raphaell, the author of a trilogy of incredible crystal healing books, seems to be the first crystal healer to channel the information about the Master Crystals. People often throw that label around, saying that their primary crystal, or the one they work with for healing, psychic or meditation work, is their Master Crystal. It is fine to use it that way, but technically, the term Master Crystal in crystal healing circles has a very definite meaning.

Katrina Raphaell identified some formations of Clear Quartz Crystal, which are said to already be programmed by Mother Earth for specific uses in spiritual and crystal healing work. All of her information about these crystals has been channeled. She was certainly the first to name these crystals, but others independently have channeled similar information confirming her information. In the crystal healing community, her work and identification of these crystals is respected and used. Some of these you have probably already heard of: Elestial, Channeling, Window, Dow, Transmitter, Isis, Cathedral Library, Devic Temple, Record Keeper, Time link, Self-Healed, Tantric Twin, and Phantom. (I'm doing this from memory, so I may have missed one, or replaced it in my head with one I think is a Master.) Each of these are identified by the shape of the crystal itself, the shape and formation of the crystal's facets, growth striations or patterns or markings specific to that crystal. I have bought a pound of little crystal points and found amazing Master Crystals in them. Most stone shops don't check each crystal point to see if it is a Master, so some times you can search through them to find different formations. Once you begin to learn about Master Crystals, it makes Quartz Crystals even more fascinating than they once were.

Today, I am just going to talk about the Twin or Tantric Twin Crystal. Throughout the rest of the year, I'll bring some of these Master Crystals into our discussion on this blog. If you have one, you are interested in learning more about, just put it in the comments and I'd be happy to talk about it. 

If you already do not know, I am an identical twin, sharing my DNA and life path with my womb mate, Kellyann Satterfield. She is an incredible channel, medium and psychic in her own right, if you aren't familiar with her work. We are planning on teaming up in the next few weeks and months, so stay tuned here. (You can always find out information about my comings and goings in my newsletter as well, by signing up right here.)

Because of my twinniness, I have always been drawn to all things twin. Twin Crystals, or Tantric Twin Crystals are two quartz crystals of nearly the same size on a common base. Now, there are crystals that are simply two crystals on the same base, but Tantric Twin Crystals are parallel, and grow relatively the same rate. There is no true boundary between the two. As a collector of these amazing twin crystals, I have some which are the same exact size, and others which have some variety there. 

Tantric Twin is a metaphysical name. If you are at a gem show or rock hound shop, just use the name Twin Crystal. I once asked a geologist at his shop if he carried any Tantric Twin Crystals, and he looked at me disgustingly and said, "That is a metaphysical name. I only deal with geological names." Twin crystals, however, should work fine. This is a good tip anytime you are at a gem and mineral show, or shop. Most of those guys don't get us New Agers, as they condescendingly call us. So, as my teacher Hibiscus Moon says, Don't fly your freak flag when you want a deal. Try to find the geological name for the stone you are looking for--Dream Quartz, for example, you might want to ask for Quartz with Epidote inclusion.

Back to what the heck you use Twin Crystals for. This Master Crystal is programmed for relationship issues. It once had the reputation for only being used for romantic relationships, but that is just not the case. Tantric Twins are healers of all relationships, particularly soul mate and twin flame relationships. These relationships often get conflated, but they seem to have specific meanings. I consider soul mates to be people, not necessarily your life partner or husband, who you have incarnated with. They are soul partners. All of these people in your realm who are helping your soul grow, learn, ascend. These can be friends, coworkers, or family. I don't believe you have only one of these. I believe you have MANY of these. Hundred even. Twin flames were named such by mystics and philosophers. It was believed at the Soul's Creation, the soul split into two--Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine. These two don't always incarnate together, they sometimes incarnate separately. But they often get lives together. Their connection runs deeper than all others, and often has this feeling of completion when they come together. Twin Flame relationships don't have to be different gender, but more of a yin-yang relationships of complementing one another, rather than being exactly the same beliefs and ways of being. The distinction then is that there is one Twin Flame for each person and many soul mates. I make this distinction, because I find it fascinating, but also because these ideas get thrown around. You may read somewhere else that the Tantric Twin is for Twin Flame relationships. And it can certainly be used for that, but it can be used to heal ALL relationships. Tantric Twins are used in meditation to gain insight into the underlying issues of the relationship and the ways to heal those relationship issues. They are also wonderful allies when you want to direct energy toward healing a relationship, so you can use for grid activation with the intention of healing a relationship, or your relationships. You can also use it as a way to hold space during a difficult conversation about a relationship by using it as a talking stick of sorts, or placing it between you. You can often find rainbows in Quartz Crystals. These are particularly useful in Tantric Twins to project healing energy into the relationship. Tantric Twins are also wonderful for good, strong relationships, and holding the intention of keeping the relationship strong. Tantric Twin crystals also assist in attracting like-minded people or soul mates. In this way, that is how the erroneous belief that these crystals only assist in Twin Flame or romantic relationships began.

Let me know if you have a Tantric Twin and how you have worked with it. Or any questions below.

tarot of the week--knight of pentacles

I've discussed court cards a few times on this blog, and Knights in particular. I'll briefly recap, but if you want to read more about Knights, this post might be helpful. If you are interested in just Court Cards, this post might be helpful

Knights hold the energy of the suit. They move that energy, the action characters that embody the extremes of the suit's power. Knights in the traditional court give their life for service to their cause, so they believe in their cause. In this case, their cause is their suit. They are the court cards that aren't sitting in wait, or ruling from a throne--they are on the battlefield, protectors, or the messengers of the court. He does the hard work of the suit. And embodies the entire spectrum of the suits attributes from best to middling to worst.

The Knight of Pentacles appears as a man on a Black Steed bearing a pentacle. He is not launching into battle like the Knight of Swords. He comes steadily. Pentacles, for a little refresher, hold the energy of the element of Earth. They are concerned with issues of finances, career, home, money, and marriage. Material things. This Knight embodies the stable, practical, dependable, hardworking aspects of the Pentacles at their best. He achieves goals. Knights tend to be men or women between the ages of 35 and 50, or so. There is no real limit. The idea here is that the Knights are older than Pages and younger than King. The differences between King and Knight energy is the maturity level and energetic level, I think. Knights are about movement, so this person is out there in the world getting shit done. The Kings have gotten their proverbial shit done, and are now reaping the benefits.

I told you that the Knights represent the best and worst of their suit's energy, and reversed would tend to be the worst of the suits attributes. Those tend to be unethical (so think the ends justifies the means, it is something all Earth signs can wrestle with as practical, utilitarian people.) This reversed knight can be scheming, shrewd (in both positive and negative ways), greedy, stingy or miserly. Or he can be horrible with money and irresponsible. But the attribute would be manifest in a way that affects his home/career/family. So this irresponsibility might come out by coming into work late, leaving early, stealing company products, embezzlement, rather than blowing off friends for a drink. Does that make sense?

Knights of Pentacles, as all court cards do, tend to represent people in our lives. They can be validations in a reading about who Spirit means. So Pentacles are earth signs--Taurus, Virgo or Capricorns. They tend to be dark-haired, serious, honest, not overly emotional, but thoughtful and considerate. They tend to have dry senses of humor. They are loyal.

If you have any questions, post it below. 

lemurian seed crystals

I could do an entire year on covering different formations and manifestations of Quartz Crystals. Katrina Raphaell named the twelve master crystals in her amazing trilogy of crystal healing books. Each of those could be a blog post in and of themselves. I haven't covered any quartz crystals in my crystal healing blog or newsletter. The topic is so immense; I admit that I am intimidated by it. But today, I thought I would cover one, very special variety, of clear quartz crystal--Lemurian Seed Crystals. 

I would imagine most amateur collectors have run across Lemurian Seed Crystals in their time in mineral shows, new age bookstores, or metaphysical shops. Like all Quartz Crystals, they have a Mohs hardness of 7. But Lemurians come from one particular place in the world--Brazil's Minas Gerais mine. The mine was closed in 2007. They are identified by striations that look like a ladder running up the shaft of the crystal. You can find Lemurians in different color varieties including clear, pink, reddish pink/mauve, and smoky. Each of these variations represent the same types of interactions all Quartz crystals can face--straight pink contain lithium, the reddish pink/mauve have iron oxide, and the smoky (like all smokies) has been exposed to radiation.

There seems to be some distinction between Lemurian and Lemurian Seed crystals (though those names are often used interchangeably), so let me briefly explain that difference in the way they look before I get into the healing qualities of the crystals. Lemurian crystals have a frosted look. They are tapered with deep ladder-like striations. Lemurian Seed Crystals have one shaft frosted, the next clear, then frosted then clear. They still have the ladder-like striations (That is the defining characteristic of all Lemurians.) The video below shows my small pink Lemurian Seed Crystal in the sun. I was trying to demonstrate the alternating clear side and frosted side with the distinctive striations of a Lemurian crystal. It is short, and shot in the wrong direction on my phone, but hopefully it will help.

Lemurian crystals hold much more than simply the Quartz vibration according to their lore. Because Quartz crystals are highly programmable, these Lemurians are said to have been programmed by the healers, mystics, and teachers of the ancient civilization of Lemuria. Lemuria is said to be a highly evolved and spiritually advanced civilization, centered more on the artistic, emotional, and spiritual than our mentally centered society. For many, Lemuria is a "symbol for an evolved state of Unity consciousness," according to the website Bridge to Lemuria.  Lemuria is said to have been based in the legendary Ring of FIre in the Pacific Ocean. There is no scientific evidence for Lemuria, but many channels and spiritual teachers have channeled information about Lemuria which seems to be confirmed by other channels who are separated by time and space. Lemuria often gets lumped into stories of Atlantis. Atlanteans were said to bring about their own demise by using their spiritual growth to become God-like. There is not as much lore about what befell Lemuria, but the same sort of catastrophe and fate is said to have come to Lemuria.

All the information modern teachers and healer have about Lemuria and Lemurian Seed Crystals comes from channeled information. Lemurian Seed Crystals were said to hold this ancient wisdom and the healing powers of this advanced society. Channeled information about Lemurian Seed Crystals say they were placed in loose sandy soil by Lemurian teachers and healers millennia before they were discovered. All clear quartz crystals are easily programmed--that is what makes them ideal to work with in healing and meditation work. Lemurian Seed Crystals are said to have been programmed by the Lemurian healers and teachers with Lemurian consciousness. In this way, they tap into that legendary heart-centered consciousness of the Lemurian people, unity consciousness, and aid in spiritual ascension. They are marvelous allies at balancing the spiritual, mental, physical, and energetic, so they are wonderful allies for healers. To access the wisdom on Lemurian, one is said to have to run one's finger along the striations, as though you are climbing a ladder. 

Lemurian Seed Crystals are said to be naturally tuned to align spiritual, energetic, and physical bodies. This is one of those crystals that the more it is used, the more powerful it becomes. It bonds with the crystal healer to help intuit vital information. Meditation with Lemurian Seed Crystals is incredibly powerful indeed. Another additional attribute to Lemurian Seed Crystals is the feeling of belonging that is inherent to its nature. Lemurians were said to be a heart-centered society, and to feel complete union with the Spiritual or Divine realms, so Angels, Ascended Masters, Divine beings like the gods and goddesses and of course our ancestors who have left the earthly plane. So Lemurian Seed Crystals can have a sense of coming home to them, as Naisha Ahsian puts it. I have found them amazing allies in tapping into my Higher Self during healing sessions with clients. I use a Lemurian to activate all my grids, and to work on my clients in crystal healing sessions.

Lemurians work best with the Crown and Soul Star chakra (all the transpersonal chakras 8-13 resonate amazingly well with Lemurian vibration). Lemurians are said to be feminine stones. I have certainly felt the heart-centered and nurturing aspects of Lemurian Seed Crystals myself. Lemurian Seed Crystals are not difficult to find, but I would suggest holding your Lemurian before buying it, getting a sense of its energy.

Whether you completely believe in the entire legend of Lemuria, or that we need to build a bridge to Lemurian consciousness, or you just enjoy the beautiful stories around Lemuria, or you find the whole thing bunk, (and I don't even know where I stand on this subject, honestly), Lemurian Seed Crystals are worth checking out and working with. From my experience, they have a unique and wonderful vibration, and do hold some powerful energy. Let me know what you think below. If you like this crystal post, share or like it. If you have any questions about Lemurian crystals or any other crystals, post it below, or send me an email at themoonandstone@gmail.com.

tarot of the week--seven of pentacles

“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” ― Alexander Pope

I'm back from a bit of a hiatus, but I hope you have been keeping up with your Tarot reading and exploring. Today's card of the week takes us right into the daily toil of work. Pentacles, ruling home, career and all concerns earthly, shows up in the Seven. A card by all intents and purpose to be a quite dull and boring card. In fact, the guy on the front embodies that feeling of impatience, boredom, disappointment and defeated attitude.

Let's talk a bit about Sevens as a group. The Sevens have no decisive theme in their imagery, like Aces or Twos. They run the gamut--from the Wands man in defensive posture, the Thief in the Swords, the Indecisive Man in the Cups, and then this hardworking man in the Pentacles. Seven numerologically speaking have some strong attributes associated with it: perfection, imagination, awareness, and understanding. It may be hard to see those attributes in this motley group of cards, but the Tarot pushes us in the Sevens to want more, to be more, to strive for more. Tarot really asks us to reevaluate and reassess our current situation, and helps us open our awareness for our soul's growth.

The Pentacles, dealing specifically about our career and home, deals with our hard work. You can see a man sowing and working in his field. His abundant vines are producing Pentacles, but it isn't enough, or what he expected. Those pentacles are cold hard cash, right?! Then, why oh why the grey sky, and despondent and defeated stance? Something is missing here. His hard work may have yielded something, but it may not be what he thought it would be. Perhaps it isn't yielding enough fast enough. Or perhaps the Seeker's perspective has changed after all the hard work.

When a client pulls this card, I know they have been working hard at their marriage, their career, their college degree, their home or some aspect of their life. Perhaps the person has focused on amassing money, but has allowed the rest of his life to fall apart. Or they may have put years into a project that still is not done. Whatever the situation (sometimes you can get some hints from the cards around the seven), the Seeker is not contented. The hard work is still not done.There is an expectation on the Seeker's behalf that when he achieves this goal, he will be happy. But the Seven acknowledges that the happiness is not here. Not yet. The missing link is the contentment and serenity of the Seeker, which seems intrinsically tied to the hard work. But is it? This is the part of the Seven that challenges the Seeker to go deeper. What makes you happy? What do you want your life to look like? How have you changed from the beginning of your hard work? In what ways have your goals changed? 

When I started this piece, I pulled a quote by Alexander Pope about expectation, "Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed." This disappointment might be an expectation. As they say, an expectation is a planned resentment, and this card embodies that resentment and disappointment. That isn't to say that the disappointment is always your fault, but rather the disappointment should be an inspiration to change your life, rather than sit in the mire of self-pity. This is the warning with the card--defeat can lead to inaction and defeat, but the Seven urges us forward. Spirit says that if you are not happy with this hard work and your fruits, find the thing that helps you find contentment. Money is not enough. The Pentacles often have a paradoxical relationship with money. On one hand, they govern the materials. On the other, they are constantly urging you to find spiritual riches rather than materials ones. I interpret this card differently for each reading. For some, I urge them to keep toiling, their goal is almost achieved. (And yes, I validate that they might be reevaluating the commitment they have, but that the fruits are almost there.) This is the kind of interpretation I do for someone in the midst of a dissertation. For someone in the midst of a home renovation, I might ask them to reevaluate if they may want to do this work themselves, or hire someone to finish it. Priorities change. So, this card does really tap into that seven energy by asking the Seeker to use that discouragement after such hard work as the impetus to sit and reevaluate what is important, what you really want, and how to achieve it. Pentacles have practical concerns, and we must remember that they also have practical solutions, so I advise my clients to make pro and con lists, to see their decisions on paper, but then to pray and meditate about it.

In health readings, the Seven of Pentacles can be an indication that internal organs or internal systems are affected. The Seeker is usually aware of this, and this is more of a validation for you. Reversed, the feeling of failure is more pronounced. The situation is advised to be left. It can also indicate mortgage or money issues around the home.  

If you have any questions about this card, or any other Tarot card, please put it in the comments. You can always see the past Tarot cards I have covered in the sidebar to the right. I try to list them by card, suit, minor or major arcana, and also by Tarot of the Week.

tarot of the week-death

Scared and sacred are spelled with the same letters. Awful proceeds from the same root word as awesome. Terrify and terrific. Every negative experience holds the seed of transformation. ― Alan Cohen

I'm back, loves. And pulled a doozy for this week's Tarot of the Week. When I think of scared and sacred, I envision Death immediately. Ironically, last newsletter (which was a few weeks back now) covered the dark cards of the Tarot. When I say Dark, I mean the ones with the dark backgrounds that inspire fear in the best of us. Death is certainly one of the most iconic images in Tarot. I often have people remark, "I hope I don't get the Death card." And I often retort, "I hope you do!"

Death's symbology fascinates me to no end, so forgive me for going into details. The image of Death personified, or the Grim Reaper, as a skeleton with black robe and scythe has persisted for centuries. Death in the Rider Waite Tarot is a mounted, armored Death carrying a flag rather than a scythe. Death rides through the battlefield carrying his pennan, so to speak, a white Heraldic rose on a black field. I rather think of this as Death's Coat of Arms, so to speak. He is noble, honored, announcing his arrival. I don't know if you know that flags are flown at half-mast to make room for the Flag of Death above it. And perhaps this is the Flag of Death.

The scene is grisly, of course. Death mounted on his steed, while the Hierophant pleads to be spared, but Death spares no man. The Pope and the pauper both die. So we see people of all ages, classes, genders on this card. The Emperor lies dead, his crown off to the side, the Empress on her knees listing to one side, the child between them. There is a flowing river behind them. Life goes on, the boat floating on the surface seems to say. In the background of the XIII Death card, you see the two Towers from the Moon, and the Sun rises between them.

Death in the Rider-Waite imagery is not about physical death. Not usually, though I have pulled it in regards to physical Death when someone is in mourning, or fearing their own mortality. Remember that Tarot readers, like all psychics and intuitives, learn their own unique symbolic language to interpret the cards for their clients. And Death for me is far from physical death.

The key to the Death card is Transformation. We put to death our old ideas, our limiting beliefs, who we thought we once were. We allow relationships to die, or the dreams we once had. The implication with the Death card, like the Tower, is that there is a change that feels like suffering. Divorce, job loss, break-ups, losing one's faith/religion of origin. These are the kinds of crisis of faith that we face around the Death card. And yet, the story does not end at Death. Death is but a beginning in this card.

In the Sorcerer's Stone, J.K. Rowling writes, "To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure." This is the energy of the Death card. This card is about rebirth, transformative experiences, liberation.  We often get this after a long period of change and disruption. These changes the Seeker is undergoing are permanent and major. And they are always for the better. Death does not come for someone who is still clinging to old ideas. He comes for those who are ready to abandon all that is not serving the Highest Good. With this card, comes the implicit demand to accept the changes.  Here is the rub in this card--humans often resist change, or find it difficult and suffering. And so we must accept. As they say, accept it now, or accept it later, but with the later, there is a whole lot of suffering in the resistance. As life dismantles, it is important for the Seeker to understand that this is the Highest Good. We adapt, adjust, move on.

Of course, the reversed position of this card is one about resisting change and growth. It is about stagnation and the inability to accept life on life's terms. It is a card of blockage in the Reversed position, and I often think of it as a crown chakra blockage because it is about resisting your soul path.

Let me know what you think of this card and any of the writing on this blog. 

tarot of the week--five of cups

The darker the night, the brighter the stars, The deeper the grief, the closer is God! ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

So, in talking about the Five of Cups, let's talk about Fives in general. Fives in the Tarot have a reputation as being rather, ahem, challenging. We talked about it a few weeks ago with the Five of Wands. They are cards of upheaval, action, and change. Again, it is your view of change that really affects how to look at Fives. As Cups deal with emotions and love, the Five of Cups is about upheaval of our emotions. Our cups are spilled over, as is represented by the fallen cups with red wine flowing into Mother Earth. That red wine looks suspiciously like blood, and right it should, we often feel like we are bleeding and traumatized by loss. There is a black cloaked person, head down, clearly crying. He or she is in traditional mourning clothes, and behind this figure runs a river with a bridge, and into a town. The sky is grey. Behind his view, there are two upright cups. He has lost more than he has, but he still has, the card seems to say.

So, this card is about loss. I pull it when the Seeker is grieving from the loss of a family member, from the loss of a marriage or relationship, from the loss of a job, from the loss of a house. Often the cards around it will give me indication of what this is about--lots of pentacles can mean it is a loss of a job; other key Cups, like the Two, Three, or Ten, can mean the loss of a relationship: Wands can mean the person is facing depression, or loss of energy (or sometimes a creative job, like an acting job); and Swords can mean they are losing a legal battle, or the loss is one of perception, rather than reality. If I pull a clarity card for the Five of Cups, I look for Court Cards, because sometimes the Five of Cups comes as a message from beyond for someone--Kings are father figures, Queens are mother figures, Knights are sibling type relationships, friends, or cousins, and Cups are children. Again, Spirit usually directs me toward this clarity. I had a reading with someone grieving a few months ago, and her reading had two Kings in it. As I was reading, I had a distinct feeling that these were cards of people who passed over, and were father figures, and gave her birthdays they could be--Air signs and Earth signs. Her grandfather was the Air and her father the Earth. She recognized them immediately. So even if you are not a medium, remember that Spirit has a lovely way of connecting our Seekers when they need it most.

For me, grief is a great teacher. I have heard the quote, "Grief doesn't change you. It reveals you." It strips away your reserves, and your facade, and exposes your vulnerability. This is a terribly scary place for those of us who wrap our vulnerability up tight, but we must move into the scary place, rather than away from it. This is the key to spiritual growth, in my opinion. And the key for healing from Grief, which feels wrong for the grieving. They fear if they give into their grief, they will never come back. But it never happens that way, does it? We think if we allowed ourselves to cry, we wouldn't stop. But we stop. We do. Moving into the scary places takes support, love and trust in Spirit. As Readers, we ask our clients to be courageous here, and move into the grief, rather than away from it, to heal. To feel every little feeling that arises and acknowledge those emotions and natural, healthy and right, even when those emotions are dark, scary and petty.

Grief can be the opening for spiritual growth and compassion, if we let it. For grief is a heart-centered experience--it is about love and connection, and the seeming break from that connection. But Spirit connects us, always, across time and space. We see this in dream time when we see our loved ones, or in release rituals where we release anger at our ex-husband and remember the great love once shared. One great gift of grief is that each person in the world can relate and understand those around us who suffer. Grief speaks one language--Love.

We all lose, we are all lost at some point. I wrote about grief and gratitude in November. This is my philosophy of grief. Moving into it, feeling it, embracing it as an expression of Love, rather than Death. I read Tarot books who tell Readers to remind the Seeker to focus on their upright cups rather than their overturned ones. But this is so dismissive to me as a grieving mother and daughter. Grief and gratitude coexist for most of us, as I write in the piece above. I recommend my clients sit with grief, and perhaps try some meditations that help them feel the emotions of grief. Another great practice is tonglen meditation, which basically says, "Since I am feeling grief already, allow me to feel the grief of others, so their grief may be lessened." This meditation is quite opposite of our instincts, but we breathe in suffering, and exhale release. We breathe in pain and fear, and exhale peace. In this way, we are asking to take in more grief, rather than less.  The idea is that we help alleviate suffering through our suffering. I do this practice in my painting work, and I made a wee film about this a few years ago. Maybe it will help you to understand the process.

So, back to the Five of Cups...when I get this card, I ask my client about their grief. I tell them to sit with it, to weep, to treat themselves like an injured person, which they are. I tell them to give themselves a time frame for grieving, and just nurture themselves through the grief. The piece I wrote recently about healing from friendship loss--so much of it can be applied to healing from any loss. Because so much of what my writing has been in the last five years is about grief, I might write a post about grief stones, support and ideas for moving through grief. If you would like more information on grieving support, please let me know in the comments. 

This card in the reversed position is about moving out of the period of grief. Spirit does this to validate and nod to your experience of grieving. It is a profound life changer, even if you are simply grieving the loss of a job. Spirit doesn't differentiate different suffering in the same way we do on earth. There is no ranking of grief or suffering. The experience of suffering is one that is a Noble Truth for a reason, and Spirit often says with the reversed Five of Cups, "Yes, you have grieved. We held you during your grief. We stood beside you. We wept with you. And now," Spirit whispers, "Now, you may go forward from here, not forgetting, but taking with you only the Love that was always there."

Please let me know what you think of this post, or this card. I'd love to hear your insights as Readers or Seekers, or someone simply interested in these spiritual truths.

 

 

psychic protection

Hi Angie!

So happy I found your site today! I am in need of your help. I recently had a reading done, this lady was amazing and was right on about everything. However, she told me that a really good "friend" of mine..actually someone I consider to be my best friend was sending me MAJOR negative energy, had ill feelings towards me, is jealous of me and does not want me to succeed. This friend of mine is VERY negative I know it, she knows it and one of the reasons I went to this reading was because I was feeling very down, negative, depressed have no motivation to finish school am trying to find my purpose in life and am always down on myself, I've never felt this badly. I know black tourmaline will help me of this, just wanted to know if you have any extra advice..I will continue stalking your site now! lol..

Thanks again can't wait to hear the feedback!

Ashley


Hi, Ashley,

I am so glad you are here, and that you asked this question.

What you described is WAY more common than people realize. I receive questions about psychic protection in my practice, in readings, in emails, and on this blog quite frequently. Sometimes people want to know why they are so exhausted when they are out in public, other people have issues with certain people in their life. Whatever the case, this is about protecting one's energy. When it is with one person, it is occasionally called a psychic attack, which is simply a purposeful projection of negative thoughts or energy on another person.

This grid is a powerful broadcaster of psychic protection. The center stone is a Smoky Quartz with six double terminated Clear Quartz radiating from the center. Smoky Quartz are in the six circles of Metatron's Cube, a sacred geometric shape that is perfectly suited for protection grids. Black Tourmaline creates the outer border with Smoky Quartz tumblies on the inside grid. It sits inside a copper pyramid which simply enhances it powerful transmuting abilities. I activated this grid with my Smoky single-terminated Quartz on the right.

This grid is a powerful broadcaster of psychic protection. The center stone is a Smoky Quartz with six double terminated Clear Quartz radiating from the center. Smoky Quartz are in the six circles of Metatron's Cube, a sacred geometric shape that is perfectly suited for protection grids. Black Tourmaline creates the outer border with Smoky Quartz tumblies on the inside grid. It sits inside a copper pyramid which simply enhances it powerful transmuting abilities. I activated this grid with my Smoky single-terminated Quartz on the right.

Often the person sending the negative energy which drains, saps and hurts you does not even realize they are affecting you, even though they may be focusing or obsessing on you specifically. Though some of these kinds of attacks are intentional, more than likely, your friend has no idea how she affects you. Her jealousy or the feeling of being less-than, or unworthy (a very common belief for us in this society) creates this unstable vibration (negativity knocks your vibration into a chaotic resonance). For me, it is not about higher vibration or lower vibration, but rather stable vibration. Meditation helps you maintain a more stable vibration, self-care does too--healing work, prayer, sitting in nature, waterfalls (negative ions), soul work, yoga, gentle movement, crystal healing, Reiki, music, artwork, energy healing...all these self-care tools we have to maintain a stable vibration.

We entrain with the vibrations around us. When we are around happy people, we feel happier. There is simple science behind this. We are energy, and we all vibrate at a certain frequency. Humans have a chaotic resonance to begin with--our heart vibrates at a different frequency than our liver or our root chakra, which is why each chakra is seen by people who have this particular talent with different colors. Colors are also a frequency, right? Humans search for homeostasis, a word most of us have heard before, or rather, they look to stabilize their naturally unstable resonance.

This is why crystal healing is so effective--crystals are geometrically perfect and hold a stable vibration. So our vibration stabilizes and entrains with the crystal vibration whose dominant oscillary rate promotes healing of that chakra, or issue. Higher vibration is not synonymous with enlightenment or higher consciousness, though it is used that way often. The key is stable vibration. When we hang out with negative people, our vibration becomes more unstable--making us exhausted, sapping our energy, making us crabby, while your more stable vibration evens out your friend's vibration. Your vibration entrains with your friend's vibration. She feels better, and you feel worse. I also do believe that people who are sending off negative vibes directed to us can affect our vibration from a distance too. It is a purposeful negative thought against you, and it is the definition of a psychic attack. (If we can affect healing over distances, then we can drain energy over distances too.) Again, most people don't consciously send bad vibes, they just cycle in negative thinking directed at someone. It is particularly difficult for empathic, psychic, intuitive or sensitive people to manage this kind of negativity.

All I can say is that once we realize these things about the people around us, we can limit our interactions with them, or really bulk up our protection when we are around them. I understand that is rarely possible--we work with emotional vampires, we are related to negative people, we interact with strangers nearly every day. But what we can do is learn how to create boundaries--energetic, internal, and external--that can help shield our energy, protect and strengthen our electromagnetic field, keep us safe, and transmute negative energy. It means saying no to people who cross our lines, and keeping our self-care as our first priority. It also means treating ourselves to a daily protection regimen. It shouldn't take a ton of time, but it is valuable to invest the minutes it does take. This is about keeping our energy to ourselves, and other people keeping their energy to themselves. Psychic protection helps keep your energy and vibration stabilized no matter what chaotic vibrations are going on around you. You remain grounded. It is like wearing a space suit in the world--you control your oxygen, your core temperature, and your vibration.

For Ashley or anyone who is feeling some of these symptoms--depression, exhaustion, feeling drained, grumpy, like your energy is sapped (whether this is from someone you know, or if this is from being empathic, intuitive or psychic and being drained from every day life), or any symptoms of empathic fatigue, I would recommend a good aura cleansing and chakra balancing. If you do Reiki or energy healing, awesome. Do it on yourself with the intention of cleansing your aura. If not, you can find a good Reiki practitioner, or crystal healer in your area to balance your chakras. (You can certainly check out Hibiscus Moon certified Crystal Healers for some incredible healers. ) I would ask for an EMF blocking layout, or protection layout. Protection involves a great deal of grounding, so if you can, get barefoot and begin the steps of grounding.

This is such a vital aspect of our self-care. I cannot emphasize grounding enough. You can do some simple techniques for grounding like going barefoot, walking outside on Mother Earth, hugging a tree, getting your root on the Earth (sits bones [or your ischium bones you massage therapists out there] touches Pachimama). Drink lots of water. Eat clean food. Normal self-care helps clear up so much of our auric debris. Truly. When I set the intention to do anything in my life, I usually create a crystal grid to hold the intention. Protection grids are wonderful additions to your sacred space. Amethyst, Black Tourmaline, Smoky Quartz, Clear Quartz, Selenite, Onyx, Black Obsidian, Hematite as well as countless other protective stones are wonderful to work with for gridding. My grid above was to broadcast protectiveness in my healing studio.

But you can also absolutely cleanse your aura at home. So, I always always always take a salt bath after interactions with toxic people, or negative people. Salt is a sacred purifier and a wonderful ally for all. I actually have a heavy duty protection bath salt in my shop. This bath is precisely for this kind of circumstance. It is intended for empathic/sensitive people, of which you clearly are. It contains herbs and crystals for a high density auric cleanser.But you can create an effective salt bath with dead sea salt and epsom salt combination. (I use black lava salt in my protection bath). I always like ritual, so I light black candles (black is the color of protection) or white candle on two sides of my bath (like you are walking through them) In my bath, I call Archangel Michael for his protection and to clear my aura. I ask him to take away any negative energy that might have built up on my aura, or any energy not serving my Highest Good. I get a bowl of some kind and dump the water over my crown, making sure it is covering my entire body. Some people dislike baths. You can still use salt in the shower by making a salt scrub, or getting a wonderful salt bath soap to scrub your aura. Sage is also an amazing ally, and I am absolutely in love with Athena's Body Smudge Artisanal Soap

Visualization is an important technique in nearly all this psychic protection work. One important visualization tool I use is to literally zip myself up in a protective white cocoon. I close my eyes, and imagine myself in surrounded by white light. Sometimes I imagine stepping into this white egg shape, or like I pick it up and pull it up and around me. I then bend over and zip it up from my Earth Star Chakra to my Crown Chakra. I imagine this white protective shell repelling any energy directed at me, and it helps me maintain my own vibration.  

Smudging oneself with sage helps clear the auric field and takes away negativity. There are a ton of different herbs you can use for different reasons--Sage is great for blessing, clearing and cleansing negativity from your person or your space. You are literally brushing the aura, which is a great technique with a smudge fan or feather. This is good for after seeing someone draining, or entering your own home to cleanse the negative juju from other people off yourself. I smudge with Palo Santo when I want to bring positive energy in, or heal in some way. So, I might smudge with sage, then Palo Santo. Again, Athena has some kick ass smudge bundles and tools. Sage Goddess rules my roost. One day, when I have my little farm, I'll be growing and bundling my own sage, until then I trust Athena's amazing tools.

I began carrying these in my shop, because I wear black tourmaline pendants, and I always recommend them to my clients. Worth every penny!

I began carrying these in my shop, because I wear black tourmaline pendants, and I always recommend them to my clients. Worth every penny!

As an empath and intuitive, I start my day with shielding and protection. One way I do this is to wear black tourmaline or amethyst around my neck. When I am in a situation around someone very toxic, I carry a combination of Black Tourmaline, Onyx, Obsidian, Amethyst and Clear Quartz in my pocket--a combination from my teacher Hibiscus Moon which I passionately endorse. I find Obsidian to be a heavy duty protector. Black Tourmaline is a wonderful transmuter of energy. What that means is that when negative energy comes at us, Black Tourmaline takes in that energy and transmutes it, or changes it, into useful energy for us. So, what does that really mean!? It means it takes chaotic vibration and stabilizes it beautifully. One way it does this is by grounding it, or helping it to stabilize to the Schumann Resonance. Wearing Clear Quartz helps enhance and clarify your energy, but it also enhances other energy, so if you are confident you are protected and zipped us, go for the clear quartz. Selenite is a protective crystal to wear. Black and grey stones tend to be wonderfully protective stones to wear--Smoky Quartz, Onyx, Black Obsidian, Snowflake Obsidian, and I love Hematite for helping to strengthen my EMF and to guard my own energy in public. It is my county fair stone, or rather, the stone I wear in public. Turquoise (real Turquoise) has the reputation as being a wonderfully protective stone for psychic work. Of course, I love wearing stone in jewelry, and one of my favorite combinations is Black Tourmaline on Copper--I have some earrings, a pendant I made...just a great combination. You can also create awesome protection grids with any combination of these stones.

One technique I use is cleansing my auric field with a Selenite wand. I created a little video to help demonstrate this technique for you.

There are literally a thousand more techniques for protecting your aura and energy from being sapped by others. These are but a few suggestions and techniques. Please post any questions or comments below. And if you have a question you would like me to cover in a long, drawn out blog post, please do not hesitate to ask me in the comment section here or anywhere on my blog. Or send me an email at themoonandstone@gmail.com, Abrazos, loves.

tarot of the week--five of wands

You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star. ― Friedrich Nietzsche

Visiting the first Five of the Minor Arcana on this blog, which again, is so surprising to me. People love to give Fives the stink eye. And perhaps with good reason, these words come to mind with Fives--chaos, upheaval, fear, deceit. The Fives appear quite dramatic in their artwork and symbols. Men fighting, people grieving, battle, and poverty.  Fives of the Major Arcana show the Pope + the Devil. The Fives however reflect one concept-- Change. Change can be terribly upsetting and difficult, and on the other hand, it is the harbinger of grace, enlightenment, wisdom, deepening. The Fives follow the beautiful stability of the Four, so one must think of the Fives as upheaval--overturning the Four stable legs of the balance preceding it. What I always remind my Tarot students is that the Tarot is not punishing, and in my humble opinion, neither is the Divine. It is how we perceive our own attachments that causes our suffering, and nothing reflects that better than Fives.

The only thing that does not change in this world is that things change. Last time I talked about a Five with the Hierophant, I suggested you lay out the five of every suit and the fives of the Major Arcana (Some talk about the XIV as another five, while others include the Devil XV) and place all the five cards in a row. (This is a great exercise when you are learning how to read Tarot.) I also mentioned that one numerology article I read, associates Five with freedom, and the process of how we handle our own freedom. As we move from the Four, a number of stability and balance (the balance of four legs, rather than two), you really begin to understand the Five as the movement from stability to action. Does that make sense? We upset our stability for growth, and in that process, we encounter change, which feels like chaos and upset and upheaval.

So, specifically, let's talk about the Five of Wands. Wands is the suit of Fire, and in this way, the Five of Wands is seen within a creative project, new business, enterprise, romance, or other fiery endeavor. Often, but not always, this can be the creativity it takes to engage with your family of origin--how to creatively tamp the fiery feelings they might inspire in you. The figures on this card are each carrying a huge wand, sparring. Five boys, really. If you look closely, you see the sky is clear and blue, indicating that there is no storm, nothing outside oneself to suggest a force beyond your control. And the boys are dressed as the Fool. By that, I mean, they are not soldiers. They are not warriors. They are not even fighting for a team or an end. Each is trying to win against four. (Our struggle against stability, perhaps.) And so, this Five is sparring, rather than fighting. Play fighting, if you will. One of my Tarot students saw this card and said, "I love this card. It is so high energy and exciting." I loved that comment, because it is true. Blue skies. Sparring. Have you ever sparred? Or play fought? It gets out this aggression without injury. It helps you learn how to defend yourself. It teaches you about moving into a real fight.

The Four of Wands is a card with a graduation or celebration. A rite of passage. A balance of creative energy, ambition, follow-through, and completion. The Five looks like chaos after that stability, but it is actually a form of education too. Breaking out into the adult world of war, practicing with one's weapon and one's independence. Each boy stands with legs wide, balanced. No one is bleeding, or hurt. Yet we have to accept that this is not mock fighting to these boys, or a mere game, they are taking this seriously. Because the suit of Wands is a creative, fiery, passionate suit, you also assume the boys feel this way. They are passionate about winning and gaining advantage. Wands often deal with creative projects, new enterprises, passionate, or romantic conquest.

In a Tarot reading, when the Seeker pulls this card, we are looking at a struggle of some kind. Depending on the cards surrounding this one, it can be an internal struggle, like weighing whether or not to quit your job and start a new business. This kind of mental sparring can be very good for your decision-making. It means you are playing Devil's advocate with yourself and trying to look at all sides of an argument. And yet, it may not feel like a good thing to the Seeker. If the Nine of Swords comes up in the reading, for example, the Seeker may be up all night wrestling with this decision or argument in her head. Other cards that may indicate an internal struggle are the Four of Cups or the Four of Swords (cards with solitary figures).

If this card portends marital struggles, you may see the Two of Cups, the Lovers, or the Five of Pentacles. Or any card with the number Two. Balance between two people expresses itself through the Twos, so think of a one-on-one argument coming up that way. A Court Card might narrow down who that is. We also can see this card when there is family disagreements and struggles. Family of Origin issues often express themselves in the chaos of the Five of Wands. Its symbols lend perfectly to that environment, because our family still loves us, we just spar with them, butt heads, and often practice our independence there first. 

This card often comes when conflict arises at work, or with a project. Maybe you are hitting walls with getting your project funded, or you are having tension and disagreements with your office mates. These kinds of arguments tend to be petty, or more personal in nature, rather than an issue where you are struggling for your job. In-fighting or rather fighting within your own team is a good way to put it. Discord in the ranks, so to speak. You can often get some indication of this through the surrounding cards if they are Pentacles, or Court Cards, when Spirit often tries to point or validate who we are struggling with. Again, Court Cards show us people in our life. And it is not that we don't know who we struggle with, it may just be that Spirit is validating. As always, don't discount the obvious on your cards. I once pulled this for someone in a martial arts competition the following weekend. So if nothing is fitting, ask if the Seeker is a boxer, fighter, martial artist, or practicing a sport where they are sparring. Or any team sport like soccer, football, or hockey.

Reversed this card indicates moving out of this kind of disagreement. Peace after fighting, or arguments, or maybe just the precursor to tell you that this phase of arguing is over. I often see this in marital readings where a couple has stopped bickering over a persistent topic. It can also mean that your Seeker would do well to go out and play some sports with other people, like join a softball league, or play tennis. Spirit takes opportunity to give us all kinds of messages. 

I believe this card, and this is just my interpretation, comes before amazing breakthroughs at work and in your creative projects. It is the struggle of the work, often enough. It is the chaos before, as Nietzsche said,  the artist gives birth to a dancing star. Approach chaos and struggle and fighting differently, more like the passionate fight for truth and beauty to reign, and this card becomes our liberator rather than our oppressor.