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.

healing from friendship loss

In my newsletter this week, I began writing about vulnerability and shame. It morphed into a piece about friendship losses. Losing friendships has been such a profoundly difficult part of my life--one where I feel most vulnerable perhaps. Friends truly are the soul family we create. I have valued each person I call a friend throughout my life as a teacher, a collaborator, a spiritual partner, and a gift. Upon reflection, some friendships were there to show me parts of myself I would have rathered stayed cocooned in the back closet of my soul, yet those instances have been the greatest teacher, catapulting my spiritual growth. You can read the newsletter piece here. I wanted to share thoughts and tips on how to deal with friendship loss on an energetic level and healing oneself. I am not going to be giving any words on how to heal the broken friendship, but rather how to heal the broken heart.

Here is what I believe is important to care for yourself and nurture your spiritual growth through a friendship loss.

1. Don't call every person you mutually know to tell them about your friendship fall out. Allow yourself one telling of the story to another person--your sister, best friend, mother, therapist, or sponsor. Gossip lowers our vibration. When you retell the story, you stoke your anger. You feed that particularly wolf. If we don't play back the storyline of injustice that we are inventing in our head, and just sit, we can begin to feel the feeling that we've been pushing off and ignoring. So, just allow yourself to feel the hurt, rather than tell the story. See how the first is heart-centered and the second is not. The latter is getting yourself out of your hurt, and moving into other fiery places like your sacral and root where justice can be perverted into revenge. 

2. Take responsibility for your emotions. Your friend did not make you angry. You felt angry as a result of your friend speaking her truth. Very different. If she is purposely trying to hurt you, then take responsibility for not putting up your guard. It is not that your friend is not culpable at all, it is simply that we must be able to, as the Serenity Prayer says, "...accept the things we cannot change...change the things we can...." We need to understand what is our emotion, and what is an issue in the friendship. I had a friend who told me she needed space. First thing I did was shoot off an email to her telling her I was there for her. She just told me what she needed, and I did exactly what she asked me not to do. In my desire to fix things immediately, I overstepped the boundary she created. So also take responsibility for your role in the friendship loss. It is important, without beating yourself up, to own your role in the friendship. That takes pure heart-centeredness and self-compassion to own your role without taking all the responsibility. It takes practice to not judge yourself, so allow yourself to be quite terrible at this in the beginning. Just know you'll get better the more you do it, and the more heart-centered you are.

This grid is centered with Rose Quartz tower with Rose Quartz coming out from the center, then Dravite (or champagne Tourmaline, a wonderful stone for self-compassion), on the outer ring, Rose Quartz, Malachite, and Rhodochrosite.

This grid is centered with Rose Quartz tower with Rose Quartz coming out from the center, then Dravite (or champagne Tourmaline, a wonderful stone for self-compassion), on the outer ring, Rose Quartz, Malachite, and Rhodochrosite.

3. Remember you are hurt, injured, and grieving, so treat yourself as such. Self-care is A Number One. Baths. Meditation. Lots of rest. Detox from Social Media. Eat clean, whole foods. Don't drink alcohol or use drugs. Feel the hurt. Cry. Practice Reiki or energy healing on your heart chakra. Or get energy work done. Surround yourself with stones for self-love--rhodochrosite, rhodonite, rose quartz, green aventurine, jade, watermelon tourmaline (or rubelite or pink tourmaline), and any other heart chakra stone you have close to you. I often do a grid for self-love during these times. I use aromatherapy for the heart and healing--rose, bergamont, sandalwood, orange, lemon, neroli, ylang ylang. 

4. Write a letter from your Shadow Self. When you are fired up, a great tool is to allow your Shadow self to write a letter. See, your Shadow (a term coined by Carl Jung) is your shame, the part of yourself you might not accept. Maybe you want to believe you have evolved so fully from being petty, angry or unforgiving that giving your Shadow any voice would give her power. If we do not accept these normal human parts of ourselves, our Shadow comes out in all kinds of dark ways. Give her voice. Listen to her. What you are listening for is where your hurt stems from, what places in your childhood this situation is activating, what other situations in your life (past or present) does this pain remind you of, and what you can release. I reassure my Shadow Angie that she is not alone, or that she is not diseased or a damaged person. This is a key to healing. It is not the suffering that is the problem, or the failure of a friendship, it is the feeling of shame, isolation, and loneliness that leads us to numbing behavior, seeking revenge, or self-punishment and depression. "I am the only one who feels this way," our terrible suffering tells us. No one is ever the only person to feel that way. Even if it is the ugliest, most horrible thought, others have had it. 

I allow my Shadow Self to have a say. I let her write a letter to God. You can address it to your guides, the universe, or your Higher Self if you struggle with God. Just sit down. Alone. No one else in the entire world will read this. It is secret medicine, and it is the point of the thing. Now, with your vulnerable, most open self, write about every feeling you have had regarding the loss of this friendship (this works with nearly all issues that come from shame.) All the ones you have called ugly, petty, shameful. Write it all. Don't hold back.

Dear God, 
When so and so did that, I was so mad, I wanted to punch them in their stupid nose. How could they be so cruel to me? Don't they know who I am? Why don't they like me? Why do I keep suffering like this? I will never love another person again. If I could talk to so and so, I would tell her that She doesn't know what she is missing. I'm a great friend. When she said I was self-absorbed, I was so angry, because my grief is a big deal, and I need to be self-absorbed right now.
Love,
Angie

Spirit can handle all these thoughts and does not judge. Give them release. When you are writing, you may cry and get angry and say WHY ME?!? a thousand times. That is okay. Give those shadow thoughts a voice. Let them see the light of day. What is giving them power is their darkness. And in the sunlight, you will be able to see that you are just a hurt person. Not a bad person. Here is where you tell the story for the last time. And then you fold up the letter, and put it in a box that can be a kind of God Box, or a Spirit Box. Some people use a shoe box, or a wooden cigar box. Once you put that letter in the box, you have now turned this entire situation over to God, or to your guides. You are allowing them to take it from here. So stop saying the same thing in your head that you just wrote down. Once you put it down, you don't have to pick it up again. 

5. Invite your Higher Self into the Conversation. I journal after a God Letter, and ask the question, "Spirit (or Higher Self), what do I need to learn from this situation?" This is where I invite my Higher Self into this conversation. Compared to your Shadow Self, your Higher Self is the part of you that knows your Soul Purpose, your life lessons, and taps into the Divine Source. You can get there through meditation and receptivity. Breathe deeply. Create a Sacred Space. Ask for guidance. 

I first write the things I have recognized from my Shadow letter. We hopefully learn the things we need to release (and accept). In my fake letter above, I ranged into self-pity. I also thought I should close my heart chakra. I had a lot of unexpressed emotions for my friend, which is a throat chakra issue. I also had that deep-seated feeling of being rejected. As an adult woman, I can work with that little Angie and comfort her from the rejection she felt as a child. These are things I then write on slips of paper--Self-Pity, Closed Heart, Shut Off From Speaking My Truth, Rejection. I write those out, then I write them on separate pieces of paper as transformational statements:

I transform self-pity into self-compassion. 
I open my heart and trust that my Guides will provide me with friendships that are meaningful and important. 
I speak my truth with compassion, calm, and love. 
I am accepted wholly and fully, just as I am, by Spirit.

One thing to remember, when I asked the question, "What do I have to learn from this situation?" in a Spiritual Counseling session with Rita Strough, she told me, "You are ascending and need to attract like-minded spiritual beings. These friendships fall away so others can come in. You did nothing wrong. They did nothing wrong. You are just making room for new people." That truth I see over and over again in my own readings with people--friendships fall away, so people with similar vibrations can come in. There isn't anything wrong with person A or person B. When we raise our vibration, we attract people with similar vibrations, and release the ones who don't resonate with us. Why would that make us angry? Even when someone hides their fear in attacks against us, we need to realize they are simple not resonating with us. Isn't that a much different perspective than "I am a bad person" or "I'm not likeable"?

6. Release what is not serving your Highest Good. I find ritual very cathartic, and so on release days--Equinoxes and Solstices, as well as Full Moon rituals, when I am absolutely ready to be done of this friendship drama, I might burn the God letter with the slips of paper containing that which I want to release from this situation. If you are working with a medicine bundle, or intention setting, remember that Spirit often gives us these situation specifically SO we release the things not serving us. I keep my transformational statement to carry in my medicine bundle or on my sacred space/altar. I say them every day for a moon cycle. When you are releasing something using the moon cycles, I release during the Full Moon or waning moon period. I set intentions during the New Moon period, and ask for growth in the waxing moon period. And also, I don't just do this. I wait until I am ready to release. Give yourself time to process your loss and understand what it is you are releasing and why.

7. Forgive easily and often. My first and final act (so this should be 1 and 7) is to pray for my friend. I don't know how to forgive in any other way than to begin praying for the other person. It requires nothing but willingness. I don't even have to release any anger or guilt or hurt. I actually get on my knees for this one, because it signals to Spirit that you are ready to embrace the humility needed to heal. Ask for your friend to have everything you want for yourself--peace, friendship, health, happiness, joy and understanding. Ask for your friend to know Spirit. When and if you have more karmic work to do with your friend, ask to bring them back into your life in a way that is peaceful for each of you. Express gratitude for the lessons (no matter how hard) they brought to you, and for showing you the places where you need work releasing attachment and ego. This is the way I have learned to forgive someone--to see them as a Divine Being of Light, as a hurt person, as someone who needs healing in the same way I need healing. If you have a healing or love grid, add their name to it. And add your own. I pray for them, whether I am still angry or not. I believe prayer (to the universe, or God, or your angels) activates your readiness to forgive. Does it mean the anger or hurt immediately dissipates? No. It means, you are showing Spirit you are ready to have this anger removed.

8. Ready yourself for new friends. I do this by working on my heart chakra. Heart opening crystal grids and layouts are wonderful. Yoga can be a great way, and just practicing self-care. Lots of self-care.

What do you think about the end of friendships and healing? What do you do when a friendship ends? Share it in the comment section of this blog.

tarot of the week--eight of swords

Back into the suit of Swords this week with a doozy, the Eight of Swords imagery often disturbs people new to Tarot. It shows a woman, bound and blindfolded on a jail of Swords. She stands in puddles of water. Behind her is a castle on rocks, rising above the shoreline. What does it all mean?

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Let's first talk about the Swords again. The suit of Air, the Swords rule communication, justice and most importantly for this card, Logic, Rationale and PERCEPTION. I boldface and capitalize Perception because the Sword challenge cards deal so often about perception vs. reality. Tarot, so beautifully elegant in its symbology, reminds us that it is often our own perception that is our biggest obstacle. We imprison ourselves, as this card tells us. Often people hear Swords as a suit of Logic, the Mind, Rational Thought, and think that is a victory in and of itself. But the Swords often have this strong meta-text that it is precisely this thing--the Mind--into which we put so much trust and faith that betrays us. Or rather betrays our Highest Good.

This is no more evident than in the Eight. No other people appear on the Eight. There is no prison guard, no torturer. This is us, struggling against our perceptions, struggling against our materialism (by materialism, I mean our attachment to things, ideas, and people rather than our spiritual center.) The latter is symbolized by the red dress, which is often the symbol in Tarot of material gain. 

Now, let's talk of the Eight. Eight, numerologically, is about balance, but a far different balance than others, because this is about the balance of power and success. (I talked some about Eights in this post) This card is about the restriction of power. Obviously you can see she is restricted. But it is far more sinister than that, because we can see the jail in which she is imprisoned is actually a theoretical cell. She could walk out if she would like. Her binds are loosely on her, her blindfold is also loose. She is in this wet muddy sand, a literal quagmire. Her indecision pulls her down, keeps her stuck in this virtual prison. It reminds me of the Matrix. What is the prison? What is real? What we deduce from this imprisoned woman is that this bondage is one of her own making. She has entrapped herself, blinded herself from her own power. This is the KEY to this card. This is a suffering of one's own making, a self-imposed crisis, so to speak.

Further, the Eight of Swords is a card of isolation. This feeling of being trapped and stuck is one that exists in the dark corners of the mind. We are as sick as our secrets, as they say. And this stuck feeling is one that often isn't given a voice. Shame, guilt, and vulnerability often surround the person in this position. They know others think they can escape easily, but they don't see it as simply as all that. (This is often a result of the third eye blockage going on. I talk more about that below.) Sure, it seems obvious they should leave their abusive marriage, but the kids, or the money, or the house, or the partner--no one really understands. The person in this card cuts themselves off from the people around them, because their entrapment is serving a need. I see this card as a card of co-dependency too, as the Devil is a card of addiction, this one is a card of addiction to others. Not to save us, though that is certainly part of the interpretation of this card, as I will talk about later, but the ways in which we need people to remind us that we are not stuck. That we have a choice in our life at every turn. Spirit happily volunteers to do this in Tarot readings, reminding you that this stuckedness is of your own making, even when it seems like it isn't. 

When this card comes, often the Seeker is feeling trapped--in their job, marriage, friendships, home, situation, or caretaking role. Or maybe a combination of those things. And as a reader, it is important not to belittle that entrapment or that feeling of being stuck. It is very real. I often pulled this card for myself when I was caretaking for my father when he lived three hours away. Every weekend, I would drive three hours each way to do his laundry, take him to lunch, pay his bills, then drive three hours back home. Sunday was spent doing my own cleaning, laundry, etc. I was so exhausted. I felt stuck. Unable to break out of this routine. I imposed those rules on myself. What would happen if I did not go? No one else had put this pressure on me, certainly not my father. I was trying to make my father's illness okay by showing up. I felt I was the only one to do all this running and cleaning and caring. My father wanted me happy, and he wanted me to care for myself too. Taking a weekend to breathe and practice self-care was important, but I refused to see it. Rather I talked about how busy and maxed out I was. How hard my life was. How much I needed a break. 

Because this card overexaggerates the power of the individual's restriction of power, this card comes when we are in martyr roles, or in roles where we expect or wait for someone to save us. When it is the latter, you might see some Knight cards in surrounding environment cards, or in obstacle cards, or in the reversed position. Though this card often indicates a perception, Spirit sometimes validates being actually trapped with this card (which makes this slightly awkward for the Reader). Are you actually trapped, or do you have a choice here? Lacking money or job can bring those feelings of being trapped, but changing those situations isn't just about changing one's mind. In those cases, look around at the other cards to offer hope, love, support, and solutions.

I read Tarot for chakra blockages and body work. When talking about chakras, the Eight of Swords blocks her solar plexus, sacral, and third eye. The solar plexus houses our power and will. Our creativity and fire resides in the Sacral chakra. So you might pull this card with someone who, because of their feelings of entrapment, feels the blahs--unable to be passionate about even freeing herself. She has resigned to live half a life, trapped and bound. The Seeker might not be able to see her situation clearly. The blockage in the third eye also feels like a Spiritual abandonment. Or they may be experiencing analysis paralysis, meaning the person is stuck in all the possibilities and thinking everything through, rather than action oriented decisions. Also her hand nadis, the one that bring healing and compassion to others, is blocked. Those chakras connect with others through touching and feeling. The Seeker may be recoiling from receiving help or connecting with others. As a Reiki practitioner and crystal healer, I would work on these chakras to open them. A great stone to bridge the Solar Plexus and Third Eye is Pietersite, which would be a great stone for someone consistently pulling this card.

What do you think of the Eight of Swords? How do you interpret it? What part of this interpretation did you resonate with or not resonate with? Tell me in the comments. I love connecting with my readers, so feel free to send me an email at themoonandstone@gmail.com.

tarot of the week--ace of swords

Swords hold the energy of the element of Air--communication, perception, listening. Swords also swing or defend for justice. Swords symbolize courtrooms and lawyers and power. The last idea, this concept of power, is something we don't often talk about with Swords. Personally, I focus on the idea of Swords as representations of our perceptions--either false, or self-serving. So many of the Swords have difficult images of defeat and suffering, and these are often borne of our wrong perception, or our symbolic defeat by wrong-thinking. But Power is a theme of the Swords, it has to be. Think of the quote, "He would holds the Sword holds the power." The underlying theme, however, remains true power is in one's objective perception. The Swords call for your clarity of mind, your fair judgment, your articulate understanding, and your sound resolution.

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So, why all this talk of Swords? Because Aces hold the most pure representation of the suit. You can read more about Aces in this post. The Ace of Sword is adorned with symbols of Victory and Power. The mountainous background always suggests obstacles overcome and strength. The crown represents the victory over those obstacles and the power that comes with conquest. The palm represents triumph, while the olive branch represents peace. It is part of the gift of the Ace of Swords to recognize when to choose peace and when to choose war.

Aces have the same symbols on the front, a hand coming from the sky, handing you the symbol of the suit. In this case, the Sword adorned. This card is seen as a gift. And by that, I mean, the gift is the energy, the universal movement, behind your own action and will. I often see this as God or Spirit pushing you forward, making all the lights green on your roadtrip to your victory, or drafting you, if you are into bicycle racing. They represent the cliche, God will move mountains, but you need to bring a shovel. This is God saying, "I'm opening all the doors for you, give you some good breaks, now take them."

As I mentioned, so much of the Swords energy is mental. It resides in logic, rationale, and measured actions. If there is plotting! Intrigue! Cunning! It is a Sword. So, when we talk about all this Swords with the Ace, we talk about a new start in terms of communication, logic, or justice. I often see this when someone has begun speaking their truth, or recognize their own power and strength.  We see someone getting honest with themselves, ready to see things exactly as they are, and own up to their part in situations. Perception is a powerful ally. And often, the Ace may not mark a physical new beginning, like a new job, or new situation, but rather your perception of an on-going situation is new. You have new optimism, or you are able to really see the potential, where you once didn't. 

I've been reading and listening to Brene Brown's work on Vulnerability lately. So much of what she talks about with vulnerability and shame is really about the courage to own one's fears, perceptions, and limitations. And then do things in spite of one's fears, or wrongful self-perceptions. She equates vulnerability with courage. And the courage to move through fear, rather than let it make your decisions. One quote I love from her is, "If you are not doing vulnerability, then vulnerability is doing you." So much of the Swords show vulnerability doing the Seeker--the Three, the Five, the Seven, the Eight, the Nine, even the Ten. 

For the Ace of Swords reversed, you will see the Ace pointed into the ground--useless, ineffectual. It is not a victory card. This differs in much of the Aces, because they often ask you to align your intentions with the Highest Good of all, rather than self-serving motivations. The Ace of Swords, however, turns the Sword on himself. Then Vulnerability is really doing the Seeker. He is certainly feeling attacked, but much of that is in his head. It is not reality. So, all the justice, clear-thinking and balance is turned upside down. In this case, I always tell someone to consult a mentor, therapist, a sponsor, if they are in a recovery program, someone to "check in" with. We cannot let our crazy run us, we need to run our crazy. The Ace of Swords reversed means the logic needs to be realigned.

With most reversed cards, the energy of the upright card is there, ready to be righted. I always tell my clients this, because it is vitally important. The reversal of this card is just another perception. The energy of the Swords is there, the power of the Ace, but it is misdirected. Pause. Check in. Right it. There is power in checking yourself.

 

pyrite

I have to admit that prior to becoming a crystal healer, or even becoming an adult, Pyrite was one of those geological words I actually knew. And whenever I was hiking and caught a glimpse of gold in the wild, "Fool's Gold," I would scream like an Old Tymey Prospector, quoting Little House on the Prairie. As a crystal healer, though, Pyrite though has become one of my closest crystal allies. I use Pyrite often and plentifully in crystal healing sessions, in meditation and in mojo bags.

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Pyrite is an iron sulfide with a Mohs hardness of 6-6.5. If you have purchased Pyrite, you might have seen wee little cubes of it, because its crystal patterns is cubic, as well as octahedral, and pyritohedral. (Don't you love when you have little cubes of crystals!?!?) It is a perfect golden color, and it comes from the Greek for fire, because when you strike two pieces, you can create a spark. (Good to know if you are on a crystal healing adventure in the wild!)

Pyrite traditionally works with the Solar Plexus chakra for manifestation, action, willpower, creativity and confidence. Many people feel it is a masculine stone, which helps strengthen masculine energy (great for people who need to balance Feminine/Masculine energy) or for those who might want to work with God energy/Father Sky. I also use Pyrite on the Earth Star Chakra to help ground those feelings of not enoughness. Naisha Ahsian groups Hematite, Pyrite and Cuprite (copper) as an Earthing triad--balancing male and female polarities and manifesting one's spiritual path in alignment with Mother Earth, as Naisha says.

Based on her recommendation, I have worked with them together, and find it a wonderfully balancing team. I'm going to write more about this in my newsletter this week. For my personal work, Pyrite is a huge ally for manifestation and creative work, and making dreams come true. I love the strength of Pyrite's energy. It is a powerful stone that commands attention, and in that way can help you command attention. I often use it when I am helping men get in touch with their masculinity, which believe it or not is a huge issue. How to be emotional and masculine. We don't talk much about the difference between crystal healing on men and women, but I do use different stones on men and women. (I also use different stones for each individual.) But Pyrite is my go-to solar plexus stone for men.

It is a wonderful ally for Persistence. When you are energetically waning, Pyrite is a great tool. As I read somewhere, if you can't have a nap, grab some Pyrite.  But in terms of creative projects that have lost their fire within your belly, Pyrite can help rekindle energy to finish. In fact, Pyrite is wonderful for any creative project--art, music, writing, performance. A grid with Pyrite is also an awesome way to go to work with its energy. It resonates beautifully with Citrine. And with Carnelian for creative and sexual power. (That is a powerful combination for the bedroom.) It's wonderful for the memory (perhaps that is what persistence is, the continued and extended memory of your passion). It is also a stone of the leader,so use it when you need to bring in those qualities. One of my beautiful Tarot colleagues said that she sees Tarot cards as symbols in her other psychic work, and when I was writing this, I saw the Emperor. The Emperor is the energy of Pyrite.

I hope you connect with my thoughts on Pyrite. I would love to hear what you think and how you have worked with Pyrite. Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter to read more. This week I'm going to talk about balancing feminine and male energies, including some great meditations to do so. 

 

 

 

 

tarot of the week--eight of pentacles

Is it possible we haven't discussed eights at all on this blog?!? 

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Funnily, this week I had a reading where three of the four Eights were pulled. And basically, in a row (though they are not pulled the row, as you may or may not know). Again, I wonder to no one in particular why I chose to do these cards this way...but Eights we will touch on today as we venture into the Pentacles.

Like all of the Tarot's Even cards, Eights are about balance. The Even cards each deal with a different kind of balance, however. Twos are about Balancing Energy. Fours are about Stability (or a four legged table's balance). Sixes are about Restoring Balance. The eights, however, are about balancing power and success, each dealing with this balance of power in their own way. In this way, when you lay the Eights in front of you, there doesn't seem to be a theme. But if you look at them as Restriction of Power, or the Exertion of Power, you can see the theme of Balance of Power in them all. The Eight of Wands is the card that comes after movement has been blocked (restoring balance of forward motion), Eight of Cups is moving on physically and emotionally to restore balance, Eight of Swords is about restriction of power (feeling powerless), and the Eight of Pentacles is about financial power through hard work. If we look at the Eights in terms of where they fall in the numerology of the Minor Arcana, the Eight proceeds the completion of the Nine. So the Eight raise the last blockages to completion, the final leg of the race, so to speak. It is why the Eight is so disturbing, because Swords deal with perception. The last illusion is that one is trapped, powerless. 

The Eight of Pentacles doesn't have the illusions to restriction of power as the other Eights do. In fact, for a financial or career pull, this card becomes a wonderful ally, reminding you to continue working hard, honing your skills, you are almost there! In this card, we see a man on a bench, carving a pentacle into a coin. Behind him, the village readies for him to begin selling his wares. His role is that of the apprentice. He is working hard to learn his craft, and this learning comes in the form of repetitive creation. This is how we learn after all--doing the same thing over and over. Though the sky in the background of this card is grey, it is not considered a dark or depressed card. This is often called the Card of the Apprentice. Generally, it comes when someone is considering or in school, finishing their degree, working in an apprentice-type job, or as an intern. This is the long road toward financial completion. But this work can be a project (like writing a novel, or working on an art project), or a relationship, like someone in counseling if this is a relationship issue.

The card harkens to the Seven of Pentacles, where a man is depressed, standing in a field, hoeing his pentacles. Wondering when the fruit of his labor will be manifest. This is the man taking back his power and learning a new skill, honing his craft, making something for his future. So, the achievement of power is through work here, and that after all is the theme of Pentacles--finances, home, security, career, hard work. Though he is an apprentice, you do not see his mentor. It is because the card emphasizes personal power through hard work, self-discovery, and education. So, though this card is about apprenticeship, it isn't about searching for a teacher, per se. I want to emphasize that concept, because there are cards that do recommend you find a teacher--the Hermit, for example. The Three of Pentacles is about finding a benefactor (financial partner). This is about honing your skills. Working hard, mastering your craft, so to speak. I pulled this card often in the months before I launched my business. So at that time I did a ton of free readings and crystal healings, figuring out where my strengths lay, how to work with people, etc. That was me honing my craft.

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I want to talk about three Pentacles that people often conflate. I talked about them above a bit, but let's look at them together. The Three, the Seven and the Eight. The Three of Pentacles is the card of the Artisan. This is someone on their soul path, creating art or rather his job is based on his unique skills. It doesn't have to be art, music, or writing, but often is. The benefactor plays a role in his work, after all, he works on commission. So this is often about financial partnership. The monk represents the blessings of a Higher Power, so it is soul work, often. Something the artisan sees as his soul path. This work is technically, spiritually and financially fulfilling. (The three in this card.) The Seven of Pentacles is a card of impatience that fulfillment hasn't come yet. So, it also is about hard work, but almost that frustrating toiling on hard work. I have pulled this when someone is in the last stages of their phD, for example, or in a position in their job where they aren't being promoted. There is a feeling of dissatisfaction, frustration, impatience here. The fruits are growing on the vine, but they are either not enough, or not ripe yet. The Eight is also about hard work, but the Apprentice knows his fruits are of his own creation, and right there. There isn't a sense of frustration here, just hard work and learning. So compared to the Seven--the Eight is a spiritually balanced card, while the Seven is one of imbalance. 

I hope that helps. I often go where my brain (or Spirit) leads me on these blog posts, so maybe I was the only one who confused these cards when I was learning, but I think it is useful to look at the cards of the same suit together, or the same number. I think if I make it through the Tarot, I will begin to do that on this blog, looking at numerology, or the suits together. We can learn a lot about themes that way. I also apologize for not writing last week, or my newsletters. I'll be back to my usual schedule this week. Again, any questions or topics you would like discussed, please feel free to write them in the comments.

tarot of the week--ten of wands

Just as Aces kick off the suit with all the potential and energy of the suit, Tens complete the suit and carry it into the next phase of the Seeker's life. With the Cups, we see the happy family beginning their "happily every after" time. Swords, ten of which poke out of the back of a man in battle, the new beginning is one of freedom, transformation, whole soul change. With the Pentacles, we see legacy, estate, the passing on of wealth and money. These end cycles are represented by both the most positive images (literally rainbows and dancing, lush gardens and large homes) and the most disturbing one (a man killed with swords in his back). 

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The Ten of Wands is one of those cards that people often dismiss with a casual, "Yep, I'm carrying a lot." But the Ten of Wands is so much more than that, deeper we go to uncover the truth here. The Suit of Wands holds the element of Fire--creativity, passion, ambition, enterprise and business. It is an action-oriented suit, one that really speaks to the fire in one's belly. It is charismatic, dynamic, inspiring. Or rather we are charmed by our projects, and we influence others to believe in us. There is a competition here underlying these cards. That is part of the suit of Fire, ask any Leo, Aries or Sagittarius about that wild competitive streak in them. There is vision here, drive, self-motivation. We start businesses under the Ace of Wands, and in the Ten we see the business grow and change.

So, imagine that your Seeker, or you, is watching their inspiration grow through the Wands. Ace is the melding of Divine inspiration, passion and creativity to begin the journey to starting your business. At the Two, you begin achieving, understanding your personal power. In the Three, you contemplate expansion, taking stock. In the Four, there is celebration. In the Five, you have minor competition and struggles. In the Six, you have overcome those struggles for victory. The Seven holds more defense, but you have the upper hand. After all, you have traveled through this far, and you know how your business should be run. In the Eight, all the blockages are removed from the Seven and Five, and it is full speed ahead. The Wands land in the Nine, and we stand at the ready--exhausted from the battles, but not quite having won the war. In the Ten, we see a man carrying ten wands on his back, trudging to town. His wands have sprouted fruit, and he is going to sell the fruits of his labor.

So, where is the growth here? The completion? This is the time when the Seeker needs to expand again and possibly hire some help. We often nod when we get this. It makes sense. We are carrying burdens for our family, for work, for friends, and it is too much to juggle and walk. We do this for success, but what Tarot warns us in this card is that our independence and self-reliance can only get us so far. We may experience success, but we need to share our burdens and hard work to grow into the next phase. So, this is the new phase--delegating.

There is much to acknowledge here as a positive. The sky is clear, the wands have leaves, and the man is moving forward. He keeps going. When the Ten is pulled, you can be sure the person sitting in front of you is working hard, but it can mean he has too much on his plate. When someone owns a business, I see this card as hiring a new person, or delegating to someone who already works there. Often this card comes when someone is a primary caregiver for an elderly or infirm relative. I often suggest self-care, and asking for help, even hiring help. In physical terms, this card sometimes comes with backaches, neck aches, spinal issues.

You can read many interpretations of this card, and most of them are negative, or rather have this warning of failure in the offing. This is not my feeling of this card at all. I see it as a warning, but not of outright failure...the build-up and suit of Wands doesn't lend itself to that interpretation. There is hard work, inspiration, passion, and drive here. In the Ten, the passion gets worn down by hard work, but it is not extinguished. But because of the high standards of Fire signs and the element of Wands, asking for help can be seen a kind of personal failure. It is a fear of vulnerability. Fire signs needs to ask for help. Nearly across the board you can assume that about a Fire sign. They bear their own burdens, secrets, and self-imposed standards. It is difficult for them to rely on others, to trust, or to turn to others for help in any area of their life. The most successful Fire signs are those who master the art of delegation, rely on others and ask for help. That is what this card is about, and it is a lesson for us all.

Wands are leaders and visionaries. They own businesses, create massive projects, (or small ones). They teach others innovative solutions. They run the show. They bring people together, and inspire them. This is their gift. This card asks you to do what you do best, which is create these amazing works and businesses. Let someone answer the phones and carry the large sticks, sell the wares. Let them carry the burden of the daily toil. It is time to free yourself to start new businesses. Put down the bundle and start a new fire.

 

mercury retrograde

Since today (February 6, 2014) kicks off a three-week Mercury Retrograde period, I decided to cover some stones to help you deal with the unnerving effects of this period. 

What is Mercury Retrograde? It is actually a giant planetary optical illusion. All planets revolve around the Sun, but there are times when it appears from Earth, because of our motion around the Sun, that a planet will stop and go backwards, then stop again and move forward, or go direct. This isn't happening at all. It is physics. Think of when you are at a stop light, and are rolling forward very slowly, and the car next to you is moving more slowly than even you, it actually can appear that the other car is rolling backward. We are actually overtaking Mercury on the orbital highway, so to speak, so this is why Mercury seems to move backward. All planets move around the Sun in orbits, but because Earth perceives this retrograde, astrologers believe it affects us Earthlings. By the way, this happens to all planets from our point of view on planet Earth.  In the beginning of 2014, Venus went Retrograde, and astrologers suggested that we not get any new hairstyles, or changes in our appearance. "No plastic surgery!" they warned, since Venus rules appearances and beauty. Mercury is perhaps the most well-known retrograde, because it happens three times a year, and is closest to the Sun. 

Mercury is the messenger God in Ancient Greek mythology, and so the planet rules communications--electronic, telephone and in person communication. It affects electronics, or those things that deliver messages (messengers). So computers go on the fritz, phones drop in toilets. Last summer, my dishwasher had a wee clog, and my husband pulled it out to fix it, lost a little itty bitty screw, and we had to buy a whole new dishwasher (apparently, they don't sell just the screw. Go figure). Mercury Retrograde warns not to sign any contracts. I signed our house contract during the last Mercury Retrograde in November, and I can attest that it was a nightmare (still is a nightmare). We have confusions, misunderstandings, arguments, taking things personally...oy. So, any texts, emails or communications you receive during this time, breathe. Apply the Four Agreements--be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't assume. Do your best.

One of my mentors and favorite teachers Athena from Sage Goddess actually enjoys Mercury Retrograde. Read her wonderful article on it. I wouldn't exactly say I enjoy it, but I have learned the hard way to respect the power of Mercury Retrograde, and work with the energy through crystal healing. It truly is a time to slow down. Do your homework on any project. We don't make decisions impulsively in Mercury Retrograde. We plod along, which ultimately serves our Highest Good. It can be a wonderful period of reflection, self-care and bear medicine.

I would avoid making plans during this period. As they say, "We plan, and God laughs." This is particularly true during Mercury Retrograde, so just bow out politely, or be non-committal. If you don't want to say, "It's Mercury Retrograde! ARE YOU NUTS?!?" Just say that you are taking time for yourself right now. There is nothing wrong with that. You deserve time alone. My suggestion, if you are interested in Astrology and the moon cycles, is also to see how this Retrograde period is interacting with the rest of the sky. This piece describes the way Mercury Retrograde manifests in each sign. This cycle we are in Aquarius (until the 18th of February) and then in Pisces for a few days is about freedom and independence and intellectual battles. This does help tailor our stones too.

But let's get a base line for what stones to use in a Mercury Retrograde. Firstly, we want to use some grounding stones to help us focus on our connection with Mother Earth and our inner Higher Selves. Any Retrograde period can make us feel turned around, which causes us to feel ungrounded. For this, I suggest Hematite + Pyrite as a combination. In the last few months, I have felt strongly that these two metallic stones work in harmony as a kind of Yin Yang grounding couple, actually functioning as two sides of the plug, so to speak, into Mother Earth. Working with Hematite alone can be very beneficial as well. You don't have to have everything I suggest to make this work, just use what you have and improvise. If I say grounding stone, and you only have obsidian, use it! I also love Smoky Quartz for this time period, and a Smoky Citrine is even better. Smoky Quartz is a wonderful enhancer and ally when working with other stones, so I love seeing this in a grid with other other Mercury Retrograde stones. I always suggest Black Tourmaline for an EMF absorber,and so consider it during this time period when electronics go haywire!

Because Mercury Retrograde rules communication, it only stands to reason that we use Throat Chakra stones like Aquamarine, Blue Lace Agate, Hemimorphite, Amazonite, and my favorite for Mercury Retrograde is Fluorite, often called the stone of the student. It really helps with clarity and understanding. 

So, how do we work with these stones in a Mercury Retrograde period? We can carry some grounding stones with communication stones in a little mojo bag. I don't like to carry more than three stones at one time. So maybe Hematite, Smoky Quartz and Aquamarine in a mojo bag. Or Blue Lace Agate, Smoky Quartz and Ametrine. You can wear some grounding jewelry. I was actually thinking of creating some Mercury Retrograde earrings to wear during this period! But wearing some gemstone bracelets like Hematite, or Black Tourmaline with an Amazonite, might be a wonderful way to work with these stones' energies. You can sleep with them, carry them in your pocket, bathe with them, drink them in a gem water (be sure to check a toxic stone list before doing this. Black Tourmaline is not recommended for waters.) My favorite way to work with stones during  a time period is to create a grid that holds the energy and counteracts some of the effects of Mercury Retrograde. 

An easy and helpful grid for ANY time of the year, but particularly Mercury Retrograde, is a grounding grid. I suggest this grid for businesses where lots of energies are coming and going or for time periods that are chaotic, like moving house, or job changes. 

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You can also connect this grid to a larger room or house grid by connecting the stones. I used a center stone of Black Tourmaline on a flower of life grid cloth for lower chakras. Radiating from the center are six spokes of black tourmaline rods into a stone, then the other six spokes are Black Obsidian Arrowheads pointing INTO the center of the grid. We are directing energy within, rather than outward. This is important when you want to ground your energy. Out from the Arrowheads are Hematite and Pyrite like the two holders of the reigns of that energy. it is a simple and easy grid. I also sage when doing this grid and sometimes do a Shamanic Journey to have guidance on what stones or animals to use in grounding. I also have this bust of my Spirit Guide that I use to include him in my work during this time period of Mercury Retrograde. I don't think communication mix-ups happen to you and your guides during Mercury Retrograde.

I also love working with the Medicine Wheel grids for grounding and spiritual connection to ancestor work, Mother Earth and all living beings. This would be a wonderful grid for the Mercury Retrograde period.

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This is a large Medicine Wheel grid I put together for meditation work I was performing for grieving mothers.

This is a large Medicine Wheel grid I put together for meditation work I was performing for grieving mothers.

This grid is as ancient as the people, I believe in my heart of hearts. It is aligned on to magnetic North, and contains a symbol of all the elements. It is truly a working altar, so to speak, and a connector to all the Elements and Mother Earth. Starting East, the direction of Air, dawn, new beginnings, I used Citrine, a feather, sacred tobacco as the herbal offering, and incense; South, direction of Fire, passion and completion, I used Red Jasper, sage as the sacred offering; in the West, the direction of Water, reflection, emotions and contemplation, I used Black Obsidian Arrowheads, this time pointing outward, the sacred offering of Cedar, a bowl of water, and a shell; in the North, the direction of Earth, I used Clear Quartz (though Howlite is traditional, as well as Snowy Quartz), the sacred offering of Sweetgrass, and Wood. I actually used Clear Quartz in the center, and Selenite for the spokes and direction markers.

This next grid I designed specifically for Mercury Retrograde:

 

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This grid's center is a Fluorite pillar. I put a mirror underneath the Fluorite to amplify its energy, radiating out are six double terminated clear quartz crystals with Amazonite, and Fluorite again around the edge. Because I only had four Fluorite tumblies, I used two larger magenta Fluorite pieces on the North/South axis on this grid. The Octahedron is particularly special to me. On the other spokes around the outer edge are Hematite, and inner grid are Pyrite. 

Play. Use your intuition. Work with different crystals that are special to you. Whatever you do, share your grids and crystals here. I'd love to see what you are doing for Mercury Retrograde.

 

tarot of the week--the hermit

If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher. ― Pema Chödrön

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So often I get this glimpse into the Card of the Week in readings I do the days before I write. The Hermit was pulled in one card readings this week, and I felt so strongly I was going to be writing about him today.

The solitary figure on the Hermit remains one of the most mysterious and recognizable archetypes of the Tarot--the Wise Man. He isolates, go into seclusion for Spiritual Awakening. Siddharta joined a good of ascetics to find enlightenment. Christian monks join a silent orders and seclude in a monastery. Some see this figure as the Magician mid-quest, finding answers to the mysteries of the Elements, the Universe, and the Infinite. Others see him as Merlin coming out of his cave, or Moses coming back from the Mountain with his tablets.

Wisdom. Knowledge. Intuition. Spiritual connection. Guides. Teachers. This card represents all that embodies the spiritual quest. But let's take a deeper look at this card. Firstly, the number of the Hermit is IX--nine, the number of completion. So, a phase of this Hermit's searching has come to an end. Whether it is the solitude that ends, or the period of teaching is up to you as the Reader. We often can tell this by the other cards around this card, or we get a kind of clairsentience about it. Most often than not, I find this is about the former.

And as they say, "It is easy to be a Holy Man on top of a mountain." What that means is that connecting with Spirit and the Divine when we are cut off from the distractions and irritants of life is easy. We absorb and learn through meditation, prayer, books, reading, writing, opening to Spirit, but it is when we interact with other messy, imperfect, complicated humans that our true spirituality rises out of us. That is how we measure our spiritual wellness. The Hermit completes his cycle of Solitude. He has learned all he can learn alone in the woods or on the mountain. He must now find a teacher, a community. So much of this card is about humility.

What? You say...humility? Why you just said this is about the Hermit's wisdom?

That's right. Wisdom is having the humility to find a teacher despite your considerable knowledge. This card might say at the bottom, "Listen more than speak today." Or as my friend's grandmother used to say, "Just because you know it, doesn't mean you have to say it." We embrace the curiosity of our Higher Self, Guides, Angels and Masters who are always curious about this human experience. When our anger flares up, our Guides don't say, "Stop being angry." Rather they say, "Get curious about this anger. What is still rising in your attachments? Where are you afraid? Why are you afraid?" 

I love Pema Chodron's quote above, because it epitomizes this card. We cannot always assume our teachers are there to teach us how to do things. Sometimes they are there to teach us how not to do things. Sometimes they provoke a resentment, which teaches us about where we need work. Or we see resistance rise up in us, or our spiritual principles challenged in a way that makes us hot, uncomfortable, unsure...these are all ways of teaching and learning, if we allow ourself to get curious about ourselves. The Hermit is ultimately curious about himself and his Spiritual practice and beliefs. He is ready to challenge them. He is ready to put them to the test. Do they work in real life? Pema Chodron has this wonderful lesson about this very concept called Troublemakers.

So much of the Major Arcana is about our spiritual condition, and no card epitomizes this journey more than the Hermit. It is card of the Seeker, the person on a quest for some empirical truth. The Quest is often the only truth there is. So, I pull this card when my client is  on the crossroads--either they've been working with a teacher and are ready for their own Vision Quest, or time of Solitude, or the opposite--they've been learning at home alone and need to find a mentor or teacher of some kind. This also comes up when someone is ready to go back to school for more education, or begins a spiritual journey. Most often than not, I get this for people who are intuitive who need a mentor or guide to open fully to Spirit. 

What I adore about the Hermit remains this concept of humility and spiritual growth. Funnily, this is my life card, and it is no surprise to me, honestly. I have been spiritually seeking since Catechism, and my life has been marked by my spiritual lessons and teachers. Though the underlying theme of the Hermit is our connection to the Divine, to Spirit, to our own Higher Self, this connection comes out in the humility to allow yourself to be teachable. Every. Single. Person. is a teacher, if we allow them to be. If our Higher Self had a card, this would be it. This Higher Self knows that the expression of enlightenment is service to mankind. By service, I mean, we teach and learn and show by example. the power of compassion and love in all our interaction with others can be the most influential spiritual lesson of their life.

Reversed, this card might mean that humility is lacking in your Spiritual health. You might have wisdom, but are not applying it, or living by your morals or principles. It can also mean that you are lacking connection to your spiritual beliefs and need to reconnect with your Higher Self. A great affirmation for this card is:

I embrace my beginner's mind and allow myself to remain teachable from my guides, angels and all people I encounter.

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When I opened my birthday present a few weeks ago from my sister, I just had to burst out laughing. As an identical twin to another psychic, it always cracks me up how we connect, and how Spirit works through us together. There sat this gorgeous Scolecite, and in her gift, there was a miniature version of the Scolecite she gave me. I hadn't worked with Scolecite before, but when I am looking to gift myself or someone else a crystal, I often just hit my favorite stone shop (one with abundant and plentiful stones, not just tumblies), and wander around. Spirit takes me to the nooks and crannies, and I read the names of crystals I have only seen in books. Where I am drawn, I buy. I read later about its properties, if I don't know. I just go with my gut and my eye. I felt Scolecite for my sister. Funnily, my sister felt Scolecite for me a whole other American state away!

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Honestly, i didn't even read about it when I got home. I could tell from looking at it and holding it that it had some beautiful properties. Its white color and properties reminded me of Selenite. I knew it resonated with the crown and third eye. I could feel them both pulse when I held the specimen in my non-dominant hand. It is an incredibly peaceful stone, one of tranquility. It was almost as if I could hear the wind in it, a gentle breeze of relaxation.

What I didn't know about Scolecite is that it isn't quite as delicate as Selenite with a Mohs hardness of 5-5.5. it is a Zeolite mineral, which is cool. I also had no idea that Scolecite is a stone that is wonderful for dream work, astral travel, and journeying--all of those things I have been engaging in this past month. When I'm working with it, it is a gentle ally, yet afterward, upon reflection, I should say, it feels like a crown chakra blast. Almost like my guides have plugged me into Spirit, or maybe even my Higher Self is a better description. I have enjoyed my early workings with Scolecite, and would love to hear any of your experience. 

So far the affirmation I have felt with it is:

I open to the peace of my Higher Self.

tarot of the week--ace of pentacles

“Potential," I said, "doesn't mean a thing. You've got to do it. Almost every baby in a crib has more potential than I have.” ― Charles Bukowski

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Aces hold the strongest, purest energy of the Suit's attributes, and really they are this beautiful convocation of Universal/Divine energy and personal fire and energy. They are the seed of inspiration, the absolute nugget of potential to be whatever you want to make it. Of course, with each suit, the Ace holds the intent, the Highest manifestation of the element's expression. The Ace of Pentacle represents a new job, with new growth, possibility, achievement, for example. The Ace of Wands might hold a new passion, creative project or dynamic expression--a new fire in one's belly.

Pamela Coleman Smith chose to represent the Ace as a gift from the Divine, depicted on each Ace as a hand coming from Heaven--the Hand of God, so to speak. Marcia Masino sees this hand harkening to Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel painting of God creating Adam, or rather the representation of the Creative Principle. Still others see this hand as the Magician's hand, as the Magician is the Key number I in the Major Arcana, and his genius and reigning talent is the use of all the Elements for his good. Certainly, most people do see the Aces as bridging the energy of the Major Arcana with the Minor Arcana, and I love the idea of the Magician reaching from Major to Minor, from the heavenly or spiritual concerns of the Major Arcana to the earthly concerns of the Minor Arcana.

So, whether you see this hand as the hand of the Magician or the hand of God, the Universe, Great Spirit, Creator, or Source Energy, this hand endows you with all the potential that the suit carries. Or the Magician (or your Higher Self) manifests it for you, if you want to see it that way. It is the seed. The root. The spark of life. Of course, the responsibility to take action on this energy and exploit it falls on the Seeker.

One must take advantage of this energy. As Margaret Atwood said, "Potential has a shelf life." And thus, this Ace energy also has a shelf life. It is the opening of a door, the beginning of a new phase. The phrase, "God will move mountains, but you need to bring a shovel" comes to mind here. As it holds the energy of the numerological aspects of One--new beginnings, opportunity, potential. The latter idea of potential is where Aces hold their greatest assets--they make all potentials possible. The only limit to their achievement is your failure to dream large enough. You are blessed in a new beginning, but you must work to realize it on the earthly plane.

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Aces carry such power in the Minor Arcana suits that some Tarot readers pull them out of the reading and place them above the reading itself. Exalting the Ace, as it is called, is a way to show the amazing influence of this card in terms of every other card in the reading. What was done is the Ace was literally pulled out of the reading and placed above the entire layout, replaced in that position with another card. Much like the Nine of Cups, the Wish card, the Ace kisses the forehead of every card in every position. It is almost as if the Reader must put on Ace colored glasses here and read through the lens of a new beginning, new potential, and manna from heaven.

I'm talking about Aces as a whole here, because the Aces warrant their own discussion. The symbology and character of the Aces are all very similar, though they take on the nuance of their suit/Element. Each of the Ace cards have limited symbology in terms of deeper meanings, myth and archetypes. They simply show the suit's potential. They are always positive, and so the Ace of Pentacles (the reason we are talking about Aces today at all) depicts a lush and fertile garden, representing both the need for hard work to get desired results. The hand is also holding a golden coin, representing the accumulation of wealth or the gift of money.

Sometimes this card appears in a reading when the Seeker has received a small (or large) sum of money--a stipend, a gift, an inheritance (this often comes with the Ten of Pentacles somewhere else in the reading, though), a settlement, a severance package, or something like that. It can be the seed for a new business or project. Most often this comes when someone has just started a new job, or moved to a new home. But truly, above all other distinctive meanings, the Ace of Pentacles is the card of abundance and manifestation of material, if that is what you are going for. When paired with other Aces, you must think of the way the power of Pentacle is expressed with the power of the other element. So, for example, if the Ace of Pentacles appears with the Ace of Wands, it might mean the Seeker is starting a new creative project or career. With the Ace of Swords, it might mean the person is going to be in a successful speaking engagement, using his communication skills to succeed.

Aces reversed are a warning. They still contain the Divine spark, energy and power of the Ace upright, but they warn the Seeker to use this power for good, not for selfish or self-serving ends. Perhaps I should have just left this as a discussion on Aces, but as I delve deeper into this blog, I find myself wanting to draw more connections for you as Readers yourself and explain more of the interconnectedness of the cards, symbols and how to apply these interpretations in full readings.

Please ask any questions below or send me an email. I love connecting with my readers and other Tarot aficionados. We have a lively discussion on my Facebook page, and I often read for my fans. I also do full readings for clients either via Skype, phone or pdf, or in person if you are in Central Pennsylvania. My rates are listed on the Offerings tab hereon this page, and I do offer discounts, 20 minute readings for $25, for example. Full readings are $50, and go for about 40 minutes--sometimes shorter or longer depending on the client. You can reach me at themoonandstone@gmail.com

tarot of the week-queen of pentacles

Ask for Court Cards, and ye shall receive!

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Queen of Pentacles sits on her throne surrounded by fertility--flowers and earth, water and greenery--holding in her lap a Pentacle. She governs earthly concerns--the home, the hearth, career, finances, family. On her throne the goat, symbol of the Capricorn, hangs at her arm and the Bull, sign of Taurus, adorns the side of her throne to remind us that she also governs the Astrological Earth signs--Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn. As I write this, I lit a candle given to me for my own Capricorn birthday a few weeks ago, and the room is overcome with the smell of roses. It is putting me squarely in the Queen's garden. 

This garden is lush, fertile, nurturing. It harkens to the garden of the Empress, and well it should, they are both the archetypes of the Earth Mother. Key words are nurturing, dependable, warm, generous. She is a web weaver, and not simply for her connection to all living beings, animals, children and even spiders, but because her vision sees the interconnectedness between people, the way personalities mesh and mutually rely on one another. I sometimes see this aspect of her in readings with people, and comment that they should be open to seeing connections between them and all colleagues or acquaintances for deepening their friends or lovers. Because part of this Queen's persona is stability and responsibility. She doesn't often let herself just enjoy. Her idea of enjoying the day is cooking for her family, nurturing them, creating a beautiful home, shopping...it can be the challenge facing her. To be present in the moment, not define her happiness on giving things or possessing things, but rather to just know her gift is her presence.

This Queen can be both a business woman and a mother, and seems to excel at both. In fact, she often needs both of these aspects of herself to feel whole. There are people who absolutely balance home and family with aplomb and grace, and others who struggle mightily with feeling pulled in both directions. This Queen is the former. Her groundedness manifests in a nurturing way, and financially, she craves security, but dislikes relying on others to fulfill those needs. She hates asking for help. And that is one of her greatest downfalls--she needs to accept and own her vulnerability. I see the Queen of Pentacles as someone who has different spheres of her life--social, work and home. She is fiercely protective of home. It is her sanctuary and the sanctuary for her people. So, she rarely allows work to intrude in that space. She is not the person who makes friends with work people. And conversely, her friends are her space away from her responsibilities, and so she rarely brings all these things together. She attends work functions for her career, not to make friends. Not that she isn't friendly, but she protects and guards her spheres as separate entities. Her identity can be wildly different in those different places--at work, she may appear no-nonsense, at home she may appear loyal and nurturing. And the people at work might be surprised at how sappy and maternal she is. 

This Queen is loyal, unpretentious, often serious, sensible. The fertility around her often calls to one's own fertility, so she comes for those wanting to have babies, or who are pregnant. Or in the other aspect of fertility, she comes with creative projects, and visioning. She is nurturing incarnate, so when the Queen of Pentacles appears, you are asked to nurture a business, hobby, your family, or a friend, but often, yourself. When she is reversed, you are asked if you are doing enough self-care.

The reversed aspects of this Queen are co-dependency. When her full expression is blocked, she may be paralyzed by too many choices, not sure of herself, unable to express herself fully (creating a tight-lipped repression that is palpable to behold.) Sometimes the Queen as a blockage can mean that not all aspects of this Queen are being expressed, and thusly, the other aspects are suffering as a result. If she is reliant on others for decision making, she can become bitter and resentful. It actually makes her quite unstable to be vulnerable, so she may be incredibly moody, swinging from pleasant to downright mean and vindictive. She can be a person who relies on the adage, "The ends justifies the means." Or who is materialistically focused, and thus someone who is materialistically competitive. When she is not being fully expressed, she may be creatively blocked, and let things go. You know a Queen of Pentacles is suffering when she just doesn't give a crap about her home's appearance. Or she is buying buying buying obsessively filling the hole within her. This addiction to spending is something to look at in the reversed or challenge position of this card. (The Page of Pentacles often indicates this as well.)

I have been looking at this aspect in myself this year, as I made it part of my goals/visioning this year to examine the way I use material things as a soul sedative. When I feel bad about my weight, or self-esteem, I would buy clothes that I felt made me look beautiful, or nicer, or thinner. But the truth is I need to be comfortable with my body, if this is how it is to be, and so I decided to stop buying clothes for this year to see how I react to learning to love my body in whatever clothes I already own. It has been less than a month, and already I am challenged by it, and in that way, I know it is good for me to do. 

Of course, as always, the Court Cards represent either people in our lives or aspects of ourselves. I don't often talk about reversed cards, because in the reversed position, the card often just lessens its powerful meaning, or comes to represent the opposite (though for that reason, perhaps I should be discussing them more), but with the Court Cards, the reversed often describe the challenging aspects of the people in our life. And these aspects, both of the positive and negative aspects of a person, often come together. We are human, and not all bad or good. Like loyal and stubborn might describe your boss (stubborn is another attribute of the Queen of Pentacles, or rather stuck in her ways, somewhat old-fashioned as she can be, conservative, risk-averse.) Materialistic and nurturing might be another combination. When you are reading for yourself or someone else, ask yourself if this describes you or another person. If it is crossing you, ask if you are being challenged by an aspect of her persona. You might get the Queen of Pentacles crossed if you are having trouble conceiving a child, for example, because  of the elusive identity of Mother is fully expressed. Or you may get it if your Virgo sister-in-law is spreading rumors about you within the family. 

Hopefully this makes sense. Please post any comments or questions in the comment section. I love talking about Tarot and crave doing another Tarot class. I think I need to put that on my Vision board.

tarot of the week--three of cups

“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” 
― Friedrich Nietzsche

This week's Tarot card was my second choice, first I pulled the Three of Swords, then the Three of Cups, and funnily, I was sitting next to three large Lemurian Quartzes. Threes. Threes. THREES! So, before we talk about this beautiful card, let's talk about the numerological meaning of three in the Tarot. Threes are about growth. Three completes the triangle, both in positive and challenging ways. We see that in the Three of Swords, where the love relationship is tested by the perception or reality of a third person. This growth in the Three of Cups is about friendship and expansion of the emotional/vulnerable part of the being. Threes also have a creative and abundant aspect to them, as any concept of growth does. Threes have a mystical connotation of growth as well, For religions with an expression of the Trinity, this growth is the fullest expression of the One God or Goddess, as the manifestation of three aspects of the One. In Christianity, it is Father, Son and Holy Spirit; Wicca has the Triple Goddess, Maiden, Mother and Crone; in Hinduism, the Brahman is one God in three manifestations; Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva; even the Ancient Sumerians and Egyptians both had the concept of the Trinity. Pythagoras felt all things were bound by the number three (birth, life, death).

This idea of three as a growth from One (singular, individual power)  through Two (the coupling of power) to Threes (growth and expansion) plays out in their expression in the Tarot. in some ways, you can see it as the fullest expression of the Individual. As they say, it is easy to be a holy man on top of a mountain. It is in our interaction with others that our truest spiritual expression reveals itself. In the Three of Wands, it is a business/creative growth. The man is looking over his accomplishment. Three expresses itself as Past, Present and Future. In the Three of Pentacles, you have the growth of the artist. No longer alone in his studio, he has gone out in the world to sell your work, find a benefactor, get the blessings of the Church. In the Three of Swords, this growth is about transcending one's perception of betrayal and cutting to the heart of the truth. You grow beyond perceived victimization to take the reigns on your heart and vulnerability. The Swords contain the most biting commentary on where we are at, but also allow the most spiritually vital growth. In the Three of Cups, one moves beyond the two, or rather the emotional connection with one person, and grow into the connection with a group, a community. Connections. This card is about connection.

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The Three of Cups show women dancing in a circle, drinking. These three are no ordinary revelers; however, they are the Three Graces, or the Charites. The Three Graces (another Trinity, no?) are the children of Zeus and Eurynome. They are minor goddesses from youngest to eldest are Aglaea ("Splendor"), Euphrosyne ("Mirth"), and Thalia ("Good Cheer").  When these three are shown together, they often herald the gifts of beauty, creativity, fertility, and charm. The three were invoked in the beginning of meals or dinners (grace) to herald happiness and health for all present. And so the Graces gather for the Three of Cups, growing from the coupling of the Two of Cups to the fertility and gathering of the Three. 

For me, this card is about the sacredness of our friendships and spiritual community. Circle up, it seems to demand. It is time to find your circle. The lightness of being achieved when we allow ourselves to be present amongst of our friends. I am thinking of the words authentic. Vulnerable. Present. Joyous. Gathering our women together, honoring Splendor, Mirth and Good Cheer as goddesses, as worthy pursuits. Nietzche's quote, for me, is not necessarily about finding friendship with our partner, but rather about friendships around us--other women, ourselves, our community. Marriages and partnerships grow and flourish when our partners are not our all-consuming passion and focus. In particular, when we realize, that our partners simply cannot be every thing to us. We need a network, a circle of people around us. When I pull this card, I often advise my clients to fall into their female friendships, to gather their ladies and go out for drinks. Talk, share, laugh, tell stories, sing, dance, revel in them, and LAUGH a lot. This is the nourishment that you take into the emotional toils of your every day. It strengthens your ability to deal with work, partnerships, family, traffic, all of it. 

Cups are all about emotions, yes. They are about the heavy emotions, but they are also about the light ones. This card heralds levity and friendships. If you have a circle of women, rejoice. Hold hands. Spin. It is the time to allow these women (or men, if you are a man. I believe this card is about same-sex friendships) to carry you into the next stage. This is how love grows, not by simply putting all your love into one person, but into many. In my experience and the messages I get from Spirit, I am told time and again that humans are the conduits of Divine Love, light workers in particular. Our compassion and love is the expression of the Divine compassion and love. And so, when we join circles, we allow ourselves to be channels for Divine love, and in return, we feel that acceptance, non-judgment, forgiveness, and yes, love.

A good affirmation for this card might be:

I accept the splendor, happiness and joy of my friendships. I allow myself to be vulnerable and accepting of the women in my life.

 

green aventurine

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.― Anaïs Nin

Every morning, I pull an oracle card or three and journal about the messages, and how they relate to my life. I then make an "Action List" of things I'd like to do based on the suggestions--like a Gratitude List, or a meditation outside. Little achievable things. Today's crystal card was Naisha Ahsian's Crystal Ally card--Aventurine Growth. As I sat with it, thinking about Aventurine, how I work with it, what I use it for, and how plentiful it is, I realized I had not actually written about it on my blog. How could that be possible? Sometimes are most potent and useful allies get taken for granted and neglected (spoken like a true mother and wife here). 

Green Aventurine's tones range from pale green to deep forest green, and these tumblies are great for pockets, mojo bags, and for heart healing work. The larger flat palm stone is one I use in crystal healing sessions for the heart chakra or after psychic surgery. The Green Aventurine bowl in the back is a perfect addition to my altar spaces, and usually holds seasonal herbs, flowers or magickal correspondences. 

Green Aventurine's tones range from pale green to deep forest green, and these tumblies are great for pockets, mojo bags, and for heart healing work. The larger flat palm stone is one I use in crystal healing sessions for the heart chakra or after psychic surgery. The Green Aventurine bowl in the back is a perfect addition to my altar spaces, and usually holds seasonal herbs, flowers or magickal correspondences. 

Today, I am remedying that. Aventurine belongs to the Quartz family with a Mohs hardness of 7. It works in water, out of water. On the body, in grids. As a crystal healer, Aventurine truly remains one of my crystal workhorses.  Aventurine comes in a number of colors--blue and red, peach and other lighter colors, but most popular is Green Aventurine. The green, Robert Simmons points out, come from microscopic Fuschite particles (while the red is Hematite), which is fascinating to me as I use Fuschite in healing session as a pain remover.

Green Aventurine resonates with the Heart Chakra, and helps one feel a kind of lightness of being. It subtly bridges the solar plexus (in my experience) by bringing confidence to the heart, helping one envision themselves achieving their heart's desire. In quite another way, the growth that Green Aventurine promotes is one of the heart and emotional body. How do you understand your emotional pain? Aventurine can be a partner in this tremendous work, helping you grow past your own limitations and the trap of suffering. What I mean by that is that suffering can be so all-encompassing, so all-consuming, that one cannot see a way out, or their own role in getting themselves out of the funk. Aventurine, gently, raises the vibration to a place of optimism. In this way, the quote, "Suffering is mandatory, but misery is optional" comes to mind. How and why am I making this suffering miserable? What is the root of my suffering? 

As a growth stone, it is most useful for these massive periods of change. Ironically, it calms the emotional body, helps to maintain a certain balance through the rockiest of journeys. The way in which Green Aventurine works is by helping you feel what you need to feel. It is my prayer in the morning--May I see what I need to see, say what I need to say, feel what I need to feel and do what I need to do for the Highest Good of all. Whenever we talk about feeling what we need to feel and growth, we have to remember that with the element of bringing in energy, we also must release. Aventurine soothes those wounds and facilitates the letting go of friendships, relationships, and situations that are no longer serving your Highest Good. In the next few weeks, i am going to be exploring this idea of release in my newsletter. Releasing challenges all our sense of loyalty, stamina, and self. Naisha Ahsian calls it understanding the truth of impermanence, which is not how I would have naturally articulated it, but is absolutely the nugget of this growth.

Green Aventurine also has the reputation as a healer, and I use it for healing wounds in psychic surgery and cord cutting. It is also a wonderful tool for those who have gone through physical surgery, or cardiac issues. I also use it on other areas of pain or aches caused by disruptions in the etheric body, for example, if you are holding resentment that manifests as hip pain, I might put the stone over the hip. I think of growth in this way as growth of one's positive and healing properties to overcome the wound. It bridges the wound and the heart.

Because it is so associated with growth as a concept, it is often used in manifestation work--grids, mojo bags, healing layouts. The green, the color of money, doesn't hurt either, as often magick practitioners recommend green for money and growth.  It's a great stone to pocket for job interviews, or poker night, or even a romantic date. And I use it in my Abundance grids all the time.

An affirmation for Green Aventurine might be:

I welcome my spiritual, financial and emotional growth with optimism and joy.

 

tarot of the week-king of cups

I don't want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

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The suit of Cups flows, ebbs, and throws us to the sand. For when we deal with Cups, we deal with water. The element of water rules our tears, our moon cycles, our psychic connection, the blood that runs through our heart, so, romance, and of course, our sense of balance.  The wine runneth over. We drown in our tears. The imagery we use for water so succinctly wrap up what the suit is about. Cups are all about our emotions--the good, the bad, and the ugly. How we use them, as Oscar Wilde so eloquently puts it, how we enjoy them, and how we dominate them. No card more righteously dominates the emotions than the King of Cups. 

This King controls his emotions. He has figured out how to dominate his own impulses, his desires, his natural drive to have his heart dominate the conversation. The imagery on this card bears some examination, as the Cups also rule our own spirituality. We often think of this suit as being one of romance, love and emotional turmoil, but it also governs our spirituality and psychic, intuitive and empathic connections. He wears the golden fish around his neck, and a fish jumps out of the water. Fish harken to Christ and give us a vision into this man as a religious man. He is also on choppy water, reminiscent of the Two of Pentacles--balancing rocky seas with aplomb and grace. This King is one of balance and peace, as is always said. 

When you pull this card about another person, remember Cups rules the astrological signs of Pisces, Cancer and Scorpio. This person tends to be romantic. Incredibly passionate with a strong sense of moral justice and extremely ethical. This might not be completely obvious, for the King has learned his emotional lessons well. Unlike the Knight or Page, he doesn't lead with his heart anymore. He knows when to show them, and when to hold them (thank you, Kenny Rogers!) He can be artistic--a painter, poet, musician. And that might be something he doesn't broadcast to the world. He may be a closet guitarist, or a journal writer. He is psychologically astute, so he may be in the field of social work, or psychology. He may be psychic or intuitive. King of Cups are incredibly spiritual people, but that doesn't mean they are religious. In fact, I would say their nature is to see the truth in many things. This King rules the Arts and Sciences, and so he may be a Liberal Arts professor, for example, or someone who teaches. Whatever this King's profession, it tends to be a calling or passion. This is how his emotions get funneled into positive use. Genuine compassion and empathy are the mark of the King of Cups, and his sincerity is obvious. Some say naive, but this King knows better, because he has learned those lessons, and for him, love rules, or rather it trumps cynicism every day.

Before you fall madly in love with this debonair King of Hearts, as he once was in the traditional decks. There are downsides to each card, and person we encounter. We often see the blending of some of the positives and negatives in real live people, right? So, when you are reading for someone and pull the King of Cups, know this person probably has a blending of both the attributes and challenges of the King of Cups. The challenging aspects of the Kings of Cups are that these Kings can sometime try to escape their emotions, specifically because they are overwhelmingly emotional. They feel every piece of life deeply, every careless word, every interaction, every criticism. They can be a bit immature, or emotionally stunted. This comes out with sarcasm, over sensitivity, cynicism or defensiveness. They may put up large barriers to the Spiritual because of this hurt. Emotional turmoil often comes out with patterns of running away or numbing out through booze, drugs, sex, overeating, or any addictive behaviour. It is something you don't often hear discussed in the Tarot, but the suit of Cups has the additional layers of meaning about alcohol and drug abuse. So, when you pull reversed Cups, think about the card in terms of emotional hiding, numbing or burying. If the upright card is the full expression in all its positivity of emotion, the reversed is often the blocking of that emotional expression. The King of Cups reversed can most certainly be alcoholic. Carl Jung noted the intrinsic link between Spirits and the Spiritual. He wrote in a letter to Bill W., founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. "...'alcohol" in Latin is 'spiritus' and you use the same word for the highest religious experience as well as for the most depraving poison. The helpful formula therefore is: spiritus contra spiritum." This later phrase is often translated as, "Spirit against the effects of spirits."  And so Water signs are most in need of this full dive into the spiritual pool, so to speak, when they are emotionally turmoiled.

When you read for yourself, the King of Cups means coming to a place of dominating your emotional nature. You understand your emotional, psychic, intuitive or spiritual self. You feel fully expressed. It can mean to be right where you are. This King knows when he needs a good cry. He does not suppress his emotions, and likewise, if you are being asked to embrace the energy of the King of Cups, you are asked to begin labeling your emotions with the proper words and really fully embracing your emotional self. Love him or hate him, the King of Cups rules the deep waters of your soul and notices the connections between all living things, so allow his energy to seep into your soul too.

Let me know what you think of the King of Cups, or how you have interpreted him. If you disagree, I'd love to hear about that too. If you have questions about the King of Cups, please do not hesitate to post in the comments section. I try to answer all questions that arise.


the court cards

Since I have been randomly selecting cards since I started this blog, I always go back to check the ones I've written. Today, I selected Two of Swords, but since I already posted about it, I pulled another card. It is incredibly powerful to pull the Two of Swords for me, though, because this week in my newsletter, I am writing about dreamwork, and some tools to help you begin receiving and interpreting messages in your dreams. May be a multi-week series...who knows? But the pull today made me wish I had started from the beginning, then worked my way through the deck. But alas, this seemed more intuitive. (Too much information from my head, eh?) Today's card, the King of Cups surprised me, because it is the first King I have discussed. There is a massive dearth of Court Cards on this blog.  So, I feel like I need to go into a bit of an explanation of the Court Cards before I even start talking about the energy of the King of Cups. So, I have decided to post this piece about the Court Cards, then go into the King of Cups in another post tomorrow as the Tarot of the Week. Hope everyone is cool with that. In this post, I use the word Reader to represent the Tarot Reader, and Seeker, the one seeking answers through Tarot. If you are reading for yourself, then you are both.

The Minor Arcana of the Tarot is set up similarly to a deck of cards--numbered cards one through ten, which correspond traditionally with aspects of numerology in their archetypal meanings. Then what are called the court cards come into play--the page, the knight, the queen and the king. These sixteen court cards come to represent personality types and the people in and around your life. Court Cards are the "Royal" cards of the Minor Arcana suits (Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles) and hold the energy of their elemental correspondence--fire, water, air and earth respectively. So, the Court Cards are the human representations of their suit. When we talk about personality archetypes, most of us identify those kind of things by psychological tests, like Myers-Briggs, for example. And I would be surprised if there wasn't someone out there who didn't already correspond the Court Cards to the Myers-Briggs personality types. Certainly, the Major Arcana has come to represent Archetypes as well, but these Court Cards, like all things in the Minor Arcana, are more about the conditions and circumstances of daily life, so you may have a soul path of the Strength card, but be projecting Queen of Cups.

So, one of the roles of the court cards is to help readers identify people in the life of the Seeker. These people that affect our life, and whose lives we affect. They are all around our lives--our co-workers, neighbors, family, bosses, friends. The court cards are often these markers in your reading, helping the Reader validate the present situation. People are often looking for tarot readers or psychics to help validate what they are saying is true for them. So, if I say to someone, there is a dark-haired man in your life, he is mature, stable, financially secure, this helps the person know that the cards are accurate. Court cards are great tools for that, because they can be so literal in that way.  These Court Cards represent the attributes of each suit. Each have both negative and positive qualities. Traditionally, these suits also had physical markers as well. They are ethnocentric and have fallen out of favor by most Tarot readers, but I find them interesting nonetheless. I created this little cheat chart for you, if you are curious about that physical attribute thing.

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The other way Court Cards function in a reading is to address a personality the Seeker embodies. And they can help you identify the energy you are bringing to the situation. At work, for example, a Capricorn woman at work may embody the Queen of Wands--dynamic, charismatic, creative, independent; while at home, she may embody her true nature--the Queen of Pentacles energy. We often do that in aspects of our life--shapeshift for survival or to thrivival, so to speak. That shapeshifting is not meant as a criticism; it is what all humans do to grow--adapt to their situation. 

So, in readings, the Court Cards either represent someone in the life, or coming into the life, of the Seeker. OR they represent some aspect of the Seeker. Talking about the latter first, Spirit will bring this aspect of the Seeker to the surface if it is important to 1. validate that personality trait for the Seeker, or 2. to point out a way in which they are acting out and not being true to their nature, or 3. help guide the Seeker to bring a certain energy into the situation at hand. You also may pull two or more of a type of Court Card in a reading. When that happens, reflect on the attributes of the Court card rather than the exact suit of the Court Card. For example, if a woman going for a new job pulls three Knights in a reading, I might tell her that she is being courageous, action-oriented, really "putting herself out there" to get the job, and it will come to fruition. Or if she pulled three Pages, I might ask her if she feels frightened or like a neophyte or apprentice, rather than embodying the King energy of owning her own space. 

So, how do you know if it is another person, or the Seeker? It is the question I get most often with Court Cards. This is where your psychic abilities are very important. Always. Every. Time. I pull a Court Card in either the Approaching or the Outcome position (Future positions), I pull a clarifying card, because in this position, it often means someone else is influencing the situation. Not always, but often. So, I pull a clarifying card by shuffling and saying, "Is this card about the Seeker or someone else? Please give me a clear card." Cards that validate it is about the Seeker tend to resonate with the question, or have a one in it, a solitary figure or someone resonate as the person. You will come to understand your own spiritual validation language. 

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Let's talk about the specific cards. The Pages tend to represent someone young, like the Seeker's children or niece/nephews, or for a teacher, her students (of any age). The energy can be immature, so can often embody the negative aspects of the suit. It also means it can represent someone old who is simply immature. So using Wands here, the opposite side of the dynamic, creative, charismatic person is that they can be quick to anger, be passionate to the point of being off-putting, use their sexuality as a means of manipulation. Or it can be the young energy of that suit, meaning a new beginning, starting a new job and still apprenticing. And even more traditional, the pages were the messengers of the Tarot, so they can come when the Seeker has gotten or will get a message regarding the suit in their life, so if they pulled the Page of Wands, they may hear news of a creative project. You can look at the cards around the Page to get a deeper sense of whether this message is positive or negative. I pulled this card the day before hearing my poems had been selected in a new anthology coming out this Spring. So, as you can tell, it can be very subjective how to interpret a court card. You must tap into your intuitive feelings about the Seeker's question.

The Knights have the power of the suit. In the same way that the Ace of the most powerful card of the Minor Arcana suit. Aces hold all the potential, they match the universal energy behind the Seeker with their will. It is like aligning Divine and personal will. The Knights have the most dynamic, powerful energy of the Court Cards. That energy is one of movement and action. The knight, after all, isn't sitting on a throne, or lounging about the castle, his duty in the kingdom is one of protector, warrior, and messenger. He is in defense of the kingdom, or riding off to battle, or off to rescue the princess. He does the hard work of the suit and embodies bravery. So, the knight energy carries with it extremes of each suit from its best attributes to its worse. Only the Reader and Seeker can really figure out whether this extreme can be positive or negative in your life. Often, when you read about knights, there are pair of words to describe the knight energy--reckless/fearless. They are pairs of words that have the energy, but different outcomes. When representing people, they tend to represent men or women between the ages of 18-35. This energy is incredibly dynamic and courageous. It moves. It challenges the status quo of the Seeker's own thoughts, or the status quo of society. And it defends.

The Queen energy tends to represent women over the age of 18, but more likely over 35. Her energy is one of feminine stability, self-knowledge, goddess energy. There is a nurturing element of the Queen that is lacking in the King, so men or women can pull this card when special care to nurture and love is needed in the situation. Often, women get this card about themselves when they have come to embody their power. They are living honestly with themselves. The King energy tends to represent men over the age of 35. This energy is VERY stable. One of achievement, a settled, calm, precise energy. Planning is involved here too, and some high regard. Women will pull this card when they are becoming the boss in their company. Or are independently raising their family. As I said, these court cards can come to represent aspects of our own self, even if we are women and pull male cards. All people have both male and female aspects of their self, and tap into those aspects at different times of their lives. 

I hope this incredibly long post was helpful to you. Please share your experience of the Court cards, and how you use them in your readings, or if you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer in the comments of this post.