tarot of the week--nine of pentacles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

danburite

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

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

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

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

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

tarot of the week-queen of wands

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

jaspers, agates, and chalcedony, oh my!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

tarot of the week--the tower

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

tantric twin crystal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

tarot of the week--knight of pentacles

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

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

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

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

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

If you have any questions, post it below. 

lemurian seed crystals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

tarot of the week--seven of pentacles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

tarot of the week-death

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

tarot of the week--five of cups

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

psychic protection

Hi Angie!

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

Thanks again can't wait to hear the feedback!

Ashley


Hi, Ashley,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

tarot of the week--five of wands

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

swords08.jpg

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.