Every so many months, I think about my Word of the Year, Remember that? All the way back from January?

I had decided on a word, then during a visioning class I taught, another wordspoke its name insistently in my ear. Nourish.


The word itself evokes that satiating beautiful contentedness that comes from being filled with what your body needs. Mind you, I said needs, not wants. What I want is entirely different than what nourishes me. When I am sad, I like to be alone, isolated, watching Real Housewives with a carton of ice cream and bourbon. None of those things nourish me. None of them are good for my soul. What nourishes me is time spent connecting, exploring, meditating, walking in the woods, sitting still, praying, moving and dancing, singing, being me without all the chatter and noise.

I don't think about my word every day, but I have spent these months digging deep within me about what is nourishing. I have surprisingly cut out so much of what was not nourishing me from food to habits to self-talk to relationships. The surgeon even cut non-nourishing cells from my body. And I have replaced many of those things with new nourishing routines.

For the years in which I choose a word of the year, it is remarkable how the word manifests itself in my life. Emerge felt like a birth--painful and profound. Roots helped me connect and gain footing in my new home. Nourish has been an important shift for me in self-care and self-acceptance.

What nourishes me right now is earthy rooty teas, like Herbal Coffee from Mountain Rose Herbs, creating grids on these amazing batiked grid cloths by Amanda Johnson of Tie-Dye Bill, eating this amazing Paleo granola in the morning when my energy is low that has coconut, pecan, currants, goldenberries, cashews, raisins, and almonds with almond milk, cuddling with all three children while all three still fit on my lap, running again, journeying with Vulture, and singing chants, prayers, and songs I wrote for the Earth.

Singing is a new thing for me. I have traditionally not been fond of my voice, but I began just not giving a shit, and singing anyway. And it takes me to new heights and understanding. Earlier this year, I began searching for other women who like to sing without giving a shit, and haven't quite found that tribe yet. Someone told me to start the group myself, but I'm not sure I am that confident in the not-giving-a-shit part. I just want to sing earth hymns and pagan chants with women in circle--honoring, praying and connecting. All those things that nourish.

I'll be talking about Voice tomorrow night at my monthly crystal workshop at Alta View Wellness Center. We still have room and would love to have you. Email me or call 717-221-0133. We will be talking about how to use crystals to speak your truth, honor your voice and listen with compassion. I am also excited to be starting a new Tarot session tonight! WOOHOO!! And then this weekend, join us all for the Spirit of Oneness Holistic Expo. I'll be offering mini-crystal healing sessions and doing a workshop on Sunday morning about using crystals for self-love and self-acceptance. Check me out at the Alta View booth.

What is your word of the year, and how is it manifesting in your life?


measuring progress

My vulture medicine altar had been up for a good long while, and not only did the things I want to transmute and release come, but all kinds of challenging aspects of my personality I wasn't quite done with arose too. You know, those things that feel so intrinsically part of your personality that when someone challenges you about them, you rise up and say, "BUT IF I CHANGE THAT, I WON'T BE ME!" I have heard friends (and myself, perhaps) say that about drinking, smoking, eating chocolate, drinking coffee, about gossiping and cynicism, about anger. In my experience, that is the first thing I probably need to change. Bugger.

 The Vulture medicine is not for the faint of heart, but it was necessary. I don't always want to look at certain aspects of myself, let alone release them. Those old ways of being are comfortable, worn, tried and true. And yet they are serving a pattern that fires me up and makes me feel shame. Discomfort often precedes spiritual shifts.
I spent the day canning bushels of Asian Pears and tomatoes from my parent's garden and orchard. Farm work is often tedious and consuming. Like I said in my last newsletter, I have had some shizzle arise, and it has been occupying a large amount of brain power. In fact, I am shocked at how much it has consumed my thoughts, how distracted I am, and how often I have to call my friends and spiritual advisors just to discuss it. Mind you, it is not actually happening to me. I'm just thinking about it. As I peeled and boiled and milled and mashed, I thought about how much I don't want to think about it. The baby crawled around my feet, trying to eat dropped pieces of fruit, and the children danced by with fairy wings and giggles. All this life I have is so beautiful. There is so much I am grateful for. I want to release this damnable thinking. And then I would find myself thinking about that thing again. Then back to how I want to release the thinking and how it is not serving me and besides, I AM DONE WITH IT! But then that old thought, "But I have always worried about this stuff and this person. If I don't worry about it, will I actually be me?"
The Full Moon rose above the neighboring horse farm this evening.The moon illuminates the horses, then the fields of wildflowers and the barns, and then our bamboo grove, then our home. As it rises, we feel the light enter the room, like a person. We were putting the children to bed, and I heard a hawk screech. I yelled to my husband, "Check the chickens, I just heard a hawk." The chickens were fine. My husband laid out a blanket under the moon where we could sit out with a cup of tea and talk after everyone was asleep. As I steeped our tea, I looked at my altar. Suddenly, all the vulture medicine felt wrong. I needed different energy. I pulled one of Pixie's animal painting cards (at the right), and Hawk arose. AHA!! That was the screeching we both heard. Hawk wanted to come screeching into our lives right now, helping us with vision and intuition, focus and staying present.

Hawk medicine is also about healing the heart, Pixie wrote. My husband and I created the altar together. We choose two oracle cards and both were Quan Yin--compassion and let it go. We set an intention, and I verbalized that I want to release this issue I have been talking and thinking about all week. In fact, this week we celebrate nine years of beautiful marriage. This is what should be occupying my mind. And so my intention became clear after reading the Quan Yin oracle card from the Goddess Oracle deck, "Transform harshness into gentleness by refusing to see anything but the shining light that is within each person and situation."
Later, as we sat outside talking about our lives and our future and our relationship, I began to speak once more about the situation and stopped myself. "No," I said, "I'm done talking about that situation." My husband reassured me that I could talk about it. And I said again, "No, I don't want to talk about it." And he just nodded and said good.
People often ask me how to release things no longer serving. It is part of what I help people do in my moon cycle coaching circles, in crystal healing sessions and in my tarot readings. I often use ritual--burning slips of paper, burying items, giving away others. I create altars and crystal grids. I wear stones that help my intention. But the work of release isn't simply all of this facade of release. Our progress arises through the way we interact with the world. When we set intentions, we often don't receive immediate, monumental relief from our ways of being that no longer serve, we begin with gentle curiosity and a subtle awareness of our behaviors. We pay attention. We decide to change one conversation we could have, one way of criticizing the world, one moment where we are not present. Through those thousands of very small decisions, we create profound changes. That is the extraordinary release we are granted, if we do all that tedious and consuming work of paying exquisite attention to ourselves.


from my newsletter...

There is so much I want to say right now.

I have had a Tower moment or two the last few weeks. You know what I mean, when it feels like you are on the top of that Tower in the Major Arcana, as the lightning strikes. I'll probably talk about that another time. We just came back from driving across country with the three children to visit my in-laws. And more came in to shake us up when we walked in the door. Everything has been up in the air, and sudden news had me reeling. Insomnia and lack of appetite. I have been grateful for self-care and for exquisite self-compassion. My friend said to me, "Treat yourself as though you are injured, because you are. Your heart is hurt. Walk slowly. Rest often. Eat good whole foods. Take baths. Zone out with tv when it is too much." 

I have had more than a few Tower moments this year as I grappled with a new baby, surgery, and the blues. In the midst of it, I found myself saying things like
"I deserve this ice cream. I'm bone tired. I'm working hard for these kids and my job. I'm healing that sacral. Dammit, I deserve this ice cream." And yet, I felt awful after eating it, bloated and gassy, headaches and diarrhea. At some point, the uncomfortability was too loud. I started to pay attention again to every little part of my diet, weighing what was feeling beautiful in my belly vs. what was making me sick. 

Almost five years ago, I was diagnosed with Celiac disease. Wheat is an allergen for me that causes severe arthritic pain and stiffness and stomach pain and flare-ups that keep me on the toilet for days. I often would say, "I'm just going to have this one cupcake. I worked hard all day. I deserve that!" I said it about a glass of wine too all those years ago.

I am a lovely person. I don't deserve that suffering, even though cupcakes are delicious. And yet, I couldn't wrap my brain around this not-eating-sugar-or-chocolate thing. It felt like a punishment. As it is, I don't drink, smoke, take anything that alters my consciousness. I don't even drink any caffeine. Surely, I deserve chocolate!! Surely, I deserve that thing that makes me feel terrible and bloated, right?!

So, I decided this was an inside job. I wasn't going to search for some kind of ice cream that I could tolerate, or cupcake that serves all my needs. The sugar itself was part of the problem. I started to change the discourse from "I deserve chocolate" to "I deserve to feel good." I have eaten chocolate since that day, don't get me wrong, (though it has been many weeks, perhaps months recently). But the truth is when I began changing the voice in my head, my own cravings changed.
Sometimes we just need an editor to rewrite the story in our head.
We can sometimes be our own editor, but often we need someone else to read our story with new eyes and perspectives. Someone who understands our typos and strange patterns of speech that do not translate well. I consider myself a leader and a strongly opinionated woman, but I don't always know what is best for me. Case in point, cupcakes and chocolate feel like rewards, and good health feels like a punishment. What?!  I make terrible decisions sometimes. I have friends I call and ask their advice, or talk. I have mentors and a sponsor and a therapist and a mother. And I don't often go wandering in my head alone--there be monsters in those woods.
So, this week, I am giving you permission to ask someone for advice about some truth you have held for a long time. I would tackle that sneaking suspicion you have that this one truth is not serving your Highest Good. Ask them if it is true. Pick their brain. Maybe it is how you approach your work, or how you have envisioned your body, or what your childhood was really like. Whatever it is, remember to listen with wide eyes. I often quote this speaker I once heard who said, "It is not what you don't know that will kill you, but what you know with absolute certainty that simply is not true that will kill you."
I have been looking at how I do things around my classes and my work. I am reinventing my New Moon circles. I am still holding them. (Sunday, September 13th, if you are curious) But I am calling them Moon Cycle Coaching Circle, and we will work together more intensely through the three moon cycles. It will be a limited group and I am raising my price a wee bit. Creating medicine bundles is serious spiritual work, and I need to take the job of leading others around the work more seriously. I have also added a few new classes for the fall, including a creative journaling workshop, and a small group mentoring program for invited students of mine.
I also have been looking at my remote tarot readings. On September 1st, I will be raising the prices around my distant Tarot readings via pdf. It currently takes me around four to five hours to do what face-to-face would take 45 minutes. Those pdfs are pretty dang amazing, though. I end up channeling a ton of information for my clients through those readings. If you have had one and want to give a testimonial, I would appreciate it. But I am still offering them at the $50 price until then, so if you are interested, now is the time to get in on that action. The prices in person will stay the same.

When I am all jammed up, and I cannot remember to be grateful or that I deserve good health, I often stop and say, ALPHA WHISKEY ECHO. ALPHA WHISKEY ECHO. Those are the radio phonetic letters for AWE. It shifts me, makes me laugh, feels like a beacon in the darkness of my daily grind.

Have awe today. For yourself. For your truths. For your exquisite self. 

crystal healing

I don't love the term crystal healing.
This term "healing" filtered through our Western mind invokes this concept of "curing" people or even sound kind of like we are claiming crystals are a panacea. I was recently in a FB group where everyone was rebelling against this term "crystal healing" and more importantly, "crystal healer." They hate it, they said. And I get why. It is the "curing" thing, and the idea of the almighty healer.
So, I began looking up these words. Healing literally means "to make whole again." Or perhaps we can see it as re-membering--or bringing all these pieces back into a whole structure. The important part of healing is the whole, as in looking at the whole body, rather than just a single virus, thought, event making one sick.

So much of healing involves acceptance, processing, and dealing. We are re-membering who our soul is, and why we are here. When our bodies are out of alignment, our thinking becomes skewed, our emotions go up and down, our connection to Spirit strains against our suffering. When our body is out of alignment, everything is out of alignment. And conversely, when our thinking is out of alignment, our body is out of alignment. We cannot think of the mind as being separate from our body, or our emotions as having their own agenda, or the body as a traitor. It is all one. It is all you.
My friend Carol used to always say, "When you are sick, it is all you can pay attention to." And that is just it, isn't it? When we have pain, imbalance, cancers, illness, it is all we can pay attention to. When our hearts are broken, it is all we can pay attention to. When we have had a trauma, it is all we can pay attention to. When we are doubting God, it is all we can pay attention to. Our body works hard to restore balance and find homeostasis. And when it does, it shuts down the other noise. It is why we forget our purse when we are in raw grief, and why we forget to return calls when we are diagnosed with cancer. We shut down the noise. We reprioritize our life. We are searching for inner balance. We are looking to be whole again.
Healing is not one thing. Perhaps that is part of the rebellion with the term "crystal healing." Sometimes healing means releasing something, like literally cutting out a tumor, or like breaking up with a partner who is abusive, or quitting drinking. Other times it means bringing something in, like a medicine, or bringing yoga into the body or an affirmation that helps shift your thinking. But one thing I know is that I would be remiss if I told my clients that all they need is crystals and a prayer. 
In my line of work, it is damaging and wrong to steer people away from allopathic medicine or traditional therapy. We walk hand in hand, hopefully. That is not to say we are blind followers of our Primary Care Physician, ingesting every pill we are prescribed. But most importantly, we are not adversaries, as many paint us to be. The biggest gift we can give ourselves and our practitioners is to be informed, do research, and take responsibility for our own healing. And think of ourselves as having all these resources available to us for healing.
My clients come to me with a physical ailments. Other times it is an emotional issue--grief or heartbreak. Even further I have people with spiritual maladies, searching for God or a connection to their guides. And many times, they simply want to release from thinking, overthinking, analysis paralysis, stuckness. Crystals work for all these issues, because they are not focusing on the physical over the emotional, or the spiritual over the physical, but because they are re-membering. The stone medicine brings all of our Selves  (mental, emotional, physical and spiritual) into one, or rather helps us remember they already are one and re-member them, bringing them back into alignment. So, I don't prescribe a stone that only works to heal the physicality of a pain or bruise. I use a stone that works on many levels--the physical, the emotional, the mental, and the spiritual.
When we seek healing, we seek to bring it all into alignment with each other. If we simply seek the doctor to heal the physical body, we leave out vital parts of our re-membering journey. So we use doctors, medicine people, therapists, friends, yogis, dance instructors, artist teachers, mentors. We seek to make ourselves whole. We re-member our spiritual self, our mental self, our physical body and our emotional body, bringing it back into one being of light.
Healing may be a clunky term for our Western minds. But when we seek to be whole, we find ourselves on the journey to re-membering who we are and why we are here. Amazing work for a little word.


We're so grateful for this deeply precious life. Looking around, we see your love in all things. Allow us to feel more blessed than baffled, more clear than confused, and to let go of the ropes we've bound so tightly around our own fighting arms.
-- Pixie Lighthorse
From "Honoring Release" a prayer in her new book, Prayers of Honoring
My mentor Pixie Lighthorse just came out with a book of prayers called Prayers of Honoring. The humility in each word, the grace, shifts me. It makes me want to write my own prayers and songs, particularly of change, release, and transition, and so I do. As Vulture medicine comes in, transformation and change pushes right on my heart chakra, right on my back in between my shoulder blades. I sit to catch my breath sometimes. Shifts, reinvention, transformation, I mistake it for a person pushing, sometimes. Urging me forward. I have been looking at my offerings and classes, my ways of doing things, (including this newsletter,) my parenting and partnering, my self-care and diet. I can feel shifts, major earthquakes, within me, breaking me open, helping my spirit soar. It reminds me of what my friend Delfina says, "The ego cannot tell the difference between annhiliation and transformation." 

Nearly a year ago, I saw my first client at Alta View Wellness Center. We had just bought our wee farmette, and I was three months pregnant. I knew virtually no one in the area, yet Sharon Muzio took a chance on this earthy, knocked up, goofball mystic. She gave me an opportunity to offer crystal healing to Central Pennsylvania, offer classes in Tarot, art, and crystals, circling up women seekers on the moons with the deep medicine of the Earth. I will always be grateful for her trust in me. I have met such incredible women and healers here, learned about deep reserves of wisdom and medicine keeping within me.
As I began, Kate Pruiett and I partnered up just as she was finishing up her crystal healing certification with Hibiscus Moon. We have had an incredible first year here at Alta View Wellness Center, offering classes on crystals, monthly workshops and crystal healing events. It has been exciting to build this presence in Central Pennsylvania, and gather men and women who resonate with crystals to delve deeper into their connection. Through this year, Kate and I have enjoyed a fun and comfortable working relationship, building on each other's strengths, honoring the other's cycles and trials. Through co-teaching the crystal classes, we have shared our love of stone medicine with many people here.
As happens, life shifts and morphs, obligations from afar call us, and we shift and flow with life. Kate and I honestly looked at our work together and our future. Kate decided to step back from Crystal Healing at Alta View Wellness to focus on her passion, Reiki.  She teaches all of the Reiki curriculum at Alta View (Reiki II is offered this August 8), as well as leads the Reiki Shares and offers sessions throughout the week. I so enjoy teaching with her, but also honor her decision. We gratefully move forward as colleagues and friends. 
For my clients, I will still be offering crystal healing sessions as I always have. I will still be teaching the crystal workshops on the first Thursday of the month, albeit alone, and leading all the crystal healing events by myself. I anticipate they will also shift and change as I move into a rhythm of teaching and presenting as one person instead of two. I know I will be offering more Crystal Healing Events which are great ways of experiencing a group meditation and crystal healing session while I play bowls. I feel called to do more meditation and channeled work for those events, so stayed tuned.

from my last medicine bundle circle, our tools laid out for us.

from my last medicine bundle circle, our tools laid out for us.

For my other Alta View Classes, I am going to be revamping my medicine bundle circles and creating a more connected circle for those souls who choose that path. We will meet more often during the bundle work, as well as be connected throughout the process. It will be more expensive, but well-worth the money. The medicine is powerful, and those who sign up for that work need more support and more mentorship than I had been offering. In that vein, I will also be offering more moon circles that incorporate journeying and work with the cycle of the moon. These will be love donation circles so we can welcome more sisters into the fold here. It is a great way to connect with like-minded people. I was also asked to offer a monthly art workshop, and this is something I am still kicking around, but hope to start in Autumn. I have also revamped the Introduction to Tarot class offered in October of this year, making the classes longer and more in-depth. I am also publishing my newsletters as blog posts, so that you may comment on them there, joining a discussion. The link will be at the bottom of the email for you to connect to.
For my newsletter and on-line presence, I am committed to offering on-line Tarot classes in the upcoming months, so if you are interested, let me know. As always, I offer distance Tarot readings, and crystal healing sessions for those who live far away. They are powerful gifts. I also wanted your feedback, as I have been sending out my musings newsletter separately from an events newsletter. I have lost quite a few non-local people after my last events email, saying it didn't apply to them. I have created a local newsletter list for those who want information on my classes and events. If you want to opt into the Local Events, listing basically all my classes and events at Alta View Wellness Center, please fill out this opt in sheet. Otherwise, my events will always be listed at my website and on the sidebar of my email. And in case you missed it, my crystal mentor, Hibiscus Moon, interviewed me for her blog. You can read more about my philosophy of healing there. 

Thank you, Great Spirit, for this amazing holy day. Thank you for the dirt and the seeds, the fruit and the compost. Thank you for the bird and insect songs that fill the air--songs of family, of growth, of warning, of summer. Thank you for the process of emerging from shells, as difficult and uncomfortable as it makes us. Thank you for the process that builds our strength. Thank you for the mysteries and knowns and all that I experience in between. Thank you for the discomfort with those places, as I remember my own smallness in the wake of your large, unspeakable love. Thank you for the moon moving within me. Thank you for the heat, which makes us easy with each other. Thank you for this most amazing day.



vultures and septarian

One of my chickens stepped in front of me on Sunday, panting, wings semi-extended, clearly uncomfortable. Heat exhaustion. We splashed her hearty winter feathers with cold water, and got her into the shade. Energetically, the heat exhausts me too. The summer's long days and humid beauty hang on me like a cloak. I hide behind it, shield myself from the blaring light of July, from the summer people. I love the heat, but only when I am alone, drenched in her, digging deep into her wisdom. I find moments with tea and bathing, but it's not the same as in Winter. My children bicker, and give up on playing outside. The baby began to crawl, tearing through anything not nailed down--exploring, curious, ravenous for extremely tiny things that can kill him. I must be diligent and extroverted in my home. Meh, it is not my nature, but I'm not a monster. I adapt and shine and extrovert.

Midsummer and midwinter feel the same to me. Inward journeys with shadow and light. Introspective, deep. What needs tending? I ask myself. What needs nurturing? What does self-care look like right now? It is different in the different  cycles of the year, month and even day. My evening care is much different than my morning. My winter care is much different than my summer. Right now, my self-care looks like cleaning out closets, sparse meals with juicy sticky fruit, afternoon naps with the baby when I sneak them in, pulling weeds in the early morning, and reading snippets of books I love. I take a moment by the windows watching the butterflies drink from my Echinacea. Five minutes with a cup of tea and Women who Run With Wolves, or 78 Degrees of Wisdom. I refound the General Wolf Rules of Life, one morning, and nodded along. It is my practice to surrender to whatever comes my way. I tend to work less with many stones in the summer, and work more intensely with one or two.

 In June, I dreamt for three consecutive nights about Septarian, the beautiful stone that combines the energies of calcite and aragonite and dead sea creatures. I had no Septarian, but Spirit nudged gently. My Instagram feed showed three Septarians in one day, and an advertisement shows up on every website I click on featuring Septarian. Sure, there are logarithms, and techy bullshit that makes that happen, but I bite. I ordered one from my favorite on-line shop.

Dragon egg.
She looks like a dragon egg and I feel blown open by her energy, which is simultaneously grounding and cosmic. Through my work with Pixie's Earth Medicine school, I journey with her to the Lower World, and meet her as a goddess wrapped in black. Her energy came to me just as the energy of the beautiful Turkey Vulture entered as well. I no longer read books written by other people and their experiences with stones, I have been making my own notes and observations. As the Septarian fell into my receptive palm, I saw the shadow of the Great Mother, Turkey Vulture. She could be a black Dragon, I think, as I watch her circle above the cornfield. Could they be intricately tied?  And in the weeks that followed, two large vulture feathers crossed my path, literally sitting in the middle of the road to my house.

Last year, when we moved here, the vultures appeared. Thirty or forty of them resting on the hay bales down the street, wings outstretched like my heat-exhausted hens. It was the first time I ever worked with Vulture Medicine, and I shied away from it. Vulture? Really? I'd rather work with Owl, or Hawk, or Lion, something less, uh, creepy. As I shied away, the vultures stopped congrugating at the dead tree. My teacher Pixie often says, "If you don't honor the medicine, it will go away."
I missed the vultures when they left. I searched for them constantly, pointing them out way off in the distance to the children. I told the young ones in our kids meditation circle the story of Vulture.  Personally, I started intensely meditating on Mother Vulture and her role. How valuable, important, and amazing a creature the Vulture is. When she appeared again this summer, I was ready for her energy, dark and powerful as it is. I was ready to release what was not serving. Again and again, as many times as necessary.This time around, I ask Vulture to help me honor, release and transmute, so I don't have to do this particular bloody work again.
Releasing. Transmuting. Mothering the self. These are the medicine of Vulture, and now, perhaps, Septarian. As for me, Septarian and Vulture will be intertwined. We get lost, us caregivers, in the mothering of every one and every thing else in our lives. When we ask for our medicine to come, whatever shape that may be, we open to our own truth and comfort. We find self-care through the lessons of that medicine. We must find these moments in extreme heat and extreme cold to search within us for a safe haven, a place to rest our weary spirits and do the work of caring for our souls.

reading and writing about crystals

This piece has been reprinted from my newsletter shared last summer. 

I write about crystal healing a great deal, and exploring different topics on my blog. One thing I would be remiss not to talk about is the entire idea of writing about crystals to begin with. If you are interested in crystals, then you have no doubt perused crystal books in any number of metaphysical bookshops. There are quite a few established writers about crystal energies, and don't get me started on geological books about stones. So, where do you start? Who is right? How do they know?
There are some geological facts of crystals that are very important for you to know when working with crystals--Mohs hardness, crystalline structure, where the crystal is most likely found, and which minerals make up the crystal. Those should be consistent from book to book. I would expect, or perhaps, demand that my crystal book list these things. For someone working more in-depth for crystals, these things help when you are creating crystal grids, elixirs, or bathing with the stone. It is also important to know crystal structure and Mohs hardness for identification purposes. Knowing where the crystal comes from can help you from being defrauded when buying crystals on-line. For example, Chinese Fluorite is often sold as Chinese Chaorite--Charoite being a much more rare and expensive stone. Knowing that Chaorite comes from the Charo River region of Siberia would help you recognize that this might not be a real piece. Some books tell  you the rarity of a stone, which is nice, since I can't tell you how many times I went searching for a stone to find it the size of my pinky nail and sold for $300. I don't make that a deal breaker for a book though.
After these geological facts about a crystal, all the information in these books are gleaned from personal experience, traditional uses, and mythology. Some crystal writers, like Katrina Raphaell and Naisha Ahsian have channeled information about crystals. Judy Hall, a psychic and healer, prolifically writes her crystal information from a combination of the lore of the crystal, research, and intuition. Robert Simmons is a craftsman who began working with crystals through jewelry design and later really exploring their metaphysical properties. Melody, the author of Love Is In The Earth, is a scientist who claims all her metaphysical uses for crystals have been produced through a controlled environment and repeated three times.
As you begin to look at the same stone in all these different books with all these different writers, you begin to see discrepancies. Judy Hall says this, Naisha Ahsian says that. So, who's right? Maybe the answer is all of them.
These teachers, mystics and healers work with these stones for years. Taking notes, feeling energy, distinguishing reactions in themselves and their clients. They really embrace and embody curiosity--curiosity about their body's reaction to vibrations, curious about the stones. I may not agree with a writer's take on a particular stone, but I don't discount that the crystal resonates with that particular writer in that particular way. I have had crystal people tell me I was wrong about a stone, and I just laugh. This is how I work with this crystal. Just like perfumes smell differently on different people, crystals can also resonate differently with different people.
But these books give us starting points with stones. This is why I write my crystal blog. I pull from different sources after I have worked with the stone. I see what Judy Hall experienced. Or what Naisha Ahsian uses the stone for.  But in the end, I pull information that resonates with my own experience. And this is what I hope for all of you--that my crystal writing becomes a catalyst to learn more about a particular crystal or stone.
Vitally important to crystal work remains your own experience with the stone. Do not rely on my experience or sense of expertise. Yes, I am a crystal master, but I am just a human being, like Judy Hall and Naisha Ahsian. My beginning point with a new stone is to sit in meditation quietly with it. I remove any crystal jewelry or pocket crystals. (As I have gotten more into crystals, I wear FAR less than I did before. One crystal or intention at a time on my body now.) I take a notebook with me. Place it in my receptive hand (non-dominant).  And I listen.
So often the key to working with a crystal is just getting quiet. What are you feeling? What thoughts are popping into your head? What images? Where do you feel tingly in your body? What feels open? What feels closed? Sometimes you feel nothing. And that is cool. When that happens, I change the placement of the stone. I may lie down and place it on my third eye, or on my heart. Did that change anything? If not, I may decide to work with that stone for a few days straight. Keep it in my pocket. Take it to bed. Allow the messages to come all day, if necessary. What has been my dominant mood? What chakra does it work with?
When I establish how the crystal resonates with me, I then work with the crystal in sessions with clients, or with my amenable husband. How is my client reacting? I develop an idea of this stone. Often times, my experience with a stone mirrors another crystal teacher's or writer's experience. Sometimes it does not.  I think the best advice a crystal teacher can give you is to empty your mind in a store. Pretend to know nothing about crystals, and just be receptive. Where are you drawn? What crystal looks prettiest? What looks ugliest? Which one are you avoiding? Which one are you drawn to? And then buy the one that you feel strongest about (either repulsed or attracted.) Begin working with it. Great magic comes from that beginner's mind.

solstice spreads

I have shared these Tarot spreads before, but I really love the way they use the energy of the Solstice to help clarify, priortize and magnify . When gathering for the Solstices or Equinoxes, a wonderful way to connect with one another and delve deeper into honoring the times of release and renewal is to do readings. Reading Tarot brings so much togetherness to a gathering, and reading cards with the holiday in mind makes it doubly special. I love seeing my people all huddled together discussing cards, letting Spirit speak through them for one person. You can either have one person designated as the Reader, or you can all read together. Or if you are a Tarot Reader, you might want to be the one to offer this to your guests, or as a gift to each person at the gatherings. I personally love gifting readings to my friends and family. This is also a great solo activity for those looking for ways to honor the solstice in solitary practice. 

These Solstice layouts I developed focus my attention for my personal ceremonies and spiritual work. During different phases of the moons, and always on solstices/equinoxes, I check-in with Spirit via a reading. This is a great layout to do with Tarot, or ANY Oracle Deck. Oracle Decks have such beautiful messages and really succinctly communicate the energy you have around you. So, if you are not a Tarot reader as such, oracle decks are great tools. Most come with a book with a nice detailed interpretation of each card. Oracle decks are easy to find, inexpensive, and make great hostess gifts too. There are oracle decks that involve Fairies, Angels, Saints, even one that wholly focuses on Mother Mary! Think of the Divine connection that most aligns with your beliefs, and use an Oracle Deck that speaks to that tradition. You'll understand the symbols and resonate with the message much more clearly.

Back to the Solstice Layout, you can use this as a touchstone for your work in circle, or in privately. Remember, first is the release, then the welcoming of energy in your next cycle. I would use an crystal like Orange Calcite, Carnelian, Sunstone or Fire Agate as an ally in this reading. It represents the Sun, but more importantly, it represents the clarity that the Sun brings. In this way, using a Clear Quartz is always good if you cannot find a Sun stone. Just place your crystal by your candle and other sacred objects around your reading space. Creating sacred space is a beautiful way to begin your reading. I always blow and knock out the energy, shuffle eight times, then cut the cards three times. And I say a prayer of protection and openness, "I am a clear and open channel through which Spirit make speak truth and only truth for the Highest Good of All."

I have read and used other Solstice spreads beautifully. If you google Solstice spreads you can find a number of ideas. I prefer my own spreads, because I am intimately connected with these questions, and it more succinctly clarifies what I work on for Solstice. Some people suggest pulling out the Sun (XIX) as significator in the center of this spread. I like to use a You Now card as a general check-in with Spirit. One beautiful way to use this spread would be to lay it out in a Solstice crystal grid with a Sun stone as your center, and lay the card out between your crystals. 

I created two spreads, really. The first one is great for groups, more succinct and really draws out clarity. The second is good for those who want to delve deeper for personal work on Solstice. It gives you insights into your releases, and the energy you want to bring in.

For example, I pulled this Spread for myself during Winter Solstice, pulling out the Sun as my You Now, or my Significator. 


In the position of my Strengths (position 2), the Judgment speaks to my ability to release judgment and forgive. Pulling this into the New year, I can see that my work with forgiveness--both self-forgiveness and forgiveness of others--is something I may have to draw on, and will be important for my spiritual growth. In the Roots position, or where I draw my strength (position 3), I pulled the World. I draw strength from every aspect of my life--my children, my home, my crystal work, my Tarot and psychic work, teaching, learning, writing, and art. I had wondered for so long which was my path, and have come to accept that all are my path. In the Release position (position 4), or what is no longer serving, I pulled the Four of Swords card, which is a card of retreat and meditation before battle. I believe this means that what I need to release is my over-analysis. My Analysis Paralysis, as they call it, and move forward with my work in this new space. So, I need to release inaction! In my Energy I am Ready to Bring into my Life (position 5), I pulled the Magician. Oh, hellz to the yes! This is the energy I want to bring in--achievement, magic, spiritual work, using all my gifts together. 

In the Second layout, we just expand on the smaller layout to get more in-depth. It involves more reflection and self-examination.

For example, I pulled this second layout without using the Sun as the center, and pulling a card to represent myself.

In this layout, the King in position 1 represents me in the Now, someone who is financially stable and in my Earth sign element. In position 2, my strength is my ability to withstand chaos and massive change. Not that I will be facing it, but just to remember that I can weather any storm with aplomb and grace. In the position 3, where I draw my strength, the King of Wands was pulled, and this is a creative man, my husband, I think, who inspires me and grounds me. In the two position 4 + 5, these are the things that are no longer serving me--Eight of Pentacles and Page of Pentacles. I think the Eight is there to remind me that I am ready to move into a more teacher/owner role, rather than as a student, and the Page of Pentacles is immaturity with money. Financially, I think this means moving into amore mature approach with my business, not taking money from our home account for Moon + Stone, and begin treating it as a mature business. What I need to release position 6 is more of an emotional release for my spiritual growth. I believe this card, the Nine of Wands is any defensiveness, or heart protection. I need to wear my vulnerability, embrace it, accept it, wear it proudly. On the Future side, position 7, the Energy I am ready to Bring in is definitely circles of women. My peeps, where for art thou? Position 8, my meditation position, really is something to sit with, and journal about to achieve my release and renewal. I pulled Temperance, which is a card of purification and balance. Such an important card for me. In the 9th position, Outcome, the Queen of Swords is absolutely the energy I would like to welcome in my new phase. No nonsense. And not taking things personally. Also, nodding to my grief without having to live in it.

I hope reading my albeit brief interpretations of these cards in these new spreads helps you to read your own Solstice cards. Let me know what you think in the comments, and Blessed Litha, friends.

summer solstice

Ah, the Northern Hemisphere is starting to heat up on its slow crawl toward summer sostice. The Earth tilts toward the sun, honoring its beautiful fire. Solstice is a perfect time to explore your intentions, dreams, and set goals, like in my Creative Visioning class at Alta View Wellness. For each solstice and equinox, I create a seasonal altar and grid to help me harness that energy and maintain the beautiful vibration of the solar and lunar energy of this time. So much of the celebration of the solstices honor the Sun and the movement around the wheel of the year. 

I thought I would share some solstice stones to include in your Litha or Summer Solstice altars, celebrations and grids to help you harness that gorgeous vibration and work with it around this time. 

Let's start at one o'clock. Fire Agate captures the essence of fire. This stone holds the essence of physicality and strength. It is a stone of vitality and sexuality. So much of that sexual fire translates to creative fire. It inspires, ignites and intensifies one's passions and emotions. I couldn't think of a more apt stone on your Summer Solstice altar.

At five, I included raw Carnelian. My friend Joe from Crystals and Crafts sent me this beauty, which I have been working with in Medicine Bundle since the new moon of the Spring Equinox. The energy of Carnelian  vibrates at a physical level. It helps stimulate the first three chakras, and again ignites a kind of passionate dance with the Self. It's an amazing ally for courage and for self-realization. Creative fire sparks with Carnelian, and because of its help with certain literary homework in our house, it is nicknamed "the Poetry stone", as poetry and writing can't help but flow around Carnelian. I love Carnelian in all its forms, you have probably seen it in a thousand grids in my home, but I particularly love raw Carnelian.  

At six o'clockish, Sunstone beckons the long Solstice sun.  Sunstone stimulates that idea of enlighened leadership. Enlightened leadership utilizes this idea that true leadership is being of service, rather than being in control. And so Sunstone helps align self will and Divine will. It is a strong fire stone, again for Summer Solstice, it is important to honor the element of fire (and often water hand in hand.) Sunstone emanates, as Naisha Ahsian says, the Solar Ray. This is my experience of Sunstone as well, and I often use it in the center of Solstice Tarot readings, and other times I am invoking the sun and Father Sky.

At seven o'clockish is Citrine. This is a natural polished Citrine, and it does have a different vibration than heat treated Citrine, which is not to say one is better than the other. I simply prefer natural Citrine for Solstice altars and work.  It holds that pure fire energy, and emanates a golden ray. Most Citrine has smoky quartz within its matrix, and so that combination is amazingly grounding, helping one truly manifest one's desires and dreams, as it grounds the manifestor into realistically setting goals. 

At nine o'clock, Tangerine Quartz points toward that sexual, creative self. It inspires curiosity, playfulness and innocence. I used to always shy away from stones with fruit in the name. My teacher says most fruity named stones are dyed or faked, but Tangerine Quartz is an exception. This year, as I battle some sacral issues, I have really worked deeply with Tangerine Quartz. My personal specimen has both a past timeline and future timelink, which was incredibly helpful, as I was healing both my present sacral, past traumas and fears held in the womb, and then trying to heal any future trauma there. I love the lightness of being that Tangerine Quartz brought to my womb. It is a place of birth and creativity, not pain and fear. And Tangerine Quartz seemed to capture that for me. Whereas Carnelian can be a strong, masculine feel in the sacral area, Tangerine Quartz feels less violent and war-like. It is more like a gentle hand on the shoulder, rather than a full metal shield for protection there, and it is incredibly healing. 

At the eleven o'clock area here is Dogtooth Calcite, which is also called Stellar Beam Calcite. I just love this rock. My goodness. Stellar Beam is a wonderful ally for connecting with angels and guides. They are a stone of light, and connect the Higher Chakras with Divine Will. I included it with this grouping for Summer Solstice because they carry the golden ray, and in that way, connect with the power of the Sun.

Creating grids is my jam, you know. This Summer Solstice grid is simple and beautiful, and captures the fiery Sun energy for Solstice. Centered with a Carnelian sphere, the first circle includes natural Citrine, the second contains Sunstone, and the third contains Carnelian and white arrowheads to help direct my energy and cut through any blockages arising for me right now. I used a flower of life woods grid from Eternal Glyphics. Another wonderful way to create a grid is to include flowers in the grid itself. Of course, it doesn't last as long, but it is a wonderful addition to a Solstice circle or party.

You can also create your own gorgeous sun drink with Golden Milk. The main ingredient of Golden Milk is Turmeric, which is an anti-inflammatory. This is my main reason for drinking it. I am new to the whole Golden Milk thing, but I am in love with it. I could bath in it, honestly. Or marry it, even though my husband would be jealous. It is perfect. When I am taking in tea, juice or drinks as medicine, I like to create a wee grid around it, and charge it with Reiki. Not only does it satisfy my ritualistic itch, it slows me down, appreciate the small beauty we can create around us. And I am worth a little grid making, no?

Golden Milk is a simple recipe--a cup of almond milk, coconut milk or other milk product. I don't do dairy, so I made this one with coconut milk. One teaspoon of dried Turmeric, one teaspoon of Ginger, and a sprinkle or two of black pepper. Then honey to taste. I put the milk, turmeric, ginger and pepper in the blender, and mix is up. Then I pour into a saucepan and add raw honey to tast, warming it slowly. It is simply sun in a cup.

I wrote about Summer Solstice visioning in my latest newsletter. You can read that here: Visioning. I am promising to be on the blog more. I also am going to be rewriting/revisiting some old newsletter topics and re-publishing them on my blog, so let me know if you have some oldies, but goodies you are interested in seeing.

Tarot of the Week: the High Priestess

“Our duty is wakefulness, the fundamental condition of life itself. The unseen, the unheard, the untouchable is what weaves the fabric of our see-able universe together.” ― Robin Craig Clark

So much beauty and mystery in this card, the High Priestess honors us with her presence as the first post of the new year--2015 with all her mystery and wisdom yet bestowed. There is so much on this card, it is hard to know where to start. The High Priestess is the second card of the Major Arcana. She follows the Magician with all his power and achievement. You see this often in the Tarot--masculine and feminine cards following each other, balancing each other's energy. There is a sense of yin-yang balance of the feminine and masculine throughout the Major Arcana (and Minor, every King and Queen sits together in the deck). The High Priestess follows the Magician, yet her stance harkens more to the Hierophant. Historically, this card in the original deck way back in the 14th century was called La Papesse, or the Female Pope. WHAT?!? It is true. Such a strong, or rather the strongest, role for a woman in a traditionally patriarchal religion. I am quoting Rachel Pollack here for the historical background:

In the 1200’s, a radical movement sprang up in Europe led by a woman named Guglielma of Bohemia.  Guglielma preached that Christ would return in 1300 to begin a new age when woman would be popes. Guglielma died before that great day and so her followers elected a woman named Manfreda Visconti to be the first female pope. The year 1300 came around and went without Christ returning and its church made its position on female popes very clear: they burned Manfreda at the stake. 150 years later the first tarot deck {as we know it} was created, commissioned by the rulers of the city of Milan- the Visconti family.” -Rachel Pollack, quoted by Marybeth Bonfiglio

This I find absolutely fascinating and important for us Tarot readers. I don't think it is any surprise she stands on the Waxing Moon, as the Virgin Mary is so often portrayed in paintings. This would be the only image of a female spiritual leader the Italians who created the first Tarocchini decks would know. This imagery would have made complete sense to Catholics. She is the Pope of the Virgin. She has been elevated beyond a simple priestess. Like the Pope, she has a connection to the Divine that is beyond a worshipper, or the common man, or the priest. she hold papal infallibility. If the Pope is lineage from Peter, then who is La Papesse in lineage from? It is interesting, because I think the pomegranates behind her are so wrought with symbolism. Nearly every major religion of the Middle East hold pomegranate as particularly symbolic. The Egyptians felt it was a fruit of abundance. The Ancient Greeks associate the pomegranate as the fruit of the dead, and it is intertwined deeply with the story of Persephone and Demeter, so there is an ancient mother connection here. The Pomegranate is associated with the Crone. And in Kabbalah, perhaps the most likely of symbols for Arthur Waite and Pamela Smith Colman, it symbolizes the mystical experience.

Woman in the Tarot hold this deep mystery for Arthur Waite. Pomegranate is a common theme from the Empress on. But the High Priestess is their mediator, and she stands as the symbol of the Divine Feminine. Her standing is more of the holder of mystery, the esoteric, the deep water of religion, of the self, of Nature. Because women have always been associated with mystery, the moon, the water, the nurturing mother, there are additional symbols here that hold this more enigmatic spiritual meaning for us. Her dress literally turns into water as it falls over the moon. The Moon, the eighteenth card of the Major Arcana, is not to be missed. The connection is clear and important. She also wears a crown. I have read that it is similar to the horned crown of Hathor, Egyptian goddess and now a modern symbol of receptivity. I always imagine center of the crown being moonstone, because to me, as a crystal healer, Moonstone seems to be the High Priestess' stone. It sits on her third eye, and the crown itself opens to the Divine. She bears all kinds of religious iconography--the cross over her heart, the Torah in her hands. So, her connection is not to one religion--she is the Priestess of Pluralism. Every path is through her to the Divine. 

She sits regally, flanked by two pillars much like the Hierophant (the Pope), Justice, the Emperor. Front and center she faces you. Her pillars are different for one is dark and one light, anointed with the letters B and J, meaning Boaz and Jachin of Solomon's Temple, the first Temple in Jerusalem. All of these symbols lead to this woman, the High Priestess. She is the prophetess, the seer, the mystic, the psychic. She connects to the Divine and the Mystery, but the darkness of her and this card are important. The mystery holds us captive and frightens us. We must push through the fear for her wisdom and insights propel us to the next phase of our spiritual development. So, in my work, the High Priestess is the card of the channel, the oracle, the psychic. She is guardian of the mysteries of the Divine and esoteric knowledge. I think of her as carrying sacred geometry and a stream to the Akashic records.

When the High Priestess appears, I know I am facing someone who is psychic, intuitive, opening to her or his spirituality. Dreamwork, journeying, visions and psychic abilities are at play here. Dreams are particularly important with any card that shows the Moon. Many of my Tarot friends sleep with a High Priestess under their pillow when they need insight. She is Divine and of the Divine and so there is a kind of purity and grace with her presence. She helps release and shed what does not serve. She assists one in finding their soul path. Meditation, prayer and new spiritual work is indicated. Unlike the Hierophant, which has religion all tied up with its means, the High Priestess is about spirituality and one's spiritual path. The High Priestess is about upper chakra work. She lights up the Third eye and the Crown. Though she is silent, she also opens the throat for channels and oracle work. The blue is important, it calls to work with the throat and third eye together for gaining your own insights.

Reversed, we get a feeling of the shadow self. The mysterious grows darker when the High Priestess is reversed. It can mean one is not facing their true self and honoring oneself.  As always, I'd love to hear what you think of the High Priestess and this post. Comment below.

Word of the Year

I toiled this year with my word of the year. So much has happened in the last few years, my husband and I have barely breathed. Each year, we seem to say--nothing big. No changes. And then something large happens. For our family, 2014 was a major year of change and rooting. This was my word of the year for 2014--ROOTS. As I had just moved to Central Pennsylvania, I wanted to plant some roots--both career-wise, friendships, colleagues, circles of women, roots for my children. There is nothing more rooting than birthing a child somewhere. It is now part of your being--the place. Your baby's home. This will be the only home Zachary will know, we think. That is powerful to imagine.

I grew up about an hour and half from where I now live. My parents are within an hour or two from me now, and the land, landscape, the trees feel like home. I know these rocks, the fields of corn and wheat, the horses which graze in our yard. I spent this year starting our farm. My feet dug into the earth of our small farm and roots began swirling in the loamy mix of new family soil. Nourished is how I felt, my nails dirty from the garden, and my knees sore from pulling weeds as we tended all these roots we planted. I couldn't imagine how this word would play out in my year. I found a home for my healing work at Alta View, and felt rooted there, held, nourished, supported. This year I considered the word blossoming...the natural growth from roots. Sprouting and blossoming is what I imagine this year being for me. But it is more, and the word didn't quite capture it.

I had a long list I started in early December of words I thought might capture this year. Austerity, fortitude, quiet, prudence...enough. WORTHY. Later I had narrowed it down to a few--integration, authenticity, acceptance, blossoming, mindful, utilize, enough, and resourceful.

See, here is the idea I am working with. I have spent the last few years taking classes like a dehydrated woman and wisdom was water. Classes on-line, circles of women, meditation circles, angel classes, oracle card creations, elemental workings, crystal certifications, reiki attunements. I am at a point that I am ready to take all this learning and turn it into teachings. Hell, I've been doing that this last few years, right? Working on clients, integrating my native wisdom, the teachings given to me and my creative fire into a unified healing style. If you have had a healing with me, you know I often do breath work, grab a rattle, use the hawk wing to draw energy, read Tarot, then place crystals on the body. I follow Spirit's guidance, and Spirit guided me to all these different classes.

All these classes and books are wonderful if you really sit with the work and allow it to integrate. Have I been sitting with it enough? I do my work, don't get me wrong, but I was going from one heavy deep class to the next. Your spirit needs quiet to process and integrate, and I wasn't giving myself that. I can be a workaholic. It has damaged relationships in the past, and this is another thing I have worked on the last few years--putting the phone down, writing less, living more, being present with my family. These on-line classes and workshops were heavy emotionally and spiritually. At some level, I wondered if they weren't punishing in some way. Maybe I needed to simply sit still, since sitting still is much harder for me that uncovering, explicating, talking about what is wrong with me. What if I could sit still and be comfortable with all this amazing work I have done this last few years?

The truth is I wonder if I have been collecting wisdom, like I once bought crystals and oracle cards. Is the collecting of wisdom materialistic? Or can it be? Can I look at this wisdom and integrate it, rather than simply catalogue it?  Can I live the beautiful lessons I have learned the last six years? See, I noticed something about myself a few years ago. When I felt empty, or sad, I went to the metaphysical bookstore or the crystal shop or a religious store, and bought something spiritual. A crystal that a book said would soothe my emotional state, or a statue of a goddess who helps with wisdom or sadness or whatever I needed. I was consuming spiritual things in a sadly materialistic way. When I quit drinking, I realized I could get addicted to anything--was I becoming addicted to the spiritual? I made a vow this year to watch my spending around crystals and spiritual things. I've done a decent job. Not perfect, but decent. But every class I crossed my FB feed, and caught my fancy, I took. "I definitely need to learn how to do that!" This year 2015, I thought I want to be mindful about consuming wisdom, and begin to trust that I have enough wisdom. I no longer have to BUY things so I am wise or open or spiritual. I have all that I need now. I am enough. ENOUGH.

What word embodied that? Well, you read my list of words, and as I searched for ways these words have worked in other people's lives, I saw the word REALIZE. Bam. This is it. This is my word. I have three books half finished in my computer. One untouched for about four years, and others that are waiting to their realization. I have paintings I want to paint, classes I want to teach. And so I see this word realize. I realize my ideas into actions/books/classes, my learnings into teachings, my teachings into healings, my healings into a living make the wisdom and spiritual and emotional real. And maybe most importantly, to realize how beautiful, wise, nurturing, loving, important, spiritual I am. To realize I am enough. To realize my path clearly. To walk it authentically is to me to REALIZE the true Angie in all her glory.

What is your word of the year? Why did you choose it?

Tarot of the Week--Knight of Swords

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

crystals for pregnancy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tarot of the Week--Nine of Cups

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


using crystals in your environment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tarot of the Week-King of Wands

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

how to heal the king of cups reversed

Hi Angie, 

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


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

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

Thank you, Yvonne

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Much love, Angie

tarot of the week--page of cups

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


tarot of the week--three of pentacles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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