mercury retrograde tarot layout

I've been in the throes of life and finding my tarot practice waning a bit. I know you all can relate--days when you want to pull a card, but how? When? For what? Sometimes I find myself in a place where I just don't want to know.

Burying my head in the sand never works. It simply wastes time. One of the times I most want to bury my head in the sand is Mercury Retrograde. Being misunderstood, having things go haywire, mixing up my navigational system is a logistical nightmare for a recovering control freak and perfectionist. It's those times when burying my head it in the sand or "not wanting to know" seem like the best idea in the world. 

But avoiding tools that actually work for connecting me with Spirit and my deep wells of wisdom keeps me from peace. I need to remind myself that Tarot doesn't punish or judge--our interpretations do that! I do that! Tarot is a navigational guide and a map for moving forward. There are many times, though, that I know I am too tender, judgmental or prone to negativity to objectively read for myself. That is when I connect with another reader and trade. Tarot Share is borne out of that impulse to have a community of Tarot readers who get it.

Speaking of Mercury Retrograde, it is coming up on March 5th.  Mercury goes retrograde three times a year. It shouldn't be surprising, and yet we all seem to dread it. I have developed crystals and vibrational support during Mercury Retrograde.  I created this Mercury Retrograde preparation Tarot Layout to help you identify and work with issues that might arise during Mercury Retrograde.

mercury in retrograde tarot layout.png

i come with the grief

As a writer, poet, and artist, I’ve done a fairly lousy job of sharing my writing on here. I have mostly only shared my work about crystals, tarot and spirituality. Part of my passion is social justice and work of people like me—women of color who wrestle with identity and spirit in the face of social injustice.

I also want to show up more in this space—my voice and my face and my artwork. I have lived a life or two. I am a child of an immigrant. I am Latinx. And so I cannot go through this life without being reminded of that. It informs my artwork and my writing and my spirituality. It is part of the space I hold for people—healing cultural wounding and trauma, ancestral wounding and trauma, societal wounding and trauma. This poem encapsulates that for me. I began this poem in a writing workshop with marybeth 2017 and started with a prompt: “What grief do you come here today with?”

This is a piece I have revisited a few times, and found it. I am reading it below. Let me know what you think. I’d love to hear your thoughts.



Gratitude needs to be the root of all my practice. When I wake in resentment, anger, fear, my entire day feels off. It’s not often that this happens any longer. I have reoriented myself toward gratitude. I start gently with a simple prayer of thanks, as my stiff joints shuffle to the bathroom. I use the beginning of the e.e.cummings poem.

I thank you God for most this amazing day.

I watch the sun come up over the snow. The first blush of dawn highlights the waning moon flanked by Venus and Jupiter in the clear winter sky. The beauty betrays the bitter cold of the morning. 10 degrees. I sip my warm lemon water, snuggled in a blanket.

God, thank you for the warmth of my home, for the ability to build a fire.

The beauty way seeks to find beauty in all the things and also to be the one to bring beauty. I cringe at the toys I can see poking out from under my couches, and the clutter that small children bring, and yet their smiles, the warmth of our home (not just physical warmth, but the warmth of love and acceptance), the laughter, the artwork created by big and little hands hanging everywhere radiates beauty.

Great Spirit, may I walk in beauty. Great Spirit, I offer myself to thee.

I am most thankful that I get to do this work of honoring Spirit and tending to the Spirit of others, helping others live in a way that is harmonious—gentle consumption, stewardship of the Earth, sacred living, self-care, and self-mothering. Through my practice, the work I have offered has evolved. From my first circle of psychic development to now, I can see how much I have deepened in understanding and practice. How each moment is a moment of living in shamanic ways. I continually deepen my practice, so this makes sense to me. I have been blessed with many teachers and mentors who continually teach me how to show up despite adversity and grief and life.

Great Mother, thank you for the women who walk before me, who reach back, hold my hand and show me the way forward.

Last year, I experienced deep loss from the death of my beloved father to both of my animal companions (my dog Jack and my cat Magnus). The tenth anniversary of my daughter’s death amplified the grief. I had physical challenges to my health, and emotional challenges to my worth. I have had all my stories rewritten. I have had friends step away. Institutions shaken up. I have had every solid tower in my life brought down to its stone foundation. Thus is the Tower year, the one that brings it all out. Kali, the Dark Mother, helps destroy and rebuild. I honor her way, though it is hard. I honor her.

Dark Mother, thank you for the destruction of lies, and for the solid foundation to build again. Thank you for steady hand on my back as I move forward.

I am in the process of truth-telling about these incidents, and the process of truth-telling about my past and my history, of seeing things with clear eyes. There are stories that I had come to believe down to my core that just aren’t true. I watch and observe and take notes now about what is true and what isn’t. It is powerful work. Challenging, humbling, but good work. This is what we are asked to do as medicine keepers—continually do the deep work we ask of our students, clients and mentors. 2018 watched the Tower tumble. I used Snake for this work, as my guide. Snake sheds the skin. Releases. Transforms. Transmutes. Heals. Regenerates.

Thank you, Snake, belly on the earth, for showing me the process of shedding my old, torn skin. Thank you for rising from the earth to open a way forward for me.


2019 brings me to this year of the Major Arcana card XVII, the Star. It is a card of hope, of optimism, of healing, of peace. It brings me to watching the early morning sky for the simple beauty of the cycles of our life. Gratitude reorients me due north, the direction of wisdom and patience, the long view only the ancestors can bring. I am reassured of this fact—every part of my journey is used. No part is wasted on the medicine path.

Father Sky, Mother Earth, I thank you for clarity, for the willingness to see the truth no matter how painful. Thank you for bolstering me in the darkness, steering me to my True North.

Gratitude remains the root ball of the strong, powerful tree of me. The one that bends with the wind, but does not blow over. I am grateful for your continued support of my work and mission.

imbolc tarot layout

You know how I love creating tarot layouts for the Wheel of the Year. I have something in the works for those of you who also work with the pagan Wheel of the Year—the equinoxes, solstices and cross-quarter holidays, plus all the moon cycles. I cannot wait to share it with y’all.

Of course, Imbolc is coming up, so I thought I would design a layout for the seeds beginning to stir within you. Imbolc is basically the halfway point between Yule (Winter Solstice) and Ostara (Vernal Equinox). This is the traditional time that candles are made, and the sheep begin birthing lambs (hence the name Imbolc, pronounced Im-olc, meaning ewe’s milk). The gift of the first milk might help sustain a family in the dark winter. Speaking of darkness, we begin to see the sun rising earlier and setting later. I mean, we hear that Yule is when the sun begins coming out earlier, but now is when we can really see it in action.

It is also traditionally the feast day of St. Brigid, or the Goddess Brigid. Her snake would rise from the soil to test the weather and tell us whether the winter would last for another 6 weeks or longer. (Sound familiar?) But the idea here is under the snow, the grass, the soil, the seeds planted deep in the autumn are beginning to stir. It looks calm and serene above, but the seeds are stirring into action and beginning to make their way toward the sun.

And the same for us. What seeds are beginning to make their way towards the light for you? This tarot layout seeks to understand what is happening below your surface. Let me know if you use this tarot layout and what you think of it.

Imbolc Tarot Layout.png

New Moon Tarot Layout

New Moon is such a potent time for planting seeds, for setting intention, for taking stock. For me, the dark of the New Moon excites me. It seems so potent and full of potential for me. Plus, that inward reflection for me plays beautifully into my own introversion and need for alone time. I mean, this isn't isolation. It is solitude. It is time to check-in. I often do my most powerful readings during this time period, because I do it ready for release. Hell, the New Moon makes me sleep well, but also finds me cranky. I am not always good with too many personalities, so I pare things down. I connect with the cards, with Spirit, with my own needs. 

I often do the Medicine Wheel Layout or even the Solstice layout, but recently, I have been doing this New Moon Layout I've been playing with. This is really potent for those who aren't really sure what energy they are really ready to call in at the New Moon. It is great for the question: Where should my attention be right now?

As always, please let me know how you like this layout and show me your readings. I am offering distance readings again, so please reach out if you are interested at


medicine wheel layout

The energy of Summer is upon us--that fire in our belly. In terms of the Medicine Wheel, we are facing South, the direction of Fire, of mystery, of passion and heat and action and creativity and, and, and....there is so much going on the South, it is no wonder we break a sweat. The South moves us from the airy East into the deep fires of the lower chakras--the root, sacral and solar plexus. This is where we ground, we create, we do. Red, Orange, and Yellow combine to create those flames of  DOING.

Many tribes use the Horse as their symbol of the South. I certainly use her as my Southern Totem. She is the Great Sojourner, the Carrier of the Warrior and the Maiden, the traveler, the explorer, that fearless movement forward. We call in the energy in the East in Spring, and it flies overhead with the energy of Hawk, Eagle, even hummingbird (hummingbirds have been all over my land this year with her busy, fast dance.) These high fliers have the vision to align you, to see the bigger picture, to see the forest, but what that vision does is move you into South, where we actually do the dang thing we have been visioning. When I am in the South, I find myself creating all day, painting, sketching, playing guitar, singing, doodling. My creativity is awakened. Creativity and action begets more creativity and action. I am ready. I call on fire to burn away that which sit stagnant in my energy field. I call on fire to start me on my wild journey.

I move through the Medicine Wheel constantly--we all do...each day, year, and in the cycle of our life, we move through east, south, west, and north. Each morning, in my prayers, I call in the directions for healing and to guide my days. I use this model for my Tarot readings too. This isn't exactly a new layout, though I didn't "copy" it from another source. This is just how I have always intuitively done reading around the Medicine Wheel. I drew it up in a Tarot Layout that is shareable and useable. I thought we could try it next Tarot Share for our group reading.


beltane tarot spread

I have really enjoyed creating tarot spreads around the seasonal energies this year. It has been such a challenge for me to think about what we need to know at different times of the year around these cycles. I connect with cycles and even created an oracle deck based on the different cycles we tap into through our life. It's not available yet. I just use it for myself. But I think about this so often when I do readings for my clients. First, what cycle of life are they in? What cycle of their year? What universal cycle are they in--what is the astrological or lunar cycle are all of us facing? This seems like such an important part of the work of reading energy to me.

Beltane, May 1st, is one of those important points on the Wheel of the Year. Spring is in full bloom--flowers are blossoming and the world radiates a thousand shades of green in every corner. The lightness seeps into us all. The Solar Horned God earns his name and is ready to mate with the Lunar Goddess. This is where the idea of Lusty May comes in. We certainly understand Spring Fever and we really enjoy a time of fertility and growth. We celebrate the light, the sexuality and creativity that lies within that sacral energy. It is within us. Now, how are you expressing this time?

I create these tarot spreads to help us easily tap into the energetic and magickal work important around these different points on the Wheel of the Year and in our life. It is such a powerful time to check-in with a relationship or partnership you have. And if you are more interested in a creative project, you can also think of that birthing out of the same energy of Beltane. Remember you can do this reading at any time you want to check in with a relationship or project of any kind, not just Beltane. Let me know how you enjoy this layout.

Beltane Tarot Spread.jpg

Blue moon tarot spread

So much of this energy of January is about the two full moons that act mark the beginning and ending of the month. The second blue moon on January 31st is super special--it is a blood moon, a full lunar eclipse and then of course the Blue Moon. 

Tarot is a perfect way to tap into this energy and use it to manifest your beautiful goals. This Leo Blue Moon is one of bringing in and setting intentions around some long-term goals and dreams. I mean, these are those dreams you dare not speak aloud, the ones that feel too wildly awesome to imagine. I used to be all about magical thinking, and fear of jinxing my good fortune. Pshaw!! Not anymore and not since so many of the dreams I dare not speak aloud have come to be. I am living my wildest dreams (and I'm still uncomfortable sometimes, by the way. The discomfort just stays for so little time, and makes me too curious to suffer for too long!). So, what is that dream for you? Are you so out of touch of your childlike awe and curiosity that you forget? 

Tarot is great for uncovering your subconscious and superconscious selves. So, tap into it with this layout, and let me know how it goes!


understanding the medicine

When we see an animal die before us, what are we supposed to interpret and understand from that medicine?

On the way to our last circle, one of my students hit a deer. She was devastated. The deer most certainly will die, or already had died. She asked me, “What does this mean?” As a circle keeper and an earth medicine walker, I found myself stumbling over my words. Why does this happen to us who walk an earth medicine path? Others chimed in with their thoughts—the deer knew you could hold space for its transition; it was destined to die; better you than someone else.

A few years ago, after a circle, I was driving home. I live in the boonies, as we say, out in the sticks, where I worry about hitting deer. Pennsylvania ranks as the second most deer collisions in the country. So, I drive slowly, cautiously through the fields, and frequently stop for all kinds of wildlife. But I was still in the city, headed home, and bam, a deer ran into my car. It hit my front quarter panel. I pulled over and the deer laid on the side of the road, panting, clearly injured. I called the police and sent Reiki. I envisioned the Reiki energy repairing the deer’s legs and head, and strengthening it. I did this Reiki for almost 15 minutes, and the deer stood up, steady and whole, then ran right out into the street to get demolished and killed by a massive truck.

The truck tore the deer apart. I shook and cried as well.

What does this mean? Is it still medicine for us if we see our medicine dead on the side of the road? And how do we interpret it?

As I meditated on the death of the deer, I could see this interplay between the deer’s medicine and the encroachment of humanity. The medicine of deer resides in its deep vulnerability. When deer interact with humanness and urban environments, we begin to see just how vulnerable these magnificent creatures are.  Humans have disrupted the balance of the predator and the prey. Our ancestors decimated the predators—wolves, mountain lion population, the bears—who would have hunted the sick and weak, keeping populations down. Massive deforestation also affects deer populations. Whitetail deer flourish in edge environments, right where the forest meets the suburbs. Streets and cars encroach on the delicate ecosystems. And hunting is down around the country with the ease of shopping for meat in the supermarket.

So, deer medicine is not only a medicine about the individual deer’s vulnerability to predators but the species. Deer, particularly those with antlers, have a strong connection to Spirit. Their antlers are said to reach high to our guides and angels as antennae for messages. Deer connects with the subtle energy system and has heightened senses from hearing to vision to smell. They are always sensing the disruption in the force.

I could not help thinking as my student told me about the deer and her accident that this was part of the critical message for her. Knowing that she is going through a beautiful spiritual opening, deer medicine can come in this way to remind us of our vulnerability during our spiritual opening. When we experience all this light and love that begins to channel through us from Spirit, we live in a bubble of good vibes. When I started opening, I just was always blissed out and only able to tolerate other lightworkers. When we take all this gentle light and vulnerability into the real world, our first encounters with the sickness of our society, the toxicity and negativity of people, the harshness of the news and the suffering of others, we experience this world just like the deer, hit out of nowhere by real life. This modern world is cruel to the vulnerable. Deer medicine embodies vulnerability, quiet, and gentleness. Nothing is more profoundly indicative of the imbalance then when nature interacts with urban life. Where we see how pollution hurts wildlife, or cars kill deer. 

This grounded, counter energy to very high vibrational work is part of the medicine lightworkers need to carry as much as the light message of our power animals.  When you open in profound ways, you are, of course, more susceptible to those deep wells of grief and compassion. But it goes deeper. There is nothing natural about carrying vulnerability or being an empath in a narcissistic world. We also have to experience and learn about the shadow medicine of our animals. Shamanic work is not always easy or light or fun. It is mostly about challenging ourselves to go beyond the surface, to experience the more profound message, to become stewards of the Earth, spokespeople for the Mother. When all of this starts, we want to live in that amazing Other World of Spirit. When we practice earth medicine, we become intrinsically tied to Mother Earth and Grandmother Moon, and their incredible cycles. Life and death, happiness and grief, masculine and feminine—this delicate balance becomes second sight to us We can see it without trying. Impermanence and suffering of life and of the human condition is part of our medicine and the spiritual experience. We must hold space for both light and darkness, birth and death. As we begin our opening, this can be a harsh reality.

If this happens to you, or you are driving and notice an animal sacred to you, dead on the side of the road, my suggestion is to begin asking what is the medicine for you—both in the animal’s living experience (how does it live, love, eat, hunt, raise its young, etc), then as your medicine interacts with the brutality of this world. 

The prayer stick I created for the Vulture I harvested in 2016.

The prayer stick I created for the Vulture I harvested in 2016.

We can also show reverence for the medicine of that animal by creating a prayer stick. This is a way of honoring your deer and helping its Spirit make its way upward. You take a stick. I suggest about a foot to a foot and a half long. I would walk in an area where the animal was killed, or an area sacred to you. Do not take a stick off of a living tree. Forage on the earth for it. Remember to sing and leave an offering for found objects. Tobacco is traditional, but lavender, a piece of hair or other offering is proper. Hold the stick, and commune with it. Talk to it.  Take all the bark off of it. Bark represents the ego, and we take the bark off to humble ourselves before Great Spirit. Sanding the stick, and working with it in some way is important to connect your energy to the tree energy. You can decorate it with red leather or red fabric, crystals, feathers or other offerings. You can paint it with colors, or symbols. Attach leather or yarn to float in the wind. Feathers are traditional because they carry the prayers to heaven, also the soul of the deer or animal hurt.  Take some red flannel and make a little offering or prayer tie to Spirit (tobacco or sage is traditional) and tie it to the Stick. Some traditions use a Y shaped stick. Then place it in the earth. This grounds your prayer and gives it a solid foundation. Also it connects Mother Earth and Father Sky. If you want, you can place it where the deer was hit, or you can place it in a sacred place in your yard. Sing a song to offer its soul to heaven/Great Spirit. I did this for the Vulture I harvested last year, and it felt important and honoring of the medicine and nature.

If you are able and feel up to it, take the hair or an item from the animal that was killed (always remembering that if it stinks, it will always stink. If it has bugs, your house will have bugs, so only newly killed animals can be harvested, but that is another post) and use it in ceremony. As medicine keepers, we need to honor the medicine and the allies and giving them a good death is part of this process. You can use that medicine you harvested on your altar or in a medicine bundle.

One thing I know is that none of us aim for the deer or squirrel or bird, so release guilt. Guilt is the illusion of control (if I did something different, it would have changed the outcome). Just be with the profound grief. That is enough suffering. Create a ritual of honoring the medicine of the deer. Sit in the discomfort of your humanness and the ways in which we can mitigate the harshness of our living on the earth. Allow the tears their flow. Fall into ritual and ceremony. 

Remember anything, all of our human experience, can become our medicine. To ignore the death, suffering, and violence inherent in our animal medicine is to ignore the full power of its medicine. May you walk gently on the Earth, friends. 

samhain ancestor tarot spread

Creating Tarot spreads has become one of my new favorite past times. It is amazing when, as a reader, you have that deep shift in your bones about Tarot. You go from doing everything by the book (whichever book you have given authority to in that week) to playing with your cards. To realizing they are in relationship with you and you can bend and ask and instruct and prescribe how and what messages you need. This is so powerful when you create a Tarot spread.

You literally start with a question: What information is most useful for me right now? What will help my soul grow? And for me, one of the things I find most powerful is: How can I tap into the seasonal energies to create a layout that helps me grow spiritually? This has been my goal in the last few months with these new layouts I am creating...designing layouts that move us through the Medicine Wheel and the Wheel of the Year. 

Every month, I host a Tarot Share at Alta View Wellness Center. We get together and read for each other. This has been 18 months strong, and I'm so proud of the community we have created. We decided to do a Tarot Share Costume Party this year for our monthly Tarot Share, and to come dressed as our favorite card. We actually chose cards last month out of the Majors and Court Cards, and I pulled the Devil. I cannot wait to get all Devilish for our group. (Incidentally, as a Capricorn, the Devil is my card, and it happens to be my card of the year too. Isn't Tarot AMAZING?!?)

ANYWAY, the Tarot Share works like this. It is for other Tarot readers. We gather and exchange readings. Usually, we get to exchange one on one, then most of the time, we do one large reading for the whole group. We often do a reading around the seasonal energies, or the moon cycle. It has been amazing to see how much each of us relate to the big reading. So, for Samhain, I wanted to create a layout that both taps into the ancestral work of Samhain and the idea of releasing and bringing in. So, I thought you might enjoy this too for your Samhain gatherings. Let me know how it goes and how this layout worked for you.

AncestorSpread (1).jpg

belonging + be-longing

it’s been a while…that’s not from lack of love. In fact, every week, I put my weekly love letter to you on my To-Do list. When I write to you, my heart takes over, and even when I’m promising myself I’m not going to go deep, suddenly, there I am talking about that thing that I didn’t want to talk about.


It’s that way with this work I am called to do too. We want to stay light and shallow, but Spirit has a way of asking more of us, demanding we get honest and authentic right now. Presence, in fact, is just being where we are and honoring that walk.

I revisit grief this month, as my close friend lost her battle with cancer at age 45. Grief is this deep global, ancestral and cultural experience too right now, as we move through October—the month of collective honoring of the dead, and then on the heels of the hurricanes, earthquakes, fires still raging in the West…with all the natural disasters, racial violence, the shooting in Las Vegas (hell, the shootings every day in the US), with our own private and personal tragedies, we must sit with this extreme discomfort. I have no special magic trick for doing this work, except to just do it. Just sit and weep. Talk about how uncomfortable you are. Write long poems about injustice if you must.

I did this in August when I traveled to Niagara Falls, NY, to spend the day with Marybeth Bonfiglio at a writing workshop called Of Blood + Belonging. It was so good. I mean, so good. We explored the ancestors and this deep cultural grieving we are all going through. We cannot shift, raise our consciousness, ascend without pain. It is painful to let go of unhealthy ways of being—when we quit coffee, we get a headache; when we quit racism, misogyny, anger, violence, we get protest and violence and discomfort. When we hurt our environment for centuries, we get an Earth in revolt.

Marybeth asked us to ask how we belong, and how we be-long. And I thought about this so much since then, as what I see in the news and in the media sometimes makes me feel very Other. But that is not what I do anymore. I reject Other. I want to be Of. I want to be in your tribe, and in the tribe of all, even the ones who hate me. And so I wrote this:

I belong to the Earth. I belong to the morning. I belong to the Moon and her mysteries. I belong to the group of misfits and outcasts that belong nowhere with nothing, moving towards the abyss in the sacred dance of the wounded. I belong to Shadow and Light and Shadow again. I belong to the darkness that mines my suffering, my sins, my losses to bring light to another in the depths of the valley of hurt and grief.

I belong to all people, to all the people who don’t belong anywhere. I belong to the tribe of the untribed, to the citizens of the liminal spaces, that walk between life and death, between whiteness and brownness, between hetero and homo, between sober and drunk, between American and Immigrant, between the worker and the master, between the singletons and the twins. I belong to the exiled. To the runaways. To the orphans. To the unmothered and untethered. To the betrayed and the betrayers. To the spies and the sell-outs and the druggies. I belong to the Vultures who circle overhead, transmuting the rot, eating away the parts of us that no longer work.

I belong to the ones who are afraid of death and afraid of life, and manage to make that sacred. And I be-long, I mean, I long to be of the fearless, those that fear nothing and no one, who fear the boundaries which keep us from recognizing we are one. But I belong to the afraid who do it anyway.

Sometimes anger and bewilderment is our starting place.

This is what my work is about—creating a circle of seekers and misfits. I have some amazing classes coming up. I want to share them with you. In my circles, my center is about helping you process all this, and belong somewhere, even if it is among those that belong nowhere. There is space for doubt and for discomfort. Join me.

Past Life Relationship Spread

As a Tarot Reader, I am privy to the most interesting questions. People often come to me in places of confusion about their relationships--marriages, lovers, clandestine affairs, friendships, frenemies, parental/child relationships, co-workers. When we feel strong emotions on either end of the spectrum, we know something important is happening within the relationship. Deep wounds AND deep healing come from relationships.

There is no mistake that the Lovers card of the Major Arcana features Archangel Raphael over the lovers (the Devil's dark card comes from the same imagery as the Lovers), and that in the Minor Arcana, the Two of Cups, has the Caduceus--the two snakes wrapped around the staff of Hermes has represented Medicine and Healing for a long long time. 

At times, healing in relationship confounds us. We don't always understand why someone provokes such strong reactions in us. Why someone's benign comment leads us to anger and another person's same comment sounds comforting. Or why we continue to attract and have the same types of relationships. Or why no matter how much therapy or talking or healing we do, we cannot repair the relationship with our mother, or father. When we get to the end of the line, we often ask questions like "What am I missing here? What is my lesson with this person? Do I have past life karma with this person?" People ask this if they feel deep, immediate love and connection for someone and if they feel the other extreme--revulsion, anger or deep hurt. 

This layout came about after a reading with a friend of mine. She asked me what her past life relationship was with her husband. They had been together for over twenty years. She wondered why she felt so obligated to the marriage and to him. She asked if we could find this out via the Tarot Cards.

Sure. Why not? I had never asked such a question of the Tarot before, but the Celtic Cross is incredibly versatile. As I laid it out, I began changing the meanings of the positions and moving some of the cards around. After I was done, I realize I had naturally created a sacred spiral. I had done another reading like this connecting with someone's passed over loved one (I'll post this layout soon). In crystal gridding, I use a spiral for past life grids, to open to the deep knowledge within, like unscrewing a lid of the jar to view the past life.

We have done this spread many times in Tarot Share, playing with questions for each other to see how this layout works. One night, we did this for everyone at Tarot Share, looking at our past life karma with each other. It was fascinating to find out that when we ask about those people who have created deep love and deep anger/resentment/fear, we often get lots of Major Arcana cards. We see archetypes. We see reversals (lots of reversals). We see a spiritual journey, suffering. Do not be surprised if you see these kinds of things in this layout. It may be disturbing, but it also validates that the strong emotions you feel. Major Arcana always deals with soul journey. When we would read for each other (people who get along and often only interact during Tarot Share), we had all Minor Arcana and not too many reversals. It is not that we didn't share a past life, but that it was easy and light, and often in the context of a village or family environment where our souls and soul work is more removed from each other. 

In the best case, these cards reveal their deep past life meanings to us easily during this layout. It can be hard to discern exactly what is going on in Past Life readings, but try to expand on what you already know of the card. And have fun playing with this layout. Comment here or on one of the social media platforms where I share this layout about how it worked for you. I'd love to hear!




eclipse reading

One of the gifts of Tarot is how versatile and beautifully flexible it can be with our own spiritual work. Tarot flows through our own journaling and work in whatever way we need it. I've been journaling my daily Tarot readings again, after taking a wee hiatus, and it reconnects me to my Higher Self, my guides and my daily self-care regimen. 

As a professional Tarot reader, I sometimes fall out of the habit of journaling. When I connect with Spirit for other people, I end up taking something away that I also needed to hear. And to be honest, sometimes I get burnt out from the cards. I know what they mean, so I'll throw a reading, then look at it. "Meh, yeah, I know. Quit harping on me, Tarot." But the truth is--Tarot has so much nuance and layers of meaning that this thought is just me being lazy. When I journal, I take a new deck, and use the book, or I go really in-depth with one card in relation to my question. 

The best part of this new journaling journey is that I have been creating so many NEW layouts for myself and others. This time, though, I am creating graphic layouts to help others go deeper with their cards. 

Of course, this new eclipse energy is kicking my ass. I mean, really. So much shadow has reemerged, and I realize now that this eclipse energy emerged for me in June, and has grown darker and deeper through this summer. We are at a culmination of release energy. I created an eclipse tarot layout at look at this shadow work. This layout can be used at any new moon, not just eclipse new moons. It is about going deeper with your own discomfort. One thing I always find confounding is this idea of Letting It Go (Elsa, I'm sorry!) I mean, sometimes I just look at someone with the head turned to ask, "UH, HOW?!?!" This layout has a card that asks just this question, "How do I let it go? How do I release?" I also ask, "What do I need to forgive?" Forgiveness work seems the key to this eclipse energy. Forgiving the self, forgiving others, forgiving our childhood, forgiving our bad, that was my thought here. Forgiveness, shadow, release.

solar eclipse reading (1).jpg

I hope you enjoy it and I would LOVE to hear your experience with this layout. And as a sidenote, I thought tomorrow that I might do a Live Reading on FB of this layout for the entire audience. I do offer distance readings, if you are interested in having a reading with me. Send me an email at


altar creation spread

If you didn't know, one of my passions is altar making. I have an altar 100% of the time on my bookcase in my meditation room. On one side, i always have a crystal grid going, just to raise the vibration of the room and my soul work. On the other side (because the bookcase is long and thin), I place a statue of a goddess or angel, or a picture, or a statue or fetish of the animal medicine I'm working with. Then more crystals, ones that work with the crystal grid or medicine wheel I have on the other side. I change it out depending on the holy day or sabbat, my soul work or journey work, shadow issues that arise, messages I am getting from Spirit, Animal Medicine, health or family crisis...whenever I am facing a new challenge, passion or phase in my life, I look to the altar first. 

I have been facing so many different exciting changes and circumstances. My health journey has been challenging this year. My work life has expanded with hibiscus moon and then my client base in harrisburg is always expanding and changing. My soul work has been on a nice even keel, and then I went to SouLodge Earth Medicine Gathering and uncovered many layers of what I need to do. Where do I even start with all this?

Well, that was my question. Where to start? Where does Spirit want me to start with all that information? Being an intuitive isn't always so clear cut. I get tons of messages. Right now, my dreaming is through the roof (Last night, i dreamed an incredible dream, and then when it was done, I decided to have that dream again, and then reworked it into a new dream with a new ending. Talk about lucid dreaming on steroids!) And sometimes I get that analysis paralysis, or rather information overload!

Because of all this soul work, I have rededicated myself to morning journaling and daily tarot pulls. AND WOWEE! it is awesome. What is awesome is finding a new passion for something I do so often for other people. When you pull tarot for clients, you often don't pull for yourself. Part of it is that i easily dismiss my messages--yeah, yeah, I need to stop being so hard on myself. Okay. Scoop up the cards, and immediately forget the message. So, journaling keeps you accountable, and I decided to play and explore some new decks beyond my beloved Rider-Waite, specifically the Chrysalis deck by Toney Brooks and Holly Sierra as well as Motherpeace by Karen Vogel and Vicki Noble. I've been using the BOOK! (I always joke with my students about getting OFF BOOK! and now I am back ON BOOK [and incidentally loving being on book. I even went on Rachel Pollack's book with the Rider Waite just to keep it going.]) 

All of this is to say, this morning, I tweaked a spread I do for myself for creating altars when I have a short attention span and cannot figure out what to focus on. It incorporates Oracle decks with Tarot; in fact, it incorporated four additional oracle decks--Visions Crystal Oracle, my own oracle deck called Cycles, of which there is only one deck and it is all about ritual, The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit deck and the Ascended Master deck by Doreen Virtue. Then I used the Chrysalis Tarot deck for my main work, which has guides in and of itself. (Such a fantastic deck. I was at first obsessed with the pips, but now, I cannot get enough of the Majors. Ariadne is stalking me, I swear. And Kali for that matter.)

Anyway, here is the spread as I pulled it:

So much of what this reading said to me was that it was time to allow transformation to happen. The shadow work here is around letting go, surrender and joy. I often struggle with joy. Joy is a bugger for me. So, this work with snake centers around this shedding of control and desire to figure it all out. The ritual card here is one I created called Enso, Imperfection. I used to have a fairly steady and daily enso painting practice. I don't paint ensos anymore--life got complicated with my adventurous two year old. But I decided to paint a rock to remind me of this for my altar, using this enso ritual as a jumping off point to explore an imperfect creative practice to funnel some energy.

Here is the altar and grid that arose from this spread:

You also can play with this spread, as I have compiled a little easy Tarot Layout for you to incorporate into your practice. In fact, I created a few of these for Pinterest, since I use SO MANY pinterest layouts these days, having not so recently discovered that they exist. Enjoy and share, if you can. It is great to have a Tarot community to bounce ideas off of. LOVE to YOU!


Dreams have always been a part of the spiritual experience from Jacob's dream in the Book of Genesis (or Joseph to Pharoah) to the very early Muslim dream manuals. The Ancient Greeks and Romans took a dream interpreter into battle with them. Oracles used dreaming as a way of communicating with Spirit and the Gods or God. In cultures all across the world, dreamers who could travel to the dream realm have been a vital element of the spirituality of that society. In some Native American traditions, dreamers are said to walk through a gateway into the dreaming dimension where Spirit, ancestors, and humans can meet as equals, learning from each other. As Western society rejected this societal dream work, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung turned it more inward, and have both advanced dream work by helping recognize the great teachings that come from having and understanding a symbolic language of dreaming. Personally, I have been told often that my guides work with me deeply in my sleep, helping me integrate medicine and ritual into my daily life and work by repeated lessons in my sleep.
From a young age, I have had a deeply spiritual and active dream life. I have been a Lucid Dreamer since my teens, which means that I am conscious of being in a dream while in it, and can also change and interact in my dream life as a tool for connecting to Spirit, the spiritual realm, and my Higher Self. I even connect with passed love ones this way, and sometimes have glimpses of the future, albeit in that surreal dream world that makes clarity challenging. Prophetic dreaming has been a source of curiosity and probably the most talked about and accepted psychic phenomenon. 

Symbols of and in Dream Work

Because of this personal background, I often talk about dream work, which is what I label the spiritual work, visioning, and remembering of our dreams. I often recommend dream work to my clients who are working with me for my Moon Cycle Coaching services, in Tarot readings or in my mentoring circles. In my readings, a number of Tarot cards have come to represent dream work to me--the Two of Swords, the Four of Swords, and Nine of Swords. Swords naturally represent dreams, because they often associate with perception rather than reality. In the Major Arcana, the High Priestess and the Moon (even the Star) can recommend using dreams as insight. In fact, some Readers see the two pillars in the background of the Moon as the gateway to the dream realm. Any card with nighttime can be seen as opening the door to dream work. While lucid dreaming may seem impossible to you, dream work can be as simple as remembering your dreams and journaling about them.

Like all psychic work, the symbolic language of dream work is individual as each person. You begin developing your symbols and meanings as you begin going more in-depth. There are of course some universal symbols and mythology we all can tap into when we begin interpreting our dreams. This is so similar to my feelings about crystals and Tarot--using a reference book is a great place to start, but eventually, you begin to learn your own language for dream interpretation. Journaling is important in this way, because you can refer back to the dream symbols, and begin to make notes. Remember your psychic language--the symbols you use in psychic readings, oracle card interpretation, and Tarot interpretation--are going to be the same in your dreams. And vice versa. So, when you journal for Tarot, daily reflections, oracle cards and dreams and make connections in your day to day life, you master the symbols your guides, angels and truly your Higher Self speak in. This is your psychic language. You learned it. You speak it. You understand it. So, trust yourself.

A few years ago, I have created a medicine bundle for the year with the intentions--Release, Purify, and Path of Service. I asked my guides for signs of what I need to release or what shadow work I must do. My dreams in the next few days were what I would call, "Anxiety Dreams." You know, those dreams of showing up at school in only your underwear, or trying to get to work in time, but being delayed every moment. I wrote them all down, and began really explicating them. What were these anxieties? Oh, right. This is how Spirit is answering my question. These ARE the things I need to release. They ARE my shadow work. As I reflected on them, wrote about them, I really discovered these deep-seated fears were flying under the radar. So, while at times we have very detailed dreams with our angels and guides, the majority of our dreams are about regular life. Don't expect to see your guide in front of you with a sign, "YOU MUST RELEASE GUILT!" Allow your psychic and symbolic language to be Spirit's voice. 

Remembering Dreams

Remembering your dreams requires diligence and dedication, but no special tools. Dream cycles happen every 90 minutes, and you might have read that waking yourself every 90 minutes is the way to go. You certainly can choose to do this, though I know if I did that, I would be a wreck the next day. Honestly, during phases of getting more fully in-depth with dream work (and when I was younger with more stamina and less need for sleep), I have set a gradual alarm every hour and half after my initial three hour early sleep. And it does work to hone your skills as a lucid dreamer. If you decide to do this, try a gradual alarm. There is one for iPhone that gently brings you out of deep sleep with gradual bells. Gradual is the key here, because a shocking alarm can sometimes be the enemy of dream recall.

The most important aspect of dream recall remains getting enough sleep. Self-care in all aspects of psychic work stands alone as your single most important ally--enough sleep, water, movement, clean food, and regular meditation. No matter what happens in the day, I maintain a nighttime routine of face washing, water drinking, prayer, and meditation. Also screen time is a no-no at least an hour before you sleep. Do not neglect yourself when you are trying to do spiritual work. Actually, you'll want to step it up. Also it is best to abstain from alcohol or drugs. You do not have deep, lasting, restorative sleep when you have alcohol in your system.

 So, how to begin this process? Dream work requires simply a notebook and pen, or audio recorder. I love the latter if you are in a place where you won't wake anyone with your possibly incoherent dream talking. If you are going to fumble with it in the morning or be confused by it, don't use it. The scrabbling may throw off your dream recall. Use something easy for you to handle in a half-awake stage. Most people use a notebook. I keep a dedicated clean spiral notebook for my dream work. My friend Rachel designed a cool handmade spiral book for me, and I loved using that as a dream notebook. But alas, I filled that baby in a year. 

I begin my work in prayer, as in all my spiritual work, and simply pray for my angels, guides, ancestors to help me fully awaken with the detailed memory of my dreams. I also think it is wonderful to meditate before sleeping, to clear your mind of clutter from your day. There are some wonderful guided meditations that ease you into sleep. I have used the Delta Sleep System. And again, iPhone, Android, iPod and other gadgets must have biaural tones for sleep enhancement.

In my notebook I write the date, and my intention before going to sleep. "Angels and Guides, help me gain insight into my relationship through my dreams," I may write. Or perhaps, "I easily recall my dreams with detail and insight." An affirmation for dream recall. If you have had trouble with dream recall in the past, you may want to pray, "Dear Angels, please work with me in my sleep. Remove any blockages that I have to recalling my dreams."

Again, you can train yourself to wake up, or simply allow your body to ebb and flow in and out of consciousness in the night. When you do wake, stay still. Try to stay in the same position, and ask yourself what you dreamed. Tell yourself the story of your dream. Not shifting quickly, or turning on the light quickly, helps your recall. It is imperative that you write down all your dreams, even just images that you recall. Or even if they seem stupid or unrelated to any depth. You might be right, but just right it down. It is often the catalyst to remember the deeper work. If you think it is boring or a mundane dream, begin writing it anyway. You might find how important those discoveries are. Try desperately not to edit yourself. Get every symbol, image, name, words, phrase down. The more you do this, the more you will remember, and the easier it becomes. It is also helpful to sometimes write in the present tense rather than the past tense. So, rather than saying, " I walked into my childhood home." Say "I walk into my childhood home." Like you are telling a story. That sometimes make it easier to go back into the dream. But you also don't have to write it as a story. Sometimes it is just a symbol, number, picture, animal, friend, place. I often dream of the same places that I do not know in my waking life--a broken down city, an inside mall-like society, a series of roads twisting around a building. After you've detailed these places, you might name them, so you can shorthand your recall in the future.

I try not to turn on a light before writing. Some people, and I think this is a fabulous idea that I have (caveat) never used, is to use a gentle light to wake up in the morning, vs. an alarm. So it is like a gradual light un-dimmer, mimicking the sun rise. That would be ideal for waking, I would think. I sleep with a nightlight (mostly for my children), but it gives me enough ambient light to write in the middle of the night if something comes up for me. If you trust yourself to write without light, do it. I often cannot read my handwriting without light, mindfulness, and careful concentration, so I need all the help that I can get! But that is something I do religiously, write down my dreams after every dream. In the middle of the night. In the morning. Humans have a light sleep between dream cycles. This is often when we wake up in the middle of the night from a noise, or have to go to the bathroom. I would recommend writing down all night if you are serious about dream recall and engaging in dream work. 

Tools for DreamWork

Whatever spiritual work I do, I try to create sacred space. This picture is my bedside table. No, how it really looks! The bowl of herbs and crystals, along with how to create a sacred sleep space, teas to drink to enhance dream work, and other cool dream tools. When I am doing moon cycle work, I always sleep with my medicine bundle, as I suggest to all my clients too. And as suggested, I always have a notebook and pen bedside. I use Moleskin now, because I like how it opens. I also adore Himalayan Salt lamps, which incidentally is a great light to keep on all night, if you choose to go that route. The beautiful statue is one I was gifted from my sister, and for me, part of creating sacred space. As a clairvoyant channel and medium, she can see my Spirit Guide, and when she saw this statue, she told me he looks just like this! I love having White Bear there all night, watching over me. 

As I mentioned before, if you do wake to an alarm clock, keep it close, so you can stay as close to your original position as possible. When we talked about remembering, we talked about how important it is to keep the original position of your body, keep the light low, not do anything but remember first, which is why alarm clocks can really block dream recall. Gradual alarms, or Zen Alarm clocks, have been around for a while. You can also find them as an app on your phone. I have one called the Progressive Alarm, which wakes with Tibetan singing bowls by gradually getting louder and more frequent. This eases you out of your sleep, rather than shocks you out. I fortunately (or unfortunately) wake before the sun rises in the morning out of my own internal clock, so I don't use an alarm unless I have to get up at an ungodly hour before 5a. I mostly rise 5:30-6a out of my own strange inner timer which craves the sunrise.

If you haven't noticed, I love ritual. For those who have had readings with me, you know I often recommend ritual or meditations with my readings. I am currently working on an oracle deck to help bring ritual and meditation into the reading. It is all about cycles. Through the years, my dream rituals created my nighttime routine. I eat half of a banana before bed (potassium helps your memory). And often I drink Dream Tea. I blend my own dream tea, but there are quite a few awesome dream teas on the market. One tea I like is Dream Tea by Mountain Rose Herbs, which has my favorite dream herb Mugwort in it. Mugwort is a key herb, in my humble opinion, for dream work. In my younger days, I would smoke Mugwort before bed (when smoking wasn't a big deal to me.) If you smoke chanunpa, or a sacred pipe with Kinnikinnick , you can add some mugwort to the mix. Since I do not smoke anything these day, I add it to my own blended dream tea. Other herbs that aid in dreaming, lucid dreaming, and dream recall are lavender, chamomile, and valerian--these are all good for falling and staying asleep and achieving good restful sleep. It seems obvious, but good sleep is the most important element of dream recall. Peppermint is a good blender for mugwort, which is not that good on its own. I have read a great deal about Calea zacatehichi, as well as other shamanic herbs for lucid dreaming, but have not used it personally. Very simply, but also delicious and effective, combine lavender, mugwort, peppermint, damiana, and chamomile for a gorgeous dream tea. 

Beyond drinking (or smoking) herbs, you can use them for dream pillows--small, easy to construct pillows filled with the herbs that rest next to your head while you sleep. You can also add crystals to these pillows for added vibrational medicine. Another great idea--put herbs in disposable tea pouches (you can buy these at Mountain Rose too), or reusable muslin tea bags, and put them in your bath. Warm baths ease you into a dreamy state, so adding dream crystals and herbs to your bath, keeping lights low, and sipping dream tea enhances your susceptibility for spiritual dreaming and spiritual remembering. Remember all these ideas are just starting points, you can build and work with anything here. You might find that you connect more with valerian as an herb for dreaming, or you might want to hunt around the internet for your own rare Shamanic herbs for dream recall. Awesome, go with it.

I also keep a small pottery bowl on my bedside table. In it, I use Athena's dream recall set with her dream herbs and If you have never used her products, I urge you to try anything. She has another Dream set which looks amazing too. I use all her oils for my ritual work, and if you have worked with me, so have you. I love this little set, and the crystals are magic too. I have talked about this before, but keeping crystals in your environment does not have to be complex. Having small bowls of herbs and crystals is not only gorgeous, but a great way to interact with your crystals on a day-to-day basis.

Speaking of crystals, let's talk about some great crystals for dream recall. Amethyst probably remains the most popular, easily obtained and effective crystal for crown and third eye work. And actually, those are the chakras we are focusing on in dream work. We stimulate those two chakras--one for our inner vision and seeing and the other for our connection to the Divine, angels, our guides, and the universe. So, you can work with any of those third eye stones that you like--Azurite, Sodalite, Lapis Lazuli, Dumortierite, and Blue Kyanite. Sugilite is a highly recommended dreaming stone. Both Green and Purple Jade are often used for dream work. 

Some magical and moon time stones also aid and assist dream work like Moonstone, Labradorite and Black or Grey Moonstone--they are highly effective if you are using the moon cycles to work with your dreams. I have found the Black to be particularly effective as a dream aid. Prehnite is a wonderful psychic ally for dreaming, and I have used it for lucid dreaming. I have been working with Azeztulite and Spirit Quartz at night these past few months. Clear Quartz is always an ally, and is often good to enhance the work of another stone. So, if you have a small Sugilite, (which is all I seem to have right now) you might want to use Clear Quartz with it. 

I often focus my dream work on crystals or other tool, so I take a crystal, Tarot card, Oracle card, or other tool to bed with me for dream work; that is, I ask my guides to give me more information in my dreams about this tool, card or crystal. In that way, I love to work with Smoky Quartz or Garnet to help ground my dreams, or Fluorite to help me focus on this one tool, rather than have a chaotic, surreal dream. Some other crystals I have enjoyed working with for dreaming are Crown Chakra crystals like Selenite, Stilbite, Herkimer Diamond, and Scolecite. You can refer to my Crystals for Angelic Communication blog post for some recommendations for crystals for Angelic dream connection. 

It would be remiss of me not to mention some crystals for astral traveling and projection--Moldavite and Tektites are great ally for this work. Be careful sleeping with these, as some of them are very high vibrational. I was working with a Moldavite at night, and my son slipped into bed with us. He was two at the time, and all night, he was jumping in his sleep! It was like his body kept traveling and popping back into his body. I finally had to move the Moldavite to my ground floor so he could sleep! So, work with them in meditation and waking life before taking it to bed with you. It is a very far out crystal.

Whew, now that is a ton of crystals to go and find. But I recommend reading this list and working with one of these crystals that you already own. Or just letting one jump out at you, and search for that. There is absolutely no need to purchase all of these. let your intuition guide you.  If you have a good idea of mixing crystals for work at night, then do it! But mostly, I recommend working with one crystal for two to three nights/days. See how effective it is, or not. It would be good to note in your dream journal what crystals you are working with.