truths

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. 

black obsidian

Blessed Samhain! For those who do not know, Samhain is the Highest Holy Day for Pagans and Witches. It is when the veil is the thinnest, communion with ancestors comes through all forms. People place apples in their yards for passing spirits, and milk and honey out for the fae and gnomes. It is also New Year's Eve for those who embrace earth-based spirituality and pagan traditions. This day is the last day for drying herbs, which technically marks the end of Harvest. Winter is coming. It is also the traditionally time for Divination through Tarot, crystal balls, scrying, runes, or spirit boards. 

This week, I choose a traditional Samhain crystal, though it is technically not a crystal at all. It is a volcanic glass, or an amorphous solid. With a hardness of 5-5.5, it contains no crystalline structure. But that doesn't mean you can't do some heavy work with Black Obsidian. In fact, it has the reputation of heavy work.

Black Obsidian is an extremely powerful protection stone. Resonating with the root and earth star chakras, it helps eliminate negativity from a space. It cleanses and can seal the aura and helps create a kind of protective EMF shield for you. I use Obsidian when I need a real heavy hitter protector, like if I am going into a large group of people or to a big event, or further if I am meeting with people who might be combative or have expressed resentment or anger toward me in the past.

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But my teacher Hibiscus Moon warns against using Obsidian for a extended periods. Without properly preparing oneself to see both those positive and negative aspects of oneself or our reality, as Chronos talks about in this very good Pagan Lore article, Black Obsidian can be extremely difficult to work with. Crystal healers use it to help clients who are unwilling to let go of the past and to do intensive parallel life work, including cord cutting and psychic surgery. But if held onto for long periods, it can ironically challenge us in ways we are not prepared for. Or reliving this past event without releasing it. I have not personally found this stuck quality to be true, but I use it for deep work, then move on. But this is why it can be important to work with crystal healers, who can guide you into doing this intensive work and help you release the things that come up. If you are confused about a stone, or working with a crystal and not getting to where you want to go with it, consult with a crystal healer. It might have something to do with how you are working with it. (Sorry for the public service announcement.)

Black Obsidian, though, is an incredible tool to help us recognize negative patterns in our behaviour and work with us to uncover unconscious motivations.  So, our intention with Obsidian should be to ask it to clear these patterns from our auric field and cellular memory, as Naisha Ahsian says, to help prevent that stuck quality some people talk about.

One of the correspondence for Samhain is with Obsidian as a tool for scrying and ancestor work. And Obsidian is an AWESOME stone for scrying. If you set up some candles and sacred space, gaze into a polished Black Obsidian sphere. This is one way to commune with ancestors and guides. Allow the thoughts that come into your head BE their voice. Because of this ancestral connection, Black Obsidian is a great tool for communing on Samhain.

Black Obsidian has such a deep lore and history in Native American cultures. It was used to make arrowheads for war. And a form of Obsidian called Apache Tears is a stone traditionally used for grief work. I use it in all my grief grids and for grief support.

Blessed Samhain! May your work with Black Obsidian be enlightening!

A great affirmation for Black Obsidian is taken from Naisha Ahsian: 

I cleanse my energy field of negativity and ground myself to the Earth's heart. 

 

hematite

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So much of my crystal healing arsenal is made up of grounding stones. It is just so vitally important to connect to Mama Earth and help shield and protect your electromagnetic field (EMF). Not only for empaths, but everyone should be mindful of their delicate auras. Hematite is one of the most effective grounding stones, and it is so easily accessible. There is no excuse to have one or ten of them in your house.  

So, what is hematite? It is iron oxide, named after the Greek word for blood (it actually streaks red, though most people know it as a metallic silver looking heavy stone). Almost like gunmetal silver, it is just an awesome balancer, grounder, purifier. Resonating with the root chakra, it is also an awesome ally for the Earth Star chakra as well. It works well, when places on the feet for grounding as well as in the hands After all, our Earth's core is iron, so scientists think. What is better for connecting you with the energy of the Earth than Hematite? My crystal mentor, Hibiscus Moon, calls the Earth the largest crystal around. 

Hematite helps battle those spacey EMF disturbances and pollution through electronic devices, cell phones, radio, television, computer work, even other people. If you google electro magnetic symptoms, you can see how many symptoms we take for granted as something we need to "deal with" are really EMF pollution symptoms. Hematite is a great shielder of EM pollution. In that way, Hematite helps with many autoimmune disorders, and with polarity issues that stem from electronic overload. Grounding is so vitally important with this, because EM suffering is really an issue of not being grounded enough. I could talk for days about grounding. Google it. Check out my teacher's amazing work and videos on grounding. She really is an expert in that area.

Hematite also is a stone of integration--Light and Dark, Highest Self and Shadow Self, Male and Female, Spirit and Body. Through this Hematite work, we can bring all these divergent selves into one unified manifestor. That is how we manifest, in fact. Many of us in the spiritual community, or on a spiritual path, have amazing ideas, but we often just build castles in the sky. Hematite can help us design an earth based branch of that dream. But truly, Hematite is a quick grounder and a long-term grounder. Hematite helps nail us to reality. Anyone who has had one of my transmuting shields knows what being gridded with hematite feels like--like being pinned to Mother Earth, or swaddled almost in protective Mother Earth energy. It is such a safe, warm feeling and so vitally important to intuitives and empaths. I cannot stress enough how important Hematite can be to those who are sensitive. Grab it. Pair it with some other strong grounding stones like Black Tourmaline or Smoky Quartz or Onyx. And learn what it feels like to ground and connect with Mama Earth.

A great affirmation for Hematite might be:

I ground my Light energy to Mother Earth. 

garnet

Garnet's deep red resonates with the root chakra, and can appear almost black. 

Garnet's deep red resonates with the root chakra, and can appear almost black. 

Throughout the month, as I work with clients and friends to develop crystal mojo bags, or medicine bundles, I am thinking about crystals and their attributes constantly. Last week's meeting with the Devil, coupled with a medicine bundle I was creating, brought Garnet to the forefront of my consciousness. Garnet, what an amazing stone!! Both the Devil and Garnet are symbols of Capricorn, which makes sense. Both are about the material, about earthing, in some ways.

There are many types of Garnet--Black Andradite Garnet, Rhodolite Garnet, Grossular Garnet (which is green), Spessartine Garnet, Uvarovite, but the one I will be talking about is Almadine Garnet, the one  you are most likely to find at your local crystal shop or metaphysical shop. Garnet has a Moh's Hardness of 7.5, and its name derives from the Latin granatum, meaning "pomegranate" since its color resembles the seed of the pomegranate. Like Lapis, Malachite and other ancient stones, Garnet is a stone of the ancient. A necklace of garnet was found in a grave from 3000 BCE, which really does speak to its hardness and durability.

Garnet is a stone of earth, resonating with the Root Chakra, and strengthening our Base and Earth Stone Chakras, making it an excellent stone for those feeling ungrounded, airy, or spacey. I just cannot talk about how important grounding is--for spiritual work, for healing work, for everyday existence. Garnet is an amazing ally in that realm, because it is a protective stone, but it also stimulates the heart. If you know anything about kundalini energy, the Garnet is an activator of the kundalini in the base of the spine.

So, let's talk about grounding and love, because that is part of the reason I chose Garnet this week. Garnet has the unique and beautiful resonance to help strengthen love relationships that are safe. It is a stone, as Naisha Ahsian says, of physical love. Physical love does not just mean sex, but the physical act of making a home, working together, building a family and future. When we combine those beautiful frequencies of base and heart, we create homes, safety, and security. Garnet also helps our heart desires manifest into reality. This is a great stone for someone working on their marriage. It firstly grounds one in reality, helping to alleviate stress and anxiety, but it also grounds one in the present moment. This is part of the gift of earthing. We feel Mother Earth's love for us, holding us, supporting us. We fall into that place of unconditional love that Earth and the Divine feel for us. We understand our integral role in nature and in our universe (the community as well), and the present. It helps us be here now. And so this beautiful stone, if we work with it, can help us be present in our relationships, cording us to Mother Earth and our long term goals.  

Because of its beautiful earthing qualities, Garnet works beautifully for psychic protection. Robert Simmons suggests to combine it with Black Andradite Garnet for extra ooomph for psychic protection and grounding.

A beautiful affirmation for Garnet might be

I am grounded in the present. I am held and loved. I hold and love. 

tarot of the week--the devil

“We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.” ― Oscar Wilde

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Spirit does it again. On the heels of last week's discussion about the Lovers, we are moved into the Devil card, XVth of the Major Arcana. You can tell the mood of a card by its background color, and truly the Devil is a dark card. Its imagery is haunting and overwhelmingly bleak. The Devil lifting his hand to silence or welcome you to Hell, holding a torch in the other, the Devil is replete with bat's wings, eagle's claws and a goat-man's head, perching above two enslaved figures. The figures, if you remember, on the Lovers. The upside pentacle on his forehead tells a story as well. It is the perversion of the material.

We all want for home, safety, security. There is no shame in that desire to provide and keep ourselves safe. But the Devil warns of more ominous attachments to the material--obsessive thinking, alcoholism, overeating, drug abuse, sex addiction, obsessive love, extramarital affairs, these are the attachments to the material that the Devil concerns itself with and warns against. The Devil is associated with the astrological sign Capricorn, and when I pull it, I use it to correspond with Root and Sacral Chakra issues. 

This creature is not the fallen angel, Lucifer, nor is he the Devil we are taught about in traditional Western religion. He is an amalgamation of the aberrant, the feared, the stalking symbol of materialism and attachment. And in this way, as Marcia Masino points out, the Devil is purposely not a being we identify. He is all your fears together. The word Devil means the "Adversary" And often this adversary is ourselves, our own attachments to the material. 

So often when I read for people, cards like the Devil are pulled and people groan or feel fearful at their imagery. But Tarot is not punishing, or changing your course. This is the energy around YOU right now. If you get honest, this is something you know about yourself already. The Devil is a reminder, a warning, that your attachment to things, to the material, to people, and even to fear itself is the problem. This is a reminder that you have shifted from your spiritual center, who you believe yourself to be or maybe who  you want to be. What are your priorities? What are your beliefs, your boundaries, and your moral compass? Because the Devil reminds you that what you are doing is far from those things. You have drifted, the card reminds you, from your Higher Power, or your guides, or Love, if that is your belief, the Universe's plan--most importantly, it reminds you that you have drifted from yourself.

Often, I find this card has come to represent addiction--to something or someone. Sometimes it has come to represent someone else's addiction, and our addiction to their addiction. With the Devil, this often represents addiction to a relationship or another person. But it can be anything--shopping, eating, drinking, drugs, sex, watching television. These soul sedatives, as Athena called them, numb us and block our pathway to our Highest Good. And you know, those things worked for us. Alcohol worked for the alcoholic at some point, possible from extreme self-consciousness or from physical or sexual abuse, from trauma the child is not able to face. It numbs us. But then it stops working, and starts causing the problems--losing jobs, friends, getting arrested, or just feeling depressed or ashamed day after day. We have to remember that the Tarot is not judging us, we are judging honest. Can you get honest? Do you want to get honest about what is holding you back from your true purpose in life?

The work we do along the way to our soul's path is rocky. We often have to face hard truths about ourselves during the course of our lifetime. This Devil card asks you to look at the hard truth of HOW you are using the material. See, eating cupcakes isn't a problem. You enjoy a cupcake. Who doesn't? But what if you are eating a cupcake every time you have a conversation with your mother? Are we facing the truth about those conversations? Are we dealing with them? How are we using the cupcake? So, when you pull the Devil in one of those hard positions, take out the judgment. Remember that the cupcake or the clandestine relationship, or the alcohol worked for you. Thank it, and then tell it that is has ceased being useful for you. That you are ready to feel all the emotions that you are meant to feel. See, we are spiritual beings having a human experience. We feel deeply, passionately. We are here to learn lessons. If we numb those feelings, our lessons are never quite learned, never realized, never actualized.

So, this is what the Devil asks of you. He challenges you to see yourself as your own worst energy.  What are you afraid of? What are you attached to that isn't serving your highest good? What binds you? What keeps you in bondage and makes you feel prisoner? Is it fear itself? And most importantly, what are you willing to let go of to experience true happiness and freedom? Serenity is right there, if only you can take off your chains and grab hold of it.

Marcia Masino has a great affirmation for the Devil card:

I am a Divine Being of Light, a child of God. I am loved, protected, and enveloped in white light. 

 

What do you think of the Devil? What are you wrestling with? How does the Devil card feel to you?

 

carnelian

Colors range from deep red to light orange almost yellow in Carnelian. As a Quartz (Chalcedony is in the Quartz family), it resonates beautifully with the other quartzes, so it is great with those quartzes to enhance its power.

Colors range from deep red to light orange almost yellow in Carnelian. As a Quartz (Chalcedony is in the Quartz family), it resonates beautifully with the other quartzes, so it is great with those quartzes to enhance its power.

Carnelian's amazingly beautiful redness draws people to her beauty. She looks like fire and passion. Carnelian awakens our own fire and passion, stimulating the sacral chakra (also the root and the solar plexus.) Carnelian is a go-to crystal for this chakra. Part of the Chalcedony family with a Moh's hardness of 7, Carnelian activates all of the three lower chakras, which makes it a great stone to have around the house. And you can see the three fire colors in this stone--sometimes deep red to orange to the flames of yellow. It is great for building passion, confidence, and activating a sense of purpose, making it an ideal stone of fire and action. Great for manifestation work, Carnelian is particularly powerful when it is coupled with a strong regimen of prayer and meditation. "God moves mountains, but you better bring a shovel," as they say. Though Carnelian is about the shovel work, everything flows much more smoothly, and just works better, when you invite the Divine into your soul work. So, think of this as a facilitator of turning your will over to God.

The Sacral Chakra is the seat of creativity, relationships, emotions, and sexuality. I love the connections between the Tarot of the Week and the Crystal of the Week, because the Lovers and Carnelian suit each other perfectly. Though I didn't discuss it much, the Lovers is a card of sexuality. Sexuality resides in the sacral chakra, the one right over your pubic bone and under your belly button. It resonates to the color orange. 

Actually, in this week's newsletter, I write more about the lower chakras and the importance of keeping them well-balanced for spiritual work.  Most people love the upper chakra spiritual and psychic work (our vibration raises pretty high when we are meditating and praying), but it is the lower chakras where the real healing comes into being. We change that programing from our childhood. It is where we hold our traumas and psychic and emotional injuries. The lower chakras is where our most basic needs live and our greatest fears. Carnelian is a perfect ally in this realm, because it connects you to your body, helps you fully inhabit the bones and blood of you.

So, what the heck does that mean?

Have you ever had the sensation, particular mothers might relate to this, that this body no longer belongs to you? Whose belly is that? Who is the old lady in the mirror? Carnelian comes in to reroot you. It helps you enjoy your body--sexually, physically, athletically. 

And let's talk about sexuality a little. Sex is some of the strongest magic (and chakra balancing work) you can do. The sacral is the chakra of relationships, because of that, it also houses the feelings of blame, guilt, power, control, ethics, and honor in relationships. When we have sex, we open that up, break out those emotions housed without our chakra. When you begin to enjoy sex, (and not simply sex with another human, but sex with yourself,) you balance that sacral chakra. That is not to say that sex can't be used to create those emotions or further continue blockages. In fact, so much of our sacral imbalance issues come from sexual trauma, abuse and misuse of its strong medicine. Sex with shame, power, and guilt can help reinforce those blockages. And certainly, the excesses of this chakra are addiction (sexual and other addiction to pleasure) and obsessive attachment. But sex can also be a great healer. Some of us who have experienced emotional releases (crying or laughing during sex) can attest to its powerful healing energy. 

Have you been feeling less than lusty? Carnelian, coupled with Orange Calcite and Zincite, can help awaken that sexuality within you. Lay them on your sacral chakra for a 10 minute period. Carry Carnelian with you, wear it as jewelry. Let yourself be inspired by its strong medicine. A great affirmation for Carnelian is:

 I am a passionate being, filled with Divine inspiration, taking action with confidence.

Let me know what you think of Carnelian's beautiful energy, and any other crystals you want to discuss. I thought this might be a good time to remind you that you can sign up for my newsletter here.  I am also holding a New Moon Circle on October 4th. This will be a small group Moon Cycle Coaching session, where we will work together through the moon cycle of the Shedding Moon of October, We will be intention-setting, releasing and affirming our intentions together in a safe space. The fee is $50/person, and space is limited, so sign up today. Send me an email at themoonandstone@gmail.com if you are interested.