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.


Calcite treatment on my blog is indicative of a larger problem with amazing crystalline allies--we often take the best ones for granted. Calcite, I vow to do better by you!

How I've gone a year without talking about Calcite is mind-blowing to me, but here we are. Beautiful Calcite--abundant, useful, healing. It is tough to know where to begin with it. There are so many varieties of Calcite--colors and uses; each could get their own write-up. Rather I'm going to take a few of the lovelies I use in my practice and share their uses and wisdom. 

Calcite is a calcium carbonate mineral with a hardness of 3. It is one of the most abundant crystals, and is found on every continent. It occurs in countless colors and formations, but most Calcite works gently to remove blockages and cleanse the auric field, so it is a wonderful ally with its coordinating chakra. I've known many crystal healers that use full Calcite layouts, since there is a Calcite for each chakra. And certainly, you can find large Calcite reasonably priced. Calcite is often confused for other stones, like a gemmy Rose or Smoky Quartz, or even Snowy Quartz. Calcite has a waxy look to it, like it's been dipped in wax. For geologists, there are some ways to tell the difference. Some Calcite fluoresces under a black light, which always looks cool.  Calcite bubbles when Hydrochloric Acid is dropped on it. (Why, yes, I do have  HCl in my geology toolkit.) It is significantly softer than Quartz, which means it is easily scratched with a Quartz crystal, but not the other way around. (Of course, you then have a scratch on your Calcite.) My kids often come in my house with rocks that are treasure, and they claim it is quartz. These are some easy ways to tell the difference.  Some of the most useful varieties of Calcite are Orange, Blue, Green, Optical or Clear, Honey, Pink Mangano and Stellar Beam.

Clear Calcite, sometimes called Icelandic Spar, is colorless, and often comes in rhombohedral shapes. It is double refractive, so when you view something through the Clear, it looks like it is doubled. It resonates with all the Chakras, but like Clear Quartz is a particular ally to the crown, helping with insight, clarity and forgiveness. Calcite clears out those blockages, so think of clearing stones as one to pave the way for compassion, empathy and forgiveness. I most often use Clear Calcite, or Optical Calcite in layouts where I need clarity and focus around a topic, most often forgiveness layouts.

Blue Calcite resonates deeply with the throat and third eye, a wonderful combination for channeling and psychic work. It is incredibly calming, and helps empaths deal with other people's emotions. I find it to be incredibly spiritual and resonant. It helps remove blockages in the third eye, clearing the way for psychic work, dream work, and visioning. It also can help with clarity, but in a different way than Optical, though they would work beautifully together in this way. Blue Calcite helps remove that great "I" vision of only seeing things from one perspective, and is particularly useful for people who can't "see" the other person's point of view. 

Green Calcite resonates with the Heart Chakra, and all you have to do is hold this stone to feel that energy. It also has that beautiful calming energy on the emotions, particularly anger from heartbreak. Calcite's reputation for removing blockages isn't limited to the other colors only, Green Calcite helps remove blockages in heart issues, like resentments, anger, and unhealthy patterns in relationships. Like many green stones, it is great for physical healing as well, so you can place it on a bruise or strain and the pain dissipates. I love using Green Calcite in Metta meditations, or lovingkindness meditations. 

Orange Calcite is probably the Calcite I use most often in my practice as it beautifully works with the Second or Sacral chakra, and yet isn't as full-on as some other of those sexual and creative stones. Yes, it helps remove blockages to creative and sexual energy. I find it a wonderful ally to those going through menopause. It is an energetic stone, and helps to transmit a kind of passion and energy that doesn't overwhelm, but inspires. It is great for stimulating the metabolism and helping to add a little fire to the mix. Orange Calcite removes other blockages too. I find it is a wonderful ally for discerning what is not serving one's Highest Good, and for release ceremonies, particularly with fire.

One Calcite that my partner uses often, but is not in my toolkit is Mangano Pink Calcite. It also resonates with the Fourth Chakra, or the Heart Chakra. It is a stone of empathy from my understanding, and helps people who have difficulty connecting with their emotions. It is one of those stones I need to work with and understand more before I share more, so if you are tuned up with Mangano, share your experiences in the comments. These are the Calcites in my practice, but Honey Calcite is quite abundant, though I don't work with it often, resonating with the Third Chakra, or Solar Plexus, and Stellar Beam Calcite also a great metaphysical ally. And Red Calcite resonating with the Root. Let me know how you use Calcite in the comments. And as always it is my great honor to talk about crystals with you.


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


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

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

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

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

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






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 if you are interested. 


tarot of the week--two of swords

It probably is no shock to any of you that when I pull the Tarot Card of the Week, I always say, "Oooooooo, two of swords." Or "Oooooo, the Moon." The Two of Swords is one of those cards whose imagery and symbolism absolutely enthrall me. It is so brilliant, succinct and confusing. Truthfully, this card has come to mean many things to many people, and my meaning has drifted afield of the traditional Tarot interpretation. But we'll talk about all the meanings, and you can draw your own conclusion for the beautiful Two of Swords.

With each card, you have layers of meaning--first the numerological implications of the card number, then the suit symbols, then the actual images on the card. Let's start with the number two, which numerologically is about balance, how we relate to others, communication, partnerships, relationships. This is no surprise. I think intuitively, we think of marriages as twos. Two people coming together. The suit of Swords is air and with it comes issues around communication, logic, thought. The Sword challenge cards are quite tortured. Think of the Ten of Swords, where a man is lying in a battlefield with ten swords in his back, or the Eight of  Swords, where there is a bound and blindfolded woman in a jail of swords. These cards are about self-imposed crisis. Those tortured thoughts and the way we trap ourselves. So, swords are often these internal struggles, the growth of our mind and spirit that pushes us to think differently, so we can act differently.


The Two of Swords is a beautiful card, all my favorite symbolic elements, which is perhaps which I cannot bear to associate this card with its traditional meanings.Traditionally, this card has come to represent repression and denial. The fear of expressing love or anger or our truth. Remember swords are about communication, so this card can mean a blocked throat chakra often along with a blocked or closed heart chakra. I understand how this card has come to mean this in traditional Tarot interpretation. The woman sits before a calm sea--water always coming to symbolize emotions. The moon harkens of shadow work arising. Her back is turned away from her emotions, she does not want to face or see what she needs to see, as the card is traditionally interpreted. She holds the swords over her heart chakra, protecting her heart center.  But I have trouble solely associating that meaning with this card. 

To me, the Two of Swords is a highly intuitive card. There is nothing tortured or suffering about her position. She seems absolutely in control, staid, trusting of herself. (Here I am referring to the figure of the Rider-Waite deck. Opposed to Two of Swords in the Universal deck, where the woman on the two is absolutely tortured by her repression. In this way, our decks can make a huge difference in our interpretations.) The water is calm, settled. The sky is clear. In Tarot, the backgrounds of the cards deeply dictate the mood and meaning of the fore figures. The blindfold, rather than put on by someone else, seems carefully placed by the only figure in the picture. Perhaps she is training to trust her intuition, or she knows that her eyes are untrustworthy when it comes to her heart. "What do we know about ourselves?" this card asks. Do you know that that handsome man seduces you with charm and cunning, but turns around to deceive you? Do you know he says what you want to hear, but not what you need to know? So, what do you trust? That feeling of dis-trust, feminine intuition if you will, comes for a reason. When we dismiss it, we are trusting our eyes over our gut. Her solar plexus, open and unblocked, is the source of that knowing, and her third eye is blue, illuminated, rather than covered with hair or blindfold.  This is what is shining through her. Strength and intuition. (Use Pietersite for that beautiful combination, if you are looking for Two of Swords energy.)

The two of the Two of Swords means this card is about partnerships, so often this is about protecting our heart.  But the Two of Swords is in a position of waiting--for the time when her swords must be lowered, or when her swords must cut. The Two of Swords asks us to wait, to reflect, to contemplate, to train our minds through meditation and positive affirmation before we move. Watch. Learn. This is the time of preparation. I keep hearing Karate Kid--Wax on. Wax off. In fact, you get the feeling that this woman has been waxing for years, waiting to blossom, open her heart again, or open it for the first time. The moon is a feminine symbol in Tarot, and it definitely rings strong and true in this card, hovering in waxing(!) stage, over the whole scene. There will be a fulfillment here.

The figure is female by all accounts. These feminine symbols often harken to tap into your female intuition, whether you are female or not. That gut feeling, as I said. Perhaps we can see the traditional interpretation of this card as part of her training. She has closed off her feelings, but her defensive posture is absolutely warranted. She needs the protection, and her next move is knowing exactly when to lower her guard. Without the usual cues, she will just know. And it is about knowing when you need to use your swords or not. She is not a knight, in this picture, rather she is dressed in bed clothes. So we are also reminded to watch our dreams and the way Spirit speaks to us, warns us even, of those who can and cannot be trusted in our sleep.

A beautiful affirmation for this card might be:

I am in perfect alignment with my personal integrity. I trust my intuition to protect my heart.

So, let me know what you think of the Two of Swords. How do you interpret it? How is her energy working in your life right now? And please do not forget to comment to win a pair of labradorite and moonstone earrings on this post. Drawing on the Full Moon. Moon blessings.