Saturday, November 30, 2013
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
As promised, I am now going to tell you about my new Tarot deck and Oracle card Decks! The card above is from The Victorian Fairy Tarot deck by Lunaea Weatherstone with artwork by Gary A. Lippincott. It has been so magical delving into this deck and seeing the subtle differences in meanings of the cards, even though it is based on a traditional Rider-Waite Tarot deck. Comparing it to the Angel Tarot deck I usually use has been interesting as well, because it really demonstrates the personalities of each deck. This one is based on Victorian Fairy Folklore and definitely has a more English countryside energy to it. My DH got me this for my birthday, seeing that it was both Fairy and Tarot and therefore perfect for me. :) The Oracle Card decks now in my possession include the following (and I'll have more details on those in another post):
Flower Spirit Cards by Melanie Eclaire
Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue
Life Purpose Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue
Ascended Masters by Doreen Virtue
Angel Dream Interpretation by Doreen Virtue and Melissa Virtue
Magical Messages from the Fairies by Doreen Virtue
Magical Mermaid and Dolphin Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue
Magical Unicorns Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue (great for kids)
Talking to Heaven Mediumship Cards by Doreen Virtue
What I've decided to do for Tuesdays from now on is to pull a card from either this or my *Angel Tarot deck by Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine for you. Yes, if you are reading this blog post right now, the above card has a message for you. :)
While shuffling, I asked the deck/my Angels/my Higher Self to tell me what my blog readers should know for the next week. In this deck, the Vicar represents the Heirophant in the traditional Rider Waite Tarot deck and the Unity card in the *Angel Tarot deck. In the picture, the fairies are gathered around and enjoying the Vicar's wisdom, which he delivers as a matter of truth, rather than the need to have his opinion reign over someone else's. This card represents tradition and spiritual teaching and recommends that if you have some wisdom to offer someone else, to do it with humility and respect vs. in a dogmatic way. Sharing can build bridges through lore and spiritual customs. When I first saw this card and noted the people gathered and enjoying each others' company around a central leader, I realized just how appropriate this card is for this week. In the U.S., many will celebrate the national holiday of Thanksgiving, quite often with extended family. This is a tradition that many households in the U.S. observe. When people come together from different households and social groups, undoubtedly spiritual views will differ, even if slightly. If someone's opinion is loud and overbearing, feathers will get ruffled and emotions triggered. While it's important to speak your truth, be sure to view everyone through the lens of compassion. If you want to make a point, realize that you don't have to "win" an argument to prove you believe something. Living your truth is much more inspiring.
It's worth mentioning that according to Empowering Astrology and cafeastrology.com, there is a conjunct between the moon and Mars with a sextile to Saturn in Scorpio, making us "go to war over the details". The moon in Virgo tends to make us emotionally geared to see the flaws and imperfections in others more readily. The Sun is making a hard aspect to Jupiter, making us restless and discontent, trying to make more sense of life and to attach more meaning to our personal experiences. Emotions can be elevated, though a bit unstable. This combined with a big family gathering calls for caution and awareness. As mentioned above, you do not need to convince anyone else that your views are correct or the only way, only to hold true to yourself and share in a manner that reflects self-respect and offers food for thought if necessary.
Something else I noticed was the sunlight hitting the the leaves in this autumn scene. While in this area of the U.S., we currently have snow, the weather forecast calls for sun the day after Thanksgiving- something to definitely be thankful for. It also indicates that even if your family gathering ends up being emotionally unsettling, "the Sun will come out tomorrow". (Yes, the song just played in my head. :) )
Hopefully, you're presence and precaution will help smooth out any rough spots to make for a pleasant week!
Now, the final bit of Tarot for this post is that I am giving away a free Tarot reading!! All you have to do is comment below and I will pick a random number. Be sure to check back Friday to see who won or be sure I can contact you via email or Facebook. Share with your friends!! :)
Sunday, November 24, 2013
This week is the national holiday of Thanksgiving. Many people will be traveling, cooking for large numbers of people, and perhaps spending time with people who trigger you in ways that make you wish you'd just stayed home (or not invited so-and-so this year). As a way to combat the stress of the hectic happenings of the whole holiday season, try wearing some healing crystal jewelry or putting a few stones in your pocket. You don't have to do anything beyond that, but a little intention, such as asking the crystal(s) for help in whatever situations you encounter that may disrupt your inner peace. Also, remember that gratitude keeps you centered and joyful. Healingcrystals.com has a short video about some of their favorite crystals for combatting Holiday stress. I've embedded it below. You can also read through my Healing with Crystals page to see which ones resonate with you. Your intuition (that from your highest self) always serves as your best guidance. Namaste and have a wonderful holiday season!
Monday, November 18, 2013
The healing crystals above got a full moonlight and rain bath last night and now they are very happy! They sat in the windowsill to get cleared by the sun and now they are charged and cleansed by the moon and rain. Some crystals, such as kyanite and citrine never need clearing and can clear other crystals by simply sitting near them. They transmute any negative energy the other crystals (and you) have picked up. Selenite and clear quartz are also excellent at clearing the energetic body and can clear other crystals as well. Some crystals, such as selenite, dissolve in water, so do not sit them out for a rain bath. This chart tells you more about cleansing crystals, as does my Healing with Crystals page.
If you missed the full moon last night, the next one is December 17th. This site gives dates for moon cycles. You can also likely check your wall calendar and make a note of it. The full moon gives us a chance to release all that no longer serves us, such as stagnant and unforgiving emotions, fear, behavior patterns, false thoughts about yourself and others and even issues or vows from past lives. Though it may initially seem safe and comfortable to stay in old familiar patterns and continue reacting in the same way, doing so keeps you from growing and learning what your Soul came here to learn and fulfilling your Divine Life Purpose. Releasing what no longer serves a purpose leads to peace, joy, and freedom.
Psychic debris may come from your own negative thoughts or the result of being around someone else who had so much negative energy [usually stemming from thoughts which lead to emotions] that it spilled over. Or perhaps you are like me and are an Empath and you feel others' emotions in your body as if they were your own. Letting go and releasing it gives you the freedom to make clear choices. Carrying around the burden of negative energy saps your personal energy on all levels- physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.
People, animals, objects, and spaces (including houses and cars) can benefit from energy clearing. You can do this by burning sage, sweetgrass, or incense; visualizing white light surrounding and filling the person, place, or thing; sending Reiki, and asking the Angels to clear the energy. Archangel Michael can cut the cords of fear that attach you to others who have negative (fear-based) thoughts attachments to you. All you need to do is mentally ask him to cut these cords and you will instantly feel lighter. Do this and all energy clearing regularly as it is like brushing your teeth or washing your face daily. The debris keeps building and not cleaning it away makes you feel tense and uncomfortable. Taking a sea salt bath will draw out negative energy and send it down the drain. I quickly shower after to make sure all traces are gone.
To clear your own energy field, use selenite/clear quartz crystal to first move counter clockwise then clockwise below, in front of, and above the body at the 7 major chakra points. The energy flows out from the body, so you do not have to be right on the body. Then move the crystal up the arms and legs, up the entire front and back of the body and around the head. You can hold the intention that the negative energy will move out the window (even if it's closed, but if it's open all the better) to the trees, river, etc. in order to be transmuted. You can also do this for someone else, including your pets and children.
To clear the energy of a house, building or car, you can open the windows and send white light and/or Reiki to all the corners in a clockwise direction. Or, you can burn incense, sage, or sweetgrass and walk with it in a clockwise direction in each room. Say out loud or to yourself, "I clear all negative energy from this room in all directions of time and space." Hold the intention that you are protected from the negative energy that breaks up and it moves out of the window to the trees, river, etc. to be transmuted. When you have done this in all rooms, go to the lowest point in the house, sit on the floor with your eyes closed and hands palm up in your lap or on your knees. Visualize the energy of the space traveling through your body and traveling down to the center of the earth. Be still and attentive while the energy gathers the properties of the pure earth and then comes back up. When it comes back to your body, imagine it going through the top of your head and out and down to the 4 corners of the building. Now, the energy is clear and grounded. Do this at least once a season. After arguments or any time the energy feels stagnant, you can do a clearing (even a quick visualization helps) to start anew.
Energy shielding helps one to avoid picking up so much negativity. Imagine white light (which embodies all colors) surrounding you, about a 6 feet all the way around. This is an all purpose light that helps with any sort of protection you may need. Blue is also very protective, especially if you are concerned about danger. Purple is the color of Divine connection and psychic activity, so is protective against psychic attack. Hold the intention that these shields are permeable enough that love can enter, but negativity cannot enter. You can also ask your angels to protect you from negativity and to protect your open heart. You can also use any of these visualizations for your house, car, friends, or family.
Also, we interact with many people online these days and the energy they put into the words they write can come through and affect us as well. When someone is venting or seething negativity or even if they are complaining about being sick or having a bad day, I mentally say "No!" and visualize a protective wall of light in front of my screen to avoid taking on that negative energy. If it was particularly bad, I will even "scrub" out the words through a visualization.
A friend of mine recently asked for advice on how to protect a friendship with a man who was struggling with romantic feelings for her. He and his wife are currently having trouble in their relationship and she intuitively knew that he was seeking something from her that he was not currently getting from his partner. When I saw the situation in my mind's eye, and knew that ultimately what he was seeking was love, I remembered a story that Doreen Virtue told about a woman who was unloading very deep emotions onto Doreen and she surrounded the woman with pink light, thus giving the woman Universal love. This gave the woman what she needed and protected Doreen from taking that energy on. My guidance for this situation with my friend called for her to surround herself with pink light (self-love/Universal Love) and then white light (Universal protection). Then, I suggested she do the same for her friend and hold the intention that the love come from God/The Divine/The Universe. The white light sealed in the love so that they could remain friends without blurring the lines.
After giving her these directions, my friend realized that this was something she wanted to do always because when she is interacting with the public, people often mistake her love for all beings as somehow "just for them". This causes her to often shut down that love for protection, but then she doesn't feel happy. So, she has decided to use this visualization to keep the love going, but not get stuck in someone else's confused attempts at getting love where it isn't appropriate or welcome.
Use your intuition and guidance to come up with protective practices that suit your individual needs. Above all, your intention to come from love, loving yourself first, will serve you and anyone else you wish to serve best.
Using these methods will lead to health and harmony, peacefulness, and more personal energy to use for yourself. I hope you found the information helpful. If you do, please share (with
Saturday, November 16, 2013
After wandering around some healing herb, essential oil, and other healing modality blogs, I found this one, which I found extra interesting. Though I knew frankincense was very useful for meditation and that it made a great additive to home made deodorant, I did not realize it could be used for so many other ailments, including immune system support, scarring, and even plague!! It makes sense that it improves vision because it is good for the pineal gland, which is directly connected to physical vision and also inner vision or the 3rd eye. Spiritual awareness is another benefit the above site mentions, which of course makes sense because it helps with meditation and helps with the 3rd eye. It is also good for many conditions that affect the brain, such as Parkinson's disease, brain injury, and coma and things the brain is responsible for, like memory. Post partum depression and post miscarriage symptoms are both positively affected by using frankincense oil. Check out the link above for a fuller list of conditions you can use it for and methods for using it.
Hopefully, I will be on here more often this week. Many days were taken up lately because I am writing up materials for an online Reiki attunement course. A test run is going on right now and I'm really looking forward to the results and getting the course available to the general public. My guidance has directed me to teach healing methods and that this is one of the ways to do it. Still to report are my newest Tarot and Oracle card decks, my astrology natal chart consultation, and many other exciting topics yet to make themselves known.
*Off to get out my frankincense oil*
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
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This is a custom painting I commissioned by Chrishanthi Liaropoulou, aka ppinkydollsart on Etsy. Her work, which I'd been admiring for a while, is full of depth and emotion. The sweet soulfulness of it really touches this Scorpio's heart. This art is something I will always treasure and am so grateful for having. Finding this artist and allowing myself this gift have given me a real lift. What a joy to have, especially in this time of "descending into darkness"- Sun in Scorpio, Mercery retrograde in Scorpio and I believe Saturn in Scorpio have stirred up dark emotions for all of us. As a Scorpio myself, I've felt it acutely. It has come with healthy release for me, especially after my natal chart consult, which began last night. More on that when the 2nd half is complete. Since the baby naps frequently, it was best to break it up into 2 half-hour segments.
Hopefully you have been able to pull up and clear out deep seated emotions that are no longer serving you. Now is a wonderful opportunity to draw them out and set yourself free. There's no need to continue suffering with the old wounds, so instead of stuffing them back down or covering them up with food, alcohol or some other distraction, my wish for you is to expose these dark feelings to the light for healing.
One hint that I will give from my astrological chart review is that I have been a Shaman over and over. While I knew I'd been a healer of various types, given psychic guidance, and done Reiki in past lives, apparently my direct connection to the other side is much more powerful than I realized and Tarot is only the beginning. My Reiki practice is a bridge to something much deeper. For me, this is worth digging deep and experiencing the darkness. For without darkness, what do we have to compare to the light?
Monday, November 4, 2013
An attitude of gratitude brings peace, joy, freedom and abundance. Though I have not always kept a journal just for listing gratefulness, I frequently make it a practice to write or mentally list those for whom or that for which I am grateful. My journals are a mish mash of dates and topics because I grab whichever one is closest so I can get my thoughts on paper as soon as the need strikes me. Maybe because people know I often put pen to paper, their (or my) Angels urge them to buy them for me, or it is just generally a thoughtful gift, I have numerous ones filled, partially or completely filled or not yet started. This one, I am keeping out for a daily list of gratitude. The shift in thoughts and energy is profound when I actually write out what I am grateful for. The last entry in this journal (but not my last journal entry) was dated July 2005 and described a dream in which I gave birth to a baby girl with dark hair. At this moment, I am holding my dark haired baby girl. Often I've said that I feel like I've known about her my whole life. This journal entry would seem to support that feeling, an apparent guide to my path this time on Earth. For that, for her, for her big brother and furry "big sisters" who "paved the way", my husband and so many others, I am grateful.
Sunday, November 3, 2013
The Belly Dance and Yoga Connection
This was originally an article I wrote that was published in The Guilded Serpent.
I started my Yoga practice not long after beginning to Belly Dance. I was drawn to it and stayed with it as I enjoyed the benefits of the complementary practices. The promises of relaxation, strength, flexibility and spirituality intrigued me and fit right into my Belly Dancing lifestyle. I am not alone! Many Belly Dancers also practice Yoga and those who do Yoga are often intrigued by Belly Dance. We will explore what the draw is and why.
Sterling Painton, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was already a yoga instructor with her own studio when she started Belly Dance classes with Kari Merlina. Painton’s business partner was interested in adding “something different” to the class schedule and Merlina’s Belly Dance class fit the bill. Since Sterling had loved dancing since she was a little girl, she was excited to be able to start formal classes. She did not think it possible to start dance training in her 30’s, so she happily embarked on this new journey!
On a purely physical level, Yoga conditions the body and allows Belly Dancers to execute movements with fluidity and strength and access muscles with body awareness. Painton reports that she now has an incredible lengthening through her torso in her Yoga postures due to the strengthening and opening that Belly Dance provides. Painton found when she was learning Belly Dance that the isolations were remotely understandable because she had years of practicing isolations on the body in Yoga (such as lifting the quadriceps off the knees or lifting the rib cage while grounding the feet). She also noticed she could also yoga to counter stretch an area she just worked in Belly Dance. Additionally, she notes that Yoga will help protect the body from injuries and if you do get injured the recovery time is faster if you are a practicing yogi. I personally start my classes with a Yoga warm up for this reason. Painton points out that both Yoga and Belly Dance require a great deal of discipline.
Both Belly Dance and Yoga can release trauma, both physical and emotional. At my Yoga for the Special Child ™ (www.specialyoga.com) training, Sonia Sumar pointed out that after Yoga class, some students felt negative emotions without knowing why because no thoughts were attached to them. This was the body releasing trapped emotions. I am sure to point this out especially when working on ribcage pops and body waves because the heart space tends to hold so much emotion and it is worked so continuously in these movements. Letting go of those feelings that no longer serve you allows you to move forward physically and emotionally.
Mentally, Yoga allows the Belly Dancer to let go of the mental clutter that prevents us from “getting it” [a movement, combination, emotional expression, timing, etc.]. Instead of constantly wondering how you are doing or judging or criticizing yourself, Yoga allows for “letting go and letting it flow”.
“Most of us who practice Yoga have slipped into flow on the mat- probably many times. We know those wonderful moments when postures feel effortless. The body seems to move on its own without force or strain. We “know” the posture in an entirely new way and come out of these experiences somehow changed. At ease. Knowing ourselves more fully. “ (Cope, Yoga Journal October 2007)
Belly Dancers may recognize flow when you feel at one with the music and everything else slips away; you may notice your audience, but they are quiet witnesses. Or, the audience and your dance partner(s) are part of your flow experience- everyone feeling the music completely and communicating with total ease.
Stephen Cope, working with Kripalu (www.kripalu.org), conducted yoga studies with musicians and athletes. Cope himself noticed that the more consistent he was in his yoga practice, the more skillful he was on the piano. This integration of mind, body and spirit seems to be the biggest factor in creating not only fully satisfying experiences, but also improvement in performance.
The studies indicate that a yoga practice including three hatha yoga (the physical practice) classes a week (gentle to moderate classes with a strongly meditative flavor and an emphasis on breathwork), a simple 30 minute mindfulness meditation practice each day and participating in certain aspects of a yogic lifestyle, including conscious eating, can help a performer “flow” by creating relaxed concentration. The changes in the musicians who did yoga were quite dramatic. One group had significantly less performance anxiety than the control group. The second group confirmed that finding and also uncovered in the yoga group’s capacity to enter into flow states- and especially autotelic experience.
An autotelic experience is one in which the experience of performance is perceived as intrinsically rewarding and fulfilling, apart from any external rewards. The performer lets go of all self-consciousness about the performance-and any grasping for outcome or extrinsic reward. She feels compelled by the sheer joy of the activity itself. Studies show that the more often performers have this kind of experience, the more motivated they become to push the boundaries of their mastery. (Cope, Yoga Journal October 2007)
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, tells us that “Training attention to come back over and over again to a complex task allows awareness to become increasingly absorbed in the task at hand.” Yoga does this both in Asanas (physical poses), breath work and meditation (returning to attending to breath, thoughts, sensations, etc.).
Belly Dancers are experienced with bringing attention back to a task over and over when they drill. For example after 50 hip ups you may wonder what you are having for lunch, but you have 50 more to go, so you bring your attention back to the task at hand. Practicing a choreography also requires attending mentally. Improv Choreography asks that you stay totally present and not only attend to what you are doing, but also what your partner is doing. It is a very Zen process in that respect.
Spiritually, Yoga centers the Belly Dancer. By revisiting Yoga’s non-competitive principals, one can acknowledge the bigger picture instead of any perceived slights or longings of the heart induced by the ins and outs of the community. Online communities such as “Too Much Drama to Dance” on Tribe.net show us examples of the struggles many Belly Dancers experience. Through practicing yoga, Cope tells us that
“the performer, like the yogi, has a transient but profound experience of feeling more at ease with life, of trusting the ineffable ‘inner self’, and of living free from self-concept in a kind of river of energy and intelligence. This is perhaps the spiritual experience par excellence. Yoga transforms performance in powerful ways, reframing most conventional notions of the very meaning and purpose of performance itself.”
Belly Dancers report stress and negative energy burning away after class or a great performance. It also often provides a supportive social atmosphere which may be difficult to find with today's busy schedules.
Both practices balance the Chakras, starting with posture that aligns the spine. Chakras are energy centers in the body. Heat, light, electricity and nerve impulses are all energy, and the Chakras correspond to nerve ganglia in the body. By intentionally moving the body parts associated with each Chakra, you release blocks, and energize and balance the energy centers. By working the chakras through two practices, one can experience greater balance and health. Something to note is that while Belly Dance uses the whole body, there is a particular focus on the belly that one does not find in other movement systems. We not only intentionally move the belly on its own, it is constantly engaged during posture and parts are accessed more during ribcage and hip movements, as well as body waves or undulations. The solar plexus, or naval chakra, (manipura, the third chakra) is associated with personal power, confidence and the element fire. With a stronger, more activated third chakra, one exudes more confidence than someone with a less energized naval chakra. Perhaps this is the pull yogis feel, being already awakened to the energy and drawn to a dance that will further energize their inner fire. There is an innate need for humans to create and to express themselves creatively. The second Chakra (or first, depending on the reference), located in the pelvis, is our creativity center. With a strong emphasis on hip and pelvic movements, Belly Dance activates our creativity, a need often over-looked in Western society. While also energized in Yoga, Yoginis may seek out Belly Dance as a way to further strengthen this Chakra. On the other hand, if you are experiencing a creative block in Belly Dance, then Yogic meditation, especially creating and meditating on yantras (geometric designs conceived of as containers for spiritual energy [Tomlinson, Yoga Journal, August 2008]) can remove creative blocks.
Other movements and processes in the Belly Dance experience also balance and organize the Chakra system. Floor work and foot work organize the first Chakra; ribcage and arm movements balance the fourth Chakra. Head slides, circles, swings and tosses, as well as zahgareeting and shouts of encouragement or excitement energize the fifth Chakra; visualizing [a new choreography or costume, a movement, etc.] and eye movements and moving meditations activate the sixth Chakra; and connecting with the Divine and/or your fellow dancers (including, but not limited to the Zen feeling created during Improvisational Choreography) and moving meditation invigorate the seventh Chakra. To see my friends, family and me Belly Dancing through the Chakras, go to the video gallery at (http://www.tribalbellydance.net/videogallery.htm ) and click on “Pregnancy Honoring Performance”.
Another reason people may be attracted to both Belly Dance and Yoga is the release from typical Western thinking. Both Belly Dance and Yoga originated in ancient times and on different continents/subcontinent. These practices both offer a tolerance and acceptance of for the self not readily evident in our mainstream society. Yoga teaches us to slow down, relax and process at a gentle, conscious pace. Belly Dance shows us body acceptance outside of what bombards us in the mainstream media.
Rodney Yee, a nationally known Yoga instructor and author of Moving Towards Balance: 8 Weeks of Yoga with Rodney Yee, says that Yoga puts everything into place. It allows us to enjoy and experience Belly Dance more fully. Belly Dance is artistically expressed wellness that offers strong confidence and Yoga offers a deep, balancing practice, especially for the times when we must look within.