Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Finding Your Spirit Stone

Steve Seinberg from Arrow In Flight created a very interesting spread designed to help the reader identify his or her “spirit stone.” The idea is that people often talk about their spirit animal, but there are many things in the natural world that can hold a similar influence in our lives and for our spiritual journeys.

The spread is designed thus:

And the positional meanings are the following:
Spread by Steve Seinberg
This morning I sat down to do this reading for myself (though I accidentally switched positions 3 and 4 in the layout, which ended up giving me some additional insights as I’ll describe below!). Because color schemes are important to this reading, I wanted to use a deck that featured as many elements of the color wheel as possible. But I also wanted a deck in which each card featured only one or two predominant colors, rather than one where each card displayed multiple bright colors (such as the Tarot of Holy Light or Navigators Tarot of the Mystic SEA). In the end I chose the Fountain Tarot.

Before I began I recognized that I was slightly hoping that the cards would hint at black tourmaline (probably my favorite stone of all time), but I was intrigued to find that the cards did not point in that direction. Instead, they told a beautiful story that highlighted a very interesting and lovely stone that hadn’t even crossed my mind.
Fountain Tarot; Jason Gruhl and Jonathan Saiz
Card 2, Color: 2 of Swords

I am starting with the “color card” because this was the first concrete clue as to what stone I might be dealing with. This was my first clue that it probably wasn’t going to be black tourmaline! The 2 of Swords in the Fountain Tarot shows a woman standing by the sea, blindfolded. She looks upward toward the cloudy sky and bears an upright blade in each hand. The predominant color in this card is a deep, sedate blue. After some contemplation two stones came to mind: iolite and blue kyanite, but after integrating the rest of the cards in the reading, iolite was the stronger contender.

Card 1, Essence: Devil

Iolite is said to help one resist the influence of intoxication, and to be a strong supportive stone for helping to release addictive patterns, codependency, and self-defeating behaviors, so the Devil fits quite well as representative of its essence.  Interestingly I have always felt like I had some sort of “inner rubber” when it comes to things that are typically thought to be addictive, like chips, alcohol, shopping, soda, tobacco…… I do indulge in sweet treats, no doubt, though not (usually) in excess. Perhaps there is some connection here.

Card 3, Ailments: Fool

The Book of Stones, by Robert Simmons and Naisha Ahsian, says:
“Iolite offers to take one on the inner path to the deep self. It is an excellent stone to use in shamanic journeying…It helps one let go of the belief that one needs to control inner experiences, and it dissolves the fear of the unknown…”

Card 4, Gifts: Sun

Iolite is said to be a stone of joy and happiness; by encouraging self-possession and inner strength it helps lead to increased power, success, and satisfaction. In addition, iolite was used to help locate the direction of the sun in ancient times (I discuss this a bit more below), so in that sense the gift may be one of help in finding the way forward, like a natural lighthouse.

Card 5, Connection: King of Coins

The Crystal Vaults website says that iolite, “is an excellent source of energy when used for the elimination of debt and the responsible management of money.” This connects with the Devil (learning how to manage material resources), which also connects to Capricorn (my sun sign).

Card 6, Changes: 6 of Wands

This card suggests that by working with iolite and incorporating it into my life I will learn to recognize, value, and honor my own unique offerings, and that by doing so I will find a path to achieving my goals (there is a connection with the Sun here as well).
Iolite crystal
Iolite is called the Viking Compass because in ages past thin slices of iolite were used as polarizing filters to determine the location of the sun on cloudy days. I couldn’t help but notice the position of the 2 of Swords next to the Sun in my reading. The woman stands on the edge of the ocean on an overcast day, appearing to look blindly upward as if attempting to take a measurement…and there lies the Sun to her right. Perhaps she is peering through iolite, estimating the direction she must take next.

I enjoyed this exercise and look forward to working more with iolite, a stone that I haven’t spent very much time with, to date. If you choose to seek your own spirit stone, please let me know what you find, and consider commenting to Steve via Instagram as well!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

From One Moment to the Next

I haven't posted in a little while because life has been whirring by at a rather extraordinary pace. But today is Tuesday of Spring Break week, I'm at home with a hot cup of coffee and a gray, rainy late afternoon sky peering in at me through the kitchen window, and I do believe it's time to do a little writing.

I'm nearing my four-month "anniversary" as the director of an international department in a higher education setting, and so far I can say that I am enjoying it. It certainly has its stressful moments, but that's part of the thrill of the ride, and one of the things I like most about this position is that there is constant fluctuation and change: each day brings something new.

Moving from instructor to director has brought a lot of changes along with it, a new path to tread. Fluctuations aside, my one constant over these past months has been the desire to always be and do better as I learn what it means to lead others. This morning I pulled a card from the Wildwood Tarot asking "Where can I continue to grow as a manager?" I pulled the 6 of Arrows:
Wildwood Tarot; John Matthews, Mark Ryan, W. Worthington
As I sat with this card several thoughts and feelings about "transition" (this card's keyword) spilled forth.....


1) of relationship based in position. It is more challenging to be friends with former colleagues for whom I now give annual reviews. Connections stay positive, but friendship slowly shifts into guidance, mentorship, support, and amiability.  Something, some taste or quality, transforms. It is not better or worse than what it was, only vaguely different.

2) of time - allowing for the process of change to unfold rather than worrying that the transition from one position to another should have been immediate.

3) of perspective. Mind over matter - the ability and requirement to be objective, and to make decisions based on logic rather than emotion...almost literally transitioning my entire team from a hazy, uncertain past into what I deeply hope becomes a warm, bright and affirming future.

Leading is not for the faint of heart, but by taking each day as it comes, and giving myself the space to grow and evolve, the transition - no matter its ups and downs - may be a rewarding journey.

Note: The URL for this blog has changed to

Friday, March 11, 2016

Page of Staves: Spring Descends

Note: The URL for this blog has changed to

Spring descends upon central Florida.

It might sound strange to anyone unfamiliar with the true climate here, but there are indeed seasons. Our winter is much like a most pristine northern autumn, complete with frosted roofs and fallen leaves. Spring brings warmer temperatures (read: we finally head into the 80s during the day, and stay there) and increased humidity. New sorts of flowers begin to bloom, and cypress trees consider releasing their greens. I swear that the moment March started I felt the air change, become charged with the newness of an unfolding springtime.
Ship of Fools Tarot; Brian Williams
Both the Buckland Romani app and the Ship of Fools gave me the Page of Staves this morning: the excitement of new opportunity, the thrill of developing new creative ideas. This Page from the Ship of Fools breathes "spring." It is utterly imbued with the essence of exploration and discovery, and I am fully in that mode.

My husband and I are planning a mini vacation that nearly coincides with our ten-year anniversary. New Orleans? Savannah? Some other place? I'm not sure. But just considering the options has me raring to go