Intermediate to Advanced Tarot Workshop – Three Saturdays in November 2013: 2, 9, 23 10 am to 2 pm

a mysterious footprint in the sandBring your deck of tarot cards to this life-changing weekly workshop and prepare for a cutting-edge experience. In these ongoing workshops, you’ll discover and manifest your most compelling heart’s desires. You’ll deepen your self-knowledge and gain mastery over your life.

Through shared readings, insights, and guidance, we transform experiences and challenges into tools for self-knowledge. Only once you know your soul’s unique path, can you feel the joy and empowerment that is your birthright.

“The depth and breadth of knowledge that opens to me during these Saturday workshops is immense – each time we get together, it’s like visiting a new country. I look forward to the journey all week long.” Winslow Eliot, author of “What Would You Do If There Was Nothing You Had To Do? Practices to create your life the way you want it to be.”

When: Three Saturdays in November: 2, 9, 16 from 10 am–2 pm
Where: At Crystal Essence, Railroad Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230
How: This workshop is open to intermediate and advanced students, as well as professional tarot readers. If you’re interested in joining, please contact me.

Intuition and Mediumship – Four Fridays in November 2013: 1, 8, 15, 22 7 to 9 pm

Liquid Color 019Each of us has the ability to act as our own medium and connect with our loved ones on the other side. How can you learn to be a medium, a spiritual interpreter, someone who can receive messages and know that you are accurately linking to other realms?

This November, I’m offering a 4-part course that shows you how to discover and develop your innate intuitive gifts. What is your specific intuitive specialty? Some people receive messages through clairaudience (hearing), others through clairvoyance (seeing), others through clairsentience (feeling), or claircognizance (knowing). Which “clair” are you? I can help you find out.

Liquid Color 013As the course progresses, you’ll learn how to open up to and trust a new and different aspect of your own natural intuitive ability. You’ll also meet your special Spirit Guide. You’ll learn to identify, use, and develop your intuitive skills. I’ll give you exercises that will help you to strengthen and develop these. By the time the course is over, you’ll feel confident about putting all your training into action as you move through barriers that separate corporeal and ethereal life.

When: Four Fridays in November 2013: 1, 8, 15, 22 from 7–9 PM
Where: At Crystal Essence, Railroad Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230
How: To register, call Crystal Essence at 413 528-2595

Mercury Retrograde—Again!

temperenceIt’s that time again—Mercury Retrograde. Fortunately, it’s the last one of the year. Mercury is the planet of communication, plans and systems of order. When Mercury moves backwards (or appears to), communications, plans and systems of order are likely to operate in the most disruptive as well as, creative ways.

This time Mercury will be going inward (backward) in the introspective, secretive sign of Scorpio. It’s a time for you to intimately examine those inner corners and crevices so that you can discover what (and who) is truly of value to you. Your intuition will be heightened and your investigative powers will be functioning at an all-time high.

You may feel impelled to reveal your deepest secrets to others, but please withstand the temptation to make yourself vulnerable—do keep your mouth closed! Putting your dearly held secrets out into the world will most likely backfire and create opportunities for major regret.

It is a good time, though, for you to plot your next campaign or plan that surprise party you’ve been thinking about. With Mercury in retrograde motion, others will most likely not be paying attention to your every move, so go quietly and you’ll be able to bring your plans to successful fruition.

As with all Mercury Retrogrades, please remember to remain centered and grounded, no matter what. Since Mercury rules communication, transportation and contracts, when it’s retrograde, all manner of mistakes and misunderstandings can occur. If you can, hold off on buying (or leasing) any big ticket items. It’s also a good idea to triple check any and all plans you make. This is an excellent time for research, as those things that are usually hidden from view, show themselves more easily during a Mercury Retrograde period.  Wait until Mercury goes direct before making any big decisions or purchases.

 

 

Liberating Terminology for the 21st Century Tarot Practitioner

temperenceThe Tarot is an ancient Intuitive Art and some of its terminology reflects the attitudes and beliefs of its antiquity.  Some of the terms and phrases used in describing energy seem to specifically refer to gender in such a way that, today, they’d be considered demeaning, inappropriate and/or incorrect.  Phrases like:

Positive-negative

Masculine-feminine

Light-dark

Strong-weak  

Active-passive

Final outcome

In olden times, words like positive, masculine, light, strong and active were used to describe a conscious, activating, obvious, outgoing or intellectual energy.  These words were used to describe what was considered a superior use of energy in a male-dominated society with a narrow world view.

Words like negative, feminine, dark, weak or passive were used to describe a subconscious, generating, subtle, introspective or intuitive energy.  These words were used to describe what was considered an inferior use of energy in a male-dominated society with a narrow world view.

Today, we have a more expansive view of the world and have an opportunity to see things from a more balanced, neutral perspective.  The Eastern symbol for balance, Yin-Yang, is a perfect visual explanation of the strength of darkness within light and lightness within the dark.  Neither is stronger than the other, they work together to produce harmony.

Many Tarot spreads have a card that represents the ‘final’ outcome.  Final means the absolute, concluding end.  I feel it’s misleading in a spread because life and we are organic, everything morphs into something else—there really is no ‘final’ end.  The word, final, lulls you into thinking that nothing more will happen.  I prefer to just use the word, ‘outcome’ or the phrase, ‘probable outcome’ because they imply that there is room for the ‘outcome’ to do what all outcomes do in life, transform into its next stage of development.     

If, in studying the Tarot, you find that certain words or phrases bother you, please feel free to take out your thesaurus and find words or phrases with the same meaning that don’t offend you.

~   ~   ~

This excerpt is from my book, The Infinite Tarot, the Essential Guide for Connecting to the All-Knowing Source. I invite you to discover your own liberating Tarot terminology and learn more about developing and using your intuition with the Tarot by purchasing my book.  Just click on the Store tab on the navigation bar at the top of this page and you’ll be directed to the Store page.     

 

 

The Gift of Machu Picchu

temperenceA dear friend is preparing for a pilgrimage to the spiritual sites of South America. Knowing that I’d visited Machu Picchu in Peru, she contacted me, asking for tips that would enhance her soul journey to the powerful site.

I was happy to share my experiences with her, but as I told her, it wasn’t Machu Picchu itself that moved my soul; it was what happened after I left the majestic enclave that powerfully enriched my life.

I gratefully relived my glorious experience as I responded to her e-mail request with this retelling of one of my favorite life adventures:  

One of the magical places on my “must experience” list was Peru’s wonderfully preserved Incan Empire city, Machu Picchu.  Built around 1450, it was both a royal enclave and a spiritual center whose activities revolved around the cycles of the Sun.  On my visit to this fascinating site, I could feel the powerful energy of the sacred city and the ancient mountain peaks that surround it.  My gifts on that journey were many, including a life-path confirming message from the mountain and a vision of the infinite in which I was escorted by God, Bade Baba and Padre Pio.  My most prized gift, though– the joy and memory of which will remain in my heart forever– was “the runner.

At the end of my visit to this sacred city, I boarded one of the site’s buses for the thirty-minute ride down the mountain on the muddy, narrow switchback road that would take me back to the town of Aquas Caliente at the base of the mountain.  I sat in the front row because I wanted to continue to take in as much of this land’s majestic beauty as I could.

We had barely started down the mountain when the driver stopped to pick up a nine or ten year old boy dressed in a green tunic with multicolor trim.  He wore a headband and a red pouch hung diagonally from his left shoulder.  His feet were shod in simple black sandals.

The boy stood in the stairwell and it was obvious the driver and the boy knew and liked each other as they conversed on the downhill drive.  I noticed two or three other young boys in similar garb waiting across the road. 

About five minutes after the boy boarded the bus, the driver stopped and the boy stepped up to the center of the aisle at the front of the bus, turned to us and wailed an ancient chant as he waved his right arm above his head.

The sound of his voice was as old as time and sent a shiver through my soul.  The boy got off the bus and ran across the road and disappeared into the wild mountain foliage.

We continued on the narrow, muddy, switchback road, sometimes pulling over to let the busses coming up the mountain go past.

We heard the ancient chant again and there was the boy on the side of the road ahead of us, waving us on as we passed the spot where he stood.

A few minutes and a few more dangerous twists and turns later, we were farther down the mountain and who do we see standing there, waiting for us, waving and chanting– the boy!

A simultaneous gasp escaped from all of us passengers.

A few more twists and turns farther down the mountain and there he was again– hailing us and waving us on!

Time and time again, he’d be there on the road, waiting for us with his ancient chant and his bright, beautiful spirit.

We began to applaud when he appeared– some even laughed nervously, “How did he beat us here?” they whispered.   

Once we saw him sprint out of the foliage to our right, dart diagonally across the road in front of the bus, reach his spot on the other side and wave us on as we approached him. 

The ride down the mountain became about the boy.  “Where will he appear next?” “How is he doing it?”  “When, how will we be able to tell him what he means to us?”

I had to hold back tears and remember to breathe as I waited for his next appearance.

He was the infinite symbol of life and spirit and we were the blessed recipients of his limitless, magical energy.

As we neared the town at the foot of the mountain, we saw him running ahead of us, waving us on.  He led us across the bridge into town and he stood on a rise as he waited for us to reach him.

The driver stopped the bus and the boy got on again– this time to cheers and applause.  He had won our hearts and we were grateful.

Continuing his chant, and with a grin as big as life, he opened the red pouch he wore and we gratefully stuffed money into it.  As he went up and down the aisle, we hugged him and took his picture and thanked him.  The old woman sitting next to me grabbed his little face in both her hands and kissed him hard on the cheek.

We loved that little boy.  He was the affirmation of life itself.  The joy he exuded as he ran and as he interacted with us re-kindled something vital in all of us.  He gave us hope.

And he proved to all of us that Pizarro and the other Conquistadors had not won in their attempts to annihilate the Incan people and the Incan spirit.  As long as that little boy and the other little boys run– the Incan spirit will always live. 

That little boy loved running and he loved winning.  He loved his life and he powerfully radiated that joy with heart and spirit.

When the bus reached the end of the line, the boy got off first and bade each of us farewell as we left the bus.  We couldn’t leave him, though.  Some of us went back two and three times to thank him, to bask in his infinite and innocent radiance.

In a very big way, Machu Picchu and the mountain were the set-up, the backdrop for the real eighth wonder of the world– that little boy leading us down the mountain, leading us back to ourselves.

Almost every aspect of this Peru trip had been trying, always testing and at times, almost besting me in some very intense manner.  That little boy and the gift he gave me made everything I’d gone through worth it.  I’m so grateful to him and I’m so grateful to God for the experience.

 

Changed Forever—Pluto Transit Tales

temperenceAs an Astrologer, the movements of the planets and the effects of those movements are fascinating to watch and track in a remote and analytical kind of way.

As a human being directly affected by those moving planets, the detached state of my professional alter ego is woefully unavailable to me and I am required to morph and evolve according to the dictates of the planet or planets involved. 

By nature, I am a ‘Pluto Warrior,’ a champion of transformation able to march along with it, follow its orders and occasionally go toe-to-toe with it, all the while maintaining my allegiance to it and its purpose. I love Pluto and the gifts it gives us and my soul is infinitely grateful that it has chosen me to be an active part of its mission. 

Right now, Pluto in the sign Capricorn has my rapt attention (as if I could look away!) and apparently, I, his. Of course, no matter what sign it’s in, Pluto affects everyone in some small or large way. If Pluto is in a person’s birth sign, well, the effects of all of that intense attention can be—no—will be life altering.

I am a Capricorn and for the most part, up until a couple of weeks ago, I experienced Pluto’s transit through my sign during the last four plus years from the perspective of an involved but detached observer.  Apparently, the honeymoon is over and I have become intimately acquainted with renowned Astrologer, Michael Lutin’s, take on a Pluto transit—“When you come out of a Pluto transit, you are changed forever. In another state. But during the process you don’t realize what’s happening. Life can get pretty dark. With Pluto, you can’t look ahead. You can’t be impatient. Most of all, you shouldn’t be afraid, because in the end there is nothing to fear. You just have to surrender to the mysterious process of complete and total transformation.”

With the exception of not realizing what’s happening and why, Michael Lutin is pretty right on. I get the process as well as the need for it and I am surrendering to it more and more each day, hour, instant of our time together. No longer able to sit on the sidelines, the accumulated energies of Pluto’s relentless back and forth passage over my Sun have brought me to the exact place that Pluto wants me to be. Although this is a necessary place, it is not an easy place.

Pluto has personally beckoned me now, and I am experiencing the ‘cleaning out of old wounds’ that I (as any sane person would!) on some level(s) have put off until…

Well, ‘until’ has come and the last couple of weeks have been so intense and my commitment to the process has been so total that I have had to withdraw from the non-essential day-to-day routines that had previously occupied so much of my time and life.

Like a patient recovering from an intense fever, I am beginning to feel an interest in life again and I am taking baby steps to reinsert myself into its daily processes. And like a patient who is recovering from a life-altering experience, I am seeing, feeling, exploring myself and the world from a completely new perspective. 

What will be the result of all of this? I don’t know—Pluto isn’t through with me yet. I do know and trust that Pluto is thorough and won’t let me go until I am healed and whole to its satisfaction. The adventure continues…

 

“The Chute’s Not Opening”

temperenceA few years ago, a friend showed me photos taken of of her skydiving.  While looking at the photos, I was surprised, pleased and excited when this thought came to me, “If I ever go skydiving and the parachute doesn’t open, I hope I remain fully conscious and present.  This is something that’s probably only going to happen once and I don’t want to miss a thing.”

Three years later, I received a call from a friend who told me that my guides had given her a message for me.  I was told through her that it was time for me to leave Malibu.  I’d received similar messages before about traveling to or relocating to various parts of the world.  The messages, or ‘orders’ as I like to call them, came in a variety of ways—through meditation, a guidance session,  visiting a sacred site, a certain ‘knowing’ and as was this one—through a friend’s spiritual ‘meeting’ with my guides.   

I loved Malibu and I loved my life there—I didn’t want to leave.  As my friend and I talked about it, I was seized with lump in my stomach, breath stopping, heart-palpitating terror.  I didn’t know where I was to go or what would happen to me.  I only knew that my friend, the messenger, had delivered a truthful message and I would have to follow orders. 

After the phone call, I made my way, doubled over in terror, to my dressing area, which was across from the bathroom.  Earlier that evening, I’d turned off the bathroom light and closed the door, but now the bathroom door was open and the light was on and I found myself looking into the eyes of the woman who was staring at me from the bathroom mirror.  She was clear, direct and fearless as she returned my gaze and said, “Well, the chute’s not opening.  What are you going to do?” 

Right then and there, I knew—I was going for it—fully conscious, present, eyes wide open.  And just like that—the terror was gone.  Over the next few weeks, as I dismantled my life, I experienced many feelings, among them—doubt, sadness, elation, excitement, wonder.  I felt fear, too—not the paralyzing terror I‘d experienced at the beginning—but the fear that comes with not knowing what’s next. 

I also felt the exhilarating “wildness” of it.  I had embraced and embarked upon an adventure that only promised me this—that as long as I listened to and followed God’s instructions, I would walk through whatever fires presented themselves to me, defeat whatever monsters that tried to devour me and remove whatever obstacles that blocked my path.

And of course, befitting any epic adventure, there were fires, monsters and obstacles that had to be contended with.  There were also signs, miracles and sightings that I’d never have seen and been a part of if I’d panicked because the chute wasn’t opening.    

That’s the abridged version of how I got to the place I now call home.  God was right, too.  Sending me here was one of the best things that ever happened to me.  It didn’t take me long to realize that I was here to reconnect with kindred spirits.  (If God had left it up to me—there’s no way I‘d have left the idyllic paradise of Malibu AND there was definitely no way I’d have left Malibu to move to a place where there was snow!)

Living and operating by faith and trust is hard at times and requires a lot of courage, but it’s oh so exhilarating, magical and rewarding!  I live a life that’s propelled by the energies of The Fool, The Tower and The Star—three of the most dynamic Tarot cards in the deck.  And living that way does, indeed, require the above mentioned faith, trust and courage.

When did you last heed the call of your inner compass?  When did you last grab onto The Fool as he stepped off into the great unknown, taking you to a new world of discovery and wonder?  When did you last meet yourself in the midst of truly living your life as you were meant to?

We live in interesting times.  We always have and we always will.  This is the moment you’ve been waiting for; now is the time—how will you respond to the invitation, “The chute’s not opening.  What are you going to do?”

Mercury Goes Direct—At Last!

temperenceYesterday, Mercury retrograde released us from its commanding backwards grip and lurched forward, dragging us with it.  

Most Mercury retrograde periods operate like a somewhat recalcitrant mule, stubbornly pulling and pushing us in directions we don’t want to go. Slow and very annoying at times, but manageable with a little effort. This one felt more like a high strung, intelligent, vindictive stallion, plotting ways to distract us so that it could forcefully brush us up against trees, scrape our skin and dislodge us. It was an intense, emotional ride and there were countless number of times it felt like I had to hang on for dear life.

Mercury was in the sign Cancer during the entire 24 day Mercury retrograde period. Cancer’s domain rules foundations and what’s under the surface of all things emotional, familial and nurturing. When Mercury goes retrograde, it gives us, as one client put it—AFOG—Another F*****g Opportunity for Growth. When Mercury goes retrograde in Cancer, it gives us AFOG squared.

People and situations from the past, memories (some good, some bad), unfinished emotional business, past life flashbacks, gnarly epic dreams and more all showed up, demanding conscious attention. People and circumstances that I’d forgotten ever existed came up for review and what I hope is finally resolution. I did a lot of internal, emotional house cleaning (Cancer rules homes and the care of them).

Suppressed emotions that needed to be brought to the surface and consciously felt, dealt with and properly disposed of were key for me. I forgave and released a lot—other people, life, myself. This Mercury retrograde scraped the ‘skin’ off so much that was unconsciously and subconsciously buried. It was one of the most uncomfortable Mercury retrograde periods I’ve experienced in years. It was also one of the most rewarding, liberating Mercury retrogrades I’ve experienced.

And that’s just on the emotional level! Machinery and technology acted up, too. In the middle of an important writing task, with the deadline looming large, my keyboard decided to take a vacation! No matter what I did, it refused to function. I knew I had to do something and I knew that whatever I did would end in probable frustration of some kind. I quickly researched, tracked down, bought and drove miles to pick up a new (very expensive!) keyboard and mouse. Once home with my new purchase, before I could install it—yes, you guessed it—my keyboard decided it liked me after all and is now functioning!

You think I’d have learned by now, but, knowing better, last week I cleverly decided to purchase and download a book. A simple operation that should have taken a few minutes stretched into a seemingly endless number of phone calls over a span of days to the help center before the download was accomplished. I’m now way more familiar with the call center’s techs then I ever thought I’d be.

In the understatement of the year, I’m glad it’s over.

The Insightful Narcissist

temperenceNarcissist—that’s a word that’s been bandied about a lot lately.  Does anyone really know what a narcissist is—not just the definition, but what a narcissist truly is?

Most of our dictionaries define a narcissist as someone who thinks so highly of themselves that they are convinced that they are the center of the Universe; as someone who says, “Yes, it is all about me,” and means it.  Those same dictionaries state that this is an unhealthy state for anyone to be in.

A few years ago, a psychologist told me that there are nine stages of narcissism—from ‘0’—having absolutely no sense of self or self-worth to ‘9’—being so self-absorbed that no one else matters.  She went on to explain that the extreme stages 0 through 3 (“I’m not enough of anything”) and 7 through 9 (“I’m all there is”) are considered the unhealthiest on the scale while the middle stages—4, 5 and 6 are the healthiest or normal stages of narcissism.

That explanation made sense to me.  In life, there are extremes and where there are extremes there is always a middle ground—a place or point where the most neutral (and often, most natural) expression of an energy will be found.

The word narcissism comes from the ancient Greek tale of Narcissus, the boy who so loved his own reflection in a pond that that love led him to his destruction. In other words, Narcissus loved himself to such an extreme (and viewed the rest of the world as a mirror meant only to reflect his idea of beauty and perfection back to himself) that his lack of ‘self-reflection’ cost him dearly. (He was definitely a ‘9.’)

But, does self-admiration have to be disastrous?

We’re all narcissists, we all fit somewhere on that scale. (And if you don’t think that’s true, check out any social media sight. Only a narcissist would be convinced that everyone else wants to hear their opinion or see a photo of their breakfast.)  Most of us are more inclusive and insightful than the extreme stages, though. If we’re reasonably emotionally healthy, we fall somewhere on the scale at stages 4, 5 or 6. We want you to pay attention to us and we want to pay attention to you, as well.

Insightful is defined as: the act of ‘getting’ or apprehending the inner nature of a person, circumstance or situation.

An insightful narcissist is someone who looks within as well as outside themselves. They ‘get’ the value and meaning of a person, circumstance or situation from their own perspective and have the ability (and inclination) to share their perspective as they invite others to do the same. That’s the healthy way to look into that pond and admire yourself.

 

Mercury Retrograde Survival Guide

temperenceMercury, that wily planet of communication and patron god of merchants, writers and thieves will be shaking us up by committing its thrice yearly act of trickster’s mayhem– going retrograde on July 26th.  Mercury will be in the emotional sign of Cancer.  In addition to causing delays, misunderstandings and mix-ups galore, it will do so with lots of potential for emotional drama, so remember to check in with yourself and stay centered and grounded.

There are many who believe Mercury retrograde times bring into effect Murphy’s Law–“Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.” While that’s true in some cases, it also provides us with opportunities to go within and connect with our sources of inner truth.  It gives us the chance to become conscious of our true essence and learn how to position ourselves to our best advantage in all circumstances. Rather than Murphy’s Law, I find much more power in this admonition– “Be still and know.” 

By going within and being one with your inner silence, you can access a level of wisdom, brilliance and awareness that will enlighten and empower you.

True, some things will definitely go awry. How you deal with them makes all of the difference. A few Mercury retrogrades ago, a friend and her mother were traveling abroad.  After they checked their bags at the airport, my friend paid attention to her intuition, went back to the ticket counter and insisted that she be allowed to check the airport identification tags on their luggage against the baggage claim tags they’d been given. Sure enough, she discovered that their bags had been mis-tagged and were scheduled to be sent to a destination different from theirs! (Although this type of mix-up happens too often on its own, with Mercury retrograde, it becomes an epidemic.)

My friend averted several other communication and travel disasters on that trip because she never forgot it was a retrograde Mercury running the show. She double and triple checked everything and was able to make all of her connections with her baggage in tow.

Mercury retrograde is also a great time for research and investigation because both of those activities require a person to delve deeply into something as opposed to reaching out for results and what is hidden or not obvious tends to show itself more easily during a Mercury Retrograde period.

Yes, sometimes things will go wrong, but if you’re alert, you’ll come through this potentially stressful time just fine. A few other things to keep in mind– if you can, hold off on buying (or leasing) any big ticket items.  This is NOT the time to buy a house, a car or make a big investment. If you must, though, please make sure there’s an ‘out’ clause in your contract. And always, wait until Mercury goes direct before making any big decisions.