She Said: The Metaphysical Properties of Carnelian

I’m not sure why, but I like to say the word carnelian like I’m Doctor Evil from Austin Powers.

~Car-neeee-leeee-annnn~ *Stacie puts her pinky finger against the corner of her mouth*

It’s just a fun word to say.

I also have to confess to having one of the world’s strangest collections.

I collect carnelian specimens that whistle.

I have three spheres at home from grapefruit size to plum size that have hollow  geode pockets inside with a small hole on the outside surface.  When I blow into those holes ~*tada*~… I get a screaming carnelian sphere.  I’m not sure why this makes me so happy, but it does.

So, carnelian.  It’s one of the most popular stones out there and for good reason.  It’s got a biblical shout out, by some translations, to being one of the 12 stones in the breastplate of the high priest.  It is also one of the more readily attainable stones in the market and isn’t terribly expensive as far as stones go.  It is also the semi-precious alternate birthstone for the month of July.  The precious birthstone for July is ruby.  They actually play together quite nicely, too.

At the end of the day, regardless of how history or economics sort out this stone, it’s got a lot of ~juice~.  Meaning, it’s got the “zoom zoom” in all the right places.

I see this stone as being intimately connected to the physical and material worlds.  It is, quite literally, carnal, or of the flesh.  To me, it feels like a stone of passion, desire, and sexual energy.  It also has the qualities of strength, endurance, and vitality.  I consider it as being aligned closely with the element of fire.  It feels hot to me energetically.

Carnelian Flame

I grab carnelian when I am feeling drained and exhausted and when I am at a deficit of vital, physical, life-force energies.  My general nature is to be creative, but when I’m tired, I can’t muster up the inspiration to engage any projects.  When I’m tired or worn out, everything about living life is more difficult.

Creative energy, inspiration, and passion are all woven together, at least in my world, and carnelian helps me to plug back into my inner fire, the ~zest~, that allows  me to give a crap about engaging in life and all that it has to offer in my physical reality.

OK, now I’m seeing the 7 Dwarves from Snow White marching off to work while whistling.  Carnelian is actually summed up nicely in that image…. the joyful engagement of physical reality.

My favorite techniques for carnelian:

Pocket Rocks: I place carnelian, sometimes with another stone, in my pockets during times when I feel low on physical energy.

Carnelian & Hematoid Rose Quartz Pocket Rock Set

Crystal Grid: I also tend to put them in any grid that relates to passion, creativity, sexuality, or the support of vitality.


Chakra Layout: The color of carnelian align it with the belly chakra and those related issues.  I almost always include carnelian in any chakra “laying-on-of-stones” session because of it’s good punch of the luscious reddish-orange colors.

Gem Elixir: I would use carnelian as a gem elixir to help get me get some gasoline on whatever fire I was trying to start.

Well… I also like for them to whistle, too.  But that might just be me. 😀

Copyright 2015 Stacie Coller

Updated 2/17/2015

Land of the Sky: North Carolina Quartz

North Carolina Quartz
North Carolina Quartz has its place.  Although we specialize in Madagascan stones, North Carolina itself has amazing minerals.  Here are two natural smoky quartz points with an iridescent yellow sheen, caused by iron oxide inclusions just beneath the surface.

North Carolina Quartz Rist Mine
A tiny North Carolina quartz cluster with mica, colored golden yellow by iron oxide inclusions.

North Carolina Quartz Reverse Scepter
A smoky quartz point with layered secondary growth, often called “record keepers” in the metaphysical community, especially when they form as triangles, with a reverse scepter near the tip.

All of the examples above are  from the North American Emerald Mine (NAEM), formerly known as the Rist Mine, in Hiddenite, North Carolina.

Enter the Earth in downtown Asheville, NC has a local mineral section showcasing quartz from this unusual locality.   More is also available at our sister site:

© 2014, Images and Text, Christopher Lee Matthews

Be sure to visit our TWO online stores: The Metaphysical Department of Enter the Earth and Enter the Earth.

Rock Life: Double Decker Crystal Grid

double decker grid
A double decker grid to support meditation during our workshop on crystal grid techniques.  The upper level has: included natural citrine, spectralite, tektite, Peruvian common opal, lithium quartz, and lepidolite.  The lower level includes: Kabamby Ocean Jasper, Kabamba jasper, hematoid rose quartz, amethyst, garnet, and covellite with pyrite.

© 2014, Images and Text, Christopher Lee Matthews

Be sure to visit our TWO online stores: The Metaphysical Department of Enter the Earth and Enter the Earth.

Fooling with the Deck: Our Tarot Ancestors: Early 18th Century Pierre Madenie Deck

This blog is part of a series on the historical and metaphysical tarot, Fooling with the Deck: A DIY Journey through the Tarot.

Historical Tarot Packaging
I just picked up this beautiful reprint of the Pierre Madenie deck by Tarot de Marseille Heritage.  (I have no affiliation with the company.)  It was originally produced in Dijon, France in 1709.

The reproduction illustrates a few points about historical and contemporary decks we’ve been discussing lately:

1: Outer Wrapper:  Traditionally playing cards were sold bundled in decorative paper wrappers.  This proved the deck was new, advertised the publisher, and could be stamped to show that taxes had been paid.  Today’s folded paper box and sticker seals are their direct descendants.

2: Maker’s Mark:  At least one card usually bears the maker’s mark and printing date.  A ribbon on the 2 of coins is often used in the “Tarot de Marseille” pattern, other decks use the ace of coins instead.  The ace of spades plays this role in both American and English standard playing cards.

3: Blank Cards:  After being printed on large sheets, playing cards are cut into their individual sections.  Because the tarot has 78 cards, rather than a more even 80, the process typically produces 2 spare cards.  Contemporary manufacturers turn these extras into title cards, advertisements, or leave them blank.  Some people use the blanks in readings to signifying mystery, the unexpected, or the divine without attributes.

The two spare cards in the Pierre Madenie reprint are title cards , one in French, one in English.

4:  Order of the Four Suits:  The tarot is usually organized with the trumps on top and the four suits beneath them in sequence, Ace to King.  When I opened the Pierre Madenie deck, the order was trumps then batons, coins, cups, and swords.  Other sets vary.  However most contemporary decks theoretically, and sometimes literally, consistently group the cards as trumps, then staves, cups, swords, and coins.

In card games like bridge, the four suits may be relatively ranked.  During bidding spades are the highest, then hearts, diamonds, and finally clubs.  In traditional tarot games, the trumps rank higher than pip and court cards and are higher or lower than another trump depending on their number.  The four suits themselves are all equal.

So while the sequence of the trumps is derived from the original game, this arrangement of the suits is another late 19th century development.

© 2014, Images and Text, Christopher Lee Matthews

Be sure to visit our TWO online stores: The Metaphysical Department of Enter the Earth and Enter the Earth.

Fooling with the Deck: Tarot Week 13: Judgment (20, 2+0 = 2)

This blog is part of a series on the historical and metaphysical tarot, Fooling with the Deck: A DIY Journey through the Tarot.

tarot judgment card
(An early 18th century Judgment card, from the Jean Dodal version of the Tarot de Marseille, after which most 19th century esoteric decks were based.)

Judgment, also spelled Judgement, is typically the twentieth card in the sequence of the trumps. It was also known historically as the Angel. Although named after the Last Judgment, it more technically depicts the Resurrection of the Dead. Christians believe the souls of the dead will be restored to their bodies, or given new ones, to face God’s judgment.

In the 18th century Tarot of Marseille Judgment above, three people rise from the same rectangular grave, answering a call from an angel. The angel’s trumpet bears a flag with a cross. The three figures are a woman, man, and possibly a monk with tonsured hair, seen from behind, signifying that everyone will be judged.

(A 15th century Judgment card from the Visconti tarot.)

Usually an angel or pair of angels are depicted. However the 15th century Visconti tarot also includes God in the scene. Later decks are missing certain religious or political figures because putting them on playing cards became seen as sacrilegious or offensive to authority.

For example, in 18th century Bologna, local church officials asked printers to remove the Pope, Popess, Emperor, and Empress from the deck.  They were replaced by four cards depicting “Moors”, a historical name for the Muslim population of Northwest Africa and the Iberian Pennisula (Spain and Portugal). This racially stereotypical motif is also found in other decks and may reference the Arab introduction of playing cards into Europe.  The church also requested that the Last Judgement be removed, because of its angel, but it remained the same.

The 15th century game of minchiate is a sister to the tarot, played with 97 cards instead, with 40 trumps and a Fool. Many of the potentially offensive trumps inherited from the tarot were replaced or redesigned. The deck has a similar looking card with an angel, playing a trumpet, but over a cityscape instead. Rather than Judgement, it is an allegory of Fame.

(The Judgement card from the early 20th century Rider-Waite deck, after which most of our contemporary decks are designed.)

The Judgement card from the Rider-Waite deck is modeled on the Tarot of Marseille. It depicts two groups of the dead, a woman, man, and child, rising from their graves, in a mountainous landscape.

Their pose is influenced by the formerly secret deck of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a Victorian magical society that revived interest in the spiritual tarot. A. E. Waite had been a member, even heading a later group that formed from it. The Golden Dawn believed there was a connection between the Hebrew alphabet and the trumps of the tarot. The Judgement card was the letter shin, which looks like a flaming “w”, and is associated with fire. The figures in the trump were grouped to resemble the letter.

Numerology focuses primarily on numbers between 1 to 10. Anything higher is reduced down by adding its digits together, until a smaller number is reached. For example, 20 may be seen as an extension of 2 because = 2+ 0 = 2. Like the High Priestess (2) and Justice (11), some of Judgement’s (20) meaning derives from its relationship to 2. The two’s in the tarot all have themes of balance, polarity, or change, symbolic qualities of 2.

The next post is the Empress (3).
The previous post was Justice (11, 1+1=2).

© 2014, Christopher Lee Matthews
Images: Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Be sure to visit our TWO online stores: The Metaphysical Department of Enter the Earth and Enter the Earth.