Rock Life: Clearing Bowl Technique

clearing bowl
A photo from our “Many Ways to Work with Stones” workshop, showing the clearing bowl technique for purifying stones.   Simply add materials to a bowl or covered dish with the intention for them to cleanse stones added later, like a dishwasher.   Periodically the bowl itself will need attention.

This example has Himalayan salt, selenite, smoky quartz, obsidian, black tourmaline, ametrine, labradorite, and Ocean Jasper.   Clear quartz, kyanite, amethyst, citrine, carnelian, and pyrite would also be suitable.   Herbs and resins associated with purification like frankincense, dragon’s blood. hyssop, sage, cedar, sweetgrass, and lavender can also be added.

© 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: Week 14: The Empress (3)

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

Empress Card
(An early 18th century Empress card, from the Jean Dodal version of the “Tarot de Marseille”.  Most 19th century esoteric decks were based on this older pattern.)

The Empress is typically the third card in the sequence of trumps.  It usually depicts a crowned woman sitting on a throne, with a shield in one hand and a scepter or imperial orb in the other.  Because the draped back of the throne resembles wings in some older decks, the Empress herself may be winged in later representations, like the late 19th century Wirth tarot.

Empress Card
(The winged Empress from the late 19th century tarot  by Oswald Wirth.  The deck only uses the 22 trumps.)

Many tarot trumps have obvious partners, like the Empress and Emperor.  In the “Tarot of Marseille” pattern they both hold scepters and shields decorated with a single or double headed eagle.  This is the heraldic device of the Holy Roman Empire, a confederation of states spanning from Northern Italy to Germany that lasted from the 9th to 19th centuries CE.  As the “king of birds”, the eagle is a traditional symbol of imperial power, used even earlier by the Roman and Byzantine Empires.

Emperess and Emperor Cards
(The Empress and Emperor in the Jean Dodal version of the “Tarot de Marseille”.  They carry the same attributes but in opposite hands, even the eagles face different directions.)

While the tarot has four Queens, it only has one Empress.  The card represents the highest position of temporal power available to women historically.  A woman holding symbols of imperial authority is also a standard allegory of the State, just as the Popess could be a representation of the Church.  During the 18th century the Papess, Pope, Emperor, and Empress were replaced in some regional decks because their imagery was considered sacrilegious or subversive.  For example, the Empress was replaced by Juno, the Roman equivalent to Hera, queen of the gods, in the “Tarot de Besanon” pattern, associated with the card manufacturing city in eastern France.

(Juno from an early 19th century “Tarot de Besanon“.  The Emperor was replaced by Jupiter, the Roman equivalent of Zeus.)

Authors during the late 19th century to early 20th century produced their own rectified tarot decks, believing they were correcting the title, imagery, and meaning of the cards.  They transformed the Empress into a more transpersonal figure.  The iconography of the enthroned woman developed in prehistory as a symbol of the Divine Feminine, usually accompanied by a pair of animals or a child.  This imagery has been repeated cross culturally from the Egyptian Isis, to the Anatolian Cybele, and the Christian Mary.

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

Both the Wirth and Waite versions incorporate imagery from the Book of Revelations:  “A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.”  This Woman of Apocalypse is commonly interpreted as Mary.

The next post is the four pip cards numbered 3 (coming soon).
The previous post was Judgment (20, 2+0 = 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.

Crystal Stone Grids–What’s the Flippin’ Point?

Crystal Grid

Crystal Stone Grids: What’s the Point?

Sure, they are pretty, but if you are not very familiar with the use of grids, you may be wondering, What’s the point?

Ok, I want you to consider for a moment that each type of stone is like a musical note. They are vibrational, after all, and I feel them with the same kind of hum that I feel with music, so it’s a good enough analogy.

When you work with stones, the basic point is to use the energy/vibration of the stone to help adjust your own energy in some way.  Maybe something in your system is out of whack, and a particular note/tone, or set of notes, will help your own personal song, or system, get back in tune or to be in greater harmony.

People attune to the energy of a stone in all sorts of different ways. It’s easy to attune to a single stone. You just have to carry it around, be near it, or meditate with it. Whatever. But if you have an issue that you have identified that is complex, or that you want to address with a more robust effort, you can use many stones.

For example, medicine pouches are basically collections of many stones and perhaps other energetic items, like dried herbs.  The contents of the pouch usually represent a vibrational correction for some issue that can be worn, carried in a pocket, meditated with, or used in whatever way that puts the pouch in contact with your person.  It would be like subtle tones playing in the background of your energy field when you held them.  The contents of the pouch wouldn’t necessarily be organized into a system.  Think of them as just basic tones going on in the background.

Crystal or stone grids take the use and combination of many stones to provide a coherent and organized song that supports a particular vibrational outcome. They are put into a system where the stones interrelate. Additionally, the grid dynamic creates a fairly strong energy field through the use of sacred geometry that radiates outward from the grid.  It would be like projecting the song through the entire space. You do not have to be carrying the stones because the environment is now playing that song at an amplified volume.

Theoretically, grids operate in the same kind of way that music can set a mood or even create larger changes in the system. Think Mozart and brain development.  Grids are like using a stereo with bodacious speakers to pipe the desired music into your whole space 24/7.  You benefit in both passive and active ways.

That is the point. Grids organize many stones into a coherent system and then significantly amplify those energies.

The grid combinations that Christopher and I create start off with our identifying a general issue or need with which people have the most trouble. Then, we basically go into problem solving mode. We identify the intentions and energies that help to correct an issue, as we are guided, and then identify what stones meet the defined energy fix for which we are looking.

We have spent whole afternoons putting some of the grids that we offer together. We try different combinations and placements and fine tune it until the grid basically sings it’s ass off. There is a moment that both he and I agree that it is Done. There is a just a feeling of completion and rightness about it. I don’t know. It’s kind of a magical process and it’s one of our favorite things to do. They often feel like they create themselves, to be honest.

If you would like to play and explore with crystal stone grids, we have instructions and grid templates that you can download for free.  Just click here.

We also have quite a few crystal grids organized and ready to go on our site.  Just click here.

Rock Life: Tiered Crystal Stone Grid

Tiered Crystal Stone Grid

Three tiered crystal stone grid from our intuitive development workshop with local psychic, medium, and energy worker Deborah Hendrickson from Sacred Tree Visions.

Bottom layer: amethyst, Lemurian diamond quartz, rose quartz, girasol quartz, celadonite phantom quartz, quartz with epidote, shungite, ocean jasper, dendritic opal, and black moonstone.

Table: golden healer quartz, Lemurian seed crystal quartz, lapis lazuli, labradorite, and spectralite.

Tiered Crystal Stone Grid 02
Middle layer: amethyst, covellite, fluorite, lithium quartz, singing quartz, Campo del Cielo meteorite, selenite, amazonite, and purple candle quartz.

Top layer: amethyst, polished lepidolite, scolecite, Lemurian seed crystal quartz, Moldavite tektite, charoite, azurite, celestite, and rough lepidolite.

© 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.

She Said: The Meaning of Real Citrine

Smoky Citrine
True unadultarated citrine.  It’s ~divine~.  It’s like petrified, golden sunlight.  Natural, As-Mother-Made-It, citrine is actually quite rare.  There is some coming out of Brazil, some from Africa, and some from Madagascar, but most of the “citrine” on the market is actually heat-treated amethyst.  See, they take amethyst that is too light to sell well as amethyst, and they “cook it” until it turns that brassy orange color.

And you know what,  I dunno, heat-treating rocks doesn’t offend me nearly as much as irradiation offends me.  I have some heat-treated citrine in the house that I’ve used for energy work before and it’s fine… but… it is definitely different than natural citrine.  They are, well… truthfully, two different crystals.
Real Citrine
Anyway, I want to discuss citrine, The Real Thing.  It is totally differerent than the other stuff.  The energies of true citrine are not as assertive as treated citrine, but they are higher, lighter, and more, I dunno… “divine” probably does describe it.  Natural citrine holds the energy of both the yellow and golden rays… and it tickles you both in the solar plexus as well as the crown.  There is a decidedly angelic quality about natural citrine.  If you paired natural citrine with a “spiritual helper” stone, like angelite or celestite, my guess is that you would be able to plug into some fairly high levels of vibrational assistance, or you could spend the time to attune to your own Higher Self that maintains connection to  those lighter vibrational spaces within.
Then, there are the miraculous and amazing citrines… or are they smokies…. err, well, they are both.  We call them Smoky Citrine or Golden Smoky, same rock.  This happens when natural citrine and natural smoky have a baby and live happily ever after.  Those specimens sometimes are citrine with smoky phantoms.  Yum.  The combination of citrine and smoky is well… hmm…. smoking.  The citrine maintains that golden ray, high vibe thing and the smoky pulls all that wonderful high stuff deep down through your toes and into the Earth.  Smoky is inherently protective and stabilizing and provides excellent boundary integrity, so it’s like the citrine energy is coming with it’s own “bouncer” that makes sure that all the wonderful spiritual shifts and sloughing off of heavier energy is, well… good and permanent.
citrine with smoky phantoms
Citrine with smoky phantoms (distinctive shape of an inner ghost crystal in smoky) can also be used for bringing light and healing to past-lives, as well as giving you terrific support for any “inner shadow” healing and integration work.  All a bonus.
I would highly recommend having at least one little natural citrine in your collection.  They are expensive, as they are so rare, but a little goes a long way.
My favorite uses:

Pocket Rock/Nearness: When you are feeling down and need a big infusion of beautiful, bright, high vibrational energy to counteract the funk, keep your citrine with you.  Get as much “nearness” with it as you can.  Breathe with it, stick it in your bra for the day, go outside in the sun with it, just stick it in your pocket.
Crystalline Grids:  Use the citrine as a center stone unless you can afford 6 at a time, which most of us can’t.  A nice, juicy little point or a nice, juicy tumbled stone the size of a walnut would be able to hold the center of a grid just fine.  Citrine for high light spiritual connection: add some angelite or celestite.  Citrine for abundance and prosperity: add stones like peridot, aventurine, ruby, pyrite, emerald, jade, that kind of thing.  Citrine for mood support: add lepidolite, selenite, Himalayan salt, labradorite, topaz, red jasper, that kind of thing.
Gem Elixir:  Drink it in, Baby.  Citrine is fine for direct contact methods of gem elixir making.  Plop your sweet baby gently in a large glass of clean water, put a little platic wrap over the top so you don’t collect bugs, and leave it in the sunshine for an hour or so.  Then, and this is an IMPORTANT step, hold the glass in both hands while saying, “Expand, Bless, Optimize, Stabilize, Amplify, and Seal”.  Wait until the sealing process comes to a conclusion (you may feel the energy kick in, build, then come back down). Then drink and enjoy.
Coin Purse:  Citrine is famous for being an abudance stone, and who doesn’t need a little infusion of that, eh?  Get a wee one and put it in your coin purse.. or leave one in the prosperity section of your home via Feng Shui.
To see the sampling of natural citrine and smoky citrines at, just click here.
Copyright 2015 Stacie Coller
Updated 2/17/2015