Category Archives: Workshops

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.

Stones for Psychic Development, Intuition, and Divination

stones for psychic development

(Intuitive development workshop crystal grid: lapis lazuli, Moldavite, azurite, iolite, scolecite, Spectralite, precious opal, moonstone, Ocean Jasper, apatite, and amethyst.)

What is an energy “signature”?

Most of the metaphysical properties of stones are derived from their “energy signatures”, insights said to be encoded in their physical qualities, geology, or symbolism. Although the concept is found cross culturally, the term signature originated in 16th century Europe, from the Latin, signatum, meaning “signed”. The belief was God or nature had hidden the uses of a material upon it symbolically.

The main energy signatures for stones that support psychic development, intuition, and divination are:

A: Corresponding Chakra Colors: The rainbow color scheme for the chakras is the foundation of modern stone books. Although the placement of the chakras is traditional, these colors only originated during the late 1960’s. Stones are typically given the qualities of the chakras that correspond to them in color. Therefore minerals in the colors of the Heart to Crown chakras, associated with the spiritual rather than the physical, are used for psychic development:

Crown: Purple, white, colorless
Third Eye: Dark blue, purple
Throat: Light blue
Heart: Green, Pink

Of all the chakras, the Third Eye is the one most linked to psychic development. Dark blue stones are consistently recommended for it. The association between the color and intuition is older than the modern color model though. The early 20th century American psychic Edgar Cayce was an early advocate of crystal healing. He recommended lapis lazuli and lapis linguis (Latin, “speaking stone”), believed to be azurite, for meditation, healing, and psychic development.

B: The Chakras and the Five “Clair” Senses: In the original Hindu model, the five lowest chakras are associated with both the five elements and five senses, in both a physical and psychic sense. For example, the third or navel chakra is associated with fire, vision, and clairvoyance.

Traditionally people looking to spiritually connect with fire or develop their spiritual sight work on the corresponding third chakra. Today that may include using yellow stones as a support.

The historical correspondences between the elements, senses, and chakras and their modern colors:

Throat Chakra: Ether: Hearing/Clairaudience: Light blue
Heart Chakra: Air: Touch/Clairsentience: Green or pink
Third Chakra: Fire: Sight/Clairvoyance: Yellow
Second Chakra: Water: Taste/Clairgustance: Orange
Root Chakra: Earth: Smell/Clairalience: Red

C: Stones that Contain Water: Water is the element most closely associated with the emotions, intuition, and accessing the spiritual realm. Therefore stones that contain water, in their chemical formula or due to inclusion, are commonly used for psychic development. For example, quartz may capture water or other liquids like oil while it forms, known as “enhydro quartz”. Many minerals are produced by moving water and retain a percentage of it in their crystal structure. For example, opal, turquoise, and malachite.

D: Materials that Come from the Water: Some minerals and other precious materials that literally come from the water are likewise associated with intuition. For example, pearl, shell, and coral. Also stones that have been naturally polished by an ocean, river, or are found near water. For example, Ocean Jasper. Much of its metaphysical properties are derived from its locality, literally on the coast. The deposit was originally only accessible at low tide.

E: Lunar Materials: The Moon traditionally rules the liquid cycles of Earth, from menstruation in women to the oceanic tides. Both the moon and ocean commonly symbolize the “feminine”. They are given traits culturally associated with it like feelings, empathy, and the unconscious. Stones symbolically connected to the moon or ocean have taken on these associations. For example, moonstone, a trade name given to different varieties of feldspar that display a sheen across their surface. Selenite, which translates as “stone of Selene”, a Roman moon goddess, a trade name given to the mineral gypsum.

F: Clarity, Light, and Reflection: We are surrounded by transparent materials today but they were rare historically, associated with insight. Light is a traditional metaphor for energy work so materials that transmit it are also associated with altered states. For example, not only does clear quartz transmit light like a prism, it sparks when struck and glows when rubbed.

G: Cloudy: Paradoxically stones that are translucent rather than transparent may be used. They are thought to represent the veil between realms, like the divide between the living and the dead. For example, chalcedony, the white to blue milky mother stone of many other semi precious stones, is traditionally associated with vision, seeing ghosts, and discerning illusion vs. reality.

H: Reflection and Optical Effects: Minerals that reflect or alter light, producing different optical effects, are also popular. For example, the different colors of labradorite are caused by light scattering off and between the layers of the mineral.

I: Eyes and Orbs: Materials with eye shaped patterning or eye shaped optical effects are associated with perception. Tiger’s eye and cat’s eye have an eye shaped flash created by the physical structure of the mineral, reflecting back light as a shimmer.

(Intuitive development workshop gem elixir: black tourmaline cat’s eye, landscape quartz, clear quartz, amethyst, and blue rose quartz sphere.)

© 2014, Images and Text, Christopher Lee Matthews

Fooling with the Deck: Week One: The Fool (0)

(A 15th century Fool card, from the Jean Dodal version of the Tarot de Marseille, after which most 19th century decks were based.)

Much of the Fool’s symbolism originates in its name and imagery, directly related to its original function in the game of tarot. The tarot began as a deck for a trick taking card game similar to bridge. In bridge one of the four suits (spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs) is named the trump suit and has a higher value during the game.

The tarot has four suits (wands, cups, swords, and coins) plus an additional suit of 21 permanent trumps and one wild card, the Fool. Because it excuses a player from following suit, allowing them to protect a more valuable card, it is also known as the Excuse. However the Fool cannot win the trick and using it allows the next player to change suit.

The Fool’s association with spontaneity, changing direction, and calculated risk are all derived from its original wild card status.  Likewise disruption, reversal, and chance.  These are also qualities of the trickster archetype, who uses delay, repetition, or inversion to bring awareness to an unaddressed crisis, often through absurdity, humor, or breaking the rules.

However those outside the hierarchy of society are not always welcome.  The 15th century Fool card at the top of the page depicts someone in poverty, wandering on the edges of society, being harassed by a guard dog.   The disheveled Fool from the 15th century “Charles IV” tarot above is being driven out of town by stone throwing children.  He wears donkey ears to represent his foolishness.  The card represented lunacy, madness, and folly to 18th century cartomancers.

By the 19th century, both its meaning and representation had shifted dramatically.   The Fool came to represent the hero of the tarot and the dog his faithful companion, warning him about his obliviousness to the danger ahead.  The card came to symbolize a leap of faith, wisdom rather than worldly knowledge, and the beginning of our spiritual journey, represented by the remaining 21 tarot trumps.

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

None of the trumps in the earliest tarot decks were numbered.  Later card makers gave them numbers to show their relative rank as trumps.  As the wild card though, the Fool remained unnumbered and was later attributed to 0.  In the original game of tarot, the Fool was “worthless”, unable to win a trick, but incredibly potent because it changed the flow of the game.  Because of its association with 0, and therefore the start of the trumps, it came to mean new beginnings, potency, and nothingness as a metaphor for the spiritual realm behind the material world.

Copyright 2015, Christopher Lee Matthews

Fooling with the Deck: The Sequence of the Cards for Study


(The Fool in the Minchiate deck. A cousin to the Tarot with additional trump cards.)

The following article gives instructions on the sequence of cards covered for this free, self-study tarot series, “Fooling with the Deck”, by Christopher Lee Matthews of Enter the Earth.

Where does the symbolism of the Tarot cards come from?

Most of the meanings attributed to the tarot today are derived from:

1:  The symbolism of individual cards.

2:  Numerology.

3:  Historical correspondences, especially those used by 19th century authors. During this period, specific cards were connected to different elements, numbers, and planets.

One way to study the tarot is to organize the cards by these traditional associations, especially number.  Rather than advocating for a particular model, this reveals the inherited structure that lies just beneath our modern understanding.

Why group together the numerically related trump cards?

Cards have taken on the symbolism of the particular numbers attributed to them. For example, the High Priestess is typically represented today as a robed woman, seated before a veiled temple door, with the crescent moon at her feet.  This name and imagery associates it with feminine wisdom, spiritual mysteries, and things just beneath the surface like intuition, instincts, and the subconscious.

Some of these traits are also reflected in the number two, attributed to the High Priestess.  It symbolizes cycles of change, decision making, and balancing duality.  Similar themes are seen in the number 2 pip cards of each suit and other trumps related to 2 numerologically.

Numerology focuses primarily on numbers between 1-9 or 1-10. Anything higher may be broken down into something smaller.  For example, many believe the High Priestess has a relationship with Justice, connected to 11, and Judgement, connected to 20, because these numbers can be further reduced to 2 numerologically:

11 = 1 + 1 = 2
20 = 2 + 0 = 2

Because number symbolism is so key to understanding both contemporary and historic models of the tarot, I have grouped the cards together by their numbers.  For example:



NUMERICALLY RELATED TRUMP: TWO: Justice (11 = 1 + 1 = 2)
NUMERICALLY RELATED TRUMP: TWO: Judgement (20 = 2 + 0 = 2)

Why group together the numerically related pip cards?

19th century authors linked each suit with one of the four classical elements. The most popular model was:

Wands = Fire
Cups = Water
Swords = Air
Coins = Earth

They also linked the numbers 3-9 with one of the seven classical planets:

3 = Saturn
4 = Jupiter
5 = Mars
6 = Sun
7 = Venus
8 = Mercury
9 = Moon

The pip cards were understood as a union of these two sets of symbols.  Cards were given meanings based on their status as a harmonious or dissonant combination of the element and planet.  For example, the 6 of Cups = Sun (6) + Water (Cups). It signifies things like childhood, memories, and generosity. It was considered a harmonious blend of the Sun (consciousness, vitality, and the “masculine”) + water (emotions, the unconscious, and intuition).

All the 6’s are stereotypically positive cards because of their association with the Sun.

On the other hand, the 5 of Cups = Mars (5) + Water (Cups) signifies things like emotional loss, agitated feelings, and focusing on lack rather than available resources. It was considered a dissonant blend of Mars (movement, aggression, and the “masculine”) + water (emotions, the unconscious, and intuition).

All the 5’s are considered more challenging cards because of their association with Mars.

Although the foundation of these 19th century theories is rejected my mainstream scholarship, the tarot having an Egyptian origin, being preserved by Jewish Kabbalah, and hidden in plain sight as a card game, it continues to shape our divinatory understanding of the cards today.

How are the cards being organized?

Week 1: ZERO: Fool

Week 2: ONE: Magician
Week 3: ONE: Ace of Wands
Week 4: ONE: Ace of Cups
Week 5: ONE: Ace of Swords
Week 6: ONE: Ace of Coins

Week 7: TWO: High Priestess
Week 8: TWO: Two of Wands
Week 9: TWO: Two of Cups
Week 10: TWO: Two of Swords
Week 11: TWO: Two of Coins
Week 12: TWO: Justice (11 = 1 + 1 = 2)
Week 13: TWO: Judgement (20 = 2 + 0 = 2)

Week 14: THREE: Empress
Week 15: THREE: Three of Wands
Week 16: THREE: Three of Cups
Week 17: THREE: Three of Swords
Week 18: THREE: Three of Coins
Week 19: THREE: Hanged Man (12 = 1+2 = 3)
Week 20: THREE: World (21 = 2 + 1= 3)

Week 21: FOUR: Emperor
Week 22: FOUR: Four of Wands
Week 23: FOUR: Four of Cups
Week 24: FOUR: Four of Swords
Week 25: FOUR: Four of Coins
Week 26: FOUR: Death (13= 1 + 3 = 4)

Week 27: FIVE: Hierophant
Week 28: FIVE: Five of Wands
Week 29: FIVE: Five of Cups
Week 30: FIVE: Five of Swords
Week 31: FIVE: Five of Coins
Week 32: FIVE: Temperance (14 = 1 + 4 = 5)

Week 33: SIX: Lovers
Week 34: SIX: Six of Wands
Week 35: SIX: Six of Cups
Week 36: SIX: Six of Swords
Week 37: SIX: Six of Coins
Week 38: SIX: Devil (15 = 1 + 5 = 6)

Week 39: SEVEN: Chariot
Week 40: SEVEN: Seven of Wands
Week 41: SEVEN: Seven of Cups
Week 42: SEVEN: Seven of Swords
Week 43: SEVEN: Seven of Coins
Week 44: SEVEN: Tower (16 = 1 + 6 = 7)

Week 45: EIGHT: Strength
Week 46: EIGHT: Eight of Wands
Week 47: EIGHT: Eight of Cups
Week 48: EIGHT: Eight of Swords
Week 49: EIGHT: Eight of Coins
Week 50: EIGHT: Star (17 = 1 + 7 = 8)

Week 51: NINE: Hermit
Week 52: NINE: Nine of Wands
Week 53: NINE: Nine of Cups
Week 54: NINE: Nine of Swords
Week 55: NINE: Nine of Coins
Week 56: NINE: Moon (18 = 1 + 8 = 9)

Week 57: TEN: Wheel of Fortune
Week 58: TEN: Ten of Wands
Week 59: TEN: Ten of Cups
Week 60: TEN: Ten of Swords
Week 61: TEN: Ten of Coins
Week 62: TEN: Sun (19 = 1 + 9 = 10)

Week 63: WANDS: Page of Wands
Week 64: WANDS: Knight of Wands
Week 65: WANDS: Queen of Wands
Week 66: WANDS: King of Wands

Week 67: CUPS: Page of Cups
Week 68: CUPS: Knight of Cups
Week 69: CUPS: Queen of Cups
Week 70: CUPS: King of Cups

Week 71: SWORDS: Page of Swords
Week 72: SWORDS: Knight of Swords
Week 73: SWORDS: Queen of Swords
Week 74: SWORDS: King of Swords

Week 75: COINS: Page of Coins
Week 76: COINS: Knight of Coins
Week 77: COINS: Queen of Coins
Week 78: COINS: King of Coins

Copyright 2015, Christopher Lee Matthews

Fooling with the Deck: A DIY Journey Through the Tarot


(The Fool card on a split ammonite fossil.  Both are symbols of the spiritual journey.)

Join us each week as we attune to a different Tarot card, exploring both its traditional meanings and insights from your own guidance.  The cards will be grouped by their number, helping us understand the 19th century models of Tarot interpretation that lay just beneath our modern versions.

The cycle will begin Sunday, July 13th.  But you can join anytime, following the program at your own pace.  Information about the cards will be posted here on our blog.  You can discuss your experiences with others in our Facebook group, the Metaphysical Corner, the comments section in our Meetup group, WNC Crystal Toting Tree Huggers, or the comments section here on our blog.

Information about the traditional and contemporary meanings will be posted monthly in batches of numerically related cards.  The schedule of cards is posted here on our blog.  We will spend a week with each card, looking for insight in both our inner and outer lives.

There are many tools available to do this:

1:  Attunement:  Ask the Divine, or your spiritual helpers, to attune you to the energies of the individual tarot card during meditation, prayer, or ceremony by holding it to your third eye or heart chakra and asking.  An appropriate intention statement might be:

“I ask to attune to the wisdom of the Fool card in a way that supports my Highest Good, now please.”

2:  Intention Sets:  Write out a series of intentions for the process and offer it up to the Divine, to correct for imperfections.

3:  Research Its Symbolism:  Read more about the history of an individual card or its modern variations.

Ask for a deeper understanding by scaning the card with your eyes or energetically with your hands until a single element pops out.  For example, the dog, sun, or pack of the Fool card.  Researching this symbol may give you further insight about the card itself.

4:  Meditation, Visualization, and Shamanic Journeying:  Many meditation techniques can be adapted to use the tarot.

Use the image of the card as your meditative focus, bringing your awareness back to it.  You can use this to attune energetically to the card or bring awareness to the thoughts, emotions, and feelings in the physical and subtle bodies it activates.

Use the card as the inspiration for a visualization or shamanic journey.  Enter the card, explore the landscape, and interact with the elements inside.  Alternatively you can imagine yourself as the main figure or figures.

5:  Dream Messages:  Connect to the card before bed and ask for understanding to come in your dreams.

6:  Have Awareness of Synchronisitc Events:  Most spiritual processes are thought to create synchronistic events in the inner and outer life.

Inner Life:  Meaningful, repeated, or seemingly related thoughts, feelings, and memories.

Outer Life:  Meaningful, repeated, or seemingly related situations, symbols, or objects.

Awareness of these can give insight both about the tarot card and yourself.  For example, the Fool has historical associations with feathers, as a symbol of folly, and air but it does not have much association with birds today.  However when I am working with it I am surrounded by birds, see my friends who own them, and randomly encounter them in books, television, and the objects around me, including finding actual feathers.  This has greatly influenced my personal understanding of the Fool card.

I highly suggest journaling during this process to record your research, personal insights, and other experiences.  Using a dedicated deck is also recommended because the work is believed to deeply charge your cards.

Copyright 2015, Christopher Lee Matthews