Friday, February 21, 2014

The Tower, RWS and Thoth Tarot Card Meaning

The Tower Tarot card - RWSThe Tower Tarot card - Thoth
Meanings Upright, Ill-dignified, and Reversed, rx
Rider Waite Smith and Thoth

The Tower - Major Arcanum XVI
Astrological Association: Mars
Elemental Association: Fire
Occult Name: The Lord of the Hosts of the Mighty
Hebrew Letter: Peh (mouth)
Timing: March 21st to April 20th (same as the Emperor); and Tuesday by association with Mars. Kabbalistic Path: Between Netzach and Hod (27)
Direction: North (by Peh); alternatively, South (by Fire)

Hebrew letter Peh

Peh


The Tower Card Meaning, RWS and Thoth


The Tower says that there are times we may adopt beliefs or ways of looking at things in life that aren't going to take us far, that will stifle us in our quest to enlightenment of being. Sooner or later something will happen to instigate necessary change. As stated in previous majors, when we resist change when due, the universe will find a way to bring it to our door. In the case of the Tower it might be dramatic in delivery, but we can see how at times that's necessary.

Deconstruction and demolition to clear space to build a brand new set of beliefs and values, now that's one of the larger messages of this card. Too, we know that the Fool's Tale provides us with an ongoing lesson; and another message offered us by the Tower is that we must heed past messages, especially those learnt from Death, Temperance, and the Devil.

With Death we were shown that if we resist necessary change and growth, it comes seeking us. Through the message of Temperance we were shown that if things aren't working out well, one way to create positive change is through the process of alchemy. And, via the Devil card, we are told that if we don't follow the steps suggested by the previous two cards, we become bound by the anger, frustration, and depression we create. We basically pull a blanket of stagnation over our progress in life. Not a good energy, is it? Then along comes the Tower... you can no longer fight change. It tells you that you have failed to adjust your thoughts and do as necessary to enable personal and spiritual growth. Maybe, just maybe if you act immediately, you can create change to soften the impact.

Do whatever it takes to create positivity within what has become an uncomfortable, inconvenient, or volatile situation. If you do not, something's gonna blow.



The Tower Card Dignified or Upright


  • Disruption, unanticipated change, or abrupt change.
  • Losing one's temper, or an extremely emotional display.
  • Releasing pent up anxiety.
  • A serious argument.
  • An extremely unsettling or traumatic situation or event.
  • A bold, surprising proposition.
  • Sometimes refers to an electrical appliance.
  • Deviation from standard procedure.
  • Sudden change provides difficulty, such as having a rug pulled out from under your feet.
  • You have built up an armor-like defense, that no longer serves you.
  • A sudden rash of bad luck.
  • You had been looking for the truth; it has arrived and is shocking in its impact.
  • The rose colored glasses have been forcibly removed.
  • An explosive situation, or there may be an actual explosion.
  • Any type of a fall including a fall from grace, a fall from a position of authority, a loss of face, an actual fall, etc.
  • Brought to experience humility.
  • Is symbolic of the ego taking a shot, destruction of the ego, or a shattered or traumatized ego.
  • A sudden view of the truth.
  • Suddenly realizing what had previously evaded your awareness.
  • Universal energies or higher power will intervene.
  • A natural disaster.
  • A raging fire.
  • May foretell of an accident.
  • Destruction of the old to make way for the new.
  • "Karmic repercussions" will come due to current actions.
  • Experiencing a nervous breakdown.
  • A "passionate interaction."
  • A financial upheaval.
  • The sudden loss of something you held dear.


The Tower Card Ill Dignified or Reversed


  • Being stripped of power and dignity.
  • Someone has been putting off taking action, and it is time to get on with it.
  • Resisted change once underway, will pave the way for new and better.
  • Resistance to a new concept, that will in actuality, serve you well.
  • An unforeseen interruption poses an obstacle to your strategy.
  • An epically catastrophic event.
  • Fighting to keep the truth hidden.
  • An extreme case of depression.
  • The guilty party prepared an efficient cover-up tale in time for an accusation not to stick.
  • Someone had previously been able to avoid dealing with the truth, but now it's right under their nose and cannot be denied.
  • Experiencing imprisonment or a restrictive situation resembling such.
  • If you expose certain people's activity, there will be a backlash, you may get drawn into it.
  • Someone is going to slip and reveal their true character. 
  • Oppressive dictatorship within a relationship or other circumstance.
  • Your behavior, way of thinking, and/or choice of actions are the basis to your problem. Do what you can to change things ASAP.
  • Someone totally forgot about a matter that is important to you; all of a sudden it comes back to mind and appropriate action will be taken.
  • Serious loss due to a natural disaster.
  • Your ego took a beating, but you'll get over it.
  • Absolute pandemonium.
  • Acting out in a dramatic fashion causes constant anxiety and chaos.
  • No one around you has a clue of the trauma you are living with or have lived through.
  • One whose mind or viewpoint cannot be changed.
  • Making a big deal out of a small and insignificant happenstance.
  • The way you see things and/or your way of thinking are due to change, and may whether you like it or not.
  • The belief system or group mentality you adhere to is about to be exposed; it is not as you perceive it.
  • You had maintained control in a situation for a time, you will have to let go at some point.
  • The catastrophe you had expected will not come about, or will be milder than expected.


Illustrations from the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck®, known also as the Rider Tarot and the Waite Tarot, reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902 USA. Copyright ©1971 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. Further reproduction prohibited. The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck® is a registered trademark of U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

RWS image is a Wikimedia file from a 1909 deck originally scanned by Holly Voley http://home.comcast.net/~vilex/

Thoth image copyright (c) US Games Systems Inc.; AGMuller; O.T.O.


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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Meditation – A Step-by-Step Guide for the Beginner

meditate
A step by step guide: How to meditate




How Meditation Can Help You


This is our ‘how to meditate guide for beginners'; it was created because meditation is ever increasing in popularity nowadays. The phenomenon is likely because people are becoming aware that it will help them to attain and maintain optimal physical, mental, and spiritual health. Practicing 10 minutes of meditation each day will help keep your stress level down, and lead you to feel more balanced, grounded, and peaceful.

Too, meditation will enhance your creativity and mental focus; and will provide insight as to how to make the best choices for good results in all areas of life. This is done by providing you with a strong connection to both Universal Energies as a whole, and to your higher spiritual self. For those who perform divination, meditation can provide insights additional to those offered by other divinatory methods and tools.


Learning to Meditate Requires Patience and Dedication


Discovering the process of how to meditate can be difficult for a beginner. You must be patient, that’s the key. It’s highly unlikely that you will be able to master the process quickly and must prepare mentally for that. If you understand this as you begin, it will enable you to muster the necessary degree of dedication required to master the process.


About Our Step-by-Step Beginners’ Guide


There are a multitude of guides on the practice, but it’s difficult to find one that is truly helpful. That’s why we’ve put together this step-by-step guide to meditation, designed especially for you, the beginner.


Prepare to Meditate


Choose a time of day which is best suited to you and your schedule. Ideally, you should be able to sit down to meditate at the same time every day. Meditation is an excellent way to both start and end your day, so try to pick a time right after you wake up in the mornings, or shortly before bed. If you can do both, that’s even better!


Choose a Pleasant Location to Meditate In


Next, you will need to choose a location for meditating. If the weather is agreeable and you can meditate outside, this is an excellent choice. If there is no place suitable to meditate outside, consider creating a special area in your house. This should be a quiet location, away from any noise and distractions. Any family living with you should understand that when you are in this space, you shouldn’t be disturbed, unless there is an emergency.

Setting yourself up for success is essential to a beginner’s practice. Consider placing some meditation cushions or a special chair in your space (if sitting on the floor is too difficult for you due to health reasons), so that you can be physically comfortable while meditating.

meditation peripherals
Ambiance boosting decor and tools: Enhancing meditation

The Extras Add to the Ambiance and Refreshing Quality


Including a few other things in this area, such as an incense burner or oil warmer can also be helpful. Scent can have a powerful effect on the mind, and can assist you in staying calm and focused for longer periods of time. Lavender is a particularly relaxing and calming choice, and excellent for a before-bed meditation. You might also consider sandalwood, which enhances a feeling of groundedness, and can help center your energy efficiently.

The ambiance provided by having a pleasant environment and the luxury of added tools and enhancements, is an added bonus providing a facet of incentive to your sessions; it’s more to look forward to.


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Wear Comfy Clothing to Meditate In


Before you begin meditating, there are several things you can do to let your mind and body know that you are ready to proceed. First, make sure that you are dressed in comfortable clothing. You won’t be able to focus with anything binding you, restricting blood flow, or similar.


Have a Snack, Keep It Light


Also, consider having a light snack before sitting down, particularly if you are practicing first thing in the morning. This could be a piece of fruit with some nut butter; just something so that you will not be famished and distracted while meditating. Whatever you choose to eat should be natural and organic, and it’s best to avoid grains and animal protein before meditation. If you choose to meditate on an empty stomach as part of a fasting regimen, have a small glass of cool (but not ice cold) water before beginning.


A Shower Provides Cleaner Energies for Meditation


In some cases, you may also want to take a cleansing bath or shower before you sit down to meditate. I highly recommend this, as it’s helpful for removing negative energies, particularly at the end of your day. This is especially important if you are using meditation as a gateway to your spiritual practice. Step into the bath or shower and wash yourself, concentrating on sending any negative thoughts or feelings away with the water and down the drain. This doesn’t have to be a long process – just a quick step into some warm (not hot) water is enough.

Finally, you are ready to begin meditation. First, clear your mind of any preconceived theories about what meditating is like; the actually practice is rarely anything like what you may have seen in movies or read in books.


Our ‘How to Meditate’ Guide


Have your space fully prepared. Perform a space clearing ritual such as using tingsha bells, and/or light any incense you have chosen to use.

Sit comfortably either in your meditation chair, or on your cushions. Some find sitting cross-legged to be comfortable, others find that this position restricts blood flow to the legs and can become painful. Instead, cross your ankles and let your knees fall open. This places you in a semi-cross-legged position, but should allow you to remain comfortable.

If you are sitting in a chair, sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor. Keep your back straight, but at the same time this shouldn’t be uncomfortable.

Breathe deeply. Close your eyes, and focus on the rhythm of your breathing. In through your nose and out through your mouth. Breathe slowly and feel it in your diaphragm (which is located in the center, just below your rib cage). Push out as you breathe in, and collapse inward as you breathe out.

As you exhale, hear yourself make a soft “hahhhh” sound. Don’t pay attention to thoughts that drift in and out of your mind; simply return your attention of focus to your breathing. As you progress in your practice, you may choose to follow a meditation script; but in the beginning, learning to quieten the mind and focus on breathing is a difficult enough task.

If focusing on breathing alone proves too difficult of a task, you may consider using a focus aid, such as a flickering candle. Don’t stare at the flame wide-eyed; instead relax your gaze until it is slightly unfocused and your eyes are half-closed. Concentrate on either the tip or the base of the flame. This will help if you find your thoughts continuously wandering to other things.

It is important to recognize that your conscious mind may be resistant to meditative practice at first. You will need to be firm but understanding with yourself, and diligently return your focus to either your breathing, or the candle in front of you. For beginners, this is all the information you’ll need to begin; anything more will easily provide too great of a degree of difficulty for initial sessions.


It May Seem Confusing at First, How to Make Meditation Work for You


For a beginner, meditation often seems like a mystery, especially with all of the conflicting information out there. Advice like ‘clear your mind of thoughts’ isn’t helpful, as usually once you try to do so, you’ll find that’s nearly impossible. However, with focused effort and regular practice, you too will master the process of meditation.

And too, it will help you to know that there is no set range of time within which you are likely to master the process. Take it easy and proceed at a relaxed and natural pace which is best suited to you. Do not pay heed as to how long it may take to reach your desired result.

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We hope that this step-by-step guide to preparing your mind, body, and space for meditation proves helpful, and serves as a gateway to a successful meditative practice.

Make Stone Cocktails/Elixirs With Crystals Containing Mildly Toxic Ingredients (Non Contact)



Prepare Crystal Healing Elixirs the Safe Way


Why would anyone want to make an elixir with mildly toxic minerals? People commonly soak subtly toxic crystals in water and drink the resulting elixir, without realizing that they are doing so. We’d be better off to use this non contact healing water preparation method, than to guess whether a mineral is toxic or not. It doesn’t require the mineral to be immersed in water, so it’s the safer way to go.


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Please understand that this article does not condone using toxic minerals in drinking and healing waters. This blog post is simply to illustrate that a lot of healing crystals are indeed mildly toxic; and that to drink or otherwise use healing waters made with them, one should use an appropriate level of care and discretion.

Note: Healing waters should not be made from radioactive crystals or otherwise significantly toxic stones. This is an absolute; even with the non contact method it’s not to be done.


Preparation of Crystal Healing Water


As previously stated, this method of preparing crystal healing water is commonly referred to as the non-contact method. The water produced goes by many names, including: elixir, healing cocktail, crystal cocktail, gem cocktail, healing essence, crystal essence, stone cocktail, healing water, or crystal water.

How to make a healing stone elixir or cocktail
How to make a healing stone elixir or cocktail


Step One


Cleanse your choice of healing crystals by running under clear water. Add quartz to your choice of stones if you wish to have stronger energies in your cocktail (for their amplification abilities), but don’t do this unless you are sure that’s what you need.

Step Two


Place crystals in a dry glass container (a drinking glass is shown in image). Place that container within a glass pitcher.

Step Three


Pour filtered or distilled water into the pitcher (the crystals stay dry inside the inner container). Place pitcher (covered) in the fridge for at least two hours. There, that’s all there is to it – you are done!


Safe to Drink


When this technique is used, the result is the same as if the crystals were soaking right in the water, but safer. The vibrations enter the water as if the stone were immersed into it. Glass is constructed of minerals and is ready and willing to let the vibrations through, but not the metals, toxins etc. Once made, you can add more water to your crystal elixir without diluting the potency and healing vibration level.


Why You Might Want to Use an Elixir


The benefits of consuming these waters are the same as with using the crystals themselves, but carried in water said benefits address different purposes, and too they can address the same purposes in new ways. Among the uses of such waters are – drinking them to address health issues, they may be used as a spray for space cleansing and protection, or used as a vibration level pick me up. These waters can also be applied externally for healing purposes; and are great just to drink as any water, but with the added bonus of providing healing energies!


How to Preserve Your Crystal Healing Elixir


For some purposes you will want to preserve your crystal essence. It’s easy! Pour gem water to fill no more than just under half way full in a dark glass bottle (or any glass bottle if dark glass isn’t available). Just under half is to allow room for ease of opening the bottle, the mixture is actually 50/50. Fill the remainder with vodka or brandy; I recommend vodka.

Store the prepared mixture out of light and heat in a sealed bottle. May alternatively be made in or transferred to a glass spray bottle.


Center Yourself First


You need to become centered in spirit in order to prepare crystal and gem elixirs. If you are not, take steps to become so. If not, your vibration level affects the crystals as well as the essence you make.


Disclaimer: Please use common sense when using this or any technique. We are not at all suggesting that you make cocktails with toxic minerals. If you choose to use this technique, you proceed at your own risk and assume full responsibility. Know what the more toxic minerals are to avoid handling them. This website and the website owner will not assume any responsibility for harm that could be caused by a site visitor’s misjudgment.

Cleanse Healing Crystals and Stones, a How-to List

Various methods to clear your crystals of negative energies
 Cleansing your healing crystals




How to Cleanse and Charge Your Crystals


There are numerous ways to cleanse your crystals of negative energies; certainly not limited to the considerable list of them referred to within this article. The process is also commonly referred to as cleaning or clearing your stones. No matter what you call it, the process if done efficiently will eliminate negative or stale energies from them.

"Charging" crystals is another process commonly believed to heighten their energy. But in actual fact, charging is automatic when negativity is removed. The energy within healing or meditation stones when unaffected by negativity is ideal and beneficial. Cleansing your crystals and allowing their energies to shine optimally is all that is needed. Some will choose to charge them anyway; you do as is right for you.


Why Crystals Need Cleansing


We have chosen the crystals we have because we need their specific properties to work for us. Their properties are directly related to the energies they carry within them. When they work for us they absorb negative energies; so the fact that they have some stale energy within them is a byproduct of having done their job.

But that negative energy needs to be removed periodically to allow them to continue to work in an optimal fashion. Ideally we should cleanse them on a regular basis. If we do not, their true energy vibration frequency becomes diminished; this means that the stones are not going to work as effectively as they can.


Some of the Methods You Can Use


Below I have listed a number of ways by which you can effectively cleanse your crystals. For any of these processes which you may conduct from a sitting position, sit with your feet flat on the floor for grounding purposes. No matter which method you use to clear negative energies from your tools, always hold the necessary intent to do so.


Clear Negativity by Intent Alone


Hold the intent to release negative energy from within the crystal to return to the sun, and have positive energy to come in to replace it. Visualize this happening. You may choose to speak this out loud, but you don’t need to.

Or you can speak directly to the stones; ask them to release negative, stale energy to return to the sun, and to draw in beneficial energies. Visualize this happening.

Another version yet, is to blow on the stones with three short bursts (not big ones, you’ll be out of breath!). Tell the negative energies held within them to return to the sun, and ask fresh, beneficial energies to come in to fill them up. Visualize this happening.


Cleanse by Smudging


All you do is take your sage or whichever type of smudge you have chosen to use and light it. While hovering the smudge around your crystals and allowing the smoke to waft over them, make sure to hold the intent of what it is you are doing – which is cleansing the negative energies from your crystals, and drawing highly beneficial and positive ones in replacement.


Evoke Your Preferred Deity


It’s as simple as it sounds. Invite your favorite deity to join you, and ask them to cleanse the healing crystal for you. There are many ways to evoke deities, but as a rule it’s pretty simple. Clear and still your mind. Issue a simple prayer of invitation to the deity of your choice. If you wish you may offer them a gift. When the deity appears, tell them of your intention. Ask them if they will please cleanse the stone and optimize its energies. When done, thank them sincerely and say goodbye as they depart.


With Rice


The rice must be unused. With the intent of clearing your crystal held in mind, place it on a bed of raw rice. You may issue verbiage of your choice, but the appropriate intent held in mind is enough for this to work efficiently. When the process is complete, discard used rice. Overnight is what I would recommend time-wise for this method to work optimally.


By Sun


This is certainly one of the simpler ways to clear a crystal of negative energies. The main issue is in finding out with certainty whether or not your crystal type will hold its color in the sun; be sure before you try this one. It’s best to have your stone sitting on the grass or some other natural substance. Two hours is recommended until you know how long best suits your crystals. Hold an intent when placing your stones in the sun. Amethyst, larimar, and lepidolite are among stones which shouldn’t be sitting out in the sun.


Under the Moon


The moon, as the sun, always offers positive and beneficial energies. Its energies are at their highest potency during a full moon. Ideally you should cleanse your crystals at that time. The procedure is the same as for cleansing your stones under the sun. Sitting them on grass isn’t a good idea if they are stones that you don’t want to get wet; the dew in the morning may moisten them. Once again, holding your intent is necessary.


By Burial


When we cleanse stones in this way, the negative energies are grounded out, and beneficial energies from the earth enter them. As usual, hold intent while burying your crystals. Leave them buried overnight. With this method, know that it’s possible for the stones to become moistened, as it could easily rain, or the ground may be damp. Be sure that you only use this method with crystals which are going to retain their integrity once exposed to moisture.


By Quartz Cluster


Either a quartz or an amethyst quartz cluster can be used to clear your crystals. In this case, just sit your crystals on the cluster. That’s all there is to it. You may want to sit each of your stones on a piece of fabric first to avoid scuffing them. Three hours or more will suffice.


By Selenite


Selenite is a mineral with a high vibration level; it is commonly used to eliminate negativity from healing stones and other metaphysical and magical tools. All you do is get a set of selenite logs with a square or rectangular cross section and make a bed out of them. Lay the logs down in a square or rectangle formation, wide enough to accommodate all of your stones. In this case, all you need to do is sit your stones on the bed of selenite. Three hours or longer is recommended. This process cleanses them and tops them up with highly beneficial energies.

Remember, never cleanse your selenite with water as it will melt.


By Sound


There are a number of healing sounds which possess the ability to clear crystals. Among the instruments that produce them are tuning forks, tingsha bells, dorje or hand-bells, gongs, and singing bowls. These items produce cleansing and healing waves that clear negativity not only from crystals, but from any other tools as well, and also from your sacred space.

Hold the intent to cleanse your crystals as you sound the tool of your choice. Three rings for bells, and allow each ring to resonate until the sound is totally finished. For a singing bowl, sound it for as long as you feel is appropriate. See what feels right for you and your crystals. This process is as effective whether the crystals are placed inside or outside of the singing bowl.


By Running Water


Place the crystal under clear running water from any source. A minute is sufficient, but do what feels right for you and your stones. Once again, intent is key. Make sure that it’s safe to put the crystals you have in water, as there are some that shouldn’t be cleansed this way.


Cleansing With Salt, Sea Salt, or Salt Water


Although well known, these methods aren’t recommended. Over time they are highly likely to damage your treasured crystals. Better to be safe than sorry and stay away from them. Both dry salt and salt water can alter the structure of certain crystals. For the record, soaking in plain water can in some instances also provide a negative result. Halite, selenite and hematite are amongst the minerals which shouldn’t be exposed to water.

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