Get the Most Out of Your Angel Card Reading

Whether you are new to the realm of oracle card reading, or you own every deck the infamous Doreen Virtue has ever published; this quick guide is meant to give beginners and seasoned readers alike a more meaningful, decisive card reading.  Try these tips with self-readings and service readings for others.  Take time practicing your own variations on these tips. With a little patience and a little practice, you will find a reading regimen that works best for you!

CHOOSING A DECK

There are many ways to choose an Angel Card deck. The trick is to find the way that works for YOU. No one method is better than the next when it comes to making such a personal decision…and choosing your deck is a very personal decision. Try not to be swayed by the input of others. Here are some tips when shopping for your Angel Card deck. Following these tips will help insure you get the best deck for your needs, that works best with your energy.

  • Choose to buy your deck on the new moon of the month. Energy will be high for new beginnings and manifesting future dreams on that day.
  • Take time in the days leading up to the new moon to meditate on choosing your deck. As you meditate, visualize yourself finding the perfect deck. See yourself find the deck that has been waiting for you. Ask your Angels and Spirit Guides to unite you with your perfect deck.
  • It is highly recommended that you shop alone for your deck on this day. This will allow you the peace and personal time you will need to make the best choice.
  • More than one deck may call out to you as you are shopping on the new moon. You may need to step away for a moment to meditate. Center yourself and call on your Angels again to help you choose wisely.
  • Hold each deck that calls to you in your hands. Close your eyes for a moment with each one and feel its energy. If you get tingles, feel heat throughout your body or just in your hands, if you start feeling emotional, or if you see an Angel appear in your mind’s eye, this may be the deck for you!
  • Choose the deck from which you receive the most spiritual feedback.

WORKING WITH THE CARDS

Keep in mind, these tips will work whether you are doing a personal or service reading. However, additional steps are recommended for better accuracy when giving readings to another person (a service reading). As soon as you open your new Angel Card deck, be sure to cleanse it with white sage, and prepare a safe and cleansed space to store it. A bag or box with clear quartz and a few white sage leaves inside is highly recommended! Once your deck is cleansed and has a proper home, it is ready to be programmed and used.

  • Using white sage, cleanse a quite, comfortable space to do your reading. Clear the space of clutter and distractions. Turn off your phone.
  • Lay a special cloth over the space where you will spread your cards. The cloth may be of any material or pattern, as long as it is meaningful to you. (Note: if you are doing a service reading, you may want to substitute with a cloth chosen by the patron of your service.)
  • Do not clutter your reading space. You may choose to burn one white candle (or any color you feel you need). You may place a sentimental object in the reading space as well: a picture of the person you will be inquiring about, an item from a deceased loved one, or a token of gratitude to your Angel helpers!
  • Before you begin shuffling, hold the deck in your hands and program it with a prayer of intention. You may want to cleanse and reprogram your deck every time you use it, as your need for guidance may change from reading to reading. Your prayer of intention may be as simple or complex as you wish, but make sure it is focused and precise. Pray to the Angels to give you the best guidance for the situation about which you will soon inquire. Always close your prayer with a word of gratitude for whatever guidance you will receive.
  • Choose your questions wisely! Always ask for guidance for the highest good of all involved. Refrain from phrasing asking questions which promote the “commanding of” or “forcing your will upon” others. Do not let your ego get in the way of pure Angelic guidance. You may need to do a short breathing exercise and meditation before you ask your question. This will help you ask the right questions, resulting in helpful guidance for the highest good of all involved. Keep shuffling until the right question comes to you. Ask the question aloud 3 times.
  • Place the deck on your cloth. Cut the deck once, then draw the cards for your layout from the top of the deck (I highly recommend the 3-card “Past, Present, Future” layout). You are now ready to start interpreting!
  • Use your intuition along with the included guidebook for your specific deck. If you are having trouble interpreting the card layout, ask your Angel helpers for one “clarify-er” card. Draw one addition card and place it above your layout for additional guidance.
  • Keep a blank journal, and pen handy in case you wish to write any notes down from your reading.
  • Be sure to thank the Angels for their help before closing your reading.

I hope these little tips help you get the maximum divine guidance from every reading you do for yourself and others!

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Overcoming Grief

Cypress Tree

By: Angela

As human beings, we all endure losses, traumatic events, or a crisis of some kind over the course of our lives. Though each of us has our own unique way of coping with hardships and losses, the earth has provided us with universal tools to aid us in our journey back to joy. No matter the loss, the following tools will aid in overcoming grief, healing a broken heart, easing depression and loneliness, and promoting inner peace.

CYPRESS OIL

Used for centuries by mystics of many cultures, Cypress oil is an aromatheraputic tool used in healing and protection rituals. When burned in the home, or worn in a talisman, Cypress oil is a powerful symbol of eternity, healing, and love. Use in times of crisis such as the death of a friend or family member or the end of a significant relationship. Burn the oil in an aroma diffuser every night before bed until your grieving period subsides. You may also put 30 drops of oil in a 4oz spray bottle of distilled water. This spray can be used to mist over your aura when you are grieving, or feeling depressed.

STONES

  • Apache Tears: Helps one relieve sadness and overcome grief
  • Lepidolite: Aids in relieving depression and anxiety
  • Amethyst: Calms fears and helps dispel fear and anger
  • Botswana Agate: Eases loneliness and protects one from negative influences
  • Rose Quartz: Promotes love and harmony

TEAS

  • St. John’s Wort: Helps ease depression
  • Kava-Kava: Aids in relaxation
  • Ginseng: Boosts energy and vitality

Lastly, remember that grief and sadness are normal human experiences. You are not alone in the universe. Use the tools provided here as a supplement to professional counseling, and releasing emotions by writing daily in your journal.

All of the tools above are available at Earth Lore in Plymouth, MI.

Peace be with you.

Candle Perfection!

Getting a candle to burn perfectly is not actually that hard.  Getting familiar with how to burn different styles of candle will make experiences more safe, economical, and pleasurable.  Burners will hardly even need cleaning when candles taken care of, as there will be no soot or wax left over.  Burning candles flawlessly is a form of art. Here are my favorite tips on get the most burn for your buck.

The smallest candle can sometimes bring the most clarity.  Meditation candles, also called “chime candles” after the popular angel chime Christmas decorations, are about one half-inch in diameter and four inches high. They burn two to two and a half hours each.  Always use a mini candle holder to burn these, also set the holder on a plate to catch running wax.  I usually don’t worry about trimming the wick as long as they are short and burning in a draft-free area.  If you choose to anoint the candle with oil, please use natural essential oils. Sometimes it’s nice to scratch  names or an affirmations into the wax before lighting the candle. The purpose is to send your intentions into the universe, manifested.  If the goal is to burn a bunch of candles and you don’t have burners, put at least an inch of sand into the bottom of a dish and stick the candles into the sand.  Always watch these quick burning candles, especially if you’re burning them in sand.  For extra meditation candle fun, combine color and aromatherapy, or consult Llewellyn’s 2011 spell-a-day almanac.  Large dinner candles  can also be used in meditation.  We carry high quality hand dipped tapers from Canada.

Although a burning candle should never be left alone, votives are a good choice of candle for burning in bedrooms and bathrooms.  Smaller areas really don’t need all the scent thrown from a large candle anyways.  The typical votive lasts up to fifteen hours.  The snugger the fit of candle in holder, the longer it will burn.  More space left on the sides of the candle allows more heated air to circulate around the flame, thus burning the wax faster.  If the holder is shorter than the candle, the wax will spill all over as it liquefies.  Removing the bottom sticker on candles is important and easy to forget.  I’ve just about given my self a heart attack more than once when out of the corner of my eye flames are shooting out of my burner.  When the candle is gone and left over wax remains in the burner there are easy ways of getting it out.  Think ahead by adding about half a teaspoon of water to the bottom of a votive glass. This prevents the wax from ever bonding to the bottom of the container.  The second method employs the freezer.  Make sure the wax has cooled to a solid and place container in the freezer for about one hour.  Free wax from sides of container with a butter knife if it doesn’t just fall out.  If neither of these work,slowly heat a small amount of water in a pot, set container in the warm water.  Soon the wax will start to liquefy and release from the bottom and sides of container.  Do not let any water get into the wax, this will cause a huge spattery mess.  Pour out what you can, wipe with tissue, wipe with vegetable oil, and last wash with hot soapy water to remove any traces of oil.  I say clean waxy glass with vegetable oil because as we learned in chemistry; like dissolves like-and it works. If black soot accumulates around the rim, wipe with a dry paper towel or even newspaper. Whatever the reason, dry works better than moist towels when it’s soot you’re dealing with.

Pillar candles look elegant and offer a warm glow.  Always make sure to trim the wick to one-quarter inch before lighting.  Allow to wax pool to extend all the way across the top, and if the sides start bowing out hug the edges in toward the flame by gently pushing in with thumbs .  Typically, this takes one hour for every inch across, and when done properly prevents the candle from tunneling.  If tunneling already has begun and you’re trying to keep the wick from being buried there’s a couple of ways of trouble shooting the problem.  Start by removing only the carbon buildup from the wick tip.  This usually resembles a little mushroom on the top.  If the candle will not stay lit try heating with a lighter while holding sideways to drip out over a coffee can, trash bag, etc revealing the wick.  Keep the candle burning by pouring out small amounts of wax as needed while hugging the tall sides in as they soften.Eventually the walls will level with the center  Once in a while, I’ve had one so bad that I pull out a saw and cut off some of the top rim.  If the wick is  far down the wax sides will only continue to drown it. To prevent tunneling,  make sure the wick is center when you blow it out. If it’s leaning to one side, use the end of your wick trimmers or a pencil to push it to center while the wax is still warm.  When the wax cools the wick will remain centered and ready for the next time it’s lit. If you need to blow a candle out early, just allow it to burn a little longer next time to even it out.  Don’t forget to use a pillar plate or coaster to protect surfaces from oil staining.

Jar candles are a low maintenance way of enjoying light and fragrance.  Really, the only keys to remember are keep the wicks centered and trimmed to prevent the flame from touching the side of the jar, blackening it or breaking it. Allow them to burn one hour for every inch in diameter to make sure all the surface wax pools.  Extinguish flame when there is less than half an inch of wax remaining in the glass. The glass gets extremely hot when the candle is that low and could ruin table surfaces or crack the glass.

Take into consideration what’s overhead and underfoot in areas you burn candles.  For instance, a candle may look nice on a shelf above the television but what happens if there is an accident?  Or areas where there are pictures or cabinets overhead, feel the areas above burning candles and make sure they’re not getting too hot.  The same rule applies to burning clusters of different height candles, if placed too close together they will melt each others sides.  High traffic and pet areas are, for obvious reasons, big no-no’s as well.  Instead of blowing candles use a snuffer to prevent spraying wax everywhere.  I hope these tips light the way to perfect candle burning and clarity.  If there are any further questions about, feel free to stop in the store and ask a sales associate.

Discover Your Animal Totems

Totem Animals

Totem Animals

There is much that can be learned from our companions in the animal kingdom. Every animal has strengths and weaknesses, talents and habits that help us to learn more about ourselves by studying their example. You’ll be happy to know that just as every person has a multitude of personality traits, they also have many animal totems. There are those animals that stay with us for just a short time, while we overcome an obstacle in our lives. There are also who will walk (fly, crawl or swim) with us through life. How do you know which animals are calling to you? This article is just a short description on how to discover some of  your totems. There are not only many, many books written on this subject but also oral traditions that vary from tribe to tribe across the world. Most of the information I’ve compiled comes from Ted Andrews book, “Animal Speak.” It is a great resource for anyone interested in learning more on the subject of Animal Totems.

Totem Discovery Meditation

Enter a space where you will not be interrupted, a secluded spot somewhere in nature would be best but is not mandatory. Relax by taking several deep breaths. Clear your mind.  Begin by lighting a white “Spirit” votive or pillar with the focus of finding one of your animal totems in the forethought of your mind. You may even want to ask Great Spirit or God to bless you and oversee the meditation with divine guidance.

Sitting comfortably, begin to visualize a landscape. Some people will see themselves in a forest; others the desert or sea. It’s okay. Don’t worry that you are “making things up.” Imagination is a gift and a tool. Whatever comes to you is has entered your mind for a reason. Trust this guidance. However it is important to not have any preconceived totems in mind. Let your animal choose you. As you wander your landscape, note the time of day or night. Is it chilly or  can you feel the warm sun shining on you? What do you smell? What do you hear? As you continue your  walk  allow yourself to be open to whatever creatures come to you. Don’t discount the tiny creatures like ants and spiders. Don’t forget to look in the trees or sky. If you feel compelled to turn over a leaf or crawl in a cave, do so.

You will come upon an living creature. This is one of your totems.  Introduce yourself. Do not force interaction, simply let the moment settle in. Thank this totem for making its self known to you. When you are ready begin to come back to a state of consciousness and open your eyes.

Now that you know one of your animal totems, begin your research! Animals can teach us so much about ourselves and how we react to others if we would simply listen. Some things to ponder: Where does this animal live, what does it eat, what eats it? What kind of shelter does it seek? The more you learn about your animal the better. It is important to establish a link to your totem not just through learning about its habits but also learning about its place in mythological lore. To gain a stronger link to this animal you should also have small talismans (like a found feather or bone… however if that isn’t possible at the time being, hanging pictures of it or small carved stones work too). You can keep these on your person or in the areas of your home or work that seem most appropriate. Earth Lore carries small carved stones of many different animals starting at $3.95. We also have a selection of larger statues available for altar use. Having reminders of your totems will greatly increase your connection to these animals. Also, be sure to check out our new and used books about totems, shamanism and animal lore.

Ignite Your Creative Fire

by Angela

As a poet and more recently a blogger, I know how frustrating writer’s block can be.  Writing is a creative venture driven by our inner spirit’s need to express our true nature.  Art, music, and dance offer us the same outlet for spiritual expression.  All forms of creative expression are essential to human enlightenment.  Just look at a Renaissance painting, listen to the music of John Lennon, or read the poetry of Rumi; creative expression is always at the forefront of social change.

No matter what form of creation you practice, know that you are an agent of change.  You hold inside of you the precious gift of creative fire.  As artists we know it is difficult to keep that flame lit all the time.  Either it burns out, or we do.  The only way I have found to reignite the creative fire is to walk away from the page and meditate.  If creative expression is spiritual expression, one will help ignite the other.  The following list of stones, oils, incense, and colors will allow your spiritual nature to light your creative fire.  Take yourself out of the equation and let your spirit take over.

For Starters:

  • Walk away from your computer, canvas, instrument, or dance floor.  Find a nice quiet space where you can meditate and not be interrupted.  Turn off your phone.
  • Sit with your legs crossed and eyes closed.  Breathe deeply.  Clear your mind of all thoughts, wants, worries, etc.
  • Focus on your breathing.
  • Stay in this meditative state for at least 5-10 minutes.

Meditative Tools:

  • Incense- Cleanse your meditation room as well as your creative tools with White Sage.  Burn a Frankincense & Myrrh incense blend while you meditate.  You may continue burning the incense when you return to your creative venture.
  • Oils- Annoint your 3rd eye chakra with Sandalwood oil, and your heart chakra with Jasmine oil.  This combination of oils will strengthen your intuition and help you create your art from a place of love.  These oils used together are motivating, sensual, and help deepen your connection with the Divine.
  • Stones- Meditate with Carnelian, Chrysoprase, & Gold Tiger Eye. Hold this combination of stones in your hands while you meditate.  Absorb their creative energy.  Carnelian offers a boost of creative fire, while Chrysoprase brings peace, positive energy, and emotional balance.  Gold Tiger Eye brings confidence, motivation, and creative vision.  Keep these stones with you while you create.

“There are three ways of knowing a thing.  Take for instance a flame.  One can be told of a flame, one can see the flame with his own eyes, and finally one can reach out and be burned by it.  We Sufis seek to be burned by God.”  ~Rumi

Spice Things Up!

  • Colors- Work with colors of Red, Orange, & Yellow. Burn red candles, wear an orange shirt, hang a yellow tapestry in your creative space.  There are no rules to color energy in this context so be creative.  Surrounding yourself with these 3 colors will infuse your aura with creative fire and passionate energy.
  • Flavors- Try some spicy incense such as Cinnamon & Patchouli.  Chew some cinnamon gum, burn some patchouli candles while eating a stir fry dinner with spicy Ginger.  Spicy flavors and scents will improve mental dexterity and increase physical vitality so you can paint, write, play, & dance all night.

I hope these spiritual tools help you in your creative endeavors.  Move forward fearlessly.  The world is waiting to see what you will create next!

The Power of an Hour

Clock

Clock

It’s easy to find your spiritual side meditating in your sacred space, singing hymns on Sunday morning or walking barefoot through a garden. It’s times like these that give us clarity, peace and most importantly a sense of connectedness in a rather unstable world. I’ve often wondered how I could create this kind of reality in my everyday existence. How does one stay Zen when your neighbor’s neurotic dog won’t stop barking? How would Jesus merge onto I275 during morning rush-hour? Did Kuan Yin ever have to juggle housework, a full-time career/school load, family obligations and keep her compassion for the needy?

In the burdens of our everyday existence, what seem to be irreverent, materialistic or earthly can become  just the spiritual transformation we need. Trials and suffering allow us to flex our spiritual muscles and raise our Divine Quotient.  I once read that any act, be it washing dishes or filing taxes can be a form of meditation or prayer if you allow it to be done with gratitude, love and grace. Consider how you write your mortgage/rent check. Do you grumble at the burden of paying  money out every month? Or with love and gratitude are you thankful for your ability to pay your bills… that you have work, that someone believed in you enough to trust they could give you a home on the faith that you would pay for it in time? It is with the mindset of gratitude that one can fill the emptiness in one’s life with Divinity.

For some this may be a very hard concept to put into practice. I’ve written up the following exercise for those who seek to bring spiritual balance in their life but aren’t sure where to begin. It’s called the Power of an Hour. It centers on timing  hourly intervals to keep you spiritually focused in the midst of your everyday reality. (You’ll need a watch or cell phone with an alarm. I prefer to use my phone on vibrate as it’s less obtrusive at work.)

As soon as you open your eyes in the morning, close them again and do one of the following as suits your path: pray, meditate, center yourself but above all GIVE THANKS to God/Great Spirit/ the Universe, etc . You’ve woken up today! 🙂

Set your watch/cell phone alarm for an hour later. I sometimes will set the time for a very specific number based on Doreen Virtue’s book: Angel Numbers which detail the meanings of numbers. For example, if I’ve been particularly stressed about my finances I will wake up at 7:38am (“738-You’ve accurately listened to your Divine Guidance, which has put you on the path of increased abundance.”) I give thanks for what I have and pray for Divine guidance in all matters  related to my finances. You can also simply make mental lists of things you are grateful for or would like help with. I then set my (silent vibrating) alarm for 8:38am, one hour later. (“838- Keep prayer and spirituality at the center of your consciousness, and avoid focusing on the material aspects of life.) I go about my morning getting ready for work and when my alarm vibrates again I take just a small moment to pray, center myself and bring spirituality into my life. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy ordeal, a minute or two will do. I continue this exercise throughout my day, resetting my alarm for the next hour.

But how can you do this at the office? Slip off to the water cooler or bathroom. Can’t do that every hour without getting strange looks, right? Well remember earlier, I mentioned that any act can be a spiritual act if done with love and grace? Here’s where that comes in.. If at 4:38p my alarm vibrates and I’m helping a customer, I take it as an opportunity to be thankful that I’m needed in my place of employment, while helping that person to the best of my ability. If your alarm goes off and your child is crying, or your spouse/friend/cat needs you.. Help them! After all, isn’t there something divine about selflessly giving of yourself through love and time for others? That is your moment for that hour. You’ve brought spirituality into your life with your actions! Isn’t it beautiful in it’s simplicity? Continue this until you are ready to turn in for the night.

There are many ways to enhance this simple practice. If you have Doreen Virtue’s Angel Numbers or any other numerology book, you can pick your times based off  what has most the spiritual intention for you.

If you enjoy working for healing crystals, add that to your ritual. (For example, whatever your trying to focus on that day.. Lapis lazuli for spiritual intuition, rhodonite for releasing and forgiveness, magnesite for creative endeavors, so on and so forth. When your alarm goes off, hold that stone and meditate focusing your intentions.)

The importance of doing this every hour is to create a heightened spiritual awareness. Though it may seem tedious, you’ll be surprised at how easy it really is. Practicing this exercise even just one a week, you’ll discover that Divinity can be anywhere,  in any thought and any action.

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