Elements in the “Fortune Formula”


Sacred Sites Tarot: King of Swords (Croagh Patrick)

The four elements are so fundamental to daily life. It’s easy to find them within crystals, herbs, even the tarot suits. Earth, water, wind, and fire are some of my favorite nature energies to work with as well. I love to walk outside and ask myself, “which element do I need?”. I immediately sense the sun, wind, ground, or mist in the air (I live in humid Florida!) – and feel which energy I need.

The Fortune Formula by James Wanless

The Fortune Formula by James Wanless

One of my passions is connecting tarot to the creation of a better relationship with the natural world. I’ve been reading the Fortune Formula by James Wanless, creator of the Voyager Tarot. I was thrilled to discover the following questions; they are perfect for a walk outside, time with my journal, or a tarot reading. I decided to ask these questions while walking, trusting my intuition to suggest an appropriate tarot card to match each element. (This Sacred Sites Tarot King of Swords card was one of one of them.)

“What does air and breath say about liberating yourself?

What does fire say about your creative drive?

What does water and ocean say about your emotions and intuition?

What do rocks and minerals say about your wealth, health, and longevity?”

– James Wanless, Fortune Formula

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Welcoming Brigid

Brigid: Dark Goddess Tarot

Brigid: Dark Goddess Tarot

Bride (Brìghde) or Brigid is a Celtic goddess of creativity, healing, and poetry. Imbolc is her holiday, falling on the first day of February. In Scotland, people lit candles in her honour and visited holy wells on her feast day. This combination of fire and water is an intriguing aspect of the goddess, depicted above as “Temperance” in the Dark Goddess Tarot. Imbolc reminds me to take my first steps to manifest the “seed” I received at the Winter Solstice.

Brìghde is a goddess who can bestow healing wisdom and inspired action. In the days leading up to Imbolc, I use this layout and candle divination to cultivate both qualities. For me, the combination of candlelight and a cup of dried blueberry and elderberry tea represent both energies associated with Brigid.

Imbolc layout

Imbolc layout

You will need a tarot or oracle deck, candle, and (optional) a great cup of herbal tea. Center and ground yourself in your favorite way.

  1. Light a candle. You can “make the fire friendly” by offering a tiny piece of sage to burn in the candle flame. I like to flick a drop of tea on the floor to thank the earth.
  2. Turn your deck of cards face-up. Draw one card to represent healing and another that represents inspired action.
  3. Look at your healing card. Breathe into your left side and pay attention to how receptive you are to healing.
  4. Look at your card of inspired action. Breathe into your right side and notice if you feel blocked or ready to act.
  5. Turn the cards face-down. Shuffle and ask for a card that will balance or bring the two together. Select a card and meditate with it for a few moments. Check in with your body. Do your left and right sides feel connected?
  6. Once you feel relaxed, begin asking your questions of the candle flame. You can wait for the flame to increase in a dramatic way, signaling a “yes” answer. Or you can scry into the flame.

I hope your year of creative inspiration begins with Imbolc.

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Manifesting with Star Energies: Ursa Major

Ursa Major

Ursa Major

Winter is a time when the earth seems to sleep, dreaming of new growth in the spring. We slow down, spend more time indoors, and begin taking our first steps towards creating our goals for the year. Many spiritual teachers advise us to take the time to tune in and (as Christina Pratt suggests) “renew your dream”.

Stars, earth and wind are some of the powerful nature energies that I source from during this time. Stars seem especially bright in the winter night sky. Since I love star lore, I was thrilled to discover Ursa Major and its connection to soul purpose. It makes sense; this constellation is a pointer to the North Star.

Ursa Major (or the Great Bear) can be seen year-round in the northern hemisphere. Like bears in hibernation, this constellation becomes more visible after the vernal equinox. It is a powerful symbol for many cultures, even representing Seven Sages Sages who guide mankind. And several galaxies are located in this part of the sky.

So let the stars that guided Paleolithic hunters lead you towards a more fulfilling life.

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Mini-layouts: If you don’t have time for the Celtic Cross

Turquoise/Smokey Quartz: Crystal Ally Cards

Turquoise/Smokey Quartz: Crystal Ally Cards

Sometimes I pick up a tarot or oracle deck and I want a quick answer to a complex situation. I don’t always want to lay out 5 or 7 cards to map out every possible nuance of a problem. This is why I rarely use the Celtic Cross. And why I love 2-card and 3-card layouts.

A few months ago, I experienced a creative block. I wanted to write an article – and had gathered a lot of information. I had even written a few short paragraphs. But I still had no idea how to put it all together. There was no underlying organization. I didn’t even know where to start.

So I turned to the Crystal Ally Cards and a simple 2-card layout:

Action I should take: Turquoise/Wholeness

Turquoise is a storm element stone. Storm is the element that includes earth, water, wind, and fire; it indicates an evolutionary leap is needed. Turquoise is also a stone that connects all of the chakras, but focuses on the throat chakra. The crystal author and healer Melody calls it a “master healer”. The card features a blue-green stone with small black lines etched onto its surface, surrounded by a healing rainbow snake.

Outcome: Smokey Quartz/Grounding

Smokey Quartz is an earth element stone/card. It helps people to focus on the practical side of life and prioritize. This crystal connects people to their root chakras, as well as the Earthstar energy centers that lie below their feet. No wonder the card is called “Grounding”.

A combination of storm and earth element cards told me that something in my practical life (work, health, results) was evolving. Together, the two cards indicated a need to write down or speak aloud the different parts of the article. This action would create structure and organization.

I tried it. After I discussed my article ideas with my partner, the outline just popped into my head. I wrote the article. Now, if I get stuck, I’ve learned to draw a card or two.




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Moving from Shadow to Strength

Tarot of the Crone: The Star

Tarot of the Crone: The Star

What is the benefit of multi-session work with Evolutionary Tarot clients? It encourages deeper exploration of goals or issues, and the opportunity to reflect over a period of weeks (or months). I love to work with repeat clients. Multiple sessions of Evolutionary Tarot and Soul Dowsing allow the subconscious to reveal treasures that might not emerge during an individual reading.

This format is especially helpful to people experiencing creative blocks. A recent client wanted to reclaim his artistic inspiration. He felt disconnected from the powerful creative connection he had once enjoyed. We arranged three sessions over a 30 day period to explore this issue.

I used the Shadow to Strength layout for his initial tarot consultation. As we discussed the three cards, he became aware of his earlier artistic experiences and how his work was received by others. This connected him with the memory of having a creative vision, but he doubted his technical gifts.

We worked with Soul Dowsing for his next session. Soul Dowsing allows a person to get a clearer sense of his or her inner life. The cards reveal the different voices inside a person that want to be heard and respected. He remembered being inspired by watching a parent work on a craft project, although my client was not encouraged to to pursue art.

He brought a photograph of a mosaic he had made as a young man to the follow-up tarot session. He became aware of the unique technical abilities he was born with. He felt he could begin to build more trust in his process at this point. A week or two later, he realized that his parent had this same artistic talent that he had become aware of during the session.

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Tarot World Year Card: 2016 is a Hermit Year!

What is a Tarot World Year Card? The Hermit is the ninth Major Arcana card and the sum of the individual numbers in 2016 (2+0+1+6=9). I like to use Tarot World Year Cards when planning anything that involves large groups of people or society as a whole.

This will be a year of discovering what is most essential in our lives. Taking time for retreat can create magic – even an hour alone will do. This is a layout I’ll be using this year.

Hermit Layout

Albano-Waite Tarot: The Hermit

Albano-Waite Tarot: The Hermit

What is on my path?

Who or what shows me the way?

What is the next step on my journey?

How can I complete this step?

What wisdom will I gain?


Happy New Year!

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Dreamwork with Tarot-infused Crystals


Wildwood Tarot: The Hermit

Wildwood Tarot: The Hermit

The time between Winter Solstice and Christmas (when the sun is “reborn”) is perfect for dreaming and visioning. Dreaming with crystals is an ancient and effective practice. The Mayan healer Don Eligio Panti’ used a clear marble sastun (“stone of light”). The Andean paqo Don Manuel Quispe used an amethyst to record his dreams. I dream with tarot-infused crystals. This approach is inspired by a technique in the “Healing” chapter of Tarot For Yourself by Mary Greer.

  1. Choose a quartz crystal. This stone is devoted solely to tarot dreamwork.
  2. Select a card from a deck you would like to understand better.
  3. Lay the crystal on the card and look at the image.
  4. Now pick up the crystal and blow the image of the card into the stone along with your question (or you can ask how the card is showing up in your life)
  5. Place the crystal under your pillow.
  6. When you wake up, blow your dream (even if you only remember one thing or a feeling) into the stone. Place the crystal in sunlight to recharge.
  7. If you want, write down what you learn or you can hold the stone and it will remind you of your dream.
  8. Keep working with the same card or choose a new one.


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Manifesting with Star Energies: Pleiades



As the winter solstice approaches, the stars in the northern hemisphere night sky are easier to see. The air is clear, allowing skywatchers to view Orion the Hunter chasing Taurus. If you look beyond Aldebaran, the bright orange star in the bull’s “eye”, you’ll see a dim cloud of stars higher in the sky. That cloud is the star cluster nicknamed “The Seven Sisters” or the Pleiades.

The Pleiades are associated with planting or harvesting in many cultures. The Andean peoples call them qullqa or granary. Sanaya Roman describes their energy as “creative intelligence”.

Sirius helps a person release blocks to manifestation. The Pleiades helps them to create the form so that their dream can take shape. Sometimes this involves creating something new to match their vision. The person may need to learn new skills or experiment. Many changemakers or creative people are familiar with this process.

If you are a stargazer, try looking for a few seconds at the Pleiades while thinking about a project you are working on. Or imagine blue light connecting the star cluster to the crown of your head. You may be inspired!

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Star Healing Cards: Southern Cross

The Star Healing Cards began as a series of dreams about stars. As I began to dream about the same stars and constellations consistently, I became aware that stars had special energies that help to transform humanity. I began to receive symbolic and divinatory meanings.

Star Healing Cards: Southern Cross

Star Healing Cards: Southern Cross

I became interested in traditional star lore from other cultures. I particularly focused on Central and South America.   At the same time, I became aware of the Starlight Elixirs, created by Pegasus Products. This form of bottled starlight was very healing. I combined these interpretations into a small set of cards. I began to relate eight individual stars, constellations, and galaxies to a process of the soul’s development. I used these cards when I first started working with the Crystal Allies.

All of the Star Healing Cards are karmic cards. When you pull one of these cards, you are working with a problem that is both a part of your everyday life and exists outside of time. This is a journey from the southern to the northern hemisphere. The Southern Cross is the first step in this process.

The Southern Cross is associated with the southern hemisphere. It is a circumpolar constellation, located between Scorpio and Sagittarius. There is interesting Indian, Maya, Maori, and Andean symbolism associated with this group of stars.

These stars represent rebirth and the beginning of a spiritual journey. The Andean mystics see it as an entrance to the lower world. This is a place of healing, associated with the dark-cloud constellation called the Serpent. Dark-cloud constellations are regions of stellar dust that form black silhouettes against the Milky Way. The Zulus believe the Southern Cross represents the Tree of Life. The Lacandon Maya also believe this and associate it with the sacred Ceiba tree. The Maori describe it as an anchor for the Milky Way “canoe”. In Indian astrology it is associated with the myth of a king who exists between heaven and earth.

On the spiritual level, this Star Healing Card represents soul retrieval. You are ready to transform fragmented, disowned parts of yourself into an integrated whole. You will rediscover the Earth as your mother, and renew your connection to all life. The Southern Cross represents renewal of life force and a new beginning in a completely different form.

Great emotional healing that restructures your entire world view is indicated with this card.

On the physical level, Southern Cross helps with immune problems.


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Collective dreaming with the chakra cards and tarot

Sacred Sites Tarot: The World/Shamballah

Sacred Sites Tarot:
The World/Shamballah

A few years ago, I created a chakra card deck. I wanted to integrate New Age, Eastern, and shamanic philosophy into it. The deck covers ten chakras (three are outside of the body) and is divided into: psychic gifts, balanced, imbalanced, and the evolved energies of the chakras after the 2012 shift.

The 2012 shift chakra deck is especially interesting as it travels through the chakras. One of my favorite cards is from the 2012 heart chakra deck: collective dreaming. Collective Dreaming is a shamanic practice from Peru and other shamanic cultures. A group of shamans will intend to dream the same dream in order to create an effective ceremony. This practice is not limited to shamans and medicine people. Friends, lovers, and family members often meet during dreamtime and share information or experiences.

But collective dreaming occurs during waking life also. A community or group may come together to visualize a better world. This form of sharing our fears and dreams can be very powerful.

I like to think of this as an evolved energy of the heart chakra and something that is becoming more popular. When people come together to share their dreams for the future, many common threads emerge and these threads become maps for action.


Dreaming with the Tarot

If you own a tarot deck, look through your cards face-up and select one that represents an evolved, new world. Or meditate on the tarot card above. Imagine you are joining with like-minded people and all living beings.

What is your dream of a better world?


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