Saturday, September 11, 2010

Making Essential Oils - Steam Distillation, Absolutes, And CO2's Explained

Making Essential Oils - Steam Distillation, Absolutes, And CO2's Explained by Misty Rae Cech

Aromatherapy Goes 'High Tech'

New methods of essential oil extraction are entering the mainstream of aromatherapy, offering new choices in oils never before available. With the new labels of 'CO2' and 'SCO2', along with the traditional 'steam' and 'hydro' distillations, 'absolutes', and 'cold pressing', a little education for the aromatherapy enthusiast can go a long way in essential oil selection. Is one process better than another? Does one produce a nicer smelling oil, or one with greater aromatherapeutic value? It turns out that essential oil production, like winemaking, is an art form as well as a science. The value of the newer processing methods depends greatly on the experience of the distiller, as well as the intended application of the final product. Each method is important, and has it's place in the making of aromatherapy-grade essential oils.

Steam and Hydro Distillation

Steam distillation, the most common method of essential oil production, involves the flow of steam into a chamber holding the raw plant material. The steam causes small sacs containing essential oil to burst. The oil is then carried by the steam out of the chamber and into a chilled condenser, where the steam once again becomes water. (Hydro-distillation is a similar process where the plant material is boiled, with the resultant steam being captured and condensed). The oil and water are then separated; the water, referred to as a 'hydrosol', can be retained as it will have some of the plant essence. Rose hydrosol, for example, is commonly used for it's mild antiseptic and soothing properties, as well as it's pleasing floral aroma.

A number of factors determine the final quality of a steam distilled essential oil. Aside from the plant material itself, most important are time, temperature and pressure, and the quality of the distillation equipment. Essential oils are very complex products; each is made up of many, sometimes hundreds, of distinct molecules which come together to form the oil's aroma and therapeutic properties. Some of these molecules are fairly delicate structures which can be altered or destroyed by adverse environmental conditions. So, much like a fine meal is more flavorful when made with patience, most oils benefit from a long, slow 'cooking' process.

The temperature of the extraction chamber cannot be too high, lest some components of the oil be altered or destroyed. The same is true of the chamber's pressure. Lavender essential oil, for example, should not be processed at over 245 degrees F and three pounds per square inch of pressure (3 psi). Higher temperatures and/or pressures result in a 'harsh' aroma – more chemical than floral – and lessen the oil's therapeutic effects. Also, the extraction period must be allowed to continue for a certain period of time in order to flush ALL the oil's components from the plant, as some are released more quickly than others.

Despite the drawbacks of aggressive processing, high temperatures and pressures are often used to produces large quantities of oil in a short period of time. These oils are usually destined for use in cosmetic and processed food manufacturing, but are sometimes sold to final consumers as essential oils for use in aromatherapy. These oils will be less expensive, but are of limited therapeutic value, and the difference is apparent when the aromas are compared side-by-side.


Some plants, and particularly flowers, do not lend themselves to steam distilling. They are too delicate, or their fragrance and therapeutic essences cannot be completely released by water alone. These oils will be produced as 'absolutes' – and while not technically considered essential oils they can still be of therapeutic value. Jasmine oil and Rose oil in particular are delicate flowers who's oils are often found in 'absolute' form.

The processing of an absolute first involves the hydrocarbon solvent extraction of a 'concrete' from the plant material, a semi-solid mixture of typically 50% wax and 50% volatile oil. The concrete is again processed using ethyl alcohol (the same alcohol found in beer, wine, etc.) in which the wax is only slightly soluble. The volatile plant oil separates into the alcohol and this mixture is removed. The alcohol is then evaporated and the result is an almost pure plant extract – depending on the care taken in the evaporation process, sometimes 2% or less of the ethyl alcohol may remain. The use of solvents in the extraction process notwithstanding, absolutes can have incredibly deep and complex aromas.

CO2's and SCO2's

And now for the most modern technologies, Carbon Dioxide and Supercritical Carbon Dioxide extraction. Both methods involve the use of carbon dioxide as the 'solvent' which carries the essential oil away from the raw plant material. The lower pressure CO2 extraction involves chilling carbon dioxide to between 35 and 55 degrees F, and pumping it through the plant material at about 1000 psi. The carbon dioxide in this condition is condensed to a liquid. Supercritical CO2 extraction (SCO2) involves carbon dioxide heated to 87 degrees F and pumped through the plant material at around 8,000 psi – under these conditions, the carbon dioxide is likened to a 'dense fog' or vapor. With release of the pressure in either process, the carbon dioxide escapes in its gaseous form, leaving the essential oil behind.

These carbon dioxide methods have a couple of advantages: Like steam distillation, there are no solvent residues left behind, and the resultant product is quite pure. Like solvent extraction, there is no heat applied to the plant material or essential oil to alter it in any way. The oil produced is very accurate with respect to the original state of the plant. The CO2 methods also are the most efficient, producing the most oil per amount of plant (one of the reasons for the high cost of essential oils is the low yield of oil from most plants – one ton of Rose petals produces less than 1 pound of oil, for example). The efficiency of CO2 extraction is particularly important when rare or endangered plant species are involved, such as Indian Sandalwood oil – less of the precious plant is needed to produce an equivalent amount of oil.

Cold Pressing

Finally, there is the 'cold pressing' of citrus oils from the peels of fruit, as is done with Bergamot oil, Orange oil , Lemon oil , and the like. This method involves the simple pressing of the rind at about 120 degrees F to extract the oil. Little, if any, alteration from the oil's original state occurs – these citrus oils retain their bright, fresh, uplifting aromas like that of smelling a wonderfully ripe fruit.

Which Method is Best?

CO2's, with some obvious advantages, are not always the best choice for a particular need. They still are the most expensive, despite their higher yields. The resultant product differs slightly compared to one produced another way – the oils produced by steam distillation of some plants may sometimes be found to have a more agreeable aroma. Patchouli oil, for example, seems to benefit from the steam distillation process by becoming a little warmer and richer. Many other essential oils are quite effectively produced via steam distillation, with little alteration from the original plant state. Oils from other plant species do seem more 'complete' with CO2 processing, with Frankincense oil and most of the 'spice' oils being good examples where a little something special is present in the aroma. This likely translates to greater therapeautic properties.

Producing essential oils of aromatherapeutic grade is skill requiring years of experience. It takes the work of a dedicated artesian at every step, from growing and harvesting to fine-tuning the distillation process, to produce a truly fine oil. The making of a fine essential oil relies far more on knowledge and experience than it does on the particular extraction method. There are, however, legitimate reasons to select one distillation method over another – some plants simply require a particular process to produce a fine oil, and the oil needed for a particular application may only be made by one process. In the end, as is often the case in aromatherapy, your own sense of smell can tell you which oil will work best for you.

About the Author: Misty Rae Cech, ND, is a naturopath and yoga teacher practicing in Boulder, Colorado. She enjoys pure essential oils, using aromatherapy in conjunction with other natural therapies. More can be found at the Ananda Apothecary,

Friday, September 10, 2010

Understanding Your Personal Year

Understanding Your Personal Year by John Culbertson

There are a descending series of numerological cycles that affect your life. Some of them will be in play for decades at a time. Others will only affect your life for a matter of days, or even a single day. Of all of them, the one cycle that you’ll feel the most blatantly is your Personal Year cycle.

In numerology, each year of your life is part of a nine-year cycle that evolves through specific steps. The cycles begin at your birth, progress through the nine year pattern, complete the cycle and begin again. Each nine year cycle begins with a 1 Personal Year and progresses year by year through the numbers until you complete a 9 Personal Year. Each year in the cycle is characterized by the opportunities offered you and by the lessons that you can learn during that particular part of the cycle.

Each year in the cycle has a tone that is influenced by number of the Personal Year. Thus, a 1 Personal Year will have the qualities associated with the number 1 – beginnings, creating and solidifying identity, working on the self, and so on. A 5 Personal Year will involve immersion in all things sensual in some way or another, and so on for each of the years.

How to Find Your Personal Year

Finding your Personal Year for any given year is a simple calculation. You simply add the numerical month and date of your birth to the Universal Year number for the year you want to identify.

Ex: If your birthday is January 27, and you want to know your Personal Year number for 2006, you would add:

(Month – 01) + (Date: - 27 – 2 + 7 = 9) + (Universal Year: 2 + 0 + 0 + 6 = 8)

1 + 9 + 8 = 18 = 1 + 8 = 9

The year 2006 is a 9 Personal Year for a person whose birthday is January 27.

Interpreting Your Personal Year

Of course, knowing your Personal Year doesn’t do you much good if you don’t know what each year means. While there are many other influences at play throughout the year, including Personal Month Numbers and Personal Day Numbers, your Personal Year number will give you a general feel for what is going on in your life during the year.

A note about your birthday: Many numerologists will tell you that your Personal Year begins on your birthday each year. The Personal Year is influenced by the Universal Year, so your Personal Year will be in effect throughout the calendar year. However, its influence will be more strongly felt in the months closest to your birthday month, while the preceding and succeeding years’ influences will also be felt in the months before and after your birthday.


1 Personal Year

New beginnings, new ideas, increased vitality

A 1 personal year brings new beginnings and new ideas. It is a time to launch new projects, conceive new businesses, embark on new relationships. You may find that things that have been important in the last decade or so lose their importance now as new ideas take their place.

In a 1 personal year, you are setting the stage for the next nine years of your life. This is not a time to sit back and wait for things to happen. You will have the opportunity to start making things happen. The things that you do and dream this year contain the seeds for the plants that will grow over the next nine years. A personal 1 year also often brings increased physical vitality

2 Personal Year

Cooperation, Continuation, Nurturing, Development

A 2 personal year can be frustrating after the intense energy and excitement of a 1 year. This is the year that seeds start to grow – the projects and relationships you’ve begun require nurturing and patience. This is a year to keep plugging away, slowly and steadily, while you continue to build on your dreams.

In a 2 personal year, the focus may be on relationships of all kinds as well. It's not uncommon for new relationships to start and old ones to end during this personal year.

3 Personal Year

Expansion, Successes, Blossoming

In a 3 year, you’ll begin to see the fruits of your labor. The 3 year is a social year full of excitement and creativity. You may find yourself involved in a whirl of activities, social, business and romantic. Your enthusiasm is contagious this year, and others will be drawn to you by it. Successes seem to fall into your lap in every area of your life, and opportunities to expand your circles will abound. The biggest issue you may face in a 3 personal year is an overabundance of opportunities. Keeping your focus may be difficult when there is so much to choose from.

The 3 personal year many times can result in a person feeling as though they are having to deal with everyone else's problems, yet are feeling as though they have little time to focus on their own. It's important that the focus go toward the self first, and then if energy and time is left over to bring the attention to others.

4 Personal Year

Foundation, Maintenance, Responsibility

4 is the number of the Square, the four-sided figure that provides a strong foundation for building. A 4 year may seem dull and restrictive, but it’s the time when you are cementing your foundations and solidifying everything you’ve accomplished in the past three years. This is the year that you will become aware of the responsibilities and work required to maintain the momentum needed to build your dreams. A 4 year is an ideal year to take a close look at your finances and physical needs and do what you have to ensure that your needs are met.

5 Personal Year

Independence, Freedom, Personal Rewards, Change

The 5 is the most sensual and creative of all numbers. It is also the most self-indulgent. A 5 year offers rewards that grow from your efforts of the past four years – or deviate wildly from them. Opportunities for travel, enrichment and excitement will often come your way in a 5 personal year. This is a great year to launch yourself from last year’s foundation. If you built a solid foundation in the past year, you’ll find that this year brings rich rewards.

If, however, a solid foundation was not built you may find yourself unintentionally swept away in the chaos of sudden and/or unexpected change and you may have little to no control over it. Thus, the hard work of the four year is extremely important to ensure that the five year is a year of joy, fun, and pleasure.

6 Personal Year

Love, Family, Responsibility, and Home

Romance, family and friends take on a great deal of importance in a 6 year. You’ll find the focus on domestic matters, and love interests are often highlighted during a 6 years. This is the year that many people meet their soul mate (or life mate), and friends that you make during a 6 year will often be friends for life.

This is also a year where responsibility comes into focus. You may pick up new responsibilities or you may find yourself completing and letting go of old ones. Chances are both will be occurring in some form or another.

7 Personal Year

Reflection, Spirituality and Self-analysis

During a 7 year, the focus often turns to the inside. Self-reflection and refinement grow in importance. Many people find themselves questioning the purpose of their lives, and turning toward spirituality. A 7 year is a good time to spend time alone, getting in touch with what really matters and how to accomplish it.

8 Personal Year

Health, Wealth and Attraction

The 8 is a double 4, and in an 8 year you could feel a bit stodgy and bound by responsibility. On the other hand, you’ll also often find that your foundation and building of the past seven years has borne an abundance of fruit and it is easy to attract all the things that you want. After the personal reflection of last year, however, you may be starting to feel as if it just isn’t enough. As the 8 year continues, you may find yourself feeling restless and ready to move on to something new.

Be careful of conflict during this year, as power struggles are not only possible, but very likely. It's important, this year, to learn when to "fight" and when to "just let it go." These decisions will largely impact if and when you end up reaping the previously mentioned rewards.

9 Personal Year

Completion, Resolution, End of an Era

The 9 personal year brings you to the end of a personal cycle and invites you to take stock of where you are and where you want to go. This is the year that you’ll be resolving many of the experiences and issues of the past in preparation for beginning the cycle anew. This can be an unsettling time, where you feel as if you’ve outgrown your life, but haven’t quite released your responsibilities and ties to the past yet.

Interesting stuff eh?

It's funny, but numerology is one of those things in our field that EVERYONE could stand to know a bit about.

When a psychic asks you for your birth information, 8 times out of 10 they are requesting it for numerology reasons and not astrology reasons.

Numerology also makes a great first symbol system and can be used in conjunction with astrology, kabbalah, tarot, and most other new age/metaphysical disciplines.

Thanks for reading and, as the Rosicrucian's would say, "best wishes for peace profound!"

~John Culbertson

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Numerology: Your Essential Life Numbers

Numerology: Your Essential Life Numbers by Jackson Swift

Numerology is one of the ancient systems that were highly used for divination. Like the historical relationship between astrology and astronomy, alchemy and chemistry, numerology has gone into the realm of pseudomathematics. In earlier times, it was considered part of mathematics. Today, however, it is more associated with the occult.

In essence, numerology takes into account how the numerical system represents a relationship with objects or living things. Often, numerologists would plot a person’s full name of full birth date to get the numbers essential to a person. With numerology, one can:

Learn the challenges that they need to overcome
Identify peak moments in their life
Explore special talents and skills
Discover hidden abilities.

The following are some types of numbers a person practicing numerology will look for:

Life Path Number – Represents the path you should take through life and the talents and skill you have to make this journey rewarding. This is derived by adding up all your birth date numbers.

Life Destiny Number – Derived by adding all the values for the letters in your full birth name. It is said to represent your overall path to accomplish your purpose in life.

Soul Number – Derived by adding the values for the vowels of your full birth name. This is said to indicate your something about your inner, private self and motivations that influence your actions.

Personality Number – Derived by adding the values for the consonants of your full birth name. Is associated with your outward appearance, how you express yourself and how others know you by.

Maturity Number – said to represent your true self, this is indicative of the person you will come to be.

Balance Number – this is a dormant number that becomes most important when your life is in turmoil. It is said to help people resolve the challenges and problems they are experiencing.

Foundation Letter – reveals the most significant personality trait that people appreciate and admire most about you.

First Vowel of your name signifies how you react to people and situations.

The 4 Pinnacles represent the time in your life when you realize your goals and learn some of the most important lessons in life.

The 4 Challenges, on the other hand, represents your personal struggles and weaknesses that you will need to overcome.

The 3 Cycles tells of the lessons one must learn and goals that must be met to achieve one’s true destiny and to stay on his or her Life Path.

Numerology can say much about you – specifically who you are and your destiny. In a previous article, we discussed some of the important numbers that are derived from the practice of numerology.

So aside from your life path number, life destiny number, soul number, personality number, maturity number, balance number, foundation letter, 4 pinnacles, 4 challenges and 3 cycles, there are still more numbers to look at.

Karmic Lesson Numbers – these say much about your areas of improvement. We need to give attention to these in order to grow and be complete.

Personal Lucky Number – this is the number that is expected to bring you luck throughout your life. It is important to note that the lucky number should not be used for high-risk gambles or as the be all and end all of positive results.

Signature Number – this is based on how you sign your name.

Birthday Number – while this is not as important as your other numerology profile numbers it does have somewhat of an influence on your Life Path and Destiny.

Personal Year Number – Helps determine what is to happen to your life in the current year. This can help you focus your energies on the areas that will most likely help you achieve your goals

Personal Month Number – Similar to the personal year number, it gives you insight on what to expect in a given month.

Jackson Swift is the author of this article for Universal Psychic Guild that offers free email psychic readings, free psychic chat online and psychic text services.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What Is Numerology?

What Is Numerology? by Michelle Andersen

Each day, we are exposed to numbers. We have phone numbers, birthdates, even our financial information is driven by numbers. Numerology is the study of the numbers in our lives and how they affect us. A student of numerology uses the letters in a word, such as a full name, or a birth date and reduces that to a single number. That number tells them certain things about the person's character, what strengths and weaknesses they possess; it can even be used to predict their future. Numerology is often closely associated astrology as astrologists assigned the numbers 0 through 9 to each celestial body in the solar system and each number has its own set of values.

Numerology has been around for thousands of years. The Egyptians and Babylonians both used it over 10,000 years ago. Pythagoras, a mathematician whose theories are still in use today, is believed to have official organized numerology in Greece over 2,500 years ago. He held the view that math concepts were easier to regulate and classify than physical ones. Others beliefs and writings important in the development of numerology were early Christian mysticism, the Chinese Circle of the Dead, the Kabbalah, and the Indian Vedas. At the beginning of the 20th century, L. Dow Balliet published the first book about numerology, beginning what is known as the modern phase of numerology and interest in it grew over the next few decades. Recently, a revival of interest in numerology has occurred and many people are learning how numbers might affect them.

Although methods may vary, typically a numerologist reduces a word or number using a procedure called digit summing. If the numerologist is dealing with a number, such as a birth date, they add up all the numbers. If the sum is two or more digits, then those numbers are added until there is a single digit left. When dealing with a word, such as a name, each letter of the alphabet is assigned a number. For example, A = 1, B = 2, C = 3. Then the same steps as above are followed - the numbers are summed until one digit remains. Some numerologists will not break numbers that total 11, 22, or 33. These are known as master numbers and are considered to have higher vibrations as than the numbers they would create if digitally summed.

Below is a brief definition of each number:

One - Because it is the first number, one is seen as having great power. Usually seen as "male," one can be happy, loving and dynamic while also being alone and egotistical.

Two - Associated with "female" energy, two often represents partnerships and interacting with others. It can also stand for the polar opposites of things such as black and white or good and evil. This number is best symbolized by the Chinese symbol Yin-Yang.

Three - Three is often related to learning through life experiences. It is often considered lucky and magical. It can mean both wisdom and understanding, yet also be foolish and negative.

Four - The first composite number (the first number to be created by multiplying numbers other than one and itself), four is associated with the four cardinal points (North, South, East and West), the four Gospels of the Bible, and time (four seasons, roughly four weeks in each month). It is a homonym for the Chinese word for "death," therefore; some hospitals do not have a fourth floor.

Five - Five is related with the five senses (smell, touch, taste, hearing, and sight) and often represents service to others as well as openness to new experiences, but it can also represent an addictive personality.

Six - The number six relates to beauty and often helps in building relationships. It is believed to hold charm, sensuality, and diplomacy. Six is also considered the mother / father number.

Seven - A spiritual number, seven can be both dreamy and spiritual while also being deceptive and insincere.

Eight - Eight represents hard work and life lessons. Because of that, eight is seen as seeking financial and material success, but is also associated with the hardships encountered while seeking both.

Nine - A sacred number, nine is viewed as a humanitarian number and holds mystical significance due to the nine-month gestational period for humans.

Numerology has been around for thousands of years. As with astrology, some see numerology as an occult science with little meaning, while others see it as a viable way to help them understand themselves and the world around them.

About the Author: Michelle Andersen is an astrologer providing valuable tips and advice on understanding Chinese astrology, pet horoscopes, and zodiac compatibility. Choose from any one of three free readings - psychic love, tarot cards, or numerology reading.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Language Of Dreams

Language Of Dreams by Bonnie Moss

Dreams take us not into ourselves, but out of ourselves. -Richard Jones

Dreams hold us in fascination. It’s an experience that takes us to another realm of existence. We try to make sense of it upon waking, that is if we can remember the dream. It’s not just you and I who marvel at the series of images and events.

Scientists, researchers and psychologists have their own questions: when do dreams occur? What is the purpose of dreaming? Parapsychologists believe that dreams serve as channels for psychic communication.

Dreams transport us into a world that defies logic, transcends time, space and physical barriers. Our dreams are our own stories, a series of stories that are real in the dream world. We mingle with our long departed loved ones, alive and very much part of our lives; celebrating with us, struggling with us, talking to us, touching us. We meet long forgotten friends or acquaintances. We meet strangers.

We move in and out from one scene to another. We travel to places we can only fantasize about. We wake up shaking with fear from a nughtmare. In dreams, we meet faces, we confront danger, we enjoy a celebration, we experience success or failure, we have adventures. We wake up puzzled and at times confused.


Sleep is essential to dreaming. This is not about lucid or active dreaming, or induced altered states to trigger dreams. Nor is it about monitored dream states in a laboratory setting. This is about the ordinary dreaming state we all experience. Dreams that visit us in our sleep, our experience, our adventures that can go from the bizarre, to the sublime, to the ridiculous and to disconnected events.

Sleep is a time to step back from the real world, from the anxieties, from the confusion, from the passions, from the logical part of us, from reality. In sleep, we drift into a world that is spontaneous, into a realm that requires no logic, no analysis, no express cerebral activity. In our dreams, we do not have to exercise judgment nor be judged.

Does the soul travel during sleep? What kind of world awaits us when we go to sleep and enter the dreams state? Are dreams inspired by God, by some beings, by spirits from our past? Are we visited by evil or tramp spirits that are believed to roam the world? Was the dream an extension of that movie we watched?

How can our spirit or soul mingle within a world totally different from our conscious world? Strong emotions find their way into our dreams. So do our innermost fears and insecurities. What about shadows? Some events in our lives cast a long shadow. Our deepest secrets may reveal themselves in another context in our dreams.

Freud and Jung were famous for their exploration of dreams. They had different approach to dreaming. Freud stated that dreams do not reflect reality,it is as varied as thoughts in the waking state. He had a regressive approach to dreams.

Jung believed that the dream psyche passes a wealth of contents and living forms equal to or greater than the conscious mind. He took the progressive approach. Jung spent years exploring his own dreams, thus providing useful information on the correlation of symbols to dreams.

There is an increasing interest in dream interpretation and working with dreams. There is a connection between our dreams and our regular lives in the regular world. Could we stop and make some relevance of our dreams and our reality? Dreams provide access to our inner world. This makes it worthwhile to explore and try to understand our dreams, and perhaps find a connecting bridge to our reality, discover those hidden creative talents.

Dreams may have a message to help us confront our demons, our deepest pain, or remind us of forgotten joys. Dreams can also be precognitive, that is, it may warn the dreamer of the potential of unpleasant events. Dreams may at times reflect suppressed or unexpressed emotions and passions. It can highlight sexual tensions.

A closer look at dreams may be helpful to our spiritual development. Some of the experiences in dreams convey wisdom, happiness and beauty, as well as pain and sorrow Dream interpretation requires patience and perseverance. A dream journal is a helpful tool and for future reference.


In his book: Let Your Body Interpret your Dream, Eugene Gendlin has these pointers as a guide to dream interpretation:

Experience and experiment the dream. Focus. It is not about trying to intellectualize the dream, but to experience the dream and to feel it. Listen to the stirrings within, be open to change, be forward –moving.

Associations: Feeling - what did you feel in the dream, what in your life feels like it? Yesterday - what did you do yesterday? What preoccupied you?

Drama, place: What was the main place in the dream? Have you ever been in a place like that? How did it feel?

Story: Summarize the story-plot of the dream. What in your life is like that? Summarize the events of the dream in two or three steps.

Character: Who was the most important character. Were there unknown persons.Who do these people remind you of?

Working with characters: What part of you is that in the dream. What feelings arise when you consider a particular character. What adjectives can describe that person, be that person,imagine yourself to be a particular character. How would you feel and act? Can the dream continue? Vividly visualize the end of any important scene. Watch and wait for any changes in images and feelings.

Decoding techniques: Symbols - think of symbols; what was that thing, what is it used for? Did you dream of a house? What shapes and colors can you remember? Were there animals?

Body analogy : Was there any object in your dream that can be an analogy for the body?

Conterfactuals: What situation in the dream is specifically different from the actual situation? Why would the dream make these changes?

Developmental Dimensions: Childhood - what childhood memories are related to your dream. Personal growth - how are you trying to develop? Are you feeling stuck in a rut lately? Sexuality – could the dream be about your current feelings or actions towards your sexuality

Spirituality - what creative or spiritual potentials might the dream reflect?

It is believed that Gendlin’s use of the body association in dream work has some precedent in the Gestalt method. He took it a step further with the bodily sense and awareness.

As strange as our dreams are at times, dreams are real to us in the dream state. It is present and vivid, yet difficult to remember when we wake up. We are puzzled about having been in another world in our sleep. The intensity of the relationships and events which we actively take part in are forgotten.

Dream becomes a forgotten language.

About the Author:
Bonnie Moss writes about spirituality, tools available to all to walk the path. Visit her website, a metaphysical site that offers information on tarot, crystals, aura, angels, journalling and other topics. She is the Executive Secretary of Tarot Canada International, as well as a regular contributor of articles to the newletter Future Endeavours.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Meditation Before A Tarot Card Reading

Meditation Before A Tarot Card Reading by Jackson Swift

If you plan to get a tarot card reading or any astrology report, then it is best to do a little meditation beforehand. This clears up all of your blocked chakras, and brings you the right energy you need for a psychic reading and astrology reading. Psychics can get easily distracted by unwanted energy around you. This gives for a reading that is not so accurate, because you will be carrying a lot of excess baggage. Especially for online tarot reading and horoscopes reading, you want your energy to be clear to get the best psychic advice and astrology report you can get. Working with the tarot requires some patience and preparation, but it can be greatly beneficial.

There are some meditation techniques you can use to make the most out of your tarot card readings and astrology report. Meditation is very easy, but it needs the right elements to work. If you are planning to meditate, you should first find a place where you can concentrate and be alone with your thoughts. It is important to choose a location that you feel comfortable in, free from all the stresses of everyday living. Your room can be the best place for this. However, you need to turn off all distractions such as the television, radio, or computer. If you like to meditate with a little music, then you can do so, but keep in mind to choose relaxing tunes.

You can try two types of meditation: stabilized and analytical. Stabilized meditation will help slow down the activity in your body and mind. This is achieved through concentration. On the other hand, analytical meditation deals with intelligence, creativeness and other personality traits. Remember to always relax and keep your focus when meditating. Meditation before a tarot reading can help you get better, accurate results. With the help of online psychics, you can get good psychic advice even if you’re half a world away.

Tarot Cards in Pop Culture

Tarot cards have been around for a very long time. They were once used by the French and Italians as regular playing cards, much like a regular deck today. However, gypsies have utilized the tarot and have made them one of the most versatile forms of divination. Each card on the tarot deck depicts a picture. For the Major Arcana, the pictures are usually of archetypes present in life. These are used to predict or analyze major issues in life. The Minor Arcana, on the other hand, incorporates different situations in life. This division of the tarot deck is used for every day problems. Each picture is beautifully drawn, much like a piece of art drawn in seventy six different cards. This is very important as this gives the reader some inspiration.

Arcana literally means secret. Tarot cards hold secrets that only an experienced psychic reader can unlock. This is probably the reason why we are so fascinated in the Tarot and it's secrets. In pop culture, we can see a lot of references to the tarot. Alejandro Jodorowsky, for example, used tarot cards as an inspiration for his movie the Holy Mountain. The Fool of the Major Arcana and the Five of Wands of the Minor Arcana were his characters. Disney's the Princess and the Frog also had a character who was a magician and tarot card expert. In modern literature, Neil Gaimann's short stories mention the use of tarot cards to know and see evil.

A tarot card reading can be an interesting experience for anyone. If you want to know the secrets of the tarot, you can try getting a tarot reading from a psychic. You can even get an online tarot reading. There are a lot of things you can do with the help of online psychics.

Jackson Swift is the author of this article for Universal Psychic Guild that offers telephone psychic readings, phone horoscope and numerology services.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Anatomy of a Tarot Reading

The Anatomy of a Tarot Reading by H.P. Thomas Moore

In my previous article “An Easy Start to Tarot” we talked about the Tarot card and how we can interpret them fast fun and easy! Here I would like to take that same fast fun and easy principle and apply it to preparing for the reading, and the layout used for the cards. We will talk about shuffling the cards, card placement and stringing all the meanings together to create a full cohesive reading.

First let’s start by going over what we do to prepare for a reading. Many times as you do a Tarot reading you are not only going to read the card meaning but you are also going to get some sort of information from your Guides and Higher Self, though we may not always be aware that is happening. As you become more and more proficient in psychic work and study you will become more aware of the input that your Guides and Higher Self actually add to your readings. So what is it that we need to do first? Well reading the cards is great and can be very accurate but you want to allow other information to come through as well. So what is done first is a small meditation. Bring yourself into your quiet space of reflection, see yourself engulfed by the White Light of divine love and protection, and even if you don’t know who they are yet ask for your guides to be with you during the reading. Doing this will open you to accept information that may come from your Higher Self and Guides in addition to actually reading the meanings of the cards. Second you want to hand your cards to the person that you are going to read and allow them to shuffle them. There is a lot of myth surrounding the shuffling of the cards. Some people say that only you as the reader should shuffle, others think that there should be a specific time limit of shuffling, or that the cards should be split into a certain number of piles. The fact of that matter is allow the person you are reading to do what feels most comfortable for him/her. This way the energy that they have can easy find their way to your cards and the cards that come out will have a deep meaning to your client. After that you take the cars back and begin your reading by first asking what it is that your client wants to focus on, is it Money, Love, Career? Anything! After that it is time to start your layout and do your reading. Ok but where exactly do you begin?

Let’s start with the layout. The layout is the pattern in which you will place the cards on the table. Each of these places has a specific meaning that you can use to better interpret the card and place it somewhere within your client’s life. Sounds a bit complicated but it really is fun and easy! The standard layout seen most often is called the Celtic Cross layout and it uses 11 cards. Lets first go over each of the 11 spaces to know what each will mean, and then we will go over how to lay and interpret the cards in those positions.

1: What is on the Clients Mind?

2: Obstacles

3: The way through those obstacles

4: Foundation

5: Last 6 months

6: Next 6 months

7: 1-2 years from now

8: Family and Friends

9: The next 2 weeks

10: Hopes and Fears (related to the situation)

11: Outcome

These represent what each card of the layout is going to mean. And feel free to use this as a cheat sheet when you are first starting out until you become more comfortable with it! So, our first card that we lay is going to represent what is on the clients mind. So let’s say you are reading Joy, and Joy wants to know about her love life. Place the first card down in the center of the table and tell Joy that this represents what is on her mind. From there you interpret the card, in the position according to what Joy is asking about. For example if the first card out is the Ace of Cups what can we say about what is on Joy’s mind regarding her Love life? Well it’s easy we start by saying “This card represents what is on your mind in relation to your love life….” Then we add in the card information, “the Ace of Cups talks about new beginnings in an emotional way.” From there all we have to do is then string it together “So what is being focused on now is adding some new emotions to your love life.” See, easier than you thought isn’t it? And don’t forget that if it is reversed to mention that it is happening at a slower pace!

Now we move onto the second card of the layout, this card lies sideways directly on top of the first. This is the obstacle that Joy is having in relation to the first card on what is on her mind. So let’s say that the card you pull is the 2 of wands. This is how you start. “This card represents the obstacle that you are having in relation to what is on your mind, it is the 2 of wands which talks about physical balance, so your obstacle is to keep the balance of yourself in a physical way.” From here we add this interpretation to the first card that we put down.” So in order to attain a new emotional beginning in your love life you need to keep balance within yourself.” All we did was to interpret the card by itself first and then tie it in to the card that we first spoke about. This same pattern is followed throughout the rest of the reading. You lay a card, interpret it and then tie it in to all the other cards that you have down previously. Let’s move on.

Your third card down falls underneath the first 2. And from here we do the same thing we relate the interpretation of this card to the previous card or cards. Say the card here is the 7 of swords. This is how it may sound. “This card represents the way through your obstacle, the 7 of swords is mental organization. So in order to balance yourself physically to attain a new emotional beginning you could first try to organize your thoughts and then start from there.”

The Fourth card falls underneath the third. And again we do the same. Say this card is the 6 of pentacles. “This card represents your foundation currently; it is the 6 of pentacles which talks about responsibility to finances. So in order to organize your mind so that you can balance yourself and gain that emotional beginning in your love life, this says that you could begin that organization with your finances.”

The fifth card now falls to the right of the first card that you placed. This is the last 6 months. Say this card is the 2 of swords. “This card represents the last 6 months. Here it shows that you have had the mental balance but the responsibility of the finances has thrown you out of that balance so that you are both physically and mentally out of balance and aren’t allowing the new emotional beginnings that you want.”

The 6th card now is the next 6 months. Here is a little trick that I use often. All the cards that are future oriented cards 6, 7, and 11 I interpret together. Cards that are past and present cards 1-5 I interpret together. Then the cards 8, 9 and 10 I interpret by themselves. This way it is easier to “tell the story” that the cards hold by keeping them in order. So card 6 falls to the left of the first card and begins your future interpretations. Say this card is the 3 of cups. “This card represents the next 6 months, the card is the 3 of cups that talks about an expansion of emotions, so it is likely that within that time you will overcome your obstacles.”

Card number 7 now falls above the first card that you placed. Say this card is the Queen of Cups. “This card represents the next 1-2 years, the card in the Queen of Cups and it talks about being an emotional person and finding that emotion within the self. By that time period it is likely that you will have fully attained the new emotional beginning you have been looking for.”

Cards 8-11 fall to the far right side of card 5. These cards will form an upward line one above the other. 8 is the family and friends. Say the card is the 4 of wands. “Her represents your family and friends, the 4 of wands talks about physical foundation, this says that your family and friends are willing to physically support you in overcoming your obstacles.” Are you getting the idea here of how everything is interpreted first and then tied into the other cards as well as Joy’s question?

Card 9 is the next 2 weeks. Here say we pull the 4 of pentacles. “The 4 of pentacle here represents the next 2 weeks. This card says that within that time you will have a firm foundation of the finances and begin to work with them responsibly.”

Card 10 hopes and fears. I won’t give an interpretation for this card because honestly there are times where I don’t feel that it is needed. Know though that here you would do the same as we have been.

Card 11 is the outcome from here you are going to interpret the card alone and then pull in into all of the cards that you have placed in relation to Joy’s question to give the reading that final touch and pull all of the information together!

Not as hard as you thought it would be is it? With time and practice you are sure to get this to go smoothly. As you interpret cards if you feel there is additional information from your Guides or Higher Self feel free to add that in as well. The more information you can get the better the client will be in deciding what decisions and choices they fell are best for them to make. So go out and practice some Tarot reading and have fun doing it!

Rev. Thomas Moore is High Priest of The Coven of L.I.G.H.T in South West Florida, as well as a professional Psychic, Healer, Speaker and Author. He teaches a variety of classes in the metaphysical field as well as Wicca and is the Store Manager for Starchild Books in Port Charlotte Florida.