Suit of Stones – Ten

Like all tens, the ten of Stone adds the Holy breath to the promise of the Ace. It is the fulfillment of the promise of the path itself. This card is the fulfillment of the path of Wisdom. One who thrives within the realm of Stones connects deeply with the ancestors in the realization he is the child of promise and it is through making his own choices, following his heart, and dreaming himself back into the Garden he has indeed poured blessings over the entire realm. She nourishes her family tree by boldly following her own path with an ear to the voice of the Parents in all things. He could not have done all these things by blindly following the expectations of others and ignoring the call of his Soul. And so she celebrates the understanding that this place, our Earth, is magnificent and holds the promise of Heaven within Her arms. The ten of Stone celebrates the manifest, the sacred within the seemingly mundane, and the music of magic in all things.

All the manifest world is made of Light and infused by Breath. We are animate participants in Creation. When we learn to experience beauty in every aspect of life the false divisions between what is “material” and what is “spiritual” disappear and we realize there is no division in the sphere of the yin-yang.

  1. How do you define sacred? Profane? Do you consider the events, efforts, and participation in the world to be sacred or profane? Does there have to be a dividing line between them?

  2. Some spiritual traditions consider participation in the worldly realms to be an illusory distraction. Others consider it an extremely important ethic. How do you reconcile the so-called divisions between worldliness and spirituality? Does there have to be one?

  3. Imagine that by following your own path, even when it diverges from the paths others wished for you, you are ultimately pouring blessings on all those around you. Let’s make this practical. When you choose against your heart, did things work out well? When you choose with your heart, how are things different? How can you differentiate? Take a moment to close your eyes, breathe, and connect with your heart. It is your best tool for making wise choices. Ask it to show you “yes” by filling you with a sense of openness, calm, and joy. Then ask it to show you “no” by closing or slightly constricting. Now start learning the language of your heart by speaking with it often, asking it for advise, and making choices with it as your ally.

When the ten of Stones enters your spread know that you are blessed. Your ancestors are smiling, the Holy Breath is dancing within you, and you are sheltered in the arms of Love. Keep your purposes aligned with your heart and your actions will continue to bring blessings to others. Thank you for your Service.

 

© 2013 Heather D. Eggleston

Suit of Stones – Nine

After we adjust to the expectations and responsibilities of power we enter a space of deep abundance. It is here that all the ancestral healing, difficult decisions, creative processing, hard work, humility, charity, introspection, and the careful exercise of influence lands us in a special place where the air tastes delicious. We realize our lives are inherently filled with meaning from the very first breath. Here we stop, look around, throw our heads back and laugh. The stresses, anxieties, and pain fall away in the beauty of the garden, which has always surrounded us. It is here we realize that the point of it all is joyful simplicity. It is here we grow the eyes to see the beauty in every moment and so the moments collapse upon each other in the bliss of having followed one’s heart into the center of things. The nine of Stones takes us deep into the surrender of all the beauty and abundance that surrounds us at any given moment. It is easy to think of this as a linear achievement but this state is available at any time, no matter our outward circumstances. With Grace, we can find ourselves in the garden at any moment so long as we can open our eyes and truly see the magnificence of our Mother’s body. And at this point there is no reason to continue to seek, search, and pursue. At this point we allow. We allow the wisdom and abundance to shelter us. We are in the flow, open to divine suggestion, and move with a sense of surety, confidence, and the absolute trust that we are, and always have been, led.

  1. Consider the following words: belief, trust, faith, hope, know. They are similar but have subtle differences. Which is the strongest word? Which one has the most variability? Which speaks to your heart and which has less conviction?

  2. What does it mean to “return to the garden?” Consider the Eden story from Genesis. The Garden is a magnificent place in which nature is aligned with humans to provide for all their needs without struggle and strife. What did it mean for humanity to “fall?” Is it possible the garden has been here all along and we are only locked out of it from our own ignorance and fears? What happens if we stop struggling and allow the Garden to nourish us again?

  3. Have you ever experienced being in a state of “flow?” What does it feel like? Some people experience a “runner’s high,” which is an exercise-produced endorphin flooded state of bliss. Others experience such a state through mystical prayer, meditation, yoga-practices, and lovemaking. Still others achieve such a state of flow through creative process, labors of love, and work. Have you ever touched such a state of infinity? How often? Do you have a way of getting to that place regularly?

  4. Consider the word grace. What does it mean to you? Look at the etymology, use in various religious traditions, and the good old dictionary translation. Now consider grace as a state in which meditation (listening) and prayer (speaking) blend into one space. Shut off your mind and allow that state to fill you for a few moments each day. This is a way back to the garden.

When the nine of Stones enters your spread take a deep breath, knowing you have achieved a space of Allowingness, which infuses your spaces. Recognize you have been, are being, and will continue to be led by the call of your Soul’s voice. Look around and see the beauty that surrounds you. Take a walk into the woods, play in the garden, allow Nature to support you. This is the Garden.

 

© 2013 Heather D. Eggleston

Suit of Stones – Eight

Following the meditative retreat of seven, the eight of Stones returns us to the world renewed and filled with Power. This is when we step into the role of Wise-one, sage, crone. After giving it back to the All, we are able to more fully embody the role of one who has truly been there and back again. Others naturally gravitate to us for a wise and understanding ear. We become the mentor for those stepping into their Creative possibilities. We influence those around us with a touch, word, or the slightest turn of the head. And so, in such a state, we must learn the proper use of Power. This is not the power of simple wealth or age. Rather it is the power of influence. It is through our blessing (or curse) that others may step forward on their path. If we speak carelessly, their passions may be quenched. We are suddenly in the role of elder to a younger generation looking to us for guidance.
This happens regardless of age. There are some “old souls” who have played the role of elder since childhood and there are older people who may never embody the power of the eight of Stone. And so the now influential elder must carefully manage his own lusts that he may be fair, practical, and compassionate to those looking for his guidance. It is easy here to fall into a quest for power, the glory of being sought after, and the headiness of young admirers. Many a leader has fallen hard on this rung of the path of Wisdom. The eight of Stones urges us to use our power wisely and from a place of surrendered humility.
The duty of the eight of Stone is to use this Power to encourage others to sing their own songs and to follow their own bliss. When you find yourself prompting others into action for your own underlying desires, needs, and wishes there is a problem.

  1. What is your relationship with Power? Is it a bad word? Or is it something after which you seek?

  2. How have you seen power used in the world? How has it been used in your life by others who seemed to have power over you? How have you used it?

  3. Does power have to have a hierarchical structure? Is there always someone who is “alpha?” Or can power be exhibited in a different sort of structure?

  4. Think about the phrase “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” What does this mean? Do you think it’s true? How can we maintain innocent Power?

© 2013 Heather D. Eggleston

Suit of Stones – Seven

The seven of Stones pulls us back into a state of introspection. We have stepped onto the path of Wisdom, found harmony with our ancestral inheritance, created a purposeful life, struggled with greed, loss, and found balance in generosity. And now we may feel a bit weary, even disillusioned or filled with compassion fatigue. It seems all we do (and it is so much!) is the smallest ripple in the largest sea. We plant seeds, watch them grow, and wait for the harvest, but fear the harvest will never come. And even when it does, it will only feed so many mouths. And so we must remember our original partners in the Creative process are the Parents themselves. And, at this realization, we return it back to Them. Perhaps you have earned advanced degrees, built businesses, fed the poor, written novels, healed the sick. None of these things are possible without the cooperation of the Universe. And so, when we are weary of holding the weight of the world on our shoulders, we must remember nothing we created belongs to us. It returns, just as we will, to the All. And so, with the seven of Stones, we relinquish that which we’ve created, and turn our hearts to the mysteries.
It is now that we assess the spiritual indications of all we’ve accomplished in the worldly realms. It is not just how we’ve affected others by our work but how we have been affected by the Light we send into the realms that matters. For every outward action we have made there has been an inner reaction. And so with the seven of Stones we go deep, meditate, speak to the Ancestors, and reconnect to their choir of voices.
1. Assess your life thus far. How has your schooling, work, and actions in the world, affected you? Have you experienced change and growth from your active pursuits? How have you developed toward actualization through your worldly pursuits?

  1. Do you feel like your work has reflected your ethics? When have you met resistance between your ethics and your work? Has it prompted you to make changes? How do you reconcile them?

  2. Do your inner and outer worlds mirror each other? Do you feel congruent between what you say and what you do? Do you “practice what you preach?” Do you feel in alignment with the Holy, in whatever way you experience it?

  3. How have you been taught patience and introspection in your life? Is it an easy lesson for you?

  4. What does it mean to “give it back to the All?” Have you been propelled to do this in your life before? Consider the catchphrase “Let go and let God.” What does that mean to you?

    When the seven of Stones appears it’s time for a “time out” to go within, reassess, explore the deeper spiritual implications of your life, and focus on the Higher purpose of all you do. While you may feel like giving it all up, now is not the time. Patience, meditation, aloneness, and seeing through the Soul’s eyes will bring new and broader perspective.

© 2013 Heather D. Eggleston

Suit of Stones – Six

After the shake-up of loss, potential or actual, we have learned what’s really important. And so it’s time for us to try on multiple perspectives and truly begin to touch Wisdom. We have experienced both loss and gain so we can deeply empathize with the plight our siblings in the human family. And then we must treat others just as we would wish to be treated. Jesus’ Golden Rule echoes through this card: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.1” In this card, we have the very poor accepting the generosity of a wealthy patron. Put yourself in the place of the beggar, who is homeless on the street and reliant on the wealth of others. Consider the possible circumstances that may have put you in this situation. What could have happened to force you to depend on the generosity of another person? And then put yourself in the place of the benefactor who, unlike the hoarder in the four of Stones, gives generously of his resources to those in need. So the card of loss, the five of Stone, leads to the card of generosity, the six of Stone. When we understand what it is to lose we also better understand what it means to give. And each one of us will at some time or another play both roles in some way. And it is here that lack fills itself with Love.

  1. In times of physical stress, financial, health, or otherwise, who has been there for you? Have you had the opportunity to be there for another?

  2. How do you choose to live the “Golden Rule?” Does it hold true for you? Engage with the different roles in this card. How do you act as the beggar? How do you act as the benefactor? What emotions do you experience in each role? Really put yourself there. Role-play it. Experience the emotions of yourself as each of these characters. Then energetically bless yourself in all spaces. Send blessings to the poor and to the rich with a prayer that they may gain greater understanding of the other and realize that they are One.

  3. Have you found yourself in judgment of those who are very poor, perhaps homeless on the streets? What about those who are less well-off than you who are of a different racial group or socio-economic status? Or perhaps you are more likely to judge the very wealthy or those of the middle classes. Step back from your judgements and imagine what it is like to be them. Understand the choices they make are from their perspective and accept that, more often than not, they are made from a place of innocence.

  4. Is it easier for you to be the giver or the receiver? Some of us are very good at giving and very terrible with receiving blessings from others. This represents an imbalance in ourselves. It is most important we be willing to give and receive equally in all things. If we cannot receive blessings from other humans, we are less likely to graciously receive blessings from the All. And if we cannot give with kindness, and without expectation, then we are freezing the flow of blessing.

When the six of Stones enters your spread, no matter your status, look for some way to give. Even when we are at our most impoverished there is someone we can help. By giving to others, in whatever way seems appropriate, we also thaw frozen places in ourselves and restore movement in our lives.

1Matthew 7:12

© 2013 Heather D. Eggleston

Suit of Stones – Five

Like all five cards, the five of Stones is challenging. Stability is, inevitably, temporary. We cannot maintain an indefinite period of stasis but must eventually move. If we stubbornly refuse to change and attempt to hold onto what we think of as “ours” then we will be pushed, prodded, and poked into a new stance. This can be very painful. Stress creates growth and the five of Stones is the necessity that mothers invention. And so, traditionally, this card represents financial loss or decline in health. Bob Dylan sings:

“Once upon a time you dressed so fine
You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn’t you?
People’d call, say, “Beware doll, you’re bound to fall”
You thought they were all kiddin’ you
You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hangin’ out
Now you don’t talk so loud
Now you don’t seem so proud
About having to be scrounging for your next meal.1

And so the five of Stones offers a cautionary tale. No matter how secure we may feel sitting safe within the walls of the four of Stones, even the mightiest can fall. But for grace any one of us may be the beggar on the street. And so we must see ourselves in the face of the homeless, impoverished, and sick. The five of Stones is whatever loss is needful to propel us back into our Soul’s dance towards Wisdom.
Great losses often lead to greater gains. While it is impossible (and inappropriate) to quantify the exact effects of a death, financial setback, illness, or other loss, it is often the case that they mark turning points in our lives. It is when we are up against the wall or at rock-bottom that we learn the substance of which we’re made. We test our strength and resilience against the stresses of life. And, with Grace, overcome.
Many healers come to their paths through illness. By learning to heal themselves they realize a calling to a higher service of assisting others. Others use physical illness to re-set their priorities about what’s really important and to heal relationships that may have been broken. Job losses may lead to innovation and new independence. Divorces may take us into brighter, healthier emotional lives. While these are never “easy” transitions, they can be made into good ones.
Fives always represent change and movement. They also represent tests. And this five reminds us that: “this too shall pass.” It also reminds us to give gratitude even in the darkest nights. It is these times that temper our metal, refining and fortifying our essential selves.

      1. Look at the greatest losses of your life thus far. It may be difficult, but find the “silver lining” in them. How did they propel you toward your deeper purpose?

      2. During times of financial insecurity, like we’ve experienced collectively the last few years, it is easy to get caught in security fears. Look at the macro-economics of our world and consider how the losses could be turned to a more healthy, balanced distribution of wealth. Consider how you can contribute to such change. Consider the positive aspects of economic decline.

      3. How can illness be considered growth? What have your or others’ illnesses taught you about the life and death?

      4. Some thinkers argue that we are all operating out of a basic fear of death. Do you find this to be true for yourself? What is your deepest fear? This is not a surface question and the answer may be changeable. It is hard to know what we fear until we face it. Some people are motivated by fear of death. Others out of fear of poverty. Still others out of a fear of insanity. Consider your deepest fears and how they may influence your daily life. As you do your motivation will change from operating out of fear to operating out of positive states such as service, love, and joy.

When the five of Stones enters your spread, don’t panic! Sacrifice the fears of loss you may still hold and look for some way to move that energy. Understand good things can come from loss and consider the places in your life that are ill and may need to be sacrificed. Offer up those fears, anxieties, and illnesses and make room for positive growth.

1Dylan, Bob. Like a Rolling Stone.

© 2013 Heather D. Eggleston

The Suit of Stones – Two

The two of Stone is the beginning of choice. Once we have looked backwards from where we’ve come and begun to interpret how our ancestral inheritance influences our way of being in the world, we must choose whether we wish to play out those ancestral patterns in our own lives. The choice on the path of Wisdom is: “will I honor my ancestors by being my own player or will I act in the role “written” for me by my familial patterns?” At this point we must look carefully at our individual ideas about filial piety and respect in conjunction with what it means to be one’s own person.


Most religious traditions have an inherent rule of elder respect. The Judeo-Christian Ten Commandments instruct us to: “Honor thy Father and thy Mother.1” Confucianism, which still strongly influences the relational dynamics in China and Chinese influenced cultures, places emphasis on filial piety and appropriate respect within the societal power structures. The principle of hsaio states that because of the great sacrifices parents make for their children the child is responsible for bringing honor to the family, sharing their physical and spiritual resources with their parents, and furthering their parents’ values even after their death.2 In ancient Rome the paterfamilias had absolute power over his family, including slaves. It was only with his blessing that a baby lived or died, and he was the only property owner until his death. Even grown sons were dependent upon his benevolence for their households. With such familial power structures in our not so ancient past, it is unsurprising that the path of Wisdom starts with choosing to be one’s own person.

  1. In your family of origin, what does it mean to “respect my elders?” Is there an inherent implication that my choices must be approved by my parents (and grandparents and so on)? What are the consequences for disobeying or stepping outside of the family’s approval? Have you ever stepped outside of familial approval?

  2. Was a particular role written for you in your family? Perhaps the eldest child as surrogate parent? Or the black-sheep? Or everyone’s baby? How has that role affected you into your adult life? Do you find yourself still playing it and most importantly does it actually fit you as a person? Do you wish to move out of the constraints of such roles in your life?

  3. Were you expected to step into a certain career path, spiritual faith, or political affiliation? Have you found yourself deviating from those expectations? What has been the effect of relationships because of such deviation?

  4. Is it possible in your life to “respect your elders” and still be autonomous and independent? How can you reconcile your unique voice and the expectations of the Ancestors?

When the two of Stone enters your spread consider the choices you’ve made, the roles you may still play, and how you can make those roles work for you rather than merely fulfilling expectations of others. Look at what choices are placed in front of you now and weigh them carefully against your own heart, desires, and dreams. When it comes time to act, act in accordance with your heart and your Soul’s purpose.

1Exodus 20:12

© 2013 Heather D. Eggleston

The Suit of Stone – Ace of Stone

Stone and the wisdom in the bones. Ancient knowledge. True wealth. Connection to the tribe. This suit is an offering to the old ones and the skeletal structure of the earth. We connect to the realm of Stone through our bones. It is shared memory, tribal continuity, the nearness of our ancestors in daily life, and the divination of Earth. Stone is fiercely practical and relates strongly to survival but also the continuation of life after death. The original wealth was the ore and gems brought up from the deep places of the earth such as caves and mines. These were mined from the domain of the dead, which is ruled by Pluto, the Greek god of wealth and death and by Hel, the Norse goddess, mistress of death and keeper of crystal caves. These great beings remind us that all wealth is temporarily loaned to the living and returns to the dead with the mortal’s passing. The wealth of gems and jewels from the deep places of Earth is related to the true wealth that is ancestral memory, continuity, and wisdom. And so the art of geomancy, divination through communication with stone and bone, connects the realm of Stone and Bone to the human consciousness. Stone shows us the path of Wisdom.
The Ace of Stones holds the promise of true wealth through worldly wisdom. When you draw this card your ancestors are calling you to explore the power in your bones. You are beginning a journey, which will culminate in knowing yourself more deeply than you may have imagined possible. The Ace of Stones is the promise of worldly success. It is the path of going through the gateway into the realm of Stone to learn the meaning of wealth, what it means to succeed, and how to connect with the Old Ones and ancestors.

  1. Who are your ancestors? Where do you come from? Delve into your history of place and person. Look at the traditional ways of your ancestry and how those ways have changed in contemporary times. Are there remnants of your ancestral lineage in family traditions, foods, or ways of being? Or have they been lost in assimilation?

  2. What does success mean in your family? Is it financial? Or does it have a more subtle intrinsic value? Do you feel successful?

  3. How do you understand wealth? What role does it play in your life? Where are you abundant and where do you feel lack?

  4. Consider how wealth, abundance, and wisdom have played roles in your parents’ lives. Now your grandparents’ lives. Are you playing out their issues with wealth and poverty in your own? Do you wish to re-weave these threads and heal them in yourself?

As we move through the suit of Stone you will explore the ancestral voices and how they continue to live through you.

© 2013 Heather D. Eggleston

Stone & Bone (Part 10) – The Family Tree

Meditation: The Family Tree

Allow yourself to fall into a relaxed state. Feel where your body touches the floor and imagine you are in a great forest. You are seated in a virgin forest in which the canopy of trees covers your head and your heartbeat blends in with the sound of birds and the scurrying of animals. Every breath is fresh and the air tastes like purity. You are in a place that has never heard the sound of car horns. It has never tasted the flavor of exhaust or felt concrete poured over its tannin-scented floor. It is ancient, complete, and absolute in of itself and with each breath you take you become more and more a part of it. This primordial forest is the home of the Mother tree. The tree from which all our lineages are born. The Mother tree whose heart-mind nourishes and feeds all other trees in this cycle, in this existence. Know that She, the Mother tree, is near, with a voice that speaks through every leaf and nourishes through every root.

Now imagine a tree that is near you. A tree that speaks to you in a language your Soul instinctively knows. This tree speaks to you by calling your own Soul’s name and says: “I know you. I love you. I am you.” Then lean into this tree. Feel yourself drawn closer, embraced in the bark of this generous, loving Creation that breathes out the most delicious flavor of oxygen you have ever imagined for you to inhale. Feel the oldness of its bark and the softness of its leaves. Feel the voice of this tree wrap you up in its soothing songs. This is your family tree. This is the tree that nourishes your roots, your waters, since its original birth from the Mother tree herself. Now feel yourself as a part of this tree. Perhaps you are a piece of bark. Perhaps you are a leaf that turns with the winds. Perhaps you are a branch holding up smaller limbs. Perhaps you are all of these things. One with the Great Tree that is your family. Perhaps you will see other family members there. Your parents, siblings, children. Perhaps you will see family members from other places, other lifetimes. Perhaps you will feel your own essence in other forms. Know that you are One with the Great Tree that is humanity. Now feel yourself inhaling the essence of the Tree and with each exhalation make an offering to your Family Tree. Make an offering of Love, of compassion, of allowingness for each and every part of this tree. Know that you ARE each and every part of this tree. And as you exhale Love, compassion, and allowingness, feel the Tree grow stronger. Feel the roots deepen and brighten with Light. Feel the song of the Tree grow more resonant, more Soul-full, more joyous. And with each inhalation accept the blessings of the Tree itself. Accept the gratitude of your Family Tree as your love, your compassion, and your blessings, make its leaves more vibrant, its soil more fertile, and its limbs stronger.  

© 2013 Heather D. Eggleston

Stone & Bone (Part 9) – Ancestral Healing

Ancestral Healing Protocol

A basic exercise for ancestral healing follows. It begins by connecting to the bones of the Earth. Feel this deeply and completely, holding a Stone in your hand. Then connect to your own bones. Feel them within you, alive and bright. Treat your family as if they were distant ancestors and treat yourself as if she were a distant ancestor. It is important you let yourself feel removed from those who are too close. You may feel deeply and profoundly wish to make changes within your family but this is hard when emotions are too close. We must learn to sift between our own voices and the ancestral voices within. So we must connect to our true ancestors and disconnect from them at the same time.

  1. Connect to the bones of the Earth by feeling the Stone.
  2. Connect to your own bones to feel the resonance.
  3. Introduce yourself to your ancestors. Remember as you learn to hear the voices of your ancestors, you also learn your own voice. This is most important.
  4. Allow the ancestors the chance to speak through journaling an “imagined” conversation, divination such as tarot or runes, or simple impressions.
  5. Make an altar to your ancestors. Put what you feel appropriate on the altar and epoch your history. Photos of yourself and your family, especially with anyone with whom you need to feel healing, should be used. Include slips of papers, notes, and honest offerings.
  6. Call on your ancestors to help heal your family line. Tell them you will make yourself an object of healing (and as such, a healer) as an offering. Being such a vessel is powerful and sometimes intense. It implies deep acceptance of role as healer and healed. Remember the only healing is self-healing so we cannot be responsible for the healing of anyone else, even family. Make this offering, burn a light blue candle as a dedication, and lift the veil between your ancient ones and present self.
  7. Begin a forgiveness of self exercise. Many times a day say: “I forgive myself and my ancestors for all things done and undone.” This is something small but very powerful. It is important you imprint this on your very Soul. If you make this about your ancestors in the distant past who are now your allies, you will inevitably assist the healing of closer family (parents and siblings) as well. You will heal from both ends of the lineage.
  8. Choose a stone with the desire to do ancestral healing. This stone becomes ally and partner. Keep the stone on the altar when not communing with it directly. Sleep with it when you can. Hold it close and know you are loved.

© 2013 Heather D. Eggleston