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On My Mind

Stone Love: Violane

Allow me to introduce you to my blue violane sphere. Lovely, isn’t it? Despite many years of working with stone energies, I was unaware of violane until recently. It was love at first sight (on my part at least). I am grateful that stone magic still holds surprises for me.

A variety of diopside rich in manganese, violane’s color ranges from purple to light blue to gray. The purple stones seem to be found in the Italian Piedmont, while my light blue violane came from the Transbaikal region of Siberia. The sky-blue color, with touches of white and gray, is reminiscent of larimar, but when polished, violane flashes and sparkles. It has an affinity for the throat chakra, for communication, and for creative expression. 

Holding violane for the first time, I felt a wave of relaxation come over my mind and body. It offered high-octave peace and stress relief, and I instinctively took a deep breath and sighed. The energy of healing comfort reminded me of ajoite—soft, gentle, but with an undeniable power. Following immediately after the feeling of relaxation was a sensation I classified as joy, although it was quiet rather than exuberant. It was the joy that comes with knowing that there is a solution to a problem, that there is a way out of a bad situation, that there is an answer where none had appeared before. The effect was expanded clarity. Violane provided not hope but knowledge that the remedy to any disharmony exists—and the inspiration to search for that remedy, that answer. I’m eager to discover what else this beautiful stone will teach me.

Other energy workers have found that violane creates a safe atmosphere for releasing and healing intense emotional issues such as trauma, fears, anxiety, abuse, anger, grief, and guilt. I can understand why—this stone emanates a sweet, peaceful, and supportive aura. It’s a good choice for both physical and emotional pain relief. Violane has been used to treat sinusitis, bronchitis, and allergies; it strengthens the immune system and the thymus chakra, which governs compassion and connection to the world soul.

Adam Barralet of Crystal Connections says this about violane: “If there was one crystal that was placed upon our planet by star beings, this would be it. It brings peace and harmony to both the home and workplace, allowing healing to take place where needed. In meditation Violane helps connections to a myriad of worlds including Atlantis, the heavens and the oceanic realms. Although hard to find, when you find it, know that you have been blessed and chosen to great work on this planet.” Watch his video at




Stone Love: Silver Sheen Obsidian

It’s time to talk about a stone that has been demanding my attention lately—silver sheen obsidian. I wasn’t familiar with this form of obsidian, but now that it has arrived in my life, I am enamored. Obsidian, a natural volcanic glass, forms when lava cools quickly after making contact with water. Water vapor, trapped as tiny gas bubbles, gives silver (and golden) sheen obsidian its reflective qualities. These bubbles become stretched almost flat along the flow layers of the obsidian, resulting in sparkling striations. 

Obsidian is prized as a protective and grounding stone, and silver sheen fulfills that reputation. As I meditated and worked with silver sheen obsidian, the phrase that repeated in my mind was “standing on your own two feet.” Holding the stone to my qosqo (navel), I felt an immediate clearing and strengthening through my root, down my legs, and through the soles of my feet. Pain in my knees (from years of strain plus some degeneration) subsided considerably. Energy blockages in the lower part of my body dissolved and flowed away. Grounded, strong, and physically clear—that’s how I felt. Silver sheen obsidian grants a physical stability and extends an energetic shield against harm. For physical therapeutics, I’ll use silver sheen obsidian for quick energetic clearing, detoxification, pain relief, balance and stability, and for dysfunctions located from the hips to the feet. People who find it challenging to anchor themselves into their physical body—whether because of trauma, pain, or difficulty accepting their body’s perceived faults—can benefit from this stone’s medicine. Similarly, my findings confirm that  silver sheen obsidian reinforces the “silver cord” that keeps connection between the physical and energy bodies during astral projection, out-of-body experiences, and shamanic journeying. 

When I held my silver sheen to my hatun sonqo (higher heart) to learn its emotional effects, I was flooded by a sense of relief. Stress? Gone! Those nagging little worries that collect like dust bunnies in our emotional bodies succumb to the sweeping vibes of silver sheen obsidian. Stabilizing to the emotions, silver sheen allowed me to recognize why I react to certain triggers as I do, without setting off the corresponding response. Silver sheen obsidian can assist people who want to look deeply into their own reactive behavior and learn why a certain situation evokes an uncomfortable reaction (anger, fear, defensiveness, etc.) so that they can gain control over their emotional response. Because it clears anything that doesn’t belong to the user’s integral self, this stone helps empaths sort their personal feelings from the emotional bombardment of the world around them. A wonderful stone to promote self-determination and confidence, silver sheen reveals our true heart, allowing us to know ourselves fully. The protective nature of this obsidian provides a shield against attacks on our mental health, such as undeserved criticism or verbal abuse, so that we don’t incorporate the negativity into our emotional body. 

It should be no surprise that I felt more clearing when I held silver sheen obsidian to my hatun uma (higher mind/Third Eye). Want to declutter your mind? Hold silver sheen obsidian to your forehead. It banishes thoughts that work against your essential nature and innate self. Traditionally, silver sheen obsidian is believed to resonate most strongly with the Root and Third Eye chakras, and my experience confirms those connections. With its history as a scrying stone and its ability to clear and focus the mind, silver sheen obsidian enhances clairvoyance; however, I’m sure it improves clairaudience as well, judging by the clarity of my inner hearing when this stone was on my hatun uma. As an extra benefit, obsidian shields the user from psychic attack.

Once more, I say that “standing on your own two feet” sums up the medicine virtue of silver sheen obsidian. Standing strong, physically rooted and grounded, drawing on the vitality of Mother Earth. Standing in your truth, knowing yourself fully. Standing in your wisdom, clearly perceiving the world in its multi-dimensional existence. I’ve started to bring silver sheen obsidian into my life almost daily. Not only do I wear a personal empowerment talisman made of the stone, but I also use silver sheen obsidian vibrational essence. (See Services & More for info about vibrational essences.) Do you know and use this sparkly stone? If not, I highly recommend that you give it a try.


Light/Breath/Heart Shielding Technique

Whenever I teach Reiki or other healing modalities, I tell students to center, ground, and shield before they begin a session. Moreover, I advise them to follow those steps no matter what they are doing, just to keep themselves balanced and able to handle the stress of everyday life. In this post, I am sharing a method I use. It incorporates centering, grounding, and shielding in an effective and efficient process. 

Relax, be at ease, and become still. Do not cross your arms. Do not cross your legs unless you are seated on the floor with your root chakra firmly grounded. Take a few deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth to help cleanse your system, and then simply breathe at your own natural rate. Close your eyes.

When you feel centered, put your attention on your crown chakra at the top of your head. With your inhalation, imagine that white light comes in through your crown, down through your head and neck, and reaches your heart chakra. This white light is the clear, clean essence of your spirit; it infuses your physical body with pure life-force energy. Take your time to feel the flow of light down through your crown and into your heart. Once you are comfortable with drawing in the light, on your exhalation, send some white light back up from your heart and through your crown. Keep the channel and your heart illuminated, but also let your exhaled life-force light form an umbrella-like shape about 12 inches over your head. This umbrella creates a protective shield; do not breathe it back in, just reinforce it with each exhalation. While it protects from negativity, this shield also lets in beneficial influences, so the white light keeps streaming through. Continue until you are aware of a balanced flow from crown to heart and back up, following the rhythm of your breath.

Now switch your attention to the Earth beneath you. As you inhale, bring white light up through your feet and legs (if you are not sitting cross-legged on the floor), into your root chakra, and up into your heart center. When you have a clear awareness of the upward flow, begin to send white light down past your root and past your feet as you exhale. The channel remains illuminated, but the light forms a broad, round cup (or upturned umbrella) about 12 inches below your feet (or root chakra, if you are sitting on the floor). Notice the grounding effect that occurs when you draw light from the Earth and send your shield down below the planet’s surface. Continue until you are comfortable with the imagery and the flowing sensation. 

Next, combine the two actions. Inhale, drawing light up through your root and down through your crown at the same time. The two flows meet in your heart, filling that chakra with white energy. Exhale and send light up and down, creating rounded shields of light above your head and below your feet. Follow this step as long as desired.

Focus on your heart chakra. This time, as you inhale, bring white light into your heart from the front, right through your chest, through the funnel-shaped opening of the chakra. On your exhalation, send light out the same pathway and allow it to form a cupped oval over the front of your body. When you are comfortable with that action, repeat the process from behind, bringing the light into the rear aspect of your heart chakra between your shoulder blades and sending light out the same way, creating an oval shield behind you. Then combine the two, so that you breathe light in through your chest and back at the same time, projecting white light shields ahead and behind as you breathe out.

Now begin to alternate the front-and-back flow and the down-and-up flow. Allow the light shields to merge until you are completely surrounded by the protective white light projected from your heart center. Take your time. Then breathe in and out from all four directions at the same time: down, up, front, back, all meeting in your heart chakra. Spend at least three complete breaths in this step. You should now feel relaxed, focused, and secure. Open your eyes and greet your world.

With practice, you will be able to skip steps and go straight to the four directions at once. If you imagine your heart chakra as a ball of energy, you might eventually find yourself breathing light in and out from all directions (360°). 

I rely on this technique daily, repeating it as necessary before I enter a healing session, when I find myself around unpleasant energy, or when I feel scattered, vulnerable, or exhausted. In a similar manner, I create personal sacred space when I meditate, chant mantras, or do shamanic practices at my altar. Working with the breath, I expand the light from my heart to create a bubble, larger than my auric shield, which encompasses myself, my altar, and any tools and materials I am using. When I’m finished, I consciously draw the shielding energy back into my heart to open the space and return my awareness to the current time and place.

Multidimensional Awareness or In Which I Admit my True Nature

One of the spiritual concepts that resonates as truth for me is that we are multidimensional beings. Many of you have heard that, too, haven’t you? It’s an exciting abstract idea. It makes me feel good to think that I exist through more than this dimension, that there’s more to me and to my life than this existence, that there’s a larger part of me doing, learning, feeling, creating, experiencing something more. I’m a multidimensional being, and I’m told–warned, even–to mind my vibration because it has repercussions throughout all 9 or 12 or however many dimensions there are. I can grasp that idea intellectually. It makes sense to me. 

Although I am a multidimensional being, my consciousness is focused here in the third dimension, in this moment, in this lifetime. That focus limits my perceptions so that anything outside of 3D Carol’s experience is perceived only peripherally, wispy and intangible, shining with truth but remaining within the realm of belief, outside the certainty of direct knowledge. These are the conclusions I’ve drawn. They also very likely reflect some of the current metaphysical teachings, although I cannot credit any particular teacher. However, I’m ready to change my mind. I’ve come to understand that I can have contact with other-dimensional expressions of myself. 

The strongest reason for this change in my concept of multidimensionality has been my evolving relationship with Sister. My conscious awareness of her began several years ago during a past-life meditation. When I regressed to a lifetime a century earlier, memories surfaced that included meeting and working with a Pleiadean female who called herself Sister. Since then, I have been a speaking channel for her. At first, I needed to channel my previous incarnation, the Siberian woman I was when I met Sister in person, who acted as a sort of translator for Sister and the Pleiadean entities she represents. Later, as our energies meshed and began to flow harmoniously, Sister started to speak directly through me. Also during that “getting to know each other” period, Sister revealed that she is not a separate, advanced alien who uses my body, brain, memories, and vocabulary to communicate. She is, in fact, the fifth-dimensional expression of me.

Consider this: We often think of spiritual evolution as moving up dimensions, leaving the lower to reach the higher ones. Models often depict an ascending path or stairs leading upward. But I’ve started to think of dimensions more like concentric spheres, so that each one encloses and contains the ones lower than it. In my model, spiritual growth (or “ascension”) is an expansive process; the progress is outward in all directions. We never leave a lower dimension; we simply become aware of a higher one by expanding our consciousness into it. If we are multidimensional, we already exist in all the dimensions, so spiritual evolution becomes a shift of consciousness into a higher/outer dimension and higher version of ourselves.

So here’s my stumbling block. I exist in all dimensions, but does the focus of my consciousness determine which dimension I perceive myself to be existing in? Everything I’ve learned so far says yes. But then how can the 5D me (Sister) take form as a conscious being, while I am focused as 3D Carol (or 3D Varuskaya, my previous incarnation)? As I pondered that question, the answer was given to me. And–oh, crap!–I fear that it will seem pretentious. Actually, it confirms messages I’ve gotten over and over again. My 5D self can manifest and connect with my 3D self because I’ve already grown/evolved/ascended into the fifth dimension, maybe even beyond. I chose to create my 3D Earth human reality to help others through the process of energetic expansion and spiritual evolution. I am a bhodisattva. I’ve known it for a while. I guess it’s time to claim it. 

Of course I’m not alone. There are more of us. Often we feel different. Awkward. With perspectives on the world that our culture and community can’t understand. We feel best when we’ve helped others see their own beauty, know their own power. We understand non-attachment. We value simplicity and ease. If you have felt like I do, perhaps you should consider that you have already outgrown this dimension but have chosen to come back and to play by the 3D rules as an act of unconditional love. Once you’ve realized your nature, your true purpose can more easily guide your life here on this planet.

These musings did not go the way I expected. I expected to bring up the lower dimensions and how to connect with our first- and second-dimensional selves. Another time perhaps. But I wonder if other people have met other-dimensional versions of themselves. I wonder if that’s what otherworldly encounters really are–whether those encounters are with fairies, aliens, angels, etc. So many dimensions to explore–forward, march!

Using Singing Bowls for Intentions, Affirmations, and Mantras

Look, I made a video!

New Smudging Idea: Mirrors

Now that we have left the end-of-the-year excitement behind us, I’d like to share an experience from that seasonal whirlwind. First the energy influx on Dec. 12, then the arrival of the solstice with all its waves of hope and possibility, and then the turning of the year and the optimism inherent in fresh starts and new beginnings—all these made me quite aware of the changes in my life, my attitudes, my beliefs, my desires, etc.  I knew and acknowledged that I was a different person (better, I hope—or at least a bit more evolved!) But one day in late December, I was inspired to honor my changed self in a new way when I was suddenly overcome with the need to smudge all the mirrors in my house.

As I was doing so, it made perfect sense. Why hadn’t I thought of this before?! Mirrors not only reflect their environment, but they also hold on to energy, the energy of all their old reflections. That’s why we must be especially careful about old mirrors that we bring into our homes; they may attract unwanted spirits of people whom the mirrors “saw” and reflected when those spirits were incarnate. Likewise, they contain the image of our old reflections. A mirror that sees you day after day accumulates layers of energetic expressions of you, all the “yous” you used to be plus the “you” you are now. When you look into such a mirror, you can’t see the current you absolutely clearly because of the fog of your past reflections. The amount of distortion depends on how much you have changed since the mirror was last cleanse

You may want to smudge your mirrors regularly—perhaps at the new moon or on your birthday—or just when you feel that you’ve gone through significant changes. For certain, cleanse them if you are experiencing an identity crisis or if others don’t recognize that you are different and continue to treat you likea previous version of yourself. It’s a good idea (but not necessary) to start with a physical cleaning of your mirrors. Once that’s done, take your smudge of choice (I used white sage.), light it, and send the smoke toward the lower left corner or edge of the mirror. Trace the perimeter of the mirror—up, across to the right, down, and across to your starting point. Then reach toward the top of the mirror and zigzag the smoke downward. Look into the mirror, gauge its clarity, and repeat the zigzag if necessary. If you like the reflection looking back at you; if she seems confident and focused, you’ve successfully cleared that mirror.

This smudging process can also be used on other reflective surfaces like TV screens or window glass. Mirrors, however, seem to accumulate the most energetic memory. Try smudging the mirrors in your car, too, especially if they’ve seen accidents or scary traffic. Remember, you are created of luminous energy; your world should reflect your true light. Freshly smudged mirrors will help.


The Binary Brow Chakra

If you have read my take on the Emergent Chakras, you know that lately I have found myself drawn to specific work on the pituitary and pineal glands. From there, I have discovered that the Brow chakra (aka Third Eye) is mutating or refining itself into a binary chakra consisting of the pituitary and pineal energy centers. Recently, my pituitary chakra experienced an expansion that has provided me with more information on how these “new” chakras function.

The Brow chakra influences our knowledge, wisdom, imagination, intuition, and dreams. It activates what we call psychic senses. All these are ways of knowing or ways of acquiring information. I think we can agree that having information is a good thing. If we have a decision to make, we want information about the subject to guide us, right? But have you ever felt overwhelmed by information? Anyone who has ever done an internet search should answer “yes”! In many cases, there is much more information available than we can reasonably use. Often that information is contradictory (e.g., cell phones are safe to use/cell phones cause brain cancer). What do you believe or accept as truth? What should you believe or accept as truth? Let’s turn to the pituitary and pineal chakras for help.

The pineal collects information. It has access to all knowledge, all beliefs, all opinions. It subscribes to all news services—present, past, and future—and to the Akashic records. It is big, universal, and all-encompassing. The pituitary, on the other hand, is smaller, focused, and personal. The pineal is an ever-expanding mall; the pituitary is our personal shopper. The pituitary offers discernment. It sifts through all the pineal’s inventory and selects the thoughts that are in vibrational harmony with our energy system, depositing them into the mental field where they comprise our belief systems, our truths, our expectations, etc. When the pituitary chakra is healthy, it supplies us with thoughts that are 1) geared toward our highest good and 2) believable (i.e., in harmony with our current energetic vibration). In other words, we naturally think positively without doubting our sanity or second-guessing ourselves. When the pituitary is not healthy, it allows destructive ideas to infiltrate our core belief systems. Feelings of unworthiness, victim thinking, harsh self-criticism, undeserved guilt—when these are chronic, the pituitary chakra is not functioning well.

While the pituitary chakra incorporates thoughts into our personal mental energy, we can also consciously access the pineal’s infinite information. Continuing the shopping analogy, we can visit the stores, look through catalogs, try on clothes, make suggestions, and state our preferences. But the personal-shopper pituitary is in charge of making purchases. So while we can entertain new ideas and consider alternatives, a healthy pituitary will pick the mental energy that is best-suited to us at that moment. Of course, we don’t always know which thoughts are best for us; occasionally we want something totally inappropriate from the pineal’s store. Perhaps I’m drawn to the size 4 purple leggings, but what I really need are the comfortable, size 16 khakis. Perhaps I really want to overcome the laws of physics, but it’s best for me to believe that gravity is a fact. Perhaps I want to point out the flaws in my boss’s personality, but it would be in my best interest to hold my tongue and appreciate him as he is. Or maybe I want to visit my acupuncturist for a shoulder problem, but my best choice would be to see an orthopedic surgeon. If I take a moment to connect with my pituitary chakra, it will give me the answer.

Alas, sometimes that answer is not what my ego wants to hear. At those times, trusting my pituitary provides me yet another chance to transcend ego. Ego will snatch those “I’m not advanced/enlightened/talented/good/fill-in-the-blank enough” ideas from the pineal and use them shore up its perceived importance. If allowed, it will bypass the pituitary and stash those negative thoughts in my mental/emotional closet. How to avoid storing ego-based crap? Shift focus to the pituitary. Ask it what is in your best interest to believe. I guarantee it won’t be anything self-denigrating. In fact, I now begin my mornings by putting my attention on my pituitary center and asking, “What shall I believe today?” That’s my signal that I am open to its wise guidance. When I encounter a new idea, I consult my chakra: “Is it for my highest good to believe this?” I’ve even had it evaluate ideas so old that they feel like lifelong truths. Most still serve me well, but others are no longer in harmony with who I am now.

As the binary nature of the brow chakra continues to express and refine itself, I find both the pineal and pituitary centers to be helpful new (old) allies in this journey of spiritual evolution. I hope I’ve inspired you to connect with and rely on your own centers of wisdom.


My Favorite Stones: Moss Agate

Isn’t he beautiful? All those shades of green and gray and white, smooth and sparkly. We’ve been spending a lot of time together, moss agate and me.

mossagateI’ve credited my attraction in part to moss agate’s association with my zodiac sign, Capricorn. I must have read that some years ago, but my latest research links moss agate to Virgo or Taurus instead. Hmm, at least all three—Virgo, Taurus, and Capricorn—are Earth signs, so the overlap should be compatible. Indeed, moss agate is known for its ability to connect us to the energies of the Earth and to harmonize our lives with the planet’s natural cycles. Moss agate is a good stone for gardeners and farmers to keep nearby, for it has beneficial effects on plants. Readers who know me well will spot the irony here: Although I adore working with stone energies, I’m not a nature freak. I have brown thumbs. (I killed a sansevieria, aka mother-in-law tongue, a reputedly indestructible houseplant.)To me, the phrase “happy camper” is an oxymoron; I require indoor plumbing and air conditioning. However, I’m sure that my non-outdoorsy personality draws me to moss agate. The stone provides a needed energetic link with the Earth, a need that I have difficulty filling in other ways. Therefore, I highly recommend it for people like me, as well as for people who spend most of their time indoors. Moss agate allows us to connect with nature and the Earth, without requiring us to “get down and dirty.” It’s also a wonderful ally for those of us who are sensitive to weather changes.

During a recent meditation with moss agate, the stone expanded my ideas by telling me to take his kind along whenever I go into a different environment, especially if I’m going somewhere of which I am unsure. That could mean into the wilderness, to a strange part of town, to a foreign country, or even to gathering of people from different backgrounds. Moss agate provides a sense of belonging and grounding in unusual surroundings, so it makes a wonderful travel companion. It helps us feel at home on the planet and with each other.

Moss agate fosters a sense of family among all us Earthlings through its effects on our heart energy. Like other green stones, it stimulates the heart chakra, the center of our energy system, bringing us balance and evoking compassion and unconditional love.  In general, agates are good healing stones, supporting slow but steady improvement. Moss agate is particularly good for emotional healing and stress relief; it is also recommended to improve self-esteem. In my meditation, I was directed to place the stone on my right knee, which has troubled me off and on for several years, so that my moss agate could send its healing vibrations into the joint. I got the distinct impression that it wanted to help heal old injuries that are currently holding me back or limiting me.

This stone is also used to draw prosperity, assist women giving birth, and bring growth and new opportunities. Another positive aspect of moss agate is its abundance and availability; you won’t have to spend big bucks to acquire a stone, and moss agate jewelry is quite affordable. Invite moss agate into your life, and I’m sure you’ll understand why it is one of my favorite stone companions.


Toning the Chakras

Lately I’ve been slightly obsessed with sound and its healing properties. This obsession has compelled me to add to my collection of Tibetan singing bowls, acquire a Native American-style flute, and begin to create a workshop on incorporating sound into other therapies. And now I’d like to share a technique for sound healing that almost anyone can do. All you need is the most basic sonic tool available—your voice.

Using vocal toning to clear the chakras is easy and effective.  Here is a chart of the seven major chakras of the human energy system; if you are not familiar with them, please do a little research until you can locate them in your body.

Start by sitting comfortably, arms and legs uncrossed. Take a few deep breaths and relax. Put your awareness into your root chakra at the base of the spine. Take your time. Once you can feel your focus in your root, take another deep breath, as if you are breathing in through the chakra, then open your mouth and let a sound emerge.  I like to use the vowel sound “uh,” but you may find yourself toning something different. As your sound flows along with your exhalation, play with the pitch and volume until you feel it vibrating in your chakra. Continue the deep breath/toning until the energy feels clear. When you have cleared the root, move your awareness to your sacral chakra and repeat the process. Follow this pattern until you have cleared all your energy centers. (I suggest toning each chakra three times and then going back to any that need extra attention.)

Although the chakras have traditional correlations with notes and sounds, for personal healing I prefer a personal approach. That’s why I want you find the sounds that resonate for, with, and in you, rather than attempt to “sing” the right sounds and notes. Don’t be shy! Only you can create your own energetic “song.” If you would like to try the sounds that most often work for me, here they are: root-“uh,” sacral-“ooh,” solar plexus-“ay,” heart-“ah,” throat-“eh,” third eye-“aye,” crown-“ee.” The tones naturally rise in pitch from root to crown as I vocalize them, but I don’t try to hit a certain note; I simply find the vibration to which my focused chakra responds.

Of course, it’s best to use vocal toning in private so that you can concentrate on your voice and the sensations in your chakras without distraction. It’s also a good idea to tell others in your vicinity that you’ll be making a little noise while practicing a self-healing technique. Many of us have been conditioned not to use our voice except for communication or entertainment, but it can be a valuable—and readily available–healing tool.  I tone to clear my chakra system several times a week. I hope you’ll give it a try. It’s fun, free, easy, and effective!