Soul Path Sanctuary

A place of pause, renewal, and connection for seekers


Reading of the Moonth: Courage to Love


For Seekers – Moonthly Renewal – Practices for Soul & Spirit

This moonth we are invited to walk the path of The Lovers, the card associated with this new moon’s arrival on Monday, June 3 at 6:02 ET in the astrological sign of Gemini.

When we fall in love our heart becomes the blooming rose. A profusion of petals opening wider and wider under the kiss of the sun. We feel the rose in our chest expanding from the inside out to meet our beloveds.

We don’t fall forever. We have to land. Once on earth we grow and change so our love must, too. When we flow with this shifting love, the heart becomes a snake.

The snake is a shapeshifter, moves forward with sinuous motion, sometimes curving its body entirely into nested circles. To grow it sheds its skin, leaves its no longer needed layers behind. Across time and cultures, this behaviour has imbued the snake with symbolic meanings of healing, renewal, transformation, and even eternal life.

The God Hermes’ caduceus, a symbol of healing.

When our hearts are snakes, we are blessed with renewing love. This is a love that changes. A love that has both times of dark and light, but that renews itself over and over again. In renewing love, the beloveds grow and change, letting each expand as they need.

But even as our snake hearts sustain our love, they challenge us as along the Lovers’ path. Because, for many of us, snakes are scary!

They are my own phobia creature. As a little girl I could not even look at a picture of a snake, and they still appear in nightmares. My snake phobia was surely influenced by the snake’s other meanings through time: evil, darkness, deception. Snakes can be death bringers; many are venomous, others could squeeze us to death. But growing up in suburban New England, I rarely encountered snakes at all and certainly not deadly ones. My feelings about snakes were a 9 of Swords experience. I didn’t face any immediate real threat, but my fears were still powerful.

a 1909 card scanned by Holly Voley and retrieved from

I now attempt to be more accepting of snakes. Garter snakes visit my porch to sun themselves and I welcome them. I know they are good for the garden, eating up pesky critters. I’ve found beauty in the yellow strips along their backs swirling. They still startle, but in my relationships to snakes, I am  working on“feeling the fear and doing it anyway.” Here I am mirroring the Knight of Swords,committed to the quest and ready to move through any fears and negative thoughts.

My story about snakes could also be applied to love. Love is scary!

When we risk love, we make yourself vulnerable to others. Like a snake sheds it skin, we must take off our defenses and show our true selves: the beauty at our center, but also the shadows we’ve been trying to hide.

In mutually loving relationships, we open to the fullness of the other person and also to the fullness of ourselves. All become more Whole. And once we’ve lived and loved in this way, we can’t go back. Even if the relationship ends – by mutual decision, one-sided break up, or death – the skin we had to shed to love no longer fits. Love changes us. And to live, we must change.

This moonth’s astro-Tarot correspondence show us the Lovers’ path passing through the 9 of Swords inviting us to look at the places where love and its demands scare us. Our wayshower through this territory is the Knight of Swords. This Knight supports us to rise about the emotion of fear to better understand its source, and then to poke holes in the weak spots. The Knight may not entirely conquer the fear, but in the commitment to the quest can show us how to feel the fear but find our way to love in all its beauty, in all its forms.

From my just arrived Numinous Tarot by Noel Arthur Heimpel. it’s beautiful and can support expansion of ideas about love’s forms 


The questions of the moonth can support you to be courageous traveling the path of the moonth:

LOVE: How is love calling me to live this moonth?

FEAR: What fears or obstacles might I encounter as I answer love’s call?

FORWARD: How can I “face my fears and do it anyway” to meet love’s call?

I offer this as an e-reading in my collaborative intitituve format for $23. Sign up with Pay Pal or email me about sending a check.


Air Connection – Walking the Ways Week 2


For Seekers – Practices for Soul & Spirit – Seasonal Observances

After our new moon lunar interlude yesterday focused on love, today we begin the 2nd week of the Solstice-hinged e-retreat Walking the Ways of the Summer Light. This is the first of the daily emails that goes this air-inspired week. Emails the rest of the week support connecting with wisdom guides, contemplating air as an element and from the Tarot tradition, and going out for a wisdom wander. You are welcome to join us on the journey! 

Words to Inspire

We are our grandmother’s prayers. We are our grandfather’s dreamings.
We are the breath of our ancestors.

 Dr. Ysaye Barnwell

Wisdom Image

The central image is from The Gaian Tarot


Prompts for Practice

Today you are invited to contemplate Air in one or all of these ways:
  • gazing at the image above or your favorite Tarot card from the suit connected to air (most commonly the suit with titles like Swords, Birds, Clouds);
  • looking out your window to see if you can detect the air moving branches, flags, bags, bees; or
  • taking a moment to stand in a quiet part of your yard or on a busy city sidewalk to feel the breeze.
Then ponder your connection to and understanding of the element of air.  This is the place from which you begin. Use your own current definitions and understandings to contemplate these questions.
  • What do you already know about the air element (from the Tarot’s earth suit, or connecting physically with the air, or from your spiritual tradition’s teachings about air)?
  • How have you encountered air before in your life?
  • What lessons might the air offer you?
  • What might you receive from some time spent with air?
  • What gifts can you offer to air?

Just let ideas float through your head. No need to be comprehensive, just open to what comes.

You are welcome to jump in and join us for this retreat-in-everyday life. 


Dark Moon Release with Cybele as our Guide


For Seekers – Moonthly Renewal – Practices for Soul & Spirit

Before the moon is made new on June 3rd at 6:02am ET in the USA, it returns to the place on the astrological Wheel where it began its moonthly journey. The energy gathered through the moonth now flows away into moonless nights. What will you send with this energy to be transformed in the dark?

The moonth we are concluding began and now ends in Taurus which corresponds to the Tarot’s Hierophant card. In the Dark Goddess Tarot The Hierophant is Cybele,the Anatolian Mountain Mother. Ellen Lorenzi-Prince, creator of the Dark Goddess Tarot, description of Her includes:

Cybele (pronounced sib-ill-ee, with the accent on the first syllable), also called Magna Mater, is the goddess of the primal and always primary earth. The great Mount Ararat, the heart of the land called Phrygia, Anatolia, or Turkey, appears behind her. She is seated on a throne and crowned by the city, the the civilization that she makes possible.

Cybele’s consort is Attis, a long-haired shepherd as handsome as the Gods. After he dallies with a tree nymph, Cybele’s anger and his own regret drives him to use a jagged stone to cut away the source of his offense. Spilled blood from his self-castration falls to the ground becoming violets. In some versions of their myth, Cybele turns Attis into an evergreen firtree rather than watch him die, and declares this tree sacred to Herself. Attis, thus, becomes a green God of vegetation and a reminder of the eternal dwelling within the finite world.

We began this moonth following the guidance of the Hierophant to connect with an aspect of the Greater Than in service and devotion. As the moonth draws to a close, we are invited to celebrate our faithfulness to this service and reflect on how this has helped us to be more fully who we are. Almost certainly, there will also be ways in which we have fallen short in our service. We might feel regret like that of Attis, and find ways to work symbolically and ritually – not literally! do not harm yourself! – with his story during the dark moon time.

I tend toward a Jungian-inspired perspective that we benefit from accepting and integrating all the myriad parts of ourselves from the delightful to the shadowy. But there are a few parts that are to be rejected. They do not come from wisdom within or the Divine, but from distortions of the human world. They are the messages of oppression that surrounds us, ancestral legacies of violence carried in our DNA, voices of hate and fear hijacking our minds. These are to be cut out of our lives.

We can become sculptuors liberating beauty from stone when we cut away these parts that disconnect us from the Greater Than to reveal our true form within. Like Attis, we then enter the eternal flow and find ourselves embraced by the Divine we seek to serve.

The 48 – 24 hours before the June 3rd early morning new moon’s arrival is the optimal time for engaging in reflection and ritual to both celebrate our service and cut from our lives anything that separates us from the Greater Than in the past moonth.


Lay out 2 pieces of paper. No need for anything fancy, but you might be inspired to have one piece be special or colorful.

At the top of one sheet – and using special paper if you decided to use it – write: Times when I was beautifully in service to the Greater Than (feel free to specifically name the Greater Than you served this moonth)

At the top of the second sheet, write: Times when I was disconnected from the Greater Than (once again feel free to name specifically).

Now look back on the happenings of the moonth that began on May 4th. If you journal, you’ll have a handy record, but even just looking back at your appointment calendar can jog your mind about what’s been going on in the past few weeks. Make entries on your lists

If you need help making entries on your list, you can always turn over Tarot and oracle cards to show you images to inspire entries.

When your lists are complete, let yourself be for a while with the beautiful service you offered this moonth. You might reflect on what made this possible – and think about how to keep building that into your life. You might offer gratitude to others, the Divine, and/or yourself for this service and its impacts. You might finish with creating a small art work or saying a closing prayer.

Take your list of disconnections into your dark moon ritual.

Dark Moon Release Ritual

Have your list and a pair of scissors handy.

Create sacred space by lighting a candle, imagining that you are ringed with a circle of protection, and/or your usual actions.

You can invite Cybele and/or the face of Greater Than that you have been serving this moonth to with you and aid you in this dark moon release. Spend as much time as you need connecting with them.

When you are ready, take your scissors and begin cutting up the piece of paper where you have written about your disconnections. You might repeat a mantra such as “You are not part of me. I release you.” or one that are inspired to create because of what you have written on the sheet.

You might want to release the cut up scraps of paper outside into the wind to be carried away.

After you have completed your releasing, tune into your body, feeling it lighter. Re-center yourself by connecting with earth below you and the sky above you. Feel their energy mix in your heart. Be open to a blessing coming to you from Cybele and/or your face of the Greater Than.

When the new moon arrives, you may want to make wishes for how the scattered and transformed bits of yourself will become like the violets that sprang from Attis’ blood and brought new life. Be sure to write them down to revisit at the end of the moonth.

Want to know more about the next moon coming? Be sure to be on the list the receive my new moon news.


Earth Connection – Walking the Ways Day One


For Seekers – Practices for Soul & Spirit – Seasonal Observances

Today we being the Solstice-hinged e-retreat Walking the Ways of the Summer Light. To give you a taste of Walking the Ways, this is the first of the daily emails that goes out between now and the Solstice to attune to the elements and the wisdom of the season. Emails the rest of the week support connecting with wisdom guides, contemplating earth as an element and from the Tarot tradition, and going out for a wisdom wander. You are welcome to join us on the journey! 

Words to Inspire 

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth

find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.

Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder 

Wisdom Image

Central image is from the Minoan Tarot

Prompts for Practice

Today you are invited to contemplate an image of earth: the image above, your favorite Tarot card from the suit connected to Earth (Pentacles, Disks, Stones, etc.), or the view from your window be it the green of growing things or the concrete of the solid sidewalk.

Then ponder your connection and understanding of the element of earth.  This is the place from which you begin. Use your own current definitions and understandings to contemplate these questions.

  • When you hear the word earth what does it encompass?
  • What do you already know about the earth element (from the Tarot’s earth suit, or connecting physically with the earth, or from your spiritual tradition’s teachings about earth)?
  • Is there a place or an activity that especially connects you to earth?
  •  What lessons and gifts might come from connecting with the earth?
  • What gifts can you offer to earth?

A Little Report from my Earth-Attuning Morning

After contemplating the Minoan Ace of Earth during my morning meditations, I went out for an early morning walk. In the bright blue sky, a shadow of the shrinking moon shone. The breeze was light and the sun warm on my face. Green surrounded me as I walked under maples and oaks along the bike path. Perhaps the rainy spring has made me more grateful for a perfect spring day like this.

I held a small rock in one hand and bracelet of beads in the other. The beads became prompts for a kind of repeating prayer pattern inspired by an Ursula Le Guin’s line of poetry: All earth’s dust / has been life, held soul, is holy.” For the 3 little beads in the bracelet, I said life, soul, holy in turn to evoke the line. For the big bead, I said, “I am grateful for the earth’s gifts.”

In the distance, I saw what seemed to be a bright orange bird land on a fence and begin singing such a sweet song. I was entranced. I thought it must be an oriel, which is only seen in migration here in New England and is a great songster. When I got closer though I saw that it was a common robin. But this didn’t make the song or my encounter with the bird any less magical. The wisdom offered is that the common things of earth can be the most magical.

Further along the trail, I say my first garter snake of the season. I don’t know if I haven’t been as watchful or it has just been too cold for them, but today, at last, because I was moving slow and primed to pay attention I saw the yellow strip swirling along the side of the path.

The snake is on the Earth Ten of the Minoan Tarot and in the companion booklet, Ellen Lorenzi-Prince writes: “Snakes are the guides and the guardians of liminal spaces, thresholds where transformation into the sacred happens.”

Today’s walk really wasn’t that unusual, but the container of Walking the Way’s first days and prayer supports opened me to perceive with new eyes the usual things, but have an experience of them as sacred.

The snake prompting me to make a connection to Earth Ten also offers meaning particularly appropriate to today. Earth Ten corresponds to the 10 of Pentacles, which invites us to pay attention to generations past and future. I am writing these words on Memorial Day, where we in the United States pause to honor those who have served in the military. And it is the 112th anniversary of the writer and ecologist Rachel Carson’s birth. She helped us to see the natural world with a sense of wonder and to be caretakers and collaborators rather than masters and manipulators of nature. 

Wow, and this is just on the first morning of Walking the Ways! 🙂 As I said you are most welcome to join us as we travel through earth, air, water, and fire connecting with the elements and gathering questions. Then after the Solstice, we will select one of our questions to find an answer to on a pilgrimage journey.


Reading of the Moonth: Who Do You Serve?


For Seekers – Moonthly Renewal – Practices for Soul & Spirit

I see the new moons as offering us initiating energy that we can explore throughout the moonth, aligning our own energy and desires with what is happening in the wider cosmos. Through my e-news I offer a reading around the new moon that can be revisited and added to through the moonthly cycle for gaining greater wisdom, acheiving goals, or finding the right way to be of service, for example.

This moonth we are invited to walk the path and receive the wisdom of the Hierophant, the card associated with this new moon’s arrival on Saturday May 4th at 6:46pm ET in the astrological sign of Taurus.

From a first look at the iconic image of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, we may see guidance to be authoritative in our teachings and to embrace our leadership ability in matters of the spiritual.

a 1909 card scanned by Holly Voley and retrieved from

But on its own, this understanding of the Hierophant is incomplete; it lacks acknowledgement of who the Hierophant serves. 

Hierophants are teachers of and conduits for what is Greater Than than themselves. Although granted authority – and sometimes great power – within human institutions, the source of their authority is not personal, it comes from the Divine.

When we add another layer of pattern making from astrology, we discover that the power of the true Hierophant comes from service to the Divine Feminine. Each astrological sign is ruled by a planet. Taurus is ruled by Venus associated with the Tarot’s Empress.

The Empress is the creative life force, the Great Mother, the Earth which gives us what we need to live.

From Tarot Roots of Asia (out-of-print)

If Hierophants – caught up in power granted by institutions or unquestioning support of those below them in the hierarchy – lose their grounding in service to the Empress and Her causes, they are corrupted and their vision impaired. Taken to an extreme, they do terrible things. Tolerating the sexual abuse by clergy of children is the most obvious example much in the news these days.

Last moonth we tended to our power-from-within, bringing it forth to join with others for a power-with that can counter the destructive forces of power-over.This moonth, we are reminded from where our power flows, yes, from within, but also from beyond, and always in service to something greater than just our personal desires. As we open to receive the flow, our power connects with Divine power, and we can move through our lives and share our gifts and wisdom like a Hierophant aligned with the Empress.

This moonth’s questions invite you to better understand and develop a relationship with your service to the Divine:

SERVICE: What face of the Divine asks for your service and devotion this moonth? (Process suggestion: Use the Majors or a deck that shows Divine figures on all the cards such as the Dark Goddess Tarot for this question.)

RECEIVE: How can you open up to receive Their guidance and support?

SHARE: What wisdom will you be able to share with others out of this encounter?

I offer this as an e-reading in my collaborative intitituve format for $23. I generally have reading slots open on Mondays and Saturdays. Feel free to check in with me about my availability.

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