Soul Path Sanctuary

A place of pause, renewal, and connection for seekers


Soul Path Practices for Week of February 11: Sun – 4 of Air – Child of Earth


For Seekers – Practices for Soul & Spirit – Weekly Practice

When not observing the Solstice seasons or lunar happenings, I pull Tarot cards weekly to inspire practice that cultivates soul wisdom for readers of this blog as a group using the Gaian Tarot. You are invited to use the cards below to inspire your practice, and, if you like, share your reflections in the comments. You are also free to draw your own cards using these positions.

PATH: Use Pile 1 / Majors and Aces to pull a card for the question: What path would it best serve us to walk this week? THE SUN invites us to walk this week on pathways of …

  • Earned joy.
  • Being in the flow.
  • Basking in new light and energy.
  • Being open to the beauty of Earth and the passionate embrace of Love while still recognizing in your heart the pain, the grief, and the problems of the world.  You are unafraid of this paradox.

PRACTICE: Use Pile 2 / numbered cards for this question: What practice(s) will best serve us to move along this path this week? FOUR OF AIR invites us to practices such as …

  • Finding in the outside world or creating within your home a place to retreat to for prayer, meditation, or dream incubation.
  • Creating something beautiful by weaving with paper or yarn or twigs, and as you are weaving concentrate on your desires and dreams. Then their energy will be woven into the completed piece.  
  • “Feathering your nest” in some special way, perhaps by cleaning up a space and bringing in a new inspiring element: art, flowers, curtains, lace.

POSTURE: Use Pile 3 / People cards for a question such as: What attitudes and behaviors will be most helpful to undertake this practice and walk with path? CHILD OF EARTH invites you to follow your path and practices with attitudes of ….

  • Total focus.
  • Fascination.
  • Living fully in the moment.
  • Learning from the physical reality before you (the peeking bulbs, the food on your plate, the animals in your life).
  • Seeing the mysteries of the universe in the common and mundane things of your world.
  • Tuning into your senses as teachers.

OVERALL MUSINGS: As a set, this week’s cards invite us to make space in our life for what brings us joy – and then commune deeply with this joy-brining gift in our lives. We will have to do this amidst the daily demands of our lives and the raucous happenings in the wider world, but our time spent with joy can fill us with the energy needed to engage with these challenges.

Most people find the most joy in the simple things in life – being with loved ones, good food, a walk in nature, time spent fiddling with a creative project – so joy is generally waiting close by waiting for us to turn to its radiant presence.

What keeps us from doing so? Perhaps the most insidious distraction of our time is the constant pull of technology and social media. Our devices are ringing and dinging all day. The technology is not really the problem but rather our response to it. We are letting our ability to be constantly plugged in numb us and distract us rather than aid us, but it does not have to be this way.

This morning I read a NY Times piece on Digital Minimalism to support Deep Work. Just the words inspired me. The practices suggested are not difficult – and don’t require you to give up all technology or social media use – but just require a shift to be intentional and proactive rather than distracted and responsive in our use. Making a shift such as this can open up space in our life for what really matters; it can make a space for joy.

If the work and words here at Soul Path Sanctuary speak to you, I hope it can be part of your intentional and proactive use of social media. I send an e-news letter once a moonth right before the new lunar phase begins and here on the blog offer weekly posts like these to support your spiritual practice. Be sure to be on my list to get the e-news.


Soul Path of the Moonth: Lunar Initiating Energy of February’s New Moon


For Seekers – Moonthly Renewal – Practices for Soul & Spirit

Each new moon arrives at a specific place on the astrological Wheel of the Year, which corresponds to 3 Tarot cards that work together as a set to guide us in understanding the initiating energy of the moonth beginning and opening ourselves to the wisdom offered.

The new moon that arrives on Monday, February 4 at 4:03pm ET in the USA (find your time zone) sets us on the Path of the Star through the Possible Action of the Six of Swords best met with the Posture of the King of Swords.

Path: The Star

The Star appears after times of difficulty to offer us hope, to invite us to renewal, and to shed a gentle light on the change emerging. The Star follows Death, the Devil, and the Tower, the fearsome three of the Tarot pantheon, through which we die to our old lives, confronted the shadows we can no longer hide from, and experience the structures we counted on crumble. After this process, we are stripped down to our essential self, find ourselves as naked as the Star woman. We may feel alone, but the Star reminds us that we are held within a vast and beautiful Cosmos, which constantly pours its gifts upon us.

The ancient Egyptians’ understanding of the afterlife and divinity was shaped by their observations of stars, like the Pole Star, that did not set. Called the Imperishable Stars, they served as an image of eternity and a reminder of the constant presence of the Gods and Goddess in the people’s lives. The Tarot’s Star, too, reminds us of this Divine accompaniment, both when we are aware of Her presence and even when we doubt it. She holds us within Her embrace as we rest, and in the resting are reshaped. From here we will emerge into a new wholeness made from our broken parts.

STAR: What Star (i.e. Divine Being, natural force, ancestor, aspect of higher self) embraces me to support the new emerging?

Possible Action: Six of Swords

In the iconic image of the Rider Waite Smith Six of Swords, two figures huddle in a boat are rowed by a third, the ferryman. The water is turbulent to their right, but clear to their left. The boat itself appears to be what is calming the waters.

The posture of the huddled figures suggest recent difficulty in their lives, but their appearance in the boat show that they have chosen to leave it behind. Perhaps they at last felt the Star’s presence and were able to take beneficial action. They are starting to steer their own course.

They are not alone on this journey. From the ferryman’s assistance in the physical world to the Star’s presence in the eternal world, they are accompanied.

The moonth’s energies suggest that the time is ripe for such movement in our lives. We are invited to steer a new course  and receive the gifts of calmer waters and new possibility.

COURSE: What is the best course to set for myself at this time?

Posture: King of Swords

The King is a master of the mind and uses his intellect to serve the good of the Whole. The artwork on the throne behind him includes the moon and butterflies, symbols of mystery, transformation, and emotions. At his best, the King recognizes these modes even if he does not make and communicate his decisions in this way.

To be like this King, we assess rather than block feelings, and we do not allow ourselves to be controlled by them. Once the emotions are acknowledged, we can look at current reality analytically, assess options from a larger perspective, and identify how our personal choices might impact others. With this knowledge, we can plan for how to move along the course we have set for ourselves in the most effective and inclusive way. Being like Kings, we can make adjustments to our plans in considerations of others while still following the course that calls to our soul.  

COMMUNITY: How can I travel the course I have set so that it serves the good of the Whole?

(Reminder: I offer these 3 questions as an e-reading in my collaborative intitituve format for $23. I have reading slots open starting on the 6th. Sign up with Pay Pal or email me about sending a check.)


Out of challenge (experienced either personally or collectively), we find a way forward guided by a growing awareness of new possibility in our lives. We take a risk to set ourselves on a course toward renewal. We won’t travel alone; the Greater Than and those in our circles of connection accompany us. In deciding how to travel this new course, we balance our personal desires and needs with consideration of our impact on others to serve the good of the Whole. Harriet Tubman gives us a living example of how to live out the full potential of this month’s energy. Born a slave, she escaped to freedom in her late 20s, but returned over and over again to guide 300 people out of slavery. She never lost a passenger as a conductor on the Underground Railroad and left us all these words of advice: Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.

Note on the images: From HollyVoley’s 1909 Rider deck as shared on The Rider Waite Smith deck is published today by U.S. Games.


Dark Moon Release with Tlazolteotl as Guide


For Seekers – Practices for Soul & Spirit

Before the moon is made new on February 4 at 4:03pm 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 Capricorn which corresponds to the Tarot’s Devil card. In the Dark Goddess Tarot, the Devil is Tlazolteotl, Aztec Goddess of Filth and Purification (XV, Corruption). Ellen Lorenzi-Prince, creator of the Dark Goddess Tarot, description of Her includes:

She is called the Sin Eater, the Mother of Midnight, Death by Lust, and She of Two Faces. She is the contrary-natured Aztec and Toltec Goddess of filth and purification, of fertility and disease, of prostitutes and midwives. In one hand she holds a cob of maize for the powers of life, in the other a rattle, symbolic of the scourge of illness.

The Goddess is vomiting out what she can no longer stand to have within. The expulsion of the disease will then be the pathway to renewal. She invites us to similar practices of purification. And the 24 hours before the February 4th new moon’s arrival is the optimal time for engaging in ritual.

The ritual’s most important element is your clear intention about what you want to release so begin with reflection and finding your focus guided by Tlazolteotl and your own desires. Writing down your intention is a helpful practice to support clarity.

Your ritual can be as elaborate or as simple as you’d like. You can even dedicate an action you planned to do anyway to meeting your intention. Physical action and work with the body are particularly aligned with this moonth’s connection to the earth sign of Capricorn. Here are some examples to inspire creation of a ritual that fits your unique needs and style:

  • Pick a drawer or a closet or a shelf to clear out. Remove everything from there in a dramatic way: for example, take out the drawer and dump it on the floor. Sort out the items and remove what you don’t need. If you keep anything, put it in a place of honor as it represents something important to be retained. Then clean the empty space. It is now ready to receive the new coming in the next lunation.
  • Steam yourself. This could be a in a hot shower or by steaming your face over a pot of water with herbs mixed in. Let your intuition guide you to the herbs you need to meet your intention. For example, I’ve found myself using rosemary lately for facial steaming, and am now seeing that it is associated with purification.
  • If you should actually be sick on the dark moon, tune into the illness’ beneficial side effects that could be of slowing down, learning lessons of the body, or more time to sleep. Dedicate the illness to your intention. Of course, continue to take care of yourself as needed to move through the illness.
  • Bring some of Tlazolteotl tools into your ritual. You could, for example, work with a rattle. Shaking it all around yourself as you observe with your imaginal eye that you are disrupting and dispelling negative energy, personal or collective limiting beliefs, or fears that keep us from evolving.

Once you have done your new moon ritual, rest. As much as you can, let your resting reach into the arrival of the new moon, which travels the path of the Tarot’s Star. Imagine your dark moon release opening being filled with the gifts of the Star. As the moon is brand new, the offerings will be subtle, but because of your lunar attunement you can trust yourself to receive the new gifts are arriving whether your receive them consciously or unconsciously.

Want to learn more about the path of the Star? Read Soul Path Sanctuary’s latest new moon news. And be sure to sign up for my list to get these missives sent moonthly. 


Initiating Lunar Energies for 2019


For Seekers – Moonthly Renewal – Seasonal Observances

With astro-Tarot-nature guidance, I pondered the energies of the next new moons arriving in  2019, which aligns with the Chinese lunar year of the Pig, a symbol of abundance, determination, and, in a number of ancient cultures, connected to the Great Mother.

I was inspired to give each moonth a theme and to include process and ritual support for releasing on dark moons (the night before the new) and seeking the revelations of the full moon. The Dark Goddess Tarot will be featured for the dark moon work.

Read to the end to dig into the details of the astro-Tarot influences. Be sure to be on my list to receive moonthly missives with writings, readings, and rituals inspired by these initiating energies. 

February – To Steer Your Own Course (With Others) – Start of the Chinese Lunar Year

February 3 – Dark Moon Release Guided by Tlazolteotl, Aztec Goddess of Filth and Purification (XV, Corruption)

February 4-  New Moon in Aquarius 15º
Path: The Star ~ Possibility: Six of Swords ~ Posture: King of Swords

February Full Moon Revelation – The Hermit sits under the Star.

March – The Inner Work of Justice

March 5 – Dark Moon Release Guided by Spider Woman, Hopi Goddess of Thought and Creation (XVII, Stars)

March 6 – New Moon in Pisces 15º
Path: Moon ~ Possibility: 9 of Cups ~ Posture: Knight of Cups

March 20 Full Moon Revelation – The Moon meeting Justice.

April – The Outer Work of Justice

April 4 – Dark Moon Release Guided by Arianrhod, Welsh Goddess of the Moon (XVIII, Moon)

April 5 – New Moon in Aries 15º
Path: The Emperor ~ Possibility: Three of Wands ~ Posture: Queen of Wands

April 19 Full Moon Revelation – The Emperor meeting Justice.

May – Giving and Receiving Between the Worlds

May 3 – Dark Moon Release Guided by The Morrigan, Celtic Goddess of the Blood (IV, Sovereignty / The Emperor)

May 4 – New Moon in Taurus 14º
Path: The Hierophant ~ Possibility: 6 of Pentacles ~ Posture: King of Pentacles

May 18 Full Moon Revelation – The Teacher is Death hidden in Life

June – Wake Up to True Love

June 2 – Dark Moon Release Guided by Cybele, Anatolian Mountain Mother (V, Hierophant)

June 3 – New Moon in Gemini 12º
Path: The Lovers ~ Possibility: 9 of Swords ~ Posture: Knight of Swords

June 17 Full Moon Revelation – Love needs Alchemy.

July – Joy for the Journey

July 1 – Dark Moon Release Guided by Freya, Norse Goddess of Love and Beauty (VI, Lovers)

July 2 – New Moon (Total Solar Eclipse) in Cancer 10º
Path: The Chariot ~ Possibility: Three of Cups ~ Posture: Queen of Cups

July 16 Full Moon (Partial Lunar Eclipse) Revelation – Ecstatic Movement.

August – The Aikido Approach to Challenge

July 30 – Dark Moon Release Guided by Ishtar, Babylonian Goddess of Love and War (VII, Chariot)

July 31 New Moon in Leo 8º
Path: Strength ~ Possibility: 5 of Wands ~ Posture: King of Wands

August 15 Full Moon Revelation – Strength blessed by the Star.

September – Harvest of Outer and Inner Riches

August 29 – Dark Moon Release Guided by Samovila, Slavic Guardian of the Forest (VIII, Strength)

August 30 – New Moon in Virgo 6º
Path: The Hermit ~ Possibility: Eight of Pentacles ~ Posture: Knight of Pentacles

September 14 Full Moon Revelation – The Moon mentors The Hermit.

October – Speaking the Soul’s Truth to Power

September 27 – Dark Moon Release Guided by Baba Yaga, Russian Witch of the Woods (IX, Hermit)

September 28 – New Moon in Libra 5º
Path: Justice ~ Possibility: 2 of Swords ~ Posture: Queen of Swords

October 13 Full Moon Revelation – Justice meeting the Emperor.

November – Singing for the Ancestors

October 26 – Dark Moon Release Guided by Maat, Egyptian Goddess of Truth and Justice (XI, Justice)

October 27 – New Moon in Scorpio 4º
Path: Death ~ Possibility: 5 of Cups ~ Posture: King of Cups

November 12 Full Moon Revelation – Death is the teacher of new songs.

December – Waiting with the Dark Pierced by Light

November 25 – Dark Moon Release – La Santa Muerte, Mexican Goddess of Death (XIII, Death)

November 26 – New Moon in Sagittarius 4º
Path: Temperance ~ Possibility: Eight of Wands ~ Posture: Knight of Wands

December 12 Full Moon Revelation – Alchemy’s magic is Love.

January 2020 – Return to the Threshold

December 25 – Dark Moon Release Guided by Brigid, Irish Goddess of Craft, Art, and Healing (XIV, Alchemy)

December 26 – New Moon (Solar Eclipse) in Capricorn 4º
Path: The Devil ~ Possibility: Two of Pentacles ~ Posture: Queen of Pentacles

Note: Determination of new moon days done using Eastern Standard time. Sometimes moons vary by a day depending on your location.

Background Information – 

The influence of a new moon lasts for the lunar cycle / 28 days. The initiation energy of the new moon puts a stamp on the moonth, which  moves through a natural flow of growth and decay inviting you to follow.

Each new moon has an exact moment aligned with a particular degree of an astrological sign. Each decan of the astrological wheel corresponds to three cards. Each card can be seen as offering a specific type of guidance for seekers: The Major shows the path or wisdom we are invited to experience. The number card, a the possible manifestation of the Major card. Court/People cards demonstrate how we might best walk the path to gain the gifts of the possibility or avoid its pitfalls. Weaving the wisdom of the three card together, a theme for each moonth of 2019 emerges. The cards and the theme inspire the three question reflections/readings offered in Soul Path Sanctuary’s moonthly e-news.

The height of the cycle is a full moon revelation about how you are working with the energies of the moonth. Out of the revelation, you are issued an invitation to return a gift to the Whole in the final weeks of the lunar cycle. The full moon also has an exact moment and specific place on the astrological wheel, but in seeking the revelations we’ll be working only with the Majors as predominant influences.

To allow us to enter fully into each new cycle, we must release what we do not need to carry from one moon into the next. Done on the dark moon nights a day or two before the new moon, these releases are a monthly renewal that keeps us from being weighed down by the past so we can have the strength to pick up the challenges of the present. The Dark Goddess Tarot introduces us to our guides for this releasing

Also: Eclipses have a six month influence so give an energetic boost to the moon in which they occur. Sacred Arts teacher Briana Saussy says they are good for breaking patterns.

Be sure to be on my list to receive moonthly missives with writings, readings, and rituals inspired by these initiating energies. 


Tending the Returning Light Week 4: Follow the Heart’s Light


For Seekers – From Art of Change Tarot – Seasonal Observances

Welcome to Tending the Returning Light the second half of our Solstice-hinged ritual and retreat-in-everyday life. To join in the ritual, you may want to find a Solstice Seed of the New (don’t worry selecting this Seed any time after the Solstice). This is the final week of the ritual, but it opens the doorway to a whole year ahead of meeting and tending the Solstice Seed so it is not too late to join in.

And now the Seed begins its journey of growth in the outer world, where the longer days kindle our anticipation of spring’s return. From the underworld of winter, the Seed emerged and now the greater light of the sun and the inner light of your heart will nurture its growth. We celebrate what has been birthed. We prepare to tend the next unfolding.

The greater light of the sun and the seasons have their own rhythm, but you are the keeper of the heart’s light, shaper of its direction, cultivator of its flow. 

Flow, card XIV of the Minoan Tarot, shows a priestess at her sacred task of pouring libations. Ellen Lorenzi-Prince’s companion book describes this rite:

The ritual is an offering to the great ones, expressing gratitude for the gift of life in a magical world. … The pouring of libations is both offering and petition, both giving and receiving. It is life and power flowing from divinity to humanity, with love and respect flowing from human hearts in return.

detail minoan-14-flow

Ellen offers this message from the image: Your heart is the crossroads of the power of the flow.

Your double-chambered heart flows both with giving and receiving, beats both because of earth taking form in muscle and because of a mysterious spirit animating the life force. Where these opposites touch is the center of your heart, is the crossroads of your interior being. It is an imaginal space – a soul place – rather than a physical spot you can find, but you are called to visit here when you want to grow.

Your Seed will want to grow as it moves from winter to spring and onward through each season. The Seed will return time and again to the crossroads and you with it. This will sometimes be a place of challenge where old patterns of shame, self-criticism, or fear may tug at you again. This will sometimes be a place of failure because not all seeds grow. This will sometimes be a place of success where the unfolding of the seed aligns with the rhythms of the wider world and your own longings and visions.

And because we are in the place of the heart, all can be received with Love. For Love, protected by and flowing from the center of your heart, receives all things, pours out its endless light, is generous with its hospitality.

At the crossroads, you are invited to offer this loving hospitality of the heart to all that enters. When fear enters, offer it comfort and send it down the path of release. When failure enters, sit with your own disappointment; don’t try to change the feeling, just hold it close to your heart until the Love’s light there shines on the path that leads to healing. When success comes, celebrate its delights and send it down the path of humility or greater challenge.

In this final week of Tending the Returning Light, we have come to a crossroads in our ritual time together. The Seed birthed at Solstice calls to be celebrated. The next phase of life calls for new growth. This ritual of winter calls to be concluded so we can prepare for springtime’s path.

During this week, you are invited to light four candles and array around them cards that respond to these questions balancing celebration and preparation:

  • What have I achieved in birthing the Seed?
  • How to celebrate this achievement?
  • What waits for me at the crossroads of winter and spring, of birth and growth?
  • How to move forward held in the flow of the heart’s light and Love?

Conclusion of the Series and the Season

After your final Descent and Return week, you may want to pause to reflect on the ritual as a whole over the course of January’s last days. Although the weather won’t feel like it here in New England, February does marks the start of spring in the Celtic calendar. And now that we have attuned ourselves to the returning light, we can find the first signs of spring in the lengthening days. To move between the seasons, Celtic teacher and writer Caitlín Matthews suggests the practice of saying a prayer or poem of gratitude to winter for what it has gestated in our lives at your back door or window on January 31st. You might want to write your own or use her Farewell to the Season of Samhain from The Celtic Devotional:

Go with thanks and go with blessing
Season of deep memory.
Souls with joy are deeply freighted.
Hearts are charged with heritage.
As ancestors you have traveled,
You have come to Winter’s home.
Father Counsel you have cheered us.
Mother wisdom who has smiled.
Touch the hidden seed with us.
May we grow as Spring’s own child.

May you travel well as spring pours its light deeper and deeper into the night. I look forward to the next crossing of our paths here in world of bone and flesh or in the deep heart place that is both at our centers and everywhere – and from which flows an always embracing Love.


What to do next to tend your soul? 

  • Our work with the Seed has just begun. The ritual offered a guide to how to tend its spiraling growth. Each of its four weeks can be see to correspond to a season. What Can Be Born of Our Broken Parts is the work of winter. Root and Reach of spring. Emergence of Summer. And this week’s Follow the Heart’s Light of Fall. You could spend a week in each of these seasons taking out your Solstice Seed card(s) and experience it again using these rituals.
  • Next week I return to my practice of posting (almost always on Mondays) a Soul Path Practices spread to offering inspiration for your spiritual practice and wisdom seeking
  • Joanna Powell Colbert is offering an on-going process this year for lunar and solar energy with Seasons of the Sun and Moon. You can sign up any time
  • Mark your calendar for Monday, May 27th when we will begin Walking the Ways of the Summer Light toward the full illumination of the Summer Solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere.
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