Welcome to the GuruMojo podcast, number eleven! Where it’s my job to share the wisdom and insights that I have found to be helpful to me in becoming a happier and more compassionate person. GuruMojo comes from the idea that everyone can take responsibility for their own spiritual life. There are so many practices and philosophies out there that it can be easy to miss the ones that may really speak to you and be the most helpful. For me, after some twenty-five years of seeking a higher truth, I have found some things that have brought me so much peace and happiness that I just want to tell everyone I know. Problem is, they don’t want to hear it. So I made this podcast. And if you’re listening now, there’s a chance that you’re a seeker too, and maybe there’s a reason you’re here. I mean, of course there’s a reason you’re here, in general, and a reason you found this podcast as well…

So, let’s get started…. But before we dive in, I’d like to introduce my new sponsor. I’m so happy to announce that today’s episode is brought to you by the good people over at shopgurumojo.com! Hey! That’s me! I’ve cobbled together a little webstore to help spread joy around the universe… That’s shopgurumojo.com. I’ll talk a little more about that later…. But I am really so grateful to the folks over at shopgurumojo.com for sponsoring this episode. Really it’s just me…

So let’s get into it!

I’m so excited to tell you all the great and amazing things I’ve been getting into lately! You may know that I have a long history of getting involved with ideas and practices that typically reside just outside of what our culture has deemed normal. Everything from Buddhism and meditation and yoga to psychedelic plant medicine and visionary art. Veganism?! All that weird stuff that all my family and friends are sick of me blabbering about! So I made a podcast and here we are. At least you can just turn this off whenever you want!

Now over the last year or so, I’ve discovered something really amazing. A few things, actually, that just might be the fringiest of all the fringe things. I’ve been consumed with reading up and studying this stuff and it all started about a year ago when I became aware of the modern practice and use of Tarot cards! Whaat?! I know! And, **spoiler alert!** the name of this episode is Crystals, Tarot, and Magick! So I think you have a pretty good idea where this is headed. We’ll see who makes it to the end!

So… Now we’ll see if I’ve been able pull this all together into something that makes sense….

As I have been practicing Buddhist meditation and awareness for just over 20 years at this point, I have also spent that time studying philosophy and listening to Alan Watts, and reading the Dalai Lama, and Ken Wilber, and stuff like that. As such, I thought I had just about played out all the exciting concepts and methods. Thought that I had pretty much figured it out by learning from the masters. Not that I had attained enlightenment or anything, but I had an idea of what it meant, and how to practice and live with happiness and compassion.

Then, about five years ago, I heard Jason Louv on the DTFH podcast, and heard for the first time that Magick, real magick, had mostly to do with meditation and self-improvement. Uh-say-what?! I had no idea, magick was definitely off my radar, but that got my attention. I started listening to Jason Louv’s “Ultraculture” podcast, which is really great, I haven’t had the urge to start a magical practice, but it is faaascinating. As it turns out, magick is simply the western esoteric practice. I’ve been steeped in the eastern esoterics, like my favorite flavor of Buddhism, Dzogchen, from Tibet. Jason Louve spells it out in his book, “John Dee And The Empire Of Angels,” speaking of magick as being the “Western esoteric tradition” and how it should really be called (quoting the book) it should really be called, “Esoteric Protestantism, that it is indeed the inner esoteric expression of the Protestant Reformation, and that it has played a guiding role in the spread of Protestantism and its ideals throughout the world. –(Ok… Interesting…..)

He goes on to say that – “All religions have an exoteric shell – a system of rules and dogmas for laypeople – along with smaller inner esoteric groups focused on mysticism, individual experimentation with spiritual techniques…. Examples include the tantric schools of Hinduism and Buddhism, the Holy Orders in Catholicism, the Kabbalists in Judaism, the Sufi schools of Islam, and many more.”

In addition to meditation, magick also involves making contact with angels, which is totally wild, of course and sounds like airy fairy make-believe until you realize that they are the same angels that are talked about in the bible. Like the archangels, Gabriel and Michael. They both show up in Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. The same Angels, the same dudes! Angeling around to anybody who will pay them any attention, apparently. These waters run so deep!

At first when I heard that John Dee, (read Jason’s book!) back in the 1500’s was receiving magical messages from angels, my eyes started to roll a little bit. What?! I mean if you’re not already into it, it sounds crazy when you hear something like that. But if you consider yourself Christian, Jewish, or Muslim, you may have forgotten that you already take for granted magical angelic messages that form the basis for your own religion. It’s not something we think about much, but those are supposedly the same angels. If we will believe those stories from our own religion, shouldn’t we consider that maybe those angels did happen to speak with some other people at some point? It shouldn’t be so unimaginable. At any rate, we’ve already basically agreed that there are beings from dimensions other than our own who, at times, have communicated with us.

There are so many parallels to the practices of these different religions and magick. If you have ever seen a Catholic mass, it is a finely tuned ritual, not so different from a magick ceremony. There are special robes to wear, dab yourself with some holy water, candles are lit, incense may be burned, there’s chanting or singing, an invocation of spirit, and ceremonial objects, with the mass culminating in the celebration of the Eucharist, where through ritual, bread and wine are transformed into the flesh and blood of christ that is then eaten and drunk up by the parishoners. That sounds crazy, btw… My wife is Catholic and she tells me that the bread and the wine are literally tranformed into flesh and blood, it is not a metaphor. And for the record, I have attended hundreds of Catholic masses.

What strikes me as so appealing about magick, is that it encourages a daily meditation practice, so that when there is something that one wants to manifest, one has the mental clarity and acute focus of awareness that it takes to successfully perform the ritual to make the thing happen. This falls into line with what I’ve been learning about manifestation. And it also occurs to me that a magickal ceremony that has a defined outcome, will in fact, act to reinforce the mental states needed to affect the outcome itself. You have to be clear on what you want in order to perform a ritual, and in performing the ritual, you are putting it out to the universe as your intention, and the confidence you must have in the process even to begin any such ritual is the knowing part of manifestation where you feel as if the thing has already been attained. As I understand it, having only begun to study it, the physical act of the ritual or ceremony is thoroughly more powerful than just practicing manifestation as a thought exercise. (Check out episode 9 for manifestation techniques….)

Ok, so I had this vague idea that magick was more about meditation and self-improvement back a few years ago, I didn’t deep-dive on it at that point, but it was there. Then about two years ago, I started listening to the Synchronicity Podcast with Noah Lampert, (also discovered him on the DTFH), talking about manifestation and Neville Goddard, but then he would mention tarot cards. And I was like, what?! This guy sounds like he knows what he’s talking about with all this self-empowerment and manifestation, and now what? Tarot cards?!!! I had never been exposed to tarot. It would only rarely even show up in a movie or something. It seemed silly to me. But the more he would talk about it, I began to get a sense that the cards were being used as a tool to spark the intuition. I became intrigued. I checked out some tarot podcasts and landed on Tarot Bytes, by Theresa Reed, The Tarot Lady. I highly recommend following her on IG @thetorotlady.

As it turns out, tarot is deeply spiritual. The cards are filled with symbolism that, when you have settled your mind and become present, can allow you to intuit answers to any questions you may have. They say that the tarot cards depict every situation that a person can find themselves in. Every life struggle or triumph is in there! The way the cards are designed is brilliant. There are many attributes and associations with numerology, astrology, the elements, and kabbalah. Now there’s a can of worms! I’m not 100% on board with astrology yet, but kabbalah amazes me. It has also been said that the study of tarot, in and of itself is a spiritual practice. That’s kind of where I am with it. It is a part of the stock and trade of magick as well.

So the way tarot works is that the images on the cards are used to spark your intuition. You begin a session by centering yourself and quieting your mind, as we do in meditation, then you ask a question, or the person you’re reading for asks a question. (You can pull cards for yourself as well as for other people.) You mindfully focus on the question as you shuffle and then you lay out a number of cards; there are different configurations you can lay them out in, called spreads, like the celtic cross, or a past-present-future spread. Then you look over them and see what images catch your eye, and ask yourself how these images might apply to the answer to your question. For example, the first card in the deck is called “The Fool” and is usually shown as someone embarking on a journey, often on the top of a cliff or a hill with one foot stepping off into thin air. The fool usually has a travel pack over their shoulder, all of this indicating the start of a journey, a new beginning, a bit of naivete. The fool is not wise, but has the sense of adventure needed to undertake new ventures. This can be encouragement for someone asking about starting a new business, but with a warning not to jump into it without some due diligence, some looking around for where you might want to land. Or take the ten of swords, in one popular deck, it shows someone lying face down on the ground with ten huge swords sticking out of them, its gruesome. But it can mean the end of a season of life, depending on the question, it could be the end of a career or a partnership. It can tell you the something is coming to a conclusion that might be painful, but that always will set you up for a new beginning. Or it could just mean back pain. It depends on the question.

What I really like about tarot is that it will almost always have that positive slant even after some doom and gloom. Also I like that it is your own interpretation that is most relevant. Each tarot deck comes with a guidebook that describes the meanings of the cards, but those are only a guide, there’s nothing rigid. As Theresa Reed always says at the end of her podcast, and yes, I’m saying this from memory, “…nothing is set in stone, the cards tell a story, but you write the ending.” What she is saying is that a prediction made in a reading should be interpreted as what will happen if nothing changes. What the cards offer is the insight into where things are headed so that if you don’t like that outcome, you can change your actions and change the result. A great place to start if you’re interested in tarot is Theresa’s podcast, “Tarot Bytes” they’re quick 10-15 minute episodes, all about tarot, if you start from the beginning, she explains everything and if that sparks more interest, then I highly recommend her book, “Tarot, No Questions Asked.” There are literally hundreds of decks out there and most of the ones I’ve seen are really beautiful. I’m currently in love with my Thoth deck created by Aliester Crowley, and stunningly painted by Lady Freida Harriss. The images are truly magical to behold, both beautiful and disturbing. Everything in a card is available to spark your intuition from the facial expressions of characters and different objects, to shades of color, or the way someone’s hand is posed. Something that stuck with me from a lecture I watched on YouTube of world-famous magician, Lon Milo DuQuette, is that when your mind is quiet and everything is still, the answers to a question are all around you, you can read them in tarot cards, or tea leaves, or just in the room around you. It’s like all of creation is telling you the answer if you would just quiet down and listen. So as far as that goes, the illustrations of tarot may be more helpful in sparking that awareness than deciphering shapes in a jumble of spent tea leaves.

Which will bring me to next thing I want to talk about…. crystals. Oh, crystals. I love crystals so much that I’ve started a shop online, you remember, the sponsor of our show, shopgurumojo.com. I’ve had this idea of having a little store where I can share books that I recommend, and maybe sell cushions for meditation, but you can get all that stuff on Amazon, and competing with Amazon seems silly. But what you don’t get on Amazon is a lovingly curated crystal collection. Oh my gosh…. Let me back up.

I started hearing about crystals on Noah Lampert’s Syncronicity podcast, just like the tarot cards. My interest was sparked. Then I remembered that my old favorite metaphysical shop here in Jacksonville,  the Midnight Sun, is about filled with crystals! I didn’t know the significance. I always thought they looked cool, and growing up at the beach, I’ve always liked hunting shark’s teeth, and loved finding some fossils here or there. Well, on Noah’s podcast, he interviewed his sister, who has an amazing crystal collection. And what do you know? Each different crystal has metaphysical properties associated with it. Again, interest peaked, I headed out to Midnight Sun to see what was what. I bought a book that I thought was going to help me understand how crystals are formed in the earth and to help identify which one was which. So I bought what seemed to be the most substantial crystal book on the shelf, “The Book of Stones” by Robert Simmons, and Naisha Ahsian. I couldn’t have been more wrong, or more impressed. This Book of Stones is not a boring, old encyclopedia of crystal identification, but rather it’s a huge, dazzling,  esoteric treatise on the metaphysical properties of crystals!

Now, if you’re as unfamiliar with these metaphysical properties, as I was, and I mean, I had absolutely no idea that this was a thing! Crystals have different associated metaphysical properties that correspond to different chakras, astrological signs, and emotions, ….they’re each assigned to one of the elements, they’re incorporated into Kabbalah, and lots more.

For example, reading from the Book of Stones, Amethyst is associated with the key words: Protection, purification, Divine connection, and release of addictions. Its element is wind, and its chakras are the third eye, the crown, and the etheric. In the description, Robert Simmons says, “…it is appropriate to view Amethyst as a stone of spiritual protection and purification. It can be an aid to curbing overindulgence and giving up bad habits. It can be used to assist one in quitting smoking, drinking, or drug use. It stimulates the crown chakra and is an aid to meditation, helping one to still one’s thoughts and move into higher states of consciousness. It can clear ones energy field of negative influences and attachments, and can thereby facilitate the creation of an energetic ‘shield’ -a field of spiritual Light around the body that wards off the negativity in one’s environment.” I mean….? Is that amazing or what? So this is all new to me. My mind is blown.

Here’s what they say in the book about Meditation with Stones: … … …(see book…)

These metaphysical associations go deeper. There is said to be a stone being, an actual consciousness that resides within each crystal. Let’s go back to the Book of Stones to the section “Who Are the Stones” It’s just three paragraphs, but I’m going to read the whole thing. ….. …. … …. … (see the book….)

So, yeah. I’m going to leave it right there for now. I would like to mention that Robert Simmons did publish a new book in 2020, called The Alchemy Of Stones, which is a deep-dive into what he was just talking about. I’m just digging into that, but it is amazing. Also, both books are available at shopgurumojo.com. And if you’re interested, check out Robert on YouTube, he actually reads and discusses the first few chapters of the new book, search Robert Simmons Crystals on YouTube and pick up the books if you like what you see.

That’s all for now. And if you’ve made it to the end, wow! Thank you! Please consider subscribing, rating, and reviewing the podcast, it really does help people find it, and I would be so grateful.

And don’t forget to check out my store over at shopgurumojo.com for some amazing crystals. I’m just getting started and I’m looking into having some tarot decks and some books available as well. And check me out on Instagram @gurumojo.crystals.

Thank you so much for tuning in. I wish you all the best.