Monthly Archives: October 2015

Current Transits for October/November, 2015

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Category: Current Transits

By Barry Kerr

The Sun moves into Scorpio on October 23.

The shift from Libra to Scorpio is similar to the shift from the airy ideals of the wedding, honeymoon, and early days of marriage to the deep running currents of conflict, vulnerability and true intimacy, when love is often doubted; when self and other seem as enemies.

It is fitting that at Halloween we don our masks and show our darker, scarier sides, flirting with the spirits behind the veil of death. Scorpio is fascinated with death and birth and teaches us that all deaths are actually preludes to rebirths.  In the vulnerable crucible of intimate conflicts with those closest to us, our ego fights to avoid certain death, but it’s an illusion of time and space. In reality, we are each an eternal and unique expression of spirit, infinitely larger than our little and temporary egos, and capable of surviving the worst fates our ego’s mind can imagine.

Before Pluto was discovered in 1930, Scorpio was always ruled by the planet Mars because Mars represents our power to protect the ego, to assert our individual will and right to exist into the world. Mars is our warrior and will kill to survive. So it makes sense that our Mars would be stirred to action in our Scorpio episodes of life.  However, Pluto represents a part of our transpersonal self, a part that is the higher octave of Mars.  It too is about power, but it draws from a collective synergy of power. We experience it as the overpowering institutions around us; political, religious, and economic, yet it is Scorpios intention that we eventually discover we are not victims to external powers, not even to that other ego who may share our bed. In truth, all the powers we recognize outside ourselves are also available within ourselves.

To access such self-empowerment requires a transformation in our ego, and the doors to such transformation lie exactly at the center of conflicts which appear to threaten the ego’s very existence. Scorpio invites us to look past the melodramas of the moment, to let down the shield of self-preservation, and to look deeply into the other until we see our self clearly reflected back to us, not just the shallow mask of our ego, but the incredibly profound river of unconditional love and divine beauty that we call our soul. And when we see it, we know there is no separation between us and other. Our souls blend as part of a greater whole, with nothing to fear or defend.

Pluto is the part of us that seeks this transformation. Scorpio is the energy of life that resonates with that intention.

Full Moon on October 27.

As the Sun radiates the intense Scorpio energy of change and transformation across the earth, the Moon’s light reflects our emotional need to hunker down to some semblance of stability and predictable outcomes that satisfy our needs and personal values. It’s a tension that require our conscious effort to negotiate our relationships with self-empowered strength, true to ourselves, but with a willingness to remain vulnerable to new truths, hidden feelings and intuitive possibilities.

Venus, Mars, and Jupiter conjoined and trined by Pluto: Helping us do that is a conjoining of Mars (assertiveness), Venus (values and relationship) and Jupiter (expansiveness and spiritual seeking) in Virgo (attention to practical details and getting it right).  This constellation of three is harmonically trined by Pluto (transformation) in Capricorn (order and manifestation). 

Chiron opposes the above: Chiron (old wounds and healing energy) in Pisces (spiritual experience), thus it’s important to see how you may be triggered by the past during this full moon.

Neptune trines Sun: Fortunately, Neptune (unconditional lover and mystic) is also in Pisces and trines the Sun, lending compassionate energy our intentions within the Scorpion challenges.



New Moon on November 11

When the Sun and Moon conjoin in Scorpion as a new moon, it will be an especially auspicious time to resolve troubling issues in relationships and/or set the intention to do so over the next month. Egos and emotions will cooperate as Jupiter (abundant good will) and Chiron (healing energy) both form harmonizing aspects to the new moon, even as they oppose each other. Indeed, intimate vulnerability can lead to profound healing and spiritual expansion. Conflicts left unresolved can deepen the pain of wounds that eventually lead to spiritual growth, but perhaps much later.  So go for it now.

Barry Kerr, a certified soul-based astrologer, has 35 years of experience with an international clientele, including many medical professionals and alternative healers. He and Kristine Gay, a licensed psychotherapist, are owners/practitioners at Inner Essence Center in Madison. Both have extensive training in soul-guided healing of mind, body, heart and spiritual systems. Barry offers astrology,  energy healing and transformational coaching by phone, Skype or in person in Madison, WI. Inquiries are welcome – free 15 minute consultation to explore if this is for you.  Visit for more information.


metaphysical properties of incense

by Cathy Douglas

Incense smells good, and there’s nothing wrong with enjoying it for that reason alone. But as with crystals, incense — in all its different styles and fragrances — has metaphysical properties based on a long history of use. In fact, if you’re used to working with crystals, the nature of many incenses can to some extent be compared to the properties of specific stones: sandalwood to quartz, lavender to amethyst, rose to rose quartz, etc. Using a crystal with a complementary incense amplifies the power of both.

Most modern incenses are built around a sandalwood stick or cone, overlaid with perfumes, essential oils, resins or other sources of fragrance. (For more on the general types of incense and how they are made, please see our previous article, Incense Basics.)

As always, please remember that the healing properties of the incenses below are complementary to regular treatment, not a substitute. Use common sense and seek your doctor’s advice, especially if you are pregnant or suffer from respiratory conditions.

Common Incense Blends:

Nag champa: While there is a flowering plant called nag champa, the incense that goes by that name is actually a blend of sandalwood with floral scents that include the champa flower, ylang ylang, and others.Traditional nag champa formulations also rely on resin from the halmaddi tree (Ailanthus, or tree of heaven). It creates a soothing, relaxing mood. Uses: purification, creating sacred space, spiritual matters, meditation, enlightenment.

Aastha: Very much like Nag Champa, but a little sweeter. The name means “faith.” Uses: relaxation, meditation, religious occasions.

Aqua: A light floral scent with cyclamen and primrose. Uses: any kind of cooling, whether of temper, physical fever, or excess emotion of any kind.

Darshan: This traditional blend combines sandalwood, jasmine and vanilla. The word can mean “pilgrimage,” or may imply having a vision of a deity or holy person. Uses: concentration, freedom from negativity, reviving a tired mind or spirit.

India Temple: Since this is a brand name, the ingredients are proprietary information. The manufacturer will only say that they use “the finest fragrant woods, herbs, essential oils, and other ingredients of the highest quality,” and that it is designed to smell “just like temples in India.” Uses: connecting with Hindu traditions, ritual

Opium: This incense does not contain any parts of the opium poppy. It’s a blend formulated to resemble Yves St. Laurent’s Opium perfume, which is a blend of many typical incense ingredients, including sandalwood, cedarwood, jasmine, rose, cinnamon, and many more. Unsurprisingly, it turns out smelling somewhat like a store that sells incense. Uses: sleep, lucid dreaming, developing psychic skills, contacting deities and guides in dreams.

Plum blossom: This Japanese incense is actually a combination of floral and spicy ingredients, blended to evoke spring. As far as I’ve been able to discover, it doesn’t actually use plum. Uses: meditation, connecting with Zen Buddhist or other Japanese traditions, purity, feeling young

Individual Scents

The following are properties for single incense ingredients. Remember, though, that in in the real world most stick and cone incenses contain more than one ingredient, usually including a sandalwood base.

Amber: love, comfort, happiness, healing, past life discovery, connecting with the past

Benzoin: purification, clearing negative energy, balance, prosperity, dealing with negative emotions (especially anger, anxiety and depression), working through grief

Cedar: purification, clarity, enhancing psychic skills, love, preventing nightmares, respiratory infections *

Cedarwood: purification, protection, abundance, grounding, clarity, male virility, strength (including strength during a healing process)

Cinnamon: prosperity, success, healing (especially during winter), love and romance, amplifying the energy of spells or rituals, strength, cultivating power (especially for people who feel otherwise powerless, or as if they are in a hopeless situation)

Copal: Purification, protection, exorcism, finding true love, separating from toxic relationships

Cypress (including Hinoki): Strength, comfort, stress relief, confidence, will power, concentration

Dragon’s blood (resin from dracena plant): removing negativity, banishing unclean entities, protection (especially during magical work), enhancing power, male energies

Frankincense: Purification, consecration, meditation, resolving conflicts, speaking up for oneself or others, transforming a chaotic environment to one of peace. Often used in religious rituals, sometimes with myrrh.

Gardenia: Love, healing or maintaining good health, peace

Geranium / Rose geranium: courage, protection

Ginger: love & romance

Jasmine: attracting love or money, cultivating beauty (especially inner beauty), creativity (especially creating something that will touch other people), connecting with others emotionally, wisdom, dreaming (including prophetic dreaming)

Juniper: psychic skills, psychic protection & protection from the evil eye, breaking a string of bad luck

Lavender: relaxation & sleep, protection & purification, romance, cleansing (especially after a period of health issues), healing (especially from addictions), serenity

Lemon: healing, purification, love. An especially good scent to use during fasting.

Lemongrass: mental clarity, relief of respiratory conditions *

Lotus: peace & harmony, improving mood, concentration, focus. Very good for meditation, or to burn while studying.

Mesquite: disinfecting, digestive problems, enhancing the energy of spells or rituals

Musk: love & romance, courage, facing one’s limits (especially one’s mortality), connecting with departed loved ones

Myrrh: purification, consecration, exorcism, banishing negative influences, connecting with solar deities & powers. Traditionally burned during funerals.

Patchouli: attracting love ** & money, connecting with fae, sensuality, fertility, finding happiness

Pine: purification, banishing negative energy, removing curses, moving beyond outgrown habits and circumstances, strength & healing, finding a job

Rose: love & romance, fertility, emotional healing, enhancing beauty (including inner beauty), divination, house blessing

Sage: protection, purification, wisdom, balancing mind / body / soul, cleansing, creating & purifying sacred space.

Sandalwood: Protection, purification, sanctification, offering to any god, good luck.

Sweetgrass: Purification, space clearing, calls up beneficial spirits.

Vanilla: love & romance, decision making, study, power

Ylang ylang: Love, harmony, peace, euphoria

* If you use incense as a complementary treatment for a respiratory condition, be sure to use a very pure blend, and stop use immediately if the smoke causes any discomfort. If the condition is a serious one, consult your doctor before burning any incense.

** If you use patchouli to attract love, it might be a good idea to make sure the object of your desires doesn’t hate the stuff. Many people have a visceral, negative reaction to patchouli, in part because in the past it’s been used to mask the smell of pot or BO.

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Crystal Message: “I am a stone of old magick and great healing power. I work with the wise, passing down the healing gifts of the ancestors. With intention, I can bring you great joy and peace.”

Common Properties:

  • Enhances your inner radiance
  • Creates joy in your life
  • Boosts your immune system
  • Cleanses and purifies the physical body
  • Heals and balances the mind, body, and spirit
  • Banishes fear
  • Promotes peace and calming
  • Enhances magick and spell-work
  • Regulates electrical energy flow in body
  • Supports parathyroid function

Stone Lore: More myths and legends may surround amber than any other stone. Some are bizarre, such as the belief among some ancient Greeks that it was actually congealed lynx urine, but most emphasize amber’s precious nature and connect it with energy from the sun. Amber’s lore goes far back in time. Prehistoric people carved the first known three-dimensional figures from amber, and there is evidence they used these carvings as talismans. One Neolithic charm was an amber egg with a rooster carved into it, symbolizing new beginnings (the sunrise, new birth, etc.) The insects sometimes found trapped in amber also suggest concepts of life and rebirth. Tribes in ancient Britain and northern Europe worshipped an Earth goddess, “the mother of all gods,” who took the form of an amber boar. And the Celtic sun god, Ambres, was named after the stone.

Do you ever fantasize about finding yourself in a crystal cave, or some other place where you’re surrounded by gemstones on all sides? The Russians have a history of making these visions real. Perhaps the most amazing and beautiful room in the world is the Amber Room of the Catherine Palace in Pushkin, Russia. The walls of this room are covered with panels of intricately carved amber, and much of the furniture is made from amber as well. When the nazis invaded during the Second World War they stole the amber, and it was likely destroyed by fire; in any case, the precious walls have never been found. The Russian government has since recreated the amber art and restored the room to its former beauty. Click here for more information and photos, including a photo that you can manipulate both horizontally and vertically for a 360 degree tour of the room.

Notes: Amber is also known as Allingite, Glessum, Glesum, Lyncurium, Lynx Stone, Chryselectrum, Gum Stone, Gumstone, Pit Amber, Succin, and Succinite

Yellow-150x150 Colors: Yellow, Gold, Honey
Amber's Chakras Associated Chakras: Sacral (2nd), Solar Plexus (3rd)
leoscorpio 150x150 Zodiac Signs: Leo & Scorpio
earth elementfire element Elements: Earth, Fire
St._Johns_Wort_5976542341-150x150 Companion Flowers: St. John’s Wort
palo santo Companion Essential Oil: Palo Santo
jet Companion Stone: Jet
Poland Common Origins: Poland, Alaska (USA), Dominican Republic

Wanna’ Get Science-y? Click Here to get information about the chemical composition, hardness, streak, etc. of this crystal from one of my favorite sites!


Crystal Message: “Get in touch with your creative fire, your passion, your purpose. Allow me to motivate you to make the necessary changes in your life to better align you with your path and your soul’s calling.”

Common Properties:

  • Increases vitality
  • Enhances motivation
  • Stimulates Tantric energy
  • Promotes the rising of the Kundalini
  • Encourages the exploration of new thoughts and ideas
  • Enhances feelings of passion (both in life and in relationships)
  • Aids in opening the Heart Chakra
  • Creates feelings of divine love

Stone Lore: Diamonds are all very well, but according to legend, it’s ruby that is a king’s best friend. In some traditions, ruby makes a king invincible and heal battle wounds; this is one reason why it’s been popular on crowns and other items worn by royalty. Some say ruby originated as the third eye of dragons and wyverns, and sculptors also place one on the Buddha’s brow to represent the third eye and reincarnation. Ruby is not only a stone of power, it’s one that helps its wearer stand up to adversity–various legends say it can staunch bleeding, resist the effects of poison or allow you to live peacefully in the  midst of enemies. And as if that weren’t cool enough, ruby can also be used to treat flatulence. How’s that for a range of uses?

Notes: Ruby is a variety of Corundum.

Click here to purchase

Red-150x150 Colors: Red, Burgundy, Magenta
Ruby's Chakras Associated Chakras: Root (1st), Heart (4th)
ariesleo Zodiac Signs: Aries, Leo
fire element Elements: Fire
Rose Companion Flowers: Rose
Ginger Companion Essential Oil: Ginger
sapphire Companion Stone: Blue Sapphire (Click Here to read more)
thailand Common Origins: Thailand, Cambodia, Burma

Wanna’ Get Science-y? Click Here to get information about the chemical composition, hardness, streak, etc. of this crystal from one of my favorite sites!

Blue Sapphire

Crystal Message: “Listen to the messages of your ancestors…be open to receiving their wisdom and guidance.  As you awaken spiritually, I will assist you in adjusting to the physical, mental, and emotional changes that may accompany your spiritual journey.”

Common Properties:

  • Enhances communication with your spirit guides (especially Archangel Michael)
  • Connects you with your higher self
  • Facilitates the growth of your psychic awareness and intuitive abilities
  • Promotes a connection with the energy of the stars
  • Enhances your understanding of astrology
  • Increases your acceptance of life occurrences as part of a universal plan
  • Reduces the undesired physical sensations that often accompany spiritual awakening

Notes: Blue Sapphire is a variety of Corundum.

Click here to purchase

Blue-150x150 Colors: Blue, Indigo
sapphire chakras Associated Chakras: Third Eye (6th); Crown (7th)
virgo Zodiac Signs: Virgo
A composition of natures basic elements

water element

Elements: Air; Water
The Basic Elements blue star amsonia Companion Flowers: Blue Star Amsonia
orange essential oil Companion Essential Oil: Orange
ruby Companion Stone: Ruby (Click Here to read more)
thailand Common Origins: Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, Wyoming (USA), Idaho (USA)

Wanna’ Get Science-y? Click Here to get information about the chemical composition, hardness, streak, etc. of this crystal from one of my favorite sites!


Blue Quartz

Crystal message: “I will guide you with gentle communication, encouraging your to express yourself creatively. Let go of your attachment to results and outcomes, and immerse yourself in the creative flow that surrounds you.”

Common Properties:

  • Helps you express yourself creatively
  • Facilitates communication between you and others
  • Connects you with your spirit guides
  • Aids in the analysis of your important life experiences
  • Encourages forgiveness
  • Promotes happiness
  • Helps you acknowledge the things that bring joy to your life
  • Enhances beauty (both inner and outer)
  • Deepens meditation by expanding your conscious awareness and creating feelings of oneness and connection
  • Enhances mystical experiences of all kinds

Click here to purchase.

Blue-150x150 Colors: Light Blue, Blue, & Indigo
blue quartz chakras Associated Chakras: Heart (4th); Third Eye (6th); Crown (7th)
aquariuspisces Zodiac Signs: Aquarius; Pisces
A composition of natures basic elements

water element

Elements: Air; Water
bluebells Companion Flowers: Bluebells
blue spruce Companion Essential Oil: Blue Spruce
 carnelian Companion Stone: Carnelian (Click Here to read more)
brazil Common Origins: Brazil

Wanna’ Get Science-y? Click Here to get information about the chemical composition, hardness, streak, etc. of this crystal from one of my favorite sites!


Autumn Aromatherapy

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Category: Aromatherapy

By Dr. Christina Wilke-Burbach PhD, RMT

**Special offer at end of article!!

This is my favorite time of the whole year! With October comes cooler temperatures, autumn breezes, dynamic color, shorter days, longer nights, and the changing of the season.  It is a time of celebration of the harvest; a period to reflect on all the blessings in your life and have gratitude. It also means the holidays are right around the corner. No matter what your spiritual path, for many of us our holiday celebrations and festivities involve indulgence, often of the food kind. This autumn, in addition to feasting on candies, cookies, cakes, and pies, treat your other senses!

Smells, scents, and aromas evoke moods and memories and can be a feast for the soul. Nothing smells more like autumn to me than a blend of spice oils and fruit oils. Experiment with different combinations of nutmeg, cinnamon, cassia, clove, anise, fennel, cardamom, ginger, bay, allspice, sage, vanilla, orange, tangerine, mandarin, lemon, lime, grapefruit, and bergamot. (Please remember, some of the spice oils can be hot and caustic to the skin, so let’s focus on using them in diffusers, mists and sprays, and other inhalation therapies instead of applying to the skin.) Here are some of my favorite autumn aroma ideas. Enjoy!

Autumn Aromatherapy Room Spray

1 drop of cinnamon essential oil 1 drop of vanilla essential oil
2 drops of cardamom essential oil
3 drops of clove
4 drops of orange essential oil
(Drops are per ounce of water. So for a 2 ounce spray bottle double the recipe, for 4 ounces multiple the recipe by 4, etc.)

To make a room mist in a spray bottle, start by adding a teaspoon of vodka or witch hazel on the bottom of your bottle (this acts as an emulsifier and mixes the oil into water since oils are hydrophobic.) Then drop your essential oils into the bottle using about ten total drops of oils per ounce of water. Then fill up your bottle with water (I like to use natural spring water or distilled water). To finalize, I like to hold the bottle to my heart and intentionalize it by giving the blend a name.

Ghost or Pumpkin Sachets:

¼ cup whole fennel seeds
¼ cup whole black peppercorns
¼ cup whole star anise
A few drops each of ginger essential oil, orange essential oil, and cinnamon essential oil
Square piece of white fabric for ghost or orange for pumpkin
Strand of ribbon or twine

Mix spices together then sprinkle with essential oils. Mix well. Place mixture in center of fabric square, and draw up the corners to form a ball. Tie with ribbon or string and trim the excess fabric as needed. Flip upside down for a ghost and keep right-side up for a pumpkin. Draw or paint two eyes and a mouth for the ghost or a spooky face for the pumpkin. Hang your sachet with fishing line or monofilament. Make more than one to have a ghostly army!

Gratitude Ritual Candle

Take a tea light candle and anoint the candle and wick with any combination of spice and/or fruit oils you feel drawn to. Use one drop per oil. Then as you light the candle with a match state to the universe your positive wishes and what you are grateful for. Let it burn until the candle goes out on its own.  

Aroma Spice Potpourri
1 cup mixed whole cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon sticks
1 cup dried orange rind peelings
10 drops each of orange, clove, nutmeg, & cassia (or cinnamon) essential oil

Mix the spices and orange rinds together and then drop the essential oils over the mixture stirring well. Place the spice/oil mix in a fancy dish and place on the counter or on a table to fragrance the room. Refresh the mixture with the essential oils as needed.

If you are interested in learning more about essential oils, aromatherapy, and holistic healing, please join me for the Holistic Healing with Aromatherapy Level 1 certification at Mimosa Thursday November 5th to Sunday November 8, 2015 from 9am to 5:30pm each day. Save $100 off the series when you register and email Dr. Christina the password MimosaAroma!! This is a brand neutral certification focused on education, not sales. We do not sell or promote any essential oil company and encourage students to find a company that best fits their needs. For more info, please visit:

Want Our Free DIY Aromatherapy Spa Recipes?

About Dr. Christina Wilke-Burbach: Christina is a Holistic Health Psychologist, Certified Aromatherapist, member of the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy and leading aromatherapy professional and teacher in the Midwest. She has been professionally using aromatherapy for over 16 years. Christina is frequently interviewed for magazines and radio shows regarding aromatherapy. She combines science with intuition. For more info, please visit:

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