Saturday, December 24, 2011

Blue Benefits of Sapphire Therapy

Crystal therapy is great to use in conjunction with scientifically-approved medical treatments. This New Age practice can make you feel wonderful; when the mind is relaxed and happy, it can enhance well-being and promote physical healing. Try it! 

One fabulous gemstone to add to your crystal therapy repertoire is the sapphire. The word itself comes from the Greek word "sapphieros" which means "blue stone," although at the time, this moniker probably referred to what we know today as lapis lazuli. While sapphires are often all shades of blue from the palest sky-blue to the deepest navy, they do come in other colors as well -- such as pink, yellow, green, purple, even black and white.

The magickal properties of sapphire make it a very versatile stone. They are excellent for promoting happiness and love, including faithfulness to a lover, as well as clarity of thought. They also are reputed to have specific healing powers. For example, the standard blue sapphire is associated with the throat chakra which is represented by the color blue, and therefore many choose to use it for helping this area of the body. It can be of particular benefit to people who use the voice for a living: singers, public speakers, or voice actors.

Other sapphire colors can have specific applications as well. Many colors of sapphires are said to be beneficial to the heart chakra, especially green sapphires, which also aid the immunities to help keep your body healthy and strong, and pink or purple sapphires which are often instrumental in filling the seeker with love and spiritual enlightenment. Black stones are often used for protection and to keep one's outlook balanced, and the black sapphire is no exception to this rule.

A sapphire which is used for therapeutic crystal ritual reasons can come from any source you like. Just make sure that it is a natural stone (not a "lab" sapphire or "created" stone). It is not hard to find sapphires in their natural, unpolished state, but if you prefer to try jewelry-quality stones which is already be set into a wearable piece, then you have the convenience of slipping the sapphire on and off your body as you need it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Easiest Reflexology Chart Ever!

In the past few months, I've been thinking a lot about reflexology.  It's something that I've studied, here and there, for the past couple of years.  I certainly wouldn't call myself an expert, though I would say that I'm an enthusiast.  It's the sort of holistic treatment that I love, because it's non-invasive and no matter how inexperienced you are, you can't really hurt someone or do it "wrong."  

One thing that confuses people, however, is just where all of those pesky reflexology points are located!  I've looked at a lot of charts, and while it seems that there's some debate going on about some of the parts of the body and their corresponding reflexology areas, I have formulated a chart that is based on the most widely-agreed locations.  My reflexology chart is a very simple, basic diagram that has the most commonly sought locations featured prominently.  The image of the sole of the foot was taken from an image from Gray's Anatomy that I found online -- I just colored in and labelled all of the "good" parts. ;)

 I wouldn't recommend reflexology as a cure-all or any sort of replacement for the advice of a doctor, but I would most happily recommend it as something to try as a supplemental treatment -- it certainly can't hurt you, and at the very worst, you'll be getting a nice relaxing foot rub out of the deal (how bad could that be?).  Just remember to be gentle and go slow if you're trying it for the first time.  Get a friend to try some of these reflexology points on you, or just refer to my picture below and do it for yourself.  It's easy and so much fun!  Consult your doctor before doing this, as some types of massage may be unsuitable for people with certain health issues.

P.S.  As a special gift to you, I fully permit everyone to use, share, and refer to my chart under the Creative Commons No-Derivs License!  (more info below)  
Feel free to distribute it as long as you link back to me.   
Just click the picture to get the full-sized image.

If you use my reflexology chart, please comment below 
so that I can come visit the place you have displayed it. :)


Creative Commons License
Reflexology Chart by Sage is licensed under a 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Spells, Prayers, and Rituals Defined

In the simplest sense, all spiritual practices, such as wishes, rituals, spells, and prayers, are all essentially the same.  They are thoughts which we consciously guide toward a certain direction; when we pray or practice spiritual activities, they have the power to change our very lives.

When you are requesting help from the divine in order to achieve a certain goal, each request and thought can have a very specific effect in the form of your desired outcome.  If you ask for a spell, ritual, or prayer to be performed for you -- or you practice this yourself -- you are requesting divine intervention to help repair an area of your life which you feel needs a little help.  Therefore, you must understand that wishes, prayers, and other rituals are very important practices.  These are spiritual tools which are designed for serious and specific purposes.

Throughout human history, we have used these types of practices across all cultures.  Spiritual practices such as alchemy, reiki, shamanism, druidry, kabbalah, wicca, santeria, voodoo, prayer, hoodoo, hermeticism, religions of all types, and more have been instruments to affect changes.  Even the simple power of positive thought and meditation can be beneficial in times of turbulence or whenever a life change is needed.

Some spiritual and religious practices benefit from the use of tools such as talismans or other tangible items for more effectiveness.  These can include candles, herbs, religious amulets, the drawing of symbols (such as Christians making the sign of the cross), and many other types of methods to manifest change.  However, you do not always need to use "hard" goods for these purposes.  It can be as easy as putting your hands together and praying, or sitting in a comfortable spot to meditate and reflect on manifesting the desired changes.  Requesting aid from your higher power, or any Divine presence that you choose to work with, is the most important aspect of any spell, prayer, or ritual.  The other items may help to center or focus the requester, but they are powerless without the intention within you.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fertility Treatment & Crystal Therapy

I've heard that some people who have trouble conceiving have given "crystal therapy" a shot to help. One of the most common complaints that a new age healer will address is fertility issues. Couples who are trying to conceive have often tried anything that they think may help. Since many problems with the human reproductive system revolve around stress-based ailments, I see no harm in giving crystal-based rituals a try for relaxation and for paving the way so that conventional medicine practices can do their jobs even better!

The first step in crystal therapy to aid fertility is to select the stone that is right for the job. Some stones are said to be especially powerful for women and female complaints, such as Jade, moonstones of all colors (but especially white and raibow hues), quartz in pinks and purples such as rose quartz. Many people choose shapes that are evocative of reproductive symbols, such as an egg or perhaps carvings of Venus of Willendorf or other feminine symbols. However, this is up to you -- use what makes you feel comfortable. Stones for male fertility should be selected from gemstones which have a reputation for masculine energy enhancement: pyrite stones, gold, and tiger's eye are all great choices. Again, shape is a nice touch; if you come across "lingam" type stones, or anything vaguely phallic, go ahead and give it a try. I feel that the composition of the stone is a lot more important than a pretty shape. But again, you may be the type who gets really into the esthetics. If so, do what you like!

Once you have your stones, select a nice resting place for them somewhere in your home. If you have an altar for meditation or some place where you place important things, add the stones. I've heard that some people create "nests" for their implements in fertility rituals, which I think sounds like a lovely idea. Customize and personalize your stone with your own specific energy signature, as I've described in a previous article.

Then, consecrate your fertility nest as well, dedicating the area to love, healing, and fertile energies. Then place the stones inside, and visit each day to meditate -- you and your partner should both choose times, seperately or together, to visit and contemplate, to direct abundant and fertile energy toward the subject at hand. Remember that the space you choose to place your nest should be peaceful and calm; it should make you feel safe and reaffirm your dedication to the act of conception.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Magickal Properties of Amethyst

Each crystal of every type has a particular sort of energy.  The vibration has an effect on the mind and body, resulting in transformation of spiritual and physical health.  Crystals can be used in a number of different ways, but the underlying premise of each of these philosophies is that if you come into contact with your crystal on a regular basis, it will benefit you.

It is important to find the right crystal for the condition that you're trying to change.  Amethyst may be the right type of gemstone for your purposes, depending on the type of help that you seek.

Amethyst is a type of quartz crystal, and most amethysts come from Brazil, Sri Lanka, Canada, and eastern parts of Africa.  Amethysts are often purple in hue, but shades can differ from extremely pale lilac or translucent purple, to deep rich violets and plums.  Amethyst is one of the most famous purple gemstones, and has been used to make jewelry since ancient times.  England's monarchy possesses some fabulous Crown Jewels which prominently feature royal purple amethysts of astounding size and beauty.   Additionally, the Roman Catholic church favors it as a popular choice for clergy; every pope since the sixteenth century has worn amethyst jewelry of some type.

Amethyst has been long reputed to have healing properties.  Many myths and legends describe it as being a powerful stone for spiritual as well as physical strength.

Spiritual uses of amethyst have long been celebrated.  It is said to be a wonderful stone to enhance meditation, to strengthen trust, common sense, and mental flexibility as well.  Amethyst is also useful to keep a person grounded and provide the ability to flow well with life changes that may be experienced.  Amethyst is also instrumental for recalling dreams, as well as a mineral of humility and can be used for us to help see the bigger picture, as well as our place in that picture, instead of focusing on trivial or unimportant matters that do not help us in the long run.  Because of its association with helping mental energies, it can also aid those who are suffering from worry and anxiety.

Common folklore also suggests than amethyst has many healing properties as well.  It is said to make one's immune system stronger, as well as to aid the metabolism, circulation of the blood, and hormone production.   Amethyst is also beneficial for headaches and to control the body's blood sugar.  Amethyst's healing properties are also legendary as a stone of help and solace for those seeking aid with addictions -- whether it is food, alcohol, drugs, or other issues, amethyst is said to help one control their addictions.  Amethyst can motivate and inspire, helping people to gain focus in order to achieve their goals.  It is also useful in treating unrest and nervousness, helping insomniacs relax and sleep, and assisting those with emotional troubles to let go of anger and fear.

Feng Shui teachings laud amethyst's abilities to affect change, and it can be used in almost any context where a need for change is concerned.  Placing an amethyst in the very center of a room, or even of the entire home, can help balance the living space and improve the spiritual quality of the residence.  Amethyst can also assist the gaining of knowledge and intelligence when place in the northeastern corners of a home or a room.

Amethyst is a lovely and powerful stone which may just be the right cure for what ails you.  Try harnessing the power of this beautiful and amazing gemstone whenever you need it!

Thanks Katherine_Davis from Flickr for the awesome picture! :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Healthy Boundaries: Getting There

Now that we've discussed the basics of boundaries which are unhealthy for being too loose or too rigid -- and the importance of having healthy boundaries for their positive impact on your self-esteem and your relationships with others, let's learn how to establish those boundaries with others.

Step 1. What do you need?  Sit down and really figure out what you need in a relationship. What makes you feel respected? What makes you feel uncomfortable? Determine what your own personal needs, wants, and rights are. Establish boundaries based on what you think is reasonable. Remember that your rights and needs should be separate entities in and of themselves, and that your rights should end where those of others begin.

Step 2.  Discuss these boundaries with others. State your case clearly, and in with a neutral but firm attitude. Don't speak angrily or in a long-winded way. Just keep it clear and concise. You do not need to apologize for, rationalize, or argue while establishing this boundary. Be firm and respectful.

Step 3.  Remember why you're setting this boundary. If you expect people to understand and respect your needs, you must also understand that their reactions to this may be negative, especially if they are used to behaving in ways that are contrary to these boundaries. Don't apologize for protecting yourself. Don't feel selfish or guilty, just stand by your decision and remind yourself why you need your rights and needs to be respected by those who should care about you. This is a normal, natural and healthy part of the process. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but things will get easier with time.

Step 4.  Prepare yourself for the possibility of being tested. Most people will understand your feelings and respect them, but there might be people in your life who will not respect these boundaries. Others might accuse you of being selfish or mean for denying their unreasonable requests. But nevertheless, if their behavior is unacceptable to you, you must be confident and assert yourself. You cannot set a boundary and then apologize or rationalize it to others -- this sends a mixed message which might enable others to take advantage later. You can be respectful of the fact that some may not agree with your boundaries, but stay true to yourself. You have the right to be treated with respect. If people still don't respect your boundaries, you may have to put distance between yourself and them, possibly end the relationship or even pursue legal options if the other person still doesn't respect your rights.

Step 5. Establish a support system. This should be made up of people who do care about you, and who are willing to respect your boundaries. Healthy relationships with friends, family, and other people whose jobs are to care for you will make you stronger and more confident in yourself. Eliminate disrespectful, controlling, or abusive people from your life. Make more room for relationships with people who are caring and respectful.

Step 6.  Grow and evolve.  These changes may be uncomfortable or even scary for you at first.  But just keep in mind that you're doing this to improve the overall quality of your life, so some unpleasant backlash may be necessary for this growth.  Protecting yourself with healthy boundaries can enhance your relationships, boost your self-confidence, and radiate outward to inspire other positive changes in your life as well.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Care and Feeding of Your New Crystals

So you've decided to acquire some crystals of your own, but you're not quite sure how to go about buying one.  What should you look for?  Where should you go?  How do you know which crystal is the right one for you?

The first step is to provide yourself plenty of access to a good crystal piece.  I would recommend buying from someplace where you can actually be present, rather than ordering something online or through a catalog.  This way, you are free to pick and choose from a selection, rather than have an employee of the shop choose one for you.  New Age shops, fairs, flea markets, and bookstores are all good choices of places to begin seeking your crystal collection.

Once there, give yourself some time.  Pick up crystals, touch and feel them until you can sense which crystal seems to "feel" right to you.  Remember to think about why you're selecting a crystal, consider the purpose for this acquisition.  When you feel the right one, that's the one you want!  Remember, just as you're choosing the crystal, the crystal is also choosing you based on your vibrations.

Some people who are fatalists also believe that when a crystal is offered to you by someone else, take it -- it will be more powerful as it has been chosen by someone else.  Both schools of thought are fine; do whatever you feel most comfortable with.  I would prefer to choose my own, but if someone gives me a crystal, I would be happy to accept it as well -- both methods can have their uses.  If you're not able to go somewhere to choose your crystal personally, you can still enjoy one which has been purchased online or given to you by someone else.

After aquiring your crystal, the first thing you need to do is to clear any vibrations or energies that it may have absorbed before it has come to you.  My family's traditional practices for this was to soak our crystals in a glass of salt water for a few days, which can cleanse and purify any unwanted energy.  However, in recent times I've also heard that crystals can be purified by simply running it under some flowing water for a minute or two.   Use a swimming pool, a stream, or even your faucet -- visualize the water flowing through the crystal, pushing all of the old energy out.  Your crystal will become purified in this manner; you will intuitively feel when the crystal has been cleansed adequately.

Once it has been cleansed, it is time to "program" your crystal with your own specific energy signature.  The easiest method of doing this is like so:  Put the crystal in your "sending hand" -- usually, this is your right hand, though it can also be your left hand if you're a lefty -- and imagine a white light shining above your body (on your crown chakra), then travelling downward, entering your body and shining all around you.  Visualize the light moving down your arms, to your hand, and then filling the crystal with your spiritual energy.  Once you are satisfied that the energy has filled your crystal, it is ready.

Strengthening the power of your crystal is optional, but can help if you feel that it needs a little extra boost from time to time.  There are a number of ways to do this... You can try burying it in the ground for a day or two, allowing it to absorb the energy of the Earth and strengthen its power.  Or, leave it outside in the sunlight for a few hours to aborb solar energy.  Some people leave it out only at night to absorb lunar and starlight power as well -- this is the tradition in my own family.  Any of these will provide varying levels of efficacy, just do what feels right for yourself, the crystal you're working with, and the situation at hand.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Reflexology Basics

UPDATE:  I've made a reflexology chart!  Click here to see it!

Reflexology is an ancient healing art that originates thousands of years before Christianity. It is said to have a wonderful and powerful impact on the health of those who receive its practice, both in body and in mind. However, it is not a mainstream healing technique, and not much information about reflexology is commonly known. Because I consider it to be a safe and relaxing practice, I'd love to share some of the information about reflexology in the hopes that my readers will give it a try sometime.

This healing practice has been around since the very beginnings of recorded human history. Ancient health and spiritual practicioners in Egypt and China developed this healing technique. Their theories revolve around the concept that every person has an energy flowing through them, as well as around them, and often illnesses can be caused or exacerbated by disruptions in the flow. The human feet contain energy points which connect to various organs or parts of the body. By providing pressure or stimulation to various energy points in the foot, one can change the energy. A reflexology practicioner can remove blocks, stimulate to encourage energy flow, or balance the the energy back to its rightful state. By doing this, once can promote and restore physical and mental health. 

Reflexology's benefits must often be experienced in order to be believed. There are many advantages and positive effects that are enjoyed by those who receive this soothing technique.

Reflexology techniques can have a wonderful effect on the physical being; it can remove tension in the muscles of the feet. All massage is beneficial for assisting in the removal of toxins from the body, enabling the body to help heal itself more efficiently. Quite a few conditions are thought to be alleviated on some level by reflexology, such as circulatory issues, headaches, certain digestive ailments, high blood pressure, neck or back pain, and even female health issues such as PMS or infertility. Massage is generally good for these types of conditions because the manipulation of the muscles and tissue which is done during the massage is quite effective as a stress reliever; when physical stress is reduced, the instances of the conditions above is often reduced or even eliminated entirely in some cases. If the power of the reflex points actually does connect to various bodily organs, then the potentials of reflexology's benefits are well worth the exploration.

Not only can reflexology help physical issues, but it can also relieve the recipient of emotional stress as well. It is a soothing technique that can put someone into a wonderful state of relaxation. Physical and emotional tensions are alleviated, allowing the body to feel rejuvenated. A stressful condition, such as anxiety or depression, can be alleviated with some simple relaxing touches. This relaxation can enable the recipient to have a more peaceful and relaxed outlook, possibly even improving insomnia and promoting a more restful sleep, which will in turn have even more health-boosting power.

In general, reflexology is a relatively safe practice -- however, I must advise you to check with your physician before starting a reflexology program as this type of massage may not be advisable for people with certain health conditions. There are many ailments which conventional medicine is, as yet, unable to treat effectively, so reflexology may be a great alternative health practice for you to try in such instances. After getting advice from your doctor, look online to find the right reflexologist that will meet your needs and help to enhance your physical and emotional health. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Healthy Boundaries, Healthy Relationships Video

For those of you who are following my series on healthy boundaries, I have created this video as a companion piece to the first article.  In this video, the concept of boundaries is explored and further defined.  You will also learn the difference between healthy boundaries and unhealthy ones, as well as to determine if your boundaries are too rigid or too loose.

Also, remember that the most important thing about boundaries is that they help keep you safe.  No one can set or enforce those boundaries but YOU.  Protect yourself -- LOVE yourself -- you deserve it!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November 2011 FREE Psychic Reading Giveaway

One of the ways that I've built up my clientele is through the word of other satisfied customers.  It always thrills me when someone says, "Oh, by the way, So-And-So recommended that I contact you."  Nothing gives me a warmer, happier feeling than knowing that I've helped someone so much that they want to share their positive experience with someone they care about.  

Another thing I love is seeing people coming to the blog and reading the stuff I've left for everyone.  So in the spirit of encouraging you all to spread the word, I've come up with a contest idea.  Here are the rules:

1.  To enter, simply advertise my website somewhere relevant on the internet, where I can see it to verify.  It can be anywhere, as long as you're not spamming.  It can be anywhere... some ideas include:  Tell your Twitter friends to come to my website, ConsultTheSage.Com, or to follow my Twitter account @YourPsychicSage.  Put my website on your Facebook wall.  Review my site on your blog.  Put a link on your website. If you belong to an online community of any type, recommend your friends come visit my site!  You get the idea.  As long as it's (a) verifiable, and (b) not spammy, it counts!

2.  Comment below with the location of the spot where you have promoted me, so that I can verify.  And make sure to give me a way to contact you in case you win!

3.  I will be offering two free readings: one voice reading (either by phone or Skype) and one e-mail reading (you can email me a question, and I will write you back).  Every promotion that you leave somewhere will count as one entry, so multiple promotions will result in multiple chances to win!

4.  Two winners will be drawn randomly.  The first prize winner gets to choose either the voice reading, or the email reading.  The second prize winner will receive the other reading (either voice or email, depending on what the first winner does not choose).

I can't wait to see who's spreading the word, AND how you're spreading it!  Good luck! :)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Healthy Boundaries, Healthy Relationships

Having strong but reasonable personal boundaries can be the cornerstone of having healthy, positive relationships with other people. Conversely, having unhealthy or weak boundaries can contribute to negative relationships. Through the creation of healthy and clear personal boundaries, we are establishing important parts of our identity and showing others what we're actually about. In order for this to happen, it's vital to understand what everyone needs, as well as what the rights and feelings are of everyone involved -- including yourself.

Everyone has a story. We all come from somewhere. While our backgrounds can be very different, it can be said that those of us who come from a dysfunctional environment often have less exposure to boundaries that are healthy and reasonable. Learning how to create and maintain healthy boundaries is a vital part of being a healthy, well-cetnered individual. Creating these boundaries begins with addressing other issues, such as cultivating a higher self-image and to combat apathy. We must learn how to recognize and address our own personal rights and needs. Another important step is to take care of ourselves, within the scope of our rights and what's best for us, especially in the context of interpersonal relationships. These things may take time to get just right, but over time, when we develop a healthier outlook for ourselves, our newly established boundaries will help to keep us safe and well-protected, possibly quite unlike our childhood experiences.

Are boundaries emotional? Or can they be tangible, like a fence in your backyard? The answer is both. Physical boundaries are defined by how close we allow someone to get to us, and by whom we allow to touch us physically, as well as where and under what circumstances we allow it. Boundaries of the emotional type have more to do with how we allow our feelings to be affected by others. Emotional boundaries center around our abilities to take responsibility for our own emotional needs, as well as allowing others to be responsible for their own. Our own boundaries will sometime challenge us, but they also define who we are and what we expect out of relationships. Can we refuse an unreasonable request that we're asked? Do we feel uncomfortable just by being around someone else who is feeling upset? Do our opinions change depending on the people whose company we keep? Do we take responsibility for others' feelings, going too far to please them, while neglecting our own needs? All of these issues will depend on whether or not our emotional boundaries are healthy.

Both sets of boundaries, our emotional and physical ones, determine how we behave toward and with other people, as well as how we allow them to behave toward us. If we did not have personal boundaries, other people would be able to do whatever they wanted with us: touch or treat our possessions or even our bodies in any way they wanted. Additionally, we would be obligated to take responsibility for other people's negative or inappropriate actions, to treat other people's problems as though they were our responsibility to prevent, address, or even solve. Basically, we would have no rights, and every aspect of our lives would be impossible for us to control.

While loose boundaries are often problematic, so are boundaries which are too tough or unyielding. People who live by strict and rigid personal boundaries are likely to push other people out of their lives. They will generally not ask for help when they need it, and they don't allow others inside. These people are often perceived as cold and emotionless, because they rarely display emotions or talk about how they might feel. On the flip side, people with overly loose boundaries will touch people inappropriately, even people that they may not know very well. Those with loose boundaries might have trouble telling the difference between sex and love, and they may get too close to other people much too quickly.

There are also people who have healthy boundaries. They tend to be the most well-balanced, and do much better with social interactions than those who have issues with their boundaries. While they are able to enjoy closeness with those who are special to them, and to accept help when they are truly in need of it, they also respect other people's rights, feelings, and positions. They also take responsibility for their own actions, and allow others to do the same. People with healthy boundaries are more able to compromise, to understand other people's feelings, and they generally have better self-esteem than those with unhealthy boundaries. Often, they are more comfortable with themselves, and also more able to make others feel good around them. Because they respect themselves and also the boundaries of other people, they can enjoy much richer and more fulfilling relationships with other people who respect their boundaries.

What about people who have boundaries that are less than healthy? Well, if yours need a bit of work, you can always improve them. While it may seem scary or uncomfortable at first when you start, remember that this is a vital part in taking care of yourself, and protecting yourself in a way that only you can do. Many people who grew up in dysfunctional, or even abusive, situations have developed survival skills which have hindered the development of healthy boundaries. For example, you may have trouble expressing anger, fear, or other unpleasant emotions, because it may not have been acceptable in the environment in which you were raised, even if the abusive actions of others were what caused the pain or anger. Therefore, in adulthood, it may be uncomfortable and difficult to construct healthy boundaries because of the past, however it is possible for you to work through those emotions and establish healthy boundaries to protect yourself. It won't happen overnight, and may take some time to get right, but it's never too late to start. And even small improvements can help you to live a happier, healhier, and richer life.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Quartz for Spiritual Clarity

You can find quartz crystals almost anywhere. Whether in the stone's natural form, a beautifully faceted crystal formed by nature, or even as the smooth tumbled and polished version, these stones are extremely potent as a tool for meditation, providing spiritual or physical healing, cleansing, and balance for the entire biomagnetic area of the body.

Quartz crystals are stabilizers and storer of electromagnetic forces naturally. In fact, it does this job so well, quartz crystal is an important component in various electronic mechanisms -- computers, TVs, radios, and even cell phones, all have parts made of quartz crystal. Without quartz, these tools would not be able to function.

The process by which crystals form is a slow and arduous one -- it began hundreds of millions of years ago, when water and quartz combined with the perfect blend of heat and pressure. Deep within the earth they grew in locations which had these very specfic balances. The locations of these deposits were actually vital in regulating the earth's electromagnetic polar energy. It has been argued by some that without these quartz crystal deposits, Earth -- and indeed, life as we know it -- may not have existed.

Quartz vibrates at a very specific rate, and although many don't realize this, the vibrations can be harnessed and transferred by the human brain. Many new-age schools of thought believe that by focusing our energies, we can transmit the force of these crystals to elicit healing powers to ourselves, as well as toward those around us.

While I always recommend that you receive advice from a licensed physician about any and all health issues that you may have, I also have to add -- adding crystals to a sensible health program, in addition to following your doctor's orders, certainly can't hurt, and might even boost your natural healing powers in conjunction with your doctor's medical treatment.

Under most normal conditions, our bodies have been created to heal themselves. All curative processes, whether traditional medical practices or alternative ideas, often include focus on relaxation and de-stressing so that it can do its job more readily. Crystals may help to provide a balance of energy to your body, in order to ease stress and unease while your more scientific health treatments are underway.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October 2011 FREE Psychic Reading Giveaway!

One of the ways that I've built up my clientele is through the word of other satisfied customers.  It always thrills me when someone says, "Oh, by the way, So-And-So recommended that I contact you."  Nothing gives me a warmer, happier feeling than knowing that I've helped someone so much that they want to share their positive experience with someone they care about.  

Another thing I love is seeing people coming to the blog and reading the stuff I've left for everyone.  So in the spirit of encouraging you all to spread the word, I've come up with a contest idea.  From now on, each month I'm going to offer 2 chances for my readers & friends to win a free reading!  Here are the rules:

1.  To enter, simply advertise my website somewhere relevant on the internet, where I can see it to verify.  It can be anywhere, as long as you're not spamming.  It can be anywhere... some ideas include:  Tell your Twitter friends to come to my website, ConsultTheSage.Com, or to follow my Twitter account @YourPsychicSage.  Put my website on your Facebook wall.  Review my site on your blog.  Put a link on your website. If you belong to an online community of any type, recommend your friends come visit my site!  You get the idea.  As long as it's (a) verifiable, and (b) not spammy, it counts!

2.  Comment below with the location of the spot where you have promoted me, so that I can verify.  And make sure to give me a way to contact you in case you win!

3.  I will be offering two free readings: one voice reading (either by phone or Skype) and one e-mail reading (you can email me a question, and I will write you back).  Every promotion that you leave somewhere will count as one entry, so multiple promotions will result in multiple chances to win!

4.  Two winners will be drawn randomly.  The first prize winner gets to choose either the voice reading, or the email reading.  The second prize winner will receive the other reading (either voice or email, depending on what the first winner does not choose).

I can't wait to see who's spreading the word, AND how you're spreading it!  Good luck! :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Calcite Crystals & Magickal Properties for Healing

Gemstone therapy is the use of crystals and gems for the betterment of one's life.  Throughout the ages, civilizations across the world have utilized precious stones to enhance their physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental well-being.  The energy of each stone is different, and each energy can have an effect on the mind, spirit, or body.  Methods can vary between cultures, but the basic premise is that when one comes into contact with a crystal, these transformations can happen subtly over time.  Therefore, in order to gain the benefits from these crystals, it is vital to choose your gemstones carefully.

Calcite's physical properties make it a very interesting choice as a therapeutic crystal.  Calcite crystals are of a softer variety which are found in all types of colors -- red, yellow, green, blue, brown, black, grey, or white -- and many variations on these shades as well!  Calcium carbonate, also known as calcite, is a major component in limestone and chalk, as well as marble, which is just calcite which has been re-crystallized.  Under pressure, calcite stones release electrical energy.

The magickal properties of calcite crystals are varied and can be used for many purposes.  Calcite's reputation is that of a very spiritual type of stone, and is associated with the higher form of consciousness; thus, it is also reputed to aid in astral projection and out-of-body experiences. 

Each form of calcite has its own specific magickal properties.  Because calcium is a primary component, this stone is often felt to be of therapeutic use for joints and bones, and is therefore used by athletes and people who have physically demanding jobs.  Calcite can also contribute to the development and growth of the physical body, especially the bones and joints.  There is also an old belief that calcite, when ground and combined with creams, oils, or petroleum jelly, it can be used as a balm to treat inflammation or infections.

Calcite can also have varying attributes based on its color.  For example...

Red and pink calcites can be of great benefit in bringing love, understanding, compassion, and patience into one's being.  Associated with the heart chakra, stones in pinks and reds can also ease mental unrest or anxiety, or people who are experiencing spiritual crises.

Orange calcite is associated with the sacral chakra (i.e. the spleen) and can help uplift one's general mood.  Orange promotes happiness, joy, and good humor.  It is an uplifting stone which is good for grieving, depression, or stress.

Calcites in yellows and golds are good for help in meditation, being that these colors are often associatd with the sun.  These hues can also help to aid the bones and the skin, and also in detoxification of the spleen, pancreas, and the kidneys.

Green calcite crystals of all shades are wonderful for affecting change in one's life.  Not only are green calcites allgedly helpful in removing impurities from the body, they can also help someone transform a negative situation into a more positive one.  It can also alleviate anxiety or fear.  This is a wonderful crystal for helping to really change bad situations into your life, and to "make lemonade" from all of those negative things that life throws at you! :)

Calcites in blues are associated with the throat chakra.  It can protect you and help tough situations from getting worse.  Physically it can be used to treat conditions which are degenerative, such as degenerative disc disease, arthritis, and other degenerative illnesses.

White and clear calcite crystals can help someone improve communication and envisioning new aspects of their lives.  It can be instrumental in cleansing the body and removing toxins from the outer parts of the body.  It can also assist in providing mental clarity, particularly when the stone is implemented during meditation.  When a predicament is especially difficult, white and clear crystals of all types can help to open you to new possibilities and clarity.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Here's my Psychic Sage Forecast for October of 2011.  I hope that everyone has an awesome month, and especially a safe and spooky Halloween! :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Does He Like Me? How to Tell if a Guy Loves You

I know... it sounds like the title of some article you'd read in a teen magazine, right? :)

As a psychic, this is HANDS-DOWN one of the questions that I am asked most often.  It usually goes a little something like this... "How does he REALLY feel about me?"  Whether it's a man that my client is dating, the hot guy next door who acts a bit flirty, or the shy but sweet guy at work, one thing is for sure: If a guy is really interested in you, you will know!  But sometimes it's hard to figure out the signs.  You can call me and ask if you like -- or any psychic -- a good one can help you determine if a man is interested in you.  However, for those of us who are more practical, you can also try using my simple checklist.  And if you know a woman who's not quite sure of the signs, feel free to forward this article to her, or give her the link to my YouTube video on this subject. ;)

Here's how to tell if a guy likes you, or how to know if he's falling in love with you:

#1. He's Most Interested In You.   If he's supposed to be paying attention to something else, but instead he's watching you and smiling... it's a good sign!

#2. He Takes Care of You.   He cares for your practical needs; like feeding you if you're hungry, warming you if you're cold. It may be to impress you; but also shows he really cares for your well-being.

#3. He Talks With You... (A Lot!)   Guys don't usually like having long personal discussions. If he's investing hours of time just talking with you, it means that he enjoys spending time in your presence.

#4. He Notices the Little Things.   Someone who's only attracted physically won't notice small details about you; a guy in love will! He might also ask specific questions about your life, or remember small things that you've mentioned in the past.

#5. He Cares About Your Opinion.  If there's something significant happening in his life, he'll ask for your take on the matter. This may mean that he respects you and also wants to take your feelings into consideration.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Meet Your Real Guardian Angel

"Make friends with the angels, who though invisible are always with you. Often invoke them, constantly praise them, and make good use of their help and assistance in all your temporal and spiritual affairs." -- St. Francis de Sales

Spirits are each given the task of watching over us and helping us throughout our time here on Earth: these are angels.  An angel is thought to be a spiritual being who acts as a messenger of God, assigned to assist someone in his or her life.  In Judaism, they are sometimes called "mal'akh elohim" (messengers of God).  The Islamic religion refers to them as Malaikah. The Catholic Church has long held a tradition of belief in these heavenly beings, although angels themselves are not necessarily affiliated with any specific religious belief.  We all have our own personal guardian angel whose job is to guide us, assist us, and to help us realize that doing good work is our duty here on Earth.

It could be said that an angel is a by-product of God, in much the same way that light emanates from a candle or lightbulb.  As soon as we are born, an angel is present near is, waiting to help and guide us.  They can understand our thoughts and feelings, and they can also hear our prayers whether silent or spoken.

All around us, we can find these angels.  They are everywhere; if we remember to ask for their help, our guardian angels will do their very best to assist us.  It is in an angel's nature to be a liason between the mortal realm and that of the immortal, the divine, and they can exist in both realms, serving as a connection between these worlds.  Although they cannot be seen by the human eye, angelic presence can often be felt.

Because angelic beings are of the divine, earthly concepts such as time are not relevant to them.  They can be wherever they choose, in any way that they choose, because they exist in multiple dimensions.  A popular belief is that angels can travel more quickly than the speed of light.  Every living thing -- each animal, each plant, each person -- has an angel present, watching over it and caring for it.

When you become open to the possibilities of communicating with your angel, you are choosing to become open to a richer spiritual experience, and the opportunity for great spiritual self-improvement.  Acknowledging angelic presences helps us to enhance our own intuition, and thus become more readily able to accept their communications.  Meditating can be beneficial toward helping us remove the negative obstacles inside us, which make inner peace and self-improvement difficult.  By meditating, one can find the tranquility, love, and happiness that angels wish us to possess.

When you are in need of help, you have only to speak up and ask your angelic presence for assistance. By connecting with your guardian angel, you are reaching out to a liason of God, and thus connecting with the divine presence through your angelic helper.  And, when you achieve a calm and composed state of mind, it is much easier to connect.

Life can be distracting, fast-paced, and so full of "important" things to do.  However, it is important for us to give ourselves those moments of tranquility and peace that our inner souls crave.  When having a quiet moment, realize that this is an excellent time to try connecting with your personal angelic presence.  If you are in need of help, feel free to ask your angel for some assistance -- an angel will do its best to help you no matter what, but when you ask, the connection is that much stronger and easier.  If you can remember a time when you've had a serious problem and there seemed to be no way out of it, yet somehow you were able to come to a solution at the last second, you may have your guardian angel to thank for that assistance.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Modern Kabbalah Basics & the Tree of Life

The ancient school of thought that is known as Kabbalah has recently enjoyed some newfound popularity in the past few years; because of celebrities such as Madonna, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, and Lady Gaga wearing Kabbalah bracelets and speaking out about Kabbalah's positive aspects, this practice has become a subject of newfound public interest. Ancient Kabbalah has much in common with the modern version with which we're currently familiar, but the modern version has evolved into something somewhat different as well.

Kabbalah's history originates in early Jewish mysticism. It has grown and evolved into various different forms since its beginnings, including Christian Cabbalah, Islamic Kabbalah, Practical Kabbalah, as well as more secular versions that we often see today, such as Hermetic Qabbalah (spelled with a "Q" to differentiate it from the other versions, as opposed to those which are specifically associated with the Abrahamic religions). Many modern practitioners of Kabbalah are not affiliated with any specific spiritual doctrine, instead choosing to treat it as an independent school of mystic thought.

The origins of Kabbalah are said to have begun with Moses himself, as legends have told that he received Kabbalah teachings on Mount Sinai; the ten commandments were to be distributed freely and taught to everyone, yet the Kabbalistic teachings were reserved only for a chosen few, to be practiced with utter secrecy and shared with extreme discretion. Another legend involving the Kabbalistic origins says that these mystic teachings were with mankind from the very beginning of our existence, bestowed to Adam at the time of his banishment from the Garden of Eden.

Although there are many mystical and spiritual teachings within the Torah and other Judaic writings, the Kabbalah was considered to be the most important of these at the height of its prevalence. Kabbalistic tenets are viewed by many as highly spiritualized information that transcends the beliefs of most organized religions, and therefore is more spiritually flexible and can apply to people of various faiths. Because of this flexibility, Kabbalistic teachings have moved from being a strictly Judaic faith-based concept into a more secularized version of itself, to provide motivation, insight, and strength to people of all different spiritualities and cultures. The modern-day study of this ancient practice is associated with the "Perennial Philosophy," which is the concept that there are truths which overlap throughout all of the world's primary religions. The Kabbalah's tenets are utilized to help recognize and build upon the philosophies of various spiritual traditions, by eliminating all except the very basics of each teaching.

The mystical properties of Kabbalistic teachings are such that, instead of directing the practitioner to conduct of a strict set of rules and practices, it will instead guide each seeker on a path which is personal in nature, even while the practice is a communal and social one. The journey of Kabbalah is one of mystic philosophy, as opposed to one which is based on a strictly religious dogma.

The essence of the Kabbalah's teachings is condensed in a diagrammed classification system which is known as the Tree of Life. This image is comprised of ten spheres (called sephiroth), representing objective existence; these are connected by a total of twenty-two paths which represent the human condition. it has 10 spheres, or sephiroth, and 22 paths connecting them, which represent the human condition. The Tree of Life serves as an implement which can be used to study and compare religious thought as well; in fact, it was described as a "spiritual filing cabinet." by occultist Aleister Crowley.

 The Tree of Life can also be applied toward other practices, including rituals and meditation, as well as being used in the philosophical method which was its original intent. Each sephiroth and path can be associated with archangels, angels, spirits, and other symbols which represent the nature of these entities.

Additionally, much of the magical property of Kabbalistic practice can be explained through modern scientific thought. An ideal example of this would be the invocation, where a Kabbalistic practitioner will call upon a spiritual power within him- or herself. It can be thought of as a supernatural occurrence, however when one applies scientific knowledge to this practice, it can also be explained as a psychological phenomenon of one who is able to harness their own subconscious mental energies.

You don't need to be Jewish, or even religious at all, to appreciate the Kabbalah and to enjoy the ways that its mysteries can enhance your life.

Friday, September 23, 2011

More Ways to Use Crystals

Crystals can be wonderful tools to promote healing, cleansing, and tranquility.  But there are new ways to try them too -- like these below.

Aid your meditation or relaxation by placing your favorite tranquility crystal on your brow chakra (the "third eye" in the middle of your forehead).  This energizes your mental and intuitive energies while relaxing your physical body.  Try a green crystal to help relax you.

Protect yourself from danger, negativity, or other undesirable situations.  Visualize your crystal filling with a spiritual white light and surrounding you with a protective force.  Fill the entire room with this light.  Imagine it "locking out" things which are harmful or bad, protecting you and sealing in your positivity.  Visualize the walls, windows, and doors locking out any potential threats to your well-being.  Blue gemstones are best for this.  You can also couple this with a mantra or even a simple declaration that you are protecting yourself, in the name of your chosen deity -- God, Jesus, Goddess, Buddha, anyone you worship -- or no deity at all, if you so choose.

 One's ability to visualize such things can be an invaluable technique.  The crystals can help you center that visualization and focus it so that your intentions can go in the right direction.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Astrology & Job-Styles

These are just a few tweets that I did this morning. Adding them here for posterity -- I'd sure like to do an entry for each sign and their work styles in the future, it would be a lot of fun! :)

Aries are motivated people & love to stay on top of their goals. #astrology #zodiac #horoscope

Taurus are great with #money, and tend to be awesome at #cooking too! #astrology #zodiac #horoscope

Gemini loves communication; a great sign for people in #sales, #film, or #writing. #astrology #zodiac #horoscope

Cancer are often sensitive; their moods can change with the #moon. #astrology #zodiac #horoscope

Leo would rather give orders than take 'em! They're loyal & love to teach. #astrology #zodiac #horoscope

Libra sometimes have trouble making decisions because they're so objective. #astrology #zodiac #horoscope

Virgo are reliable, loyal, & awesome at staying organized. #astrology #zodiac #horoscope

Scorpio are forthright & honest friends. Even if the truth hurts, they tell it! :) #astrology #zodiac #horoscope

Sagittarius would do well in a career involving travelling & adventure! :) #astrology #zodiac #horoscope

Capricorn are practical & work hard; don't mind starting at the bottom & working up! #astrology #zodiac #horoscope

Aquarius are smart but can be misunderstood because they're often ahead of their time. #astrology #zodiac #horoscope

Pisces are intuitive & creative, would do well w/ small business in a field they love. #astrology #zodiac #horoscope

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Astrological Compatibility Chart

This weekend, I constructed a basic chart for compatibilities based on astrological sun signs.  This is some very simple, basic compatibility data.  For best results, I'd recommend checking the natal charts of yourself and the person you're analyzing.  Even so, this is a nice quick-and-dirty bit of information that may help you learn a bit about yourself and someone else.  (Note: I may even make a YouTube companion video for the chart -- we shall see!)  To see the chart in a larger format, just click on it below.

1.  Hearts.  Generally a great dynamic with lots of attraction.  Called "conjunct" by astrologists everywhere, it is a dynamic that is very beneficial because you can understand one another quite well: your likes, dislikes, and values will very likely be quite similar.  Sometimes this can cause friction, since occasionally people who are extremely alike may annoy one another and know how to push one another's buttons; however, in any case, these people will often have an innate knowledge and understanding of one another.  Love 'em or hate 'em, this often proves to be a very emotionally intense relationship.  Includes:  Aries and Aries, Taurus and Taurus, Gemini and Gemini, Cancer and Cancer, Leo and Leo, Virgo and Virgo, Libra and Libra, Scorpio and Scorpio, Sagittarius and Sagittarius, Capricorn and Capricorn, Aquarius and Aquarius, Pisces and Pisces.

2.  Thumbs-Up.  You've got similarities and complimentary styles.  These dynamics are "trine" and often quite positive for friendships, romances, and family relations.  While there are enough differences in, say, execution and expression of personal style, many values will remain similar between the two of you.  This is often a very respectful and close partnership where both people can feel an instant connection.  Includes:  Aries and Leo, Aries and Sagittarius, Taurus and Virgo, Taurus and Capricorn, Gemini and Libra, Gemini and Aquarius, Cancer and Scorpio, Cancer and Pisces, Leo and Aries, Leo and Sagittarius, Virgo and Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn, Scorpio and Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces, Sagittarius and Aries, Sagittarius and Cancer, Capricorn and Taurus, Capricorn and Virgo, Aquarius and Gemini, Aquarius and Libra, Pisces and Cancer, Pisces and Scorpio.

3.  Peace Sign.  Called a "sextile," these are signs which have complimentary elements that "feed" off of one another's differences.  You and the other person may not be similar in a lot of ways, but you genuinely like and respect one another.  This makes for a very interesting partnership and it can help you learn a lot about yourself, as well as appreciate the differences that other people have to offer.  Great for collaborations, and also makes for very interesting friendships and romances. Signs which are sextile include:  Aries and Gemini, Aries and Aquarius, Taurus and Cancer, Taurus and Pisces, Gemini and Aries, Gemini and Leo, Cancer and Virgo, Cancer and Taurus, Leo and Gemini, Leo and Libra, Virgo and Cancer, Virgo and Scorpio, Libra and Leo, Libra and Sagittarius, Scorpio and Virgo, Scorpio and Capricorn, Sagittarius and Libra, Sagittarius and Aquarius, Capricorn and Scorpio, Capricorn and Pisces, Aquarius and Sagittarius, Aquarius and Aries.

4.  Swirly Arrow-Circle Thing.  These are known as "opposition signs" because they are at a perfect 180 degrees apart in the zodiac -- and yes, opposites do attract!  While there can often be an extreme and intense attraction between these two signs, it can also be a very trying dynamic.  Dealing with someone who is so different than you can be wonderful and intriguing, yet also dramatic and frustrating at the same time.  It takes two very special opposition parties to overcome the differences and see them through to get to the other side -- if and when this happens, your relationship can be a match made in heaven!  This compatibility includes:  Aries and Libra, Taurus and Scorpio, Gemini and Sagittarius, Cancer and Capricorn, Leo and Aquarius, Virgo and Pisces, Libra and Aries, Scorpio and Taurus, Sagittarius and Gemini, Capricorn and Cancer, Aquarius and Leo, Pisces and Virgo.

5. Purple Smiley.  This is known as a "semi-square," which can create some tension since these placements will fall either before or after your sign.  While this can prove to be tough going for some relationships where emotions run high (such as a romantic or family dynamic), it can often be the basis for great friendships regardless of the differences which are present in those signs.  Often this makes a good alliance for people who have similar goals, and there can also be a lot of complimentary input and ideas coming from both sides.  While there are differences, the parties involved can often seen one another's point of view with a bit of extra effort in communication, and the relationship which results from this hard work can be very fruitful indeed.  Signs with this aspect include:  Aries and Pisces, Aries and Taurus, Taurus and Aries, Taurus and Gemini, Gemini and Taurus, Gemini and Cancer, Cancer and Gemini, Cancer and Leo, Leo and Cancer, Leo and Virgo, Virgo and Leo, Virgo and Libra, Libra and Virgo, Libra and Scorpio, Scorpio and Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius, Sagittarius and Scorpio, Sagittarius and Capricorn, Capricorn and Sagittarius, Capricorn and Aquarius, Aquarius and Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces, Pisces and Aquarius, Pisces and Aries.

6.   Grey "Ehh..." Smiley.  It is formally known as a "quincunx" or, sometimes informally, called an "inconjunct."  This indicates a separation of about 150 degrees, both before and after a sign's opposite.  Often there is little attraction between these signs, and sometimes even what one may consider "bad chemistry."  There are often few similarities in personality or values, and frequently one sees differences and areas where criticism can pop into the picture.  In the best of cases, this dynamic may ultimately elicit boredom, and in the worst of cases, a lot of stress and headaches for all parties involved.  Placements include:  Aries and Virgo, Aries and Scorpio, Taurus and Libra, Taurus and Sagittarius, Gemini and Scorpio, Gemini and Capricorn, Cancer and Sagittarius, Cancer and Aquarius, Leo and Capricorn, Leo and Pisces, Scorpio and Aries, Scorpio and Aquarius, Libra and Taurus, Libra and Pisces, Virgo and Aries, Virgo and Aquarius, Leo and Pisces, Leo and Capricorn, Virgo and Aries, Virgo and Gemini, Libra and Taurus, Libra and Pisces, Scorpio and Aries, Scorpio and Aquarius, Sagittarius and Taurus, Sagittarius and Cancer, Capricorn and Gemini, Capricorn and Leo, Aquarius and Cancer, Aquarius and Virgo, Pisces and Leo, Pisces and Libra.

7.  Thumbs-Down.  Astrologists call this aspect a "square" as these are the signs which are 90 degrees apart from one another.  These signs often suffer a very disjointed relationship with one another.  Communication can be difficult, values and outlooks on the world may be very contrasting and also too difficult to understand.  Often we find ourselves attracted to those who "square" us, yet the clashes and upheavals which come from a lack of understanding can make this dynamic challenging at best, and just unbelievably crappy at worst.  Proceed with extreme caution!  This aspect includes the following signs:  Aries and Cancer, Aries and Capricorn, Taurus and Leo, Taurus and Aquarius, Gemini and Virgo, Gemini and Pisces, Cancer and Aries, Cancer and Libra, Leo and Taurus, Leo and Scorpio, Virgo and Gemini, Virgo and Sagittarius, Libra and Cancer, Libra and Capricorn, Scorpio and Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius, Sagittarius and Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces, Capricorn and Aries, Capricorn and Libra, Aquarius and Taurus, Aquarius and Scorpio, Pisces and Sagittarius, Pisces and Gemini.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bathing Ritual to Renew Your Spirit

I just came across this charming post at the simple-living blog "Down To Earth" which encouraged its readers to share a photograph and to explain a bit about it.

The one that I chose was this picture, which I'd recently taken and had been meaning to add to my blog for some time now.  This past year, I had recently discovered how wonderful it was to take a long, luxurious soak in the tub.  One of the awesomest things about taking a big ole' bath is that anyone can do it.  Doesn't matter if you're old, young, rich, or poor -- if you have access to a tub and some water, you can make it an amazingly sensual experience no matter what other accoutrements you choose to add.

There's a joke that goes something like, "You know you're ghetto when you break out your best dish detergent when it's time to take a bubble bath," but really, who cares?  It makes no difference if you bathe with a 3-for-99-cents bar of soap from the dollar tree or a pot of $140 Russian Amber shampoo by Philip B., you can make your tub time truly luxurious with only a few little additions.

I like to add a few candles on the edge of my tub; they need not be expensive (and if you can make your own candles out of leftovers and an old spaghetti jar, so much the better!) but they certainly can lend an air of tranquil pleasure to your bath.  You can even find an artificial candlelight generator app on your Android phone (if you're so blessed), which I've done more than once.  The one I have (which I downloaded for free) even gives you customizable flame colors -- purple flame, anyone?

And bubbles are nice, but not always necessary -- by the way, I recall a few times where my own mother broke out the Ivory or the Palmolive dish liquid when, as a child, I craved bubbles in my bath.  If it's not going to harm your skin, who really cares?  No shame in being creative.  These days, I save my pennies for the luxury of something special from the Lush store when I can get it (and use it carefully).  But even bubbles from your dollar store or local pharmacy will do the trick wonderfully.

You can also add specific herbs and items to your bath to cleanse your soul and enhance positivity.  A bit of rose oil or dropping in rose petals for love, some sea salt to purify your energy levels, lavender to relax, rosemary to energize, or a sachet of fresh or dried basil to attract prosperity and positivity... these can all replenish your spiritual energy and give you a whole new lease on life!

Some folks choose to do their entire beauty regimens in the bath -- shaving legs, deep conditioning hair, even wearing a facial masque while splashing away in the tub.  And some people bring a cocktail (or in my case, a nice cold can of soda) into the tub, sipping their cares away.  Or, you can just relax and allow your tension to melt away, enjoying the sights, sounds, and scents of your spiritual bathing experience.  The bottom line is that your bathtime rituals can be fully customizable and specifically tailored to your needs and wants.

So grab your rubber ducky, and your favorite towel, and enjoy!

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