Friday, August 30, 2013

Keywords to Unlock Chiron: One-Month, One-Time Sale

15% Off PDF Version – Regular $9.99 for $8.49

Dear Radical Readers,
As most of you who visit often know, I normally give discounts on books and services only to members of my mailing list. During September 2013, I’m offering a rare, general discount in honor of my sweet cat, Duffy, who left us on July 31, 2013 after almost 18 years on the planet. He was love and beauty incarnate and such a healing presence in my life. It didn’t take me long to think of this wonderful memorial to him—to bring more healing into the world via my newest, full-length Chiron book at a reduced price.

The way my other publishing projects are queuing up, the paperback and e-reader versions of Keywords will not be available until 2014. This is your chance to get the PDF version for less than it will cost you for any of the others. If you want to read it sooner than later, now’s the time to do it at a discount.
Duffy as a Kitten

For those pet lovers who want to know the backstory on how Duffy and his littermate Darrin reincarnated to me from their prior lives as my cats, Phineas and Georgie, read Baby Angels. The D’s were born on Sept. 28, 1995, time unknown, with their 4+ Libra Suns exactly conjunct my Venus. Not hard to understand why they were the kitty loves of my life or why their loss, each in turn, was so huge.

If you’d like more information on Keywords, read the launch post for all the details. Since this sale honors Duffy—and Darrin, too—the reduced price will be in effect to celebrate what would have been their 18th birthday on Sept. 28, 2013. I’m throwing a few extra days to make the sale effective now through all of September.

Please use the link on the sidebar or purchase via this link at the Radical Virgo Store. (There's a nice capsule of what's in the book on the RV Store link.) The price will be modified temporarily  to reflect the September Sale.

Gentle healing to all, however you need it—

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Annotated Oracles – Find Yours Here!

© 2013 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved

Oracles help put Divine Direction in the palms of your hands.

While your choice of an oracle is very personal, just like choosing a practitioner for an oracle “reading” (see Oracular Spectacular), recommendations are great starting points. If you like what I write, you might like what I “read” when it comes to oracles. With that idea in mind, I’m sharing my faves—and others you might want to explore. Some of the others are those I don’t know as well or use often, but that doesn’t mean they won’t appeal to you. Consider this an annotated bibli-oracle, the oracular analogy to a book bibliography with introductory blurbs. Let me know in the Comments if you find any keepers!

Enjoy exploring,

Some of My Faves


All of these tools have been covered in more depth on The Radical Virgo. Their titles are linked to those previous articles.

  • AstroDice There are three multi-sided dice, one each for the planets, signs and houses. Each die has a distinct color: planets in dark blue, signs are purple, and houses are teal green. Ask a question and get an answer in astrological shorthand. For instance, I just asked: What should be next month’s theme on The Radical Virgo? My answer was Jupiter in Sagittarius in the 6th House. I’ll have to ponder what that means, but it definitely sounds like the spirituality, learning and wisdom we find in everyday work and service.

  •  AstroDeck - Flash cards for learning the planets, signs, houses and aspects in astrology. While this deck is out of print, you can score one on eBay every few months. I placed a permanent search for it and am notified whenever a deck becomes available. I own two, have gifted two to others and have never paid more than $20 per deck.

  •  AstroTheatreImagine a system for playing “grown-up paper dolls” on screen or with printed cards. The people/dolls are the planets, they are dressed according to the signs, and the stages on which they play are the houses. This groundbreaking tool is one way astrology is becoming more experiential.

Sabian Symbols

The Sabian Symbols are a nifty blend of astrology and tarot-like word images. Café Astrology provides this pithy definition and a list of the 360 symbols:

The Sabian symbols were produced in 1925 by clairvoyant Elsie Wheeler, and they are the most popularly used set of degree symbols today. They are symbolic of the meaning of each degree of the zodiac.

The Sabians can be drawn like an oracle. There are two excellent ways of doing this, thanks to astrology Lynda Hill:

1.   Visit Lynda’s and click on Ask the Oracle.
2.   Purchase Lynda’s Sabian book and cards on the same site.

Lynda Hill’s Sabian Symbols is her blog, one you’ll really enjoy.

Another make-shift way you can do this is to keep a jar with numbers from 1-30 Aries, 1-30 Taurus, 1-30 Gemini—around the zodiac. When you want a response to a specific question, draw a Sabian number and consult any book or website that lists the Sabian symbols.

The two most “classic” books on the subject are The Sabian Symbols in Astrology by Marc Edmund Jones and An Astrological Mandala: The Cycles of Transformations and Its 360 Symbolic Phases. Beware, however, of the esoteric, flowery and convoluted language of the Sabian classics. You might have a much better understanding by consulting the more modern writers on the subject. If I had it to do over again, I’d have started with the moderns and gone to the classics, once I had a better handle on the symbol system. I was almost overwhelmed by the complex language of the early books and nearly gave up on the system. It’s a treasure trove of deeper understanding of your astrology chart on top of how well it serves as an oracle.

Another Sabian author I admire is Blain Bovee. His book is The Sabian Symbols and Astrological Analysis. His blog is Blain Bovee—Sabian Symbol Specialist.


The month of July 2013 was devoted to dreamwork on The Radical Virgo. Dreams are often oracular. Here are some links to those and other dreamwork articles that will round out this bibli-oracle and puts all the oracular references in one place.

Tarot - Sample hundreds of decks at Aecletic Tarot. This is a playground where you can explore for hours and find a deck whose images speak to you. Here are some that speak to me:

  • Archangel Raphael Healing Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue – These are a find, a deck I use specifically for healing questions and issues. Even though my spiritual roots are Catholic, it is only recently that I’ve overcome a bit of an aversion to angel imagery. This might have come from an early overdose. I’m glad I’m over it. As an illustration, I pulled a card just now to ask about my chronic backache. I was informed it has to do with inner authority-- taking back my power and listening to my intuition, desires and feelings.

  •  A Poet's Tarot – This deck is out of print and hard to come by, but if you love both poetry and tarot, as I do, it’s worth keeping on the lookout for a rare opportunity to purchase this highly unusual deck. Here’s a capsule description.

  •  Any deck by Isha Lerner including her Inner Child Cards and Triple Goddess Tarot.

  •  Earth Magic Oracle Cards by Steven D. Farmer – I received this deck as a gift and just love the rich, colorful cards that, like many decks that I resonate to, help me feel closer to the Earth and feeling the vibes of divine direction in a physical way. Each card has a title and subtitle, such as Dreamtime: Creation; Full Moon: Completion; and Island: Solitude. The art is scrumptious.

  •  Medicine Woman Tarot – Another deck with beautiful, soft Native American imagery. It’s oriented toward feminine energy, the side of ourselves where our intuition lives, regardless of whether we’re in a male or female body.

  •  Vision Quest Tarot – One of my favorite, newer decks, subtitled The Native American Wisdom Tarot. Maybe it’s my Triple Earth and their love of the land, but I resonate to all things Native American. The imagery of this deck is delicious and soothing.

Tarot Like 

  •  Angel Cards – Amazing in their single word simplicity, The Original Angel Cards by Kathy Tyler and Joy Drake are a perennial favorite as a Word for the Day or a bit of direction when guidance is needed. To give a few examples, my last few draws have been Synthesis, Contentment and Strength. My Angel Cards were given to me by a dear friend, which reminds me to say what an excellent gift they make to any oracular-inclined friend who does not yet own them.
  • Medicine CardsThis deck has been a classic since 1988 in using Native American animal associations to elicit what’s going on inside you. A great thing about using these cards is how they alert you to “real life sitings” of animals and their possible symbolic meaning.
  • Power Thought Cards by Louise Hay – With an affirmation on one side and some wisdom to help get you to that positive statement on the other, these colorful cards are another great oracle to draw to set the tone for the day. Sample tpics: Change, Balance and Success. Bright colors, 64 cards.

More to Explore

  • I Ching or Book of Changes – This is the classical book translated by Richard Wilhelm, the one many dyed-in-the-wool I Ching aficionados swear by. You can use pennies or any other kind of coin to throw the hexagrams or purchase Chinese coins that fit the mood and orientation of the oracle. This book helps you translate each throw of the coins in context of life’s dynamic changes. The I Ching confirms that change is the only constant.
  • Runes  There are many beautiful sets of Runes available on Amazon and through other sources. This is just one of them. You might enjoy looking through the various books, too, that cover this oracle in depth. Used by village shamans for meditation and as oracles, the word Runes refers to the Old Norse alphabet that appears on the stones. If your ancestry is Norwegian, you might particularly resonate to this oracle and enjoy a two-fer experience of also exploring your roots with the Runes.
  • Zen Cards by Daniel Levin – These visually lovely cards have a single word or phrase on one side with more advice or wisdom on the back. Some examples include Problem-Solving, Meditation and Wellness. Fifty colorful cards in a subdued autumn palette. Apparently out of print and expensive even used, you might find a deal on eBay.
  • Inner Peace Cards by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer – Very similar in format to the Power Thought Cards, the 50-card pack is very colorful with affirmations on one side and related wisdom on the back. Sample topics: Peace, Loving Myself, Living Life My Own Way.

Your Reccs?

What are your favorite oracles not mentioned here? Please share in the Comments!


Photo Credit: Hände - Himmlische Energie (Hands - Heavenly Energy) © yvart –

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Me ‘n’ Penny: My Partnership with My Pendulum

Article © 2013 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved

Choosing and Using Your Pendulum

I was first exposed to a pendulum when I started taking flower essences. My original flower essence consultant would dangle her little crystal on a chain over various essence bottles while holding my hand, seeing how the pendulum reacted to various potential cures for what ailed me emotionally. The verb for this is actually called dowsing or to dowse with a pendulum.

Hearing that word just fueled my sense of being at an old medicine show. I put dowsing for flower essences in the same category as people using divining rods to find underground water or gold veins. It was borderline hokey to me. The flower essences themselves already seemed to be enough of a stretch. Taking a few drops of liquid infused with flowers under your tongue? To cure grief, procrastination or lack of vitality as a few examples? I was still getting over the sense of snake oil on the product, much less the selection method.

I thought I’d get a whole new set of ailments over my initial fear of this “sideshow.” To my credit, I managed not to roll my eyes. This was in the 1980s before the Harmonic Convergence.

In this article, I hope to take you with me on a retrospective of how I went from weird to wonderful in my reaction to the pendulum—and what I learned along the way. What I once thought was very woo-woo is now such a part of my life; I can’t imagine life without Penny. I know Penny Dulum is probably not the most original name for a pendulum, but at least it’s in keeping with my corny and punful sense of humor. She doesn’t seem to mind.

A Matter of Trust

It took me awhile to understand that penduling, if there is such a word, is one of the most Plutonian things a person can ever do. It involves complete surrender to the universe flowing through you and your pendulum, to All That Is—and back again. It was no small task to build my faith in Penny’s potential (and the other Pennies that came before her).

Another way using a pendulum is Plutonian: The pendulum and its person develop an extremely intimate relationship. That build-up of trust is so much like 8th House intimacy and its relationship to Pluto. This may not be sex, but it is the realm of life’s deepest mysteries and their energetics. It taps a power, that other core Plutonian essence, no flower remedy pun intended. Just as if your pendulum were a person, you need time to get to know him or her. The whole process of using a pendulum works best if you can court that intimacy from Day 1 by parking disbelief at the door and getting into observer mode on how this seemingly unscientific process works. Your faith in your “Penny” will build as you watch what she does and record her track record for accuracy.

But first things first. If you’re going to choose a pendulum—anyone or anything for that matter—for an intimate relationship, it’s important to choose good material.

I'm not suggesting that dowsing with a pendulum is only Plutonian. I'm posting this when Chiron and the Moon are in an exact conjunction. If you've read my article Chiron:Your Higher Moon, you'll know the pendulum is influenced deeply by both, throw in Neptune and Uranus. Pendulums are PUNCs! (Plutonian, Uranian, Neptunian Chironics)

Choosing Your Pendulum

I recommend a hands-on process for choosing a pendulum. I would never buy one on the Internet, because it’s not very easy to test for resonance except “in person.” Plan to visit your nearest metaphysical store or whatever place in your neighborhood sells this type of spiritual paraphernalia.

Try these tips for finding your own “Penny:”

1.   Geographic attraction. If you really resonate to Sedona, AZ, Delphi in Greece or Mt. Shasta in California; consider buying your pendulum on your next trip to one of those places. Your pendulum will then carry the resonance of a place that already is powerful for you. I bought my current Penny in a bookstore on State Street in Madison—home of my alma mater, the University of Wisconsin. This place is associated with growth and growing up for me. College was the first time I left home, and there is a memory link to one of the most transitional times in my life. When I am using my pendulum, I am merging with it to be a transitional force for myself or others. It really felt like a perfect choice of place for my pendulum to “be from.” If I ever sense it’s time for me to retire Penny from service—or if I get the sense she’s ready for whatever kind of Social Security is rightfully bestowed on hard-working metaphysical tools, I’d seek another power place for purchasing my next pendulum.

2.   Visual attraction. Are you attracted to its looks? If you’re a Venussy guy or gal, this is an important consideration. However, it’s not a deal breaker. I was attracted to Penny because she’s kind of small and compact like me, but she’s not that glamorous (and I have a Venus-ruled chart with three planets in Libra). Still, visual attraction is one of the major ways we connect, and that goes for pendulums as well as people.

3.   Stone or metal resonance. If there’s a certain kind of stone that’s powerful for you, it’s a good candidate for your pendulum. I have had a couple of past life regressions where I discovered that lapis was my power stone in Atlantis. While I’ve yet to find a lapis pendulum that feels like “mine,” this is a stone I’d bear in mind when looking at these kinds of tools. Rose quartz is good for Venus types; red stones for those with a Mars emphasis. Your attraction doesn’t have to be astrological, though people with a lot of Moon emphasis might like silver, Moonstone or pearl. No one can go wrong with clear crystal. Penny is copper. I never considered till this moment, writing this article, why I was attracted to a copper pendulum. After looking up the metaphysical properties of copper, it’s clear I was onto something. Copper is a good conductor of energy, and it also is linked to Venus.

4.   Energy resonance. Get out of your head and just hold your would-be pendulum. What does it feel like? Is it buzzy, sweet, pulsing, and life-affirming? If you don't feel a thing or get a sense of drained energy or darkness, drop it like a hot potato. It’s not for you. This is the most subjective, yet important penultimate step in finding your pendulum. (No pun intended.) Try several to know which energy feels the best to you.

5.   Ask if it’s yours. After reviewing the procedure in How to Use Your Pendulum below, ask your candidate, “Do you want to be my pendulum?” He, she or it will say yes or no by its own signal for those answers. (I just asked Penny if she’d like to remain being my pendulum. She gave an enthusiastic yes. She also said she likes my writing an article about her—a lot.) Do not skip this step. It is the most important one. Your relationship with your pendulum needs to be mutual and consenting. This may also help clarify any “fency” feelings in #4. If you’re just not quite sure, the pendulum itself will close the deal by answering yes or no.

6.   Take it home and get to know it. I recommend working with your pendulum on personal questions for several weeks to establish and solidify your relationship. The questions can be mundane, like should I wear this shirt today, building to more complex. (Is this a good day to talk to my husband about that hairy financial issue?) I suggest not using a pendulum on anyone else until you have used it only on yourself for 2-4 weeks. This allows your pendulum to infuse with your own energy in the work you’ll do together in the months and years ahead. Your energy will be distinct, and your pendulum will know your co-creative power with it—again, creating that bond of intimacy.

7. Name and dedicate it. Naming is a potent process that strengthens connection. Dedicating your pendulum to only the highest use and good is a wonderful final step of initiation, before “taking it out into the world” to work with others. You don’t have to call it a person’s name, as I do mine. You can call it Strength, Sage, Magic—whatever works for you. You can give it No Name, if that feels right to you. Pray, ritualize … whatever brings your “sacred union” to a culmination in honor of the new turning point as you turn outward, together, to help others.

 How to Use Your Pendulum

  1.  Experiment with how to hold it.  Most pendulums have a bead, stone or some other accoutrement at the non-pendulum end. I used to hold mine by the bead between thumb and forefinger. I ultimately found this didn’t feel right. I now hold the bead so it rests beside my 3rd finger of my loosely clasped hand, while holding the chain approximately in the center with my thumb and forefinger. (See illustration.)  When the bead is a stone, it often is part of making the energy connection between you and the tip of the pendulum. I find it is stronger held on the back of the 3rd finger, probably because it creates an energy circuit from mid-hand, up my inner arm. Arms are connected to the heart chakra and our blood and energy circulation. This is definitely the chakra I want activated when serving others. This is what’s right for me. Discover your own best position.

  2. Ask your pendulum to tell you what means yes, no and “can’t tell now.” For my pendulum, she means Yes when she moves in a clockwise circle. She really means yes when the circles get big and high velocity. (Once in a while, she almost goes into orbit.) No is horizontal motion in a North/South direction, assuming you were standing at the center of a compass. Can’t Tell Now is horizontal motion in an East/West direction. I didn’t understand, at first, what this movement meant. It felt to me like indecision. 

    Some things aren’t for us to know yet, or it’s not wise for us to ask now. I accept this. Penny rarely gives me this motion, but when she does, I know there’s a good reason. The situation might not yet be “cooked.” It might still be so much in process; the direction an energy or outcome is leaning isn’t knowable yet. (Another example: When I get this motion in flower essence selection, I take it to mean it’s an essence that might be good at some point, but not now.) Sometimes we’re pushing the envelope, and it’s part of a healthy process for us to go with the flow and to quit grasping for answers. Respect this outcome and don’t nag like a 50-questions child. Move on and come back later. The time and situation may have matured, and it might be ripe for the question then.
  3. Experiment with more complex communications. A dear friend gave me this fascinating cloth for dowsing with a pendulum that has astrological signs, numbers, and a variety of yes/no type answers. (See picture.) It’s almost reminds me of a Ouija board. I’ve found it fascinating and like the chance to ask astrological questions with it. (Which house is the most accurate expression of my Sun? Depending on house system, it’s either in the 5th or 6th.)
Dowsing Cloth - approximately 12" square

This gives me an opportunity to state that while my dowsing cloth reminds me of a Ouija board, I have had negative experiences with that particular tool and do not recommend it. I think it has absorbed the “parlor game” mentality, and I do admit I used it when I still had some of that left in me before my first Saturn Return. (If anyone else has ever found the upside of Ouija, I’d be happy to hear your Comments and share them here.) In fairness to Ouija, here’s a neutral article on Ouija Board Etiquette that cites the cautions and other do’s and don’ts … which flows naturally into the next topic …

Good Intentions

Like any spiritual tool, if you use your pendulum primarily for parlor tricks, it’ll backfire. Trust me; you don’t want to go there. No bad juju or negative intentions. That sets up dark energy that can come back to bite you.

Sure, you’re going to ask your pendulum some fairly ridiculous questions at times. We’re all human, and in this almost human relationship you’ll develop with your pendulum, you get to play a little.

But remember, in the main, this is about spiritual guidance—yours and others’. Do no harm, as in the Hippocratic Oath, and don’t do anything hypocritical, either. If you’re reading this article, you probably don’t need this reminder … but in case you encounter someone curious about how this is going to help them win the Lotto or some other use based on greed or grudge, don’t pollute the energetics of your pendulum by working with those kinds of issues or people who carry those vibrations or intentions.

Continuing to Build Trust

As a self-doubting Virgo, I credit my friend Janet who for confirming the strength of my relationship with my pendulum. I met Janet in the late ‘80s. She was a client who became a dear friend. She has experienced the wisdom of my pendulum as a flower essence client for decades.

When I was going through a period of needing to separate a lot of potential remedies for a medical condition, she suggested I use my pendulum because I have such a “clear channel” with it. I admit my confidence in Penny has been much stronger when it comes to helping others than helping myself.

Let’s face it. A pendulum just makes visible what you already know “deep down.”  It’s a reflection of you and the universe conversing about Truth. I am so grateful to my friend for helping me go from thinking my objectivity would be compromised in using Penny for my own, more serious issues, to realizing I was acting like a shoemaker with no shoes. I have been consulting Penny for my own flower essences for a long time now. I often have felt, at first, that her choices were a little strange, but when the whole combo comes together, her vision is clearly inspired.

A Parting Gift from Penny

You can start your experiments with a needle on a string as a makeshift, pendulum; then work yourself up to buying a pendulum, if you find you resonate to this tool.

Penny has an astrological present for you! If you can’t find out a birth time or aren’t especially skilled in chart rectification, you can dowse with a pendulum to get an exact time. Zero in first on the big picture first: Is it AM? PM? Between 12:00 and 3:00? Once you’ve got the time quarter, keep asking till you get down to the hour. Then ask, “Between 10:01 and 10:15?” and so on around the clock till you get it down to the minute. You’d be surprised how well this works. To be fair to last month’s symbol system, I’ve also asked for help in dreams for the birth times of my parents—and got them. Imagine when I got 3:12 AM for my dad and his sister told me she remembered his being born around 3:00 in the morning.

Most of all have fun with it and don’t take yourself or your pendulum too seriously. I’m sure pendulums have senses of humor, too. They will surely reflect your own in your marriage of channeling wisdom.

A friend was opening a metaphysical store many years ago. We were looking for key dates for a lot of initial events and couldn’t do the exhaustive electional astrology research in the time we had to come up with a schedule. What quick electional work we could do produced disappointing results, so we had to go with a guidance system that would make the best of the dates available. I was sitting at my house with a calendar and my pendulum. He was with his calendar at the store, listening to me “pendle,” reporting my results aloud to him over the phone.

I remarked how ridiculous I felt, dowsing for dates, sitting in the middle of my office floor by myself, talking to a friend who felt discarnate on the other end of the phone.

“This is what we do, Joyce,” he said, laughing for punctuation.

I know now why I never forgot that moment and conversation. It was the turning point about my pendulum, the exact place in time where I let go of weird and let in wonderful.

Photo Credits:
Photo of Joyce by Roni Java Photography; Esoteric Pendulum
© Donatella Tandelli -