“Tools of the Trade” A Commentary from Richard

In this week’s Video Message and Exploration Rosemary speaks to different tools for inner work and ways to seek inner guidance. This follows the theme from last week as well; inner work during this time of transition, transformation, growth, evolution is critical to maintain balance, resolve and direction. And last week in my commentary I wrote about one of my main tools in my tool box, The Artist’s Way page writing. But this in one of many approaches I use to gain guidance and to confirm I am on the right path.

I have probably used just about all of the tools Rosemary mentions from dowsing with a pendulum (I even make them) to using cards and the I Ching for divination. I draw a couple of cards each day to both set the tone for the day and to gain some insight on the energies. I am currently using the Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue and a tarot deck by Aleister Crowley and Lady Frieda Harris along with The Crowley Tarot handbook by Akron and Hajo Banzhaf. I draw a card from each deck and consider both the individual messages and the integrated message from the two. The Virtue deck brings in a light perspective and is almost always positive in the messages it delivers. The Crowley deck is darker and gives me a more nuanced and shadowy perspective on the day. I enjoy combining these and deriving a sense of what might be in store for me. I am frequently rewarded and never disappointed in these cards’ guidance!

I use the I Ching to determine the energies for the month ahead. I cast a Gua (6-lines, two tri-grams) shortly after each new moon (I just cast a Gua yesterday for the new moon in Scorpio). I use the 50 yarrow stalk method (I even harvested and cut my own stalks from a patch of yarrow I grew in Colorado). I thoroughly enjoy the meditative approach to deriving each Yao (line) for the Gua. Again my focus while doing the work is to look for the patterns and energies ahead for the month. The I Ching is a highly intuitive tool and reminds me a lot of dream interpretation work. I treat the Gua as a map and the names, ideographs, decisions and commentaries as symbols and hints for the journey ahead. It is both fun and entertaining as well as deep and meaningful. Maybe at some point in further writings I’ll share my Guas for the months (moonths) and what I see as the way ahead.

Rosemary concludes her exploration and discussion with the use of alters. Yes, I have one, I always have one. I even have a method I use to take part of my alter with me when I travel. I have been using some of the same components, especially an old piece of leather I use as an alter cloth and wrap for my portable bundle of objects for years. The significance for me in using an alter is the passive grounding energy it brings to my inner work. My writing, drawing cards, casting I Ching Guas are all active methods using tools to gain inner insight. My alter just is; it represents my ground of being. The objects and symbols I choose are parts of me, from knuckle bones to stones, from crystals to statues and fetishes, from element representations to pictures, these are all bits and particles of who I am. They hold space and hold me in that space.

And as Rosemary requested I have included here a picture of my current alter configuration…it may appear to you to be a bit messy and cluttered; maybe that’s how my life is right now! (And maybe its state is pointing the way to some external work I need to do!)


What tools do you use for seeking inner guidance? I’d love to hear your answers; please comment!


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