Targeted Stress Reduction Methods

Are you curious and willing to explore some different approaches to your inner and outer life and to the mystery of being human?



Have you convinced yourself that you could not possibly add one more thing to your plate of ‘important’ things to do?

Do you often feel too tired or do not have the energy or strength to take on anything else, even something you want to do and know could help you?

If you just don’t know what to do in order to feel happier or more satisfied there is a simple principle you must understand is at work in your life.  It is important to spend time each day being fully present and to set clear intentions for yourself to you can throw yourself wholeheartedly into life. This work offers you practices or strategies to initiate change – change in yourself, change in your relationships by interacting differently with others, and change in how you perceive your purpose in life.

Paying attention to your breath in a way that does not add, subtract, or try to change anything about the present moment has been practiced by human beings for thousands of years as a way to enter and remain in the present moment.  In this work you will learn to establish presence – receptive and allowing awareness- by practicing mindful and kind attention to the simple sensations of your breath.  Being present this way is the doorway to the timeless now. Mindful attention to the breath is not the only way to be more present, but it is a good way, and you always have your breath with you!  

Now with presence established, you can set your intention for the activity or practice you have chosen. Intention is potent.  Practically nothing we do in human happens without some preexisting intention. Think about it – No movement, no action happens without some thought or idea or intent before hand.  Even if these movements occur from some unconscious or semiconscious pace, the decision to act or react occurs first. So, set your intention for your meditation or stress reduction practice.  This can be very simple, just think or say, “ May this meditation or exercise produce relaxation or peace within me” or something similar. Only you know what you need at any given time.  

The only thing you have left to do is to actually do the exercise or activity!  So, it’s simple : 1) Be present, 2) set your intention, and 3) do your practice wholeheartedly.  It’s important that you remember to do these three steps. I say this because I do not always include these three steps in with each suggestion.  Some will, some will not. Follow the instructions, but always remember to include the three steps of 1)presence, 2)intention, 3)action. The order is important.   So, it is a good idea for you to breathe mindfully for a few breaths and to set an intention before you do any of the exercises. Frankly, this advice applies to any area of your life where you need to take action.  Breathe, set your intention for the outcome you desire, and just do it!

In this work I share many, many exercises or activities that you may pick and choose from amongst.  You do not have to try them all, though it might be very interesting for you to do so! Feel free to work with the ones that speak to you and leave the rest.  That having been said, you will likely benefit from experimenting with things that do not initially appeal to you. Allow happy surprises into your life by allowing yourself to experience new things, so long as your gut does not warn you away from doing so.

This is an ongoing series quick meditative practices for relaxation within oneself, within relationships, enhancing awareness, and improving one’s outlook.  Check back for new postings in this series every week or so check out these quick meditative practices now…

Quick Inner Relaxation Meditative Practices

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The Metaphysics Lessons Blog under these Categories: Prayers and Meditations, Stress Reduction and Longevity Advice, Practical Metaphysics Lessons

You might also be interested in: The Aquariana Gateway Lessons – A treasure trove of self improvement, development and transformation lessons.  AGLs are only available here or on the Metaphysics Today YouTube channel.

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Journeying vs Meditation


meta w Minerva

Much of my work are suggestions of ways to work with and transform energy.  Many of them are presented in the form of journeys. A journey is a deeply relaxed state, and altered state of consciousness.  It differs from meditation in that, rather than focusing on something such as your breath, light, or a mantra, you let go and travel to and experience an alternate reality.  This alternate reality in my work is likely to be the ‘Underworld’ (unconscious/Hidden Realms/etc.), ‘Otherworld’ (alternate universe/different dimension/etc.), ‘Aboveworld’ (superconscious/Higher Mind/etc.), or another creative reality.

There are many ways to journey.  You can journey kinetically (through your body) or you can journey visually, seeing everything pictorially.  You can journey with sound, with your senses, or with your feelings. And you can journey in a way that is known only to you.  Whatever you choose, trust that it is the best way for you. 

Give yourself the right to journey.  Your subconscious mind might resist your journeying efforts in the beginning, as we are not conditioned to allow ourselves to freely disassociate from our 3D environment unless when sleeping.  This is easy to overcome, though. Just acknowledge any challenging thoughts that might try to discourage you from going on our journey, thank them for looking out for you, and get right back on your journey.  

Give yourself over to your way of journeying, knowing you will get what you need.

The focus of this work is nourishment and finding what is right for you.  Let go of any need to ‘do it right’ and just listen to what you need to do for yourself.  Your higher mind will support you on your own nourishing path. Why? Because it is so glad you are on one!

This article is related to guided meditations, rituals, and healing affirmations which can also be found here at Metaphysics Lessons.

Please explore this website while your are here, and come back real soon!

Like this post and Follow this website for frequent blog and lesson posts on all things metaphysical.  Thanks!

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                                     Metaphysics Lessons Blog under these Categories: Prayers and Meditations, Practical Metaphysical Lessons, and Miscellaneous

                                     Your Ideal Life Purpose

You might also be interested in: The Aquariana Gateway Lessons – A treasure trove of self improvement, development and transformation lessons.  AGLs are only available here or on the Metaphysics Today YouTube channel.


How to Set Your Intention and Act Wholeheartedly

Setting Intention

Setting an intention is a way of pointing yourself in one direction, toward an important value or goal. It is a way of identifying a quality you wish to nurture in your life.  Setting an intention can be done skillfully or unskillfully.

First, lets go over how to unskillfully set an intention.  It is not skillful or effective to be rigid or attached to an ideal about your intention.  For example, is your intention is to foster ease and self-acceptance, don’t expect to become 100% relaxed or self-accepting after just a few minutes.  Be careful that you don’t make your intention, no matter how wonderful or positive, something else on your to-do list or something you must achieve at all costs.  Recognize the trap of judging yourself harshly or doubting your intention if things don’t change right away. Don’t fall into the trap of judgment and doubt.

On the other hand, a skillful intention is more like a friendly guide. Acknowledge from the beginning that important changes take time. You, like everyone else, must make the effort to return repeatedly to the goal you seek.

Your intention, to become more self-accepting, for example, is better thought of as a direction you have selected for yourself.  The practice you choose is a way to enter on a path moving in that direction. Many conditions and factors are at work as you move along your path.  What is important is that you keep moving in the right direction. Being friendly with yourself as you travel the path is vital. Being patient with yourself as you move toward your goal is critical.

Would you like to know your life’s purpose?  You can find it here

You can think of your intention as  clear and strong statement of an important value quality, or goal you have selected for yourself.  Through the single act of making the statement, you have opened the door for a profound shift in your life.


Acting Wholeheartedly

To act wholeheartedly means to do something with all of your attention and energy.  Establishing presence and acting from clear intention will support you in embracing what you do wholeheartedly.  In just a few minutes of establishing presence and stating an intention, you are invited to embrace the practice you have selected wholeheartedly.  That practice could be studying the AGLs (Aquariana Gateway Lessons), any type of meditation or yoga, affirmations or chants or mantras, prayer, or something else.

You might have to experiment a bit with being wholehearted.  Much of what we do in life is done without full attention, or without real commitment to the activity or process, for a variety of reasons.  So, as you begin your practice give yourself some room to grow. At first, you might not feel wholehearted about whatever you have chosen to do.  You might not even like it much, if at all. That is alright and to be expected. Just continue to do it.

To get the most out of your practice, start with activities that resonate with you, or that seem especially interesting, or are perfect for something happening in your life right now.  As you work with the various practices over time, notice yow different ones fit in the different corners and phases of your life.

Do you know which career or line of work you are best suited for in your life?  If your answer is no, you can find it here

When you have selected practices that seem to fit, nurture a willingness to experiment with them, without expecting too much at first.  Even if you feel awkward, silly, or embarrassed, just acknowledge how you feel and then keep on with the practice.

You might find it easier to be wholehearted if you let go of trying to change anything or make anything happen as you do your practice.  This is a paradox that is true of many of the practices you will learn via this work. In the realm of transformation and growth, the more you reach for something, the farther away it can seem.

So let go of any attachment to outcome and just dive right in!  Instead of vigilantly monitoring what is happening, looking for changes, or judging yourself, just let go and do it.  That way, you are truly acting wholeheartedly and, paradoxically, are maximizing your chances for change and growth.

Are you ready to begin the Aquariana Gateway Lessons?  Find our here


How to Breathe Mindfully

Mindful breathing is one of the most ancient and profound meditation practices available to human beings.  Mindful breathing can be done by anyone, regardless of faith. Whoever you are, paying attention on purpose and non-judgmentally to the sensations of your breath is an effective way to dwell in the present moment and to avoid being lost in the wandering of your own mind.

To breathe mindfully means to become an observer of your own breath sensations as they move in and out of your body.  As you become a more sensitive observer, you will begin to notice different qualities in each breath, in or out, and the space between breaths as well.

The following instructions are one way to practice mindful breathing. Whatever the exact wording might be, mindful breathing is essentially about your willingness to reside in the present moment with your kind and nonjudgmental attention focused on the sensations of your breath.  From just that primary focus, your relationship to all other experience shifts.

You can do mindful breathing in any position you find comfortable, at any time of day, and anywhere.  You can even practice mindful breathing while moving around, walking, jogging, etc. Think of this exercise as an active meditation, if you like.

Here’s how to practice mindful breathing:

  • Relax your shoulders, face and neck.  Relax your hands and feet. Let the meditation support you.
  • Find a comfortable position, one that supports you in being awake.
  • Turn your attention to the actual physical sensations happening as you breath. Close your eyes if that helps you focus.
  • Find a place in your body where you can actually feel the breath moving in and out.  Your abdomen, nose or mouth (but it is best to breathe through your nose, not your mouth).  Rest your attention there, where you feel your breath most easily.
  • It is not necessary to control your breath in anyway.  Simply allow your body to breathe as it does. Pay attention as best you can to the direct sensations of the moving breath.
  • Direct kind attention to your breath sensations.  It is not necessary to make anything happen nor to become anything other than who you are in this moment.
  • As you spend kind attention on your breath sensations, set down all your burdens-inner and outer ones- for the time of meditation.
  • When you notice that your attention has wandered off the breath sensations, notice where it went, and gently but firmly bring it back.  You have not done anything wrong if this happens. The mind will move off the breath countless times. Each time practice kindness and patience with yourself, notice where your mind went, and bring attention back to your breath.
  • Rest attention on the changing patterns of sensations and breath.  Move your attention closer, noticing the quality of each new breath as accurately and as continuously as possible.  Stay present to the entire breath cycle: in, out, pause, in, and out, and so on. Notice how each breath has its own character.
  • End your meditation by shifting your focus off of the breath sensations, opening your eyes, and moving gently.

Is something bothering you?  Do you need to resolve a question or concern?  Is it a matter of the heart, self acceptance, a relationship issue, or other problem?  Ask Dr. Vaune a question – use her 1 question email consult service.  No appointment necessary.

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Mindfulness vs Meditation vs Imagery

Mindfulness is the awareness that arises as you pay attention on purpose with a friendly and accepting attitude to whatever is present.  Being mindful means being present consciously. Being mindful is at the heart of your self care time. Mindfulness of your breath is how you establish presence.  Be open to being mindful in more places and in different ways in your daily life.

Meditation is an activity of directing your attention, so you will become more aware and more understanding and wise.  Meditation is about much more than simple relaxation. Some meditation methods emphasize narrowing your attention to a simple object or a quality.  Other meditation practices focus upon developing clearer and deeper awareness of what is happening. Both approaches are useful. They both promote calm attention and awareness for feeling more ease and peace, for greater understanding, and for the development of desirable qualities, such as kindness, compassion or joy.

Imagery is the thought process that involves and uses the senses: sight, hearing, smelling, feeling, tasting and the sense of movement and position.  You use your imagination to facilitate communication between perception, emotion, and bodily change. It is one of the world’s oldest healing modalities.

Acting wholeheartedly is central to all these activities.  



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Oh, the benefits of living a purpose-driven life are priceless.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a clear purpose in life?

Do you ever wonder what the heck you are supposed to be doing here?  Of course your do!  But what if you don’t know what your life purpose is?

  • What if you are a lousy goal setter, easily distracted, easily thrown off course, and very often full of self-doubt?
  • Maybe you have just graduated from college, and aren’t sure which direction to head.
  • Perhaps you’ve just been fired from a job or retired and don’t know what you should do now.
  • Maybe you have a number of interests and don’t know exactly which to focus on.
  • Want to know where your life is headed?
  • Need to understand your past?
  • Could you use a full life map?

Do you want information you can actually use for the rest of your life?

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Understanding the Elements and Alchemy

What is alchemy?  Alchemy is a quest for physical, mental and spiritual transformation.  Evolving in both western and eastern cultures, this ancient art developed basic laboratory procedures to refine and purify metals. These operations became the foundation on which the modern sciences of biology, chemistry and physics have been built. The perceptive student student of alchemy also realizes, however, that these laboratory processes of transformation veil a deeper philosophy leading to self-knowledge, spiritual evolution and personal transformation and enlightenment.

Alchemy is a process that requires thought, reflection and proper action.  As you begin to understand its physical operation, the deeper philosophical and spiritual mysteries unfold.

               Human transformation alchemy symbols.


Events can flow freely – Adapt, be patient and remain persistent – Feel your emotions and release them

The elements of water represents those aspects of matter that are moist, fluid and humid.

In the scientific world,  water is connected closely to the phase of ablution (the gradual purification of a substance, often through a series of stages, for our purposes, when Primal Matter is washed of all impurities. During the operations of distillation, Water evaporates and falls as condensation in the Alembic vessel (an alembic is an alchemical still consisting of two vessels connected by a tube, used for distilling), further refining the substance.

This element is closely  connected to love and the emotions.

As our watery planet floats in space, huge cloud crowned oceans swell and fall under the influence of the Moon.  From the joyous bubblings of a mountain stream and the cascading veil of a waterfall, to the deep surging power of rivers and the eternal give and take of ocean waves, Water holds many lessons.  Its turbulent tempests and dangerous undertows show it to be a powerful force. It dances around, over, under and through any obstacles encountered as i continues its path to the sea. In its persistence and timeless endurance, it can carve canyons, and through its gentle action can smooth the hardest surfaces into fluid forms.

The fluidity of Water in all its forms can be emulated with great success.  Adaptability and conformity within boundaries may be the proper approach for now, knowing that your unending persistence will eventually wear away any resistance.  Water is patient and powerful at the same time. Like a sudden rain shower, a release of emotions can be helpful to relieve stress and clear our old debris. In quiet reflection, sink into that deep well of feeling within and intuitively draw up a course for proper action.

                                                                              ~M. E. Warlick



Identify exactly what you need – Be practical in your approach – Stand firm and build the foundations to realize your plans

In its diversity, Earth appears as grains of sand on a beach, warm loamy garden soil, tough clay on a mountain side, or huge, solid boulders.  It is the element most closely equated with Primal Matter, although all substances to some degree contain, Earth’s qualities of dryness and solidity.

The Lion, ruling over practical matters and material possessions, its alchemical symbol, represents its fixed aspects with the lions four paws resting on the ground to indicate stability.

Two lions, male and female, represent the two opposing properties of Primal Matter.  Alchemical processes duplicate the Earth’s natural cycle in its evolution of death and rebirth.  Seeds must be buried in the Earth before new life can begin and, as they germinate and take root, the Earth’s minerals support the life of the plant to maturity.  The Earth them receives back the mature plant so that it can decay and replenish its fertility.

Whatever the physical appearance of the Earth, it is a solid substance that can be depended on for support.  Feel yourself grounded in the world, let your feet touch the cool grass, knowing that layers of soil and bedrock are beneath you.  Approach decisions with this grounding in the real world. Look for practical solutions and straightforward, down to earth approaches.  Although material gain should not be your only consideration, this may be the time to think about the realistic financial aspects of your position.  Weigh the situation carefully, as if you were holding a real object in your hand. In the midst of conflict, stand firm in your resolve. Although we sometimes take the Earth for granted, the enormity of this solid supportive substance should be acknowledged and used to support your own inner strength.


Mental clarity brings transformation – Soar high and explore a limitless universe – Enjoy your freedom

In the scientific world, Air is the life giving force joining the Earth and the heavens. As one aspect of Primal Matter, it represents those qualities that are subtle and gaseous.  The gasses in the vessel are symbolized by rising and falling birds; as liquids boil, gases escape and coalesce like crystallized birds on the walls of the vessel. Air is connected to the intellect, and to the life of the mind, which must moderate physical activity just as the careful addition of Air is used to moderate fire and its effects in the laboratory.

A gentle breeze stirs the newly formed leaves in spring to encourage their unfolding and growth.Immense swirling currents of Air encircle the planet and direct the weather, bringing both rain and clearing sunshine.  Although Air is a subtle fore, it can cause great transformation and metamorphosis.

Change is possible through a careful exercising of your mental powers, even though your presence may seem invisible.  Before any action is taken, allow time for reflection. Spontaneous ideas and deliberate plan s both have a function in the process.  As gases escape from boiling liquid, you may need to remove yourself if the activity around gets too hectic. You have freedom and mobility to act, but too many possibilities may be clouding your line of vision.  Clear, sharp perceptions gained at some distance from the situation are needed here. Just as gasses are released to purify the substance in the process of distillation, removal of all unessential factors is necessary to find the essence of your solution.  Exhale all negative thoughts and energy, and breathe in the peacefulness, love and joy that surround us all.


Thrive in the midst of adversity – Vigorous action brings transformation

In the scientific world, Fire is the agent of transformation.  Full of energy and activity, it represents those aspects of matter that are hot and dry.  Heating with fire occurs both inside and outside the vessel: internal fire is created when acids react together to elevate the temperature within the vessel and break down the materials; an external Fire, contained within the ‘Athanor furnace’*, heats the vessel and causes Philosophic Sulphur and Philosophic Mercury to unite.  Although care must be taken to control its power, Fire is an essential tool. The Alchemist must create a constant gentle heat and a uniform temperature within the vessel for the great work to succeed. The substance in the vessel can withstand the heating process, like the mythic salamander who can survive the fire unharmed.

The fire within your heart is capable of transforming the world both inside and out.  Use your initiative, inventiveness and spontaneity to set new projects in motion. Now is the time for action applied carefully and consistently to those areas in your life where it is needed.  Like the salamander, you can survive external adversity and actually thrive, even when the situation around you is overheated and inflamed. Your energy now burns brightly, but take some care to keep new fires under control.

Fire can both break down matter and fuse it; so too, can your passion create the necessary changes for letting go of destructive elements in your life and bringing union with new, beneficial ones.  Warmth and compassion given to others will return to you threefold, when you need it most.


“In alchemy, an athanor is a furnace used to provide heat for alchemical digestion. An athanor is a self-feeding furnace, designed to maintain a uniform temperature.

The athanor was also called Piger Henricus (“Slow Harry”), because it was chiefly used in slower operations, and because when once filled with coals, it keeps burning a long time. For this reason the Greeks referred to it as “giving no trouble”, as it did not need to be continually attended. It was also called the Philosophical furnace, Furnace of Arcana, or popularly, the Tower furnace.”

From Paul Foster Case:

“Dissolution is said to be the whole mystery of alchemy,

because Hermetic practice enables us to control those

functions of our bodies which dissolve, or break down

into their constituent elements, the forms of materials

taken from our environment. The laboratory of the

alchemist is his own personality. The secret vessels

therein are organs in his own physical body, together

with their astral and etheric counterparts.

The principal piece of alchemical apparatus is a furnace,

called an “athanor.” Eliphas Levi says: “We are all in

possession of the chemical instrument, the great and

sole athanor which answers for the separation of the

subtle from the gross and the fixed from the volatile.

This instrument, complete as the world and precise as

mathematics, is represented by the sages under the

emblem of the pentagram, or five-pointed star, which is

the absolute sign of human intelligence. I will follow

the example of the wise by forbearing to name it; it is

too easy to guess it.”

Today there is no need for even the slight concealment

which seemed advisable when Levi wrote. The athanor

is the human organism.




This material has been heavily influenced by content found in The Philosopher’s Stone.

The Nine Card Box Spread-Reading 3 rows of 3 Cards 2 ways

This class is the companion class to the basic introduction to Reading Three Card Spreads.

This class is part of the Rock Reading the Tarot Series© of classes and is a ‘Fast and Easy’ level class.

This is a higher level Three Card Tarot Reading skills class class for intermediate and advanced readers and it is focused on reading a three card spread with clarifying cards. This tarot reading lesson will not focus on creating 3 card spreads, that is a subject for another class. Here we will quickly dive right into reading three card spreads as three rows of three cards. These three rows form a box, hence the name The Box Spread.

One of the simplest and most powerful readings that we can do is the three-card reading.  Once we have learned this technique, it can be used to build many different types of spreads which can address different types of issues. 

Generally, if we readers desire more information we use clarifying cards to add details or to expand a reading.  In general, this can be best done with 1-3 additional cards being used to add depth or clarification to messages already perceived.  These types of cards are placed above the foundation card in question.  To find the causes of a situation we might also place 1-3 cards below any card we need to know more about.

(It is important to mention not to confuse this with  the layout for a standard 9 card Gypsy spread which is laid out 1-9 from top left to bottom right in three rows of three cards.  That is an entirely different spread and is read entirely differently.  This 9 Card gypsy spread might be covered in another class.)

For our purposes there are two ways to layout and read this Box Spread:

First Way: We will lay out three cards in a row (each row from right to left), then layout three cards in a row above, then another three cards in a row below. The result is a three groups of three cards.

The first line, the middle one, represents the querent’s question. This line should be read based on any one of the applicable techniques taught in the Reading Three Card Spread – Introduction class.  Then the row above is read as providing details to the cards immediately below.  The bottom cards are read as providing background or history related to the cause of whatever is going on.  The bottom cards only relate to the cards immediately above it.  Each line should be read first as individual cards, then as clusters.  Be sure to look at the entire spread for an overall story, too.

Second Way:  The cards are laid out left to right in three groups of three.  Starting on the left, layout the first line of three cards in a line.  These cards represent the querent.  Skip a space, and on the right lay out three cards. These cards represent the other person/place/job/etc. that the querent is concerned about.  If you feel this second row of cards belongs to the left of the querent, then follow your intuition; it really does not matter which side you use so long as you have the first for the querent and the second for the other.

On the top, bridging the gap between the two sides, place a third line of three cards.  Lay the first over the last card on the left and the third over the first card on the right.  This row represents the ‘relationship’ itself, and reveals the dynamics at work.

In either layout, use the story approach to read each line of three as one picture.  Then look at all three lines to see the bigger picture. It is helpful to notice how each side’s group of cards change as they approach each other from the outside into the center.

TIP: To really please your client (or yourself), lay out an additional three cards for advice.

VIDEO: Telling Time with Tarot Cards using the 4 Aces.
Get the book Telling Time with Tarot Cards: Tarot Timing Techniques by Cathleen Carr
Get the book Freestyle Tarot: Unconventional Interpretations by Cathleen Carr

Reference: The Ancestral Path Tarot, Julie Cuccia -Watts (Card images)


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