Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.
—  Martin Luther King Jr.
The Signs as Pretty Words

Aries: scintilla (n) - a tiny spark

Taurus: serenity (n) - the state of being untroubled, peaceful

Gemini: ebullience (n) - bubbling enthusiasm 

Cancer: limerence (n) - the state of being infatuated with another person

Leo: lilt (v) - to move musically 

Virgo: eloquence (n) - the art of using language in an apt, fluent way

Libra: equanimity (n) - mental calmness, composure, evenness of temper

Scorpio: surreptitious (adj) - kept secret

Sagittarius: hiraeth (n) - a homesickness for a home you can’t return to, or that never was

Capricorn: petrichor (n) - the smell of earth after rain

Aquarius: renaissance (n) - rebirth

Pisces: ethereal (adj) - extremely delicate, light, not of this world

The signs as fancy words

Aries : Quintessential (adj.) - representing the most perfect or typical example of a quality or class.

Taurus: Zealous (adj.) - Active interest me enthusiasm

Gemini: Camaraderie (noun) - Mutual trust and friendship among people who spend a lot of time together

Cancer: Fastidious (adj.) - Giving careful attention to detail

Leo: Eloquent (adj.) - Fluent or persuasive in speaking or writing.

Virgo: Acrimony (noun) - Bitterness or ill feeling
Libra: Revel (Verb)- To take enjoyment in something

Scorpio: Insouciance (adj.) - A casual lack of concern; indifferent

Sagittarius: Assiduous (adj.) - Showing great care or perseverance

Capricorn: Axiomatic (adj.) - Obvious or self evident

Aquarius: Capricious (adj.)- Given sudden and unaccountable changes of mood or behavior

Pisces: Equanimity (noun)- mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation

Breathing in, I experience calm in me.
Breathing out, I smile to the calm in me.
Breathing in, I experience joy in me.
Breathing out, I smile to the joy in me.
Breathing in, I experience equanimity in me.
Breathing out, I smile to the equanimity in me.
Breathing in, I experience openness in me.
Breathing out, I smile to the openness in me.
Breathing in, I experience happiness in me.
Breathing out, I smile to the happiness in me.
—  Thich Nhat Hanh
crystals & the zodiac

aries: diamond, magnetite, aquamarine 

  • diamond is a symbol of purity & light, a stone that represents cleansing of the aura & allowing the soul to shine through. the light of the diamond shows negative emotions or thoughts that require transformation, helping with enlightenment & evolution 
  • magnetite represents positive / negative polarity, providing for balanced & objective perspective and strengthens intuition 
  • aquamarine is a stone of calming energy with an affinity to sensitive people, representing one’s understanding of underlying emotions, self-expression, closure, & perception 

taurus: selenite, emerald, variscite, serpentine 

  • selenite represents deep peace & clarity 
  • emerald helps bring to the surface what is unconsciously known. it is a stone of healing, wisdom, & equilibrium 
  • variscite is a stone of peace, courage, & trust in the universe
  • serpentine is an earthing stone that helps with spiritual exploration & grounding

gemini: tiger’s eye, citrine, rutilated quartz 

  • tiger’s eye is a stone of high vibrational energy, helping to promote clarity for scattered emotions, desires, & intentions to make a coherent whole
  • citrine enhances positive emotions & promotes development of positive energy toward oneself & others
  • rutilated quartz represents protection from negative energy, energy support during emotional release & confrontation, & insights into oneself to reach the root of problems while facilitating positive change

cancer: white calcite, white opal, moonstone 

  • white calcite represents a connection between emotions / intellect & promotes inspiration 
  • opal represents reflection & intensification of feelings, emotional expression, & cohesiveness of emotional energy
  • moonstone is a stone of intuition & a reminder of nature’s cycles; it helps with emotional instability, healing, balance of energies, & synchronicity 

leo: turquoise, quartz, tiger’s eye, honey calcite 

  • turquoise provides solace for the spirit. it represents intuition, releasing of inhibitions, & inner peace 
  • quartz is a stone of positive energy, spirituality, & balance of the chakras 
  • tiger’s eye is a stone of high vibrational energy, helping to promote clarity for scattered emotions, desires, & intentions to make a coherent whole
  • honey calcite is a gentle stone, representing balance of emotions, releasing of fear, strengthening one’s higher consciousness. it corresponds with the sacral chakra, which represents confidence & connection to oneself & the universe 

virgo: amber, peridot, moss agate, 

  • amber is a grounding stone representing positive & bright mental / emotional states, patience, & the throat chakra–encouraging vocalization, honesty, & expression of feelings 
  • peridot represents letting go of negative energies & old vibrations so higher frequencies can begin to guide oneself; it is a stone of necessary change, confidence, & psychological clarity
  • moss agate enables one to see the power in themselves & their emotions through releasing fear & stress

libra: prehnite, jade, chrysoprase 

  • prehnite is a stone for connecting with the universe’s energy & a crystal for healing through connecting to the higher self 
  • jade is a nurturing stone, bringing insight into oneself through calming energy & helping to express passionate emotions in constructive ways
  • chrysoprase represents a sense of belonging in the universe, honesty & truth, letting go of the ego, openness to change, & independence 

scorpio: blue topaz, dioptase, obsidian 

  • blue topaz is a stone of personal truth & wisdom 
  • dioptase represents consciousness in the present moment, releasing the need to control & helping the process of healing. it teaches that pain & difficulty in life is a mirroring of an inner separation from the self
  • obsidian vitalizes the purpose of the soul, grounding the spirit into the body & exploring the depths of the subconscious mind / emotions

sagittarius: gold obsidian, okenite, smoky quartz

  • gold obsidian helps with conflicts of the ego
  • okenite clears obstacles in one’s path, promoting endurance to complete tasks / reach goals. it represents self-forgiveness for mistakes & the cyclical nature of learning
  • smoky quartz relieves negative energy, helps to tolerate difficult times with equanimity, & gently releases fear within oneself

capricorn: onyx, magnetite, smoky quartz, white aragonite

  • onyx represents strength-giving & vigor 
  • magnetite represents positive / negative polarity, providing for balanced & objective perspective and strengthens intuition 
  • smoky quartz relieves negative energy, helps to tolerate difficult times with equanimity, & gently releases fear within oneself 
  • white aragonite represents the earth. it helps develop concentration, flexibility, & tolerance to the mind while combating sensitivity or stress 

aquarius: blue obsidian, aquamarine, boji stone  

  • blue obsidian vitalizes the soul & the self; it represents the throat chakra, supporting communication 
  • aquamarine is a stone of calming energy with an affinity to sensitive people, representing one’s understanding of underlying emotions, self-expression, closure, & perception 
  • boji stone represents feminine energy & awareness of self through clearing blocked or painful emotions & revealing negative thoughts / self-defeating behaviors to the conscious mind 

pisces: blue agate, labradorite, amethyst 

  • blue agate brings peace of mind, effective in healing the throat chakra–free expression of thoughts & feelings 
  • labradorite is a bringer of light & mysticism, stimulating intuition & trust in the universe. it balances rationality & emotions by inspiring contemplation & introspection of the self 
  • amethyst represents calming protection & higher vibrations of spiritual consciousness

“Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better to take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.”

~Carl Gustav Jung

Freedom from Suffering

‘Freedom from dukkha doesn’t mean eternal youth, or that we are never going to have a headache, never going to feel irritation, or risk, or get betrayed and hurt by others. Freedom from dukkha is not abdication from the human race, but deep acceptance of how we are, and acceptance that brings both equanimity, and also a clearer response.’

- Thanissara, The Grit That Becomes a Peal.

A well-established human mind is referred to as a kalpavriksha, or a wishing tree that grants any boon. With such a mind, whatever you ask for becomes a reality. All you need to do is to develop the mind to a point where it becomes a wishing tree, rather than a source of madness. A mind that can manifest whatever it chooses is described in yoga as being in a state of samyukti. This is skillfulness that arises out of equanimity.
Once your thoughts get organized, your emotions will also get organized. Gradually, your energies and body get organized in the same direction as well. However, the order in which you address these dimensions could vary, depending on what you are ready for. Considering the realities of the day, most people are not ready for any system unless they are first intellectually convinced of it. Eventually, once your thoughts, emotions, body, and energy are channeled in one direction, your ability to create and manifest what you want is incredible.
—  Sadhguru, Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide To Joy
The Four Immeasurable Thoughts

May all sentient beings have happiness
    and the causes of happiness;
May all sentient beings be free from suffering
    and the causes of suffering;
May all sentient beings never be separated from
    the happiness that knows no suffering;
May all sentient beings live in equanimity,
    free from attachment and aversion.

It is good that you have set your mind on supreme perfect enlightenment (anuttara-samyak-sambodhi). The will for enlightenment is not developed by people who have not planted roots of goodness; the will for enlightenment is produced by those who have attained the illumination of all-sided roots of goodness, who are illumined by the light of knowledge of concentration on the path containing the means of enlightenment, who have accumulated a vast ocean of virtue as provisions for the path to enlightenment, who ceaselessly practice all that is pure and good, who tirelessly apply the methods set up by all spiritual benefactors, who are not worried about their physical subsistence, who are free from clinging to material things, whose minds are equanimous as the Earth, without high or low, who are by nature compassionate and friendly, who face up to all states of being, who seek the sphere of those who realize Thusness. In such people arises the mind of enlightenment (bodhicitta)—the mind of great compassion, for the salvation of all beings; the mind of great kindness, for unity with all beings; the altruistic mind, to repulse all that is not good; the mind of mercy, to protect from all fears; the unobstructed mind, to get rid of all obstacles; the broad mind, to pervade all universes; the infinite mind, to pervade all spaces; the undefiled mind, to manifest the vision of all buddhas; the purified mind, to penetrate all knowledge of past, present, and future; the mind of knowledge, to remove all obstructive knowledge and enter the ocean of all-knowing knowledge.

Avatamsaka Sutra - 1183

Note on the image: Avalokiteshvara yab/yum.

Real wisdom is recognizing and accepting that every experience is impermanent. With this insight you will not be overwhelmed by ups and downs. And when you are able to maintain an inner balance, you can choose to act in ways that will create happiness for you and for others. Living each moment happily with an equanimous mind, you will surely progress toward the ultimate goal of liberation from all suffering.
—  S.N. Goenka
Premature Equanimity

‘Western Buddhists are very suspicious of attachment. They feel they need to be detached… so don’t get upset about racism, or injustice, or poison in the rivers, because that means you’re too attached. I think one of the problems with Westernized Buddhism is premature equanimity. When the Buddha said ‘don’t be attached,’ he meant don’t be attached to the ego.’

- Joanna Macy, Don’t Just Sit There, Do Something.