Anatomy of the Aura, Setting Intuitive Boundaries, & Embodying the Hierophant with Eliza Swann

On episode 21 of Living Tarot, I interview Eliza Swann. Eliza Swann is an interdisciplinary artist, intuitive, writer, educator, and community organizer based in Los Angeles and New York. Eliza received a BA in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute, and an MFA from Central St. Martins in London. She has trained in hypnotherapy at the Isis Centre in England. Additionally, she has trained with a number of teachers in energy healing, Western Mystery traditions, Vedic cosmology and ancestral healing. Eliza has guest lectured at UCLA, the Hammer Museum, the San Francisco Art Institute, Central St Martins, Cal Arts, the Dia Museum, the New School and many more venues and is currently a Visiting Professor at Pratt Institute. Her book “The Anatomy of the Aura” was released by St. Martin’s Press in April 2020. Eliza is the founder of The Golden Dome School, a curatorial and educational platform that studies intersections of art, metaphysics and ecology. 

  • We had a great discussion about what it’s really like to see auras and read them in daily life.
  • Eliza talked about the ethics involved in aura reading and how boundaries play an important part not just in managing your energy as a practitioner but in protecting your client from trauma or embarrassment.
  • We discuss the importance of good energy hygiene in your own energy field and your home.
  • We also talk about how you can change your aura based on what you need on a particular day or what kind of energy you would like to approach your day with.
  • Finally we talk about the different ways that intuition shows up and how people can become more aware of their aura and the auras the feel and energy they exchange with the people around them.

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Learn more about Golden Dome School or take classes with Eliza here

Check out this episode!


Sheila M  0:05  

Welcome to Living Tarot. I’m your host Sheila Masterson. I’m a tarot reader and teacher, an energy healer and medium and creator of Practical Tarot for Everyday Intuitives. Each week on this podcast, I’ll share my own experience of embracing and growing intuition, and interview guests about how they heard the call of intuition, embraced the adventure, and embodied the taro along the way. Join us and learn how you can stop second guessing, empower yourself through intuition, and live intentionally with the Tarot. 

Welcome back to Living Tarot. On today’s episode I speak with Eliza Swann. Eliza is an interdisciplinary artist, intuitive, writer, educator, and community organizer based in Los Angeles and New York. Eliza received a BA in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute, and an MFA from Central Saint Martin’s in London, and has also trained in hypnotherapy at the ice center in England. Additionally, she’s trained with a number of teachers in energy healing, Western mystery traditions, vedic cosmology and ancestral healing. Eliza has guest lectured at UCLA, the hammer Museum, the San Francisco Art Institute, Central Saint Martin’s, Cal art, the DM Museum, the new school and many more venues and is currently a visiting professor at Pratt Institute. Her book Anatomy of the Aura was released by St. Martin’s Press in April 2020. And Eliza is the founder of the Golden Dome School, a curatorial and educational platform that studies intersections of art, metaphysics and ecology. Eliza and I had such a beautiful conversation about all about auras really and about the ways in which people read energy without realizing the ways that it’s important to clear yourself your own energy field, clear your home, and how important it is to practice ethics and boundaries when it comes to intuitive arts. Because it’s ultimately what keeps you safe and from being invasive in other people’s lives. This conversation was really eye opening to me as I was reading Eliza’s book, Auras and Anatomy of the Aura, which I read earlier this year while I was in quarantine, and really, really enjoyed. So we talk all about that and we also talk about how Eliza embodies the Hierophant in the Tarot, and what that means to her, as well as what it means to me since she also reads Tarot. So without further ado, let’s dive right in. 

Okay, so welcome to Living Tarot, Eliza Swann is my guest today. I’m Eliza, can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do in the world?

Eliza Swann  3:26  

Yeah, so my name is Eliza Swann. And I’m a visual artist, and educator, and intuitive and the director of the Golden Dome School, which is a mystery school that was founded primarily to serve artists in working with divinatory and sacred arts, and through the Golden Dome Scool I organized performances and publications and classes year round. And they also just had a book out this year called The Anatomy of the Aura. So that’s me in a nutshell.

Sheila M  4:01  

Yeah, so not too busy at all. I think I find that about so many of the people that I’ve interviewed on the podcast is that so many of us who are intuitive are also very, like multi passionate, and can feel a little bit like pulled all over the place sometimes, because there’s so much going on and so much coming through all the time. And I’d love to start by talking about your book, which I read and have all kinds of notes and stuff in and we’d be embarrassed to lend anybody. There’s so much stuff I wrote down in it. And I wish that you had written it like four years ago because four years ago Sheila could have really used to this.

Eliza Swann  4:45  


Sheila M  4:46  

I wanted to start by talking about how, how long you have had this kind of gift of clairvoyance where you really see energy and energy fields and the aura From the introduction, I understand that like, basically, since you were a child, so what? What was that experience like for you when you were young?

Eliza Swann  5:09  

Yeah, I was able to see energy around people around plants around buildings around objects. And it was all visual for me. It’s I could see it. And I think everyone has this, but usually it’s a felt sensation. So most of us have gut responses to people, places, things and objects. Before we can even articulate what it is we feel we get a strong gut sense of, yes, no, weird, uncomfortable, wonderful, lovely. So we all need energy, I think it’s a biological defense strategy, really to be able to pick energy up quite quickly. But I was able to see it from childhood. And also, I could see the dead and also see their energy. And I was lucky in a sense that my parents split up when I was one, one and a half. That was difficult, but because of it, my mom, my brother and I went to live with my aunt, who was a Reiki Master, and a yogini, and an herbalist and a witch back in the 80s. And so she thought it was totally normal and cool that I was talking to people and things that no one else could see in the room. And she thought it was absolutely wonderful to see auras to work with auras. So before that, she would do this ceremony with me where she would rub her hands together asked me which color bubble I wanted to sleep in. And she talked to me about working with auras and colors and what that can do for you just as like a daily kind of practice. So almost like before bed, I would get dressed in a certain aura color. And then she would encourage me to when I got up, pick out which bubble auracolor was gonna wear for the day. 

Sheila M  7:11  

I love that so much. That is so cool. And I I love, I loved that part of the book where you talked about, like picking your aura for the day and how much attention you pay as somebody who is very intuitive of like, oh, today I’m doing a speaking engagement. So I’m going to push my auraway out so that I feel confident and like I’m in control of the space. And then like, I know, I’m going to be in this huge crowd at this concert, I’m going to pull my aura away. And so I’m not picking up on everybody stuff. And I thought it was so interesting, because I think that when you are intuitive, and some of these things come so naturally to you. You can miss out on some of the magic of calling that in and treating it like a ritual and like a part of your intuitive life every day. That’s not just like, Oh, yeah, like, this is what my aura looks like today. Like I can have some buy in to what’s going on, which I think is so powerful. 

Eliza Swann  8:11  

Yeah, I’ve been talking with friends at length, because so many of my friends are in the healing arts influence with midwives and Tarot readers, massage therapists, and all kinds of caregivers are in my circle. And we’ve all been talking about how it’s really difficult for us to remember to take care of ourselves and to implement that into our daily strategy. And what intense burnout we’re all feeling this year in particular, because things have been so hard for so many people. Our workload has doubled and tripled. So yeah, I resonate with that I am guilty of forgetting to take care of my energy.

Sheila M  8:52  

Yeah. And I think I think it’s interesting too, because I think a lot of the stuff that’s out there around auras it’s almost like, well, it’s this color, or it’s like these couple of colors. And that it doesn’t like change at all or that like you’re always like that, that color, which I think is so interesting. And and kind of going along with that. How, you know, how does it show up for you? I guess the good question that I have that I think is one that is similar to what I get about my particular gifts, is do you walk around every day and you’re kind of seeing things around people just kind of vaguely because when you when you do have that type of gift. It’s always kind of there, like you’re saying and especially I guess with something that is very visual, it would be harder I think to ignore because as humans we kind of live with our eyes most of us. And so I can imagine that it could possibly be distracting, but you also talk a lot in the book about boundaries. So how does that show up in daily life? And when you’re interacting with people? And I guess, kind of as a second part of that question with people that you have, like a close personal relationship with vs like a stranger? 

Eliza Swann  10:15  

Yeah, that’s such a good question. And I have so many things I want to say in response to it. The first thing is that I wrote the book because most of the literature that I could find, and most of the teachings that I was given about auras and energy healing and energy reading, relied on claryoyance, so it was all about being able to see energy. And most people are not especially clairvoyant, but they read energy anyway, and they do it all the time. So I wanted to write something where people could recognize what in themselves was sensitive to energy, and auras, and how they perceived and read about auras. They’re not just colors and aura is actually waves of energy surrounding a being. And so that’s often felt right away, it’s absorbed, it’s transmitted before we even have a second to think about it. And I always use the example of riding on an elevator with somebody, without turning to look at them don’t need to be clarvoyant you feel innately whether or not the person next to you angry or agitated, or whether or not, you can kind of turn and give them a smile. And it happens so quickly that you don’t think about it. So I wanted to talk about auras as these living organisms around our body of energy, about how they interrelate about how we transmit energy. And then of course, the flip side of that is that many of the sensitive people who would be drawn to reading a book about auras reading in the first place, are probably people who tend to notice that they absorb energy, notice that they have difficulty with boundaries. And it’s not because in my purview, it’s not because they’re especially absorbent. It’s because they’re noticing that they’re especially absorbent. So any of us that scroll on the internet, or look at the news or talk about the debates are absorbing a type of collective energy, for better for worse, any of us that come into contact with people, even if it’s just via zoom, which is most of us these days, we absorb energy. And so those of you that notice that in yourselves, I congratulate you, because that’s the beginning of recognizing, where you begin and collective energies and ideas begin and where the energies of people close to you begin. So that’s, I think, the first part of my answer. And then I heavily emphasize and focus on ethics and boundaries in the book. Because I was taught from a teenager, I was a member of all these industries, schools, I went to meditation retreats, I had magic teachers, I had Reiki teachers, all kinds of teachers. And none of them taught me about boundaries. And ethics is very weird. So I emphasize that in the book, because I think a lot of people are taught how to kind of open these spaces of connectivity in themselves or honor these spaces of connectivity within themselves. But they’re not taught how to close these spaces. So in my own personal waking, walking around life, and absolutely sensitive to everything, but I decide at the end of the day to clear myself with energy. I decide my walk around how much I want to engage in things. Oftentimes, I have to physically remove myself from situations because there just isn’t an adequate boundary for me. So yes, I emphasize boundaries and disentanglement as what I call it a lot. So disentangle your energy from people project situations, in as much as you can. I mean, we’re all innately enmeshed and interconnected, thankfully, but you can disentangle to a large degree with a lot of intention and very simple practices.

The other thing I wanted to say was that it is not ethical, in my opinion, to as much as you get a sense from people or places or projects or things or situations. It’s not ethical to read the energy of a person, place project or situation and then tell people about it that are not asking you for that information. This is a strong boundary that I emphasize with people. I’ve had my life disrupted many times by psychics, whether they were good or accurate or well meaning or not running up to me, and giving me unsolicited advice or information about myself. It’s really disorienting, and disorienting and destabilizing. So I think, in addition to boundaries, I also think boundaries are part and parcel of ethics. And I think getting consent, when we do intuitive work, or when we look into intuitive work is super important in establishing boundaries. 

Sheila M  15:35  

Yeah, that’s one of the things that I really, really liked about your book, because at every stage, you’re talking about it not just from, from you personally, and your energetic perspective, and the things that you’re taking on or getting attached to, or people who are, like, unintentionally, kind of sucking the life out of you, so to speak. But also, because there is an ethical boundary, that you really shouldn’t be just walking up to somebody, and giving them a reading, because that’s their personal business. And it’s none of yours. And so I think it’s really interesting, because there seems to be this thing that happens that I notice, with friends and stuff of mine, where I kind of think of it as like the, like Long Island Medium effect, which is people see this TV show, and they think that she’s literally just walking up to people in the grocery store and giving them a reading. And really, what’s happening in the background is somebody is like going in saying this thing is happening, can we try this, getting permission doing all these things, and then she’s getting the reading, but it’s edited to look as though it’s just happening. And so people think that we walk around with like, everything on 100% of the time, and that we’re just like, reading everything that’s going on with our friends. And so I’ve had people say to me, like, Oh, I was nervous to be around you, because I was afraid of like what you were gonna say, and I’m like, first of all, it is exhausting. When you are saying like, it’s exhausting to pick up on things in general, and especially like less so now because I’m not out in public as much anymore. But in a different way, with everything online. And with so much happening in the outside world. I don’t want to I don’t want to know people’s business, like I just, I want to I want to be separated from it. And I was taught, luckily, by somebody who was very ethical, and really reiterated how important boundaries are and how it is not just appropriate to go, like, dig around in somebody’s aura, so to speak, you know, and, and to really be picking up on stuff in that way. Because it’s just, it’s private. And and I think like, you know, you can notice something. And I think there are ways where if it’s something that’s like really negative, or that they might be like really depressed or something like that, you can offer the opportunity, but you can’t like force people to share with you. It’s like not right.

Eliza Swann  18:06  

Yes, I agree. I absolutely agree. And I agree to the extent that even when someone pays me for an intuitive session, we outline our intentions, and specifically what we’re going to talk about. And then if I’m seeing or sensing or feeling information that falls outside of the parameters of our agreement, I have to ask if it’s okay to talk to you about this particular thing. Because you’re right, I love that phrase, but the Long Island Medium effect, they think people assume when they get a reading, that it’s just gonna be like a fire hose in your face of all of the information that we’re seeing. If we did things like that, I think we could run the risk of burnout for ourselves, but also the risk of re traumatizing or injuring somebody, we’re bringing things up that we don’t have the capacity to hold space for.

Sheila M  19:00  

Yeah, yeah. And one of the rules that I set really early on, um, because, you know, in the beginning, I didn’t, you know, I had no idea. That’s why I was saying, I wish that this book had existed when I was going through all of this, because I just, I didn’t realize that I could turn things on and off or turn things down, I guess is a better way to describe it. And that I could set boundaries around what I am willing to know and what I’m not willing to know. And that like one of the boundaries that I set early on, that has served me very well is to say that I never want to know something that the person who is sitting with me isn’t comfortable with me knowing so I will know that there’s something there. And even if I’m doing like a mediumship type of reading where I’m talking to a deceased spirit, there may be something private there that I will say they’re telling me that there is something private it’s not for me to know and you are not comfortable with me knowing and that’s okay. But they want to say that they acknowledge like their part in it. Like you don’t, I don’t need to know in order to give a good reading and in order to do that, and I think I think so many people need to hear that because like you’ve said, I’ve had people like volunteer stuff to me that I’m like excuse me, Please mind your own energy. Thank you, you know? Yeah,

Eliza Swann  20:20  

yeah. Yeah, it’s an interesting time because we have so much mediation and information. And it’s so easy to just dm somebody or grab somebody and we forget that there’s real human beings on the other end of our apparatuses. People throw all kinds of things at me where I’m just like, oh, wow, I’m actually not okay, for an hour after reading this thing from a stranger. Yeah, I think boundaries and ethics and an energetic consent and verbal consent has to be reconsidered. All over the place, not just in the healing arts. Yeah. Yeah.

Sheila M  21:04  

I love that. Um, I’m just trying to find this one thing that I thought was so interesting. So one of the things that I thought was really fascinating was you talk about the importance of like, verbally starting and ending sessions and kind of having this kind of programming, to, to turn on and to turn off, which I think is really valuable for a lot of people to know. And even reading it. And even though I knew it was, like, helpful for me to have reiterated and say like, okay, like, remember to come back to this thing each time because you can take for granted and forget or just get busy or, you know, something happens at the last minute, and especially now with technology. Giving Everybody readings like through the internet, it is a completely different experience than having somebody in my like in person space.

Eliza Swann  21:57  

Yeah. And it can be strangely fatiguing, because you think, Oh, I just close my laptop, I’m done. But in fact, you’re still all energetically hooked into that person. So yeah, I have a really specific scripts that I use to open sessions and I do them aloud with my client so that they understand what energy boundaries and parameters and setting. And then at the end of the session, I also do it, I’ll allow my client instruct them to take their energy back to themselves. I take my energy back to myself, I dissolve the space that we created between us, so that when you hang up or you conclude with an intuitive session, you’re not accidentally carrying someone’s, you know, sorrows or joys in your pocket that just aren’t for you. So yeah, I’ve got scripts from everything.

Sheila M  22:49  

Yeah, and it can really creep up I think, too, if you’re not being very intentional in in setting the space, taking it down, putting it back up. So yes, I loved I loved reading about that as well. Um, I also love I just love your phrase. May May I admire you today, like your  introduction to Can I can I read what’s going on here? Which I thought was like, I just love that phrase. Yeah. Um, one of the things that I thought was so interesting is you have a ton of exercises in this book, which I thought were like so helpful. And some of them I’ve done similar things before and some of them were new to me. But one of the things that was very interesting to me is I I am not terribly clairvoyant myself. What’s interesting is, in the moment, I won’t see anything but then when I remember I will so like memory I am but not necessarily in the moment. And I had the experience of working with my teacher. And we came in for classes the one day and she was like, oh, we’re gonna read auras today. And I was like, geez, I was like, This is not, this is not gonna go Well, like I already know. I’m not gonna see anything. She’s like, no, we’re gonna see auras today, it’s gonna be great. And we’re like, yeah, okay, you know, cuz nobody one person in the group that I was in was like, pretty clairvoyant. But everybody else was more either auditory or feeling and, and so we were all kind of like, okay, and I nobody was more shocked than I was when I sat down and could do it and I thought it was so interesting. Because one of the things that she kind of encouraged us to do was in your automatic speaking exercise where you just have to kind of she kind of set the time and said, okay, like, go through this, just say whatever is coming up and and try not to stop talking until like, until I say, and I was like, Oh my god, and it’s so it can be so hard to remove your ego from the process sometimes, and just say, Okay, I’m just I’m gonna be wrong, you know, whatever. And and I think that because I felt like in that moment, it wasn’t going to work. I was more like relaxed about it than other things that I know I can do, where I’ll get like my head will get involved. And then I have a very hard time shutting it down and being like, no just received to see what happens, you know. So I thought that was so interesting. 

Eliza Swann  25:20  

Yeah, I got the line May I admire you today from Pretty in Pink. It’s something that Ducky Dale says to Andy, in the hallway. And when I’m instructing people in intuitive development, I always have them set the intention to just admire the person’s energy. That way, the person getting their energy read is free from receiving unsolicited advice or having flaws pointed out. And then the person offering the reading is free from having to dispense with advice. Or if they see anything troubling in their reading, they just bypass it because it doesn’t fit with the intention. So just a really easy way to learn to give readings because just admiring someone’s energy, you’re not really going to run the risk of accidentally trampling on them or bringing something up that you don’t have the capacity to hold with them. So may I admire you today is a great way if you’re learning Tarot, or aura reading or any kind of even mediumship, you just want to admire what’s going on, or what is interesting or unique about that person. And then your tongue loosens up. And I often encourage people doing intuitive development with me to do that automatic speaking thing where I set a timer, and you just have to talk because it bypasses that thing that you’re describing, where you want to get it right. And you’re not sure and it happens to me still, I’ve been doing this work professionally for 20 years, something like that. But I taught a class the other day and aura reading class. And I did a demo, and I was reading someone’s energy and I saw a graduation cap. And my mind was like, Don’t say that, of course you’re seeing that you’re she’s in the class with you. And you saw a graduation cap last week, like you’re just regurgitating this couldn’t be right. But I just said it anyway. And at the end of the demo, she said that she was going back to college after having taken a long break, and that it meant a lot to her to see the cap because it encouraged her to feel like she could finish this time. So you just never know,

Sheila M  27:30  

it is it’s so funny. And I’ve seen stuff that I’m like I don’t like it’s the hardest thing to suspend that I think because we’re all when we’re in school, I remember growing up inside of our society, we are all treated as if our value is contingent on how well we can do how well we can be smart and how well we can be good at things and how much you can achieve. And so I think there comes this time where you’re trying to achieve at something that you can’t achieve at but you’re like, you just you just have to surrender at some point and just like give up the control because the more you try to be good at it, the worse you’re going to be. And in those moments where you can kind of surrender a little bit that anything is even coming through before that. It’s just like, anxiety thoughts, you know? 

Eliza Swann  28:24  

Yes, yes. I it’s the it’s the strange paradox of intuitive work that you have to be absolutely soft and receptive and wiggly and attentive enough to name what is happening. And I’m not athletic, even remotely. But I’ve heard this from athletes too, that to really perform. They have to not try they have to be in this strange state of readiness without effort. Yeah,

Sheila M  28:55  

yeah. And that’s been for me when readings have come through the most. And I struggled in the beginning with feeling very much like my ego was getting involved not in a way where I was like, I want to be, because I think when when we traditionally think of ego, we think of like, Oh, I want to be like the guru. I want to be the healer. I want to be the person that’s like fixing everyone. But it wasn’t really about that piece. It was more of that I felt such a responsibility to the work that I felt like I had to fix everything or like I had to, I can fix it. Like if I can’t fix this and they haven’t gotten their money where money’s worth, or if I haven’t given them the message that they were expecting to hear from their grandmother or from their mother or from their father, that I’m not doing enough. And I think it’s still when I think about that sometimes like brings up anxiety for me. But once I removed that, from what I was doing, everything was so much easier. Like it just was so much easier. To go in, and it’s not about not caring about about your work or not bringing like your full self there. But it’s about taking that need to control the outcome out of it and to take that like responsibility off of you, which I think is so important.

Eliza Swann  30:14  

Yeah, I love what you just said. And I still go through this agony. But when I transition to having a fixed rate, I used to be a donation based side gig and I switched to being a fixed rate side gig. And I think that intuitives deserve to be paid adequately for that work. It was just a transition that I decided to make, because this work became my full time work. And I had to set a fee. And once I set the fee, I was in agony every time I sat to give a reading, because people would come to me and say, is this person cheating, and I would sit there, and that was not the information I was getting, I was getting information about career, or people would come to me and ask about buying a piece of property. And my intuition just wasn’t getting anything about that. However, there was this whole other discourse that was opening up. And so I really worried all the time that people weren’t getting what they paid for. And it’s just a muscle with practice, you just learned to trust that you’re conveying what needs to be said to the best of your ability and in accordance with your agreement with that person.

Sheila M  31:30  

Yeah. And it is so interesting, because I was having I was having this conversation. So when everything first started happening for me, I went to see a therapist first because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t crazy. And I basically spent, you know, I did what everybody does, where I spent like the first like 45 minutes talking about, like, my relationship and like, bitching about that. And then in the last, like, 10 minutes, I was like, and also this and basically, like dumped everything that was happening, and God bless her, she was like, okay, you know, she was very, like, very understanding and kind of took it all in stride. And I’ve worked with her since but one of the things that she said to me when I was having like a similar conversation like this, the one day is, she was like, you know, I don’t vary my session price based on if somebody has a breakthrough in our session. She’s like, this is also healing work and, and work that really like empowers people, but I’m not, you know, I’m not being like, oh, it wasn’t worth it today, because like they didn’t have this huge breakthrough that they had last week. So let me charge less like the work is it worth less because people she’s like, and I’m certainly not getting paid to tell people what they want to hear, like, that’s not the job at all. And I was like, and not to say that this is the same as therapy. But it was an interesting perspective adjustment for me, because there are so many other service based professions. If you went in to see a lawyer and you got legal advice that you didn’t like, like you would still have to pay for it. If you’re paying for a service, that’s service based business, but it’s there is like this weird thing that I’ve experienced, and like you’re talking about, and so many of my friends in this in this area, talk about where it is like such a challenge to work with that. And there’s such a sense of, like responsibility that we all seem to have where we’re like, I have to do this well, like I have to do a good job.

Eliza Swann  33:29  

Yeah, I was chatting with one of my closest friends who’s a midwife about how our labor is treated. It’s so interesting, because intuition and nurturance and care are not female attributes, but they’ve been feminized. In our culture, they’ve been lumped into being something that women are adept at more than other genders, although we know that’s not true. But she was saying it’s amazing. And midwifery is kind of this feminized profession, and an OB GYN was a typically male profession post capitalistic seizure of the medical industry. Yeah, in the 15th century, another story for another day. But she was like, Wow, my clients come and ask me if I’ve delivered children before, because they want to feel like they have access to me and they would never ask their ob gyn if they had had a child before. He would never ask your dentist if they’d had a root canal before. There are very clear boundaries with people that are perceived to be in these professions that are more masculine. And I have noticed that as well like as a reader, not only are these expectations kind of high that we set on ourselves to be accurate or to deliver some specific end result. But there’s also I find like a lack of boundary that can make this work difficult where you have to hold build the professional life. Right, you certainly wouldn’t demand a refund from your dentist, if you didn’t like what you heard, you certainly wouldn’t assume that you had some friendship or some closeness with your therapist, because there are kind of formalized boundaries there. So we work in this really unique field that has long been feminized, and is in this kind of wild west terrain of labor and labor practices. Where we do have to do a lot of work to kind of mitigate our expectations of ourselves and our clients and what we feel like our relationships are with these people and what we feel we owe them. It’s something I work on every day. 

Sheila M  35:45  

yeah, it is. It’s, it’s really important. One of my actually, one of my favorite quotes from, from your book is in the section about ethics for auras readers. Um, and you say, “make sure you use language that supports people in their process, be aware of using language that would make someone feel broken or damaged. Each person is fully capable of healing themselves, an energy healer or a reader is there to witness assist, and amplify a person’s innate healing, genius and special abilities.” And I love that so much. Because I’ve always felt that way. Like, when I’m talking to people, I never want them to feel like there’s something wrong with them. And I do think that so much of other healing is focused on the problem and what’s wrong with you. So like, in traditional Western medicine, we’re always looking for like, the problem, what’s the problem? What can we fix? What can we fix? And I think with this type of work, there’s so much importance in just acknowledging what is like what is there and offering to them if they would like to participate, if it’s something that, you know, they’re aware of, and just providing that space for them to safely experience? what it is that they really have going on, and to kind of hold a mirror up for, for what that experience has been so that they can see it a little bit more clearly.

Eliza Swann  37:18  

Yeah, I trust implicitly in the healing arts genius of every single client that I work with. It’s in their hands, what happens, what comes through what breakthroughs happen? Yeah, I had, I was going through some relationship difficulty. And a friend of mine said, resist the urge to feel that you are bad at relationships, you’re just having a hard time and this particular one right at this moment, and I thought, Oh, my gosh, she’s right. I was beating myself up and thinking I was just bad at, you know, being romantic with somebody when in fact, no, it was very situation specific. And I recognize that in everyone that I serve, that we’re hardwired to really aggress towards ourselves and to blame ourselves. And to try to find fault with ourselves, I try to mitigate that damage in sessions where I reiterate over and over that you have the capacity to change yourself and these situations.

Sheila M  38:25  

Yeah, I love that. I I really appreciate. Like I said, I really appreciate this book. And I wish that I’d had it when I when I was young, definitely. But also, when I was kind of going through my later life, awakening of everything. And really getting that sense of like authority around boundaries, and also around that ability to change something. So to kind of bring that sense of like embodiment, okay, today, I really want to really want to bring in this like green energy, I feel like I really need to stay like in my heart center. And I need to, I have a tendency to run away from that. And I really need that today. So I really appreciate it. There’s a lot of wisdom in here. I highly recommend this book.

Eliza Swann  39:19  

Yeah, but I really appreciate that. And I I think even for people who are seasoned healers, and I’ve done this work for a long time, even though it’s kind of a start here guide for beginners to auras you know, as it says on the cover, I do think that it’s always good for all of us, even those of us who are experienced to approach things sometimes with a beginner’s mind, because you can get a little disconnected from the client experience as well. And this can remind you a little bit of that and it can also direct your own practice as well. 

Yeah. I also wanted to make sure what the book it was interesting as the publisher approached me and asked me if I had ideas for a book and all the ones I had were kind of weird, you know, nothing was landing right with the editor. And then I gave them a copy of a bunch of ziens. I made, I always handed out scenes when I teach classes, so people have with a written takeaway. And she seized on this theme that I wrote called the anatomy of the order that was about accessing intuition on your own terms, it was about being all body loving, it was about embracing whatever intuitive skills you have not assuming that you should have clairvoyant skills, or else you’re not psychic. And I also really wanted to emphasize that there is no dictionary for symbols or colors that you can use, because colors are actual vibrations that each one of us as an instrument picks up differently. And symbols are alive, they have their own psyche, they have their own awareness, they have something they can tell you directly with regard to what they are and what they represent. So I also wanted to talk about colors and interpretation and symbols in a way that puts that back in people’s hands and doesn’t assume that there’s any dictionary format symbol decoder that’s really going to be of use and so I wanted to emphasize, trust yourself, trust your clients, trust yourself, trust your client, over and over and over again.

Sheila M  41:40  

Hey, there, did you know that I offer virtual tarot readings over zoom? Tarot is for you. If you’re at a crossroads and want to see your current challenge clearly, navigate complex decisions, and plan how to move forward with competence. Sometimes our emotions can get in the way of us seeing a clear path forward. And tarot acts as a neutral bystander that provides information and insight into our blind spots. I work with so many clients on business readings, decision making, in business, and in career working towards promotions, getting insight on how to make the best moves. I also work with a lot of people on relationship readings, getting insight into both interpersonal relationships, and professional relationships. And I do year ahead readings as well. So you can celebrate your business’s birthday by getting some insight on the energy of the year ahead. What projects to focus on what to put on the backburner. These can be really potent and powerful offerings that provide you with a lot of insight to focus your energy for the year ahead. And right now I’m also offering Virtual Tarot parties. We have all experienced zoom fatigue, we’re tired of staring at each other and having drinks over zoom. But tarot parties are a great option to celebrate life’s rites of passage while staying safe and socially distant. If you’re interested, check out the link in the show notes today, or head over to 

Yeah, that’s a big thing that I talk about on the podcast too. And part of the reason why I do interviews with other people is because I don’t want everything to be just from my perspective, you know, I wanted to offer something out there because I did feel very isolated and lonely. And I was very private about everything that was going on for a long time. And I really wanted to create something that other people could have and hear and be like, Oh, yeah, that’s how it works for me, because it’s slightly different. And then not just my perspective, but also all of these different guests who do all different things. And some who are traditionally witchier and some who are more entrepreneurs or business people who talk about how intuition shows up for them. Because I think the other thing is, it’s not just like you were saying, it’s not just I’m a witch. And so I can do this thing, or I’m psychic, and I can do this thing. Like we all have access to intuition. And I wanted people to hear a variety of experiences, so that they would not feel isolated. And they would not feel weird about all of these things that were going on. So I love that you. You give that back because it is so personal. And I had that experience of wanting an instruction guide. Like I was like, Can this come with a manual please? Which I think is how a lot of people feel but it is so personal that all you can really do is give somebody the guideposts and help them try to pull things in a little bit and get a little bit more structure around it. But ultimately, they’re really the ones that have to do the work to figure that out.

Eliza Swann  44:57  

Yeah, it’s I’m thinking about Tarot because that’s, I think what you primarily focus Yeah. And I often struggle with that. I teach critical studies and colleges, I have this sort of nerdy side. And so when I look at the strength card in the Tarot, I can see that it’s representative of the goddess Seville, who would have been well known to the people of the 16th and 15th centuries. But now when we look at a woman opening a lion’s mouth, we don’t see Sabel we see some some representation of strength or force, or some people interpret that as being about the laws of nature. And so when I would teach Tarot, I would always toggle between, well, here’s the actual historic basis for this car. But what do you see and feel in it? What how can we make this new? How is this alive for you right now. And so sometimes I have to actually resist the urge to be the know it  all, or the researcher, and really just honestly, flex the muscle of trust. It’s not taught to us to do that. It’s up to us to present as the authority so yes, and

Sheila M  46:18  

Especially when you’re in a teaching role as well, which I think is so interesting, and I do, I do Tarot, I also do Reiki and energy work and mediumship. But you know how it is everything kind of blends together a little bit sometimes, depending what we’re doing, um, and again, with boundaries. But one of the things that I think is so interesting is, I teach tarot and I have a course where I teach Taro. And so we go through everything. And, you know, I talk about what the cards mean to me. But I had this realization when I was teaching it for the first time, where people don’t feel like they have the authority to create their own definition for the card. So they’ll hear what I say. But to them, it does not look like that it looks like this other thing, like you’re saying, and to give enough of a parameter for them to say, Okay, this is my starting point. But every time this card comes up, it’s in this type of situation. So I think to me, it means this. And I’ve seen where people feel the impulse, like, Oh, no, like, if you read for another reader, they’ll say, Oh, no, that card is like this to me. And I’m like, Yes, but I’m the reader. And I’m doing the reading. So like, right, that if you want, but you’re really selling yourself short, because if the card is showing up this way, for me, that is a reading for me to give you it’s not a reading for you to interpret, because the same message is going to come through differently to you. Because it is intuitive. 

Eliza Swann  47:54  

Absolutely. Yeah. I really encourage everybody to come up with their own working, changing, evolving living organism have a simple dictionary, no matter what kind of work you do.

Sheila M  48:07  

Yes, yeah. And that was one of the things that was happening for me early on, because I I wasn’t initially drawn to Tarot. And I have always been able to read people since I was young. And a different than you because I couldn’t. I wasn’t getting a lot of visual things. But I hear a lot. And so when I was young, I would say, you’ll love this too, because you’ll know what I mean. But I would say that I was laying in bed at night, and I was listening to the sound of the air to hear who was going to come upstairs next. And I wasn’t actually listening to sound I was listening to energy. But even when I was that young, I was so aware of it. And I could tell who it was. Or I could walk into the house and tell somebody else was there because I could just like hear it. It’s an even in how I teach and how I described things people are like, we hear because like I primarily Hear, hear see things which is hard to describe to people unless they experience it. And I didn’t even realize even though I would say I was listening to the air. I didn’t even realize that that was weird or not weird. It’s not the right word, but not typical, I guess, until I was thirty So I was like, you know, 30 years of my life where I thought everything I was hearing was normal. And I’m like, Oh no, it is really loud sometimes and I can turn that down.

Eliza Swann  49:30  

Yeah, that’s so cool. Yeah, ears. The inner ear is such a special and strange sense to describe. And I think it arrives for each of us differently because I also hear things but it’s not like hearing it’s almost like like a voice coming out of the bottom of the well inside of the center of my skull. It’s like not even. It’s not like the listening Exactly. Aristotle more than 2000 years ago, wrote a book book where he describes human beings as having five senses connected to the five sensory organs that he understood or could see. So it’s the eyes, the ears, the nose, the mouth, tongue, and the skin for feeling. And we now know that we have many more than five senses even. But for whatever reason, I was taught that we had five as a child. And even when you describe intuitive senses, like the inner ear, or the inner eye, or a gut sense, or a feelings, and we just don’t have very good language for the five senses, let alone the subtle aspects of the five senses, let alone the senses that stray outside of those five categories. We have so many we have kinesthetic senses, we have temperature senses, we have orientation senses that we’re not even taught how to describe.

Sheila M  50:52  

Yeah, and I think that was one of the things that I struggled with so much, because I was like, it is like I’m hearing. I loved your description that was so perfect. But it it comes into my brain as if I’m hearing it, but I’m not actually hearing something, you know, sometimes I’ll get a little like ring in the ear, which is like my like, Hello, you know, like, pay attention. Or I think a lot of the time, I know that there’s a spirit around or there’s something going on, because there is like a lack of sound in one place is how I would describe it. It’s almost like I’m not hearing here. And so therefore, like, I know that somebody is there, but like, it’s come across to me, the more that because I was really taught to develop all of these skills. And like I said, I, I’ve noticed now how they show up in different ways. And because of that, like I would say that that happens. And it’s happened at like such like random times. Like I always say there’s always funny stories for people who are very intuitive about when certain spirits and stuff will show up. And so the first time that I ever had like a very like clairvoyant experience, I was coming home from dinner with my partner. And we were in a fight about something. And and so we were kind of like, like at each other a little bit. And we come into the apartment, and I turn on the lights in the living room, and I walk in and I was like, something is here, and I can see it sort of it was almost like, have you seen Harry Potter? 

Eliza Swann  52:31  

Yes. I have.

Sheila M  52:32  

When you put on the invisibility cloak and Harry Potter, and you’re like, I can’t see anything, but something is not right about the way that right there looks, you know, like it was a very, like, humany type of shape. And I was like, for God’s sake. Not right now. Like, times, like, times, I’ll be like sitting in meditation or like doing something where I’m like, actually ready to listen. And then it’s always like, at like, a random time that they’re like, Oh, just one second,

Eliza Swann  53:02  

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So think about like not exerting effort when your senses kind of barely open. But I also found that I will be obsessing about a topic or a subject or reading about it. And then a spirit vision that’s kind of connected to that shows up. So I find that these things communicate with us a little bit on a delay, like we’re picking up that energy, and we’re recognizing that it’s there. And as we walked towards it, it somehow makes itself apparent to us with our physical senses in some way. But I when I was hearing that story, it’s almost wondering if you weren’t agitated anticipating that that spirit was in your home and if it wasn’t contributing to, you know, some, some bickering because that happens to me a lot.

Sheila M  53:54  

Yeah. And I was like, cuz I think I am more aware, like you said, I feel like I’m more aware if I’m like, in danger, which I think is like I’m saying in danger kind of broadly, but like if it is something that is not in a safe or a friendly vibration, I guess is the best way to say it, and be more aware of it. So like people say all the time, so I I’ve gone with a lot of friends when they’re looking at houses. Because they’ll be like, you know, what do you think and I can usually like again, because I walk in and I can kind of like hear everything at once. I can usually kind of tell what’s going on so they’ll be like, you know how it’s okay. And also like you would probably sense it like if something really bad was there you would have a feeling for it like everybody does. They just write it off. And the same like you described if the energy in a room shifts like I always describe it as a woman as when you can see That the ratio in the room has shifted to mostly men or all men, most women are like on like a heightened, and they don’t even realize but they’re like not safe, like something that’s not safe right now and they don’t, again, it will take like a second to realize why they’re agitated. And then they’ll be like, okay, but that’s interesting that you’re saying that because like I said, I hardly ever see see things.

Eliza Swann  55:24  

On this note, I’m so glad you’re bringing this up, folks to really put a lot of effort on clearing their spaces. Yes. Energetically, ritually with the words however you want to do it. There’s a I have techniques in the book about clearing your house. There’s also a book by Khi Armand called clearing spaces. Please, everyone clear your space, it’s been amazing to even going to work with people on zoom, and look at their room through the zoom and just think, oh, my goodness, you’ve all got stagnant energy, this clumped in your living space, because you’re not leaving it as much as you usually do. Or there’s a lot of emotion concentrated in it, because things are so intense right now. Yes.

Sheila M  56:16  

Yeah, I know. And, and that’s one of the things that I do say to people, too, is what I am much more likely to find when I walk around the house is that there is some stagnant other people’s energy. So when we say whenever you go into a space, you should really like you’re moving, you should really come in and clear the space and set it for you. However you like to do that, whether you like to burn something or spray something, or use energy work or intention, or poetry or bells, whatever it is, you have to be really specific about clearing that out, because you want it to be yours. And you will start to notice things like I had a friend and and when I went to her house, I went into the one closet, and I was like, Oh, it’s just gotten like a little bit of a headache. I was like, there’s just like some conflict. Like it’s it’s people conflict, it’s not a spirit, it’s nothing like that. It’s just like some, like some sort of fight or something happened here. And it’s still like kind of hanging there. So like, I think people don’t realize how much they can kind of pollute up the space and stuff. And I, my, my partner is very, very good natured about when I’m when I’m doing it and kind of walking through the house and doing different things. But I will like try to clear out after like, if we’ve had an argument or something like that. And I try to clear that out too. Because I think it’s just good energy maintenance for everybody, you know, you don’t have to be witchy, to think about clearing your space, because the more that you can make it your own personal, the better your work is going to be, the more clear you’re going to feel, the less you’re going to be influenced by old fights and Old Energy and stuff that’s kind of stuck in your space, because then you’re just kind of sitting in a soup of that all the time.

Eliza Swann  58:06  

Yeah. And as you say, it doesn’t have to be necessarily witchy or mysterious. All of our great great, great great grand relatives and sisters would use cleaning as an opportunity to get stuck and stagnant energy out of the house, you just sweep in a circle, and then sweep out the front door when you’re done so that not only does the debris move out, but any energy they don’t want in there can move. If you clean and just kind of set intentions as you’re cleaning or straightening your space to kind of clear the energy and reset the energy. We can we use a chime or a bell or a sound or a fragrance of spritz of spray. It can be very, very simple. But please clean out your living spaces.

Sheila M  58:56  

Yes, it is really interesting. It’s such a it’s such a good reminder to people, especially right now I think it’s really important. Mm hmm. Um, so I did want to talk a little bit about everything that is going on in your life today. So obviously, you have this whole experience you wrote this book? What does your kind of intuitive life look like today? Or how do you use it? How do you use your intuition in your daily life? And which rituals? Do you kind of go back to over and over? 

Eliza Swann  59:30  

Yeah, that’s a great question. You know, I find myself um, my intuitive practice. I see clients one on one. And I offer readings and then I also see clients one on one to offer teaching. And I also run the Golden Dome School could teach intuitive development with that platform. And then I’m also teaching critical studies which requires quite a bit of intuition actually to figure out how to do Teach literature you have to be a medium of sorts, I think, although I can’t say that out loud in an academic space. But yeah, my days are filled to the brim with client work and teaching work. With very, very little time off right now it’s a particularly busy time. So one thing that super significant for me in terms of retaining balance, and energetic clarity is total silence in the morning. So no scrolling, no phone, no talking to my partner, no talking to make cat, no talking to my plants, I just go out front, I’m lucky enough to have a little outdoor space, I go up front, and I sit in this space, and everyone in my household knows you don’t go over there when I’m sitting in this space. And I just sit in silence for many, many, many moments at the beginning of the day, to reset myself because there’s so many voices coming in. Even for those of us without these kind of busy speaking, involved practices. Scrolling is inviting a bunch of voices into your head. And so I think it’s really special and important and simple just to start the day with 10 minutes of silence, if it’s possible for you. You can also end the day like that if that’s an easier thing to accomplish. And then, at the end of the day, in terms of ritual maintenance, showering is a big deal for me, I do it at the end of most days, especially if I’m doing client work. And you salt these Lemon I use rosemary, I make my own scrubs. This to me scrubs off a lot of unwanted energy. I do a lot of intention, saying but allowing the water to rain, anything off that I carry with me into bed. Nature is a biggie. So as often as I can I get out to nature. And I actually prefer to do that alone, because so much of my work is communal and collaborative. I like to balance that equally, if possible. With alone time. That’s a way that I can reset myself. But these days are busy days in terms of working that psychic muscle.

Sheila M  1:02:18  

Yeah, that’s so beautiful. I think silence is important and hard to find. And in this lifetime, anyway. Yeah.

Eliza Swann  1:02:29  

Yeah, I think people aren’t recognizing nearly enough how stressful it is to have other people’s thoughts, voices, emotions, experiences and expectations running through your head. And how many more of those you have if you are a social media person or an internet person? It’s just it’s a huge influx of input from other people. That can be really decentering. 

Sheila M  1:02:58  

Yes, yeah. Oh, my gosh, I loved what you said, I want to go back to that to what you said about doing your like academic teaching work. And I do think that often when people think about intuition, they just kind of think about that, like clairaudience, clairvoyance that like kind of witchy spiritual stuff. But there are so many people, great inventors, and scientists who absolutely have used intuition to invent things and create these things. Because again, you’re pulling something down from nowhere, somehow that idea is coming in. And you’re saying, Hey, I think you know, I was reading about the discovery of electromagnetic fields. They’re invisible, like, there was no way to prove them until there was you know, and everybody thought that he was crazy when he was trying to prove this thing because it was weird to them. And also, like, that’s how all of these things are created is, is through this intuition. And I think it’s so interesting, because I am the oldest of four siblings, and we all have something a little bit different. And I would say nobody is exactly like me for sure. But like, my youngest sister is like a brilliant mathematician. She majored in math, like just, I mean, it just is so easy and and she can see it the way that I can see these other things, you know, and, and I look at it and I’m like, Well, I mean, I was never bad at math, but I’m definitely not good at math like that, you know, um, and I do think it’s very interesting. I think even among families how you can see it sort it’s sort of play out like that, which is fascinating. 

Eliza Swann  1:04:48  

Yeah, I it’s an interesting role to hold to teach, researched based critical theory in academic institution where everything has to be proven and cited and peer reviewed. And I think these are really important skills. And I think that we should have these research capacities and these capacities to use the intellect. But in that space, absolutely a no-no, to talk about intuition, I’m teaching a class next semester about alchemy at an institution. And the teacher is kept joking and being like, don’t start a cult, you know, don’t make this, witchy and I  was like, Whoa, okay. But, so much of our science, so much of what we assume is empirical, actually came to us from deep, mystic contemplation. There’s a mystic by the name of Giordano Bruno. And in his era, which would have been a 15th century, they didn’t distinguish between mysticism and science, they were the same. It was if you had a question about the real works, or the mechanics of the universe, you also had spiritual questions, they weren’t considered different. And he was mystic. And he looked up at the stars one night, and he thought, Oh, my gosh, the sun in the sky during the day is a star, which we now take for granted. And you can see that he was speaking directly to the stars or had an experience of connection to the sky that gave him this flash of insight. And of course, he was burned at the stake for even daring to suggest the sun would be a star. Because if they’re if the stars are other suns, and that means there are other worlds and the earth isn’t at the center of everything. And it was just too disruptive to how people wanted to see things. But the foundation of what we understand in terms of philosophy and mathematics and science came from alchemists spiritual people.

Sheila M  1:06:51  

Yeah. And I think I think it’s so fascinating, because people are quick to write some of it off now as silly or, you know, astrology or whatever, like and make jokes about it. But I think, take for granted how much that work has given us the world that we have today with, with science and with, especially now, you know, with the medical community and needing to, and there’s something to that to my, my middle sister is a nurse. And they they have a sense that, you know, something isn’t right. And they there’s nothing statistically wrong, nothing coming up as wrong, but they will know that something is up and in particular, with Coronavirus and some of the things that were going on, you know, they were saying from the beginning, like something is different. It’s not just the respiratory thing, like the way that the people are crashing, all of a sudden, it’s not, this is not normal, like something is going on. And they had a sense of it. And people were like, No, no, no, no, no. And then as time has gone on, they’ve been like, hmm, yes, that does seem to be happening. And I do think it’s very interesting, because everything starts from this place of Oh, no, that’s silly. You know, and I think more and more of these things are, I think, going to be accepted in some of these traditional academic places. Because I also think that they run off of patriarchal and white supremacist ideas that are now shifting as a society. And I think, I think it’s going to be interesting to see what the next couple years are like because of that, because there are more fringe type of classes that universities and stuff now I have a friend who is a death doula and teaches a class on death and dying at a local state school, you know, and, and all of her colleagues were like, that’s so weird. You’re not going to get anyone to sign up for that. And sure enough, it’s full every semester, she has to add people like, yeah, it’s always packed. And I think there’s such a desire for another level of understanding. So I love that you’re providing that in a lot of different settings and even into academia a little bit.

Eliza Swann  1:09:12  

Yeah, I think that we’re going to see much greater progress as a species when we begin to become friends with the intellect and intuition and see them as two tools that are equally useful. And obviously, once we stop making everything, with a profit in mind, I think we’ll go very far in terms of what both energetic and intuitive healing arts can offer to empirical medical science and vice versa. I think it’s long past due for us to be friends. 

Sheila M  1:09:52  

Yeah, absolutely. So I do want to talk about what tarot card I really see you bodying. And it was funny because I kind of felt this way after reading the book. And then after our conversation even more so. So I actually picked the Hierophant

Eliza Swann  1:10:09  


Sheila M  1:10:10  

such a good card. I love this card so much. And I think it gets a bad rap. But what I think is so interesting is I see this so much in all of my friends and people I interview, who talk about providing information and education, but giving it to the people. So giving it back to the student, to create their own wisdom, and to really like turn inward with that understanding and with healthy boundaries and with you know, less fear around it. But to really bring those lessons and make them personal and discover their own practice and their own sense of things.

Eliza Swann  1:10:53  

Yes, oh my gosh, I love this card. I’m blown away that you chose it. In fact, a friend is designing a deck and asked me to contribute to a card and asked me to pick and I was like, please let me do The Hierophant. And it’s it’s a really misunderstood card, for good reason. Classically, it has the pope on it. But a friend of mine who’s a medieval historian said that the pope being included in the deck was actually kind of a joke. It was hubris, because most of the imagery in the deck comes from pagan symbolism. And so adding the pope in was kind of like a ribbing of the Pope and his authority in the Pope’s authorities so different from what a real mystic would be like, right? the Pope’s authority is absolute, it’s enforced by violence. It’s church, state, profit, money, real estate and connection to God belongs just to me. And I think the reclamation of that of that person or that archetype, or that energy has been so significant for us in the last few years and I love what the Hierophant especially being number five, if he subscribed to the Tarot having numerological significance, some people don’t. But number five is revolutionary. It’s the bridge between zero creation, one creation and 10 ending. It’s the bridge between heaven and earth. It’s the bridge between chaos and order. It’s the bridge between polarities. And in that sense, it’s a radical, revolutionary, non binary, churning, breaking things open radical rebellious is card if you let it be. And I think it was designed to be actually Yeah,

Sheila M  1:12:54  

I love that I’ve never heard back description of like, the historical significance, which I think so interesting. But whenever I read kind of like the book definition of the card, I was like, that’s not it, you know? Like, that’s not right. Um, and I think, to me, that makes so much more sense. And that’s how I really, you either you either think that you’re the Hierophant or you are the Hierophant you know, or you think that you’re the wise leader who’s teaching everybody or you think that you are not, and therefore you are the servant leader, who is kind of guiding and and walking beside your students and saying, this has been my experience, what is your experience, like, and really offering them the ability to participate in their own education, and to see themselves as the teacher ultimately, 

Eliza Swann  1:13:44  

Yeah, I love this card so much, I could talk about it for so long. Um, I mean, the Hierophant came from being a 19th century scholar who renamed the pope because he didn’t want it to be called the Pope. He wanted to come liberate that symbol or that person, and he named it the Hierophant, which is a Greek word, because he was imagining that the eleusinian mysteries were somehow part of this card, he misunderstood the history of Tarot. But eleusinian and mysteries are all about diammonium losing your mind, hallucinatory naked dancing with wine. And so this figure is at the center of that kind of unraveling, or this rebellion or this chaos is ecstasy. That’s just about untameable. So I love it.

Sheila M  1:14:39  

Yeah. Yeah. And I just think it’s such a beautiful, it’s such a beautiful card to embody with teaching as well, even as the teacher in quotes, because I feel like I’ve learned so much more about my Tarot practice. I also teach yoga and I teach yoga teachers. And I’ve learned so much more about, about yoga and about the practice from teaching teachers and from listening to them. Because when you have that kind of experience, you get to see what you’re saying reflected back and you’re like, oh, wait a second. You’re right. You know, like, I’m learning this lesson from you as well, which I think is, at times even more valuable. You know, I think like, one of the things I like about yoga is like, the essence of always being a student, like you’re, you’re always a student, and you’re always in practice, you know, you’re never in this perfect, you know, cover of yoga journal. Like, you’re always, there’s always something for you to work on, and to continue to evolve. And to, you know, when it’s not your body, it’s your mind, you know, and your breath and all of that. And I think it’s so interesting, because with this card, there’s so much wisdom in listening to the students and in, in hearing what feedback is coming in as well.

Eliza Swann  1:16:03  

Yeah, I had this really eccentric teacher for about 10 years. I got a reading from her when I was in. I don’t even know if I was 20 yet. And she looked at me and was like, Oh, my God, do you need training? This is you’re a mess I was I was a mess, I was like, overwhelmed as having lots of visions as big trouble. Just kind of remaining in balance as a human being. And she would have me meet her at Starbucks, I grew up in Manhattan, I needed the Starbucks in the middle of  Manhattan to change smoke cigarettes. And the first thing she would say to me, was, well, chain smoking outside of Starbucks and look at me, in for 10-15 minutes refused to say anything that showed me nuts as a young person who’s coming to this person for teaching, to be asked to take up the space or to take charge of the space. And it was many years later that I realized what she was doing. She was making me put my voice in the space she was making me own The space and declare this base and not wait for her to do that every time. So yeah, I think about her I think about the Hierophant to just like the strange, chain smoking intense woman just watching me and waiting for me to declare myself and refusing to do it herself. Which is cool. So cool teaching.

Sheila M  1:17:29  

Yeah. And I I had like a similar experience with so what really kind of reloc everything and my life was when I went through Reiki to training. And I was going back and talking to my teacher. And I was like, Oh, this, this and this are happening. And he knew from the beginning what was going on, but he wasn’t going to like, solve it for me. And quite frankly, if he had just been like, Oh, you have some mediumship abilities, and like this might happen, I probably be like, No, thank you.That’s  Ridiculous, how dare you, you know, I would not have been ready to hear it. And then like after two months of going back and forth with him, and you know, he was still guiding me and like offering, you know, listening to what I had to say, and then offering some ideas. But I finally came back like two months later. And I was like, I think I’m a medium. And I think this is what’s happening. And I think I need to learn this. And he was like, Yeah, I think so too. And I was like, why don’t you just tell me? He was like well,  I don’t really think you were ready to hear it yet. And I was like, and at the time, I was like annoyed. Although, upon reflection, I realized how much like, I couldn’t have had somebody sit down and say to me, Hey, listen, what you just described is this. And now you have to like and, and he the whole time very much left it open and said, you know, ultimately, what you decide to do is up to you. You don’t have to accept this, it doesn’t just because you have this doesn’t mean you have to use it. And you can you can permission yourself to do whatever you want. I think that it may keep presenting itself. So you know, just something to be prepared for. Um, and also, you know, you can say No, thank you. Like, it’s totally up to you. And I was in a completely different headspace when I came back to that experience. You know,

Eliza Swann  1:19:30  

yeah, what a great teacher and that is so Hierophant as well to let people kind of mill through their process and arrive at things to a degree in in a way that’s comfortable for them. 

Sheila M  1:19:43  

Yeah, yeah. So, um, I will share everything in the show notes for this episode in terms of how to get in touch with you, but how can people work with you now? What’s the best way to get in touch With you, how can they follow what you’re working on? 

Eliza Swann  1:20:02  

Yeah, thank you for asking. People can book readings with me. And that can be found at Elizaswann.asme link to that. That’s my scheduling app. And through there, you can read about the different services that I offer. And we can also do one on one intuitive development. If people want to join classes that I teach, and colleagues of mine teach, they can visit And that’ll have art exhibitions and classes and intensives that are happening through the Golden Dome School, which I direct and do a lot of the teaching through. And then best way to contact me is 

Sheila M  1:20:50  

And obviously also, you can find Eliza’s book Anatomy of the Aura, which is super helpful in terms of boundaries, clearing your space, clearing yourself, I think, for everyone, not just people who would identify as traditionally intuitive but really important work. And I highly recommend it was very easy to read. So I think it’s not always the case with some of these books where like, it can be very heavy and, like academic sometimes where I’m like, oh, gosh, I don’t know if I’m gonna be able to understand all of this. But it’s very easy to understand and very practical in the exercises that you describe and the uses for it. So I highly recommend that as well. And I will link everything up in the show notes. Um, but thank you so much for taking this time. 

Eliza Swann  1:21:49  

This was such a wonderful experience. I so appreciate it. Thank you so much.

Sheila M  1:21:54  

Yeah, maybe we’ll have you back when you’re working on your next book or your next project. 

Eliza Swann  1:21:59  

Yes, I am working on a project about the dead. So we’ll talk about medium ships.

Sheila M  1:22:06  

Absolutely. That sounds like I have to have you back then that would be great. All right. Thank you, Eliza.

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