Someone from another site has asked me why I use the Red Stone for my logo? The short answer is that it symbolizes a value that is fundamental to my worldview.
I had taken a workshop at Elk Island National Park (near Edmonton, Alberta). A local Shamanic practitioner, (I don't think she calls herself a Shaman) holds an annual retreat to teach people how to get in touch with the natural world and the non-ordinary reality, (some people refer to this as the Spirit Realm).
The weekend was full of rituals and celebrations and we did half a dozen exercises that were geared to increasing awareness, trusting intuition, and opening-up to a broader definition of spirituality.
For me, the most significant activity was this:
We were asked to wander away from the camp and dowsing with a pendulum, find 7 stones - 4 to represent the directions and 3 for any intentions that came to mind while we were undertaking this task. We spent the next hour or two gathering stones, thinking about the presence of Spirit in all things and anticipating what would happen next, (the Red Stone was not one of the stones I found that day).
When we returned, we were asked to prepare the stones by washing them and decorating them with paint and then blessing them with rattles and incense, (I chose not to paint mine).
Next we were given a demonstration on how to do "Intuitive Readings" by listening for the symbolic messages that the stones would reveal to us. Then finally, after the demonstration we were asked to pair-off and start doing readings for one another. This step, of course, made many people uncomfortable or at least brought-up doubt, but I was moved to embrace it.
Within a week or so, I realized that I should include it with the others and I decided that because of the redness, it would stand for "passion." But when I started doing readings with it I discovered that it really represents something more like "motivation" and that it actually has 3 subtly different meanings, the most powerful of which is "the best outcome for all concerned."
I feel completely at ease doing these readings and I now understand that I have a gift. In the intervening two years have done more than a hundred readings and people are continually impressed with the information that is revealed to me by the stones and through intuition. The original set now consists of 12 stones, two bones, and a little metal wedge, (and I use another set of six stones for energy work).
Interesting to note is that one of my closest friends and a man who is quite clairvoyant recently said to me that "I sense there is a Shaman archetype emerging through you" (me). It's a weird thing for me to comprehend, but I'm trusting that by following this path, I am indeed moving towards that intention - "the best outcome for all concerned."