The Forest Friend Lifestones are a set of thirty-six symbols representing details from nature and accompanied by simple lessons.  The symbols evolved out of a way of thinking, creating, and living that draws its inspiration from the earth.  They are intended to be used for focus, direction, and nurturing of spirit.  The sun’s rays, focused through a lens, have the power to burn; for us, too, there is power in focus.  When one is scattered or confused, it may be helpful to choose a symbol and reflect on its meaning.  The set serves as a reminder of lessons and insights to be pondered in the light of one’s personality and experience.  Nature’s messages are simple, wise, powerful, and enduring.  They are also universal, transcending cultural, social, and religious differences.

The Lifestones are available as a deck of cards (Wisdom of Nature) or as a gift set of “stones” complete with green velveteen bag, booklet, and mini-chart.  They may be purchased individually as necklaces and pocket thoughts, both of which always come complete with the message.

The lessons and insights have always been around us, waiting only to be seen and recognized. After years of gathering from field and forest the materials she used in her artwork, Maia came to realize that Nature had become her teacher, that she was learning from twisted roots, pods, tendrils, leaves, feathers, and other treasures. Along with this awakening came confirmation in a line from Chief Yellow Hawk’s Native American Prayer: “Make me wise so that I may know …the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock.”
Maia now proceeded to create a series of symbols. When there were eighteen, the set felt complete. As for a name, her husband’s suggestion that they be called Lifestones seemed fitting. Maia later learned that the Hebrew word for eighteen also means life and that the number eighteen holds a special place within the context of Judaic mysticism. Confirmations from such vastly different spiritual traditions were truly gifts.
An extraordinarily vivid dream inspired Maia to develop additional symbols. Instead of producing a second set of eighteen, she decided to expand the original series into one of thirty-six (a multiple of eighteen).
The deck of cards includes four blanks because Maia feels that the wisdom of the earth reaches far beyond the limitations of the printed set.  It is hoped these blanks will eventually hold hand-drawn symbols for other details from nature with specific messages important to the owner of the set.


antennae – sensitivity, awareness

bent tree – flexibility

bird track – impact on the environment & people

branch-become-tree – assuming responsibility

Canada geese – direction, communication, shared leadership

coltsfoot flower – gratitude

day lily – embracing the moment

egg – potential for growth, patience, trust

empty chrysalis – change, acceptance, hope

engraver’s mark – cooperation between lifeforms

feather – our potential, our life

firefly – light, joy

honeycomb cell – order, cooperation

interwoven roots – interdependence, strength in unity

leaf – recognizing the Creator in the creation

maple keys – duality

moon – reflection of a greater light

mushroom – discernment

pearl – forgiveness

rainbow – diversity, simple delight in beauty

reflection – self-knowledge, personal integrity

ripples and rings – consequences, responsibility, growth

roots and branches – being part of the big picture

sapling – continuity, strength from elders

seed pod – bridge between past and future

seedling – gift of new life, nurturing

snail – inner peace and outer strength

snake – renewal, growth

tendril – search for something to cling to

three-part pod –3 harmonies to honour all life

thorn – protection, caution

twin cedars –bonds of friendship and marriage

twisted root – determination, adaptability

vine – clinging lightly

water – sanctity of, and reverence, for life

winged seed – acceptance of individuality