Throwback: I dunno

Hello everyone and thank you for reading and listening to the TaoCraft Tarot blog. This is a post from 2020 before the podcast started, even in its original Clairvoyant Confessional form. I’ve edited the post a tiny bit to make it more podcast friendly, but I’m still not sure how well it will convert to audio. But if you’ve listened before, you know that I’m a terrible narrator, so Siri’s second cousin Remy is still going to do a better job for you, wonky pronunciation and all.

The card for this November 2020 post was the Queen of Wands. Here we go.

I dunno

Life is a mystery.

Some would say its like a box of chocolates. Others of us might lean more toward a word that sounds like bit snow. Chocolate or otherwise, sometimes you just don’t know what is going to happen or where it is going to splatter.

Not knowing is part of life, and and it is unnerving as heck. Nobody likes it.

Trying to cope with the unknown comes in different forms. One way is to try prepare for it and make contingency plans as best as you can. It is warm and comfy to wrap ourselves in that kind of logic. If X happens, then I’ll do Y, but if A happens then I’ll do B, if C happens then –

have mercy….

I don’t blame people for wanting predictions.

Predictions, however, are uncertain in and of themselves. They only push life’s uncertainty back a step and hold it at arm’s length until facts and reality set in. Advice and guidance are more effective. Rather than a prediction that still might or might not materialize, guidance adds a degree of information, a tiny bit of knowing that increases both our comfort levels and our ability to make contingency plans.

Imagine driving on a long road trip, and not quite knowing where you are. But ah-ha! A little sign on the side of the road lets you know that you are on highway I 79 going north. If you keep going straight you’ll get to Lake Erie, as long as you don’t have an flat tire or get stuck in a surprise snow storm or something. If something unexpected happens, you can look for more signs to help. So of course, you should start with the logical, practical things. In this analogy that would be putting gas in the car, making sure your cellphone is charged, dress for the weather and such. Tarot readings are to life what gps is for a highway trip. It can’t predict what will exactly happen along the way, but it can give you an idea about the direction you are headed and the conditions ahead.

Other than a chance to practice facing our fear of it, is there any value to the unknowns in life?

I think the mysterious and unknown is our portal to meaning and spirituality.

The mysterious and unknown are key to defining spirituality. As I see it, spirituality is how we, as individuals, deal with and engage with the mysteries of existence. Spirituality is the diametrical opposite of religion. Religion is concerned with the social group. Religion strives to make the unknown into something that is known and in turn impose that understanding from the outside inward. Spirituality is concerned with the individual, and is purely internal. Spirituality expresses from the inside out, rather than impressing from the outside in. Spirituality makes the unknowable – not into the knowable – but into our friend.

It is ok not to know everything. It is ok not to have easy answers to everything. If the journey is more important than the destination, then the contemplation of the mysterious is more important than the comprehension of it.

I make meditation beads. I made one for myself recently. I have no idea how many beads are on it. I just strung however many beads were in a loose package. It’s not a size of bead I typically use, so there was no easy guess how many wound up on the strand. I could have counted them, but I chose not to. I could count them now, but I still choose not to. That mala stands as a symbol for me of the mysterious parts of life. Because it is unknown, but could be, it symbolizes a tangible connection to the mysterious. It is a reminder that the unknowns in life are something to work with rather than eradicate.

It’s OK to not know everything, even if it is a little frightening.

As Frank Herbert wrote in Dune:

“I will not fear. Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death that leads to total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will allow it to flow around me and through me. When the fear has passed, I will turn my minds eye to the path where the fear has gone and only I will remain.”

Thank you all for reading TaoCraft Tarot blog and listening to the podcast. Your questions and comments are welcome on both platforms. I’m glad you are here, and I appreciate you. Any likes, subs, shares, follows and virtual coffees are also greatly appreciated. There are links to all of the formats in the blog post and in the episode description.

Short sip Tarot should be back tomorrow. See you at the next sip!

Today’s Short Sip, but even shorter

Alan Watts quote with the nine of swords tarot card

Or, as I see it, opening to life in all of its emotions risks experiencing the greatest heartaches, but to do otherwise is to risk missing life’s greatest joys.

The Whole of It

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your morning coffee. Today: Nine of Swords

Apologies to podcast listeners. Due to a technical glitch, yesterday’s “You Choose Interactive Tarot” didn’t go out through the podcast after all. It is available on the blog for anyone who is interested. Link is in the episode description.

Today’s card is the nine of swords.

Like most cards, it has several threads of meaning. Today two threads are stepping forward, universality and direct proportion.

Experiencing some degree of worry and anxiety is never easy, but it is ubiquitous. It is pretty much a universal experience. There is an adage attributed to everyone from Abraham Lincoln to Alexander Graham Bell to the Positive Mom blog and back again. It has long been said that “if you’ve never failed, you’ve never lived.” Just look at babies learning to walk. The greatest among us took a few plops on the old diaper at that stage of life. Or as Thomas Edison actually said, “I never failed at making a light bulb. I just discovered 99 ways NOT to make one.” It is just the human experience. There is no walking without a few falls and there are no light bulbs without a hundred not-lightbulbs. In the words of the R.E.M. song, “everybody hurts, sometimes.”

Alan Watts gives us a hint at the other thread of meaning. He reminds us that “we cannot be more sensitive to pleasure without being more sensitive to pain.” That shouldn’t deter us from experiencing life any more than a small sit-down should deter us from walking or a blown light bulb should deter us from finding a light.

If we experience life through a pinhole then worry comes as pinpricks. But pleasure can be unsatisfyingly small in proportion. Worry and anxiety can be artificially large sometimes. The hopeful side of the nine of swords is that on the other side of worry, relief can come in equal measure.

Thank you for watching, reading and listening to TaoCraft Short Sip: Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. If you enjoy these blog posts and nano episodes, please like, subscribe, follow and share.

Thanks again….see you at the next Sip!

YouChoose Interactive Tarot: Do Differently

You choose: you pick the card, you decide how to apply it, and then get today’s reading the for your card.

This week the overall energy seems to focus on doing things, but for different reasons.

Ace cards have a thread of beginning energy (although not with the same wattage as the Fool card from the major arcana.) They also typically carry the essence of the suit, which is what draws my attention in this instance. Pentacles are connected with the physical realm, often career, work, or wealth. Today feels like the physical realm in general with the advice to engage with the physical realm to rest the mind. Think in terms of a long jog, or the classic hot shower where genius ideas are born.

Swords and knights are action. Swords are also connected with the element of air which in turn points to mind and intellect. If you chose the knight of swords (no spoilers! you’ll have to watch the video and pick a card to see if this one is yours) then the energy for you is also flowing toward doing and action, but something that combines doing and thinking, as you might with following a pattern or recipe or anything new really.

Cups cards connect to the element of water, intuition, emotion, and closest relationships. This is also doing oriented. but working with friends. Not so much working on a career or physical-realm task as the other cards, but actively polling your brain trust. It feels like the thing to DO is to poll the audience so to speak, to reach out to trusted friends. The idea of “two heads are better than one” will serve you well – especially if the other head is someone you have a good relationship with.

Sunday Tarot Turnover: Inspiration from Anywhere

Hi everyone!

Sorry to go silent for a couple of days. This is the part we talked about back at the new year where you have to make a plan before life can blow it apart. That was the plan. This is blowing it part. Although I have to admit – I like the SpaceX description “unplanned rapid disassembly on the launch pad” much better.

BUT all is well and is well and back on target after just one of those weeks, so here we are at another Sunday Tarot Turnover. This is a blog exclusive intuition building exercise where I turn the card reading over to you. I use one of my my real-world decks (public domain image used here instead of photo) to draw a card for today. It’s followed by a list of keywords and interpretations from the blog archives or inspired by favorite sources coming soon to a suggested reading list.

MOST important is YOUR own interpretation. What does the card mean to you? What is your inner intuition tell you when prompted by the card?

Today: Three of Wands.

If you have any questions about this card or intuition/Tarot in general, feel free to drop them in the comments. Mostly I answer questions in the blog rather than individually, so we all can benefit. You never know who your question might also help! Don’t worry – it’ll still be private. I never use names or identifying information in any blog post.

Threshold

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot contemplation for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today: Threshold

Today’s card is the Two of Wands

The two cards of all the minor arcana suits point toward balance of some kind. The two of wands today feels more like a tipping point than any sort of long-lasting balance.

How many times do you walk through a doorway in a day? Going through a literal door is something we do so much that it is beneath notice. When we add in the elements of time and change, doorways take on a great deal of symbolic meaning. Liminal spaces are not just transitional, they can be transformational.

These places and times of change have always been thought of as being a little bit magic. It’s no wonder that we celebrate New Years, birthdays and anniversaries. Such times can bring the gift of healing and sealing the past in one hand with hope and optimism in the other.

Think of your favorite sunrise or sunset. The time just before sunset is called the golden hour. To me it is more than the natural light being perfect for photography, it is the feeling of the time as well. It brings to mind a nearly forgotten line from Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicals about feeling as if you could reach out and touch time, touch eternity itself. Threshold places and transition times can feel a little like that.

Transitional times and places touch both past and future. Transition times are an extra dose of eternity living in the present moment.

The Two of Wands is a very forward-looking card. It has some elements of waiting, watching, contemplating and planning, but today it feels like change is close at hand but relative to a much larger picture. It’s close, but in terms of months relative to years, not close as in minutes or days. This threshold is built out of transition time. This threshold is wide. The energy in the card today reminds me of the impromptu year ahead reading we did here on the blog and podcast in the “old is new again” post and episode. If time before the pandemic was “the before times” it feels like we are entering a long threshold, like a hallway really, to the “after times.”

The card has a surprisingly intimidating feel despite the pleasant artwork on the card. I guess that is to be expected – any change, any threshold can be intimidating when you aren’t 100 percent sure what is on the other side. Yet there is also a sense of hope and anticipation as well. Things change, but for once, in spite of being burned before, things might just change for the better this time.

In short hope for best, prepare for the worst, but if you can, appreciate the magic inherent to the thresholds we cross.

TaoCraft Tarot podcast is the audio version of the TaoCraft Tarot blog. Short Sip posts and nano-episodes are Tarot contemplations for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. You can see the real-world card being drawn for the day on the corresponding YouTube short video.

I am so glad that you are here. Thank you for watching, reading and listening. I really do appreciate your support through likes, subs, shares, follows. None of this Tarot content is currently monetized so if you enjoy any of it, please support the blog and podcast through the virtual tip mug, shop and tier memberships on the TaoCraft Tarot ko-fi.com page (convenient links are in the episode description for podcast listeners)

Thanks again for dropping in. See you at the next sip.

Suggested reading: Weaving the Liminal by Laura Tempest Zarkoff

On of the author’s favorite paintings “Keeper of the Threshold” by Eliju Vedder, 1898 at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh PA.

public domain, Eliju Vedder, cmoa

The Oracle’s Toolkit: Introduction

Introducing a new blog post series about ways to help improve intuition

I was talking with a really interesting, insightful, lovely person last evening (you know who you are … and I still think your intuitive light shines more than you realize.)

One of the things that came up in conversation is learning to read Tarot cards.

I can teach you how to do that, and have offered small group workshops on how to do one card meditation Tarot readings for a long time – until covid came along, anyway. My ebook PeaceTarot is the basis for the workshop. The book is a basic how-to guide for DIY daily Tarot. My hope is to bring the book and workshop to live, online, private one to one sessions this year. If you’d be interested in that kind of private zoom-meeting lesson, drop a comment below. Knowing that there is an iota of interest in private Tarot reading lessons will bump them up on the ever growing list of sh*t I want to do to make TaoCraft Tarot better for you.

BUT, as was also part of the conversation, Tarot isn’t for everyone. It does have layers and lots of moving parts and can get very confusing and overwhelming. That’s why we pros are here. You don’t have to juggle all of that if you don’t want to. We are, you know, professionals at sorting the cards out for you.

That is what makes Tarot so useful. It has the depth and complexity to encompass all that life can throw at us and still reflect each person’s unique energy message.

Even with all of that, get right down to it, Tarot is a tool. It is just one of dozens and bunches in an oracle’s toolkit. When you get down to the root essence of it all, the only oracle that exists is human intuition. All the rest of it is just bells and whistles, hammers and wrenches of the heart and mind.

Tarot cards, oracle cards, playing cards; you could do an intuitive reading with uno or old maid cards if you wanted to.

Tarot cards, rune stones, pendulums, black mirrors, crystal balls, palm lines, star patterns, head bumps, chicken guts, random songs on the radio or what-have-you; all of them are just tools. I call them oracle tools, and they are simply just that. All of these things and more are simply things that help us access and communicate our innate intuition. They are like microphones that amplify the quiet whispers of spirit and energy. For the deep and sometimes hidden well of human wisdom, your intuition is the pump that brings the wisdom to the surface and these oracle tools are the cup of water that primes the pump.

The best thing is that you don’t need a single tool to unlock your intuition. With a little time and mindful attention, intuition is right at your fingertips quick as a thought. Think of TV psychics who just say way they see (or hear or feel or know) with no tools, props or drama required. That isn’t to say that they are better psychics than those of us that use these oracle tools, they use a different microphone. We all have something good to say. Not everyone is a good direct speech communicator. Oracle tools give us a way to put the non-verbal intuitive message into useful verbal form.

We may not need oracle tools, but they do make the whole process easier and a bit more fun. In that sense they are oracle toys as much as oracle tools.

Back on my old ModernOracleTarot.com Tarotbytes blog, I started a post series called “The Oracle’s Toolkit” It didn’t get very far before the whole re-branding to TaoCraft Tarot process kicked in. Inspired by the conversation last night, I’m bring that back too. We’ll start with the original first for parts about pendulums and pens, then move on to other oracle tools like scrying objects, rune stones and more.

I won’t make any promises how long the posts will be or how often they will happen. I hope you’ll follow the blog so you can see them whenever they do happen.

Short Sip Tarot returns in the morning. See you at the next sip!


Just looked at the latest new case count and deaths for our county for January 9-15. Yikes! Guess that sticks a fork in in-person readings for a while. Party Tarot is closed until further notice.

Please stay tuned to reputable news sources for up to date information. Avoid whackadoodle conspiracies and make good choices to stay as healthy and well as you can.

Being healthy and alive are the best oracle tools of all.

Follow the Feels

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for today in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today: Ace of Cups and following the feels. Private email readings are OPEN.

Thank you so much for listening, watching and reading TaoCraft Short Sip Tarot. It’s a Tarot reading for your day in the time it takes to sip from your morning coffee. Or afternoon coffee. Or whatever beverage you enjoy.

Today’s card is the ace of cups.

Ace cards carry the essence of their suit of cards. In many ways they are the most abstract cards of the minor arcana. Being the first card of the suit, there is also a trace of connection to the Fool card, the first of major arcana cards. All of them connect to the idea of beginnings and newness in one way or another.

While cups cards are often read as symbolizing romantic relationships, they also include other inner circle relationships, both our family of birth and our family of heart. In the abstract, cups are connected with water, intuition, and emotions

Deep running emotions are sometimes a double edged sword. They can get us through our most difficult moments in life. Lau Tzu, writer of the Tao Te Ching is credited with saying that being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

Strong emotions can also be paralyzing instead of strengthening. Frank Herbert describes fear as “the little death that leads to total obliteration.”

Either way, emotions have real world implications and effects. At a minimum, emotions affect our experience of life. They aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Emotions can be difficult to face, and difficult to experience, but that isn’t to say they should be suppressed with stoicism to rival Mr Spock from Star Trek. Emotions don’t have to take over and run the show, either.

I’m not sure who first said it this way, but my first encounter with the notion that “the feeling is the power” was in a book by Scott Cunningham.

In a middle way approach, we can have a relationship with emotion that empowers life. Emotion can motivate and enrich. Emotion can work in balance with logic and intuition.

Whatever day you are reading or listening to this, whatever day this card crosses your path, this may be your clue that it is a day to listen to your emotions. If you can’t follow your heart 100%, at least give it a listen. Allow your honest emotions to be heard and they may help you to begin something new and wonderful. Follow the feels to find the power.

Thank you for reading, watching and listening to TaoCraft Short Sip Tarot. If you can spare a minute, please like, subscribe, follow and share these nano-episodes. Your support for the blog and podcast through the virtual coffee mug / tip jar and membership tieris always appreciated.

See you at the next sip!


Reminder: in-person readings are on hold again but no appointment email readings and live online readings by appointment are wide OPEN. Please click HERE to order email or click HERE for live online reading information.

Policy updates

The policies page is reviewed and updated regularly, usually about every other month. The essentials are always available at the bottom of every single page: Tarot doesn’t predict the future or read minds & no medical or pregnancy questions are accepted. Basically this is entertainment, inspiration, encouragement, insight, advice and fun – but that’s it. Use it all at your own risk. No lifeguard on duty. Wash your hands. I’m an artist. You can’t sue me for art-ing even if you don’t like what was art-ed in a session.

When you purchase or schedule a reading, that indicates your agreement with all stated policies.

Here is the 2022 update for your reading displeasure. Fair warning – it’s boring.

Covid 19 update

  • In-person readings are again closed due to high omicron varient covid transmission. Appointments made prior to January 17, 2022 will be honored.
  • Party Tarot remains closed until further notice.
  • Please follow the blog for updates

WHAT I DO

  • I read Tarot: My Tarot readings are customized, ephemeral folk art consisting of verbal or written discussion of randomly selected Tarot cards. Readings may include artistic embellishments (illustration, keyword notes, photo etc.) Readings are available in email, live online, in-person and pen & paper handwritten formats.
  • I write stuff: The TaoCraft Tarot blog is free and opt in only. E-books are available in the TaoCraftTarotShop on Etsy.
  • I make things: handcrafted meditation mala beads and miscellaneous handcrafted jewelry & accessories are also in the shop.
  • Distance Reiki sessions and informal natural health tutorials for enrichment, entertainment, stress reduction and spiritual practice.

WHAT I DO NOT DO

  • I do not predict the future,
  • I do not accept medical or pregnancy Tarot questions.
  • I do not read anyone without their knowledge and direct consent. (Readings focus on the purchaser only)
  • The information and services on this website and in my writings do not diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any illness. They do NOT replace professional medical care, mental health care or qualified financial advice in any way.
  • I do not accept any liability of any kind, real or implied. Use any or all items and services or the information contained therein 100% at your own risk.

DISCLAIMER, REFUNDS, EXCHANGES

  • I will work with you to provide the best session / e-book / mala possible. Tarot is highly customized ephemeral art. Mala, handwritten Tarot and other accessories are individually handcrafted, often from natural components. Please allow for natural variations.
  • All items and services, including e-books, are sold as-is with no refunds or exchanges.
  • Making a purchase or scheduling a session indicates your agreement with all policies and disclaimers.
  • To be clear, use of these products, services or any information gleaned from them is entirely at your own risk.

PRIVACY

  • Your privacy is top priority. In order to provide the services you request, I collect basic contact information including but not limited to name, age, phone, email, address. No information is shared except with your express written permission or in cooperation with legal authority.
  • Example readings, Q&A readings in the blog, podcast or YouTube channel are used with the questioners knowledge and consent and with all names, dates or other identifying information removed.
  • For accuracy, contact information is re-collected with each new purchase.
  • Each reading is unique, customized, ephemeral art. A reading’s usefulness decreases as time passes. Readings and contact information are routinely deleted. No replacement readings are available.

PAYMENT

  • Payment due at time of online order. Secure online payments are processed according to Paypal or Etsy Checkout terms of service.
  • Cash in exact change is accepted for in-person individual sessions.
  • No personal checks.
  • Parties: host is responsible for $100 minimum purchase regardless of guest participation.
  • Business appearances: Invoice available by request. Please let me know your contracting & paperwork requirements.

CANCELLATIONS

  • Any inappropriate commentary or behavior on the part of a client will result in immediate termination of a session at my sole discretion with no refund.
  • Religious proselytizing is inappropriate and will not be tolerated in any form.
  • I reserve the right to cancel any scheduled reading or party at my sole discretion. You will be notified of the cancellation as soon as it occurs. There is no charge for a cancelled reading or party. Applicable advance payments will be refunded in the event of cancellation on my part.
  • General closures & vacation days will be announced on the blog and twitter.com/taocrafttarot
  • Any online Tarot that is more than 15 minutes late is considered a missed appointment. Any missed appointment that is not rescheduled within two weeks of the original appointment day is forfeit. Making the call for the reading and rescheduling missed appointments is solely the customer’s responsibility.
  • I will accept cancellations up to 1 hour prior to an appointment at no penalty to you. No-Show in person appointments subject to a fee of $25. Party cancellations with less than 1 hour notice (or after I arrive at the venue) are subject to a $35 fee.
  • Parties outside of the designated service area, if accepted at all, are subject to additional time & travel charges.
  • The client may end any in-progress individual reading or Tarot party appearance for any reason, but full rate applies and is due when the session is ended.

Must be 18 or over to purchase

  • Age-appropriate readings are available for teens and younger party guests with adult permission
  • If under 14, young party guests must be accompanied by an adult during the reading.

Copyright Notice

  • All written material copyright Ronda Snow, all rights reserved.
  • Book cover artwork as per front matter attributions, all rights reserved.
  • Blog posts may be shared or quoted with attribution.
  • E-mail readings include photos by the author of the client’s individual card layout. The Tarot decks pictured give permission for such use on their publisher’s website. https://www.llewellyn.com/about/permissions_tarot.php Citation in accordance with that permission in the reading itself. Heart of Stars Tarot 3rd edition used with the direct permission of artist and author, Thom Pham. Animal Wise Tarot used with the permission of DragonHawk Publishing.

 Attire

  • All appearances are casual attire unless we agree otherwise in advance.
  • Witch costume available for the Halloween season upon request.

Phone Policies

  • Phone readings have been discontinued and replaced with live online zoom meetings.
  • I do not accept unsolicited sales calls.
  • Voicemail is available 24/7. Due to a high volume of spam and robocalls, the phone number no longer answers in real time. Texts are accepted.

reviewed and updated January 2022