Sugar Devil

public domain

You can’t sugar coat this.

It’s just one of those gnarly sh*tshow kind of years. All politics aside for the moment, there has been a lot of funky mojo energy out there. We’ve talked about it through the past several months and made friends with the word “zeitgeist” along the way. It started with multiple, multiple clients who never thought of themselves as intuition sensitive or empaths. Time and again readings were saying that the anxieties they were feeling were actually a resonant response to the outer energy environment and to reinforce their boundaries, to do something protective. The 2020 funk started ringing those assorted psychic and empathic bells as early as January and February. Then came the avalanche of pentacle cards telling us to hunker down, get our proverbial ducks in a row, and pay attention to the physical realm nuts and bolts of things. For those of us lucky enough to be able to work from home, paying attention to the physical realm while staying home 24/7 wasn’t exactly helpful advice, at least not on the surface. Dig a little deeper, and we were being called to wring enjoyment out of the simple things, to recapture the things that delight us, and remember that little things really do mean a lot. That, in turn, inspired the “Kitten Whiskers” off topic favorite things posts this summer (more of those to come, btw)

The energies have shifted, I’ll grant you. The boundary challenging, empathic bell ringing quality has abated. The focus-on-the-physical, avoid life altering decisions if possible, enjoy-the-little-things-while-you-can energy has become the spiritual retreat many of us expected at the beginning. Ready or not, we were thrown into a cocoon by worldwide crisis. Now, we are facing a new crisis. This time it is internal. NOW is the time for that spiritual introspection and evolution. We were chucked into the cocoon. Now we are being forced to decide how, and in what form we will emerge.

Are we going to bring the same hate and prejudices out with us that we took in with us from the before time? Are we going to face what we’ve avoided both out there in the world and within ourselves?

That is where the Devil card comes in. It isn’t a prediction of doom. I still get that mental image of a storm front on the horizon. Actually, that distant hurricane image is honestly starting to look like a tornado of sand and glass at our doorstep ready to grind everything flat to dust is certain people and forces prevail. That isn’t the Devil card.

In this case, the Devil card is reminding us that some people have come out of the cocoon a good deal worse for the wear. This is our reminder that the sh*t is still storming and there are dark forces out there. It really isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. We are going out of the cocoon and into the crucible.

One of the greatest things about the Devil card is the reminder that it serves. Yeah, things may suck, they may continue to suck for a time to come, but we can nevertheless do SOME thing to make the world a better place in spite of the general suckishness. Volunteer. Protest (with a mask, outdoors, standing apart) donate, vote a straight blue ticket come November. Be at peace for a moment. Even just one little moment. Even at that, you have added a moment of peaceful energy to a world that really needs it right now.

YouChoose Interactive Tarot July 11 -18

Pause the video if you need a minute to choose your card. It isn’t a hard and fast prediction. It is just a thought to guide you, a light that shines in dark corners where you might otherwise missed something kind of cool. So no pressure. I don’t add crystals and trinkets and make the YouChoose pictures all instagram pretty for a reason. Those things help intuition and make the choice more pleasant, but this is swinging a weighted bat in a way, for those of you who want to give raw intuition a little more of a workout. In a plain picture like this, you have to follow your heart as much as your eye to the right card.

Left: Seven of Cups There are two seven cards in this weeks group of three. I’m choosing to see that as good luck and a bit of hopefulness for everyone this week. Goodness knows we Americans could use some of that. But this card is also permission to take it easy on yourself. Go easy on the decision making and embrace the KISS with both arms. Keep it simple. Cut to the chase. Brush away every bit of the minutae and get to the heart of things and the path will become crystal clear.

Center: Seven of Wands. This is the second of our two 7 cards this week. I’m still going to deliberatly choose to hold space for something good to come along this week, even if the sh*tshow continues unabated here in America. In fact, digging deep in our comic / geek / sci fi culture is just the thing this card is giving for advice. There are going to be challenges, but they are deal-able, especially if we do it with a little style. This is the week to channel your inner Deadpool, Ironman, Spiderman, Star Lord, Captain Mal, Han Solo or whatever other wise-cracking antihero you have lurking in there. You can save your world with two swords and warp factor 9.

Author unknown, presumed public domain

Right: Three of Wands. Watch and chill. No, I don’t mean Netflix. This is a wait until you see the whites of thier eyes, everyone stay frosty kind of watch and chill. This isn’t a moment to act, but rather watch for the just-right moment to act with precision and impact. Think cat. Think watching, ready, waiting for the perfect moment to pounce.

Meta: I’m a gestalt kind of gal. Maybe that’s why I’m good at this Tarot thing. The more big-picture I can understand things, the happier I am. Taking all three cards as a whole, the energy is flowing toward a state of relaxed but awake and ready. Don’t stress, just deal, roll with it. It reminds me of paramedics and other rescue types. One of the best bits of advice I ever heard from one of them, back in my hospital days: “Prepare for the emergency and the emergency goes away.” True. Worrying never solved anything. My martial arts days taught me that a relaxed punch is faster than a tense one. That’s true too. If you are relaxed knowing that shot in the arm is going to pinch a little, it may not hurt at all. Staying chill is the path to overcoming whatever life throws at it. It will be ok, so have some fun along the way.

Today’s Tarot: A Coin Out of Your Ear

Today’s card reading is less about the card and more about the reading process itself. Today’s message shows how there is more to reading Tarot than just memorizing rote card “meanings.” It’s a skill anyone can learn, but it takes some actual time and effort to get the hang of it. It isn’t a personal shortfall if you leave it to professionals. You can learn, grow, and benefit from getting a reading just as much as doing one for yourself and vice versa. Just because I’m able to learn to change the oil in my car doesn’t mean that I want to learn it or in a million years ever would do it. So the professionals get that job. That is what they are there for, right? Same with Tarot. If you don’t want to be bothered learning how or if you need a hand with a reading you’ve done on your own, get a pro opinion. No big deal. That is exactly why I’m here; to help.

Intuition takes everything to the next level. 

Like it says in the video, the Four of Pentacles is one of those cards that seem to have two threads of meaning. Sometimes it is a bit menacing, and can indicate greed, stinginess, a need to protect your finances. Other times it has a lighter feel. That lighter side can be an indication that the need to be on guard is only temporary, or can hint a very minor money surprise, like finding forgotten a dollar bill from last winter when you put on your coat the first time next fall.

Every deck varies a little bit in how they represent the energy of the card. The artist might show more of the greedy, miserly, on-guard energy or more of the kindly, it’s temporary, little surprise, a sort of “be careful with your money now, and life will pull a coin out of your ear later” kind of vibe.

So how do know which thread applies to the reading at hand? If you have a choice, how do you know which deck to use in order to best capture the energy of the day?

You don’t know.

That’s where intuition comes in. Follow your hunch about which deck to use. Use the deck that feels right or ‘speaks’ to you that day. The message will find its way through.

Listen to you feelings, and the quiet whispers. If something on a card grabs your attention, follow it. If something feels wrong, trust that too.

For example, let’s say the energy for your day is the ‘mind the budget now, things will be better later on’ kind of message. Intuition may take you to a deck with a lighter-looking card, like the Heart of Stars Tarot on the right (featuring the resourceful but kind Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.) What if your only deck was the gruffer looking Four of Pentacles from the Witches Tarot on the left? Would that necessarily lead you to the harsher, not-quite-right interpretation? Not necessarily. You may get a feeling of something being wrong. That something-is-wrong-here feeling might nudge you to another or lesser known interpretation of the card. Or intuition may nudge your perception of the card image away from gruff Scrooge toward a protective Grandfather feeling. Either way, giving credence to your imagination, accepting the subtle as valid and honoring your feelings helps the better message to find you.

In the beginning it may feel like you are just pulling made-up crap out of your a…..back pocket. After a time, as your skill and comfort with intuition grows, you find that you are really pulling gold coins out of thin air.

 

Today’s Tarot: Big Little Things

In the taijitu (the yin yang symbol) each half contains a dot of the opposite color. The idea is that anything in the extreme can become its opposite. There are different ways of reading the I Ching, the book of changes. Throwing three coins is the method I know best and have used the most. I’ll spare you all the details, but you use three coins to determine if a given “line” is yine or yang. Six throws, gives you six lines, and that in turn tells you which part of the book to read for your guidance. Using coins, heads mean yang and tails mean yin. If you get two of three coins showing one way or the other, that tells you the definition of the ‘line’ as either yin or yang. If you get all three coins the same it is considered a “changing line” which means it is SO yin or SO yang that it can easily tip over into being its opposite (or is in the process of doing so)

The Ten of Coins is a liminal symbol like a transition line. Coins (or Pentacles, depending on the deck you use) have to do with the physical realm, wealth, career, etc. 10 is the largest of the number cards before you move into the esoteric, idea-driven court cards. 10, in this case, is something coming to fruition or completion. It is the uber-pentacle of all the number cards. Given all of that, you might expect to see material successes represented, the Tarot equivalent of a mansion and a yacht.

Not so.

The Ten of Pentacles is the happy family card. It shows simple contentment, in the RWS tradition usually mom, dad, their 2.2 kids, white picket fence, grampa and the dog. Granted, that sounds like a 1950s surburban ideal gone wild, but that’s kind of the point. The pinnacle of material success isn’t material at all. The pinnacle of material success is the people you love and simple contentment with the cycles and flows of life. Life, love and simple mindful pleasures are, after all, the greatest of treasures. All those little things are really kind of big.

July Announcements

I like science and astronomy. Always have. That’s not an announcement but if you want to see an honest to goodness naked eye visible comet, now’s your chance. EarthSky explains: https://earthsky.org/space/how-to-see-comet-c2020-f3-neowise The view east from our house is basically a big, so good luck to us seeing this one. But if you do take a peek, spare a quick thought for the feeling and energy of the moment. Remembering that experience might be helpful in understanding the Star card if it comes up in a reading for you. Yeah, I know the difference between a comet and a star, but ye olde Tarot inventors probably didn’t. There are lots of old superstitions about comets, just like the old superstitions about Tarot predicting the future. I’m not saying looking at comet NEOWISE will predict your future, but it might help you get a better feel for your own good intuition and Tarot practice. If nothing else it will be a pretty lump of space ice.

star

SUMMER SPECIALS

The special offers page still has the new “Timeflow” layout at a reduced price with a portion of the proceeds donated to the ACLU.

Also on the special offers page: Buy a second quality paper copy of PeaceTarot (my booklet that teaches you how to do DIY daily meditation Tarot readings) and get a mini InkMagick handwritten Tarot Reading plus free shipping! The booklet is single-side printed, and I’ll write your unique one card reading in the white spaces of the book, making it a one of a kind, just for you. Purchase this special item through the TaoCraft Tarot etsy shop. Supplies are limited.

PHONE READINGS ARE BACK.

I’d discontinued them for a long time. There just wasn’t a lot of interest. Since in-person sessions and party Tarot are on extended hiatus due to the pandemic, phone readings are back, baby. If you want a live real-time reading, just schedule -> pay -> call and enjoy!

Details are HERE. Use email or voicemail to schedule the reading, then use the secure paypal buttons on the “phone tarot” page to select and pay for the layout of your choice. Three layouts are available: 7 card is the EXACT SAME layout from the in-person sessions. The five card is a good all purpose layout and particularly well suited to first-ever readings. If you just want a down-and-dirty yes or no answer that could ALMOST be construed as a prediction, the 3 card “Zombie Cat” yes or no layout is sticking around for summer, too. Apocalyptic warning: All Zombie Cat readings have a 50% chance of being DEAD WRONG. After all, it says zombie right there in the name.

COVID COOTIES are still out there!

Get a Tarot reading from a safe and happy distance, no appointment needed on the home page. Typed and video reading formats are available by email just like they have ALWAYS been.

I’ve been reading cards since the early 90s, and I love, love, LOVE doing them in a written format. Distance Tarot is my specialty, and has been LOOOOONG before caronaviruses came to town.

Please consider giving a distance session a try. But still wash your hands after, just because, you know, wash your hands.

Today’s Tarot: Restraint Outside of the Box

 

Eight of Swords: Restraint Outside of the Box

On my side of the table…today was a good insight into why we Tarot readers (pro and not) tend to collect decks like magpies collect shiny stones. There are subtle differences in messaging that can come through the different styles and artwork. Through quirks of language and the inner workings of intuition, it is very easy to anthropomorphize these things, and give them personalities and moods. Sure, I know. It’s all just projection, but thinking in those terms is sort of freeing. By parking that inspiration aspect of the cards externally, it clears bandwidth for the ‘psychic’ part of this. By letting the cards function as a muse, we can turn our attention inward, to the purely intuitive aspects of a reading.

Elizabeth Gilbert talks about inspiration and the Muses. I find it helpful to think of the cards as the muse in a reading. Blame the whatever-it-is on the cards as muse / source of the inspiration, then you and I can both focus on solutions and creative, outside the box thinking without judgement, without any sort of performance anxiety on either side of the table. If you do any sort of creative work or have any creative hobbies, it is well worth a watch:

 

That in itself is a bit of today’s 8 of swords message. Creative problem solving and outside the box thinking are the usual messages with this card. But today wanted to be outside of outside of the box.

Which gets back to that projected personality and mood thing. Sometimes, when we work with one deck extensively, it can get stale and sort of wrung-out feeling. It seems crazy to describe an ebb in creativity or intuitive inspiration as “the deck is tired” or “it doesn’t want to talk about this” but that sort of expression captures the subjective experience of it. The Witches Tarot that I usually use just wasn’t having it today. Sure it was projection. The feeling was pure “don’t talk to me, I haven’t had coffee yet” first thing in the morning vibe. On the other hand, the Heart of Stars box was close at hand and all “pffft…easy. I got this”

So here you see it…Eight of Swords from Thom Pham’s excellent Heart of Stars Tarot. I’m always grateful for his permission to use the deck here in the blog and on the YouTube channel.

This card is inspired by Love, and Other Drugs. I’ve never seen the movie, and probably never will (in spite of it being filmed in Pittsburgh.) From what I’ve heard, it has a fatal flaw as a movie: an utter lack of spaceships, marvel superheroes or action scenes.

The Heart of Stars deck not only has today’s guidance idea well in hand, it turns it on its head from the usual. Usually card advises to stand in power despite outside restraints, to find a creative, out of the box way forward BUT exercise care in doing so. Even more traditionally it is about restraint or constraints in general. Today, rather than overcoming external restraints, it is about imposing internal ones.

To paraphrase an old proverb…even an idiot can seem intelligent if they keep their mouth shut and their hot takes off of Twitter.

I gotta work on that one….

In any case, the advice here is to hold up. Stop yourself for half a tick. This isn’t the day / energy for instant gratification. Know for sure before you talk. Have your facts straight before you act. Measure twice and cut once. If you have to ask you can’t afford it, and for the love of all that’s holy wash your hands and wear a mask in public.

YouChoose Interactive Tarot 7/5 to 7/11 : Jumble of Change

Pick a card, any card.

It helps to stop long enough to take a deep breath. You don’t have to stop thinking about everything or anything fancy. Just stop everything for half a tick and look at the three stacks of cards. Choose the one you think is right for you. If you want to stop and think about it for a bit, that’s ok. Pause the video, make your choice, then restart to see the reveal. Once you have your card, scroll down to see your reading for this week. As always, it isn’t a prediction, just a little guidance, a heads up about which way energies are flowing for you right now. Think of it like a gps traffic report for the small section of your commute. It won’t tell you exactly what cars are beside you in traffic, it won’t tell you exactly what you might see by the road on the way, but it can give you a good idea how to navigate through it all, and which way to turn next. That’s the basic intention behind all of my readings – how to navigate the next little bit of life’s path to help you steer toward where you would like to go and hopefully find some cool stuff along the way.

Taking a breath and focusing on which card feels right helps you find the message that best fits what you need for this week. From my side of the table, I look at all three cards together to get a sense of the big picture, everyone-together, regional or national energies. That helps me do a better job with these blog post kind of general audience readigs. It’s interesting to watch how the cards relate to each other over time. Which is an even bigger, longer term look, kind of like looking at trend lines on a data chart. Over the first half of 2020 there have been several waves of energy. At the beginning of January there was a scattershot sense of warning that was wreaking havok with people’s sensitivities, even clients who had not thought of themselves as empathic before. That mental image of a U.S. map with a bunch of little tornados all over it still comes to mind at times. Then came the outright anxiety of the pandemic, the lockdown for those who had it, and the strong message to focus on the physical and not worry about big decisions or spiritual things. June was a bit of a respite. Even conservative re-opening like those seen in New York City seemed to ease a lot of tension. The weekly interactive Tarot seems cohesive during those waves. The three cards tied together those heads-up, know your boundaries, take care of yourself kinds of general messages.

This week is more disconnected and a jumple of messages between the three cards. Then general energy that seems to come through here is transition, a fluid, almost slow motion change in direction. The mental image here is a running puppy on a tile floor that skids around a corner more than turning… or drift racing cars…or that part of The Breakfast Club where they are running in the hallways. It’s a skidding, maybe not well controlled turn, but a turn just the same. Agressive mitigation may come back, but we know what to expect and what to do. Now is the time we can turn more inward since the outward is more known. It is like we are driving full Mad Max toward a spiritual cliff. We are in for enlightenment and spiritual deepening or we are in for a emotional crush. “A splintering of the heard” comes to mind here. That choice, that change of direction is individual. Some make the turn, live, love and triumph. Others are in for either a rude awakening or for a beeline back to a comfortable regression (think going back into a cave) I know that is harsh. I know that partisan tribal thinking will define who each person thinks is turning and who is crashing. Just be aware that a turn is coming up. Watch out for a jumble of changes. Take care to adjust your inner world as needed and try not to slide over any cliffs.

Left: Ten of Swords. It’s a dire looking card, but a fitting one. It’s been a rough week out there for some folks. Or a rough month, year, or who-knows-how-long. Getting stabbed in the back by life can really get you down. Sure, one thread of this card is all rosey glasses pep talk. You know, “when you fall down seven times get up eight” or “when life hands you lemons make lemonade” type stuff. Truth is, sometimes things just suck with no end in sight. The funny thing is the solution is charging right down the middle. If things are bad, admit it, face it, deal with it. The answer doesn’t necessarily lie with either extreme. Denial, pretending rainbows and unicorns doesn’t help. Being paralysed by hopelessness doesn’t help either. Dropping an f-bomb or two can’t hurt. Ultimately, it may come down to staying down for a little bit. Admit the suckitude of it all, asses the situation realistically (yeah, dude, you really do have a bunch of swords sticking out of your back) THEN do what you need to do to get up and fight again. Most of all, don’t be afraid to ask for someone to lend a hand. It’s hard to pull the blades out of your own back. Once you are healed, you can return the favor next battle.

Center: Two of Coins. This card is about balance in motion. Constant, eternal, adapting balance. Compare those seeminly impossible stacks of “Zen” rocks to riding a unicyle. Both need balance. Rocks on one hand are steady, stable things, inorganic, some might even say dead from an ordinary point of view. Life is trickier. Life is always in motion. Even if you feel stuck, you are travelling through time. If you are bored out of your skull with staying home, look at the big picture. What is a few months balanced against the whole of a year? What is a few moments of extra effort to put on a mask balanced against a human life? Small balancing gestures are butterfly wing-flaps that can build into a hurricane. Look for the small easy things to do now that can have a bigger balancing impact later.

Right: Emperor. You got this. The Emperor card symbolizes profound competance. The Emperor is the protector, the leader, a father figure in a very archetypal sense. But not in any sort of violent or domineering sense…this is a card of true strength. Real power is over ones self. For this week, build your skill set, focus on practice, training, repeating more than breaking new ground. Emperors are not alway imperial. Get really good at what you already do before expanding for a little while.

Schedule -> Pay -> Call -> Enjoy

Live phone readings are available by appointment with pre-payment. E-mail or leave voicemail to schedule, purchase on the phone readings page HERE.

NEW: more phone reading choices! 7 card (same as the in-person individual session) 5 card (great all-purpose layout, particularly nice for first readings) and 3 card yes-or-no (10 minute quick look at any ONE yes-or-no question) are now available. Same process applies. Schedule your reading, choose your layout when you buy the reading, call at your scheduled time and enjoy!

The Times in a Tarot Card

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I don’t claim to have prescient vision, but I have been reading a lot of Dune lately (the whole enchilada, actually, including the Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson prequels, in chronological order) This card draw reminds me a little of that scene in the original Dune novel where Paul first sees the future in the desert after the large intake of spice, and describes it at waves. Some parts clear, some parts hidden, like the peaks and valleys of the sand dunes. 

The big, cultural, gestalt, zeitgeist energy in 2020 has been like that too. It is so strong, that I see that general energy (what I look to see when I write these general audience blog posts) echoed in individual energies more than ever before. 

I associate the Justice card with the second wave of the 2020 zeitgeist. I’m really starting to like that word zeitgeist. It has a nice ring for this ghastly year in American public life. Happy 4th of July btw. Although in my mind, this year it feels more like the U-day episode of Firefly, but that is another unrelated story. 

First, it was the unease, worry, physical realm focus and hatch-battening energy of stay at home orders and the early days of the pandemic. The Justice card turned up before and again now in the context of the second wave, the black lives matter, George Floyd, anti-racism, anti-brutality protests. The justice card is just as obvious and face-value as it seems in this context. It is the right energy time for speech and action for justice, as if there was a a collective intuition that outdoor, spread-out, majority mask wearing protests were relatively safe, especially when compared to crowded, unmasked indoor political rallies.

Justice is giving both a validation and advice message. There is that sense of validation that the energies are right, this is the time for these protests. The advice is don’t stop. I can attest that the so-called maga movement has been simmering for 50 years under various names – tea party, silent majority, moral majority and a disturbingly large number of others. They won’t give up…they haven’t stopped, ever. The injustice, racism and hatreds were always there, the only thing that has changed is how well camouflaged or how open and overt those sentiments have been. They haven’t stopped so neither can we. Whether it is actively marching or simply taking a moment to spare a compassionate thought for your fellow man, don’t give up and never stop. Injustice never sleeps, so justice can not slumber. People of compassion and decency can’t slow up or give up. The racists and facists won’t. Over two hundred years of American history has proven that.

Reason with heart, impassioned wisdom, and fierce compassion must lead the way.

 

Today’s Tarot: Gestalt and Context

Today’s card picks up and continues the theme from this week’s YouChoose Interactive Tarot, finding the unity behind the duality. The advice here again is to look for the big picture. Look to the background context to understand whatever your top of mind concern might be. The old adage “don’t lose the forest in the trees” is another way to say it. You know how photos of something to buy online often has a person’s hand or a coin or a pen or other common object to give you an idea of the actual size of the object being sold. That is the kind of relative perspective the Tower card will sometimes point out to us. The World calls for a bigger big picture. Look at the thing, the other thing shown, the relative size AND the background AND the lighting in the photo. See the difference?

Another example is one of those crazy hard jigsaw puzzels that have a lot o little pieces but big areas of the same color. If there is just one piece missing, it is easy to focus on the hole and make the piece fit. But early on, you have to look at the big picture….the shape of the puzzle, the piece relative to all of the others plus the picture on the box.

Sometimes there isn’t any one big AH-HA moment. Sometimes you have to piece together the big picture from all of the clues around you.