Short Sip Tarot: Strong Suit

TaoCraft Short Sip Tarot is an idea to ponder and guidance for your day in the time it takes to sip from your morning coffee

Thanks for watching, reading and listening to TaoCraft Short Sip Tarot where you get an idea to ponder and guidance for your day in the time it takes to sip from your morning coffee. Or Tea. Or whatever beverage starts your day.

Today’s card is Strength from the major arcana portion of the deck.

This card is vulnerable to cheer leading. It is easy for it to slip in platitudes about be strong, hang in there, find ways to be strong for others, and so on. It also goes with connotations of honesty, integrity and strength of character.

Not today.

Today the Strength card is a reminder that you are already strong. You got this.

No one is perfect. No one is perfectly imperfect. We all have strengths and weaknesses. We are all heros and cowards in one way or another, to one extent or another.

The classic Tao Te Ching is often translated as Integrity and the Way. The integrity part points to the same strength of character as today’s card. Take as a whole, the Tao Te Ching talks about being the best person you can be and living in harmony with the nature of things while you do. One spin on all of that is self improvement through being your most genuine self. Whenit talks about living in harmony with nature, it doesn’t totally mean the rocks and trees and flowers and leaves kind of nature. The idea of it includes working with your nature too. Use your naturally good parts to adapt the less fantastic parts. Self-improvement doesn’t have to be a war with yourself. It is a celebration of the good parts so loud that it drowns out the bad.

Thank you again for listening. All the follows, subscribes, likes and shares that you can spare is always appreciated. Your support through the virtual coffee mug and Reading Room membership support the production of the blog, podcast and card draw videos.

I’m taking my own advice. If you are listening to this on the podcast, your are in the right place. Clarivoyant Confessional is now TaoCraft Short Sip Tarot. The Confessional Episodes are still available and more will come as the inspiration arises. The majority of the content is changing to Tarot readings because that is my strong suit. Your questions are still very welcomed. Blog comments are open, as is the voice messaging on the podcast’s anchor.fm page.

See you for the next sip!

Confession 9: I am Zombie Cat

Transcript:

I’m a clairvoyant and I have a confession. I … am Zombie cat.

scratch/oneip

Welcome to Clairvoyant Confessional. I’m Ronda. I read Tarot, write stuff and make things. Happy Halloween season 2021. 

Every Halloween as part of celebrating TaoCraft Tarot’s grand opening anniversary, I like to do something with Zombie Cat  readings. 

Because Halloween. And Zombies. This is Pittsburgh after all.

What is a Zombie Cat reading?  I’m glad you asked! 

It’s my particular spin on a classic, ubiquitous, nobody knows exactly where it came from yes or no style of Tarot reading.

Zombie Cat is a fictional character, a sort of alter ego that emerged from a blog post from 2015. The post was inspired by a combination of Schrodinger’s Cat thought experiment and the Test Tubes and Tarot decks episode of the Menage A Tarot podcast. 

Don’t worry, there are links to that and all sorts of other supplementary stuff in the episode description. 

Tarot readings are one thing, but the process of doing a particular layout isn’t great material for an audio podcast. So let’s get back to Zombie Cat. Why Zombie Cat? 

****

Why not?

Part of the original post was instead of only dead or alive, what if BOTH was an option for Schrodinger’s experiment?

No no no….don’t go all pedantic on this and tell me that quantum states are binary and the experiment really is JUST one or the other. It’s a THOUGHT experiment. If nothing is impossible, what’s the harm in thinking about the wildly improbable? Especially since, in this case, the experiment is being applied to abstract metaphysics, not didactic ACTUAL physics.

But on second thought, maybe binary quantum physics is a better mascot for a yes or no Tarot reading than I originally intended. 

Anyway, the Zombie Cat blog post mostly talks about predicting the future  and how so-called accurate predictions are themselves all but impossible and not very helpful.

So OF COURSE I name the most impractical, prediction oriented, pure entertainment layout that I do after our friend, Zombie Cat. 

These layouts are a ton of fun to do. I deliberately set aside all the usual caveats and complications that come with old fashioned horror movie predictions and have at it. Any question goes, all predictions will be made all in the name of entertainment all with the knowledge that these readings are 100% guaranteed to contain words but have a 50% chance of being DEAD WRONG.

The short version of how the layout works is 

Step 1. Ask a question. Any question. If it isn’t a yes-or-no questions, Zombie Cat will change it into one.

Step 2. Shuffle the deck

Step 3. Deal the cards into 3 stacks, stopping a stack when it gets to an ace card or a total of 13 cards, whichever comes first Why 13 cards? I dunno. Why aces? I have no idea. That’s just how I learned it, and it works. It’s as good of a method as any and any method will do for these kinds of Halloween shenanigans.

If you get  3 aces your answer is yes, two aces showing means maybe, but leaning yes. Only one ace showing is maybe but leaning no. No aces showing is a straight up no answer.

Zombie cat will lay the answer out plain & simple, with a light touch of humor. I will warn you, ZC has a tendency to get a tiny bit snarky with these readings. But it is all intended in good fun.

*****

If I’m doing one of these as private reading for an email client, I’ll add some of the serious stuff too, like individual card meanings, additional thoughts for the non-ace cards plus any purely intuitive thoughts that come through like crystal energy or aromatherapy suggestions…just like the way I summarize all of my readings. 

Zombie Cat readings are all for just for fun. I enjoy these readings in a lot of the same way I enjoyed those non branded mysterious black pool ball toys we all had as kids.

I’ll make you a deal. I’m in a Zombie Cat mood this afternoon. Send me a question either on spotify, on anchor fm voice messages, or at the contact in the show description, I’ll do a Zombie Cat style reading for your question in the next recorded episode of Clairvoyant Confessional.

Short outro. 

Thank you all so much for listening! I hope you’ll stay tuned for the ALMOST daily sip of tarot nano episodes that are generated by the print blog. 

The music you hear is the song dimension by the Pittsburgh band Dinosoul, all copyrights reserved, used here with permission. 

I’ll talk to you the next time on Clairvoyant Confessional. Meanwhile, I’ll see you on the print side. 

Long outro


https://dinosoulmusic.com/

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Confession #8: It’s October

Transcript:

 Confession #8: It’s October

I’m a clairvoyant and I have a confession: It’s October

scratch/oneip

My name is Ronda. I read Tarot, write stuff and make things.

It’s October, 2021 right now. Count me among the zillion and one witchy tarot readers who love this time of year, cinnamon spice and all. 

This October is the third anniversary of rebranding my work from Modern Oracle Tarot to TaoCraft Tarot. It seems like this is the time of year for re-naming things. 

You can talk about thinning veils and shifting energies all you want. All I know is that October has always been a creative inspiration for me. This year, autumn and the internet has treated me to a whole basket full of new tools. This year, instead of one big name change, I have a little one and a whole grocery list of small tweeks and innovations.

Have you ever heard of wabi sabi or kintsuki? I hope I’m pronouncing those correctly – I don’t speak Japanese. As I understand it, wabi sabi is a way of looking at life that accepts or even celebrates imperfection and impermanence. Part of that is the art of kintsuki. Instead of making something “good as new” it elevates the act of repair and the process of preservation and accents the broken places with precious metals. In this episode, I’m splashing some gold on cracks in the confessional walls. There is wonderful freedom that comes from accepting  imperfections yourself – and everyone else too. 

***

I know I’m not technically proficient as a podcaster. As a point of unpaid admiration, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the fact that anchor fm is incredibly easy to use and has seamless text to speech conversion from wordpress. Even with tools like these, I knew coming into it that this podcast wasn’t going to be perfect.  

What I didn’t know was how much work the vocal performance was going to be. And yes, as if you couldn’t tell, this is a scripted performance. Dammit jim, I’m a writer not an improve actor. If I don’t get my thoughts organized before recording, I would sound like a babbling idiot instead of the pirate radio dj  persona I’d hoped to create.

BUT  I am just evil-villain enough to not give up on the idea quite yet. 

Instead, I’m changing up the format a little bit. Not the name, because I’m still hoping you all will finally confess that you like psychics and will send me some questions for Tarot readings. Those episodes will always be personally recorded, no script, no plan, just me and my cards and a microphone recording a Tarot reading for you. 

In those episodes that you would hear if you were sitting across the table from me. So be brave! Send some questions, let’s make some magic together.

The thing that’s changing is I’m not going to do very many of these monolog episodes 

Cheer effect

Instead, I’ll be posting a metric ton of what I’m calling “nano-episodes” under the episode title “A Sip of Tarot.”  These will be one card meditation readings the same as I’ve always done on the blog and have recently added to youtube shorts. I expect they will last a minute or so…juuuuust long enough to take a slow, thoughtful sip of your morning coffee. These meditation style readings are just that…a thought to ponder for your day, your night, your weekend – whenever you happen to listen to podcasts. 

For example….

Hear that? That’s me actually shuffling actual Tarot cards as I record this. THAT’s what a question episode will sound like.

Now let’s cut the cards at random and grab a card from the middle-ish somewhere of the deck. 

Today we have….

One card reading (please listen to the episode to hear the card reading)

That’s what the sip of tarot episodes will generally be like, except they will be automated text to voice because dammit jim, i’m a writer not a voice actor 

For the record, I’m leaving voice acting to the real talent in this world, you know, like David Dear of Ninth World Journal – 

Why YES, yes I am shamelessly fangirling for one of my favorite podcasts  – outside of this one. 

I have lots of other things up my sleeve for October, but they are all blog related. 

If you like to listen to things, you are in the right place because most of the blog content will be echoed here.  If you like to read too, come over to the print side sometime. We have Zombie Cats!

Stay tuned. We start sipping some Tarot tomorrow. 

Short dimension

The music you hear is Dimension by the Pittsburgh band Dinosoul, all copyrights reserved, used here with permission. The applause sound effect is courtesy of free stock music .com

 See you next time in the Clairvoyant’s Confessional

Long dimension

Clairvoyant Confessional: Styles and Stereotypes

Transcript

I’m a clairvoyant and I have a confession. I’m not lame – I mean lamé. I won’t wear gold lamé.

Scratch / Oneip

Hi. I’m Ronda from TaoCraftTarot.com. I read Tarot, write stuff and make things. Welcome to season two of the Clairvoyant Confessional podcast.

What comes to mind when you think of a Clairvoyant?

Do you expect gold lam’e outfits, 1-800 numbers and exotic accents? Or do you just start checking for your wallet?  If that’s your first thought, you are not alone.

No one likes stereotypes, but they do exist. Assumptions and stereotypes are a big problem for anyone interested in psychics, Tarot, clairvoyance or ANY sort of non-mainstream spirituality. That’s true on BOTH sides of the Tarot table. 

There has been no end of psychic scams and fakes and grifters over the years…centuries really. It’s no wonder that people think psychics are all either a scam or some kind of supernatural evil.  

That historical criminality casts suspicion on any legitimate advertising that a spirituality oriented business might use today. Personally I approach Tarot as a folk art as much as anything else. 

Art has a business side  – just think about all the money you’ve spent on tickets for movies or band concerts.

If a psychic is professional and business-like, then half the people think they are not genuinely spiritual. If a psychic focuses on entertainment or spirituality, then the other half of people think they are a scam. Doing professional psychic readings is not for the feint hearted. 

BUT – neither is finding a good psychic. Readings are fun. They really are art & entertainment. Intuitive readings are also stress management because they can help you sort through difficult times and get your head around life a little bit. Art or self-care, either way, finding a psychic you can trust is important.

So how do you do it? How DO you find a psychic who is both authentic and trustworthy?

That’s why I call the ebook I’m writing “TaoCraft Portfolio”. When an artist interviews for a job, they take examples of their work in a portfolio so the potential employer can see their skills …AND their style… to decide if they are a good match for the job. 

I created this podcast, the blog, the youtube channel, and the social media…all of it…to act as my portfolio. I’m hoping you’ll see all of this behind-the-scenes stuff and decide my style is a good match for your Tarot reading. Or not.

That’s all well and good for you and me, but it doesn’t solve the larger problem. There are a LOT of psychics out there but no spiritual better business bureau or billboard top twenty Tarot. 

As I see it, if you want to find a good reader you have to do the very thing you are paying us to help you do. You have to use your instincts. BUT for the find a psychic part, common sense and due diligence are the doorway to your instincts instead of cards or runes or palm lines and such.

You wouldn’t hesitate to ask friends, family or neighbors for a referral if you need a plumber or a mechanic, right? Why should this be any different? I mean, I wouldn’t suggest asking your super religious mother in law if she knows a good psychic, but asking like-minded people you know is a pretty reliable way to find someone. 

Barring that, you might have to dig a little. Read ads, visit websites, ask at indie bookstores. Those of us on this side of the reading table are a little underground for all the same reasons that you need to be on your guard. We have to protect ourselves from bigotry, other people’s bad reputations, and people trying to scam us. We have to deal with the age old psychic stereotypes just as much as you do.

Once you get a recommendation or find an ad or website that you have a good feeling about, talk to them.

I’m not suggesting that you pour out your heart to some rando stranger that you found online. Ask common sense questions that you would ask any business. Ask about hours, prices, locations – stuff like that. Normal business questions create a safe space for you to get a sense of things. 

Whether it is by phone or by email, you can get a better feel for the psychic’s  professionalism and trustworthiness from this kind of neutral conversation than any other way. 

If they are patient and open with your questions that is a good sign. If they rush right in with promises of 100% accuracy or guarantees to fix your love life, you probably want to keep looking. If someone approaches you with a reading without you asking for it first, run the other way. 

A trustworthy reader will never demand that you believe certain things or demand that you see them regularly in order for their reading to “work” Any situation that makes bigger and bigger demands on your time and money should absolutely be avoided. 

But if it seems legit, and it feels right and if you can afford it, try a session. If you and the psychic are a good match, you’ll know right away. Real Tarot readings are about inspiration, empowerment and validation of what you already kinda knew. 

If that first session doesn’t go well, that doesn’t mean anyone did anything wrong. Style and personality play a huge part in these things. If you are hoping for gold lam’e and a sense of drama, then sneakers and yoga pants might disappoint – and vice versa. Just because your personality doesn’t vibe with theirs doesn’t mean the psychic is a criminal or that you did anything wrong. If a trial session doesn’t feel right, it is perfectly OK to just move on and keep looking for someone else.

Fortune teller booths and party entertainment are just that…all fun and giggles, no harm done even if it is terrible. But when it comes to a one to one individual reading, if you have an uneasy feeling, you should absolutely listen to it. There are about a bazillion psychics out here in the world. Never settle for anything less than a feeling of confidence in the person who is going to do your reading. 

With the Internet, you have a whole world wide web to choose from. It is chock full of ridiculous scams but it’s also chock full of incredibly talented and compassionate people. 

We’ll talk more about online vs in person readings in another episode, but for now, just use your head and listen to your own instincts and you’ll find the right person with the right style for you. 

If you want sizzle, drama, and gold lam’e, it’s out there.

If you want a calm, relaxing, coffee in the kitchen style – I GOT you. There’s not a scrap of gold lam’e anywhere around here. 

Short dimension

Thank you so much for listening! 

Do you have a question for the clairvoyant? Send it to the contact in the episode description and it might be answered with a tarot reading in a future podcast episode.

The music you hear is Dimension by Pittsburgh band Dinosoul, all rights reserved. It’s used here with their written permission. 

Thanks again, and I’ll see you next time in the Clairvoyants Confessional.


Want a private reading with the Clairvoyant? Email readings are OPEN – available to order 24/7 no appointment needed.

Phone/online readings require an appointment and schedule a minimum of 24 hours in advance.

Polices have been updated and are listed here. Contacting me indicates you agree with all policies and disclaimers.

In-person and Party Tarot in select South Hills areas of Pittsburgh PA: email for details. Service area and covid-19 policies apply.

Clairvoyant Confessional: Smelly Flowers and Naming Powers

I don’t know why.

It doesn’t matter why, really. I like to name my blogs. Maybe it is my inner sixth grader who wanted to be a journalist pretending to name a newspaper. More likely it is my outer gen-X-er trying to get organized. Even more likely it’s my attempt to pique your interest.

Shakespeare wrote that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Bill was right. You could call it a fantastic fartflower and it would still give off exactly the same molecules that smell exactly the same way as it does when we call it a rose.

The problem is that humans are more than a molecule detector. Our olfactory nerves connect to a brain that is chock full of memories & emotions. If we attach unpleasant memories or emotions to the name, then a fantastic fartflower might not smell as sweet after all. On the other hand, maybe roses really don’t smell all that great but our perception of the fragrance changes because of all of the positive associations with roses like love, romance, beauty, summertime and so on.

I have no training in marketing, but I would guess that it’s much easier to interest people in something named a rose. Which gets back to naming my blogs. A title is a fast, easy way to tell you what the blog is about while hopefully enticing you to read more. I want to sell you on the idea of reading the blog and a good name helps with that, or so it seems.

Marketing and promotion are weirdly uncomfortable if not nearly taboo in spirituality related fields like Tarot. Movies have trailers, and bands promote themselves all the time, but it is different for a clairvoyant. Given all of the scams and grift that have abused the name, it’s no wonder that words like psychic carry more connotations than a word like rose ever could. Practicing our art, promoting our art, and promoting a legitimate artistic business all while trying to stay out of culture war crosshairs is all a very tricky thing to do.

I recently named my blog “Portfolio.” because Tarot is my art, and the blog literally is my portfolio. I use it to showcase both my writing and my Tarot reading skills. Artists take portfolios to job interviews to showcase their work. If you read the blog, and then get a Tarot reading with me, the reading should meet or exceed your expectations because you’ll know in advance exactly what to expect. For a potential employer, a portfolio builds trust in an artist’s work. I hope the blog (and this podcast) will build your trust in my work too.

In 2018 I changed my website, blog and social media name. I re-branded everything from Modern Oracle Tarot to the TaoCraft Tarot. Ever since then, I get caught up in the idea of names about once a year, usually around the Fall anniversary of TaoCraft Tarot’s grand opening. Contrary to the “rose by any name” theory, names can actually be very powerful things.

To manifest anything, to accomplish any goal, you must first name it.

The more clear and precise a goal is, the more clear and precise the outcome can be. By the same token, that high precision limits the possibilities. A more open, adaptable and inclusive goal can increase your chances of a satisfying result. A name helps in both instances. A name can be as broad or as precise as needed. A name can be changed as time goes on. To meet a goal, you have to have one. To meet a goal, it must first be identified.

The power of names is even more evident when it comes to personal growth and becoming a better person.

What is the best part of you as you are right now? What is your very best current trait? Name it. Wrap yourself in it. Embrace that name for yourself at least for a few hours.

Then think of a personal quality that you want to acquire or increase. What would life be like if you were already that thing? Name it. Try that aspirational quality on for a while. See how it fits. You might not need to grow into it as much as you first thought.

After being raised by evangelicals and nicknamed “brainiac” in junior high, it was odd to add the namef “tarot reader” or “clairvoyant” to the list. Once I could identify with those names for some of the things I do, it opened whole new vistas of comfort and authenticity. But that is another blog post from another time. I’ll put links to related posts in the show notes.

Now here is a real challenge.

What label, trait, or quality is the name that shall not be named? What is your own personal Voldemort? What name is a bridge too far? Now, I’m not saying you should cross that bridge or go too far in any respect, but at least look at it. Consider its architecture. For me it took decades….decades…to admit the truth to myself about being an atheist or even harboring an interest in witchcraft. It took a longer time to realize that we don’t have to renounce one label when we pick up another. The human spirit is big enough that many traits and names can coexist not just harmoniously but synergistically. We are more than the sum of our parts. Our better parts shine when we name them and live them.

Whatever you want to be, try saying “I am” then fill in the blank with that thing. Names are necessary for good old fashioned affirmations too.

How does that make you feel? How does it feel to name yourself the thing you could never admit that you are? More importantly, how does it feel to name yourself the thing you’ve always wanted to be?

Name your worst trait and it will step to the front. Name your best trait and it will grow. The labels we place on others and that others place on us can help or hurt just as powerfully. Take care with the names you use for yourself and your fellow humans.

Thank you for listening today and for your ongoing support. I appreciate it more than you know. I always appreciate a good cup of coffee too. Any contributions to my virtual coffee mug supports the free blog posts and future podcast episodes.

Speaking of future podcast episodes, please send any questions you have for a clairvoyant. Ask me anything as they say. I may even do a Tarot reading for the answer. Contact information is on the blog and in the show notes.

This is the end of season 1. Clairvoyant confessional will be on hiatus until mid September. I’d like to say I’ll be using that time to learn how to edit audio files and figure out how to make this a better podcast. But honestly…the confessional will probably be back with the same raw, unedited, amateurish, pirate radio aesthetic that it has now.

I’m a clairvoyant and I have a confession. I still don’t know all that much about making a podcast.


Name related posts:

Mail your questions for the clairvoyant to ClairvoyantConfessional@gmail.com

Confession #6: I’m Lazy

Transcript:

I’m a clairvoyant and I have a confession: I’m a lazy, lazy psychic

This is a question that crossed my path out in meatspace, you know, in real life as the kids call it. They wanted to know if I keep anyone in mind when I do one card meditation readings on the blog

The lazy answer is no. 

And yes. 

When I do readings for the blog, youtube or social media, I don’t think of any ONE person in particular but I do try to keep everyone in mind. 

Don’t try this at home kids. It really is as vague and confusing as it sounds.

Energetically speaking, it is a TON easier to do a big, complex layout with 5 or 7 or 10 cards  for one specific person than it is to do a quick single card meditation reading for basically the whole internet. 

That’s why I’ve been asking all of you to please please please submit your questions. It is SO MUCH easier to connect with all of you when we all have a shared question or topic in mind. 

It really doesn’t take much to make a long distance connection like that. I’ve done email Tarot readings for clients in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea which is about as far away as it gets from the eastern united states. The part where you ask your question or give permission for an open reading is pretty much all it takes. Once you have that. Tiny spark of a connection, it dorsn’t matter whether we are using one card or a dozen, working across a table or across time zones, talking to one person or an entire internet audience.

That’s one reason why I am always EXTREMELY grateful when people let me share their questions with all of you like this. That one little bit of focus makes this whole blog and pod thing so much easier. 

Aaaand as we have established – I’m lazy.

But no, MOST of the time I don’t have any one person or one question in mind when I do my “Today’s Tarot” posts, although I really enjoy it when I can. 

At the same time, the whole *point* of doing a general audience reading IS to think of everyone and not just one person or question. I start each blog or youtube reading with the intention that the card will help the most people possible. 

I don’t get a lot of feedback about these things, so I never know how well that plan works out. Even if my starting intention is to appeal to a lot of people, if a post or a video or a podcast helps just ONE person, then it was still worth it.

The public nature of all of this is another reason why I’m so grateful when people share their questions. Some people are understandably shy about asking questions in a public venue like this. I mean, why WOULD any rational person trust some rando stranger on the internet with an important or emotionally charged question?

So the casual, off hand question that YOU ask might turn out to be a big help to someone else out there in cyberspace.

If that’s all there was to it, doing an internet reading with the vague hope that it might resonate with somebody would be easy enough, BUT when you work with subtle energies, other subtle things can mess with the process. 

Just like out in meatspace, cyberspace is … a space. 

You know how in the real world a place or a room can carry a vibe? 

Being outside in a forest FEELS different from being alone in a basement or overhearing an argument on the bus or being at a party with friends. The same is true in cyberspace. In my experience, websites and social media feeds have an energy to them too. 

Energy is everywhere and intuition absolutely works at a distance. In most ways, doing readings in cyberspace is *exactly* like doing readings in real space. I think it is possible to set the tone and atmosphere in a website…or a podcast… just like you can decorate a room in the real world. Doing email Tarot readings or writing for the blog is as comfortable as sitting in my favorite chair with a cup of coffee . Reading on youtube is kind of like working at a fortune teller booth at a festival. Some places  like snapchat and tictok are just not right for this kind of energy work. 

When the idea for Clairvoyant Confessional came along, I imagined doing readings or answering questions here would be like a  conversation among friends over a cup of coffee by a fireplace.  I want the tone for the podcast to be calming and comfortable. I want it to FEEL like a relaxed space where you can feel safe asking questions 

OR … you can just sit back and listen to me monologing like like some kind of comic book supervillian.

Either way, I hope that this podcast is a little bit entertaining or a little bit helpful for someone somewhere out there. If you DO have a question, any question, send it to me using the contact info in the episode description. I’ll do my best to give you an answer and I might even use an on air Tarot reading to do it.

The outro music that you hear is “Dimension” by the Pittsburgh band Dinosoul. Copyright Donny Donovan and Carolyn Hilliard, all rights are reserved, used here with permission. Please support local artists and musicians wherever you are.

Thank you so much for listening! I’ll see you on the print side and talk to you next time in the clairvoyant’s confessional.

Clairvoyant Confessional podcast is also available on Anchor Fm, Stitcher, Google podcasts, pocketcast and more.

PLEASE…consider this your slow rolling AMA…ask me anything. Bonus points if it about Tarot, intuition, clairvoyance, and such. Use the handy contact form below OR email ClairvoyantConfessional@gmail.com

Pedantic Pointer Fingers

NEW! This post is now a Clairvoyant Confessional podcast episode!

“It is like a finger pointing away to the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all the heavenly glory.”

Bruce Lee
public domain

I’m not a collector by nature, but I’m convinced that professional Tarot readers should have multiple Tarot decks and plenty of books about them. Sure it is a good excuse to indulge in something we already love but decks are, after all, the tools of our trade. Mechanics use more than one size of wrench and your phone has more than one app, doesn’t it? Owning multiple decks isn’t only fun, it has practical application.

It’s said that two heads are better than one. More decks are like having more heads. Different decks mean different artwork and different insights from the guide book that typically comes with them. You can draw from all the different decks you’ve used over time to give your client deeper insights regardless of the deck you are using at the time.

Let’s consider the High Priestess card that I drew a few days ago. To paraphrase Edward Waite, the Justice card is a “spiritual mother” who interprets rules and dogma in a more spiritual way. In keeping with Tarot’s roots in the deeply Catholic culture of medieval France and Italy, Waite’s interpretation calls to mind a Saint-like or Mary-like spiritual role for the card.

Contrast that with the Steampunk Tarot by Barbara Moore and Aly Fell. It is one of the decks in my small collection and this is a photo I took of the Justice card used here under the ‘tarot education’ permissions granted on Llwellyn.com

Moore interprets the card as symbolizing something that can only be understood by direct experience. This in turn reminds me of an Instagram post by author Mat Auryn that talks about witchcraft is considered a mystery tradition not because it is a highly guarded secret, but rather because it can only understood through direct wordless experience. Both versions of the card together reminded me of the Bruce Lee quote. Anyone can point to the sky, but only you can experience the beauty of the moon for yourself.

The different cards combined with the quotes that they brought to mind all point toward an important core idea: spirituality is a direct, individual experience rather than external dogma or the product of didactic training. Among many other things, the Justice card reminds us of great mysteries and the way to experience them is directly, for ourselves. Look to the moon, not to pedantic pointer fingers.

This episode is based on the TaoCraft Tarot Blog post by the same name. There is a link to the source post in the episode description. If you have any questions about Tarot, intuition or, well, just about anything please let me know. Questions will be chosen at random or by the Clairvoyant’s caprice to be answered on air, maybe with a tarot reading. Contact information is in the episode description too.

Thank you so much for listening! See you on the print side and see you next time in the Clairvoyant’s Confessional.

Confession #5: I’m Proud of You

All are welcome here: A few June thoughts from an lgbtquia ally and recovering fundamentalist

New and improved podcast version of the post by the same name earlier this month.

TRANSCRIPT:

I’m a clairvoyant and I have a confession. I’m proud of you.

I’ve re-written this episode at least two dozen times. 

One version even started with an Eleanor Roosevelt quote. Something about doing what’s right because you are going to be criticized anyway. 

This sort of thing happens in Tarot. Working with your intuition WILL help you find a better understanding of things, but sometimes it will kick you out of your comfort zone in the process. This particular card reading has been pushing my buttons for days

Today’s podcast episode is based on a single card, daily meditation reading from the TaoCraft Tarot blog earlier this month. There is a link in the show notes if you want to read my original semi-unhinged rant.

When I drew the Four of Wands card, the words “quirk” and “celebrate” stepped forward immediately. Here, the word quirk carries a very positive energy and points toward anything that makes you unique or is a key part of your individuality. 

“Celebrate with pride” is still the top level energy message.

I’m recording this in June. You don’t have to be a psychic to connect “celebrate with pride” to Pride Month.

 But there was a secondary message underneath that one. The mental image that came with it reminded me of the ‘river of slime’ in Ghostbusters II. 

I recognized the energy immediately from being raised evangelical in the american south, but it’s really hard to describe the FEEL of it. It helps that there have been several reputable news reports about evangelicals because of their overwhelming support for a certain former president.

Based on my experience and what I’ve seen through my family, the news reports are fairly accurate. I searched for a few recent ones and put links in the show description [below] if you want a better sense of the energy. If it seems like I’m picking on Southern Baptists, I am. That’s my parents’ church. White evangelical baptists are what I know first hand. But never mind my background. REAL experts are saying hate crimes are on the rise. I think this part of the card message serves as a reminder to please stay safe and reach out to reasonable people for support if you need it.

Dogma about the word “pride” is one of about nine thousand ninety-nine hundred and eleventy-one reasons why I ran screaming from evangelical religion. They, and others, turn the simple word “pride” into something terrible.

I’m guessing the “pride” they talk about is something of a language artifact. Language shifts and evolves over time, even when some belief systems don’t. Bronze age manuscripts filtered through medieval translations and then bent to contemporary ends equates “pride” to unbridled ego. In a world before psychology, it makes sense that a mental state like that would be described with commonplace words. Words that WE are familiar with, like ego and narcissist didn’t exist back then. “pride goes before a fall” for example. Out of control narcissism can lead to poor choices and bad stuff happening. 

In any case, it’s a shame that newer, healthier connotations for the word pride are sometimes haunted by old, derogatory ones.

Looking at the card, I was reminded of being a kid and hearing all of the adults quietly supporting Anita Bryant, the loudly anti-gay peanutbutter lady from the 1970s. This part of the message reminded me of how evangelicals STILL feel about pride month and all of the bigotry, racism and overt homophobia that was the number one reason why I quit that religion so long ago.

Did you ever notice how evangelical preachers have a tendency to yell during their sermons? 

Imagine.

Imagine how it would feel as a teenager to hear them literally raise their voices against quote/unquote “the homosexuals.” It was heartbreaking for me to hear it when I had – and still have – good friends in the lgbtqia community.

Imagine.

Now, imagine what that experience would be like if you were young and IN the community.

The Four of Wands is about public cultural celebrations. The Four of Wands is about lifting each other up.

Authenticity is something to celebrate. People living their truest lives is a profoundly happy thing. 

A lack of self esteem can make us more prone to prejudice. Studies are starting to show that putting other people down really is a self esteem boost for some people. 

On the other hand, self acceptance is jet fuel for empathy. Self confidence makes compassion for other people so much easier. Compassion for other people supports their self esteem which in turn seeds more compassion and so on and so on. Pride not only ISN’T a sin, it arguably can make the world a better place.

Pride month is a lesson for all of us. It’s hard to hate other people when you make peace with your TRUE self first. 

Those of us with privilege are exponentially more responsible to protect and celebrate and uplift Pride Month. I used to think that my experience of leaving evangelical religion and coming out atheist gave me a tiny glimpse into what it is like for the lgbtqia community on both sides of the closet door.

But no. Just, no.

As an ally, pride month doesn’t have anything to do with me. For an ally, Pride Month is about being proud of other people. It’s about being proud OF people I care about.

Whatever your situation, if you are living a kind and authentic life – I’m proud of you.

Celebrate who you are. Celebrate everyone. Just be careful that the celebratory kind of pride doesn’t slip into the ego kind of pride. The supportive kind of pride is something for every month, not just corporate advertising during the month of June. 

I post rainbows and celebrate WITH you this month because I’m proud OF you and proud of who YOU are.

All are welcome here. 

This episode is dedicated to a still-quiet loved one and the memory of Roger Harmon, florist, businessman, and one of my first and best friends south of the mason dixon line.

Thanks for listening. I’ll see you on the print side and I’ll see you next time in the clairvoyant’s confessional.

Based on the wordpress blog: https://taocrafttarot.wordpress.com/2021/06/09/todays-tarot-im-proud-of-you/

Bibliography / Sources:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2020/12/23/black-pastors-break-southern-baptist-critical-race-theory/

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/racial-tensions-simmer-southern-baptists-hold-key-meeting-78220643

https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/southern-baptists-divided-over-politics-race-lgbtq-policy-n1258492

https://www.hrc.org/resources/stances-of-faiths-on-lgbt-issues-southern-baptist-convention

https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/anti-transgender-hate-crimes-soared-20-percent-2019-n1248011

Confession #3 : The floor is your friend

I’m a clairvoyant and I have a confession: The floor is my friend.

I write a lot of one card meditation readings for the TaoCraft Tarot blog. I pulled the Ace of Pentacles, which means that it’s a good day to make friends with your floor.

I’m not suggesting anything weird. Well, at least not THAT weird. You won’t even have to sweep up when you are done. All you need is your feet.

We hear about being “centered” or “grounded” but what does that really mean?

In physics, or at least in my puny understanding of it, electricity goes along the path of least resistance. That’s how lightning rods work. Metal wires provide a safe path for lightning to go into the ground instead of blasting its way through a building.

The emotional kind of grounding is similar. Instead of re-routing a lighting bolt, emotional grounding reshapes strong emotions.

So what does lightning and emotions have to do with the Ace of Pentacles? Emotional grounding is one of the classic meanings for the card. Pentacles as a group are associated with the alchemical element of earth. The literal earth is a safe place to send lightning but symbolically the earth is a safe place to send strong emotions like fear or anxiety.

Connection is key to both types of grounding. Wires connect electricity to the ground. When we feel connected to another person, to a group or to some identity outside of ourselves it helps with the emotional type of grounding.

The mind is a powerful thing. Imagination and visualization are like the wires in a lightning rod. You can use them to make friends with your floor and find a little emotional grounding.

The science kind of grounding was discovered through experiments. Let’s try a mental experiment to see if we can find some of that emotional grounding.

Put your feet flat on the floor.

That’s it.

It doesn’t matter if you are sitting or standing. Just pay attention to your feet touching the floor. Allow yourself to be aware of the actual physical sensation. Let your sense of touch remind you that you are connected to the floor

… and to everything else for that matter. You are part of this whole planet and a member of the entire human race whether you feel that connection right now or not.

It’s a big planet. Earth can handle your worry, your fear, or your anxiety. Imagine any stress that you have right now going through your feet, out into the floor then safely out into the ground – just like lightning goes through the wires of a lightning rod. Give it a try for a few seconds. Right here, right now as you listen to this, feel the floor through your feet and let the floor carry your stress safely away.

Now, how do you feel? How did that little experiment work for you? If you were feeling good when you started, has the quality of that feeling improved at all? Maybe it feels a little more solid or a little more durable than it did at the beginning.

If you were feeling stressed at the beginning of the experiment, did that feeling change at all? Does anything feel even a tiny bit calmer or a little bit more confident?

If not, that’s ok. Failure is always an option in these kinds of exercises, no harm done. You can learn by doing no matter what the results are. It is an easy thought experiment to do. Try this visualization a few different times and you’ll get a sense of whether it is right for you or not.

That’s it. That’s the confession. When emotions run high, the floor is our friend.

Do you have a question about clairvoyants or tarot readings that you’d like to have answered on the podcast? Please visit the clairvoyant confessional podcast page on taocrafttarot.com to submit a question. It doesn’t cost anything except a minute of your time. The link is in the episode description. While you are there, feel free to browse the website for the print only Tarot readings and other blog content.

As always, any podcast follows, blog follows, likes, or shares that you can spare are always greatly appreciated. Thanks so much for listening! I’ll see you on the print side and talk to you next time in the clairvoyant confessional.

public domain

Siri, sort of.

I’m old enough to remember when people wrote letters on actual paper and had actual conversations on landline telephones, so I still appreciate the technology that lets this blog and podcast happen. It warms my Gen X cyberpunk loving heart. I’m also self aware enough to know I’ve got work to do as a media speaker. Dammit Jim, I’m a writer and this automatic thing is going to make a better, more articulate, more entertaining podcast, right?

Right?

I’m not so sure.

Basically, I’m thrilled to bits if anyone reads or listens to any of this. I’ll be doing a full on happy dance if anyone decides to get a reading because of anything in the blog or podcast. But it bothers me that the automated audio doesn’t sound the same as the words sounded in my brain when I wrote them.

My narration may not be Webby worthy – yet – but at least it has more emotional tone and verbal context than the electronic version. It is, after all, human. Humanity is what intuition, clairvoyance, psychology, Tarot and personal development are all about. This tech part is fun as heck and only going to get better as time goes on. But it is what it is, and so is the human side of it all.

I propose a hybrid. When you see “Confession” in the title, you’ll know that’s me recording the episode. If you see “Today’s Tarot” or some other title, you’ll know to expect the cyber side of the podcast.

True to the renegade pirate radio motif, nothing about Clairvoyant Confessional is set in stone. It is naturally evolving to be short, little jelly bean sized episodes. There is no sense holding something like that to a regular release schedule. Text to speech will let me drop content more often, as the inspiration hits. The “confession” episodes will happen less often, BUT they will also be longer and take a deeper dive into the humanity of clairvoyance, psychics, intuition and Tarot. Q&A episodes will always be recorded and never automated.

Did you hear that sound? That was the loud thud of a hint being dropped. If you want to submit a question to be answered in the podcast, possibly in the form of a Tarot reading, just visit the Clairvoyant Confessional podcast page on TaoCraftTarot.com. There is a link in the episode description if you are listening to the podcast. The page is in the top menu for those of you reading the blog.

Thank you all for reading and listening. I really do appreciate any follows, subscriptions, likes, or shares that you can spare. And please, for the love of your own ears, send some feedback or some questions. I can’t read for a question until you ask it.

Thanks again, and I’ll talk to you all when the next jelly bean drops.