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

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.

Short Sip Tarot: Chains

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today’s card is the Devil from the major arcana

Thanks for watching, reading and listening to Short Sip Tarot! Your support with likes, subs, shares, follows, reading orders and memberships is always appreciate!

Today’s card is The Devil, from the major arcana.

This card can be intimidating. It outright scares people, especially if you look at the card through the misconception of predicting the future or the drama of paranormal fiction. This card doesn’t involve hellfire, brimstone, a red Minotaur-looking guy, two dudes in an impala or a guest appearance by Crawley and the Chattering Sisters of St. Beryl. The Devil card is way worse than the Hollywood version. It is a reminder that there really are bad things that happen and that there really are bad people in this world. Psychopaths, sociopaths, murderers, terrorists, con artists, thieves, sweet pickles and super slowed down song covers actually do exist. There is real evil in this world and taking normal, reasonable precautions are always warranted. The Devil card reminds us to stay heads up, eyes open, aware of your surroundings and to use your best street smarts. It is a call to shore up your energies and boundaries and take basic precautions; change your password, lock your doors and for crying out loud wear your mask and wash your hands.

Yesterday, we were talking about pop culture references in Tarot readings and how helpful they can be. Today, the pop culture references are the whole ballgame.

I felt nudged to pick up the Heart of Stars deck again today. In it, Thom Pham portrays the Devil as Jabba the Hutt with Princess Liea as his prisoner in place of the Baphomet image and two chained figures in the classic Devil card artwork. That narrative from the movie Return of the Jedi is key to the message. To really make sure I was paying attention to the right thing, I got the song “Free Your Mind” from the early ’90s by En Vogue followed by a flash of The Matrix.

The literal lyric “free your mind” is the essence of it.

The Devil reminds us of the bad things that can and do happen to everyone in life to one extent or another. Leia used the actual chains that imprisoned her to free herself at the most literal and essential level in addition to the help she received from the others. The intuitive reference to the Matrix movie emphasizes the role that mind and perception plays in today’s idea.

Things happen to everyone. Sometimes they happen by chance, other times they happen because of the carelessness or maliciousness of others.

The physical and mental / emotional realm needs first attention. Today’s message isn’t talking about post-traumatic stress syndrome or other very real, very serious mental health challenge. If the Devil plays a role here it is to acknowledge the very real Devil that many people have to face.

Freeing yourself from the Devils chains doesn’t mean just stopping your thoughts or your feelings. The act of not letting the past live in your head very often consists of the act of reaching out for help. That help very much exists. You are not alone. Leia took matters into her own hands, but she also had help from Luke, Han and Chewbacca. So of course, secure your physical and mental safety first and foremost, getting the help you need.

The message today is also about not making the petty into the psychopathic. It is about not letting your past re-victimize you when your physical and mental safety is otherwise secure. It is about taking opportunities to free your mind from prior conditioning. It is like Nine of Swords energy only on the major arcana level. Today, it is about not letting old issues live in your head rent free in a big way over a really long time. Seeking the help you need and not giving up until you get it is the same as Leia using her own chains to free herself.

If you are safe and well today, I’m glad. If that is the case, the Devil card may be asking you to check for old assumptions. What things have a hold on your thinking that have been otherwise resolved? What devils are perched on your shoulder an need brushing away. Breaking old, ingrained, preconditioned thought-habits is the thing that breaks the chains and sets your mind free.

Magpie Skills

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your morning coffee. Today: Queen of Swords and the skills of a magpie

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Thank you so much for watching, reading and listening. Your support through likes, subs, shares, blog follows, podcast follows, reading orders and the virtual tip jar coffee mug is always greatly appreciated!

Today’s card is the Queen of Swords.

Magpie birds have a reputation for taking shiny objects. The Audubon Society web page suggests that they collect stuff to attract a mate, that they don’t necessarily gravitate toward shiny things, and it tends to be food.

I think people have a little bit in common with magpies. I’m down with the collect food part. I do like to keep the pantry stocked in winter so I can hide from the occasional snow or ice storm when they come along.

My parents were collectors. Not in a random magpie or hoarding sort of way, but in a collector hobby sort of way. There was this sort of expectation that everyone had something that they liked and collected and you would get that thing for birthdays and holidays until you gave up in a muffled voice from under the pile of whatever it was.

I never did quite get on that bandwagon. I tried to think of something I could collect, but in a way I was the most magpie of all because I’d rather have one of a wide variety of things rather than a wide variety of just one thing. The older I got, the more intangible the collection became. I like collecting ideas and when possible, skills. If memory serves, Adam Savage called it “task directed learning.” It’s not necessary to be an absolute master of absolutely everything. It’s ok to magpie a few useful skills along the way. You don’t have to be an electrician to change a light bulb. You don’t have to be a New York designer to sew on a button.

I’m so impressed with odd skills people pick up as they go through life, especially the really surprising ones from people’s childhood. They are so pure and give such open, innocent unabashed pleasure. You know, things like a card trick or being able to burp the alphabet on command.

It seems we all have some skill that we have magpie-ed at some point in time.

The Queen of Swords is classically a card of stepping into your power and owning the things that you do well. Today the energy is like that, but on hobby collector sort of scale rather than the major life epiphany sort of scale. Some quirky little thing you’ve learned along the way just might be the answer you are looking for.

Thank you again for watching, listening and reading. See you at the next sip!

Do the thing

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot guidance for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today its the knight of pentacles and do the thing.

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Your support through likes, subs, shares, blog follows, reading orders and the virtual coffee mug is always, always appreciated.

Today’s card is the Knight of Pentacles.

Knights evoke the image of action while pentacles are connected with earth, work, career, wealth, and our relationship with the physical realm.

Today the vibe is very down to earth. Often pentacles brings in an element of practicality. Today the energy is so rooted, so down to earth, so low key that it verges on drudgery instead of practicality. At the same time there is a short duration feel. It is a little like bit like the notion of just ripping a bandage off and getting the pain over with.

Today’s advice is to do what needs done, just do it and get on the other side of it.

Your emotional energy and enthusiasm are optional as long as you can ride up on your horse and do the thing and get the job done. It isn’t suggesting that we phone it in as they say, or slack off on effort. There is a knight’s sense of chivalry. Do the thing, do the job well with all of your usual brilliance and competence, just don’t waste any energy on extra fanfare or drama.

Do the thing and you are free to ride off into the sunset.

And there the energy of the card does the thing and rides off into the sunset.

These aren’t called nano-episodes for nothing. Tarot is like that. It never fails to amaze me how the energy adjusts the length and intensity of a reading to a person’s individual needs…or in this case, the individual day’s needs.

Thank you so much for reading, watching and listening. See you at the next sip!