The Oracle’s Toolkit: Introduction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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!

Flow Forward

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today’s card is the eight of cups.

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee

Today’s card is the eight of cups.

The eight of cups always seems to have a bittersweet sense of resignation about it, and today is no different. Cups cards have to do with emotions and our closest relationships in life. Very often the eight in particular has to do with a needed, healthy, healing, necessary parting of ways. Often when we see this card, something is being left behind, even if it is as minor as a bad habit. It reminds me a little bit of an exercise the therapists would give the clients when I worked as medical support on an inpatient rehab unit long ago. They would write a letter breaking up with their addiction, essentially saying goodbye to their drug of choice.

I’m not suggesting that everyone hearing this is addicted to something or anything so dramatic, by intuition seems a little stuck on the idea of a bad habit. This is the time of year for making those healthy lifestyle resolutions. If you have any inkling that you need something like that, then this is a good time of year for it. The collective energy is working in your favor and you have plenty of company along that path.

That’s on the nuts and bolts physical level. It feels like there is something more subtle, more esoteric, something on the emotional and spiritual level coming through for this card as well. That piece of it is not connected to the “bad habit” idea.

I want to connect it to the famous quote by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, who said that “no man can step in the same river twice. It’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”

We all leave everything behind all of the time whether we like it or not just by virtue of the passage of time. It’s kind of a terrifying prospect when you put it in those terms. But moving forward can include moving to a place of remembrance and appreciation.

We are always moving forward through and ever-changing river of time. That unavoidable forward movement is easier if we move our attention forward with it. Turn to the past too much for too long and you get an awful lot of water splashed right in your face. You can carry the good parts of the past with you, and you can leave the harmful parts behind but you can never walk through the same river twice. We can only flow forward.

Thank you so much for reading, watching and listening to these (almost) daily short sip Tarot clips. The virtual tip mug and memberships on ko-fi supports the creation of the blog, podcast and youtube shorts. Your likes, subs, follows and shares are always, always appreciated. See you at the next sip.

Tipping Point

Thanks for watching, reading and listening today. TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip your coffee.

Today’s card is the Two of Pentacles.

The Two of Pentacles is the quintessential balance card in the deck. In some ways it is even more balance oriented than Temperance in the major arcana. Temperance has a feel of balance by mixing. The Two of Pents is balance through the adjustment and tension between opposites. In this kind of balance, the balance point is also a tipping point.

In the yin-yang symbol of Taoism, the opposite colored dots in each side of the circle remind us that in anything lies the seed of it’s opposite. Anything take to extreme can become its opposite. Anything in perfect balance can tip into its opposite.

In Dune, Frank Herbert writes “A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that the balances are correct.” Both beginnings and balances are delicate things. Both are dynamic, changing things.

The yin-yang symbol is meant to be in motion. The trailing tail of the black and white parts hint at that motion, as apposed to showing perfect pie-slice halves. Balance is a thing in motion too. This card always brings to mind a unicycle rider who can stay upright in one place by making small forward and backward movements . In the big picture, they may not seem to be moving forward, but in order to stay upright, there is a lot of movement going on in the wheel, just in balanced opposite directions.

Pentacle cards are often read as being about work, career, money, practicality or some aspect of the physical world. They are also associated with the element of earth and by extension the idea of grounding and balance. Everybody talks about “finding balance.” But what do you do once you have it?

Balance is easier to maintain than to get in the first place, but once you have it, it takes a little attention to maintain it because life is in motion. Opposites are always at the doorstep. Which one would you invite in? Which one would you use to maintain a delicate balance when a balance point is also a tipping point.

Thank you for watching, listening and reading! Any likes, subs, shares, blog follows or reading orders you can spare are always appreciated!

See you at the next sip.

The Value of a Good Pout

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your morning coffee.

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your favorite drink. My favorite is coffee (said as she raises her gingerbread spice latte in your honor) Cheers!

Any likes, subs, shares, blog follows, reading orders, Tarot Table membershipsor tips to the virtual coffee mug are always, always deeply appreciated.

Today’s card is the Four of Cups.

The suit of cups is associated with emotion, intuition, the element of water, and our closest relationships of whatever type be it romance, friends or family.

Like many, if not most of the Tarot cards, this one has a few different threads of meaning that can step forward at different times. Sometimes this card can feel very spiritual, and the imagery is sometimes associated with meditation and contemplation. It has been compared to the Buddha meditating under the bohdi tree and being given a cup symbolizing enlightenment. As it turns out, today is December 8 Bohdi day. Greetings and peace to all who celebrate.

Other times the card feels more petulant. That is the thread of energy stepping forward for this reading. The figure under the tree often is shown with crossed arms and legs. I’m guessing in the time and culture where the cards were first popular, and in Pamela Smith’s Edwardian England, this posture would seem more closed off than meditative. The crossed arms in particular bring to mind a tantruming child. The card hints at something being gently and lovingly given, but stubbornly refused for good or ill.

If you are in the energy space of the person under the tree, the card is asking you to look where you are being stubbornly and unnecessarily closed off. What message or gift is being handed to you on a silver platter that you are too closed off mentally or emotionally to see?

If you are the hand giving the goblet, the card is asking for your patience. It could be the person you are trying to reach just isn’t ready to receive what you are giving. Your task is to evaluate if the situation has any hope of changing. Wait and see if it is best to persist, or to let go of an intractable situation.

Either way, the card points out the value of a good pout.

If you are in a sour mood, then by all means – sit yourself down, sit with those emotions, and pout it out, so you can move on. Indulging an emotion in a safe place for a time (under a tree or otherwise) is often more helpful than trying to just crash through the wonky-ness or trying to ignore it. Pouty people don’t usually like a lot of social interaction, which is probably for the best so the tantrum doesn’t get unleashed on innocent bystanders.

If you are in the position of dealing with aforementioned pouty person, stay chill, be as buddha-like as you can muster. Stand there with the goblet in your hand and let them pout it out. Once the storm blows over, then we all can get back to business. There is value in the pout from this perspective too. No need to put yourself in the splash zone of a tantrum if you don’t have too.

Whether you are in a mood or dealing with someone who is, a short time with a good pout can have some value. Wait, watch and listen. Sudden storms blow over quickly.

TaoCraft Short Sip Tarot is available as a print blog post and as an audio podcast. The live, real-world card draw is also available as a short on TaoCraft Tarot’s YouTube Channel and as a reel on Instagram. My Tarot content is available on several social media platforms. Please feel free to say hi! Your feedback and especially your questions are always welcome.

Thanks again for reading, watching and listening. See you next time.

Short Sip Tarot: Eyes on the big picture

TaoCraft Short Sip Tarot: guidance for your day in the time it takes to sip from your morning coffee.

Thank you SO much for listening, watching and reading! I appreciate your support and any likes, subs, shares, follows, comments, questions or reading orders that you can spare. The virtual coffee mug supports the blog and podcast. Contact information is below or in the podcast episode description. Have a question for the Clairvoyant? Speak right up and send it right in! Ask anything and everything (within reason) will be answered in upcoming podcast episodes, possibly with an on-air Tarot reading.

Today’s card is the World from the major arcana.

Back in the day, the world was all there was. Humans have been looking to the stars as long as we’ve had clear nights and eyeballs. Our perspective has changed a great deal since then.

Tarot was in use a hundred years before the telescope was invented. Don’t get your knickers in a bunch, I’m not equating the two. What I’m saying is that Tarot is still a product of the largely pre-scientific times in which it emerged. Tarot was psychology before psychology was invented. It was stress management and personal development and creative problem solving long before we had words for those things. The world was bigger then so the World card carries connotations that it wouldn’t had the deck evolved as an oracle in a more technologically advanced culture. Today, we might be better served calling the card “The Universe” or “The Cosmos” or something that implies a true gestalt.

We are often told to keep our eyes on the prize. That is good advice. Staying focused and avoiding distraction certainly helps us to progress. To focus like that, however, we have to narrow our field of vision. It is a mental reflection of how optics and our vision tend to work. It makes me wonder. What are we missing if we focus “eyes on the prize” too much? Focus is good, but narrow. It’s also a good idea to zoom out, look at the biggest big picture you can muster. It lets you see where the prize you are eyeing fits in the big picture. It lets you see your progress toward it. The big picture lets you see what other prizes are out there and if the original is the right treasure for you. It’s hard to adjust your direction with narrow-focus blinders on.

Eyes on the prize is important, but eyes on the big picture can be very helpful too.

A Sip of Tarot: On Schedule

Today’s card is The Hanged Man from the major arcana.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson famously said that “the universe is under no obligation to make sense to you.” By the same token, life is under no obligation to meet our time schedules. Sometimes things take a frustratingly long time to happen. Sometimes things go so slowly nothing seems to be happening at all. Other times life goes lightning fast and takes us by surprise.

Time is literally changeable at super high speeds. Even right here, with both feet firmly planted on the ground, our perception of time seems entirely fluid. Perception is part of the key energy around the card today.

I’ve often said that with the Hanged Man, one person’s stuck in the mud is another person’s day at a spa. As with so many things, a small shift in perspective can change your feeling and experience enormously. One pattern I’ve seen in readings over the years is that a narrow focus on the path ahead breeds frustration. If one aspect of life is taking too long to happen, or if you feel stuck and making no progress, maybe that is another area of life grabbing you by the elbow and trying to get you to pay attention to something else. If things are going slowly, maybe it is because life doesn’t want you to whizz right by the scenery on the side of the road. If you feel stuck, it might be an opportunity in disguise to rest, stop, really see and appreciate where you are right now before running ahead to something new.

Thank you all for reading and listening! I’ll see See you next time on the TaoCraft Tarot blog and the next Sip of Tarot episode of the Clairvoyant Confessional podcast.

A Sip of Tarot: No Big

Today’s card is the two of pentacles.

Most of the time we say it is a card about balance. It’s also fair to say it is about dynamic equilibrium. Think of a spinning coin or a bicycle in motion or a toy top or a gyroscope. There of lots of examples of things that keep their balance through motion. I’ll leave it to the physics people to explain how that happens and angular momentum and such.

The Tao Te Ching reminds us of a similar but very very broad principle: Living things are supple, able to be in motion. Stiff and motionless is, well, dead.

Movement, and by extension movement as a gateway to balance, is the normal way of things. Feeling overwhelmed when there is too much going on is also the normal way of things.

Life can be a juggling act. Multitasking can make each individual task seem bigger than it really is. But try not to let it get to you. Simplify as much as you can, then have at it. You got this!

Thank you for watching, reading and listening to A Sip of Tarot from TaoCraft Tarot blog and Clairvoyant confessional podcast. You questions and comments are always welcome.

A sip of Tarot: magic in many forms

Today’s card is the Magician from the major arcana.

The magician card is traditionally associated with transformation and manifestation. Today’s energy goes along with both. To change things, to transform them, you have to do something differently. To make something, to manifest anything, you first have to first do something.

The broader concept of change would, of course, fall under the Death card. The focus here is cause and effect. The focus here is in the doing. Do nothing and there is no change for the death card to symbolize. The science folks call that inertia.

The magician card often has the symbols of the four minor arcana suits on it. The magician uses all of the elements, all of the concepts from the minor suits and applies them to the concept of transformation and manifestation. The magician incorporates all the ways of doing. All of the suits have various connections to thinking, doing, deciding, withholding, experiencing, all of which are elements of transformation and manifestation.

First decide what you want to change or create. Then do something to start on that new path. Lay the foundation. Do the thing that becomes the cause for the desired effect. Anyone can work that magic.

Thank you for reading and listening to “A sip of Tarot.” on the TaoCraft Tarot blog and Clairvoyant Confessional podcast. Stay tuned for more (almost) daily meditation style Tarot readings in the time it takes to sip from a cup of morning coffee.

A Sip of Tarot: both directions

Today’s card is the six of wands.

Wands cards in general have to do with the element of fire, and our relationship with ourselves. Wands cards are about our inner world, but our feelings are not entirely separate from physical events.

The six of wands in particular often symbolizes peace, a rest after a struggle of some kind. Pamela Smith’s famous artwork has a knight, a warrior, on horseback carrying a laurel wreath which is a symbol of peace. The tone isn’t so much one of a conquering hero or occupying force, but the feeling is of being on the winning side. This card is about peaceful feelings, and feelings of satisfaction after a job well done, despite the hints of recent combat or struggles.

Compliments feel good, especially when they are linked with a personal sense of achievement like this. If you haven’t received a pat on the back for doing work, try giving a word of encouragement to someone else. Any tiny little thank you will do. Then enjoy, because with compliments the good feelings flow in both directions.