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.

Turnovers are tasty at night too

Sunday Tarot Turnovers on Taocraft Tarot are a weekly blog exclusive intuition building exercise where I choose a card at random but turn the reading over to you.

It’s a new year. My resolution is to roll with the flow “marketing best practices” be damned. To paraphrase an old T-shirt about world religions, I’m Taoist. Shit Happens. Whammalammadingdong. Or, in the words of the Allen Toussaint song “Everything I Do Gone Be Funky (from now on)” Consider yourself warned n’at.

But as for the Sunday Tarot Turnovers – they work like this:

Some Sundays they won’t work at all. Will try to give you heads up when I can’t post, but weekends family comes first. Full stop. I’ll drop this without warning like a hot potato if it mean getting an extra few minutes with the hubster and the padawan.

Otherwise, Sunday Tarot Tunovers turns a Tarot reading over to you. It is a blog-exclusive intuition building exercise. I post a random Tarot card, but the interpretation is turned over to you. I’ll put some classic keywords and prompts from old blog post card meanings, but you use your instincts to pick which meaning is right for you…or if none of them feel right, use pure intuition to gather the message spirit is sending to you.

Feel free to drop your chosen interpretation or ask any questions in the comments.

1909 RWS public domain
  • Happiness
  • Money can’t buy the important things in life
  • Contentment
  • wealth
  • Success by any definition
  • Happy family
  • Abundance
  • ancestors/legacy

Sunday Tarot Turnover: Go With What You Know

In this blog exclusive intuition building exercise – you do the card reading. A card is drawn at random, then I’ll give you a list of meanings from past readings that I’ve done. Use your own instincts to guide you to the best meaning or interpretation for you today. Feel free to search this blog or the original Tarotbytes archive for old posts related to the card for more intuition prompts and interpretation ideas.

  • Study, taking classes, formal education of any kind
  • new certifications to advance your career
  • informal learn – any new skill or hobby
  • learning personal growth or self development
  • learn how to ground, center, relax
  • review or revisit old knowledge as if it were for the first time

Sunday Turnovers: Clarity

Sunday Short Tarot Turnovers are a blog-only intuition exercise for you where we turn a Tarot Reading on its head. Instead of YouChoose – ing a card, I choose the card and you interpret it. There aren’t any trick, tips or how-to.

My martial arts teacher always says that the best way to train for a thing is to do a thing. That is exactly the kind of routine low-pressure practice that will help you be able to read well when the emotional heat is on.

This is easy. Just read through the list of meanings and see if and how any of them speak to you or guide you….or make up a meaning of your own just for you, just for today. This is an exercise in following your own intuition. If no meaning jumps out as the right one, just ponder the card every now and then and see if anything comes to you as the day goes on. That’s the kind of “daily meditation” Tarot that my ebook PeaceTarot teaches you to do. (It’s inexpensive and available right now as a pdf download in the ko-fi shop.)

Today’s card is the Five of Swords

  • Gain clarity. Make sure you are understanding clearly before you act
  • Self-defeat, self-sabotage
  • feeling defeated, feeling attacked
  • victory, but at great cost
  • stubbornness, it’s time to change or adapt

Even though the podcast is shifting to the short form daily meditation format, I’ll still do “confessional” or Q&A episode occasionally. YOUR QUESTIONS ARE WELCOME in the comments or by email.

Thanks for reading! I hope you will follow the blog, that way all of the free TaoCraft Tarot content will come to your inbox – short sip tarot, video demonstrations, YouChoose Interactive Tarot, announcements…all of it.

For an extra reading every month, the Reading Room membership is available through ko-fi. For $5 per month you get a three card members only three card pathway reading through the ko-fi blog, newsletter, random special offers and giveaways and a personal, just-for-you “Year Ahead” Tarot reading by email when you join.

Tips to the virtual coffee mug support this blog and the Short Sip podcast

Sunday #Short Tarot Turnover: Strength

With these videos, let’s flip the #interactive script. Instead of you choosing the card, and I give you an interpretation, this time I’ll choose the card….but YOU choose the meaning that best fits you: Today’s Card is Strength from the major arcana

  • Be strong – someone around you needs somebody to lean on
  • Be strong – Take the high road. The best way is almost never the easiest
  • Be strong – “just do it” is sometimes the best way to discover just how strong you really are.

LEARN TO READ TAROT

Think of these Sunday videos as a way to strengthen your relationship with your own intuition. If you want to improve your Tarot skills watch these “Tarot Turnovers” every week and practice the techniques and exercises in my ebook PeaceTarot available for download HERE

Reminder

New stuff announced on the equinox includes: “Reiki and Relaxation” (my doctoral dissertation) is available for download is the newest item in my NEW ko-fi shop. Watch form more updates to come. ZOMBIE CAT IS BACK on the home page and yes/no readings are $5 off until Halloween ’21.

Something Completely Different

Dammit Jim, I’m a writer not a…..

At this point, low production value sucky YouTube videos and awkward podcasts are practically my BRAND in the social media Tarot world. This is no different.

But it IS different in base content. This shows you how I do my yes-or-no readings. The layout came up in conversation with a client and ever since it has been niggling at my attention.

Sooo….

After all these years (30 of them, remember?) I’ve learned to listen to the niggles when the capricious muses hit me over the head with a cosmic shillelagh if you’ll pardon the mixed metaphor.

I think Zombie Cat wants a summer shamble. The paws are itching to do some yes or no layouts for you good folks. No, this isn’t a cutesy pants special offer, this is something straight up NEW.

I’ve added a yes/no Tarot THREE QUESTION bundle in the special layouts section of email distance Tarot that is available to you to order 24/7/365.

Individual results and delivery times may vary, all policies and disclaimers apply, no lifeguard on duty, swim at your own risk, wash your hands, eat your vegetables and ffs consult with your doctor and get your friggin’ vaccine.

Function & Finesse

Throwing a ball isn’t difficult to do.

Almost anyone can do it, one way or the other. Tossing something is a skill we all learn at such a young age, that we almost never give it a second thought. We can throw any little thing and have it land somewhere. If we are going to put the wadded up paper in the garbage can from 6 feet away, it takes a little more thought and focus but is the same basic body mechanics as any throw. Still, it isn’t major league baseball, either.

This is another way of saying one of the things I was rambling in circles about in “Growing Ogres.” Reading Tarot for yourself is easy to do. I can teach you in a 90 minute workshop, or in a short ebook. Doing a single card draw for yourself is the throwing equivalent of tossing your socks in the general direction of the clothes hamper.

Every card you add to a layout increases the level of difficulty. Not only are you dealing with the card’s assigned meaning combined with direct intuitive input, you add each card’s position meaning within the layout PLUS the way that the cards connect to each other to read the layout as a whole (not just a series of card + position meanings). With each added position, with each card increase in a layout’s the complexity increases. I don’t know if increasing exponentially is the right way to describe it, but it’s close. We are still talking about reading for yourself, so we are not talking about landing on Mars. Still, the food for thought from a multi-card layout can be a lot to digest. It’s moving up in difficulty from tossing socks to playing trashcan paperball, to little league, to a full on juggling act where the balls can fall down very easily.

Reading as an amateur at no charge IS an exponential increase in skill from the sock tossin’ DIY daily meditations. We are talking full-on March Madness, college playoff level ball handling. Not only do you have the multiple cards in multiple positions to knit together, you have the added layer of language that falls over the whole thing. It’s one thing to understand a card’s message and symbolism inside our own head for your own self, but it is a whole other enterprise to communicate those things to another person in a way that they can understand.

Reading professionally is playing hard ball with the big boys. When you do that, you are going to the show. Professional is professional whether you are throwing card or throwing balls. You not only have the basic card meaning, your intuitive impressions, they layout position meanings and the interconnection between the cards, when you go pro you have ethics and business practices to consider.

We all have perfectly good intuition. We are all “gifted” psychics. It is as much a matter of learning, practice and technique as throwing a baseball. We can all toss one. Not everyone wants to put in the work to get really good at it. Natural talent can play a part, but I’m not sure how much of a factor it really is. Not everyone has the drive, desire, natural ability, luck and opportunity to be a professional athlete. Or mechanic. Or doctor, or lawyer or therapist or grocery bagger or Tarot reader or professional anything-you-can-name.

If you can functionally do something, and you are happy with it, by all means do it for yourself. I think it is laudable. I like to make things. I could buy a sweater, but I have the ability to knit one for myself and I don’t mind the wait and less-than-professional result. But on the other hand, I like to listen to music. I probably could functionally learn to make amateur music for myself, but I don’t want to. I want to listen to music made by artists with talent and finesse as well as basic functional skill.

We all have intuition. It is, I believe, a natural function of the human psyche just like throwing a binkie on the floor is a natural function of being a human baby. Using Tarot cards to access that normal intuition is like learning to aim that binkie toss. Time, practice, technique, desire and sprinkle of luck and talent can give the intuitive function a good deal of finesse.


Learn to do DIY daily meditation single card Tarot readings with PeaceTarot, available in the TaoCraftTarotShop on Etsy.

copyright Ronda Snow, all rights reserved

Duly Noted

Growing Ogres” was a challenging post to write. You can tell because it’s long. Einstein was right – “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”

There are three basic layers to talking about layers in Tarot: easy, hard and hot mess.

Reading for yourself is easy. I can teach you to interact with the cards by yourself for yourself in no time. In a short ebook in fact. You can order it HERE. And yes, I’m still working on a second edition. We’re gonna need it when this whole pandemic thing is over. Adjusting is hard. Adjusting BACK is hard too.

Reading for other people is hard. Interacting with the cards, plus the intuitive messages from energy/spirit plus communicating that message effectively to the client, plus business ethics plus ethics ethics…professional Tarot reading has several layers of complexity and levels of difficulty above grabbing your favorite deck for a little guidance every now and then.

Describing my side of the table and the inner workings of intuitive readings is wildly complicated because it requires taking a reader right up to the edge of silent mysteries and individual experiences. Trying to put the wordless into words can turn into a hot mess in a heartbeat. Or, in the words of Lau Tzu, “The Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao.”

All I really needed to say was the combination of video and text wasn’t working out the way I’d hoped, so I’m changing it back.

I’ll circle back to personal growth, evolution, authenticity, inner growing new layers, shedding old ones and all of that stuff another time. Meanwhile, if you have any feedback about the tweek in the layout names or the audio/visual combo experiment, I’d love to hear it.

If you are interested in the video & text combination, check out the “Today’s Tarot” posts and the weekly “YouChoose Interactive Tarot” posts.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”

Jeff Rich

Growing Ogres

Shrek: ….ogres are like onions

Donkey: They stink?

….

Shrek: No! Layers. Onions have layers. Ogres have layers. You get it? We both have layers

from “Shrek” copyright 2001 Dreamworks Pictures, quote via imdb.com

Layers mean complexity. Layers apply to all sorts of things that are actually more complex than they seem at first glance; ogres, onions, cakes and – you guessed it – Tarot.

Reading Tarot for yourself is actually quite simple. In a couple of hours I could teach you to do good DIY readings for yourself. (Related: PeaceTarot ebook)

Reading for other people is another story. High level professional readings are, like onions and ogres, more complex than it seems on the surface. That’s the whole point of them. A professional reading can gives you extra layers of insight and experience that you can’t get alone. Two heads are better than one. Two eyes give depth perception (related post: parallax) The two of us working together gives your reading another layer of understanding.

Sometimes layers talk about authenticity. Sometimes you have to peel back a few layers to get to the real heart of the matter. We’ve talked about authenticity and public Tarot practice before, after my Modern Oracle Tarot work was re-branded to TaoCraft Tarot (related: what’s in a name, Shakespear’s Roses, Spell Your Name)

That’s all well and good, but consider another aspect of layers: growing new ones. Interestingly, actual onions grow on the inside. New layers are added at the core while older outside layers get dry and thin and ultimately fall away. In this, onions give us another useful metaphor.

In the medical field, and no doubt many other professions, continuing education is a condition of licensure and employment. You have to keep learning and keep current if you want to keep working. Whether it is required or not, whether it is career related or not, lifelong learning is a respected mark of excellence. Learning isn’t just formal education. Learning comes from experience and experimentation and the living of life. Artists’ work evolves over time. Any person’s point of view can evolve over time.

And so, the “Modern Oracle” layout is evolving. I’m calling abort on the video / text hybrid format. It was an experiment that failed, and I’ve learned something important from it.

Remember how deeper layers are often perceived as more authentic and how old layers of growing onions turn papery and fall off? It’s time for the 5 and 7 card Modern Oracle layouts to evolve, to become more authentic, to show more of their inner complexity. The video hybrid isn’t the way for that to happen. The names of layout card positions are changing. It’s a tiny detail that you may not even notice from your side of the Tarot table. On my side of the table it is important shift in mindset. This allows me to fully and authentically follow what intuition and spirit shows me.

I wrote the initial layout meanings to create a bridge from old fashioned, predict-the-future, fortune telling layouts to a more modern advice, guidance and empowerment reading. I wrote the Modern Oracle layouts specifically to show the power of your choices over your future. Cards that once were called “past, present and future” in the old style became “lessons from the past, current situation, and moving forward.” Predicting the future evolved into making an action plan.

Now it will go one step further. I in my minds’s eye, I see a reading in terms of dynamic energy flows, not a concrete road through time. As Modern Oracle layouts become TaoCraft layouts, we will let go of time and predictions entirely. If the Modern Oracle layout was like GPS map for your path ahead, the TaoCraft layout is like a GPS traffic update with a weather report.

Card 1, lessons from the past, will become Fading Energies, symbolizing energies that are moving away from you. These are things that need less of your attention.

Card 2, current situation, will become Current Energies, the energies that are strongest, and deal with things that need your attention in this moment.

Card 3, moving forward will become Growing Energies, energies moving toward you, or gaining influence in the path you’ve currently chosen. It still isn’t predictive. It is still intended to guide you, help you prepare for possible conditions ahead. Think of it like a weather report. It doesn’t tell you exactly what will happen to you during your day, but it can give you the chance of rain or sun while it happens.

Card 4 will remain Choices. It is still placed under the current energies card and at the center of the layout because that is still the place of power. Empowering your choices is still the heart of the reading. The choices card will take on a more advisory tone than before. Instead of suggesting how to persist or how change your path, it focuses on whether changing or whether staying the course is the wisest thing to do.

Card 5 is still Alternative Path just like before, showing the most open alternative path you if you decide a change is needed.

Card 6 Helping Energies and card 7 Potential Challenges are the same as always, and speak to exactly what the name implies.

Long story short, if you are dead set on a specific “accurate” prediction, you aren’t going to like the new TaoCraft layouts. If that’s the case, you need the Zombie Cat yes/no readings like we did the other day. Even then, you have to realize it isn’t 100%.

If you are ready for next level, dynamic energy readings, I can help. Welcome to TaoCraft Tarot.

,

PeaceTarot: Introduction to the 1st ed.

PeaceTarot is available as a downloadable ebook in the Taocraft Tarot Shop

Copyright Ronda Snow 2020 All rights reserved

I almost didn’t write #PeaceTarot.

It was an idea born out of tragedy, and there is a certain discomfort in writing a book inspired by stories of loss and violence. It feels a little like taking advantage of a disaster, even though the core idea is to help and comfort. Even so, every time I would chicken out, the Muses would take a deep breath, then start whacking me over the head with the idea all over again.

The notion of #PeaceTarot first came around after the September 2012 attack on the American Embassy in Bengazi, Libya.  As bad as that was, it was even more discouraging to hear politicians and presidential candidates try to turn those events to suit their own self-serving ends. Their rhetoric was verbal violence heaped on top of violent tragedy.  What could one unknown blogger do to speak for peace when some of the country’s most powerful people seemed intent on the opposite? I reached for the one thing literally at my fingertips: the Internet. I posted tarot meditations on Twitter with the hashtag #PeaceTarot and asked other tarot readers to do the same. Some friends picked up the challenge, but after a few days hashtag idea faded along with the headlines. It didn’t trend one bit, so I just chalked the whole thing up as a nice try.

After the mass shooting of school children in Newtown, Connecticut in December 2012, #PeaceTarot came to mind again. Several friends of mine were genuinely upset by the news.  It was a loss that touched every parent in the nation. Maybe this time #PeaceTarot needed to be something more than a few ephemeral tweets. Maybe Tarot could be a source of comfort for anyone moved to emotion after a tragic event, no matter the circumstances. After all, that is what Tarot and psychic readings are really all about. Readings help us understand our situation, ease emotions, and find a way forward – plus maybe find a little inner peace along the way.

Day after day, violence continues; Shootings, bombings, chemical weapons being used and hostages being taken. #PeaceTarot demanded to be written, and for better or worse here it is.

If one person can find one moment of serenity in these few pages, then this book has served its purpose. That one person and that one moment contributes to the sum total of peacefulness that exists in the world.  Peaceful thinking and calm emotions change the choices that we make. When we choose differently, then we can literally change our future. Thought by thought, moment by moment, we all can contribute to a more peaceful world for everyone.