You Are Part of Something Big

I totally agree with Theresa here. There is no denying the unique beauty of our solar system and the dance it does. It is the essence of our point of view on the cosmos. But it is just that, a relative point of view but not absolute reality. How the sun and moon align with other stars from the singular perspective of planet Earth is breathtaking, beguiling, and our portal to larger understanding to be sure. But these alignments have little meaning to other parts of the universe. The Mars rovers gave a very different view of…and energy environment from…tonight’s “super blood wolf moon.” It’s going to be gorgeous for those able to view it, no doubt about that. Celebrate it, enjoy it, soak up its energy, yes. Still, don’t forget that there is a larger Cosmos than the sun, the Earth, and the Moon. You are as much a part of that larger Cosmos as you are part of Earthly beauty and the Earthly perspective. The dance nearby is magical, but you can make your own music any time you like. The dance hall of the Cosmos is big enough for any and all of us to dance free.

Thoughts on pens

Our keyboards and devices are pens, electrified and empowered to send the magic of words farther and fastee ghan ever before. Almost a full circle, actual handwriting and drawings can be sent electronically without taking a picture, without converting to type.

I’m hoping these “digital handwriting” format Tarot readings will be as popular as I believe them to be powerful. REALLY old school pen and for-real paper by snail mail readings are avaiable too.

Because the K looks cooler

Ok, ok so the background is a little muddled. I want to try and soften the look of it witn a filter for posts, but not sure how to do that for other uploads. This is a low tech solution an app that uploads from a reusable, white-board-like page. I love the eco friendly and affordability aspects along with the ink color and detail. Could solve the downsides, but can’t afford a tablet upgrade right now unless all of you good people order a bunch of readings. But I’m good with low tech with a personal touch but slightly gnarly background if you are. What say you? Does digital InkMagick look like an enjoyable format?

Other new reading formats may be on the

Email taocrafttarot@gmail.com or text @taocrafttarot  on telegram to let me know what you think.

The Niggles: What’s in a Name?

A lot.

Sometimes, a whole lot.

“Re-branding” seems to be a thing lately. “Ghoulish Delights Bath Shop” is becoming “Balefire Apothocary” (fingers crossed she’ll still carry my very most favorite hand cream) and ” Hearts Peace Healing” is becoming “Hygge Lightwork”.  One personal trainer is becoming a Tarot reader, while a musician is becoming a personal trainer and a martial artist is shifting to being a musician and life coach. Of course, Modern Oracle Tarot is now TaoCraft Tarot.

My sense is this is growth, evolution, and expansion is a very good thing for all of us. The new name isn’t just a marketing ploy. There is no ill will or negative feeling about our old names or identities at all. Shedding our old “brand” is like a snake shedding its skin: It’s necessary for growth. We are re-naming, re-imagining, and re-building in order to embrace more things and to become more fully ourselves. I can’t speak for the other folks, of course, but after brief chats on social media, I get the feeling we are all very much on on the same page.

Expansion and deeper authenticity is certainly my aim in abandoned Modern Oracle and building TaoCraft. As I write this, Modern Oracle feels like something that happened ages ago to someone else. Time passes. I’m not the same person who started Modern Oracle. TaoCraft is me, now.

That doesn’t mean I have to abandon EVERY single little thing. “The Niggles” are still here. Those posts are about ideas that camp out in my head, and niggle there until I write about them. Yeah, I know. That sounds more like a brain parasite than creative inspiration. Some ideas are like that.

Since the very beginning of this re-branding process, I’ve felt pushed to talk about TaoCraft as a name. I have no earthly idea why, or even what to say, so I’ll follow that spirit, inspiration, call of the muses, or brain idea-parasite such as the case may be.

Let’s start with the obvious. “TaoCraft” is a made up word, and I’ve stuck a capital in the middle. Why? I like it. As two words, it is a description. As one word it is a NAME. I threw the capital in because 1. it works as a humpback web address and 2. “Craft” is an integral part of the concept with a dollop of double meaning.

Tao, as many of you know, is from Chinese philosophy; Taoist, Taoism, Tao Te Ching. Just to be pedantic, Tao and Dao are the same thing. Tao is Pinyan westernization of the Mandarin word, while Dao is from the Wade-Giles system. The few minutes I studied Mandarin back in the 90s, I was taught using Pinyan, so there you are. Tao it is. Tao is usually translated as “way” as in a “way of life” or a “way of doing things.”

What does Taoism have to do with Tarot? A surprising lot, actually.  “Magical Tarot, Mystical Tao” by Diane Morgan explains it best. It was an enormous influence in the early days of my Tarot career because it connected two great loves. Time and time and time again, Tao and Tarot were philosophies, a way of looking at the world, that I could rely on. I could lean on them in turbulent times without them crumbling to dust and nothing as religion and other philosophies always, always did. When your life puts your beliefs to the test, they shouldn’t fall apart. Taoism and Tarot never did. No matter what I would learn or explore, I always circled back to them and found them reliable, trustworthy. Tao and Tarot belong here in this new mental and spiritual living place. They are very much authentic me. This re-branding is, as is highly valued within Taoism, an exercise in deep authenticity.

Craft is also a bridge. As Tao and Tarot bridge east and west, craft bridges old and new. When I see the word, “arts and crafts” spring to mind. My grandmother taught me to embroidery when I was 6. Embroidery, cross stitch, knitting, beading have been a part of me since then. I like to create and make. That embraces the meditation mala and assorted stuff I make and put in the TaoCraft Tarot shop on Etsy. Craft connects to a fond memory of a cherished Grandmother – a wise woman whom I swear was magic. Which brings me to the new craft. THAT craft. THE craft. Not the movie, although it is one of my favorites. TaoCraft expands my Tarot cyber-world to include, mala, meditation, Reiki, and my own brand of magical craft. It took half a century to even flirt with the notion of associating with magic or witchcraft, but dammit, I’m claiming it now. And I’m defining it on my own terms. This is my own non-diestic, non-ritualistic, natural, energy reading WAY of engaging with a solitary sort of witchCRAFT. I’ve finally found words for what I’ve been doing all along in Laura Zakroff’s excellent book “Sigil Witchery”. A “modern traditional witch” is one who “does what needs doing when it needs done using whatever is at hand.” That. So that.

There you have it. That is what is in THIS name. Welcome to TaoCraft Tarot.

 

 

Tarot Without A Net: The Magician

reprised from “Tarotbytes” blog on my old Modern Oracle website

I love that Mr. Pham chose Neo from the Matrix for the Magician. It’s a perfect choice, if you ask me. I’m looking forward to reading the ebook from the cards to see if my impressions are anywhere close to the artist’s thinking. (Thom Pham reads Tarot too. Based on his other writing, we have a lot of views in common on that front)

If you have read this blog (Tarotbytes) for a while, you know how much I like the Matrix. The name for this website (the old Modern Oracle site) and my [early] tarot work was in part inspired by The Oracle character. Especially the “there is no spoon” scene in the first Matrix movie. It its an elegant analogy for Tarot.

The Oracle sees options and possibilities, not predictions. That is the way it works out here in the real world too 

That’s the connection to Tarot in general; shifts, options, the if-then cause-effect logic acknowledged by computer programmers and Buddhist philosophy alike. The movie connects to magic and manifestation through Neo and the spoon scene. Magic manifestation, steering life toward our desired path isn’t one big POOF (although that would be nice) it is really about nudging, working with energy flows to ride the currents to later results. It’s surfing, not motor boating. It isn’t a command, it is a conversation. You bend the rules you can, but work with the rules you can’t. Magic isn’t bending spoons….it is realizing there is no spoon and bending our expectations and actions instead.

Action is a part of it. Even in POOF fantasy magic, some action is taken. A spell must be cast, a potion brewed, or a wand waved. Subtle action is action just the same. There is a reason why they call it WORKING magic or CASTING a spell. The very fabric of language reflects the give-and-take, cause-and-effect nature of true magic.

Keywords: Magic, manifestation, shifts in perception,

Advice: Subtle changes now can lead to larger results later. Change your perceptions, change your world

Caution: Expectations kill magic. Magic is a process. Don’t get caught up in immediate results. Be willing to do your part.

Validation: You surf the currents of energy and insight well, and bend them to your will, your will to them.

Affirmation: The universe provides. I can call what I need into my life and do the work

A Door Opens….

Welcome to TaoCraft Tarot

Stop me if I’m over explaining here. I don’t know if it is anxiety from this whole re-branding thing, or just good old fashioned trying to convince myself….but I feel like I owe all of you an explanation. I hope there is an “all of you” to explain TO. It feels a little hollow and echo-y in there at the moment. Let me give you a little tour anyway.

Things here are rustic and real. I’m done trying to make Tarot palatable to the mainstream. Neither the very religious or the very atheist will like this I suspect. But like the Knight of Pentacles Internet meme…my field of fucks has grown barren. If this darker aesthetic, a little snark and humor, and talk of magick and Taoism is offensive to someone, then fine. We are not a good match to work together anyway. Modern Oracle had a tendency to pander to respectability and evangelizing for Tarot. TaoCraft is about deep authenticity, simplicity, and humanity.

Imagine it like this.

Imagine a one room stone cottage at the edge of an evergreen forest. The large storefront window and glass door let in abundant diffuse natural light. To the right as you walk in you see a fireplace with a bright, fragrant, crackling fire. There is a table with two comfy chairs for doing Tarot readings. In the middle, bookshelves line the walls and are filled with the books I will write. There is a display with all sorts of mala meditation beads almost vibrating with the Reiki and good intentions placed in them for their new owners. In the far left corner, a fountain burbles next to a table for Reiki sessions. The table is surrounded with shelves of crystals of every color and kind. Under the floorboards we have the same strong foundation that has been there since the beginning. This foundation is made of strict but transparent business policies that protect us from any suspicious, litigious, potentially harmful people. The sprinkles of salt in the corners and the warding spells in the walls are  the zero spam policy and closed comments that protect us all from the dreaded internet trolls. Anyone can have a say – in an email, or in their own blog, just not the comment thread. This is a safe and sacred space, a place where spirit can speak and kindness can thrive.

The door is open. I hope you visit often.