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!

Today’s Tarot: Fresh Air

Today’s Tarot: The Empress. Get some fresh air, or at least refresh the feed on a webcam

The Empress is a major arcana card, and in many ways the feminine counterpart to the Emperor card as you might expect. Minor arcana king cards are protective, outward, proactive leadership and queens are nurturing, care taking leadership. The Emperor and Empress are the same, but with the energy turned up to 11. They are the power couple of the major arcana.

Like many, if not most cards, there are multiple threads of meaning and energy. In addition to nurturing leadership and a sometimes association with growth and fertility, the Empress broadly represents nature. Nature in this case also has multiple connotations. It can talk about the literal, physical natural environment; the plants and birds and rocks and things we can directly experience. Nature includes the inner world, as in nature vs. nurture or being true to your nature.

When a card has multiple threads of meaning, I stop, listen for a minute and see if one thread seems to draw attention more than the others. Today, the part that catches my attention is the simplest and most pleasant: nature-nature. The rocks and trees one.

I vaguely remember a study about natural images. I don’t remember the source or details enough to even try and search for it. I have the impression it was a small study at a college (Emory springs to mind, though I have no logical justification for why) In any case, I can speak to study size or methodology, but the result was the same as the Empress’ advice. Humans benefit by interacting with nature. Naturally (ha!) actually being outside is best. Even a walk down the street or a few minutes on the porch is something. If that isn’t available, the study, if memory serves, suggested that substitute interactions can have a stress reduction benefit, even something as simple as looking at pictures of nature on a computer.

The advice from today’s card is just exactly that. In a world of social distancing and self quarantines, enjoy nature (six feet away from any other humans) or at least find small natural indulgences. A brief touch is better than none: water a houseplant, step out on a porch or fire escape, go to a park, find a live webcam of a zoo or aquarium (or a live volcano – why not?)

Enjoy.

The Niggles: Time Lords 2020

Emperor Tarot, magic spells and Time Lords

public domain card image via sacred-text.com

The idea of time niggles at me when it gets close to a new year. It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Doctor Who. Consider this if you will: Time is arbitrary and a portion of time is as much under our control as it is for the fictional Gallifreyans.

Actually, not time itself, but rather the way we name and talk about time is arbitrary. This present moment is the one time under our control.

Right now for me it is a Friday night in November 2020. Cool. Gregorian is good. According to the Julian calendar, it’s something like two weeks ago. 2020 a crazy year? No problem – just call it 5780 as it is on the Hebrew calendar. Let’s hear it for 2563 B.E.!

“Time has no meanings except the ones we give.”

I honestly don’t remember if that is something I read, saw on a poster somewhere, or if is from one of the poems I chucked out in the final edit of Triquitera – but it captures the niggly idea about the arbitrary side of time. Take Thanksgiving, for example. It’s less the day than it is the things we DO. No doubt holidays are deeply tied to the time of year in their aesthetic and energy. I suspect it comes from a time when we celebrated the natural seasons rather than cultural or religious things. Thanksgiving is, essentially, a harvest festival. Regardless of season, couldn’t any gathering with family to enjoy a special meal be Thanksgiving? If you can’t celebrate on the exact day you usually celebrate, would it be any less meaningful if you did the exact same things with the exact same people a week later? Or months later?

Have you caught where this is going yet? Yes, I’m looking at you bare faced germ bags that value your individual fleeting entertainment over human life. Cultural events and social stuff change all the time. It won’t kill you to stay home, wear a mask and celebrate differently this year – but catching a potentially lethal contagious illness just might. Or kill someone you love. Or kill someone that someone else loves. If you put your “freedom to celebrate the holidays” over life and love, then you are a slave to present moment, not a master of it.

With the slightest effort we can all be Time Lords.

We are the ones to place meaning on time…we are powerful enough to observe and celebrate whatever thing at whatever time we choose, either individually or collectively. Thanksgiving or Christmas or what-have-you can happen any day or time that we say it happens. That’s exactly how it all started. Thanksgiving happens on the fourth Thursday in November in the U.S because the 1941 congress said so. Or it is celebrated the second Monday in October because Canada said so. Christmas is the 25th of December NOT because of anyone’s actual birthday, but because Emperor Constantine ordered it – probably as a tactic in archaic culture wars.

Holidays and traditions derive their meaning from the intense personal emotions and connections we place on them. If we give holidays their power, then we have the power to assign when and how they happen. If by necessity, the time and manner of celebrating a holiday has to change for the sake of human life, so be it. We have the power to change it. We have the raw power to imbue any time, any place and any activity with all the love, all the emotion, and all the meaning of a holiday. We have the power to help each other through the normal, natural feelings and disappointments that come in times of change and uncertainty. And we have the power to change it all right back again when the crisis is over. We can dominate time through compassion and adaptation. We can take time itself in our stride if only we have just the tiniest bit of the compassionate, protective strength that the Emperor card teaches.

Or, if you prefer, the lesson the Grinch teaches. Even if a green furry dude take all the stuff, the holiday still happens. Even if one year out of your life is different, the holiday still happens because your intention makes it so. Holidays happen inside of you, not out in the world in the best of times. If you give the day meaning, if you suffuse any time with emotion, meaning and commemoration, then that holiday – that time – is yours.

YouChoose Interactive Tarot June 22 – 27

Take a moment and pick a card. Out of a whole week, shouldn’t you do that much for yourself? Deep breath. Don’t over think it. These readings look at the general energies that touch us all, so there is no wrong answer, no wrong choice. The message you need will get to you one way or another if you just allow yourself to listen for it. If you want a minute to think, pause the video, then restart for the reveal, but following your impulse instinct to the card that most calls to you, the card that draws you in is usually the best thing to do.

Left: Empress. The energy around this card is simple and straightforward. Get the heck outside. Wear a mask, keep your body two arm lengths away from any other body, and go experience for yourself that the world hasn’t entirely ended yet. If the weather is bad, at least let yourself look at some cute animal pictures on the internet.

Center: King of Pentacles. Things are starting to turn a little bit of a corner IF you do it smart. Mind your budget, use some real, logical, pragmatic planning. It isn’t all sunshine and roses work or finance-wise but the pressure may just give you a little wiggle room to make repairs and get ready for the second side of the storm. Don’t delay. Take advantage of opportunities as they come. Make no assumptions.

Right: Six of Cups. Don’t think things to death this week. Expectations are the enemy of intuitions. Life has its cycles. Tides ebb and flow. Seasons change. We just had the solstice, where the sun seems to pause, and nature holds her breath for a moment before the progression begins again. If you chose this card it is both permission and advice to pause. See things as they are without judgement or preconception. This is a moment of silence for you collect your thoughts and enjoy the moment with all the wide eyed innocence of a child at play.

Thank you for reading. If you haven’t already, please consider following the blog so you get all new posts in your email inbox (sign up in the right hand column on laptop, scroll WAAYYYY down to the bottom of the page on mobile. Have a great week!

Tarot Without a Net: The Empress

This post was originally published on the transitional Modern Oracle -> TaoCraft Tarot site  under the title “The Nature of Nurture”  The series is just beginning and is an exercise in getting to know a new deck without reading the “little white book” first. We will pick up with the next new card next week, an keep going from there.
I’m a fan of Thom Pham’s art, especially this deck. Each card is inspired by a populare movie or TV character. Such a good match! I use pop culture references all the time. It is an easy, comefortable familiar way to communicate the ideas that come through in a reading. Sometimes impressions come through already in pop culture form. I’ll “get” a song, book or movie from intuition or spirit….however you want to call it.

This is one of the cards where The Heart of Stars is a tiny bit of a challenge. I’ve never seen Mama Mia. I’ve seen Meryl Streep in other movies, and she is an excellent actress, but Mama Mia isn’t to my taste. Abba made me run in the opposite direction even way back in the day when they were popular the first time. Not a fan

I hadn’t really contemplated what to do if the cards turned out to have a pop culture reference that escapes me. Not that I’m any paragon of cool, but I watch waaayyyyy too much TV and have seen an ad or a preview of a lot of things, even the dreaded chick flick. As a general principle, pop culture references have yet to let me down.

As I understand it, this movie was about a single mother / daughter relationship, a failed marriage, water, sailboats and urgh….ABBA. So you have in general a relationship, and the classic archetype of ‘mother’. I’m not hardwired for chick flicks so my favorite reference for this card is the way comedienne Judy Tunuta sometimes called herself the “Earth Mother Giver Goddess” Same thing I suppose, just more palatable. With those two references I get a dual track of meanings for this Empress card.

The strongest most dominant one is nurturing. The Empress is almost always depicted as pregnant. The life and fertility connotations are unmistakable. The Empress card affirms life…and it affirms nature. Our nature. Just as a mother loves her child no matter what, the nature of nurture is to accept and love as-is, no changes necessary, and to give what is needed, no matter what old expectations might have been. The Empress gives what is needed in accordance with the nature of the thing/person she is nurturing. Do you like girly movies and ABBA music…here you go. If you like comedy better…here you go. Stay up too late on a school night…..nope, but I know you are a night owl so we’ll cut you some slack on the weekends. Nature gives us what we need. We can grow by working with and abiding by our own deep nature.

The nature that is outside is a pretty good source of nurturing. No matter what you think of 1970s soft pop euro whatever music…hugging a tree or two, taking a walk outside, going out on the sidewalk and taking a breath…all of that is good too.

Nurture is giving what your own true nature needs to grow or heal or thrive.

Affirmation: My true nature is fine as it is, but if I choose, Nature will help me walk a better path.