Getting the band back together

Thom Pham’s Heart of Stars Tarot is hands down one of my favorite decks. The colors and artwork are beautiful plus his writing on each card is adept and thought-provoking. Best of all, most of the images are based on movies and television.

That is exactly how my intuition often works. Almost every reading has a movie or song reference tied to one or more of the cards. Those kinds of references have multiple benefits. Not only does it communicate the message more clearly to me so I can do the best possible reading for the client, a pop culture reference is something that we might have in common which makes it very easy to describe the energy to them. I always mention any pop-culture references that come through when I ‘m doing a reading. Not only does it clarify the current message and improve overall communication, the client may have some private connection to the reference that gives extra background context that the card alone couldn’t give.

Pop culture references by way of intuition keeps Tarot relevant to our time at the same time that it’s connecting us to timeless wisdom.

Today’s motion picture feature is the Blues Brothers. I’ve been earworming “we’re getting the band back together” the whole time I was writing a post by that name on my personal blog. I’m getting the band back together, except Tarot is singing lead this time.

A long time ago in a blogisphere far, far away, I started doing Tarot readings to help finance my tuition and dissertation. After I finished getting my Ph.D off the internet like Dr. Duffenshmirtz, I tried to bundle the Tarot under a holistic health consulting practice I was trying to start on the aforementioned blog. It didn’t work. So I put the natural health work under my name, kept the Tarot separate on what was then with its Tarotbytes blog and added Quirk & Flotsam on Etsy which again combined the meditation tutorial supplies with Tarot readings.

With all of those names and scattered focus, it was a little bit of a hot mess.

BUT it was a hot mess that I learned a tremendous amount from.

One of the most pivotal things that I learned was that I am not a healer.

I. Am. NOT. A healer.

As much as I may have wanted to think of myself as a healer at one point in time, I’ve come to realize that it was an aspiration that came from an unhealthy place, not an authentic one. Psychic advisor, spiritual guide, coach, tutor, Taoist, Buddhist, atheist, witch, knitter, hockey fan – sure, why not? But healer? No thank you, not any more.

I never set out to be a teacher, but that is largely what the natural health has always been about. Old school naturopaths in every discipline and culture used education as a way to make a lasting impact on their patient’s overall health and well being. By teaching and encouraging a healthy lifestyle, these tutorials can give you the tools to build a healthier lifestyle for yourself. They call it complimentary care for a reason. I’m not here to heal you any more than I’m here to predict the future with Tarot.

I’m here to encourage, inspire, facilitate processes and spark ideas. Healing implies fixing a specific something which equates to giving a person being given that one proverbial fish. I’m here to teach you to fish or at least give you some ideas how to improve your own fishing net, so to speak.

It wasn’t my intention to become a coffee sipping yoda, yelling suggestions and encouragement from the cave opening while Luke fought his dark side, but here we are.

Cue the yoda related pop culture song reference.

That is why this time around I’m calling them natural health tutorials. I give you information so you can decide if you want to pursue ongoing in-person treatment with a practitioner near you or just generally help you craft a healthy lifestyle for yourself.

Whatever you name it, this time around, all the original band members are back together under one Tarot themed roof, or at least under the Reiki menu tab. Click HERE for more information or to schedule.

OR Tarot is always here, no appointment needed. It’s all here for you to explore.

The choice, as always, is yours.

Welcome to the Equinox: Reiki & Relaxation

It makes me feel a little Dr. Doofenshmirz – ish.

Maybe not the take over the world part (much) but more the buy a doctorate off the internet for $14.99 part.

Remote work is normal now. 2020 basically happened online, including every level of school and nobody batted an eye. Back in the day, before lockdowns put us all on the webbernet, remote study was viewed with suspicion. Especially for those of us who started in the days of paper, photocopies and actual snail mail submissions. Back in the REALLY old days they called it ‘correspondence school’ …. cue the the Owl Correspondence School song from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.

Knowing this, I actually checked their accreditation when I enrolled in CCNH. It was apparently fully legit at that time. Always was as far as I know, and was a well estabolished 20 years old when I was through the program. All I wanted was a piece of paper to prove I knew what I already knew anyway. It cost a bit more than $14.99 and, owing to a medical leave, took over a decade to complete. After reading, writing, testing, and much postage I worked my way through holistic nutrition,herbology, history of naturopathy, energy medicine, iridology (THAT was ridiculous laughable nonsense, I grant you) homeopathy, business management for professionals, research theory and thesis writing, overviews of Ayurvedic medicine, overviews of Traditional Chinese Medicine and probably several I’ve forgotten *deep breath* then I began the dissertation process. Dissertation was the real education. That process, even working remotely, included written proposals, IRB proposals, reviews and supervision, and supervision by actual people with actual Ph.Ds from actual universities.

Reiki & Relaxation is my 2011 dissertation with a shorter title. I tweeked the formatting and cover to make it e-book friendly, but inside is all the dry, repetitive, academic writing of anyone else’s dissertation. My ego is just over inflated enough to think that it is still easy to read for anyone. It may not be up Ivy League standards, but it might convince the local community college that Reiki is demonstratively effective in reducing stress which in turn improves wellness and quality of life.

As part of our slow stroll down the hall of equinox newness, Reiki & Relaxation is available for inexpensive and immediate download.

All of my book(lets) are available for easy download in the new Ko-fi shop and in the Etsy shop.

Reiki & Relaxation is available for download in the Ko-fi shop

25 August 2021

How did the summer go so fast? I guess traveling between pandemic spikes will do that. Speaking of which, transmission is still in the red zone, so the no in-person services policy is still in place. Distance readings by phone, zoom, skype or email is OPEN (no appointment needed for email readings.) Staying home in the AC doesn’t seem like a bad idea anyway with this hot as stinkballs weather we have had lately. Not a fan of sun and humid. Not going to stop me from binge swilling pumpkin spice coffee for the next six months though.

Still scheming up some things for fall. Got one more done: Formatted, updated the cover and uploaded Reiki & Relaxation which is basically my doctoral thesis reworked into .pdf format. You can order it along with PeaceTarot and Triquetra on the Ebooks page. Plus have a couple of youth/small adult “Mindful Moments” bracelets in the shop. (6.5 inch around, but stretchy)

But it WILL be September soon, which means I have to stop being aghast that I first picked up Tarot and oracle cards in the 1991-ish era. I know for sure it was well before ’93 because I changed jobs and moved to a new apartment that year. Still, 29-30 years is a long time. It’s making me feel old just talking about it so moving on….

In celebration of this astonishing realization, 7 card email readings purchased here on the website are $1 for each year of card reading….$30 is a $10 discount and will only last until the Autumnal Equinox on September 20. Then it’s back to the no cutesy pants promotions policy.

Today’s Tarot R & R

Maybe it’s a message for me as much as anyone else. But that’s how these things often work. That’s the whole point, isn’t it? My intent is that the blog will help somebody out there somewhere at some time or another, whenever they happen to see this. At risk of sounding like Prince lyrics, the whole point of Tarot is to help any and all of us get through this thing called life

The Four of Swords ties in to several energies that have already stepped forward lately. I still get a strong mental image of the different color flecks in stones from this weeks interactive reading Speckles. It feels like we are at long last getting a respite from the communal, zeitgeist energies that have so strong for the past year or so. It isn’t so much that we are being asked to stay in our lane and stick to our knitting – but rather the communal energy has disengaged and left us to our own devices. It is almost as if the universe has given us a day off to have a play date with ourselves. We are a collective of individuals. There is beauty in diversity. In a very gentle way, today feels like permission to get down with your bad self in a sense, whatever level of frenetic or zen energy that may be for you.

There is also the idea of lifelong learning (Growing Ogres) It is a mark of excellence in any profession. It seems the best of the best are always learning, evolving, growing new onion layers and letting old ones fall away. That’s what a sabbatical is; an opportunity for professors to study more stuff.

It doesn’t have to be forever. A break in the energetic action is a very different thing from being stuck or stagnant or lazy. It certainly isn’t a sign of failure. In Reiki, the five core precepts (letting go of worry, letting go of anger, working honestly, being grateful, being kind) are focused on the present moment. “Just for today” is a liberating, enabling, empowering thought. Just for today, take the Four of Sword’s advice. Just for today, get some rest. Just for today, give yourself a break and work on something else. “Respite”and “Sabbatical” doesn’t mean be unproductive. You can rest one thing while doing something else. Or not.

“Time you enjoyed wasting was not wasted”

John Lennon

The One Big Same Thing

From what I’ve seen, universal life energy is all over the place.

It’s kind of like ports.

No matter whether you put your big boat in the water in New York or Charleston or Savannah or Buenos Aires or Capetown or Glasgow or Seville, you are still getting into the same great big Atlantic Ocean.

No matter whether you work with Tarot or Reiki or mediumship or magick or taijiquan or meditation or what have you, you are still touching that great big everywhere and everything of universal life energy.

“I am one with the Force and the Force is with me.” as they say in Star Wars.

I’ve lost count of the Tarot readers I know who also do other energy work: Reiki, Yoga, Magick, you name it.

That is one big reason that I re-branded Modern Oracle back in 2018. The everywhere all of the time energy that we use in Natural Health (in Reiki, Tai Chi, aromatherapy and more) is the same energy that speaks through a Tarot reading. Benebel Wen connected exactly those dots in Holistic Tarot. Distance Tarot very much is a matter of working with qi (chi, ki, prana etc.) Mat Auryn makes the same connection in the first chapter of Psychic Witch. I’m paraphrasing, but basically magick uses the energy, and a psychic reads that same energy. It is two sides of the same coin, as he points out.

Since it is all different facets of the same diamond, or different sides of the same D&D dice or SOMEthing like that, it just didn’t make sense to try and keep them separate. It was time to open the door of authenticity wide and embrace the wholeness of it all. If you were interested in Natural Health but was frightened off by Tarot (or vice versa) then we likely weren’t going to be a good fit to work together anyway. There are lots of folks around who do the blissed out strictly positive rainbows and unicorns herbology, nutrition and the like so I stepped fully in to the energy side of things. And so, here we are.

Distance is my gig. My specialty within the world of Tarot is distance readings, and my interest within the world of Reiki is enhancing and deepening the distance treatment experience with another of my loves, rocks and crystals (sorry again, mom, for all those rocks I forgot in my pants pockets that pinged the inside of the washing machine when I was a kid)

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Reiki and Meditation are permanent parts of TaoCraft Tarot. If you imagine the website as a brick and mortar place (it isn’t, really) think of one side of the room having shelves of crystals, plants, a water fountain, a statue of Quan Yin, incense and a table for Reiki sessions.

The middle third is the Etsy shop with meditation beads and ebooks. The other side of the room has a table and big cozy chairs for doing Tarot readings. If it is a chilly day or at at night, go ahead and imagine a fireplace and simmering teakettle just there.

In your minds eye, how does a space like that feel? It is all of a piece for me, flowing together, all the one same room with just slightly different things to do in the different parts of it. Energy is like that. Just different things to do in different areas of the one big same thing

Want to try a distance Reiki session using crystals? Get the details HERE. I don’t charge for the sessions but I do ask that you answer a few feedback questions as a fair energy exchange.

Still celebrating the two years since the big re-branding name change. Happy Birthday TaoCraft! But the present is for YOU. Visit the special offers page and use the contact form there to get a free one card handwritten Tarot reading by email to celebrate. Offer ends October 31, 2020. All policies and disclaimers apply.

TaoCraft Portfolio: Introduction

I want to work with you and this is my portfolio

Download the entire FREE TaoCraft Portfolio booklet HERE

When an artist interviews for a job, they bring examples of their work so the employer can decide if they are a good fit for the company or project. Authentic Tarot readers have more in common with artists than they do with stage show mentalists or movie psychics. From cave paintings to Da Vinci, art has many different styles and genres. No two artists are exactly alike. No two psychic intuitives are exactly alike. There is no ultimate psychic authority. There is no official right or wrong way to do a Tarot reading. Tarot is artistry and spirituality, not rules and regulations. One thing is certain. If you read this booklet, a Tarot reading with me should meet or exceed your expectations because you will know exactly what to expect in advance.

There aren’t many Tarot portfolios around. So how do you know who is a good match to do your psychic reading? The best advice, of course, is follow your own instincts. Pay attention to your deep down, reflex feelings when you look at a website or advertisement. Because of religious and cultural prejudices that are on the rise in some parts of the country, many of the best psychics and Tarot readers are still very quiet about what they do. It may take some research, asking around or visiting small, local “new age” bookstores to find anyone at all. Once you find someone who does readings, talk to them for a minute and ask reasonable questions. Don’t pour out your heart to a stranger or try to get an impromptu free reading over the phone. Instead, ask practical questions like location, prices, payment, scheduling and so on. Their demeanor in a non-Tarot conversation will give you a sense of the level professionalism they will bring to the reading itself. If they seem evasive, impatient or leave you feeling uncertain, then honor those feelings and look for someone else. If it feels right and you can afford it, try a session. If it is a good match, you’ll know right away. A good Tarot session inspires, empowers and reassures you. A reading should never frighten you, make you feel judged, or feel as if you have done something wrong.  If it isn’t a good experience, simply try again with someone else. A mismatched personality doesn’t necessarily mean that the reader is doing anything wrong. By the same token, you should never take it personally or feel that a bad session was your fault for “not believing” or any such nonsense. Of course, always use plenty of common sense to steer clear of scams. “Psychics” that make outrageous promises or make repeating and increasing demands on your time (and money) are best avoided. 

Thanks to the Internet, no matter where you live, you can get affordable, expert, caring Tarot readings. Distance Tarot is my specialty, and we’ll talk about that in more  detail in the chapters that follow. In this booklet, we’ll look at the basic structure underneath all of my readings, both distance and in-person. No matter whether we work face-to-face or remotely, no matter whether we are working with Tarot, Reiki or Meditation, I follow the same ethics and standards that I applied in my mainstream medical work. All policies are transparent, written in plain English, and found in the “Fine Print” chapter at the end of this booklet.

Following your instincts, combined with a little common sense can help you find an excellent psychic. I hope that once you read this, your instincts will be to get a reading with me. 

I want to work with you and this is my portfolio.

Meet Your Reader 2020

Meet Your Reader 2020

Hi. This is me from (mumble mumble) years ago. I still use this photo because it is the only one of me I’ve ever really liked.

This is me now, in Bitmoji form which is as good as it’s going to get because the website, blog and socials are mostly about Tarot, a little bit about spirituality, with a sprinkle crystals, meditation, spirituality and just enough off-topic things to keep it interesting. I want you to feel confident and comfortable ordering a reading here, so please let me tell you a little about the bitmoji-fied face behind your email reading or the voice on the phone.

I started reading Tarot cards around 1990 or so. Early 90s anyway. I was still in my 20s, had left my parent’s religion and was finding my own spiritual path. Tarot & oracle cards played a crucial role in helping me find a healthy way out of a fundamentalist evangelical upbringing .

I started reading for myself because, honestly, who could afford to use those phone psychics that were so popular back then? It took a little effort to find authentic readers and teachers in those pre-internet days, especially in an a conservative area where good psychics were still mostly underground. Eventually, I was very fortunate to have readings, workshops and intuition development classes with talented, brilliant people like Sallie Christensen, Gina Hiller, Joy Star, even meeting Ted Andrews once at his Animal Wise workshop.

It turned out that I’m actually really good at doing Tarot readings too. A good friend encouraged me to work online, so I started with Keen, Advice Trader and AllExperts under the handle Baihu. When dissertation expenses came along, I started working for myself and Modern Oracle Tarot was born. In 2018, Modern Oracle and Tarotbytes blog were expanded to include Reiki, meditation tutorials, and my Quirk & Flotsam Etsy shop. I renamed it all that Fall to create the TaoCraft Tarot that you see today.

I’m a Reiki Master-practitioner (2000)

I’ve been doing folk arts and crafts since my Grandmother taught me to embroider when I was 6 years old. Making handcrafted meditation beads was a natural extension of everything else at TaoCraft Tarot. The meditation beads are in the TaoCraft Tarot Shop along with ebooks like PeaceTarot and a few other handmade odds and ends that find there way there.

I’m a retired Tai Chi instructor (Chinese Martial Arts, Mount Lebanon PA 1998-99) but still love playing taijiquan. I’ve studied meditation, Taoism, Zen / Chan Buddhism and other spiritual traditions on my own from various sources through the years. In magick, you might call me a solitary eclectic.

In “real life” I have a Bachelor of Science in Medical Science and worked as a physician assistant in psychiatry and cardiology. When motherhood came along, I went back to school to be able to work independently, completing a Ph.D. in Natural Health. Although the school’s accreditation has since been withdrawn, my work and dissertation stands. The dissertation is available to view on Needless to say, this is a science, logic and reason friendly Tarot style.

That’s pretty much all of it. It’s all Tarot and the good stuff from now on, at least until I get the urge to re-introduce everything next year at anniversary time. I’m really grateful to all of you, new subscribers and old friends alike. If nothing else, I hope this lets you know I’m nice, normal, nonthreatening kind of person who just happens to be able to read Tarot. I wish you all the best and hope you feel confident getting reading because there is nothing to fear here.

Taking My Own Advice: Introduction Edition

Let me give you the one room grand tour.

I take my own advice, occasionally.

But not exactly as I write it for the general audience blog, and neither should you. This is reason, rationality and freethinking friendly Tarot. As we talked about yesterday, I’ve been intuitively getting a big picture, national level, storm-on-the-horizon-ringing-epaths’-bells sort of energy lately, akin to the vibe from the early days of 2020. Thankfully, today local energies are capturing my attention. It is a sunny peaceful morning in the neighborhood. I’m taking advantage of that and turning my attention from counting down the days until the current heat wave passes to thinking about autumn and TaoCraft Tarot’s second anniversary.

The whole thing is a little bit of a head trip, really. On one hand, the whole exercise is way too egotistical and self referential. On the other hand it is like having a birthday party for your creation-kid. Even though it is all my readings and my writing, it is also all about the readings, the blog and the books. That’s why I refuse to appear on camera on the YouTube channel. It’s not about me, it’s all about the cards and how they can help you. Same for here on the blog. But I can’t help you if you don’t know this stuff is here and. let’s be honest, I need to do paid readings to keep the business, the blog and the free social media going (I like to buy food every now and then too) so we are right back to self promotion and on and on. The best solution I know is to talk about TaoCraft Tarot as an extant thing, a place in cyberspace, a place where you can come for Tarot readings, Reiki and Meditation to help you sort through difficult emotions and just plain day-to-day living.

I am, as always very grateful to each and every one of you. If you have been here and have gotten readings here…thank you, thank you, thank you. If you are new to the blog or the YouTube channel, welcome. Let me give you the one room grand tour.

That will do something nice for both of us. Yesterday’s Five of Pentacles reading gave strong advice to batten down the hatches and set healthy boundaries, especially if you are at all empathic or energy sensitive. I’m taking my own advice. Re-introducing TaoCraft to everyone sets boundaries and reinforces our shelter from the crazy energies that swirl around out there sometimes. If you need to come inside and warm up from the storm, there are comfy chairs and a free digital one card Tarot reading over there by the front window. Help yourself.

Over here is a big table by a crackling fireplace where you can sit for a Tarot reading. Words spoken through the phone, or printed on a screen or written on a page are all the same here. The ideas, the messages, the love from the energy/spirit realm for you are all the same no matter how they are delivered to you.

On the other side of the room, there are shelves of crystals that lend their energy to both Tarot readings and distance Reiki sessions. I don’t sell crystals. That way there is no conflict of interest or ulterior motive to recommending them. But they are darn pretty, and I do have my own collection to use for Sending Stones Reiki in real life.

In the middle, here are the meditation beads I make and the ebooks I wrote, all with the same uplifting intention and empowering energy as all the rest.

Whether you have been here before, or are here for the first time, welcome to TaoCraft.

TaoCraft Tarot logo, 2020 – Ronda Snow

YouChoose: free Tarot reading four ways

This pandemic is a thing, isn’t it?

Like we talked about last time in “I kinda like it in here. It’s private” the general energies out there have just been buzzing. There is real things to be anxious worried and fearful about, so no surprise the feeling of the time is enough to set nerves on edge in addition to everything else. It is OK if things are pushing your buttons a little bit. Time alone can be maddening or it can be a spiritual retreat, a Tarot reading can be an epiphany or it can be a few minutes of diversion. It is all your choice. You have to do what is right for you. It’s easier to love others when you can love yourself too.

Speaking of which, I loooove doing written email Tarot readings. Always have. I’m perfectly content to sit here in my comfy chair with a cuppa joe and my fuzzy bunny slippers and read Tarot all day long. Now it has the added benefit of being virus fee and stay at home compliant.

It is a tough time for everyone. I don’t have much to offer except this:

Free One card readings HERE. Take your pick between handwritten, typed and video. No appointment needed but only available through the contact form on the special offers page.

Also on the special offers page: Zombie Cat is back with his usual snark, lame humor and a HUGE price reduction. Get three cards for the price of one.

Free Reiki HERE.

All distance email readings have been price reduced until the end of April.

Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay home. (and wash your hands)

The Niggles: Bookends

I am head over heels for the new name and look.

I’ve had a good time with the one year anniversary. Halloween was the perfect day for the re-branding and re-launch last year. Thank you all so much. It means a lot that you stuck with me through the transition and I am grateful for all the new friends made along the way.

It just doesn’t feel quite complete without a matching bookend of a post about the TaoCraft name.

It is a sweet spot, philosophically, authentic and real. To my mind it feels like equal parts Alan Watts, Ted Andrews and Carl Sagan. It has been a joy to raise the tricolor freak flag of Taoism, Energy & Magick, and being openly secular. Hmm. That is an interesting mental exercise I’d not thought of until just now. If you were to make a flag to symbolize your true self, what would it look like? I’ll have to think about it. I’m thinking a white field with a taijitu, a pentacle and an atom. Hit me up on Instagram or Twitter – what would your own personal flag look like?

What is in a name after a year of living with it? Labels are still as meaningless or as empowering as we wish them to be. After this re-branding exercise, I think George R.R. Martin got it exactly right in Game of Thrones when Tyrion told Jon “Never forget what you are, the world will not. Wear it like armor and it can never be used to hurt you.” I don’t regret taking a run at being all modern, trying to educate the world about the realities of predictions, putting energy into a professional, sanitized presentation. It was camouflage to protect my dragon baby. Now that she is grown and fierce and wonderful and breathing fire on her own, it was time to burn that whole house down.

Pippin Miller, of did an oracle card reading for me summer 2018 when I was having a mid life empty nest only child goes to college crisis. I can’t remember exactly what she said, but a storm of broken glass shards crystallized into place. I don’t remember her exact words (sorry Pip) but the idea of it was crystal clear in my mind, and I could hear AJR’s “Burn the Whole House Down” earworming in my deep intuition. I’d been tinkering with the idea of “TaoCraft” as a concept and a name for years. Her reading was the starter’s gun at the beginning of a sprint. It was time.

So no more sanitized, blue, modern, suburban mom face.

Now it is all owls, black and gold, intuition, magick, wisdom, Reiki, meditation, and unabashedly secular.

The benefits for me have been many. The benefits for you are one simple thing: Better-than-ever Tarot readings. Authentic and honest, I can do better, more confident work for you from this comfortable place.

To that end, I’ve added a few things. Click here to see the map of my in-home individual reading and party service area. If you live outside of the area, no worries. I’ve found some quiet public places where we can meet. I’ve meet people there lots of times and never had a problem.

If your party is outside of the service area…don’t hesitate to contact me anyway. I take parties outside of the service area on a case by case basis depending on location and my schedule. I have added a travel fee for anything too outrageous.

Distance readings are still my specialty. A computer keyboard is a direct hotline bat signal right to my intuition, so you get as good of a reading as you would in person. Since I can work from my favorite chair, wearing fuzzy bunny slippers and sipping coffee, it might even be a little bit better. It helps when I can sit and think a minute without the silence that makes some people feel little awkward in a live reading.

Also there is a shiny new ebooklet that tells you all about a reading. A reading with me will only meet or exceed your expectations after reading it because you will know exactly what to expect. Click here for your free copy: TaoCraft Portfolio free download

I’m working on an expanded version with essays about Romance relationships, predicting the future and all sorts of other behind the scenes stuff. That will be coming to the Etsy shop soon, along with other titles hopefully.

One year, and we are just getting started.

Welcome to TaoCraft Tarot.