Path Forge

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today features the Queen of Wands and forging your own path forward

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Available most weekdays here, on the podcast, Instagram reels and YouTube #Shorts.

Today’s Card is the Queen of Wands.

Historic realities about queen aside, in Tarot Queens are leaders. Today the image that comes to mind is a unique and strong leader akin to a Boudica or Elizabeth the First sort of figure. This is not a person to be messed with. As I read them, the Queen and King cards are two sides of the same coin. Queens and Kings are the yin and yang of leadership. The king protects the boundaries facing outward and the queen organizes, inspires and nurtures the inner kingdom.

Wands have to do with the element of fire and the inner world, which translates to creativity and passions.

Very often queen cards turn up for people who are actively engaged in caring professions. Absolutely the advice is to care for oneself. Our caretaker are the ones who we want to have the strength and mental, emotional and physical reserves and resources to continue their vital work. At the same time, they are the ones most likly to overextend, and some of the most vulnerable to burnout. In a rare social conversation with a physician, I’ve learned that the pandemic is as crushing and exhausting to healthcare providers as it is portrayed on the news. I didn’t intend for this to veer into a public service announcement, but please do every little thing you can to keep yourself healthy so they don’t have to do it for you in a bigger way.

That being said, in this age of the pandemic, the notion of self-care and trying to protect the care-takers is a constant undercurrent with the queen of wands card.

Today, however, another energy steps forward as well. It has that “step up” strength and leadership quality that all of the queen and king cards posses. It is akin to that notion of taking care of the caretakers by lessening their load by being responsible for yourself. But it is a little more abstract than public health.

Today’s energy is about your inner passions, whatever they may be, and independence.

Following your dreams isn’t easy. Sometimes it exacts a high price in the form of independent creativity. You would expect the word “forge” to step forward with a swords card, but today the word isn’t very literal. In this case the word “forge” is pointing toward the act and process of creating something brand new from raw materials. The energy is about something cut from whole cloth as they say…if you’ll pardon the mixed metaphors. Forges and cloth don’t mix well in real life.

For our purposes, it is a little more apt. The fire and flames imagery offers a hint at the kind of dream following the card is pointing toward. This is no ordinary goal. Beyond some misty, ill-defined aspiration this is talking about your passion.

It’s not about some burning, all-consuming enthusiasm about the thing in the moment. It is about the effect the object of your passion has on you. What is it that lights you up and makes you happy? What is it that, to your mind, makes sense out of everything else? What is the one thing that makes you feel like it is all worth while?

Anything that improves the quality of life that much might ask a lot in return. Finding and following a passion that gives you happiness and meaning to life can exact a high price. The price it asks is nothing less than asking you to create something brand new. It asks you to carve out your own path and forge ahead, very often independently and on your own.

Right now the energy isn’t so much focused on the diadactic steps or about how you forge the path to following your passion. Right now, the first step is to be clear about what that passion really is. Second, think about the personal and emotional costs to following your passion. You may well be asked to act independently, responsibly, and alone. That kind of independent creativity is the flame in which life paths are forged.

Thank you so much for reading, listening and watching today’s short sip Tarot. Short sip readings and other Tarot content is available here, on the TaoCraft Tarot podcast, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and more. I appreciate your support through likes, subs, shares, follows as well as the virtual coffee mug and memberships on Ko-fi. Thanks again and I’ll see you at the next sip.

The video features the heart of stars tarot deck by thom pham, used with his kind permission. For a limited time you can order this unique deck at the heart of stars tarot website.

Solstice #Short: making magic

Thank you as always for watching, reading and listening to TaoCraft Short Sip Tarot. Email Tarot both short and long are open for the holidays, and your support is always greatly appreciated!

Today is something new. I wrote this layout inspired by both the solstice and a trend I’ve seen on Tarot Instagram. I’ve seen a variety of people suggest shuffling the deck then finding a particular card related to a particular topic and then reading the card or cards adjacent to it to get your particular message. For example, thinking of general guidance, you might shuffle then look through the deck for the Magician card, and look to the card right behind it for insight into what you are manifesting or transforming or calling to you in this moment. I’ve seen a half dozen variations of that. Here is mine.

Today where I am is the winter solstice. Dark moves away a tiny bit and the sun steps forward again. Of course, in the southern hemisphere it’s reversed where daytime has peaked and night will advance a bit. So when we get to the cards, read them according to your location. For your winter solstice, look for the sun card for energies moving toward you and read the card right behind it. At the same time, look for the Moon card and read the card behind it to see the energies that are beginning to move away from you. For the summer solstice, reverse the direction – use sun for energies moving away and the moon for energies moving toward you.

Whichever hemisphere you are in today, you can adapt the context to your location.

Since I’m in a sunny but frosty winter place, I’ll write this from a winter solstice perspective and leave it to our southern friends to adjust for their location.

Moon / Queen of cups: reliance on intuition and instinct

Sun/ Seven of Pentacles: results of labors, return of energies

I won’t belabor the point since this is supposed to the a Tarot short, but basically, intuition steps back and practical application steps forward, but only a little bit of each. It is the solstice, and the underlying foundation of the whole thing is, naturallly, a balance.

I see this as being the same essential message for BOTH hemispheres now that I think about it for a minute. The advice is to use, trust and apply intuition, but not too heavily. Don’t use intuition to the exclusion of practical action.

On the other hand, don’t just shotgun out a lot of hard work and effort without some degree of thoughtful guidance. It will pay off. You will reap what you sow, but you’ll reap even more if you take the time, effort and though to sow good seeds and care for the garden in a “work smarter not harder” sort of way.

It’s a balance of intention and effort. It’s a balance of making and manifesting. It’s solstice. It’s magic.

Knock it off!

Thank you for tuning in to TaoCraft Short Sip Tarot guidance for the day in the time it takes to sip from your morning coffee

Today’s card is the Ten of Wands. It is generally about carrying a heavy mental or emotional load, or feeling burdened somehow. The advice is to evaluate your connections, obligations. Think about hat is really needed, and what can be let go.

The same is true when it comes to things getting in your way. Here the card is asking if the block or road bumps or challenges that are on your mind are really as bad as they seem. Is there any chance that you are making a mountain out of a mole hill? Are you putting undue pressure on yourself? It’s not uncommon for people to be their own worst critic sometimes.

When a card turns up with these kinds of ideas attached to them, it doesn’t mean that it is something you are doing. Tarot sometimes can show us mistakes we are making without realizing it. More often than not it is about suggesting the right question. Tarot is a prompt and a conversation starter in a way.

So this card isn’t saying you are definitely getting in your own way or sabotaging yourself. It is only asking you to look for that, to consider that possibility. If you give it some thought and don’t see self-sabotage, exaggerating a problem, or carrying undue burdens, then you can move forward with confidence and look for different solutions. If the answer is yes, at least you’ll know where the real problem lies and you can knock it off.


Welcome to TaoCraft Short Sip Tarot: a one card meditation Tarot reading in the time it takes to sip from your morning coffee.

Today’s card is the Fool, traditionally the first card in the major arcana part of the Tarot deck.

Here we have yet another example how one card can have multiple layers or threads of meaning. Over time, every card has picked up about a bazillion and a half key word meanings and short interpretations.

As we talked about with the Judgement card yesterday, just because one meaning is given for one reading, and another meaning is used in another session or by another reading doesn’t mean that one interpretation was right and the other was wrong. It just goes to show how Tarot has been able to stay relevant as useful tool for insight, understanding and personal growth. With the abundance of key words, a card can adjust to meet the needs and energies of the moment while staying true to its key symbolism and core meaning?

That’s where personal intuition comes in. We all have it. We can all develop it. But sometimes it is easier to just ask someone. I mean, generally speaking anyone can learn to change the oil in their car. With practice and study they could become a really good card mechanic. I could do that – but I don’t want to. I take it to a pro for that. If you don’t want to sort out which thread of meaning a card holds for you, that’s what I’m here for. Not only can I do a full on reading for you, I can consult with you to get a better understanding of a reading you’ve done for yourself. But that’s beside the point.

The Fool card has a couple of core meanings. When that happens in a Tarot card, most of the smaller keyword meanings tend to fall under the heading of the larger core meanings. In this case, the Fool can point toward a new beginning in some way, or it can be a reminder of the value of play and lightheartedness. It is a matter of pure intuition which to use in any given reading that you are doing.

Today, my sense of it the vast general energy out here in the world wide webbernet is pointing toward the playful side of things. I’m not talking about some cutsey sit-com sillyness. Sometimes the Fool card will point to the wisdom that can be spoken through comedy.

In an interview about his book Scorpion’s Gate, author Richard A. Clarke said that sometimes more truth can be told through fiction than nonfiction. The same is true of comedy. A spoonful of laughter helps the difficult ideas go down.

That’s not quite right for today. This is a subtle shift within that core. The energy isn’t as much with the new beginnings side of things, althought if you’ve been needing a push to start something, this could easily be that nudge you’ve been needing.

This isn’t talking about giggly silly play. This isn’t quite talking about learning through humor. It feels like permission.

We’re told that it’s OK to not be OK. That’s true. But it is also OK to be OK. Even in the middle of a time where things are not OK, it is perfectly fine to have a moment where you enjoy something. It is OK to take a moment to play, to allow yourself a moment of enjoyment. Don’t worry – you can get back to being stressed and depressed and all that other stuff in a minute.

Whatever it is, take a deep breath, take a minute, and enjoy.

Not Yours

Thank you for watching, reading and listening to Short Sip Tarot: a thought for your day in the time it takes to sip from your morning coffee. Any likes, subs, shares, follows, referrals or reading orders you can spare are always, always greatly appreciated!

Today’s card is Judgement from the major arcana

I realize we just had the Judgement card recently. I’ll put a link to that post below and in the episode notes for the podcast.

The standard trope is to say that we are repeating a mistake or we haven’t learned an important lesson. This is more benign than that. This is a good example of one card having different threads of meaning that step forward for different readings at different times for different people. We talk about that in “TaoCraft Portfolio” ebook which should be ready for the shops fairly soon.

But again, this serves as a good example of how one card’s meaning isn’t static, or written in stone, and just because you get one meaning in a reading one time, but a different meaning in a different session possibly with a different card reader doesn’t mean that one reading was right and the other one was wrong. It just goes to show that Tarot is a wonderfully adaptable and infinitely useful tool for insight. It is a lens and a portal into the energy and message of the moment, not some irrelevant, ossified pronouncement from on high.

The other day, the energy of second chances and compassion stepped forward. Today it takes on the judge-y ness and judgementalism that makes this card such a nemesis for me. Judgement in other decks is not so much of a problem. Especially in the Witches Tarot and other decks that call it by another name – Karma or what have you. The religious ideas and imagery of Pamela Smith’s artwork pushes old-issue buttons for me that aren’t really related to Tarot at all. Which in itself touches on today’s particular iteration of the Judgement card.

Writing the post earlier this month I realized that when I’m feeling judgemental toward something (or more importantly, someone) it is because that thing is something that would be toxic or detrimental to me. Why should I assume that is true for the other person?

Sure there are some absolutes. You would’t stand silent and let someone drink arsnic just because that isn’t your judgement or your choice….some things are bad for everyone. The same is true of outright racism, bigotry, violent rhetoric or dangerous misinformation. Yes, you oppose it because you judge it to be wrong…but that is the sound reasoning kind of judgement. That kind of thing is about the public spaces where people can come to harm at the hands of others. That’s a whole different matter.

Today’s card is talking about judging the private spaces of others by the measure of how those choices would affect us if they were ours.

Just because something would make us lesser if we did it is not reason to judge others for doing it. A small step in personal growth that we left in the dust ages ago may be a giant leap forward for someone else. Something that may be toxic to us might be nourishment for another.

I realize that is probably obvious to most people, but I’ve witnessed it happening all too much lately. This feels like one of those pushes from spirit where somebody somewhere might need to hear this even though it is uncomfortable and awkward for me to say. I feel pushed to say this for someone, even if it isn’t for most people. If all of this this doesn’t apply to you, by all means reject the message. Let the message flow to the one for whom it is a helpful thing. Let the energy turn on the light where it is needed, even if it isn’t for you.

Let me put it this way – I’ve learned, more recently than I care to admit – that when I catch myself feeling judgemental toward someone else, it is usually because they may embrace something that is harmful or toxic to me personally. Not that it is actively harming me, but in the sense that I view their whatever-it-is as a bad thing. For me to engage with whatever they choose would make me a lesser person. It is all too easy to project my understanding onto the other person. If X makes me a lesser person, then they must be lesser for choosing and embracing it. Again this is talking about the realm of subjective philosophy, not actual harm. Think of it It is the conceptual equivalent of a food allergy in a way. If one person has a severe peanut allergy, they judge peanut butter as a bad thing, and may feel judgemental toward peanut butter, so much so that their primal reflex is to slap a peanut butter sandwich out of other people hands regardless of whether the other person is peanut allergic or not.

I haven’t read it yet, but I’d like to. Buddhist monk Ajahn Sumedho wrote book entitled “Don’t Take Your Life Personally” I think what the card is trying to say today is don’t take other people’s lives and choices personally either.

Your choice is in how you react to circumstances. Beyond that, you have no say in many things. Other people’s choices are not yours.

related: the one measure

Short Sip Tarot: Wood & Water

Thank you for reading, watching and listening to Short Sip Tarot on the TaoCraft Tarot Blog, the TaoCraft Tarot youtube channel and shorts, and the Clairvoyant Confessional podcast. The Short Sip posts are a Tarot reading and thought for the day in the time it takes to sip from your morning coffee.

Today’s card is the Knight of Pentacles.

Knight cards are associated with action, and pentacles are associated with the element of earth.

Earth – as in grounded, rooted, solid energy.

Some days are like that. When you work with Tarot most days, you can see the ebb and flow of energy. Even if you do just quick daily one card meditations over time you see the larger patterns of energy. Patterns is a little bit of a misleading word in this context. It isn’t as if there is anything predictable or regular about it. It isn’t to say there is a set pattern like day and night or the progression of the seasons. It’s more like observation over years teaches you the kinds of clouds that roll in the with the weather for the day.

The Zen proverb “Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water” captures this particular energy very well. The idea idea isn’t necessarily attached to any one particular Tarot card, but it does come through Pentacle cards more often than the others. Both the suit of cards and the proverb are grounded and practical. Both remind us how important it is to balance mind, spirit AND body. Physical health supports mental and emotional health and mental while mind and spirit support the body as well. It is no better to be overly occupied with spirituality than it is to be wrapped up the the physical realm and ignore the spiritual altogether.

With the focus on balance, you would expect this energy and message to be attached to the TWO of pentacles. Often, it is. In this case there is a little extra message behind the mind – body – spirit balance idea.

Sometimes you have to DO something to achieve that balance.

Exercise. Eat well. Take a nap if you need it. Change the shelf paper. Do some mundane task that you’ve been putting off.

The spiritual is still there. There is magic in the mundane, but there is also a little mundane in the magic. To paraphrase the poet Duane Toops … a miracle is still a miracle even if it doesn’t feel like one.

A day is still a miracle even when it feels and needs to be ordinary.

The One Measure

Thanks for listening, watching and reading! I appreciate you!

To get all of the TaoCraft Tarot content, please follow the blog. It can connect you to everything including the print-only Tarot content. Tarot Short Sips and YouChoose Interactive readings are on the TaoCraft Tarot YouTube channel. And of course, the Clairvoyant Confessional podcast has both sip and confessional episodes and can be found on anchor fm, spotify, stitcher, googlepodcasts and more.

Today’s card is Judgement from the major arcana.

The word judgement has to do with assessment and decision making as in “use your own judgement.” But like everything it has a dark side. Good judgement implies wisdom and experience. Poor judgement implies mistakes in reasoning and decision making.

Simple enough, right?

Judgement is my grand nemesis in the Tarot deck. To my mind, it is the essence of that inward looking personal growth and spirituality versus outward, social religion. In my experience, Tarot is all about the former and not the latter. The Judgement card is one of the cards most strongly allied with the Christian influence in the cultures where Tarot first gained popularity. Angelic and “Judgement Day” images are on this card in almost all decks that I’ve seen except for a handful that deliberately step away from the Marseille and Waite – Smith imagery. The Witches Tarot, Animal Wise Tarot, and the Osho Zen Tarot are my favorite examples of this deliberate separation.

In addition to pushing my personal psychological buttons and activating my religion allergy, the downside of all the judgement day/ angelic/consequences images is the way it can slip into judgmentalism rather than reason and judgment. Zealotry and blind idealism can slip in very easily here.

The up side to this line of thinking is the idea of second chances. The judgement card is also associated with a fresh start after paying your dues. It’s about cleaning up the mess you made and moving on.

On one hand you have judgement and reasoning. On the other hand you have judgement day and judgementalism. On the other other hand you have second chances and taking responsibility for your actions. How do you bring all of that into one card?


It is the one measure of it all. Good judgement is guided by compassion. Judgementalism is kept at bay by it. Compassion grants second chances.

Compassion is the ultimate judge and judgement. If it isn’t compassionate, it isn’t good judgement.

Thanks again for watching, reading and listening. See you on the print side!

Short Sip Tarot: Imagine

Short Sip Tarot is a a Tarot reading in the time it takes for a sip (or two) of your morning coffee.

Today’s card is the Page of Cups.

I’ve always loved the fun and absurdity of a fish in a cup, which is probably the most iconic image associated with this card.

It takes an active imagination to really enjoy it, I think. That’s the cool thing about imaginations. All it takes to activate it is to want to do it. Want to be imaginative? Imagine what it would be like and POOF it’s there.

We tend to associate imagination with children and artists. I disagree. I think we are all wired to be imaginative. It’s what gives homo sapiens our evolutionary advantage. We can imagine something out of impossible nothingness and then figure out a way to make it tangible. Logic and science and imagination and intuition are all deeply interdependent

That’s why I believe we are all capable of intuition. Imagination and intuition are closely linked. Try this sometime: Imagine what your day will be like tomorrow. It can be anything. It can be what you WANT to happen or it can be what you EXPECT to happen. It can be as realistic or as fish-in-a-cup absurd as you want it to be. Close your eyes and imagine it as best as you can for a minute. Write a few notes about what you imagined if you want. Written or remembered revisit your bit of imagination at the end of tomorrow.

It isn’t going to be predictive. What actually happens might be – probably will be – totally different from the way you imagined it. Think of your minute of imagination more broadly and abstractly than that. Was there anything your moment of imagination taught you about how to deal with today? Did it show you anything about bias and expectations that may have tripped up the day that happened?

Or, of equal importance, how did the minute of imagination affect your mood?

Did imagining the day to come make you more anxious for what might happen? Did it really happen that way? Imagination can teach us about anticipatory anxiety, like the Mark Twain quote “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, most of which never happened.”

Maybe imagination helped you feel more prepared and calmer about the unexpected. The possibilities are endless and also useful. Imagination can be a very grown up thing. Although grown ups can have fun too. You never know when you are going to need to play stare eyes with a fish in a cup.