“I kinda like it in here. It’s private.”

Mythbusters was on TV. I needed that.

One of my many, many favorite moments from the show is the time when Jamie was wearing a silver fire suit. You couldn’t see see him through the face mask at all, only hear him deadpanning “I kinda like it in here. It’s private.”

Here is why that moment comes to mind:

If you work with energy, intuition or do professional readings there are times when you need a mental fire suit.

If you want a real deal, deep dive, time tested and reliable resource on the topic, go get yourself a copy of “Psychic Protection” by Ted Andrews. It is far and away the best resource I’ve ever read about healthy psychic work, bar none. But for the purposes of our little blog post, there are two basic concepts I want to focus on: Empathic sensitivity and Zeitgeist sensitivity or energy resonance.

As I understand it, empaths feel other people’s emotions as if they were their own. The boundary between their own true feelings and the feelings of other people is often thin, blurry, or difficult to find. Very sensitive empaths regulate this through proximity. They know (or can learn) their boundaries and respect their limits. When emotional levels become too intense or overwhelming they exit the situation. Highly sensitive empaths are careful where and how they engage with crowded environments like bars or shopping malls for example. I know of two very skilled, very wise, very kind psychic readers who are selective about where they go and how long they stay in busy public places. It’s not in any way the product of anxiety or agoraphobia. It’s pure self care. It takes time, experience and a great deal of self awareness for these high vibration folks to learn where their boundaries are and how to manage them.

For those of us who are generally energy sensitive, but not emotionally empathic, it is quite a bit easier to see that boundary between our own emotions and general environmental energies. I like to think of it as zeitgeist sensitivity or energy resonance separate from any empathic process.

Zeitgeist means the general mood of a time or a cultural phenomenon. In my experience, this is the energy we tap into when we post a general reading for a blog or on social media without a specific individual in mind. The cultural mood of the time, the zeitgeist, is the general-public parallel with the higher self, spirit guides or divine that we sense in an individual Tarot session.

In times of great emergency like the current pandemic, the cultural energy is so strong, so ubiquitous, and so pervasive that the lines become blurred even for those of us who are not usually empathic. It is helpful to think of this like resonance from physics. Think of the tuned bells in a hand bell choir. If you strike a tuning fork and hold it very close, a bell tuned to that some note could in theory vibrate along with it. If our intuition is sensitive to cultural zeitgeists then we can resonate with that environmental energy. The general zeitgeist, through resonance, rings our bell too.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a giant bell-ringer for everyone. I worry for our very empathic friends. There is very real danger, illness, grief, and hardship out there. I can’t imagine any sane person who is NOT experiencing SOME level of adjustment. Imagine feeling the real things we are all facing, plus the emotions of others on top of it all. For those of us lucky enough to be safe and well at the moment, it still might be a good idea to get our mental fire suit out.

In order to do our best readings for our clients, and to maintain our own psychic / spiritual health, I think it is important for all sensitives, intuitives, Tarot readers and the like to take care of their emotional boundaries in a time like this. It is important to know what is your own, inner, real, valid, valuable, genuine emotions and what is the outside world ringing your bell.

Intention, as always, is everything. Finding your emotional boundaries and putting on your fire suit can be as simple as visualizing. Imagine yourself surrounded by white or golden light. When I was in my teens, before I was at a place in life where I could quit, I would sit in the more toxic Sunday services at my parent’s church and visualize myself wearing an orange hazmat suit. It helped. Now I have a whole variety of energy protecting, boundary fortifying, zeitgeist clarifying tools: black tourmaline, discreet pentacles and sigils, aura clearing aromatherapy spray, visualizations and more. Yes, it is all full-throttle woo woo but it has value. It helps me understand my emotions with greater clarity, it helps me understand the outer situation, and helps me keep logic and reason close at hand. That makes it worth it, no matter how woo-woo it might seem to some folks. It may take some trial and error, but you can find your fire suit too. I encourage you to find the things that help you see what is your emotion (so you can honor it) and what is the outside world pinging your boundary lines (so you can put that information to good use.) If you aren’t sure, try a little visualization and active imagination. Imagine yourself wearing a protective fire suit that keeps out any vibe not coming from your own true heart. The suit doesn’t cut you off from the world. You still feel the heat of it all. The suit lets you know that you aren’t the one on fire.

FAQ: How Do Distance Readings Work?

Q: How can you read someone who isn’t there? Doesn’t the person have to be with you for the reading to work?

A: When I do a reading, I don’t connect with the person at all. I connect to universal life energy and their spirit guides (if they step forward) on the person’s behalf. Spirit and energy exist outside of normal space an time anyway. Spirit and energy is everywhere, all the time, so where we sit is irrelevant. I connect to the person’s specific message within that universal energy when I hear OR read their question, topic, or request for an open reading.

In my head, to my intuition, the mental images, words, sounds and feelings are the same no matter where the client happens to be at the time. The intuitive side of things looks the same to me no matter if you are across the table or across the world. I’ve done both types of readings for a really long time. The words I speak in a live session come from the same intuitive place as the words I type in an email session. The readings I’ve done for clients in Australia and Papua New Guinea have already put that to the maximum test. They are literally on the opposite side of the Earth from me. According to the feedback those clients have kindly given, it really, truly is the same quality as the face to face readings.

It is a little like cloud computing. The information is “out on the cloud” just like your email is stored on a server somewhere out there on the internet. You (or anyone with your password) can access that information from anywhere else, anytime. You can check your email on your work computer, your phone, your table….what have you.

Intuition is like that. We all have it. We are all born with a spiritual connection. Some people operate at dial up speed, while others naturally operate at 5G broadband. Learning and practice ups your bandwidth. Anyone can learn to listen to their own intuition. Pro readers are just a little more skilled at connecting to the whole “cloud” and not just their own email account. Pro readers are more skilled at translating spirit-speak into actual, usable English sentences. That’s what lets them be able to connect & translate for other people. It is more as more language and communication than mystical spiritual ‘gifts’ really.

When we talk at the beginning of a reading…be it in spoken form or written form…you give me a limited sort of guess pass to listen to whatever message spirit energy sends. My job is just to listen, translate the message from intuition-speak into English sentences for you to use however you see fit.

So long story short….let me look at spirit’s energy email for you. No matter where you are, I’ll send the translation as an attachment in an email, or just read it out to you in person. The translation itself is exactly the same either way.

Q & A: Why do I keep getting the same card(s) all the time?

Every now and then, a client will either comment that they get a particular card “all the time” or they will ask why a particular card turns up in their readings a lot. All applause to them for paying attention to that detail. If something in a reading catches your attention and feels significant, then it is significant. You are always doing the right thing to follow those feelings and try to understand the message the repeat is trying to highlight.

Repeating cards are one of those things that capture your attention. The next step is the harder part; How do you know what that significance may be?

The most important, most common and most widely known reason is the repeat card carries a message or lesson that we just are not hearing. Messages will indeed repeat until we perceive, understand and enact them. In that case, repeating cards are like a hand on your elbow guiding and nudging you in the right direction until you get to the right place for the next lesson (and maybe the next repeating card) to begin.

Over the years I’ve noticed a couple of other things that could contribute to a card putting in frequent appearances.

A repeating card might serve as validation or act as a general signal over and above the card’s individual meaning. One particular card can act as a  special “attention all personnel” announcement. Whenever that particular card turns up, it might be a general  signal that the reading has extra importance.  A particular card may keep showing up in order to reassure you that this is a real-deal message for you. For example, when I was first learning Tarot, the Empress would turn up frequently when I was on the right path, doing the right thing to bring this new aspect of myself into  the world. In this instance, repeating cards are happy and reassuring. Repeating cards are not always a “hey bone head listen up already!” message. Sometimes it is “yes, this is for real” or “yup, THAT is the right direction” messages.

For a professional reader it can be more statistics than message; Doing lots of readings means pulling lots of cards. There are only 78 cards and some of them are going to repeat. Repeating cards due to volume is a good problem for a professional reader to have.

There is a thing – I’ve heard it called “entrainment.” I see it all the time at parties. As the party goes on, the tired folks feel a little more energized and the stressed people feel a little more relaxed. Everyone starts to resonate with the vibe of the group, the place, or the occasion. When that happens, one or two cards will emerge as the repeaters, turning up in a large percentage of the evening’s readings. I’ll often mention it when those repeaters turn up, in case guests are comparing notes later. I’ll point out how the shuffles, all the possible layout positions, the different types of messages all combine to give each person a totally unique message, even if everyone and their uncle is getting, lets say, the 3 of cups.

Repeating cards are multitaskers. The Fool popping up lately is a combination of things. It might be the volume phenomenon, because I’ve been doing draws here, for the youtube channel, clients, a party. Still, it hasn’t been THAT busy. The Fool card keeps coming up, in different settings, with different decks. I think I’ve finally figured out what message was trying to get through. It didn’t sink until today, but I’m going to another unrelated blog after this to enact it. Repeats can signal more than one message at a time The other hint was for this very post.

A repeating card can also be a personal “significator.” Do you see aspects of yourself in the card? Do you feel like it could be a symbol of you? It may turn up frequently to symbolize you and your relationship to the reading rather than its typical stand-alone meaning.

If a card keeps turning up time and again ask yourself:

  • Is there something I am missing? What am I missing the card keeps coming back to try and tell me?
  • Does this card resonate with me or my spirit guides? Could this simply be a hint that the reading is particularly important or a reassurance the message is truly spirit-given?
  • Is it just from the party / place/ situation where the reading is happening?
  • Am I getting too many readings too close together. Do I need to take this answer and wait, give thing give things time to evolve?
  • Is the same card carrying more than one message? I am I keeping the separated correctly?
  • Is this card a lot like me? Could it be a stand in for me and showing my part in things rather than giving a whole separate message?

When you see a card showing up time and again, don’t worry, be patient. The extra bonus meaning will become clear in time.

 

What to Expect From a Tarot Reading With Me

This is a new page on the website. Nothing puts folks at ease like knowing exactly what to expect. I expect to post this every now and then as new readers come along. If you have any questions about Tarot in general or my style of reading in particular, please don’t hesitate to contact me by email or use the Ask Zombie Cat contact form.

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Tarot readers are all different. This art and spirituality, not science or medicine. Just as there are different genres of music and movies, each Tarot reader has their own unique style and method of reading. Let me give you an overview of my creation, TaoCraft Tarot, in two parts: qualities and mechanics.

Qualities
  • Guidance: I use my intuition to look at energy flows and to listen to [spirit, energy, spirit guides, guardian angels, our higher selves…whatever name you like to use] and translate that intuitive information into usable language for you.
  • Inspiration: By focusing on creative problem solving rather than giving up to fate or destiny, these readings can inspire you to action or spark ideas of your own.
  • Options: I do NOT predict the future. I do NOT tell you what will happen. These readings do NOT tell you what other people think, feel, or will do.  This style of reading does NOT lock you down or give in to fate or destiny. I DO think in terms of energy flows and pathways most energetically open to you at the time of the reading. These readings are all about your choices. Your choices and actions are what creates your future. No reading can predict that. These readings can help you figure out what your choices are and what you want to do.
  • Transparency: What you see is what you get. I give what I get from energy and spirit as I get it. It is up to you to decide what to do with that information. It is up to you to decide if it is “good news” or “bad news.”  The same goes for the business end of things. All of my policies are clearly written on this website. By reading this and the disclaimers on EVERY page of the website, you’ll know EXACTLY what to expect from a session ahead of time. Nothing is hidden. Prices and policies are clearly written. Read on. Then any Tarot session with me can only meet or exceed your expectations because you will know exactly what to expect!
  • Authenticity: My Tarot style is no drama and zero stage tricks. I give what I get from pure intuition, period.  Authentic Tarot is closer to Bob Ross or the cookie-baking Oracle from The Matrix than Psychic Friends or a Vegas stage show.
Mechanics
  • Introduction: We will talk about the questions or concerns that brought you to the reading. For distance readings this happens during the ordering process. You can use the comments to merchant or customize option to let me know your question, if you have one. Questions do not have to be detailed or specific. You can just give a general area of focus, like career, or relationships or what-have-you. It is perfectly fine to leave it open, with no specific question or topic at all. I just need to know that is what you want to do.
  • Card Shuffle and Layout: I will either shuffle until it intuitively feels right (distance) or ask you how many times you want the deck shuffled (live) In live sessions I’ll often cut the cards, then you pick which part of the deck we work with. The cards are placed on the table face up in the pattern you ordered. In private sessions we will use the 7 card layout. Parties vary from 1 card meditations up to the 5 card layout depending on the size and type of party you schedule. In live sessions you’ll obviously be able to see your cards. In a distance reading, I take a photo of your unique layout and include that in the electronic document.
  • General Pattern: We look at the cards as a whole picture. This can include things like number of major vs minor arcana cards, repeating numbers, where cards fall within the layout, or any purely intuitive impressions that may appear.
  • Card by card: We talk about each card individually: its meaning, the meaning of its position within the layout, and the type of message it is giving (advice, caution, validation, thanks, etc.)
  • Summary “psychic reading”: This puts all the cards back together as one summary. In this part we open up to any purely intuitive information that might come through whether it is directly related to your cards/concern/question or not. This is a chance to hear things that are needed, even if they are not requested or expected. Often this part includes colors, aromatherapy and crystal/gemstone suggestions.
  • Sigil Element / Intuitive Doodles: In a live session, I take handwritten notes as we go along for you to take with you. If any mental images come up, I’ll draw shapes to help show you what I’m seeing in my minds eye. If you like, you can use those shapes to create your own sigil…a symbol for the things you want to bring into your life. You can draw your symbol and carry it for luck or any number of things. To learn about Sigil making and other ways to create and use intuitive shapes & symbols, I suggest reading Sigil Witchery by Laura Zarkoff or The First Signs by Genevieve Von Petzinger. In a distance session, I’ll include one “sigil element” shape in the document you receive by e-mail. Sigil elements are not included in phone or video readings.
  • Affirmation: We again summarize and focus the reading’s message for you in the form of a positive affirmation. This part isn’t always obvious. We won’t force it. I don’t want to leave on a contrived, or fake note. We’ll summarize in the most authentic, positive, forward-looking way possible in any reading format.

Sound good? Order your distance reading anytime, 24/7, no appointment needed at www.TaoCraftTarot.com or contact me (TaoCraftTarot@gmail.com) to schedule a Party / Individual session in the South Hills area of Pittsburgh, PA

Related: How do you know if a psychic is ethical? (from the Modern Oracle Tarobytes blog archives)

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.

 

 

3 Card (Pathway) Tarot Reading

Q: You drew a card for me on Halloween which was (and still is!) really meaningful, so lovely to connect with you again. I saw your Instagram post and would love to have you pull a few cards for me if the places haven’t been filled, but no worries if not! Happy to have a reading via the blog 🙂 

Sara23Nov18

For ******

November 23, 2018

First of all, thank you so much for your kind words!

I’m always so happy to hear when a reading is helpful….after all, that’s why we do these things! But the same is true as the last reading: If you have any questions, complaints or need any clarification with the reading please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Since you didn’t specify a topic, I’ll just move ahead with an open-to-anything point of view.

Your Cards Today Are:

  • Background & Context: King of Coins (Pentacles)
  • Current Situation: Three of Swords
  • Moving Forward: King of Swords

General Pattern

All cards are minor arcana, which in a layout this small is no real statistical surprise. Intuitively it feels like a bit of reassurance, that nothing really major is stirring the energies for you right now. It is all pretty business as usual more than it’s not. It has a feeling that business as usual for you entails being really good at what you do. Business as usual is kicking butt and taking names from the feel of it. In that vein, it feels like a very plain-talking, no nonsense kind of reading. It also feels like most of the reading energy is pointing toward work and career thoughts, which would go right along with having a coins card right off the bat like that. The repetitions are asking for attention. You have two swords, which connote action, the element of air, intellect and logic, authority, or your connection with society and culture at large. Knit all of that together and my attention is pulled to using cold, calculating intellect when it comes to work, especially when dealing with the authority structure, or any vying for promotions or power within the structure of the workplace. “Power Play” comes to mind along with an old episode of M*A*S*H where the Colonel accuses someone (Frank? Hotlips? Klinger?) of “going over my head so many times I’m getting athletes scalp” I guess the shorthand for that would be watch out for power playing brown nosers at work. The other repetition is the two kings. Kings connote leadership. It feels like the situation may be asking you for leadership, confidence, self-starting, standing up for yourself….even if you are already good at that, it feels like the skills you have will be put through their paces, and you may even be pushed a tiny bit outside your comfort zone in that respect. I ‘hear’ (meaning the intuition comes as words instead of feelings or images) to “Hang on and be brave” There was a great meme about spirit guides (the lady) you (the boy) and a life lesson. Here is the photo part if you want to take a peek: https://goo.gl/images/gdXriU Your guides feel like they are reminding you they won’t lead you anywhere you are not ready to go, but since you are ready…buckle up baby!

Background & Context: King of Coins

This part is the reminder of competence you have, and that you are more than ready to meet leadership challenges at work, or any other part of life, really. The King of Coins as a card connotes wealth and success, so a note of reassurance there again. I hear “build on past skills and successes” I’m not clear whether that means use your skills and knowledge that you have in hand to fullest advantage, to build new skill and expand your knowledge and experience…or both. It doesn’t feel like a job change as much as an expansion of the current situation.

Current Situation: Three of Swords

Classically, this tends to be a bit darker, more dire card across all of the decks and references that I have. Often it will set me off on maternal lecture mode about be safe, keys out, park under lights, and all that usual lecture….but not so much for you today. This feels more petty than malicious. It isn’t the devil or dark side card for good reason. This feels petty, and small, and contained to one aspect of life, like office politics. “Watch out for petty backstabbers” comes to mind. Very office politics, but also heavy on the petty….like an annoying mosquito that can drive you mad if you let it, or just brush it away. The more calm, detached, intellectual and swords / mental-focus the better.

Moving Forward: King of Swords

You know how I read cards…the cards have suit, element, layout position, and general card meaning. But each card, based on all that other stuff, can have a different spin or ‘flavor’ of message; advice (something to consider doing) caution (something to consider avoiding) or validation (acknowledgement, encouragement, cosmic thank you) There has been a lot of validation energy so far. This has a little more of an advice spin. The card feels less like it pertains to you and more like it represents an ally…someone in the hierarchy at work who you can cultivate an working relationship with, who can be a mentor of sorts. “Have your back” comes to mind. Like someone who knows your skills, sees your potential. It feels like it might be literally a male figure of some sort. Does any of this ring a bell for you? I’m not sure how else to understand the card, because it has a not-you but someone who can help you sort of symbolism around it. Beyond that it is dark – meaning no signal, not evil or bad kind of dark. It feels like that is the card or energy telling me that is a singular message from this card….seek out a mentor or ally at work.

Summary

This part is like a psychic “cold reading” where I free form give you any impressions that come to mind. In readings that have a topic or question, this part might connect to that or the cards….or it might not. In an open reading like this one, it just stays in the open frame of mind.

Often it starts with colors, or crystals or both. In this case I see citrine. It associates with the solar plexus chakra, and therefor confidence. Wear or carry it for confidence at work. It also resonates with the King cards, and the coins suit because the golden color has to do with wealth, career, luck and to some extent leadership.

I taste butterscotch, with lemon scent in the background. That might be a continuation of the golden color associations. Butterscotch may symbolize comfort, while lemon in aromatherapy is very cleansing and energizing. Lemon may be important relevant to work, as diffusing some lemon fragrance, lighting a lemon scented candle, or using anything lemon after work might do two things…first it would be a clear transition signal. It could remind you work is done, clear any annoyances or negativity from your day, and let you know to shift into family/home/private life mode. It will also lift your energy…stress or pettiness at work can put an extra drain on your energies. Lemon could help neutralize that and lift your energy after a long day. Don’t use citrus oils on your skin if you will be in sunlight within the next 12 hours…it can cause sun sensitivity. Also don’t put it on your skin if you have autoimmune diseases as it enhances immunity (a good thing in cold/flu season for most people)

And there the energies step back. I hope this helps!

Best Wishes,

Ronda