The Niggles: Hippocrates, Socrates, Cellphones and Hammers.

Benebel Wen recently discussed the ethics of health questions in Tarot readings. Like everything Benebel does, it was brilliantly detailed, meticulous and methodical. (https://youtu.be/EQOwLiTn1Rg) She makes some crucially important points, but on other points, I disagree and it’s been niggling at me. This post isn’t a pedantic point by point response. This is a different conclusion from different point of view. I leave it to you to decide which approach resonates with you.

I may not be the definitive authority on health questions in Tarot, but I do claim expertise. I have been reading Tarot for 25 years, reading professionally for over 15 years, hold a Bachelor of Science in Medical Science, have 14 years of clinical experience as a physician assistant in psychiatry and interventional cardiology plus a Ph.D. in Natural Health. I’ve been a Reiki master-practitioner for almost 20 years. I’ve been on the giving end of bad medical news and, thanks to a rare-ish genetic disorder, I was told that I had almost died from a stroke. I’ve given and received both mainstream and holistic medical care. I know Tarot and I know health care.

And I don’t take medical or pregnancy questions in Tarot sessions.

I didn’t make that choice based on some fancy pants “Tarot Ethics” or boilerplate liability disclaimer. I made that choice based on fundamental medical principle.

And Socrates.

And cellphones.

From the time of Hippocrates and before, healers have first and foremost sought to do no harm. Doing intuitive readings for a health question is not necessarily harmless. A doctor will weigh the risks of a medication, procedure or test versus the benefits of the action. Across the landscape of all of the Tarot readings being done, there is significant risk of harm by means of misinformation, creating false hope or delaying medical diagnosis and treatment. Yes, Tarot has emotional and spiritual benefits. It can even have some broad physical benefit by way of stress reduction. However, those benefits are not sufficient to outweigh the risks. None of us know how a client will react to what we say or what they might selectively hear and retain from a reading. If a client brings up the psychic/spiritual information to a mainstream doctor, it could impact the doctor-patient relationship. It’s a harsh reality. Doctors may take them less seriously or, worst case, write their symptoms off as psychosomatic. I know – I know. It shouldn’t be that way, but it often is. Regional culture may be a factor in the medical community’s openness to complimentary care and “psychics.” Our attempt to “empower” the client could backfire. I don’t take medical questions because the potential unintended consequences out weigh the potential benefits. The best way to do no harm is to do no medical Tarot.

Allopathy (mainstream scientific health care) in America treats the physical without the spiritual. Tarot readings for medical questions address the spiritual without the physical. It isn’t fully holistic. You don’t pound nails with a cell phone and you can’t make a phone call with a hammer. Some things work well together, others don’t. Using Tarot for a healthcare questions is a little like pounding nails with a cellphone. It might work, but it’s not your best option – by a lot. Not when there are so many good hammers out there. Understanding the spiritual genesis of illness can indeed help long term health and healing. “Magic,” “talismans” and “amulets” can indeed engage the mind-body connection and be a useful adjunct to mainstream health care. Still, Tarot/magic/psychic readings pale in comparison to Reiki, aromatherapy, Western herbalism, traditional Chinese medicine, ayervedic medicine and other truly holistic techniques. These disciplines consider mind AND body AND spirit all in one go, and they are arguably effective with or without complimentary allopathic care. Psychic work can not heal the body without complimentary physical care of some sort.

The video made one critically important point. I wholeheartedly agree and can not emphasize enough: Not everyone has physical or financial access to mainstream medical care. There are places in this nation hours away from the nearest obstetrician. My mother has to drive over 90 minutes on back country roads to the nearest MRI machine. Health care access should never be taken lightly or assumed in the name of “Tarot ethics.”

Benebel suggests re-framing the client’s medical question into a form that Tarot can handle and proceed. I would agree but ONLY if you are an experienced intuitive AND take the additional step of re-framing the clients expectations. Benebel mentions this, but I think it warrants more emphasis. To do the right thing for our client, it is necessary to be unambiguously clear that Tarot can not make specific predictions about lab results, end outcomes, etc. Continuing with a Tarot reading after re-framing the question, context and expectations serves some good purposes. It is kind, soothing and addresses the immediate, short-term emotional need. But we can do more. It is possible to borrow a page from mainstream health care with referrals.

If a heart patient needs a big toe bunion fixed, the cardiologist doesn’t do the foot surgery. The heart doctor sends the patient to the foot doctor for specialty care. There is nothing wrong with referring a Tarot client to a health professional who has skills that you do not have. Gathering information to share with clients, such as a phone number for a local free clinic, the health department, local holistic practitioners or even the new 211.org service is one strategy. Steering a client toward resources outside of a reading pays attention to their needs without any of the potential drawbacks.

Socrates is attributed with saying “Know Thyself.” Another reason I will not accept medical or pregnancy questions is that I know myself. We’ve met. Say something medical and boom! Intuition goes out the window and right into clinical mode we go. Not only is Tarot a poor tool for health questions, not every Tarot reader is cut out to deal with medical questions, re-framed or otherwise. In order to give my clients the best of my intuitive work, I choose to defer medical questions. Not everyone can be the second coming of Edgar Cayce. It isn’t a matter of “picking and choosing” the “easy questions.” Unless you have medical training or you are a practicing health-specific intuitive, then it would be better to err on the side of caution and stay away from reading for health questions altogether in my opinion.

You are not a bad or inadequate energy worker if you choose to refuse medical questions. Like Hippocrates, you are choosing to do no harm. You are not being egotistical or flaunting your “ethics” if you refuse medical questions. Knowing your limits and not crossing them is another way of doing no harm. Knowing yourself and the boundaries of your skill is the exact opposite of ego, especially if you go that step further and encourage the client to place their question into more skilled hands. Presuming to read every question, easy or hard, sounds egoistic to me.

As with everything, compassion is the ultimate measure. It seems less important whether you take medical questions or not and more important HOW you decline them if you choose to do so. In all these years, every time I get a medical question, I simply explain to the client the readings I do are not very good at helping health questions and, because of my clinical background, my intuition just doesn’t work well with medical concerns. If I have something else to offer, I will. Usuall y I say something the lines of “you might want to learn more about Reiki” or “so-and-so is in your area and is a wonderful herbalist, but something like that would need to be coordinated with your doctor” or some such thing like that. I’ve never had a client become angry or distressed over that sort of response. Yes, people in physical and emotional distress need our help. Yes, they need us to hold a compassionate healing space for them, but no, we should not always fill that space with a Tarot reading. I agree that we should never dismiss a medical question harshly or judgementally from a place of high and mighty “Tarot ethics.” Tarot clients do come to indeed us out of spiritual and emotional need. But in the case of medical questions, they don’t necessarily need us.

no appointment needed = no need for summer hours

Order distance tarot HERE 24/7 no appointment needed to get a Tarot reading by email. Just pick the size of layout that fits your question or your budget, check out with PayPal security, and wait for your guidance to arrive in your inbox…usually within hours.

If your order comes at a busy time where family comes first, it might take a day or two to turn around your order, but that doesn’t happen often at all.

All in-person readings and parties are by appointment only, scheduling at least 24 hours in advance. I have only a set number of appointments per week, so availabilty varies, depending on how many other people are scheduling in a given week or month.

Distance (email, video, handwritten) Tarot is my specialty. You have my promise – the distance readings contain the all of the exact same information I would tell you face to face, maybe more. I use the cards to “read” spirit and energy’s message for you. I don’t read you. Since spirit is everywhere, you and I can be anywhere and the same message gets through.

Q&A: Light Housekeeping

Q: Do you do house cleansing or clearing? I will be moving into a new house, and I was told a man had been murdered there. I want someone to come to the house and take a reading of it and to respectfully help him or anyone move on. To answer your question, no, nothing has happened to make me think he or any other spirits may be stuck there, but there is one area that has a strong feeling of sadness. I did burn some sage, but it didn’t seems to help. Is there anything you can do?

A: That isn’t my area of expertise. I deal with spiritual guidance for living folks, not so much the not living ones. The one person I knew who did do this sort of work has moved away from our area. Since you want someone to come to the location, unfortunately all I can do is suggest that you continue your google search.

In the meantime, I do know some basics that you can do for yourself that might help. I’ve used them in the past for different applications, not this particular kind of clearing, so I can’t make any promises. They worked so well for other energy clearing, since you don’t think you have a full on haunting, it might be all  you need to settle in to a new space and make that new house a home.

That was a great idea to start with sage. It is, in my experience, very calming, soothing, grounding, centering, balancing, comforting and protective. Whether it did anything for the sad feeling energy or not, at the very least it would help you to feel calm and protected as you do your clearing work.

Sage, black salt, ground eggshells and all of that are helpful for protection, yes, but it seems you need something to clear first…then you can move back to the protective measures.

Think of it this way, putting a doormat outside of your door will help keep new mud from being tracked into the house, but it won’t do anything about the footprints already on the floor.

My intuition is that you need something brighter, expansive, clearing and dispelling. My hunch is salt, sound and lemon. In aromatherapy, citrus scents are believe to be clearing, cleansing, energizing and very high vibration. Any residual energy of the sad, tragic kind you describe is low vibration and would need that extra boost in order to clear, to move out. High vibration measures is like mopping the old footprints off the floor after you put the doormat out.

I suggest a three step treatment for the whole house if you can manage it…or the area where you sense the sadness at the very least.

First do normal, ordinary, mundane cleaning. Just like ordinary spring cleaning as anyone would before moving in. Second, mist all the rooms, especially around windows and all doorways, corners too if you feel they need it. Make a lemon salt water mist with filtered or spring water, a pinch of salt, and either some lemon essential oil or a little lemon juice. The scent doesn’t have to be strong and just a pinch of salt will do when you are doing energy-level work like this. After you clean and mist, ring a small bell or chime in each room or use one of those “singing bowls” if you prefer.

Once you have done the energy-raising cleansing, then you can protect with sage or a sprinkle of salt/black salt/ground eggshell powder at the entry doorways to help keep the energy clear.

After all of that, you could really put the frosting on the cake and have someone bless or dedicate the home. A good old fashioned housewarming party might help too…housewarming really is a good name for it. Friends and family having a pleasant time together truly can raise the energy of a space and make it feel like home. f

If you would like to go more in depth, I suggest reading Psychic Protection by Ted Andrews. It is an excellent resource.

Like I said, I’m no expert in this particular topic. If I learn anything new, I’ll post it here in the blog for you. Don’t forget to subscribe by email so you don’t miss new posts or the special offers coming later in the year.

Thanks for the great question! Sorry I couldn’t be more help. I’d be interested to know if you try this and how it works for you. I hope it works as well for you.

All Best Wishes

R.

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)

FAQ: A question of your own

Have a quesion? Ask HERE to have your question added to the new FAQ page

So far, I’ve kept these classics….

Q: Will my ex- and I get back together?

A: That depends on what you and your ex decide to do. Tarot can’t read your ex’s mind or how they feel about you, or predict what they will do. The only way to know for sure is to talk to them directly. If you aren’t talking to each other, then there is little or no chance you will get back together. If the two of you haven’t fixed whatever caused the breakup then no, getting back together is very unlikely. That is just common sense. You don’t need a Tarot reading for that. BUT if you want advice about how to heal from the breakup or how to have better relationships in the future, then Tarot can definitely help.

Q: Nothing you said came true. Why not?

A: I. Don’t. Make. Predictions.

I’ve said it a thousand times. Tarot doesn’t predict the future. That is the dark ages, flat earth way of using Tarot. It doesn’t matter if predictions are “true” or not.  I could sit here and make perfect, on-target, 100% accurate predictions all day long, but then you could go out five minutes later and do something that changes everything. (See: Predicting the Future and a Big Cube of Jell-O) Remember Yoda from Star Wars? The future really is fluid and always changing. Life is cause and effect. If you drop an apple, it will fall down. If you strike a match, it will catch on fire. If you pour water on something it will get wet. Cause and effect is the way Nature works. It is science. Your future is created by what you choose and do. Tarot is a way to look at options, then choose the flow of energy that is more likely to take you where you want to go in the long run…not tell you every ripple of everything that will happen along the way.

Q: How can you do readings by e-mail? Don’t you have to be with the person for the reading to work?

A: I read universal energy, not the person themselves, so no, they don’t have to be with me for the reading to happen as it should.  Energy and spirit is everywhere, all of the time. I read that universal energy and listen to spirit on that person’s behalf. It doesn’t matter if someone is across the table or across the world when I connect to that universal energy. It doesn’t matter if I say the words of a reading or type them. It doesn’t matter if you hear the words now or read them later. The same core message still gets through either way. I connect to your specific energy message when we talk about your question vs an open reading. That conversation & connection happens the same way when I read your words as it does when I hear them. The difference between a distance and an in-person is the way you experience getting the message, not in the message itself.

Q: How long have you been doing this?

A: It blows my mind to say it, but a little over 25 years. I started reading oracle cards around 1992 as I began my new spiritual life as an ex-christian (after an evangelical upbringing.) At the same time, I started Taijiquan training which introduced me to Taoist philosophy and meditation.  In 1996, I began Reiki training, certifying as a Reiki Master-practitioner in 2000. In the early 2000s I started working part time as an online Tarot reader while I worked toward a Ph.D. in Natural Health and started a family. That was followed by working for myself locally under my old website Modern Oracle Tarot. In October 2018 I introduced meditation and Reiki to the Tarot website to become the new TaoCraft Tarot. I’ve been at this for a while, and now teach other people to read cards in local workshops.

Q: Do you read for the LGBTQIA community?

A: Of course! Anytime! Consider me an ally. Readings are naturally gender/orientation neutral. I intuitively “see” people as energy signatures, kind of like a silhouette made of light. Intuition doesn’t tell me anything about gender, orientation, identity, race, hair color, height, or any other specific attribute. I don’t mean to use wrong pronouns in your reading. They are all just completely interchangeable on an energetic level. If I get that sort of thing wrong, just clue me in and we’ll move on. It’s all good.

Q: Are there different kinds of Reiki sessions for different needs, like one for night to relax if you have trouble sleeping or one for morning if you need more energy?

A: Surprisingly no. It isn’t guided or prescriptive like that. The energy is like a raw material that the body uses where ever and however it is most needed. On of my teachers told the story of a gentleman with tennis elbow. He was very skeptical of Reiki, didn’t think it would help at all, but came to the session to placate his wife. He would’t let the Reiki master touch him anywhere except his left elbow. After a couple of sessions it didn’t do anything for his elbow….but it greatly improved his blood pressure. Nothing else in his life had changed to explain the improvement…no change in his medication or diet or activity or anything else that they could think of except the Reiki sessions. The body puts the energy where it needs it the most. Timing isn’t an issue, either. Reiki can be sent with the intent that it activate at a time when it is most needed as well. Like gravity, Ki is everywhere, all the time, and Reiki simply helps you draw from that energy in a time and a place and a way that is for your best health. For example, if problems sleeping is the main concern, a morning Reiki session might help the underlying reason for the insomnia, and in turn help the sleeping problem when bedtime comes around.  Like the tennis elbow, the blood pressure was a more important issue. We trust the body (in its physical, mental and emotional aspects) to put the energy where it is most needed. Like the morning session that helps bedtime insomnia, the body guides when the effects of the energy are felt. Thanks for the question!

Not the Mercury retrograde thing AGAIN

mini rant about mercury retrograde

All the blame-y victim-y whine-y energy and posts about friggen’ Mercury damn retrograde on social media ( looking at you Instagram) has officially gotten on my last nerve.

IMG_20190308_173213_142.jpg

Blaming poor choices or random gliches on “Mercury retrograde” is like saying you stubbed your toe because it is raining in Poughkeepsie. Magick, energy, intuition, creativity, life force, the random crap of living – it is all bigger than one zippy little planet in one out of the way solar system in a really really big universe. You are part of the big stuff. You are rightfullly as much a part of the Cosmos as is Mercury. Now, knock it off about the damn retrograde, OWN your life and go be amazing.

Today’s Tarot: Three of Coins

threeCoins

Two or three heads are better than one. Many hands make for light work. Just don’t let too many cooks spoil your soup. Get advice and guidance, but in the end you own your choices.

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