The Whole of It

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your morning coffee. Today: Nine of Swords

Apologies to podcast listeners. Due to a technical glitch, yesterday’s “You Choose Interactive Tarot” didn’t go out through the podcast after all. It is available on the blog for anyone who is interested. Link is in the episode description.

Today’s card is the nine of swords.

Like most cards, it has several threads of meaning. Today two threads are stepping forward, universality and direct proportion.

Experiencing some degree of worry and anxiety is never easy, but it is ubiquitous. It is pretty much a universal experience. There is an adage attributed to everyone from Abraham Lincoln to Alexander Graham Bell to the Positive Mom blog and back again. It has long been said that “if you’ve never failed, you’ve never lived.” Just look at babies learning to walk. The greatest among us took a few plops on the old diaper at that stage of life. Or as Thomas Edison actually said, “I never failed at making a light bulb. I just discovered 99 ways NOT to make one.” It is just the human experience. There is no walking without a few falls and there are no light bulbs without a hundred not-lightbulbs. In the words of the R.E.M. song, “everybody hurts, sometimes.”

Alan Watts gives us a hint at the other thread of meaning. He reminds us that “we cannot be more sensitive to pleasure without being more sensitive to pain.” That shouldn’t deter us from experiencing life any more than a small sit-down should deter us from walking or a blown light bulb should deter us from finding a light.

If we experience life through a pinhole then worry comes as pinpricks. But pleasure can be unsatisfyingly small in proportion. Worry and anxiety can be artificially large sometimes. The hopeful side of the nine of swords is that on the other side of worry, relief can come in equal measure.

Thank you for watching, reading and listening to TaoCraft Short Sip: Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. If you enjoy these blog posts and nano episodes, please like, subscribe, follow and share.

Thanks again….see you at the next Sip!

Threshold

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot contemplation for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today: Threshold

Today’s card is the Two of Wands

The two cards of all the minor arcana suits point toward balance of some kind. The two of wands today feels more like a tipping point than any sort of long-lasting balance.

How many times do you walk through a doorway in a day? Going through a literal door is something we do so much that it is beneath notice. When we add in the elements of time and change, doorways take on a great deal of symbolic meaning. Liminal spaces are not just transitional, they can be transformational.

These places and times of change have always been thought of as being a little bit magic. It’s no wonder that we celebrate New Years, birthdays and anniversaries. Such times can bring the gift of healing and sealing the past in one hand with hope and optimism in the other.

Think of your favorite sunrise or sunset. The time just before sunset is called the golden hour. To me it is more than the natural light being perfect for photography, it is the feeling of the time as well. It brings to mind a nearly forgotten line from Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicals about feeling as if you could reach out and touch time, touch eternity itself. Threshold places and transition times can feel a little like that.

Transitional times and places touch both past and future. Transition times are an extra dose of eternity living in the present moment.

The Two of Wands is a very forward-looking card. It has some elements of waiting, watching, contemplating and planning, but today it feels like change is close at hand but relative to a much larger picture. It’s close, but in terms of months relative to years, not close as in minutes or days. This threshold is built out of transition time. This threshold is wide. The energy in the card today reminds me of the impromptu year ahead reading we did here on the blog and podcast in the “old is new again” post and episode. If time before the pandemic was “the before times” it feels like we are entering a long threshold, like a hallway really, to the “after times.”

The card has a surprisingly intimidating feel despite the pleasant artwork on the card. I guess that is to be expected – any change, any threshold can be intimidating when you aren’t 100 percent sure what is on the other side. Yet there is also a sense of hope and anticipation as well. Things change, but for once, in spite of being burned before, things might just change for the better this time.

In short hope for best, prepare for the worst, but if you can, appreciate the magic inherent to the thresholds we cross.

TaoCraft Tarot podcast is the audio version of the TaoCraft Tarot blog. Short Sip posts and nano-episodes are Tarot contemplations for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. You can see the real-world card being drawn for the day on the corresponding YouTube short video.

I am so glad that you are here. Thank you for watching, reading and listening. I really do appreciate your support through likes, subs, shares, follows. None of this Tarot content is currently monetized so if you enjoy any of it, please support the blog and podcast through the virtual tip mug, shop and tier memberships on the TaoCraft Tarot ko-fi.com page (convenient links are in the episode description for podcast listeners)

Thanks again for dropping in. See you at the next sip.

Suggested reading: Weaving the Liminal by Laura Tempest Zarkoff

On of the author’s favorite paintings “Keeper of the Threshold” by Eliju Vedder, 1898 at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh PA.

public domain, Eliju Vedder, cmoa

Do the thing

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot guidance for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today its the knight of pentacles and do the thing.

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Your support through likes, subs, shares, blog follows, reading orders and the virtual coffee mug is always, always appreciated.

Today’s card is the Knight of Pentacles.

Knights evoke the image of action while pentacles are connected with earth, work, career, wealth, and our relationship with the physical realm.

Today the vibe is very down to earth. Often pentacles brings in an element of practicality. Today the energy is so rooted, so down to earth, so low key that it verges on drudgery instead of practicality. At the same time there is a short duration feel. It is a little like bit like the notion of just ripping a bandage off and getting the pain over with.

Today’s advice is to do what needs done, just do it and get on the other side of it.

Your emotional energy and enthusiasm are optional as long as you can ride up on your horse and do the thing and get the job done. It isn’t suggesting that we phone it in as they say, or slack off on effort. There is a knight’s sense of chivalry. Do the thing, do the job well with all of your usual brilliance and competence, just don’t waste any energy on extra fanfare or drama.

Do the thing and you are free to ride off into the sunset.

And there the energy of the card does the thing and rides off into the sunset.

These aren’t called nano-episodes for nothing. Tarot is like that. It never fails to amaze me how the energy adjusts the length and intensity of a reading to a person’s individual needs…or in this case, the individual day’s needs.

Thank you so much for reading, watching and listening. See you at the next sip!

Flow Forward

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today’s card is the eight of cups.

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee

Today’s card is the eight of cups.

The eight of cups always seems to have a bittersweet sense of resignation about it, and today is no different. Cups cards have to do with emotions and our closest relationships in life. Very often the eight in particular has to do with a needed, healthy, healing, necessary parting of ways. Often when we see this card, something is being left behind, even if it is as minor as a bad habit. It reminds me a little bit of an exercise the therapists would give the clients when I worked as medical support on an inpatient rehab unit long ago. They would write a letter breaking up with their addiction, essentially saying goodbye to their drug of choice.

I’m not suggesting that everyone hearing this is addicted to something or anything so dramatic, by intuition seems a little stuck on the idea of a bad habit. This is the time of year for making those healthy lifestyle resolutions. If you have any inkling that you need something like that, then this is a good time of year for it. The collective energy is working in your favor and you have plenty of company along that path.

That’s on the nuts and bolts physical level. It feels like there is something more subtle, more esoteric, something on the emotional and spiritual level coming through for this card as well. That piece of it is not connected to the “bad habit” idea.

I want to connect it to the famous quote by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, who said that “no man can step in the same river twice. It’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”

We all leave everything behind all of the time whether we like it or not just by virtue of the passage of time. It’s kind of a terrifying prospect when you put it in those terms. But moving forward can include moving to a place of remembrance and appreciation.

We are always moving forward through and ever-changing river of time. That unavoidable forward movement is easier if we move our attention forward with it. Turn to the past too much for too long and you get an awful lot of water splashed right in your face. You can carry the good parts of the past with you, and you can leave the harmful parts behind but you can never walk through the same river twice. We can only flow forward.

Thank you so much for reading, watching and listening to these (almost) daily short sip Tarot clips. The virtual tip mug and memberships on ko-fi supports the creation of the blog, podcast and youtube shorts. Your likes, subs, follows and shares are always, always appreciated. See you at the next sip.

Throw Down Roots

TaoCraft Short Sip: Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today: deep roots and the 2 of pentacles

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. The blog, podcast and YouTube channel are not monetized or sponsored in any way, so I super appreciate any support you can give with likes, subs, shares, follows, reading orders, memberships or coffee mug donations.

Today’s card is the Two of Pentacles.

Theoretically, any of the number two minor arcana cards can point to some aspect of balance. Out of the entire Tarot deck however, the two of pentacles seems to be the most focused on the idea of balance in and of itself.

It seems to me that balance is important to a healthy human psyche. When we get out of balance, when we get out over our skis as the saying goes, that’s when falling down happens. That’s stressful. And I’m not just saying that because I’m a terrible skier. It’s an apt analogy for dynamic equilibrium, just like the unicycle image that has come to mind so much lately. Whether you are riding a unicycle or sliding down a mountain, that kind of moving, changing balance requires constant adaptation and lots of little adjustments to stay upright and get to where you want to go.

Today the card brings to mind a different aspect of balance. This time, the energy is continuing in the theme for January that has emerged over the past several days. The Hermit, the four of cups, the five of cups – they’ve all been showing up in year ahead and month ahead readings and they all keep banging on the notion of laying low and “playing your cards close to the vest” for a time.

Which brings us to today’s version of the Two of Pentacles.

Throwing down roots is essential to balance too.

It’s not something that comes up much in the Tarot part of things, but I’ve studied Taijiquan (Tai Chi) since the early ’90s. Tarot, Taoism and Tai Chi all came into my life in my twenties and we all sort of grew up together. (She said gesturing to the TaoCraft name splashed all over everything.) At one point back in the day the hubster and I had a part time martial arts school where I taught Tai Chi and a little kung fu. Physical balance and strong footing are essential to Tai Chi practice. We call it rooting.

When strong winds come, a supple willow tree keeps its balance. It will bend instead of break. But even the most supple, bendable willow will still fall down if it has no roots.

That is exactly the kind of balance the Two of Pentacles is bringing to mind today. It’s like martial arts where you plant your feet, use your feet and leg position and drop your weight to stay solid when you need to.

It’s the same in life. There is dynamic equilibrium always, but there are moments within the big picture of that equilibrium that call for deep roots and solid strength.

The past two years have been weird. If the year-ahead Tarot readings I’ve been doing so far are to be believed, 2022 isn’t going to be all that different at the start. It’s going to take a while for the changes to kick in if we allow them to happen and if we can somehow throw down our roots and stay solid in the meantime.

I think the advice in the midst of continuing weirdness, is that it’s more than ok to self-soothe just a little while longer. In a circular sort of way this is our permission slip to throw down our roots, reach for the things that anchor us and nourish us like roots anchor and nourish tall trees. So what if you’ve watched that movie 50 times? Watch it 50 more if it helps. Hungry for comfort food? Why not? Eat your vegetables, wash your hands, wear those comfy pants and fuzzy socks. Being down to earth helps in lots of ways. Down to earth is a good place to grow roots and find some much needed balance.

Thanks for reading, watching and listening! See you at the next sip.

TaoCraft Short Sip Tarot: Silent Light

Thank you for watching, reading and listening to TaoCraft Short Sip: Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your favorite morning drink.

Today’s Card is the Hermit from the major arcana

Light is silent.

The thing making the light might make a sound, like a crackling fire or humming street light, but the light itself is utterly silent.

Most, if not all, Hermit cards have a lantern or some symbol for light on them. Hermits choose to be alone. This combination brings to mind classic tropes like the candy suggesting guru on a mountaintop or the tea plucking wise master in a bottled tea commercial. It also brings to mind the mythic association between silence, solitude and enlightenment. Gautama Buddha meditated alone at night under a bohdi tree. Bohdidharma meditated alone facing a cave wall. Micheo Usui meditated alone to realize the Reiki symbols, and so on.

Enlightenment is a quiet thing.

Evangelism is, however, not. It is a normal human thing to be noisy and enthusiastic and want to tell everyone about this nifty new thing you found so the people you care about can benefit from it too. It’s primal. It makes evolutionary sense to put up a screech when you find the clear water stream or the full fruit tree. That’s great that you care enough about people that you want to share your best found treasures with them. But at some point it has to grow up beyond that. At some point it has to ripen from the joy of discovery to the depth and security of lived experience. At some point, deep truths become a silent stream of light lest they be reduced to pearls before swine or gnats around the heads of others.

Some days it is a service to shout to the tribe about the good that you have found. Lights are a signal in the dark as much as a shout. Sometimes the best signal is a silent light.

Short Sip Tarot: Easy is OK

Hello everyone

Thanks for watching, reading and listening to TaoCraft Short Sip: Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee.

Today’s card is the Nine of Swords.

Nine cards strike an interesting balance. Cups and coins are often associated with completion, satisfaction or a job well done while wands and swords are more somber and challenging. The nine of swords, as portrayed by Pamela Smith in the 1909 Waite Smith deck, is often interpreted as restlessness, insomnia, worry and useless regrets.

Today, the energy is a little different.

The Witches Tarot by Ellen Dugan and Mark Evans is one of my favorite decks for a few different reasons. First and foremost is Mark Evans’ gorgeous artwork. The color palette has richness, depth and substance without being overly dark. To my eye, his color choices have just the right mix of warm and cool, reds and blues in any given card. The colors enhance the underlying tone and message of the card. My other favorite part is the composition of the images in general. While it generally follows the Rider Waite Smith model, it has less of the religious imagery that can be frankly toxic to many of us in the modern era. As I understand it, Dugan and Evans deliberately made it more culturally and religiously neutral than the RWS deck. Ellen Dugan’s writing about the cards definitely resonates with my own views about Tarot much more than Waite’s writing.

That’s not main reason why the Witches Tarot came to mind today. In this case, Evans’ portrayal of the nine of swords emphasizes a different thread of energy: The drama queen. The Smith artwork is very sympathetic, even empathetic in the way it reminds us of sadness, worry, and upset. Evans’ image reminds us of the unnecessary aspect of the suffering. Earlier card interpretations write about that unnecessary aspect, but this image shows it visually, too.

The older card is gentler, more kindly, almost grandmotherly about the message, something akin to “I understand how much this hurts, but take care not to dwell on it over long.”

Today’s energy has a very modern, blunt, to the point message. It is closer to a “Suck it up buttercup and stop blowing things out of proportion” vibe.

We’ve all had big worries. We’ve all had big things happen. Sometimes those things keep us up at night or wake us up in the middle of it. And at times we’ve probably all made things out to be harder than they really are.

So many of us are work-ethic oriented. Things and activity and experiences have a so-called sweat equity. Easy things somehow seem less valuable or less satisfying.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Something that is easy and no-drama can be just as important and valuable as something that is difficult. The other half of yang, is yin. The other half of pushing the envelope is hauling it in. The other half of wakeful worry is being at easy peace.

Quite a few years ago, I consulted with editor and “professional muse” Gina Mazza. She said something that was an epiphany for me at the time and still resonates with the nine of swords today. Even though it was the early days of self-published e-books, she told me of author who had just published his first book. In three weeks. After describing the process, she wrapped up the conversation with “I can be just exactly that easy. Why not?”

Why not, indeed. Suffering for your art (or work or whatever) doesn’t necessarily make it inherently better. NOT suffering for your art doesn’t necessarily diminish it. Enjoying your creative process and life experience just might make the end result better. Ease and enjoyment of what you are doing has its own value.

That is a lesson I intend to take to heart here in my own work.

This combined blog post and podcast episode wraps the podcast for season 2. In January, the podcast will morph from Clairvoyant Confessional into TaoCraft Tarot Podcast. It will functionally be the audio version of the blog. The podcast won’t have 100% of everything. There will still be some print-only features like the Sunday Turnover intuition building exercises. At the same time that the podcast name changes, the content will expand too. It will have Short Sip episodes most weekdays but will add weekly “YouChoose” interactive readings, Q&A, behind the scenes and other blog content. If you get the podcast through Spotify, the YouChoose episodes are in video format. On other platforms YouChoose will be audio only.

Clairvoyant Confessional will drop back to be a rare episode title. The pirate radio evil villain monologue didn’t turn out to be quite the way I’d hoped. I’m happy to hand over most of the vocal performances to Siri’s cousin Remy. It’s easier that way. Dang it, I’m a writer not a media presenter. The text to speech technology makes the whole podcast thing more enjoyable for me. In turn, I’m hoping it will all make the podcast more enjoyable for you, too.

Thank you again for watching, reading and listening. I appreciate each and every one of you. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season. May we all enjoy the time, and let our easy and happy light shine. See you at the first sip of 2022. Happy New Year!

*Witches Tarot by Ellen Dugan and Mark Evans used with permissions granted by Llwellynpublishing.com

Happiness at Hand

Today’s card is the knight of wands.

Knight cards tend to speak of action or implementing an idea. Wands reflect the inner world; our passions, our interests, spirituality, philosophy and more. Wands can reflect your relationship with yourself.

This card isn’t a permission slip to go on a wild bender and indulge in self-destructive passions, but it is permission to actively, deliberately engage with passions that make you happy. What is it that makes you light up and the words flow from you? What in life makes you feel charismatic – at least to yourself, even if no one else notices. More than being comfortable inside your own skin, this card asks you to find the thing that makes you feel confident and alive and happy within your own skin.

It worries me that there may be someone out there who feels that they can find nothing, or who says there is nothing that they feel happy about. If anyone is truly that despondent there may be more going on than Tarot can help. There is no shame in getting help when it is needed. That is what the knight of wands would do. The knight of wands would take action to help the world within.

Thom Pham hit the bullseye for today’s energy when he put Top Gun Maverick on a motorcycle on the card. The character alludes to so much. There are elements of self discovery as well as that sense of all-out, mach 2 with your hair on fire passionate living. What would the day be like if we turned that passion toward something we already know and already have that makes us happy?

The card reminds me of a few quotes.

I don’t know if it is accurate, but Abraham Lincoln is cited as saying “People are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

The other is the story from who-knows-where. The internet in its wisdom attributes it to Buddha. A person asks what he should do. “I want happiness,” he said. Buddha answered that the first thing to do is to remove the word “I” because that is ego. Then remove the word “want” because that is desire. Then look to see what is left. It’s just happiness sitting there waiting for you.

Happiness is already on hand. It’s just waiting for you to pick it up.

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

Short Sip Tarot readings are available on the TaoCraft Tarot blog and as a podcast. The Clairvoyant Confessional Podcast will become the TaoCraft Tarot podcast starting in 2022. Watch the real world card draw for these short sip readings on the TaoCraft Tarot youtube channel and instagram reels.

As we go into the December 2021 holiday season, readings will post a little less regularly, but will resume a normal schedule after new year.

My name is Ronda. I read Tarot, write stuff and make things. I also wish everyone a very happy, healthy, safe and prosperous holiday and New Year.

See you at the next sip.

Tipping Point

Thanks for watching, reading and listening today. TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip your coffee.

Today’s card is the Two of Pentacles.

The Two of Pentacles is the quintessential balance card in the deck. In some ways it is even more balance oriented than Temperance in the major arcana. Temperance has a feel of balance by mixing. The Two of Pents is balance through the adjustment and tension between opposites. In this kind of balance, the balance point is also a tipping point.

In the yin-yang symbol of Taoism, the opposite colored dots in each side of the circle remind us that in anything lies the seed of it’s opposite. Anything take to extreme can become its opposite. Anything in perfect balance can tip into its opposite.

In Dune, Frank Herbert writes “A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that the balances are correct.” Both beginnings and balances are delicate things. Both are dynamic, changing things.

The yin-yang symbol is meant to be in motion. The trailing tail of the black and white parts hint at that motion, as apposed to showing perfect pie-slice halves. Balance is a thing in motion too. This card always brings to mind a unicycle rider who can stay upright in one place by making small forward and backward movements . In the big picture, they may not seem to be moving forward, but in order to stay upright, there is a lot of movement going on in the wheel, just in balanced opposite directions.

Pentacle cards are often read as being about work, career, money, practicality or some aspect of the physical world. They are also associated with the element of earth and by extension the idea of grounding and balance. Everybody talks about “finding balance.” But what do you do once you have it?

Balance is easier to maintain than to get in the first place, but once you have it, it takes a little attention to maintain it because life is in motion. Opposites are always at the doorstep. Which one would you invite in? Which one would you use to maintain a delicate balance when a balance point is also a tipping point.

Thank you for watching, listening and reading! Any likes, subs, shares, blog follows or reading orders you can spare are always appreciated!

See you at the next sip.

The Value of a Good Pout

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your morning coffee.

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your favorite drink. My favorite is coffee (said as she raises her gingerbread spice latte in your honor) Cheers!

Any likes, subs, shares, blog follows, reading orders, Tarot Table membershipsor tips to the virtual coffee mug are always, always deeply appreciated.

Today’s card is the Four of Cups.

The suit of cups is associated with emotion, intuition, the element of water, and our closest relationships of whatever type be it romance, friends or family.

Like many, if not most of the Tarot cards, this one has a few different threads of meaning that can step forward at different times. Sometimes this card can feel very spiritual, and the imagery is sometimes associated with meditation and contemplation. It has been compared to the Buddha meditating under the bohdi tree and being given a cup symbolizing enlightenment. As it turns out, today is December 8 Bohdi day. Greetings and peace to all who celebrate.

Other times the card feels more petulant. That is the thread of energy stepping forward for this reading. The figure under the tree often is shown with crossed arms and legs. I’m guessing in the time and culture where the cards were first popular, and in Pamela Smith’s Edwardian England, this posture would seem more closed off than meditative. The crossed arms in particular bring to mind a tantruming child. The card hints at something being gently and lovingly given, but stubbornly refused for good or ill.

If you are in the energy space of the person under the tree, the card is asking you to look where you are being stubbornly and unnecessarily closed off. What message or gift is being handed to you on a silver platter that you are too closed off mentally or emotionally to see?

If you are the hand giving the goblet, the card is asking for your patience. It could be the person you are trying to reach just isn’t ready to receive what you are giving. Your task is to evaluate if the situation has any hope of changing. Wait and see if it is best to persist, or to let go of an intractable situation.

Either way, the card points out the value of a good pout.

If you are in a sour mood, then by all means – sit yourself down, sit with those emotions, and pout it out, so you can move on. Indulging an emotion in a safe place for a time (under a tree or otherwise) is often more helpful than trying to just crash through the wonky-ness or trying to ignore it. Pouty people don’t usually like a lot of social interaction, which is probably for the best so the tantrum doesn’t get unleashed on innocent bystanders.

If you are in the position of dealing with aforementioned pouty person, stay chill, be as buddha-like as you can muster. Stand there with the goblet in your hand and let them pout it out. Once the storm blows over, then we all can get back to business. There is value in the pout from this perspective too. No need to put yourself in the splash zone of a tantrum if you don’t have too.

Whether you are in a mood or dealing with someone who is, a short time with a good pout can have some value. Wait, watch and listen. Sudden storms blow over quickly.

TaoCraft Short Sip Tarot is available as a print blog post and as an audio podcast. The live, real-world card draw is also available as a short on TaoCraft Tarot’s YouTube Channel and as a reel on Instagram. My Tarot content is available on several social media platforms. Please feel free to say hi! Your feedback and especially your questions are always welcome.

Thanks again for reading, watching and listening. See you next time.