Throwback: I dunno

Hello everyone and thank you for reading and listening to the TaoCraft Tarot blog. This is a post from 2020 before the podcast started, even in its original Clairvoyant Confessional form. I’ve edited the post a tiny bit to make it more podcast friendly, but I’m still not sure how well it will convert to audio. But if you’ve listened before, you know that I’m a terrible narrator, so Siri’s second cousin Remy is still going to do a better job for you, wonky pronunciation and all.

The card for this November 2020 post was the Queen of Wands. Here we go.

I dunno

Life is a mystery.

Some would say its like a box of chocolates. Others of us might lean more toward a word that sounds like bit snow. Chocolate or otherwise, sometimes you just don’t know what is going to happen or where it is going to splatter.

Not knowing is part of life, and and it is unnerving as heck. Nobody likes it.

Trying to cope with the unknown comes in different forms. One way is to try prepare for it and make contingency plans as best as you can. It is warm and comfy to wrap ourselves in that kind of logic. If X happens, then I’ll do Y, but if A happens then I’ll do B, if C happens then –

have mercy….

I don’t blame people for wanting predictions.

Predictions, however, are uncertain in and of themselves. They only push life’s uncertainty back a step and hold it at arm’s length until facts and reality set in. Advice and guidance are more effective. Rather than a prediction that still might or might not materialize, guidance adds a degree of information, a tiny bit of knowing that increases both our comfort levels and our ability to make contingency plans.

Imagine driving on a long road trip, and not quite knowing where you are. But ah-ha! A little sign on the side of the road lets you know that you are on highway I 79 going north. If you keep going straight you’ll get to Lake Erie, as long as you don’t have an flat tire or get stuck in a surprise snow storm or something. If something unexpected happens, you can look for more signs to help. So of course, you should start with the logical, practical things. In this analogy that would be putting gas in the car, making sure your cellphone is charged, dress for the weather and such. Tarot readings are to life what gps is for a highway trip. It can’t predict what will exactly happen along the way, but it can give you an idea about the direction you are headed and the conditions ahead.

Other than a chance to practice facing our fear of it, is there any value to the unknowns in life?

I think the mysterious and unknown is our portal to meaning and spirituality.

The mysterious and unknown are key to defining spirituality. As I see it, spirituality is how we, as individuals, deal with and engage with the mysteries of existence. Spirituality is the diametrical opposite of religion. Religion is concerned with the social group. Religion strives to make the unknown into something that is known and in turn impose that understanding from the outside inward. Spirituality is concerned with the individual, and is purely internal. Spirituality expresses from the inside out, rather than impressing from the outside in. Spirituality makes the unknowable – not into the knowable – but into our friend.

It is ok not to know everything. It is ok not to have easy answers to everything. If the journey is more important than the destination, then the contemplation of the mysterious is more important than the comprehension of it.

I make meditation beads. I made one for myself recently. I have no idea how many beads are on it. I just strung however many beads were in a loose package. It’s not a size of bead I typically use, so there was no easy guess how many wound up on the strand. I could have counted them, but I chose not to. I could count them now, but I still choose not to. That mala stands as a symbol for me of the mysterious parts of life. Because it is unknown, but could be, it symbolizes a tangible connection to the mysterious. It is a reminder that the unknowns in life are something to work with rather than eradicate.

It’s OK to not know everything, even if it is a little frightening.

As Frank Herbert wrote in Dune:

“I will not fear. Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death that leads to total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will allow it to flow around me and through me. When the fear has passed, I will turn my minds eye to the path where the fear has gone and only I will remain.”

Thank you all for reading TaoCraft Tarot blog and listening to the podcast. Your questions and comments are welcome on both platforms. I’m glad you are here, and I appreciate you. Any likes, subs, shares, follows and virtual coffees are also greatly appreciated. There are links to all of the formats in the blog post and in the episode description.

Short sip Tarot should be back tomorrow. See you at the next sip!

Today’s Short Sip, but even shorter

Alan Watts quote with the nine of swords tarot card

Or, as I see it, opening to life in all of its emotions risks experiencing the greatest heartaches, but to do otherwise is to risk missing life’s greatest joys.

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!

YouChoose Interactive Tarot: Do Differently

You choose: you pick the card, you decide how to apply it, and then get today’s reading the for your card.

This week the overall energy seems to focus on doing things, but for different reasons.

Ace cards have a thread of beginning energy (although not with the same wattage as the Fool card from the major arcana.) They also typically carry the essence of the suit, which is what draws my attention in this instance. Pentacles are connected with the physical realm, often career, work, or wealth. Today feels like the physical realm in general with the advice to engage with the physical realm to rest the mind. Think in terms of a long jog, or the classic hot shower where genius ideas are born.

Swords and knights are action. Swords are also connected with the element of air which in turn points to mind and intellect. If you chose the knight of swords (no spoilers! you’ll have to watch the video and pick a card to see if this one is yours) then the energy for you is also flowing toward doing and action, but something that combines doing and thinking, as you might with following a pattern or recipe or anything new really.

Cups cards connect to the element of water, intuition, emotion, and closest relationships. This is also doing oriented. but working with friends. Not so much working on a career or physical-realm task as the other cards, but actively polling your brain trust. It feels like the thing to DO is to poll the audience so to speak, to reach out to trusted friends. The idea of “two heads are better than one” will serve you well – especially if the other head is someone you have a good relationship with.

Follow the Feels

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for today in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today: Ace of Cups and following the feels. Private email readings are OPEN.

Thank you so much for listening, watching and reading TaoCraft Short Sip Tarot. It’s a Tarot reading for your day in the time it takes to sip from your morning coffee. Or afternoon coffee. Or whatever beverage you enjoy.

Today’s card is the ace of cups.

Ace cards carry the essence of their suit of cards. In many ways they are the most abstract cards of the minor arcana. Being the first card of the suit, there is also a trace of connection to the Fool card, the first of major arcana cards. All of them connect to the idea of beginnings and newness in one way or another.

While cups cards are often read as symbolizing romantic relationships, they also include other inner circle relationships, both our family of birth and our family of heart. In the abstract, cups are connected with water, intuition, and emotions

Deep running emotions are sometimes a double edged sword. They can get us through our most difficult moments in life. Lau Tzu, writer of the Tao Te Ching is credited with saying that being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

Strong emotions can also be paralyzing instead of strengthening. Frank Herbert describes fear as “the little death that leads to total obliteration.”

Either way, emotions have real world implications and effects. At a minimum, emotions affect our experience of life. They aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Emotions can be difficult to face, and difficult to experience, but that isn’t to say they should be suppressed with stoicism to rival Mr Spock from Star Trek. Emotions don’t have to take over and run the show, either.

I’m not sure who first said it this way, but my first encounter with the notion that “the feeling is the power” was in a book by Scott Cunningham.

In a middle way approach, we can have a relationship with emotion that empowers life. Emotion can motivate and enrich. Emotion can work in balance with logic and intuition.

Whatever day you are reading or listening to this, whatever day this card crosses your path, this may be your clue that it is a day to listen to your emotions. If you can’t follow your heart 100%, at least give it a listen. Allow your honest emotions to be heard and they may help you to begin something new and wonderful. Follow the feels to find the power.

Thank you for reading, watching and listening to TaoCraft Short Sip Tarot. If you can spare a minute, please like, subscribe, follow and share these nano-episodes. Your support for the blog and podcast through the virtual coffee mug / tip jar and membership tieris always appreciated.

See you at the next sip!


Reminder: in-person readings are on hold again but no appointment email readings and live online readings by appointment are wide OPEN. Please click HERE to order email or click HERE for live online reading information.

Short Sip Tarot: Chains

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today’s card is the Devil from the major arcana

Thanks for watching, reading and listening to Short Sip Tarot! Your support with likes, subs, shares, follows, reading orders and memberships is always appreciate!

Today’s card is The Devil, from the major arcana.

This card can be intimidating. It outright scares people, especially if you look at the card through the misconception of predicting the future or the drama of paranormal fiction. This card doesn’t involve hellfire, brimstone, a red Minotaur-looking guy, two dudes in an impala or a guest appearance by Crawley and the Chattering Sisters of St. Beryl. The Devil card is way worse than the Hollywood version. It is a reminder that there really are bad things that happen and that there really are bad people in this world. Psychopaths, sociopaths, murderers, terrorists, con artists, thieves, sweet pickles and super slowed down song covers actually do exist. There is real evil in this world and taking normal, reasonable precautions are always warranted. The Devil card reminds us to stay heads up, eyes open, aware of your surroundings and to use your best street smarts. It is a call to shore up your energies and boundaries and take basic precautions; change your password, lock your doors and for crying out loud wear your mask and wash your hands.

Yesterday, we were talking about pop culture references in Tarot readings and how helpful they can be. Today, the pop culture references are the whole ballgame.

I felt nudged to pick up the Heart of Stars deck again today. In it, Thom Pham portrays the Devil as Jabba the Hutt with Princess Liea as his prisoner in place of the Baphomet image and two chained figures in the classic Devil card artwork. That narrative from the movie Return of the Jedi is key to the message. To really make sure I was paying attention to the right thing, I got the song “Free Your Mind” from the early ’90s by En Vogue followed by a flash of The Matrix.

The literal lyric “free your mind” is the essence of it.

The Devil reminds us of the bad things that can and do happen to everyone in life to one extent or another. Leia used the actual chains that imprisoned her to free herself at the most literal and essential level in addition to the help she received from the others. The intuitive reference to the Matrix movie emphasizes the role that mind and perception plays in today’s idea.

Things happen to everyone. Sometimes they happen by chance, other times they happen because of the carelessness or maliciousness of others.

The physical and mental / emotional realm needs first attention. Today’s message isn’t talking about post-traumatic stress syndrome or other very real, very serious mental health challenge. If the Devil plays a role here it is to acknowledge the very real Devil that many people have to face.

Freeing yourself from the Devils chains doesn’t mean just stopping your thoughts or your feelings. The act of not letting the past live in your head very often consists of the act of reaching out for help. That help very much exists. You are not alone. Leia took matters into her own hands, but she also had help from Luke, Han and Chewbacca. So of course, secure your physical and mental safety first and foremost, getting the help you need.

The message today is also about not making the petty into the psychopathic. It is about not letting your past re-victimize you when your physical and mental safety is otherwise secure. It is about taking opportunities to free your mind from prior conditioning. It is like Nine of Swords energy only on the major arcana level. Today, it is about not letting old issues live in your head rent free in a big way over a really long time. Seeking the help you need and not giving up until you get it is the same as Leia using her own chains to free herself.

If you are safe and well today, I’m glad. If that is the case, the Devil card may be asking you to check for old assumptions. What things have a hold on your thinking that have been otherwise resolved? What devils are perched on your shoulder an need brushing away. Breaking old, ingrained, preconditioned thought-habits is the thing that breaks the chains and sets your mind free.

Getting the band back together

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I. Am. NOT. A healer.

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

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

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

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

Cue the yoda related pop culture song reference.

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

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

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

The choice, as always, is yours.

Magpie Skills

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your morning coffee. Today: Queen of Swords and the skills of a magpie

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Thank you so much for watching, reading and listening. Your support through likes, subs, shares, blog follows, podcast follows, reading orders and the virtual tip jar coffee mug is always greatly appreciated!

Today’s card is the Queen of Swords.

Magpie birds have a reputation for taking shiny objects. The Audubon Society web page suggests that they collect stuff to attract a mate, that they don’t necessarily gravitate toward shiny things, and it tends to be food.

I think people have a little bit in common with magpies. I’m down with the collect food part. I do like to keep the pantry stocked in winter so I can hide from the occasional snow or ice storm when they come along.

My parents were collectors. Not in a random magpie or hoarding sort of way, but in a collector hobby sort of way. There was this sort of expectation that everyone had something that they liked and collected and you would get that thing for birthdays and holidays until you gave up in a muffled voice from under the pile of whatever it was.

I never did quite get on that bandwagon. I tried to think of something I could collect, but in a way I was the most magpie of all because I’d rather have one of a wide variety of things rather than a wide variety of just one thing. The older I got, the more intangible the collection became. I like collecting ideas and when possible, skills. If memory serves, Adam Savage called it “task directed learning.” It’s not necessary to be an absolute master of absolutely everything. It’s ok to magpie a few useful skills along the way. You don’t have to be an electrician to change a light bulb. You don’t have to be a New York designer to sew on a button.

I’m so impressed with odd skills people pick up as they go through life, especially the really surprising ones from people’s childhood. They are so pure and give such open, innocent unabashed pleasure. You know, things like a card trick or being able to burp the alphabet on command.

It seems we all have some skill that we have magpie-ed at some point in time.

The Queen of Swords is classically a card of stepping into your power and owning the things that you do well. Today the energy is like that, but on hobby collector sort of scale rather than the major life epiphany sort of scale. Some quirky little thing you’ve learned along the way just might be the answer you are looking for.

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

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.

Old Is New Again

Every day can be new year’s day. These cards show the energy around to help your fresh start happen.

Today doesn’t feel like the day for the annual tongue in cheek New Year’s reading with a bunch of rubbish predictions.

While rummaging around for easy throwback content this week, I found this old post from August 2021. Weirdly, it feels like as good of a New Year’s reading for the new calendar year in January as it did for the new school year in August.

August cards aside, I think this year is going to be palpably different from the past half dozen or so. I get the feeling it is going to be a year of…OK.

It’s OK to be ok. There is a real risk of slipping into seeing ourselves as victims and falling into a lava-pit of blame or continuing the acid-bile anger and hatred that has been so stoked over years…no, decades. It is OK if you don’t feel euphoric or joyous about 2022 considering what the world has been through and still endures. OK is OK. We could all do with a little luke warm, middle of the road cozy goldilocks zone, I think.

In 2017 it felt like a zombie apocalypse with a feeling of impending doom considering who was about to be sworn in as president. Then, after a swirl of disaster and destruction on a political level came 2020 where every intuitive’s bell was ringing red alert for one reason or another. The reading for that year gave a mental image I still clearly remember. I can still see that U.S. map with tiny tornadoes all over it followed by the mental image a hurricane on the horizon. 2021’s reading brought the mental image of peeking our head out of a mental and emotional storm cellar to survey the damage.

This year continues the narrative…but with a whole different feel. In my mind’s eye it is the same disaster scene, but the sun is brighter this time and we are all fully climbing out of the shelter, not just taking a cautious peek to see if the coast is clear. The mourning and cleaning and binding of wounds is beginning. It all hasn’t ended, but we may well be at the beginning of end instead of the end of the beginning like we were a year ago.

Mourn. Heal. Sweep up. Abide with this precious moment we have now. This isn’t a time to be paralyzed in terror of an uncertain future. This isn’t the time to dwell in resenting the past. This isn’t the time for trying to recreate a past that will never be again. This is our time to lay the foundation for a future that is right for for us, right for the times that are the here and now, not for the forces that created the disaster that has so profoundly changed us over the past 5 or 50 years. When Ghandi said to BE the change you want to see in the world, I think he meant BE as a very active verb. It is time to protect the important things that were almost lost, and time to create the important things that were neglected before. It is time to live and do and be.

It doesn’t start on New Years Day. It starts every day. Every minute. Each new breath can be a fresh start. Inhale deeply.

My New Years wish for you is that the first thing you can be is at peace with the moment we are in, even just for the moment we are in it. One moment strings into the next. The colors and surroundings and circumstances of that moment constantly changes. Any tiny moment of inner peace we can capture within all of the changes need not transform along with everything else. If we are a little careful and a little mindful, a moment of peace is a moment we can keep and revisit.

This is the post from August 2021: “Every Year Has a New One In It”

A bunch of new ones, actually.

When something is a circle, it doesn’t particularly start or stop at any one place. That is true of a year. Not only is it a circle, it is kind of an arbitrary way to chunk up time into manageable pieces. People invented the year as a way to describe time. Naturally, one of the best ways to do that is, well, nature. Seasons turn in the great circle of a year (yes, I know seasons are caused by planetary tilt and orbit which is actually an elipse, but I’m in no mood for pedantics)

Either way, when and how you mark the new year is pretty arbitrary. Celebrate it any time you like…or multiple times. Perception and emotions change in a blink. Each new moment can be a fresh start. Any day can be New Year’s Day.

This is that new school year time of year. We parents, I suspect, are a bit sentimental at the passage of time. Students, I suspect, are a mix depending on how they feel about school. I’m not sure what anyone is feeling or doing with the pandemic sized wrenches that have been thrown in everyone’s schedules.

I’m a fan of Fall, so I always look to this part of the year with a fairly high degree of anticipation. Even now that I’m no longer connected to the school year per se, I still feel a sort of anticipation. It brings the hope of cooler weather, back to business and a more predictable work flow, and of course, pumpkin spice everything. Harvest and Halloween as the mark of a new year resonates with me as much as confetti and champagne in January, maybe more so.

It felt right to do a Year Ahead reading today.

I’m still trying to think of a better name for this layout. If you have a suggestion, please, feel free to drop it in the comments. By any name – any day is a good day for a new year. All you need to do is choose your moment and begin. Two “nine” cards is particularly draws my attention to September. Whether you are connected to the American school year or not, it feels like September might be an opportune energy environment for productivity. The song “Danger Zone” comes to mind, especially the part about “overdrive” In all fairness and full disclosure, that is when I’m planning to let some schemes out into the wild, so this bit might be projection on my part…take all of that with whatever size grain of salt you’d like.

Like the year ahead layout says, let’s begin with right now.

OK – back to New Year’ Eve, in December 2021. I’m going to follow an intuitive impulse right now and re-read and re-frame these cards for the actual New Year tonight. You are welcome to watch the original reading on YouTube, on the blog, or through the link in this podcast episode description

I would say the Nine of Cups still applies right now. We are finishing up the Fall holidays and that energy still resonates as much at the end of the season where we are now as it did at the beginning when I first pulled the card. Keep it up, in other words. This seemed to be a subdued year as far as the holidays were concerned. Warm, cozy, intimate small circle gatherings, connecting with your closest of close relationships is the thing for the winter too. That’s the part to keep up more than any indulgence or raucous celebration. Even though the Fall season has ended, its energy lingers a bit.

Cups is often the suit of romance. The winter card, the Two of Cups from the August reading is still a perfect fit, even as we begin the winter instead of looking ahead to it from the early days of Fall. (If you are wondering, I’m mentally doing the arms up for-the-win, stuck-the-landing gesture. I love a good intuitive hit.) This is a season where little things means even more than usual and this is a season to lavish warmth and TLC on those you love. The Two of Cups is the card of committed, intimate relationships. It often goes with weddings, and marriage. As every jewelry commercial on television will tell you, this is a good time of year for that sort of thing too. No matter what the relationship is, by any definition, give it as much warmth, appreciation, attention and tender care as you can muster this season

For Spring, The High Priest, I ‘hear’ “Teach them anew.”

I’m glad that for whatever reason I picked up this deck for the reading back in August. This deck is my favorite for the High Priest. Right now it definitely has that shamanistic, keeper of the mythology sort of feel to it much more than the social convention, pope-ish rules and regulations energy that so often comes with the Pamela Smith and Marseilles artwork for the card. It make me feel that it might just be a mild winter and will let us turn to spring quickly and easily. It has a heady, philosophical feel about it. It has a “teach the children” feel about it. Care for the little ones. It is a time of gentleness and appreciation for nature. and following the flow of things in the process.

Full disclosure, this might be a private issue popping in, so please forgive this break from my usual rules about this kind of topic…but I feel pushed that someone else out there might benefit. My recovering fundamentalist brothers and sisters….if Easter is toxic for you, don’t do it. Consider this a cosmic permission slip to reject, avoid or run away. This isn’t a rear for spiritual law and order. This is the year for spiritual diversity and inclusion. If a particular tradition speaks to you, then yes, by all means follow it fully. If not, by all means follow whatever spiritual path that allows you to live a life of compassion and contentment and be at peace with yourself. In my mind’s eye, I see the High Priest as the Dali Lama who said “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” The spring energy pulls us to kindness and teaching it by example if nothing else.

The Nine of Swords is another card where I love Ellen Dugans interpretation and Mark Evans’ representation. Calling it a “drama queen” sort of card is just the energy for summer. Here I’m reminded of the Disney TV show “Wizards of Waverly Place” where the mom is made into a local internet celebrity with a montage of her telling her kids to “knock it off!” This card is playing the “knock it off lady” for us. There are enough real world crap to deal with without adding psychological drama on top of it all. This is a call to “knock it off” and get over ourselves and get to whatever work is at hand. It will really be time for storm clean-up during the sunny days of summer, metaphorically speaking.

The Page of Wands still fits as the year card, too. Pages are symbolic of learning. Wands are symbolic of our inner world, our inner passions. Wands are related to the element of fire.

The word “crucible” just stepped forward.

The heat and pressure of the past several years may have changed us on a deeper, more molecular level than we realized. 2022 might be a year of getting re-acquainted with ourselves. May we all find more strength and peace and health and happiness and love and kindness than we expected.

Thank you again for watching, reading and listening. I hope you will join me in 2022 for more short sip daily readings, you choose interactive readings, the new membership tier on ko-fi plus a few exciting new things that will unfold probably over the winter season. Of course, private email readings are always available with no appointment needed. Your attention and support for all of this means so much. I appreciate each of you. Thank you and Happy New Year to all.

The card deck pictured is Witches Tarot with artwork by Mark Evans, used under the permissions granted on the Llwellyn publishing website.