Power Prompt

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

Welcome to the TaoCraft Tarot blog and podcast. I’m glad you are here.

As much as I am loving the Alleyman’s Tarot, I’m feeling the need to haul the envelope in a little bit and retreat to a more familiar deck. But that’s life. That’s living with harmony with the flow of it. There is yin. There is yang. There are times to push the envelope. There are times to haul it back in again. There are times to just vibe and grind.

Today’s card is the Chariot from the major arcana. It is a good example of just that kind of yin and yang flow. Sometimes The Chariot can be very high minded and conceptual. Sometimes it is a prompt to power ahead and let it all roll.

Remember yesterday’s Tarot reading hack, with its reminder to work smarter, not harder? Today continues that thread a little bit. You know that part about just throwing your own intuition down on a very basic conceptual foundation and just calling it a day? It doesn’t always work.

Sometimes even the best of us need some hard core inspiration.

Most often The Chariot card gives an energy of mindfulness and and being fully engaged in the present moment. It is a place of power, but I would consider it a yin power where taking in the moment and taking in much needed information as well as acting on it.

This morning, however, I got nothin’.

So what do you do when the intuition tank seems empty? What do you do when there isn’t anything to throw down on the cards foundation?

You go out and get yourself some inspiration, that’s what. Nevermind the high minded woo woo. Sometimes you have to drive your chariot right over the big empty and go get what you need.

We all stand on the shoulders of giants in the hopes of being someone else’s giant someday. In the meantime, it is perfectly OK to go foraging for your food for thought. If you get stuck reading a Tarot card or doing a Tarot layout for yourself, don’t sweat it. That’s why decks come with little white books. That’s why a library’s worth of reference and guide books have been written. That’s why I and bazillion other Tarot readers post and podcast and reach out to you like this. We can all inspire and motivate each other on those days when we need it.

That’s just what I did today. The usual meaning for the card just wasn’t cutting it, so it was time to fire up the chariot and go looking for inspiration. Went to some of my favorite references like Animal Wise Tarot by Ted Andrews, Magical Tarot, Mystical Tao by Diane Morgan, Heart of Stars Tarot by Thom Pham, Galaxy Tarot by GalaxyTone, and Witches Tarot by Ellen Dugan.

Like all of the major arcana cards, The chariot has a second thread of meaning. Where it usually talks about the yin-power of mindfulness, sometimes it can point to the yang-power of determination, focus, willpower, forward motion and momentum.

Some days the Chariot reminds us to pay the heck attention to what we are doing. Other days it reminds us, to borrow a phrase, to just do it.

Thank you so much for listening! Your likes, subs, shares, follows, questions and comments are always appreciated!

If you are enjoying these posts, podcasts and the companion videos showing the real-world Tarot Card draw for the day, please visit the the Tao Craft Tarot page on ko-fi. Proceeds from the shop and memberships support the creation of this free to access Tarot Content.

Want more than a sip of Tarot? Have a full cup all your own: individual private email Tarot readings are available to order on the blog website, no appointment needed.

Thanks again and see you at the next sip!

Ain’t no big

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today the Page of Pentacles reminds us that it ain’t no big thing.

Welcome to TaoCraft Tarot blog and podcast. I’m glad you are here.

Today’s Card is the Page of Pentacles from the Alleyman’s Tarot deck, card artwork by Eli Norvell.

Here is your Tarot life hack.

When you are reading a card, look at the foundation meaning, then add your intuition on top.


In this case we have a base of page cards that symbolize learning and pentacles that symbolize our relationship with the physical realm. Intuitively I get the word “easy” and the mental image of that old office supply store commercial with a big read button with the word easy on it.

It would be nice if this means that life will be as magically easy as it is in the world of television ads. But I don’t think that is what spirit, energy, and the card are really trying to say. Life can be hard enough on its own. We don’t have to add to that. Let things be easy and fun whenever you can.

Perception and intention are everything in Tarot, spirituality, personal growth, quality of life, dare I say magick. This is the part where experience, study and a professional’s opinion might come in handy. It takes a little work and experience to connect a random card to a mental image of a television commercial to a meaningful idea we can all apply to make life a little better.

Some days intuition is all POOF and easy and spiritual and satisfying … other days it’s like a mental Rube Goldberg machine. Today is a little bit of both. We have to connect a few dots including a random card, a TV ad easy button and a practical need to drum up a useful idea for today’s post.

Luckily pentacles are practical cards, and today’s dots are, well, practical and easy.

This episode and post is case in point. It serves no purpose to try and make this into some big dramatic spiritual lesson. The bottom line is that it is OK for some things to be easy. It is ok for things to be out of hand, down to earth, and no big deal. Being difficult and complicated doesn’t necessarily add value, but it does add cost. We may feel more accomplished or productive when we overcome challenges but it doesn’t have to be that way every single time. Streamlining and making things more easy has value too. Making things easy gives us a very valuable gift: the ability to give our time and attention to other things.

This playful, forward looking card reminds us not to spend time and energy when it isn’t necessary. Don’t overthink. Don’t make mountains out molehills. Let things be easy when they can be. Learn a life hack. Or better still, invent one for yourself. Then you spend the energy and effort you save on the things that matter the most: you and those you love.

Thank you so much for reading and listening! Any likes, subs, shares, follows, questions or comments are always appreciated. Blog comments are open and I’m on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook most days.

If you are enjoying these posts and episodes, please visit the TaoCraft Tarot Ko-fi page. Proceeds from the shop and memberships supports the creation of this free to access Tarot content. Want more than a sip? Get a big cup all your own. Private email Tarot Readings with the blog author are available to order anything, no appointment needed, on the blog website. Links are in the episode description for podcast listeners.

Thank you again. See you at the next sip!

Found Family

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today we talk about found family and stray cat royalty.

Welcome to the TaoCraft Tarot blog and podcast. I’m glad you are here.

I’m still exploring the Alleyman’s Tarot by Seven Dane Asmund. Today’s card is the Queen of Strays.

My first early morning coffee deficient impulse response to the card was my inner three year old yelling KITTY!

But honestly, though, there are worse ways to start a Monday morning than a picture of a cat.

My Aunt used to have an orange tabby with a vibe a lot like the queen in the box on the card. I imagine that if Pumpkin had a human voice she would have sounded like Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey. Pumpkin was a rescue like all the other cats my aunt ever had. She was legendary for bringing home every stray around when she was a kid. To this day, she is the neighborhood cat whisperer.

If we humans have the capacity to form relationships with the strays of other species, then think about how much stronger the bonds between found humans can be.

In that respect, the internet is a glorious thing. I’ve had conversations with people who I never would have met otherwise in more places than I could ever afford to visit. I’ve had conversations in Esperanto with a Japanese doll designer and a German Reggae singer. I’ve built years-long friendships with an energy healer in Albuquerque, a writer and two Tarot readers in Canada plus a voice actor on the entire opposite side of the country (insert Nineth World Journal and Oz 9 fangirling here.)

I’ve done email Tarot readings that started wonderful conversations with lovely people on the entire opposite side of the planet in Australia, India, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

Meat space can be just as glorious as cyber space if we let it.

Have you ever been to a comic con or a concert for your favorite band? That is a glimpse of how like minds and found family can feel. For some of us that found family, that sense of tribe and community can be desperately important.

I’ve been lucky in negotiating these things. I’ve avoided the land mines that have exploded friend’s families over smaller religious and political differences. I’ve lived in the white evangelical subculture. I grew up in what we now call “MAGA” culture. It isn’t an exaggerated news media trope. The danger and emotional damage of rejection and homelessness and worse is very real especially for lgbtquia teens in the so-called red states and red counties.

We all have to do all we can to protect the vulnerable among us. Each of us must be the Queen or King of strays. Vote. Be kind. Advocate for equality and inclusion. Most of all be your true self when you can.

For we adults, it’s usually easy, safe and cheap. You never know when letting your true self show might make a younger found family member feel a little less alone. Letting your true light shine might throw a some encouragement into a dark corner where it is needed. A little kindness and a little authenticity can make you stray cat royalty.

That’s why I love this card today. Families of heart are just as real and valid as the genetic kind. They feed your soul. I’m old and lucky and privileged, but I still remember going to a U2 concert in the 80s and feeling like I found “my people.” I still remember the giddy joy of watching the Reason Rally in 2016 and seeing the Ron Reagan unabashed atheist commercial. It is one thing to intellectually know you are not alone, but it is another thing altogether to really feel and experience that there are others “like me.” I remember doing Tarot readings at a theater after party one time and feeling ridiculously happy in that diverse, accepting, loving group of people especially after getting a quick hello hug from a seven foot tall drag queen. It doesn’t matter how your stray-ness is defined, be it race, religion, gender identity, sexual preference, or what have you – strays of every type nurture and care for each other because we all know what it feels like to be the only one.

Thank you so much for listening. All very best wishes to all of you, my found Tarot Tribe. See you at the next sip!

Are you enjoying these free to access sips of Tarot? If so, please visit the TaoCraftTarot ko-fi page. Shop and membership proceeds support the blog and podcast. The link is in the episode description for podcast listeners. Want a whole cup of Tarot all your own? Private email readings with the blog author are available to order 24/7, no appointment needed on the blogcast website.

Members only Tarot Turnover: She Sells Sanctuary

“Tarot Table” members receive access to unique content including a three card Pathway three card reading through the ko-fi blog looking ahead to each month, mid-month newsletters, and members -only special offers and giveaways.

“Patron of the Tarot Arts” members get all of the above plus one card private Tarot readings by email whenever you like, up to three per calendar month.


Duck upgrade: May 22 – 28

Never mind the anarchist bastard ducks. I’m upgrading.

Like the webbernet meme of unknown origin says:

Here’s the playlist for this week’s rave

  • Sunday: Tarot Turnover intuition building / Tarot learning exercise on the ko-fi Members only blog
  • Monday: Short Sip, members only newsletter (delayed from last week)
  • Tuesday: Short Sip
  • Wednesday: Short Sip
  • Thursday: TBT “What is Reiki”
  • Friday: Short Sip
  • All week, all the time: Email readings are OPEN – order any time, 24/7, no appointment needed.

Anchor Rock

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Want a whole cuppa Tarot all your own? Private readings with the blog author are available by email and can be ordered 24/7 no appointment needed

Welcome to the blog and podcast. I’m glad you are here. TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot contemplation in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. If you are enjoying these blog posts and podcast episodes, I hope you will visit the TaoCraft Tarot page on K0-fi and consider becoming a patron of the Tarot arts. The link is in the episode description for podcast listeners. Proceeds from the ko-fi shop and memberships all support the creation of posts and episodes like this one. Thank you so much for your support. Your likes, subs, follows, shares, questions and comments are always, always, always welcome and appreciated!

Let’s start today with one of my favorite ideas on the planet: wabi sabi.

No, it isn’t that green paste that comes with sushi, although I like THAT a lot too.

As I understand it, wabi sabi is a philosophy and an aesthetic that values things as they are and sees beauty in natural, spontaneous imperfections and asymmetries. Old but valued ceramics are preserved and repaired with great care, sometimes highlighting the repairs with precious metals. I’m no expert. I’m not even average-level knowledgeable about Japanese or Chinese thought or culture. All I know is that everything I’ve ever learned about Taoism, Zen and wabi sabi has helped me to live a better life and be a better person. For that, I am deeply grateful. These ideas have time and time and time again proven to be my unshakable rock in every storm, just like the rock and anchor on today’s card, the Hope card from the Alleyman’s Tarot deck.

Speaking of spontaneous imperfections, the card is mislabeled in the video. The intuitive message from the card was, however, clear, concise and clairaudient (meaning the intuition came as mental words this time instead of the usual clairvoyant mental images.) It came in two parts.

First, “Storms will always come.”

The first noble truth of Buddhism is the truth of suffering. First on the list of world religions on that old 80’s T shirt is Taoism with the assertion that “shit happens.” Things break. Things are uneven. Stuff happens and sooner or later storms always come.

And it’s beautiful, because it is alive and it is real.

L’esperance, as the card is actually named, is a French word meaning hope. Storms will come. Sometimes the only hope is to find a rock and hang on.

The second half of the clairaudient message is “Know your rock.”

A paramedic instructor once told me that if you prepare for the emergency, then the emergency goes away. The same thing applies here. Knowing which ideas and philosophies you can trust makes life’s inevitable stress just that much less intimidating. Question everything. When it comes to beliefs or dogma or other peoples unsupported assertions, questioning is invaluable. It may take a trial by skeptical fire to find out what really is your philosophical storm shelter. If you know your rock, if you know where to find your anchor when the storm comes then you just might make it through to the other side intact enough to glue things back together and paint the cracks with gold.

I’m not here to tell you what your rock or your anchor is or should be. It is difficult, if not impossible for one person to determine that for another. The things I was taught as a child should be my strength and stronghold crumbled to dust and nothing at first contact with adulthood. I’ve since learned that it is much better to scout out the territory for yourself. Trust yourself to know what gives you hope. Trust yourself to lean on ideas and know what holds you up and what doesn’t. Explore new ideas and challenge old ones. Give them all a good hard kick and see if they hold strong for you. If they do, grab on because storms will always come and it pays to know your rock.

Thank you so much for listening. See you at the next sip.

L’Esperence (Hope) image from the Fancy Minchiate Tarot, cited copyright “BnF” This card from the Alleyman’s Tarot deck by Publishing Goblin LLC, used with permission.

TBT: Ogres and Onions

Throwback Thursday to ogres, onions, and peeling back the layers of the TaoCraft Tarot reading layout (available by email, no appointment needed)

Shrek: ….ogres are like onions

Donkey: They stink?


Shrek: No! Layers. Onions have layers. Ogres have layers. You get it? We both have layers

from “Shrek” copyright 2001 Dreamworks Pictures, quote via

Layers mean complexity. Layers apply to all sorts of things that are actually more complex than they seem at first glance; ogres, onions, cakes and – you guessed it – Tarot.

Reading Tarot for yourself is actually quite simple. In a couple of hours I could teach you to do good DIY readings for yourself. (Related: PeaceTarot ebook)

Reading for other people is another story. High level professional readings are, like onions and ogres, more complex than it seems on the surface. That’s the whole point of them. A professional reading can gives you extra layers of insight and experience that you can’t get alone. Two heads are better than one. Two eyes give depth perception (related post: parallax) The two of us working together gives your reading another layer of understanding.

Sometimes layers talk about authenticity. Sometimes you have to peel back a few layers to get to the real heart of the matter. We’ve talked about authenticity and public Tarot practice before, after my Modern Oracle Tarot work was re-branded to TaoCraft Tarot (related: what’s in a name, Shakespear’s Roses, Spell Your Name)

That’s all well and good, but consider another aspect of layers: growing new ones. Interestingly, actual onions grow on the inside. New layers are added at the core while older outside layers get dry and thin and ultimately fall away. In this, onions give us another useful metaphor.

In the medical field, and no doubt many other professions, continuing education is a condition of licensure and employment. You have to keep learning and keep current if you want to keep working. Whether it is required or not, whether it is career related or not, lifelong learning is a respected mark of excellence. Learning isn’t just formal education. Learning comes from experience and experimentation and the living of life. Artists’ work evolves over time. Any person’s point of view can evolve over time.

And so, the “Modern Oracle” layout is evolving. I’m calling abort on the video / text hybrid format. It was an experiment that failed, and I’ve learned something important from it.

Remember how deeper layers are often perceived as more authentic and how old layers of growing onions turn papery and fall off? It’s time for the 5 and 7 card Modern Oracle layouts to evolve, to become more authentic, to show more of their inner complexity. The video hybrid isn’t the way for that to happen. The names of layout card positions are changing. It’s a tiny detail that you may not even notice from your side of the Tarot table. On my side of the table it is important shift in mindset. This allows me to fully and authentically follow what intuition and spirit shows me.

I wrote the initial layout meanings to create a bridge from old fashioned, predict-the-future, fortune telling layouts to a more modern advice, guidance and empowerment reading. I wrote the Modern Oracle layouts specifically to show the power of your choices over your future. Cards that once were called “past, present and future” in the old style became “lessons from the past, current situation, and moving forward.” Predicting the future evolved into making an action plan.

Now it will go one step further. I in my minds’s eye, I see a reading in terms of dynamic energy flows, not a concrete road through time. As Modern Oracle layouts become TaoCraft layouts, we will let go of time and predictions entirely. If the Modern Oracle layout was like GPS map for your path ahead, the TaoCraft layout is like a GPS traffic update with a weather report.

Card 1, lessons from the past, will become Fading Energies, symbolizing energies that are moving away from you. These are things that need less of your attention.

Card 2, current situation, will become Current Energies, the energies that are strongest, and deal with things that need your attention in this moment.

Card 3, moving forward will become Growing Energies, energies moving toward you, or gaining influence in the path you’ve currently chosen. It still isn’t predictive. It is still intended to guide you, help you prepare for possible conditions ahead. Think of it like a weather report. It doesn’t tell you exactly what will happen to you during your day, but it can give you the chance of rain or sun while it happens.

Card 4 will remain Choices. It is still placed under the current energies card and at the center of the layout because that is still the place of power. Empowering your choices is still the heart of the reading. The choices card will take on a more advisory tone than before. Instead of suggesting how to persist or how change your path, it focuses on whether changing or whether staying the course is the wisest thing to do.

Card 5 is still Alternative Path just like before, showing the most open alternative path you if you decide a change is needed. (Or it can help keep you on your path if you like the way things are headed.)

Card 6 Helping Energies and card 7 Potential Challenges are the same as always, and speak to exactly what the name implies.

Long story short, if you are dead set on a specific “accurate” prediction, you aren’t going to like the new TaoCraft layouts. If that’s the case, you need the Zombie Cat yes/no readings like we did the other day. Even then, you have to realize it isn’t 100%.

If you are ready for next level, dynamic energy readings, I can help. Welcome to TaoCraft Tarot.

Ride the Upside Down

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today: the King of Swords teaches us to surf the upside down.

Welcome to TaoCraft Tarot blog and podcast. I’m glad you are here.

Today’s card is the King of Swords, in reverse.

This big, slide prone Alleyman’s Tarot deck seems to like reversals. They feel the same and have the same message energy as reversals with other decks, despite being more frequent. That being said, the reversals with this deck seem to still be significant, despite being more frequent. So far, I haven’t gotten any of those “meh, it’s random, just turn it over and go on moments” like we’ve talked about before when it comes to reversals. This feels like turbulent energy more than an outright blockage.

Swords are air and intellect. Kings are leaders. They are in charge. Put those two together and you get a dispassionate, cool headed energy. In his interpretation of the card for the Alleyman’s Deck, Seven Asmund points out a sense of orderliness about the card.

Some people blame it on our view of Mercury in the sky. Some people blame it on a full moon. Hard data debunks any correlation between moon phase and human behavior, but my days working inpatient psychiatry begs to differ. Whatever the cause or irrational correlation, we are nevertheless left with the reality that life is messy. Things get irrational, chaotic, problematic, and way out of our control sometimes.

To quote the essence of Taoism according to the 1980’s T-shirt about world religions: shh -stuff happens.

I keep getting mental images of a knight in armour or the king of swords on a surfboard. Surfing is an apt analogy for today’s card. You can’t control the ocean. You can line up and order every wave that comes to shore.

If the king of swords in reverse hints at chaos, you can surf the wild changes. Chaos may reign, disorder may abound, everything may be outside of your control, but you are still in perfect control of you and your response to the upside-down-ness of it all. If you can’t control the wave, surf it in to shore. If you can’t turn things right side up, ride the upside down until it turns on its own.

Thank you so much for reading and listening. Your likes, subs, shares, virtual coffees, questions and comments are always, always, always appreciated.

Neither the blog nor the podcast are monetized and depend on your support. If you enjoy these blogcasts, please visit the ko-fi page (link below or in the episode description. Proceeds from there contribute toward creating the free to access Tarot content here.

I need to do a little real life upside down surfing myself, so short sip will return on Friday. Have a great week everyone!

I’ll be over here in the present moment for a few days.

Yesterday afternoon was weird.

The off-line real world was demanding attention like the “ease off the woo woo post” from yesterday morning – on steroids.

It’s going to be a busy long weekend. Some really great stuff, some pain in the tuchus stuff.

Email Tarot is still wide open though. Order all you want. This is the part the ducks were talking about where delivery times will slow way down for a few days. Fulfillment for any readings ordered now through Sunday.

In-person readings are open but scheduling and email replies are going to be slow, too. No in-person appointments are available until week of May 23 anyway. If you don’t want to wait for in-person, even without this weekend, email is a TON faster, gives you the same information and has more layout options.

The weekend Tarot Turnover intuition exercise for Tarot Table members will be delayed a day until Monday.

We’ve had several covid call offs at the day job, so I’m honestly not sure when the next short sip will be.

So please sit tight…I’ll be over here in the present moment for a few days. Keep cyberspace warm for me, ok? See you then!