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YouChoose Interactive Tarot: Booking

Sorry about that. When I said this would post “Monday morning” I didn’t realize it would be Monday morning in some other interdimensional cross rip parallel universe Monday morning. Today has been an interesting week.

As for the cards, I’ll let the video interpretation stand. Since books stepped forward a tiny bit as the closest thing to cards-working-together theme for the week, here are some books and links that might go along with this week’s cards.

Leave a comment or send an email if you are interested in more reading suggestions – always happy to spout an opinion!

The Moon (psychic development)

  • The Healer’s Manual by Ted Andrews
  • How to Meet and Work With Spirit Guides by Ted Andrews
  • Psychic Witch by Matt Auryn

Knight of Pentacles (Career Related activity)

  • Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar by James Marcus Bach
  • Kahn Acadamy

Nine of Cups (celebrations, traditions)

  • Twoseven – watch video together online
  • Allrecipes – has recipes from various traditional cuisines, American comfort food

Today’s Tarot: Wordless

Connect your heart

Some things are beyond words.

Mat Auryn superbly and poetically describes the idea of mystery tradition in magick (and in some ways, I might add, Tarot.) There are some things that can only be directly, wordlessly experienced. That is the essence and definition of spirituality to my mind. Spirituality is our individual experience of the wordless and intangible parts of our human experience. Religion, on the other hand, is exernal experience, not internal. Religion is social, and group focused. Spirituality is wordless, expressed from the inside out. Religion is codified, group behavior that influences from the outside in.

Expression, experience and wordless are the key words here.

The High Priest and High Priestess cards also deal with these great wordless mysteries. Although this and other contemporary Tarot decks don’t have the explicit Christian religious imagery for the High Priest/Pope/Hierophant card that you see on the Marsielle, RWS and other older decks have, the nature of the tradition keeper and even the mystery seeker priestess cards are outside-in, just a hairbreadth on the religious side regardless of their visual depiction.

So what does any of this have to do with the Knight of Cups?

The Knight of Cups has always had some degree of spiritual connotation. He carries a message. Cups are associated with water (deep water is often a symbol for deep spiritual and cosmic mysteries) and intuition (often a wordless experience.)

Knights are associated with action. We are three dimensional creatures. Even the purest, wordless, silent, direct experience if the spiritual and intangible still has some physical third dimensional corollary or action. To have direct spiritual experience requires some action or doing be that sitting in meditation, gazing at the sky, performing a ritual, or taking a shower. Whether you call it spontaneous enlightenment or simply a moment of insight, this direct, wordless experience of emotion and insight is a normal, natural, inherent part of being human.

If you have chosen to read and watch this, if you have chosen the knight of cups card today, there is a sense of urging. There is a strong push to do the spiritual things that put you in a mental and physical space where wordless experience of the profound and spiritual is an open possibility. Follow your heart to the doing of it. Do the thing that connects your heart to the wordless.

Kitten Whiskers: Buddha and the Crackpickles

What’s the use of having your own blog if you can’t have a little fun with it every now and then? It’ll never be a scheduled thing, but “Kitten Whiskers” is the name for posts where I go rando fangirl for a few of my favorite things.

“I’m hungry,” Sloan said. She was jittery and getting on my nerves.

“You’re not hungry.” I said

“How would you know?”

“It’s just subliminal suggestion. You feel an increase in appetite because you’re watching a guy eat.”

“The pickles here,” she said.

“I know.”

“Right?”

“I know.”

It’s like they put something in them that makes you crave them all the time. It might be crack. Do you think they put crack in the pickles? Like maybe in the, what do you call it? The stuff in the jar with the pickles?”

Easy Buddha by Brett Dinelli, all rights reserved, used with permission.

I have learned how to make crackpickles.

NO they do NOT have crack in them. Not even in the stuff in the jar. They are just good old fashioned deli style fermented pickles. But YES, they are heavily crave-able. I mean, you seriously, seriously want one at random times. Especially when there is a big old jar of them in the ‘fridge that you made with you own little hands for a fraction of the price of those tiny little tubs in the grocery store.

When the lockdown first hit, I did the sourdough thing like everyone else. Mostly because jars of yeast for baking was nowhere to be found and we were in serious grilled cheese and cinnamon roll comfort food mode.

Sourdough is, after all, a sort of fermenting. Maybe my prohibition era Appalachian ancestors were whispering though the ages to amp up my fermenting skills. Maybe it was my love of dill pickles. But sourdough gave way to pickle making.

After googling up a storm for hints, tips and recipes (not to mention all the probiotic goodnesses of fermented food) plus several months of experimentation I found the magic formula for our version of crackpickles. That isn’t to say anyone else would like them…or be able to get past the slightly funky looking brine (you know, the jar juice) Here is our favorite version. It is in the middle between the throw anything in a crock with some saltwater and a plate on top school of thought and the water lock fermenting lids that look like they escaped from Frankenstein’s laboratory.

Here is what I consider essential gear:

  1. Cucumbers. Nothing fancy. Just the big, ordinary cucumbers from the grocery story. We tried some fancy bumpy cucumbers that were supposed to be THE ones for pickling. They weren’t.
  2. A wide mouth mason jar. I started with just one (they sell singles at Michael’s craft store and probably lots of places during gardening and canning season) If you start with just one, it lets you experiment at small scale until you find your true love addictive recipe. More and larger jars are easy enough to find if you want to ramp up production later on.
  3. Fermentation lid and weight. I used the single starter kit from Mason Jar Lifestyle. It was affordable, with a simple, elegant design. Easy. And no, they didn’t sponsor this or give me a sample. I bought it just like everyone else. This is random fangirling, remember?

The Recipe:

  1. Wash and dry your jar(s) lid(s) and weight(s) Any kind of canning or food prep like this is one of those crazy scrupulous clean freak kind of things.
  2. Put a bay leaf in the bottom of the jar (optional) for crispness
  3. Chunk, slice, quarter or whatever cut the cucumbers and pack them into the jar. Stuff them in there…you’ll get the hang of it. A tight fit is good.
  4. Dissolve 1 rounded Tbs salt in 2 cups of chlorine free water for each quart jar. Casper the friendly lactobaccilus doesn’t like chlorine or the iodine, so don’t use those. Iodine-free fine granular sea salt or pickling salt with filtered water worked well for us. Tried some fancy pink Himalayan in one batch because it was close at hand from another recipe. Tasted fine, but made some deeply weird looking pink sludge at the bottom of the jar.
  5. sprinkle 1 Tbs of dill weed (yeah, I used dried and it gets all over the pickles. So what?) and 1 tsp of granulated garlic (yeah it makes the brine look cloudy and a little suspect in the end, but it is really ok. Honest!) over the cucumbers in each quart jar.
  6. Pour the salt water over the cucumbers until jar is filled. Put the glass weight on top to keep the cucumbers submerged and close with the fermenting lid.
  7. Let them set for two weeks at room temperature. Tweek the lid once a day to release any carbon dioxide that forms. If you forget, the lid will spit juice out all over the place as it releases the gas and you might have to add a little more salt water to top it off. Days 3-5 seem to be the most bubbly and science experiment-y
  8. At the end of a week or two of wondering if you have just made a jar of botulism sauce, take a whiff. If it smells bad, or is moldy, pitch it all, wash the daylights out of the jar and try again. If it smells like mouth watering dill pickles, try one. If it tastes good, put a regular lid on it and store the jar in the refrigerator. If the pickle isn’t sour enough, let them go another week or two at room temperature before moving them to the refrigerator. I have no idea how long they will last beyond that. We ate ours within a couple of days.
  9. Buy more jars and fermenting lids. This may ruin you for store bought vinegar based pickles.

While you are eating your new pickles, get yourself a copy of Jimmy the Buddha and the sequal Easy, Buddha both by Brett Dinelli. They are brain candy and comfort food in book form punctuated by moments with all of the feels and brilliant insights. Chapter 8 of Jimmy the Buddha. That. Forever that. It may be a fictional detective adventure, but the characters are deeply relatable and real. Kind of makes you want to put your arms around them, although I suspect Sloan might object.

I’ve never actually met Brett or his special lady and their family, but we have chatted many times on Twitter and I call them friends. *raises cup of medium roast columbian – coffee*


Related: TaoCraft Tarot has playlists on spotify: Rando Fangirl

The Distance Difference

Spent some time this afternoon updating the ABOUT section of the main menu. I hope you’ll browse around the site. I’ve tried to tuck some interesting bits here and there that I hope you’ll enjoy. Meanwhile here is my second favorite soapbox subject: Distance Tarot is just as effective as in-person Tarot.

Distance Tarot readings are my specialty. Order yours here.

The difference between live Tarot and distance Tarot is like the difference between podcast and an e-book.

It’s the same message, the same information, almost the same words except that you listen to one and read the other. One tends to have a conversational style while the other has a little extra depth and refinement. Both can be as lighthearted and fun or as profound and poetic as you need it to be.

Writing comes naturally to me, I enjoy it. I can type out a Tarot session as effortlessly as other psychics speak them. Keyboards are a like a direct hotline plugged right to my intuition. You get exactly the same reading as you would in-person. The information is the same either way.

Each format has different advantages and disadvantages. The difference isn’t in the substance of the reading. The difference is all surface aesthetics. The cake is the same, the difference is the frosting.

I’ve been asked “how can you read me if I’m not in the same room with you?” The answer is that I’m not actually really reading you at all. I’m reading universal life energy to get its message for you. The message comes in to me the same way, whether we are across a table or across the globe from each other. It makes no difference if I give the message out to you by speaking it or typing it.

Live phone readings are a middle ground. They require an appointment like in-person readings do, so they are less convenient than email readings. Phone readings are social and conversational and allow for questions in real time. All email distance readings include a follow up email for questions at no extra charge. Both have questions and conversation – it just happens at a different pace.

The biggest difference between a live session and a distance reading is on your side of things. It is all about how you want to take the message in. Live readings are raw and unedited. Written readings are more thoughtful and artfully worded. It is up to you whether you would rather use your ears or your eyes to take in the message that spirit gives to you.

Distance Tarot Has Many Advantages

Convenient: No appointment needed for email or video readings. Order the reading whenever you want, 24/7. Open the email (or snail mail for paper and ink style) and experience your reading whenever you want, as often as you want. Live phone readings are almost as easy, but require prepayment and an appointment.

Affordable: With email, I can offer smaller layouts that are not cost effective to do in-person. E-mail readings start as low as $5.

Private: No one sees you go anywhere. It is entirely up to you when and where you order and read your Tarot session.

Eco-friendly: Neither of us have to travel anywhere, no is gasoline burned, no paper used, no trees cut. I opted for a renewable electricity provider, so there is nearly zero carbon footprint for the whole thing!

Affordable: By working online, by phone, in public spaces or at your party venue (when in-person is available) I don’t have to keep an office or storefront. I pass those savings on to you. I charge per-session not per-minute so you know your full cost up front before the reading ever begins. A $40 seven card reading usually lasts 45 minutes to an hour. Compare that to the average $90-$100 per hour that some psychics charge (source: www.payscale.com).

Email and Phone Tarot is Covid-19 safe – for both of us.

Today’s Tarot: Two Cup Tuesday

Let’s pour ourselves a second cup and do the thing.

This is not a high wattage card today.

I thought about sharing my favorite salty language internet meme that features the Knight of Pentacles, but the energy isn’t even up to that. The earth connection and the grounded quality is so strong that it escapes levity. This card is 6 am staring across your coffee mug at a chipper morning person. This card is the zombie shuffle to the kitchen for a second cup.

Today’s energy is strongly connected to the physical realm. It is OK to set aside big spiritual questing every now and then. The mind and spirit must be balanced with the physical. This is a day to pour that second cup and do the thing. Grind. To borrow from a shoe company – just do it.

Doing is key. Knights are about action, after all. But this is effective, ruthlessly efficient action, not fidgeting, fuss, emotion or bother. Don’t waste energy on drama. “Work the problem” as was said in the Apollo 13 movie. Or as has been said “Follow the process, not the plan.” (as I read it on Tested.com – this might be my new mantra, just like “simple but elegant” got me through dissertation)

Arguably, this kind of practical, down-to-earth, just-do-it energy IS a high level of spirituality, like the adage “Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.” or, as I’ve often quoted here before, Alan Watts taught “Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about god while you peel potatoes. Zen spirituality is to just peel the potatoes.”

The practical needs done and the physical realm needs tended to, not matter what our mental, spiritual or emotional state might be. The knight reminds us that immersing in routine work or physical exercise can be very soothing to churning thoughts or upset emotions.

YouChoose Interactive Tarot: Look

Time and space isn’t such a big deal in Tarot. Viruses be damned, we can read Tarot together any time, anywhere. You may be reading this years after it was posted – thank you! If I just smashed the old publish button and you are reading this – Wow! Thank you! You may be watching this for the fourth time…it still has some message for you, even if it isn’t the week in the video or the interpretation that is stepping forward right now. Follow your intuition.

Choose a card at random, left, middle or right. Choose on impulse, or if you want to think about it, pause the video and then restart it to see the reveal.

The video get things started, then here in the blog we take all three cards together for a theme too. For this week’s theme, I get a sense of “look.”


Left: Seven of Swords. Look around. Watch your back. Mischief is afoot. It is NOT a prediction. This isn’t to say anything bad will happen. The energy feels like a minor heads up, think critically, question things. It could be as innocent as a prank by kid, or it could be more adult office politics. Use your head, don’t be taken in by social media hysteria or a deep fake. This is a good week to question everything. But then, aren’t they all?

Center: Knight of Wands. Look inward, then DO something about it. Whatever your spiritual tradition, spiritual leaning or life philosophy might be, this is a good week to DO it. LIVE it a little bit. For me, that is in the realm of lighting a stick of incense or meditating with a mala. Or it may be to do nothing at all. Celebrate your nonbelief by celebrating SOMEthing you love. I mean, they are going to fly a drone on Mars soon – go Percy & Ingenuity!

Right: Ten of Wands. Look inward, and persist. The Ten of Wands is about slowed or blocked energy, a strong sign of obstacles, more than simply a reversed card would be. It is a spiritual time and energy, but chances are you just aren’t feeling it….which is perfectly OK. If all the peace, love and positivety is more annoying than not, it is fine to find your vibe. Don’t force yourself to listen to new age harp music when you really want to crank up the thrash metal. Acknowledge your true mood, and keep one eye on the spiritual stuff. Time will work it’s magick and your moment of peace and Zen will come in its own time.