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How Tarot Works

How Tarot really works

You are just perfectly enough just exactly as you are.

Right here. Right now. You already are all you need to be in this moment. Take a deep breath. Are you in any real danger right this very second? If you are, what in the living heck are you doing reading a blog or listening to a podcast? Take care of yourself for goodness sake! But if you are reading or listening to this, chances are things are OK enough to allow for a little screen time. Even if things are fantastic, take a little time off from that emotional energy and let the time it takes to read this or listen to the episode be a bubble of emotional rest for you.

Hello and Happy Thanksgiving to all our U.S. friends. I’m glad you are here.

Today’s card is the King of Cups, in reverse. Like we’ve talked about before, I read inversions pretty much the same as upright cards, taking all of the keywords and meanings into consideration all of the time anyway. If the card turns over upside down relative to the person doing the reading, or “reversed” as we call it in Tarot parlance, it looks right side up to a person on the other side of the table. Reversed or upright, considering the big picture is key in this kind of work. Abstractions, ideas, archetypes, and intuitive nudges all make a tiny bit more sense when you keep the cosmic perspective in mind during the whole card reading process. When you think big picture, the orientation of the card on the table matters less.

In any reading, public collective or private, a reversal speaks more to the position in the layout than the individual card. Layout position plus a reversed card is a clue to an area of life that may be conflicted, slowed, problematic or blocked. In a one card reading, a reversal can mean a broadly applicable slowing or turbulence in the person’s energies or in the collective, zeitgeist energy

Or not.

Freud once said that “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” Sometimes a reversed card is just a random happenstance from shuffling the deck.

Some decks, I’ll grant you seem to be more reversal prone than others, no doubt due to mundane physical properties like card size and paper coatings and what have you. My beloved Alleyman’s Tarot Deck is especially wild and wooly in that respect, so I tend to give reversals from that deck a little more creedence for whatever reason. On the other hand, the back on my favorite RWS deck feels more staid and proper and it’s reversals chalk up to shuffling and general. It’s funny how we humans like to anthropomorphize our favorite work tools. I get it why BB King named his guitar Lucille. Some stuff has vibe and zing and personality, especially things that we have given our time, creativity and our life energy.

Except today. Today the RWS deck came up reversed and it feels like it means it.

The reversed king of cups is about emotional maturity. It connects to the feeling of defeat and brokenness that the Ten of Swords spoke about in “The Lemonade” post/episode.

Clairaudience (intuitive hearing) gives the words “Own what you feel.”

2022 may be more bittersweet in retrospect than we realized. There are ribbons of darkness in the onrush of holiday celebration.

My mind again goes to those lost to gun violence, or as one newscaster put it to all the chairs that will be tragically empty this holiday season. It is perfectly understandable how grief of this magnitude can leave its mark on the collective energy, both on a conscious and unconscious level. Emotions of every kind tend to run high during the holiday season.

Whatever the emotion, whatever the intensity, whatever the reason, you have to own them and validate them even if no one else will. The emotions exist. They are valid and they are real and, more importantly, they are yours. How you express them and how you act upon them are your responsibility just like a kingdom is the responsibility of the king.

Once acknowledged, emotions can be let go. Once understood, they are less likely to resurface in disruptive ways. It’s not magic. It’s social science. It’s human psychology.

And it’s how Tarot works. Tarot works, not to accurately predict the future, but to help us own and understand our emotions. Psychologist Carl Jung taught that “Until the unconscious is made conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” Tarot helps us find exactly that kind of insight.

It’s not my intention to equate Tarot readings with qualified clinical therapy, or a cure for any sort of mental health issue. It is, however, a great tool for stress management and personal growth for a healthy individual. I say that based on hundreds of readings over the course of twenty years of doing public professional Tarot readings. Time and time and time over again I would see people relax as a reading progressed. As we talked about new ideas, explored possibilities and validated their own intuitive hunches, shoulders would go down, foreheads would smooth. As readings go on, people would sit back in their chairs and the tone of their voice would soften. The easing of emotional tension was obvious, even to someone with no formal psychology or body language training.

Tarot works by helping us all own our emotions, understand our situations and create a more reasoned way forward.

Tarot doesn’t predict our fate, it frees us from it.

Thank you so much for reading and listening. I wish you a happy and healthy holiday season.

The Lemonade

The hardest lemonade to make

And that’s how lemonade is done.

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

Before we get to the ten of swords, I want to give you a quick reminder about my winter Tarot reading schedule.

There is none.

It was a nice surprise to have a few minutes to write this. I’m expecting a jam packed schedule between now and January. I’m so, so, so thankful for the text to voice audio blogging that WordPress, Anchor FM and Spotify have available.

And I’m also grateful for each and every one of you. Thank you for reading and listening despite the erratic, random posting non-schedule. I’m cautiously optimistic that I can get back to trying to follow social media best practices after the new year. I’m in awe of all of the wonderfully talented people who create “content” on a regular schedule. I have yet to make that work for Tarot. Energy, intuition and the ebb and flow of life doesn’t give a flying rat’s patootie about posting schedules. Intuition and creativity has its own agenda and I owe it to all of you to go where my real strength lies which is Tarot readings and blog writing, not social media presentation.

Speaking of which, the new “crystal cast” posts that I had planned for Mondays will have to wait until after Thanksgiving, possibly until after New Year, too.

But stay tuned. Right or wrong, accurate or not, Zombie Cat is going to try his paw at a fast and loose Tarot reading for 2023. That cat is a little unhinged (as zombies often are) so whatever predictions he makes – don’t blame me. Look for that in December.

All in all, I still like to think of this utter lack of a schedule gives the blog a little bit of an underground, renegade, pirate radio sort of vibe. I hope you’ll come along for the ride, such as it is.

On top of it all, Elf-con 1 has officially been declared at my house. I got knitting to do and stuff to bake.

So before I have to hop out to shop for flour, sugar and that one last skein of yarn, let’s take a look at the Ten of Swords.

Just to show that spirit and energy operates on its own schedule, here is some context for today’s card.

I had an appointment in the afternoon, so when the morning obligation rescheduled, I had every intention of indulging in a second cup of coffee and a leisurely scroll through Instagram. That’s when I stumbled across one of those social media talents we were talking about earlier. Digital creator Barry Brandon (instagram.com/forallhumans.co aka @queerindigo) posted a video about personal authenticity, the Colorado Springs shootings and a variety of other things. I can’t begin to capture it here, and urge you to watch it for yourself.

When he said “…it shouldn’t be this challenging to exist in one’s skin. It shouldn’t be this challenging to be oneself…” it made a solid landing right in my wheelhouse.

I’m an atheist, Taoist, solitary eclectic witch, Tarot reader and the hardcore evangelical christianity in my family has diminished if not outright severed most of those relationships. But that is nothing … NOTHING … compared to the level of hate and bigotry that the LGBTQIA+ community has to face every single day. As someone who cares very deeply for multiple people in the community, it is absolutely terrifying to even think about everything they face … and meet with such grace, courage and love.

When that ton of emotional bricks hit, I punted the leisurely scroll and followed the intuitive impulse to pull a card and see where that would lead. It led to the 10 of Swords card draw that you can see in the video above (the link is in the episode description as always for podcast listeners) and that led me here.

To my mind, that context and this card are all of the same collective energy in the context of the Club Q shooting this past weekend.

In these times, it is natural and so easy to be furious and terrified and just … done.

We all know the line from Yoda and Star Wars about “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

Which, along with the ten of Swords, begs the question of how to deal with hate and anger and defeat and suffering.

There is no easy answer.

There may be no answer at all.

For me personally, the only answer I know is to be the best ally I know how to be, to advocate for gun control and equality legislation to the best of my ability and to urge those I love to be as careful and safe as it’s humanly possible to be while still living their happiest most authentic life.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said that “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

In lighter times and easier energy, the 10 of Swords is akin to that old adage of “fall down seven times, get up eight” or “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade.”

To plan, to act, to be righteously angry, to rebound from defeat and to do so from a place of love is difficult, but it is the most potent lemonade we can make.

Thank you all for listening and reading.

TaoCraft Short Sip Tarot is a contemplation for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. If you enjoy them, please visit the TaoCraftTarot ko-fi page where shop purchases, readings, memberships and virtual coffees all support these free Tarot readings on this non-monetized blog and podcast.

The whole of the moon

The moon has a dark side. That doesn’t make it any less beautiful.

It life as a human, just as it is life as a planet in a solar system. Not all is light. Not all is dark. Both are one. Even when the moon looks full to us, half of it faces away from the sun and is in shadow. Every day on earth has its night. And ever person has their shadow side too.

It takes a certain courage to acknowledge the dark side of the moon, the dark side of ourselves, and understand they are one. The shadow exists as certainly as the light. It is how you think about it, how you embrace the both-ness of our existence that matters.

Denying our shadow side, or striving to be “only the light” isn’t natural. Light and dark, yin and yang is our nature. Or to paraphrase the movie The Craft, Magick is both cruel and kind because nature is both. And such is human nature.

Some of the best of our nature is to fully acknowledge and accept our shadow side but still manage to shine.

The moon has a dark side, but that doesn’t make it any less beautiful. The whole of you is beautiful too. Go. Shine. You got this.

Foresight

Two wands and a little foresight can work magic.

When past and future, logic and intuition, planning and action all meet it can seem like magic.

Few quick announcements:

  • The podcast is going on short hiatus until December 1
  • Email readings are OPEN order anytime.
  • Check out the new, improved, PayPal secured, single contact ordering process. (No more sending your question in a separate email!)
  • My schedule now through December is pure unadulterated Elfcon 1 chaos so I’m not making any promises about anything until after New Year’s Day. Delivery times for email readings will vary – a LOT – but don’t worry. Your reading will indeed happen. Thanks in advance for your patience.
  • Happy Thanksgiving U.S. folks! Have a great weekend everyone!

Same Courage, Different Direction

Changing direction in the face of fear is not the same as being stopped by it.

Go prefrontal cortex! Go! You can do it!

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

Today I picked up the Allyman’s Tarot Deck and drew the Undaunted card. This is the first time I’ve drawn it. Over six months into using this gorgeous deck, and I’m still discovering cards. I still haven’t gotten around to reading the guidebook. I haven’t finished that Chuck Wendig library book that is due next week either, so Mr. Wendig and Mr. Asmund are in good company together. I’ll read about the Undaunted card in a few minutes after I get this started. Who knows? This might even post before noon for a change. Let’s see.

I love this card.

Color on black is my favorite look and blue is my favorite color so this was an instant favorite on first glance aesthetics alone. To me, undaunted, connotes courage and level headed reactions to adversity. Go prefrontal cortex! That’s the area of the brain that lets us do that sort of thing. If I were to connect this card to a classic Waite Smith card, I’d be the knight of swords, but this has a different tone and direction. The knight is active, fast, now, self-confident. I associate the knight of swords with someone yelling “Geronimo” and diving right into a situation. Undaunted is strong and self confident, but undaunted is also less about galloping straight in and more about being inexorable at any speed and in any direction.

Confidence and action upside down reminds me of fear, anxiety and reticence. Fear and anxiety exist for a reason, however. Evolution drummed it up as a way to help keep us alive. I think we are meant to do something when we are afraid. It might be fight. It might be flight. Either one is still doing something.

Being undaunted isn’t about being an unstoppable juggernaut in one single direction. It is about moving and doing and trying regardless of circumstances, even when those circumstances require some finesse and change and adaptability. Changing what you plan and do because of fear is not the same as being stopped by it. Changing because of fear or anxiety isn’t failure. It’s adaptation. It’s survival.

Ok.

I’ve had my say. Let’s see what the deck creator has to say. Where is that guidebook?

Here we go – this card was created by Shan Bennon, by the way. Undaunted in reverse, page 133 of the Alleyman’s Tarot guidebook “a hidden creature unwilling to show itself for fear of being known.”

Hiding. That’s doing something. Sometimes it is both tactical and strategic to lay low. Watching, waiting, analysing, planning, changing direction…all of those things are doing something, even if it doesn’t look like our stereotypical notion of full gallop ahead courage.

Even when that something is watch and wait and hide and feel and just survive, doing something in the face of fear or anxiety makes you undaunted.

Thank you for reading and listening. Please visit the TaoCraft Tarot page on ko-fi where purchases and memberships all support these free to access Tarot readings. Any likes, subs, shares, follows, questions or comments you can spare are always apprecieated.

Thanks again. See you at the next sip!

Alleyman’s Tarot by Seven Dane Asmund and Publishing Goblin LLC, used with permission.

Video music “Modern Crusaders” by Enigma via YouTube Shorts

Podcast intro and outro music “Daylight is not for Owls” by Owltree used under attribution non-commercial no-derivative creative commons 3.0 international license.

CrystalCast for the week of 14 November ’22

CrystalCast reading for the week ahead,: vibe and chill.

I don’t know what I did, but I lost the video of this one. Backed it up with a static photo, so hopefully this will do.

Hi and welcome to the TaoCraft Tarot blog and audio blog, A.K.A. the podcast. I’m glad you are here.

Since it’s new, and since I screwed up the video anyway, I hope today’s reading will work as a super short nano-sip of a podcast, just to let you know that these crystal cast things exist. Between now and at least January, life here is an elfcon 1 squirrel rave at full volume, so I’m not promising to do anything blog, podcast or social media related at any given time on any given day. Still, it’s my intent to post these “crystal cast” readings on Monday mornings.

Ish.

Hopefully.

But don’t hold your breath. I don’t want to contribute to anyone dropping their oxygen levels.

My intent is also to film the crystals and runestones so you can see them as they fall. Seeing the actual cast might spark something within your own mind and intuition. Just like with a Tarot reading, your hunches and feelings about what something means takes precedence over anything I might say about it.

That’s what readings are about after all. As I see it, professional psychics with all of our woo woo cards, crystals, runes, tea leaves, star charts, chicken bones or what have you are all in service to one thing: the human experience. It isn’t about predicting the future. If that is what you want, then I’m not the reader for you. Buyer beware is all I’m saying about that kind of psychic sales pitch.

Intuitive readings aren’t about any external spirit or deity unless you want them to be. I don’t see it a reading as one bit supernatural. They are no more supernatural than an image in a mirror showing us a point of view we might not have otherwise seen. It is about emotion, perspective and our individual connection to the wholeness of everything. Are psychic readings subtle? Yes. Objectively measurable by science? No. Valid and valuable and enriching to the human experience? Absolutely.

I’m hoping that those of you listening today on the podcast will at some point visit the blog to see the card draw and crystal cast videos. The crystal cast posts will be a blog exclusive after today. There is a link to the blog website in the episode description. Some podcasting platforms allow for video podcasting. I tried a few test episodes, but it seemed to defeat the whole purpose of having an audio version of the blog in the first place. If you are in it to listen while you work or work out or drive or what have you, then for safety’s sake you shouldn’t be looking at a screen. If you want to see the visuals, please, by all means visit the blog or the youtube channel. But if you just want to listen, by all means, please, grab the podcast version and just listen. I value your attention and your thoughts no matter whether you are looking or listening or both.

But, as usual, I digress.

Back to this week and these crystals.

The first and obvious thing is the row of four touching runestones, like a literal wall across the path of the other crystals.

The clustering of clear chips under the wall of rune stones reminds me of last week’s reading. It isn’t a forever blockade. The energy here isn’t a NO – it’s a “slow down and cool your jets” kind of vibe. In my minds eye I see a school crossing guard telling everybody to slow down.

Last week’s reading had a lot of sparkle with an emphasis on productivity and progress. This isn’t a full stop to that previous message, but it is a little bit of fine tuning to the speed of it all. In a way, it is a validation of what you are doing. As dynamic as last week’s reading was and as often as the chaotic Tower Tarot card has shown up lately, this pattern is saying two things:

First, it is ok to cool it with big changes and the frenetic pace.

Second, all that stuff you started is good. Keep up the good work.

Here I get the mental image of that ridiculous looking shirt from the 70’s that said “keep on trucking.” I’m also reminded of Harry Connick Jr. on American Idol talking about singing “in the pocket” or being “in the groove” with the band or some such thing. Now I’m reminded of one of my favorite Twitter memes, your friend and mine, vibing cat.

Whatever you’ve been doing, if it’s working, keep doing it. To borrow some more cliches, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it and just keep on keeping on. Stay in the groove. Vibe with things as they are for a little while.

Of the four rune stones, three are blank. I don’t get the sense of brimming “potential” that I did with last week’s blank stones. There is more of a “stay” or “hold” feel. That would go along with the one rune that is showing – Isa, symbolic of ice.

It doesn’t get much more to the point than that in the intuition and symbolism business.

Chill.

Do, but don’t push. Continue, but at a relaxed pace. You are sliding along, not frozen solid in the ice.

Just to prove that a sense of humor exists in the world…as I write that I get the mental image of olympic curling, and the slow, smooth slide of the curling rocks.

The individual crystals in the top right hand corner of the photo remind me that there are always outliers. This reading doesn’t apply to every single person who hears it. This is a collective energy, general audience kind of reading that should never bear the burden of prediction, even if such a thing were possible. If this reading doesn’t resonate with you, that’s normal. No one reading can be everything to everyone. Keep listening and your perfect message will find you in time.

Thank you so much for reading and listening today. I welcome your questions and feedback through the comments below or the contact in the right hand column over there ->

There are links in the episode description for the podcast.

The blog, the podcast and the youtube channel are not monetized in any way, so they 100% rely on your support. Please visit the TaoCraft Tarot ko-fi page where purchases and memberships all support creating these free blog and podcast Tarot readings for everyone.

Thanks again. See you at the next sip!

New Tarot Turnover for members

See that pumpkin in the corner? 78 cards, near infinite Tarot possibilities

the members only post is up

Ever wonder how only 78 cards can provide inspiration and guidance for uncountable people for hundreds of years?

We talk about that in today’s Tarot Turnover.

Please visit the TaoCraft Tarot ko-fi page to learn more. Memberships and purchases on that page all support the creation of the free Tarot readings in this blog and the audio blog (podcast)

Random and Strange

If you have already read about the utter lack of a schedule and going full wizzy wig – sorry for the repetition. This is more announcement-y and less rant-y, I promise.

I’m posting a few reminders on different days and different times of days to hopefully catch everyone, and hopefully entice a few new people to take a peek.

  • There is no schedule for blogs, podcasts or social media posts. They are random and in the moment. Random and strange tends to be the nature of Tarot and I’m all about that Taoist harmony with the nature of things. Like the song says, “everything I do gone be funky – from now on”
  • In-person readings are OPEN by appointment only.
  • Live online readings by appointment
  • This blog, the podcast and the YouTube channel are NOT monetized. I don’t see a penny from any ads or anything that you see. These totally free blog & podcast Tarot readings are all 100% supported by your purchases, memberships and virtual coffee gifts through the TaoCraftTarot page on ko-fi If you enjoy Short Sip posts and the other free content, please support them as you are able.
  • All email readings are going to be through the readings menu on ko-fi because you can check our AND submit your question in one easy, secure transaction
  • PRO TIP: scroll through the WHOLE readings menu. By not keeping a physical office, I can pass the savings on to you. I have LOTS of different layouts at bargain prices – something for any question or budget.

Long story short – it’s all pretty much the same as always except I’m giving up on schedule and joining the squirrel rave. Tarot’s random and strange is a lot more fun that way.