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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

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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!

Do the thing

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

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

Today’s card is the Knight of Pentacles.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

YouChoose Interactive Tarot: Look or Listen

Whether you watch or listen, you can interact with the cards to choose the message that was meant for you.

Starting now, you can look or listen to YouChoose Interactive Tarot. Blog posts are available as audio in the TaoCraft Tarot podcast on Anchor FM, Spotify, Stitcher and more.

If you are watching, the videos are the same as always. Choose your card, then see the reveal, just like always.

If you are listening to audio only, you still choose your card and how you apply it. The choice just comes at a different part of the process. If you can’t see or visualize your choice of card at the beginning, listen through to the end and then choose the card and description that best fits your needs. You are still interacting with the cards and still using your intuition to guide you to the parts of the discussion that is most meaningful for you today.

That being said, I’ll leave you to watch the video above.

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

Turnovers are tasty at night too

Sunday Tarot Turnovers on Taocraft Tarot are a weekly blog exclusive intuition building exercise where I choose a card at random but turn the reading over to you.

It’s a new year. My resolution is to roll with the flow “marketing best practices” be damned. To paraphrase an old T-shirt about world religions, I’m Taoist. Shit Happens. Whammalammadingdong. Or, in the words of the Allen Toussaint song “Everything I Do Gone Be Funky (from now on)” Consider yourself warned n’at.

But as for the Sunday Tarot Turnovers – they work like this:

Some Sundays they won’t work at all. Will try to give you heads up when I can’t post, but weekends family comes first. Full stop. I’ll drop this without warning like a hot potato if it mean getting an extra few minutes with the hubster and the padawan.

Otherwise, Sunday Tarot Tunovers turns a Tarot reading over to you. It is a blog-exclusive intuition building exercise. I post a random Tarot card, but the interpretation is turned over to you. I’ll put some classic keywords and prompts from old blog post card meanings, but you use your instincts to pick which meaning is right for you…or if none of them feel right, use pure intuition to gather the message spirit is sending to you.

Feel free to drop your chosen interpretation or ask any questions in the comments.

1909 RWS public domain
  • Happiness
  • Money can’t buy the important things in life
  • Contentment
  • wealth
  • Success by any definition
  • Happy family
  • Abundance
  • ancestors/legacy

Focus!

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today the Seven of Cups and how to make a close decision.

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Why don’t you follow the blog or the podcast so we can sip our way to a whole coffee break?

Today’s card is the Seven of Cups.

Please don’t take offense when I yell focus. Believe me, that’s as much my message today as anyone’s. I’m definitely in coffee and nap mode this lovely chilly snowy winter morning.

But that is what weather like this is for. The card is a little more interesting and complex than that. This card is typically associated with many choices, over thinking and indecision.

In a way, indecision is a privilege. Deciding is easy if you have limited resources and few or no viable options. It’s easy to choose when you have no choice. Indecision because of many good options isn’t a bad problem to have.

Still, decision paralysis as it is called is a problem to be solved. Logic is always a good tool for that. Focus comes in handy because if you can focus and clarify your real need or your real goal, then the choices neccessary to move toward your goal often will become clear. It has a little bit of a “dominoes falling” feel here. Once you have a clear idea, the process to bring that idea to fruition will often fall into place. Or, at least, that kind of focus starts other processes like making a pro and con list to help sort through your choices.

If logic fails, and you find yourself with a “six of one, half dozen of the other” sort of decision to make, then pick up your intuition as your other decision making tool. It seems to me that is the more common advice when it comes to the seven of cups. Cups in general are associated with water, emotions and intuition. Cups cards advise us to follow our heart while swords cards often tell us to use our head.

Sometimes intuition can leave you in that six of one half dozen of the other lurch, too. That’s where Tarot or other intuition helpers come into play.

When things are logically equal, and there are only two top-tier options, and things are coming down to one of those follow your gut kind of decisions, I find the yes/no three card Tarot layout is helpful. It can validate your gut instinct as well as nudge you one direction or the other if you are feeling truly indecisive.

Stay tuned (did I mention that if you follow the blog you get all of my free Tarot content right here, and all the new posts are delivered fresh right to your inbox?) I’ve done this several times recently but MY instinct this morning is to post another yes/no example soon.

When the Seven of Cups crosses your path, it is a hint that you are going in circles and overthinking. It’s time to focus. First, use logic to sort and prioritize. If that doesn’t work, follow your gut and your heart or any other internal organs that might have something to say. If that doesn’t work, see if a divination tool or intuition helper like Tarot gives you a nudge or a validation.

If that doesn’t work, take a nap.

Just don’t forget to focus and try again when you wake up.

Thanks for reading, watching and listening to TaoCraft Short Sip Tarot. I always appreciate your support. See you at the next sip!

Re-introductions are in order: #KofiChallenge 2022

Welcome to TaoCraft Tarot – reintroductions for 2022

The blog, the podcast, and the YouTube channel are free for everyone. None of those things are monetized one bit. I do, however have a ko-fi page that supports those things. Your reading purchases supports me and my time in creating the free content, but the ko-fi goes towards additional expenses like web hosting, replacing dead headphones and the like.

Ko-fi has “challenges” that are both inspirational creator prompts and a way to get both our names into social media. This month’s “challenge” was to reintroduce our page on that blog. I thought it might be a good time for a small reintroduction here, too.

This is the ko-fi post:

The Ko‑fi blog suggested re-introducing our page for the new year and their January “challenge”. I think it is a great idea. If you are new to TaoCraft Tarot, this will give you some extra context. Welcome. I am SO glad you are here.

If you have followed my work for a while – wow! You are something special. Thank you from the bottom of my Tarot-lovin’ heart!! I am SO glad you are here.

But anyway, my name is Ronda. I read Tarot, write Stuff and make things.

The ko-fi tip mug, shop and memberships all go to support the no-charge Tarot content that I create under the TaoCraft Tarot name on multiple platforms: blog, podcast, YouTube channel and social media. None of these are directly monetized so Ko-fi is my only support for this no-charge, free-for-everyone content. I do offer private readings by email, online video call, and (pre-covid) in-person sessions in the PIttsburgh, PA, USA area. The readings subsidize the time I spend writing and posting the free content, but the ko-fi page goes toward web hosting and any production costs (like replacing the headphones that died mid-video that one time)

Most of TaoCraft is Tarot content. I’ve been reading cards since 1991 or so, professionally since the early 2000s. I’ve self-published a small how-to ebook “PeaceTarot” that teaches you to do daily meditation one card readings for yourself for stress reduction (it’s in the shop if you are interested.)

My style of reading Tarot is influenced by Taoism, Zen, and my background in Reiki and Tai Chi. My Tarot reading style is very calm and no-drama as a result. These readings are all about advice, guidance, inspiration and making good choices that can help you to create the future you want, not predict it. Like I always say, “Tarot doesn’t tell you what will happen in life. Tarot helps you figure out what to do when life happens.”

Before 2018, my work was a patchwork of things: Modern Oracle Tarot, handmade meditation beads and jewelry for Quirk & Flotsam Esty shop, with natural health, Reiki and meditation tutorials and ebooks under my name. Since Halloween 2018 everything has been re-branded and bundled together under the TaoCraft name and owl-themed logos.

The pandemic brought changes here just like everywhere. I’ve put party reading on hold until further notice and cut waaayyyy back on individual in-person readings. To make up for the difference, I’ve made improvements in the online parts of TaoCraft Tarot thanks to things like Zoom and the expanded services here on ko-fi. Thanks to your support, progress will continue through 2022 with streamlined ordering for email private readings, learn tarot online classes, and more ebook titles.

One of those upcoming titles is TaoCraft Portfolio. It will tell you all about the philosophy and mechanics of this style of Tarot and probably more about my background than you want to know. In a nutshell, I started out as a physician assistant in psychiatry and cardiology. Then I went back to school by way of remote learning before remote learning was cool. In 2011, I was awarded a Ph.D in Natural Health from Clayton College of Natural Health for my dissertation Reiki and Relaxation (also in the ko-fi shop.) I have taught Tai Chi in the past, and have been a Reiki Master-practitioner since 2000. I still offer distance Reiki through the TaoCraft Tarot website, but meditation & natural health workshops and tutorials are still on pandemic hold. Like Rachel Maddow says “Watch this space.” for announcements as things come back online in days to come.

That’s pretty much it. I occasionally write for my personal just-for-fun blog “Stuff” on http://www.RondaJSnow.me Other than Reiki, that’s where the natural health part of things lives for now.

Thank you so much for reading through all of this! If you have any questions or are interested in a private reading feel free to get in touch here, through the contact on the blog, on Instagram (@TaoCraft.Tarot) or on Twitter (@TaoCraftTarot)

See you at the next sip!

Flow Forward

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

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

Today’s card is the eight of cups.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.