Tarot reading for the week ahead

Before it was a movie, it was a word.

Hello and welcome to a whole bunch of stuff. I’m glad you are here. This is the first week of a new and hopefully stable web presence for Sage Words Tarot. Most Mondays you can find these three card Tarot readings for the week ahead in lots of places. So pour yourself a cup of whatever you like to sip this time of day and have a seat at the Tarot Table. The readings are the same no matter whether you came to the table by way of the Sage Words Tarot blog on wordpress and ko-fi, Sage Sips podcast, or Sage Sips on Substack. No matter how you got here, I’m happy you ARE here, so let’s take a look at these cards.

My hunch is to do this in the same format as I would for an email private reading. You KNOW I’m going to tell you that distance Tarot is my specialty and private readings are available to order 24 / 7 no appointment needed. Email Tarot has loads of advantages for both of us, and there is a web page and blog post about that coming soon, too.

That being said, this is my three card pathway layout. I based it on the old ubiquitous past, present, future layout but it doesn’t work with exact time or with predictions. This about the collective energy environment, sort of a psychic weather report that helps you to figure out your best way forward through whatever life throws at you. Like I’ve said for years now: Tarot doesn’t tell you what is going to happen in life. Tarot helps you figure out what to do when life happens.

The layout is read from right to left, in the opposite direction of reading English. I do it that way for a couple of reasons. First, that’s just how I learned to do it a long, long time ago. It’s comfortable and it works. I think the part where we read cards in the opposite direction from reading words is important. Language and grammar is a logical process. When we flip the reading direction it disrupts that deeply ingrained logical thought pattern. That disruption helps to get past established mental habits and get to intuition a little bit easier.

The first card, the one on the right, symbolizes the energy that is fading. The middle card is the strongest energy around at the present moment. I’m writing this on a Monday morning – April 17, 2023 to be exact. Chances are, you are reading it at a different time. That’s where the customization comes in, even at a distance, even in a collective reading. In my experience, the inspiration we need is all around us. Whether you see it as psychic, spiritual, energetic or what have you, the message you need will find you one way or another and the moment you need it the most. Whenever you are reading this, the cards reflect your individual moment in time.

The left hand card is the energy that is growing in influence. Again, it is like an energy weather report of the vibe you might be dealing with later on. It is not a prediction of what is about to happen.

Another way to think of the layout is as the path we’ve already walked, the place where we stand now, and the path just ahead.

I tend not to use that metaphor because “path ahead” makes it too easy to fall into the trap of thinking in terms of predictions or some kind of archaic fortune telling. Tarot has evolved beyond that. If you are looking for someone to predict the future, I’m not the Tarot reader for you. I’m here for the personal growth, spiritual enrichment, inspiration and creative problem solving aspects of Tarot. I’m here to be a better person and better adapt to this squirrel rave we call life. Predictions can’t do regardless of whether they come true or not. But that’s another rant for another day.

My readings start with what I call the “general pattern.” That part isn’t as telling in these three card layouts as it is in a five or seven card layout. Here we see two minor arcana cards and one major. That is roughly the proportion of minor to major cards in the deck as a whole, so logically you would expect to see that same ratio in the layout. When that happens, I read it as “as expected” overall energy. No red lights, no sirens, no windfalls, no winning lottery tickets, just the normal, usual, average ups and downs of everyday living. In other words, chances are it is going to be a typical week, whatever is typical for you. The major arcana card is the growing energy position so the overall dynamics of the week will be building as time goes on as opposed to remaining steady or chilling out as we move toward the weekend. Things are on an upswing, which makes sense after the laid back energies of the past few weeks. It makes sense that the pendulum would finally start to swing in the other direction.

The fading energy is the Ten of Cups. Classically, the Ten of Cups is associated with all the happy family things you would expect based on the picture on the card. Cups cards are connected to the water element, emotions and our closest inner circle relationships. This isn’t to say that things are going to get unhappy or that you are going to lose the things that are dearest to you. In this case, it is the opposite. Words like “foundation” and “foundational” come to mind. Support systems, be it genetic family, found family or otherwise are very much there to support you.

I think this is the real cornerstone of this week’s reading.

The Ten of Cups reminds us that we have support. Know your foundation and your matrix. Before it was a movie or hair care line, matrix meant the environment something was in. Matrix is our milieu and the substrate of life. It’s glue. It’s the stuff that holds it all together.

Allow yourself to be supported. You are not alone. You don’t have to do this alone. There is a matrix and a life-glue out there for you. The trick is to find it and then to cherish it.

Current Energies are represented by the Eight of Pentacles. Pentacles are earth energy, career, wealth, and our relationship with the physical world. This is a cue that the conditions are right to be productive. Allow it to be easy. Just do it, as the shoe folks say. Stay busy. It has been said that work is good therapy. Focusing on a task can help you stay mindful and present in the current moment. That is exactly why simple, repetitive things like knitting, crafting, running, washing dishes or peeling potatoes can be meditative, even soothing, especially at times when emotions are running high. Again I hear “stay active” and “busy hands, quiet mind”

By the way, when I say “hear” it means that the intuitive information comes to mind in the form of words, sounds or songs. If I say “see” it means that the intuitive input is visual, coming through as mental images.

Finally we have the growing Hierophant energy. It took me a long time to come to terms with this card because of the religious imagery on older decks like the Marseille and the RWS card in the Youtube card draw video. That kind of imagery makes sense in the context of Tarot’s development in heavily Catholic Medieval Europe but it has little meaning for those of us who are not part of the Christian religious tradition. Depending on individual experiences, the religious aspects of the card’s appearance can be off-putting to say the least. It is thanks to Johanne Denelli’s writing and the Mark Evans artwork in the Witches Tarot deck version of the card that I’ve been able to work with the card at all. The Hierophant is the keeper of traditions. The hierophant tells old legends by firelight, and defines social expectation – even when social expectations evolve and change.

There are two threads of meaning for the card, and both apply in this reading.

First the Hierophant can symbolize tradition.

In this case it is calling us to set our new normal. Now it is our turn to say what is or isn’t traditional and if we choose to follow tradition at all or not. As someone on social media put it, we are the new ancestors.

After times of great change like the pandemic, people need some degree of sameness, some sense of a solid foundation. Whether it is based on old tradition, or the creation of a new one, after times of great change like the pandemic, we naturally gravitate toward things that are solid, and seem unlikely to change anytime soon. When you build a house, the foundation is the place to start. It might be a new building on a new foundation. It might be rebuilding on an old and proven foundation. Here again we are asked to find our matrix. What is our root, our cornerstone and our foundation? What is the glue that holds the whole thing together? What holds all of our parts in place? What is our matrix?

The other thread of meaning in this card has to do with social convention. It is about doing what is expected of us – or not. I relate this very much with that tension between expressing our true selves fully and authentically and the public face we put on in order to thrive, succeed, or at least survive in the society in which we live. Sometimes you have to take off your favorite goth band T-shirt and dress for a job interview. Sometimes you have to stake your claim for who you really are to heck with the cultural norms. Sometimes you can find a way to have both. Sometimes you have to stay closeted for your own safety. Sometimes you have to find new family and culture and walk your own path.

The message from the Hierophant is to know and define which path is best for you right now. Whether you are complying with the old or creating something new, do it knowingly, mindfully and deliberately.

In a private reading, I would finish up with a summary of any purely psychic intuitive impressions that come through. It may be related to the person’s cards or questions or it may not. That part is highly individual and very personal. It’s not really applicable to a general, collective reading like this. I do get the mental image of a lotus, if that means anything to anyone. That morphs into the image of a pine forest, along with the scent of pine. I’m guessing that’s our recommended candle or incense fragrance for the day.

And there the energies step back and here is where I would end things if I were reading for an individual.

For the whole group of you – thank you for reading and listening. Helpful links are in the text, in the right hand column, in the episode description. You know the drill.

Thank you again. Have a great week and I’ll see you at the next sip!

It can happen

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today the Ten of Cups reminds us that it get better. Happiness is yours to claim.

Welcome to TaoCraft Tarot blog & podcast. I’m glad you’re here.

Heck, I’m glad I’m here. Yesterday was a little extra, so for this week the squirrel rave is letting me post on a Thursday, although that might not always be the case. Because this squirrel rave we call life can be like that.

It is only Thursday, and this isn’t a weekly wrap up kind of post but the energy is circling back around to the same ideas that we have been talking about for a few days.

When messages cycle and repeat like that, the boilerplate interpretation is that an important life lesson is being ignored. Repeating energies and messages are supposed to mean that someone just plain isn’t getting it.

I don’t think that is why the energies are dwelling in one spot this time. I think the energies are circling to give us a better look, like a tourist helicopter circling an attraction to give everyone a clear view. I think spirit is doing a slow circle to let us get take our time with this message, make friends with the energy and, to borrow a word from the Dude in The Big Lebowski, abide with the ideas for a while. Spirit and energy doesn’t care about clocks and calendars, so dwelling on one topic for a while is neither bad nor uncommon.

My thoughts and my heart are dwelling and abiding with Pride month.

With the growing intolerance and hate filled legislation in some parts of the American, I legit worry about the health and safety of people whom I care about very deeply.

They say that familiarity breeds contempt. In my experience, that is sometimes true. My early life and extended family familiarity with evangelicals and Republicans has bred a great deal of contempt for those bigoted ideologies.

Familiarity can also breed compassion.

It’s harder to hate a person on grand principle once you get to know them as individuals. There is a 2014 study reported in U.C. Berkely’s Greater Good Magazine (a neuroscience and behavioral psychology newsletter) that suggested that racism really is taught by social groups and is not an inherent genetic-based behavioral trait in rats.

It might not rise to the level of scientific study, but everyday experience seems to hint that the same is true of humans. Or at least for humans with some toe hold on reality.

Where humans have the capacity to make things bad, as a species we have the same capacity to make things better. Difference and diversity teaches us that being a little weird yourself is a good thing. When you meet a lot of different people you can find the ones where you can be weird together. When you meet diverse people, you meet ones who think the same things are important as you do. You find the people who think you are important. Whether you know them or not, whether you feel it or not, there is someone on earth who enjoys and supports people like you. Like it or not, you are loved.

Getting older does make that process a little better. It is easier for adults than it is for kids and teens because we’ve been around the block a few times. . We know the feeling comes back; adults have experienced its return. We’ve met people very different from ourselves and lived to tell the tale. It’s easier to know that things get better when they’ve already been better – and worse, and better, and worse, and better again. To quote that insurance commercial – we know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two.

It gets better because when you find that little bit of connection outward, it helps you connect inward which where all the happiness really lives. That little bit of outward support and belonging helps you lay claim to the inward happiness that has always been yours and always will be.

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

If you enjoy the YouTube shorts that show the real world card draw that inspires the blog and podcast – or if you enjoy the blog and podcast – please support them all through the TaoCraftTarot page on Ko-fi. The shop, memberships and virtual coffee all help me to create these Tarot readings for you.

Want more than a sip of Tarot? Have a full cup! Full size private Tarot readings with the blogcast author are available on the blog website.

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!

Today’s Tarot: Ample but Simple

It’s not a day for high flying ambition. That kind of day will come. Some days are for stepping on the gas, other days are for coasting a little. Today’s energy is a little bit of a drift. DO, it isn’t a vacation day – but DO things without a big push, without ambition or high expectation. Be productive, but not tied to the outcome. Do the best you can with what you got and be happy with the result whatever it turns out to be. It is a day for low expectation and ample simple pleasures.

Today’s Tarot Is … Up To You

card image from the public domain. please support

Remember that old meme “Happiness is…” from the Peanuts? A quick snoop(y) around Google and you can find dozens of Happiness is… memes, along with the tidbit that the song “Happiness” (that seems to have spawned the whole “Happiness is….” thing) comes from 1967’s You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown musical. Happiness is… has been around a while.

The ellipsis is the part that connects the meme to today’s card. Sure, this card is all happy, sunny, positive, hopeful, optimistic and all of that jazz. But at what point does it tip over into toxic positivity? What do you do if you pull this card when things are terrible and the last thing you need is a bunch of shallow platitudes and superficial think-positive happy talk?

The first thing to do is take it easy on yourself. You are not wrong. “Positive” isn’t always right. Life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns all of the time. The very first of Buddhism’s Four Noble Truths is the truth of suffering. It exists. Shit happens. Rather than drown said shit in denial, minimization, avoidance, platitudes or thoughts & prayers, it seems better to honestly acknowledge these so-called negative emotions than to sweep then under the proverbial rug. If you acknowledge them, then maybe you won’t inadvertently take them out on other people. The sunlight of honest acknowledgement is the best disinfectant. Sometimes a short wallow in what we are really feeling is the best way to deal with those emotions and move on.

That is the beauty of the Tarot deck as a whole. It covers a wide range of human emotions and experiences from the idyllic ten of Cups all the way through the Devil and Death cards and then some.

That’s the beauty of each card. In each one, there is a little seed, a little glimmer of its opposite. Some readers prefer to only consider that seed when the card presents as reversed (upside down relative to the person doing the reading.) I think that seed of the opposite is worth considering all of the time, and would rather leave reversals to be a clue to slowed, challenged or blocked energies.

That’s the beauty of the ellipsis in the “Happiness is….” meme. The definition of happiness is 100% up to you. Happiness may be a warm puppy, an ice cream sundae, or good friends. Happiness may be black mascara and a Bauhaus album. As it harms none, do what thou will….you get to decide what makes you happy as long as you wear a mask, stay six feet apart, wash your hands, don’t commit any felonies and don’t hurt anyone.

By that same token, just as you get to decide what your own happiness IS, you get to decide to BE happy. Things can suck. Shit happens. Suffering is a truth of life….and you can still decide to be happy in spite of it all.

Today’s Tarot, the Ten of Cups, happiness is….

up to you.

YouChoose Interactive Tarot 20-26 Sept. 2020

As seems to be the emerging natural pattern, just have a quick announcement before moving on to this week’s cards: I’ll be on a reduced Tarot / online schedule Tue-Sat. because family stuff. If you are interested in a reading or anything from the store, don’t hesitate to order. The only change is that shipping & delivery might take longer than usual. Thank you in advance for your patience.

Left: 10 of Cups (grasshopper) Take the leap and dare to be happy. Beware of self-sabotage, and allow yourself to succeed. Don’t be afraid of finishing well. 10 cards, being the largest of the number cards in any suit, are a sort of pinnacle, the essence of the suit in its greatest expression. Taoism teaches that anything in its extreme holds the seed of its opposite. Be careful not to snatch defeat from the jaws of victoty. Finish, succeed, allow your self to be happy.

“People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be” – attr. Abraham Lincoln

Center: 5 of Swords (Goose) Overcoming obstacles is a journey as well as a destination. This card has shown up previously. My hunch this is for emphasis rather than a hint that we aren’t getting the lesson. Historic things have happened between the card’s appearances to show how important the lesson is: Stay chill, stay calm, work the problem. Swords are associated with the element of air and thereby mind and logic and cool intellect. My attention is drawn more to this elemental association than the contemporary relationship style of meanings. Mr. Andrews association with vision quest grabs my attention too. Especially the quest part. Big, systemic problems aren’t solved in a day. They take time, steps, parts, cooperation, and both tactics and strategy. The journey around or through an obstacle may be long and arduous but also needed and worthwhile.

“Let’s work the problem, people. Let’s not make things any worse by guessing. The Lunar Module just became a lifeboat. I don’t care what anything was designed to do.” – Ed Harris playing Gene Krantz in Apollo 13 (movie)

Right: Strength (Lion) This isn’t going to be easy, but when you have the strength to meed the challenges, the hard doesn’t matter. This card is just exactly that sort of reassurance. You have strength, whether you feel it ahead of time or not. If you don’t, get some. The ability to find solutions and to obtain resources is as good as having them in the first place.

“When you can’t walk, you crawl. When you can’t do that, you find someone to carry you.” – from Firefly (TV series) by Joss Whedon

Today’s Tarot: What Does It Take?

The Ten of Cups is one of the most idyllic cards in the deck. It is about as rainbows and unicorns as it gets. Good news all around, especially if you feel optimistic and forward looking. This is a card you want to drop into your future. This is where you want to be headed. Especially when it involves the love, romance and relationship suit of cards, right?

It is also where you want to be right now. I can see how this card can be a pin prick to people who have suffered losses. The card can be a hopeful sign of where you are headed, or it can be a painful reminder of what you don’t have. As with everything, perception plays a large role.

What is missing? What would it take to make your present moment into a Ten of Cups moment?

Filling a need and getting something you don’t have in order for life to be happy can be both difficult and risky. What will you do if you get your whatever-it-is, but still aren’t happy?

Here is your real challenge: What would it take to turn your present moment into a Ten of Cups moment without adding anything new?

Today’s Tarot: Homecoming

In numerology they do this thing where they add the individual digits of higher numbers to reduce them to a single digit equivalent. Why, I don’t know, but they do. But it is an interesting concept when applied to the 10 cards of the minor arcana suits. Not only is it the largest of the numbered cards, the threshold to the court cards, but 1+0 = 1 which hints at a full circle, satisfying completion, a return to origens, a homecoming.

On the surface, the Ten of Cups has always been the ‘happy family’ card, akin to the Ten of Coins/Pentacles that we’ve seen in recent days. Instead of reminding us that relationships and loved ones are our most valuable treasure, this card lifts 10 cups in pure celebration of them. Homecomings of all sorts are celebrations.

Not all homecomings are the literal with all of those people, food, home and hearth goodnesses. There is a thread here connecting today’s card to the past two cards.

The Devil card reminds us that there are still storms on the horizon and that there are, in reality, some legit bad stuff out there. The Two of Wands reminds us that within any journey or project, a planned detour is possible. You can steer around the storms and get where you were originally wanting to go if you are heads up, eyes open, and plan on the fly. New phases, new plans, new turns don’t have to be stumbling blocks. Fluid, effective adaptation is very possible.

We’ve also seen a turn in energy that was outside of the cards and their artwork. That shift connects the other two cards to today’s Ten of Cups. While the first half of the year was focused on the physical realm and doing what needs done (even when what needs DONE is to stay home, wear face masks and wash your hands.  Now that we are in the dog day doldrums of summer, the energy has turned toward spirituality and introspection. Now the time has come for spa retreat, soul searching, growing, deciding, planning for the Fall and Winter ahead. That is where the homecoming comes in.

Author Richard Bach is known for saying “The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.” The same is true of our internal philosophy-home. It is time for a spiritual homecoming. It is time to celebrate whatever path embues life with the most respect and joy possible. It need not be the path you started on.

Bad things happen, steering away from those things can happen. Taking your place among people and ideas that give you respect and joy can happen – and must. For me that comes through the lens of Taoist and Buddhist philosphies paired with Tarot and other magickal things. Whatever it is that you respect, that respects who you truely are, and brings you happiness – that – I hope that for you. If you have an iota of inclination, the energies are right to celebrate the esoterica that makes you happy.

If you have tried new ideas and new ways of doing things and find they are off course after all, then it is perfectly fine to change back. Going back to a spiritual path that brings good things is wonderful sort of homecoming. If you seek out new spiritual ideas and find something that perfectly fits you, then that is your homecoming too. Just as family is defined by respect and joy and love, spirituality is defined the same way. No matter whether you are going back to the old, or taking up residence with the newly discovered, the energies are flowing toward homecoming.

YouChoose Interactive Tarot: Navigate

Video from the TaoCraft Tarot YouTube channel

Left: OK here is today’s pandemic pep talk. More change is on the horizon. It’s a crazy time if you look at things globally or if you are out there in the thick of it doing important work, but everyone else is being asked to hibernate. Hibernators have it easy. Like a bear that was forced to wake up too soon, or a bear asked to hibernate in the summer, you may feel a little off kilter or out of the natural cycle of things. Plod along, grind it out, just keep on staying in your cave and washing your paws. If things can change TO this, it can change FROM this sooner or later.

Center: Ten of Cups. My attention is drawn to the sudden hops that actual grasshoppers make more than long and varied symbolism of grasshoppers that Mr. Andrews writes about in “Animal Wise.” In fact, the energy around this card today reminds me more of Tigger from Winnie the Pooh than a grasshopper. It is also like a gentler version of the “remember to play” aspects of the Fool card that we sometimes see, too. Play hopscotch in the driveway. Spend a little quality time staring out the window. Play a game of Twister. The big picture perspective of the world is still pretty scary, but it is perfectly ok to zoom in to some personal moments. Have a minute of fun and several long minutes taking in and sending out love across the distance. Love can leap anywhere.

Right: The Star. Firefly eh? Good TV show that. I recommend it. But this card reminds me of a different reference. One of my favorites. You’ve heard it before, but it must be a good moment because here it is again all these decades later. Anyone remember “City Slickers” with Billie Crystal and Jack Palance? You could call this idea Curly’s Finger. There is one thing that makes sense out of life … the trick is figuring out what that is. Figure out the one thing that makes sense of it all and you are ahead of the game. It’s only THE one thing if it is YOUR one thing. What makes sense of it all for you? Follow that. Follow the north star, not the finger that points to it.

You Choose Tarot (20 Dec 19)

Left: Ten of Cups. Things are headed in a good direction. Relax and savor the good things, however small. After all, little things mean a lot.

Middle: Nine of Pentacles. Profit from pragmatism. Look for the truth of the matter. Regardless whether things are better or worse than expected, knowing what actually needs done is the first step in getting it done.

Right: Six of Cups. Don’t make mountains out of molehills. Save that for another day. Be in the moment as it is for a little while, and you may be surprised how much things work out for themselves.