Manufacture

Moderation manufactures money.

Hello and welcome to TaoCraft Short Sip – Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Thank you for reading and listening. I appreciate it.

Today’s card is the 4 of pentacles. It is an interesting dichotomy of meanings. On one hand it has been associated with penny-pinching, or being selfish or miserly in a bad kind of way. Other times it has been associated with protectiveness, guarding a secret treasure, or found fortune. But before you run out and buy a lottery ticket, “found fortune” can mean a forgotten dollar bill in your jacket pocket from last winter.

When a card has two seemingly separate threads of meaning associated with it like this, often the energy of the day will pick one or the other. One aspect or key word about the card will light or step forward compared to the others. Today is a little different in that respect. This very much has a combination of both vibe.

Guarding what you have is a way to find a secret treasure. Ben Franklin made the idea famous in his “a penny saved is a penny earned” aphorism. A little delayed gratification now can open the door to unexpected satisfactions.

Another way of saying it is to ask if what you want is really what you want. That thing, that trip, that whatever-it-is, are you after that specific thing or some aspect of it that is already at hand?

It is an old idea from the Tao Te Ching, too. It tells us “Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”

This all isn’t to say you should make yourself miserable and be so stingy it makes Mr. Scrooge blush. Live. Live happy. Live with what you have. Put your energy into that and it turns into found fortune. Focus on what you don’t have, and you in essence lose it all. Moderation is, as always, key. A little shift in perception can change everything.

Today, the four of pentacles is reminding us that minding what we already have manufactures money, both in the sense of preserving those resources and in the sense of shifting mental perception in that Tao Te Ching way that makes the world already belong to you.

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Thank you again for reading and listening. See you at the next sip!

Different Wealth

Gratitude doesn’t magically bring you what you want. Gratitude taks what you already have and transforms it into treasure. Contentment with the present moment is a different kind of wealth.

Hello and welcome to Tao Craft Short Sip: Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. I’m glad you are here.

Today’s card is the Four of Disks from the Alleyman’s Tarot by Seven Dane Asmund, art by Dark Synevyr.

There is a strong sense of juxtaposition and contrast with the card and energy today. It’s like double vision in your mind’s eye of all freaky things. Ah well, it is Friday.

There is face value meaning here. Coin cards in general are associated with wealth, career, or our relationship with the physical realm.

The four of coins in particular (or the Four of disks, or pentacles or whichever name you prefer) is associated with being conservative and watching the budget. If the card is reversed it can mean the need to watch the budget because of low or dwindling resources. Taken to an extreme it can have a tone of hoarding and greed. In this case it has a tone of smart money management. It is about living within your means. It’s about making do and making more.

That’s the surface.

It also feels like there are watery depths here, like the deep inner wisdom we were talking about in the “It’s there” blog post and podcast episode a few days ago. The mental image is like one of those tiktok videos where they make fancy drinks or swirly color artwork with spheres of partially frozen, very clear ice. The surface of the ice they use is solid and crystal clear with a swirling, watery center. The energy with this card is a little like that.

On the surface we have solid practical advice: Use your money smarts. Mind the budget. This is a time to be practical with money and not frivolous. The energy is definitely not right for impulse buys.

Beneath that surface is something much more esoteric and spiritual. Beneath that is volumes about mindset, manifestation and how powerful thoughts and words can be.

It’s that glass half full, glass half empty thing.

Think about it. Or plunk a glass of water on the table and LOOK at it. What you think about glass doesn’t change the literal amount of water. 8 ounces is 8 ounces and 4 ounces is four ounces and what you think, feel or believe isn’t going to change that objective measure by one molecule.

The glass half full versus a glass half empty doesn’t have anything to do with the physical glass or water at all. It is all about words and perceptions and mental habits and emotional paradigms. Think about that glass of water. When you think of it as half empty, it creates a phantom. It alludes to water that that used to be there but is gone now. This way of thinking focuses on the empty space and what the glass doesn’t have when that extra volume may never have been there in the first place. What if the glass used to be only a quarter full and a half is a big improvement? The adjective “empty” shifts our perception, not the water that is, was or will be.

By the same token, if we think of the glass as half full, the adjective “full” shifts our perception in the other direction. This way of thinking focuses on certainty, reality, the water that is definitely there and hits at more to come.

Here I get that annoying platitude to “have an attitude of gratitude.” There is some sort of new-age-y idea out there that being grateful for what you have will create a feeling of abundance and in turn manifest what you want through some twist of the Law of Attraction. Gratitude isn’t some magic bullet. Forcing yourself to feel grateful in general isn’t going to attract some specific object of desire.

Genuine feelings of gratitude are, however, a definitive inner shift in perception and thus a change in our experience of the outer world as it stands now.

My mind is drawn toward a line from the Starz series version of Neil Gaimon’s American Gods. The character Salim hints at the difference between mainstream Christianity in America and Islam as he knows it. If memory serves he said something like “That is the difference between us – you pray to get the things you want. I pray to say thank you for what I already have.”

That is exactly the energy today. Gratitude will not magically bring what you want and don’t yet have…but instead that gratitude will change your perception of what wealth really is for you. Manifesting wealth, prosperity gospel, think positive, be grateful to get what you want nonsense not only risk your money, but they can rob you of your peace of mind and spirit.

Gratitude doesn’t magically bring you what you want. Gratitude takes what you already have and transforms it into treasure. Being thankful for what you have instead of praying for what you don’t have is potent alchemy. Contentment with the present moment is a different kind of wealth, but a priceless one.

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Weekend Tarot Turnover: Stable

TaoCraft Tarot Weekend Tarot Turnovers are a unique intuition building exercise that can help you learn to read Tarot cards with more depth and meaning than a “little white book”

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Hi and welcome to the weekend Tarot turnover. This is a fun little intuition building exercise where we turn our usual weekday Short Sip Tarot readings upside down. This time, I sip the coffee and you read the Tarot card.

It works just like a “YouChoose Interactive Tarot Reading” that we usually do on Sundays or Mondays. It’ll be Monday this week by the way. But in any case, read or listen to the list of potential interpretations to the card and use your pure, raw intuition to pick the one that is right for you. There is nothing else for it. Muscles only get stronger when you use them. Same for neurons, brain elasticity and all of that. I count intuition as one of those use responsive varieties of brain function, but that’s just me.

So follow your gut. Go with the meaning you know in your bones to be the right one. But more importantly, if the card sparks a different idea – go with that. If it brings a personal experience or memory to mind, pay attention to that. If it triggers the memory of a song or movie or tv show, that its a legit meaning too. Use the ideas and memories the card triggers to find a message or meaning unique to you. You are welcome to use the best of both. Combine old accepted meanings along with your own spontaneous brainwaves to find your meditation message for today.

Today’s Card is the Four of Pentacles. Different decks have different names for this suit. Pentacles, coins, disks, orbs, it all has the same root meanings and associations. As far as elements go, these cards are associated with the classical element of earth. As far as how they relate to life as a whole, I think of them as connecting to our relationship to the physical world – or more traditionally as symbolizing wealth, money and career. Four has a variety of meanings. My attention is drawn to numerology and also Chinese superstitions about the number four being bad luck because it sounds like…but HA! I’m going to let YOU research it if that idea is talking to you because this is supposed to exercise your intuition while I stand over here drinking coffee like baby Yoda sipping soupy soup out of his cuppy cup. Here we go. Four of Pentacles:

  • Stability
  • protecting something
  • secret treasure
  • hoarding or being a miser
  • careful saving
  • setting and enforcing boundaries
  • stubbornness
  • self reliance

What do you think? Feel free to comment about the meaning you chose or ask any questions about the card or meanings. Have fun!

Thanks for reading and listening! Your likes, subs, shares, follows, buy me a coffee donations, Tarot Table memberships and email Tarot readings purchased through this website purchases all support this unique Tarot learning content.

See you at the next sip…or in this case, the next YouChoose Tarot reading.

Today’s Tarot: Protect the Treasure

Today is a blustery kind of day for our card’s energy.

Some skeptics dismiss intuition and its tools like Tarot because the card meanings are vague and inconsistent. They are, but not because they are invalid, but because they are ephemeral. The cards are an ever-adapting look at ever-changing energies from one point of view within the flow of time. They are a localized look at a larger, fluid, energetic, dynamic system. That’s why they guide rather than predict. Saying Tarot is invalid because of inconsistent or vague card meanings is like saying the weather report is wrong because it changes every day.

Tarot is a creative prompt, not an immutable law of the universe.

So which prompt, which card meaning is right for you of all people and today of all days? THAT is where tools like Tarot, runes, numerology, astrology, etc meet their limit. They help us access our innate intuition, but they can never substitute for it. The image that comes to mind is a little like dry leaves in a whirlwind. There is a blustery swirl of meanings and energies here. Only you can know which leaf to grab out of the whirlwind of potential meanings. The word ‘local’ steps forward too. The local energy and mood is the one that needs our attention today. Today the card’s guidance is to focus on the treasure within and to trust your own understanding – even more than usual.

In other words the card’s message today is exactly that to trust and protect the inner treasure of your own good intuition. Intuition is usually the purview of cups cards and the water element, but in this case it is more about the protection (an earth element energy) and solid trust more than talking about the intuition itself.

It’s about the the real world, practical protection and application of your intuition. It’s a meatspace thing to borrow from William Gibson’s writing.

The four of pentacles has a variety of meanings. The four part can be associated with steadiness and stability, like the four legs of a chair or table. That’s where we get the protective, steady, trustworthy connotations for the card. I’m told that Chinese culture avoids fours because the word for four sounds like the word for die (but with different characters and tonal pronunciation) I wonder if that – energetically more than culturally or linguistically – is a connection to the more negative connotations for the four of pentacles like greed, and unwarranted miserliness.

Either way, try to think of the physical space actions that your intuition may need today. Do you need to set some atmosphere to help you hear the quiet whispers of intuition and spirit? Is this the day to get that incense or candle you’ve been saving for a special day? Is this the day to unplug from social media and find some physical quiet in order to feed your inner quiet? Many times we have a tendency to relagate those tangible actions to certain days of the week, or phases of the moon or what have you. Don’t wait. Do for your intuition. Guard it, protect your inner self from any toxic people or energies that may be lurking. The leaf for you from today’s whirlwind of meanings might be to reflect, like a bright coin…reflect or disperse any negative or toxic energies away from you. I suggest Ted Andrew’s excellent book Psychic Protection as well as the protective exercises in Mat Auryn’s recent book Psychic Witch (whether you consider yourself to be a part of the pagan or witch community or not, it is still a good, helpful visualization.) Black tourmaline comes to mind as a protective energy to wear or carry. It’s a do your homework kind of day. Part of the message is that it is up to you to look at the local energies and act to protect your inner energies and intuition if needed.

When the energy start repeating and going in circles like this, that is a good cue that the essential message is complete. I see a bow in deference to your knowing.

This is a start. This is a prompt. Now it is up to you to connect and protect. Connect to your intuition, connect your intuition to your individual real world situation, and protect your energy.

Hauling the edges back in

Sometimes a line from a movie lodges in my brain and sort of lives there for a while until it proves to be real-life useful idea. I use them here in the blog all of the time: “Work the problem” from Apollo 13, Curly’s “one thing” from City Slickers, and now one from The Right Stuff.

I don’t even remember this one exactly. Writing a blog and professional Tarot was over a decade away and not at all on my radar when I first watched the movie and heard the line. I think it was Pancho, in the bar scene where Chuck Yeager had his cameo, but she said something about test pilots “pushing the edges of the envelope and hauling them back in again.”

Everybody seems to love the first part. We’ve all heard about “pushing the edge of the envelope” since the movie was released way back in 1983. Nobody seems to remember the “haul it back in” part. It’s just as important. If you have all intense bright light you can’t see any more than you can in pitch dark. Or as somebody said, “any landing you walk away from is a good one.” You can’t walk away from a landing if you don’t have one. As laudable as “pushing the envelope” may be, the things you learn at the edge serves no purpose if you don’t bring them home to use.

The 4 of pentacles has a reputation for meaning miserliness or greed. Or it can be a reminder to be careful with the budget. I’ve seen it interpreted as a protected, hoarded or very secret treasure that isn’t shared. Today is one of those days where the card is hinting at a bigger message, a half-bubble off of the strings of keywords attached to the card. This is one of those days where a purely intuitive connotation steps to the front. Pay attention to those whenever you do a reading. Energy and spirit really have something to say when that happens.

Be yin. Today is a day for hauling the edge of the envelope back in. It isn’t a day for pushing or striving or extravagance either literally with money or spiritually or emotionally.

It is a good day to rest and abide, and integrate, and learn how to live and use the things you’ve learned. It’s a little like the spiritual equivalent of putting away the groceries you’ve brought home. It’s time to put your spiritual learning into it’s real world place and start using them. There is a careful deliberate feel about it. Protect your spiritual treasures by solidifying them, living them. It’s a good day to turn off the afterburners and bring this Monday in for a landing.

“If you can walk away from a landing, it’s a good landing. If you use the airplane the next day, it’s an outstanding landing.” – Chuck Yeager

Today’s Tarot: Emphasis, Not Error

Earlier this week (in other words, yesterday) the four of pentacles was one of the cards in the YouChoose Interactive reading. The boilerplate interpretation of repeating cards is that we aren’t learning the lesson that the card is bringing. It’s too soon for that to make any sense, especially in a general audience reading like this. One to one, private, individual readings are very different. In an individual session, I dial in to your specific message within the energy at large and translate that into ideas directed toward you as an idividual. These blog readings are like looking at the energy of a flock of birds or a school of fish all moving roughly together but with scattered individual for whom none of this will make any sense at all.

In this situation, we can’t consider a repeating card, especially one that comes two days in a row, to be an unlearned lesson. Humans just don’t learn or integrate the kind of life-lessons associated with Tarot in that amount of time.

In my minds eye I see the red light emoji, and hear almost a video game sort of alert signal, a little like the ‘time is almost up’ sound they make on American Ninja Warrior. I can also mentally ‘see’ a yellow highlighter marker.

For those of you who chose the Four of Pentacles yesterday, this is a double dose. Having the card appear both yesterday and today makes the message all the more important for you. The way the card moved from an option to a full on general audience hints that the message is growing in importnance and urgency, not fading. The message is for everyone now, but with an extra dose for the folks who chose the card yesterday.

The Four of Pentacles can be associated with greed and stinginess. That isn’t the thread of meaning that is so urgent right now. It speaks more to care, carefulness with budget and money. This is not a good time for impulse buys and self indulgence. Practical, low key, stock the pantry kind of energy is around. Think squirrels gathering walnuts for the winter.

Winter, as they say, is coming.

Pragmatic planning is your friend today. Slow and steady very much wins the race. This isn’t a full energy all out emergency. It isn’t a time of euphoria or dysphoria either one. Plodding, methodical, planning, budgeting are all words that come to mind today.


It’s that time of year. Taking the Four of Coins/Pentacles advice, I’m trying to get organized for Fall. Forgive the repetition, but it helps me to triage and prepare if I organize a few basic announcements for you.

First, there won’t be a premium blog after all. All of the blog, all of the YouTube channel is free and open. I haven’t monetized either one. Both the blog and the channel take some time and effort to do, especially since I’m a great Tarot reader but not such a great video media personality. The steep learning curve continues. If you like what you read in the blog, and use it oftern, please consider getting a peronal reading. One card readings are the cost of a coffeehouse latte. Although I wouldn’t object to being paid in my favorite drink, you can’t send coconut vanilla flat whites¬† through email. If you are so inclined, distance readings are available for order 24/7 no appointment needed on the home page.

Second, I hope you’ll consider following the blog by email along with your favorite social media (say hi on Instagram and Twitter, I actually interact with those) If you follow the blog, you’ll get all of the content. There will be print only posts that do not appear on the YouTube channel.

Third, due to the ongoing pandemic and the oncoming flu season, in-person readings and party Tarot readings are still closed. If you want a live, real-time reading, phone readings are available by appointment with prepayment. Order a phone session just like you would order anything online using the secure paypal button HERE then contact me at TaoCraftTarot@gmail.com to schedule your session.

Fourth, ask me anything! The comments are back open and you are welcome to tell me the kind of content you want to see, or ask any questions you like. I won’t promise an individual reply, but I will answer everything that I can in the blog itself. Any spam or anything inappropriate will be thrown into an active volcano and never heard from again.

Thank you all. Best Wishes – R.

YouChoose Interactive Tarot Reading for August 17 – 22

Pick a card. Pause the video if you would like a minute to decide, the restart the video to see the reveal. Full card descriptions follow below.


Left: Three of Pentacles (Coins). Hard work pays off. It’s just that simple. Not a lot to say here except persist. Sometimes there isn’t a big life lesson, or any large meaning to things. Sometimes you just have to grind out the practical down-to-earth things that need to be done. Stay diligent, and it will pay off later. The pay off here feels less like income or money, but more like hang tight, stay the course, stick to the schedule, “work the problem” as the Apollo 13 movie said. The payoff will be in better timing later, more opportunities later. “Make hay while the sun shines” comes to mind along with “leave the fancy stuff for later”

Center: Four of Coins. This card seems tied to the time of year. It feels like late August doldrums. Like the three of Coins, this isn’t a time for risk, or drama or change. The Four of coins has been read at times as a “secret treasure,” like a small money surprise like finding a forgotten dollar bill in your Autumn jacket. This week’s energy isn’t that. Sometimes it is read as miserly, stingy energy. Today isn’t quite that either. This isn’t motivated by greed, like the miser, Scrooge-y card meanings are. This is smart conservation. This is a week to mind the budget. No impulse buys or extravagant impulses. Austerity is a better word. A little austerity now will make things more comfortable later on.

Right: Justice. This card has to do with reason, wisdom, and using good judgement. It also taps into a conservative, austere energy. This is a time to look before you leap, and wight both sides of a decision, even when you already have a clear opposition to one side. It is a time to let your head rule your heart. Follow the science. Dare I say wear a mask.

Heat of summer lingers. There is a plodding to the finish line feeling to the summer, which feels like it will trudge to the end. This summer doesn’t feel like it will go out with any sort of bang or flourish. It’s hard to see any celebration energy for a while. The transition to fall feels gradual, sliding, fading, barely noticed, but headed toward more comfort, not less.

But get your flu shot. Everyone.

Peridot, the August birthstone comes to mind, as if this August is extra-August-y, as if this August is very VERY peridot.

By virtue of its green color, peridot is associated with the heart chakra. It is associated with physical healing energies and helping the mind-body connection to understand when physical ailments have a strong spiritual emotional component. It has been called the ‘wounded healer’ stone, battlefield medicine and the word “triage’ come to mind here.

Peridots that are more yellowish can also be associated with the solar plexus chakra, confidence and growing wealth.

If you feel drawn to Peridot, research it more on your own. Of the many meanings and correlations for the stone, the one that captures your imagination is the right one for you. This needs to be a personal discovery, not one I can tell you in a blog.

Today’s Tarot: A Coin Out of Your Ear

Today’s card reading is less about the card and more about the reading process itself. Today’s message shows how there is more to reading Tarot than just memorizing rote card “meanings.” It’s a skill anyone can learn, but it takes some actual time and effort to get the hang of it. It isn’t a personal shortfall if you leave it to professionals. You can learn, grow, and benefit from getting a reading just as much as doing one for yourself and vice versa. Just because I’m able to learn to change the oil in my car doesn’t mean that I want to learn it or in a million years ever would do it. So the professionals get that job. That is what they are there for, right? Same with Tarot. If you don’t want to be bothered learning how or if you need a hand with a reading you’ve done on your own, get a pro opinion. No big deal. That is exactly why I’m here; to help.

Intuition takes everything to the next level. 

Like it says in the video, the Four of Pentacles is one of those cards that seem to have two threads of meaning. Sometimes it is a bit menacing, and can indicate greed, stinginess, a need to protect your finances. Other times it has a lighter feel. That lighter side can be an indication that the need to be on guard is only temporary, or can hint a very minor money surprise, like finding forgotten a dollar bill from last winter when you put on your coat the first time next fall.

Every deck varies a little bit in how they represent the energy of the card. The artist might show more of the greedy, miserly, on-guard energy or more of the kindly, it’s temporary, little surprise, a sort of “be careful with your money now, and life will pull a coin out of your ear later” kind of vibe.

So how do know which thread applies to the reading at hand? If you have a choice, how do you know which deck to use in order to best capture the energy of the day?

You don’t know.

That’s where intuition comes in. Follow your hunch about which deck to use. Use the deck that feels right or ‘speaks’ to you that day. The message will find its way through.

Listen to you feelings, and the quiet whispers. If something on a card grabs your attention, follow it. If something feels wrong, trust that too.

For example, let’s say the energy for your day is the ‘mind the budget now, things will be better later on’ kind of message. Intuition may take you to a deck with a lighter-looking card, like the Heart of Stars Tarot on the right (featuring the resourceful but kind Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.) What if your only deck was the gruffer looking Four of Pentacles from the Witches Tarot on the left? Would that necessarily lead you to the harsher, not-quite-right interpretation? Not necessarily. You may get a feeling of something being wrong. That something-is-wrong-here feeling might nudge you to another or lesser known interpretation of the card. Or intuition may nudge your perception of the card image away from gruff Scrooge toward a protective Grandfather feeling. Either way, giving credence to your imagination, accepting the subtle as valid and honoring your feelings helps the better message to find you.

In the beginning it may feel like you are just pulling made-up crap out of your a…..back pocket. After a time, as your skill and comfort with intuition grows, you find that you are really pulling gold coins out of thin air.