Chaos Upside Down

What is chaos turned on its head? Order, organization, and focus maybe?

Life is unpredictable enough. There is enough change without adding impulse to the mix. The energy today isn’t supporting impulse.

More on the members blog…

Speed – or not

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. U.S. readers: Private email Tarot readings open and available to purchase throughout the Memorial Day holiday weekend, no appointment needed.

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

Today’s card is the Wheel of Fortune from the Alleyman’s Tarot deck. The image for this card is credited as the Besancon Tarot copyright BnF (the digital national library of France.) As I understand things, this is a popular eighteenth and nineteenth century deck very similar to the Marseille deck but with a few localized changes as it was printed in Switzerland and Germany. You don’t need to know all that sort of thing to be a good Tarot card reader, but I enjoy it. Call it what you will, be it academic discipline leftover from writing my dissertation, my need for a high level of professionalism in my Tarot practice or just plain getting brain-gasms at learning cool things.

In any case, The Wheel of Fortune is one of those with fairly consistent imagery and meanings across most Marseille based or RWS type Tarot decks. Its core meaning is that everything changes. This card is the nemesis of control freaks everywhere. It also reminds us of randomness, chance and fate.

Everything changes. It can change with speed. Or not.

A wheel is a very primal thing and a potent symbol. They have been around for a long, long time. We understand how they work. They symbolize change, forward progress, ease of movement. Wheels symbolize impermanence, reincarnation, while the circle shape symbolizes perfection for Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. In the context of Tarot, the wheel symbolizes all of these things, but with an emphasis on randomness, chance and fate. Think of carnival games, the TV game show or the scene from “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” where a spinning wheel sets the punishment for deal-breakers in Bartertown.

The only certainty is that the wheel will spin. Wheels move. Even if they don’t, there are changes and consequences as a result of the stillness and stagnation. Wheels always move, if not through space then certainly through time.

The Wheel reminds us to savor the good while we can and to hold on to persistent hope that things will improve (in other words, keep moving to the front door of your sanctuary – as the 5 of pentacles recently advised)

Everything changes, but we don’t know and can’t control how fast the wheel of fortune may spin.

Thank you for listening and reading. If you enjoy the blog-cast and the companion videos on YouTube please consider liking, following, & sharing them. Please also visit the TaoCraft Tarot page on ko-fi. Shop purchases, memberships and virtual coffees all contribute to creating this free to access Tarot content.

This episode was produced on May 27, 2020. Private email readings with the blog author are open and available for purchase on the blog website throughout the upcoming US Memorial day holiday weekend, with no appointment needed. Links are in the episode description for podcast listeners.

Comments are open on the blog. Your questions and comments are always welcome. See you at the next sip!

Conquest Through Surrender

TaoCraft Tarot Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today: Conquest through surrender with the Death and Hawkmoth cards

Welcome to Tao Craft Short Sip. I’m glad you are here.

Today’s card is a new one for me. It is the Hawkmoth card created by Literal Crow for the Literal Crow Tarot and used here in the Alleyman’s Tarot deck.

This is a new card for me. So far this has been one of the most easily readable decks I’ve owned yet. Maybe it’s because it’s Monday, but I had to look this one up to even begin. The Alleyman’s notebook begins by connecting this to the death card and the life cycle of insects. Like the death card, this card is about change but with less foresight.

It reminds me a little bit of insect related quotes.

I’m not sure who actually wrote it, but the Morticia Addams character said “Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.”

Author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach wrote “What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a butterfly.”

One of my favorite quotes lately is related, but thankfully leaves out the bugs. Adam Savage reminds us to “follow the process, not the plan.”

In essence, change is inevitable. With the death card, the change is a foreseeable, knowable thing. I’ve seen the death card most often at bachlorette parties of all things. Not because marriage is death or any such 1950’s tropes like that. It’s because marriage is a life altering change. You’ll never be an unmarried single person again. Even if the marriage ends you are not single again, you are divorced or what have you. The death card speaks to a known, forward looking albeit life altering change. The quality we assign to the change is beside the point. Marriage is a perfect example. The old single you is gone forever, but old dies to make way for something wonderful.

I think the Hawkmoth card is less deliberate. It is about a change that blind-sides you. It is about blurry, unplanned, undirected change. If the Death card walks up and lops your head off, the Hawkmoth card is change by a thousand paper cuts. It is about long term, gradual, almost imperceptible molding of a new you.

For a new you to emerge from that process, it takes a degree of surrender. In a cave, stalagtites and staligmites don’t fight the dripping water, they surrender to change and process that builds them up and makes them strong.

Some changes require our evolution. Some changes require that we surrender to them in order to conquer the greatest challenge of them all:


Thank you so much for listening!

The blog and podcast are not monetized and depend on your support. Please join me at the TaoCraft Tarot Table or become a Patron of the Tarot Arts for exclusive content, monthly newsletter and member-only special offers. Click HERE or see the link in the episode description for details.

Of course, your likes, subs, shares, follows, private reading orders, questions and comments are always, always appreciated!

See you at the next sip!

What You Keep

Things change.

That seems to be a big theme lately. It can be overwhelming when too much changes at one time. Some changes are forced on us by time or circumstance. Other are chosen and it is for our own good to walk away.

No matter why we choose the bittersweet journey away from the old and toward the new, there are always memories of the good things to ease the transition.

No matter why we choose the change, or what the change may be, a mix of emotions and a degree of wistfulness is way of it. It is a moment in-between.

Cardless: Thoughts on an anniversary

What a year.

Perception of time is so fluid and so individual it’s no wonder humans created clocks and calendars just so we can navigate our way through the tine drop of time we are given for our lifetimes. If nothing else, the year of the pandemic has taught us that. After all it’s been blursday the 363rd of Marchish for about three years now, hasn’t it?

Let’s set the cards aside for a moment. I have an interesting intuition flexing exercise for you: Look back over the past year since the global Covid-19 pandemic was declared, but look at it exclusively through the lens of intuition. What were your intangible, intuitive perceptions over the course of that time? When and how did you become aware of them? What did life look like intuitively to you in January 2020? March 2020? Summer solstice? Fall equinox? At the American election? The holidays? January 2021? How did the intuitive feelings connect to actual events as they unfolded? Did you learn anything about your intuitive perceptions in the empathic pressure cooker that was 2020? Seriously, I’m interested in your meta-assessment of your intuition this past year (stay private – you don’t have to share details) The comments are open if you’d like to add your two cents to the topic today.

I live in the eastern United States. The cultural zeitgeist energies and emotions were so strong last year that looking back at the intuitive landscape has a certain tangible quality, almost like the memory of actual events. In my mind’s eye, I can still see the mental images of a U.S. map with little black tornado shapes spinning and wiggling and moving around all over the map. I remember the image of the ocean with a hurricane on the horizon. I remember a shimmering iridescent soap bubble or force field whenever setting empathic boundaries came into the conversation. I remember the image of survivors peeking out of storm wreckage. I remember the map again with the little tornadoes fading to grey.

Part of me wants to take pride in how well the images matched the events that unfolded after – I’d call the insurrection riot a hurricane among many, metaphorically speaking. It feeds into the cassandra complex my ego has brewing. Actually, it was just a clear-eyed view of energies that were current at the time of the mental image. It was in no way prophetic or predictive, just as Tarot and intuition always is. It helped me to do good readings for clients. It helped me know when to feed the spiritual side of life and when to stick to my knitting (literally) and take care of practical things. Sensitivity to energy helped me to ease up on the spiritual stuff (especially when it was getting way too judge-y and taking on a fearful edge) That is exactly what Tarot and intuition is supposed to do both in ‘normal’ times and times of extreme duress. It gives a read of where we are and suggests a better way forward. Tarot and intuition didn’t predict a damn thing in any of this. Still, intuition worked. We all have it. You can use it too. All you have to do is take the lid off and give your ESP a little bit of TLC. (Of course, me and my ego are happy to help you in that process)

If it is any consolation, though, the image today is a clear map and the wreckage is gone. My attention is drawn to the physical (perhaps another aspect of all the coins/pentacle cards that have turned up during the past year) There have been storms and fires and floods and accidents the same as any other year. Those literal changes and disasters increase the pandemic disaster exponentially for those who experience those losses too. The change is even more heartbreaking and profound for those who have lost loved ones. The fortunate rest of us, whose closest loved ones and physical environment is as intact and unchanged as it would be after any other year can take consolation in that. Look out the window. For the vast majority of us, the streets and houses are all the same as last year. What we DO and how we do things has changed quite a lot. Sure, there are plastic shields and hand sanitizer dispensers in the stores, but for most of us all of the physical infrastructure of our lives has been left untouched by the pandemic year.

I have another suggestion for today. Find something familiar. Any tangible thing that is the same as it was in the before time. A place. A park. Your home. Your backyard. An article of clothing. A favorite song. A coffee mug. Anything. Drink in the familiarity. Ground and center yourself around that. Life, attitudes, energies – many things have irrevocably changed in the past year. Soak up some comfort and courage from the stuff that hasn’t.

On second thought, maybe Tarot does have a card for this. It is one of life altering change, some tragic but some also for the better.

In memory of those lost. In gratitude for lessons learned.

public domain card image

Conspicuous In Its Absence

When I do a reading, the first thing is to talk with you about your question, topic of concern, or you OK for an open reading. Then we shuffle the cards, put them into the layout you ordered (by email, you get a photo of the actual real life cards, by phone I’ll list them out for you, or whenever in-person readings come back, you can see them for your self.

Once the cards are ready, the first part in all formats bigger than a one-card, is what I call the “general pattern” where we look for any clues from the patter of cards taken as a whole. One of the things we look at is the number of major vs minor arcana cards. Of the minor arcana cards, we look at what suits are showing and how many of each suit are there.

“Negative space” is an idea from art and sculpture. The art-thing itself sets shapes and boundaries in and around the space it occupies. Kind of like a paper snowflake where the cut out parts are shapes too. Like the hearts in this one (Found this on a Google search. you can get the pattern at

Sometimes, if three of the four minor arcana suits are showing, intuition will pull toward the suit that is missing as if it is being conspicuous in it’s absence and is sending a message by not showing up.

2020 has been a heck of a decade, and hindsight is 20/20 too. When we look back what can we learn? Surprisingly, I found one of those negative space, conspicuous in its absence kinds of messages when I looked back at the broad swath of cards that have shown up in the past year, a couple of patterns emerge. Early in the year, there was a preponderance of Pentacle cards, with their earthy, practical, pragmatic advice. The message was to not judge ourselves too harshly as we did what needed done during the early days of the covid pandemic. If it took pajama days and pandemic snacks to cope, so be it. If it took nuts-and-bolts, one foot in front of the other suiting up and masking up and putting food on the shelves….well, let’s just say the rest of us are very grateful. Then things shifted. Later in the Summer and Fall Cups cards stepped forward with a shift toward the intuitive and the spiritual. Wheels and worlds, Towers and Magicians, even the Devil card (Shadow Side in the Witches Tarot deck) put in an appearance.

But no Death card.

At least not in any prominent, repeating, attention-getting way. Given the profound tragedy the pandemic has brought and continues to bring, it is a wonder that the card didn’t show up every other day. With so many lost, this year has brought profound and permanent change to so, so many families.

Early in the year, there was a lot of zeitgiest, general-culture, general-society energies. If we look at the Death card from that perspective, then its absence makes more sense. Not intending to be callous toward the worst that has happened, if we remove tragedy from the card (as is its actual use and meaning….we all know the card actually isn’t a harbinger of literal death)

The Death card is about permanent change. When permenant change is conspicuously absent, maybe the big scary change isn’t so permenant on a large scale cultural level.

We’ll never regain and never forget those who were lost. There may be permanent scars from all of this. But in the end, in the very very long run, life just might get back to OK.

YouChoose Interactive Tarot: October 11-17

Hello and welcome to a new week. Fall colors are near their peak here. The forecast is for a lovely rainy day this evening and tomorrow, so am hoping to knit a bit. The last couple of weeks have been a giant maelstrom of energy for intuitives and sensitives. So thankful for Twitter friends who were willing to share their sense of it. No matter how experienced you are, everyone can benefit from a little “whew! It’s not just me camaraderie. I’ve had to unplug a little bit just to stay centered. This week feels like it might be shifting, thankfully. The theme is bittersweet and bravery.

As always, pick a card. Pick on impulse, or take a moment and deep breath to clear your mind and choose the card that calls to you. If you need a minute, feel free to pause the video and restart to see the reveal.

Left: Eight of Cups. “Things end. That’s all. Everything ends, and it’s always sad. But everything begins again too, and that’s… always happy.” as Steven Moffet wrote for Doctor Who. The Eight of Cups is very much like that. Walking away from something that is toxic or broken or just didn’t work out or a moderately bad idea. There is change and loss and sadness and ending both in admitting that a thing is broken or wrong, but also in the leaving of it. It is a necessary heartbreak that is welcome in the healing that it ultimately brings. If none of that makes sense to you, simply take this as a reminder to take out the trash, or do a little light housekeeping. SOMEthing needs to be let go.

Center: Four of Cups. As long as we are doing TV and movie quotes, this card reminds me of “Peace be the journey” from Cool Runnings. Supporting someone isn’t necessarily rapid fire platitudes, unsolicited advice or saying something. Sometimes the greater love is a silent presence. The energy here is very introspective. You wouldn’t go into a temple blasting an airhorn. When someone else is hurting and introspective, quiet and also-introspective might be the best way to help. Cups are water and intuition. You’ll know when to sit with emotions and when to cheer or use humor. The best advice is sometimes none at all. Perhaps your calling isn’t to fix things, but rather to bring a peaceful presence to this week’s journey.

Right: The other two cards have an element of the bittersweet endings or some sort of melancholy met with bravery. If you chose this card, you might need just need the bravery kind of bravery. This card is about old fashioned stick-whomping competition. There is strong advice energy around this card. Your quote is from Zen and the Martial Arts by Joel Hyams “The angry man will defeat himself in battle as well as in life.” Brave and angry are not the same thing.

Today’s Tarot: Every Little Thing Can Be Magic

What is magic, really?

Being raised on a steady diet of 60s sitcom re-runs, I full on want nose twitching, wand waving, hand gesturing, incantation mumbling, midnight margarita saturated POOF! magic.

It’d be fun, you have to admit. But out here in the real world we are dealing with technology, stagecraft and the spiritual path kind of magick (I like making the distinction between stage or fictional magic and the spiritual practice of magick by using the ‘k’ at the end. Besides, it just looks cool.)

Regardless of fictional fun or your serious spiritual beliefs, The Magician is nonetheless a very powerful card. It is a card of transformation, in essence, of initiating and controlling change.

TV magic is alluring because it is all instant gratification but no real possibility. Real magick is all potential and possibility, but not instant, and with a better grade of gratification. They don’t call this stuff magickal or spiritual work for no reason.

In a daily read like this, the message is in that potential…and the change. Change really is possible. New attitudes, new habits, new feelings, new lifestyles, new philosophies take time. The magician is powerful. Tap in to that power – however long it takes. Real magick is absolutely possible, but you have to realize it is made of some amount of time and a sufficient amount of effort and the secret potion of waiting, welcoming and holding space. Change anything and POOF! you are magick.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget the second anniversary giveaway on the special offers page. Just a reminder that the blog is not at all monetized (neither is the youtube channel) so any blog follows, likes, shares, social media follows and of course reading orders are all greatly appreciated. Thank you all!

RWS Tarot magician image from the public domain