The Week Ahead: More Please!

Contented? More please! Sage’s Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it take to sip from your coffee

In Tarot, we talk a lot about what to do when things get bad. What do you do when things get good?

Hello and welcome to the Sage Words Tarot blog and Short Sip podcast where it is all Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. I’m glad you are here.

This week’s energy has a lot of the Zen and Taoist philosophy influence that I wanted to honor in my previous blog name, TaoCraft Tarot. To be clear, I don’t mean any of this as any sort of cultural appropriation. When I was in my twenties, at a time when I was running for my life from a toxic subculture, I finally found a safe space and indulged in all of the Tarot, Taoism, Zen and magick reading I could get my hands on. Those ideas and philosophies helped me to grow into a much better person and made my life magnitudes better. Taoist principles like simplicity, honesty and authenticity are the foundation of my Tarot work to this day. The foundation of everything, really.

This week’s cards weave together around that core. The three cards together bring to mind the idea of suffering and satisfaction.

When you say it that way, it reminds me of the scene from Harry Potter where they are learning to read tea leaves and Ron reads Harry’s as something along the lines of “you are going to suffer, but you’ll be happy about it.”

The energy today brings to mind the opposite and begs the question:

Are you happy but suffering about it?

I follow a lot of artists on social media. Bruce Brackett is as fierce and fearless in his self-expression as you would expect a professional artist to be. The fan snaps, cups of love, and “negativity be gone” catchphrase is brilliant. I forget the main point of what he was saying the other day on TikTok. A side comment captured my attention so much I don’t remember the rest of it or even exactly when it posted.

It was about how he was able to take an accomplishment in stride, and wasn’t feeling overjoyed about it, “just” content. I’m paraphrasing heavily, but he said something along the lines of “I suppose I’m not supposed to be overjoyed at everything.”

No, no you’re not. None of us are as far as I can tell.

Where there is yin, there must be yang. Where there is light there must also be dark. Where there is overjoyed, there is also sorrow. Where there is lasting, there is also fleeting. Given the big picture and broad spectrum of all that life can be, content is a pretty darn good thing.

Buddhism talks about suffering. Set illness, aging, injury and physical suffering aside for a moment and let’s think about the mental and emotional side of things. No, not really set it aside – just make it the second domino in our cascading line of thought. Mind affects body and vice versa, so all of this can get around to the physical benefits of stress reduction and so on…but I’ll leave that to the holistic health folks to think about.

Suffering in the philosophical Buddhist sense can be thought of as dissatisfaction, or in other words a lack of that precious content feeling Mr. Beckett described. Suffering can be, and often is totally subjective and completely within our frame of mind.

It’s like that pastina recipe that has been popular lately. Being hungry is a physical suffering . Among those who are well fed, however, a bowl of humble pasta might leave one person comforted and content while a meal at the best restaurant in town might leave another person dissatisfied and secretly filling up later at the fast food joint down the street.

Things are good.

There is a pretty, floaty, quiet little snow happening outside my window right now. I have a private Tarot client this afternoon as tasty leftovers in the ‘fridge for lunch between now and then.

Right here, right now, in this precious moment life is good and I am content. I want to take this opportunity to tell the universe how deeply grateful I am. More of the same please. I wish contentment for us all.

For this week, the two of pentacles is the fading energy card. I don’t think that means things are becoming unbalanced. The two of pentacles hints at a dynamic kind of equilibrium. I think this means the need to pay active attention to our life balance may be fading a bit. It feels like things may be settling into a new normal.

Three years ago this week the world was tossed into the global pandemic. I’m not saying that’s over. That is outside of anything Tarot and way outside of my expertise. But wearing a mask on occasion and keeping up with new vaccine boosters is a new normal that is easy enough to live with. Things are striking a new balance that is solid enough to let us turn our emotions to other places.

Current energy is the nine of cups. The suit of cups symbolizes our emotions, which is why they are so closely tied to romance and relationship issues. This reflects the subjective nature of contentment. Nine symbolizes fulfillment, or a good outcome to something. When is enough ever enough? This hints at that feeling of contentment were just talking about.

Growing energy is back to the practical pentacles. The seven reminds us that you reap what you sow, so might as well sow good things.

That there will be a harvest at all is a magical, comforting thing.

All in all, these cards are reminding us of all the changes we’ve been through. It may have been a struggle to find balance, but we are at a place where we can find new balance points and find a new normal. This new balance (the energy, not the shoes) has brought new good things with it, but it is up to us to realize the good things about here and now. Dwelling on the changes robs us of a new sense of contentment. We may not be overjoyed at life, but neither do we have to despair. Like that old adage says, people are as happy as they make up their minds to be.

What are the good parts of our new normal that we can seed for the future and hopefully hang on to for a while?

Sage’s Short Sip blog posts and podcast episode are a Tarot contemplation for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Thank you so much for reading and listening. I appreciate each of you.

Just a quick reminder about the links in the episode description. Nothing I do is advertising monetized, so I can put your Tarot message absolutely first. Private readings by email along with the paid subscription blog “The Daily Sip” supports the free Tarot readings here and across the socials. Please visit the links and support the blog and podcast if you can.

Thanks again. See you at the next sip!

Kitten Whiskers: Spark

This is the last planned episode of my Friday night fangirling. If you have questions about Tarot, Reiki, Meditation, or anything, let me know that in the comments and I’ll write more on-topic posts to fill the gap. If I don’t know the answer, you’ll get a resounding I dunno or if you ask/say/spam anything inappropriate, the comment will be incinerated in bright blue bolt of hexfire. I’m hoping to spark some conversation with all of this.

I’ve never watched Marie Kondo. In a way, this whole ‘kitten whiskers’ series of posts has been about favorite things that “spark joy” as she says. If so, I may have failed.

It wasn’t my vision for this series to be about sparking “joy.” To my mind, joy is euphoric, yes, but also misty, temporary and insubstantial like cotton candy or whipped cream topping on a dessert. I had really hoped to spark substantial contentment, like a big bowl of ramen noodles or something filling and nourishing instead of sweet fluff. My goal was to bring attention to simple pleasures and little things to comfort, encourage and anchor our sanity during these strange days.

One of the things that sparks contentment, that sparks that comfortable-in-your-own-skin feeling for me is the warrior archetype. Yes, women have a warrior archetype too. Don’t let Athena, Queen Boudica, Mulan, Joan of Arc, or the 400 women who fought in the American Civil War hear you say otherwise (Psychology Today, Smithsonian Magazine) In other words, the things that spark my happy place into existence also tends to inspire some thread of badassedness at the same time. To me, “warrior” is not in the slightest realated the toxic masculine violence that is stepping to the fore in right wing America. That is the exact opposite of a warrior. I’m talking about the self-development, self-mastery kind of warriorhood. I have a looooong way to go with that sort of thing. It sparks a sense of satisfaction to think I’m on even the sparest beginning of that path. When I think warrior, I think of things like

“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front front of him, but because he loves what is behind him” – G.K. Chesterson

“Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power” – attr. Tao Te Ching

Things that spark that sort of mindset make me happy.


Fringe and free, artists and poets give zero f*cks for social mores and expectations. They are warriors in defense of every aspect of the human experience good and bad, light and dark. Some of us are gleefully hellbound. Which is why one of my current favorites is Ryan Summers. We’ve never met in person, but I’ve enjoyed every bit of his work. I’m touched by his deep kindness every time we’ve talked via social media (most recently instagram where he is @HellBoundBlack) We first talked through the online poetry group “we drink because we’re poets.” His poetry collection L’aria Onyx (written under nom de plume Sahm Ataine King) is gritty, real, almost skeletal in the sense that his poetry lays bare the bones of life. It reminds me of the Dada art movement with an echo of Japanese wabi sabe giving a result that finds power and life in dark imperfections.

His photography is his poetry transformed into image.

Please take a look at his Instagram and his new shirt design brand. Maybe you will be sparked along your chosen path too. Please support artists, photographers and poets.


I like coffee.

The taste, the aroma (and the caffeine) spark much more than happy badassedness. It sparks basic brainwaves. Like Sheriff Hopper said in the Netflix series Stranger Things “Mornings are for coffee and contemplation. Coffee. And contemplation.”

Indeed, sir.

A couple of weeks ago I reached out for permission to mention and link to my new favorite local coffee houses, even though I don’t live near enough to visit often. They never replied, so I’ll respect that just say they are in the Allentown neighborhood of Pittsburgh (with a second site in McKees Rocks) and their name rhymes with Plack Pforge Toffee. The iced coffee there is the best I’ve ever sucked into my face hole. Considering the oceans of the stuff I’ve had over the past *mumble mumble* years that is saying something. They are not your mother’s coffee house. Oh no. These guys have a goth metal pagan aesthetic that is as satisfying as the Sumatra dark roast. If you see me wandering around in a hoodie that says “darkness brewing eternal” you’ll know I did a little local shopping. Please support your favorite local small businesses.


I used to teach Taijiquan (Tai Chi) then I learned that I know nothing. I have a black belt in Kung Fu. Then I learned I know less than nothing. It was a ton of fun, regardless. If you try it, please find a qualified teacher and do your best to avoid belt mills and over-testosteroned cobra-kai-esque mashugana mishegoss. Look for your Mister Miyagi. Look for your Socrates from Peaceful Warrior. They exist. Don’t give up. If you are lucky enough to live in the D.C. area, Master Nick Gracenin is one of the absolute best, truly world class.


Books will feed whatever archetype is your happy place. They can spark joy, spark contentment, spark badass, and everything in between. The ones coming to mind tonight include:

The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman

Scholar Warrior by Deng Ming-Dao

The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston

The Hero Within: Six Archetypes We Live By by Carol Pearson


Made another playlist of music that sparks you-know-what, at least for me. I hope you enjoy. The last song is a hands down favorite. It is Jackie Chan singing General’s Mandate in Madarin. Our Sifu uses it for his demonstration forms. Master Gracenin plus Jackie Chan equals pure unadulterated motivation.

Thank all of you for reading. You … all of you…being here with this… THAT sparks joy.

Best to all – R.