Tarot and Test Tubes 2020

Welcome to my happy place, located squarely at the intersection of science and spirit.

As I see it, science and spirituality are not at odds. Ever. Science and religion? That is another rant for another day. The thing that makes sense of it all for me is to think of it in terms of human mind and consciousness interacting with this three (four) dimensional time-space universe which we inhabit.

Science is the best thing we have for learning about, understanding and dealing with the stuff out there, outside of ourselves. Science is the best tool we to understand our place in the outer world. Science is not quite so great at dealing the extremely complex and often random stuff in here, within ourselves. Spirituality is learning about, understanding and dealing with the inner world. When we see science and spirituality as complimentary, not mutually exclusive, those two worlds are connected. Both science and spirituality together teach us that in-here and out-there are one seamless part of a far greater whole.

I can’t remember if it was the book or the PBS series, but this reminds me of Carl Sagan in Cosmos:

“If we lived on a planet where nothing ever changed, there would be little to do. There would be nothing to figure out. There would be no impetus for science. And if we lived in an unpredictable world, where things changed in random or very complex ways, we would not be able to figure things out. But we live in an in-between universe, where things change, but according to patterns, rules, or as we call them, laws of nature.”

Carl Sagan

If the physical world leans toward the patterned, scientific side of the in-between world, then the inner psyche seems to lean far more toward the complex side of the in-between. Scientific methods have given us psychology and psychiatry, but these are disciplines that are, in my opinion, better suited for problem solving. They first define (with debateable accuracy) mental and emotional health. Then they move on to solve problems from outside of that scientifically determined definition. For a healthy person, science and psycology’s definitions of a healthy life are profoundly unsatisfying and incomplete. Humans need art and beauty and a deep connection to the universe that science in its infancy lacked (and only since Einstein, as far as this interested layman can see, has begun to consider.) Humans need to create, imagine, and feel none of which can be be understood through the scientific method alone. Yes, science contains all of the awe, wonder and breathtaking beauty of human existence, but it is not the only path to it.

Science vs spirituality is by no means truth vs falsehood, proof vs assumptions. Sure they differ in the types of data sets they accept, but fundamentally they are both simply ways and methods of understanding and interacting with the grand everything of the Cosmos. Science deals with the physical but need not lack the emotional and esoteric. Spirituality deals with mind and consciousness but need not lack rationality and reason. Both are both, because both are human.

When loved ones are lost and hearts are in pain, hard science and cutting edge genetics won’t help. Masks and medicines can’t cure stress and mourning and heartache. That is the realm of spirit. This is where the tools and talents we use to face the unknown come into play. This is where we might have to get comfortable with a little not-knowing (related post: “I dunno“) Tarot can help with that.

Hare-brained, unproven, unscientific nonsense or wishful thinking won’t prevent or treat covid-19. People naturally, understandably fear the unknown and will fill in that knowledge gap with anything if times are desperate enough. Science is, nevertheless, our best tool for figuring out this crazy situation. Please, please watch the video (used with the permission of the creator.) It makes some sense out of the vaccine. It fixes that particular unknown. Then for the love of good sense and staying alive, get the vaccine when it is available to you. Until at least 3/4 of everybody is vaccinated, STILL wear a mask anytime you leave your home, stay six feet away from anybody you don’t already live with, and ffs wash your dang hands.

Menage A Tarot Podcast:


Forget Tarot, Follow Science for This One

Just saw this….seems relavent in light of that 7 of pentacles reading earlier this morning.

Tarot can help cope with the stress of the pandemic, especially if your role is to simply stay the heck at home. For the rest of it, forget Tarot and follow science. Now go wash your hands.

Today’s Tarot: Be The Stability


“Be the change you want to see in the world” – Ghandi

So far, 2020 has been a helluva decade. 

We are all awash in change. If you look at Tarot as being predictive, then this is good news, an omen of increased stability on the horizon.


I don’t see it that way in general principle or in this particular card on this particular day. In fact, if I listen with intuition to the general, zeitgeist, energy-at-large feelings then it feels opposite, well, actually kind of sideways from a return to stability or any sort of prior normalcy. It doesn’t feel like a hopeful, optimistic sunrise or a gentle stable reliability of the returning sun as is usually the connotation with this card. At the same time it isn’t a sense of decent into interminable darkness, either. 

The feeling is more akin to “Brace yourself for part 2. It’s gonna be a doozy.” Remember that eye of the hurricane turn in the energy last week? Or was it the week before…you know, last blursday the 77th….

It feels like the eye of the hurricane is about to pass by and we are facing the other side of the eyewall. In my minds eye I see black clouds blowing sideways in a circular wind, like farm soil picked up in a tornado. The biggest difference is this time we know what is in there. We know what we are in for. The sense of optimism that was there for a tiny bubble of time when New York City reported mitigation was working and the rate of increase was slowing down. 

Now is when the storm moves from New York City and spreads like a mud flow across the nation, at it thickest where partisanship reigns and mitigation / health science does not. Not pleasant, not neutral, but that’s the image, that is the facts of it. Tarot and science are not at odds…but are rather different windows into the same human experience.

So what does all of that have to do with the Sun card you are probably asking. It’s an advice card, not a predictive one. It is time to be your own stability. In chaotic times, the change you want to see in the world is a change toward more stability. We can’t count on that coming from the outside in. Just like we can rely on the outside world or other people for our happiness, we have to be our own stability right now. This isn’t a time for reaching, forcing, or inspirational charging ahead. This is a time for watching, prioritizing, doing what the present moment needs, preparing, being. Just be. That we can do with great consistency and stability. If you allow yourself to be, without expectation or goal or judgement, just as the sun simply IS in the sky, then that is both enough and as reliable as the sunrise.

Consider these two things:

First, a Zen parable, author unknown – 

A student asks the master “I want to be happy. How do I do that?” The master said “First, drop the ‘I’ because that is ego. Then drop the ‘want’ because that is desire. Then all that remains is ‘be happy’.”

Second, a quote from lovely Brea Fisher, Qi Gong instructor and vlogger (please support her on Patreaon www.kwanyinkungfu.com)

“Being is a current theme right now for me and many others. Beingness sends a pulse out into the world like the beating of a drum so continuous is drone. You are enough simply by existing. You don’t need to do anything more to be worthy of this life. You are whole in this moment no matter what” – Brea Fisher

That being said, being is enough. Being is your stability. Anything else is desire and perception. You can be the stability you want in this world.

Hello from Pandemicland


Being from a medical background, the old B.S. Med. Sci.  part of my brain has been following Covid-19 medical reports, including unexplained hypercoagulability, unexpected pulmonary thrombosis only discovered at autopsy, silent hypoxia in the presence of near normal CO2…and that a second wave of  sars-cov-2 is expected to hit right at the start of typical flu season AND be worse than the initial wave we are having now.

#holycrap! #staythefuckathome #washyourdanghands

I won’t bore you with my medical history, but long story short, in-person sessions are closed until somebody squirts a vaccine in my arm. Anything else would be A. crazy and B. irresponsible.

THE GOOD NEWS is that we still have distance readings. Truth be told, I do my best work that way. Typing on a keyboard is like a broadband download right from my intuition. I can do deep dives into the spirit message without the really awkward social silences that would happen if I did that in a live session.

Deep dives aren’t for everyone. If you want something a little lighter, warmer and chatty…video readings are a great option. You get the conversational style of a live reading but with the no-appointment convenience and reduced cost of distance work.

Or, if you want the full live reading experience – phone readings are back! Just like those old school psychic friend phone readings…but without the triple digit surprises on your phone bills, per minute charges or connection fees. We are going to do this the modern way:

  1. Buy the session with the paypal button HERE
  2. Schedule the session HERE
  3. Call at your appointment time (by phone, Skype or Hangouts)
  4. POOF! Done! Live reading!

I’ve also updated the website with mobile users in mind. It’s all up front and obvious at the top of the landing page reducing amount of scrolling and rummaging around the menu.

FREE “digital InkMagick” one card readings by email are still available on the special offers page

Did I mention stay home? Email reading prices are $5 off for the duration of the stay at home order or April 30, 2020 whichever comes first.

Stay tuned for more YouChoose Interactive Tarot. I want to give you more POOF for your time out of those, too. Instead of random interactive readings by day, look for them on Sundays or Monday morning to serve as a look ahead to the week to come. Other videos will be the usual “Today’s Tarot” one card meditation style.

Other good stuff in the works, stay tuned, and as they say “watch this space”

Now go wash your hands.

Stay safe and be well – Ronda



Today’s Tarot: Do Your Way

Today’s Tarot: Eight of Pentacles – yes, pentacles. This is still resonating with the pandemic. Stay home, don’t touch your face, clean everything, and wash your hands

Back in the long dark days before the webbernets, we had coffee mugs, posters and t-shirts instead of memes.

Somewhere along the way, on something like that, I read “Don’t think yourself into a new way of doing, do yourself into a new way of thinking.” At first I wrote it off as a hallmark grade shallow platitude, but for some annoying reason it stuck in memory along with other 70s debris like the “keep on truckin'” shirt and pet rocks. Much later, after I started working with holistic health, it came in handy as an example of the mind-body connection. The mind-body connection is very much a two way street. Even more than our little leftover platitude would suggest.

It’s true (see the literature review in my dissertation) that changing you mindset, or in other words, “decreasing perceived stress” will have a positive impact on physical well being. It is also true that physical wellness can have a positive impact on our emotional outlook. The idea is to bring mind, body and spirit into best possible balance and function. Books have been written about how to do that. The kicker is where to start, which is very much an individual choice. Do you start on the mental side and work you way into improved physical health or go physical and let the more comfortable body support a more relaxed mind and more pleasant emotions?

Just like Zombie Cat is my answer to Schrodinger’s thought experiment, my thought here is to do both, but that’s another story. I might have to fire up my old holistic health blog for that one. 

Today the 8 of Pentacles nudges us to a physical side start. The boilerplate advice these days seems to do something small, however minute, to give yourself a feeling of accomplishment or comfort; make the bed, water the houseplants, brush your hair, change out of those 2 day pajamas into a fresh pair of yoga pants….something. Do yourself into a fresher mental and emotional state while you are at it.

The intuitive feel around this card today is that it is aimed with direct targeting cross hairs at the privileged among us (myself included) who can stay home with functioning internet. uninterrupted utilities and pick up groceries. If you are fed, safe and well, you have no business complaining.


If you are out there in the thick of it, then the “do” in this case is all about self-care. The “do yourself into a new way of thinking” thing strikes me as way too snippy, and judgy, implying that anybody’s thinking needs changed. If anything, the “change” is to decrease stress and find some tiny granule of hope in it all. To “do” yourself into that, take care of yourself, even if right now that care comes in the form of a crappy cup of coffee or a five minute chair nap. And thank you for what you do.

Now everybody go wash your hands.

YouChoose Interactive Tarot: Own It.

Pause the video if you need more time to pick your card, then restart to see the reveal. Scroll down to see your card reading. Please follow the blog so you don’t miss any of the learn-to-read-Tarot and other “my side of the table” written content that will be coming up over the next few months.

Left: Knight of Pentacles. “SUSTAIN” A knight that drops his shield in a battle doesn’t survive for very long. In this case “back to business” does NOT mean back to the way things were before. It means put on your big kid underwear and keep going, even if you are exhausted to the bone. Last month was alarms and claxons and responding to a real life and death emergency, collectively speaking. This isn’t recovery. This is keep going. Keep your guard up. This card is letting us know this isn’t close to over. We needed a period of mobilization, freak-out, and adjustment, without judgement. Now is the time to be adjusted already and sustain our response. Forget before. It’s time go get to the business of the business at hand. Energies are shifting from an all out sprint to a sustained, marathon endurance pace.

Center: Nine of Wands. Read the Knight of Pentacles, this is basically the same message on a slightly less literal and more mental/emotional level. Energies are shifting, but stay on guard. If you are empathic or otherwise energy sensitive, continue to set strong boundaries. Don’t be a victim. Be responsible. Do the self-care you need to sustain through this middle phase. There is no “back to normal.” Do what you need to do to be in a good head space right here, right now.

Right: The Star. “Thank the things that got you this far” This is also has a bit of a mental/emotional/spiritual spin to it, although it is important to know the physical realm people and resources that have helped you…and the things that can and will help you still. Pay it forward as best as you can both now and later. Less literally, think about the things that got you through the initial response and change and is helping you to sustain as we begin the middle of unknowable duration. What ideas, beliefs, people and practices have gotten you this far? What old beliefs that “should” be your rock and your shelter have crubled to dust under the weight of everything? What beliefs have supported and sustained you? What new shining star guides you when the world seems to spin out from under you? Forget before. What ideas and beliefs have proven their worth under these very real stresses be they old or new?

Buckaroo Bonzai said “No matter where you go, there you are.” Well, here we are. It isn’t like it was, but it is what we have. Now it is time to own what we do with it.

The Craziest Diamond

I’ve been an anime fan since Kimba the White Lion reruns circa 1970.

My daughter is an anime fan too (so proud!) She and I have been watching JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. We’ve made it to season 4 “Diamond Is Unbreakable.”  It would take an entire blog to begin to explain this behemoth of a story line, but let’s just say a  “stand” is like the personification of a superpower. “Shining Diamond” (the name is a reference to the Pink Floyd song “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”) has a superpower where the things it hits, attacks or destroys reassembles to a changed condition that is better than the original…or it can directly heal wounds and injuries inflicted by others.

What if this ability is an analogy for one possible silver lining in all of this? I’ve been talking with friends and clients about how these pandemic times have been affecting energy sensitive people. What if one silver thread in this terrible dark cloud is a re-alignment on a spiritual or energetic level, akin to Shining Diamond’s healing objects or people who were previously torn apart?

What if our social connections are being stretched thin, even being smashed to bits in order for them to be put together into something new and better? What if we are being separated to make room for new relationships that resonate with our spiritual growth and our hearts rather than social connections of convenience?

It is a common thing for friendships to fade during times of spiritual growth and evolution, especially for people in their 20s and 30s. Old friends drift apart (or blow apart) and new, more attuned connections fill the space left behind. What if this is happening on a global cultural scale? What if we are being pummeled apart in order to be reassembled along like-minded spiritual strata? What if we are being blown out of our old tribes in order to find the tribe that matches our hearts rather than our habits?

I’m not saying that is what is actually happening, but it is an intriguing thought experiment, don’t you think?

There is nothing like a little social distance and time alone to put you face to face with your own heart and mind. Yogis, gurus, monks, shamen and spiritual people of every tradition have deliberately sought this kind of isolation. Stay home orders and social distancing has put us all on our own little mountaintop spiritual retreat. Or it should. It says something tragic about the inner peace of those who can’t make some adjustment at the cost of human lives.

For the fortunate, who have food, shelter, a job to do from home…for those, this is a gift. If, under those fortunate circumstances, “social distancing” is uncomfortable for you, could it be because you are uncomfortable with yourself? If you are uncomfortable in your own company, this is an ideal time to figure out why.

When you are good with you, it is a lot easier to be OK with other people. The popular thing on social media among the uber-positive happy people is to advocate for “self-love”. That seems strong. Why not aim for a little self-OK first? Self-love flirts a little too much with narcissism for my taste.  Self-acceptance seems more real to me.

The first step to being OK with others is to be OK with yourself. We are one. We are all connected. Bigotry, hatred and intolerance are twisted forms of self-loathing.

A little time apart might help that. It’s like we are being hit full force by Shining Diamond. We are being blown apart to give us the opportunity to reassemble healed.

“I kinda like it in here. It’s private.”

Mythbusters was on TV. I needed that.

One of my many, many favorite moments from the show is the time when Jamie was wearing a silver fire suit. You couldn’t see see him through the face mask at all, only hear him deadpanning “I kinda like it in here. It’s private.”

Here is why that moment comes to mind:

If you work with energy, intuition or do professional readings there are times when you need a mental fire suit.

If you want a real deal, deep dive, time tested and reliable resource on the topic, go get yourself a copy of “Psychic Protection” by Ted Andrews. It is far and away the best resource I’ve ever read about healthy psychic work, bar none. But for the purposes of our little blog post, there are two basic concepts I want to focus on: Empathic sensitivity and Zeitgeist sensitivity or energy resonance.

As I understand it, empaths feel other people’s emotions as if they were their own. The boundary between their own true feelings and the feelings of other people is often thin, blurry, or difficult to find. Very sensitive empaths regulate this through proximity. They know (or can learn) their boundaries and respect their limits. When emotional levels become too intense or overwhelming they exit the situation. Highly sensitive empaths are careful where and how they engage with crowded environments like bars or shopping malls for example. I know of two very skilled, very wise, very kind psychic readers who are selective about where they go and how long they stay in busy public places. It’s not in any way the product of anxiety or agoraphobia. It’s pure self care. It takes time, experience and a great deal of self awareness for these high vibration folks to learn where their boundaries are and how to manage them.

For those of us who are generally energy sensitive, but not emotionally empathic, it is quite a bit easier to see that boundary between our own emotions and general environmental energies. I like to think of it as zeitgeist sensitivity or energy resonance separate from any empathic process.

Zeitgeist means the general mood of a time or a cultural phenomenon. In my experience, this is the energy we tap into when we post a general reading for a blog or on social media without a specific individual in mind. The cultural mood of the time, the zeitgeist, is the general-public parallel with the higher self, spirit guides or divine that we sense in an individual Tarot session.

In times of great emergency like the current pandemic, the cultural energy is so strong, so ubiquitous, and so pervasive that the lines become blurred even for those of us who are not usually empathic. It is helpful to think of this like resonance from physics. Think of the tuned bells in a hand bell choir. If you strike a tuning fork and hold it very close, a bell tuned to that some note could in theory vibrate along with it. If our intuition is sensitive to cultural zeitgeists then we can resonate with that environmental energy. The general zeitgeist, through resonance, rings our bell too.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a giant bell-ringer for everyone. I worry for our very empathic friends. There is very real danger, illness, grief, and hardship out there. I can’t imagine any sane person who is NOT experiencing SOME level of adjustment. Imagine feeling the real things we are all facing, plus the emotions of others on top of it all. For those of us lucky enough to be safe and well at the moment, it still might be a good idea to get our mental fire suit out.

In order to do our best readings for our clients, and to maintain our own psychic / spiritual health, I think it is important for all sensitives, intuitives, Tarot readers and the like to take care of their emotional boundaries in a time like this. It is important to know what is your own, inner, real, valid, valuable, genuine emotions and what is the outside world ringing your bell.

Intention, as always, is everything. Finding your emotional boundaries and putting on your fire suit can be as simple as visualizing. Imagine yourself surrounded by white or golden light. When I was in my teens, before I was at a place in life where I could quit, I would sit in the more toxic Sunday services at my parent’s church and visualize myself wearing an orange hazmat suit. It helped. Now I have a whole variety of energy protecting, boundary fortifying, zeitgeist clarifying tools: black tourmaline, discreet pentacles and sigils, aura clearing aromatherapy spray, visualizations and more. Yes, it is all full-throttle woo woo but it has value. It helps me understand my emotions with greater clarity, it helps me understand the outer situation, and helps me keep logic and reason close at hand. That makes it worth it, no matter how woo-woo it might seem to some folks. It may take some trial and error, but you can find your fire suit too. I encourage you to find the things that help you see what is your emotion (so you can honor it) and what is the outside world pinging your boundary lines (so you can put that information to good use.) If you aren’t sure, try a little visualization and active imagination. Imagine yourself wearing a protective fire suit that keeps out any vibe not coming from your own true heart. The suit doesn’t cut you off from the world. You still feel the heat of it all. The suit lets you know that you aren’t the one on fire.

Today’s Tarot: It’s Still Here.

King of Pentacles. Again

(Insert Witcher style “f*ck” here)

When a card keeps dogging us like this, the first to come to mind is to question what is it trying to tell us that we just aren’t getting? What in the world are we missing that the card has to keep coming back?  We talked about practical preparation and the pandemic. We’ve talked about leadership by example. Follow your own instincts. If you think something is missing, by all means follow that hunch and look for the message that is missing. You are welcome to re-read the posts, google other sources and the old Modern Oracle archives are at your disposal.

My hunch is to go meta.

The youtube, blog, general-audience, draw a card with the intention of helping someone somewhere or whoever needs it type social media readings have been heavy on the coins (pentacles…same thing) lately. So have the private distance readings. Down to earth practicality messages everywhere.

The COVID-19 pandemic is the top of mind, physical realm concern 10 feet thick from sea to shining sea. As it should be.  We got stuff to do – and not do. This is a physical realm oriented energy tidal wave. There are very real crisis and very real anxieties everywhere. There a very real problems to be managed with the most level head we can muster. Even the most fortunate of us have had to make adjustments for the health and greater good of everyone. If you haven’t made changes, if you put your own lifestyle over the life and health of fellow humans – then you have a world of problems that I can’t help you with.

But enough with the public service announcements (stay home, don’t touch your face and wash yo dang hands) what IS this constant repetition of coins cards, especially the King of Pentacles trying to tell us? 

The repetition IS the message. The card is still here. So is the pandemic. The danger has NOT passed. The message of the repetition is to keep it up. Don’t let off the gas, keep on keeping on as best as you can no matter what your role in this is. (If your role is first responder, medical professional, grocery or food retail….thank you. For the love of all that is good and right, take care of yourself and tell us how we can help)

Today, when I saw the King of Pentacles again, I was resistant to the repeating card. It still feels like I’ve said all that possibly could be said about it and all the other coins cards lately. Now I hope the coins cards keep coming. I want the repetitions to be the canary in the coal mine. I want the cards to keep the coins coming until the issue has passed. I am grateful for Tarot cards that get in your face and stay in your face until the energy they warn against really has diminished.

If wishes were fishes….

Of course this is magical thinking when it comes to real dangers like the COVID-19 pandemic. Cards can’t be trusted for something as real world as this. This situation calls for logic and science and reason and rationality and practicality….as is often the advice from this suit of cards. Most of the time, that’s the advice from the Pentacles come to think of it. It would be nice if the cards would give us the ‘all clear’ by having the King and other coin cards suddenly disappear from daily readings, but it doesn’t work that way.

I’m reading the continued presence of the King and other Pentacle cards as clear advice to listen to science and trustworthy medical sources. You can’t drive nails with a cell phone. You can’t make phone calls on a hammer. You can’t take medical advice from a deck of cards. You can, however, be reminded to persist in our practicality and actions in a protracted real-world situation.

Here we are. Another day in quarantine, another day with the King of Coins. What does it mean? It means ignore the BS. It means keep up with the CDC &WHO recommendations. It means stay the f*ck at home and wash your hands. “We stay at home for them because they stay at work for us.” as Misha Collins said.

It isn’t over. The card…and more importantly…the pandemic is still here.

For what it is worth…I get the mental image of an emergency light. You know, the old school red bubble rotating light. Take this whole things seriously, but not with panic.

I was once told by a paramedic instructor that “if you prepare for an emergency, the emergency goes away” meaning that the emergency still happens, but it no longer exists as a high stress panic stricken emergency situation in you mind. The emergency goes away because it becomes something you just do because you already know what TO do.

Or, in this case, like another friend of mine once said, “Stay strong. Get Lazy”

*Raises virtual mug of coffee to Judy and Brett* **

**after I washed my hands