If you don’t stop, life will stop you.

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

This is one of those days when Tarot proves it is just a tool, an amplifier, a sort of google translate for our natural inner intuition.

Swords are the element of air, intellect, mind and our relationship with authority and our relationship with culture and society at large.

When I turned the card this morning, the clairvoyant mental images were much stronger than the usual keywords for the card.

I giant red stop sign sprang to mind, along with those running obstacle course video games, like Mario Brothers, Temple Run or Fall Guys. Believe it or not, there is strategy and timing to the games. If you just run flat out fast as you can go start to finish you often don’t finish at all. Especially with swinging obstacles back in the day. You’d have to pause between the swinging things and get the timing so you are not knocked over the edge.

Taking a pause to get your timing right is a real world life hack too.

Many long years in the before time, before stress management and the mind-body connection were as normalized as they are now, it was still recognized that pushing too far was a thing. Students were learning their limits and it was easy in our ambition to leave those limits in the dust.

If you don’t stop, life will stop you.

Luckily, for the majority of us that stopping consisted of a walloping flu or bronchitis or something, but more serious consequences happened too. Books and entire tv dramas could be written, and have, but that is beside the point here. The Eight of Swords is here today to let us know that the stopping happens in whatever form it may take for you as an individual.

Most often when the eight of swords comes around, it reminds us of creative problem solving. Usually it draws my attention to the figure’s unbound feet, and that other senses can lead to freedom despite the obstacles ropes and blindfold and swords.

Today the energy moves one step earlier. Instead of encouraging persistence and creative problem solving, today’s eight of swords begs the question of why was this person tossed in sword jail in the first place?

Ambition and action and effort are all necessary to success, but you can’t make any forward progress when your battery is drained.

Psychoneuroimmunology is a thing. Stress, be it physical, psychological or both, can ding your immune system and open you to a common cold or flu that will slow you down when you don’t have the good sense to do it yourself before you get sick.

Before someone goes all Karen Q. Ivermectin on me, I’m talking about run of the mill take a nap level stuff, not the cure for covid. The suit of swords asks you to use your head, and so do I. They symbolize air and intellect, remember?

But again, the eight of swords is here today to tell us to stop a minute. Listen to your stress levels. Listen to what you mind, body and spirit need. Listen, and for goodness’ sake don’t ignore what you hear. Give your life what it needs. Give yourself what you are asking for. Stop if you needed so life doesn’t have to do the stopping for you.

Thank you all for reading and listening. I appreciate you! I also appreciate any likes, subs, shares, questions or comments.

I’ve opened the comments on the blog, and invited ko-fi members to pick the cut for the short sip readings in the month of September. When I draw each short sip card (you can see the video of the real world short sip card draw on the TaoCraft Tarot youtube channel or here on the blog. The blog link is in the show description for podcast listeners. If I don’t get a majority from the ko-fi members, you all get the chance to chime in. Choose between left, right or center and leave your choice in the blog comments and that is the cut of the deck I’ll use for short sip readings in September. To become a Patron of the Tarot arts, and get access to exclusive Tarot content, shop discounts, private readings and more please visit the TaoCraft Tarot page on ko-fi or click the link in the episode description. Private readings are available to order in the commissions menu if you aren’t interested in the monthly membership part of it. Proceeds from the ko-fi page contribute toward the creation of this blog, podcast and the free-for-everyone Tarot content.

Thanks again. I’ll see you at the next sip!

Turn Around

Sometimes you need to circle around a problem to nab the solution from behind.

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

Today’s card is the Hanged Man. This card is different-looking from the usual Hanged man. You can see the card being drawn in the blog and on the YouTube channel. This particular card was created by Emma Daues for the Alleyman’s Tarot Deck. I uses a cat curled up in a space bubble turning and drifting endlessly to get at the same message as the better known Pamela Smith card. That oblique approach pretty much is today’s message.

Regardless of the deck or artwork you use, the Hanged man most often has to do with stagnation, frustration, feeling stuck, going in circles making no progress.

Circles have been a bit of a theme the past couple of days. Remember how the Page of Wands was circling around to the back and nabbing the point from behind? Today has a little bit of that energy too. Endless space circles certainly captures the stuck, stagnation aspect of the card.

Sometimes the Hanged Man is connected to self-sacrifice or fearless sacrifice. I don’t get any sense of that lesser known interpretation from our space cat at all. Although, I imagine a good sci fi writer could use a self sacrificing bubble cat in space as a story prompt and come up with something.

The main energy today lies with one of the most common messages I get with this. I suspect it is a very repeated idea because it is, in my opinion, the most useful one. This part of the card talks about seeing things from a different point of view.

As you think about problems or decisions turn things around. Turn it upside down. Kick the tires. Take outlandish options out for a spin mentally.

My all time favorite analogy for this energy is an interview I watched on TV once with one of the Disney “imagine -eers.” I can’t remember the gentleman’s name or any exact quotes but the essence of it was they would use physical models of new rides and attractions during the creative development process. A key they would use the model was for specific creative problem solving. If a problem turned up they would look at the physical model from physically different angles. They would stand on chairs and look down on it, sit on the floor and look up at it. I imagine they would circle around it too. A physical shift in perspective could spark inspiration for a creative solution or bring focus to a diffuse, poorly understood problem.

If there is something you are pondering, the Hanged Man reminds you to look at it from all sorts of angles. Circle around, maybe you need to nab the solution from behind. Turn around, see what the problem looks like behind you instead of perpetually chasing it down.

Thank you so much for reading and listening! I appreciate any likes, subs, shares, follows, questions, comments or feedback that you can spare. Comments on the blog are open.

The blog & podcast are not monetized, so we are working for the highest and best energy message, not for advertisers. Please visit the TaoCraft Tarot page on ko-fi. The shop, memberships, commissions and virtual coffees all support the creation of this free to access (almost) daily Tarot content.

Thank you again. See you at the next sip!

The how of choosing

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today: creative problem solving and the 8 of swords

Thank you for watching, reading, and listening to TaoCraft Short Sip Tarot. I’m glad you are here.

Today’s card is the Eight of Swords.

When you are between a rock and a hard place, the choice may not be between options as much as the method of choosing. Choose whether to let your heart or your head lead the way. With that clear in your mind, there is a better chance that the rest will fall into place. Or at least give you a little extra confidence in the the decision that you made.

Albert Einstein is credited with saying that doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. Today’s card hints at that a little bit. There is a feeling of changing things up. If you tend to be logical, try following your emotions. If you feel overwhelmed by emotions, then use cold logic. You might have to get creative with your decision making process as much as the solution to the dilemma itself.

One of the consistent messages I get with the Eight of Swords is creative problem solving, which connects with Pamela Smith’s 1909 artwork that we see here.

For those of you listening on the podcast, there is a video showing the real world card draw for the day at the top of each short sip blog post and on youtube shorts.

The Eight of Swords in this decks and the many decks based on it all show a figure surrounded swords, bound and blindfolded, often with a shore line or some transition behind them. There is often a feeling of being trapped, of being between a rock and a hard place with no good options.

That’s where the creative part of creative problem solving comes in. It may come down to using your unbound bare feet to take the risk of injury sense your way forward, but that is a way forward nevertheless.

If you are caught between terrible options, it may help to have a reason ready in your pocket to justify why you chose what you chose, even if that rationale is for yourself and no one else. Knowing that you mindfully and deliberatly followed your heart or followed your logic isn’t going to magically make the decision for your, but it can help set you up to learn from the experience if it was a mistake or set you up to repeat the process if it is successful.

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Today’s Tarot: Getting away from groundhog day

The Pamela Smith artwork for the Eight of Swords speaks for itself.

The card is about feeling trapped, not knowing the cause, not seeing the way out.

The key piece is the gap in the swords in front of the figure. A way out exists. Their feet aren’t bound. Their feet are still free. A few steps forward, and they are outside of the circle of swords.

They say the height of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly expecting a different outcome. This card cautions against that. Not only is it unproductive, but it lays down paths, builds thought habits that blindfold you just when you need creative problem solving the most. Swords represent mind and intellect. It could be your trap is mental as much as physical. Your feet are still free.

Think outside the box. Shake it up. Do some small thing differently than your usual routine. Shaking things up some safe small ways might help you break out of a mental Groundhog Day movie. A few small steps forward might help to set your mind free.