Making donuts

Hello and welcome to TaoCraft Short Sip: Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee.

Today’s card is the Knight of Pentacles.

One of the best clues that your wrinkled backside is getting older is when you get the references that old an old commercial made when people younger than you don’t remember the ad making the reference.

Way back in the 1980s, a certain very popular and rather delicious donut chain had a tv ad where a hardworking and longsuffering baker would plod out of the front door ridiculously early in the morning because it was “time to make the donuts.” This repeated until one time he opens the door to find – himself coming home.

Never mind any jokes about him “finding himself, ” I don’t know how many people remember the “Time to make the donuts” commercial much less the visual reference to the phrase “meet yourself coming and going” which is an old school way of saying that you are so busy and bothered and working so hard and moving so fast that well,you meet yourself coming and going. Which is pretty sci fi violate-the-time-space continuum notion for the ancient before times if you think about it.

But anyway – donuts.

Beside the fact that donuts are a pure soul-level goodness in and of themselves especially when paired with a cup of coffee, the making the donuts thing speaks to the knight of pentacles and today’s Monday morning energies.

Some days are mystical and magical and ideal for contemplating the spiritual. Other days are for just doing, focusing purely on the physical. Some days are for frenetic effort where you meet yourself coming and going. Other days are for regular, reliable and routine donut making. Today feels like the latter type to me. Pentacles are earth element, focused on practicality, the physical realm, work and career. Knights are symbolic of action and activity. Put them both together and you have a reminder that it is time to make the donuts.

Sometimes the simplest donuts are the best. They all don’t have to be jelly filled with sprinkles on top. Some days there is nothing better than a no-frills sour cream old fashioned.

The word “plodding” comes to mind. Pamela Smith uses the posture of the horses to communicate the energies of the knight cards. This guy is standing still, as opposed to the full gallop you see on the knight of swords card. This is another reference to the solid, rooted, balanced, grounded energy that the Pentacle cards posses.

Not every moment has to be joyful. Not every moment has to be tragic. Some moments you just make your donuts without any drama. That resonates with the Taoist notion of wu wei, accomplishment without undue effort. Just because it isn’t a big struggle doesn’t make it lesser. Donuts that were easy and routine to make taste just as sweet.

By the same token, it’s not about doing nothing at all. It’s not about being neglectful and careless and just phoning in the bare minimum. Bakers who make donuts like that won’t stay in business for very long. The Knight of Pentacles today captures an energy of wu wei, of doing what needs to be done and doing it well but without a lot of unnecessary fuss or bother. It’s a day of making easy but excellent donuts.

Thank you so much for listening! Your support for this blogcast through Tarot reading purchases, likes, subs, shares, follows and Tarot Table memberships is always, always appreciated.

Just a reminder that things are going to be a little chaotic this week on the blogcast and on social media. For example, if I do a “You Choose Interactive Tarot” reading at all this week it will probably be tomorrow. Maybe. It’s spring break 2022 at our house so social media is low on my priority list. Email Tarot readings, however, are the same always. Email Tarot is open and available to purchase 24/7 without appointment.

Thanks again. See you at the next sip!


#Short Sip Tarot: Spin

Thank you for watching, reading and listening to TaoCraft Short Sip Tarot. Any likes, subs, shares, or reading orders that you can spare are always greatly appreciated!

Today’s card is the Wheel.

I also get a strong sense of it bringing the World card right along with it. The idea for today is very much a combination of the two.

The Wheel reminds me of how dynamic life is. It brings today’s energy into the realm of time. A season is part of a year, a day is part of a week, a moment is part of a lifetime. Like it or not, we are all part of something larger than ourselves just by virtue of our very existence.

The World reminds me of this interconnection of all things. Neil DeGrasse Tyson points it out on a physical level when he said “We are all connected; To each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe atomically.”

The one spin of a wheel is part of the longer journey. Each moment of a lifetime is a shining gem of its own, worthy of our full attention. At the exact same moment, that time, is also an inseparable part of a greater whole.

Michael Talbot’s book “The Holographic Universe” comes to mind here. I wonder if time can also be imagined as a hologram, a totality where each part contains the essence of the whole (thus explaining the phenomenons of prescience, clairvoyance, clairsentience and so on) But that is a whole coffee pot worth of pondering, not just a sip.

Anyway, these cards represent the point of view that was on my mind when I created the woven bead bracelets in the shop. That’s why I created them, to honor that energy. That’s why I wear one, to remember that perspective as time spins on.

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

The author with one of her handmade bracelets

A Sip of Tarot: Two minds, one heart

Today’s card is the Two of Swords

Swords symbolize the element of air. They can denote action. Historically they are sometimes associated with negative things because swords were at one time the primary weapon of war. It would be like trying to find spiritual guidance from a card with a machine gun on it.

Today, the energy is lying with the air, mentality and intellect side of the card. A classic meaning for the card is being of two minds about something. Logic and reason are – or at least should be – our first go-to for making major life decisions. Sometimes, however, intellect fails.

Emotion seldom makes the best decision. But neither does cold hard logic and intellect when it is used in isolation, with no emotion or compassion at all.

The figure on the card is blindfolded. That signals the indecision that is part of the card’s meaning, while it also hints that following emotion or intuition might seem like a blind leap of irrational faith to the outside observer. Only the person with their hands on the swords, the person who knows both their logical rationale.

The figure on the card is also seated in front of water, the classic symbol for emotions, wisdom and intuition that we so often see on cards from the suit of cups. That’s not surprising, because people are more than one thing. People are complex. Ideas and experiences have a great deal of overlap as do the card’s symbolism and meanings. Water – emotion and heart – has the person’s back so to speak.

When logic is blinded, heart and compassion supports. When you can’t see the answer, resting in a place of compassion is enough.

Your Attention Makes It Sacred

mindfulness consecrates

Today’s card is the Chariot from the major arcana portion of the Tarot deck.

I always think of this as the jet pilot card. That is probably influenced by all of the Richard Bach books I read in my 20s. Whether it is a chariot in a race like the old movie Ben Hur, driving the beltway at rush hour or flying a supersonic aircraft, you have to pay attention to what you are doing or end up in a crumpled heap somewhere. I’ve never done any of those things, but I imagine it is a heck of a lesson in mindfulness.

Besides helping you to survive at high rates of speed, paying attention does some other nifty stuff at the complete other end of the velocity spectrum.

Mindfulness consecrates.

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein hints at this too. Toward the end of the book, I think it was Mary Jane who described the title character, Valentine Michael Smith “…when Mike kisses you he isn’t doing anything else. You’re his whole universe and the moment is eternal…”

When you pay full attention to where you are it makes that place special. When you pay full attention it makes that moment special. When you pay full attention to another person it makes magic for both of you.

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Today’s Tarot: Decide, Walk, Talk

The King of Wands card is the confluence of elemental fire, leadership, and our relationship with ourselves, our inner world. It speaks to our inner passions. There is a strong element of ‘decision’ energy here today. In my minds eye I can see the King talking, announcing a decision, making a pronouncement. The inner passion part reminds me of the idea of “walk your talk.” Live your beliefs. Be your true self.

Before you can do those admirable things, you have to decide what they are.

Before you can walk your talk, you have to decide what to say.

Flow and perspective

You can’t go with the flow until you get in the boat.

But then where are you going to go, and why?

Whenever I cite a Tarot deck, I always, always, always cite the artist no matter who wrote the book that goes with it. The book is nice, it gives the particular spin to match the particular deck for each card, but the art is where the real utility of a deck comes in. After all, there is nothing inherently special about Tarot cards, oracle decks, runes, tea leaves, I Ching coins and the like. They are all tools, gateways that help us access our normal, natural, innate intuition. They are the microphone, not the ear. They are the telescope, not the eye. Just as these things were brilliant, world-changing innovations in enhancing physical senses, putting detailed artwork on pip cards was equally revolutionary in the world of Tarot.

You can do intuitive readings just fine with the game-playing deck and no artwork at all. Like all oracles, the pip decks and gaming deck are just a tool to help access intuition. They are just a bit less sophisticated of a tool. Pip cards are a fine enough set of screwdrivers, but a fully illustrated Tarot deck is a set of watchmaker’s tools by comparison. The artwork raises the utility and versatility of the deck exponentially.

Today’s card is an example.

The deck resource books from Edward Waite talks about travel on water. Ellen Dugan talks about “smooth sailing ahead.” Diane Morgan talks about “yielding.” I’ve written here about perspective. All of these things, although different, are perfectly valid in the time and the background energy context of the time that the card interpretation was done. The human brain is a brilliant information filter and triage device. Attention is a real and very valuable psychic tool. Pay attention to something when it captures your attention. This is precisely how the artwork expands our Tarot understanding so dramatically. In the previous six of swords post, perspective and point of view stepped forward as a message after drawing attention to the swords stuck in the canoe. Today, my attention is much more strongly drawn to the image of the water, which in turn connects to the idea of flow, going with the flow, and the “yielding” that others have seen.

A full intuitive message often comes as a daisy-chain of ideas or a line of falling dominoes. Connect these ideas with the ideas from the Lovers card yesterday: goals, drive, desire and achievement from yesterday.

Put it all together, and we get to a point of balanced energy that I’ve seen be a bit out of balance lately. There needs to be balance between goals, achievement and progress toward a defined end point and the flow of life, of experience, of mindfulness of the present moment, of simple being.

We need both direction and mindfulness. Desires can both guide and frustrate, motivate and imprison. It is a balance of experience vs aspiration. It is a diet vs a lifestyle. My sense is we need more mindfulness and attention to the present moment. As we vaccinate and all too many people abandon mitigation too early we need to stop fixating on when we “get back to normal” and stay in the flow of the moment or else we may sink the boat.

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” – Tao Te Ching

Pick a Winner

Public Domain

Choose choosing

The seven of cups has turned up in several readings lately, and when that happens it makes me think there is a message for everyone, a read on general energies.

It does fit. Vaccine availability rolls on and people are starting to think about what’s next. Legit decisions have to be made about how to get through this last critical time of mitigation, vaccination and evaluation (of how variants progress and THAT piece of it unfolds) There are decisions to be made and courses to be set.

The Seven of Cups talks about decisions. First and foremost, that you should make them. Even if you keep doing the same thing that you are already doing, it has a different energy if you deliberately CHOOSE to keep doing it. It is the difference between a mindful, purposeful choice and mindlessly letting it all happen. Choices are empowering even when the choice is to do nothing or the choice is to wait and decide later.

One of the psychiatrists I used to work for used to say deciding not to decide is still a decision. Making a decision has real psychological implications. It is a step toward emotional health and balance for any of us. Making a choice is not only empowering, it is anxiety relieving. Once you choose where you want to go, then it easy by comparison to decide how to get there.

That isn’t to say that decision making is easy. The more important it is, the more intimidating the choice becomes. Choices have consequences. That includes the choice to act on a decision – or not.

The seven of cups also talks about the challenges of making a decision. Sometimes there are too many good choices and we dither. Too many good choices and are decision making process freezes like a deer in headlights. Marketers call it decision paralysis. Or you can get the opposite, where there are no good options and we freeze in a different set of headlights. In these situations the advice is to simplify as much as possible. Then, all things being equal follow your heart – or you gut, whichever seems to be leading the way. This is tied to the other thread of decision-problem energy in the card. Sometimes we over think. We make choices much harder than they have to be and go in circles upon mental circles over the potential outcome of the decision. Again, the advice is to simplify. When all else is equal and logic doesn’t suffice, then let love, intuition and a good old gut feelings lead the way.

If the seven of cups comes to you, brace yourself for blunt, confrontive adages: “Suck it up buttercup” “shit off the pot” “you can’t sit on the fence” “lead, follow or get out of the way.” “Choose wisely.”

Indecision is uncomfortable. Even a bad choice is a learning opportunity. A good choice is a liberating thing.

“I don’t think we can sit on the fence anymore. We have to make up our minds. And if one wants to choose the path of darkness, then so be it, but be conscious of what it is you’re doing.”

Seal (via

My Tarot Valentine 2021: Look to See

There us a feeling of newness and if expanding horizons. I think I see why the feeling to reach for the Heart of Stars deck (by Thom Pham, all rights reserved, used with pefmission). Superman ties today’s card to yesterday.

Remember how the Devil card hinted that it is far better to put your energy into being happy alone than to tie yourself in knots just for the sake of being in a relationship? It is better to be alone than to make your partner bear the weight of the relationship by hoping they’ll change or be different this time. It’s ok to be counterculture especially if that gives you the wherewithal to be loving and compassionate yo yourself and to others. Plus, perhaps more importantly, self confidence is sexy. Dare to be comfortable in your own skin and happy in this present moment.

The “superperson” in this case is someone who has conqured that. Imagine it us someone who has eeked out just a little more of that self assured, right-here-happy energy. This might be a hint of new love to come or a deepening of live already here.

The three of wands has a watching quality. Everyone wants to be seen and heard. Attention nourishes all types of love. Attention is a potent aphrodesiac if that is the kind of mutual relationship you are in.

Give your full attention to all those you love the most.

Today’s Tarot: Universal Experience

How compassion can flow

It’s a fundamental idea. In Buddhism, the first noble truth is the existence of suffering.

Or, as the T-shirt defining Taoism says, shit happens. The five of pentacles in Tarot reminds us of the same thing. Difficult things happen to all of us sooner or later. It isn’t for us to judge the type or magnitude of that difficulty relative to our own life experience. It is enough to know that a fellow human struggles. Big or small, serious or trivial, true crisis or laughably minor, real world challenges and emotional upsets are a universal experience. Or to put it in t-shirt terms, shit happens to absolutely everybody at one time or another.

The card doesn’t stop there. It calls us all to compassion, sympathy and empathy whenever and wherever the aforementioned shit happens – always, everywhere.

There is much going on. The energy environment (I can’t tell if it is local, regional, national or global) is starting to feel like it did back in January or February, on the cusp of the maximum lock-down we had here in the U.S. I’ve been repeatedly, for months been getting the mental image of a storm on an ocean horizon and a sense of foreboding. Over the past few days it is as if the outer bands of the storm are starting to touch shore. Yes, I’ve probably been watching too much news, and yes, it probably is tied to the toxic mashup that is American public sentiment right now. If you are to any degree empathetic or energy sensitive, now might be a good time to batten down the hatches, grab your favorite protection crystal and start reinforcing healthy boundaries between your energy and external energies. Healthy boundaries are crucial.

Compassion flows best when it flows both inwardly and outwardly at the same time.