Don’t Let Fear Overwhelm the Facts

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee.

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

Today’s card is the Five of Pentacles from the classic 1909 Waite Smith Tarot.

Today’s Card seems to be asking to be put in the broader context of cards from the past few days, which in itself is a helpful message for me.

Spring is always slow for Tarot. Even after all these years, it makes me worry about taxes and bills and all the rest of it. The artwork on the card looks pretty dire, especially for a pentacles card. It can put money anxiety right in the pit of your stomach with one look. Which is kind of the point of it. The card is important for the way it acknowledges difficult times. The card doesn’t sugar coat anything. It validates any fear or worry you might be feeling. It hears you and sees you and whatever challenges life might be dumping on you right now. The card is validating but it is also reassuring. The light through the window and the church looking building in the background is intended to symbolize shelter and refuge and help available in times of need. This builds a connection to the Hope card in the “anchor rock” post and episode a few days ago.

Pentacles are earth connected and have to do with the physical realm. This points to practicality and mindfulness, in contrast to the pure emotion and melancholy we see in the five of cups. Both five cards are ominous in their own way, but the pentacles is about the practical real-world solution more than dealing with the emotion of a situation. If anything there is a sense of putting head over heart. The sanctuary in this case is the facts at hand and the cold hard reality of the present moment. That present moment focus connects with the vibe and grind, focus on what you are doing and work the problem energy from the Chariot card “Power Prompt” episode yesterday.

That is the top-line, high level message for today. If things seem bad, look at the facts and reality of the situation. It might suck, you might feel afraid and that is perfectly fine. The trick…today’s Tarot inspired life hack…is to put the fear in its place and try to not let it overwhelm your logical problem side. Let’s get literal with the image on the card. If you are poor, poorly dressed and in a snowstorm, the cold could pose a real life and death threat – but help is at hand. Shelter is right by your elbow if you can make it just a few steps more. It would be an avoidable tragedy for the figures to be so wrapped up in fear and emotion that they walk right by the life saving shelter. That is, I grant you, an overly simplified, melodramatic example but it puts small nuisance first world problems in perspective doesn’t it? Again, we have that advice from earlier cards to not make mountains out of molehills.

The thing that is interesting to me as a Tarot reader is the way this week’s cards offer you a concrete example of how Tarot readings are not tied to literal time and space. An intuitive message has unspooled over the course of days and was sent across the whole globe through the world wide webber net. Speaking of which – special hello to those of you who have viewed the website from Ireland, the UK, India, Brazil and all those other places. I appreciate you, all of you, every single reader, listener and subscriber / follower!

During this slow business, slightly confidence rattling time of year, it’s been nice for me to see this slowly evolving but still cohesive message emerge. It proves yet again that email readings really are as functional and valid as in person readings. We’ve seen it in action right here. Multiple cards connecting across space and time to give a little advice. With the energies such as they are right now, it might be all to easy to feel a little afraid. There may be very real challenges going on and storms on the horizon so to speak. This set of cards over these few days reminds us to use any help at hand, work the problem, be in the moment and keep a cool head. Don’t make mountains out of what could in time turn out to be an anthill.

If we can get cohesive inspiration from two or three cards strung out over a week and focused on a broad online and social media audience, imagine what five or seven cards in one email document focused on you individually can do.

But back to the five of pentacles. It’s a simple, straightforward reminder that even though things may be kinda terrible in some moments, help exists in the world. Keep walking and you’ll find the front door. The energy message really is akin to that old World War Two British poster to “keep calm and carry on” although it is coming through clairaudiently as “stay chill and work the problem.” Today is a day for head over heart and trying to keep fear from overwhelming the facts.

Thank you so much for listening! Your support through likes, follows, shares, questions and comments is always appreciated.

If you would like to give one of those private, individually focused email readings a try, they are available in the “no appointment needed” tab at the top of this blog page, in the menu on mobile, or on the blog website in the podcast episode description.

Or please visit the Tao Craft Tarot ko-fi page also linked in the description. Proceeds from the shop, memberships and virtual coffees are used to create this blogcast and the youtube videos of the real-world Tarot card draw that goes with each short sip post and episode.

Thanks again for reading and listening! See you at the next sip

An essential teacher

Just started reading Be Water, My Friend by Shannon Lee about Bruce Lee. Martial arts philosophy, Taoism…SO in my wheelhouse. Just a few pages in, and already loving it.

Am thinking about reviving my personal blog “Stuff” on to do writer-y type stuff and all of the not-tarot poopgoo and Kittenwhisker-ish type stuff. After starting this book, I might add book reviews into the mix.

I’m curious. Which would you guys like better? Surf over to the other site and follow that blog (right column on desktop, scroll down on mobile) and get 100% of everything or just read a few select posts cross pollenated onto this one even though it’s off topic? If you can spare a minute, drop a comment and let me which suits you better. While you are there, feel free to give any feedback you want. Luv it, hate it, whatever. Same goes for any Tarot questions you might have.  It can be personal, like the boyfriend question yesterday, or it can be about psychics, intuition, Tarot in general.

Full disclosure: any question that comes to me other than a paid private session will be answered in the blog (scrubbed of any identifying information to protect your privacy of course) It’s kinda like a Tarot swap meet – you get a free one card reading, I get blog/podcast content. Don’t forget two important things 1. The answer is more than likely going to be in full Zombie Cat mode so be prepared for a little light snark and 2. Any and all spam or inappropriate anything will be destroyed in a blinding flash of hellfire. TaoCraft Tarot is a safe space and I am the absolute ruler and gatekeeper and writer of the policies to which it all is subject.

On other words, ask Zombie Cat anything in the comments, but do so at your own peril.

What do you think?

If you aren’t feeling the blog / Zombie Cat thing, private readings by email are available to order anytime, no appointment needed HERE

Today’s Tarot: Mind to Meatspace

Even though we are having a vegetarian supper, it’s Meatspace Monday.

Usually for me it works out to be Meatspace Sunday, but alliteration makes everything better. Even when that’s not the kind of meat I’m talking about. Any other William Gibson fans out there? I can’t remember how long ago I read Neuromancer or how many times I’ve re-read it since, but I’m pretty sure (considering how old my gen-x backside is getting) he’s the one who coined “meatpuppet.” It has a bit of an, ahem, adult meaning in the book, so let’s just say it means the physical body….meat instead of mind, physical reality vs virtual reality kind of reference. I’m not sure who came up with “meatspace” as the physical real-world counterpart to “cyberspace” (also a Gibson word, if memory serves) but I think it was Adam Savage who is another one of my favorite inspirations and creative influences. Neuromancer and Every Tool’s a Hammer are both excellent reads. Several thumbs up for both

But on to the Chariot card. Sure it has all of the chariot race Ben Hur kind of energies that Thom Pham depicts here in the Heart of Stars deck. To win a chariot race you have to pay attention to what the heck you are doing. I often explain it as the ‘test pilot’ card. Whether you are racing chariots or flying fighter jets, being preoccupied or letting your mind wander can land you in big trouble. But that’s not quite the energy of it for today.

It’s a little more meta than that. Pay attention to where you pay attention.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very thankful to all of you who read the blog and watch the videos. Please keep it up! I love having you to talk with (and for goodness’ sake feel free to talk back. I have the comments moderated to keep the energy spam free and reasonable for all of us) But just for a minute, pull back. Be a person reading a screen instead of letting your mind rest IN the screen. Pull back to meatspace, be aware of your surroundings, your device as a whole, the words on the screen, yes, but also of the environment you are in. Be aware of you where you are right now as part of that meatspace whole.

It’s easy, especially for those of us who tend to “live in our head” anyway, to get caught up in an intellectual, conceptual virtual reality be it found in websites, or movies, or TV or books. For us, it is even more crucial to reconnect with physicality. Take a mental vacation into meatspace. Get a little exercise. Savor your favorite dessert.

Pay attention to paying attention. Put your mind into meatspace sometimes.




Update August 2021

Just few quick thoughts:

First and foremost, thank you all for reading the blog, following the socials, listening to the podcast and being so supportive. It means a lot. I hope all the goodnesses and more come back to all who give them

Was in a store yesterday, when there was a giant thunderclap and brief downpour outside. Afterward, for a moment, even that public place was silent. For a while longer it was very quiet. Not a lot of people where there, but there was still an oddly quiet, subdued, almost serene few minutes.

The energy has been a little weird lately, but it feels a little less so today. It feels like a moment of silence, a holding of breath and a turning of moments between seasons. It isn’t quite the drudgery of summer ending but not quite yet the excitement and festival atmosphere that Fall can bring. It is a moment of silence and motionlessness between the thunder and the aftermath. May it be the silence after the storm, and not before yet another.


  • Just checked the CDC and Mayo Clinic sites. Community transmission and new case rates in our area are still listed as “substantial” so in-person and party Tarot remains on hold.
  • YouChoose Interactive Tarot posts and the podcast are on on break for a couple of weeks. Distance readings are OPEN. No appointment needed for email. is the fastest way to reach me to schedule a phone or online video call Tarot reading.
  • Because I’m still moderately mind blown over realizing I’ve been reading Tarot for a hot minute that’s lasted 30 years, 7 card email readings are still at a REDUCED PRICE through the website here only. It’s $30 instead of $40, one dollar for each year of Tarot experience I bring to your reading. Offer ends 20 September 2021 (the Autumnal Equinox)
  • TaoCraft Tarot / Clairvoyant Confessional virtual tip jar supports the blog and future podcast episodes. This helps me keep the blog ad-free and open to everyone. Please visit the ko-fi page and see the new membership tiers before they are announced next month too!) #kofimemberships

Dressed for work

“It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Page cards in Tarot are about learning. Swords can denote several things: the element of air, taking action, our relationship with culture, society and authority, or they can symbolize the mind and intellect. My attention is drawn to a combination of intellect and action. It reminds me of that quote where Emerson describes common sense as “genius dressed in its working clothes.”

Genius at work is our learning mode, which can apply to anyone, anywhere, in any stage of life. Learning is a lifelong thing whether we are running particle accelerators or poking something with a stick to see what happens. Mind and body are one whole, so learning and action are an integrated whole as well. Even if big genius ideas drop into our head seemingly out of nowhere, something triggered it or some unique set of material experiences hit critical mass and turned on the proverbial light bulb over our head. However they happen, genius insight doesn’t help us much unless we do something with them. Physical realm interacts with the intellectual realm which prompts action in the physical world and so on in an unending dance of learning and experience gathering. It is about figuring out a method and trying something, admitting failures and trying again. That applies to all sorts of learning. Science is a way of learning about the outer, tangible world. Tarot is one method of learning about the inner, intangible one. The two aren’t mutually exclusive, far from it. If anything they are bound together as intimately as space and time, locked in the complex dance of our humanity.

Today’s card is asking us to use what we know, and fearlessly learn what we don’t.

In the spirit of learning and doing, I have a quick announcement.

As you know, I don’t keep an office or any sort of brick and mortar location, primarily to cut my overhead and keep my prices lower than they otherwise would be.

Since that means bringing people out into the public sphere for an in-person session I’ve decided to use CDC reported community transmission rates for Allegheny county as the guide for in-person sessions. The rate is on the rise, and we have been upgraded from low to moderate. Due to that, starting Sunday July 25 in-person services are on temporary hold again until community transmission rates drop back to low.

Distance Tarot is my specialty

I say that because I’m just as good at writing and doing readings by email as I am doing them in person. I know a lot of psychics and Tarot readers who do both in-person and distance readings equally well, but several of them have commented to me that they don’t enjoy working by email as much as they do in person or by phone. I do both equally well and I enjoy both too.

So PLEASE – while we all endure these last hills, bumps and turns of this roller coaster ride of a pandemic, don’t hesitate to make use of the email version if you are interested in getting a reading. I promise you will get the same information as you would if we were meeting face to masked up face.

Plus don’t forget the cutesy pants promotional $1 TAROT SALE where 7 card email readings are $1 for each year of Tarot reading experience that I bring to your reading (AKA – $10 off the usual price). Offer ends 20 September 2021

Order email readings 24/7 on the home page or HERE

It’s my mind, and I’ll change it if I want to

I know, I know…I said no more cutesy pants promotions

But thirty years of card reading is something. And I wanted to do something to commemorate it. Get ’em while you can. It’s prolly going to be the last cutesy pants promotion for the next thirty years.

Offer good for website purchases only. Poloicies and disclaimers apply.

Decide to balance

In the video, we said that two cards in general can allude to either balance, or a decision. Usually, the decision in question is relatively minor and one of those “six of one and half-dozen of another” all things being equal kind of decisions.

As I give today’s energy a little thought, it still seems that balance is the thread of meaning that carries more energy, but at the same time the idea of “it’s both” steps forward, too.

What about deciding to balance?

Decisions are inseparable from balance. My favorite example is riding a unicycle. The rider is constantly making small adjustments in order to keep the unicycle upright. For those of us who don’t ride unicycles, you can see the adjustments the rider makes with the pedals and the movement of the wheel. The rider has to learn…to know and decide in the moment how to move the pedals in order to keep their balance.

Balance might serve as a good tie-breaker if you have a practical decision to make between two equal seeming things. Of the two, what will make your life more balanced? Little things mean a lot. Small decisions can add up to big effects. Opt for balance in little things to avoid big tipping points later.

Sometimes it really is hard to choose between two eqal things. They are intended to be lighthearted and fun, maybe a little snarky, but a Zombie Cat yes-or-no readings can help you sort out small choices where all things seem equal and bigger connections (like balance) are hard to see. Distance Tarot is my specialty. Order anytime, no appointment needed, HERE

Today’s Tarot: All in this together

Whenever I do readings, in the middle portion when we are going through the layout card-by-card, each card gives a different type or category or spin or ‘flavor’ of message. Some are advice (something to think about doing) others are cautions (something to think about avoiding) but they can also be validations & acknowledgements.

Today, the three of pentacles has elements of all of these. To me it looks like a tie-dye wavy gravy swirl of it all, which isn’t uncommon when you are doing a general audience, blog type reading.

As an aside, that’s probably why you see so many of those “I don’t know who needs to hear this but….” posts on social media. I stop reading the minute I see that, an more often choke back the urge to block them. It strikes me as arrogant and not an energy I want in my cyberspace. Of course you don’t know who needs to hear something. It could be that nobody needs to hear what you have to say. If you need to know that someone needs your advice, you aren’t in a good headspace to be giving advice. Just say it. Own it. Give the advice with no “need it” strings attached on either the giving or receiving end. Trust the universe to get the right message to the right person at the right time. If it is right for them, people will know and take it to heart. If it isn’t they’ll just keep scrolling.

Now back to the three of pentacles –

The caution thread here is to “watch out for falling down.” That can be construed two ways. One is to take care to do your part of a team effort. It feels like you’ll be called on it if you do and bad feelings could happen. It’s not talking about something accidental or truly inadvertent. It feels more like an act of anger, frustration, or deliberate negligence. Take care keep things in proper priority and try not to drop the ball when others rely on you if you can help it. It is also a caution against being a doormat in a team situation. Clearly communicated expectations feel important to any team situation today.

Validation feels like someone who has been a real mensch through it all. This feels like a validation and a thank you for all the times you have gone over and above the call of duty for the good of a team, of a project or generally in service to others. Logically, given the world situation, there are lots of you out there for whom this applies. Well done and profound thank yous.

The validation, interestingly enough, was for me. When you read for other people be on the lookout for messages for you that piggyback in on their message. That way you GET your intended message and you don’t accidentally muddle your message and theirs together. The validation here has to do with clairaudience. Music that you are not in the mood for is a nice validation. Music that is not to your taste is a good hint that it is genuinely from intuition and not just a random something you heard recently. I am NOT in the mood for a chipper little Disney tune, but seeing this card definitively brought through “We’re all in this together” from a movie my daughter used to like. High School Musical or something like that? I dunno.

As cute and happy and positive as the song might be, it IS right. We are all in this together. It is ok to expect others to do their part. It is important to set clear expectations as well as to do your part. Don’t drop the ball but don’t be a doormat. Ask for help. Delegate tasks. And if a bright chipper song comes at your intuition way too early in the morning, pay attention. Then go get that second cup of coffee and try to find a better earworm.

Here is a playlist for you if you are in the mood for something with a little more spark to it. I’ll leave it to you to get your musical on. Now, where’s that coffee?

Want a reading that is all for you and not a blog post written for planet earth? The NEW Distance Tarot format combines both print and video for an enriched Tarot experienced close to an in-person session but with the affordability and convenience of email. Order yours HERE.