By Royal Decree

The king can’t return – because he never left. You are the King of your inner world and you have always been there.

Hello and welcome to the TaoCraft Tarot blog and podcast. I’m Sage. I read Tarot and write Stuff and I’m glad you are here.

Every now and then I get what I call the niggles. The niggles are what I call it when an idea drops into your head and jabs you in the brain until you write it, blog it, or make something tangible out of it.

Call it inspiration. Blame it on the muses. However you name it, some ideas won’t leave you alone no matter how much you try to ignore it, run from it or play hide and seek with it – so you might as well deal with it. It’s like that quote from Joss Whedon “Write it. Shoot it. Crochet it. Saute it. Whatever – MAKE.”

Making includes writing, reading a Tarot card and intangible things like blogs and podcasts. Creation and creativity aren’t a zero sum balance sheet. There is room for everyone. If you get a niggly little idea, by all means make something out of your niggle. Make your own blog, journal entry or comment on this blog if you like.

On the ko-fi members-only blog, every weekend I post the “Tarot Turnover,” where we turn a short sip Tarot reading on its head. I sip the coffee and YOU read the card. I’ll post a card image (usually a public domain Waite Smith card like the one above since they are so widely known and familiar to the most people) Sometime I’ll give a little Tarot behind the scenes or background about the card or a short how-to about using your intuition to read the card. Then I turn the card over to you along with a list of traditional meanings or keywords from my old blog readings. That gives everyone the opportunity to stretch some intuitive muscles and see what insight the card has to offer. I’m always available to give feedback and answer questions if any turn up. Sometimes, later on in the week, I’ll give a short sip reading about the weekend card. Members get first chance at the card, questions or coaching from me. Membership does have its benefits.

That’s what is happening right now. A niggling little idea popped up again Sunday when the Turnover card turned out to be the King of Wands. I’m here to chime in with my two cents and a hot take about the card .

In general, the suit of wands has to do with the classic element of fire, with inner passions, philosophy, spirituality, and our relationship with ourselves. Kings are leaders with a proactive, protective connotation. The king of wands has to do with inner passions and self-possession. The king is about fully owning who you are, what you choose and what you do and recognizing that authority within everyone else too.

In the words of poet Maya Angelou, when someone tells you who they are, believe them.

You have the same right to tell who you really are. And you have equal right to guard and protect who you are, too.

Here is the niggle: Ideology is a choice.

Ideology has a complicated, mind-boggling intersection with behavior.

Violence, abuse, despots and violent radical regimes have been in the world throughout human history. People have been coerced upon pain of death into certain behavior. People have been psychologically abused and tortured and coerced. Human history has a very dark underbelly when it comes to choice, ideology and behavior.

I’m not here to judge anyone for anything. People do and say what they have to in order to survive. History is harrowing.

I wish there could be health and safety for everyone.

It is chilling, terrifying and heartbreaking to see people we know freely, knowingly, deliberately choose to ally themselves with bigotry. If we are ever to come to terms with – let’s just say someone in our lives choosing the dark side – we have to embrace and accept that we chose differently. It is not arrogance to to choose better. It is OK to accept yourself as being a good person. It is neither arrogance nor condemnation on either side. It is just the facts of our choice and the authentic nature of who we are. It’s just the facts of their choices and who they are. It is OK that you walk a different path from your genetic family or your cultural community. It is OK that you chose a different path. It isn’t for me to say who in this world has chosen wisely and who has chosen – poorly. I’m not here to contemplate atrocities or solve man’s inhumanity to man. That is far beyond my ability and way, way, way outside the scope of this teeny tiny little blogcast.

My goal for this is to share a little food for thought and maybe, just maybe, give you a niggle or two of your own.

First of all, be kind. You never know what someone else is dealing with or going through.

Second, and this is where the king of wands comes in, you choose who you are and what you do. Not your past. Not your parents. Not your external circumstances. All of those things may force choices about behavior, but they don’t dictate your true inner belief. They may put you in a situation that forces you to mask and cloak and protect your inner genuine self. Even then, you are firmly seated on the throne of your inner world. It may not feel that way, but you own your choices, your thoughts and your beliefs. No other person or circumstance can steal that inner beauty from you. You can’t control other people or everything that happens, but you do get to choose how you respond to the situation. More importantly, you get to choose how you respond to yourself.

It may not always feel that way. When it does feel that way it has that Mel Brooks “it’s good to be the king” vibe. It feels like the return of the good king – but the king can never return because the king never left. On the inside, the king is you.

I think Alan Watts said it best: “You are under no obligation to be the same person you were five minutes ago.”

Would you like to be a kind person? Done. Be kind now, even if you weren’t five minutes ago. Want to be brave enough to face who you really are? Want to be brave enough to accept both yourself as you are and accept others are who they say they are? Done.

By Royal Decree you are brave.

Thank you for reading and listening. Your questions and comments are always welcome and your likes, subs, follows and shares are always appreciated.

No part of the blog or podcast is monetized. I don’t see a penny of any advertising you may see. If you enjoy these Tarot readings, please visit the TaoCraft Tarot page on ko-fi where your purchases, memberships and virtual coffees all support this unique content.

Thank you again. See you at the next sip!

Inexpensive Treasure

We all have at least one – go get yours with today’s short sip Tarot and the Ten of Pentacles

We’ve all got one. Or a bunch. It’s the weekend. Go get yours.

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

We’ve all heard this one before. I’d say this card is a broken record, but since digital and streaming doesn’t have that particular glitch I’ll skip the reference that no one this side of gen X would really get.

The song remains the same. We’ve all heard this one before. Which, in the Tarot and personal growth business, is more of a validation than being a mere cliche.

I like to think that when a card, like today’s ten of pentacles, keeps harping on the same idea, it adds to the meaning instead of diluting it. Things like “money can’t buy happiness” or “little things mean a lot” or “the simple pleasures are the best” are all platitudes and aphorisms for a reason. The generalized truth behind them is potent enough that it is like archetype and aphorism combined. Whatever big word you want to call it, these repeating messages woven through a long time Tarot practice are worth listening to.

Pentacles are associated with the element of earth. They symbolize wealth, money, career, practicality and our relationship with the physical realm. Ten is as large as the number cards get.

In the I Ching, the Chinese “book of changes” which has been used for guidance in a way very akin to Tarot, there is the idea of changing lines. When you use three coins to methodically choose with I Ching hexagram to read, three of either heads or tails is considered a “changing line.” The line in the hexagram is maximum yin or maximum yang. There is an idea in Taoism that anything in its extreme holds the seed of its opposite. If life is always changing and in motion, then I see that as meaning a tipping point. Like that old children’s game – it is a pot so full that one more bean can tip it over and spill into becoming something else.

That is what is happening with the ten of pentacles. Sure, it shows an idealized happy family, pets included. There is a tipping point here – and it isn’t what you might think.

The opposite of maximum coins isn’t bankruptcy. The opposite of the happiness depicted isn’t misery. The tipping point here is from the tangible into the intangible. Of all the contentment depicted in the card and in all those RWS derived decks, none of them are dependent on being rich. Food, water, shelter, basics sustain life. Beyond that, the truly precious things are at once both practically free and unspeakably priceless; people who care about you, a friendly dog wagging their tail when they see you, a little sit in the shade on a hot day or a soft chair near the heater on a cold one.

Innocent or guilty the little pleasures are what the ten of pentacles is talking about today. Think of those photos of President Biden in his aviator sunglasses smiling and enjoying an ice cream cone. That’s what we’re talking about. He is well paid and as powerful as it gets. Yet, how much does an ice cream cone cost? Change from the sofa cushions would close to cover it. Almost anyone can access it. Yet the pleasure the ice cream can bring – that part is priceless and even easier to get. All you have to do is let yourself have it. The ice cream is just the carrier, it’s the delivery method for the happy. Pick your delivery method. It can be any little thing that delights you. It can be any little thing that you have on hand right here, right now. Mine today is my Spotify playlists.


Go get your inexpensive treasure. Then let yourself have the happy.

Thank you so much for reading and listening. I appreciate you, your follows, likes and any shares you can spare.

The blog and podcast are both not monetized in any way and are supported through your private reading purchases and the TaoCraft Tarot shop and memberships on ko-fi. Thank you for helping to create this (almost) daily Tarot contemplation for everyone.

See you at the next sip!

My Tarot Valentine, February 14, 2021: Love on both sides

I picked a Tarot card today, but not at random.

In 2015, the Lovers random appearance inspired the first “My Tarot Valentine” post on

‘Tarotbytes” blog on Modern Oracle Tarot. When the Lovers turned up as “card of the month” it sparked the idea of one card meditation readings specifically focused on love, romance, relationships and Valentine’s Day.

This year, I think the idea has run its course and this is the last of the “My Tarot Valentine” blog posts. Relationship readings and posts won’t go anywhere, I just want to let the energy of them flow organically, and not try to bend the energy toward a seasonal topic. It just seems right to wrap up with the card that started it. What better bookends than love on both sides?

The relationship in question is, I suppose, mine with the blog. It is a pale example of the card’s message, which has changed surprisingly little since it’s first February appearance. But then, you would expect that from the important lesson that major arcana cards tend to teach.

It’s all about desire. Not romance.

It can be any consuming, life-driving want. It could be something material, something spiritual, or a life partner and soulmate. It is asking us to stop feeling sorry for ourselves because of what we don’t have and ask ourselves why we want it in the first place.

Why do we want to celebrate Valentine’s day? Keep in mind, my only exposure to the holiday is the one dripping in American commercialism. “Cheap chocolate and an excuse to buy a bottle of wine” is a perfectly acceptable answer to the question. I like to think that the real motivation is the holiday serves as a prompt to make some sweet, sincere small gesture to show the people in our life how much we care.

This series, this blog is my gesture of appreciation to you. I am thankful to you for reading this. Thank you for appreciating the art and adventure of Tarot with me.

Did you know that anytime you get a reading here, you get your choice of topic? You can ask a specific question, choose a general topic (like romance or relationships or leave the whole reading open and let spirit lead the way.

My Tarot Valentine: I got you

I liked Empire.

Especially the music from the first season. As many TV dramas do, it went off the rails toward the end. Sharks must be jumped it seems.

All in all, my favorite moment in the whole thing was when Cookie told a young Jamal “I got you.”

That hit me right in the motherhood. Maybe it is how I was raised, maybe it us cultural, maybe its just how I’m wired, but to me that’s how a core family (that may or may not be genetically related) show love is by doing for each other. You need HOW many cookies for school tomortow? I got you. You need a ride to WHERE? I got you. You need me to listen? I got you. Need a beer after a long week at work? I got you. Need me to send you a funny political cartoon to make you laugh? I got you. Need a simple answer to a simple question? I got you there too, but it might come on the form of a coffee fueled lecture. Accepting and loving the beauty of imperfection is another card and another day.

Today, the earthy practicality that goes with the Pentacles has my attention more than the idea of balance that the two specifically emphasizes.

Nothing says “I love you” quite like the stuff you do right after the “I got you.”

Today’s Tarot: Love Upside Down

Everybody loves the love card.

The Lovers card from the major arcana has a reputation for being the big romance card, the one that means THE one is on the way. Not so much. Sure, the Lovers has a big, passionate, lustful, torrid romance energy around it but it doesn’t necessarily connect to a meaningful or lasting relationship. The lovers represents any strong desire, any lust we may have in life.

If you are hoping for a long lasting, satisfying, really meaningful relationship, then the two of Cups is the card you want to see. As I read the cards, Cups reflect our closest relationships. It might mean marriage, but it could also be children, parents, closest friends or any of your most inner circle.

If you are hellbent and fixated on finding that special someone, then reversed two of cups is the worst possible news. That aspect of life is hitting some bumps in the road. It doesn’t mean you’ll never get married, it means that other important relationships that aren’t marriage related are suffering or that the energy flow to do with marriage is slowed, blocked, or otherwise problematic (probably because of the hellbent and fixated part.)

Any relationship, even the ones in your life that are already loving and committed can hit rough patches. Anyone can get on anyone else’s nerves. It’s only human. If you are in a relationship and you see this, don’t panic. Give the love of your life a little extra TLC. Or a lot.

If you are in a relationship that is in real trouble and you see this card, don’t panic. Look inside. Is this really news, or is it confirmation of what you already know but don’t want to admit? You may be asked to give love to yourself, to healing, instead of to another person for a time.

If you aren’t in a marriage-like relationship but really want to be and you see is card, don’t panic. Just put your energy, love and attention into something else. Don’t chase, attract. Magnetize. Live. Be. Let’s just say it. Content and self confident is sexy.

Attract love to you by turning your cup upside down. Call love to you by giving love to people and things that are already in your life right now. A cup has to turn to pour. Love is the one thing you get more of by giving it to other people.

Today’s Tarot: What Does It Take?

The Ten of Cups is one of the most idyllic cards in the deck. It is about as rainbows and unicorns as it gets. Good news all around, especially if you feel optimistic and forward looking. This is a card you want to drop into your future. This is where you want to be headed. Especially when it involves the love, romance and relationship suit of cards, right?

It is also where you want to be right now. I can see how this card can be a pin prick to people who have suffered losses. The card can be a hopeful sign of where you are headed, or it can be a painful reminder of what you don’t have. As with everything, perception plays a large role.

What is missing? What would it take to make your present moment into a Ten of Cups moment?

Filling a need and getting something you don’t have in order for life to be happy can be both difficult and risky. What will you do if you get your whatever-it-is, but still aren’t happy?

Here is your real challenge: What would it take to turn your present moment into a Ten of Cups moment without adding anything new?

Today’s Tarot: Homecoming

In numerology they do this thing where they add the individual digits of higher numbers to reduce them to a single digit equivalent. Why, I don’t know, but they do. But it is an interesting concept when applied to the 10 cards of the minor arcana suits. Not only is it the largest of the numbered cards, the threshold to the court cards, but 1+0 = 1 which hints at a full circle, satisfying completion, a return to origens, a homecoming.

On the surface, the Ten of Cups has always been the ‘happy family’ card, akin to the Ten of Coins/Pentacles that we’ve seen in recent days. Instead of reminding us that relationships and loved ones are our most valuable treasure, this card lifts 10 cups in pure celebration of them. Homecomings of all sorts are celebrations.

Not all homecomings are the literal with all of those people, food, home and hearth goodnesses. There is a thread here connecting today’s card to the past two cards.

The Devil card reminds us that there are still storms on the horizon and that there are, in reality, some legit bad stuff out there. The Two of Wands reminds us that within any journey or project, a planned detour is possible. You can steer around the storms and get where you were originally wanting to go if you are heads up, eyes open, and plan on the fly. New phases, new plans, new turns don’t have to be stumbling blocks. Fluid, effective adaptation is very possible.

We’ve also seen a turn in energy that was outside of the cards and their artwork. That shift connects the other two cards to today’s Ten of Cups. While the first half of the year was focused on the physical realm and doing what needs done (even when what needs DONE is to stay home, wear face masks and wash your hands.  Now that we are in the dog day doldrums of summer, the energy has turned toward spirituality and introspection. Now the time has come for spa retreat, soul searching, growing, deciding, planning for the Fall and Winter ahead. That is where the homecoming comes in.

Author Richard Bach is known for saying “The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.” The same is true of our internal philosophy-home. It is time for a spiritual homecoming. It is time to celebrate whatever path embues life with the most respect and joy possible. It need not be the path you started on.

Bad things happen, steering away from those things can happen. Taking your place among people and ideas that give you respect and joy can happen – and must. For me that comes through the lens of Taoist and Buddhist philosphies paired with Tarot and other magickal things. Whatever it is that you respect, that respects who you truely are, and brings you happiness – that – I hope that for you. If you have an iota of inclination, the energies are right to celebrate the esoterica that makes you happy.

If you have tried new ideas and new ways of doing things and find they are off course after all, then it is perfectly fine to change back. Going back to a spiritual path that brings good things is wonderful sort of homecoming. If you seek out new spiritual ideas and find something that perfectly fits you, then that is your homecoming too. Just as family is defined by respect and joy and love, spirituality is defined the same way. No matter whether you are going back to the old, or taking up residence with the newly discovered, the energies are flowing toward homecoming.

Today’s Tarot: Big Little Things

In the taijitu (the yin yang symbol) each half contains a dot of the opposite color. The idea is that anything in the extreme can become its opposite. There are different ways of reading the I Ching, the book of changes. Throwing three coins is the method I know best and have used the most. I’ll spare you all the details, but you use three coins to determine if a given “line” is yine or yang. Six throws, gives you six lines, and that in turn tells you which part of the book to read for your guidance. Using coins, heads mean yang and tails mean yin. If you get two of three coins showing one way or the other, that tells you the definition of the ‘line’ as either yin or yang. If you get all three coins the same it is considered a “changing line” which means it is SO yin or SO yang that it can easily tip over into being its opposite (or is in the process of doing so)

The Ten of Coins is a liminal symbol like a transition line. Coins (or Pentacles, depending on the deck you use) have to do with the physical realm, wealth, career, etc. 10 is the largest of the number cards before you move into the esoteric, idea-driven court cards. 10, in this case, is something coming to fruition or completion. It is the uber-pentacle of all the number cards. Given all of that, you might expect to see material successes represented, the Tarot equivalent of a mansion and a yacht.

Not so.

The Ten of Pentacles is the happy family card. It shows simple contentment, in the RWS tradition usually mom, dad, their 2.2 kids, white picket fence, grampa and the dog. Granted, that sounds like a 1950s surburban ideal gone wild, but that’s kind of the point. The pinnacle of material success isn’t material at all. The pinnacle of material success is the people you love and simple contentment with the cycles and flows of life. Life, love and simple mindful pleasures are, after all, the greatest of treasures. All those little things are really kind of big.

Dirk, DeGrasse Tyson, and the connected symphony

“…Learn to see. Realize that evertything connects to everything else” – Leonardo Da Vinci

“We are all connected; To each other, biologically. To the Earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe, atomically.” – Neil Degrasse Tyson.

“The bond that links your true familyis not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.” – Richard Bach

“Everything’s connected.” – Dirk Gently TV series

We long to be together, to talk, to touch, to eat, love and laugh. It is the good and right human thing to do. Often, life demands separation in the typical sense. Loneliness forgets. It forgets the neither space nor time can break the bonds of love, of familial respect and joy. Our lives play out all on the same pale dot within the same wider Cosmos and within the same winding eternity.

You can purchase Melody Sheep’s excellent music on Bandcamp.

YouChoose Interactive Tarot for May 3 – 9


You Choose: Pick a card. If you want more time, pause the video and restart it for the reveal.

You Choose: read the interpretation below or use PeaceTarot ebook (download from the Etsy shop)  Use it along with the card draw videos to learn to do DIY one card Tarot meditations, even if you don’t have a Tarot deck!

Left: King of Wands. Being the leader of your internal kingdom is a big responsibility. The buck stops with you for the things you say and do whether you own up to that responsibility or not. At the same time, it is good to be the king. You don’t have to have every answer at every moment. You are perfectly allowed to make yourself comfortable within that internal space, within your own skin. Being who you are, where you are and engaged with this moment of living is leadership enough. 

Center: Three of Wands. Every moment is a new horizon. Watch for your chance. Watch for your moment. A fresh start is always at hand. Wait and watch for the perfect one for you. There is a positive, optimistic energy around the card, like watching the sunrise. Watch for good things.

Rignt: Four of Wands. Solid and stable, the four of wands is associated with family foundations, and a celebration of the things that keep you grounded. “Put down roots” comes to mind. What makes you feel grounded, balanced, solid and stable? Look for those kinds of people and things. It’s been a weird couple of months. This is a good week to steady yourself.