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.

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YouChoose Interactive Tarot: Don’t Give Up Now

I learned a long time ago that the fastest way to torpedo a plan is to 1. make one and 2. publish it on the blog.

Which is precisely why I like the quote that Adam Savage had on…”Follow the process, not the plan.” Very Taoist, that. Follow the natural flow of things, which changes, often randomly. It looks like these YouChoose posts are going to be either Saturday afternoon or Monday morning. Hopefully. In one time zone or another. Maybe. I find myself unable to get pedantic or fussed up about it. In my opinion/experience being to rigid, or finicky about these things is antithetical to good Tarot. Tarot and intuition is about reading the dynamic flows of the energy. Imposing your will, your schedule, your expectations on the Tarot experience is seldom helpful. At the same time, it helps to have some internal structure, some common ground or else we can get disoriented and drown in the flow. It is a little like a soft stuffie with a poseable wire skeleton. Adaptable underpinning is what I think I’m trying to say. And the adaptable underpinning for these videos will be to look for them on Monday mornings. Except when they post early, on Saturday – but they will still be here waiting for you come Monday. You get the idea, so let’s get on with this.

If I were to put all three cards together in a sentence, it would be evaluate and persist. Or, look how close you are – don’t give up now.

Left: King of Swords. The air and intellectual aspects of swords step forward, along with the decisiveness of a king. “Be the decider” comes through along with “Evaluate.” Let your head lead this week. Fly by instrument. Feelings can bubble and surge, but use logic and reason to navigate it all. Evaluate where you are – you might be farther along in the process of things than you thought.

Center: Five of Pentacles (coins) Times have been tough, many have been generous. Don’t stop giving, helping, cooperating just yet. Keep doing what you have been doing to survive. “Some winters are long” Don’t give up now. Persistence is our way out of the cold.

Right: Nine of Cups. Nine is the largest single digit card. Things are close to wrapping up. The nine of cups has to do with family celebrations. “Don’t be tied to time.” again with a feeling of head rules heart this week. “Do what needs done to prepare” because things delayed before may be coming back to play in days ahead if we are disciplined and prepare just a little more.

I can almost hear some of you out there asking “when?” Tarot does not predict the future…it tells you how to create it. Our three dimensional universe runs on an engine of cause and effect. If you give up or change course you get one set of results. If you keep doing what logic, intellect and reason dictate then you get another, different (in this case better) result. And yes, as a matter of fact I am referring to keep wearing a mask until a real expert and not an idiot right wing politician says to change. The virus is a prime example of why persistence is valuable. If we stop masking and distancing too soon, then the mutant strains keep mutating and we lose the ground we’ve gained with vaccines and people die necessarily. Public health has two parts to it. One part is the community at large: what you do affects how many people get sick and die in total. The other part is your personal health: what you do affects your chances of getting sick or dying. Wearing a mask and staying home away from indoor groups helps BOTH parts.

Thus ends my public service announcement for today, the same as it was roughly a year ago…wear a mask, stay the heck at home and wash your hands.

Don’t stop. A year is an arbitrary thing that human beings made up. The virus don’t give a damn about calendars, so you have to give a damn about yourself and the health of others. Don’t give up now.

Today’s Tarot: Frosty Fall

The Five of Pentacles makes me feel sad today. It has tendrils of tragedy, misfortune, and fear. It is one of those things that makes me stop, and as we have talked about before, take a little inventory. Is it me? Is it any sort of real threat? Is there something I’m missing or need to do? Or is this an energy from outside myself, a purely “the current zeitgeist is ringing my bell” empathic feeling. It seems to be the latter. I have to travel for family reasons but there is no logical, physical reason that would explain the card’s vibe. This is a coins/pentacles card. As a reader, not only is it always good to stop and consider if a strong emotional reaction is product of our own psychology (as opposed to a purely intuitive reaction to the card) but the suit of pentacles or the suit of swords points to the real world and cold logic straightaway.

Given all of that, I don’t see any real world, my issue, or logical reason for this visceral sort of reaction to the card other than maybe the continued political news here in the U.S. Maybe I’m reacting to the passing of Justice Ginsburg …but there is so much else so wrong and has been for nearly 4 years now.

The card has more of a sense of more foreboding now that I write this than it did at first blush when I filmed the card-draw video. You all know how writing is a more potent connection to intuition for me than working with YouTube is.

The parable of the grasshopper and the ant comes to mind….as does the squirrels and chipmunks busting around the neighborhood in a prehybernation frenzy. The “Pre-hibernation Week” episode of Spongebob was pretty close to reality from the look of these guys.

Today’s Five of Pentacles gives us the same advice. Fall is a time to harvest and store and budget and take care. It might be a hard winter. I hope I’m wrong, but that hurricane on the horizon feeling is back. If it is wrong…great. If not, be safe and be well.

Please prove me wrong.

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.

Today’s Tarot: Lingering Winter

The Five of Penticals still points very strongly to the physical realm. When I do these readings, it is with the intent of reading the general energies and hopefully giving a reading that is thought provoking or in some way helpful to the broadest audience possible.

Today there is a sense of a three way split, with a slightly different idea for each group.

Again, at least here in the U.S. the pandemic is the top of mind issue and the dominant energy. All three, however, reming of long winters. We are in the late January equivalent of this energy wave. We are in the dark heart of a long and lingering winter, do to speak.

Some may feel cautiously optimistic. You are right, this will end, but for a long while and not with rainbows and unicorns you might think. Nurture that optimism, it is like a flower poking up through the snow. But don’t get too carried away just yet. Temper and balance that optimism with realism and practicality. This isn’t over yet. Don’t panic, things will change, but at their pace, not ours. Plan in case scarcity last longer than you think.

Others may feel just plain terrible, and the bleak imagery on most five of coins cards captures that feeling. You are totally justified in feeling that way. Things are terrible in a lot of ways for a lot of people. The initial zinging panic energy has already changed, even if it has changed into the low level him of persistent existential dread. There’s no easy remedy for that kind of mental and emotional headspace. I’m not talking about real depression or genuine mental health need, which is far outside the scope of this kind of this kind of blog. It speaks to the normal funk of a person put in a funky situation beyond their control. Here I get the mental image and sound of “it can’t rain all the time” from the movie “The Crow.” In 1816, a volcanic eruption in the south Pacific caused an ash cloud so severe that it caused crop failures in Europe. Even in that “year without a summer” Yes, things suck. Don’t deny or minimize how you feel about it, but at the same time don’t let it affect what DO about it. Persist. Keep plodding on through the deep snow drifts. It might be along winter, but it isn’t a forever winter. You aren’t in this alone. To continue the analogy with winter, we are all freezing our buns off together to one extent or another. You might be in an isolated cabin by yourself, but you are not in the storm alone.

The third group has pretty much just snapped. Cabin fever has boiled over. Whether they have carried an enormous burdon or were just fragile to start, some have been pushed beyond their means to cope and are operating from a place of fear and anger. That person isn’t reading this and probably couldn’t hear anything the card might suggest anyway.

It falls to the rest of us to protect ourselves from lingering in a place like that and from those who do. Whether you are walking around harboring a glimmer of hope, like sunshine on a freezing afternoon or if you are sitting in fully overcast gloom, we got this. Yes, mind your resources. Yes, honor your genuine feelings. Winter can sometimes linger, but it never lasts forever.

You Choose Interactive Tarot Reading: Coronavirus the 13th edition

Left: Death. Momento mori. Valar Morghulis. Wash your dang hands, listen to experts, mitigate viruses…if not for yourself, then for someone you love.

Middle: The Emperor. It’s ok to be ok. It’s ok to take it all in stride. That just means that this is your time to shine, to be hero and protector for the vulnerable ones. Valar Doheris.

Right: Five of Coins. We are all riding this space rock together. Just be excellent to each other.

You Choose Tarot for 22 Jan 20

Right: 6 of wands. Sometimes you have to fight the war to find the peace on the other side. Protect your boundaries.

Left: 5 of Pentacles. No need to deny how difficult it is. If times are tough, face up to the fact that they are. That doesn’t mean you have given up hope. Admitting you are cold doesn’t stop the first spring flower from blooming through the snow.

Middle: 7 of Cups. A good time to choose. This present moment is the axel around which the wheel of the future spins. This is where you make the choices that steer your path where you want it to go.

You Choose Tarot (14 Jan 20)

Right: Ace of Cups. Indulge in some doing. Make. Energy is flowing toward payoffs for your effort. You’ll get something back, even if it is only a vague sense of self satisfaction.

Middle: Five of Wands. Life can’t be all rainbows and cupcakes. If you don’t get a few fire breathing dragons every now and then, how will you discover what a bad*ss you you really are?

Left: Five of Pentacles. Mind the budget and shift with the seasons. The lush holidays naturally give way to leaner times. “A penny saved is a penny earned.” As Ben Franklin said.

Today’s Tarot 22 April 2019

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