Wisdom Methods

October is TaoCraft Tarot’s fourth anniversary. Look for a special giveaway to celebrate. I know, I know. I swore no more crazypants sales, promotions or giveaways – but this is different. This is a celebration of what is, and has already happened, not a by-product of trying to hustle up new business. BIG difference in energy.

I want this to be all celebration-vibe and zero desperate hustle vibe. I’m grateful for the 15 years I was able to work under the Modern Oracle Tarot website name and the Tarotbytes blog (the archives still exist they are over on my personal blog “Sage & Stuff“) but even more grateful for TaoCraft Tarot where I can finally be my Taoist, witchy, atheist slightly snarky self.

NEW in the TaoCraft Tarot shop: live online video call Tarot Readings

I have a few more finishing touches to finish for this years Fall overhaul. I plan to write an omnibus introduction to things-as-they-are but you know how that goes. You know how that goes. Squirrels.

Stay tuned! See you at the next sip!

Meet Zombie Cat ’22

Meet Zombie Cat: the original post revisited and revised.

For the past two days, in the “Proceed” and “Zombie Cat’s Short Summer Shamble” posts we’ve talked a lot about how to do yes or no Tarot readings for yourself. Today is a throwback to the original blog post where we meet Zombie Cat.

First published in April 2015, I re-post it every year to go with Zombie Cat’s summer shamble. By summer shamble I mean the annual summer special offer for my yes or no Tarot readings that I’ve named for the notion of a friendly, tarot-reading zombie cat.

I make tiny changes to the original post every year to update any new things I might pick up about the science part of it. I haven’t learned much that impacts the original post. More importantly, precise scientific accuracy is by not by any means the point of the post in the first place. It is about the common ground between psychics and science. And yes, that common ground really does exist in the case of genuine, authentic intuitive readings. With fiction, fantasy, ego trips and scammy nonsense – not so much.

This year I’ve given the original post a major overhaul. I’ve updated links to the videos that explain the Schrodinger’s Cat thought experiment and changed some of the text to make the whole thing a little more podcast-friendly.

This post was written well before I rebranded from Modern Oracle to TaoCraft Tarot, but it still shows the influence Taoist philosophy has always had on my Tarot philosophy. I guess it was in some sense foreshadowing the name and aesthetic change. Zombie Cat was probably the first big tap on the brakes when it came to my bad habit of trying to make Tarot acceptable to mainstream suburbia. Now I’m protecting my Tarot work FROM mainstream suburbia and current American politics. Things can change a lot in seven years, even if Zombie Cat himself hasn’t changed much.

To my mind, science and spirituality mirrors the yin yang symbol. The original post was in large part inspired by an episode of Menage A Tarot podcast where we talked about the interplay of science and spirituality in Tarot. That harmony of seeming opposites also reminds me of a quote from the 1996 movie, The Craft “Magic is neither black nor white – it is both because nature is both; loving and cruel all at the same time.”

Tarot, science, art, emotion, wonder, curiosity, spirituality, and skepticism are all compatible things within the whole of human experience all at the same time.

Carl Sagan said “The Cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be. Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us — there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, of falling from a height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries.”

Zombie Cat as a character is unafraid of the mysterious and unknowable. No matter what happens to Schrodinger’s cat or why, Zombie Cat begs the question of “why not?”

Zombie Cat likes quotes, too. The original post started with one by Steven Moffat writing in the “Blink” episode of BBC’s Doctor Who

“People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint – it’s more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly… time-y wimey… stuff.”

There are two words that make me cringe a little when I get them in a Tarot question: “will” and “when.”

Predictions and time are knotty subjects in psychic work.

Predictions are actually a scientific thing. A scientific prediction is essentially a pronouncement about what will happen based on existing data and past results. For example, we can predict where in the sky Mars will be a year from now based on Newton’s laws of gravity, Kepler’s laws of planetary motion, existing observations and so on.  As I understand it, that is the kind of prediction that a law of physics or scientific principle has to be able to make in order for the principle to be considered valid within the scientific method.

Skeptics spend a great deal of time and energy bashing and demeaning “psychic predictions” in the name of science. Unlike overt scams, ego trips and outlandish fiction, when psychic predictions are made authentically and traditionally, they are essentially the same as the scientific kind.  The psychic reader is an objective observer who is knowledgeable about symbolism and human nature. Because of that wider perspective the reader can see trends that the person getting the reading may not see. A Tarot reader can predict where things are headed in a relationship just like a scientist can predict where Mars is headed in the sky. The biggest difference that I see is that psychic predictions are based in non-linear logic and psychology instead of linear logic and numerical data.

That is looking at it all from a very superficial, everyday experience point of view. This is Isaac Newton kind of stuff. It’s like predicting that when an apple detaches from a tree, it will fall down. What if we go a just a little bit more modern with it?

Think Schrodinger’s Cat.

Schrodinger’s Cat is a thought experiment that everyone seems to love. Scientists who try to explain it love to use it to take a swipe at non-scientific or spiritual thinking. If you want to understand the hard core science side of this, Star Talk with Dr. Degrasse Tyson and Chuck Nice is very understandable (and fun!)

I’m no physicist but let me take a stab at this, more for the analogy than for the science of it. As Dr. Degrasse Tyson hints, this experiment is really about stuff we can’t observe and we can’t know. Tarot is one way people could talk about stuff we can’t know in a time long before quantum physics. The Visconti-Sforza Tarot deck dates back to the 1440s, predating both Galileo and Newton. The discovery of quantum physics doesn’t mean that Newton’s laws are untrue. The existence of objective science doesn’t mean subjective experiences of human intuition is untrue.

Thought experiments rely on your imagination. Intuition relies on your imagination. So it seems reasonable to use a thought experiment to talk about psychic predictions.

But back to the Schrodinger thing.

In the thought experiment, a poor unsuspecting cat from an era when no one cared about animal welfare was put in a box with a vial of poison gas. There is a trigger on the vial connected to a radioactive molecule that has a 50-50 random chance of breaking down within the next hour. During that hour we cannot know and we cannot predict what the result is going to be. Either the molecule decays and triggers the poison, or it doesn’t. Until the observation is made and the whole thing has happened the cat can potentially wind up in either condition. During the time that the experiment is in progress, the cat is both dead and alive up until the moment when we look in the box to see what happened.

Once the experiment is set up and started, the cat could come out of it alive or not. But why not both or neither? Why are those possibilities excluded when so much of life is on a spectrum like electromagnetic energy? Why are other possibilities excluded when so little of life is a strict dichotomy? Disappearing Cat or Zombie Cat could happen…it’s possible. As I understand the BBC Horizon Series’ program “Parallel Universes” (hosted by Dr. Michio Kaku, based on his book “Parallel Worlds”) anything and everything is possible. Some things are, however, very very unlikely within the laws of physics of our particular universe. Multiple universes is one possible explanation of it all. The cat is both…it just does it in different universes. It can’t be both dead and alive in the same universe.

Why not? I ask the computer screen every time I see the Minute Physics video about multiple universes. Why not a zombie cat that is both or a disappearing cat that is neither?

When the moment of discovery is still in the future, the possibility and attendant levels of probability exists for all outcomes. In the mysterious and undetermined future, all conditions exist, even our wildly unlikely disappearing or undead pet. Can you predict which way THAT is headed using nothing but your brain and handful of Tarot cards? If you “predict” the more likely dead vs alive construct, is that psychic or science? If you predict Zombie Cat, is that quackery or was the intuitive vision simply dialed into a different part of a far flung multiverse?

Zombie Cat may well exist out there. We don’t know because multiverses, as the video says, is unproven. No-cat and Zombie Cat might be out there, but they just don’t make the jump from possible to probable to IS, at least not in this world. All potentials exists until the possibility becomes “entangled” with our reality and the moment becomes NOW instead of future, and then slips instantly into the past. Now and Past are fully collapsed probability waves. They exist. Ska-doosh! It’s a done deal with nothing to predict. The future on the other hand, that’s a different animal than any of our imaginary cats.

Now, just to make things really interesting, let’s introduce Zombie Cat to Alice the Vampire.

In the movie Twilight, the psychic vampire Alice could see the future insofar as people have decided what they want to do. If someone changes their mind or changes their actions, then her vision changes. She can predict but with uncertainty. Her predictions are predicated on the course people are on, not any one fixed outcome. Alice the vampire’s visions and Zombie Cat’s existence are a matter of probability, not “accurate prediction.” And so it is with Tarot and psychic readings.

Let’s say our imaginary cat has human-like intelligence and has a choice rather than being a victim of circumstance as in the classic thought experiment. What if there was something the cat could think or do or meow that make or some action it could take that could detach the vial from its molecular decay trigger? Now how do you make predictions under that set of conditions?

Imagine your psychic vision was of a dead cat which had a 50% mathematical probability in the experiment.  What if the cat heard you make that “psychic prediction” and disconnected the trigger when it otherwise wouldn’t have acted that way? Was the the initial prediction wrong? 

Will you get that job? I dunno. Did you apply for it? Update your resume? Schedule an interview? Check the classifieds for other options? Has the person doing the hiring made any decisions or taken any actions that have connected the possibility to reality?

A reading can’t predict a specific outcome, but it can give you advice and it can help you make decisions that nudge the probabilities in your favor such as be flexible (4 of swords), emphasize your skills and experience (The Emperor) or show you’d be a hard working team player (3 of coins). A good advice reading is like the psychic yelling at the cat in the thought experiment box to disconnect the trigger and improve its chances of survival.

When will you get married? I dunno. But in the meantime you can do social things that make you happy (3 of cups) be clear in your mind about the kind of person and marriage you really want (The Lovers) and engage with the life you have now as happily as you can (10 of pentacles)

The future is just as wibbly-wobbly as the Doctor told us. But Tarot can give you ideas about how to bring love and happiness of all types into your life. Intuition can help you make the best possible choices along the way, not predict what lies at the end of the road.

If you do nothing, take no advice, make no choices, then it is all just a coin toss. You might wind up with anything from a happy cat right up to a Zombie Cat. But who knows? Maybe a friendly Tarot-reading Zombie Cat might not be such a bad thing.

Thank you all for reading and listening. I appreciate you and any likes, subs, follows, shares, questions and comments you can spare. I appreciate your attention so much that if you send a yes or no question, any questions within reason, I’ll answer it for you in an upcoming blog post and podcast episode. So here is some science and math for you: no names plus a yes or no question equals a Zombie Cat readings through the blog and podcast. You get an answer from an expert Tarot reader, I get content ideas. It’s a fair trade.

The blog and podcast are not monetized. Your Tarot message comes first over any advertisers’ Please visit the TaoCraft Tarot page on ko-fi where the shop, memberships and virtual coffees support the creation of this (almost) daily Tarot content.

MEMBERS: get 60% off Zombie Cat yes/no readings when you order through the ko-fi shop.

Zombie Cat’s Short Summer Shamble ’22

Zombie Cat is shambling through again this summer with yes or no Tarot answers for you.

Zombie Cats don’t move quickly.

This one shuffles through each summer since he popped up out the confluence of ideas that was a Schrodinger’s Cat YouTube explainer and a 2015 Menage A Tarot podcast episode. I’ll put up the original “Meet Zombie Cat” blog post on Thursday if you are interested.

I’m incapable of mentioning Menage A Tarot podcast without saying how grateful I am to David S. Dear, voice actor extraordinaire, for bringing me in on the project back in the 2015 Modern Oracle days. I love his current podcast project, Ninth World Journal on Spotify and Kate continues to rock out loud over at Daily-Tarot-Girl dot com. I’ll put links below & in the episode description so you can check out their awesomeness for yourself.

But yeah – Zombie Cat

I’ve spent a LOT of time talking about movie-style predictions and predicting the future with Tarot and how it doesn’t really work and how its not all that useful anyway. Some people just aren’t in a good head space for that. High minded spiritual growth and personal development really is important, and all of that has its place, but sometimes you just want some short, sweet, kick-in-the-pants guidance.

Even though promises of “100% accuracy” a sure sign of a scam in my opinion, sometimes a little “wtf just do a prediction” can get to your intuition in ways thoughtful, careful “listening to your inner wisdom and higher self” can’t. Especially if you go into it knowing any little thing could change the prediction in a heartbeat. Cause and effect really is a thing, you know.

If you come over to the blog post, you’ll see a video of the last few seconds of a yes or no layout. I didn’t have a particular question in mind when I filmed the cards. I really just intended to demonstrate a little of what the yes or no layout process is (I’ll talk about that part tomorrow)

But me being me and me being Zombie Cat (over the years he’s become a fictional character zero flocks to give outlet for the Tony Stark wannabe side part of my personality) we can’t leave it at just a yes or a no. Oh no. No no.

It starts with an age-old yes/no card dealing pattern of who knows what origin.

Then I change the interpretation of the final three cards to align with the yin yang way three coins are interpreted in the Taoist related classic I Ching…which itself has been used for fortune telling for (no-joke) … millenia. The I ching is believed to have been written around 400 to 800 something ish BC in China. But that is also a topic for another day.

Just for fun, think of a question. Make it one that CAN be answered with a yes or with a no. If you are reading the blog, scroll back up to the video to get your test-case answer (If you want a real reading of your individual question, zombie cat readings are available by email, no appointment needed HERE on the blog website and in the ko-fi shop)

In all of these Zombie Cat readings, after we get the flat yes/no answer, I go through card by card with a few intuitive ideas to consider in addition to the yes no. If you don’t like the yes or no that you got, the cards might hint at ways you can nudge things in a different direction. If you like your answer, the cards might give you hints about how you can strengthen the path you are on.

In the video example we see the final cards are the four of swords, the queen of swords and the ace of pentacles. When you get just one ace, I read that as a flat no.

Four of swords asks you to think about where you need to rest and think. Is being overextended, exhausted, or inattentive part of the reason your answer is no? If you wanted a yes maybe a little rest and contemplation, a mental review of the details will show you a different path than the one you are on. If you like the no, is risking fatigue and inattention worth it to keep it that way?

The queen of swords asks you to think about where you are giving away your power. What are you ceeding to other people that makes this a no? If you like the no, what control are you willing to give to keep things going this way?

The Ace of Pentacles points to cost. What does the no cost you? What practical things can you change or do in order to change or keep your “no”?

This is all very vague and general because this is just a vague and general-audience example reading. It is pretty much the Tarot equivalent of wet spaghetti we’re throwing at the blog and pod walls to see what sticks in the hope that it is helpful to somebody somewhere.

Please come back tomorrow for another yes/no example and Thursday for the Zombie Cat post that started this whole thing.

Thank you for listening! See you at the next sip!

David S. Dear, voice actor, podcaster

Daily-Tarot-Girl (Kate)

Menage A Tarot podcast on TuneIn

Introvert hard

The Four of Swords gives us permission for a little self care – or to introvert hard.

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

Today’s card if the four of swords.

The 1909 public domain Waite Smith card is pictured in the blog because following this advice was well underway when I sat down to write this. It’s been one of those days for about a few weeks now.

It’s been yang, so now it’s time to be yin. What goes up must come down. When you push the envelope, you have to haul it back in.

Or to paraphrase somebody on Twitter, if you’re down, stay down there for a minute, look around and recover. You just might find those keys you lost under the sofa last week.

In the Pamela Smith card, the reclined figure has their palm pressed together. Like any good sage or mirror, this reflects whatever we the viewer project onto it. Some might see it at prayerful, but it strikes me as more thought full, with a “things that make you go hmmm” vibe.

Here I am reminded of Benedict Cumberbatches portrayal of Sherlock Holmes, and the similar hand gesture he made when Sherlock entered his “mind palace” memory technique.

BBC image via screenrant.com

Folded hands can hint at outward directed thinking at a diety, or it can be deep inward contemplation, but either way the body rests and the mind is slowed. Either way it fits the four of swords card at least in today’s energy context.

Do you bristle at catchphrases and platitudes about this sort of thing, like rest, self-care or nurturing your inner cranky child who really really needs a nap right now? If you want something that feels a little more gritty & persistent with a can-do attitude, try this: introvert HARD for a little while. Think of napping as an endurance sport. Pretend that finding an excuse to stay in and give yourself a break as a mental acuity exercise. Who says finding and wearing your comfiest clothes isn’t making an extreme fashion statement?

The four of swords and I both wish you a great weekend. Get some rest – or if you prefer, introvert HARD.

Thanks for reading and listening. Your likes, subs, follows I’ll see you at the next sip!

Please visit the TaoCraft Tarot page on ko-fi. The shop, memberships, commissions and virtual coffees all support the cost to create this unique, non-monetized, (almost) daily Tarot content.

Distance Tarot is my specialty. No appointment needed email Tarot is available to order 24/7 HERE

Contemplation: Not just for coffee and morning

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day (or in this case, your evening) in the time it takes to sip from your coffee (or tea or whatever you like)

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

This evening’s card is the four of swords and it couldn’t be more perfect for this flipped schedule post and podcast.

I worked a different than usual shift on the day job…it really was a day job today. I like the evening shift, because I am so very extremely not a morning person. My favorite TV quote is Sheriff Hopper from Stranger Things sushing a secretary saying something like “Mornings are for coffee. And contemplation. Coffee. And contemplation.”

I am grateful for the privilege of starting most weekdays with exactly that, a steaming mug of coffee and spending time in my happy place chair writing Tarot contemplations for the day.

I’d forgotten how nice Tarot can be at sunset.

In the morning readings tend to be a pep talk, giving us a heads up about the energies ahead. Morning Tarot tends to focus on how to do our best work with the energy ahead and make the best choices possible with the physical, mental and spiritual resources we have at hand.

Not everyone has the mighty, mighty caffeine metabolism needed to sip coffee at bedtime. Hot chamomile tea works just as well for Tarot sips. If morning Tarot has a “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead” energy, evening Tarot has a introspective, decompressing, emotional processing sort of vibe.

Let’s make this as self referential as possible. Morning Tarot readings have a knight of swords style, while evenings have a – you guessed it – four of swords style.

Take a deep breath. A long, slow quiet breath in through the nose and out through the mouth.

See how Pamela Smith drew the hands of the knight with the tips of the fingers touching. Touching fingers is an actual energy thing. What do you do when you are deep in thought. Do you touch your fingers like the card, touch your chin, run your fingers through your hair or something else? Give it a try. Adopt that posture, whatever it is for you. How do you feel? Does the physical change help you quiet the mental noise and stress of the day at all?

If you don’t know your particular physical tell that shows when you are in deep thought, try this: Unless you are driving or something, lace your fingers together. Keep them laced and rest your hands however is comfortable. This is said to seal your aura and stabilize your energies.

I like to think of this as a psychic emotional faraday cage. A Faraday cage is a container or enclosure that protects anything inside from electromagnetic energy from the outside. Imagine that while your fingers are interlaced it blocks out stress or any empathic influences from other peoples energies. Imagine that while your fingers are laced, your inner world is quiet, isolated from outside stress. Imagine that you can hear your own inner wisdom, feel your own emotions, all with perfect clarity and understanding.

If you try it, please let me know in the comments. I’d be interested to know if it works for you, and what you experienced with this simple little exercise.

Take that deep breath, lace your fingers. Now, how was your day? What is your energy level? What emotions do you feel? Does anything bubble up to top of mind wanting your attention? Is there anything inside your emotional faraday cage that needs to be kicked out of the door and dealt with on another day?

The hands on the four of swords card is our hint for this evening. It’s a small, harmless physical gesture that can help you find some evening style contemplation.

Contemplation isn’t just for mornings and coffee. Contemplation, like Tarot, is a soothing sip any time of day.

Thank you so much for listening!

If you enjoy these Tarot sips, please visit the TaoCraft Tarot page on Ko-fi. None of these videos, blog posts or podcast episodes are monetized, so the ko-fi shop, memberships and virtual coffees support the creation of this free to access Tarot content.

As far as I can tell, things back to the usual squirrel rave playlist of a schedule. Short sip posts and podcasts are on weekdays, usually much earlier than this one. There are at least 6 posts of exclusive members-only content on the ko-fi blog per month. Email readings are open all the time so you can purchase them anytime (delivery times vary a bit.) Your questions and comments are welcome and appreciated.

Now it is time for me to have a real world cuppa tea. See you at the next sip!


*slides into chair with second cup of coffee*

Hello Sitters

We need to think of an insider nickname for y’all. My inner 12 year old still gets a kick out of that sort of thing. I’m a Browncoat, a Whovian and more recently a card carrying, fan-pack downloading Space Monkey (fan of the Oz 9 podcast, my friend David Dear is a cast member) What do you think? Sitters? Sippers? Think about it and let me know and we’ll all try to forget about the bubble gum pop stars that do the same thing – swifty bieberheads or whatever the kids call it nowadays.


I just wanted to slide back in and see what you thought about the turnover this weekend. How do you like the exercise so far?

I thought it might be fun to touch base with you a day or two later, give you any brainwaves that might have popped up when I saw the card and see what you think.

WordPress energy is way more of a publishing platform. There is a definite shift in tone towards a formal, professional, public presentation which is great. I want that for Tarot. I want it to have a full professional trustworthiness about it. 

But for us – you, me, the membership part of it all – I want this to be cozy and informal and a conversation. I want the ko-fi members blog to be a permanent AMAA – Ask Me Anything Anytime. If I don’t have a legit answer, I’ll happily spout a half-baked opinion for you instead….

Today’s Accomplishment

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today is a day. Having one is an accomplishment!

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

Today’s card is the four of swords.

There are reasons for all of the lore around Tarot decks.

Bottom line, they are bits of heavy paper with pictures on them. Full stop.

It’s not the cards, it’s the person using them and how they are used. They are the big theater screen where we can project our intuition and make it easier to see. They are a giant mirror that reflects ourselves so we can see that better too.

The genius in Pamela Smiths treatment of the minor arcana number cards is that she hits on very archetypal, foundational, core ideas. It’s hard to improve them. So, so many decks are rightfully derived from that body of work. Before Smith’s work, as I understand it, most decks had pips…a grouping of the suit’s symbols…instead of fully fledged images like the ones she created.

Some of the cards are fairly consistent across all of he derived decks. The three of swords is a good example. Almost every three of swords that I’ve seen has some iteration of heart and swords and something getting stabbed. The four of swords has much more variation. In the RWS deck, you see a knight in repose, taking a lil’ nap with all of his favorite pointy objects, no stabbing in sight. Mark Evans, artist for the Witches Tarot, depicts a grumpy looking lady with one sword in hand, dress swirling to denote movement and activity, with the other three swords close by. It’s not a particularly restful image. Here Lenny Magner give us four disembodied heads stabbed with swords for the Alleyman’s Tarot. The faces look sleepy, possibly dead, and winds up being more disconcerting than restful. Seven Dane Asmund’s interpretation of the card resonates with this image. The Alleyman’s Notebook interprets it as having to do with self-doubt, where he writes “nothing sticks like the daggers we put in ourselves.”

As disparate as it all seems, all of these different images fit together like pieces of a bigger picture.

Think of the ubiquitous and sometime slightly annoying email courtesy of telling people to “have a great day.”

Not every day is great. Some days are a hot mess. Other times you need to turn down the wattage and have just a day. Any day. A no big deal, kinda routine, go make the donuts day. Those days are as great as any other. When we expect perfection from ourselves, it is all too easy to slip into stabbing ourselves in the head with self-doubt. A little rest and repose from self-imposed expectations can be a wonderful thing. Even the Witches Tarot sword swinging grumpy girl has a part to play. External activity, working and adulting still has to happen which covers the action aspect of the swords cards in general. Sometimes you have to, as the shoe commercials used to say, just do it. Swords are also associated with intellect and the mind. That is the kind of rest and repose the four of swords talks about today.

Give being your own worst critic a rest.

Nevermind great. Sometimes just having a day is an accomplishment.

Thanks so much for reading and listening! I’ll see you at the next sip!

The blog and podcast are not monetized and depend on your support. Please visit the TaoCraft Tarot ko-fi page and become a Patron of the Tarot Arts for exclusive content, special offers, and private readings.

Of course, your likes, subs, shares, follows, private reading orders, questions and comments are always, always, appreciated.

The deck pictured is the Alleyman’s Tarot by Seven Dane Asmund, used with permission.

YouChoose Interactive Tarot: Rest and Contemplate

Cut through the noise of social media and the static of online Tarot posts to get something a little more personal. You choose your card and get it’s interpretation.

Welcome to YouChoose Interactive Tarot on the TaoCraft Tarot blog and podcast. I’m glad you are here.

This post works just like the name says: you choose. You choose your card and you choose how to apply it. It’s Monday morning where I am right now, so my mind is drawn to the flow of energy for the week ahead. Overall it feels like a time to rest and contemplate. This feels like a time to gather your energy and regroup, recover from recent efforts or as “Bob the Writing Cat” on instagram often says – to “gird your loins” because it is Monday and the week is coming.

But, of course, it could be something entirely different for you.

If you are listening to audio only on the podcast, there is a link in the description to the blog post where you can watch the youtube video and see how all this is playing out with the real-world card draw. I’ve added the shape cards as a reference to make it easier to imagine and to pick a card from the audio only, but if seeing it would help, the visual is here for you.

First things first. Let’s choose. I’ve shuffled the Tarot deck and picked three random cards out of the five shape cards. Today we have square, triangle and wavy lines.

Choose a shape. Take a minute, take a deep breath. If you are watching the video, pause if you need more time then restart to see the card reveal. If you are listening, imagine the shapes. Choose the one that feels right for today; square, wavy lines or triangle.

Square gets the Four of Cups

Triangle get the Ace of Pentacles or Coins

Wavy Lines gets the Four of Swords

Four of Cups feels like validation. People are closed as it seems. Lines of communication are not flowing well, but it is temporary and it’s ok. It just isn’t a time to push on the giving or receiving in. If others are up in your grill but you need them to step back and wait a little, honor that feeling. If you are the one trying to get the message through and other people just can’t get the message or seemingly won’t listen honor that too. It just isn’t the time. Let them have their moment. There is no sense in beating your head against the wall. This isn’t a good time to push or be too assertive any more than it is a good time to be imposed upon.

The Ace of Pentacles feels like a good news is on the horizon card. It feels consistent with the physical world, money and career vibe that is traditionally associated with pentacles. It’s no wonder some decks call them coins instead. This feels like payday in a small way. It feels like getting a return on work already done, time already invested. Time transforms. Things are coming back around, but it feels like it is in unexpected but valuable ways. It feels like a transformation toward something very different but more valuable to this moment. The mental image is a diamond. Diamonds are made of carbon, but elemental carbon is a very different thing when it isn’t in the high pressure crystal lattic form we call diamonds. Don’t overlook the diamond that is coming back from the carbon you gave a long time ago. If you gave grape juice, don’t walk around looking for more grape juice when you are being handed a glass of wine.

The Four of Swords really captures the essence of that rest, repair, regroup energy we were talking about earlier. Swords cards and knight cards carry a sense of activity and motion and doing. This card balances that. It is the yin to the knight of swords yang. This card is all about rest, but rest with an active purpose. This is resting deliberately so you can be at your best during the next battle, the next active time that is going to come. For those of you who picked this card, rest and contemplate fast. I have a hunch the restful, contemplative mode will shift for you before it does for everyone else.

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See you at the next sip!

Microwavable Enlightenment

There is no substitute for time. You can’t fool Mother Nature – or gluten. There is no such thing as microwavable enlightenment.

Even if enlightenment seems to happen in a flash it took some amount of time to build the lightbulb that come on over your head. It takes some amount of time to build up to the tipping point, or reach critical mass or any of a dozen analogies you could use here.

Personal growth and our spiritual journey is like a good brisket – it takes time. Microwaving the same cut of meat just isn’t the same no matter how much liquid smoke you use.

No-knead bread is just another name for biscuits. You can’t shortcut a good knead and rising time on a warm kitchen counter.

This card is reminding us that you can’t rush repose. Some things unfold in their own time. The best things take as long as they take.

Stay tuned for one more “equinox” announcement later today.

Having An Idea

Inspiration is a funny thing.

I’m a TED talk junkie. Not that I watch a lot. I’m an encouragble multitasker and tend to let TV be audio wallpaper. But not TED talks. Those get my full attention, so I don’t watch them as often as I’d might otherwise.

One of my favorites is by author Elizabeth Gilbert speaking about creativity:

And that search has led me to ancient Greece and ancient Rome. So stay with me, because it does circle around and back. But, ancient Greece and ancient Rome — people did not happen to believe that creativity came from human beings back then, OK? People believed that creativity was this divine attendant spirit that came to human beings from some distant and unknowable source, for distant and unknowable reasons. The Greeks famously called these divine attendant spirits of creativity “daemons.” Socrates, famously, believed that he had a daemon who spoke wisdom to him from afar. 06:44

The Romans had the same idea, but they called that sort of disembodied creative spirit a genius. Which is great, because the Romans did not actually think that a genius was a particularly clever individual. They believed that a genius was this, sort of magical divine entity, who was believed to literally live in the walls of an artist’s studio, kind of like Dobby the house elf, and who would come out and sort of invisibly assist the artist with their work and would shape the outcome of that work. 07:14

So brilliant — there it is, right there, that distance that I’m talking about — that psychological construct to protect you from the results of your work. And everyone knew that this is how it functioned, right? So the ancient artist was protected from certain things, like, for example, too much narcissism, right? If your work was brilliant, you couldn’t take all the credit for it, everybody knew that you had this disembodied genius who had helped you. If your work bombed, not entirely your fault, you know? Everyone knew your genius was kind of lame. 

Elizabeth Gilbert

I don’t claim to be a creative genius, but some rare sometimes ideas will drop in that feel like they have been tossed there from from some outside source. It’s different than deliberately doing a reading or listening to intuition on someone else’s behalf. It’s random, unexpected, otherworldly-feeling and worthy of attention. It’s closer to the Tower card than the Four of Swords in that respect. Ideas like that feel especially important when they are sparked by one source but seem to connect to something wildly different. This morning, for example, connected an online article by Christopher Penzack about the symbolism of mountains with the memory of a 1970s TV commercial.

Most of you are probably too young to remember the lifesavers candy commercial where a guy climbs a frozen, isolated mountain to ask the guru on top to define the meaning of life, which of course, is pepp-o-mint lifesavers. It is like the part of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series where the most advanced super computer Deep Thought calculates the answer to the ultimate meaning to life, the universe and everything is actually 42. There was a snapple commercial with the same sort of trope where a guy goes to a farm, seemingly in remote China, to ask an elderly man how white tea is made…”you find the small young leaves, and you pluck them” … or something like that.

Climbing a mountain or traveling to somewhere remote and exotic is the classic symbol for spiritual growth and development. Both are really hard work. Outside of the comedic and marketing value, there is a real grain of truth to ‘climbing the mountain’ only to find that the mystic guru sitting on top is simple, pragmatic, and just like the rest of us.

Does that mean it wasn’t worth the climb?

No. Not at all.

THAT realization, the understanding that mystical gurus are like us and that we are like mystical gurus is in itself a great treasure. It’s worth the climb to discover the magic in the mundane. It’s worth the climb to realize that you can be your own mystical magical wise guru teacher person.

Green tea and peppermint candies are pretty good things to find too.