Threshold to the Solstice

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today, the four of wands and sacred liminal space.

Welcome to TaoCraft Short Sip I’m glad you are here.

Today’s card is the four of wands, once again from the Alleyman’s Tarot deck compiled by Seven Dane Asmund, used here with permission. This card was made by Casi Cline.

The interesting thing about this particular card, is its emphasis on the structure in the foreground while the celebrations behind it are smaller and more distant than in the Pamela Smith art or in many other decks.

Very often the four wands are depicted as four posts or poles holding a garland or cloth in a way that is very akin to a Jewish chuppah wedding canopy or the sukkah from the harvest festival. In the recent “One for the Black Sheep” post, we saw this exact card only in reverse. We talked about the four of wands connecting to community celebration. Today a different energy steps forward. This is about liminal spaces, about sacred spaces, about thresholds.

While this card has a sturdier, gazebo sort of feeling to the structure in the front, I like that the front structure is typically presented as something light, temporary and largely symbolic. Sacred space doesn’t have to be Winchester Cathedral. Sacred space can exist, or be created anywhere. To my mind, home altars are far more significant and powerful than large uninhabited stone buildings.

The sacred space depicted on the four of wands is also a liminal space, meaning a place of transition. You don’t need stone walls because you ideally aren’t going to be for a prolonged amount time. Time becomes part of liminal of space. Going back to the home altar – it isn’t a spot you stand in long. It is a transition space and time into and out of connection with your spiritual practice. Time in a liminal space is often short, but important.

Today, the transition seems to be moving toward something very positive. Like a lot of readings over the past two years, I associate this with the global pandemic and the general zeitgeist energy that goes with that. Of course, the local vibe here in the eastern US steps forward the strongest.

Based on the last batch of publicly reported data I’ve seen – hospitalizations, deaths, waste water assessments and the like….I’m cautiously optimistic. I hope there is a celebration when we are fully past this, but I suspect it will be small and tempered. It will be a survivors celebration. Or at least I hope so. I hope everyone appreciates the magnitude of all that has happened and gives due respect to the multitudes who didn’t make it to the other side of the threshold with us.

The bonfire in the artwork very much brings to mind the summer solstice. Summer solstice is very much a social time and an auspicious time for parties. I went to a party once on the day of the solstice and we jumped over a bonfire. It was raining, we were indoors, and the bonfire consisted of a lit candle. But never sell symbolism short.

It was early days in my transition away from my evangelical upbringing. It was thrilling to be doing something so overtly Pagan, but beyond that, the feeling of magic and community was palpable. That tiny little candle delivered on what alternative spirituality was cracked up to be. This was one of the first of many experiences where non-christian spirituality walked its talk. It held up in actual practice in a way I’d not experienced before.

Sure, this is all major projection on my part. It’s almost Easter, my “I quit” anniversary from Christianity. But I also sense a strong transition energy out there that any of us can tap into. What do you want to change? My thoughts go to a social media Tarot reader who was talking about sobriety in a recent podcast. That takes courage – all good vibes to you fellow Tarot person from a rando fan on the internet. But that is the level of transition that is stepping forward here. It has a touch of the Magician card here too. While the Magician often has an element of outward, physical realm transformation and manifestation, today’s card has a feeling of profound inner transformation.

This is more than a beginning. This is next-level, next-phase energy. This is fully stepping into and fully engaging with your personal growth in a serious way. This is the threshold to a new day, a new party, a new bonfire, and the fullness of your light. As we celebrate the of day of longest sun on the solstice, it can be the time to fully show the new you that you have, through this sacred transition space and time, become.

Thank you so much for reading and listening to TaoCraft Short Sip Tarot.

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Thank you again. See you at the next sip!

Delay of Coffee

announcement – delay in short sip tarot reading for Friday. Please stay tuned for a longer behind the scenes the post featureing the four of wands tarot card in reverse

Today’s short sip Tarot full reading will post tomorrow, because of ….stuff.

This card’s energy was kicking me in the shins a little bit, and hitting a bit close for comfort. I don’t want to over-share, so I won’t. It did, however, make today’s post take longer to wrangle into something kind of understandable. It’s too late in the day to be useful as a coffee and contemplation for your day kind of reading so we’ll try again in the morning. Please let me know what you think about any post….comments on the blog are open, as are comments on the YouTube channel and voice mail on Anchor FM. Ask me anything! (Just remember that answers will post in the blogcast.)

One Step Win

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today: Four of Wands and a one step win.

Welcome to TaoCraft Short Sip: Tarot contemplation in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. I’m glad you are here.

Todays card is the Four of Wands.

It’s kind of weird being both a music fan and a little bit clairaudient.

Today is exactly why.

Clairaudience is like clairvoyance except it’s your intuition communicating to you through mental sounds or words instead of mental images. Most of the time it’s great, because like I said, I like a wide range of music. It’s not often that I’ll get an intuitive song reference that I don’t know well or don’t like.

Today, the split second the card turned over I immediately got a song, but had to google it in order to be able to talk about . All I heard was the line “na na na na na na life goes on” clear as a bell, music and all. It was vaguely familiar as the opening for some old TV show that was popular at the time, I guess, but not one I never watched for whatever reason.

Turns out it was Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da (Life Goes On) which was from an early 90s show called “Life Goes On” or so sayeth the Google. Not my favorite Beatles song. I know it may be heresy to some people, but I can take or leave a lot of their stuff and this is a leave one.

Which begs the question what does that have to do with the Four of Wands? Usually the card is associated with celebrations. These celebration are more community & society oriented, or celebrations that extend beyond the immediate family….like a large wedding or christening.

Now juxtapose that with the frightening news of war in Europe. How do you entertain the idea of community celebration when there is real chance of global implications for these events.

That leads to a pop culture reference that I enjoy more. Remember the wedding in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows? Ginny wonders if it isn’t a bit silly having a wedding “given everything that is going on.” Harry replies that maybe everything that is going on is really the best reason TO have it.

That’s the spirit of the Four of Wands today. Step by step, one foot in front of the other, life goes on. When you are feeling tired and discouraged or demoralized, taking that one more step is a win worth celebrating.

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See you at the next sip!

Confession #5: I’m Proud of You

All are welcome here: A few June thoughts from an lgbtquia ally and recovering fundamentalist

New and improved podcast version of the post by the same name earlier this month.


I’m a clairvoyant and I have a confession. I’m proud of you.

I’ve re-written this episode at least two dozen times. 

One version even started with an Eleanor Roosevelt quote. Something about doing what’s right because you are going to be criticized anyway. 

This sort of thing happens in Tarot. Working with your intuition WILL help you find a better understanding of things, but sometimes it will kick you out of your comfort zone in the process. This particular card reading has been pushing my buttons for days

Today’s podcast episode is based on a single card, daily meditation reading from the TaoCraft Tarot blog earlier this month. There is a link in the show notes if you want to read my original semi-unhinged rant.

When I drew the Four of Wands card, the words “quirk” and “celebrate” stepped forward immediately. Here, the word quirk carries a very positive energy and points toward anything that makes you unique or is a key part of your individuality. 

“Celebrate with pride” is still the top level energy message.

I’m recording this in June. You don’t have to be a psychic to connect “celebrate with pride” to Pride Month.

 But there was a secondary message underneath that one. The mental image that came with it reminded me of the ‘river of slime’ in Ghostbusters II. 

I recognized the energy immediately from being raised evangelical in the american south, but it’s really hard to describe the FEEL of it. It helps that there have been several reputable news reports about evangelicals because of their overwhelming support for a certain former president.

Based on my experience and what I’ve seen through my family, the news reports are fairly accurate. I searched for a few recent ones and put links in the show description [below] if you want a better sense of the energy. If it seems like I’m picking on Southern Baptists, I am. That’s my parents’ church. White evangelical baptists are what I know first hand. But never mind my background. REAL experts are saying hate crimes are on the rise. I think this part of the card message serves as a reminder to please stay safe and reach out to reasonable people for support if you need it.

Dogma about the word “pride” is one of about nine thousand ninety-nine hundred and eleventy-one reasons why I ran screaming from evangelical religion. They, and others, turn the simple word “pride” into something terrible.

I’m guessing the “pride” they talk about is something of a language artifact. Language shifts and evolves over time, even when some belief systems don’t. Bronze age manuscripts filtered through medieval translations and then bent to contemporary ends equates “pride” to unbridled ego. In a world before psychology, it makes sense that a mental state like that would be described with commonplace words. Words that WE are familiar with, like ego and narcissist didn’t exist back then. “pride goes before a fall” for example. Out of control narcissism can lead to poor choices and bad stuff happening. 

In any case, it’s a shame that newer, healthier connotations for the word pride are sometimes haunted by old, derogatory ones.

Looking at the card, I was reminded of being a kid and hearing all of the adults quietly supporting Anita Bryant, the loudly anti-gay peanutbutter lady from the 1970s. This part of the message reminded me of how evangelicals STILL feel about pride month and all of the bigotry, racism and overt homophobia that was the number one reason why I quit that religion so long ago.

Did you ever notice how evangelical preachers have a tendency to yell during their sermons? 


Imagine how it would feel as a teenager to hear them literally raise their voices against quote/unquote “the homosexuals.” It was heartbreaking for me to hear it when I had – and still have – good friends in the lgbtqia community.


Now, imagine what that experience would be like if you were young and IN the community.

The Four of Wands is about public cultural celebrations. The Four of Wands is about lifting each other up.

Authenticity is something to celebrate. People living their truest lives is a profoundly happy thing. 

A lack of self esteem can make us more prone to prejudice. Studies are starting to show that putting other people down really is a self esteem boost for some people. 

On the other hand, self acceptance is jet fuel for empathy. Self confidence makes compassion for other people so much easier. Compassion for other people supports their self esteem which in turn seeds more compassion and so on and so on. Pride not only ISN’T a sin, it arguably can make the world a better place.

Pride month is a lesson for all of us. It’s hard to hate other people when you make peace with your TRUE self first. 

Those of us with privilege are exponentially more responsible to protect and celebrate and uplift Pride Month. I used to think that my experience of leaving evangelical religion and coming out atheist gave me a tiny glimpse into what it is like for the lgbtqia community on both sides of the closet door.

But no. Just, no.

As an ally, pride month doesn’t have anything to do with me. For an ally, Pride Month is about being proud of other people. It’s about being proud OF people I care about.

Whatever your situation, if you are living a kind and authentic life – I’m proud of you.

Celebrate who you are. Celebrate everyone. Just be careful that the celebratory kind of pride doesn’t slip into the ego kind of pride. The supportive kind of pride is something for every month, not just corporate advertising during the month of June. 

I post rainbows and celebrate WITH you this month because I’m proud OF you and proud of who YOU are.

All are welcome here. 

This episode is dedicated to a still-quiet loved one and the memory of Roger Harmon, florist, businessman, and one of my first and best friends south of the mason dixon line.

Thanks for listening. I’ll see you on the print side and I’ll see you next time in the clairvoyant’s confessional.

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Today’s Tarot: I’m Proud of You

If you are serious about living an enriched life and being a better person, then stepping outside of your comfort zone – even for a moment – is inevitable. That happens a lot in Tarot. The cards will nudge you toward a better path even if that means kicking you entirely out of your comfort zone in the process. This post might be one of those moments. It is for me. Today’s card uncomfortably pokes at some old issues, but imma just say what intuition gives anyway.  This post is a little sweary and political. If you are not up for that, no worries, just skip it and come back for the next post. I’ll be back to my usual religion and politics avoidance policy by then.

Evangelical dogma and connotations around the word pride is reason nine thousand ninety-nine hundred and eleventy-one why I ran screaming from my family’s religion.

I was raised in the American evangelical subculture by the church deacon and Sunday school teacher who helped found the town’s first Southern Baptist affiliated church. (Yeah, THOSE Southern Baptists in the WaPo article) That kind of thinking turns the innocent word “pride” into something wrong and guilt-riddled. They turn pride into a sin (as do Catholics, so I’m told.)

If being happy with who I really am while proudly celebrating the authentic selves of the people I love is a sin, then hail Satan and pass the asbestos underwear! See you in hell, frens!

It’s a stretch, but I’m guessing the “pride” they are talking about is maybe a language artifact. Language shifts and evolves over time, even when fundamentalists don’t. Bronze age manuscripts filtered through medieval translations and bent to contemporary evangelical ends frames their version of “pride” as being unbridled ego. It makes sense that, in a world before psychology, a mental state like that would be attributed to a more common word like pride. If you define it in those terms “pride goes before a fall” isn’t wrong. Out of control narcissism leads to poor choices and risky behavior (like, for example, the former president who was supported by 80% of white evangelicals according to NPR)

Whatever the reason, it is still a shame that the newer, healthier connotations of the word pride is often haunted by these older, negative, derogatory undertones.

It’s June, so it’s not psychic or paranormal for my thoughts turn to Pride Month.

With the Four of Wands today, the words “quirk” and “celebrate” step forward. “Quirk” is the name for superpowers in the anime My Hero Academia that we’ve been watching lately. Superpower or not, socially acceptable or not, “quirk” here means anything that makes you unique and is a key part of your individual, authentic self. “Celebrate with pride” comes strongly to mind.

This is where it gets uncomfortable. I am reminded of reason number 1 why I ran screaming from the evangelicals: bigotry. Rampant, pervasive, intractable bigotry including overt homophobia. Not every single individual certainly, but the words that pour from those they collectively elevate to their pulpits speaks for everyone in a congregation. Loudly.

The ministers are literally in front of and above everyone else when they speak. Imagine the heartbreak as a teenager when they would nearly yell bigoted bullshit about “the homosexuals” when I had friends in the community who where some of the kindest most compassionate, open, inclusive loving people I’ve met to this day.

The Four of Wands is about community celebration. It is about lifting others up.

And it can be about embracing those who were rejected by their birth families because of who they authentically are. I love those “I’m your mom / dad now” memes supporting lgbtqia kids who are rejected by their own families. Anybody the evangelicals reject is prolly my kind kind of people.

The Four of Wands is about celebration. Authenticity is something to celebrate. People living their truest life is a profoundly happy thing. A lack of self esteem can make us more prone to bias or worse (a 2011 article on is one quick example) Confidence is fuel for compassion. Pride in ourselves breeds compassion for others which leads to pride in those around us which creates acceptance which seeds even more self esteem and so it goes. Pride not only isn’t a sin,  it arguably makes the world a better place.

Pride month is a lesson for all of us. It is hard to hate others when you are comfortable with yourself. Those of us with privilege are exponentially more responsible to protect and celebrate and uplift Pride Month.

I used to think that my experience of leaving evangelical religion and coming out as a tarot reading, science loving, Taoist, atheist and witch gave me a teeny tiny partial keyhole glimpse into what it is like for the lgbtqia+ community on both sides of the closet door.

If there is anything at all I’ve learned from Pride month about being a good ally, it’s that being an ally doesn’t have any fucking thing to do with me. Pride month for an ally is about being proud of other people – proud of the people we care about.

If you are living an authentic and kind life – I am proud of you.

Celebrate who you authentically are. Celebrate everyone else’s authentic self too. But don’t let the celebratory pride slip into the self-centered pride. Pride and a safe and welcoming place is something for every month, not just big business June advertising. Although I kinda like all the rainbow tshirts. And the one big burger place donating a portion of their chicken sandwich profits (including Sunday sales) to a lgbtqia+ organization to troll the anti-equality uber christians that run that other chicken place. I’m all the way down with that particular cororporate move.

I celebrate with you because I’m proud of you and who you really are.

All are welcome here.

Related: The Niggles: What’s In A Name

gif images via, nope via bitmoji free app, Tarot card image from the public domain. Rainbow photo by the author.

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TimeFlow: Tarot To Get Organized

I’ve been thinking about it on my way down the hallway.

I really don’t have much else to say. Usually the post-companion videos don’t keep me talking this much. For once, I don’t have much to add. I’m sure I could have said much of this more artfully, but you already know I’m a better writer than a yootoober.

I’m a little stuck on that intuitive reference to that scene in the Indiana Jones Movie. Normally it is fun and cool when energy & intuition uses the common language of movies and music. Nerves are on edge, and the general energies locally (eastern United States) are still ringing in resonance with the insurgency at the Capital. That might just be me, not every sensitive or empath. I grew up near-ish to Washington D.C. The vast majority of our TV and radio was from there. We have good friends who live there. Thanks to AP civics in high school I’m the designated politics nerd at our house and still feel a little dialed into the place. The violent shoot-the-annoying-sword-guy scene is a giggle in context, and does demonstrate the calm of strength vs the vulnerability of showboating (come to think of it, maybe something Samurai would have been better, I dunno)…but with the funky mojo out there any hint of violence, even intuitive movie references, is setting of other red lights and sirens. This has roots in the day after the election somehow. Gaaackkkk…the energy that day was just so freaking toxic, and that’s when the maga(t)s thought they’s won. *shudder*

Stay strong. Stay safe. Protect your aura and energy.

And still wear your mask, keep your distance and wash your dang hands for like, the next year, even with the vaccine.

YouChoose Interactive Tarot 8-15 August 2020

Take a deep breath. Drink in some soft, intuitive energy from the full moon picture below. Pick a card on impulse, or think about it for a minute. Pause the video if you need more time, then restart to see the reveal. Scroll down for the full one-card meditation style reading.

Left: Six of Cups. Let yourself get lost in the moment. There is an ocean of internal quiet whenever you need it. All it takes is a shift in attention. Gaze. Allow yourself to appreciate some small detail in the middle of chaos. Notice the color of a dandelion growing in the crack of a sidewalk beside a noisy, busy street. Watch a candle burn. Draw a picture. Or color one. Being in the moment and absorbed by any task can offer a moment of silent respite. Happy National Book Lovers Day! Suggested reading for this card: Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards

Center: Four of Wands. Find your tribe. What is your self image? What is your self identity? How do you classify or imagine yourself? What is your spiritual foundation and DNA? Finding that, celebrating that can make anywhere a comfort and a home. When you know your own heart, your tribe and home travels with you anywhere. Happy National Book Lovers Day! Suggested reading for this card: The Hero Within by Carol Pearson

Right: Eight of Swords. Fear of the unknown is deep, primal, ubiquitous, often paralyzing. It takes a deep courage to face the unknown and to think outside the box, to problem solve in motion. Go to the go-to and more. Use every sense. Look at a problem…but also listen, touch and smell it too. Bring everything you can online to make the unknown as knowable as you can. Thinking outside the box can help you feel less trapped inside of one. Happy National Book Lovers Day! Suggested reading for this card: Secrets of a Buccaneer Scholar by James Marcus Bach

YouChoose Tarot Reading for the week of May 24-30

Top: Ace of Cups. The tide of creative energy has turned. If inspiration comes to make a choice or to create, well, anything, sieze the opportunity. Take a chance on making something new and wonderful. Energies support creativity, art and making of all kinds.

Center: Four of Wands. The energy here reminds me of Bill & Fleur’s wedding in the Deathly Hallows, book 6 of the Harry Potter series. If you let circumstances rob you of your inner happiness, if you let the dark forces (that very much exist here in the real world too) steal your humanity, then they have already won. What we celebrate is far more important than the details of how we celebrate it

Bottom: Ten of Swords. Times have knocked us flat, but stay down there a minute. Wounds disturbed too soon start to bleed again. Take a good long minute to gather your thoughts and understand what is happening before you jump up out of some over-inflated sense of bravado. Strategy more than brute force will help you stand again.