Skill to be Used

Use it or lose it with the obscure three of books card

Atrophy is a thing.

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

The beautiful part of the Alleyman’s Tarot is the exposure it gives to unique or less well known Tarot cards. The downside to the Alleyman’s Tarot is the unique and lesser known cards. 99% of the time the cards read easily, no reference book required. Sometimes a card just doesn’t resonate on that intuitive level. That dissonance can happen even with the most well known and much used Tarot deck that you own. Maybe that is just a professional’s problem. You do a high enough volume of these things, fizzles and disconnects will happen.

Fortunately it is an easy fix. The Alleyman’s Tarot came with the Alleyman’s guidebook which was styled to look like a handwritten journal and is just as brilliant as the deck itself. So when I pull a card that I’m not familiar with and it doesn’t read intuitively, going to the guidebook usually shakes some message or another loose.

If the deck is standard Rider-Waite-Smith type then it gets even more fun. Then you have the option of turning to that deck’s guidebook, any guidebook from any deck that follows that format plus all the stand alone references that aren’t connected to any particular deck. With all of that material as inspiration, something somewhere is bound to ring a bell and resonate with the day’s energy.

Today neither of those things that generally apply helped much.

The Three of Books is from the Jost Amman deck, a 16th century game playing deck. While the artwork on the cards by German artist Jost Amman was originally presented in a booklet with inspirational sayings, the book is rare or lost from what I’ve seen in a brief internet search. So that leaves us with Dane Asmund’s excellent guide book.

Which, today, doesn’t quite capture the feel. He talks about teaching and taming baser instinct. I get mental images of honing a knife on an old fashioned whetstone. After seeing his read and going “nah” that and the mental image led me to the idea of use to avoid atrophy.

Here is another path to the same basic concept.

In Breaking Dawn, Stephanie Meyers writes of elder vampires from Hungary or somewhere in Middle Europe seeming to have physically deteriorated from lack of movement…or something like that. It’s been a while since I read the book, and I don’t think this detail was in the movie. Atrophy is a thing. Muscles that aren’t used, shrink. Couch potatoes and astronauts alike have proven that fact.

In other other words – use it or lose it.

That resonates with today’s energy a little better than taming instincts.

In the 1980s and ’90s there was an American study funded by the National Institute on ageing of over 900 nuns that looked at lifestyle, aging and the onset of dementia. The study showed that nuns who had higher education levels, higher verbal skills at a younger age, and who remained physically and mentally active had less and later onset of dementia.

The moral of the story and advice of today’s card is, essentially, read a book.

Meyer’s vampires became more decrepit the less they moved in spite of their immortality. The nuns aged well because they read more. The human animal is healthier when they are both physically and mentally active and agile.

So read a book. Or three. And I’ll see you at the next sip.

If you enjoyed this free Tarot Reading or any of TaoCraft Tarot’s content, please visit the TaoCraft Tarot Ko-fi page. Reading purchases, shop purchases and virtual coffees all support the creation of this blog and podcast

Please also visit the podcast and blog website and click the purple link for the TaoCraft Tarot Octoberversary celebration offer. (print readers click HERE)

Path through October

Members-only three card pathway reading is up on the ko-fi blog.

Visit the TaoCraft Tarot page on ko-fi to join and get the monthly Tarot reading along with other membership benefits:

A seat at the Tarot Table level ($5 monthly) gets:

  • pathway reading on the members blog
  • 5% off all shop purchases
  • random special offers and giveaways
  • newsletter on the members blog
  • weekly “Tarot Turnover” intuition building exercise

Patrons of the Tarot Arts receive:

  • ALL of the Tarot Table benefits
  • 10% off in the shop instead of 5%
  • PLUS access to one private email ‘short sip’ Tarot reading per month upon request

Fall/Winter Schedule ’22-23

Spooky Season ’22

The TAO in TaoCraft is about living in harmony with the flow of life


There are none. The schedule going forward is there is no schedule.

Email Tarot is ALWAYS available. Order anytime you want, 24/7/365.

Delivery times will vary because I’m closed nights, weekends, US holidays and whenever my family needs me to be.

Seriously, I do mean vary – anywhere between a few hours to a few days depending on when you place the order. If you don’t get SOME sort of confirmation from me within 24 hours of placing your order, PLEASE send a follow up email and I’ll give you an update on the status of things:

Live online readings (Zoom or Skype), local in-person readings and party appearances are all by appointment only.

Ebooks for instant download & distance Reiki sessions are always available in the ko-fi shop


There are none.

I don’t keep an office or physical location and pass those savings along to YOU (compare my $40 for a one hour in-person reading to the national average of $99 per hour)

Local in-person readings are in a mutually agreeable quiet, public place.

Local party appearances are at your event location.

Everything else happens online. Read about in-person vs online HERE


“Tarot Table” members on ko-fi get a monthly 3 card pathway reading (through the ko-fi blog) monthly newsletter and automatic ko-fi shop discount. “Patron of the Tarot Arts” membership tier gets all this plus a private individual email 1 card reading on request, one per calendar month.


The best way to interact with me directly is on Instagram or Twitter. TaoCraft Tarot content is also on Facebook, Tumblr and TikTok. “Short Sip” one card Tarot readings post most weekdays, but nothing is on a specific schedule.

NONE of this is advertising monetized! I don’t get a penny from any of the ads you may see, so your reading orders, memberships, and virtual coffee donations are very needed and very, very appreciated!!


10-23-21 Zombie Cat Still Shambles

Next weekend? Really? Well that month escalated fast.

Just a quick reminder that Zombie Cat yes/no readings are $5 off for only one more week before the price goes back to abnormal.

Zombie Cat yes/no readings used to be seasonal, but they are available year-round now on the “Special Layouts” section of the no-appointment email readings page.

What makes them “Zombie Cat” readings? They are written with fictional cartoon alter-ego Zombie Cat’s tongue in what’s left of his cheek mildly snarky dad joke level sense of humor . He’s a zombie. He’s a cat. He doesn’t care about how predictions do or don’t work. Zombie Cat doesn’t care about disclaimers (they still apply – ZC just doesn’t give a rat’s patootie about them) Ask ANYTHING. No promises it will be an answer you want to hear. Want a prediction? He’ll give it to you. It just might be dead wrong.

In other words, they are perfect fun for Halloween.

Or any other time of year.

Order yours HERE

Midweek Reminders

I dunno what the heck happened, but today’s “sip of tarot” post just isn’t loading into the podcast so we’ll just have to settle for blog , ko-fi, and YouTube Shorts for today’s card.

That being said, I want to run through some quick announcements – as much to get myself organized as much as anything

Barring mysterious technical gremlins, the (almost) daily one card meditation readings will be on multiple platforms so you can look, listen or both. Instead of “Today’s Tarot” these posts will all be titled “Sip of Tarot” to keep them distinct from “YouChoose” interactive posts and other blog-only content. Sips of Tarot can be found here on the blog page, on YouTube, Clairvoyant Confessional podcast (Spotify, Stitcher, googlepodcasts, anchor fm & more) and the Ko-fi blog

Speaking of ko-fi: The membership tier is OPEN. For $5 per month, members get a three card “pathway through the month” reading, member-only specials and giveaways, and a private, individual “year ahead” reading by email when you join.

The ko-fi virtual tip mug supports the podcast, the channel and this blog.

Speaking of this blog, you can follow it over there –>

Everything goes through here: links to podcasts, youtube videos, announcements of new member-only content, print-only blog posts exclusive to this site – all of it is right here.

TaoCraft Tarot social media is on Facebook, Tumbler, & Linkedin, but I only really interact with Instagram and Twitter. Drop by and say hi sometime!

I expect to pull all of that stuff together in a few weeks with a little something for Halloween, to celebrate the third anniversary of TaoCraft Tarot’s grand opening.

Kitten Whiskers: Box of Science.

You wouldn’t expect a Tarot reader to be into science, but I am.

The two aren’t so mutually exclusive as you would think. We talk about exactly that in the “Test Tubes and Tarot Decks” episode of Menage A Tarot podcast from 2015. That episode along with Shrodinger’s famous feline inspired the blog post (and to some extent my alter-ego character) Zombie Cat.

Sticking with the cat theme, Kitten Whiskers is a series of posts where I go off topic and indulge in a little unpaid, I-got-squat-for-saying-this, spontaneous fangirling.

Today’s kitten whiskers post is very commercial, and frankly me gaming for free stuff (I suddenly feel like Markaplier asking for a Takis sponsorship) but there is something I’ve enjoyed a lot lately: my box of science.


That’s what I called my new Force of Nature appliance when it came.

When I was in high school, I did an independent study (foreshadowing for a future dissertation?) about passive solar heating. Since then, I’ve been convinced that the answer to climate and ecological issues is to break from our deeply ingrained utterly ubiquitous pattern of industrial era production and distribution of everything from toilet paper to electricity. Toilet paper I can’t help you with, except to encourage a switch to bamboo (I *heart* bamboo) The solution to sustainable electricity, as I see it, is distributed production.

It’s a collective effort thing. Together we are strong. Kune ni estas fortaj. We need a tribe to survive. No man is an island. I don’t have the resources or land to grow my own food much less bamboo for toilet paper. Instead of being dependent on outdated infrastructure we can band together, make things and stuff, and collectively through this.

Until we have solar panels and a small or vertical profile wind turbin (BOTH – when the one’s not active, the other often is) on every roof feeding into a large smart grid, I’ll settle for this one small proof of concept and feel very smug about it in the process: Force of Nature multipurpose cleaner.

Never expected to stan for a cleaner of all things. My homemaking style has always been more akin to a Rod Stewert concert than a Martha Stewert episode. In a nutshell, this device takes water, adds a little salt and vinegar, zaps it with electricity for 10 minutes to scramble the atoms and gives you a bottle full of properly diluted hypochlorous acid and sodium hydroxide.

What THAT means is this stuff is the shizznit and really does kill germs. The only draw backs are 1. you have to wipe it dry because it doesn’t contain alcohol or drying agents (as if you don’t wipe anyway after you have to rinse chemical cleaning agents) and 2. the molecular magic degrades, so you need make a fresh batch every 10 days.

I’ve stopped counting the days because I use it up fast enough that it doesn’t matter. To paraphrase that infamous Frank’s hot sauce commercial, I spray that stuff on everything.

As long as it is hasn’t been allowed to degrade, the solution is an effective disinfectant on hard surfaces including all of the bad-nasties on the EPA list N including viruses. As I understand it, this stuff will kill the ‘rona on your doorknobs, light switches and kitchen counters – you name it. But for goodness’ sake don’t use it in or on you, although it is safe to spritz on stuff that winds up in somebody’s mouth…like binkies, sippy cups and toothbrushes. It’s safe to use without rinsing in the kitchen.

Force of Nature solves its problem of shelf-stability with my high school epiphany – distributed production instead of production and distribution. Rather than it to sit around in a truck or store shelf, they made fast, easy and mistake-proof to make on your own. Instead of producing something to distribute, they’ve distributed the production and we all get a better product because of it.

To my mind, the comparison points are plastic use, efficacy, and overall carbon footprint. Over time, the plastic use is minimal. The capsules are recyclable wherever they take #5 plastics, the spray bottle that comes with the starter kit is reusable (or use your own.) Fuel use to for a one-time shipment the applieance and later batches of capsules is small compared to shipping all of the bottles of water-weight cleaners that you would otherwise use over the lifetime of the appliance. Consider, too, the environmental impact of producing and shipping the constituent chemicals in the first place in addition to the cost/impact of manufacturing the shelf-stable proprietary cleaners that we commonly use now.

Bottom line: If you figure in the costs of producing and shipping capsules and the initial cost of the production unit over its lifetime of use, then you have WAY more math than I’m willing to do. But I’m guessing the Force of Nature product is in the neighborhood of $1 per bottle of safe and effective and versatile solution. That buck-a-bottle at my house has replaced kitchen cleaner, window cleaner, to some extent carpet refresher plus added something that I almost never used before – spray disinfectant. I never used such products because of the chemicals. I don’t care what perfume they dumped in it, it SMELLED like chemical disinfectant and FELT like industrial waste. This is a happy bleach-like clean and fresh as spring air. It reminds me of an outdoor swimming pool in sunshine, which I consider a nice thing (in spite of my preference for cooler cloudy weather.) I almost never used lysol or similar sprays before – but did I mention I spray this stuff on everything?

That’s a little bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea.

So if you like dollar store level prices and want to check out my new favorite box of science, I’d appreciate if you’d use the link below. It might get me a few free capsules, and like everyone, I’ve got germs to kill and odors to eliminate.


Force of Nature Clean

**Speaking of Kitten Whiskers and Zombie Cat, don’t forget that yes/no readings are $5 off until Halloween. No appointment needed. Order anytime on the home page.

New Deck, New Year, New Giveaway

video of my brand new tarot deck and a new free tarot special

It is time for Zombie Cat readings to shamble off for a while.

I created this “seasons of the year” layout quite a few years ago just for the New Year holidays. It gives one card as a theme or guidance for each of the upcoming season in order, no matter what time of year the reading is done. Then it gives a card that serves as guidance for the year as a whole. Halloween / Samhain is celebrated by some as the new year and calendar 2021 will be here before we know it. I usually keep this layout front and center through Lunar New Year, whenever that falls. Because it can be used any time of year, It is always available by special request. If you can’t find it on the website, just email and we’ll arrange something.

BUT now I have a problem….

After the “Four Seasons Total Landscaping” press conference thing this weekend (it’s a long story related to the U.S. presidential election results – please, google it and have a good, long belly laugh) I can’t call this the “seasons of the year” anymore. It’s going to be a while before I can see the word “seasons” without laughing. I hope the poor landscaping company gets a lot of good new business form everyone talking about it. Support your local small businesses!

I need your help…

For now, I’m calling this the “year ahead” layout, but that is way to milqutoast boring for the holiday season. I can’t call it pathway anything to avoid confusion with the three card layout. Do you have any ideas for a name that describes what this is BUT does not use the word “seasons?” I’d also like to stay away from anything too snarky. “George” is already taken by my sourdough starter.

Here is the deal – I’ll give one of these readings by email in trade to the person who suggests the best layout name (as determined by me) for the layout formerly known as ‘seasons of the year.’ Leave your layout name suggestions in the comments by November 30, wining name to be announced here in the blog, and on social media on December 1 2020. If multiple people give the same chosen name, the first submission is the winner. All policies and disclaimers apply. No monetary value. Swim at your own risk. No lifeguard on duty. Wash your hands and wear a mask.

Have at it! I’m looking forward to seeing what you all come up with!

Yes/No Interactive Tarot: Don’t Throw Good After Bad


I admit it…I’ a writer not a YouTuber. If you let me know what kind of content you want to see on YouTube I can learn how to make it. Badly.

That’s on purpose, you know. You don’t get to edit in a live Tarot reading, so why should this be any different?

But like a rambled about in the video: Everybody and their monkey’s uncle are doing straight readings and pick-a-card videos, especially on YouTube and Instagram. I think I’ll stick with this for a little while, unless I hear differently from YOU. So wadda ya think? Helpful? Interesting? Mildly entertaining? Good enough to kill 5 minutes or so with it? Do you have any YES OR NO questions? If you email them to I might be able to convince Zombie Cat to hang out and do a few on YouTube just for fun and content creation if you are interested. If I have a real question to focus on, the video can give you a better taste of what live phone readings are like (or in-person ones if we ever get back to that point.)

When I pulled these cards I didn’t have any question in mind at all. I just did it with the usual ‘help somebody somewhere, hopefully as many as possible’ intent that I usually use here and on social media.

Here is the key to these readings going forward:

  • No aces = strong but changeable NO
  • One ace = maybe, but probably no
  • Two aces = maybe, but probably yes
  • Three aces = strong but changeable YES

In Taoist thought, anything in its extreme holds the seed of the other. As a not to I Ching wisdom, I read all-aces and no-aces like the “changing lines” in I Ching. It is like standing on your toes with you weight leaning forward. Those two results are SO yes or SO no that the answer can quite possibly, through decision and action, be pushed in the other direction.

There are lists, out there in the ethers, of single card yes/no meanings, where you can randomly draw a single card and ostensibly get your clear yes or no answer. I’ve tried that method, but I never connected with it very well. There didn’t seem to be any structure to why each card was given their meaning, either by logic or by energy.

This method connects in much the same way as any Tarot reading. There is a base structure, an underlying logic that acts as armature, a skeleton that helps us connect spirit and energy to the real world in a useful way.

These videos are one thing, blog posts are a better articulated thing, but getting a reading is a whole other thing. If you want to give yes/no a try, Zombie Cat is around for another week on the home page or distance tarot page in the menu above.

If you want a personalized free “digital mini inkmagic” one card Tarot reading by email (policies and disclaimers apply) then you have slightly more than 24 hours to get yours on the special offer page, also in the menu above.

Be Safe. Be Well. Thanks for reading.

Zombie Cat’s 2020 Shamble

Zombie Cat shambles off into the sunset on November 7, 2020

Zombie Cat has had it with 2020. He’s going to go take a dirt nap until next summer. Order now if you want to get one of Zombie Cat’s yes-or-no readings before he shambles off into the sunset on November 7th.

These readings use 3 cards to answer any one yes-or-no question. AND they are $5 off for the rest of the Halloween season! How can you say no to that?

After you order with the secure paypal button below, send your question to Zombie Cat is extra cranky and snarky this year, so if you don’t send a question, Zombie Cat will just make one up for you, OR if it isn’t in yes/no form, Z.C. will put it there.

All of Zombie Cat’s readings are just for fun, 100% guaranteed to contain words and have a 50% chance of being DEAD wrong.


Zombie Cat’s Yes / No Tarot

Limited time! Special price! Answers any one yes or no question. Send your question to If you don’t, Zombie Cat will make up a random question for you. If it isn’t in yes/no format, he’ll put it there. All Zombie Cat readings are entertainment only, 100% guaranteed to contain words, and have a 50% chance of being DEAD wrong. Available through Halloween season only.

10.00 $