The how of choosing

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today: creative problem solving and the 8 of swords

Thank you for watching, reading, and listening to TaoCraft Short Sip Tarot. I’m glad you are here.

Today’s card is the Eight of Swords.

When you are between a rock and a hard place, the choice may not be between options as much as the method of choosing. Choose whether to let your heart or your head lead the way. With that clear in your mind, there is a better chance that the rest will fall into place. Or at least give you a little extra confidence in the the decision that you made.

Albert Einstein is credited with saying that doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. Today’s card hints at that a little bit. There is a feeling of changing things up. If you tend to be logical, try following your emotions. If you feel overwhelmed by emotions, then use cold logic. You might have to get creative with your decision making process as much as the solution to the dilemma itself.

One of the consistent messages I get with the Eight of Swords is creative problem solving, which connects with Pamela Smith’s 1909 artwork that we see here.

For those of you listening on the podcast, there is a video showing the real world card draw for the day at the top of each short sip blog post and on youtube shorts.

The Eight of Swords in this decks and the many decks based on it all show a figure surrounded swords, bound and blindfolded, often with a shore line or some transition behind them. There is often a feeling of being trapped, of being between a rock and a hard place with no good options.

That’s where the creative part of creative problem solving comes in. It may come down to using your unbound bare feet to take the risk of injury sense your way forward, but that is a way forward nevertheless.

If you are caught between terrible options, it may help to have a reason ready in your pocket to justify why you chose what you chose, even if that rationale is for yourself and no one else. Knowing that you mindfully and deliberatly followed your heart or followed your logic isn’t going to magically make the decision for your, but it can help set you up to learn from the experience if it was a mistake or set you up to repeat the process if it is successful.

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Today’s Tarot: Two sides of the same sword

It’s interesting.

Try this if you can. I’m guessing that professional readers do this all the time. I do. If you are a Tarot fan, a comparative study of card meanings is a satisfying deep dive.

In the two of swords is today’s case in point. Every reference gives a range of meanings or keywords. As always, use your intuition. I like to take the top level meaning that stands out to instinct and most captures my attention whenever I do one of these comparisons.

Diane Morgan in Magical Tarot, Mystical Tao is one of my favorites with “mystical unity.” Ellen Dugan, in the Witches Tarot points out conflict or incongruities between heart and mind. Ted Andrews, in Animal Wise Tarot, points out the balancing of heart and mind for “right use of power.” In the same vein as this proper use of power, Thom Pham includes impartiality in his Heart of Stars Tarot. In my mind this connects to all the other interpretations in that it hints at disengaging both heart and mind and bringing impartiality to difficult decisions where indecision otherwise reigns.

Although they all have different points of view, artistic styles, themes and philosophical backgrounds, none of the interpretations conflict or are wide outliers. They all fall on a spectrum of meaning and energy. Tarot cards are far more than one meaning. That’s why intuition is important in readings, coequal with memorizing card meanings. Each card has an entire sliding scale spectrum of meanings, connotations and emotions. Memorization isn’t enough. If you think of the card in terms of visual light, then learning Tarot is like learning all the colors of 78 rainbows. Mental effort isn’t enough.

The Two of Swords is the perfect card for today. It shows us the unity along a spectrum that multiple tarot readers can have. They may dial into one color or another, but we all dial into the same spectrum of energy and beauty.

The card reminds us of mind and heart, intellect and intuition, balanced in mystical unity to give us wise, impartial decisions and lead us to the right use of power.

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I bring every bit of knowledge and professionalism that I have to everything I write and every reading that I do. I got my first deck, Carson & James’ Medicine Cards, in 1991. To celebrate, seven card Tarot readings by email are $1 for each year of care reading experience until September 20, 2021 when it returns to the usual $40 (why that day? It’s the last full day of summer. I have other stuff planned for the equinox and after.) Get ’em while they are summer hot!

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Headspace

“Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end.” – Leonard Nemoy

Tarot lacks an opinion.

It doesn’t judge, opine, or pronounce dogma. It is a tool to access our own inner wisdom and intuition. Tarot doesn’t care who you are or what you do any more than your bathroom mirror does. In fact, the two have something in common. They both show you what is, not what you want to see.

I once read a story. I can’t remember when or where. It was meant to give an example of Confucian thought in general. As the story goes, Confucius was giving advice to two student who were both ready to graduate and go begin their adult lives. He told one student he should be bold, go out into the world and follow his dream as soon as possible without worrying about other people’s opinion. It was sort of a 500 BC version of Nike’s “just do it.” When Conscious talked to the other student, he told him to talk to his multiple people, get all the advice he could, use that advice to make a solid plan and start out carefully and deliberately. A person who had heard the advice for both students asked the teacher why he gave such opposite advice to two student in such similar situations. The answer was that even though their circumstances were similar, each of the two students were very different personalities. The first student was timid by nature, and tended to put too much stock in other people’s opinion, so Confucius  encouraged that student to act on his own and put some heart over head. The second student was stubborn and impulsive by nature, so Conscious encouraged him to slow his roll, make a plan and put some head over heart. Conscious told his students what they each needed to hear, not necessarily what they wanted to hear.

Any given Tarot card can do the same thing for us.

Some critics might use the long lists of key words and varied associations given to Tarot cards to say psychics are BS because you can make any card say any thing. I say the cards are dead on useful for the that exact same reason. When you combine Tarot or runes or tea leaves or any oracle along with your inner wisdom, you get the message that you most need. Like Confucius, Tarot cards don’t give the same advice to everyone all of the time, but they do give the advice that any one individual needs at any one particular time.

Today’s Tarot card, the page of swords, is a prime example. Swords can mean action, but they can also mean mentation. Swords are associated with the element of air and with intellect just as much as they are with action and authority.  Which begs the question of how do you know which thread of meaning applies? How do you know which set of Confucious’ advice to follow?

Resonance is one way to describe it. That’s how we sometimes say it when you immediately recognize the right meaning for you. If your reflex response is “yeah, that sounds right” or “yeah, I knew that” then you know that is the bit of advice for you.” If your gut reflex is “oh heck no” then of course you should look at other meanings. If they are a half-bubble off too, then go back to the original. That “oh heck no” response might juuuust mean be the cards telling you something difficult that you really need to hear.

Today, the page of swords is still associated with action…BUT it action AFTER thinking. Crawl into your headspace before you start swinging your sword. Look before you leap. Use your head instead of your heart at least just for today.