By Royal Decree

The king can’t return – because he never left. You are the King of your inner world and you have always been there.

Hello and welcome to the TaoCraft Tarot blog and podcast. I’m Sage. I read Tarot and write Stuff and I’m glad you are here.

Every now and then I get what I call the niggles. The niggles are what I call it when an idea drops into your head and jabs you in the brain until you write it, blog it, or make something tangible out of it.

Call it inspiration. Blame it on the muses. However you name it, some ideas won’t leave you alone no matter how much you try to ignore it, run from it or play hide and seek with it – so you might as well deal with it. It’s like that quote from Joss Whedon “Write it. Shoot it. Crochet it. Saute it. Whatever – MAKE.”

Making includes writing, reading a Tarot card and intangible things like blogs and podcasts. Creation and creativity aren’t a zero sum balance sheet. There is room for everyone. If you get a niggly little idea, by all means make something out of your niggle. Make your own blog, journal entry or comment on this blog if you like.

On the ko-fi members-only blog, every weekend I post the “Tarot Turnover,” where we turn a short sip Tarot reading on its head. I sip the coffee and YOU read the card. I’ll post a card image (usually a public domain Waite Smith card like the one above since they are so widely known and familiar to the most people) Sometime I’ll give a little Tarot behind the scenes or background about the card or a short how-to about using your intuition to read the card. Then I turn the card over to you along with a list of traditional meanings or keywords from my old blog readings. That gives everyone the opportunity to stretch some intuitive muscles and see what insight the card has to offer. I’m always available to give feedback and answer questions if any turn up. Sometimes, later on in the week, I’ll give a short sip reading about the weekend card. Members get first chance at the card, questions or coaching from me. Membership does have its benefits.

That’s what is happening right now. A niggling little idea popped up again Sunday when the Turnover card turned out to be the King of Wands. I’m here to chime in with my two cents and a hot take about the card .

In general, the suit of wands has to do with the classic element of fire, with inner passions, philosophy, spirituality, and our relationship with ourselves. Kings are leaders with a proactive, protective connotation. The king of wands has to do with inner passions and self-possession. The king is about fully owning who you are, what you choose and what you do and recognizing that authority within everyone else too.

In the words of poet Maya Angelou, when someone tells you who they are, believe them.

You have the same right to tell who you really are. And you have equal right to guard and protect who you are, too.

Here is the niggle: Ideology is a choice.

Ideology has a complicated, mind-boggling intersection with behavior.

Violence, abuse, despots and violent radical regimes have been in the world throughout human history. People have been coerced upon pain of death into certain behavior. People have been psychologically abused and tortured and coerced. Human history has a very dark underbelly when it comes to choice, ideology and behavior.

I’m not here to judge anyone for anything. People do and say what they have to in order to survive. History is harrowing.

I wish there could be health and safety for everyone.

It is chilling, terrifying and heartbreaking to see people we know freely, knowingly, deliberately choose to ally themselves with bigotry. If we are ever to come to terms with – let’s just say someone in our lives choosing the dark side – we have to embrace and accept that we chose differently. It is not arrogance to to choose better. It is OK to accept yourself as being a good person. It is neither arrogance nor condemnation on either side. It is just the facts of our choice and the authentic nature of who we are. It’s just the facts of their choices and who they are. It is OK that you walk a different path from your genetic family or your cultural community. It is OK that you chose a different path. It isn’t for me to say who in this world has chosen wisely and who has chosen – poorly. I’m not here to contemplate atrocities or solve man’s inhumanity to man. That is far beyond my ability and way, way, way outside the scope of this teeny tiny little blogcast.

My goal for this is to share a little food for thought and maybe, just maybe, give you a niggle or two of your own.

First of all, be kind. You never know what someone else is dealing with or going through.

Second, and this is where the king of wands comes in, you choose who you are and what you do. Not your past. Not your parents. Not your external circumstances. All of those things may force choices about behavior, but they don’t dictate your true inner belief. They may put you in a situation that forces you to mask and cloak and protect your inner genuine self. Even then, you are firmly seated on the throne of your inner world. It may not feel that way, but you own your choices, your thoughts and your beliefs. No other person or circumstance can steal that inner beauty from you. You can’t control other people or everything that happens, but you do get to choose how you respond to the situation. More importantly, you get to choose how you respond to yourself.

It may not always feel that way. When it does feel that way it has that Mel Brooks “it’s good to be the king” vibe. It feels like the return of the good king – but the king can never return because the king never left. On the inside, the king is you.

I think Alan Watts said it best: “You are under no obligation to be the same person you were five minutes ago.”

Would you like to be a kind person? Done. Be kind now, even if you weren’t five minutes ago. Want to be brave enough to face who you really are? Want to be brave enough to accept both yourself as you are and accept others are who they say they are? Done.

By Royal Decree you are brave.

Thank you for reading and listening. Your questions and comments are always welcome and your likes, subs, follows and shares are always appreciated.

No part of the blog or podcast is monetized. I don’t see a penny of any advertising you may see. If you enjoy these Tarot readings, please visit the TaoCraft Tarot page on ko-fi where your purchases, memberships and virtual coffees all support this unique content.

Thank you again. See you at the next sip!

Controlled Burn

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today: the King of Wands and the controlled burn.

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

Today’s card is the King of Wands.

The connection between the whole suit of wands and the classic element of fire steps forward this morning. My attention was particularly drawn to the salamanders on the tapestry or throne behind the king in the classic Pamela Smith artwork we see here. There is no doubt in my mind that the artist used them and the little guy on the ground to signify the elemental connection with the cards.

The myth of salamanders as fireproof inhabitants of hearth and flame is a whole thing in itself. Books have been written about elementals and nature spirits and such. That’s not quite the point here. It’s interesting that the artist draws the salamanders on the throne as curled in a circle, nose touching tail, just like the classic Ouroboros symbol with a snake or dragon biting their own tail. The Ouroboros symbolizes wholeness and infinity and the cosmos among other things, akin to the simple enzo circle in Zen philosophy. Books have been written about that, too, and it’s not quite the message for today either.

When I first noticed the salamander motif, for just the smallest tic, just for a split second, I thought it was a yin yang symbol which in turn reminded me of the Tao Te Ching’s advice about leadership. Lao Tzu was not a fan of micromanagement. To paraphrase “when a good master governs, the people hardly know he is there.” That is closer to the energy today.

Another way to say it might be “Slow your roll, Karen.”

Don’t be a doormat, certainly, but a little diplomacy might be go a long way.

When gasoline explodes in small amounts inside an engine cylinder, we go far. When gasoline explodes in large amounts outside of an engine, we get disaster. When a campfire toasts marshmallows we get a treat. When a wildfire starts from a campfire, destruction follows.

I’m also reminded of the character Ang learning firebending in the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender. The scene particularly comes to mind were he is given the exercise of lighting the center of a small leaf and controlling the small ember so it only burns to, but not over, the edge of the leaf. Later, in a burst of enthusiasm and carelessness, he accidentally burns his friend Kitara’s hands. Ang then refuses to ever fire bend again which in turn leads to its own set of problems.

It serves no one to extinguish your passions. By the same token passions that burn out of control can lead to disaster. Passion with discretion, passions with a controlled burn can light the way to something better.

Thank you for reading and listening.

The blog, the podcast and the companion videos on YouTube are not monetized and rely on your support. Your likes, subs, shares, Tarot reading purchases through this website and Tarot Table memberships on ko-fi all help me to create this unique Tarot content. Thank you.

See you at the next sip!

Your Very Own Seat at the Tarot Table

The October announcement included the NEW membership tier on K0-fi. This blog is STILL 100% free, will contain everything in one place, including reminder links to the memebers-only content. Of course, only members can view the post at the end of the reminder link.

There will STILL be blog-only content here that you can’t get anywhere else on the web. What I’m trying to say is be a member & follow this blog and you get EVERYTHING, every scrap of Tarot content I create. The monthly premium is the same cost of a one card meditation reading except that you get a three card reading per month plus all the rest. Since domain and web hosts won’t take Tarot readings in barter, there is a nominal fee to support the blog, the podcast and the time put in to creating it all including the YouTube shorts (almost) everyday.

*infomercial voice* That’s right folks! For the low, low cost of $5 a month, you get a three card member’s reading each month PLUS random special offers and giveaways PLUS a private, personal “Year Ahead” reading by email when you join.

Here is an example of what the “month ahead” members only reading look like each month, with each card serving as a them for about 10 days or so in the first, middle and last thirds of the month.

As I type this,* that sounds way more complicated than it actually needs to be. Come to think of it, I’m going to do “pathway” style readings instead…your path through the month.

Either way, bottom line, you get a THREE card member’s reading for the price of ONE card meditation reading.

Witches Tarot used with permission

October is the anniversary of TaoCraft Tarot’s “grand opening” in 2018. It fits that October is our first members-only monthly reading. 

Just for this first layout, I’ll open the reading up to everyone on the main website in a few days, to let them know about this new feature. After that, you’ll have to be a member or supporter to see the three card “month ahead” readings. ONLY monthly members get a free “year ahead” reading by email when you join.

October has a regal energy. I’m no astronomer or astrologer, but I get the mental image of Saturn. I don’t get a general – energy sense about what that could mean, but let’s just mention it in case it resonates with someone…a birth month or astrology association would be my guess.

The early part of the month has a practical get-things-done sort of feel. The energy reminds me of when I was young and my grandmother canning everything under the sun from their garden. Things may be busy, but it seems short lived and will pay off later. Like the soup she would make in the winter. Don’t wait for someone else to lead the way. It’s up to you to decide what to can and what soup to make later, to extend the analogy.

Pages are learning, swords  are mind and intellect. The middle part of the month is time to feed your mind, to free your mind. New ideas are important. Curl up with a good book

Wands are fire and passion. Toward the end of the month, take what you’ve done, take what you’ve learned and light it up, metaphorically speaking. Apply the ideas that the page part of the month brought to you.

This month, the reading is mostly an example of what to expect in the months to come. You can roughly apply each card as a theme for 10 days at a time or just follow your intuition and sense the shifts in energy as the month goes on.

As an extra celebration for TaoCraft’s anniversary month, I’d like to offer a free Zombie cat yes/no reading to the supporters and members who claim it before October 31, 2021 – my Halloween treat to you! Just email TaoCraftTarot@gmail with your question. Ask anything and Zombie Cat will have at it! The usual disclaimer of a 50% chance of being dead wrong applies.

Who’s Zombie Cat? My slightly snarky feline alter ego inspired by Schrodinger’s thought experiment and an episode of Menage A Tarot (a 2015 podcast I did with David Dear, of “Ninth World Journal”  and Kate of “Daily Tarot Girl” You can read the original Zombie Cat blog post here.

* “No plan survives first contact with implementation” – Adam Savage, I think.

photo: Witches Tarot, art by Ellen Dugan and Mark Evans used with permission


Today’s Tarot: Lights Out

What do you do when the lights go out? Darkness is a normal, natural thing. It happens every night.

We are the children of technology, descendants of fire and flame. We like light. It tells us what is in the darkness, it tells us we are safe and whether immediate danger exists or not. We don’t like it when the lights go out. When they do we grab flashlights, light candles, build campfires…as we should. If it’s an emergency, we need that to secure our surroundings and our loved ones. For the sake of argument, let’s assume for a moment that it isn’t an emergency, and you are safe, but it’s night, there is no electricity, and no place to build a fire.

Night is fundamental to our world. It’s just how things are. It’s the primordial soup we all evolved in. So why do we fight the darkness so much? What do we do when the lights go out? Why did we turn them on in the first place?

We are daytime creatures. For the vast majority of us, we rely on our vision for almost everything. Dark makes it harder to do just about anything…except sleep.

What do we do when the metaphoric lights go out? It happens. Night falls. Every. Single. Day. And so, times of uncertainty come to everyone.

The King of Wands is often associated with passion, energy, leadership, fire. When it comes to times of darkness this card often has a “light your own torch” “find your own unique light in the dark” sort of vibe. It can be a very Dylan Thomas “rage against the dying of the light” kind of card.

What if the lights going out is an incredible stroke of luck because we are looking at the wrong thing? What if the darkness comes because you need a good night’s sleep?

Do the best you can with what you have. Of course “it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” Sometimes, when the candle just won’t light for you, maybe it is better to nap until dawn.

Sunrise is as inevitable as dusk.

Just a reminder: In-person readings are once again on hold until community covid transmission rates go back down and we see what happens with this delta variant thing.

YouChoose Interactive Tarot: Make Happy

NEW: $1.00 Tarot sale…get a five or seven card Tarot reading by email and pay 1.00 for each year of Tarot reading experience that I bring to your reading. Special price available until the autumn equinox, September 20, 2021

Today’s Tarot: Decide, Walk, Talk

The King of Wands card is the confluence of elemental fire, leadership, and our relationship with ourselves, our inner world. It speaks to our inner passions. There is a strong element of ‘decision’ energy here today. In my minds eye I can see the King talking, announcing a decision, making a pronouncement. The inner passion part reminds me of the idea of “walk your talk.” Live your beliefs. Be your true self.

Before you can do those admirable things, you have to decide what they are.

Before you can walk your talk, you have to decide what to say.

Today’s Tarot: Own it

Your inner world is yours. You are the king of the world inside your own heart and mind. You can’t have absolute conrol over outside circumstances and certainly not over other people. But, no matter how traumatizing your past may gave been you can make new choices and do things differently this time around. You choose the lens through which you view the world now.

The energies have shifted. Many of us expected, or wanted, the early months of stay home orders and quarantine to be a time of introspection and spiritual growth. We wanted to make peaceful lemonade out of tge big pandemic lemon. The energy wasn’t in any way right gor that, however. Remember the avalanch of pentacle cards that kept pulling our attention to the physical realm and the urgent, practical (and dare I say scientific) issues at hand. It was a time for engaging life a real way, even when real meant wearing your pajamas for days at a time and staring into the refridgerator every 10 minutes. It was time for dealing with the actual circumstances , not esoterica.

Now, I’ve been seeing an avalanch of wands cards. Now we know the practicalities. We know what to do: wear a mask all the time every time you go out, keep your body a hockey stick distance away from every other human body, stay home as much as you can and wash your dang hands.

Now the energy has shifted to that spirituality we expected earlier. Now is time to look inside. Look inside, and whatever you find there, claim it. You don’t have to like it. You don’t have to judge you honest feelings as good or bad. They are what they are. If you learn what your inner landscape is like and then lay claim to it, then you can change whatever you don’t like – or turn up the volume on the things you like. In that way you can assume the throne of your inner world.

In this inner, spiritual way it is good to be the king. Own it.


Live phone readings are back! Purchase and schedule online (appointment and prepayment required)

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YouChoose Interactive Tarot for May 3 – 9


You Choose: Pick a card. If you want more time, pause the video and restart it for the reveal.

You Choose: read the interpretation below or use PeaceTarot ebook (download from the Etsy shop)  Use it along with the card draw videos to learn to do DIY one card Tarot meditations, even if you don’t have a Tarot deck!

Left: King of Wands. Being the leader of your internal kingdom is a big responsibility. The buck stops with you for the things you say and do whether you own up to that responsibility or not. At the same time, it is good to be the king. You don’t have to have every answer at every moment. You are perfectly allowed to make yourself comfortable within that internal space, within your own skin. Being who you are, where you are and engaged with this moment of living is leadership enough. 

Center: Three of Wands. Every moment is a new horizon. Watch for your chance. Watch for your moment. A fresh start is always at hand. Wait and watch for the perfect one for you. There is a positive, optimistic energy around the card, like watching the sunrise. Watch for good things.

Rignt: Four of Wands. Solid and stable, the four of wands is associated with family foundations, and a celebration of the things that keep you grounded. “Put down roots” comes to mind. What makes you feel grounded, balanced, solid and stable? Look for those kinds of people and things. It’s been a weird couple of months. This is a good week to steady yourself.


12 Second Tarot: The Energy of Choices Still Reigns


Yesterday, the Seven of Cups talked about the power of choices. No secret, one of my favorite TV shows. Current showrunner and writer Chris Chibnall wrote in the “Cold Earth” episode that  “The future pivots around you, here, now. So do good” That is what the TaoCraft style of Tarot is all about. Showing you the choices around which your future pivots. It shows the choices that have brought you where you are, and can take you where you want to go. 

Today, the King of Wands shows the power and control you have over those magic-seeming choices.

Not every THING, not every condition, and certainly not every person around you is under your control. If you are very lucky, you might have some influence. On the other hand, you are totally, completely in control of your inner world. You are the one to decide the interaction between your inner passions, your inner desires and the circumstances of the outer world. You choose whether to view the things around you as hindrances to your dreams, or as resources to help you achieve them.