Do for you

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today, the eight of pentacles and the stuff you do for you.

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

Today’s card is the eight of pentacles, which points to work and productivity.

Which is too bad because I’m a lazy, lazy girl this morning.

Headphones on, listening to one of my favorite playlists on Spotify, drinking coffee and writing about Tarot (or knitting) is pretty much my happy place. Life is good at the moment.

But life isn’t always comfy chairs and cinnamon latte.

Shit happens, and when it does, empty platitudes and pep talks are no help whatsoever. Today’s energy could too easily slip into that. On the surface it could sound like some kind of suck it up buttercup, pull yourself up by your own bootstraps puritanical platitude.

Today’s energy isn’t suggesting that you can just cheer up, work hard and everything will be ok. Far from it.

It is suggesting that there is a whole world of coping mechanisms out there. A healthy lifestyle is something that you do for you. The emphasis today is on the word DO. Work isn’t all bad. The hack is finding the right kind of thing do for where your head is at.

When I saw the card, it reminded me of another life long ago in a galaxy far far away. One of the psychiatrists I used to work for back in my long abandoned physician assistant days always said that a job is as good as therapy. It wasn’t for all of the toxic anti-welfare, racism tinged, right-wing-ish reasons that might spring to mind these days. He was talking about structure, diversion, and self esteem.

As supportive as structure and getting something – anything – done in a day can be, I’m not talking about actual depression or real world problems here.

The same kind of advice about structure, diversion and accomplishment re-emerged during pandemic quarantine. For the average person under stress or in the occasional normal doldrums, accomplishing something – anything – in your day can be the little boost that you need. The degree varies from individual to individual and from day to day. Some of us secretly get off on going mach 2 with our hair on fire. For others, fresh pajamas and getting the dishes done is enough.

Self care is as much about mindset as action. For some people self care and a mood boost is all bubble baths and candle light. For others it is turning up the punk rock and cleaning the house. Anything, even being productive at some kind of work or project, can be self care.

The point in all of this is to do the thing that is right for you and your day in the amount that is right for your needs…but for goodness’ sake do SOMETHING. It might make you feel better than you think it will. Even if you are a lazy, lazy person like me.

Like everything for me, it gets back to Zen and Taoist philosophy akin to the old adage “Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.” Self care and stress management doesn’t have to be fancy, high minded or separate from life. Like Zen spirituality, self care and stress management is all about the moment to moment mundane living of life.

If you will allow me to indulge in a moment of fangirling, Madam Adam, one of my favorite social media follows, put it absolutely brilliantly. It was spot-on perfect when I first his post yesterday, and the eight of pentacles this morning confirms it. As he said “self-care is doing what you do anyway, but doing it with intent.”


Through simple intention, anything can be self care including a day of work and productivity. Through simple intention, the mundane becomes magick.

Thanks for reading and listening! I always appreciate any likes, subs, follows, shares, questions or comments you can give.

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Thanks again. See you at the next sip.

A Sip of Tarot: Back Burner

Today’s card is the Seven of Cups

It’s easy to think yourself into circles. This is a card for all the over-thinkers of the world, but anyone can become overwhelmed.

Sometimes the seven of cups is a good problem to have. If you only have one really viable option, then deciding is easy. This card is about an embarrassment of riches when it comes to options and choices. That’s not the worst problem to have. But however good or bad the problem may be, how do you solve it?

The back burner is your friend.

I grew up in a very rural place south of the Mason Dixon line. Whatever else you may think of southern culture in the U.S. the food is fantastic. It seems like everyone is born knowing how to cook and cook well. In that elite company, regardless how many potluck dishes or helping hands you have in the kitchen, making the turkey for Thanksgiving was the black belt test. In our family the hoopla was at the house wherever the turkey baker lived and everyone helped but if you own the kitchen and you make the bird you are in charge. To put it in Star Trek terms, if you are Captain Turkey, you have the con. The way they could get everything together, hot and tasty, all on the table all at the same time was a wonder to behold.

Even cooking a comparatively small meal for our own little household, getting it all in the same place at the same time takes a little strategy. The Thanksgiving meals I make are far more Cowboy Bebop than Captain Kirk. But it is still a hint about how to deal with an overwhelming number of choices, tasks or side dishes: Shift your attention.

Take a break and work on something else. It works for too many choices and for a lack of ideas. If you feel like a deer in headlights or feel like you “got nothin'” to give to the situation. rotating your attention to a different project works a magic of its own.

Today’s Tarot: A Layer of Mystery

Today’s Tarot card is the High Priestess from the major arcana.

In physics, or at least in popularized science shows, they say higher dimensions are in contact with us. The fifth dimension and higher are described as being impossibly close to each and every object, each and every cell in our bodies. The mysteries of the universe are literally close at hand. Magic lives within the mundane.

Arthur Clark famously said that “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” To my limited education in the matter, higher dimensions and quantum physics more than sufficiently advanced to seem that way. I wonder if all the sturm and drang about writers connecting advanced science to esoteric philosophy being “pseudoscience” is really just a matter of semantics. If a person is untrained in physics and calculus but adept at philosophy and spirituality, of course they are going to default to non-scientific language to communicate difficult ideas. It isn’t “pseudo” any more than English is a pseudo language compared to Swahili or vice versa.

Arguably saying “the apples fall off trees” has more real life value than saying “gravitational force is equal to the mass of two objects multiplied together, divided by the distance between their centers then multiplied by the gravitational constant” Both are true, both are valid and both have their own kind of importance.

Whether you call it higher dimensions, universal life energy, the Force, the Tao, or just plain magic, the mystical parts of life are integrated within the mundane. Mystery is a close layer beneath everything.

Thank you for reading and listening.

Today’s Tarot short format card readings by Ronda Snow of TaoCraft Tarot are available on multiple platforms starting in October 2021. Find these sip of tea sized Tarot readings on YouTube Shorts, Clairvoyant Confessional podcast, the blog page on Tao Craft Tarot .com and on the Tao Craft Tarot’s ko-fi .com blog.

The main blog contains print-only content not available anywhere else.

The ko-fi blog contains members-only content not available anywhere else.

YouChoose Interactive Tarot: Work Your Magic

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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.

The need for speed

Instant gratification is fun, rare and something to be savored.

Slow motion gratification is fun, less recognized, but still something to be savored.

In a way, time is an arbitrary thing. The only time that exists is eternity. Anything else is human beings carving eternity up into understandable bits.

If, as Neil DeGrasse Tyson says, “The universe is under no obligation to make sense to you.” then time is under no obligation to meet your needs either. You can’t instant pressure pot a good brisket, only time and smoke can do that. You can’t speed rise a good sourdough loaf. Some things take as long as they take but end up as something wonderful.

The eight of wands denotes something up in the air, something that is in process, but hasn’t come to fruition. It’s on its way, but hasn’t manifested quite yet. Most of the time we don’t know and can’t control how long that part might last. Luckily today the word flight comes to mind, like the phrase “arrow in flight.” There is a strong sense of speed with the card today. The up side is that the flight part of shooting an arrow tends to happen quickly. The down side is that we have no control over that particular part. We can control how we aim, pull, release and react to the result, but there is no tweeking the arrow while it is zipping through the air.

There is a strong sense of anticipation and optimism today. Something good is on its way, or at least there is a thread of hope that something good is at last possible. I can’t really tell if that is individual or cultural, I hope it is both.

Today is a good day to look for little things to turn up quickly and turn out surprisingly well. Keep an eye out for symbols and synchronicities. Look for quick and satisfying little delights that encourage you. Savor the feel of it, and use that as inspiration to set more intentions, take more actions, plant more seeds – symbolically shoot more arrows to fly, land and manifest good things later.

Cause and effect is magic. The work you do that pays off in the long run is magic. When the time in between is short and quick, the magic seems magic-er.

Wishing you all a magic feeling Monday.

YouBoo Interactive Tarot: Halloween Week 2020

Happy week everyone! I have no idea when you are actually viewing or reading this, but at the time of writing it is a week before Halloween and a week before the second anniversary of TaoCraft Tarot’s second anniversary. I seems really weird to celebrate the second anniversary of what amounts to a name change and a new coat of paint to a Tarot practice that has been going since around 2003 or so (my website used to be Modern Oracle Tarot) but name changes can mean a lot. This one did to me, so there you have it. To celebrate, I’m giving away free one card digital InkMagick readings. You can get yours on the Special Offers page. All the fine print applies, and delivery time varies. Thank you everyone for reading, getting readings and being here the past few years and beyond. More important then a name, is the people who know it. Thank you.

Left: Ten of Wands. This card lives around that intersection of the mental and physical. It represents carrying a burden, particularly the mental and emotional side of weighty situation. That isn’t to minimize very difficult, frightening situations. It isn’t to minimize hard work. It is about perceptions of those very real physical situations. It is easy to shoulder very real and necessary burdens when they don’t carry the added weight of expectations or regrets. Sometimes the mental weight is the hardest to set down.

Center: Knight of Wands. Magic is afoot. But it all happens on the inside. A shift in outlook or perception can change everything. This could signal that it is an opportune week for personal growth, taking stock of the direction you are actively going and taking active steps to go a different direction if needed.

Right: Knight of Pentacles. The energy around this card feels very “hygge” or cozy. Pleasures of the senses aren’t as “adult” as you might be thinking. Enjoy innocent physical comforts, like a stretching, yoga, running (whatever your favorite exercise might be) Have a soak with your favorite bath bomb, or light a scented candle. Have a cup of your favorite tea, coffee, or cocoa. Get out of your head and appreciate the physical. Mindfulness and a Zen approach comes to mind, as with that famous quote by Alan Watts “Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes.” Indulge in enjoying our brief moment as incarnate beings. Imma going to knit now.

YouChoose Interactive Tarot: Energy Equinox

Thank you to everyone for your saint-like patience the past week, including today. Made a trip out of state for family reasons, and have been playing a little catch up the laundry today. Sorry to YouTube folks for the delay posting the written part of this.

Not a lot going on as far as announcements go. The 2nd anniversary Tarot reading giveaway is still going on (use the contact form on the special offers page to get yours)

It’s going to be a big financial hit, but I won’t be doing parties or in-person readings this Halloween season because our local test positive rates are still around 5% and outside of stores, mask wearing is spotty at best. It just isn’t worth the risk. I hope you will get one of the free digital handwritten one card reading. It might be a nice way to cheer ourselves a bit as we head toward flu season and a possible covid resurgence.

That being said –

Left: Knight of Wands. Knight are usually the action heroes, all about doing something. In this case the action part of the knight card is taking a little bit of a back seat. This card was featured in the book / mini-series “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel” as a sign of the second magician appearing who would bring magic back to England. Rather than physical action, this card is a symbol of action, a place holder for action when we look at all three of this week’s cards together (more on that later.) This knight for this week isn’t about physical doing…it is all about spiritual doing. Call it magic(k) if you like. In subtle energy work, intention is everything. Astrology isn’t my specialty, but the full moon coming soon seems significant. If you feel drawn to astrology, please do research and find out what a full moon in Pisces means for you. This is a good week to stop being caught up in the physical day to day activity, and focus on your intentions, pay attention to your energies. You get what you give. Deliberately and actively set your mental and spiritual intentions, think of it as activity and quiet thought in exquisite balance

Center: Four of Swords. When we exercise rest is a thing. Muscles need a little rest every now and then in order to repair and become stronger. Rest is a necessary opposite to action in order for things to work as they should. While swords cards, like knight cards, often denote action the four in particular denotes rest and repose. Proper sleep is necessary for healthy minds and bodies. To move forward in battle, warriors will stop and look and see what must be done, what is the most effective way to proceed. If you chose this card, it might be a more active and busy week than for other people, but don’t just charge ahead in order to get through it all at any cost. Look before you leap. Think of it as observation and analysis in exquisite balance with swift action.

Right: Two of Pentacles. This is the classic card about balance. Only Temperance gives a stronger message about keeping everything in check and not getting too extreme with anything just now. Moderation is your friend. This card is about dynamic balance, moving parts, constantly adjusting, a little like the constant adjustments a unicycle rider makes. Balance is a key idea this week. Watch for anything that is getting to be too much, try not to get ‘out over your skis” as they say about anything, but given this is coins card, you might want to pay particular attention to work-life balance. Think of it as exquisite balance in, well, everything.

Taken together, these three cards are all about an exquisite balance. We just had the autumnal equinox, day and night in perfect balance. Think of the old myth of balancing an egg on its end on the equinoxes. This is the most fleeting tiny pause, the breath holding, one-footed moment on a tightrope, that can only last the barest second before the tightrope walker must tilt to one side, or the other, or take a step forward or take a step backward. Nature abhors a vacuum and gives precious little time to any sort of static balance. This week feels to be the tiniest pause, a balance that can’t last, a held breath before the exhale must happen, an equinox of energies. Gather in the magic of this fleeting golden moment before that balance born of change and motion must begin again.

Today’s Tarot: Every Little Thing Can Be Magic

What is magic, really?

Being raised on a steady diet of 60s sitcom re-runs, I full on want nose twitching, wand waving, hand gesturing, incantation mumbling, midnight margarita saturated POOF! magic.

It’d be fun, you have to admit. But out here in the real world we are dealing with technology, stagecraft and the spiritual path kind of magick (I like making the distinction between stage or fictional magic and the spiritual practice of magick by using the ‘k’ at the end. Besides, it just looks cool.)

Regardless of fictional fun or your serious spiritual beliefs, The Magician is nonetheless a very powerful card. It is a card of transformation, in essence, of initiating and controlling change.

TV magic is alluring because it is all instant gratification but no real possibility. Real magick is all potential and possibility, but not instant, and with a better grade of gratification. They don’t call this stuff magickal or spiritual work for no reason.

In a daily read like this, the message is in that potential…and the change. Change really is possible. New attitudes, new habits, new feelings, new lifestyles, new philosophies take time. The magician is powerful. Tap in to that power – however long it takes. Real magick is absolutely possible, but you have to realize it is made of some amount of time and a sufficient amount of effort and the secret potion of waiting, welcoming and holding space. Change anything and POOF! you are magick.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget the second anniversary giveaway on the special offers page. Just a reminder that the blog is not at all monetized (neither is the youtube channel) so any blog follows, likes, shares, social media follows and of course reading orders are all greatly appreciated. Thank you all!

RWS Tarot magician image from the public domain

YouChoose Interactive Tarot 25 July – 1Aug. 2020

Take your week, and the Tarot guidance for it into your own hands. Pick a card, right, center or left. Take your time, pause the video then restart for the reveal…or pick which ever card feels right on an impulse. Both ways work just fine.

Left: Seven of Swords. Mischief is afoot. Stay on your toes. Watch out for pranks, be kind to unintended mistakes

Center: The Magician. Create your world. Like attracts like. A shift in perception and point of view can change the world like magic

Right: King of Pentacles. Focus on the practical. Generally, energies are turning toward the spiritual and esoteric, but this week still needs a grounded and practical approach. Don’t let your head get stuck in the clouds.