The whole of the moon

The moon has a dark side. That doesn’t make it any less beautiful.

It life as a human, just as it is life as a planet in a solar system. Not all is light. Not all is dark. Both are one. Even when the moon looks full to us, half of it faces away from the sun and is in shadow. Every day on earth has its night. And ever person has their shadow side too.

It takes a certain courage to acknowledge the dark side of the moon, the dark side of ourselves, and understand they are one. The shadow exists as certainly as the light. It is how you think about it, how you embrace the both-ness of our existence that matters.

Denying our shadow side, or striving to be “only the light” isn’t natural. Light and dark, yin and yang is our nature. Or to paraphrase the movie The Craft, Magick is both cruel and kind because nature is both. And such is human nature.

Some of the best of our nature is to fully acknowledge and accept our shadow side but still manage to shine.

The moon has a dark side, but that doesn’t make it any less beautiful. The whole of you is beautiful too. Go. Shine. You got this.

Tree Sitting

It doesn’t matter who YOU think the wisest man who ever existed is, the point is that their philosophy – whoever they were or whatever that philosophy is – it is derived from introspection. The introspection is the thing.

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

Admittedly, my brain is getting in the way of intuition a little bit today. Or maybe this really is the energy message. I don’t know. I’ll let you and how much you resonate with the card decide that piece of it.

Often the four of cups has to do with someone who is sulking, or closed off. I see it often in relationship questions, which fits the suit of cup’s symbolism and connection to love, romance, and inner circle closest relationships of all types. It is often an energy of futility and unrequited emotion. It’s not good news in that context. Adages like “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink,””throwing good money after bad” and “throwing pearls before swine” come to mind. Often this thread of meaning shows up in readings that are asking the “will I get back together with my ex-” variety of questions. You can’t control how other people feel and you can’t predict what they will feel or do, so the answer in that circomstance is sadly, no, the focus is internal. The message then becomes the advice of introspection….look within to do what you need to do to heal and hopefully progress to the move-on energy that the 8 of cups can offer.

But that, as they say, is another story.

Today, the card skips over all the closed-off energy and relationship advice. Today it cuts right to the chase and talks about introspection.

It resonates quite a bit with “Mr. Venn And His Nifty Diagrams” from yesterday on Sage & Stuff, my personal blog. That post was inspired by Hustle & Meditate the substack newsletter by meditation coach Jim Martin aka “The Unusual Buddha” plus an instagram post by I think it was Mat Auryn, author of Psychic Witch that spoke of mysticism and mystery teachings within witchcraft and magick.

In a nutshell, they both said the same thing although from different areas of expertise and separated by several months in time. The things they were saying were influenced by different cultures who came to similar conclusions a long time ago….despite being world apart in a B.C.E time where there was no trade or internet connecting northern Europe, India and China.

Both the Martin newsletter and the Auryn Instagram post conclude with the notion that, while we have much to learn from the masters who came before, we must each walk through the portal of learning for ourselves. We each have to walk our own path, carve our own way, experience the mysteries of the universe for ourselves and look at the moon with out own two eyes.

It is a bit of Isaac Newton meets Bruce Lee. Newton acknowledges that quote “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” end quote. Centuries later and inspired by a completely different culture, Bruce Lee admonishes his student in the movie Enter the Dragon quote “It’s like a finger pointing away to the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.” end quote.

Blind faith takes you nowhere. Accomplished masters can show you A way, but only you can walk it. Only you can see your true path through your own thoughts, contemplations and introspections.

Nineteenth century journalist, philosopher and father of Frankenstein author Mary Shelly, William Godwin once said that “The philosophy of the wisest man who ever existed, is mainly derived from the act of introspection.” Who you consider to be the wisest man person to have ever existed is up to you, but that too is derived from introspection – yours. Introspection is the thing, with this card and Godwin’s quote, but more than that, YOUR introspection is the key thing. The wisest person who ever existed may be a guide and a giant for you to stand upon, but it is still you that must do the standing, walking and moon gazing.

Thank you so much for reading and listening! I appreciate any likes, subs, shares, questions or comments that you can spare.

It’s that renew the website time of year, so any support you can give through reading commissions, shop purchases, memberships or virtual coffees on the TaoCraft Tarot ko-fi page all goes toward creating these (almost) daily Tarot readings for everyone to enjoy.

Thanks again. See you Monday for the next short sip Tarot!

It’s Own Magic

If everything changes in time, doesn’t that mean time is magic?

Hello and welcome to TaoCraft Tarot blog and podcast. Short Sip episodes are Tarot contemplations for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee.

Today’s card is the Magician. It’s nice to see some major arcana cards showing up lately. That in itself is a nice little validation for me, that some of the energy and effort that I’ve been investing into refreshing the website and migrating the shop to a different platform in an effort to keep prices down on readings just might pay off.

It’s also an interesting compliment to the summer energy that’s out there. As a whole, the major arcana has so called “higher energy” That’s kind of a confusing way to say it. Sometimes higher vs lower energy is used qualitatively. Higher connotes something more esoteric, more spiritual, somehow “good” or virtuous while lower is sometimes used to connote something more banal and mundane, perhaps lesser quality or even malicious.

When I think of major arcana cards as having higher energy, it is a quantitative thing. Electromagnetic waves that have more cycles per unit of distance are said to have higher frequencies. There are just plain more waves in the wavelength not that they are any better or worse – unless of course you are talking about radiation and living tissue but that’s another story that we’ll ignore for now, since we are talking about Tarot card symbolism, not hard science & physics.

What I’m trying to say is that major arcana cards aren’t any better or any worse than the minor arcana. There is a surprising amount of overlap between some minor arcana cards and the majors. The minor cards have a gentler touch with the advice. They hand you a cookie and tell you that by the time you are done it will all be right as rain. Major arcana cards are more ka-pow. They are Oda Mae looking you straight in the eye and telling you that you in danger, girl.

I’ve been told by my Lenormand Tarot reading friends that the whole Lenormand deck is a little like that, all no holds barred frying pan to the face type stuff. It’s on my list of stuff to check out, but I have some other oracle exploration to get out of my system first. I’ll tell you more about that when it’s closer to ready for cyberspace.

Meanwhile, back at the Magician, this is fairly blunt. It reminds me of those internet memes from around the time when the movie “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” was released where Wong would portal in, throw down some random weird statement and portal back out again. Today’s card is a little like that. There aren’t any circles here. No sneaking up and nabbing the point from behind like with the Turn Around or Tools of the Inner Trade post / episodes.

source: @imgur

The Magician card symbolizes transformation as much as it does manifestation. The only difference between life and magic is our preconceived expectations. The flow of time and life change and transform everything. If you are still alive, you are still magic.

Thank you for reading and listening! Any likes, subs, follows, shares, questions or comments that you can spare are always appreciated. Comments are open on the blog, which podcast listeners can reach through the link in the show description.

Just a reminder that the blog, podcast and socials will be on a short summer hiatus July first to July sixth. Email readings are open on the blog website throughout that time. So is the ko-fi page where memberships, the shop, commissions and virtual coffees all support the creation of this free to access Tarot content. The blog and podcast are not monetized. That let’s me serve up a sip of spirit message without the taste of corporate messaging.

Thank you so so much! See you at the next sip.

It’ll be back

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today mystical self care until the woo woo feels come back.

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

As you’ve probably noticed I’m an all in fan girl for the Alleyman’s Tarot deck and today’s card is probably one of my favorites so far. It puts all of the Tarot and Reiki work I do into a little better perspective. The weird ass mystical shit is a normal part of life just like everything else. Seeing it put in so many words is a good reminder not to take things quite so seriously. The weird ass mystical shit card has a lot of the same “embrace the absurd” and “go with the flow” advice that I often get from the Page of Cups card.

Plus, today’s weird ass mystical shit card is reversed. Either that means things are gonna be extra spoopy or overly normal, one or the other.

All I can say is that it’s probably a good thing that I’m not monetized on any platform and totally rely on your support. Otherwise I’d probably be demonetized today. This card gets just a little sweary.

That’s not the only disclaimer. I’ll be talking about the card and deck as if they are an intelligent separate entity more than usual.

This deck is easily the largest I’ve ever used. It can be slippery and challenge my manual dexterity at times. That makes the deck seem like it has a mind of its own. It also has a propensity for reversals. So far, the deck has been serious about each and every one of them. In this case, my hunch is that the reversal means a block. The WAMS card (as the deck creator calls it) tells it like it is, no woo woo required. In this case, the reversal takes the mystical woo woo down yet another notch. In essence, today’s card is a validation for you if you aren’t feeling the slightest bit spiritual at all.

If you are deep in the mystical feels today, then this card is asking you to consider what you will do when – not if, but when – you hit a day where your sense of the mystic isn’t there. What is it you can rely on later when a low-energy day comes along? What can you trust when your feelings of personal power elude you? A day when you are dialed in and feeling is a good day to pay attention to what really works for you so that you can rely on it when you really need it.

I read Scott Cunningham’s Wicca for the Solitary Practitioner a few years ago. One of the most memorable parts was simply “The feeling is the power.” On one hand that is a very empowering idea. It speaks to a deep trust in ourselves, our feelings and our innate intuition. The feeling is the power regardless of rituals or tools or outward appearances. The thing you choose is secondary to the act of mindful choosing in and of itself. The external things that express your feelings are secondary to the feelings themselves.

But that also begs the question of what to do when you just aren’t feeling it. Does not feeling mystical render you powerless? Does it make you somehow vulnerable?

Vulnerable, maybe, but not powerless. We all need to pull back sometimes. We all need to balance yang with yin, haul in the envelope we’ve been pushing, and give ourselves a little TLC. If we keep pushing when we need to be still then things can go haywire. It may seem empty or powerless or outright ridiculous to lean on weird mystical shit when we just aren’t feeling it. But remember, weird mystical shit has its practical, plain-talking side. It’s something to build a bridge between now and the point in time when the woo woo feeling comes back. And it always comes back.

You might call it faith. That’s too Christian-ish for me personally. For me, the word faith conjures the con-man’s call to blindly take someone’s word about something unproven, possibly unprovable. When you’re not feeling the mystical woo woo, blind faith is a dangerous thing. Deep trust is a better way. When you are feeling more BLAH than empowered, wouldn’t it be better to lean on something you’ve tested and trusted and used before? Trusting yourself is the path back to feeling the mystical.

Sometimes that trust in yourself takes the form of waiting until the time is right. Sometimes trusting yourself means just doing what you already know works and allowing time to do its healing thing.

The card reminds me of a meme of unknown origin, one of my favorite memes.

source unknown

It reads quote Movie witches: For this spell you must gather these sacred items three, soak them in water held by the skin of a deer and drink half a cup each night before bed until the full moon…Real witches: Imma just draw a sigil or something on this toaster strudel and have it for breakfast end quote.

Some days are all weird ass mystical shit, full of power and potential. Other days are all toaster strudel and shoving your favorite crystals in your pocket until the feeling shifts. The mystical feeling will be back. Count on it because the mundane, practical, logical, and irreverent parts of life are with you everyday regardless of how you feel and those things are just as magical and mystical as anything else.

So yeah.

The rock in your pocket protects a low energy psyche. The sigil on your strudel can do what needs done until you are feeling the feels again. Whatever holds your trust does so with good reason. Forget blind faith – when you rely on things that have EARNED your trust you are, in turn, actually trusting yourself. You are trusting your own judgement about what is or isn’t trustworthy.

Thank you so much for reading and listening. I appreciate any likes, subs, shares, follows, questions and comments that you can spare. Comments are open on the blog, and there is a link to the blog in the podcast episode description.

I’m not kidding about not being monetized. That allows me to follow intuition’s lead and say what needs said without worrying about offending advertisers. It also means that I need your support. If you are enjoying the blog or the podcast please visit the TaoCraft Tarot ko-fi page. The shop proceeds and memberships go toward the time and web hosting it takes to create these free to access Tarot readings for everyone.

In the spirit of full disclosure, private readings by email with the blog author are available for purchase on the blog and podcast website. Email readings are always open and available, no appointment needed.

Thanks again and see you at the next sip.

The Alleyman’s Tarot was created by seven Dane Asmund of Publishing Goblin LLC and used here with permission.

May the 4th be with you – because the force already is

no need to wish that the force be with you – because it already is.

Reiki has crossed my path lately.

That’s not entirely accurate. Reiki IS my path. Or at least a good chunk of it. Or one thread of the braid of it. It’s hard to describe. So let’s back up a few years.

I’ve been told that it is good to re-introduce yourself every now and then. Let me reintroduce you to the Reiki side of Tao Craft.

You know the Tarot part well, even if you have been following along just a short time. Ebooks and mala style meditation beads part of things are pretty self-explanatory for sale ko-fi shop and Etsy shop respectively.

It may seem a little odd to have Tarot and Reiki living in the same cyber space. Reiki and Tarot are actually connected at a fundamental level. The Venn diagrams of Reiki, Tarot and magick overlap so much as to practically be a circle.

It might not make sense at first glance. I mean, sure, Tarot is so associated with all the various forms of magick and witches that it is pretty much assumed that if you read Tarot you are a witch and vice versa. But Reiki? What does Buddhism influenced love, light, and lotus flowers have to do with Tarot and magick craft?

As the name TaoCraft implies, it has a lot to do with it. Whether you use eastern or western terminology, Taoism and Tarot, Magick and Reiki all spring from the same basic substrate of universal energies.

As a quick explanation in terminology, Reiki specifically means a method of energy wellness developed in the 1920s by Micheo Usui of Japan. Other methods of energy healing have come to be called Reiki just like the brand name band-aid has come to be used interchangeably with any adhesive bandage. Some newer energy systems identify as being derived from Usui’s work and so identify as a type of Reiki like (if memory serves) Karuna Reiki and the like. Other energy styles and systems may have started with Reiki but split off to differentiate themselves entirely from the traditional Usui system and take on wholly different names. That can happen on an individual or organizational level and doesn’t imply that the system is any better or worse than Reiki, just that it is a different thing all together. In addition to that you have other energy systems that have always been separate and distinct from Reiki since their inception. As I understand it, Johrei is a similar but religious Japanese discipline that grew in parallel to Reiki during the 20th century.

To be clear, whenever I say Reiki (pronounced “ray key”) I specifically mean the Usui system. I use “energy healing” or “energy wellness” as an umbrella term for all similar healing and wellness practices.

My training and certification is in the Traditional Usui style. I studied first and second level training with Karon Mellon of Sewickley PA in the mid 1990s then repeated these levels and progressed to the master-practitioner level under Master Thom Beardshall of McMurray Pennsylvania in 2000.

I don’t feel particularly drawn to teaching Reiki outside of writing about it. I’m a practitioner and, like Tarot, my strong suit is distance work. For the past four years since the TaoCraft Tarot rebranding, I’ve been focusing on distance Reiki and developing what I call “Sending Stones” distance Reiki sessions. I do call it Reiki because it is a Usui method distance session in accordance with my training BUT with the added embellishment of holding a selected stone or crystal to enhance the ambiance and enjoyment of the session. This is no different than the way many Usui practitioners embellish in-person sessions with music, incense, candles or aromatherapy.

There is so much more to say about Reiki. Far more than any one blog post can cover. So I’ll give you a little homework instead.

To see what the Reiki part of TaoCraft looks like, just click the Reiki tab at the top of the page on the blog, or in the menu if you are viewing the website on a mobile device. There are lots of updates planned, so I hope you’ll follow the blog or podcast to hear about those as they happen.

Based on all I’ve learned over the years plus my personal experience learning Reiki, I am firmly in the camp that says the only way to learn in person and over time. Humans don’t flip switches. It’s not like installing the latest update to you phone’s operating system. Human physiology and psychology takes a little time to fully integrate to a new outlook. It takes time to fully incorporate and keep new energies and new thought habits and new habit-habits. Our eyes are not our only sense. You need to have the tactile experience of feeling energy and the change in your hands. The attunement … I’ll call it a ritual for lack of a better word…is a powerful initiation that must be experienced first hand.

Common wisdom teaches us that low, slow burning fires last the longest. That isn’t to say that doing all three levels of Reiki training in one weekend will cause them to flame out and go away. There is, however, a difference in quality. To put it in culinary terms, it’s like the difference between a cheap fast food hamburger and a slow smoked brisket. It’s like the difference between warming up a can of beans and pot of authentic New Orleans red beans that have been bubbling away in a slow cooker all day. Once attuned always attuned seems true. Achieving an enduring high quality experience of Reiki in your life (whether you treat others or not) needs a sweet spot of time between level attunements. The goldilocks zone of time between attunements seems to be 7 to 21 day. It’s enough to adapt and embrace and use and live your new energy level from the last attunement, but no so much time that your attention fades and you start to lose readiness for the next attunement.

But that’s just me. Like Tarot readers and Magick practitioners, there are as many schools of thought about it as there are people living it.

That being said, I don’t encourage anyone to learn Reiki in a single weekend or solely from books or videos. The makers of the world will understand this part: Sometimes you just have to get your hands on it and DO something to really, really understand. That is even more true for something like Reiki that you don’t just know, that you don’t just DO, but can become a way of life.

Doing and living implies continuation, movement and change. Just like science and mainstream medicine, there is always something to explore, improve and learn in Reiki too. That’s where books come in.

Back in the day, when I was studying for my Doctor Doofenschmirtz style remote learning Ph.D. with Clayton College of Natural Health, Reiki: Universal Life Energy by Bodo Baginski was the first book they assigned for the energy medicine class. It is a classic and a good read if for no other reason than Bodo Baginski is probably one of the coolest, most Hobbit like author’s names I’ve ever seen.

After that, I suggest anything and everything by Walter Lubeck and Frank Arjava Petter, especially as one moves from second level to master or master-practitioner levels. Once you have a basic understanding and basic attunements these books increase your level of proficiency. Reiki Fire and Petter’s books are particularly important for those who come into Reiki under the Takada lineage and who are very invested in the Christianized version of Reiki History. While this version was utterly necessary in its time, and may well be the only thing that preserved Reiki in a time of great bigotry and the internment of Japanese American citizens, it is equally important for we 21st century practitioners to know and understand Reiki’s actual, documented, Buddhist roots.

Christopher Penczak’s Magick of Reiki from 2004 is number one on my personal list of must-read Reiki books, but only if you have an established foundation in Reiki, magick, or both. While it is an engaging, absorbing, clear, easy to understand read, the real heart of the subject matter is a bit esoteric. I didn’t discover the book until fairly recently, so I’ve only engaged with it from an experienced practitioner’s point of view. Even after all these years, I gained much from it, especially on the magick side of the equation where my experience and learning is less.

His explanation of physical versus spiritual Reiki is a crucial utterly essential understanding for any Reiki practitioner, especially here in America. I urge anyone interested in Reiki to read this book if for nothing else but the page explaining this important concept.

Count me on the spiritual side. My dissertation argues that Reiki does indeed have physical benefit BUT through the mechanism of the mind-body connection and through mitigation of the detrimental effects of psychological stress. When Reiki improves stress it improves all the physical things that the stress was making worse. Reiki does have physical benefit, but not in the mainstream allopathic mind set of ‘do this to fix that’. Reiki works in the holistic model of improving total functioning and wellness, not just ameliorating a single symptom or isolated disease process. Reiki shifts the mind part of mind-body wellness from a detrimental stress mode into either a neutral or supportive role, in essence getting stress out of the way so that the body’s natural healing abilities can function at their best. If you are interested in the statistics and references, Reiki and Relaxation is the ebook friendly pdf version of my dissertation.

Having a clear idea of the kind of Reiki you want to practice improves your practice.

Again, I work from a spiritual/emotional healing point of view with my Reiki practice. In the beginning, because of my medical background, I tried to work from the physical model and bring Reiki into the mainstream.

It doesn’t work. You wind up whittling away so much of Reiki in order to fit that square peg into an unyielding juggernaut of a round hole that after a while it does a disservice to both the client and to the practice of Reiki writ large…

to be continued

The Makings of Magic

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day (or evening) in the time it takes to sip from your coffee (or tea). Today: The Alleyman’s Tarot Lightning in a bottle and the makings of magic

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

Today we are drawing from the Alleyman’s Tarot by Seven Dane Asmund of Publishing Goblin LLC, used with permission. It’s a big deck, with one booster pack already in it and yes, you bet I’m planning on getting the other booster packs if possible.

I’m not a collector by nature, but I’ve been around collectors and I understand the passion. It’s not a greed thing or a materialistic thing. It’s a surround yourself with symbols of something you love thing. As a professional Tarot reader and Tarot writer slash blogger decks appeals to the maker part of me. It’s a “right tool for the right job” kind of vibe. On one hand they are a collection of specialized precision tools, yet on the other hand “every tool is a hammer” as the Adam Savage book puts it.

I know some Tarot readers who have dozens of decks. The Alleyman’s Tarot is my eleventh. I’m enjoying it even more than expected. It is a virtuoso deck, that pushes your comfort zone just by the vast array of tones, images and artwork. It’s also challenging by virtue of the cards like this one that are absolutely gorgeous, but not traditional RWS or lenormand symbolism. I can’t imagine anyone with the wherewithal to collect well over one hundred decks, but the vast array of different cards all beautifully curated by the creator gives you a taste of exactly that. Seven Dane Asmund has pushed all of our Tarot reading envelopes. Now it is up to us to haul it back in.

I’ve been watching the new season of the Witcher, so the Mages of Artuza came quickly to mind when I saw the lightning in a bottle card – specifically the scene where initiates were in a cave with a hole in the roof during a thunderstorm and were required to capture lightning in a bottle in order to become fully fledged Mages.

The phrase “lightning in a bottle” has been around much longer than TV shows. Generally, it means sudden, unexpected, unconventional but huge success at something rare, at something once thought nearly impossible. Lighting in a bottle is a get rich from YouTube, put a ding in the universe type of luck-meets-skill achievement.

Reliable origins of idioms like this one are just as hard to find. A quick search of the google machine gives you the idea that it refers to eighteenth century experiments with electricity like Benjamin Franklin’s kite and Leyden jars. Leyden jars are conductive material on either side of non-conductive glass in such a way that it will hold a small electrical charge. It used to be party entertainment to get a little spark from them, kind of like scuffing your sock feet across the carpet and touching a door knob on purpose. In the poetic language of the day, those little sparks were literally lightning in a bottle.

The Alleyman’s Notebook that accompanies the deck connects this card with a situation that can’t be forced. That interpretation fits in with the pop culture analogy. You can’t MAKE lightning strike. You can’t MAKE opportunities happen but you can position yourself in such a way as to be in the conditions that more favorable for the right opportunity to happen. You can put yourself in a mental and physical space to take full advantage of it if it does.

You can’t make lightning strike any given place at any given time. Putting real world electrocution aside for a moment, if you stand on an iron rich rock near salt water ocean with your arm up in the air during a thunderstorm, there is a better chance that you, the lightning and a bottle will all wind up in the same place at the same time.

There is a practical, mundane, banal side of catching lightning in a bottle. It may seem lucky or miraculous, but the most unlikely success still has elements of practical intellect and persistent effort. As Thomas Edison famously said “genius is one percent inspiration and ninety nine percent perspiration. Lightning in a bottle is random luck plus the courage and cleverness to take advantage of unexpected opportunity with a healthy dose of effort to follow it all through to fruition. These are the elements of mundane magic available to anyone.

There is one more element. A subtle one, the one that makes you into a lighting rod and gives you the power to contain it in the bottle. This is the part that makes the apprentice into the sorcerer. It’s the part that takes us back to the rainy rocks at the witch school of Artuza.

Harmonize with nature.

Lau Tzu gave us this advice in the Tao Te Ching a long, long, long time ago. If you are a grower by nature and you are in a sunny field, plant as you wish. If you are by the sea, step out onto the rainy rock and lift your bottle to the sky with confidence.

Thank you for reading and listening. The blog and podcast are not monetized and depend on audience support. Please visit the TaoCraft Tarot ko-fi page to become a Patron of the Tarot Arts which gives you access to exclusive content, private email readings and members-only special offers. Proceeds support the production of these free to access posts and episodes. Of course your likes, subs, shares, follows, reading orders, questions and comments are always, always appreciated.

See you at the next sip.


TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot contemplation for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today: Threshold

Today’s card is the Two of Wands

The two cards of all the minor arcana suits point toward balance of some kind. The two of wands today feels more like a tipping point than any sort of long-lasting balance.

How many times do you walk through a doorway in a day? Going through a literal door is something we do so much that it is beneath notice. When we add in the elements of time and change, doorways take on a great deal of symbolic meaning. Liminal spaces are not just transitional, they can be transformational.

These places and times of change have always been thought of as being a little bit magic. It’s no wonder that we celebrate New Years, birthdays and anniversaries. Such times can bring the gift of healing and sealing the past in one hand with hope and optimism in the other.

Think of your favorite sunrise or sunset. The time just before sunset is called the golden hour. To me it is more than the natural light being perfect for photography, it is the feeling of the time as well. It brings to mind a nearly forgotten line from Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicals about feeling as if you could reach out and touch time, touch eternity itself. Threshold places and transition times can feel a little like that.

Transitional times and places touch both past and future. Transition times are an extra dose of eternity living in the present moment.

The Two of Wands is a very forward-looking card. It has some elements of waiting, watching, contemplating and planning, but today it feels like change is close at hand but relative to a much larger picture. It’s close, but in terms of months relative to years, not close as in minutes or days. This threshold is built out of transition time. This threshold is wide. The energy in the card today reminds me of the impromptu year ahead reading we did here on the blog and podcast in the “old is new again” post and episode. If time before the pandemic was “the before times” it feels like we are entering a long threshold, like a hallway really, to the “after times.”

The card has a surprisingly intimidating feel despite the pleasant artwork on the card. I guess that is to be expected – any change, any threshold can be intimidating when you aren’t 100 percent sure what is on the other side. Yet there is also a sense of hope and anticipation as well. Things change, but for once, in spite of being burned before, things might just change for the better this time.

In short hope for best, prepare for the worst, but if you can, appreciate the magic inherent to the thresholds we cross.

TaoCraft Tarot podcast is the audio version of the TaoCraft Tarot blog. Short Sip posts and nano-episodes are Tarot contemplations for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. You can see the real-world card being drawn for the day on the corresponding YouTube short video.

I am so glad that you are here. Thank you for watching, reading and listening. I really do appreciate your support through likes, subs, shares, follows. None of this Tarot content is currently monetized so if you enjoy any of it, please support the blog and podcast through the virtual tip mug, shop and tier memberships on the TaoCraft Tarot page (convenient links are in the episode description for podcast listeners)

Thanks again for dropping in. See you at the next sip.

Suggested reading: Weaving the Liminal by Laura Tempest Zarkoff

On of the author’s favorite paintings “Keeper of the Threshold” by Eliju Vedder, 1898 at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh PA.

public domain, Eliju Vedder, cmoa

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.

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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.