Hold Space

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today: Ace of Cups and holding space for good things to flow in.

Hello and welcome to TaoCraft Short Sip: Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. I’m glad you are here.

Today’s card is the Ace of Cups. Cups are associated with emotion, inner circle relationships, romance, and the classic element of water. The ace is the essence of the deck. Today, the ace of cups has a feeling of abundance overflowing like a cornucopia. The universe provides. It may be in unexpected or under appreciated ways, but if we are alive it has provided that much and that is extraordinary.

The water part is catching my attention too. It reminds me of the famous interview where Bruce Lee says to quote Be water, my friend, end quote.

Water takes on the shape of whatever hold it. If there is no room for the water, it spills over and goes somewhere else.

Today’s card is simple and to the point. If you want good things to come into your life, then they have to have somewhere to land. If you want good things to flow into your life, they have to have some place to flow into.

This can be as literal or esoteric as you want it to be. For example, it is standard issue boilerplate advice for those who are looking for a long term romantic partner, their soulmate if you will, to make literal space for that person. Clearing out a drawer, getting an extra toothbrush to have on hand, getting a pair of matching coffee mugs, having figurines around in pairs; all of those physical things can send an energy signal that you are living your life, but have made space in that life for a special someone.

Creative visualization, alters, journaling all sorts of things can hold space on an energetic level for good things to flow into.

No wonder spring cleaning and decluttering is believed to remove negative energy and attract or positive energies. Remember that Zen proverb that only an empty cup can be filled? I’m not saying you have to get rid of your stuff, but maybe dust it off and get it organized.

Be specific. Never invite just any old thing into your life. In my mind’s eye, I see one of those reserved parking spaces for a particular person or a particular building.

I also see a figure holding a bowl up to the sky, to be filled with golden light. Nice visualization there. Feel free to use it. The more we all lift our empty bowls to the sky, the more we can call an energy of abundance and provision into the world.

Thank you for reading, watching and listening.

This blog, podcast and the companion videos are not monetized – they depend on your support. Tarot readings purchased through this website*, Tarot Table memberships, likes, subs, shares, and follows all support the creation of this unique Tarot content for you.

Once again I’m working with my new Alleyman’s Tarot deck, which features both original cards by Seven Dane Asmund, creator of the Normal Tarot and cards gifted and licensed from a hundred or more decks and artists. The card shown was made by Vicente Molina for the Tarot Morandi.

Thanks again. See you at the next sip.

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Soulmates and the sum of the parts

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today, Soulmantes and the sum of the parts with the two of cups.

Hey there. Welcome to TaoCraft Short Sip: a Tarot contemplation for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. I’m glad you are here.

Today’s card it the Two of Cups.

Nevermind the Lovers from the major arcana, THIS is the card you want to see in a love, romance or relationship reading. This is a card that most often resonates with long term, committed, loving, satisfying relationship. It is associated with marriage, handfasting or any life long commitment between any two human beings.

But like anything this is a yin-yang, giving-getting two-sided coin.

Remember that old candy commercial about chocolate and peanut butter? Peanut butter is delicious on its own. It’s something to eat by the spoonful if you ask me. Chocolate is sublime, the more cacao the better in my book. Love the dark stuff. Together they are extra. Together they are more than either alone.

The best romances are like that.

The worst ones are too, except the “extra” is added to the not-good side of things. Kind of like those generic candies that use terrible quality ingredients and are tasteless, weird textured and generally unpleasant.

Personally, I don’t buy into the whole other half, twin flame idea. I mean, think about it for a minute. Who would you rather spend your life with? Would you rather be with someone who expects you to complete them or someone who is a true partner adding their battery to your mutual light? Would Ironman have flown away yelling “you complete me” if Pepper was anything less than a fully independent phenomenon in and of herself? If you need someone to complete you, isn’t that a way of controlling you too? If someone needs you to complete them isn’t that controlling you too?

Good romance isn’t built on need. In a good romance both parts give and get, get and give. It isn’t about two parts completing a circuit, it is about two fully charged batteries powering up the full circuit and shining a light brighter than either one battery could alone.

Romances are like those candies. The best result doesn’t come from peanut butter looking for more peanut butter in order to make them into better peanut butter. The best result doesn’t come from cocoa butter looking for a cacao beans to make it into better chocolate. The symbiotic extra can’t happen if you are looking for another half to make a whole. The extra only happens when two free standing and fully good things work together to make the magic happen.

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Thanks for reading & listening. I’ll see you at the next sip!

My Tarot Valentine, February 14, 2021: Love on both sides

I picked a Tarot card today, but not at random.

In 2015, the Lovers random appearance inspired the first “My Tarot Valentine” post on

‘Tarotbytes” blog on Modern Oracle Tarot. When the Lovers turned up as “card of the month” it sparked the idea of one card meditation readings specifically focused on love, romance, relationships and Valentine’s Day.

This year, I think the idea has run its course and this is the last of the “My Tarot Valentine” blog posts. Relationship readings and posts won’t go anywhere, I just want to let the energy of them flow organically, and not try to bend the energy toward a seasonal topic. It just seems right to wrap up with the card that started it. What better bookends than love on both sides?

The relationship in question is, I suppose, mine with the blog. It is a pale example of the card’s message, which has changed surprisingly little since it’s first February appearance. But then, you would expect that from the important lesson that major arcana cards tend to teach.

It’s all about desire. Not romance.

It can be any consuming, life-driving want. It could be something material, something spiritual, or a life partner and soulmate. It is asking us to stop feeling sorry for ourselves because of what we don’t have and ask ourselves why we want it in the first place.

Why do we want to celebrate Valentine’s day? Keep in mind, my only exposure to the holiday is the one dripping in American commercialism. “Cheap chocolate and an excuse to buy a bottle of wine” is a perfectly acceptable answer to the question. I like to think that the real motivation is the holiday serves as a prompt to make some sweet, sincere small gesture to show the people in our life how much we care.

This series, this blog is my gesture of appreciation to you. I am thankful to you for reading this. Thank you for appreciating the art and adventure of Tarot with me.

Did you know that anytime you get a reading here, you get your choice of topic? You can ask a specific question, choose a general topic (like romance or relationships or leave the whole reading open and let spirit lead the way.

Today’s Tarot: Love Upside Down

Everybody loves the love card.

The Lovers card from the major arcana has a reputation for being the big romance card, the one that means THE one is on the way. Not so much. Sure, the Lovers has a big, passionate, lustful, torrid romance energy around it but it doesn’t necessarily connect to a meaningful or lasting relationship. The lovers represents any strong desire, any lust we may have in life.

If you are hoping for a long lasting, satisfying, really meaningful relationship, then the two of Cups is the card you want to see. As I read the cards, Cups reflect our closest relationships. It might mean marriage, but it could also be children, parents, closest friends or any of your most inner circle.

If you are hellbent and fixated on finding that special someone, then reversed two of cups is the worst possible news. That aspect of life is hitting some bumps in the road. It doesn’t mean you’ll never get married, it means that other important relationships that aren’t marriage related are suffering or that the energy flow to do with marriage is slowed, blocked, or otherwise problematic (probably because of the hellbent and fixated part.)

Any relationship, even the ones in your life that are already loving and committed can hit rough patches. Anyone can get on anyone else’s nerves. It’s only human. If you are in a relationship and you see this, don’t panic. Give the love of your life a little extra TLC. Or a lot.

If you are in a relationship that is in real trouble and you see this card, don’t panic. Look inside. Is this really news, or is it confirmation of what you already know but don’t want to admit? You may be asked to give love to yourself, to healing, instead of to another person for a time.

If you aren’t in a marriage-like relationship but really want to be and you see is card, don’t panic. Just put your energy, love and attention into something else. Don’t chase, attract. Magnetize. Live. Be. Let’s just say it. Content and self confident is sexy.

Attract love to you by turning your cup upside down. Call love to you by giving love to people and things that are already in your life right now. A cup has to turn to pour. Love is the one thing you get more of by giving it to other people.

YouChoose Interactive Tarot: Leading Indicators


“There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts.” – Richard Bach

It’s not the no-pentacles thing.

Do you feel it? It isn’t over. The whole pandemic energy is still there, not the buzzing initial panic, but a low key, solid comfortable existential dread. From a place of both logic AND intuition – the switch flipping open the economy folks are insane. It is not time to go whole hog. We need to keep doing what we are doing a few more weeks. Even then there should be limits and cautions and this is nowhere near over until there is a vaccine.  

There is a leading indicator shift in the energy, akin to the resonance of panic and the foreboding ping that came in February and the run up to stay at home orders. This is advance planning. This is a nudge to think about what you are going to do or not do when official restrictions change. Trust me, the work from home freelancer….you don’t HAVE to go out if you don’t want to.

This reading, as a group of three, is about the good things this problem of staying in has brought, and once again this is more for the privileged than for those essential workers in the thick of this. They have bigger fish to fry than the getting and giving of Tarot readings. This is about “This is your chance to appreciate this while you have a chance before this opportunity goes away” This group of cards remind us to take whatever small gifts and good memories from the quarantine with us when it is all, finally and later, over.

Left: Two of Cups. This card, in normal times, is about marriage and other meaningful long term relationships. This is about holding on to long distance friendships that may have been forged online during social distancing. This is about the relationships that were strengthened or stretched to the limit being quarantined together. Think about what relationships have proven themselves to really matter over the past couple of months and think about which ones, if any, have proven themselves to be unnecessary. In short, trim and nurture where needed, cherish the precious from now on.

Center: Knight of Wands. Act on your passions. The rah-rah “toxic positive” vibe was way ahead of this curve. You still l don’t have to achieve or do anything except make it through, day by day. It wasn’t time yet, for many people, to do that spring cleaning or do their equivalent of Shakespeare writing King Lear during the plague. If you have some pet project or dreams to pursue, the energies are turning more toward that. Comfort yourself and those around you, yes. You will need that strength later. But the energies are shifting so it is easier for us to shift from hold-and-survive to once again chasing the dream.

Right: Eight of Swords. We are still trapped. It isn’t time to fully move yet. Now is the time for planning and creative problem solving. The energies may not have started to shift for you. If you have been thinking of these times as prison, now is the time to see them as protection. What do you need to guard that you haven’t seen? Where have you let your guard down….either getting your shields up too late, or dropping them too early?

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Romance Tarot Reading with Magician and The Lovers Cards

A popular 2011 post from the Modern Oracle / Tarotbytes blog archives

Q: I met a man who seemed to be all anyone could want…a little older, financially stable, professional, interested in me. But he could be pushy, too, and he pushed me to go on a vacation together, his treat. Turns out he is a horrible gambler. The whole trip was a disaster…shocking. I keep attracting men like this, and after this experience I wonder if I will ever have a good relationship. I had a career reading with you last year, and liked the way you look at things. Can you give any insight to the romance side of things?

A: I think you are right…this experience was shocking, but it got your attention. It helped you see a pattern, and to realize you want something different. As traumatizing as it was in the short term…in the big picture this may actually be a valuable experience.

There are two tarot cards that are exquisitely applicable to your situation: The Lovers and The Magician.

They are both major arcana cards…which speaks to the power and importance of the things your are thinking about.

The Lovers symbolizes desire, and The Magician represents transformation and manifestation.

Your experience with this man, and the way it felt inevitable, shows it is an important and powerful lesson: it shows you that what is deep down matters more than the initial outward appearance…and that the deep down important stuff is what matters to you. Now you know. This will give you a wonderful contrast…the shadow to show you what you want to bring to light.

You know, now, what you DON’T want to repeat…the next step is to define in your mind, very clearly, what you DO want in a relationship…what you do want in your relationships an in your life. The feeling I got reading the first part of your story is that your connection with this man grew out of expectations…your hope for a relationship and what other people define as a good prospect…stable, professional etc etc. That doesn’t, as we see here, necessarily bring the intangible, subtle good things, like respect, caring, compassion, empathy….all those things that are REALLY important.

When I was younger, I saw a psychic, also wondering if I would ever be with anyone. She gave me an exercise…I may have mentioned this last time…that proved to be pure gold. Even if you’ve done this before…try again, start the exercise over, using your new insights and perspectives gained from the trip to vegas…

Make a list of all the things you want in a partner. What kind of relationship do you want? Marriage? Companionship? List every detail, literally, on paper. LIst physical things, interests, personality traits…anything, everything. Don’t put negatives…don’t say “not a gambler” put “enjoys ___________” That part is very important…the energy of the “not” might actually draw the undesirable trait to you rather than block it. Always list ONLY the things you WANT in a positive way.

Then release the list. Put it away, or, if you are inclined to such things, burn it in a respectful ritual of some sort. Whenever you feel the impulse, send a thought to the universe. Pray it…however it feels most powerful to you….not the whole list, just the feeling of desire for “the best of the list” or “husband for the highest and best”…something like that. Send the cry from your heart to the heart of outer space…then let go and trust the universe to guide you to the right path.

There are no time limits. There may be more things to learn along the way…but if you ask for the path to the best, you will find that highest and best journey, no matter how long it takes to get to the destination.

How To Find Your Soulmate

This is an updated, combined version of my two-part post from 2009. Stay tuned for a more soulmate themed posts from the Tarotbytes archives.

The question of “how do I find my soulmate” (or some version of that) comes up in Tarot readings a LOT. I asked the question a LOT when I was younger and first started going to get psychic readings. Little did I know then that I would wind up doing this kind of work. After seeing the soulmate question from both sides, I have a few ideas that to offer. 


First, don’t worry about time. Love is one of those cosmic truths beyond time. Love has no need to respond to our time schedules or expectations because it exists beyond time. It is everywhere, always. The time and place for it to take a specific form is not something we control, cause or find.  “It happens in its own time” and “you can’t hurry love” are both very true. So don’t worry about WHEN. Once you take that “when” pressure off of yourself, and off of your unknown soulmate, then that creates more energetic space for the relationship to step into.

If the loneliness gets to be too much, and sometimes it does, remember that Love exists. It is an inseparable part of the cosmos. So are you.  Look up. You and your soulmate exist under the same sky. Love touches you even in the times when you least feel it.

Second, why not let your soulmate find you? The outward flowing, struggling quality of “finding” a soulmate is often counter-productive. If it is meant to be, it will happen naturally. Fighting the current, not ‘going with the flow’ only makes things harder. Think about a crowded amusement park. If you are constantly on the move, in among the crowd, what are the chances you will find that one person? What are the chances they can find you? Now, imagine standing on a bench and waving hello. What are the chances they will see you in the crowd now? If you are happy, relaxed, loving, compassionate, and being your genuine self, then you are more likely to attract your perfect mate to you.

Third, use the spiritual law of similars. “Birds of a feather flock together” is a thing. Soulmate energy seems to vibrate along the law of similars – like attracts like. Or as Ghandi said “Be the change you want to see in the world.” If you are going to attract people who are like you, what kind of soulmate do you want to draw into your life? One obsessed with being lonely, impatient, constantly seeking? Or do want a soulmate who is happy, and enjoying life just as it is right now? You do you…and enjoy every minute of it, and that sends a signal to the perfect match FOR you. That happiness is lighthouse, signaling to your soulmate. Nothing calls out to your perfect soulmate like being your genuine, happy self. Remember that other spiritual law: Confidence is sexy. Learning to feel comfortable in your own skin is an essential step.

Fourth, do things that you love to do. Going to bars or whatever with the sole purpose of “finding a soulmate” seldom works. Do something you love and that love, that light, will shine out to the people who love you for that thing you do. They say common interests are a good foundation for building a relationship. If you love, love, LOVE going to smoky bars and hanging out with drunk people, by all means that is the way to find a soulmate. If not, skip that idea and do whatever it is that you really do love. Do things that you really care about and things that feel like they feed your soul. You might find your perfect someone at that same spiritual buffet.

Feeling lonely, feeling like someone or something is missing from your life is difficult. Soulmates are deeply important, which is why they capture so much of our thoughts and emotional energy.  There are no glib or easy answers to finding love and acceptance. It comes in many forms. Love saturates the universe. Perhaps the key to finding out soulmate is finding love where ever it exists and, most of all, living the Love that exists within yourself.

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Tarot Without a Net: The Lovers


*Spoiler Alert*

The boat sinks.

I’ve never seen “Titanic” and precisely zero interest in ever watching it. I don’t care for romance movies, and from everything I’ve heard the movie has a disturbing lack of comedy and/or spaceships.

I have no idea why the artist picked this image to represent heart’s desire, or even lusty romance. I’m not feeling a lot of connection with the deck through this card, probably from my impression of the movie it represents way more than the card or the artwork itself.

The Lover’s is an interesting and often misunderstood card, thanks to the movie mythos that the lovers card means a hot romance is on the way with the marriage of a lifetime soon to follow. In my experience, the card is far more abstract than that. It is more akin to “I love ice cream” than the handfasting, marriage, committed, soulmate, love of a lifetime energy that we see in the Two of Cups. The Lovers symbolizes the hot flame that burns short rather than the enduring ember that burns long. Don’t get me wrong, there is some connection, because many if not all long lasting relationships start with SOME sort of spark. Maybe that is why the artist chose this love story from a movie. Maybe the movie portrays a hot romance that gets cut short by a quick dunk in the north Atlantic. Still, it niggles at me that it is wrapped up in a romantic relationship. The Lovers card can be more than that….which is saying something considering how enormous romance is within the human heart. And that’s with leaving the hormones out of it. Like everything there is a two sided yin and yang of it. (See “Arcana in Balance: The Lovers from the Tarotbytes archives).

It isn’t to say that lust, sex, love, desire and full throttle joy of living is bad. Quite the opposite. On one hand, all of those things are part of normal human existence and is as worthy of acceptance as any other emotion. That physicality and abject hedonism is certainly one part of it, but it also transcends the physical. On the other hand, the desire Lover’s card can extend far beyond the realm of romantic relationship. It touches our careers….do we earn our living doing something we are passionate about? In that way The Lovers card asks us to consider our purpose in life, our raison d’etre, our calling if you will. Emotionally it touches on satisfaction, contentment, and emotional needs being met. Intellectually, it touches curiosity, enthusiasm, and voracious learning. Arguably, passion resides in the mind as much as the heart or the hormones. You can be a passionate bowler, or stamp collector as well as being capable of passionate romance. You can be passionate about anything. Love is a big concept that encompasses all sorts of things.

So lets pick up the book and see what the artist has to say:

Whew! Even though we differ in movie taste, the basic interpretation is similar. He also talks about emotions, the joy of living and loving what you do. The connection to the card is similar (it is a fun to get that kind of validation every now and again, even if you have been  reading Tarot a long time) even if my connection to the movie represented is obviously quite different. That is the danger of using pop culture references in Tarot. Not everyone has seen every reference or interprets the reference material the same way, even if the intuitive engagement with the Tarot card itself is identical.

When a pop culture reference comes up in a reading (regardless of the deck I’m using) but the client either doesn’t know the reference or responds to it differently than the message and card intend…the thing to do is drop the reference like a hot potato. When that happens you either have to find a different cultural reference that does communicate the intended message OR leave references aside and use your good old fashioned vocabulary. Adjectives are our friends. References like these can be wonderful communication tools, but they aren’t worth holding onto so tight that the reading suffers.


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