From the sublime to the strange

Alrighty then.

Hello and welcome to Sage Words Tarot blog and the audio podcast version Sage’s Short Sip Tarot.

Merry Monday everyone!

This is what I call a Pathway layout for our reading that is intended to look ahead at the week coming up. I’m writing this on February 20 for the week from now until the 27th, but you can apply it anytime that you watch it if it feels right to you. The way I read Tarot isn’t tied to time any more than it is tied to physical space. That’s how and why that Tarot over distance by email, phone, zoom meeting, blogs and podcasts all work. That’s why they are as valid of an art form and as valid of a source of inspiration as any other Tarot reading.

A private reading with this layout will have a slightly different focus, intensity and level of detail compared to these general energy reading that we do here, but they function the same way at the core. The focus is the energy environment. This is a read of the zeitgeist to give you ideas how to best navigate the energies and situations at hand. Like have said for years – Tarot isn’t about predicting what will happen in life, it is about figuring out what to do when life happens.

The Pathway layout parallels the old style past, present, future layout that inspired it, but it is more about the flow of energy rather than the flow of time. It can help us navigate the near future, but the near future for the collective energy can mean hours, days or weeks for an individual. It really is up to you to consider, accept or reject, and then apply any given intuitive information no matter whether the reading is in person or at a distance, individual or collective.

In my version of the pathway layout, instead of past, present and future the cards symbolize energies that are fading, the strongest energy around right now and energies that are growing in strength or influence. It is very much like a weather report. There are no inevitable warnings in Tarot like there is with weather, but it can hint at what is possible, even probable. It’s the personal enrichment version of take your coat because a cold front is coming.

When I do a private reading, I start with a paragraph I call the “general pattern.” That part looks at the layout as a whole and considers things like repeating numbers, the ratio of major to minor arcana, and in the longer readings, the proportions of the various minor arcana suits. This is also a good time to talk about any purely intuitive impressions that pop up right off the bat.

If you have followed the blog or listened to the podcast for any amount of time you already know about the see, hear and feel thing.

When I say “see” it means the intuitive impression comes in the form of a mental image. “Hear” means it is an impression of words or music. “Feel” most often a vague hunch, one of those “I don’t know why but…” sort of things. It almost never means a physical sensation, so that gets special mention if it happens. Don’t hold your breath for that one.

In this case, three cards aren’t really enough to comment about minor arcana ratios. The flow reads from right to left. I’m an English speaker, so it helps the connection to intuition to disconnect it from the way language reading flows. Here we see two minor arcana cards flowing into a major arcana card which hints at building energies just ahead. Things are heading in a direction of more energy, more change, and a faster pace. I also intuitively hear the song “People Are Strange” by The Doors. I’m guessing this means there is a chance of things sliding off the rails, going a little pear shaped or just plain getting weird. Remember, it is easier to put out a small fire than a big one. Forewarned is forearmed as the old adage goes. This isn’t predicting that something bad is going to happen. This saying that there is potential for strange days – like the weather analogy. Bring a jacket because it might be chilly this evening – that sort of thing.

The diminishing energies are represented by the Ace of Wands. Wands cards are connected to the element of fire and our inner passions. This connects to some one card readings I’ve been doing the past several days. Not all of them were public, so no details, but the basic vibe of it all was plant your seeds now. The energy is right for new projects to have good outcomes.

The window for that is closing…so don’t wait. Plant those seeds, follow those passions so you can move on to the business ahead and also protect those delicate beginnings you just planted so to speak.

The Page of Cups is one of my personal favorite cards. For it I ‘hear’ “embrace the strange” which is another way of saying roll with it. The more adaptable and fluid you are, the better the week will go for you. It fits that this message comes through a cups card, since cups are associated with the element water. Here I am reminded of the famous Bruce Lee quote “Be water my friend.” It might be weird, but go with it. This is the vibe that is strongest right now and will be the greatest help in the transition from the diminishing Ace of Wands energy to the growing Tower energy.

The Tower is the surprise, big, sudden game changer of an event or energy shift. Some associate The Tower with chaos, and the opportunities that can lie within chaos. I like to think it can also be a world changing shift in perception. It can represent a sudden insight, the brain wave, the AH-HA moment that changes everything, especially if you are able to put it into action. Here I am also reminded of the “Lighting in a Bottle” card from Dane Asmund’s excellent Alleyman’s Tarot deck. Not all sudden change is bad. It can hold opportunity like the classic meaning for the card and the old proverb says.

Making the most of those kind of bolt-from-the-blue situations is seldom fun or easy, but worth the effort in the long run. Like we talked about in the “The Makings of Magic” post and podcast episode, if you are going to catch lighting in a bottle you have to stand in some thunderstorms.

At this point in private readings, I talk about any crystals, aromatherapy or other intuitive impressions that may come through. Those are far to individual to put in a general audience reading like this. The best advice I can give at this point is to use whatever supports your adaptability. Use whatever healthy coping you knows help you stand strong in a sudden storm. This is a chance draw from your experience…or maybe learn some new things for later…but now is the time for rolling with any lightning strikes so you can catch it in that proverbial bottle.

Thank you so much for reading and listening. Any likes, subs, follows, shares or virtual coffees you can spare are always gratefully appreciated. Podcast folks can, as always, find the related links in the episode description.

Tune in next Monday for our next look at the next week ahead. Daily Sip members, tune in every weekday for a Tarot contemplation in the time it takes to sip from your coffee every weekday.

See you at the next sip!

A Cup of Cigars

Some days are more absurd than spiritual

It’s not a particularly well known interpretation – but the Page of Cups with the Pamela Smith artwork always brings to mind a certain whimsy and a reminder to not take things so deadly serious all of the time. It’s ok to have a sense of humor about things, even the spiritual and abstract. It’s ok to embrace the absurd and let your freak flag fly and let life be what it is in all of it’s glorious absurdity.

I’m also reminded of the Sigmund Freud quote “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” I see an element of that in the Page of Cups. Some days just aren’t cut out for serious, ponderous, high flying, deep thought spirituality. Some days just hand you a fish in a cup, which is infinitely better than a cup of cigars, don’t you think….

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Mindful of the Absurdity

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. We sip again Monday.

Hello and welcome to a very short sip of Tarot. I’m glad you are here.

I mostly just want to say have a happy weekend. My intentions are to be back on the usual Monday through Friday for Short Sip Blog to podcast posts. I hope you will follow the blog as a well as the podcast. The plan is to post some fall plans so the Squirrel rave can proceed to put it all into this blender of circumstances we call life.

Today’s Tarot card is the Page of Cups. It’s one of my favorites, particularly when the art follows the Pixie Smith motif of dude on the beach with a fish in a cup. Life is just that odd sometimes.

Fish in a cup? Cheers.

Not saying I would drink live fishwater. I am saying, however, sometimes it pays to embrace the oddity of it. Some days, or some weeks call for us to dig deep and channel our inner Dude with all of the housecoat and flip-flop-ness that we can muster.

Just because we are being mindful of the present moment, just because we are abiding with it, doesn’t mean we can’t laugh at it outright.

I think we make this mistake too much in America. Spiritual and important are conflated with dour, serious, somber, wet blankets.

Spirituality is lighthearted. Spirituality embraces all that being a human embraces and that includes laughter and fun.

Think of Dan Millman’s “laughter of the enlightened man.” Think of Lama Surya Das’ instagram feed. I highly recommend the “Friday funnies” from the “jolly lama” as he puts it.

With that, I leave you to your weekend. Whatever fish comes in that cup, I hope it makes you smile.

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.

Short Sip Tarot: Imagine

Short Sip Tarot is a a Tarot reading in the time it takes for a sip (or two) of your morning coffee.

Today’s card is the Page of Cups.

I’ve always loved the fun and absurdity of a fish in a cup, which is probably the most iconic image associated with this card.

It takes an active imagination to really enjoy it, I think. That’s the cool thing about imaginations. All it takes to activate it is to want to do it. Want to be imaginative? Imagine what it would be like and POOF it’s there.

We tend to associate imagination with children and artists. I disagree. I think we are all wired to be imaginative. It’s what gives homo sapiens our evolutionary advantage. We can imagine something out of impossible nothingness and then figure out a way to make it tangible. Logic and science and imagination and intuition are all deeply interdependent

That’s why I believe we are all capable of intuition. Imagination and intuition are closely linked. Try this sometime: Imagine what your day will be like tomorrow. It can be anything. It can be what you WANT to happen or it can be what you EXPECT to happen. It can be as realistic or as fish-in-a-cup absurd as you want it to be. Close your eyes and imagine it as best as you can for a minute. Write a few notes about what you imagined if you want. Written or remembered revisit your bit of imagination at the end of tomorrow.

It isn’t going to be predictive. What actually happens might be – probably will be – totally different from the way you imagined it. Think of your minute of imagination more broadly and abstractly than that. Was there anything your moment of imagination taught you about how to deal with today? Did it show you anything about bias and expectations that may have tripped up the day that happened?

Or, of equal importance, how did the minute of imagination affect your mood?

Did imagining the day to come make you more anxious for what might happen? Did it really happen that way? Imagination can teach us about anticipatory anxiety, like the Mark Twain quote “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, most of which never happened.”

Maybe imagination helped you feel more prepared and calmer about the unexpected. The possibilities are endless and also useful. Imagination can be a very grown up thing. Although grown ups can have fun too. You never know when you are going to need to play stare eyes with a fish in a cup.

Because Your Choice Matters

If there is an overarching idea to all three cards together, it would be that your choice matters, which is the core essence of all of the YouChoose video posts. These readings are designed to cut through the noise of social media and let you personally touch your reading. As Mat Auryn said in Psychic Witch “What you touch, touches you” or something very akin to that.

If you like this personalized touch to the readings please let me know! If you tell me the kind of Tarot content you would like to see, I’ll do my best to create it. Talk to me! Ask me anything* and I’ll do a Tarot reading for it in the upcoming season of Clairvoyant Confessional podcast (new episode expected Sunday, September 26) Drop a comment below or email your questions to

Six of Swords: Go with the flow, but choose which current you float in. The dog you feed is the one that grows strong.

Page of Cups: find wisdom and inspiration in the absurd. Laugh your way into a better frame of mind.

King of Pentacles: Control what you can – but remember that control seldom occurs in the physical realm. Most of the time your only dominion is over yourself. How you react to things is where you greatest power and most impactful choice can be found.

*all the website disclaimers apply. you can read my policies and privacy statement HERE

Zombie Cat is back for Spooky Season. Get a yes/no Tarot reading by email for $5 off until 31 October 2021. Order HERE or HERE

YouChoose Interactive Tarot: Merry Happy Everything

Happy Merry Everything!

If the worlds belief systems were Venn diagrams, there would be a lot of overlap this time of year. Light overcoming darkness, the triumph of human spirit over adversity, days literally becoming longer are core themes within every solstice season celebration. As I see it, that is where attention and energy and celebration are best focused – on the shared, universal, deep, primal underlying humanity of it all. Although you won’t see me turning down any mulled wine or Christmas cookies regardless of the reason they were made. It makes happy to know the fixins for some soft gingerbread cookies are waiting in the kitchen. And yes, the lights are lit on the tree even though it is broad daylight just because.

Not much by way of announcements. Email readings are open for the holidays. Order anytime 24/7. Am also working on some “Mindful Moments” bracelets to photograph and list in the shop

Before we get to this week’s cards, Happiest Holidays to everyone, everywhere. Wishing you health, safety and prosperity at the solstice and all the year.

Left: Page of Cups. One of my favorite cards 🙂 Traditionally, the fish in the cup is said to represent the mysteries of the deep soul and psyche. I like the playful happy quality the artwork takes on with the Witches Tarot, used here. Mark Evans’ artwork is far and away some of my favorite. The Pamela Smith artwork gives the card a sort of conversational quality. When you think about it, having conversation with a fish in a cup is a little bit absurd. Roll with it. See the humor. A spoonful of humor brings out the light in almost any situation. If you can’t see beyond the mystery or the misery of a situation, maybe find the humor in it if you can instead.

Center: King of Pentacles. Any day above ground is a good one, any little thing is a win. Have toilet paper? Win! Scraped together dinner? Win! Found a moment for a cup of coffee (or a beer, or whisky) Win! Things held together with bubble gum and baling twine are, nevertheless, together. Make the most of what you have on hand then lead your merry band of misfits (a bit of Robin Hood energy here) into a place of celebrating and enjoying whatever-it-is that you have. If you are the one who popped the top off of the can of spam, you still are founder of the feast and qualify to enjoy the moment as much as anyone. Whether other people follow your lead or not, whether there is another living soul around or not, make the most of what you have and enjoy the celebration. Make merry in your heart, just like that big old red clad ghost of Christmas present in that version of “A Christmas Carol” that always seems to be on TV this time of year. Cheers to you!

Right: The High Priest. This is one of the major arcana cards I tend to wrangle with a bit. And it is one of the other reasons I like this deck so much. The Marseille deck among others calls this the Pope, which makes sense given the Catholic church’s dominance in the countries where Tarot first evolved, Italy and France. Pamela Smith’s classic artwork for the card fuels that specific religious association and imagery despite using the more general term Hierophant (defined by Oxford Languages as “a person, especially a priest in ancient Greece, who interprets sacred mysteries or esoteric principles.”) The name High Priest is, in my opinion, much more in keeping with the Hierophant name and the intent of the card. I’m going on about the hair splitting semantics because it makes a point about the cards energy for the week.

Vesak, Hannuka, Diwali have all happened recently. Today is the winter solstice and Yule. Secular and religious Christmas, Festivus, and the start of Kwanzaa are coming up this week. Sure, it’s never good to slavishly follow traditions if they have become detrimental. There is something laudible about making up your own, or bending old traditions to suit new beliefs and circumstances. By the same token, there is no reason to discard old established traditions if they are harmless, meaningful or a comfort. If there is any little tradition that makes you feel comforted or happy then yes, if at all possible, indulge. In the middle of chaos and crazy is precisely where repetition and tradition does the most good.

Whatever your Holiday, wherever and whenever you celebrate – or don’t – I wish you a safe and happy week. Merry Happy Everything!

Interact with Zombie Cat

ask a yes or no question, get a yes or no Tarot answer

Let’s do this a little differently. Instead of starting the video and choosing a card based guided by your intuition, think of a question BEFORE you start to watch. It has to be in a yes-or-no format (general topic or questions with “or” won’t work in this particular exercise) but it can be about any topic. Keep in mind this is like every Zombie Cat reading – it has 100% chance of containing words, but a solid 50% chance of being dead wrong. This is one of those once in a blue moon times where I can’t think of anything to add to the video card interpretations. So roll that beautiful card footage

My side of the Table? I’m not convinced this is anywhere close to working. The energy is just too dilute. This layout is brilliant and a load of fun when you add in the Zombie Cat persona AND when you have a specific question for specific person. YouTube is a weird energy environment on the intuitive level. That’s why I really, REALLY hope that you all will leave some feedback. I’m a good writer, a VERY good Tarot reader, but not exactly a video media maven. But if you are kind enough to tell me the topics and content that YOU want to see, I’ll learn how to create it. If worse comes to worst, I’ll write about it instead of film it, but I will get your requested content out there in one form or another.

YouChoose Interactive Tarot for August 2-8, 2020: Happily Learning From the Absurd

Pick a card, left, center or right. Pause the video if you need a minute then restart for the reveal. Or just go with your first impulse. It works find either way. Then scroll down for the full reading. After that, I’ll be making a ranty announcemet un-announcing what I previously announced. Feel free to click away if you aren’t in the mood for it. I won’t swear. Much. I promise.

Left: Page of Pentacles. Learning is the elixer of youth. A little exercise doesn’t hurt, either. Pentacles are associated with earth element and the physical realm, often with career or wealth. If you are involved with any sort of training for work, this is a good week to focus on that. Energy put into aquiring new skill will be productive at some point. The Page of Penticles often hint at new opportunities. If you are well along in your career and an expert in your field, then write or teach. That is a learning experience too. If you have to understand something very well in order to explain it clearly and simply. No matter which end of the Socratic log you are sitting on, this week’s energy is flowing toward communication and new ideas.

Center: Page of Cups. I love this card. Life can be ridiculous. Some days you just kind of find yourself standing in the surf staring at a fish. Weird things happen. Life can be random. I feel a funky mojo week coming on. We can let it get to us – stew, brew and give it energy OR we can surf the waves and bring our new fishy friend. Other people’s harsh can be soothed by the waters of our sense of humor. Sure, 2020 has been a hot toxic dumpster fire in the U.S. for a lot of people. It’s hard to keep a sense of humor about real problems, but it helps.

Right: Nine of Pentacles. This card is associated with “truth” Of course everything is relative and there always seems to be that famous addendum that something is true “from a certain point of view.” This week, you may be asked to see the difference between subjective ‘truth’ and objective facts. Be clear on the objective and measurable. This is a week to remember that everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts. Objective, observable, prove-able facts can be your tether and gaslight gas mask. Stay rooted and grounded, and be the voice of reason as best as you can in a week that might seem a little off kilter all around you.

You know that new subscription tier for the blog with the extra content and the one card tarot reading for each subscriber? Not happening.

Stripe, the payment processing service used for the premium blog arbitrarily excludes legitamate businesses on the basis of their content alone. To my mind this constitues outright discrimination against non-mainstream spiritual expression, like Tarot. I caution against working with this company in any capacity.

That being said, there will be no change in the blog or youtube channel. Both will remain free and unmonetized. Your reading purchases will still be processed through secure, reputable PayPal buttons.

I have over 25 years of experience. I’m really good at this – distance readings have been my specialty for years, so you are getting the benefit of that experience with each session. I’ve said time and again that Tarot does not and can not predict the future. That, as I see it, puts Tarot clearly in the realm of customized folk and first amendment protected speech and spiritual practice. My business practices are tranparent and expllicity published here.

As are prices. They are explicit, flat rate fee for service except large parties will charged hourly whenever they return. You know your full cost up front before you ever place the order for your distance reading or live phone session. No per minute rates that keep you talking and no hidden fees, ever.

Long story short, your blog follows, shares, likes, and reading orders are more appreciated than ever, particularly while in-person and party readings are closed during the pandemic.

Thank you so much for reading.