You are alive, aren’t you?

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot contemplation for your day in the time it takes to sip your coffee. Today: You’re alive, aren’t you?

Hello Sippers! I’m so glad you are here.

Today’s card is the page of swords.

The card is full-on advice mode today, no sense of caution and as straightforward as it gets. Pages are learning, swords are mind and intellect. Learn something. It’s that simple.

From Arthur Waite’s authority, overseeing, and vigilance to Dugan’s intense young man to Andrew’s unexpected energy or magic, the Page of Swords can cover a lot of territory. Today I see it akin to the Thom Pham, artist and author of the Heart of Stars Tarot deck used with his permission in the blog video today. The page of swords is all about curiosity and learning today. Pages are knights in training, so page cards tend to carry elements of ambition, action and unrealized potential. Swords are associated with mind, intellect and the element of air. For all of its scope and nuance, today the page of swords is being – sorry about this – straight to the point.

When we hear about life long learning, it is easy to think of senior citizens getting long delayed college degrees, or some big project like learning a second language. It doesn’t have to be anything of that magnitude. Lifelong learning is learning as long as you have life. You are alive today aren’t you? Learn a little something. It doesn’t have to be rocket surgery. It might just be learning to put a little less mayonnaise in your egg salad tomorrow, or where the best parking is at that new store, or when the next season of your favorite TV show starts. It can be anything. Science it up. Not everything has to be super intellectual. There are reasons the human species has a reputation for poking things with a stick to see what happens. Give something a go. If things work out, great. If not, you’ll know not to do THAT next time. Wordle it up. Read the back of the cereal box or do a crossword puzzle. If you survive that stick poking episode, doing some little thing with words will help keep your brain awake too.

This reminds me of the Neil DeGrasse Tyson quote

“For me, I am driven by two main philosophies: know more today about the world than I knew yesterday and lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.”

Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Let’s give it a try. Let’s learn just how far lifelong learning and a little kindness can get us all.

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot contemplation for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Or tea. Or soda. Or adult beverage. It’s up to you.

None of the TaoCraft Tarot online content is monetized, which means that all of this is 100% supported by you, the readers and listeners, through your private reading purchases, Tarot Table memberships, and the buy me a coffee virtual tip mug. Any likes, subs, shares, follows, reading orders, memberships or virtual coffees you can spare are always greatly appreciated.

Thank you for watching, reading and listening. See you at the next sip!

Your Very Own Seat at the Tarot Table

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

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

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

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

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

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

Witches Tarot used with permission

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Will let the video speak for itself today.

$10 off special price for 7 card readings by email ends 9-20-21 so get ’em before they are gone. You know how I feel about cutsey pants sales and specials do it will be a while before you see this again.

Order 24/7, no appointment needed email readings HERE or on the home page

Today’s Tarot: Learn by Doing

No plan survives first contact with implementation” – unknown

Follow the process, not the plan” – Adam Savage

Actually sir, after all these years, I just, sort of, go with it.” – Harry Potter (Half-Blood Prince, JK Rowling and yeah, her anti-trans stance has soured the books for me)

You can read books until the cows come home, but there is no substitute for actual experience, and that includes the experience of explaining something. While it may not be the high stakes intensity of “see one, do one, teach one” in medical training, the same concept applies to most things, including Tarot, intuition development.

Don’t get me wrong. Books are treasures. Reading is invaluable. Especially about things we can’t easily access in the real world. Books open vistas of space and time we otherwise could never experience. Reading, learning, growing are life long things, or at least they should be.

I love writing stuff. But a writer can’t fit what they write to everyone. Even when I write a custom Tarot reading with your own unique card layout, you are still involved. Writers encode information…we as readers are responsible for decoding and implementing the information. Which isn’t always as easy as it sounds. That’s where Adam Savage’s advice and Harry Potters adaptability comes into play. Things never go perfectly to plan, so we have to rely on the processes we know and just go with it. Good or bad, a result will happen. Good or bad, there is something to be learned from what we do as much as what we read.

Then comes Einstein

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough” – Albert Einstein

Explain something. That will teach it to you as much as anything. Try to explain it – whatever your “it” is – simply. Writing leads to understanding as much as it demonstrates understanding. Maybe more. Such is the value of blogs and journals. You don’t have to be Hemingway to write. You don’t have to share it or effectively educate other people. Write, teach something. Even if it is just in your imagination, if you learn from what you teach, either through the process or the end product, then it is mission accomplished.

There is no teacher quite like experience. Any topic can benefit from a little learn by doing…especially if that doing includes a little simplification, synthesis, teaching and explaining to help you really wrap your head around the topic at hand.

Dressed for work

“It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Page cards in Tarot are about learning. Swords can denote several things: the element of air, taking action, our relationship with culture, society and authority, or they can symbolize the mind and intellect. My attention is drawn to a combination of intellect and action. It reminds me of that quote where Emerson describes common sense as “genius dressed in its working clothes.”

Genius at work is our learning mode, which can apply to anyone, anywhere, in any stage of life. Learning is a lifelong thing whether we are running particle accelerators or poking something with a stick to see what happens. Mind and body are one whole, so learning and action are an integrated whole as well. Even if big genius ideas drop into our head seemingly out of nowhere, something triggered it or some unique set of material experiences hit critical mass and turned on the proverbial light bulb over our head. However they happen, genius insight doesn’t help us much unless we do something with them. Physical realm interacts with the intellectual realm which prompts action in the physical world and so on in an unending dance of learning and experience gathering. It is about figuring out a method and trying something, admitting failures and trying again. That applies to all sorts of learning. Science is a way of learning about the outer, tangible world. Tarot is one method of learning about the inner, intangible one. The two aren’t mutually exclusive, far from it. If anything they are bound together as intimately as space and time, locked in the complex dance of our humanity.

Today’s card is asking us to use what we know, and fearlessly learn what we don’t.

In the spirit of learning and doing, I have a quick announcement.

As you know, I don’t keep an office or any sort of brick and mortar location, primarily to cut my overhead and keep my prices lower than they otherwise would be.

Since that means bringing people out into the public sphere for an in-person session I’ve decided to use CDC reported community transmission rates for Allegheny county as the guide for in-person sessions. The rate is on the rise, and we have been upgraded from low to moderate. Due to that, starting Sunday July 25 in-person services are on temporary hold again until community transmission rates drop back to low.

Distance Tarot is my specialty

I say that because I’m just as good at writing and doing readings by email as I am doing them in person. I know a lot of psychics and Tarot readers who do both in-person and distance readings equally well, but several of them have commented to me that they don’t enjoy working by email as much as they do in person or by phone. I do both equally well and I enjoy both too.

So PLEASE – while we all endure these last hills, bumps and turns of this roller coaster ride of a pandemic, don’t hesitate to make use of the email version if you are interested in getting a reading. I promise you will get the same information as you would if we were meeting face to masked up face.

Plus don’t forget the cutesy pants promotional $1 TAROT SALE where 7 card email readings are $1 for each year of Tarot reading experience that I bring to your reading (AKA – $10 off the usual price). Offer ends 20 September 2021

Order email readings 24/7 on the home page or HERE

Today’s Tarot: A Little Refuge

Some days, the cards are breathtakingly elegant in their utter simplicity.

I turned on some of my favorite music from Yogetsu Akasaka because of the energy and headspace this card evokes. It’s so simple. So beautiful – both the music and the card’s energy. It’s like the empty circle of the enso, or the legendary wordless sermon of Buddha when he simply held up a lotus, or the nameless Tao.

It isn’t the typical energy you see with swords, or pages for that matter, but it’s kind of perfect, as Obi Wan said, from a certain point of view. Instead of European style knights, armour and sword fights, think of today’s page of swords as being a Samaurai, or a Shaolin Monk in training. Yes, martial skill is a big part of it, but they are also taught mental and spiritual disciplines as well.

The idea is that we need to take refuge in something. At least every now and then. It’s stress management 101. Everyone needs a rest, a safe place where they can be at ease for some measure of time.

Page cards have to do with learning. In this case it is more about remembering. Taking time to find a little refuge is natural, instinctual, innate. Even the old testament folks figured that out with their weekly day of rest. These days, it is a matter of remembering to meet that basic need. The body needs rest, we all know that. Mind and spirit need it too. That is the simple message the card brings with a single word: Refuge.

Buddhists talk about “taking refuge in the dharma.” Buddhist philosophy may not be the thing that gives you a mental break and an emotional safe place – but something does.

Whatever that is for you – today’s card reminds us to find it – use it.

We can all use a little refuge.

Please support artists and musicians whose work gives you a few minutes of mental sanctuary.


“Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end.” – Leonard Nemoy

Tarot lacks an opinion.

It doesn’t judge, opine, or pronounce dogma. It is a tool to access our own inner wisdom and intuition. Tarot doesn’t care who you are or what you do any more than your bathroom mirror does. In fact, the two have something in common. They both show you what is, not what you want to see.

I once read a story. I can’t remember when or where. It was meant to give an example of Confucian thought in general. As the story goes, Confucius was giving advice to two student who were both ready to graduate and go begin their adult lives. He told one student he should be bold, go out into the world and follow his dream as soon as possible without worrying about other people’s opinion. It was sort of a 500 BC version of Nike’s “just do it.” When Conscious talked to the other student, he told him to talk to his multiple people, get all the advice he could, use that advice to make a solid plan and start out carefully and deliberately. A person who had heard the advice for both students asked the teacher why he gave such opposite advice to two student in such similar situations. The answer was that even though their circumstances were similar, each of the two students were very different personalities. The first student was timid by nature, and tended to put too much stock in other people’s opinion, so Confucius  encouraged that student to act on his own and put some heart over head. The second student was stubborn and impulsive by nature, so Conscious encouraged him to slow his roll, make a plan and put some head over heart. Conscious told his students what they each needed to hear, not necessarily what they wanted to hear.

Any given Tarot card can do the same thing for us.

Some critics might use the long lists of key words and varied associations given to Tarot cards to say psychics are BS because you can make any card say any thing. I say the cards are dead on useful for the that exact same reason. When you combine Tarot or runes or tea leaves or any oracle along with your inner wisdom, you get the message that you most need. Like Confucius, Tarot cards don’t give the same advice to everyone all of the time, but they do give the advice that any one individual needs at any one particular time.

Today’s Tarot card, the page of swords, is a prime example. Swords can mean action, but they can also mean mentation. Swords are associated with the element of air and with intellect just as much as they are with action and authority.  Which begs the question of how do you know which thread of meaning applies? How do you know which set of Confucious’ advice to follow?

Resonance is one way to describe it. That’s how we sometimes say it when you immediately recognize the right meaning for you. If your reflex response is “yeah, that sounds right” or “yeah, I knew that” then you know that is the bit of advice for you.” If your gut reflex is “oh heck no” then of course you should look at other meanings. If they are a half-bubble off too, then go back to the original. That “oh heck no” response might juuuust mean be the cards telling you something difficult that you really need to hear.

Today, the page of swords is still associated with action…BUT it action AFTER thinking. Crawl into your headspace before you start swinging your sword. Look before you leap. Use your head instead of your heart at least just for today.

Today’s Tarot: Brains!

All of the page cards denote learning of some kind or another. Swords are associated with the element of air, and the mental/intellectual realm. This seems to be where the card is going this morning rather than a more modern, relationship driven meaning (your relationship with authority, culture at large, etc.)

If your emotions rule, and you are by nature heart over head, this is a caution to rein that in a little. Look before you leap. Like IBM used to say: THINK.

If you are naturally head over heart, this is your lucky day. Cleverness wins. If this was a Harry Potter movie, Hermione would save the day (again.) Being an “over-thinker” might not be such a bad thing at the moment. Especially if your thinking takes you a few steps ahead, as if you were playing chess.

You Choose Interactive Tarot 17 March 20



Left: The Empress. Breathe. Get in the literal outside if you can (viruses don’t like sunlight as I understand it). When are you going to get another chance like this to give yourself some judgement-free alone time to really, deeply connect with nature? That includes your own inner nature which is vitally important too.

Middle: Trapped at home with your family? Good! Pretend it’s Thanksgiving and e ither enjoy each other’s company or try to not get too much blood on the carpet as your individual situation may be. Either way apply shared pleasures and noise cancelling headphones liberally.

Right: Page of Swords. All the page cards reflect learning. Swords resonate with air and intellect as well as action. Long story short, read a book. Catch up on those podcasts. Fire up those Ted Talks you’ve been meaning to watch. Learn something. Learn anything. Things will change, they always do. Embrace your intellect and time on your hans becomes your friend.

Taraffirmation #2

Introducing “Taraffirmations” (almost) daily blog posts of a positive, present tense statement based on the 12 Second Tarot card of the day, intended to inspire you, empower you, and just plain add a bright spot to your day.

Subscribe to the TaoCraft Tarot YouTube channel to watch the 12 Second Tarot draw (almost) every day.