The Great Teacher

Just because experience is a great teacher doesn’t mean the lesson is easy

Part of the healing process is learning from the experience, the great teacher.

Normal blog posts and podcast episodes return December 22. Ish.

Lots of free Tarot content here to browse in the meantime, both the daily short sips and longer reads. Use the search box over there ->

Do for you

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bullseye!

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

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

For those of you listening on the podcast, a link to the blog website are in the episode description. You can find episode transcripts, private readings to purchase and other non-podcast Tarot content there.

If you are enjoying the blog or podcasts, please visit support them through the TaoCraft Tarot page on Ko-fi. Your virtual coffees, shop purchases and memberships contribute to the web hosting and few basic costs that it takes to create this Tarot content for everyone.

Thanks again. See you at the next sip.

Anchor Rock

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Want a whole cuppa Tarot all your own? Private readings with the blog author are available by email and can be ordered 24/7 no appointment needed

Welcome to the blog and podcast. I’m glad you are here. TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot contemplation in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. If you are enjoying these blog posts and podcast episodes, I hope you will visit the TaoCraft Tarot page on K0-fi and consider becoming a patron of the Tarot arts. The link is in the episode description for podcast listeners. Proceeds from the ko-fi shop and memberships all support the creation of posts and episodes like this one. Thank you so much for your support. Your likes, subs, follows, shares, questions and comments are always, always, always welcome and appreciated!

Let’s start today with one of my favorite ideas on the planet: wabi sabi.

No, it isn’t that green paste that comes with sushi, although I like THAT a lot too.

As I understand it, wabi sabi is a philosophy and an aesthetic that values things as they are and sees beauty in natural, spontaneous imperfections and asymmetries. Old but valued ceramics are preserved and repaired with great care, sometimes highlighting the repairs with precious metals. I’m no expert. I’m not even average-level knowledgeable about Japanese or Chinese thought or culture. All I know is that everything I’ve ever learned about Taoism, Zen and wabi sabi has helped me to live a better life and be a better person. For that, I am deeply grateful. These ideas have time and time and time again proven to be my unshakable rock in every storm, just like the rock and anchor on today’s card, the Hope card from the Alleyman’s Tarot deck.

Speaking of spontaneous imperfections, the card is mislabeled in the video. The intuitive message from the card was, however, clear, concise and clairaudient (meaning the intuition came as mental words this time instead of the usual clairvoyant mental images.) It came in two parts.

First, “Storms will always come.”

The first noble truth of Buddhism is the truth of suffering. First on the list of world religions on that old 80’s T shirt is Taoism with the assertion that “shit happens.” Things break. Things are uneven. Stuff happens and sooner or later storms always come.

And it’s beautiful, because it is alive and it is real.

L’esperance, as the card is actually named, is a French word meaning hope. Storms will come. Sometimes the only hope is to find a rock and hang on.

The second half of the clairaudient message is “Know your rock.”

A paramedic instructor once told me that if you prepare for the emergency, then the emergency goes away. The same thing applies here. Knowing which ideas and philosophies you can trust makes life’s inevitable stress just that much less intimidating. Question everything. When it comes to beliefs or dogma or other peoples unsupported assertions, questioning is invaluable. It may take a trial by skeptical fire to find out what really is your philosophical storm shelter. If you know your rock, if you know where to find your anchor when the storm comes then you just might make it through to the other side intact enough to glue things back together and paint the cracks with gold.

I’m not here to tell you what your rock or your anchor is or should be. It is difficult, if not impossible for one person to determine that for another. The things I was taught as a child should be my strength and stronghold crumbled to dust and nothing at first contact with adulthood. I’ve since learned that it is much better to scout out the territory for yourself. Trust yourself to know what gives you hope. Trust yourself to lean on ideas and know what holds you up and what doesn’t. Explore new ideas and challenge old ones. Give them all a good hard kick and see if they hold strong for you. If they do, grab on because storms will always come and it pays to know your rock.

Thank you so much for listening. See you at the next sip.

L’Esperence (Hope) image from the Fancy Minchiate Tarot, cited copyright “BnF” This card from the Alleyman’s Tarot deck by Publishing Goblin LLC, used with permission.

Today’s Tarot: A Layer of Mystery

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for reading and listening.

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

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

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

TaoCraft Tarot Credo

Wabi sabi is wonderful

Of course, the first time I heard the term, my first thought was the green paste that comes with sushi, which I also adore.

As I understand it, Wabi Sabi is a Japanese aesthetic style that embraces the rustic and imperfect. Kintsugi is an art form based in that style (and philosophy, really) where broken things are repaired but the joint are accented with precious metals.

Beautiful!

I’ve admired Japanese and Chinese culture for ages. Time and time and time again Taoism and Zen (Ch’an) has proven true for me and added to the quality of my life. I’ve gone back to it so many times, Imma stay right here (hence the re-branding name change thing.)

To my mind, wabi sabi is very much akin to the smiling Lau Tzu in the classic print “The Vinegar Tasters.” Sure, vinegar tastes sour and bitter, but OK…that is exactly how vinegar is supposed to taste. Sure, things get broken, but OK…we can fix it as best as we can and maybe make it into something better. Sure, life has its bumps, lumps, asymmetries, cracks, hiccups and outright disasters, but OK….that is what life is. As @officialmadamadam said on Instagram, “Shit doesn’t happen to you, shit just happens” or as Ajahn Sumedho titled his book Don’t Take Your Life Personally or as Duane Toops and Jim Martin have said in The Unusual Buddha podcast and social media “embrace the suck.”

Big recommends for all three sources.

But, as always, it begs the question of what does THAT have to do with Tarot. This is a Tarot blog for goodness’ sake.

It is about the pop culture perception of a fortune teller’s predictions vs the true spiritual nature and practical use of our native intuition (and the tools like Tarot that helps us to access that intuition)

Tarot can’t make the sour taste sweet, but it can help us to appreciate a good pickle every now and then. Tarot can’t tell you what is going to break or when, but it can help you put it all back together in time.


In-person readings and party Tarot readings are closed due to substantial delta covid community transmission. In-person services will re-open when community transmission returns to low as reported in CDC data. Because science.

Meanwhile, email no appointment needed distance Tarot is available to order 24/7 and LIVE online/phone readings are available by appointment

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.

TaoCraft Portfolio: Authenticity

Authenticity is the whole reason that I re-branded from Modern Oracle Tarot to TaoCraft Tarot. It is an unfortunate reality that psychics and Tarot readers can be a target for all sorts of biases. We are often caught in the crossfire between religious fundamentalists who are convinced we are all evil and pedantic would-be skeptics who think we are all criminal. When I began in-person work in 2003, I had a whole laundry list of reasons to do so with a low profile inoffensive public image.

By 2018 that list had changed. By then, Modern Oracle no longer reflected who I am or the kind of Tarot work I want to do. I still don’t intend to deliberately offend anyone, but I am no longer willing to dilute my work to spare other people’s exaggerated sensitivities. Some places still require us to use the “for entertainment only” disclaimer. Tarot is entertainment because it really is a lot of fun. It is also much more. Tarot is a genuine expression of spirituality and life philosophy. Being honest is more important than being inoffensive. Integrity is more important than expanding market appeal.

Authenticity circles right back to the core premise of TaoCraft Portfolio. How do you find the right Tarot reader for you?

Professionalism and transparent business practices is a good place to start. If you are looking for entertainment, then a good stage personality is all it takes. But if you want a reading because you need honest to goodness guidance, both professionalism and personality matter. You wouldn’t want to talk about sensitive emotional or spiritual issues with someone who holds ideals that you find repellent.

I am Taoist, Zen, and solitary eclectic all in one. I was raised evangelical, but I’ve been an atheist for decades now. Science works regardless of what we believe. I am a LGBTQIA+ ally. Black lives matter. There is a climate crisis caused by humans and we must do everything we can to live in balance with nature. Women’s rights are human rights, especially reproductive choice. Healthcare is a universal human right. Shit happens, but love is love, and compassion is the one measure of it all.

You may think it odd that I want to come out and say these things so explicitly. You may think it is odd that anyone would care about such things. Still, if we know there are no unexpected cultural or political landmines, then we can do the reading from safe, solid ground. Both of us can relax. If any of these things anger you or offend your religious sensibilities, then I’m not the right Tarot reader for you. If you don’t mind this worldview (or maybe even agree with it) great! Let’s get started!


The free download version of TaoCraft Portfolio explains all of the basics about TaoCraft Tarot: descriptions of a session, a sample reading, explanation of the layouts, policies and so on. The “About” page in the menu gives you the same information but also has background pages about philosophy. The full expanded version of TaoCraft Portfolio will be available in the Shop late 2020 and has all of the “about” information collected in one place but adds expanded essays about philosophy and the occasional peek behind the scenes of Tarot readings.

Philosophy

Tarot doesn’t tell you what is going to happen in life; Tarot helps you figure out what to do when life happens.

Today’s post is my philosophy about Tarot in a nutshell.¬† It’s still kind of a big read, but I hope you will stay with it. By the end you’ll know if I’m the right intuitive Tarot reader for you or not. The full version of TaoCraft Portfolio will cover all of this in detail. The free download version tells you about the practical side of readings (formats and such.) You can get the free download HERE and visit the other links on the “about” page for more details

Predicting The Future

It’s impossible.

I’m not going to hand you a platter of easy answers. I’m not going to blow a lot of feel-good smoke at you. This is advanced Tarot and spiritual work intended to inspire you, to empower you, to expand your horizons or best of all, to validate the things you already know.

If all you want is 100% accurate predictions, then you should find someone else. If you want razzle-dazzle mentalism and someone to fix everything then [Jedi hand wave] I’m not the psychic you are looking for.

BUT if you are ready for growth and self-discovery, if you are ready for imagination and exploration and possibilities, then this style of Tarot can help. I hope we can work together soon.

Related post: 100% accurate predictions and a big cube of jello

Relationship Questions

Your reading will focus on you, and you alone.

Why not? You are paying for it. A reading should be something special just for you.

Tarot can’t read minds or tell what other people will do. Tarot doesn’t know what other people think, feel or want. Out of respect for everyone’s privacy and personal dignity, I never read anyone’s energy without their direct knowledge and consent. So no, my readings can’t tell if you and your ex will get back together. Instead, a reading can explore how you can heal, if that is what you need. It can help you discover the path to being your best and happiest self. Loving life and feeling at ease right here, right now, is the most powerful way to the discover the right relationship for you.

In some very rare and very special times, the other person will lend a little energy to the reading and give us some vague sense of them. Again, it is very rare and a loving gift from them to you. It is a special experience that should always be respected but never expected. If it does happen for you in a reading, please be careful about talking about it with the person who sent the energy. Many times they are unaware of what happened on a conscious level. Finding out about the reading after the fact is a pretty big intrusion. It may make them feel uncomfortable or hurt. Discretion and kindness are always the best way to handle such things.

Medical or Pregnancy Questions

No. Nope. uh-uh. Not happening.

It isn’t about some fancy Tarot “ethics.” Taking medical questions is a big liability in a litigious society like ours, but that is only part of why I won’t touch medical or pregnancy questions. The main reason is that Tarot is wildly ineffective at dealing with medical concerns.

It. Just. Doesn’t. Work.

I’ve worked in mainstream medicine. I’ve worked with holistic and natural health. You have to have the right tool for the right job. You wouldn’t use your cell phone to hammer nails. You wouldn’t use a hammer to make a phone call. By that same token, you don’t use Tarot to deal with health and healing. There are lots of tools in the wellness toolkit: Diet, exercise, Reiki, meditation, aromatherapy, herbs, acupuncture, acupressure, ayervedic medicine, hypnotherapy, physical therapy, art therapy, music therapy, and yes, mainstream medicine too.

Tarot is not one of these health tools. It is true that some physical ailments heal quicker once you discover their emotional or spiritual roots of the disease IF there are any. Tarot might help that process to a limited extent. Sometimes there is no deep spiritual connection. Some health issues are random and out of our control. Medical issues might be a product of injury, environment or genetics. Tarot can help manage the stress these kinds of problems cause, BUT AGAIN, Tarot is not the best option. Reiki and meditation are more effective tools for discovering the spiritual roots of illness and managing the stress health concerns can cause. As for Tarot….

None of the books, blog posts or services offered on TaoCraftTarot.com can diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or illness whatsoever. Nothing offered here can take the place of professional health or mental health care. I accept no liability of any kind real or implied. Use these books and services entirely at your own risk. Scheduling any session with me indicates that you have read, understood and accept these terms and the policies listed HERE.

All Are Welcome

I want my readings to be comfortable and welcoming for everyone.

To do that, I avoid divisive topics like politics and religion. If anything like that comes up in a reading, I will give the message as I get it. Beyond a few references to religious rituals and practices, I have never had religious or political ideology come up as a message in a reading. I will not allow antagonistic or inappropriate conversation to mar a session. I reserve the right to terminate a reading at any time at my sole discretion with no refund  in order to maintain a safe and respectful reading environment.

I shouldn’t have to say these things, but I want to be very clear about a few things: I am a LGBTQIA+ ally, and all are absolutely welcome with me – as are secular people and those of non-mainstream religions. Like I said, I don’t do religion and politics. I believe humans are wonderfully complex, like a faceted diamond. Many facets coexist just fine, in all of us. I’m atheist, spiritual, Taoist, Buddhist, witchy, and Reiki-y all at the same time. All the parts of you are welcome here too.

Interested? Please visit the home page to order a distance reading or please contact me at TaoCraftTarot@gmail.com to schedule a live phone or skype reading.