Squirrel Rave Playlist May 28 – June 4

  • Today (Saturday): members only Tarot Turnover intuition builder
  • Sunday & Monday: Social Media & in-person closed for the U.S. Memorial Day weekend. Email Tarot is OPEN all weekend, order anytime 24/7 no appointment needed.
  • Tuesday-Friday: Short Sip Tarot blogcast

Card for the week

Be a rock. Be a mensch. Just do it, to borrow a phrase. Somebody’s gotta.

Thanks for reading, watching, listening, liking, subscribing, following, & sharing. You all rock. Out loud. In stereo.

Comments are OPEN and your questions and comments are welcome.*

Here is an actual playlist for your squirrel rave and holiday weekend listening pleasure:

*All spam will be obliterated in a burst of hellfire. Any inappropriate comments will be thoroughly mocked in the blog.

I’d like to announce -it’s October.

image via picsart free app

I’m saving the best – or what I think is the best – tidbit for Halloween. But for now, here is a few other era-of-the-equinox, slow-roll-out things I’d like to share.

This month is the third anniversary of re-branding from Modern Oracle to TaoCraft Tarot. It seems to be the time of year to rename things. October always has been a magickal, creative, energetic time of year here. Over time I’ve learned not to question why, but just roll with it. It is a good time of year for things to change: leaves, postings, podcasts – you name it.

Three things:

The “Today’s Tarot” short format daily one card readings are re-titled “A Sip of Tarot” because that is about all they are, a little sip of tea (or coffee) sized touch of Tarot to start your day.

I’m spilling that tea (or coffee) all over the place. After being on Menage A Tarot with David and Kate, following a variety of podcasts over the past couple of years (Ninth World Journal is still top of my list) and creating Clairvoyant Confessional solo – I’ve come to appreciate audio communication more than ever before. “A Sip of Tarot” will be here on the blog, on YouTube Shorts, on the Clarivoyant Confessional podcast, and on the ko-fi public blog.

Speaking of ko-fi, THAT is the biggie announcement for tonight. “A Seat at the Tarot Table” Memebership is now open. Members on Ko-fi get a “seat at the tarot table” which includes a members-only monthly tarot reading (similar to the year-ahead layout only focused on a single month) AND a private year-ahead reading by email at no extra charge when you join. I’ve packed up all the cutesy pants special offers and moved them over there. From now on any special offers and giveaways are off of social medial and only on the tarot table in ko-fi memeberships.

It may be October but one thing is NOT changing: You are already at THE place to get it all. Follow this blog and you’ll get it all of the free Tarot that you get now: Sip of Tarot, YouChoose Interactive Tarot, plus print-only posts that won’t appear anywhere else. Links to new membership posts will be here too along with all of the podcast transcripts.

OK – business is out of the way. Now go enjoy your October Friday.

Here is some thing to get the party started: updated the TaoCraft Halloween playlist on Spotify for 2021. Enjoy!

Today’s Tarot: All in this together

Whenever I do readings, in the middle portion when we are going through the layout card-by-card, each card gives a different type or category or spin or ‘flavor’ of message. Some are advice (something to think about doing) others are cautions (something to think about avoiding) but they can also be validations & acknowledgements.

Today, the three of pentacles has elements of all of these. To me it looks like a tie-dye wavy gravy swirl of it all, which isn’t uncommon when you are doing a general audience, blog type reading.

As an aside, that’s probably why you see so many of those “I don’t know who needs to hear this but….” posts on social media. I stop reading the minute I see that, an more often choke back the urge to block them. It strikes me as arrogant and not an energy I want in my cyberspace. Of course you don’t know who needs to hear something. It could be that nobody needs to hear what you have to say. If you need to know that someone needs your advice, you aren’t in a good headspace to be giving advice. Just say it. Own it. Give the advice with no “need it” strings attached on either the giving or receiving end. Trust the universe to get the right message to the right person at the right time. If it is right for them, people will know and take it to heart. If it isn’t they’ll just keep scrolling.

Now back to the three of pentacles –

The caution thread here is to “watch out for falling down.” That can be construed two ways. One is to take care to do your part of a team effort. It feels like you’ll be called on it if you do and bad feelings could happen. It’s not talking about something accidental or truly inadvertent. It feels more like an act of anger, frustration, or deliberate negligence. Take care keep things in proper priority and try not to drop the ball when others rely on you if you can help it. It is also a caution against being a doormat in a team situation. Clearly communicated expectations feel important to any team situation today.

Validation feels like someone who has been a real mensch through it all. This feels like a validation and a thank you for all the times you have gone over and above the call of duty for the good of a team, of a project or generally in service to others. Logically, given the world situation, there are lots of you out there for whom this applies. Well done and profound thank yous.

The validation, interestingly enough, was for me. When you read for other people be on the lookout for messages for you that piggyback in on their message. That way you GET your intended message and you don’t accidentally muddle your message and theirs together. The validation here has to do with clairaudience. Music that you are not in the mood for is a nice validation. Music that is not to your taste is a good hint that it is genuinely from intuition and not just a random something you heard recently. I am NOT in the mood for a chipper little Disney tune, but seeing this card definitively brought through “We’re all in this together” from a movie my daughter used to like. High School Musical or something like that? I dunno.

As cute and happy and positive as the song might be, it IS right. We are all in this together. It is ok to expect others to do their part. It is important to set clear expectations as well as to do your part. Don’t drop the ball but don’t be a doormat. Ask for help. Delegate tasks. And if a bright chipper song comes at your intuition way too early in the morning, pay attention. Then go get that second cup of coffee and try to find a better earworm.

Here is a playlist for you if you are in the mood for something with a little more spark to it. I’ll leave it to you to get your musical on. Now, where’s that coffee?


Want a reading that is all for you and not a blog post written for planet earth? The NEW Distance Tarot format combines both print and video for an enriched Tarot experienced close to an in-person session but with the affordability and convenience of email. Order yours HERE.

Kitten Whiskers: Buddha and the Crackpickles

What’s the use of having your own blog if you can’t have a little fun with it every now and then? It’ll never be a scheduled thing, but “Kitten Whiskers” is the name for posts where I go rando fangirl for a few of my favorite things.

“I’m hungry,” Sloan said. She was jittery and getting on my nerves.

“You’re not hungry.” I said

“How would you know?”

“It’s just subliminal suggestion. You feel an increase in appetite because you’re watching a guy eat.”

“The pickles here,” she said.

“I know.”


“I know.”

It’s like they put something in them that makes you crave them all the time. It might be crack. Do you think they put crack in the pickles? Like maybe in the, what do you call it? The stuff in the jar with the pickles?”

Easy Buddha by Brett Dinelli, all rights reserved, used with permission.

I have learned how to make crackpickles.

NO they do NOT have crack in them. Not even in the stuff in the jar. They are just good old fashioned deli style fermented pickles. But YES, they are heavily crave-able. I mean, you seriously, seriously want one at random times. Especially when there is a big old jar of them in the ‘fridge that you made with you own little hands for a fraction of the price of those tiny little tubs in the grocery store.

When the lockdown first hit, I did the sourdough thing like everyone else. Mostly because jars of yeast for baking was nowhere to be found and we were in serious grilled cheese and cinnamon roll comfort food mode.

Sourdough is, after all, a sort of fermenting. Maybe my prohibition era Appalachian ancestors were whispering though the ages to amp up my fermenting skills. Maybe it was my love of dill pickles. But sourdough gave way to pickle making.

After googling up a storm for hints, tips and recipes (not to mention all the probiotic goodnesses of fermented food) plus several months of experimentation I found the magic formula for our version of crackpickles. That isn’t to say anyone else would like them…or be able to get past the slightly funky looking brine (you know, the jar juice) Here is our favorite version. It is in the middle between the throw anything in a crock with some saltwater and a plate on top school of thought and the water lock fermenting lids that look like they escaped from Frankenstein’s laboratory.

Here is what I consider essential gear:

  1. Cucumbers. Nothing fancy. Just the big, ordinary cucumbers from the grocery story. We tried some fancy bumpy cucumbers that were supposed to be THE ones for pickling. They weren’t.
  2. A wide mouth mason jar. I started with just one (they sell singles at Michael’s craft store and probably lots of places during gardening and canning season) If you start with just one, it lets you experiment at small scale until you find your true love addictive recipe. More and larger jars are easy enough to find if you want to ramp up production later on.
  3. Fermentation lid and weight. I used the single starter kit from Mason Jar Lifestyle. It was affordable, with a simple, elegant design. Easy. And no, they didn’t sponsor this or give me a sample. I bought it just like everyone else. This is random fangirling, remember?

The Recipe:

  1. Wash and dry your jar(s) lid(s) and weight(s) Any kind of canning or food prep like this is one of those crazy scrupulous clean freak kind of things.
  2. Put a bay leaf in the bottom of the jar (optional) for crispness
  3. Chunk, slice, quarter or whatever cut the cucumbers and pack them into the jar. Stuff them in there…you’ll get the hang of it. A tight fit is good.
  4. Dissolve 1 rounded Tbs salt in 2 cups of chlorine free water for each quart jar. Casper the friendly lactobaccilus doesn’t like chlorine or the iodine, so don’t use those. Iodine-free fine granular sea salt or pickling salt with filtered water worked well for us. Tried some fancy pink Himalayan in one batch because it was close at hand from another recipe. Tasted fine, but made some deeply weird looking pink sludge at the bottom of the jar.
  5. sprinkle 1 Tbs of dill weed (yeah, I used dried and it gets all over the pickles. So what?) and 1 tsp of granulated garlic (yeah it makes the brine look cloudy and a little suspect in the end, but it is really ok. Honest!) over the cucumbers in each quart jar.
  6. Pour the salt water over the cucumbers until jar is filled. Put the glass weight on top to keep the cucumbers submerged and close with the fermenting lid.
  7. Let them set for two weeks at room temperature. Tweek the lid once a day to release any carbon dioxide that forms. If you forget, the lid will spit juice out all over the place as it releases the gas and you might have to add a little more salt water to top it off. Days 3-5 seem to be the most bubbly and science experiment-y
  8. At the end of a week or two of wondering if you have just made a jar of botulism sauce, take a whiff. If it smells bad, or is moldy, pitch it all, wash the daylights out of the jar and try again. If it smells like mouth watering dill pickles, try one. If it tastes good, put a regular lid on it and store the jar in the refrigerator. If the pickle isn’t sour enough, let them go another week or two at room temperature before moving them to the refrigerator. I have no idea how long they will last beyond that. We ate ours within a couple of days.
  9. Buy more jars and fermenting lids. This may ruin you for store bought vinegar based pickles.

While you are eating your new pickles, get yourself a copy of Jimmy the Buddha and the sequal Easy, Buddha both by Brett Dinelli. They are brain candy and comfort food in book form punctuated by moments with all of the feels and brilliant insights. Chapter 8 of Jimmy the Buddha. That. Forever that. It may be a fictional detective adventure, but the characters are deeply relatable and real. Kind of makes you want to put your arms around them, although I suspect Sloan might object.

I’ve never actually met Brett or his special lady and their family, but we have chatted many times on Twitter and I call them friends. *raises cup of medium roast columbian – coffee*

Related: TaoCraft Tarot has playlists on spotify: Rando Fangirl

Kitten Whiskers: TaoCraft Tunes

Hi there and welcome to this week’s episode of unabashed Friday fangirling!

Kitten Whiskers,” and “More Kitten Whiskers” are a nod to the song from The Sound of Music and are simply intended to share some of my favorite things with you. These posts have absolutely noting to do with Tarot. Well, almost nothing. Ideas like “Rediscover simple pleasures” and “little things mean a lot” have been turning up in quite a few readings lately. I really do take my own advice – sometimes. All of the things in the “Kitten Whiskers” posts delight me, and I hope they will lift your spirits a little bit as well.

Today: Music. Like laughter, it’s good medicine. LIstening to music expresses, acknowledges and validates whatever mood I’m in the healthiest possible way. It helps mental focus (I’m listening to the new playlist as I write this.) Music generally celebrates life in all of its aspects. I don’t know squat about the technical side of music. I am lucky beyond measure to have married a wonderful guy who just happens to be an excellent musician, to be the mother of a music therapist and to have had access to music ever since I was old enough to change the dial on my parents’ radio.

You may not have heard of some of these artists, but I really hope you’ll give a listen or better yet, buy the music and support their work. Where possible, I’ve linked directly to their website or bandcamp page. I’ve also cobbled together a handy Spotify playlist for this post, oh so creatively titled “TaoCraft Tunes”

In a previous “Kitten Whiskers” post, we met my friend Jose Johnson and his life coaching, martial arts teaching, and book writing work. There is another side to Jose. He is a professional musician and has recorded both as a solo artist and with bands including Big Tubba Mista. The title track of his early 2000s album Side Street of Dreams is bones-deep calming and meditative while other tracks like “Tribal Mists” are energizing and empowering enough to get you through wushu warmups. It brings a smile to your face and does your heart good either way. Listen here:

Or learn more about all of Coach Jose’s work at JoseJohnson.com

Dinosoul is a local Pittsburgh duo. When their website says that they are here to “love, connect and inspire” they mean every bit of it – and they achieve it. Having met Donny and Carolyn, plus living in the city where the music was composed gives their album Eleven a strong sense of presence and place for me. Sure, Pittsburgh has the surface vibe of football, perogies, beer, bridges, yinz, n’at, but Dinosoul (especially the songs “4 am” and “Dimension”) capture the deeper energy of the place, like the legendary ‘fourth river’ aquifer captures the deeper waters of the local geography. Through their music you can feel the city at night or sunset at the point looking down the Ohio river. You can listen (and buy) Eleven and Dinosoul’s other music on their Bandcamp page. Check out some of Donny and Carolyn’s other projects: Empath Sober Bar and Free Will Pgh on Instagram. Pro tip – While you are there, FOLLOW @Dinosoulmusic A new song is coming! Squee!

While I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Jose since 2000 or so and talking with Donny and Carolyn in person, but when it comes to Strangeletter it was fangirl at first TV ad. I became an instant Browncoat and Strangeletter fan all in one 30 second promo for the series Firefly that featured Strangeletter’s song “Here Comes A Chopper.” I can’t for the life of me remember how I got from a TV ad to Strangeletter’s YouTube channel and Bandcamp page, but I’m glad it happened whatever it was. I don’t know a thing about music genres. I have seen their music tagged with alternative, dark wave, and post-progressive rock, but the adjectives I would use are words like ethereal, experiential, and evocative. Their music invokes mental images in a way that verges on intuition, almost like a sonic Tarot card. For example, with “Chopper” I ‘see’ night, a futuristic suburb, dsytopia and and organized underground resistance. (Apparently, ‘futuristic’ means about a week – I rough drafted this part of the post a few days before the stormtroopers landed. All love and good vibes to the good people of Portland.)

Darkwave, shoegaze, triphop, ambient…whatever you call it, that part of the music spectrum is my favorite. But sometimes all you want is a cold drink and some reggae. It all started with the reggae influence you can hear in the Police and other 80s bands. Then I stumbled on to a cd of Julian Marley’s Lion in the Morning at a yardsale and the rest is history. Fast forward 20 years, and I finally started to learn Esperanto. Put those two things together and you get the one and only Jonny M. I’m not sure, but I think he speaks more languages than the Pope and is an gifted musician in any language. Always hopeful, just like his chosen language, his music ranges from light, pleasant songs like “Dankon” to richer, deeper songs like “Eterna Lumon” and “Sonon De La Viv'” You don’t have to speak a word of Esperanto to appreciate the spirit of the music. To prove that point, also listen to En Natura on his Bandcamp page. I can’t speak a word of German and can still enjoy the album, especially “Die Germanen.” Music really is a transcendent language all its own. Mi sxatas lia muzikon tre multe!

Many thanks to Jose, Donny, Carolyn, Steven and Jonny for granting permission for me to fangirl their music and link to their art and sound.

There is a metric crap-ton of other music out there that I straight up adore. I don’t know if it’s ok to mention any of it without permission. Rather than get anyone’s copyright shorts in a bunch, I just made a random fangirl Spotify playlist to share a few other favorites in no particular order.

Happy weekend everyone!