Hello and welcome to TaoCraft Tarot Blog and podcast.
Today’s episode is truly short, because I want to leave you with this one simple idea: indulgence can serve as a way of showing gratitude.
There is a tendency, at least in our puritan-influenced American culture to hold back the things we find most precious. From a place of fear, we lock life away in an attempt to revere and protect it.
I tend to think and feel that way. Probably far too often.
That is where the indulgences of the holiday season serve an interesting subtle purpose. Yes, by all means it is – and should be – a celebration and a stress relief. But it is also a means of expressing gratitude for life and all the little pleasures it provides.
For example, a cookie isn’t just a cookie at the holidays. It is a treat and a tradition. Eating that cookie and a half dozen others with joy and abandon is not only celebration, it our gratitude in action, our thankfulness for the flour and sugar in the cupboard and the bakers in our grocery stores. It is a child-like enthusiasm and unpretentious thank you.
Now substitute cookie for your favorite parts of whatever winter holiday you happen to celebrate.
And with that, I reach for another cookie and raise my gingerbread spice coffee to you in a wish for health, happiness and prosperity for us all in 2023!
I’ll talk to you in January, but Zombie Cat will be stopping by later this week with his so-called predictions for the New Year.
Merry Happy Everyone!
Thank you all so much for reading and listening in 2022 and always! I’m still pondering a name change. TaoCraft Tarot resonates with me because it is a reflection of my deep-down, life-long philosophies.
It is more important that this Tarot website resonates with YOU. Tarot readings, the really good ones, are a conversation and a collaboration between the reader and the sitter (seeker, querent, whatever term you like to use) I want to make this a warm, inviting cozy place for us both to contemplate Tarot and related topics together.
Conversations are made up of words. Words are the net we throw over ideas to draw them into our conversation.
In 2023, TaoCraft Tarot will (probably) become Sage Words Tarot to match my personal blog. It’s still me (under my pen name Sage) and we’ll use our words to talk about Tarot and do readings for you.
I hope everyone who has followed this Tarot work under Modern Oracle (1002 – 2018) will stick around through one more, hopefully more welcoming name change.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating next week. For the holidays, remember the classic TV specials: A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Charlie Brown and friends shows us that Thanksgiving can happen with any food, with any one (or alone.) Just like Whoville after the Grinch stole all the STUFF, the time, the holidays still come. Maybe next year we can better appreciate how the holidays always are for those who can’t gather with friends or family for whatever other non-pandemic reason every other year. Home is where the heart is. Home is where you hang your hat. This year, home is where you nose is …or it should be. The day will come and go with precisely the energy and import that you give it. If you give it bitterness and resentment because you have to change your usual plans in order to keep the people you love alive…then that is just what you will get – a day of bitterness and resentment. If you give the day the same good will and cheer that you always do, then you get a day of celebration regardless of circumstances. It’s about the people, not the circumstance. In this oddest of years, the best way to show love for the people you card about is to keep your nose, and any germs that might be lurking in it, home where you live.
Left: Six of Swords. Go with the flow. Obstacles are more perceived than actual, which goes right along with the rant about Thanksgiving. The art on the card tells the whole story of this energy and advice from the card. From the seated figure’s point of view, the swords are looming, perhaps intimidating obstacles, blocking the view at the very least. But the standing, rowing figure can see that their canoe is in wide open water, able to go in any direction, clear sailing and smooth water all the way to the distant shore. How good or bad this week is all depends on your perspective, and your willingness to look, steer, ride with the water’s flow.
Center: Queen of Pentacles. “Hearth and home” comes to mind. Since everyone and their nose will be home, do what you can to make the here and now, the home where we are, all just as comfy as possible. Make a round of hot cocoa for everyone. Pop a little popcorn, and set as much of a lighthearted tone as you can. If you just aren’t feeling it, that is ok. Honor the mood. Drawing from the Charlie Brown cartoon – be Snoopy. Use whatever is at hand to make as much relaxation and fun for everyone in your current bubblespace AND for yourself.
Right: Three of Swords. This is much of a watch-your-back card as the minor arcana has to offer. Watch out for pettiness, politics, family squabbles. This isn’t to the level of the Devil card, by any means. But look at it this way – if we all shelter at home, we are also sheltered from toxic disagreements and toxic energies whe might otherwise tolerate for the sake of the holiday. Don’t let them drag you down. Distance is a help for that in any year.
Wishing you all the very best of the season. Not sure how this coming week is going to go schedule-wise. I’m OPEN for the season for email readings. Being at home just us is pretty normal, so I don’t see any delays changes because of the holiday. It IS still that elfcon time of year, so I’m not sure what will happen with the socials and YouTube channel.
Don’t forget to comment with your ideas for naming the “Year Ahead” layout. The winning name will be announced Dec. 1. The best name suggestion gets a reading by email. Insert all disclaimers here.
Whew! At last. Our weather forecast finally includes some cooler nights, the first hint at my favorite time of year.
It is still that re-branding anniversary season, and the one card Tarot reading giveaway continues until Halloween. All you need to do to get the FREE reading is use the contact form on the special offers page.
Please stay tuned to the blog. More re-introduce-TaoCraft-anniversary season “Portfolio” posts are on the way.
Left: Queen of Wands. All queen cards represent leadership from a care-taking and nurturing standpoint. While kings were out defending the kingdom, the queens would care for the welfare of the subjects. From a more contemporary standpoint, this is like parenting, teaching and caring for other people. I see this card often in readings for caretakers like health care workers, teachers and so on. It often serves as a reminder to take care of yourself too. You are not as helpful or effective as a leader (of any type) if you are burned out and exhausted. This isn’t a call to over-indulgence, but it is permission to grab a nap, take a few minutes to meditate, indulge in that half hour online yoga class…that sort of thing.
Center: Ten of Wands. The Ten of Wands is as much short term encouragement as the Queen of Wands is advice for a marathon. The queen is lifestyle…the ten is looking at the short term situation. It’s a grind, and going to be that way for just a little while more. Ten is the largest of the number cards and is often associated with completion. I think of it as being similar to a ‘changing line’ in I Ching readings. In Taoist thought and the I Ching, anything in its most extreme holds the seed of the opposite, is primed and on the verge of a shift, a little like going over the top part of a Ferris wheel ready to go around again. The ten of wands, as the artwork suggests, is related to feeling overburdened or stressed. It’s not quite over yet. Sometimes this card asks you to evaluate what you should put down and what is needed to carry – a sort of a ‘thin your sticks’ idea. In this case, for this week, it is more of a ‘grind it out’ feeling. There is a sense of something nearing completion, so hang in there, do the do, grind the grind and soon you’ll be able to just toss the whole load down, job well done.
Right: Queen of Pentacles. There is something very similar in energy between this card and the Queen of Wands. I suspect it is also related to self-care, but with a different spin. Pentacles are related to the element earth and the practical, physical realm . This card brought several old adages to mind, heavy on the Benjamin Franklin. “A penny saved is a penny earned” makes me think that if you chose this card, this isn’t a week for impulse buys or unnecessary spending. At the same time, “penny wise and pound foolish” came through and in hand with the other advice. Don’t impulse buy, but don’t fail to invest in something good and needed. The energy around that part is about quality and value. Make the calculation between cost and quality. It brings to mind all of the DIY, low plastic and refillable products that the algorithms have figured out I like and are now filling up my socials…it costs more up front, but saves money in the long run. That is the kind of budgeting and money-wise thinking the card is suggesting. “Cleverness” and “Shrewd thinking” comes through too. Use your head in money matters this week. Be clever, not miserly.
Overall, three cards together, nurture your leadership, whichever style fits your situation the best. Take care of your self as you go along to keep yourself strong and well for the long haul. Grind through if you need too, then take time to recover when it is all said and done before you pick up your next project or obligation. Or works smarter, not harder. Use cleverness and wise investment to take care of yourself and those who depend on you.
With all the pentacle cards that have been showing up lately, I’ve taken to re-reading old reference books to see if there is some obscure meaning, or some facet of the cards I’m missing. Call it due dilignce, although it is probably closer to trolling for inspiration.
Today was browsing the book that came with the deck in the video. It is my far and away favorite deck right now, the Witches Tarot. The book is by Ellen Dugan and the georgous artwork is by Mark Evans.
The keyword “homemaker” jumped out from the description for today’s Queen of Pentacles. My first knee jerk response was drudgery, housework, negative connotations of leaving the workforce that still get foisted on stay-at-home moms who are seen as somehow lesser, or giving in to old strictures of patriarchy.
Ok, let’s let that go, let the cultural programming wash a way for a second. Deep breath.
Now let’s connect the word homemaker to the more common, more resonant, overarching meaning of nurturing and self care that typically comes through with this card. Now lets connect that further to the pandmic that was such a huge wave of energy coming through the pentacle cards lately.
Rather than the HGTV Martha Stewert version of homemaking, think “nesting.”
Think comfortable. Think of making a soft cozy little nest of pillows and blankets and watching TV in bed or from your favorite seat. Think pillow forts and cookies and comfort foods. It is sourdough season.
There is the potential for good things to come out of this experience. Those out and working have found strengths they may not have known before. May they also discover a vast pool of support they have never had before as well. Delivery trucks, supply trucks, and grocery stores have my eternal gratitude to go right with the healthcare and first responders.
We’ve been given the chance to face up to…and befriend who we are right here and right now. What better way to make a friend than sharing a cookie or two? We’ve been handed the chance to rediscover childhood pleasure, and create new ones. We don’t need mass consumerism and a constant drive to heal, to grow, to progress or to succeed. To bake a loaf of bread, put on our jammies, to become OK with a being on earth…even on who likes the occasional sweet treat or second (or fourth) cup of coffee, or letting yourself sit and finish listening to that song, a stretch, a yawn … any of a million tiny sensual physical realm pleasures that are close at hand with minimal effort.
We can get back to obsessing over appearances and diets and progress and consuming and doing and achieving later. For now, stock the cookie jar and deeply, mindfully enjoy the simplest, smallest pleasures at hand. Little things mean a lot, even when you are the Queen.
May we always have well stocked cookie jars and appreciate the simple pleasures close at hand.
Sometimes it is a smile to a stranger. Or making a favorite meal. Or not saying anything when it’s not your favorite meal. Or asking if you have your keys and phone. Or putting a little extra salt on the ice by where you park your car. Or sending a random funny meme. Or letting yourself nap. Or giving an extra long hug. Chocolates are nice, but the little everyday sprinkles of love are the best.
Click play to see the cards for this reading. If you were to order a Four Seasons distance reading for yourself, it would work exactly like this one, except it would be a photo of your unique card layout, not a video of the card draw.
The Cards Are:
Winter (now-March) The Hermit
Spring (March – June) Queen of Pentacles
Summer (June – September) Ace of Swords
Fall (September – December) The Empress
Year (as a whole) The Sun
Every year, it has been fun to play with the idea of predictions. With all the social media zeitgeists, precedent defying politics here in the U.S. and assorted crisis around the world, the energies look like a swarm of tiny tornadoes more than any clear path. This is more like a weather report than a prediction about how 2020 will go. The word “unstable” comes to mind just now. When I drew the cards, I did with the intention that this reading will help someone somewhere who reads it, and capture the energies well enough to help us all navigate what could be a truly unpredictable time.
Three major arcana cards hint that it will be a high energy year, again my attention is drawn to volitility. Major arcana cards typically hint at big energies, and times of significant choices. I am reminded of that adage of where there is chaos there is opportunity. In some readings I’ve done lately there has been a ‘choose’ energy…lots of opportunities, lots to choose from. In this case, it feels like it is hard to choose because every time you do, the rub moves out from under you. The sense of it is “choice is your security, but entrench at your peril”. Choose, pick a direction, choose SOMEthing to be your guiding star. That inner structure, that skeleton, will be your salvation among the chaos, BUT remain adaptable. Be willing to change, adapt. In my minds eye, I see that contest show “Face Off” where they make masks and costumes. They have a ridged cast of their models face, and they design the costume in clay on the form underneath for a custom fit. If things don’t work with the original design, they change the clay on top and make changes, but the solid form underneath stays the same so the end product still fits the model, no matter how many times the initial clay design changed. The same seems important here, for this year as a whole…the Sun represents steadiness. Usually the format for a reading is to talk about an individual card in it’s turn. Yet, here, the sun and stability steps forward right away in the ‘general pattern’ part of the reading structure. So we adapt. But we keep to the structure otherwise so we can move through the reading in a way that makes sense. (If you would like more behind the scenes information about how all of my readings are structured, click TaoCraft Portfolio free download)
The minor arcana cards include two special cards, a queen and an ace. Pentacles (in some decks coins) resonate with the element of earth, and reflect our relationship with the material world. Swords resonate with the element of air and can hint at either action, intellect or our relationship with culture and authority. For both of these cards I feel pulled more to ward the more contemporary relationship with the material world / culture than with the older elemental associations.
The Hermit is a good card for winter time. Winter is a time when maximum yin energy is the norm. The weather is cold, we naturally hibernate a bit. While we are home in our cozy clothes, sipping tea or hot chocolate or what have you, it is a good time to think and plan. Activity is largely mental and intellectual. The light on the Hermit card seems very important. Read, listen, watch…however you take in new ideas and inspiration, do that. Think of gathering wood in the distant past. It was fuel for not only survival, but preparation for the coming spring. Feed your mind and creativity, gather what you need and get the rest you need so you can spring into action. Once the winter passes and the energy shifts, the shift happens quickly. Here I get mental images of Tigger from Winnie the Pooh, and the starter’s gun at a track meet sprint.
The Queen of Coins is all about “hearth and home”. Queens are a caretaking, nurturing sort of leadership. The energy points to “bloom where you are planted” particularly where work and career is concerned. If you want a change, it is a time to lay a foundation to make a smart, safe move later in the year. This is not the energy for a flamboyant walk-out. If you are thinking more in terms of promotion or working within the system where you are, this is your time to shine. I can’t quite pull it into focus, but there is a reference to some saying about a lotus blooming in mud. Be the lotus in spite of the mud. Energies are favorable for making the most of things as they are. If that doesn’t work, keep an eye out, lay the foundations for opportunities to present themselves later on. There is also a sense of literally staying near home. Staycationing might be a better choice than traveling.
The Ace of Swords has to do with creation, creativity. Steve Jobs making a ding in the universe comes to mind here. Swords denote action, but at the same time are association with doing, making, creating, and our relationship with culture and society at large. If you are a politically active rabble rouser…get to rousing, Civic duty looms large, be in a campaign, which of course speaks directly to the US presidential primary. This is politics as bloodsport, no one can stay on the sidelines. It really is the crisis the media has portrayed it to be. “Things are getting real up in here” comes to mind.
On a more personal level, if you have been wanting to shake things up, and the “bloom where you planted” energy just isn’t working out, this energy is more favorable to make a move, especially if you have done your homework and laid your foundation during the winter and spring months. That energy feels especially strong later in the season, and may spill over into the Fall.Do it right. Do it with courage, strength and integrity. This is your time to put your ding in the universe. Rise.
The Empress is about nature but also about bringing about something new. Often the card is associated is motherhood, and the Empress on the card is often drawn pregnant. It feels like coming to term. This was one fast growing baby (flash pop culture reference: Renesmee in Twilight.) There is a sense of completion or coming to full term. Here all the swirling energies start to find their footing again, and all the changing and adapting may slow just a bit. Projects prepared for in the winter/spring, and begun in the summer will either come to completion in the fall or come to a place where you can more reliably see the road ahead. Decisions become a bit easier, planning moves from short term fast adapting to something more long term.
The Sun card stepped forward early. The advice about having strong inner armature that is able to adapt and change very much stands. Now I see jointed armature for a statue…a bendable metal skeleton that holds the weight of the sculpting clay that can also move and change. The early appearance of the card was a reassurance for us. As chaotic as the spring and summer may be compared to winter and fall, the sun always rises, where there is yang there is yin, chaos rises, chaos falls. I’m not touching the election results with a 20 foot pole, but whichever result there is, the response will be vigorous. There will either be great ecstacy, or a deep entrenchment and readying for more storms to come. Either way, Fall will let the pressures of spring and summer escape for a time. There will be a relief of knowing, a moment for a breath, then move on to whatever is next.
The pattern seems to be think and prepare, decide, adapt, do, adapt, see results, then adapt some more within that end of year fullness, fulfillment and respite.
I hope this helps somewhat for someone somewhere somehow.
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Left: Ten of Swords. Ok, now what? You gave it your best shot, went for the dream, and it all went precisely pear shaped. It sucks. Take a minute. Regroup. Look at what went wrong so you can not do THAT again. If going for your dream gets you this, it is OK to take the cosmic message and re-evaluate things, even if I means considering the dream really isn’t the right thing to do after all.
Middle: The Moon. Everything looks better in soft light. Not every minute is bright sunshine, the moon grows and wanes. Sometimes you chase, sometimes you sip wine in moonlight and dream.
Right: Queen of Coins. Emerson said the greatest gift we can give is a piece of ourselves. You can make it rain with the smallest of gestures: a smile, hold the door for someone, be a little more patient. Kindness is the Midas touch that turns everythign to gold.
Domestic day! Where we live is an echo of our inner world, and also an influence on it. Make a positive feedback loop. A good clean can make you feel a little better, feeling a little better shows in a nicer space and so on. It’s not a material, fancy thing, it’s a self-care energy thing.