Free Yourself

Healing requires a change of heart and mind

They don’t call it a hook for nothing.

Hello and welcome to Sage’s Short Sips: Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. I’m Sage and I’m glad that you are here.

Sometimes, when things go a little wonky, you just pick up the pieces and go on without a second thought. It’s like the upside down or reversed cards we’ve talked about before. Sometimes it feels like nothing so I flip the card and keep going. Sometime the reversal feels significant so I read it as a caution that some aspect of the energy is blocked or turbulent.

The same process applies to making the youtube videos of the real world card draw that inspires all of the short sip posts and pods. Sometimes things get clumsy or stuck filming the card draw for the day. Most of the time I just scoop up the cards and re-do it so it fits into a 15 second tiktok or youtube short. Today I was the stuck one instead of the two cards that stuck together for this video. I thought about scooping up the cards and re-shooting, but I felt stuck on this and got a niggly little feeling that the other card…both cards together really… might be important.

Today we get the eight of swords PLUS the eight of cups.

The second card surprised me by being an eight card too. Getting two eight cards back to back feels significant. It might just be validation that the two cards are indeed connected and working in together for today’s message, but it feels bigger than that. Eight isn’t ringing any bells for me personally. What about you? Anybody with an August birthday? Anyone connecting to any August event: a birth, death, or any anything from any August in the past? Any connection with the eighth of any month? Any eight connection at all with the number 8 that lights up for you?

Is that vague and stage cold reading enough for you? Anybody and everybody can probably drum up some connection with either the number 8 or the month of August. All of these suggestions are the standard, banal, boilerplate interpretations of repeating numbers in a Tarot reading. I only mention it because it feels important to the collective energy part of this reading. Like everyone on the planet, I can think of a connection for me with August…so trust me. Your gut will undoubtedly know if your 8 or August connection is energetically significant or not. You’ll know if this is something meaningful that you should pay attention to, or if it is just coincidental B.S. that you can brush right off.

That, I suspect, is where all the scammy hype rip-off Tarot readers and psychics go off the rails by making some big, ego-inflating deal out of common coincidence rather than supporting your individual intuition.

Don’t listen to me, don’t listen to the cards. Listen to your own instincts. The cards, and my role as a reader is just to support your understanding with a few little nudges, creative prompts and lots of food for thought. In the end, your thinking matters more than any coincidences that might come along to fuel it.

Which brings us circling right back around to the the two-card message for today.

Swords have to do with mind, intellect and action. I’m reminded of a line from some 90s song “free your mind, and the rest will follow.” It was some pop song girl group, and I don’t remember a single thing else about it other than that one lyric, but that one line has always stuck. They don’t call it a hook for nothing. This is the message from the 8 of swords today. The card is talking about freeing your mind.

The figure on the card is surrounded by swords and blindfolded. One of the key ideas of this card is that freedom is still possible even when the odds seem stacked against you. The key is to use creative problem solving. In this Pamela Smith card image, the figure’s feet are bare but unbound, and there is a gap in the swords encircling the person. They’d have to be really, really REALLY careful but they could feel their way to freedom given enough time. There would be a price to pay in shallow cuts, but the freedom is possible with the right action.

The eight of cups is connected to emotions more than the cutting intellect and precise careful action suggested by the eight of swords. The eight of cups is about the bittersweet moving on from heartbreak into the future, from emotional devastation into emotional healing. Sure – there were good times. Sure – there were painful times. But sometimes the only way forward is through, and the only way through is to let the past go.

Now put both cards together – free your mind AND free your heart. For true freedom, both mind (attitude, understanding) and heart (feelings, intentions) have to change AND move on from the old ways. Both cards imply movement from a bad situation toward a better future.

Thank you all so much for reading and listening today. I hope everyone, including podcast listeners will follow the free blog, as I always have some blog only content in the works. You can opt in by putting your email in the box in the right hand column of the blog website (link is in the episode description for podcast folks). You can unsubscribe at any time, although obviously I hope you won’t. Instead of unsubscribing, send a blog comment. I use the feedback to improve things or get content ideas. So thanks in advance for any comments, questions, likes, subs, follows or shares that you can spare.

The blog, podcast and youtube channel are not monetized in any way and depend on audience support. Please visit the Ko-Fi page where your shop purchases, no appointment needed email tarot readings, memberships and virtual coffees all help me to bring you this free to access Tarot content.

Thanks again! See you at the next sip!

Be careful what you ask for

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee, Today The Lovers card reminds us to be careful what we ask for, we just might get it.

Hello and welcome to TaoCraft Tarot blog and podcast. I’m glad you are here.

A few days ago, I put a few announcements just in the print blog with summer hours and how things stand now, in essence it was a post for me to get my proverbial ducks in their proverbial row and that we should all read it quick because my ducks are a bunch of anarchists and lining them up is closer to herding cats.

It turns out that today is one of those crazy duck kind of days, so no reels, shorts, or tiktoks. It’s also a lesson in being careful what you ask for. It’s true that you just might get it.

That’s what the Lover’s card is really about. Sure, there is a lot of steamy romance misconceptions about the card out there, but that’s not the core of it. If you want the get-married card, look for the two of cups. If there is a relationship connection with the lovers card I’d put it in the realm of pure lust, playing the field as the saying goes, and figuring out what you really want from your love life but not about an enduring healthy relationship with any one particular person.

That being said, the Lovers card has application in any part of life. It is about deepest desires. Do you want a long term committed relationship or do you want insert-any-warm-body here companionship? What do you want from your job: a paycheck or fulfilling work or some combination of the two? The same thing applies to anything you want in any facet of life. Sometimes it is all one giant multiple choice test question. Do you want this, that, both or neither.

Deciding what you really want is a critical first step in getting it.

In my experience, it usually turns out to be one of those little bits of both , middle way, yin and yang together solutions. It’s what puts the Tao in Tao Craft Tarot.

There are, however, times when things get black and white. Usually it is the bald faced goodness, yes or the oh-heck-no answers that spark the strongest emotional response. That response can be as telling as the card or the reading.

If you get a white hot flare of anger or rejection when you see a card or get a particular answer in a reading, that tells you what you really want. That tells you that you already knew the answer to what you want or you wouldn’t instinctively reject the card so hard.

If you know what you want, it is easier to get it. If you know what you really deep-down want, then you can’t kid yourself about it. If you know what you really deep down want, you can’t sugar coat the hard parts or BS your way through it.

That’s why the Zombie Cat yes/no layout is far and away one of my favorites. I use it for myself as much as any other, maybe more than any other. It echos the I-ching three coin readings. It can be a clear frying pan to the face kind of reading. It lets you know when to stop screwing around and come face to face what you really want and the buried decisions that you have already made for yourself. The i-ching notion of “changing lines” which are lines that are SO yin or SO yang they can easily tip into their opposite. That’s what the dots in the yin yang symbol are about. Each thing, in its extreme holds the seed of its opposite.

If you read the cards individually in addition to the top level yes or no answer, you can get a lot of nuance and guidance out of the whole thing. The Zombie Cat part makes it light and fun and snarky and playful in the process. I use it all the time as an ice breaker when I am doing fortune teller entertainment at events, like the one at CMU recently. I’ll sit and do yes-no readings for any silly little thing that pops into my head, like will the Pens win the Stanley Cup this year. The answer is always yes to that one, by the way, whether the cards say it or not because this is Pittsburgh and they are the Pens, after all. On an energy level, it sets the right playful, entertainment vibe for a “fortune teller booth.”

The Lovers card asks us to take a hard, honest look at what we really want. The yes or no layout is a good tool to help gain that focus and clarity. That’s the be careful part.

If you tweek the old adage to say be CLEAR about what you want BECAUSE you are PROBABLY going to get it, then you are suddenly living in a whole different universe and it is a pretty good place to be.

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

The blog and the podcast are not monetized and depend on audience support. If you are enjoying these Tarot readings, please visit the Tao Craft Tarot page on ko-fi and consider becoming a Patron of the Tarot Arts to get exclusive content and members-only special offers. Peace Tarot is a short ebook about daily meditation Tarot. Proceeds from the sale of Peace Tarot in the ko-fi shop will be donated to Doctors Without Borders USA during 2022. Both ko-fi proceeds and private readings ordered on the blog website support the creation of the blog and podcast.

Of course, your likes, subs, shares, follows, questions and comments are always, always appreciated!

Hold Space

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today: Ace of Cups and holding space for good things to flow in.

Hello and welcome to TaoCraft Short Sip: Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. I’m glad you are here.

Today’s card is the Ace of Cups. Cups are associated with emotion, inner circle relationships, romance, and the classic element of water. The ace is the essence of the deck. Today, the ace of cups has a feeling of abundance overflowing like a cornucopia. The universe provides. It may be in unexpected or under appreciated ways, but if we are alive it has provided that much and that is extraordinary.

The water part is catching my attention too. It reminds me of the famous interview where Bruce Lee says to quote Be water, my friend, end quote.

Water takes on the shape of whatever hold it. If there is no room for the water, it spills over and goes somewhere else.

Today’s card is simple and to the point. If you want good things to come into your life, then they have to have somewhere to land. If you want good things to flow into your life, they have to have some place to flow into.

This can be as literal or esoteric as you want it to be. For example, it is standard issue boilerplate advice for those who are looking for a long term romantic partner, their soulmate if you will, to make literal space for that person. Clearing out a drawer, getting an extra toothbrush to have on hand, getting a pair of matching coffee mugs, having figurines around in pairs; all of those physical things can send an energy signal that you are living your life, but have made space in that life for a special someone.

Creative visualization, alters, journaling all sorts of things can hold space on an energetic level for good things to flow into.

No wonder spring cleaning and decluttering is believed to remove negative energy and attract or positive energies. Remember that Zen proverb that only an empty cup can be filled? I’m not saying you have to get rid of your stuff, but maybe dust it off and get it organized.

Be specific. Never invite just any old thing into your life. In my mind’s eye, I see one of those reserved parking spaces for a particular person or a particular building.

I also see a figure holding a bowl up to the sky, to be filled with golden light. Nice visualization there. Feel free to use it. The more we all lift our empty bowls to the sky, the more we can call an energy of abundance and provision into the world.

Thank you for reading, watching and listening.

This blog, podcast and the companion videos are not monetized – they depend on your support. Tarot readings purchased through this website*, Tarot Table memberships, likes, subs, shares, and follows all support the creation of this unique Tarot content for you.

Once again I’m working with my new Alleyman’s Tarot deck, which features both original cards by Seven Dane Asmund, creator of the Normal Tarot and cards gifted and licensed from a hundred or more decks and artists. The card shown was made by Vicente Molina for the Tarot Morandi.

Thanks again. See you at the next sip.

*email readings are available for purchase 24/7, no appointment needed

You Can’t Make Them Drink

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot contemplation in the time it takes to sip your coffee. Today: Four of Cups

Hello. Welcome to TaoCraft Short Sip – Tarot contemplation in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. I’m glad you are here.

Today’s card is the Four of Cups.

There is an old adage that says “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink.”

Maybe it is because the hallmark holiday is in four days. Today’s vibe is a lot like that old My Tarot Valentine vibe I was telling you about the other day. Or was it yesterday? Anyway, cups are back into romance mode.

You can lead a relationship to water but you can’t make it drink. And I’m not talking about adult beverages.

The heart knows.

The heart knows when words are empty or actions are made of inertia and habit.

Not everyone is present and focused on the two of you every. Single. Moment. People get tired, stressed and distracted. It’s easy to understand that and it’s easy to give a little extra TLC to someone you care about who is having a bad day. Bad days happen for everyone, and they are just that – a day. You do what you can to help and life goes on. This is also a good time to remind ourselves to leave stress at the door and love your loved ones. They know when something is up.

They know when a bad day turns into a bad month, or a bad year.

The heart knows when words are empty and actions are built out of inertia and habit.

The message the card gives today is scary for both people involved and oh so hard to give. I’ve seen it in relationship readings lately. It brings to mind one particular reading I did for a client a few months ago. The energy here feels exactly like it did then. Specific past readings almost never come up in a general blog reading like this. Maybe someone somewhere out there is in a similar situation as that client was. All light and best wishes to you, listener and client, wherever you are. Or it could be that this is just a matter of the universal energy giving me a specific cue to a specific message. Here goes.

Sometimes you pour everything you have into a relationship and for whatever reason, the other person just can’t give anything back. At some point you have to stop the bleeding, turn off the faucet that is flooding the bathtub, stop digging the hole you are trapped in. Love is a precious thing to pour away into an abyss. If it can’t be given to another, perhaps it is time to give it to yourself.

Sometimes absence is better than empty presence.

None of this blog, podcast or YouTube Tarot content is monetized and it all relies on your support. The private email readings you purchase and Tarot Table memberships on Ko-fi all contribute toward producing this free Tarot content. Likes, subs, shares and follows all help too.

Thank you so much for watching, reading and listening. I’ll see you at the next sip!

Let Kindness Decide

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot contemplation in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today: seven of cups

Hello. Welcome to TaoCraft Short Sip: Tarot contemplation in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. I’m glad you are here.

Today’s card is the seven of cups.

For the past several years, on the first fourteen days of February, I did a series of posts called “My Tarot Valentine” where the one card daily coffee fueled Tarot contemplation was focused on love, romance, and relationships. From one sentence affirmations to a few paragraphs of advice, whatever card that turned up was viewed through as much of a pink hued Valentines Day lens as I could muster.

There were fewer cups cards than you would expect over the years. Interestingly, here we are back in early February and we have a cup card with no romantic or relationship vibe around it whatsoever.

The essence of the message is vague and generally as it always is when you are reading for a wide audience online like this. It can apply to anything, really, including romance. The vibe is basically: don’t be arrogant in your decision making, let kindness lead the way.

Cups symbolize emotions, and the emotion often associated with the seven is feeling overwhelmed, or feeling a level of anxiety because of overthinking things. It can also be a sort of decision paralysis as it is called. That is the feeling you get when there are so many delicious sounding things on a menu that you can’t decide what to order. Instead of an embarrassment of riches, it is an embarrassment of choices.

Having too many good choices, like the delicious menu is a privilege. Feeling boxed in by nothing but equally bad options is a dilemma. Both are solved by letting logic rest and letting heart and kindness lead the way. Look, as many have said, for the highest good with harm to none, yourself included.

Thank you for watching, reading and listening. Neither this blog cast nor the YouTube channel are monetized, so these Tarot card readings depend on your support. Your likes, subs, shares, private reading orders, Tarot Table memberships and ‘buy me a coffee’ donations are always greatly appreciated.

Thanks again, and I’ll see you at the next sip!

Follow the Feels

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for today in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today: Ace of Cups and following the feels. Private email readings are OPEN.

Thank you so much for listening, watching and reading TaoCraft Short Sip Tarot. It’s a Tarot reading for your day in the time it takes to sip from your morning coffee. Or afternoon coffee. Or whatever beverage you enjoy.

Today’s card is the ace of cups.

Ace cards carry the essence of their suit of cards. In many ways they are the most abstract cards of the minor arcana. Being the first card of the suit, there is also a trace of connection to the Fool card, the first of major arcana cards. All of them connect to the idea of beginnings and newness in one way or another.

While cups cards are often read as symbolizing romantic relationships, they also include other inner circle relationships, both our family of birth and our family of heart. In the abstract, cups are connected with water, intuition, and emotions

Deep running emotions are sometimes a double edged sword. They can get us through our most difficult moments in life. Lau Tzu, writer of the Tao Te Ching is credited with saying that being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

Strong emotions can also be paralyzing instead of strengthening. Frank Herbert describes fear as “the little death that leads to total obliteration.”

Either way, emotions have real world implications and effects. At a minimum, emotions affect our experience of life. They aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Emotions can be difficult to face, and difficult to experience, but that isn’t to say they should be suppressed with stoicism to rival Mr Spock from Star Trek. Emotions don’t have to take over and run the show, either.

I’m not sure who first said it this way, but my first encounter with the notion that “the feeling is the power” was in a book by Scott Cunningham.

In a middle way approach, we can have a relationship with emotion that empowers life. Emotion can motivate and enrich. Emotion can work in balance with logic and intuition.

Whatever day you are reading or listening to this, whatever day this card crosses your path, this may be your clue that it is a day to listen to your emotions. If you can’t follow your heart 100%, at least give it a listen. Allow your honest emotions to be heard and they may help you to begin something new and wonderful. Follow the feels to find the power.

Thank you for reading, watching and listening to TaoCraft Short Sip Tarot. If you can spare a minute, please like, subscribe, follow and share these nano-episodes. Your support for the blog and podcast through the virtual coffee mug / tip jar and membership tieris always appreciated.

See you at the next sip!


Reminder: in-person readings are on hold again but no appointment email readings and live online readings by appointment are wide OPEN. Please click HERE to order email or click HERE for live online reading information.

Q&A: What is my boyfriend up to?

Q: Can you tell me what my boyfriend is hiding from me? He’s acting secretive, and I think I know what it is. What is he going to do and when?

A: There is a lot more to this question than you might think.

Can I tell you what your boyfriend is going to do and when? The short answer is – no.

That sort of thing only happens in movies, TV, and the occasional outright scam. In my opinion, if someone promises to fix your love life or promises to give 100% accurate predictions you should run in the opposite direction.

That being said, even if I could tell what your boyfriend is thinking, I wouldn’t. My personal ethics are to protect everyone’s privacy. I don’t read anyone’s energy without their consent. There is a little bit of nuance to that when it comes to relationship questions, but we can talk about that in another blog post because it doesn’t apply here.

When you see the phrase “no third party questions” on a psychic’s website or disclaimers, that’s what it is talking about. We don’t read anyone other than the person who comes to us and asks the question. No matter what you believe about whether it is even possible to read minds, a real professional will respect everyone’s privacy. That goes for both real world privacy and the mental & spiritual kind too.

What a Tarot reading CAN do is help you build on that “I think I know what it is” part. A good Tarot reading helps you to get your head around the big picture and empower YOUR intuition and empower your part in the relationship.

For example, when I draw a card for this I get…..

The Queen of Cups

Queen cards are about leadership, just as much as king cards are but queens have leadership with a nurturing spin while kings have leadership with a protective quality. The nurturing here is directed at you. There is a sense that it is time to put on the big girl panties and face what is going on. Be a leader in this. The only way to really know what he is thinking is to ask him. Talk about it. Be prepared to start the conversation and be prepared to deal with the fallout. There are reasons why the Queen is the most powerful piece on the chessboard. Would Elizabeth the 1st ask a wizard what to do or would she do what needs done keep the kingdom healthy?

Cups cards do symbolize romance, but older meanings connect them to the element of water and to intuition. What are your instincts? Cards can have different spins, or flavors of meaning. In this case, it is validation. Follow your instincts how to start a conversation with your boyfriend and – importantly – listening to your instincts as the conversation goes on. Listen. Learn from what is said. Follow your intuition about what is said as it happens. Don’t go into it with any preconceived notions. See how the queen is looking into the cup? She’s looking for the deep truths, not surface conclusions. Look, listen and learn, then take the lead and do the right thing.

Thank you for sharing your question with us. You never know who else it might help. Questions are welcome in the comments and will be answered in the blog & podcast. If you would like a detailed private reading by emial, you can order them HERE 24/7 no appointment needed.

Be safe. Be well. Best wishes to you.

YouChoose Interactive Tarot: Speckles

No pressure.

There is zero big deal here. Pick a card, think about the vibe. If it is helpful, use it. If it isn’t, ignore it. I believe that, at risk of sounding like an old Blondie song, one way or another the message you need will get to you if you let it. It might be through the card you choose here. It might be through the crystal that goes with it. So choose quickly on impulse. Stop the video and think about it…it’s all good. Even if your cue(s) don’t come through this at all, heads up, eyes open. Synchronicity is your friend. Spirit whispers through random coincidence if you listen well.

Blue Kayanite – loyalty, fair communication, throat chakra

Red Jasper – nurturing, endurance, warrior stone, base (sacral) chakra

Rose Quartz – inspires compassion & peace, attracts love & romance, heart chakra


Left: Devil. This isn’t predicting something bad will happen. Many times it is a “heads up” acknowledging the reality of evil in the world. There are people out there doing not-good things. The world doesn’t always have your best interests at heart, protect yourself. But that isn’t the vibe today. Oh no, it’s WAY worse than that. It is about you facing the worst of yourself. Some call this shadow work, coming to terms with parts of your own personality and psyche that make the rest of you uncomfortable. If you choose this card, I suggest researching some Carl Jung. *

Center: Six of Pentacles. Generosity and Reciprocity. The card symbolizes generosity of both money (or other physical resources) and a generosity of spirit. There is also a sense of connection to Queen of Wands energy…you can’t be generous with others if you are tapped out yourself. Curate your resources, your health and your energy. When you feel and are abundant in resources it is easier to give generously, and more importantly, authentically of yourself. Doing something because you should or you have to is far more draining than the same thing given spontaneously without attachment to the should or have to part of it.

Right – Five of Cups. A card of melancholy, mourning and bittersweet endings. This feels oddly targeted. It lends itself the most of the three cards to that individuals connected, individuals within a joined matrix impression (like the stones in the video card) It boarders on that trope “I don’t know who needs to hear this…” This is targeted to those who have had a romantic relationship end recently. The advice is to honor the pain. Acknowledge it and feel it in order to move on to healing it. You don’t have to sweep sad, upsetting things under the rug. You don’t have to pretend hurtful things didn’t happen. Whatever the hurt or loss may be, walk through the hurt and the feelings at your own pace. It may not seem like it now, but a time will come when you can move on, even it is a bittersweet progress. Now the energy moves into a regretful letting go, a realization that it is time to move on. The rose quartz is gentle and loving. It can help heal heartbreak, then help attract new, healthy love when the time is right.

“Until you make the unconscious conscious it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”

Carl Jung

Tarot is an excellent tool and method for just the kind of self-discovery that Dr. Jung speaks of here. I’m not a psychologist, but I can help you learn to use Tarot for yourself or give you an individual advice and guidance reading that can help you with your self-discovery, personal enrichment, spiritual expression or heart-healing learning.

* The morning after this post first published, this showed up in my Twitter feed: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/matauryn/2018/04/29/integrating-the-shadow/

I recommend the article along with Mr. Auryn’s book Psychic Witch.


Order PeaceTarot (a how-to guide to diy daily meditation Tarot readings) available as a .pdf instant download from the TaoCraftTarotShop on Etsy HERE

Order distance Tarot readings (my specialty) with no appointment required HERE

My Tarot Valentine, February 14, 2021: Love on both sides

I picked a Tarot card today, but not at random.

In 2015, the Lovers random appearance inspired the first “My Tarot Valentine” post on

‘Tarotbytes” blog on Modern Oracle Tarot. When the Lovers turned up as “card of the month” it sparked the idea of one card meditation readings specifically focused on love, romance, relationships and Valentine’s Day.

This year, I think the idea has run its course and this is the last of the “My Tarot Valentine” blog posts. Relationship readings and posts won’t go anywhere, I just want to let the energy of them flow organically, and not try to bend the energy toward a seasonal topic. It just seems right to wrap up with the card that started it. What better bookends than love on both sides?

The relationship in question is, I suppose, mine with the blog. It is a pale example of the card’s message, which has changed surprisingly little since it’s first February appearance. But then, you would expect that from the important lesson that major arcana cards tend to teach.

It’s all about desire. Not romance.

It can be any consuming, life-driving want. It could be something material, something spiritual, or a life partner and soulmate. It is asking us to stop feeling sorry for ourselves because of what we don’t have and ask ourselves why we want it in the first place.

Why do we want to celebrate Valentine’s day? Keep in mind, my only exposure to the holiday is the one dripping in American commercialism. “Cheap chocolate and an excuse to buy a bottle of wine” is a perfectly acceptable answer to the question. I like to think that the real motivation is the holiday serves as a prompt to make some sweet, sincere small gesture to show the people in our life how much we care.

This series, this blog is my gesture of appreciation to you. I am thankful to you for reading this. Thank you for appreciating the art and adventure of Tarot with me.


Did you know that anytime you get a reading here, you get your choice of topic? You can ask a specific question, choose a general topic (like romance or relationships or leave the whole reading open and let spirit lead the way.