Drama Fall

It takes a hot, bright afternoon to make you really appreciate the cool shade of a tree, or a freezing night to make you appreciate the glowing warmth of a space heater.

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

As much as Tarot and Tarot readings are associated with western witchcraft, Taoist philosophy pops up a great deal, especially for a Tarot reader who has an affinity for Taoism to start with.

Sure, you could argue that this is a process of subjective confirmation bias, but there is also a great deal of objective overlap between Taoism and Tarot, Reiki and Magick, East and West, at least when it comes to spiritual things. Diane Morgan’s Magical Tarot, Mystical Tao was one of my earliest Tarot influences. Christopher Penczak’s Magick of Reiki landed right along of side of it, both squarely in the middle of my wheelhouse, both hitting right where I live, right here in Tao Craft. Hence the name. It is a more authentic fit than Modern Oracle ever was. I live in the liminal venn diagram space where Taoism, Tarot, Reiki and Magick all meet.

That eclectic, and often solitary mental space can have it’s drama.

Everybody loses their keys, spills their milk, or has some such drama in their life. It’s normal. That is also where the Three of Swords is pointing today.

The Three of Swords doesn’t have the darkest or most dire looking artwork. Usually it shows three swords stabbing something…more often than not a heart shape…but the heart is red and the background is seldom as literally black and dark as a death, devil, or 10 of swords. Most of the meanings and keywords associated with it are warnings and cautions. It always feels like blockage, drama or complications from outside of ourselves. But for all of the tears and betrayal keywords that go with this card, the connection to Taoist philosophy most jumps out at me today. This idea of everything defining … and being defined by its opposite…begins in chapter 2 of the Tao Te Ching, here in a public domain translation by J.H. McDonald.

“When people see things as beautiful,
ugliness is created.
When people see things as good,
evil is created.
Being and non-being produce each other.
Difficult and easy complement each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low oppose each other.
Fore and aft follow each other.”

Basically this is a message of encouragement, and a melange of hanging on and letting go all at once. Let go of that which has become toxic and harmful to make room for the good. Hang on through the dark times because that persistence will make the light all the more beautiful when it comes. It will, indeed come, because exactly that change and ebb and flow is an essential fact of life and our existence.

Thank you so much for reading and listening. I appreciate it! I always appreciate any likes, subs, shares, follows, questions or comments that you can spare. Neither the blog or podcast is monetized, so your Tarot message comes first, not the advertisers’ Please support the blog and podcast on ko-fi, there is a link in the episode description for the podcast side of things.

Again and always, thank you. See you at the next sip!

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A Wide Variety of Strengths

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot contemplations in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today: Strength from the major arcana

Hello and welcome to TaoCraft Short Sip: Tarot contemplation in the time it takes to sip from your coffee.

Today’s card is Strength from the major arcana.

This card is easy to sum up with the adage “He who conquers others has force. He who conquers himself has strength.” There are dozens of different iterations for the quote just as there are I have no idea how many different translations of the Tao Te Ching. The same basic concept exists in Zen, Buddhism, the Bhagavad Gita and probably every school of thought or organization that espouses personal growth and self development. As we’ve seen with the recent war in Europe, personal strength is far more rare and far more valuable than raw political or military power.

That kind of personal growth, self-development, and strength of character is exactly what this card is always about.

While we all agree that this is a valued thing, it all falls apart when we start trying to figure out how to do it.

The title “Tao Te Ching” has been as been translated a variety of ways including the way of Virtue. Virtue means lot of different things to lots of different people. That is the point where interpreting the Strength card gets dicey. It’s not the what that’s the problem, it’s the how.

So how do we become better people? What IS a good person?

Books, religions, entire philosophies have been dedicated to just exactly that, and we sure as heck aren’t going to solve anything here.

When the Strength card comes along it might just be validating the strengths you have. It might be validating the strength choices you’ve made or the importance of a decision that you are pondering. Regardless of the context, the Strength card always reminds us to do the right thing, the difficult thing, the strong thing, not the easy or cowardly thing. It’s no accident that lions are iconic and used in many many Tarot decks for this card. To put it in Disney terms, this is a card that asks you to be Mufasa, not Scar.

But on second thought, maybe the how of inner strength isn’t so hard after all. Look at the woman figure on the card that seems to be tending to the lion.

Maybe a little Zen Taoist Hakuna Matata is the key. As always, it is the present moment to the rescue. Harmonize with your nature as it is to find your path to strength.

Nurture the strengths you already have. Restrain the flaws you already have. This strengthens (aka conquers) the inner self.

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

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Today’s Tarot: It’s Essential

Things can’t get better if they don’t change. Without change, there can be no hope for improvement or problem solving.

It’s not change that we fear: it’s risk.

When things change, there is a danger that things can get worse. When things change, there is a risk of something precious ending or being lost.

If you remember it, it lives on.

We can’t control change. Life brings change and all the risk that entails – but it brings the possibility of brighter days right along with it.

Summer update

  • New episodes are up on Clairvoyant Confessional podcast! Some episodes are recorded, some auto-converted from blog posts, but all are available on Anchor fm, Spotify, Googlepodcasts, Stitcher and more.
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  • Individual / Party in-person Tarot returns in the fall. Masking may be required. Stay tuned for updates as we see how the Delta variant thing evolves.
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The Niggles: Means to an End.

“The Niggles” series of blog posts is about ideas that prickle the psyche. It’s that nagging dry hangnail feeling that intuition puts in the way whenever I haven’t understood a message or if I haven’t given a message that needs to be heard by someone.

Today, the niggly thing is gratitude.

I think it is a misunderstanding, really. Or maybe it’s the toxic-positive version of gratitude. There is a sense in some parts spiritual social media that gratitude is a pathway to achieving something that you want.

“Being grateful for what you have” as a means to an end perverts gratitude. It turns being thankful into something artificial even if the end goal is something very good like happiness, a healthy romance, a feeling of abundance or what have you.

I worry that some things I’ve said or written about so-called soulmates may have been misunderstood. When I said that the best way to attract the love of your life is to be happy with your life as it is right now, I never meant that you have to be grateful for being alone.

But when I said be happy, I meant precisely that. I meant to deliberately find the good stuff in the present moment rather than go through life laser focused on something you don’t have. Think about it. Who would you rather have as your soulmate, a person wrapped in the joy of living, or a person wrapped in worry about the future?

There is a difference between a social convention and a genuine emotion. Yes, by all means, say thank you and be polite even if you don’t feel all that. appreciative. If you spontaneously, naturally, authentically feel that way, then by all means live that. BE grateful with gusto.

Bittersweet by Choice

Like all the cards, there is a yin and a yang, multiple threads of energy and meaning, which is a different thing from a reversed card. A reversed card is one that turns over upside down relative to the person doing the reading. That speaks more to blocked, slowed, complicated or turbulent energy around the card, which isn’t the case here at all.

Either way you look at it, life changes and sometimes those changes suck.

It is bittersweet to walk away from things that once were pleasant and good but have run their course. People, things, circumstances have their time, but that time doesn’t always last forever. Sometimes those things leave us against our hopes…other times we have to take the walk.

Being a cups card, it’s almost automatic to think in terms of relationships evolving or ending. Romantic relationships, close friendships….all kinds of relationships…are important things. But the card can reach much farther than that. It doesn’t have to mean relationships. It can mean saying goodbye to thought habits, physical habits, addictions, comfortable routines, physical objects – anything.

Our feelings about change and releasing old things are as varied as the things we left – or that left us.

My mind goes to a couple of personal examples. For one thing, leaving my parent’s religion was a toxic, gut wrenching experience, but was ultimately a very good thing. Best decision I ever made. If the card was a picture of THAT experience, the cloaked figure wouldn’t be walking away in an air of contemplation, it’s be doing a happy dance like the grim reaper at the end of Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey. On the other hand, when I left my first job – as bad as the job itself had gotten- I was moping around the last day like the ghost of Hamlet’s father “farewell, farewell, remember me.” While I was thrilled to move on to a new opportunity, I was going to legit miss working with some of the people a great deal. Both situations meant walking away from something gone very wrong, both had a swirling melange of emotions. Both experiences were bittersweet in the moment of leaving, but a positive, even joyous thing in the end.

Such is the message from the eight of cups today. Leaving (or being left by) anything or anyone can be bittersweet, even if the thing in question is terrible and toxic to us. It may be bitter now, but the sweet can come in time.

It’s not 2020 anymore. Things are shifting. Can you feel it? On thing isn’t changing – prices for distance readings when you order through TaoCraftTarot.com. Current prices on the website will remain through December 2021. Order anytime! No appointment needed for distance Tarot

New Etsy fees may force some price adjustments in the shop as the year goes on.

Today’s Tarot: Decide, Walk, Talk

The King of Wands card is the confluence of elemental fire, leadership, and our relationship with ourselves, our inner world. It speaks to our inner passions. There is a strong element of ‘decision’ energy here today. In my minds eye I can see the King talking, announcing a decision, making a pronouncement. The inner passion part reminds me of the idea of “walk your talk.” Live your beliefs. Be your true self.

Before you can do those admirable things, you have to decide what they are.

Before you can walk your talk, you have to decide what to say.

Function & Finesse

Throwing a ball isn’t difficult to do.

Almost anyone can do it, one way or the other. Tossing something is a skill we all learn at such a young age, that we almost never give it a second thought. We can throw any little thing and have it land somewhere. If we are going to put the wadded up paper in the garbage can from 6 feet away, it takes a little more thought and focus but is the same basic body mechanics as any throw. Still, it isn’t major league baseball, either.

This is another way of saying one of the things I was rambling in circles about in “Growing Ogres.” Reading Tarot for yourself is easy to do. I can teach you in a 90 minute workshop, or in a short ebook. Doing a single card draw for yourself is the throwing equivalent of tossing your socks in the general direction of the clothes hamper.

Every card you add to a layout increases the level of difficulty. Not only are you dealing with the card’s assigned meaning combined with direct intuitive input, you add each card’s position meaning within the layout PLUS the way that the cards connect to each other to read the layout as a whole (not just a series of card + position meanings). With each added position, with each card increase in a layout’s the complexity increases. I don’t know if increasing exponentially is the right way to describe it, but it’s close. We are still talking about reading for yourself, so we are not talking about landing on Mars. Still, the food for thought from a multi-card layout can be a lot to digest. It’s moving up in difficulty from tossing socks to playing trashcan paperball, to little league, to a full on juggling act where the balls can fall down very easily.

Reading as an amateur at no charge IS an exponential increase in skill from the sock tossin’ DIY daily meditations. We are talking full-on March Madness, college playoff level ball handling. Not only do you have the multiple cards in multiple positions to knit together, you have the added layer of language that falls over the whole thing. It’s one thing to understand a card’s message and symbolism inside our own head for your own self, but it is a whole other enterprise to communicate those things to another person in a way that they can understand.

Reading professionally is playing hard ball with the big boys. When you do that, you are going to the show. Professional is professional whether you are throwing card or throwing balls. You not only have the basic card meaning, your intuitive impressions, they layout position meanings and the interconnection between the cards, when you go pro you have ethics and business practices to consider.

We all have perfectly good intuition. We are all “gifted” psychics. It is as much a matter of learning, practice and technique as throwing a baseball. We can all toss one. Not everyone wants to put in the work to get really good at it. Natural talent can play a part, but I’m not sure how much of a factor it really is. Not everyone has the drive, desire, natural ability, luck and opportunity to be a professional athlete. Or mechanic. Or doctor, or lawyer or therapist or grocery bagger or Tarot reader or professional anything-you-can-name.

If you can functionally do something, and you are happy with it, by all means do it for yourself. I think it is laudable. I like to make things. I could buy a sweater, but I have the ability to knit one for myself and I don’t mind the wait and less-than-professional result. But on the other hand, I like to listen to music. I probably could functionally learn to make amateur music for myself, but I don’t want to. I want to listen to music made by artists with talent and finesse as well as basic functional skill.

We all have intuition. It is, I believe, a natural function of the human psyche just like throwing a binkie on the floor is a natural function of being a human baby. Using Tarot cards to access that normal intuition is like learning to aim that binkie toss. Time, practice, technique, desire and sprinkle of luck and talent can give the intuitive function a good deal of finesse.

Learn to do DIY daily meditation single card Tarot readings with PeaceTarot, available in the TaoCraftTarotShop on Etsy.

copyright Ronda Snow, all rights reserved

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.

Imagine, execute, balance

Here is how the interactive Tarot posts work:

  1. Pick a card, any card. Actually, you get to choose between left, center or right.
  2. Pick on impulse or, if you want a little time to ponder or get a feel for which card is right for you, pause the video and restart when you are ready to see the reveal.
  3. Listen to the video interpretation and/or read the guidance for this week for the card you chose below.
  4. Any likes, youtube subs, blog or video shares, blog follows or reading orders you can spare are always, always appreciated!

You know how it goes…a journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step, and you have to have a plan before life and random circumstances can blow it to bits, so here is the main 2021 plan (she said as she puts on eye protection and readies the catcher’s mitt for the inevitable plan-schraphnel)

“YouChoose” interactive Tarot will post on the YouTube channel and here on the blog sometime between Saturday afternoon and Monday morning inclusive

Today’s Tarot with video will post both place on Wednesday morning. Ish.

Other days will have print-only content: Zombie Cat Answers (ask your free question HERE for Z.C. to answer in the blog) My Side of the Table, and other topics. Most other days. Some of them. I’m really hoping to be busy doing readings and/or selling stuff in the Etsy shop in addition to blogging.

The comments are OPEN so please feel free to send any non-spam questions or feedback. Tell me the Tarot content you would like to see, and I will do my best to try and create it!

When all the cards are taken together, there is a lot of active, creative energy and movement. The card you chose might be a hint where in the creative or project process is best for your attention because that is where the energy is flowing. The cards feel more aligned with their traditional element associations than with traditional meanings or the more contemporary ‘relationship with…’ meanings.

Left: Ace of Cups. Think water meets creativity. The energy here are raw creative flow. Imagine. Innovate. This is the early phase of creativity. This is the “dream it” part of “dream it and then do it.”

Center: Nine of Wands. This is fire and energy. This is the mid point of the creative process that moves from create to make. This is the part where you stop obsessing over planning and get up and do the thing. Execute. If you chose this card it is time to go all 80s movie montage on this – kick the tires and light the fires, baby!

Right: Two of Pentacles. The most balance-y card this side of the major arcana and Temperance. This is all fine points and fine tuning. Again I get three rotating points, like a juggler or a triquetra sort of shape. It may not be a literal three, but rather symbolic of many moving parts. If you chose this card, you might find yourself with a lot of moving parts to track. Earth is the element here, so stay grounded, centered…be the center of gravity around which all those moving parts move instead of letting them pull and drag you in every which direction. Spirit (energy, the collective unconscious – whatever you like to call it) has been into music the past couple of days. Here I’m getting “Loves Me Like a Rock” by Paul Simon. I guess it is oldies day in the spirit realm. But that is the energy of the card….earth energy, solid, centered rooted energy to keep your balance, not matter how many moving parts are whirling around this week.

Thanks for reading and watching! Best wishes to you for this and every week.