Joy and Potential

Be the sparkly fireworks you want to see in the world.


Boom!

Hello and welcome to Sage Words Tarot and the Crystal Cast reading for the week of January 21-28. Happy New Year to our friends celebrating the Spring Festival and year of the yin water rabbit!

I’m still working on the physical mechanics of casting the crystals. Have to admit, this shake and toss and see what comes blowing out of the top of the bag is kind of fun. This one might have been a little overly-enthusiastic on my part. It will take some more practice and experimentation to dial it in. We’ll see how it goes. I’m curious as heck whether or not you all like these crystal reading or not. Good, bad or indifferent, please leave your thoughts and feedback in the comments. Heck, I’d even answer reading questions in the blog comments just for the practice. So have at it. No promises, but if you leave a question, there is a fair to middling chance that I’ll do a crystal reading for it. Which means that podcast people will have to use the link in the show description to leave their questions in the blog comments, but hey, it’s a free psychic reading so what can you say?

Back to these crystals.

The mental image that came when the crystals scattered like this was fireworks. Specifically those extra sparkly ones that glitter and shimmer as the remnants fall. It also reminded me a little bit of those holographic glitter nail polishes. The explosive quality to the energy and the way the crystal felt like they were volcano spewing out the top of the bag is a key point, but the happy glittery shiny celebratory quality to the feel and the energy is the bigger focus. It goes right along with the Lunar New Year celebrations. The sparkle is the thing. Joy and happiness is the fuel for the expansiveness of this week’s energy.

I am reminded of the FDR quote that we have nothing to fear but fear itself. And also the famous Mark Twain quote “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”

This is such a warning against thinking or dwelling on potential problems that I don’t even want to bring it up as a thing to avoid.

The focus is on the sparkle, on the joy.

And it is all inside you.

You are the firecracker. You are the sparkler. This week it is up to you to light the fuse, not wait for external circumstances to do it for you

Don’t let fear be the wet blanket. If you feel it, don’t hold back. Let yourself be an explosion of joy. It’ll help everything go better for you, not to mention elevate the energy and help things go better for everyone around you.

It is said that like attracts like. Think of yourself as a magnet dragging through the week. If you were given the choice, what would you want sticking to you at the end of the week; ridiculous unreasonable happiness in SPITE of everything, or worry and stress BECAUSE of everything?

The visual for that in today’s reading lies in the clear quartz crystal chips. They are a happy sparkling POOF of happy when you look at them intuitively. They are pretty close to being just that literally as well.

The top of the two runes showing is Sowilo, associated with the sun, happiness, light and love. It is an interesting optical coincidence that this particular stone is reflecting light so strongly in the video that it is hard to read the rune.

The other, lower rune is Algiz, which has to do with protection, security, and guidance. It is much easier to feel happy when you feel safe.

Here, too, there is a sense of fearlessness, in a good way. I forget who posted it, but there was an Instagram post a few years ago that has stuck with me. I call it to mind whenever I start to feel any vague or general worry creeping in, especially about stuff that may or may not happen.

The context was a feed about paganism of some sort. They contrasted mainstream or Christian prayer to be protected vs the Germanic pagan mindset of petitioning Odin for the wisdom and strength to be able to protect ourselves.

I prefer the latter point of view.

Why? It just feels better, but also because of compassion.

Which petition has the greater potential to foster compassion? If we seek to be strong and wise, that strength and wisdom can in turn lead to protecting and caring for others. Asking to be pre-emptively protected doesn’t afford that same opportunity.

The desire to grow wise and strong and be a better person is a type of compassion toward oneself.

There are several runestones with their blank side showing. I also read that as potential, as one would expect from any reading that is looking forward. The future is all about seeing the potentials, not making predictions.

Look ahead to this week. Face it with all the courage and happiness you can muster. Light the fuse on a glittering explosion of joy, or at least indulge in a little sparkle. Your little POOF of happiness just might draw the best possible things out of a week full of potential.

Thank you all for reading and listening. Any likes, subs, shares or follows are always greatly appreciated.

Private readings by email are open. Your purchases, memberships and virtual coffees all support the blog and podcast.

Thanks again. Next up for me is the weekly learn to read Tarot post for the members only blog on ko-fi. After that, it is back to the usual Sage’s Sip of Tarot.

See you at the next sip!

Anchor Rock

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

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

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

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

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

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

First, “Storms will always come.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a plan

The Battle Card from the Alleyman’s Tarot reminds us to have a plan when it comes to stress. TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee.

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

I’m continuing to explore the Alleyman’s Tarot deck with thanks to its creator Seven Dane Asmund for giving permission to use the deck way back in the early days of the kickstarter. The Battle card is from the strange arcana and was originally created for the Strange and Eternal Tarot by Cosmic Butcher.

This deck is definitely resonating with the part of me that was an art minor in college lurking around the studio soaking up the artist vibes. These guys have it by the bucket.

This is also pushing my martial arts buttons, big time.

The distinction of warrior vs soldier comes to mind. With that comes the idea of not only discipline but preparation. It is said that you fight like you train. The implication is that you train 100% focus and effort, as if your life depends on it because someday it might.

I shouldn’t have to say this, but I am in no way talking about actual physical violence or conflict.

I’m talking about stress management.

Life gets contentious sometimes. Life gets stressful in both real and anticipated or imagined ways. What are you going to do when it does?

That’s why people talk about a daily meditation practice. If you practice staying chill on a regular basis, then when things heat up, the chill kicks in reflexively. You almost don’t have to give it a second thought, like muscle memory only for your emotions and for your brain.

Raw life experience gives you that practice the hard way. Daily practice -or at least some level of forethought and advance preparation – makes you more resilient and stronger when the stressful times come. And they always do.

Author Carlos Casteneda is credited with saying “We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”

If this card resonates with you today, take a minute. Think about what calms you. What makes you emotionally and mentally strong and resilient. Then do it. Practice it. Train it. Have it at the ready in your pocket. Have a plan. Such is the way of the warrior, both literal and spiritual, who is ready when the battle comes.

Thank you so much for listening! Your likes, subs, shares, follows, reading purchases and support through ko-fi memberships are always appreciated. There are clickable links for more information in the blog and in the podcast episode description.

To learn how to do daily DIY Tarot one card meditation readings as a way to introduce some low stress peaceful moments into your day, my how-to ebook Peace Tarot is available as an instant pdf download. All proceeds from Peace Tarot sales in the ko-fi shop during 2022 will be donated to Doctors Without Borders.

To learn more about Reiki as a relaxation technique, Reiki and Relaxation is also a downloadable pdf ebook on that same page or visit the Reiki page on the website for more information.

See you at the next sip!

Enjoy

Welcome to TaoCraft Short Sip Tarot: a one card meditation Tarot reading in the time it takes to sip from your morning coffee.

Today’s card is the Fool, traditionally the first card in the major arcana part of the Tarot deck.

Here we have yet another example how one card can have multiple layers or threads of meaning. Over time, every card has picked up about a bazillion and a half key word meanings and short interpretations.

As we talked about with the Judgement card yesterday, just because one meaning is given for one reading, and another meaning is used in another session or by another reading doesn’t mean that one interpretation was right and the other was wrong. It just goes to show how Tarot has been able to stay relevant as useful tool for insight, understanding and personal growth. With the abundance of key words, a card can adjust to meet the needs and energies of the moment while staying true to its key symbolism and core meaning?

That’s where personal intuition comes in. We all have it. We can all develop it. But sometimes it is easier to just ask someone. I mean, generally speaking anyone can learn to change the oil in their car. With practice and study they could become a really good card mechanic. I could do that – but I don’t want to. I take it to a pro for that. If you don’t want to sort out which thread of meaning a card holds for you, that’s what I’m here for. Not only can I do a full on reading for you, I can consult with you to get a better understanding of a reading you’ve done for yourself. But that’s beside the point.

The Fool card has a couple of core meanings. When that happens in a Tarot card, most of the smaller keyword meanings tend to fall under the heading of the larger core meanings. In this case, the Fool can point toward a new beginning in some way, or it can be a reminder of the value of play and lightheartedness. It is a matter of pure intuition which to use in any given reading that you are doing.

Today, my sense of it the vast general energy out here in the world wide webbernet is pointing toward the playful side of things. I’m not talking about some cutsey sit-com sillyness. Sometimes the Fool card will point to the wisdom that can be spoken through comedy.

In an interview about his book Scorpion’s Gate, author Richard A. Clarke said that sometimes more truth can be told through fiction than nonfiction. The same is true of comedy. A spoonful of laughter helps the difficult ideas go down.

That’s not quite right for today. This is a subtle shift within that core. The energy isn’t as much with the new beginnings side of things, althought if you’ve been needing a push to start something, this could easily be that nudge you’ve been needing.

This isn’t talking about giggly silly play. This isn’t quite talking about learning through humor. It feels like permission.

We’re told that it’s OK to not be OK. That’s true. But it is also OK to be OK. Even in the middle of a time where things are not OK, it is perfectly fine to have a moment where you enjoy something. It is OK to take a moment to play, to allow yourself a moment of enjoyment. Don’t worry – you can get back to being stressed and depressed and all that other stuff in a minute.

Whatever it is, take a deep breath, take a minute, and enjoy.

Today’s Tarot: It’s all good, even the bad.

It’s OK to be OK. It’s OK to not be OK. It’s not OK to pretend.

“The only sin in any of that is in the pretending”

Tuesday afternoon, I watched the secular coalition panel discussion at the Democratic convention. I wish I’d written down the details of the story, who told told it, who it was about, but it didn’t occur to me. The anecdote struck a very personl chord with me. Other than the quote above, the details have escaped.

The speaker told of an atheist friend of his who told his devoutly religious father of his non-belief. He listed all the things so important to the friend’s family that the 20 year old friend could no longer honestly do because he thought it was all, well, BS. He expected anger, hurt or worse from his father, who simply stood, gave the man a hug and told him the only sin in any of his rejections is in the pretending. It would be a far worse offense to pretend to believe, to go through empty motions.

The same idea is true of emotions in general. Queen cards represent a caretaking and nurturing kind of leadership (contrasted with the protective leadership of a King) while Wands cards have to do with the inner world, and the element of fire…our inner passions, emotions, spirituality, beliefs.

The only sin is in the pretending.

This speaks to “toxic positivity” as some are calling it. You could also call it emotional dissonance, or even outright denial. Like most things, it is a two way street.

You can’t manage stress unless you admit it exixts in the first place. You can’t fix the problem until you honestly acknowledge that it is there and begin to understand the real nature of things. Pessimism isn’t always helpful. But neither is seeing the wold through rose colored glasses. Both add to problems. You have to stare reality in the face to deal with what actually is happening.

AND you have to stare your own heart and emotions in the face to accept and acknowledge what they are too. Emotions aren’t good, bad, positive, negative or indifferent, unless we assign that quality to them. It reminds me of that quote from the movie Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins. “Fear is just a feeling. You feel hot. You feel hungry. You feel angry. You feel afraid. Fear can never kill you.”

Wise words, even if it comes from pulp fiction. It’s ok to feel what you feel. The feelings won’t hurt you. It’s the stupid shit we do in the name of those feelings that cause problems or make existing problems worse.

So yes, by all means, it’s ok to be ok.

It’s just as ok to not be ok.

But it’s not ok to pretend.

PeaceTarot: Introduction to the Second Edition

From PeaceTarot copyright 2013 Ronda Snow all rights reserved. Used with permission.

The First Edition of PeaceTarot is available both on amazon.com for kindle and in the the TaoCraft Tarot Shop on Etsy.

In 2012 the mass shooting of children in a Newtown, Connecticut school shook the souls of the nation’s parents. For those of us who had young children it was an emotionally charged and terrifying event, even if we were geographically far removed from Newtown. It was followed over the next several years by the Boston Marathon bombing, the Mother Emanuel shooting, Orlando, Las Vegas, Stoneman Douglas High School and our hometown in 2018 with the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh. The litany of violence and political inaction continues here in the United States. We can never forget that war and violence have been with the human race across the globe throughout history. 

After many years of doing Tarot readings, I knew first hand the comfort the card’s ideas and symbolism could bring. I’ve seen a reading ease the tension in a person’s face and body language time and time and time again. The comfort I’d personally taken in the cards naturally found its way into “Tarotbytes,” my blog on the Modern Oracle Tarot website and again in this self published ebook.

Now here we are in 2020 experiencing a deadly global pandemic and the worst economic depression in nearly one hundred years. I had intended to use the great stay-at-home lockdown quarantine of 2020 to do other writing and other things. Catching up on some sleep was high on the list.

Yet, as is often the case, the cards have other ideas. Tarot has a role to play again. 

It wasn’t clear at first, but the readings since late February (both for individual clients and generally for the blog and social media) have been overwhelmingly focused on the pandemic. You don’t have to be intuitively sensitive for the feelings of these times to hit you like a tidal wave. Then and now, 2012 and 2020, the point of Tarot work is to help us to honor our true feelings. The process of doing a reading can help clear stress and find a path forward that may have otherwise been hidden behind turbulent times and equally turbulent emotions. One thing is clear. It’s time to bring PeaceTarot out of mothballs and let Tarot work its magic on our current challenges.

All of the original PeaceTarot material still exists in the second edition with two new features. PeaceTarot still begins by teaching you to do one card daily meditation style readings for yourself. It still gives the peace-minded card meanings from the 2010 – 2012 era. For each card, I’ve added the pandemic focused interpretations that have stepped forward in the early months of 2020. Next, the internet allows me to give you a brand new resource for choosing a daily card when you don’t have a Tarot deck on hand. The TaoCraft Tarot YouTube channel has a growing number of videos that you can use to see a card being randomly drawn. You can then reference the reading for that card in the video description or coordinate it with the ones here in PeaceTarot as you build your daily Tarot meditation practice.

The one thing that never changes is that everything always changes.Despite those changes, peace of mind and a quiet Tarot moment are ideas that never go away. Through it all, I wish you health, happiness and many moments of peace.

Ronda Snow

Pittsburgh, 2020

NEW! second edition of PeaceTarot featuring updated cover art

Remember that new cover art I showed you and the updated second edition of PeaceTarot I mentioned a couple of weeks ago? It’s alive! Now available for affordable, instant download from TaoCraftTarot.shop

#PeaceTarot was first published in 2013 as a reponse to the Newtown tragedy. The book teaches you to do daily #Tarot #meditations. The card meanings are all original material written with a calming, peaceful intent in mind. They are a product of my own daily meditation practice over the years prior to the 2013 edition. Sadly, tragedies continue and even came to touch touched our #hometown in October of 2018 at the Tree of Life Synagog in #Pittsburgh. If this small booklet inspires even a single moment of peacefullness for anyone anywhere, then it has served its purpose. It is my hope that, moment by moment, the thoughts and actions of peace we each bring into the world will be hung on the arc of history to slowly bend it toward justice after all.