Busy isn’t bad

Hello and 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 Two of Pentacles.

When you look at a fine art sculpture the space it defines around it as sometimes as much a part of the composition as the space it occupies. Today’s card has a little of that energy. It’s not a caution energy, but it isn’t quite straightforward advice either. It feels a little like a power slide into a parallel parking space in a movie, or one of those internet memes where Wong portals in, gives some disturbing trivia and leaves out the same interdimensional portal.

Or maybe that’s just me because I’m a lazy, lazy girl.

If someone says “self care” to me, my first thought is coffee, readings a good book or taking a nap. The thing that the Two of Pents pointing toward is the fact that mental rest and re-balancing is not dependent on physical inactivity. Physical rest is easy. In modern America, we need a reminder to easy up on the mental stress.

You can do stuff without stressing over it. Arguable, you do more stuff and do it better when you are in a calm, relaxed state of mind.

This goes along with that Two of Coin’s quality of dynamic equilibrium. Maintaining balance often requires movement and adaptation. Spinning things are more stable, like a top or a bicycle or a gyroscope.

The sweet spot is a balance between activity and calm, being physically busy but not psychologically stressed about it.

Taoist philosophy describes it as wu wei. Chinese is notoriously difficult to translate. Sometimes wu wei is translated as inaction or not-doing. That isn’t to say that Taoists somehow think things will magically get done while we sit and to nothing. The translation “effortless action” seems more apt, especially in the context of this card. Both wu wei and the two of pentacles are pointing toward physical activity without mental stress.

A sense of accomplishment and productivity is a pretty nice feeling at the end of the day. Mental stress is not. A significant amount of stress is pressure we put on ourselves. It is almost as if we think easy things are somehow less valuable or less worthy of our precious little time. Again, the two card points us toward a sweet spot of balance. You don’t want to underestimate, neglect or minimize a situation, but you don’t want blow a molehill up to be Mount Everest either. That’s the balance the Two of Pentacles brings to us today.

Busy isn’t bad when it is balanced with inner calm. Mental rest and quiet is still self care, even when it happens in the center of a storm of external activity. Moving meditation is the perfect example, and a perfect way to practice mental calm in the middle of physical business. Walking meditation is very much a part of some Buddhist traditions. Of course, Tai Chi is the best known example of meditation in motion. Which circles back around to one of my very favorite Alan Watts quotes “Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about god while one is peeling the potatoes. Zen spirituality is to just peel the potatoes.”

It’s ok for things to be busy. It’s just as ok for busy things to feel easy while you do them.

Thank you for reading and listening. The blogcast and YouTube channel are not monetized and depend on reader and listener support. Email Tarot readings purchases here on the blogcast site, Tarot Table memberships and buy me a coffee donations all contribute to the creation of this Tarot content. Your likes, subs, shares and follows are always appreciated!

See you at the next sip!

Throw Down Roots

TaoCraft Short Sip: Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today: deep roots and the 2 of pentacles

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. The blog, podcast and YouTube channel are not monetized or sponsored in any way, so I super appreciate any support you can give with likes, subs, shares, follows, reading orders, memberships or coffee mug donations.

Today’s card is the Two of Pentacles.

Theoretically, any of the number two minor arcana cards can point to some aspect of balance. Out of the entire Tarot deck however, the two of pentacles seems to be the most focused on the idea of balance in and of itself.

It seems to me that balance is important to a healthy human psyche. When we get out of balance, when we get out over our skis as the saying goes, that’s when falling down happens. That’s stressful. And I’m not just saying that because I’m a terrible skier. It’s an apt analogy for dynamic equilibrium, just like the unicycle image that has come to mind so much lately. Whether you are riding a unicycle or sliding down a mountain, that kind of moving, changing balance requires constant adaptation and lots of little adjustments to stay upright and get to where you want to go.

Today the card brings to mind a different aspect of balance. This time, the energy is continuing in the theme for January that has emerged over the past several days. The Hermit, the four of cups, the five of cups – they’ve all been showing up in year ahead and month ahead readings and they all keep banging on the notion of laying low and “playing your cards close to the vest” for a time.

Which brings us to today’s version of the Two of Pentacles.

Throwing down roots is essential to balance too.

It’s not something that comes up much in the Tarot part of things, but I’ve studied Taijiquan (Tai Chi) since the early ’90s. Tarot, Taoism and Tai Chi all came into my life in my twenties and we all sort of grew up together. (She said gesturing to the TaoCraft name splashed all over everything.) At one point back in the day the hubster and I had a part time martial arts school where I taught Tai Chi and a little kung fu. Physical balance and strong footing are essential to Tai Chi practice. We call it rooting.

When strong winds come, a supple willow tree keeps its balance. It will bend instead of break. But even the most supple, bendable willow will still fall down if it has no roots.

That is exactly the kind of balance the Two of Pentacles is bringing to mind today. It’s like martial arts where you plant your feet, use your feet and leg position and drop your weight to stay solid when you need to.

It’s the same in life. There is dynamic equilibrium always, but there are moments within the big picture of that equilibrium that call for deep roots and solid strength.

The past two years have been weird. If the year-ahead Tarot readings I’ve been doing so far are to be believed, 2022 isn’t going to be all that different at the start. It’s going to take a while for the changes to kick in if we allow them to happen and if we can somehow throw down our roots and stay solid in the meantime.

I think the advice in the midst of continuing weirdness, is that it’s more than ok to self-soothe just a little while longer. In a circular sort of way this is our permission slip to throw down our roots, reach for the things that anchor us and nourish us like roots anchor and nourish tall trees. So what if you’ve watched that movie 50 times? Watch it 50 more if it helps. Hungry for comfort food? Why not? Eat your vegetables, wash your hands, wear those comfy pants and fuzzy socks. Being down to earth helps in lots of ways. Down to earth is a good place to grow roots and find some much needed balance.

Thanks for reading, watching and listening! See you at the next sip.


“In case you haven’t guessed already, I loves me the bullwhips. The meticulous, repetitive, stretching, checking, cutting, lacing; it is deeply meditative.”

Adam Savage, speaking on Mythbusters about whip making.
public domain

Intuitive messages are wily things. Sometimes they as clear and as forceful as a frying pan to the face, other times they are cagey and elusive and evolve slowly.

We’ve seen this recently as the cards speak in a cascade over the course of the wek. They have been speaking about various aspects of rest & respite. Rest through finding quiet, introspection, and literal physical rest (Four of Swords) rest through a change of perspective (Hanged Man) and today, mental respite through physical activity. Physical activity can be at any level. Some people find a long run the best possible way to clear the mind and ease stress. For me, running IS a stress. Any repetitive activity that doesn’t require a high degree of mental involvement can very much take on the deeply meditative quality that Mr. Savage describes. Putting the neurochemistry and endocrinology of running aside, the key here is the degree of mental involvement, not the cardiovascular involvement. Repetition can be soothing for some people. Mantra & bead meditation is an example, too. Arguably, low key repetitive activity occupies or so-active “monkey mind” enough to allow allow a meditative state to emerge.

Bonus points for doing the thing by yourself. Social behavior, even with one other very close person, engages our mind more than meditation or whatever meditative activity alone, or at least if we are left alone to our thoughts by the people around.

Anything can be a meditative activity. Tai chi is a classic example. But you can add jogging, knitting, and bullwhip making to the list too. Today, maybe this weekend too, is an excellent time to find that physical thing to do that gives rest to mind and spirit.

Today’s Tarot: To what end?

“Love: The heart wants what it wants. It doesn’t seek other people’s opinions; sometimes not even your own.”

Steve Miraboli, author

The lovelorn love the Lovers card.

Every card has its dark side, and for this one I’m seeing fixation. When you get stuck on finding one particular thing, like your “soulmate,” it also fixates on the lack of that thing. Lacking creates more wanting creates more fixating creates more lacking. A vicious cycle like that is very hard to stop because cycles and circles by definition don’t really stop. Think physics and the conservation of energy. Cycles aren’t so much stopped as they are transformed.

Having some idea of why you want something, especially when you want it with desperation, can help achieve it. The word achieve in itself implies and endpoint, a goal, a reason for being. Wanting something badly enough motivates us to do the work we must do to get the wanted thing.

Not all wants need to be tied to achievement. Not all wants are what we think they are.

We say we want a “soulmate” but perhaps what is really wanted – or needed – is feeling heard, feeling understood, having companionship. Relationships are complex things that deserve a little thought and attention, even before they begin.

Sometimes the trick to finding your hearts desire is to desire a better thing. If the lovers speaks to you today, it is asking you to think about what you want and why you want it. Is it the right thing to chase?

I don’t share my private life here a lot, but here is an example. I have a very convenient opportunity to study martial arts again. It was at one time very important. I competed. I taught. I won a few blue ribbons along the way. Why? I don’t really know, other than I loved doing it, and wanted to be the best at it that I could possibly be, like everything else. Then because of an assortment of life and health stuff I had to set it aside. Did I miss it? Not as much as I thought.

You learn a lot about life in 20 years.

Do I want to pick it up again? Yes, I want that. Why? I enjoy it. If I get some health benefit that’s just frosting on the cake. I could put in the work and teach again – but I don’t want to. I could get up early and do all the shit they tell you to do to be an accomplished Tajiquan player….but I don’t want to. I could brush up on Chinese, and find work-arounds for the physical limitations. But I don’t want to. I value different things now. And that is perfectly OK. You don’t have to be driven and perfect about every thing. Not everything in life is goals and attainment. I could fixate on wanting to do high level tai chi again … I could use that as motivation to drive and work toward acheiving that….or I could want the peace and serenity and mindfulness that Taijiquan represented all along.

It turns out I really just want to enjoy a little tai chi every now and then. Bam. Done. Mission accomplished. Goal achieved. It pays to want what you already have.

The One Big Same Thing

From what I’ve seen, universal life energy is all over the place.

It’s kind of like ports.

No matter whether you put your big boat in the water in New York or Charleston or Savannah or Buenos Aires or Capetown or Glasgow or Seville, you are still getting into the same great big Atlantic Ocean.

No matter whether you work with Tarot or Reiki or mediumship or magick or taijiquan or meditation or what have you, you are still touching that great big everywhere and everything of universal life energy.

“I am one with the Force and the Force is with me.” as they say in Star Wars.

I’ve lost count of the Tarot readers I know who also do other energy work: Reiki, Yoga, Magick, you name it.

That is one big reason that I re-branded Modern Oracle back in 2018. The everywhere all of the time energy that we use in Natural Health (in Reiki, Tai Chi, aromatherapy and more) is the same energy that speaks through a Tarot reading. Benebel Wen connected exactly those dots in Holistic Tarot. Distance Tarot very much is a matter of working with qi (chi, ki, prana etc.) Mat Auryn makes the same connection in the first chapter of Psychic Witch. I’m paraphrasing, but basically magick uses the energy, and a psychic reads that same energy. It is two sides of the same coin, as he points out.

Since it is all different facets of the same diamond, or different sides of the same D&D dice or SOMEthing like that, it just didn’t make sense to try and keep them separate. It was time to open the door of authenticity wide and embrace the wholeness of it all. If you were interested in Natural Health but was frightened off by Tarot (or vice versa) then we likely weren’t going to be a good fit to work together anyway. There are lots of folks around who do the blissed out strictly positive rainbows and unicorns herbology, nutrition and the like so I stepped fully in to the energy side of things. And so, here we are.

Distance is my gig. My specialty within the world of Tarot is distance readings, and my interest within the world of Reiki is enhancing and deepening the distance treatment experience with another of my loves, rocks and crystals (sorry again, mom, for all those rocks I forgot in my pants pockets that pinged the inside of the washing machine when I was a kid)

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Reiki and Meditation are permanent parts of TaoCraft Tarot. If you imagine the website as a brick and mortar place (it isn’t, really) think of one side of the room having shelves of crystals, plants, a water fountain, a statue of Quan Yin, incense and a table for Reiki sessions.

The middle third is the Etsy shop with meditation beads and ebooks. The other side of the room has a table and big cozy chairs for doing Tarot readings. If it is a chilly day or at at night, go ahead and imagine a fireplace and simmering teakettle just there.

In your minds eye, how does a space like that feel? It is all of a piece for me, flowing together, all the one same room with just slightly different things to do in the different parts of it. Energy is like that. Just different things to do in different areas of the one big same thing

Want to try a distance Reiki session using crystals? Get the details HERE. I don’t charge for the sessions but I do ask that you answer a few feedback questions as a fair energy exchange.

Still celebrating the two years since the big re-branding name change. Happy Birthday TaoCraft! But the present is for YOU. Visit the special offers page and use the contact form there to get a free one card handwritten Tarot reading by email to celebrate. Offer ends October 31, 2020. All policies and disclaimers apply.

Meet Your Reader 2020

Meet Your Reader 2020

Hi. This is me from (mumble mumble) years ago. I still use this photo because it is the only one of me I’ve ever really liked.

This is me now, in Bitmoji form which is as good as it’s going to get because the website, blog and socials are mostly about Tarot, a little bit about spirituality, with a sprinkle crystals, meditation, spirituality and just enough off-topic things to keep it interesting. I want you to feel confident and comfortable ordering a reading here, so please let me tell you a little about the bitmoji-fied face behind your email reading or the voice on the phone.

I started reading Tarot cards around 1990 or so. Early 90s anyway. I was still in my 20s, had left my parent’s religion and was finding my own spiritual path. Tarot & oracle cards played a crucial role in helping me find a healthy way out of a fundamentalist evangelical upbringing .

I started reading for myself because, honestly, who could afford to use those phone psychics that were so popular back then? It took a little effort to find authentic readers and teachers in those pre-internet days, especially in an a conservative area where good psychics were still mostly underground. Eventually, I was very fortunate to have readings, workshops and intuition development classes with talented, brilliant people like Sallie Christensen, Gina Hiller, Joy Star, even meeting Ted Andrews once at his Animal Wise workshop.

It turned out that I’m actually really good at doing Tarot readings too. A good friend encouraged me to work online, so I started with Keen, Advice Trader and AllExperts under the handle Baihu. When dissertation expenses came along, I started working for myself and Modern Oracle Tarot was born. In 2018, Modern Oracle and Tarotbytes blog were expanded to include Reiki, meditation tutorials, and my Quirk & Flotsam Etsy shop. I renamed it all that Fall to create the TaoCraft Tarot that you see today.

I’m a Reiki Master-practitioner (2000)

I’ve been doing folk arts and crafts since my Grandmother taught me to embroider when I was 6 years old. Making handcrafted meditation beads was a natural extension of everything else at TaoCraft Tarot. The meditation beads are in the TaoCraft Tarot Shop along with ebooks like PeaceTarot and a few other handmade odds and ends that find there way there.

I’m a retired Tai Chi instructor (Chinese Martial Arts, Mount Lebanon PA 1998-99) but still love playing taijiquan. I’ve studied meditation, Taoism, Zen / Chan Buddhism and other spiritual traditions on my own from various sources through the years. In magick, you might call me a solitary eclectic.

In “real life” I have a Bachelor of Science in Medical Science and worked as a physician assistant in psychiatry and cardiology. When motherhood came along, I went back to school to be able to work independently, completing a Ph.D. in Natural Health. Although the school’s accreditation has since been withdrawn, my work and dissertation stands. The dissertation is available to view on RondaSnow.com. Needless to say, this is a science, logic and reason friendly Tarot style.

That’s pretty much all of it. It’s all Tarot and the good stuff from now on, at least until I get the urge to re-introduce everything next year at anniversary time. I’m really grateful to all of you, new subscribers and old friends alike. If nothing else, I hope this lets you know I’m nice, normal, nonthreatening kind of person who just happens to be able to read Tarot. I wish you all the best and hope you feel confident getting reading because there is nothing to fear here.

Tarot Without a Net: The Heirophant

I like Marvel.

I was as happy to see Professor X as I was to see who I thought was ObiWan Kenobi on the Emperor card. It is a perfect bridge between what I see and what the artest saw in these two cards.

It’s been a long year coming, but waaay back when the third edition of Heart of Stars third edition deck was released by Thom Pham, he very graciously gave permission for me to share these posts with you. I am so looking forward to exploring this deck with you because it is very much how I work. If you have ever had a reading with me, there is a good chance that spirit and energy gave a pop culture reference at some point…a song, book, movie or tv show.

It is interesting to me that the very thing I missed by mis-understanding Odin from Thor as Obi-Wan from Star Wars is the exact thing that drives my impression of this card.

The Hierophant (or Pope card in some decks) has always been a nemesis for me personally. The Hierophant / Pope is often associated with social rules and conventions. On the RWS deck it is rife with religious imagery. As an adult child of evangelicals recovered fundamentalist, that is a hot button pushing reflex issue for me. Lucky for me AND my clients, that only happens when I engage with stuff like this, outside of a reading. In a reading, the Hierophant is smooth as silk and clear as a bell because it has to do with connecting with THEIR  energies and messages. Please don’t take my wrangling matches with this card to be an indication of what is to come in YOUR reading should this card turn up.

It is much better than it used to be, actually. It took a dozen re-writes to do the “Arcana in Balance” post (I’ll updating and reprising that series here later this year.) Since coming out secular, it has been easier to deal with this card. It is even easier still since Johanne Dinali explaned the card in her twitter feed as the keeper of traditions, like a grandfather or a shaman.

Here, I get the word teacher very strongly from this card. It still has undertones of rules and conventions because the Professor teaches discipline and ethics and how to deal with mutation super powers. It has the same threads of mystery and power. All that Professor X has learned has been long and hard-won….and about mysterious powers. So yes, the Hierophant is the keeper of rules, traditions, social conventions….but to teach them. He teaches mysteries through the same, not just all law and order. It is a subtle, even nonexistant distinction to those who embrace religion, perhaps. To those of us who have experienced and deliberately, mindfully left mainstream religion, it is an important one. The hierophant is more kindly kindly monk-teacher-scribe than lay-down-the-law, missals and diatribes Pope.  Professor X and the heart of the Hierophant card is more like teaching us to find and use our X-men powers than it is law-and-order, lock-em-up and throw away the key. The Hierophant is a spiritual teacher – not a religious  officer, judge, jury and executioner.

I was browsing for a quote to post with the card as I often do on Instagram (@Taocraft.Tarot) This one by Thich Nhat Hahn caught my eye:

“Doubt in my tradition is something that is very helpful. Because of doubt, you can thirst for more and you will get a higher kind of proof”

That resonates with teaching in a very real world way on multiple levels for me. If we go back to my personal religious issues (obviously not something that will relate to everyone, but shout out to all the ex-vangelicals out there) anything worth learning will stand up to doubt and questioning. Christianity, for me, disappeared in a poof of dust at every question, every doubt. Taoism has stood up through everything life has thrown at me. Tarot has never ending wisdom so far for me AND my clients. That isn’t bragging about my skill…it is bragging about what a reliable, testable, doubt-and-question-tolerant tool Tarot has proven itself to be in my experience.

That is just from the one sided perspective of a student. I’ve taught. This card and this quote has something to say to teachers as well: Questions and doubts are a wonderful thing. When I was teaching Kung Fu and Tai Chi I LOVED it when students had questions. They took the whole class to some really cool wonderful places…to hell with what I had planned. When students question us and doubt us and push us….they are doing US, the teachers and enormous favor. They are showing us the dead spots that need pruned away. They are showing us the empty gaps that need feed. If I don’t know an answer, it is only an embarrassment if I fail to try and find and answer or at least try to point the student in the direction of other possible sources for their answer.

When Professor Hierophant rolls in to a reading, it is a good time to ask questions, face our doubts, test the rules, then follow those guides and lessons that prove trustworthy.

Unsurprisingly, given his choice of Professor X, the artist makes teaching a primary focus, instead of a supporting focus behind the paternal / protector emphasis of the Emperor card.

Deck: Heart of Stars Third edition by Thom Pham, used with permission.

Eternal Balancing Act


Diane Morgan’s Magical Tarot, Mystical Tao is for all the obvious reasons, one of my all time favorite Tarot books.

I first read Magical Tarot, Mystical Tao early in the 2000s, at the beginning in my professional Tarot career, just as I began reading for online services like Advice Trader and Allexperts. I’d been reading Tarot and oracle cards (Medicine Cards by Carson and Samms mostly) for nearly 10 years by that point. I’d been interested in Taijiquan (Tai Chi) and Taoism even longer than that.

Of all the cards in the Tarot deck, the two of Pentacles / Coins is arguably the most emblematic of all that Tarot and Taoism share. We short hand the card as balance, but it is more of a juggling act than that. The balance here is large and moving and dynamic. Balance alone can be static, like a stack of zen stones, or a scales showing accurate weight.


That is balance, but there is also what science calls dynamic equilibrium.  The classic example of dynamic equilibrium is a permeable membrane between two solutions. Think of fresh water and salt water divided by some sort of plastic wrap with tiny holes in it. The molecules on both sides are always vibrating and wiggling around (that is heat, so let’s imagine this is all happening at room temperature, not absolute zero.  Even a polar vortex isn’t that cold.) Over time the water and salt molecules wiggle through the holes in the membrane until there is the same concentration of salt and water on both sides. Once that happens, the molecules don’t stop jiggling and juggling around. It is still room temperature, there is still heat and molecule movement going on. If you follow individual specks of salt, they may be moving the whole time, one side to the other. Same for specks of water. In spite of the little specks dancing around, the total amounts of each stay in balance on both sides. The little buggers move…it’s dynamic. The whole system, the whole tank of water, keeps its balance of salt and water concentrations…it is in equilibrium. That kind of balance is very much a part of the 2 of coins. The artwork in the card on most RWS decks hint at movement, the man walking and juggling , a woman bicycling (Steampunk Tarot) a tightrope walker (Robin Wood Tarot) even someone standing on their head (Quantum Tarot) The two of coins reminds us as much of dynamic equilibrium as a static balance. The sideways figure 8, the infinity symbol, is often used as part of the cards image to indicate that balance. It also shows us just how big the water tank is. The system that is in dynamic equilibrium is nothing less than the whole darn universe. Sure things are going to get very out of balance, if not downright wonky in our individual part of the cosmos, but infinity wide, things unfold as they should, according to their nature.

Which is all a very Taoist like way of looking at it. The Taoist point of view values that kind of big picture dynamic equilibrium. It values balance in general…static and moving…and is more than willing to consider the Tao, the everything and then some, in finding that natural moving balance. Harmony of opposites is another, easier way to put it. The well known yin yang symbol that is emblematic  of the philosophy is actually intended to be in motion. The dots are the seeds that grow into their opposite. If you look just at the yin or yang, the black or white, each part is always growing, shrinking, turning. Yet, within the circle as a whole, even among all that movement, there ends up being balanced, equal amounts of black and white, yin and yang.


That is the energy flow the two of coins can help us to find. The two is always about balance. Is it static or dynamic? What kind of balance do we need? Are we looking at one little jiggly speck of salt in the water and feeling out of balance? Would it help to look for larger, moving systems when we look for balance in out lives or would it help to look for the little but very stable balance points like stacking Zen rocks? How do you know? The balance is of opposites, remember? The dots are the clue. In each lies the seed of its opposite. If you have been focusing on static stable balance, but it isn’t working, take a step back and look at the big picture, moving systemic balance. If the system seems chaos and everything is flying apart…look for anchors. Look for the solid, stable, static parts on which to build some balance.

Stones and yin yang images from the public domain. Jimmy Neutron property of Nickelodeon via youtube.com.


The Un-selfie Psychic

I hate having my picture taken.

Always have, it seems. One of my favorite photos from when I was about 6 or 7 was the whole family seated against the wall at grandma’s house, looking oh so 1970s. Mom, Dad, and my 2 year old sister had enormous “say cheese!” grins. Mom also had her arm around my waist with me in full sprint position making a break for it, fast exit stage right. I won’t tell you how old the picture below is, but it will have to do because I don’t do selfies. I’m trying to make myself do one of those speech to camera introductions for a TaoCraft YouTube channel, but we’ll cross that bridge later. Much later.

It is only slightly less excruciating to write a bio for a book or what have you. I hadn’t updated mine in ages. I copied and pasted the “Meet Your Reader” page right from the old Modern Oracle page. I mean, ewww, right?

But logic finally won. Updated the old bio this afternoon. It’s below.

As long as I’m introducing Reiki and meditation to TaoCraft Tarot, might as well reintroduce myself to you so you’ll know who is coming to your reading or your party, or is behind the cards for your distance session.

*Deep Breath*

Here goes….nice to meet you


Read Client Reviews


My name is Ronda. I read Tarot, write things, and make stuff.

I started out with no intention of reading cards professionally. I have a Bachelor of Science in Medical Science, 13 years clinical experience as a physician assistant in psychiatry and interventional cardiology, a non-accredited Ph.D in Natural Health, Reiki Master-practitioner certification, U.L.C. ordination and am a retired Tai Chi instructor. The original idea was to do Natural Health Consultations. Natural, holistic health is all about mind, body and spirit in balance. There are lots of practitioners out there who can help physical heath. As it turns out, my calling is to help emotions and spirit through the art and entertainment of Tarot.

In the early 90s, when I was working in mainstream medicine, I began reading Tarot and oracle cards for my own spiritual development. That, and the fact I was too cheap to pay overpriced phone bills and have psychic friends to do it for me. Turns out I have a knack for it. After reading for friends and family, my best friend encouraged me to try reading online. In the early 2000s I did readings under the handle “Baihu” on Keen, Advice Trader, and Allexperts. When my Ph.D dissertation expenses came along, I took the next logical step, started to work for myself, and Modern Oracle Tarot was born. The extensive Tarotbytes blog archives are still available if you are interested.

In October of 2018, I brought Reiki and meditation under the same cyber roof as my tarot work, transforming Modern Oracle into the TaoCraft Tarot you see today.

That’s the “I read Tarot” part.

Things I’ve written includes the old “Tarotbytes” blog, the blog at RondaSnow.comModern Oracle: Hello, Peace Tarot, my dissertation Reiki and Relaxation and Bead Mindful, Begin Meditating. PeaceTarot is available in the etsty shop with other titles coming soon.  PeaceTarot and my poetry collection “Triquetra: The Dance of Worlds” are already on amazon.com for Kindle. I have written  articles about Natural Health for Point of Light magazine, and about Tarot for Find Your Psychic e-zine. My poetry has been in magazines and contest anthologies including Kindred Magazine, Nature’s Echoes, Quicksilver Moon, and Sparrowgrass Poetry Forum.

Now for the making stuff…

I make handcrafted meditation beads (mala) for your meditation practice or to go with the meditation lessons offered here. You can find them in TaoCraft T.arot Shop  on Etsy. I also knit and make handmade jewelry as a hobby. Some of those projects are in the shop too.

Now we’ve come to the part where author’s bios put some jazzy 3rd person comment about where I live and and stuff…

Ronda lives in the Pittsburgh suburbs with her musician / concert photographer / computer genius husband, her yarn stash and a deep dislike for doing yard work.

I hope we can work together soon.


Introductions are in order: Reiki

Take a tour of the new concept.

The foundation is built of the ho-hum but practical, pragmatic and necessary business practices and policies. Everything is spelled out in detail and utterly transparent. Everything is heads up and eyes open, so you know exactly what to expect from working with me.

I want you to have the best Tarot reading experience that I can provide. That can only happen if you understand what that is. If I can provide the kind of reading you want and need – awesome. Let’s get started. If not, then no hard feelings. I’d rather see you find a reader that matches your personality and expectations. Being very clear about my style of Tarot and my business policies helps you to narrow your search for perfect reading. It frees us both to move on to more satisfying things. Clear, up-front rules and policies are nothing but good. The short version small print is at the bottom right corner of every web page. There is a tab to the full policies page at the top right of every page.

This is a safe space.

Closing the comments keeps out the words (and negative energies) of trolls and spammers. My email is over there –> for anyone who wants to give legit comments or feedback, good, bad or indifferent.

Tarot you know, or will. That is going to be the vast majority of the blog from here on.

We will come back to meditation soon. Today, let me introduce you to the other new service I’m integrating with Tarot on the TaoCraft site.



Reiki comes from Japan, and loosely translated it means “universal life energy.”

In the West, the early leaders of modern medicine like Galen and Paracelsus called this same thing “vital force.” Universal energy or vital force is that special something that makes us alive. It isn’t well defined by purely scientific terms as yet, but it is that something that makes a living creature different from an inanimate object. Western medicine has not studied subtle energy, life force or mind-body therapies until very recently. Often this type of natural, medication-free healing is still dismissed as pseudoscience or “faith healing.”

In recent decades, however, modern medicine has begun to accept the mind-body connection as proven fact. Psychoneuroimmunology has proven the effects of stress on the immune system, T cells in particular. The effect psychological stress has on a variety of chronic diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes is fairly well known. Reiki intersects with mainstream medicine through the way it quickly reduces stress. From a Western perspective, Reiki can improve health by removing stress and all the detrimental effects stress can create. Whether Reiki itself has a direct physical effect remains to be seen, but even if it only relieves stress, that alone is a proven health benefit, both physically and emotionally.

There is a long history of using universal, life or nerve energy for healing in Asian cultures. Energy, the ‘Ki’ in Reiki means energy. So does the Chinese word chi or qi (like Tai Chi) which is used in accupuncture and accupressure. Prana is a kind of energy from India, Yoga and Ayurvedic medicine. Energy medicine is ancient, common and accepted there. . Over time, energy healing has become a rich, and anecdotally proven tradition.


Reiki in particular was developed in the early 20th century by Mikao Usui. Reiki is now taught around the world. Different styles that have developed over the years with slightly different practices and differing histories of how Reiki developed. Despite these variations, the core concepts of Reiki are very much the same. For my part,  I studied Traditional Usui style under Reiki Master Tom Beardshaw. As for the history of Reiki I recommend the books by Frank Arjeva Petter.

The common ground among Reiki practitioners is much larger than our differences. Here are some examples:

  • The life force is the source of all healing, the body heals itself. Nothing can heal FOR it, but we can help that inner process work better through healthy lifestyle, medication, herbs diet, and of course, Reiki.
  • Universal Life or Vital Force energy is everywhere, throughout all space and time. It is neither good, nor bad. Like sunshine or moonlight, it is a simple fact of nature.
  • Reiki practitioners do not add any of their own energy to the process. They do not change or manipulate the recipients energy or body in any way. A session simply adds a little more natural life energy to the recipient and makes their connection to life energy clearer and stronger.
  • In my tradition, energy is treated respectfully and only given with a recipients full knowledge and consent. I treat my Tarot work as an energy practice, and follow that same consent guideline.

Computers are a good analogy. Barring genetic disease or birth injury, most people are born with a clear, vibrant connection to life energy. We start off with a cat 5 hardwired broadband connection. Over time, aging, illness, lifestyle all can slow the connection down. Reiki can help clear the connection and get you back from 80s dial up modem speed back up to at least 4g broadband, even if you never get back to your original high speed. The better connection and extra energy makes it easier for you to patch your software, so to speak.

more to follow….