Different Wealth

Gratitude doesn’t magically bring you what you want. Gratitude taks what you already have and transforms it into treasure. Contentment with the present moment is a different kind of wealth.

Hello 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.

Today’s card is the Four of Disks from the Alleyman’s Tarot by Seven Dane Asmund, art by Dark Synevyr.

There is a strong sense of juxtaposition and contrast with the card and energy today. It’s like double vision in your mind’s eye of all freaky things. Ah well, it is Friday.

There is face value meaning here. Coin cards in general are associated with wealth, career, or our relationship with the physical realm.

The four of coins in particular (or the Four of disks, or pentacles or whichever name you prefer) is associated with being conservative and watching the budget. If the card is reversed it can mean the need to watch the budget because of low or dwindling resources. Taken to an extreme it can have a tone of hoarding and greed. In this case it has a tone of smart money management. It is about living within your means. It’s about making do and making more.

That’s the surface.

It also feels like there are watery depths here, like the deep inner wisdom we were talking about in the “It’s there” blog post and podcast episode a few days ago. The mental image is like one of those tiktok videos where they make fancy drinks or swirly color artwork with spheres of partially frozen, very clear ice. The surface of the ice they use is solid and crystal clear with a swirling, watery center. The energy with this card is a little like that.

On the surface we have solid practical advice: Use your money smarts. Mind the budget. This is a time to be practical with money and not frivolous. The energy is definitely not right for impulse buys.

Beneath that surface is something much more esoteric and spiritual. Beneath that is volumes about mindset, manifestation and how powerful thoughts and words can be.

It’s that glass half full, glass half empty thing.

Think about it. Or plunk a glass of water on the table and LOOK at it. What you think about glass doesn’t change the literal amount of water. 8 ounces is 8 ounces and 4 ounces is four ounces and what you think, feel or believe isn’t going to change that objective measure by one molecule.

The glass half full versus a glass half empty doesn’t have anything to do with the physical glass or water at all. It is all about words and perceptions and mental habits and emotional paradigms. Think about that glass of water. When you think of it as half empty, it creates a phantom. It alludes to water that that used to be there but is gone now. This way of thinking focuses on the empty space and what the glass doesn’t have when that extra volume may never have been there in the first place. What if the glass used to be only a quarter full and a half is a big improvement? The adjective “empty” shifts our perception, not the water that is, was or will be.

By the same token, if we think of the glass as half full, the adjective “full” shifts our perception in the other direction. This way of thinking focuses on certainty, reality, the water that is definitely there and hits at more to come.

Here I get that annoying platitude to “have an attitude of gratitude.” There is some sort of new-age-y idea out there that being grateful for what you have will create a feeling of abundance and in turn manifest what you want through some twist of the Law of Attraction. Gratitude isn’t some magic bullet. Forcing yourself to feel grateful in general isn’t going to attract some specific object of desire.

Genuine feelings of gratitude are, however, a definitive inner shift in perception and thus a change in our experience of the outer world as it stands now.

My mind is drawn toward a line from the Starz series version of Neil Gaimon’s American Gods. The character Salim hints at the difference between mainstream Christianity in America and Islam as he knows it. If memory serves he said something like “That is the difference between us – you pray to get the things you want. I pray to say thank you for what I already have.”

That is exactly the energy today. Gratitude will not magically bring what you want and don’t yet have…but instead that gratitude will change your perception of what wealth really is for you. Manifesting wealth, prosperity gospel, think positive, be grateful to get what you want nonsense not only risk your money, but they can rob you of your peace of mind and spirit.

Gratitude doesn’t magically bring you what you want. Gratitude takes what you already have and transforms it into treasure. Being thankful for what you have instead of praying for what you don’t have is potent alchemy. Contentment with the present moment is a different kind of wealth, but a priceless one.

Thank you so much for reading and listening. Your likes, subs, follows, shares, questions and comments are always appreciated!

The blog and podcast are not monetized in any way. If you like these (almost) daily Tarot readings please visit the TaoCraft Tarot page on ko-fi and consider becoming a Patron of the Tarot Arts. Members get exclusive content and special access to individual Tarot readings by email. All membership levels, the shop and virtual coffees support creating the blog and podcast.

If you want more than a sip of Tarot, full size readings by email are available to purchase 24/7, no appointment needed HERE (delivery times are slower nights, weekends and US holidays). Placing an order means you agree with these policies.

Thanks again! See you at the next sip!

A Strange Sort of Keeper

Weakness is a strange thing to keep, but only the things you keep can be transformed.

Welcome to TaoCraftTarot blog and podcast. I’m glad you are here

I’m not an expert on Taoism. The philosophy has been a big part of my world view and how I live life for well over 30 years. It has held true for me and I come back to it time and time and time again. I’ve been reading The Tao Te Ching, I Ching, Alan Watts, Chinliang Al Huang, Deng Ming Dao and more since the 1980s. Taoism predates Tarot for me, which is saying something.

Like Tarot and magick, exoteric Taoist philosophy (I can’t speak for the religious aspects or for esoteric Taoist practices) is broadly inclusive. If you think of the Tao as the multiverse sort of meta-everything then anything written within our universe about it is part of the greater whole and a valid point of view. Therefore, as someone once wrote, everything written about the Tao is canon. Be that as it may – if you are interested in Taoism, go grab a book and have at it. Good stuff, that.

If you want to learn more about the esoteric side of Taoism I highly recommend Benebel Wen’s excellent book The Tao of Craft. It was published just as I was beginning to lay the groundwork for rebranding Modern Oracle Tarot into TaoCraft Tarot. I took it as an omen that I was on the right path even though that path is more on the philosophical, exoteric side of things.

I mention it Taoism because today’s Strength card brings to mind probably one of the most Taoist ideas to come out of a card reading in a while. This deck hasn’t touched the Taoist vibe very much. Speaking of decks, today I’m working from the Alleyman’s Tarot by Seven Dane Asmund. The artwork on this particular card is by Madam Clara for the Five Cent Tarot.

Taoism is about being in harmony with nature. Sure, that means the rocks and flowers and trees and bees kind of nature, but it also means your nature. Taoism is about living in harmony with your authentic self.

Being in harmony with your authentic self doesn’t mean you can’t do better next time. Authentic self does not mean static self. People change. Ideally people grow and mature and hopefully become wiser and kinder as time goes on.

Part of that nature, for some of us, is to be hard wired people pleasers. The idea of strength and weakness and being a better person is often tied to idealism more than realism. The path to being a better person is often fraught with “should” and “ought” and external definitions of good and external measures of character. We tend to want to eradicate or drastically change anything that is considered a weakness or a character flaw.

The major arcana Strength card is all about strength of character, not at all about the physical variety. Internal progress is measured internally, not measured to outside signposts.

It is a strange thing to say consider keeping your weaknesses. Perhaps instead of getting rid of our weaknesses, we should keep them, but learn a new relationship with them. Find and use the good aspects.

Repurposing a weakness into something beneficial still gets rid of the so-called weakness. It is a strange sort of keeper, to hold on to what some people might label as weakness. Transforming our downfalls into superpowers is a Strength all of its own.

Thank you for listening! Your likes, subs, follows, shares, questions and comments are always appreciated.

Private readings with the blog author are available on the blog website.

None of these blog posts or podcast episodes are monetized, and it all depends on your support. Please visit the TaoCraft Tarot ko-fi page. The memberships, shop and virtual coffees support the creation of this free to access Tarot reading content.

Links are in the episode description for podcast listeners.

Thank you again. See you at the next sip!

It’s There

You have the answers you need. They are in there. The trick is coaxing them out…and believing them once they surface.

Hi and welcome to Tao Craft Tarot blog and podcast. I’m glad you are here.

Today’s card is the Queen of Cups. The queen is said to evoke the deepest aspects of all that the suit of cups symbolizes. In the Pamela Smith artwork we see here, the cup is bigger and fancier than the rest. There is almost always water imagery with the Queen of Cups, usually the ocean. This is no little pond or river. The Queen is barefoot, which to me symbolizes both connection and grounding. The queen keeps her connection with the earth while plumbing the depths of emotions and insights even if they are hidden in equally deep waters.

One way to sum it all up is “inner wisdom.”

As elegant, and wise and profound as the Queen of Cups energy may seem, this is no rescuer. The Queen isn’t here to tell you what you need to know. The Queen is here to tell you that you already know. Whatever answer you are looking for … it’s in there.

Sometimes the answers you already possess need a little finesse to bring them to the surface. Water gives more resistance than air. It’s physics in a way. If I’m understanding this correctly, when more surface area is exposed to the resistant force of air or water, more overall force is applied to the object.

Here is a thought experiment for you. Imagine a cafeteria tray laying flat at the bottom of a swimming pool. Even if it is the shallow end, if you lift it up flat it is harder to do than if you lift it up by the edge first. If you use both arms and yoink it flat out, it takes more effort than lifting it up by the edge by two fingers.

Deep inner knowing can be like that.

You have the answers you need. The trick is coaxing them out. It takes a little time and patience and subtlety. Be kind to yourself when you plumb these psychological depths

The harder trick is believing them when they do.

It’s in there. You have the answers you need deep inside, even if they are answers you don’t particularly want to hear.

Thank you for reading and listening. Any likes, subs, shares, follows, questions or comments you can give are always appreciated.

None of these free to access Tarot readings are monetized and depend on your support. If you enjoy these posts and podcasts, please visit the TaoCraft Tarot ko-fi page and consider becoming a Patron of the Tarot arts. The memberships and virtual coffees contribute to the web hosting and other costs of creating this (almost) daily blog and podcast

Contemplation: Not just for coffee and morning

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day (or in this case, your evening) in the time it takes to sip from your coffee (or tea or whatever you like)

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

This evening’s card is the four of swords and it couldn’t be more perfect for this flipped schedule post and podcast.

I worked a different than usual shift on the day job…it really was a day job today. I like the evening shift, because I am so very extremely not a morning person. My favorite TV quote is Sheriff Hopper from Stranger Things sushing a secretary saying something like “Mornings are for coffee. And contemplation. Coffee. And contemplation.”

I am grateful for the privilege of starting most weekdays with exactly that, a steaming mug of coffee and spending time in my happy place chair writing Tarot contemplations for the day.

I’d forgotten how nice Tarot can be at sunset.

In the morning readings tend to be a pep talk, giving us a heads up about the energies ahead. Morning Tarot tends to focus on how to do our best work with the energy ahead and make the best choices possible with the physical, mental and spiritual resources we have at hand.

Not everyone has the mighty, mighty caffeine metabolism needed to sip coffee at bedtime. Hot chamomile tea works just as well for Tarot sips. If morning Tarot has a “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead” energy, evening Tarot has a introspective, decompressing, emotional processing sort of vibe.

Let’s make this as self referential as possible. Morning Tarot readings have a knight of swords style, while evenings have a – you guessed it – four of swords style.

Take a deep breath. A long, slow quiet breath in through the nose and out through the mouth.

See how Pamela Smith drew the hands of the knight with the tips of the fingers touching. Touching fingers is an actual energy thing. What do you do when you are deep in thought. Do you touch your fingers like the card, touch your chin, run your fingers through your hair or something else? Give it a try. Adopt that posture, whatever it is for you. How do you feel? Does the physical change help you quiet the mental noise and stress of the day at all?

If you don’t know your particular physical tell that shows when you are in deep thought, try this: Unless you are driving or something, lace your fingers together. Keep them laced and rest your hands however is comfortable. This is said to seal your aura and stabilize your energies.

I like to think of this as a psychic emotional faraday cage. A Faraday cage is a container or enclosure that protects anything inside from electromagnetic energy from the outside. Imagine that while your fingers are interlaced it blocks out stress or any empathic influences from other peoples energies. Imagine that while your fingers are laced, your inner world is quiet, isolated from outside stress. Imagine that you can hear your own inner wisdom, feel your own emotions, all with perfect clarity and understanding.

If you try it, please let me know in the comments. I’d be interested to know if it works for you, and what you experienced with this simple little exercise.

Take that deep breath, lace your fingers. Now, how was your day? What is your energy level? What emotions do you feel? Does anything bubble up to top of mind wanting your attention? Is there anything inside your emotional faraday cage that needs to be kicked out of the door and dealt with on another day?

The hands on the four of swords card is our hint for this evening. It’s a small, harmless physical gesture that can help you find some evening style contemplation.

Contemplation isn’t just for mornings and coffee. Contemplation, like Tarot, is a soothing sip any time of day.

Thank you so much for listening!

If you enjoy these Tarot sips, please visit the TaoCraft Tarot page on Ko-fi. None of these videos, blog posts or podcast episodes are monetized, so the ko-fi shop, memberships and virtual coffees support the creation of this free to access Tarot content.

As far as I can tell, things back to the usual squirrel rave playlist of a schedule. Short sip posts and podcasts are on weekdays, usually much earlier than this one. There are at least 6 posts of exclusive members-only content on the ko-fi blog per month. Email readings are open all the time so you can purchase them anytime (delivery times vary a bit.) Your questions and comments are welcome and appreciated.

Now it is time for me to have a real world cuppa tea. See you at the next sip!

Cosmic Gutter Bumpers

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today: cosmic gutter bumpers

Welcome to Tao Craft Tarot blog and podcast. I’m glad you are here.

Today’s card is the Lovers from the Alleyman’s Tarot deck, art by Nate Hillyer.

Today’s energy is absolutely positively not in any way about Romance or romantic relationships. The card isn’t really about that anyway. The card is about what you want from life. Of course that includes romantic relationships, and the desire for love, romance, and companionship are vitally important and shouldn’t be trivialized. By the same token, that’s just not where the energy is going today. This is about your relationship with yourself, and desires related to your overall life path. As important as romantic, platonic and familial relationships are, this is important too. Relationships have the whole suit of cups to address them. This energy is closer to the inner fire, the suit of wands, but turned up to major arcana sized volume.

Today’s energy is begging a question to which Tarot doesn’t necessarily have an answer. As good as Tarot is, it is nevertheless only a tool in the hands of your intuition. Tarot, runes, astrology, pendulums, scrying mirrors; oracles can nudge your attention in the right direction. In the end, it is only your heart, your feelings, your instincts that can answer some things.

Today’s energy is asking us to consider when to persist and when to change.

Persistence can overcome the obstacles that life randomly throws at our feet. But what if those obstacles are a message in and of themselves? What if those obstacles are a cosmic safety net trying to get us to adapt to an ever changing situation. What if our obstacles are not meant to elicit persistence but rather to save us from ourselves?

In times of challenges, sometimes it is helpful to question why and to understand the root cause of our desires. Do you really want to get back together with your ex, or are you really wanting to heal the wounds of rejection and to know that you are desirable after all. Do you really want that one particular job, or do you really want the attention or creative outlet or steady income it would bring?

Motives change as circumstances change. What was top of the list one day can slip in importance over days, weeks, months or years.

Cue today’s music reference. I just intuitively heard a snippet of Reeling in the Years by Steely Dan. I was 7 when it was released, and early 70s music isn’t my favorite, so I’m calling this pure intuition. In a reading, it doesn’t matter when a clairaudient song was released. What matters is any association your have with a song that comes up like this. What memories does it bring to mind, no matter when that memory actually happened? What feeling does the song evoke for you? What was going on the last time you heard the song, if it is one you’ve heard before?

Life changes. I also clairaudiently hear the words “chord changes.” I’m not a musician so I don’t really understand what that means. I’m guessing that chord changes within a song make the song better. So I would guess that means that changes in desires and changes in goals, hopes and dreams would make life better too.

And now for something completely different. Now I get the image of a bowling alley and hear the phrase “gutter bumpers.”

In bowling alleys, they usually have guide rails that pull up or some kind of bumpers that they can put in to keep the bowling ball out of the alley gutters and make the game more fun for small children or physically challenged players.

It has been said that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Sometimes challenges teach persistence and build strength of character.

It has also been said that “I don’t have ducks, I don’t have rows, I have squirrels and they are having a pagan rave.” I’ve enjoyed that meme of unknown origins a lot this past month. Sometimes challenges are a source of clarity and new directions.

The squirrel rave has been tiring, but it has also forced some clarity. It has been a validation for this text to speech format and a few other plans I have in mind for TaoCraft Tarot. This isn’t what I’d originally wanted for the podcast, but it is what life needs it to be right now. I hope you are enjoying it as much as I am.

Thank you so much for listening!

If you enjoy these posts and episodes, please visit the TaoCraft Tarot page on ko-fi. The link is in the episode description for podcast listeners. The shop, memberships and virtual coffees support the creation of the blog and podcast.

Private readings are available by email HERE

Embrace the Strange

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Deal with old demons when they come around. They might be more afraid of you than you are of them.

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

Today we are back to the Alleyman’s Tarot deck. This is what Friday vibes look like. Fridays aren’t about re-capping the week, as much as it is a shift in energy from outward to productivity to inward self care, from work to rest or play, from yang to yin.

Today is the Boogeyman card. Of course I’m geeking out over it. But that’s no surprise to any of you who have heard my incessant fangirling over the Alleyman’s Tarot the past few months since it arrived on my doorstep. This particular card was created by the Alleyman’s deck creator Seven Dane Asmund for his upcoming Blood and Rust: The Misery Tarot. I can’t wait to see the Magician for it. He describe the new deck as quote Inspired by survival horror genre titan, Silent Hill, the Misery Tarot focuses on the traversal through grief, trauma, and suffering as a kindness to ourselves using imagery of the horror genre. End quote.

As the week closes and energies shift a bit toward self-care, the boogeyman isn’t as much of a paradox as it might seem at first glance. Weekends are a happy thing, usually. So is surviving a challenge.

Here I intuitively get the Madonna song “Survival.” to go along with the the survival-horror movie reference in the deck description. The suffering itself isn’t the kindness to oneself…but the acknowledgement of suffering, the acknowledgement of all you’ve done to emotionally survive, the acknowledgement of the things you feel now and the acknowledgement of old issues that bubble up every now and then … all of these conscious acknowledgements are the kindnesses that the boogeyman brings today.

We’ve been talking about some tough stuff lately. Tarot, like life, doesn’t have any easy answers. It helps us ask the right questions. It helps us to acknowledge the right things we need to face to live vibrantly.

I think this same message would come through in the classic RWS deck in the form of our friend the Page of Cups, or maybe Page of Cups with a little Devil thrown in. Sometimes life is weird. Sometimes life is chaotic. Sometimes life is devilish. But you can stare a fish full on in the eyes and get through it.

It has been said that religion is for those who want to stay out of hell and spirituality is for people that have already been there. If that’s the case, then Tarot in general and today’s energy in particular is all about spirituality. It’s about admitting the suck, embracing the chaos, and feeling the feels with unabashed gusto.

It’s funny how some old demons and boogeymen just vanish when you give them a big old hug hello. That is where I think the boogeyman as described by the artist is going. Being real about how bad (or good) things might (or might not) be is a kindness to oneself.

Cue “The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkle (although I’m not usually a metal fan, I definitely prefer the Disturbed cover. Wow.)

Hello Darkness, my old friend.

I hope you have a good weekend, evening, day or whenever you happen to see this. Thank you for reading and listening. I always appreciate any likes, subs, follows, shares, questions or comments that you can spare.

If you are enjoying the blog, podcast or the companion YouTube videos, please visit the TaoCraft Tarot page on ko-fi. The shop, memberships with their exclusive content and special offers, and the virtual coffees all support the creation of these Tarot readings.

Want more than a sip? Full size readings with the blog author are available on the blog website.

For podcast listeners, links to all of this is in the show description.

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

It can happen

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today the Ten of Cups reminds us that it get better. Happiness is yours to claim.

Welcome to TaoCraft Tarot blog & podcast. I’m glad you’re here.

Heck, I’m glad I’m here. Yesterday was a little extra, so for this week the squirrel rave is letting me post on a Thursday, although that might not always be the case. Because this squirrel rave we call life can be like that.

It is only Thursday, and this isn’t a weekly wrap up kind of post but the energy is circling back around to the same ideas that we have been talking about for a few days.

When messages cycle and repeat like that, the boilerplate interpretation is that an important life lesson is being ignored. Repeating energies and messages are supposed to mean that someone just plain isn’t getting it.

I don’t think that is why the energies are dwelling in one spot this time. I think the energies are circling to give us a better look, like a tourist helicopter circling an attraction to give everyone a clear view. I think spirit is doing a slow circle to let us get take our time with this message, make friends with the energy and, to borrow a word from the Dude in The Big Lebowski, abide with the ideas for a while. Spirit and energy doesn’t care about clocks and calendars, so dwelling on one topic for a while is neither bad nor uncommon.

My thoughts and my heart are dwelling and abiding with Pride month.

With the growing intolerance and hate filled legislation in some parts of the American, I legit worry about the health and safety of people whom I care about very deeply.

They say that familiarity breeds contempt. In my experience, that is sometimes true. My early life and extended family familiarity with evangelicals and Republicans has bred a great deal of contempt for those bigoted ideologies.

Familiarity can also breed compassion.

It’s harder to hate a person on grand principle once you get to know them as individuals. There is a 2014 study reported in U.C. Berkely’s Greater Good Magazine (a neuroscience and behavioral psychology newsletter) that suggested that racism really is taught by social groups and is not an inherent genetic-based behavioral trait in rats. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/are_rats

It might not rise to the level of scientific study, but everyday experience seems to hint that the same is true of humans. Or at least for humans with some toe hold on reality.

Where humans have the capacity to make things bad, as a species we have the same capacity to make things better. Difference and diversity teaches us that being a little weird yourself is a good thing. When you meet a lot of different people you can find the ones where you can be weird together. When you meet diverse people, you meet ones who think the same things are important as you do. You find the people who think you are important. Whether you know them or not, whether you feel it or not, there is someone on earth who enjoys and supports people like you. Like it or not, you are loved.

Getting older does make that process a little better. It is easier for adults than it is for kids and teens because we’ve been around the block a few times. . We know the feeling comes back; adults have experienced its return. We’ve met people very different from ourselves and lived to tell the tale. It’s easier to know that things get better when they’ve already been better – and worse, and better, and worse, and better again. To quote that insurance commercial – we know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two.

It gets better because when you find that little bit of connection outward, it helps you connect inward which where all the happiness really lives. That little bit of outward support and belonging helps you lay claim to the inward happiness that has always been yours and always will be.

Thank you for reading and listening! Your likes, subs, follows, shares, questions and comments are always, always appreciated.

If you enjoy the YouTube shorts that show the real world card draw that inspires the blog and podcast – or if you enjoy the blog and podcast – please support them all through the TaoCraftTarot page on Ko-fi. The shop, memberships and virtual coffee all help me to create these Tarot readings for you.

Want more than a sip of Tarot? Have a full cup! Full size private Tarot readings with the blogcast author are available on the blog website.

See you at the next sip!

Be Yourself, Be a Hero

Be a Superhero. Be yourself. The 9 of Pentacles is today’s short sip tarot reading.

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

Today’s card, the nine of pentacles, is as light and simple as yesterday’s card, the hierophant, was heavy and complicated.

Thom Pham’s Heart of Stars third edition deck was the absolute perfect one to carry today’s message. I don’t know that this energy could come through quite this way with any other deck.

This deck has a lot going for it including Mr. Pham’s raw artistic talent, and excellent guide book writing not to mention the color palette and the watercolor aesthetic. But it’s his use of movie and TV references that drew my attention to the deck in the first place and makes it a favorite deck to this day.

My intuition works exactly that way. If you have ever had a reading with me, chances are that some sort of song, tv show or movie came up. I’m not a super deep-cut kind of media watcher, so if something comes to mind that I actually recognize, chances are that it is popular enough to be relatable to most clients.

Like right now for example. This probably is nothing more than an example, but if it is meaningful to you somehow, that’s perfect, roll with it. Right now the mental image of baby yoda grogu sipping soup comes to mind. Even if you didn’t watch the Mandalorian series, the snippet of baby yoda sipping from a cup has been a fairly viral internet meme. For me, it is symbolic of utter calm in the middle of utter chaos. It is a more recent image that carries the same feeling as that scene in the 1991 version of Robin Hood where the Sheriff of Nottingham comes into a room and starts pacing and yelling and in a brilliant bit of stagecraft Alan Rickman stabs the dinner ham to bits while the sheriff’s witch-sister deadpan asks “something vexes thee?”

Or, if you are middle aged gen x vanguard like me, you might remember that Hawkeye quote from the TV series MASH “if you can keep your head while those about you are losing theirs, then you probably haven’t checked with your answering service lately.”

Whichever pop culture image you most resonate with, it carries the advice to stay chill no matter how chaotic it gets. Be the cooler head that prevails.

See how that works?

But back to the nine of pentacles. Thanks to the Heart of Stars deck, it has a superhero vibe to go with the picture of Wonder Woman. Classically, nine of pentacles is associated with truth, happiness and, as the artist himself put it , quote This card represents self-reliance and the need to question your biggest assumptions in order to challenge the status quo and things that seems so normal because everyone around you is accustomed to the same beliefs. End quote.

Raise your hand if you see the connection to yesterday’s card.

Some people, for their own health and safety, cannot express their authentic selves. It is a harsh reality and necessary choice. When someone does that, they do so in quiet service to their own health, safety and sanity. That choice is as worthy of our love and support as any other.

Today’s card is the opposite side of the same coin. If you have the wherewithal and opportunity to live your truest most authentic self (and only you can decide what that is) then you have the obligation to do so.

Here, instead of a clairvoyant mental image, I’m getting a clairaudient mental snippet of a song. It’s Odd Future by Uver World that was one of the opening themes for the anime My Hero Academia, although I forget which season.

So there you have your soundtrack for today’s Tarot. Be a hero by being yourself. Be a hero by living and speaking your truth. Without even trying you might inspire someone who can’t do the same thing right now. If you are heroically out there living your best life, you might just heroically comfort someone who really needs to see someone like them.

Or if anime themes don’t convince you, maybe psychologist Carl Jung can. He once said that quote the privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are end quote.

Today the nine of pentacles is asking us to exercise our privilege, be our glorious true selves and maybe inspire other people to become the same kind of hero too.

Thank you so much for reading and listening! Any likes, subs, follows, shares, questions or comments are always appreciated. If you enjoy these free to access tarot readings, please visit the TaoCraft Tarot Page on ko-fi. There is a link in the episode description. The shop, memberships and virtual coffees all support the creation of the blog and podcast.

Thanks again. See you at the next sip!

Speaking of the next sip…that will be in two days. Like the meme says, I don’t have ducks, I don’t have rows, I have squirrels and they are hosting a rave. The squirrels are a little out of hand tomorrow so short sip will be back on Thursday June 9

The Quiet Why

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

Every superhero has a super villain. Every Tarot reader has a nemesis card or two. This one is mine. I’m allergic to religion and this card is dripping with it today.

The classic question “Why ask why?” also springs to mind.

Usually that question comes in a context that implies a certain laissez faire attitude or a go with the flow sort of vibe. In Tarot we often work with the unknown or mysterious. Being OK with not knowing things is sometimes as important as knowing the reasons and motivations behind the stuff we do. That level of mystery is, however, the purview of the High Priestess card.

There are several threads of meaning for the Hierophant card. I get along with it better when it’s called the High Priest. Mark Evans’ artwork on the Witches Tarot deck is far and away my favorite rendition of the High Priest. His art captures the card’s grandfatherly, kind, storyteller, tradition-keeper qualities. It is still a belief system and social order oriented card, but with a softer, wiser, more ancient, more organic feel.

From medieval decks to the 1909 Waite Smith to contemporary decks the Hierophant is most often shown as a Christian religious authority figure. Some decks go so far as to call it the Pope card as the 17th century Marseilles deck did.

This pope-like aspect of the hierophant card speaks of a stricter social order, of dogma, and clear-cut cultural expectations. Why ask why? Why not ask why!?When it comes to dogma and blind faith you bet your backside I’m going to ask why. Sometimes why really matters.

But realistically, not everyone has the privilege of questioning.

I rage with heartbreak at the racial, religious and LGBTQIA bigory that floods America like a Tsunami – and always has. It isn’t new to recent politics. Right wing political power has only ripped the top off of a rotting underground septic tank and allowed it to ooze .

Why ask why? To know who you serve, that’s why.

Think, for a minute, about small rural communities.

There aren’t many homeless shelters, if any at all. There aren’t the same community resources that cities and suburbs have. If there are any such civic or secular organizations, they are tiny, underfunded and making miracles out of nothing at all.

Imagine you are keeping a secret in that small town. Imagine being in a closet, be it a sexual orientation one or a gender identity one or an atheist one or a witchy one or any other kind of closet. It eats at you. Especially if you are a teen where self-discovery, self-definition and gaining independence is pretty much your job in life.

Now imagine the heart-rending and mind-bending emotional and intellectual dissonance for someone who has been told their whole life not to lie, because you are a bad person if you lie. Yet, if you DON’T lie to every single body every single moment about your essential self then you put yourself at risk. The same honesty that was held up to you as so very virtuous now puts you at risk for losing important relationships, outright abandonment or possibly violence.

The hierophant is pointing to these dire realities today.

We said earlier that ‘why’ is important because it shows who you serve. Why matters in the context of social expectations and institutional dogma.

WHY are you a member of the groups that hold your allegiance? Do you agree with them? Do they express who you really are? Are you there in service to a set of beliefs? Are you there to serve the advancement of beliefs that mirror your own? If you are an adult, if you are part of a group and if there are no consequences to you if you left, you are there by choice however habitual or mindless that choice may be. If you are a knowing adult with no threat to your well being, then you are a willing part of your social, political and religious affiliations. You are a part of them and they speak for you unless and until you choose otherwise. Agreement is why you are there.

But if, at any age, there are real consequences to leaving a dominant group, a different and vastly more important WHY comes into play. Are you in a group not out of agreement, but rather in quiet service of your own well being. Safety and life is why you are there.

If your why is the preservation of life, health, safety and relationships, know that you are not alone. We see you in your closet because we are in there too – or have been at some point. In your quiet service to your well being, in your quiet why, know that you are loved.

Extra layer Tarot Turnover

During weekend Tarot turnovers, I sip the coffee and you interpret the Tarot card. Each “turnover” post is a mini intuition building exercise and behind the scenes insight.

Available to members on the ko-fi blog