Our strengths and weaknesses connect us like jigsaw puzzle pieces and together we are stronger

It fits.

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

Finally things are back to a little bit of a routine. Yesterday, instead of a single card reading, I wrote about the Hermit card and inner peace as I would have for a private email reading for a client.

On one hand, it is a good thing because it gives all of you a look behind the scenes at a private reading and what they are like. You’ll know exactly what to expect

On the other hand, it can be confusing. During a reading with a return client, some parts take on a sort of short hand of references to previous information. That short hand gets even shorter when you are fabricating an example reading based on impressions you get for yourself.

In fact that is what the MadamAdam quote was really about. When he said that he wouldn’t want to take dance lessons from someone who couldn’t dance, he was talking about why on earth would you get a reading from someone who couldn’t / doesn’t read for themselves. That is part of holding up our end of the bargain. As Tarot readers, we hold up our end of the bargain with our clients by reading for ourselves, reading books, watching and learning from other practitioners…we keep ourselves mentally and emotionally healthy to be strong readers and advisors for our clients.

The same, as we saw in the example reading, is true for everyone. By stepping back, by isolating and taking time for ourselves as the Hermit suggests we make ourselves strong to be present and helpful and hold up our end of the bargain with those we love.

Today’s card, Strength, is also from the major arcana just like yesterday’s Hermit card and earns all the same attention for all of the same reasons. (I’ll put a link to that post & episode in the show description for the podcast people. Blog folks can click the link above to get to the same place.)

The Strength card is picking up the thread and continuing the Hermit’s message a bit.

The Hermit gave advice about how to cultivate strength. Strength, the card, is advising what to do with it once its cultivated. Strength in this case is channeled into connection with others.

We each have our strengths and our weaknesses. Think of it as yin and yang. Yin is inward, receiving, like the carved-out parts of a jigsaw puzzle piece. Yang is outward, like the pointy bits of a jigsaw puzzle piece. When we cultivate our strength and use them to help others, AND we allow others to help us and fill in where we need with their particular strengths, that is where we connect. That is where we become stronger still, collectively and individually.

Thank you for reading and listening! Any likes, follows, subs, shares, questions or comments that you can spare are always greatly appreciated. Just like season 3 of the podcast, nothing I do is advertising monetized so I can put your Tarot message first, not a commercial message. If you enjoy these Tarot readings and behind the Tarot scenes insights, please support the blog and podcast on ko-fi.com/TaoCraftTarot

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

Kune ni estas fortaj is Esperanto for “Together we are strong”

Tarot Turnover: Happy September ’22

Learn to read Tarot intuition building exercise now up on the members-only ko-fi blog. This week: The Hermit

Intuition practice “Tarot Turnover” exercise is now available on the ko-fi members only blog.

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It’s Sunday, time for a turnover

This week’s intuition building “Tarot Turnover” is up for members on the ko-fi page/blog

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Delay of Coffee

announcement – delay in short sip tarot reading for Friday. Please stay tuned for a longer behind the scenes the post featureing the four of wands tarot card in reverse

Today’s short sip Tarot full reading will post tomorrow, because of ….stuff.

This card’s energy was kicking me in the shins a little bit, and hitting a bit close for comfort. I don’t want to over-share, so I won’t. It did, however, make today’s post take longer to wrangle into something kind of understandable. It’s too late in the day to be useful as a coffee and contemplation for your day kind of reading so we’ll try again in the morning. Please let me know what you think about any post….comments on the blog are open, as are comments on the YouTube channel and voice mail on Anchor FM. Ask me anything! (Just remember that answers will post in the blogcast.)

You choose how you interact

You choose your Tarot card and your message for today with this innovative blend of Tarot guidance video, blog and podcast.

You know, I really want to re-work how I do these interactive readings. I want to make them more audio friendly for the podcast and honestly, I just don’t enjoy the monologuing into a microphone thing. It has such a performance feel. I know I’m not a good extemporaneous speaker and that makes it hard to bring the level of communication and authenticity I can give you in a live one to one conversation or in a typed format. I think I’ve said this before. Conversation is one thing, but broadcasting to a general audience is another. One to one versus general audience readings aside, you can compare the You Tube video to the typed transcript here in the blog and the text to speech version in the podcast. Dang it Jim, I’m still a writer, not on camera talent. At the same time, I really do like the what the video brings to the blog, especially for the interactive, pick-your-own-card readings like this. I think it brings an important level of transparency and authenticity to the posts. You know it is a totally genuine, heartfelt, raw, unedited, real-world card reading. You get to see it happen as well as read or hear the words of it. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems fairly symbiotic – the two together are greater than the sum of the parts. Especially for people like me who think they are some kind of Shakespeare until the mic turns on and it all turns into babbling incoherance.

Here’s my thought and I really want to know what you all think. It would genuinely help me to have this feedback. Just being here and reading or listening to this is wonderful support – and I thank you for that – but I could really use an extra hand with this interactive idea. Please leave any thoughts or suggestions or questions in the blog comments, the youtube comments, answer the question on spotify or leave a voicemail on anchor fm. Are these interactive readings interesting or helpful at all? If I put a pithy card contemplation in the video description and a full card reading on the blog and podcast would it still be as helpful and interesting? Honestly, I’d kind of love the mystique and anonymity if everyone to thought that I actually sound like Siri’s second cousin and have my voice be as big of a mystery to Tarot YouTube as Corpse Husband’s appearance is a mystery to gamer YouTube. I may tinker with captioning the longer you choose videos and leaving the short ones as, you know, shorts.

Using “left, center or right” to indicate your card choices is hard to visualize. Or at least I think so. Sometimes you see these kinds of readings on social media using still photos and they create such pretty Instagram level picture. Often they will use crystals or charms or feathers or different small objects to help you feel your way to the right card. I love me some rocks and crystals, but again, that doesn’t translate well into an podcast. Using color was a thought, but not the best one. Color have emotional and psychological connections. Marketing experts use it all of the time. I was concerned that I can’t think of any good way to connect the cards to sounds without making it ridiculous and cumbersome for the blog readers and video watchers. The answer seems to be to use something that is easier to describe and visualize than objects or spacial relationships like left – center – right.

Have you ever seen the original Ghostbusters movie? There is a scene where Dr. Venkman is testing two volunteers ESP ability by drawing cards and having them guess the shapes on the cards. If you take out the comedy bits, the card test is an actual thing. There are random image generators online that let you guess at the cards and see if you can guess above random. It’s all based on controversial parapsychology research in the 1930s. And it has absolutely nothing to do with this other than taking some inspiration from the cards. The cards I’ll use for the visual part are different than the the actual Zenar cards, but like the Zenar cards they are simple shapes that are easy to visualize. As a nod to one of my favorite movies, though, I’m using a star and wavy lines. I made add some shapes just for interest and to increase the randomization. You’ll see and hear how it works as we do a few of theses you choose readings together.

But speaking of you choose readings, that’s enough behind the scenes. Let’s do this thing.

First I’ll draw three shape cards from this tiny handmade deck of note cards.

Today we have wavy lines, star and circle.

Now lets draw three Tarot cards from the shuffled and cut Tarot deck and put one by each of those shape cards.

Next – you choose.

You choose how you use the reading. It can be guidance for your day, guidance for your week or guidance for anything that is on your mind right now.

Imagine the three shapes, star, wavy lines and circle. Which one feels right? Does one light up in your mind’s eye more than the others? Does one catch your attention more than the others? If you need a minute, pause the video, stop reading for a second or pause the podcast to give yourself a little time. Then restart to get the reveal. Or just pick a shape on impulse and listen for your card as we go along.

Wavy lines is Temperance. The Waite Smith deck echoes the wavy lines in the water that is being poured from cup to cup. Temperance is the ultimate balance card. Today there is a strong energy of “slow your roll” and “bring down the temperature” a little bit. Here the Temperance card is very much like tempering in cooking where you change the temperature of sauces or custards gradually to prevent the eggs from curdling and getting lumpy. Tempered glass is another example. Tempered again refers to temperature. The temperature of the glass is controlled and manipulated to make the glass stronger. The advice from the card is about bringing emotional tempers and and emotional temperaments and group discussion temperatures down. It is about choosing your response to external circumstances just like you chose this card.

Star is The Hermit card. Interestingly, the star shape is also found on the card artwork as the shape of the light in the hermit’s lantern. The Hermit is about finding inner wisdom through changing the external environment. Carve out some me time for yourself. If you at all can manage it, get away from it all. Create a little quiet time and meditation because that will let you hear your own inner wisdom. Walking away for a minute to collect yourself is a way to respond to external circumstances as much as a spiritual retreat is.

The Circle isn’t directly represented on the card art, unless we really stretch things to include the chariot wheels. The chariot is what I call the supersonic test pilot card. It is a call to be fully in the present moment and mindful, but not impulsive. If a test pilot lets their mind wander or if they act too randomly bad stuff can happen. Being fully present and bringing all of your training to bear making good but fast decisions is one way to respond to external circumstances. If you chose this card that is a clue that you CAN bring that kind of mindfulness and clear-headed decision making to your situation.

Which format suits you? How do you like using shapes instead of spaces? How do you like the way the videos combine with text and audio. I kind of like this unpolished multi-media blend of things.

Thank you for watching, listening and reading. Any likes, subs, shares or follows you can spare are always greatly appreciated. None of this media mash up is monetized. Your blog website purchases and ko-fi memberships all contribute to creating this unique Tarot content just for you.

The short sip format returns Friday March 24. See you at the next sip!

Q&A: Whoops

Tarot behind the scenes Q&A: Do you ever pull the wrong cards?

Q: How do you know those are the right cards for me? Do you ever draw the wrong cards?

A: There are no wrong cards AND they happen all the time.

As always, there is no easy answer to this. Tarot is all about nuance and context.

Let’s break this down a little bit.

Do I ever draw the wrong cards? Sure. Before we look at that part, let’s think about what makes a care right or wrong in the first place.

Tarot doesn’t predict the future. Tarot is all about ideas, inspiration, creative problem solving, empowerment, and spiritual enrichment. There is nothing external or definitive to “come true” so there is nothing measurable to prove that a card is the right one or the wrong one.

Our feelings are the only thing that can define a card as right or wrong in any given reading in any given moment. Often you’ll hear people use the word “resonate” to define that feeling. When we say a card “resonates” with us it means that the card’s inherent message rings true to our individual situation, makes some sort of logical sense or it just seems to vibe with the energy of the moment. A card or Tarot reading that “resonates” with a person is analogous to two music notes that literally resonate and vibrate together..

When a card or a message doesn’t resonate that means there is a mis-match in energies, like two music notes that don’t harmonize even sound outright unpleasant. Musicians call that dissonance.

So for now, let’s define a card as being “right” when it resonates with the reader or the person getting the reading.

The cards I draw really are random. The weekday Short Sip blogcast is a good example. The companion videos lets you see the real world random card drawing process. I start each Short Sip episode by shuffling the cards, even though that part happens off camera so that the video can fit into the Shorts and Reels time limits. Then I’ll either cut the deck and grab a card out of the middle of the freshly shuffled deck or fan them out and grab a card that way.

The vast majority of the time the card resonates with the general energy of the day so well that it will highlight which one of the card’s many meanings is the best one for the episode. Some days the card just doesn’t feel right. When you have been reading Tarot as long as I have, the difference between right cards and wrong cards is immediate and obvi0us. It usually takes one good look to know whether the card resonates with the energy of the day or whether there is some sort of mis-match.

To borrow from the sound analogy again, a card that feels right is like the DING on a cell phone when you get a notice. A card that is off-energy feels like something between like the annoying choppy static of a radio station that is almost out of range and a leaf blower outside your window just as you are trying to concentrate. When that happens in a Short Sip video, I just delete and start over until the DING happens.

And yes, the off-energy thing happens in private readings and full layouts too.

If it is a live reading, I’ll point out the parts that feel off and suggest we re-draw that card. I’ve never had anyone refuse a new card. 99% of the time the person I’m reading for senses the dissonance with the card too.

If I’m doing an email reading I’ll just swap out the card and go on. There have been times where I have scooped up whole layouts and started over.

There are hunches to follow for email readings too. Scoop and re-deal feels like right thing to do for wrong feeling cards most of the time. Every now and then, with clients I know well and who are fairly intuitive themselves, I’ll get the I’ll feel pushed to let THEM decide if they want to stick with the original cards or scoop and shuffle for new cards.

So yeah, wrong cards happen all the time and that’s what I do about it.


At the same time, there is no such thing as a wrong card.

We have been talking about the cards as if they are an outside source of information that has the ability to be accurate or not. If only it were that simple.

Let’s keep up the analogies with sound.

Go back to that radio. Sure, sometimes the station doesn’t come in well. But if we tune in to the news station does that mean the rock channel is playing the wrong song?

That’s the kind of question non-linear logic we deal with in Tarot. Tarot cards aren’t anything magic or mystical. They are bits of paper with stuff drawn on them. Cards, runes, pendulums, stars, tea leaves or what have you only serve to amplify our inner human intuition. The cards help make our intuition loud enough that we can tell if our intuition is resonating with the energy of the message or the energy of the day – or not.

Spirit speaks in whispers. Tarot just helps us to hear it better.

Even if a particular card isn’t the best symbol for the energy message, spirit and energy have the capacity to whisper just a little bit louder. Somehow the right message finds its way through. The message gets through by making one card uncomfortable and prompting us to draw another card that is a better conduit for the energy message. The message gets around the cards all together with purely intuitive mental images, words, sounds and pop culture references separate and apart from any specific card. When intuition is allowed to do its thing, there is no wrong cards. Either through the impulse to re-draw a card or through direct intuitive input, we get to the right message in the end.

So yeah, there is no such thing as a wrong card because the energy gets the right message to you one way or another.

Thanks for hanging in there through this longer behind the scenes blog post and listening to this bonus Q & A episode of the podcast.

The blog, the podcast and the YouTube channel are not monetized and depend on your support. Private Tarot readings purchased through the this website and Tarot Table memberships on ko-fi all contribute toward creating this freely available Tarot content. Your likes, subs, shares, follows, purchases and memberships are always, always appreciated.

Please stay tuned over the weekend. I’m hoping to upload a new interactive Tarot in addition to the the usual Weekend Tarot Turnover intuition building exercise. I’d be interested to hear which meanings you choose and why for the Turnover exercise. Let me know your questions – ask me anything. Comments are open on the blog and the podcast. I’m on instagram and Twitter all the time – maybe too much. give you an answer of some sort in the blog cast, maybe even one using Tarot cards. If I don’t know, I’ll give you my best guess how to find out. It’a been a long couple of years and it really does feel like its time to get social and chatty again.

Thanks again for reading and listening. See you at the next sip of some kind of Tarot post or another.

Throw Way Back Thursday

While life is at elfcon-1 and the holidays are what they are, thought it might be fun to do a throw back Thursday. I don’t do that often, since Tarot is a very present-moment kind of thing. You can’t step into the same energy flow twice to paraphrase that old saying about a river.

Here is a post I wrote on my old Modern Oracle Tarotbytes blog from 2010, just for the fun of it.

Parralax – May 27, 2010 (Tarotbytes blog, ModernOracle.wordpress.com)

“Camera 1, Camera 2, Camera 1, Camera 2” ~ Wayne’s World 2

Ever play with that trick of eyesight? Close one eye, and hold up a pencil so it lines up with an object in the distance. Then switch eyes and the pencil seems to jump to one side. Things don’t line up the same way.

In astronomy, this is called parallax. In biology, it’s called binocular vision where the brain combines the two slightly different views from our two eyesto give us depth perception. it’s the camera 1 / camera 2 slight difference in viewpoint allows us to perceive distance. Two eyes lets us visually live in three dimensions. It helps us to not walk into objects and learn our environment the hard way.

A similar idea is true in Tarot and psychic work. Getting a reading isn’t predicting the future…it is getting a second look, a separate viewpoint that lets us see with greater clarity, depth and understanding. It helps us be a bit more perceptive, and not have to do everything the hard way.

Two third-eyes are better than one.

Even those of us who do readings will sometimes GET a professional reading in order to improve our understanding and fill in any blind spots.

I like to think that psychics consulting psychics is a bit like binocular vision…two views that can be fused together into a higher quality, more useful vision. It is a bit like the very large array of radio telescopes made famous in the movie “Contact”…each person, psychic or not, has their own individual “radio telescope” except that we call it intuition. When we communicate with another antenna, it gives a result that is like having a dish as large as the distance between them.

If one eye is closed, then depth perception doesn’t work. If one telescope is down, the array doesn’t work as well. We each bring our part to a reading. You bring your insight too. Working together, we double our view. Depending on a psychic, or a reading to “predict” the future, or what will happen is third-eye-blind.

Work together, by combining your knowing and insight with the reading, taking responsibility for your actions and decisions…working with the psychic that way, you can see farther into the cosmos.

Wishing you open-eyed clarity

Confession #2: Yo-ho

I’m a clairvoyant and I have a confession: I like pirates.

Not the real life ones. I’m talking the gnarly haired, eighteenth century, Caribbean styled, Adam-Ant-reminiscent movie, book and TV kind of pirate. I wasn’t kidding when I said Pirate Radio was part of my vision for this podcast.

I know, I know. Pirate radio isn’t THAT kind of pirate. But you have to admit, both kinds have, as J.K. Rowling wrote “a certain disregard for the rules.” Or, as Barbossa said in The Curse of the Black Pearl, “the code is more what you’d call guidelines than actual rules.” That’s the cool thing about not knowing anything about the conventions of media or podcasts or any sort of broadcasting. The guidelines can go overboard and I’d never even notice (insert loud SPLASH sound effect.)

Unless and until somebody somewhere out there sends some psychic tarot questions to clairvoyantconfessional@gmail.com, the rando pirate DJ monolog aestheitic will be a big part part of the podcast. I plan to schedule things that way, too. Which is to say there isn’t going to any sort of schedule whatsoever. Just stay tuned, subscribe to podcast on Spotify or Pocketcast or subscribe to the blog on TaoCraftTarot.com. You never know when the SS Clairvoyant Confessional will come sailing through.

That being said, so what if I like pirates? What does that have to do with clairvoyants, psychics, Tarot, intuition, or any of that stuff?

Surprisingly, a good bit. Mainly because both are rich in metaphor and symbolism. A ship’s captain is a poetic symbol of autonomy and authority. Psychics are more like the navigators. We are all the captains of our metaphoric life ships. Think of your favorite fictional Captain. Would Blackbeard, or Barbarossa or Jack Sparrow – or Captain Kirk for that matter – surrender command? Even in their outlandish fictional situations, they owned their decisions, adapted to the outcomes, and stayed in charge. Sure, the navigator may have set the ship’s course, but the captain was the one who decided where the ship was going in the first place.

And so it is with you and Tarot / psychic readings. Yes, readings help you keep a weather eye on the horizon, but you still have the con, you still turn the wheel. If a captain refused the navigator’s advice and get the ship got lost, it wasn’t the navigator’s fault. If a navigator’s course stranded the ship on a reef, the captain was still responsible for agreeing to the directions that got them stuck. The captain was still responsible for getting the ship to port. And the captain would get themselves another navigator. If the captain and the navigator worked well together and got to where they needed to go, then they both got a share of the booty. Whichever way it turned out, the adventure is still under the captain’s command. The same is true for psychic readings. Your choices are still in command. Your choices steer the ship. I wrote the Tarot layouts that I use the most to show and respect exactly that. The 5 and 7 card layouts highlight your choices and the command that you have over the course that you take.

That’s it. That’s the confession: I like pirates because I’m the captain of this merry pirate Tarot ship. There may not be an exact schedule, but there will be some interesting episodes to come as we sail along. Thanks for listening, and welcome aboard.


At Least Equal

The ancestors connected at distance using the arcane device known as a “telephone.” Conversation is a minimal connection with our fellow human beings, especially during times like these when in-person companionship isn’t available. Connecting through communication is such a deep and primal need that we have put new technology to that use ever since new technology consisted of banging on a drum or lighting a fire.

Communication is not separate from intuition. If we can speak our insights and feelings across a table , we can bang them, flash them, write them, phone them, video them or email them. We have used intuition at a distance from the beginning. Think “sacred scrolls.” Scrolls are ancient communication at a distance. Intuition and spirit made them sacred.

I’m not saying an email Tarot reading is a sacred scroll, but it goes to show that Tarot at a distance is at least equal to an in-person reading. Arguably, in our time, distance readings have the advantage.

Before the pandemic we were busy, and distance tarot is convenient Tarot. You buy the thing whenever you want, and read the answer whenever you want. No appointment is needed. Distance readings flow seamlessly into your schedule, no matter what your schedule may be.

Because of the pandemic, distance Tarot is the safest Tarot. COVID can’t travel to you through the internet. (Wear your mask! Watch your distance! Wash your hands!)

Distance Tarot is authentic Tarot. You know that it is pure intuition, and not stage mentalism or a ‘cold reading’ based on body language or your answers to leading questions. Your questions are welcome before you order, in your order, and after the reading. Every email reading includes a follow up for any questions that come up during the reading.

Distance Tarot is affordable Tarot. I don’t maintain an office or rent space in a store so I can pass those savings on to you. All of my prices are flat rate, not per minute so you know your full cost up front. Compare my $40 seven card readings to other hour-long sessions.

Tarot, as a whole, has never been mainstream or like other so-called ‘normal’ businesses. That unconventional nature has always been and advantage, but never more so than now, during these unexpectedly stressful times. Distance Tarot readings are arguably better than in-person sessions. They are certainly, at the very least, equal.

Order distance Tarot 24/7, no appointment needed HERE