A sip of Tarot: magic in many forms

Today’s card is the Magician from the major arcana.

The magician card is traditionally associated with transformation and manifestation. Today’s energy goes along with both. To change things, to transform them, you have to do something differently. To make something, to manifest anything, you first have to first do something.

The broader concept of change would, of course, fall under the Death card. The focus here is cause and effect. The focus here is in the doing. Do nothing and there is no change for the death card to symbolize. The science folks call that inertia.

The magician card often has the symbols of the four minor arcana suits on it. The magician uses all of the elements, all of the concepts from the minor suits and applies them to the concept of transformation and manifestation. The magician incorporates all the ways of doing. All of the suits have various connections to thinking, doing, deciding, withholding, experiencing, all of which are elements of transformation and manifestation.

First decide what you want to change or create. Then do something to start on that new path. Lay the foundation. Do the thing that becomes the cause for the desired effect. Anyone can work that magic.

Thank you for reading and listening to “A sip of Tarot.” on the TaoCraft Tarot blog and Clairvoyant Confessional podcast. Stay tuned for more (almost) daily meditation style Tarot readings in the time it takes to sip from a cup of morning coffee.

Improve Your Groove

Tarot for when it’s all good.

I love it when people talk in T-shirts.

My husband is a drummer. This morning we were watching and interview / demo video on with Stanton Moore, the drummer for Galactic. If you like music and/or drums even a teensy bit, and you don’t know Stanton Moore or Galactic, run don’t walk YouTube or his website or where ever  you listen to music and check it out. It may not be your taste in music, but it is worth a listen just for the sheer skill and musicality of it all. My personal favorite is “Ha di ka” from the album Carnivale Electricos because it totally reminds me of The Magician card from the Black Cat Tarot.


But that’s another story.

In the middle of all the music stuff he said that you can always “improve your groove” which would make a pretty good t-shirt, I think.

No doubt the groove he means has some particular musical meaning that I don’t understand. To me, it invokes the notion of dynamic balance, comfort, ease, being “in a rhythm,” a sort of wu wei  state of mind, just rolling with things as they come and it’s all good.

So how do you improve on that, and why would you want to? After all it is OK for everything to be OK.

Acknowledging the groove improves it.

There is a vaguely toxic version of gratitude floating around out there. I had a client one time that was going to be grateful goddammit until she got the romance she wanted. She had heard that gratitude brings the things that you want, and was essential to the spiritual Law of Attraction. Being grateful for what you have brings you what you want. Valid point – sort of. I had to wonder how grateful she really, genuinely FELT if she was as miserably laser focused on her current loneliness and that new relationship as she said. Scott Cunningham wrote that “the feeling is the power.” Empty gratitude as an exercise to gain something can’t feel all that terrific. The magick happens when you feel the gratitude for the stuff that is right here, right now. When that happens, the gratitude brings you a wealth of good things that were right there under your nose, perhaps unacknowledged.

Gratitude is a comfortable groove. It is not some ecstasy, not something you can force or do as a means to an end. If you aren’t grateful now, ok. If things are bad…ok. Acknowledge that realistically too. You have to understand how things really are before you can improve them, right? Gratitude is looking around and feeling that this isn’t so bad. As I type that, I “hear” (which is how I describe intuition that comes as sounds, words or music instead of mental images) a song by Esperanto reggae artist Jonny M, “Malacxa” which means “not awful”…. like we would say “not bad”

The Magician, all songs aside, is a good card for the concept. The process of finding a groove, being in it, acknowledging it, improving it, can work a sort of magic. Gratitude CAN attract good things, but not by doing it come hell or high water to get some specific thing. The groove magic comes when you appreciate and improve the groove you are already in more than you throw your mind and energy at something that is not in your groove right now at all.


En Esperanto “Malacxa” means “unawful”… think “not bad”

Romance Tarot Reading with Magician and The Lovers Cards

A popular 2011 post from the Modern Oracle / Tarotbytes blog archives

Q: I met a man who seemed to be all anyone could want…a little older, financially stable, professional, interested in me. But he could be pushy, too, and he pushed me to go on a vacation together, his treat. Turns out he is a horrible gambler. The whole trip was a disaster…shocking. I keep attracting men like this, and after this experience I wonder if I will ever have a good relationship. I had a career reading with you last year, and liked the way you look at things. Can you give any insight to the romance side of things?

A: I think you are right…this experience was shocking, but it got your attention. It helped you see a pattern, and to realize you want something different. As traumatizing as it was in the short term…in the big picture this may actually be a valuable experience.

There are two tarot cards that are exquisitely applicable to your situation: The Lovers and The Magician.

They are both major arcana cards…which speaks to the power and importance of the things your are thinking about.

The Lovers symbolizes desire, and The Magician represents transformation and manifestation.

Your experience with this man, and the way it felt inevitable, shows it is an important and powerful lesson: it shows you that what is deep down matters more than the initial outward appearance…and that the deep down important stuff is what matters to you. Now you know. This will give you a wonderful contrast…the shadow to show you what you want to bring to light.

You know, now, what you DON’T want to repeat…the next step is to define in your mind, very clearly, what you DO want in a relationship…what you do want in your relationships an in your life. The feeling I got reading the first part of your story is that your connection with this man grew out of expectations…your hope for a relationship and what other people define as a good prospect…stable, professional etc etc. That doesn’t, as we see here, necessarily bring the intangible, subtle good things, like respect, caring, compassion, empathy….all those things that are REALLY important.

When I was younger, I saw a psychic, also wondering if I would ever be with anyone. She gave me an exercise…I may have mentioned this last time…that proved to be pure gold. Even if you’ve done this before…try again, start the exercise over, using your new insights and perspectives gained from the trip to vegas…

Make a list of all the things you want in a partner. What kind of relationship do you want? Marriage? Companionship? List every detail, literally, on paper. LIst physical things, interests, personality traits…anything, everything. Don’t put negatives…don’t say “not a gambler” put “enjoys ___________” That part is very important…the energy of the “not” might actually draw the undesirable trait to you rather than block it. Always list ONLY the things you WANT in a positive way.

Then release the list. Put it away, or, if you are inclined to such things, burn it in a respectful ritual of some sort. Whenever you feel the impulse, send a thought to the universe. Pray it…however it feels most powerful to you….not the whole list, just the feeling of desire for “the best of the list” or “husband for the highest and best”…something like that. Send the cry from your heart to the heart of outer space…then let go and trust the universe to guide you to the right path.

There are no time limits. There may be more things to learn along the way…but if you ask for the path to the best, you will find that highest and best journey, no matter how long it takes to get to the destination.

Tarot Without A Net: The Magician

reprised from “Tarotbytes” blog on my old Modern Oracle website

I love that Mr. Pham chose Neo from the Matrix for the Magician. It’s a perfect choice, if you ask me. I’m looking forward to reading the ebook from the cards to see if my impressions are anywhere close to the artist’s thinking. (Thom Pham reads Tarot too. Based on his other writing, we have a lot of views in common on that front)

If you have read this blog (Tarotbytes) for a while, you know how much I like the Matrix. The name for this website (the old Modern Oracle site) and my [early] tarot work was in part inspired by The Oracle character. Especially the “there is no spoon” scene in the first Matrix movie. It its an elegant analogy for Tarot.

The Oracle sees options and possibilities, not predictions. That is the way it works out here in the real world too 

That’s the connection to Tarot in general; shifts, options, the if-then cause-effect logic acknowledged by computer programmers and Buddhist philosophy alike. The movie connects to magic and manifestation through Neo and the spoon scene. Magic manifestation, steering life toward our desired path isn’t one big POOF (although that would be nice) it is really about nudging, working with energy flows to ride the currents to later results. It’s surfing, not motor boating. It isn’t a command, it is a conversation. You bend the rules you can, but work with the rules you can’t. Magic isn’t bending spoons….it is realizing there is no spoon and bending our expectations and actions instead.

Action is a part of it. Even in POOF fantasy magic, some action is taken. A spell must be cast, a potion brewed, or a wand waved. Subtle action is action just the same. There is a reason why they call it WORKING magic or CASTING a spell. The very fabric of language reflects the give-and-take, cause-and-effect nature of true magic.

Keywords: Magic, manifestation, shifts in perception,

Advice: Subtle changes now can lead to larger results later. Change your perceptions, change your world

Caution: Expectations kill magic. Magic is a process. Don’t get caught up in immediate results. Be willing to do your part.

Validation: You surf the currents of energy and insight well, and bend them to your will, your will to them.

Affirmation: The universe provides. I can call what I need into my life and do the work