The Cyber Crew Counts Too

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot contemplation for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today is the three of cups – the cyber crew counts too.

Hello and welcome to TaoCraft Short Sip: a Tarot contemplation in the time it takes to sip from your favorite morning beverage. I’m glad you are here.

Today’s card is the the three of cups.

Early February always seems to carry a big cups energy. Ooof…that sounds like a underwear joke for 10 year olds waiting to happen, doesn’t it? Cups in Tarot are associated with close relationships, the element of water, and emotions.

Emotions are high this time of year. For folks who like the outdoors and warm weather, the emotions are often frustration with winter, with a dollop of cabin fever on top. For those of us who like cooler weather, we are intent on soaking up the hot chocolate and yarn driven coziness as long as possible. Many people are enjoying the mid-month hallmark holiday. I’m here for it just to get the on sale chocolate.

Like Valentine’s Day, the suit of cups shines a light on relationships often with a focus on the romantic ones. But also like the modern holiday, the suit of cups reflect other relationships too.

Palintine’s day is a great idea. I’m inspired by the youngling and the roommates and their DIY charcuterie board and movie marathon party last year. This is exactly the kind of camaraderie that the three of cups is talking about. It is a celebration of like minded friends.

The celebration of like minded friends is no longer limited to physical spaces. The past couple of years have, by necessity, has de-emphasized face to face socialization, but has to replaced that with long distance communication emphasizing a meeting of hearts and minds. Friendships can, indeed, exist in cyberspace.

Many of us already knew that. I count the people I’ve met with and talked with and continued to communicate with in cyberspace as much among my friends as those who live nearby in meat-space.

The energy is around the card today is very lighthearted, laid back and friendly. No major message or ponderous spiritual guidance. The energy reminds me of a simple delight, kind of like those small paper valentines cards kids exchange (or used to exchange) in primary school. Have a little fun. Tell your friends that you appreciate them – in meat space and cyberspace too.

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See you at the next sip!

YouChoose Interactive Tarot: Do Differently

You choose: you pick the card, you decide how to apply it, and then get today’s reading the for your card.

This week the overall energy seems to focus on doing things, but for different reasons.

Ace cards have a thread of beginning energy (although not with the same wattage as the Fool card from the major arcana.) They also typically carry the essence of the suit, which is what draws my attention in this instance. Pentacles are connected with the physical realm, often career, work, or wealth. Today feels like the physical realm in general with the advice to engage with the physical realm to rest the mind. Think in terms of a long jog, or the classic hot shower where genius ideas are born.

Swords and knights are action. Swords are also connected with the element of air which in turn points to mind and intellect. If you chose the knight of swords (no spoilers! you’ll have to watch the video and pick a card to see if this one is yours) then the energy for you is also flowing toward doing and action, but something that combines doing and thinking, as you might with following a pattern or recipe or anything new really.

Cups cards connect to the element of water, intuition, emotion, and closest relationships. This is also doing oriented. but working with friends. Not so much working on a career or physical-realm task as the other cards, but actively polling your brain trust. It feels like the thing to DO is to poll the audience so to speak, to reach out to trusted friends. The idea of “two heads are better than one” will serve you well – especially if the other head is someone you have a good relationship with.

Today’s Tarot: Raise Your Chalice

This is one of those times where the card feels, to me, to be way out of synch with today’s energy. It just doesn’t capture the momentum of the moment. Something’s off.

Sometimes when this happens I’ll just re-draw the card and take the “off” feeling as my cue that some other message is more urgent or pressing than the first card can convey.

Other times I’ll just let it stand in the hope that it helps some unknown someone somewhere out there in cyberspace. This is exactly the kind of thing I was talking about the other day in the podcast:

BUT, as I go along, today’s card is turning out to be less about the card, less about a somebody-somewhere message and more about the Tarot reading process. This is a message for folks on my side of the reading table. Any card could potentially carry this energy thread, not just the three of cups.

The “I don’t know who needs to hear this but….” trope has always made me feel a little annoyed and agitated, but I never understood why until now. Not only is it overused and cliche, but strikes me as a little arrogant self-serving. It is as if the person writing it thinks they have some special, secret, better knowledge than everyone else. Maybe they do, but why not just say what’s on your mind without the “I don’t know who needs to hear this” part? It sounds like a power play over that unknown someone that you think you know better than. You were going to post the idea anyway. It serves no purpose to amp it up like you are some hero messenger from on high going out of your way to drop some wisdom on some poor wretch who doesn’t even know they need helped.

Of COURSE we don’t know who needs to hear it. We are pushing our ideas out into a public forum, not responding to a specific person. If we publish a reading about a particular person, then that flirts with violating their privacy (unless they give conscious consent for the reading to be used that way, which some people have…for which I am very grateful.)

OF COURSE we don’t know who “needs to hear this.” They never ASKED to hear it. That unknown someone out there might not WANT our almighty opinion. Who are we to say what anybody NEEDS to hear whether we know who they are or not? We are interpreters, neither judges of need nor arbiters of truth.

It’s a roundabout way to get there, but this mis-matched energy today is a good reminder of why I want to bring Reiki and medical ethics and professionalism to my Tarot work. In Reiki we don’t do energy work with someone without some level of consent. One of my Reiki teachers once told a story about a time where they saw breaking news on TV. Out of kindness and an impulse to help they sent energy to a person in the live news feed. The energy bounced back hard because it wasn’t requested or wanted. Since then, they use and teach the intent of sending energy unconditionally and without expectation, so the energy can be accepted OR rejected as the recipient sees fit – even in planned distance sessions. I’ve tried to adopt that same stance in Tarot blogging and social media. The Reiki in our teacher’s example was sent out of sincere compassion and a desire to help, not at all intended to be arrogant. The same is true of those “I don’t know who needs to hear this” posts online. But as the adage goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions – and tired social media tropes. There is such a thing as unintended consequences. We may not intend to be egoistic, but our work can still drift in that direction if we aren’t careful. I’m as guilty of that as anyone, maybe more than most.

Sometimes the lines between simple enthusiasm, a sincere desire to help, passionate evangelism and outright arrogance are very narrow. It is up to us to keep our ego in check. It is up to us to respect the universal life energy we read and the ones we read it for, both known and unknown.

That is exponentially true for those of us who have been raised in the American evangelical subculture. Our lives were so saturated with arrogant holier-than-thou pronouncements that it seems normal…but it’s not. Making holier-than-thou arrogant pronouncements is one of those things that a recovering fundamentalist has to be constantly on guard against. It really does have a certain kinship with the way that chemical dependency requires lifelong vigilance against triggers and relapses.

So no, I don’t know who needs to hear this unusual, convoluted energy message today. I won’t presume to think anyone does. I give it without expectation, for you to accept or reject as you see fit. Which is a very freeing, comforting thing on my side of the Tarot reading table. Being right all the time and the inerrant source of higher knowledge must be exhausting.

So let me raise a virtual chalice of thanks to all the many unknown someones out there. We mean well, but we also rely on your discretion and discernment. If we tell you something you needed to hear, great. We are happy to have helped. If not, then thank you for ignoring the BS and hanging in there with this until a useful message does come along. Here is to you, dear reader, for silently, energetically helping us online types to respect our audience.

YouChoose Interactive Tarot Nov. 29 – Dec 5

I hope you all had a good week. I don’t know about you, but I’m still on turkey overload and enjoying the start of elfcon season. I don’t know why but it seems easier this year. I’m probably massively forgetting something. But with what I am remembering, the YouTube channel will definitely only post once, maybe twice a week, but hopefully the blog will be a bit more active. That I can do in between batches of cookies.

Left: Queen of Swords. Swords are intellect, and queens are nurturing leaders. Think. Help but help smart. Triage and mind your resources. It reminds me of something I once read about UNICEF. They are a good way to help because they have infrastructure in place, and know what is truly USEABLE in an area. If the help doesn’t match the need, you are either throwing paper towels at a flood or donating a high end laptop to a village that doesn’t have electricity. Don’t let ego or impulse trip up your naturally generous nature or helping impulse. I read a Tweet recently that has a valid point: before you send a donation to a senate race in another state, donate food to you local food bank. Supporting good public policy is critical to do long term good, but a meal for a hungry child in your own town is a much more urgent need. In short, put your efforts and energies where they are truly most needed, not necessarily where your first impulse goes, no matter how well intentioned that impulse might be.

Center: Three of Cups. Here’s that Richard Bach quote I was telling you about in the video. “The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.” This is a good time to celebrate the non-genetic family that means the most to you. They are pure gold in times when families of blood can’t (or choose not to for their own good) be together.

Right: Ace of Cups. Inspiration. This card comes with the mental image of a coin being dropped in a cup. Inspiration comes, it can’t always be sought after. Sleep on it. Put a problem aside just for a minute if you can. The something-else that you do, the other -thing that you think about just might inspire the answer you were seeking in the first place. Creativity has to do with connecting disparate dots as much single minded focus.

Happy week everyone!

Today’s Tarot w/ Zombie Cat: A meeting of the minds

Braaaaiiiiiiinnss – they aren’t just for zombies anymore

It’s true that humans are social creatures. There is something primal about it that probably goes back to wolly mammoth BBQs. In modern times there is some other thread that ties us together other than pure group effort survival (altough some of that is needed nowadays too)

Wherever there is a meeting, there is a meeting of the minds. At a concert, it is the shared enjoyment of music. At a movie itvis the shared experience of images and stories. Pictures and stories don’t have to be called art and literature brain and emotion feeding kinds of things.

“What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you.” – Carl Sagan

Whether you are reading a book and communing with that unknown author, or chatting it up on facetime with grandma, it is still human interaction on a much needed mental and emotional level, if not the physical one.

During times when our physical beings are kept separate, it is all the more important to connect in a meeting of the minds.

Trust me on that one, because, you know, brains.

YouChoose Interactive Tarot: Change Will Change

Pause the video if you need a moment to choose your card for today, then restart the video to see the reveal. You know what I wrote on the blog about Pentacle cards repeating? Scratch that…nothing has changed about the pandemic. It’s an eneregy shift today, NOT a physical realm one. More on that in another post. Meanwhile, we have to stay in Samuel L. Jackson mode…. STILL wash your hands, don’t touch your face, and stay the f*ck at home. New York City is still in the thick of it, so the worst is yet to come for the rest of us. Be safe, and take good care of yourselves as best as you can.

Left: 3 of Cups. Even the introverts are starting to catch a little cabin fever…until we listen to the news or scroll social media. Forget mass media. Take a loooong break from your socials. The human spirit is thirsting for real, genuine one to one conversation. We can’t feed our need for physical interaction so it is all the more important to feed our need for genuine conversation and a meeting of the minds. Use technology for genuine conversation and connection, not mass broadcast. Leave that for the professional journalists. Write a letter. Make a phone call. Text. Zoom if that’s your thing. It is a two for one offer. The conversation just might lift the whole group’s spirits.

Middle: The Moon. The physical moon moves through cycles in its appearance to us on earth, so this card is often associated with the natural cycles of things. That daisy-chains to effect of the moon on the tides, connecting the card to water and intuition. The energies today are right to experiment with your own intuition. Listen with your heart, extend your feelings. What shifts in mood and energy do you sense? What is in your energy environment right now that needs your attention? Is it within you, hinting at a need for self-care or is it outside of you calling you to help others?

Right: The Wheel. Freud was right. Sometimes a cigar really is just a cigar. Sometimes the message from a card is just as obvious, simple and straight forward as it seems. This will all change. Life changed from normal to pandemic mode and will change again in time. It will never go back to what once was because this will always have happened…this time and this experience will always exist. Time will move on, things will change. It will become our choice whether we let this time scar us, strengthen us, empower us or haunt us. Change is inevitable, but the choice is yours about how…and if…you embrace it.

12 Second Tarot (27 September 19)

Happy energy. Allow the good energy and happy relationships in your life help you, lift you up. Celebrate the connections in your life.

Your connection with yourself and the Cosmos exists even when it feels as if all else has failed. This universal connection can help you and be celebrated even when you feel most alone.

“You are as connected to the universe as a wave is connected to the ocean.” – Alan Watts (paraphrased)

12 Second Tarot: Three of Cups (9-1-19)

It’s a day for friendships and simple pleasures. Even if you are alone, know there is someone, somewhere who enjoys that nice little thing too. The happiness you take from that simple little treat is a shared experience. ☕

REpeat not RETROpeat

A few days ago, we looked at the question of why cards sometimes turn up repeatedly in readings, regardless of whether you are getting readings or giving them. As I was uploading the post, I could almost hear a chorus of “It’s Mercury Retrograde” coming from social media as a hot take explanation of why life lessons are hard to learn; why messages aren’t being heard well and why cards have repeating lately.

I disagree. Understanding and enacting an important life lesson often takes much longer than any given Mercury retrograde. It takes more than a Mercury year. It can take multiple Earth years. Any retrograde of any planet in any solar system is no more than a trick of forced perspective. It is the relative movement of a very close planet compared to very distant stars. It is a little like those photos where it looks like someone is holding up the leaning tower of Pisa or holding the setting sun in the palm of their hand. As the animation above shows us, shift your point of view, and POOF! no retrograde. Only normal cycles of planets – and of nature – remain.

I have seen, however, a connection between repeating Tarot cards and one particular planet’s orbit. It isn’t Mercury; It’s Earth. The Wheel card in particular speaks to these cycles. When the Wheel shows up, think about natural cycles that may be moving through your life. There is also a subtext of adaptation. We must move with the wheel of time and natural cycles, or be crushed beneath it. This is a good example of a difficult life lesson that takes time to learn, don’t you think?


Seasons of the year are an obvious natural cycle. Over time, I’ve seen several cards cluster around summer and winter. They seem to capture the essence of the season. I often see cards like the 9 of cups, the 4 of wands or the 3 of cups turn up frequently around the Winter holidays. It fits Those holidays are akin to the cards with celebrations, traditions, family foundations and social connections all at top of mind that time of year.

Summer cards are a bit more subtle.

We think of summer as an active time, and it is. Yet it needs balance. In the winter, we balance the seasonal cold with warm things: woolly clothes, fires in fireplaces, spices, warm drinks, candles, lights. Summer needs balanced with cool drinks, sitting in the shade, loose cool clothing, going barefoot. Again, there are cards that hint at this seasonal balance, with quiet introspective cards like the 4 of swords, 3 of wands, 5 of cups or The Hermit. Admittedly, I’ve seen this pattern emerge more as a reader than as an individual. It think of it as being part of the entrainment phnomenon we talked about last time. Cards may repeat in a party (or in a season) as a resonance with the time and place (or time of year.)

If a card keeps turning up time and again, yes, it is significance. Yes, that repetition in and of itself is a message.  If a card keeps repeating, it could be for multiple different reasons. As always, it is usltimately up to your feeling and your intuition to decide which reason best fits..or if it is something else entirely. It might be:

  • an important message or lesson you are misunderstanding, failing to hear, or failing to enact
  • a significator, a stand-in for you in the reading to show how Tarot and spiritual growth in general fits in with you as individual and with your self-image of the time.
  • a validation, a signal from spirit the card’s message is important, real, authentically for you
  • resonating with places you go …. parties and so on
  • resonating  with the season of the year


Five Card Tarot Reading

Q: Open reading, please!

A: Thank you for being so open about this. I’ve always gotten the best readings that way, and they feel like they have more energy behind them when giving them. It’s like letting a car roll a little instead of riding the brakes, if that makes any sense as an analogy. In answer to some of the “how does this work” questions I get every now and then, this is an example of how all my readings work, really. This is exactly what you get with an e-mail distance reading. Think of it as a written transcript of a video, phone or in-person session. It doesn’t matter to my intuition whether I give the information with my voice or with my fingers on a keyboard, it all comes out the same. But again, thank you. Let’s take a look at your cards. I shuffled 4 times, keeping my mind on “the highest and best for ****”. These are the cards that we got.

For *****

May 26, 2019

Your Cards Today Are:

  • Lessons from the Past: Three of Pentacles (Coins)
  • Current Situation: Death
  • Moving Forward: Three of Cups (reversed)
  • Advice / Choices: King of Wands (reversed)
  • Alternative Path: The Emperor

General Pattern

Are you familiar with the Tarot deck? On part of the deck mirrors the modern game playing deck with aces, numbers, kings, queens etc. That is called the minor arcana and over time, as I read them, these card are more day to day guidance. There are 22 other cards, called Trump cards or the major arcana. These cards have more wattage behind them energy-wise, and they tend to have a bigger message, something that may ask you to take action or make a serious decision.

In your case you have two majors (Death and The Emperor) the rest are minor arcana. In a layout this small, that is enough of an edge that it gets my attention. This may be a cue that you are in a time of high energy (or stress). It doesn’t give a good sense whether this on the horizon or in progress (remember, Tarot never predicts the future….it helps navigate you to it and through it). If I were to take a guess, things have been busy and this may be a hint that you will have a lot of things on your plate for a little while longer. There is also a feeling that you might actually like it that way….as if you are much more stress tolerant than you give yourself credit for being. You might get bored or feel stagnant if there wasn’t some energy and change bubbling up every now and again.

Of your minor arcana cards, three of the possible four suits are showing. That balance among the suits also hints that if there is stress, in is on the second half and you are closer to return to normal than peak change. Or, if you aren’t feeling particularly stressed, this would underline tha notion that you are a person that is very tolerant of energy and change…a very good thing.

When three suits show, sometimes it helps to look at the one missing, too, in case it has a message and is being conspicuous in its abscence. You are missing swords… the element of air, with hints of action, society, relationship with authority. By not being here, I get a feeling that this isn’t a good energy time for action, certainly nothing rash or hurried. It feels more like “sit back and let things unfold. There is enough energy here, you won’t regret it”

Lessons from the Past

Three of Pentacles

Pentacles have to do with the element of earth, the physical realm, the practical nuts and bolts of living, oftern work or career. The three in particular has to do with projects and group efforts, even though in this deck the three shows only one person, seemingly putting in late hours. The phrase “extra effort award” comes to mind here. I can’t say it is definitely work or school related, but it sure feels like it. Something needing extra work is implicit, not explicit. There is a need for a self-starter, a need for you to take initiative somehow. The reason it comes through as lessons past, feels like this is a lesson you may have learned the hard way. There may of been times in the past (the ‘past’ in question here feels like high school, teen years, a time when everyone is learning these types of things) where there may have been times you did assignments only as asked, or done only the minumum (like every teenager ever) But now you are being asked to take your game up a level. Put in the extra effort…dig a few layers deeper into things before passing judgement, before coming to a conclusion or before turning a project in. Usually this position has a lot of validation flavor to it. This does vallidate past experiences …but as a comparison for now, a lesson in what THIS time doesn’t need. The past is a lesson what not to do this time…a strong sense of “look at here and now with fresh eyes, not old habits.”

Current Situation


You KNOW the death card isn’t literal, right? It is about a big change, something that changes everything. I see it all the time at Bachlorette parties….that kind of life altering change. And it doesn’t have to be a negative change. It can be very much a change for the better. Off the cuff, I want to associate this with career change…as if the extra effort energy in the 3 of coins card can bring some change in responsibility at work, or some change in self-esteem or the amount that you enjoy your work. Not necessarily wads of cash, but some pleasant benefit or doorway of opportunity for the future. Outside of work, it feels like a subtle but building, important change. Here is where loads of validation comes in. Lots of little life lessons, lots of learning, paying attention, maturing, caring, paying forward…a zillion little things have accumulated to big change. I feel like this card is saying you are not the same person you used to be, and that you are to be commended for the changes you have made little by little over time. The change will last.

Moving Forward

Three of cups

When a card turns over upside down relative to the person doing the reading, it is called reveresed. Some readers will switch card meanings when that happens. I like to consider all the possible aspects of a card anyway. If it turns over reversed then I just think of it as hinting that idea, that area of life, has blocked or turbulent energy. It’s not different per se, just a little more difficult or challenging than it might otherwise be. Cups symbolize our closest relationships, often romances, but in this case it is about your close circle of friends. It has advice energy around it. The reversal makes me wonder if there has been some distance creeping in between you and your closest friends. It could be as simple as everyone being busy, but the feeling is such it makes me wonder about tensions or conflicts. The advice feels to heal…to patch up any little spats so you can all be there for each other. Not necessarily just like before, but there just the same. A more mature group as a whole, but still a group together. Very stage of life feeling, not dire or permanent feeling.


King of Wands

Wands are fire, Kings are leadership. It feels like your choice is ennui and ho-hum vs following your passions. I want to connect that feeling of following your passions to the extra work and extra effort idea from before. The inspiration and idea to take THAT initiative my come from your innate interest and passion for something. Follow your passions and take initiatives. I thing the reversal comes from a hesitation or lack of confidence more than being an indication of outdome. The more confident and self-starting, the more of a leader you are, the more you follow your passions the better. Don’t let your doubts hold you back. Think, yes. Make good rational decisions, yes. But don’t let unrealistic or unreasonalbe self-doubt hold you back either.

Alternative Path

The Emperor

Basically, this is give yourself credit. The feeling here is that the current path card moves toward the three of cups, with that card symbolizing private, not-work life. This path, or part of the path, feels work related. When the two cards line up side by side like that, or seem related somehow, I take that to mean that you are on a good path…this card isn’t so much offering a clear alternative as it is emphasizing the cards before, especially the leadership aspects of the 3 of pentacles and the king of wands. This card is less offering an alternative than it is highlighting the idea of taking initiative, digging deeper, and having the courage to follow your passions. The Emperor is often a protector. Protect your dreams. Protect your passions and goals.


This part always seems to start with a color or color and chakra reference. For you I get rainbow flourite, with lots of purple and green together. It may not be it’s best known property, but it feels like it will give you the mental focus and clarity to do the extra work, the deeper layers you may need to do at the same time helping you stay grounded and clear. Clarity, focus, that may clear the way for you to also find any courage you need later on.

I see pine trees.

Again the purple stone….could be amethyst too.

There the energy steps back. It feels like this part wants to be extra gentle for some reason, and is stepping back with little information given…but nothing is missing “What needs said has been given”

Here I add what I call the “sigil element” You can use it in making a sigil (power symbol) for yourself if you like, or you can write it down on paper and carry it for luck, or you can just think of it as a picture way to sum up your reading. In my mind’s eye, I see wavy lines for energy and movement. The emphasis on change, and the new way of doing things with more initiative reminds me of the greek letter delta which means change in math. Three triangle together show change and flow….change, change again, constant learning and growing

Affirmation: I have the courage and mental clarity to change when needed and to follow my passions.

And there you have it….a typical Five card reading. I hope it helps!