More than it feels

TaoCraft Short Sip is Tarot for your day in the time it takes to sip from your coffee. Today: Strength from the major arcana and revisiting reversals

Hello and welcome to TaoCraft Short Sip: Tarot for your day in the time it take to sip from your coffee.

Today’s card is Strength from the major arcana, inverted.

This is another good chance to give my standard issue speech about inverted or reversed cards. Reversed cards are ones that turn over upside down relative to the person doing the reading.

The relative to the person doing the reading part is, to my thinking, much more important than the upside-down, reversed or inverted part. The card is perfectly fine as it lies. I don’t mean to go all Obi-wan on you, but the reversal is specific to a certain point of view. To the person across the table, the card is right side up. The card is the card, the only difference is how you look at it.

The tradition is to change the meaning of a card to its opposite when it turns up reversed. Usually that so-called opposite is really the darker, less socially popular, or negative side of the card.

As I see it, that flip flop in the meaning runs the risk of letting a certain toxic positivity leak into our readings. Right side up cards are a bit easier to read from a pure physiologic, visual standpoint. I don’t know about you, but I have an innate bias toward right side up cards, just as a matter of identifying what the heck you are looking at.

Depending on where you stand in the room, all cards are always right side up or upside down. All the cards are always everything and that is part of Tarot’s inherent value. Tarot has value in the way it opens our mind and our thinking to all the possibilities, even the hard to look at upside down ones.

All the cards are everything all of the time.

My favorite quote from the original 90s version of the movie The Craft is from the scene where the bookstore owner explains the nature of magic and spells to the protagonist Sarah “True magic is neither black or nor white – it is both because nature is both. Loving and cruel all at the same time … the only good or bad is in the heart of the witch. Life keeps a balance on its own.”

Connect that to the yin-yang symbol and Taoist philosophy and you know why I named this website and podcast what it is.

So if reversed cards don’t represent a thing and it’s opposite or some sort of positive vs negative duality, what do reversed cards tell us?

Sometimes, nothing.

I read reversed cards as meaning that there is something up with how the card’s meaning is being used or manifested in life. There is something blocked or turbulent or glitchy with the energy flow that the card and its position within a layout represents.

Author Scott Cunningham is known for saying “The feeling is the power” If you are feeling strong today great! Have at it!

If not, that’s fine. No one has the capacity to be perfect every moment, and we certainly don’t feel that way every moment.

The Strength card always has an element of trusting yourself. If you are feeling strong, then you have to trust it to use it. If you are not feeling strong, then you still have to trust yourself. It is a matter of trust that your inner strength is still there, still fully functioning.

Do the thing. You don’t have to like it. You don’t have to enjoy it. You don’t have to act happy about it when you aren’t. You can, however still do what needs done because your strength is more than it feels.

Thank you for reading and listening!

The blog, podcast, and youtube channel are not monetized and depend on your support. Please visit the TaoCraftTarot ko-fi page to become a member of the TaoCraft Tarot Table and be a patron of these Tarot arts. Of course, your likes, subs, shares, follows and reading orders through the blog website are always, always appreciated.

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

Today’s Tarot: It’s all good, even the bad.

It’s OK to be OK. It’s OK to not be OK. It’s not OK to pretend.

“The only sin in any of that is in the pretending”

Tuesday afternoon, I watched the secular coalition panel discussion at the Democratic convention. I wish I’d written down the details of the story, who told told it, who it was about, but it didn’t occur to me. The anecdote struck a very personl chord with me. Other than the quote above, the details have escaped.

The speaker told of an atheist friend of his who told his devoutly religious father of his non-belief. He listed all the things so important to the friend’s family that the 20 year old friend could no longer honestly do because he thought it was all, well, BS. He expected anger, hurt or worse from his father, who simply stood, gave the man a hug and told him the only sin in any of his rejections is in the pretending. It would be a far worse offense to pretend to believe, to go through empty motions.

The same idea is true of emotions in general. Queen cards represent a caretaking and nurturing kind of leadership (contrasted with the protective leadership of a King) while Wands cards have to do with the inner world, and the element of fire…our inner passions, emotions, spirituality, beliefs.

The only sin is in the pretending.

This speaks to “toxic positivity” as some are calling it. You could also call it emotional dissonance, or even outright denial. Like most things, it is a two way street.

You can’t manage stress unless you admit it exixts in the first place. You can’t fix the problem until you honestly acknowledge that it is there and begin to understand the real nature of things. Pessimism isn’t always helpful. But neither is seeing the wold through rose colored glasses. Both add to problems. You have to stare reality in the face to deal with what actually is happening.

AND you have to stare your own heart and emotions in the face to accept and acknowledge what they are too. Emotions aren’t good, bad, positive, negative or indifferent, unless we assign that quality to them. It reminds me of that quote from the movie Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins. “Fear is just a feeling. You feel hot. You feel hungry. You feel angry. You feel afraid. Fear can never kill you.”

Wise words, even if it comes from pulp fiction. It’s ok to feel what you feel. The feelings won’t hurt you. It’s the stupid shit we do in the name of those feelings that cause problems or make existing problems worse.

So yes, by all means, it’s ok to be ok.

It’s just as ok to not be ok.

But it’s not ok to pretend.