Update July 2019

If you are new here – Welcome.

If you have visited before, or followed the blog for any amount of time, you have probably noticed the new look.

In 2018, I officially re-launced Modern Oracle Tarot as TaoCraft Tarot.  This website and blog is being streamlined to match. Here are the key changes

  • All of the Tarot content has been moved to the Modern Oracle Tarot / Tarotbytes Archive (posts prior to October 2018) or to the current TaoCraft Tarot Blog
  • From here forward, Reiki, Meditation, and Taoism related content will appear on the TaoCraft Tarot Blog
  • The Vampire Diet, Baihu’s News Haikus, Merry Monday, Tao Tuesday, and Browncoat Whovian Epiphany content has been discontinued.
  • This blog will be any eclectic, random or natural health posts that do not fit with the Tarot/Meditation/Reiki/Taoism/Magick milieu of the TaoCraft Site.
  • Some posts may deal with sensitive or controversial subjects. Reader discretion is advised. Comments are closed.
  • Constructive reader feedback and Natural Health questions are welcome via email at rondajsnow@gmail.com
  • Not all emails will receive a reply. There is a zero tolerance spam policy


Please read disclaimer below before submitting Natural Health Question. This is for general interest ONLY. No information on this website or by this author can diagnose, treat, or cure any disease and does not in any way replace professional health / mental health care. No liability of any kind real or implied is accepted. Use rondasnow.com, taocrafttarot.com and all information or entertainment services entierely at your own risk.

The Art of Advice

The Art of Advice

As I see it, there are two big pitfalls in doing Tarot readings for someone other than yourself: Predictions and Pronouncements.

If you’ve read Modern Oracle Tarot for more than five minutes you already know how I feel about predictions. Choice is more powerful. The role of intuition is to broaden horizons. Readings should inspire, empower, and give options, not predict the future – you know the drill.

Readings are about advice. When you do a reading for someone else, you are basically giving them advice, whether your guidance is drawn from your conscious experience and know-how, or drawn from spirit / inner knowing / intuition through using the cards.

Sometimes when people just aren’t hearing what I’m saying, I’ll put the hammer down, go into Tenth Doctor no-second-chances, no-means-no mode if someone keeps insisting on a prediction after I’ve told them it isn’t appropriate. That’s on them for ignoring the advice that is honestly given. The other half, the pronouncements, that’s all on me.

Saying ‘you should’ do such and such is just as limiting, and dis-empowering as a prediction. It plants a seed, sets the other person up for “self-fulfilling prophecy” not true choice. It is one of the most enduring and endearing premises of “Doctor Who” on TV – everyone, even the bad guys, must be given a real choice. If we pronounce what they “should” do we are asking them to learn from OUR mistakes, re-walk OUR path – we are not honoring, guiding or shining a light on THEIR path. For some people, our advice turns on the light bulb over their head, and eases the learning process. Other people need to learn the hard way (the way many of readers did). Who are we as card-readers and advice-givers to decide which is which?

Sometimes I will stray into a hair on fire “you should” mode, but I try to avoid it UNLESS it is a sitter I know well or feel very comfortable with and UNLESS the intuitive impression is strong enough to warrant the DefCon-1 red alert. Otherwise, I try to lay out the choices supported by some basic “if-then” logic. If you do X, then there is a big chance of Y happening, but if you do A then B might be possible….that sort of thing. Unless you are reading for your actual child, the advice is best left to suggestions and nudges in my opinion. Reading for kids is a whole other kettle of fish, and I’ll write a post about that if you want….but 99% of the time I read for adults. If someone is an adult, then it is only right that I respect their choice, autonomy and dignity. That’s how I want to be treated in a reading. I don’t react well to ‘thou shalt’ or even ‘you should’ pronouncements. Tell me why, give me alternatives, and I’ll consider it. Tell me what I ‘should’ do and I’ll turn into an oppositional teenager quicker than you can say Johnny Rotten. I promise to treat everyone I read for with the same respect and dignity that I expect to receive.

By the same token (funny how there are always two sides to every coin) other situations really do need the “you should” approach to get the message through. Sometimes we all need a ‘dutch uncle’ (or aunt) to tell us like it is, lay it on the line and shock us into paying attention. “Thou shalts” aren’t always bad.

The art in giving advice lies in

  1. Knowing when to nudge in the right direction and when to break out the frying pan in the face approach.
  2. Trusting the process. If we stay true to our own reading style, to our own hearts and intuition as readers, then we can trust the message will ultimately get through in the right way for each person, even if it takes a little time,  trial and error, and a few mis-matched readings to get there.
  3. Realizing it is their path to walk, not ours. Ultimately our advice may make no difference whatsoever, and that is OK. Maybe, just maybe,  we are meant to be there to help pick up the pieces after they fall, not keep them from falling in the first place.

So if you are a tarot reader, speak your truth in your own genuine way. However it goes, it is their path to walk, their lesson to learn. What matters is that you give the message honestly, openly, with loving intent, to the best of your ability. When that happens, the rest will take care of itself.

The Art of Advice: Love, speak your truth kindly, then trust.

Water of Life

Water makes a news splash – again

I know “water of life” sounds like an exaggeration, but as a science fiction fan, I couldn’t resist that little shout-out to “Dune”, one of my favorite sci fi novels.

But if you think about it, associating water and life is no exaggeration at all. We die from lack of water much faster than from lack of food. There has been seemingly unending buzz in the popular media about how much to drink, contaminants in tap water, plastic bottles leeching chemicals into the water they contain (which might just be filtered tap water anyway), you name it. The latest ruckus is the First Lady’s “Drink up ” campaign. While it is true we need to drink enough fluid to maintain optimum health, it is easy enough to get that optimum. I don’t think the point is to drink a higher volume of water, I think the point of the thing is to drink more water INSTEAD of all the sugary, or artificially sweetened beverages. Instead of ‘drink more water’ the message should be to “stop polluting the water you already drink with processed corn syrup and artificial sweeteners.”

But let’s dial all that back a bit. In the bigger picture, water has been associated with health and healing for hundreds of years.

Mostly because the water we take for granted was a difficult thing to get in the past. It was hard enough to get decent water for drinking (often impossible…leading to a panoply of diseases still found in developing nations today) – much less get enough water for cleaning and bathing. Basic hygene could have gone a long way to mitigating the great epidemics of the past.  Mineral and natural hot springs were thought to have miraculous healing properties (although it may have been less a matter of divine intervention, and more an instance of heat and minerals killing germs) Even ‘normal’ water was a revered healing method in the 18th and 19th centuries. Extended showers, mineral spas, hot and cold compresses, saunas, and “Kniepp therapy” are just a few examples.

We often take our water supply for granted. We are able to drink all we want without fear of disease or parasites. We can easily keep ourselves and homes clean. A study from Kyoto University proves that simple gargle with plain water 2 or 3 times a day can help reduce colds and flu.

Simple water is a wondrous thing – drink up.

Related posts and sources:





How to drink water

What is Qi Gong (Chi Kung)?

Learn a little of the real story behind “Qi Gong”.

I don’t know quite why it is. Maybe it is simply caution about the unknown, like trying a new vegetable when you were a kid.

Sometimes people act a little nervous or uncomfortable when I mention Qi Gong (sometimes spelled Chi Kung). I’m guessing it might be because of that odd group that was in the news several years ago. I don’t know anything about falun gong, but I do know Qi Gong, and it is nothing to be afraid of – it’s better than trying brussel sprouts for the first time, that’s for sure.

Qi Gong is basically just “energy work”.

Think about junior high science class. Energy can mean electricity, magnetism, or it can be anything that produces an effect. Like the bowling ball on the shelf that produces the kinetic energy that produces the effect of denting your floor if the ball falls down. Qi is energy.

Gong is work, and tied to the idea of carrying energy. Kinetic energy in a hammer does the work of pounding a nail that produces the effect of building a house.

In this case the “energy” we are talking about is life energy. In China it is called Qi, in Japan it is “Ki” (like Reiki). Old Greek and European physicians like Galen, Hippocrates, and Paracelcus called it “vital force”. Whatever the name, it all means the same thing…that special something that makes us alive.

“Gong” in this case is simply working with the life force vital energy to bring mind and body into balance to help us have better mental outlook, fitness and health.

Qi Gong relies on visualization (focused imagination) and gentle movements to help move and balance life energy, to improve our health, and support mental well-being. To use Qi Gong effectively, you need a teacher. Think about the building a house example. Anyone can learn to pound a nail with a hammer. It isn’t really all that hard, but just pounding nails all willy-nilly doesn’t accomplish much unless you know what you are doing. You need the special know-how of a good contractor to build it right. The same is true with Qi Gong. You need to learn to do it right for it to really work at its best and cause no harm.

I don’t offer Qi Gong (yet) but to learn more about it I recommend viewing www.dctaichi.com in the Washington DC area. In the Pittsburgh PA area please visit www.teamsnow.co. for more information.

On August 18, 2012 Internationally known marital artist Master Nick Gracenin will be offering a Qi Gong workshop at 10 am at 1240 Washington Road, Mount Lebanon PA (the Unitarian Universalist Church at Sunnyhill). The cost is $40. A Bagua* workshop will follow at 11 am. Take both workshops for a discount…$70 total. Please contact Dr. David Clippinger to register at 412-480-9177.

*Bagua is a type of internal style Chinese martial arts…think “airbending” if you watch the cartoon “Avatar: The Last Airbender”