I find that the six weeks after each solstice can be awkward times. The culmination of the ‘event’ of the solstice is not a switch that turns things from one state to another (this is part of the insidious shift in our modern culture where we’ve let the idea of commoditised or oversized ‘experiences’ infest our expectations and swarm through our mental spaces). The true flow of the wheel of the year has a place for everything outside of that flow, so we experience periods of separation, listlessness, directionless, a maybe a bit of a lull. (Think about that odd time after boxing day, when you just seem to ….wait… for NYE.) Fallow times are important in a deep way, they’re the times that can lead us to the insights that turn our wheel to the next stage, the next level. Not always, maybe not directly, but there is value in isolation.
Early on in our journey, we each discover that we face many challenges alone. We are truly ‘islands in the stream. Although we have support, friends, networks for news and connection – we all face the occasional long dark night of the soul. It is a lonely night. It is good to remember that you have power in this time. You are in a part of your journey that is important in its own right.
Although you set intentions at the beginning of the year, you may be feeling that the year has gotten by you, you’ve been swept up in the general swirl of events and reacting to the unexpected. I sometimes feel that I’m so far off course that I’m a failure, and may as well just start from scratch again. If you can remember what your resolutions or goals for the year were but you wonder how you drifted from them, or if like me you remember that you kinda wrote them down somewhere but you might have to scrounge around to find them, then you know the state of mind we’re talking about. The days can zoom by but the sense of value or focus can be lacking. Am I just reacting to what is urgent rather than navigating by what is important? Good time for a check-in!
Of course the Tarot has many guides for us, and in this time I thought it would be useful to explore IX The Hermit. When I say “I thought it would be useful” what I mean is, “I asked the tarot what it thought would be a useful guide and Mr Hermit stepped forward.
This is a card I have come to value deeply and especially in these times of busy activity where I find myself questioning if I’m ‘on track’ with my bigger picture. The Hermit reminds us that there can be a source of power in acknowledging that we’re alone on our own path – shouting out occasionally to fellow travelers – but primarily guided by our own light. In the immortal words of the American philosopher John Denver “Some days are diamonds, some days are stones.”
So we are going to access our Hermit and check-in on our search for inner fulfillment – however we’ve defined that for ourselves. The Hermit is also annoyingly willing to cast some light onto difficult and troublesome aspects of our shadow-selves and in the context of this check-in you may see some things playing out that you’d rather not see, or have been trying to dodge.
Particularly if there are changes or habits that you have chosen to work on to move your life into a different shape, then you, my friend, will be experiencing all kinds of wobbly days and sometimes your shadows will be fighting hard for you to forget you ever had that intention! On the other hand, maybe you’ve already accomplished some major life projects out here in the year. If so, well done! That will have taken a huge amount of focus and energy. After you’ve celebrated, returning to centre will help you to send some energy back into the other areas of your life and regain balance in your new level.
I’ve designed this reading to use whatever you need to check in with as the base questions or theme. The Hermit himself is the model and source for the positions and meanings. The time frame here is roughly 3 to 6 weeks. This is a check-in, a light touch, not a deep analysis.
Review your intentions or resolutions for the year, or the plans/goals you’re feeling out of touch with. If you didn’t write/journal/draw/set to music them in the first place, now’s a perfect opportunity to do so. Reconnect to the powerful emotions and desires that stimulated the goals, and also the rational evaluation you went through to develop the plan and steps you put in place or have been working within. Honour the past you, who did the best job possible with what you knew at the time. Update and expand on these emotions and plans now if you want. You’re ready to draw the cards (use your own way).
1. The Hood – What in the world do I need to draw my hood up against and protect myself from?
2. The Lantern – What is my guiding light at this time for these activities?
3. The Staff – What steadies me and keeps me connected.
4. The Legs – What propels me, motivates me, what is the incentive in this time.
5. The Mountains – A view of attainment so far. Keep perspective, you’re in part of a big picture, you can take some reassurance form this position.
Tomorrow, Janine will share her own reading with this powerful and thoughtful spread. In the meantime, we hope you are inspired to spend some time meditating with The Hermit! We'd love to hear your insights about The Hermit card and your experiences with this spread. You can get in touch with Janine directly, or share with us in the comments!