Tarot Spreads

A Tarot Spread for Integrating Change

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have recently heard that I moved house. My flatmate and I decided that it was time to move on from our cosy (aka, tiny) space, to say goodbye to its quirky charms (aka, a leaking roof), and find some greener pastures.

We decided 2019 would be the year for this, and so we tallied up our desires, did a little witchcraft, and lo! By mid-January, we had a lease signed on a lighter, roomier, more recently renovated space, still in our favourite neighbourhood, with room for my business, her writing, and a big, deep bathtub.

This move felt extremely blessed – timing of our choosing, an upgrade in so many ways. A speedy turnaround, the financial means and many kind volunteers to ease the load. We’ve been lucky from start to finish. Thank you, St. Expedite!

Nonetheless, moving is a long, tiring, discombobulating process. I’m still collecting myself and emptying boxes, and will be for a while yet. For the first week or two, I was unable to write, or read cards, or really have any reflective process whatsoever.

To help slowly coax my thoughtful, introverted self out of hiding, I designed this tarot spread to help me start to process all this work and change. I hope it might prove helpful to others undergoing a relocation, whether that’s around the corner (like me), or around the world.

Indeed, this spread can be repurposed for any big move – to a new job, a new relationship, a new spiritual path. Feel free to substitute whatever your transition might be.

Give yourself a little uninterrupted time and space, maybe light a candle or incense if that’s your thing. Have a journal or recording device handy, should you want to make notes.

Take out your tarot cards. Shuffle, and draw.

1. A card to reflect on for this transitional phase.

2. What approach might you take to manage and work with the move or change?

3. How might you integrate and ground this change?

4. A ritual to bless your new space, project, or path.

5. How might you rest and replenish yourself during and after this process?

6. What might come next on this new path or in this new place?

Here’s what I pulled for myself (and because I’m taking everything slowly right now, I’m still processing this):

tarot spread for moving house change

Cards from my most beloved Pagan Otherworlds Tarot (pick up your own copy here).

Lots of power, and passion, and perhaps portents that I’ll be doing some workings with the moon to bless this place. Plenty to digest as I settle in over the coming weeks!

Has this spread been useful to you? Let me know in the comments, or drop me a line and tell me how it went!

Why Is This Tarot Card Stalking Me? The Seven of Cups Edition

It seems there's a stalker lurking outside our metaphorical window right now. If you follow the daily Weather Report, you might have noticed that the Seven of Cups has popped up three times in the last fourteen days. I'm not mathematically minded enough to say for sure how statistically significant that is (and I know it'll take me 5 years to begin to understand the google search results if I try to look it up, so), but I feel like that's of a frequency worth noting, don't you?

When a card appears persistently in the daily Weather, for the first couple of times I take it to mean we need to reiterate the original message. If it continues to appear, I start to wonder if it isn't time to delve into some of the dustier corners of a card's various meanings.

The Seven of Cups calls us to make choices with discernment. It also cautions us about flights of fancy and distractions that threaten to nudge us off course. It says that if something looks too good to be true, it probably is, and that our imaginations are wonderful tools when deployed in tandem with our capacity for critical thought. Like all the Sevens, it's a pause, a chance to get back on track or to tumble spectacularly off. The question is, which message do we need to heed right now?

When I draw a card for the Weather, I do so with the intention to get a message that's useful for anyone who might happen upon it. Sometimes the card will reflect what's going on in my life, but not always, and no doubt that's equally true of a subset of my readers each day. We're all in different places in our lives, and perhaps not everyone is having a Seven of Cups moment right now. Clearly, though, some of us need to think about fantasy and choice and discernment! 

Thankfully, we don't have to keep drawing the Seven of Cups and wondering why the heck we're not getting the message. Kristen, of Over the Moon Oracle Cards, is a bit of genius and has crafted a spread for figuring out what's going on with persistently recurring tarot cards. Phew! The spread is interpreted like a letter from the Seven of Cups to all of us. You can see a full explanation of the spread in Kristen's original post. Shall we try it out?

From the Small Spells Tarot by Rachel Howe

Bloody hell, that's a lot of Majors. The Seven of Cups is clearly not fooling around! 

Dear loyal readers of the Weather Report,

When I show up in your readings, I'm giving you a message about recalibrating and starting over (The Fool). I'm showing you that you're getting stuck because you're looking at things in the wrong way (The Hanged Man) and I want you to try to grow out of those old assumptions so you can approach this new beginning with a little more maturity and self-awareness (The World). When I appear, I'm asking you to release your knee-jerk desire to cling onto old beliefs (Strength) and embrace what's actually happening in the real world, outside your head (Queen of Pentacles). When you see me, it's time to cut through your own BS and see things as they really are (King of Swords).


The Seven of Cups

Ok, does anyone else feel a little schooled by that?! Ok, just me. Ouch! Clearly, the distractions and fantasies described by the Seven of Cups are born out of erroneous assumptions and attachments to old narratives. It's time to put those old tales to rest and allow ourselves to see things in a new and truer way. Less fantasy, more reality.

So, next time the Seven of Cups makes an appearance, ask yourself what story you're telling. Does it truly reflect what's in front of you? Chances are, it needs a revision! 

How do you feel about the Seven of Cups? And do you have a tarot card stalker right now? I want to hear all about it! Leave me a note below or come and share your tale on Twitter

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Further Reading, August 2016

Happy new season! Happy new month! Happy new moon! Happy... Mercury retrograde? Maybe I'm going to eat my hat on this one, but I don't think Mercury Rx needs to be so tough. Let's petition for a little looseness, a little flexibility, a little go-with-the-flow-ness, even when it doesn't feel like there's much flow to be had. We can do this! 

Before I share my picks for good reading from the past month, I wanted to share a spread for this new moon in Virgo. The reading I did for myself (pictured above, with the delightful Circo Tarot) was certainly illuminating, so I hope you might find this spread to be so, too. 

Tarot Spread for the New Moon in Virgo

Card 1: Where am I standing at the beginning of this new lunar month?

Card 2: What do I need to release in the month ahead?

Card 3: What steps can I take in order to do this?

Card 4: What new energies and opportunities are available to me now?

Card 5: How can I best embrace this newness and bring it to fruition?

Card 6: A mantra for courage and comfort in the month ahead.

Now, to the reading!

Around Here

August was a little quiet on the blog. Partial disclosure, I've had some stuff going on. When one isn't in the right headspace to write, though, one is grateful to be able to count on one's visitors for entertainment, and I wasn't short of that this month. Animator and tarot creator Laura Douglass stopped by to talk about her forthcoming deck, Tarot in Space! If you're a bit of a nerd with a taste for retro futurism this deck is going to be right up your alley, so please do consider supporting Laura's Indiegogo campaign if you're able!

On the Bookshelf

I didn't get much writing done in August, but lordy, did I ever read. A few choice selections - 

The Dead Ladies Project by Jessa Crispin - one of that excellent variety books that's sort of travel, sort of lit crit, sort of memoir, sort of something else. Just the kind of non-fiction I like from one of my favourite writers and tarot readers. P. S., if you don't already receive Jessa's tarot newsletter, I very much recommend signing yourself up!

One of my bookshop colleagues gave me a pretty firm recommendation for Sarah Schulman's Gentrification of the Mind, and after finding it cited in one of my other recently beloved books, I thought I better pick it up. Schulman's searing and rageful accounting of the parallel gentrifications of the history of AIDS, queer culture and literature, and the city of New York is challenging and thought-provoking and in places, hard to take on. Schulman repeatedly dares the reader to drop their gaze away from truth and trauma. Not for the faint of heart, but then, who has the right to be faint hearted over such things?

If something a little lighter is more your cup of tea, Laura Ruby's gorgeous magic realist YA novel, Bone Gap, was a gift of pure light this month. I delight in a plot that defies my attempts to describe it, and it's so rare to find a novel that has me flipping back to page one upon finishing to start all over again. You could also try A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab, the charming first novel in a trilogy about four parallel, magical Londons. 

A couple of new tarot decks also popped onto my radar in August. Fast favourite The Circo Tarot (pictured above) arrived, and it was love at first shuffle. This deck is now available to order from the artist. I highly recommend it!

My Kickstarter copy of The Wanderer's Tarot also landed on my doorstep - just yesterday, in fact, so we haven't had much time to get acquainted. It'll happen, though!

The Best of Elsewhere

It wouldn't be Mercury retrograde without... incessant talking about Mercury retrograde? We all have our own ways of using this celestially wacky time so I won't labour the point, but here's a good'un from Moon+Quartz about how we might set intentions under this Virgo new moon, while Mercury does his thing.

Northern Lights Witch wrote so beautifully about her evolving relationship with tarot, inspired by the writer Jhumpa Lahiri's lifelong passion for learning Italian. I love the idea that deepening any knowledge, skill, or practice is not so much about closing the gap between what is known and what is not yet known as it is about finding ever new ways to exist in that space in between.

This post from Stacy about finally being one's witchy self really resonated with me. It may not be the right time for everyone to feel safe coming out of the broom closet, but there truly is nothing like even a small amount of free and regular spiritual expression. Living in accordance with one's weirdness is truly where it's at!

I tend to resist suggestions for prompts and structure in my journaling, but this method of vision journaling looks like it could work a treat for planning all sorts of things (thanks to Jeanna of Girlboss Woo for sharing this gem in her excellent newsletter).

Thorn of The Tarot Skeptic always tackles the big questions - this time, Is Tarot Necessarily Spiritual?

Austin Kleon's weekly link roundup always yields something excellent, and this post about taking time daily at your bliss station was a recent standout. I'm definitely aspiring to make either a little time or a little space in my life for creative incubation.

Uh oh, looks like I owe Austin yet more thanks for filling my August with good reading (seriously, subscribe to his thing!). Here's George Saunders on exalted states

Carrie Mallon knocks it out of the park, as usual, with these reminders of what's really important


Ok folks, that's what I've been reading and loving. How about you? Leave me a recommendation in the comments or come and share your picks on Twitter!

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A Heart-Centered Oracle Reading

Last week, I wrote about how much I'm loving working with the Journey of Love oracle cards. Seriously, this deck is The Business! Last week, we got to oooh and aaah over the pretty illustrations and lovely ideas in this deck. This week, I'm putting it to work! 

I've been thinking a lot these past few days about deepening my meditation practice. If you've been following along for a little while, you may know that I'm not great at doing the same thing, day after day. I do have a daily spiritual practice, of sorts, but the content of that changes all the time because my interests and desires and questions are constantly evolving. While meditation is part of that, I can't say I'm terribly consistent with it! I've been feeling called to hit the cushion more and more these days, but due to distraction and busyness, I haven't really managed to put that into action.

Enter, the Heart-Centered Oracle Reading, with my trusted Journey of Love oracle cards. These cards LOVE to deal with matters of spiritual practice and spiritual paths, so this question is right up their alley. Let's see what support and advice they can offer me!

1. A Broader View: How can I support and deepen my meditation practice at this time? 28. Sacred Convergence

I guess I can't be too surprised by the gravity of this card, since almost every card in this deck packs a big punch, but still! Sacred convergence? That sounds big! This card says that right now, I need to understand the function of my meditation practice, and that function is nothing less than union with the divine. The cushion is a place where the worldly and the spiritual, the personal and the multiple, the separate and the whole, come together. This is big! Open yourself up to make space for all of this coming together.

Another aspect of this card that feels very relevant and powerful is the idea that this convergence can be uncomfortable. Alana Fairchild's blurb for this card says that the spiritual or energetic experience one might have can be reflected in bodily discomfort, anxiety, or resistance. This obviously rings a bell for me, because I do sometimes find the act of sitting physically uncomfortable (does anyone else suffer from meditator's itchy nose?! So annoying!). I think we can take this a step further, though, and extrapolate the body to be the physical world, the sensations, obligations, and routines of my earthly life. Life on the physical plane certainly does seem to sit uncomfortably with meditation practice. Often, I feel too busy or distracted, like there's no room in my schedule to sit. This card shows me that that resistance is actually a response to the deeper calling I'm experiencing. It's all part of the same puzzle! Accept it, but don't allow it to have the final word, because there's so much more to discover!

Journal Prompt: What connections am I seeking to make through meditation? What resistance am I experiencing? How can I bring these together in order to better understand this experience?

2. Zooming In: In the next week, what can I focus on or bring to my meditation sessions in order to cultivate stillness and insight? 23. Across the Waters

This card describes the lake of our emotional waters, a place that can be cooling and calming, infinitely peaceful, or cluttered, crowded, and tumultuous. One of the things I really love about this deck are the author's explanations about each card. For this one, Fairchild offers: "We yearn for the cool, calm mountain lake, serene, giving, echoing a gentle dispensation of grace. You are being called across the waters - out from an overcrowded sea into the cool spaciousness of the endless lake." Ahhh! Reading that feels like a long, deep breath! 

So, my focus this week is simple. I'm called to make my meditations a place of calm replenishment, a place where busyness and movement are stilled, and serenity is allowed to take over. I know from experience that meditation is not always serene (and often expecting it to be is the best way to ensure it isn't!), but this week, I'm going to bring this visualisation of the calm and endless lake into my sitting. I can't wait to feel less busy or distracted. I have to seek out that lake within myself!

Journal prompt: Although I do usually do a journal prompt for each card in this reading, I'm going to skip this one. In this case, stillness is more important than more words!

3. How can I encourage self-love and compassion as I navigate this process? 26. Guardians of the Soul Family

I am not alone in this! There are myriad travellers on this path, working to integrate their spiritual selves into their day to day lives. I'm looking at you wondrous blog readers right now! There are also many sages and students who have explored this road before - countless amazing books have been penned on the subject, not to mention blogs, instagram posts, conversations over coffee. The most loving thing I can do for myself is remember that I am supported by all these fellow spiritual journeyers! When in doubt, I can turn to them for support, read their words, ask them questions, feel their presences. Nice!

Journal prompt: Who is in my spiritual support network? What wisdom have my teachers offered about this experience? How can integrate that into my practice?


I'm going to take my journal prompts and do some further reflection on this. I'm definitely feeling more supported and inspired to hit the cushion and calm my inner lake! And inn case you missed last week's post, you may be interested to know that this Heart-Centered Oracle Reading is now available as an offering in the shop! These cards love to tackle questions of self-love, personal growth, and spirituality - while the reading I've shared today is about supporting my own meditation practice, this offering can tackle all manner of spiritual and personal topics, and of course, the spread will be customised to meet your needs. I really love sharing the insights of these cards, so if you do feel like you need a little clarity and support, head over to the Two Sides Tarot store and take a look!

Before I sign off for another week, I'd love to know - what are your thoughts on regular meditation? Love it? Struggle with it? Never tried it? What's your approach? I'd love to hear about any experiences or insights you'd care to share!

An Almost-Summer Solstice Tarot Reading

Last week I wrote about observing and trying to understand the changing season, the arrival of Summer that we're currently experiencing where I live. It's been an interesting process, because the weather doesn't always do what one expects, and whatever it does do is almost certainly different to what is described in traditional pagan texts that come out of traditions in Western Europe. 

There's no doubt, however, that Summer is here today. Let me ham up my Australianness for you and say it is bloody hot in Sydney right now! I actually wore loose pyjama pants to yoga this morning because the thought of leggings was unbearable! I also just ate my first apricot of the season - yay, stone fruits! So many things are available year round, but apricots, peaches, plums, cherries, and nectarines have somehow avoided having their growing season flattened out by the demands of supermarket chains. It always feels like an extra special Summer treat when they do appear in the shops. 

Since it feels suitably summer-y, and I do have a few moments before needing to dash out for my next appointment of the silly season, it's time for me to post my own reading with the spread I shared last week. Let's get to it, shall we?

Card 1: Context. What part of my life would most benefit from receiving the outwardly directed energy of this season? XX Judgement

Big card, straight out of the gate! It seems that right now, I really ought to be directing this energy into my calling - both my spiritual path, and my vocation as a reader and, in my other working life, as a bookseller. Judgement is always a summons, and this card is asking me to listen, and find out what it is I am being called to do. My divine purpose, if you wish to call it that, is asking for some attention!

Card 2: Action. What steps can I take in order to best put this energy to use in that part of my life? Eight of Pentacles

All this talk of divine purpose is a little abstract, but the Eight of Pentacles brings it right back down to the micro. Put it simply, I need to do the work. I need to keep growing my skills, expanding my tarot work, keeping busy and putting the time in to create something equal to Judgement's grand calling. Interestingly, this is the first of two Eights in this spread, which suggests that this period of the year has the potential to bring some quite transformative energy into my life. Eights are all about getting ready to change and mature into a new phase, so I think what I'm working on could undergo quite a shift!

Card 3: Reflection (remember, this one is optional, so if you're not feeling it, skip over it!). During this time of high energy, what are my opportunities for growth? Four of Swords

The Four of Swords, I think, is a lesson about learning when to work and when to take it easy. Given that it follows right of the back of the busy Eight of Pentacles, I don't think this card is straight up telling me to have a lie down. There's shit to do! However, I could learn a little more about how much rest I really need, and how much work I am capable of. Certainly, taking time out will be part of this season, but I suspect the Four of Swords is not about doing it more so much as doing it more effectively. 

Card 4: Self-Care. How can I regulate and replenish my energy stores during this intense period, so that I can stay happily in the flow of this season? Eight of Swords

I like to think of the Eight of Swords as a bit of a bitchslap from the universe. This card says, "Oh come on! You're not really stuck! Stop sticking your head in the sand, you dingbat, and start seeing yourself for the majestic, liberated creature you are!" I will definitely keep that cosmic smack at the forefront of my mind as Summer wears on - a reminder that I can be resourceful if I choose to be, and I'm not really stuck at all! 

Well, that was interesting indeed! I didn't consciously plan this, but I can't help but notice that I wound up doing this spread under the Sagittarius New Moon. With Saturn's strict and structured energy floating around, it seems no surprise that this spread would be all about work, divine summons, and efficiency!  If you suspected from this reading that there is something bubbling away behind the scenes at Two Sides Tarot, you would be correct. I'm busy, busy, busy, cooking up something interesting for the new year, and I'm really happy to see how aligned this reading is with what I've been working on. Of course, it's all a secret right now, so you'll just have to wait and see! 

How are you channeling this upcoming Solstice energy? I'd love to know! Feel free to try this spread out for yourself, and let me know what you find in the comments!

Returning to Daily Practice

I'm back from my little jaunt up the coast, and the bustle of the season has already swept me up. Beltane is definitely in full swing down here in Australia, because opportunities to socialise and otherwise fill my calendar are abundant! I'm rather more interested, though, in getting back into my private pursuits - tarot, reading, journaling, yoga, and art. It's tricky at this time of year, the beginning of summer party season and Christmas craziness, to find much time and energy for quiet workings, but I'm determined to do it! Thus, I've been ruminating a lot this week about how to fit it all in. 

I'm super behind on my blog reading, but I did manage to catch a great post over on Dharma Eyes Tarot, featuring a spread for daily practice. I really loved reading about Emily's tarot explorations of her daily meditation practice, and it got me thinking - what am I doing every day to fill myself up? Travel, work, and social commitments have turned my regular routine upside down and got me feeling more like lying face down on the couch in my spare time than doing anything meaningful or productive. I'm ready now to put some intention back into my routine, and make sure I'm carving out a little time for mindful self-enrichment (so, scrolling endlessly through one's facebook feed does not count!).

The catch is, I'm undecided about how to proceed. Being a multi-passionate person, I always struggle to stick with one habit for very long, because there are always so many other things I am equally interested in. When I commit to daily meditation, I get quickly frustrated that I don't have time to journal, but when I commit to journaling daily, my yoga practice falls by the wayside and my body rages against me! I know now that trying to get all my spiritual engagement and fulfilment from one activity is not going to work for me. Any daily practice I commit to must be multifarious in nature! Perhaps it's more about setting aside a block of time and using it intentionally, than it is about committing to any particular path? 

This is a tarot blog, and so it should come as a surprise to none that I am going to explore this question and look for some clarity with... a tarot reading. Or, actually, with an oracle card reading. I've been carrying the Earthbound Oracle around in my bag for weeks now, and it's time to put it to proper use! I hope Emily won't mind that I've borrowed and slightly adapted her wonderful Spread for Daily Practice, and put my own desires and habits under the oracular microscope. Here we go!

Apologies for the tiny, crappy photo here. I've been back and forth, trying to get it to display at its proper dimensions, and it just ain't working! I give up. 

1. Where should my intention be in my daily practice? Abundance

So I think I was right in saying that my practice has to be multifarious! I should set an intention to make my practice broad and dynamic, responsive to my interests and passions, and accept that for now, that’s what works best. If I do kirtan meditation one day, and spend that time drawing the next, and then the following day read a book, that’s fine! This card also calls for a more expansive mindset – I know I have been falling into the trap lately of saying, “There’s not enough time! I don’t have the energy!”, and that only reinforces and justifies a pattern of not fulfilling my daily practice. Abundance says, I do have the time and I do have the energy! I need to be more mindful of how I apply it, certainly, but there’s more than enough available for me to work a little on my own projects every day.

2. Where can I find joy in my daily practice? Healing

The pleasure of daily practice will come from putting a focus on self-care. I love this time of the year (as a Christmas baby, I’ve always secretly believed all the brouhaha is just an elaborate warm up to my birthday – who else’s birthday gets an Advent, after all?!), and I love spending time with all the amazing people in my life, but I do need to remember to replenish my energies and do things that are just for me. The real joy will come from making my daily practice restorative and curative, an antidote to all that summer busyness.

3. What are the hindrances to my daily practice? Perseverance

Ahh, that ol’ chestnut! Obviously, the real hindrance to my daily practice is the challenge of sticking with it. I’m a Capricorn, so you’d think I’d be great at sticking to habits, but then my Pisces rising comes along and makes things like commitments, shall we say, a little more fluid? (On that note, get your birth chart done, it’s very illuminating!). I think the antidote to struggles with perseverance can be found in the first two cards: firstly, it’s ok to take the abundant approach and vary the practice itself if I’m struggling to stick to it; and secondly, remember how refreshing it feels when I’ve taken time to do my own stuff each day. Sticking with it will always be a challenge, but hopefully not an insurmountable one.

4. Where can I find encouragement/admonishment in my daily practice (see Emily's original post for some more notes on this excellent and very Buddhist card position!)? Protect

I need to make my daily practice sacred! The time I set aside, however I decide to use it each day, has to be protected from busyness, laziness, sleepiness, and other impediments. Protecting my daily practice from the incursions of everyday life will ultimately be a supportive act for the practice itself, and for me, too. Similarly, when I fail to protect that commitment, I know I’ll feel suitable admonished when I start to feel off centre, tired, and out of touch with myself. I like it, too, that this card is a verb – I need to actually DO what it is telling me. This is not about mindset or philosophy, but about action! I must actively protect my daily practice in order to reap its benefits.

So where does all of this leave me? I feel validated in my belief that I need to vary the content of my daily practice, and chastened about my flakiness and lack of commitment! I know that I need to set aside a little time every day to be used intentionally – be it five minutes of silent meditation, or an hour of tarot. Daily practice, in whatever form it takes, replenishes my energy, refines my craft, and enriches my spirit! Now, I’m off to do just that.

How does daily practice feature in your life? What are your go-to practices or habits for enriching your day-to-day? Let me know in the comments!

GUEST POST: Resting In Your Centre - Exploring The Hermit's Wisdom (Part 2)

Yesterday, one of my favourite humans shared a spread she designed based on The Hermit card. See Part One of Resting in Your Centre here. This blog series is courtesy of tarot reader, poet, apprentice druid, copy editor and writer Janine Prince. Find out more about Janine at her website, or follow her on Twitter

Yesterday, I described how I was inspired to spend some time with The Hermit in these strange days after the Solstice. It's that funny time when we're compelled to notice how many months of the year have already flown by, and to wonder what happened to our intentions and plans for 2014. This spread asks us to take a little time out, to go out onto our spiritual mountainside, and to realign with our values, our hopes, and our intentions (you can find details of how I created this spread, and instructions for its execution in yesterday's guest post).

From the Crowley Thoth Tarot

From the Crowley Thoth Tarot

So how does this play out?

I did a reading for myself using the Thoth deck. Here's what I came up with.

In position One, The Hood,  I drew The Universe.
This happens a bit for me – I wasn’t too surprised to see this card. I can get caught up in the interconnectedness of things and the wonderful exhilarating everything dance of the cosmos. My boundaries are a bit loose. That’s fantastic for my sense of universal love and compassion and overall spiritual integrity but it can make practical things (like moving house) really awkward. So In this period, I need to draw my hood up against the swirling energies of union and work through my practical lists and plans. 

Position Two, the Lantern, Queen of Cups. 
You and I have never met, but I love you. We and I are part of this amazing world together and your pain, your history, your hopes and happiness, they resonate in a unique way through your life that nonetheless reinforces the deep truth that we are all one. You and I are the sisters and brothers and cousins. My life’s purpose is somehow to help you. Maybe I can make you laugh when your heart is dry or give you some light in a dark night. My guiding purpose is to manifest love, to learn how to solve problems from a position of love, to forgive those who inspire hate (include those dark parts of myself). To remember that humans live and thrive inside relationship even when we’re tired and even when we’re angry and pushing people away. That’s not always easy, but it is a light for me when I hit a difficulty. So at the moment, I am moving house and I feel very vulnerable about the change. I need to remember that love is available to me too as a resource and as a support. I can accept help, not just from family but also friends and even acquaintances and strangers. I need to create an opportunity for that to come in and *ask*. That light can flow both ways right now.

Position Three, The Staff, 2 Cups.
Love is my guide, as you will have picked up already from the previous two cards. What steadies me personally inside the maelstrom of living is the daily reality of being present in an intimate partnership. This wasn’t always the case and I am grateful every day for this opportunity. There have been some hard, and painful times earlier this year when I veered badly off course and this love held strong and steadied me. I have been very ill and wondered anything could get better. It did, and the courage to act on it each day came from this support. That reminds me, I’ll get some flowers and chocolates on the way home.

Position Four, The Legs, Death.
I laughed out loud when I turned this card over. My friend Death has been in every personal reading for the past 18 months or so, but you don’t know that, and I thought “That might spin people out a bit.”. The propulsion and motivation I have for moving house is that I was so very very stuck. I was in the rut of ruts. This October would have been 7 years in that position. You want stale energy - I was your poster child! So you can imagine that every single project and intention and activity leading up to the ability to make the decision (let alone undertake the move) required little deaths, I have died and died and I will die again soon. This series of external transformations has been liberating, terrifying and awakening. This card in this position is a very positive reinforcement for me that I am on track. Death has taught me how letting go of the right things can be a strength.

Position Five, The Mountains, Queen of Disks.
In my story I am indeed looking back over the barren past and seeing a long journey towards manifesting wealth of experience in the physical plane and learning how to nurture my body. This is a card of renewal and of fruitfulness. I love her sensual horns and her confident pose and in this position she gives me a sense that the deaths and the pain and the darkness have not been unnoticed. This journey is bringing me closer to mastery of this level. This Queen reinforces the message in the Hood too – the physical world takes physical skills and a physical engagement to effectively dealt with. A higher purpose and a greater calling still need one’s body to be fed and for the rent to be paid.

So there it is, a return to your centre via the surly old Hermit. If you like this or have any questions or comments, please let me know by either emailing me directly or through a comment here back to Two Sides. Please feel very welcome to link to this page too and share this reading if you find it useful, which I really hope that you do. My love to you.

Don't forget to catch up on yesterday's post about Returning to Centre with The Hermit. We'd love to hear your insights about The Hermit and your experiences with this spread. You are welcome to drop Janine a line or share your thoughts in the comments! 

GUEST POST: Resting In Your Centre - A Hermit Reading (Part 1)

Today's guest post is the generous contribution of one of my dearest friends and fellow spirit travelers, Janine Prince. Janine is a tarot reader, apprentice druid, poet, freelance copy editor and writer. Find out more about Janine at her website, or follow her on Twitter.

From the Aquarian Tarot by David Palladini

From the Aquarian Tarot by David Palladini

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.

From the Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot

From the Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot

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!