Tarotblog 11 - April.18.2019 - The Hermit

Hi everyone! I’m a little behind on the blog, but working to get it back on schedule - life is busy. I’m switching jobs, the store and online store are now open, and I’m dangerously close to launching The 8th House Tarot on Kickstarter!

This week, we’ll be discussing the Hermit. I have a special love for this card. I have a Virgo ascendant, and The Hermit is Virgo’s card. As such, I am prone to periods of deep withdrawal in order to think and work on new projects, which is counter-intuitive for an Aries sun. However, some of my best inspiration has come from deeply “Hermit” moments.

The ninth card in the deck, The Hermit, depicts an old man alone on a journey up a mountain at night - guided only by the light of a lantern with the 6 pointed Seal of Solomon depicted inside the lantern (in the SRW deck) - a symbol of wisdom. From a numerological standpoint, 9’s are all about creativity, inspiration, spiritual enlightenment, and spiritual awakening.

The Hermit represents our invitation into quiet introspection. The Hermit is tied to the deep ancestral wisdom that lives within us. We tap into that through our solitude. This card has a pace that feels slow and steady - very earthy. The Hermit can only see what’s just in front of him - lit by the lantern. We are only in The Hermit temporarily - there’s a sense in the card that the Hermit has reached the top of the mountain, and must return to civilization to share and act on the newly found inner wisdom and inspiration from his journey in solitude.

This card is similar to the High Priestess in that they are both deeply tied to our instincts and our inner knowing. In fact, the two share a vertical relationship when studied via triads in the majors. However, the major difference between the two (for me) is that the High Priestess is more about trusting our “gut” instincts and the knowledge we already have. The Hermit is about actively seeking out deep inner ancestral wisdom that we don’t yet have through slow, quiet solitude and inner listening. There’s definitely a feeling of a “quest” for something with The Hermit, that doesn’t come through for me with the High Priestess.

Screen Shot 2019-04-18 at 9.06.21 AM.png

The Hermit Upright:

When we receive The Hermit upright, we’re being invited into a period of solitude and deep inner listening. This card will often show itself during chaotic periods of uncertainty, when we’re being bombarded with a lot of external influence. The Hermit comes as a reminder that the ancestral wisdom that lives in each of us only requires some quiet dedication to make itself known. It’s an invitation to slow down, tap in, listen, and center ourselves. I often find that many people interpret this card as a passive energy, but it comes through differently for me. When I see The Hermit upright in a reading, it’s an invitation for action - slow action, but action in the sense that it requires Virgo’s earthly dedication, discipline, and devotion to the process of honoring a slower pace and come back to the work associated with the inner quest over and over again until you feel the shift that you’re ready to move back into the world with your learnings.

The Hermit Reversed:

When we receive The Hermit reversed, we’re looking at a blocked or out of balance energy with regards to the Hermit’s invitation. This can manifest in a number of ways. Maybe we’re hanging out in Hermit energy when we shouldn’t be. Maybe we’ve been in a Hermit space for too long, and we’re being called back to society. Maybe we’re avoiding the outer world for one reason or another. It can also be that we’re actively resisting The Hermit’s call for solitude and quiet listening and pushing ourselves to be out in the world because we feel for one reason or another that we can’t take a break.

-S

Tarotblog 10 - March.10.2019 - Strength

Hello out there! This month, we’re moving into Line 2 of the Major Arcana to talk about Strength.

The Strength card shows a woman, dressed in white, draped in flowers, calmly and lovingly holding open the mouth of a lion, who doesn’t appear to mind. Let’s unpack the symbolism around this a little bit. White is almost always a symbol of purity in the cards, and the flowers and infinity symbol above her head illustrate her connection to source/divine as well as nature. The lion is a symbol of primal/wild/ferocious energy.

So, when we take a close look at this card, it really speaks to approaching something that should (in theory) scare this woman. I don’t know about you, but you couldn’t pay me enough money to attempt to hold a lion’s mouth open. I’m not trying to become a lion’s lunch out here…however, she’s somehow channeled that fear/uncertainty/rage/passion into a calm and loving energy that allows the lion to trust her.

This card really speaks to our ability to channel our intensity and fear into courage by approaching something that would otherwise feel scary or contractive to us from a place of openness and love. Remember, we only just left Line 1 of the major arcana (i.e., our ego) in the previous card. We’re finally moving out into the world with our new-found sense of individuality, and without a doubt, there is much to be feared and to feel intensely about. However, this card shows us the great transformative powers of love and being gentle with ourselves and others. In our society, this is an attribute that is entirely under-valued. The patriarchy paints emotional displays as “weak” and has a tendency for placing value upon swinging between the two extremes of suffering in silence or grandiose aggressive displays. So, this card really has a big place in countering and challenging all of those societal norms. It teaches us the value of using our emotional nature as humans to our benefit.

Screen Shot 2019-03-11 at 2.27.06 PM.png

Strength Upright:

When we receive Strength upright, we’re being invited into a space to recognize and hone our own inner strength and intensity to be able to work with it to our advantage. It’s an opportunity to tame our own wild instincts and approach something that seems intense or scary from a place of openness and love.

In my experience this card is a big cheerleader for us. When we’re really struggling in something, the Strength card will come to us to send us love and encouragement as well as to remind us that we’re stronger than we know. It’s a really beautiful message and a reminder that we sometimes need.

Strength Reversed:

As with most reversals, Strength reversed can go one of two ways. On the one hand, we may be experiencing a period where we’re emotionally raw and particularly prone to aggressive outbursts. When we’re in these emotionally intense moments, Strength reversed can come to us as a gentle reminder that we need to show up to the issue from a place of love. This reversal can come in these instances to validate our feelings around something, but at the same time, remind us that while we’re not in control of the actions of others or the external world, we are absolutely in charge of how we choose to react in response.

The other instance where I see Strength reversed is when we are completely depleted with regards to a particular issue. We think we can’t go on. We think just don’t have it in us. But, we do. This reversal asks us to rest, rally, and come back to the issue at hand with an open heart. This one feels like standing in the eye of a storm to me. just watching things swirl around us and feeling completely overwhelmed exhausted, and full of dread. This reversal comes to us when we need to catch our breath and continue the journey form a place of love - always.

-S

Tarotblog 9 - February.10.2019 - The Chariot

This month we’re talking about The Chariot! In terms of tarot numerology, 2019 is actually a Chariot year for me. So, it feels like a good time for a refresher on this card.

The Chariot is ruled by Cancer. This card is the end of the first line of the major arcana. We haven’t really talked about it much at this point, but the major arcana are often thought of in 3 “lines” of 7 with the Fool at the top. Cards 1-7 (Line 1 - Magician thru Chariot) are lessons around our egos and who we think we are, cards 8-14 (Line 2 - Strength thru Temperance) are a set of lessons around stripping away the ego, and cards 15-21 (Line 3 - The Devil thru The World) are lessons around learning to both create with and surrender to what is bigger than us in the universe.

With Chariot being the last card or a sort of culmination point for Line 1, the imagery on the Chariot includes much of the imagery from all of the line 1 cards that came before it: The High Priestess’ moons are on charioteer’s shoulders. Instead of a whip or reins, the charioteer holds the Magician’s wand. There are two sphinxes depicted at the front of the chariot which very much mirrors the dual imagery of The Lovers Card - you get the idea.

The Chariot is a pivotal point in the majors where we have established who we think we are (our ego) - this is our crab shell (remember - The Chariot is ruled by Cancer the Crab), our chariot, and our vehicle to carry us forward into bigger life lessons in lines 2 and 3 of the major arcana. We’re ready to “leave the nest” so to speak and move forward into experiencing some new karmic lessons.

Screen Shot 2018-11-25 at 7.46.38 AM.png


The Chariot Upright:

When we receive The Chariot upright in a reading it’s generally a good omen - it’s a green light - it’s a “yes” from the universe - it’s time to move forward into whatever we’re asking about. This will be a time of hard-work, forward momentum, determination, willpower, and being confident in our abilities. Receiving this card upright is the universe telling us that our crab shell/chariot/ego has what it takes to go the distance in terms of whatever we’re asking about. This definitely a movement and action card. When we pull The Chariot, it’s a time to “do.”

The Chariot Reversed:

Now, the reversal can go a few different ways. The reversal can be related to the pace with which you’re moving towards something. It can be an invitation to speed up or slow down.

Also, Chariot reversals can come with feelings of self-doubt around the querent’s ability to do what they’re setting out to do. In these instances - there’s typically some “work” that needs to be done on a personal level to understand and work on the fear or lack of confidence.

The last thing that Chariot reversals can bring to the forefront are issues with control. This is all ego-related…remember, at it’s core The Chariot is just the container of the ego that we built throughout the course of line 1. When we feel the need to control everything or we allow others to control us, we’re talking about ego here - either too much or too little of it. So, this reversal is really a time of assessment to determine which parts of your Chariot (ego) are meant to come with you into the future (lines 2 and 3), and which parts are better left in line 1.

-S

Tarotblog 8 - January.13.2019 - The Lovers

This month we’re talking about The Lovers. I find that this is a card that is very often misunderstood. When people pull the lovers, the reaction I generally get is “ OMG! Am I going to find my soul-mate?!” to which I reply, “ Sort of…probably just not in the way you think…”

Ruled by Gemini, this card deals with themes of duality and is like a mirror. The imagery on the card is incredibly symmetrical. In the artwork, we see two naked people mirroring each other in body language with the angel Raphael hovering above them. Raphael is the angel of air. When we talk about air, we're talking about our brain chemistry, our mental capacity, our thought patterns, and our communication.

Screen Shot 2019-04-18 at 11.18.00 AM.png

The Lovers Upright:

When we pull The Lovers upright, it’s not an omen that we’re going to find our soul-mate or fall in romantic love. I mean, those are things that can happen…but they’re just not what The Lovers are about in a direct sense.

The Lovers comes after The Hierophant in the Major Arcana. In The Hierophant, we examined what we had been taught and what we thought to be true. Then, we worked on formulating our own authentic ideas about what feels true and right and good for us. Having The Lovers follow that work presents an opportunity for us to fall in love with this new and more authentic version of ourselves.

Now here’s where it gets interesting - this particular invitation to fall in love with ourselves is going to be mirrored at us from an external source. So, I’ll use a personal example…my pup. When my pup looks at me with those lovey puppy eyes, he’s beaming love at me - love that I give to him - he’s just mirroring it right back at me - that’s The Lovers.

When we pull the lovers, the universe is sending us an invitation to look around and be present with all of the external sources that are shining our own love and positivity back at us. Enjoy it!

Additionally, I sometimes see the Lovers pop up when we have a big decision to make. Again, coming after The Hierophant and representing duality, sometimes this card will pop up when we’re being required to use that newfound knowledge/confidence/authenticity we established in the Hierophant to make an important decision towards our highest and best.




The Lovers Reversed:

When The Lovers pops up reversed, it can signify one of two things.

First, this reversal can represent a period of self-doubt or a lack of self-confidence. This is typically due to the fact that we’re totally blind or unwilling to see the love/beauty/positivity within ourselves that is being beamed at us from external sources in the world around us. This reversal indicates that we need to take some time to examine why we’re feeling so badly about ourselves or that we may need to eliminate distractions in an effort to create some room to let some of this positive messaging into our lives. Basically - we need to open our eyes to what’s being reflected at us.

Secondly, this reversal can indicate some doubt about a decision we’ve made or refusal to accept the consequences for a decision that we’ve made. Again - it all comes back to mirroring and being able to look at ourselves honestly, openly, and compassionately. If we’re not able to be honest with ourselves about who we are and why we do the things we do, we’re not going to be able to access everything that The Lovers has to offer us. So, if we’re feeling kind of yucky about a decision we’ve made, this is an opportunity to get real with ourselves about who we are, why we did what we did, and what the actual consequences were. It’s only from this place of naked honesty that we’ll be able to fully experience The Lovers.

-S

Tarotblog 7 - October.28.2018 - The Hierophant

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a tarot blog, but as October comes to a close, I’m hoping to have some more time available in my schedule to blog more consistently.

Today, we’re talking about the Hierophant! Hierophants (back in the day) were people who could translate sacred literature before the population at large was literate. They were an important source of knowledge and wisdom in their communities. As such, this card centers on what were we’re taught about the physical world (and the not physical realm) and our ability to examine these “lessons” for ourselves in order to form our own independent belief systems.

Screen Shot 2019-04-18 at 11.19.38 AM.png

Hierophant Upright:
When we receive The Hierophant upright, we’re being invited into a space where we can look critically at what we’ve been taught by society, our teachers, our parents, religious leaders...any authority structure really...to see if what we’ve been taught is in alignment for us.

This can be a really expansive and life-changing card. We engage with The Hierophant as a major milestone towards stepping into the independent, aligned, adult versions of ourselves.

When this card shows up upright in a reading, it’s a time to look at the systems and structures that have been ingrained in you. Do these feel “right” for you? If not, what shifts or adjustments do you need to make to live a more aligned and authentic life? Does discomfort come up around the idea of bucking a system or structure that no longer sits well with you? If so, explore that. It typically has more to do with others’ opinion of us and a (totally normal) fear of judgement when we’re thinking about going against the grain. In short - you are your own best teacher here. It’s time to re-wire what you’ve been told/taught into something that you can truly get behind.

Hierophant Reversed:
When the Hierophant turns up reversed, I find that it can mean one of two things typically.

Sometimes this card comes up when someone is so entrenched and consumed by a particular structure/belief system that they aren’t energetically available to do the work The Hierophant requires. This can be for a number of reasons...sometimes our deepest relationships and interpersonal connections in the world are based on a shared belief system or structure. Questioning and potentially changing up the foundation on which these interpersonal connections exist can feel like alienating people who are our support system, and that can cause some anxiety and discomfort, for sure. Also, especially with certain religious belief systems, the idea of questioning the doctrine can be tied to ostracism, deep-rooted shame, and a complete dismantling of what someone believes is an essential part of their core - again, not an easy thing to deal with. My short advice for people in this reversal scenario is to try to keep an open mind/heart. This is necessary work. You are more than what you have been taught to believe about the world, and growth stems from discomfort and doing things that scare us.

Conversely, this card can pop up when someone is wrapping up Hierophant work and is getting ready to move out of this archetype’s direct influence. The work The Hierophant requires takes time. This isn’t a card that we move through quickly. I mean, it makes sense...we’re diving deeply into our current beliefs (which have been ingrained in us over a lifetime) and doing deep thinking and soul work on these major value systems. This isn’t work that can be done in a day. So, it’s expected that we take the time to work through The Hierophant when it calls to us. However, I have had clients get really wrapped up in this work. When that happens, this reversal can pop up to say, “You’ve done enough work on this for now. Give it a rest.”

-S