daily tarot card: the Hermit

the hermit
the hermit, morgan greer tarot

Today’s card is one of my favorite of the majors, in part because the Hermit is my birth card, but also because I can so easily identify with it.

I love this Morgan Greer version in particular.  It could be dusk or early dawn by the deep color of the sky.  The Hermit stands on a precipice, looking into the abyss.  They know what they will find there, but they peer, contemplating, in wonder.  It is a long way down from where they stand, and they traveled a long way to get there.  Ever on a path, the Hermit is.  Ever exploring the galaxy of their mind.

“Life is transitory and though the imposing mountains may belie that fact, don’t be fooled into thinking they will be there forever.” — The Hermit, Notes from the Pagan Otherworlds Tarot

The Hermit is wise, true to themself, and has a thirst for knowledge and personal righteousness.  They walk a solitary path, unafraid.  They are ever searching, spiraling deeper into themself, into the world, on a quest for answers, meaning.  They do what is right simply because they should, not for glory.  They are Gandalf.  They know the value of living and “implores you to follow your dreams and make the most of your short, wild life on this planet” (Notes from the Pagan Otherworlds Tarot).


The next exercise in the Alternative Tarot Course for week 1 was to calculate and explore my birth card.  I already knew my birth card so I found it interesting for it to show up today!  The above writing is my exploration of this archetype.


I am blogging my experiences here with Beth Maiden’s Alternative Tarot Course which asks students to draw a card each day, reflect on it, complete weekly readings, and other assorted exercises.

week 1: what is tarot?

I first came across tarot when… those of you who happen to know this blog, may remember this story.  I came across tarot when a woman read tarot for others as a Karneval party trick.  I was so intrigued that I ordered the Original Rider Waite shortly thereafter.  I tried to read with this deck a number of times, but I wasn’t inspired by the art and the woman who read my cards did so so seamlessly that I had no idea what actually went in to learning tarot.  Five years later, and I was in London, at the Natural History Museum, fascinated by rocks and stones, an old childhood hobby of mine.  I purchased a pocket full of them, and traveled on to Edinburgh, where I found a beautiful labradorite ring in a shop.  I started Googling.  I have no idea what actually “led” me to tarot, but it wasn’t long before I had ordered the Wild Unknown and committed to actually learning tarot.

The reason I want to learn tarot is… I have already been practicing tarot for just over three years.  I’ve drifted away from tarot and my other spiritual practices in the last half of 2018 as my partner and I went through a lot of physical shifts (purchasing a home, doing renovations, and moving in to the home!), and I’m ready to re-center and re-ground.  I had enrolled in the Alternative Tarot Course in early 2017 and I’m using it now as a way to deepen my relationship with tarot, certain decks, and my spirituality.

Here’s how I feel about learning tarot in three words:
1.  Witchy
2.  Wild
3.  Connected

Ha!  *shrugs*

Tarot’s main purpose (for me) is… tarot has shifted a lot for me the more I’ve practiced.  When I first started reading, I had no idea what I was doing tbh and just followed along with whatever I saw people doing on Instagram.  I purchased way too many decks way too fast, participated in monthly challenges, in which I asked my cards very specific questions, pulled year ahead spreads trying to see the future, did huge spreads that didn’t inspire me, etc… Tarot for me, now, is all about using the tarot’s archetypes as a mirror, to reflect back what I already know within me.  I don’t ask the cards specific questions and steer away from large, complicated spreads.  Typically, I just pull a card and journal to see what comes up.

Here are some things I don’t believe about tarot… tarot can’t predict the future, tarot is not a box, tarot decks don’t have personalities, tarot is not the devil.

I think the most important qualities for a tarot reader are… a tarot reader should have an open and questioning mind.

In learning tarot, I hope to… dive deeper into myself, reflect, and connect.

I think my main challenges will be… not getting swept up into the witchy/spiritual/tarot culture of Instagram.  I did return to Instagram in order to garner inspiration from others, but, in late 2017/early 2018, IG led me far from my personal path, and I will strive to remain true to myself and my own feelings.

But I will try to overcome them by… I think I covered this above.

Any further thoughts… I’m grateful for this course, excited to learn, and to get back into a healthy habit for me.


I am blogging my experiences here with Beth Maiden’s Alternative Tarot Course which asks students to draw a card each day, reflect on it, complete weekly readings, and other assorted exercises.

This is the first exercise, “What is tarot?,” from week 1.

daily tarot card: the World

the world
the world, morgan greet tarot

I find that the World doesn’t “say” much but rather implies an emotion or state of being.  I starting journaling about this card not knowing what to say, thinking that I didn’t have much to say, but as tarot and journaling go, once I got started, the associations were easy to make.

I’ve been playing around with a word for 2019 — flow — and I feel it in this card.  I saw an image a while ago that was a venn diagram labeled discipline in one circle, surrender in another, and the overlapping bit read “flow.”  It struck me how these concepts relate in that way.  The graphic reminded me of the quotation, “Discipline is the cornerstone of freedom.”  It’s a concept I struggle with, particularly in my creative life.  I keep this fantastical idea that when creativity strikes, everything flows, and hard work becomes a pleasure, but in reality, creativity is work just like any other job or calling, and requires dedication.  I heard a phrase on a podcast a couple weeks ago, “when discipline becomes devotion,” and that’s exactly this idea of flow in life, in creativity.

This is how I feel the World.  There is a sense of surrender, the discipline that got us here, that still lingers, and the flowing sweetness that is the continuing journey.

We never fully reach an “end” or “completion” though.  This Alan Watts speech came to mind:

The existence, the physical universe, is basically playful.  There is no necessity for it whatsoever.  It isn’t going anywhere.  That is to say, it doesn’t have some destination that it ought to arrive at … We simply cheated ourselves a whole way down the line.  We thought of life by analogy with a journey, with a pilgrimage, which had a serious purpose at the end, that the thing was to get to that end: success, or whatever it is or maybe heaven after you’re dead.  But we missed the point, the whole way along, it was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing or to dance while the music was being played.

Life is the flow of play.  The World reminds me of that state of being.  The World asks me to drop in, to pay attention to the cycles, to let the feelings, experiences, this sense of being, flow through me.


I am blogging my experiences here with Beth Maiden’s Alternative Tarot Course which asks students to draw a card each day, reflect on it, complete weekly readings, and other assorted exercises.

daily tarot card: Five of Wands

five of wands
five of wands, morgan greer tarot

This card reminds me of struggle and strife.  It looks like a lot of people clamoring for a spot or for what they think is right.  I don’t think it’s anything violent, but as wands are the suit of fire and creativity, it brings to mind when people are excited and want their opinions and ideas heard.  How can everyone in this space be validated and given a platform?

It brings to mind, for me, situations where my partner and I don’t exactly see “eye to eye” and we need to find a middle ground in order to move forward.  We’ve done a lot of this while experiencing buying and working on our house.

A lot of times, it’s me who is loudest or most particular or wants my way.  In our relationship, I am more uptight and Andrew is more laid-back.  What I’ve learned of late is that no one person needs to be “right.”  I’ve learned things aren’t always perfect or just one thing or another.  There are grey areas and compromises that aren’t bad, but are simply a shift.

I feel this is the lesson of the five of wands: where there is clamoring and disagreement, there often needs to be a shift in focus or perspective in order to move forward.

Back to my example of our home, it means that our compromise of today is putting aside the current big project (painting the bathroom) and instead lounging with our cat, Gary, and watching all of the Lord of the Rings extended films.  It is giving ourselves space and permission to relax and enjoy and fill our cups before plunging into 2019.  It is putting aside the to do list to just be.

Relating this back to the five of wands, this does not take the focus off the bigger picture, but allows us to “live our truth” for today and simply be.


I am blogging my experiences here with Beth Maiden’s Alternative Tarot Course which asks students to draw a card each day, reflect on it, complete weekly readings, and other assorted exercises.

Tarot Thursday Three: March 16, 2017

Another week, another….Friday?  Seems I’m in a pattern to miss #tarotthursdaythree on actual Thursdays…  But that’s ok, because it’s St. Patrick’s Day, so this is a holiday edition as well.  Enjoy!

1.  Classic deserted island scenario: You’re stranded for a year on an island, but can bring along one companion.  Who from the court family keeps you company?

Oh snap — reading other’s answers, the Fool kind of popped in to my mind.  Like, he has this wild, free, careless energy that would keep me motivated and entertained (and, intermittently, completely annoyed) during our year of exile.  BUT then I read the question again and it said court family *duh*.  Hmm.  Who makes a good friend to the Queen of Swords (me)?  The most similar energy, I believe, to the Fool in the court is the Page of Wands.  So now I’m thinking about Lost; have you seen the show?  It was the first TV show that I was totally obsessed with in high school and college.  It’s about an airplane that goes down on an island and the survivor’s existence there.  Of course, that’s not all it’s about but that’s a decent one sentence summary.  Kate, similar to the Queen of Swords, is the character that I identify with, and she has two men that keep her entertained (heh) and fuel her will to survive.  One, Jack, is kind of the King of Pentacles: he’s got his shit together (kinda) and is the classic leader figure.  The other, Sawyer, is the “bad boy,” full of kinetic, crazy energy (that he eventually tempers, to a point), but he is similar to the Page of Wands.  I think the Page of Wands/Sawyer would be able to help me not murder myself (literally) while stranded on a desert island and would be resourceful enough to keep us alive for a year.  As long as it’s ONLY a year…….

2.  What are off-limit topics for you; inquiries that make you say “I won’t go there”?  Or is anything fair game?

Hmmm.  I haven’t specifically outlined topics I “won’t touch” but others’ answers were really good here (and that’s probably because most seekers have asked me for general guidance, nothing too specific or crazy).  In my “terms of service,” I’ve outlined clearly that the insight and inspiration my readings afford do not replace the advice of a professional in any field.  If someone comes to me for a reading and doesn’t know how to formulate a good tarot question, I’ll help them form a good open ended question that will get the energetic read of a situation and that I feel comfortable answering with the cards.

3.  How do you get “in the mood” or mind-frame to read?

In the mood, awww yeah.  It kinda depends.  I love to light incense, meditate for about 5-10 minutes before a session (lately, while listening to classical music), cleanse with palo santo or sage and Florida Water; this is my general routine.  But, sometimes that just feels like too much and too formal so I just grab a beer and shuffle.  Really, shuffling is the primary activity that focuses me and gets me in the groove.  As described before, my standard shuffling ritual is somewhat in depth — I shuffle the whole deck nine times, then split into three piles, shuffle each pile nine times, then shuffle the whole deck nine times, and shuffling the whole deck nine times between each card position.  I perform this shuffling ritual always between clients (the only thing I consistently do for each client) because it helps to center me on the querent/query and reset the deck (in my opinion).  So I guess my final answers is: I shuffle.

Here are other posts from this week that I’ve seen…

Ania

Julia

Jill

Rachel

Who would you bring on a desert island that wouldn’t make you go crazy?  What topics make you cringe?  What gets you in the mood, baby?  Let me know your answers in the comments below, or link me to your post!

exploringly yours,
Alaina x