Sunday, January 22, 2017

This Week's Writerly Tarot: The Hermit

I went on the Women's March this weekend, not in DC, but in one of the hundreds of sister marches that took place around the world. Now this might not be big news for an extrovert, but I am a confirmed, dyed-in-the-wool, unrepentant introvert. Silence nourishes me; solitude restores and recalibrates me. It's one of the reasons I love being a writerI get to spend massive quantities of time alone.

Not that I don't like people. I love specific people, some of them very extravagantly. But people in a general, crowd-y kind of way? Not so much.

Imagine my delight then to see the Hermit come up for this week's reading. If the concept of "alone time" could be personified, it would be with this card. It usually depicts a solitary figure shining a lantern into the darkness, and boy howdy, was I glad to see it. It was as if the Universe Herself were giving me permission to lock the doors and silence the phones and be blissfully, mercifully, righteously alone.

Well...yes and no.

The Hermit does indeed herald a solitary time, but it is an active time, not a passive one. It is not a hibernation. The key to understanding the Hermit is that light he carries, one that has nothing to do with looking outward and everything to do with looking inward. It is the light that can only be seen in darkness, a faint true light thatlike the still small voicecarries truth.

This week, heed the call of the Hermit. If you are a writer, you probably already spend a lot of time alone. The Hermit asks you to spend time with yourself, which is a different thing entirely. Devoting time to yourself requires you to disengage from the common distractionsthe phone, the Facebook, the crisis du jourand concentrate on...well, you.

No reading. No cleaning. No to-do list. Don't try to squeeze a few more words into the WIP or knock off a quick blog post. Court boredom and ennui; let the emptiness unfold.

The Steampunk Tarot describes it thusly: "To see the glow of your own light, go into the dark."

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