My Thoughts on “Arbitrary” Time Markers

Hello!

So, I saw a post the other day, can’t remember who or what or where, but the gist of it was someone lamenting the fact that people are excited for 2016 to be over because, to the original poster, the New Year is just some arbitrary time marker in a vast and uncaring universe that exists in a perpetual state of chaos.

Being the hermit that I am, that thought has been clanging around the inside of my head for a few days, and a bit of light just shone on it while watching a tarot reading. I’ve come to the conclusion that I really, really don’t believe in arbitrary time markers. That is, I don’t believe that they are arbitrary.

Let me explain.

While they may have been a bit bizarre and new to begin with, time markers like the turning of the year or the end of a school season are, I think, just as powerful as other, “natural” time markers like moon phases or the changing of the seasons. The difference is that one is man-made, which doesn’t make it any less special or any less meaningful. The new calendar year is observed by so many people around the world that it makes no sense to me for it not to contain some significance. Just because it’s familiar doesn’t mean it isn’t magical. I feel like that bears repeating.

Just because it’s familiar, doesn’t mean it isn’t magical.

It’s just like the way languages and incantations work. The words themselves are man-made, the meanings applied by people like you and me, and we use them every single day. The only difference between a poem and an incantation is the intent behind it. If one walks into the new year feeling like it’s the same old thing once again, how much change do you think they’ll attract? As opposed to someone who sees the new year as a time to start fresh, and do so in accordance with consensus reality. Pardon my french, but this shit is powerful!

I don’t know about you, but I am good and ready to start making some magic happen in the new year. Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s not worth it. If it works, use it.

Lykke til.
φ

Hermit’s Log – 12.18.2014

Oh, so many things. So many things have happened since I last wrote about my wee life.

After a three-day trip around my lovely homeland’s mountainous region back in October, I found myself questioning why I was even in college to begin with. Something about going out camping for the first time in my life – yes, shush, I call myself the Hermit for a reason – and realizing, in the midst of a very fearful and cold first night, exactly what I was really made of at that point, made me look at what I was doing and come to the conclusion that it was not right for me. Having said that, I regret nothing about my year and a half in college… except for every fraction of a second I spent in chemistry. Guh. So, I deliberated for far too long to be healthy, and in the middle of November realized that I would have to leave. The week before the full withdrawal deadline, I was gone.

Since then I’ve been happily living at home with my family and my fish and my lovely little slice of nature, instead of cooped up in a concrete and steel box up on the second floor, surrounded by other tall concrete and steel boxes for more or less all of my time. I feel much better, if a bit guilty because this past month has been about me clawing my mind back up out of the depression-y hole that it ended up in over the course of that last semester, and not doing things like… getting a job. Or doing chores. Or anything productive. Yay. I find ways to keep busy, though. Runesong and Fatespell(which may end up being renamed) are almost done, and Winterdance and Redgate are in the planning process. The minor arcana for the Revenant Tarot Deck are all planned out, they just need to be actually made. I probably won’t have time to work on them more until the new year though, because holidays and yardwork* need doing, and I managed to somehow get a main role in a swordfighting/acting troupe called Blades of Moria. Whew!

So, that’s my life. You’ll all hear from me again on Yule, as I plan to do a Questing Path spread again for the time up till Imbolc, so don’t despair. The tarot will return shortly. And hopefully new books will come out at some point next year. Yay!

Until next time!
-Ej the Exuberant-but-very-sore Hermit.

ps. *Said yardwork consists of raking leaves and preparing a sand pit to become a wee garden/sitting area, reminiscent of something you’d see in Rivendell. 😀 It’ll be cool!

Hermit Has a New Shell

Hello, all! It’s been a while.

Over the past… what, month? Ish? the Hermit has moved from home to dorm, and hasn’t had much time for anything. Things are starting to calm down, now, so, I’m going to try to get more Tarot cards done, but I’m also balancing that with studies. And writing. This will be fun. Being a Geology major unfortunately requires me to take chemistry, which, I’m learning quickly, is probably my worst subject in the history of anything. The things we do for the stuff we love.

Yeah. Things have been happening. From packing my stuff onward it has been nonstop. Got all packed in the space of about a week, move-in day happened, followed by the introduction to one of the best decisions I’ve ever made: moving into the Spectrum community. It was quiet-ish for a little while except for the parties going on in the green outside my window [*cursing and expletives*], but I only had two days before classes started. Homework happened, my room flooded, I had to move again, and then move back a week later after they fixed it, my mom has had some shtuff happen, the past few days I’ve been at the Scottish-Irish Highlands Festival up in Estes Park with my significant other and his family, which is an entirely other story by itself, and now… it’s today. Good morning! I’m taking a break from life. Thank you very much. *whew*

So, that’s my story. Welcome back to college for the lazy Hermit! Which is fine, really, because this community is awesome, and the campus is beautiful. Even through all the [insert frustrated half-articulated expletive noise] that’s been going on, there’s beauty everywhere. 🙂 Go look for it. It’ll be worth it.

Until next time!
– Ej, the Exhausted Hermit

ps. If you ever get the chance to watch Jousting live, you should do it. I don’t care how scared you are of crowds, the horses are majestic, the knights are fabulous, and unhorsings are the scariest things I’ve ever seen. Do it.

Away From My Shell

Aka, Excuses, Excuses.

As a general rule, I don’t like people. Or, I don’t like lots of people all at once. That’s why I’m the Hermit and not, say, the Hierophant. Sometimes, however, things come up, and I must leave the delightful crab shell that is my room. On a weekly basis, that usually consists of a day or two in which five or six of us nerd people get together and play Pathfinder on the weekend. It’s an important game, in my life. The inspiration for the Tales of Esper Ravenwood came from a campaign in which I was a part-time GM, which was also never finished. Right at the moment, we’re playing a campaign which is slowly sowing the seeds in my heart of another series I want to write, a potential alternate universe spin-off because of one NPC that is disturbingly similar to a character in the Tales of Esper Ravenwood. So, that’s where I’ve been for two and a half days, playing games with friends.

The other reason I’ve gotten exactly zero progress done on tarot cards is because I finished writing the first draft of Lightbringer, about two weeks after I planned to have it done. But! The tarot will resume shortly, and I’ll be able to edit between cards. Hopefully the book will be out by the end of August or before I go back to school, and I’ll be able to get at least the Major Arcana done before then as well. The next card you’ll be seeing, by the way, is the Sun, and it is the card I’ve gotten severely stuck on, as was foreshadowed a bit creepily in one of my other posts, the Questing Path Spread. It will hopefully be up before the end of the day tomorrow, if dark forces beyond my control don’t mess all kinds of things up in the meantime.

See you when I see you!
– The Lazy Hermit

Questing Path Spread – Tarot Reading

Having come to the end of one leg of a project – the first five cards in the Revenant Deck drawn, painted, and analyzed – I wanted to do something that I spotted a few days ago: the Questing Path Spread by Rustus. I’m taking a break from making cards for a few days to catch up on writing, but when I get back, I wanted to know what I’d be up against. I see every project as a journey, so, it only made sense for this experiment.

So, here was my question for the cards: how will this next set of five cards go? Or how will the rest of them go, in general? I’m using my Tarot of the Elves deck, which is the only deck I actually own. They seem to like me well enough, thankfully.

They gave me this (and two jumpers, which I read at the end):

TarotSpread

That’s a lot of red. This journey will be one of willpower, I can tell that even without looking at what the actual cards are. Even the Disc card has red as its predominant color in the actual picture. The other color I see a lot of  is blue, meaning that my emotions will have a go in this quest as well. How do I know? Red is what this deck has as representing Wands, the suit of intention and ambition, blue is representing Cups, the suit of emotion and spirituality.

Now, on to the actual reading. For those who haven’t seen the post that originated this spread, here’s what each of the positions mean, from Rustus’s post:

1. The Path – This is a descriptor card and you should look at the overall image of the card to help describe your path.  You can also find a keyword for the card and use it to fill in the blank on the phrase “The Path of _____ .” (See below for an example of this.)

2. Mid-Point Navigation – This card points to a midway marker or event between the beginning of the path and the destination. This is not a descriptor card.  This could be a direct challenge or it could be an experience I was to look for along the way.

3. The Destination – Again, another descriptor card.  Look at the image on the card and where the scene is that is taking place.  Given that this spread is for Lammas, I’m looking for not only the feel of the card but a location where I might want to acknowledge Lammas when it arrives.

4 and 5.  Allies Along the Way – This card would point to energies and entities along the way that I could call on for clarity, support and assistance.  They would remind me of my strengths and my experience and might also be individuals, physical or non-physical, that I might encounter.

6 and 7. Challenges – These two cards would show me not only where the sticky points were going to be but also how to identify my greatest teachers on the path from here to there.

They go from 1-3 across the middle, 4 and 5 are the two at the top, 6 and 7 are at the bottom. Got it? Good.

1-The Path: Four of Wands
Like I said before, this leg of the journey will be primarily dictated by my own, admittedly lacking, willpower. By looking at the faces of each individual, I can tell that some days will be good, some will be frustrating, and some days I’ll wake  up and not want to do anything at all. This card usually indicates early success in ambitions, which I’ve had so far. A great deal of it, by my standards. I suspect this is the beginning of a downhill hike, though, unless I can figure out how to share my victory with others. I’d like to think I’m doing that by sharing my progress, and learnings, with you all, but I may be wrong, and should look to physical life for that. Another place this card comes up a lot for me is as a reminder that I tend to forget about my own health and well-being when I get absorbed into creative outlets. It’s essentially a reminder that even DaVinci needed a lunch break on occasion, something I’d do well to remember.

2-Mid-Point Navigation: Four of Cups
Too many fours on the dance floor! This is the card that is my curse. It tells me that, as usual, I will get to a point in this project where I’ll lose interest, or something will frustrate me, and I’ll end up giving up for a little while. In some ventures, this stage has led me to quit what I’m doing entirely and never go back to it. Never a good sign. This card tells me that the entire rest of my project hinges on my having the willpower to get over my lack of emotion and just do it already.

3-The Destination: Judgement
Oh boy. I get a weird feeling whenever this card comes up. Something about the dark lighting and the accusatory nature never lends itself to feeling good about it. Specifically when it’s directed at me. It took me a long time to finally figure out what this card meant. I actually had to leave, grab a sandwich, and while I was making it, the meaning finally occurred to me. This card, Judgement, is the card that I’ll get utterly stuck on when it comes time to make it. I’ve already been battling with ideas, juggling which character(s) should be on the card, how I want it to look, etc, and I still haven’t come up with anything I like. The completion of this card will mark the completion of this leg of the journey. The reason this occurred to me, by the way, is because I’ve already decided on the next five cards I want to draw. Judgement was the last one. Good to know my current set is paying attention.

4 and 5 – Allies: The Hermit and the Two of Wands
Just in case any of you had any doubt as to whether what I said in this post was true, here’s my namesake making his grand appearance. Now, normally when I get the Hermit in a reading, it’s a jumper, and an indicator of myself, but in this case it’s in the actual spread, as an ally. It could still be referring to me, meaning that I can trust and rely on myself to pull through the sludge of the, “now what do I do?” stage, but it could also be talking about my father, or my sister. I ended up not taking that notion as seriously, though, because my dad generally comes up as the Emperor, and my sister is usually the High Priestess. As for the Two of Wands, I was stuck for a while. It’s a bit of a violent card, and when I looked at it I had to cringe and ask myself who could possibly help in this project with that kind of attitude? Then I realized that it was probably referring to my best friend and creative-idea-bouncer, Wolfie. We’ve had a lot of fights in the past, and some of our differences tend to make us argue and hiss at each othe,r, but I know he’s good for coming up with weird plans and things that tend to work. He’s a guy who sticks to his guns even if the devil himself opposes him, which is the vibe I get from this card after I get past the initial, “what the heck are you doing here?”

6 and 7 – Challenges: Seven of Wands and Six of Discs
Ah, the restless card. The card that means my inability to think in a straight line is showing, and that I’ll find something else that I will want to do right now instead of finishing this project. It happens to me almost as often as just losing the desire to work on something, and often ends me up with a feeling of guilt and a resolution to get my act together or else. I’ve never quite figured out the “or else” bit, though, otherwise it probably would have worked by now. This card is a warning that when I get bored, I should take a step back, examine my long-term goals, and figure out the most productive way to spend my time. The Six of Discs is labeled in the accompanying book to this deck as “Charity,” something that I’ve always had a hard time accepting. I’m one of those people who refuses to ask for help until I’m bleeding out from having my arm cut off, metaphorically speaking. Subconsciously, I guess, I see it as a weakness to have to rely on someone else to get through a problem, even though it might be helpful. This card is here as a reminder that asking for help is okay, and that I probably should in this case, right after I figure out what I’m supposed to be doing, again. Otherwise I’ll end up like the surly guy standing next to the tree in that picture. He’s not a pleasant one to be around at all.

After all that, I finally looked at my two jumpers:

TarotSpreadJumpers

That would be the Hierophant and the Queen of Discs, two cards that have been coming up a lot recently. I knew that the Queen of Discs is a card of abundance, and that she was here to tell me that having an abundance mentality would get me through a lot of this journey relatively unscathed. It’s also something that I need to work on, seeing my problem about not asking for help, like a moron. That was the obvious card, though, and I had no idea why the Hierophant decided to leap out of the deck at me. At first I thought it might be echoing the Hierophant in the Revenant cards, which has Esper as the main figure. He has become my muse, after all, and maybe this was a way of reminding me that there is a reason that I’m working on this deck. However, while I was staring at this card, trying to figure it out, my boyfriend called me. Synchronicity everywhere. He’s my other creative-bouncer, and someone who is there for me when everyone else fails. He’s also a bit of a Hierophant in his own right, as someone who carries a lot of wisdom regarding spiritual and psychic matters. I came to the conclusion, eventually, that he would be the third Ally, if there were room in the spread, and that the Queen of Discs would be the third challenge.

Conclusion: This should be an interesting ride. And if I don’t post anything for a week, come after me.

*** *** ***

So, Rustus is an amazing person for coming up with this spread, and I suspect I’ll use it again in the future! I think it might need one more space each for allies and challenges, given that all things tend to come in threes, but other than that I see no problems with it. Thank you again for sharing, and encouraging the people who read the article to participate! 🙂

Have a wonderful day, everyone!
– The Excited Hermit (Ej Lowell)

Why “Hermit?”

Why am I the Hermit, and not, say, the Hierophant? Or the High Priestess? It’s a funny story, actually.

I once had a set of Tarot Cards in which the Hermit somehow got slightly warped, so it would always stick out of the deck, or slip out, be a jumper, or be where I ended up cutting the deck. The Hermit popped up in every reading, whether it wanted to be there or not. So, eventually, I said, “Okay, cards, I get the message,” and decided I wanted to make a blog about, well, being a hermit! At first I actually wanted this place to be called, “The Lazy Hermit” but decided against it. Now, that by itself isn’t that bizarre. What was weird was when every other reading I got from other people’s decks had the Hermit pop up in the reading, or actually jump out of the deck. So I ended up deciding, nope! To heck with people, I’m going to focus on living my own life, regardless of what other people think of me. Frankly, I’ve never been happier.

I’m still using that deck, by the way, the one with the bent card, which is why I’ve been diligently working on the Revenant Tarot deck. I made a set of Runes, once, and discovered that the easiest way to learn about something is to do it. I don’t know 90% of the cards well enough to read them without a book, so, learning time! Hooray!

Yup, just a quick post on why I am the Hermit. Have a good one!

-The Lazy Hermit (Ej Lowell)