Returning to Tarot

It’s what started this blog, and it’s back again.

Some of my oldest readers (readers? friends? who/what are you anyway?) will remember an attempt I made when I first started this blog to make a tarot deck based on characters from my novels. It… was alright-ish? But it didn’t pan out. The symbolism was wonky and forced and the sheer amount of time it took to do watercolor cards – I hate painting, as it turns out – made it, in the end, not really worth it to me.

And then I did the Five Realms Oracle.

More than anything, that proved to me that I do have a better handle on symbolism than I think I do, and that I have the patience and persistence necessary to complete a long-term, involved project like that. The tricky bit with that deck now is trying to put together a guidebook for it, and for that I’ve been testing it all over the place in different types of readings… but it’s hard to make an oracle deck from scratch. I can use the runes as a guide, obviously, but my views on the runes are changing a bit, and don’t really fit the cards anymore. I might take them off on the final versions. Still, trying to figure out how the symbolism fits into situations is a lot more difficult than I imagined starting out, even with a basic knowledge of the meanings already in place.

Tarot is different. Tarot is familiar. Tarot isn’t easy, per se, but it interacts and weaves into itself in known and predictable ways. The specific imagery can be twisted and shaped but the archetypal meanings stay roughly the same. Death is always change and rebirth. Strength is always endurance and boundaries. The Fool, as it turns out, was what I was missing the meaning of when I first tried to create the Five Realms Tarot (or the Revenant Tarot, I can’t remember which) a few years ago. I didn’t have a good enough scope of the whole story and the players in it. Who was powerful, who was learning. And part of what made the original set of symbolism so off was that I picked the wrong Fool.

Esper Ravenwood is the Fool. He’s the protagonist. He’s the one who goes on an epic journey, and whose journey gets reflected and faceted over and over again throughout his five and a half hundred years, and even after that. He is both catalyst and solution. He is the Fool that walks through the twenty-one doors, being changed by and in turn changing the people that he meets behind them. He’s walked through doors nobody was ever meant to come back through and done it anyway.

The other cards I lacked a decent understanding of? Death, Temperance, Judgement, and the Lovers. Which ties directly into what happened last April. I think I’ve finally walked through enough doors myself to do the Tarot justice. (Heh. Justice.) Watch me change my mind at the end of the Major Arcana. 😛

So… I think I might have another go at the Five Realms Tarot, now that I know who the Fool was. Funny enough, I wrote his Tales in first person. Read into that what you will.

~*SYMBOLISM*~

Runic Half-Month Reading – Algiz 2017

This half-month is going to be all about doing what lights you up and makes you feel alive! Follow your passions and distance yourself from anything that overwhelms you (at least until you’re truly ready to deal with it).

Decks used: Shadowscapes Tarot, Five Realms Oracle, and the Wildwood Tarot

See you soon!
φ

Runic Half-Month Reading – Perthro 2017

And right after I made this video a crow landed on the fence outside. It’s a sign!

In this video I do a reading for the runic half-month of Perthro (or Perdhro) which is from January 13th to January 28th. I pulled four tarot cards – two from the Wildwood and two from the Shadowscapes – and a single Five Realms Oracle card for looking at the overall energy of the half-month. I know I’ve started with a rather arbitrary rune, but frankly, I didn’t see any better time to start than now!

I hope this one provides some insight, and wasn’t too rambly.

See you soon!
φ

Runic New Year & Questing Path Redux

Hello friends!

June 29th was the first of the Runic half-month of Fehu, which means it’s the Runic New Year! Woo! We’re also coming down from the Solstice and the Full Moon, which means I had a hankering to check in with my path and where I’m going with it. Also, Rustus re-worked the Questing Path Spread and I wanted an excuse to try it out, since I was a big fan of the original. I was going to try it out when I first read the post, but something decided I needed to wait, and life happened for a while.

So, I asked my pendulum, and here we are! Wildwood Tarot and Earthbound Oracle volunteered to be my guides for this one, and I used some blue quartz, amethyst, and optical calcite to help glean the messages, as well as what I call my “Druid Stone,” which I’ve had since I was old enough to remember having it. It is a symbol of Me, which means I don’t use it and wont use it for anyone else.

Without further ado, the Questing Path Redux! (Which links to the original post so that you can read it.) I’m not going to go super in-depth with what I write up in this post, that’s what I’ve got a journal for. Also, for the record: the original spread doesn’t have two cards listed for the middle position, but two came out anyway when I did the spread. I can’t reason with this deck, it does what it wants.

QuestingPathRedux June2016
Sorry for the light. Wildwood doesn’t like being photographed for some reason.

1. The Path of The Shaman

*begrudging expletives*

You know that feeling when you get cards that are so in-your-face that you couldn’t possibly have picked them out yourself for fear of being too literal? Apparently Wildwood likes doing that to me. I almost feel like this one doesn’t need to be explained all that much, but for the sake of clarity and transparency: this is that thing that I was kind of afraid would happen when my current spirit-teacher showed up out of the blue. As Beth recently and appropriately quoted: “Never name the well from which you will not drink.” I’ve read books about shamanism, what it’s like, what the trials and weirdness are, and I’ll be quite honest, it’s not something I’ve ever wanted for myself. I didn’t think I was qualified for the longest time… up until Mutt passed away and that whole, horrifying incident with Pulse happened. My own Bran has a theory in that shamans are called as a result of death, and that certainly seems to be the pattern here. You’ll excuse me while I go into a corner and think about what I did.

2. The Destination – The Sun of Life

I know almost exactly where I’m going to be when this happens. I don’t quite know when it’s going to be, but I know where, and what I’ll be there for. That’s a “my eyes only” kind of thing, though, and that’s where the surface destination is. Underneath that, however, I see an acceptance of the Path, a burning sense of belonging and hope, finally hope, and my eyes are drawn immediately to that “star” in the center of the main figure’s chest. The time frame in this spread is either going to be much shorter than I’m prepared to deal with, or longer than I expect. I’m anticipating at least two trips up to the mountains in the next few months. It’s around this time of year that weird magical shenanigans tend to happen anyway, so I’m not all that surprised on the timing.

Also there’s that chalk horse in the background that I keep staring at and I’m not going to say why explicitly, but suffice to say that there’s a reason I have Ehwaz as part of my little personal symbol.

3. The Hill – The Pole Star & The Ancestor

That first one is a message that my own past-self has been trying to hammer (or axe, in his case *rimshot*) into my head for the past little while, and one which I still have problems with. Trusting myself and my own inner compass is weirdly hard for me to do, given that I live with myself every day. I recently did an automatic writing brain-pick in which my inner Sensei came out and really made me aware of how absurd it is for me to trust, say, Bran, over my own self.

With the Ancestor, my eyes go directly to the drum. I’ve been looking for a drum for months. I know what it looks like, or what if feels like, rather, how to play it, what spirit lives in it… but I haven’t found it yet, and don’t really know where it might be! I also see the crescent moon in the back, which strikes me because I got a sincere and subtle reminder from said moon that I do have a rather huge connection to it, and that I keep forgetting how much of an anchor it can be in my life. It was comforting, in a way. Also, the blue in that card and the sheer feel of it gives me massive spirit-teacher vibes, and I’m not sure what he’s planning, but I have a feeling it has to do with at least one of those “Ally” cards. I also get the feeling I’ve been avoiding something big and that he’s going to smack me upside the head with it.

4 & 5. Allies Above – Water & Ceremony

Water can only be one person/spirit from where I’m standing. Won’t say which one but I know who. I’m not exactly sure how he or Water energy in general will be helpful, possibly in cleansing and clearing, but I accept whatever help is needed. Maybe this will be something like getting my usual Taurean Stubbornness out of the way long enough to move in a different direction a little bit. Or, it’s that spirit’s presence – felt, but not seen.

Ceremony is still stumping me. I think I know what it’s talking about, but at the same time I really won’t be able to tell except in hindsight, probably. This is one I’ll have to come back to and meditate on for a while, because it’s one that never comes up for me. Applying it to this is rather difficult, though I am getting a sense of Sacred-Third here, with the two candles and the sun. (OOp! There’s the Sun again!) One could also make a word-pun with Sun and Son, but I don’t want to go there because I don’t know what it means, yet.

6 & 7. Allies on the Ground – Resistance & Death

I’d normally look at Resistance as a challenge, as something that needs to be overcome in order to get something done. Here, though, as an ally, I know exactly what it means. When I resist something with the whole of my being, not just being a little anxious or nervous but having my core essence screaming and kicking and fighting to run away, I know that whatever is going on isn’t my thing. This will probably help me narrow down what does and doesn’t serve me in an effort to find my “Pole Star,” as it were, which is one of the challenges it looks like I’ll be dealing with.

… Oh, Death. There’s one thing that immediately pops to mind when cards like, “Death,” “Ceremony,” and “Shaman,” are all in the same spread, and it’s another of those ‘Don’t Name the Well’ things. Not because I don’t think it might be necessary but because I’d rather not have to deal with that particular option/idea in the presence of my immediate family. Bran, sure. The rest, no. Why? Complicated. Mostly because of fear. However, the alternative is something more in line with the Death from tarot, in which case it has more to do with actually sitting down and accepting the path ahead, rather than trying to deny that it’s an option. Though, if history is any indicator of the future, I’m about to have some serious Wyrd dropped on my head. Joy.


So, there’s a lot to make of this one. There’s a lot I still need to explore and dive into, and there’s a huge lot that I don’t know if I want to understand. I actually hate it when this happens. However. It is what it is, and it may not be as dramatic as I feel like it has the potential to be. Seeing all the people getting sandbagged by Stuff around me, though, I expect it’s time for a big change. A little wander into the cave to fight the bear, if you will. I’m so looking forward to it, can you tell? [/sarcasm]

We’ll see.

Thank you once again, Rustus, for the wonderful spread and for being awesome in general!

Open for Business!

Hello, everyone!

Today, my little shop in the digital woodland is open for business! Not only do I offer Tarot, Oracle, and Rune readings, but also art commissions. It’s gonna be a great time!

Being the Hermit on Etsy

By the way, if you requested a free reading on the last day, it’s still free, and I’ll be sending it to you as soon as I can. You’re all awesome for being so patient.

See you soon!

Last Call for Free Readings!

Hello, friends!

Today, June 3rd, is the last day I will be accepting requests for free tarot, oracle, and rune readings, but I’ll be opening up an Etsy shop on the 6th so that you all can commission me for art, readings, and whatever else I end up offering.

There’s a page with information up on my site, if you’re reading this from your “reader” tab. Go check it out if you want, come be a part of the party!

See you when I see you.

Waking Up and Hobbit Birthday

Good morning, friends!

First, quick update on all the things: Scheduling at work seems to have gotten sorted out, so while it’s still not exactly a consistent schedule I at least have some time to live while I’m at home, and work on things that I’m called to do (more on that later). The healing process is going pretty well; I’ve given Mutt a place on the Names of Interest page (as well as adding my pop culture pantheon to the mix) and the brunt of the pain has more or less subsided now. I feel mostly human again, which is always a good thing!

Now, about hobbits, birthdays, and things I’m called to do. Yesterday was my birthday! Woo! Friday the 13th and nothing went wrong, besides the unexpected cactus (I kid you not, my mom got me a tiny cactus. I’m still not sure what to make of this turn of events). I also got a framed picture in the likeness of Frey, and I’m going to need to do some re-arranging soon so that I can make him a proper place. It’s currently hanging on my wall in place of my Big Honking Year Wheel.

You may be wondering what all this talk of hobbits is about. I’m not making short jokes, (even though I am pretty short) I’m actually making an offering to you, my tribe. And possibly others outside of what some would consider “my tribe.” (Hello to all of you as well, by the way!) In true hobbit tradition, I’m doing a reversal of the whole birthday presents thing. Instead of receiving, I’m giving gifts to you!

Since I’m setting up an Etsy shop (which will also be called BeingtheHermit) it occurs to me that I need to practice my readings, mostly the design and delivery thereof. Since there are a lot of you who wander into my little digital home in search of Tarot guidance, I figured you all would be both the ones to ask for feedback and the ones who would benefit most from this.

So! For the next 21 days (May 14th-June 3rd) you can send me an e-mail and ask for a free Tarot, Oracle, or Rune reading! I’ll have more details up in a “free readings” page very soon, but this is open to anyone who’s willing to give honest feedback in exchange for a bit of wisdom or inspiration from the cards/runes.

Happy birthday, everyone! Love all around, and I hope to see you soon!
– Erik (beingthehermit@gmail.com)

YouTube Pagan Challenge Week 13

Hello, friends!

The video we’ve all been waiting for! Or, I have anyway. I do believe it’s my longest one to date, but it’s because I’ve been doing divination for a long time and it’s something that’s very close to my heart.

YT Pagan Challenge

New Year with the Wildwood

Hello, friends!

Last year was a wild year. Looking back at the spread I did for last year, it’s clear to me just how much I’ve changed. Being “Bilbo Baggins’d by Fate” doesn’t even begin to cover what happened. Sandbagged, more like. But I was right, it was an adventure, an emotional roller coaster, and I’ve come out the other side a stronger man. I was also spot-on in my reading, with the upsets and the job(which was the upset), even though the time scale ended up being far longer than I thought at the time. What I got blatantly wrong was the destination: emotional connection with another being, in this case Frey. Also…let me just giggle a little at past-me’s thoughts about the Queen of Cups. Just wait for it, honey. Just you wait. *shooshpap*

As is becoming custom with me, I’m doing a personal reading for the new year, this time with the Wildwood deck since it’s pretty grounded in reality, which is something I need right now. I’ll be using the New Year spread from Little Red Tarot, who I recently stumbled upon and find intriguing. So, without further distraction:

To paraphrase from Little Red’s page:

  1. Center (three cards): The current situation
  2. Dusk (two cards): What’s leaving you at the moment
  3. Horizon (two cards): What’s arriving in your life in the new year
  4. Focus (two cards): Where to focus your energy
  5. Tools: Resources you can draw upon to help you.

And here’s what the Wildwood had to say:

NewYearSpread

1 – Center – World Tree, Seven of Stones, Two of Stones
Right now I’m in the process of healing from all the weirdness that went down in the last year. However, I’m also at the end of that particular journey and am about to start another. I’ve learned what I needed to and can move on to face new challenges with the skills I’ve accrued. New beginnings are going to be a theme this year, I think, given all the bunnies.

2 – Dusk – Five of Arrows and Seven of Cups
My time of frustration is finally over, and it’s time to move forward. Let the ram go(stubborn pride, maybe?) and save your arrows, move on to bigger and better things. It’s time for me to stop mourning all that I used to be. I’ve payed my respects, and learned all that I can. Now, I need to live for my current self, and my current situation.

3 – Horizon – Queen of Bows and Three of Cups
Joy is making a gran reentry into my life, and with it inspiration is sure to follow. The energy of the Hare, contains kindness, compassion, and a willingness to walk in darkness with awareness and purpose. The Hare is driven, and will drive others as well. A cautious rebirth into something greater, and lighter.

4 – Focus – Two of Arrows and King of Bows
Speak the truth. Truth will always prevail, especially when spoken by an impartial judge, but do not utter words harshly. The Adder’s tongue is swift but subtle, willful in its execution. The Adder’s energy is mature and intelligent, unchallenged in its power, and yet somewhat playful. The words hissed by the Adder are runes, or the Truth as told by Loki.

5 – Tools – Queen of Stones
The Bear is old and wise, curious but cautious. Her approach is pragmatic and generous, yet in defending what is hers she is ruthless and swift. When searching for solutions the Bear is cunning, and surprisingly dexterous, yet grounded and steadfast. The proverbial winter is over, and it’s time for me to come out of hibernation.


Thank you for being here with me, everyone. With any luck I’ll be back tomorrow with a post about my other New Year rituals. 🙂 See you then!

Tarot: Evolutionary Tree Spread

Hello again!

So, this is what it looks like outside my bedroom window right at the moment:

Shner

Given that, I figured it’s a perfect day to do a random tarot reading. Just because. Why not? So, I’m doing this one that I found on Tumblr:

tumblr_nc48cgtBRR1smm2xno1_1280

This is what mine looks like:

Tree Spread

 

Card 1 – Nine of Cups
My deepest desires ground me, the want for happiness. The idea that one can find enjoyment in the simplest things in life. My dreams and wishes that have already come true, or are just on the horizon. Normally I wouldn’t think that emotions and wishes would be grounding, given that “grounding” is, in my mind anyway, more of an earthy concept, but that’s okay. It’s true. Some of my wishes are very grounding, such as the wish to have a stronger, more able body, and steady finances. This card could also be a reference to the simple act of spiritual grounding, when one goes within and becomes aware of the present, and sinks roots into the soil of the present moment, so to speak.

Card 2 – Queen of Cups
Creativity, spirituality, deep connection to times long since passed and times not yet come, intuition. Blood of the stars, soul of the earth. These are the things that support me. I do have a reasonable intuition – for instance I knew that going to rehearsal today would be a really bad idea, and then it snowed – and I pride myself on being a pretty imaginative person. Creativity, in fact, is such a large part of my life that when I haven drawn or written or composed anything or danced in a while, I get really down and low on energy. I find it interesting that the Queen is dancing, actually, since that is one of my less-well-known passions that I probably suck at, but, hey! It’s fun. Also, lining up the Queen above the Nine suggests that my roots go very deep indeed. The cards seem almost connections of each other.

Card 3 – Eight of Swords
I usually hate drawing Swords, just because they usually end up smacking me in the face with my own over-thinking ways. This one, not so much that. The first thing that struck me about this card is that it seems… isolated. Yes, the swan is stuck, but it’s isolated from the rest of the world by the brambles. This is something that I do often, to “protect” myself. I isolate myself from other people, often to my own detriment, a fact that I haven’t quite seemed to accept yet, despite my best efforts. However, there is one other being in the bramble thicket with the swan – a hummingbird. In the book, the hummingbird tells the swan to calm down, stop being frustrated and flailing at the sharp branches. When the swan calms down, the hummingbird pushes the brambles out of the way. This reminds me of my own Bran telling me to calm down when I get angry or frustrated, and I make myself as bramble-like as possible, using sharp words and prickly voice to get people away from me. But, he’s my hummingbird, and he can see right through all that. He does protect me, and probably does a much better job of it than I do.

Card 4 – Hierophant
Yes. I’ve always striven to be more like Esper, of Odin, or my father, or any of the other guides that really know more than I do about things. I’ve had many Hierophants in my life that I’ve wanted to be more like. I’m reaching for wisdom, and stability, and patience. I’m a bit too young and easily distracted for that at the moment, though, and I’m not sure what I’d do if I ever became a Hierophant-like person. I’m not sure I’d ever be aware of it, in the first place, if I were to be someone’s Hierophant. That said, there is one situation in which I know I am, currently, and that is in the game Journey. I know almost all of the mysteries in that game, and now end up helping less experienced players along the path. It brings me all sorts of joy seeing excited first-timers wandering around, chirping away, as they explore the game. I’m not quite sure how to do that in real life, yet, but, maybe someday I’ll have more of a clue.

Card 5 – King of Swords
I immediately thought again of Bran when I flipped this card up. He’s a master of his own intellect, freakishly observant, clever, strategic, and possessing of a saint’s patience. Especially with me. He challenges my perceptions more often than not, and I love him for it. If he spoke as clearly as he thought, he could be a king. The King of Swords is all about leadership, though, about the warrior king that leads his army into battle, shone the way by the light of truth. I end up being a leader more often than I would care to admit, but since I’ve never really had much command presence, when people do listen to me, it makes me feel important. Like in Journey, where I can lead the way through the mysteries and dangers of that world. I’m not the “ruler” who will command his armies from the throne, I am the leader who will be out in front and fighting with the team. I know when to lead and when to follow – usually. I do still need a bit of works, but, that’s what I have Bran for.

Summary: My roots go deep into the wishes of my soul, that grow into a strong trunk where the veins of creativity flow under bramble-sharp bark, into the branches that reach for the wisdom of the stars, and grow leaves that play in the guiding voice of the wind.

I dunno. Kinda poetic. Hope you found something helpful in this, I will see you all when I see you. 🙂
-EJ the Hopeful Hierophant