Unlike any other card in my tarot series, The Hermit found its way to me. I had scheduled to shoot with Mary but I had no idea what card to pick. And for the first time, I was okay with that- I didn’t want to know. So what did I do? I went inside, played some Chelsea Wolfe (aka my current obsession), took out my deck, and meditated on what exactly it is that I needed at that moment- what was the universe trying to teach me? I didn’t even divide the major or minor arcana, I wanted to pick a card that I was meant to work with, and it turns out I did. The Hermit urges us to go inward- it’s a wake up call to remember that we have all the answers we need within us, it’s just a matter of listening. Just like the turtle has it’s shell and it can retreat inward, finding it’s home wherever it is, so can we. This semester, this past summer, and this past year have been a whirlwind and they have taught me more about myself than any semester or summer or year prior. For the first time I don’t feel the need to prove myself to anyone, I don’t feel the need to make sure any certain person likes me. For the first time the only person I am focused on loving is myself, and when I pulled the Hermit it was like a love spell straight to my heart. I’d been wanting to turn inward, get back to my yoga practice and focus on what gives me inner purpose and all of the sudden, I was pulling this card to remind me that YES- that’s what I should do, that’s what I needed, and that’s what I did. What does The Hermit teach us? The Hermit speaks of vulnerability, of shedding your layers and moving inward, of finding the answers in your own connection to the universe, to the world around you, and to yourself. In The Wild Unknown deck, it says the Hermit’s one of the most valued and celebrated creatures because through going inward, The Hermit’s able to find knowledge and wisdom it can share. The Hermit is a cosmic kick in the butt to just stop, to listen, meditate and ponder- the most important things in this life are the moments we often rush over, the pearls of beauty we find in ananda- the bliss of being.
The idea of the turtle really resonated with me when I was trying to figure out how to represent this card. The simplicity of wearing your home on your back is both obvious and profound, and the idea of finding home in my own bones is something I’ve been trying to work with. I decided to wear my spiked leather jacket for this post because it’s a barrier between me and the world- it gives me the confidence and strength to own my sh**. Pieces like my leather jacket are my shell- they’re my protection as I move through this life, especially as someone who can be passed over as vulnerable or weak because of my small frame. I wore a vintage nightgown that I got from Ivory for this same reason- there’s a sense of vulnerability that comes with wearing your home on your back. I wanted to represent going inward by wearing something really delicate. Embracing The Hermit means dealing with your own issues face on- finding them, learning from them and hopefully growing from them. It also means picking up your shell, knowing you’re your own home, and continuing along your own path as you explore what it means to tune into yourself. Of course, I had to reinterpret the classic version of this card, (green!) cape and all. So thankful for Mary who always takes amazing photos and helps my vision come to life.
Here’s to going inward.
There are cards that are easy to interpret and there are ones that are a bit trickier. Temperance is one of those cards that tends to stump me when it comes up in a reading. The tarot resonates in funny ways and I’m sure this is a hard card for me because it’s what I have trouble internalizing most; balance. The universe always has perfect timing, and Mercury was retrograde as I shot this look (thankfully it’s direct again!) This past retrograde was all about digging up the past, learning from the muck and moving forward… it was rough. Sometimes you have to go on and move forward and keep going with life; find your footing and balance between harsh elements. That’s exactly what this card teaches us.Temperance speaks of working with opposing elements and using them to find balance. Battle water with fire, earth with air. Temperance is a card of renewal, a flowing stream promising something better, something easier. I was so excited to shoot with my favorite, Mary Decrescenzio, after what feels like years of not working together. Although lots of rain made the waterfalls we shot at murky, it still felt perfect to shoot among the flowing water; it’s exactly what Temperance represents. This card talks about moderation, about working among the elements and not giving or taking too much. Temperance is a card of healing, of renewal. It is, more than anything, a little glimmer of hope.Temperance urges us to find a sense of honesty, of balance and a sense of purity with what we do. Not too hot, not too cold…just right. It speaks of being like the heron and find your balance and find peace in a sense of opposition. I wanted to interpret this card surrounded by water, with pieces in sweet blue and just a touch of red (lipstick always counts). I picked up this wonderful vintage teddy from my job, Hip Wa Zee, and paired it with this sweet little robe I got from my friend Ivory who runs an incredibly curated vintage shop called Forgotten Feather Vintage. I was feeling very “Secret Garden” since we took so many photos amidst the incredible foliage. All you can do in life is take little baby steps every day. Learning from the past to move forward. Learning from the fire so you know to add a little more water next time. Temperance reminds us to find our own secret garden, our own place of peace. A safe haven to remind us that once we find balance, everything else will fall into place. Here’s to a fresh start and learning from the ease of the water.
Here’s to finding balance and moving forward.
I don’t believe in cosmic coincidence. I don’t believe that things just happen; that which feeds our soul, those people who impact our lives, the moments where we stop and really and truly feel, to me, aren’t coincidence. One of my favorite ways to describe the tarot to people who are learning about it is as a map to places within ourselves that we’re unaware of. When I’m reading the cards, I imagine they’re blank until I flip them over; there’s a possibility that I can pull any card, and the one I pull is the one that I’m meant to. I don’t believe that an accurate reading is a coincidence; I think that it’s channeling the same cosmic destiny of sorts that we see with the things I mentioned above; people and places and experiences that are literally too good to be thought of as coincidence. The Chariot has been beckoning to me. I’ve always been drawn to this card, and finding out two people I’m close to dubbed this their card of choice only furthers the significance of it.The artwork on this card is easily one of my favorites in the deck, and that’s no surprise since the beauty of the card is mirrored by the significance of what it represents. The Chariot is the seventh card in the tarot deck. She sings of action and movement forward guided by intuition. She speaks of direction and in a way, change. She is determination, she is knowing that movement, any movement, is better than staying stagnant. November was an intense month, where I found myself in an energetic and spiritual rut. It’s only within the past couple of days, specifically yesterday thanks to the powerful full moon, that I’ve started to find my footing once again. Today, this card has special significance. Today, The Chariot is telling me to keep going, to keep moving forward. I chose to represent this card with silver, black and a lilac lip. My WITCH bag had to be brought out, because for me witchcraft is an extension of guided, intuitive movement and action like the card itself. I wanted a subtle equestrian feel to my look, so I chose to represent that with a silver leotard and a wide brimmed, vintage hat.I pulled this look knowing that I wanted to feel powerful, I wanted to feel capable and more than anything else, I wanted to feel like the one guiding my own chariot forward. Leotard: Amazon/ Hot Pants: ASOS/ Skirt: Urban Outfitters/ Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell/ Cardigan: American Threads/ Necklace: Extollo Jewelry/Purse: Dolls Kill/ Tarot deck: The Wild UnknownToday, I urge you to find that which drives you onward. Find what feeds your soul, what speaks to you of destiny. Listen to your intuition. Know that you are capable, powerful and regardless of whatever else life throws at you, you are still guiding your own chariot.
It’s been so wonderful to work with the beautiful Mary DeCrescenzio. I am so thankful for her, for her spirit and for helping me make this series possible. Check out her beautiful work HERE and find her on Facebook HERE.