hello friends, and welcome to virgo season. the hermit is one of my favorite cards in the deck, and it’s a joy to get to keep playing with ideas here, to experiment with styles and ideas, to put pieces together in strange and different ways.
thank you for being here.
from strength to the hermit
if strength pushed us to recognize our own worth, to celebrate our value and magic, to not be afraid to raise our voice and use our power and honor our passions, then the hermit asks us to consider how we fit into the broader world, how our efforts mesh with bigger movements.
we often talk about detachment with the hermit: retreat, solitude, stepping away from daily routines in order to practice self-interrogation. but the benefit to disrupting our natural cycles is not only in order to learn more about who we are - this process also gives us an opportunity to observe, to reflect, to see things in a new light. when we aren’t caught up in the daily grind, in our regular tasks and responsibilities, we gain a new appreciation for what is really important, and what isn’t.
there’s a reason that the hermit often gets mistaken for an archetype of rest - there’s a relief to disrupting our patterns, to taking a break from the usual. but the hermit isn’t on vacation. this isn’t the hanged one, with its forced stillness, or the star, with its recovery and renewal. this isn’t the four of swords, intentional boundaries around the mind, or the eight of cups’ need to walk away and rediscover the self.
the hermit is deliberately creating a new system of flow, putting a boundary between themselves and the mundane so that they can fully engage with the sacred. this is giving ourselves a chance to find clarity, to step into our purpose, to honor an ending and make space for a new beginning.
and if there isn’t enough light to illuminate our path, the hermit urges us to create our own, to lead the way, to ensure that everyone else can move forward too.
put another way: the hermit helps us identify our flow, our meaning, our significance.
strength may have been about power and purpose, but the hermit takes that power a step further, letting it settle into our bones, allowing it to push us into a new kind of evolution. there’s a profoundness to this state, a tapping into something greater, that helps us see our place in the world. what do we empower, enable, enfranchise? what do our efforts contribute to? how do we understand our personal legacy, and he ways that our magic fits into broader ecosystems of care, purpose, joy?
what are the moments that remind us of why we are alive, of what we feel that we were born to do?
a recent twitter thread reminded me of the differences explored in the greek words for time: chronos, which is quantitative time, sequential time, and kairos, which is qualitative, fluctuating. chronos is about precision and order, progression. it measures where something lands in space, hours and minutes and seconds, days and weeks and years. but kairos is periods of significance, moments of importance, flashes of insight that reshape us. it’s not about duration, but about usefulness, about power.
it’s about being aware of substance, about feeling the gravity of something, about knowing that this particular moment is one that will be revisited, experienced again and again in memory and consciousness.
kairos is stepping out of the sequence, out of the precision, and instead allowing ourselves to be transformed by what has happened, by what is still happening. as my partner so beautifully explores in chapter seven of her forthcoming memoir, heretic, it’s the difference between “an event and an experience,” noting the difference in when something happened as opposed to why it happened, how it happened, the feelings that linger, the change that takes place outside of time itself. time as journey, timing as ongoing.
the hermit is an opportunity to create kairos. it’s about recognizing meaning when we find it, and allowing it to change us, to guide us forward, to indicate our next beginning.
the chariot helped us clarify our purpose, to recognize our unique position in the world. strength empowered us to pursue the goals that embody that purpose, to be our full and powerful selves. and with the hermit, we continue to follow those truths to new conclusions, allowing our awareness to change us, transform us. the hermit and the number nine may be the conclusion of a cycle, but they are not the end: they are simply a slowing down, a revelation, paving the way for a new flash of insight.
if last season reminded you of your magic and power, let this season of virgo and the hermit be a chance to truly see it, feel it, experience it. what does it mean to really understand who you are, how you impact everyone around you? self-discovery is a recognition of purpose, a feeling of wonder in all that we can do, a renewal of intention and desire that helps us shed an old skin, an old self.
what is your lantern, and which paths are you illuminating - not only for yourself but for those that may follow behind?
some exciting things are in the works for my upcoming book, finding the fool, so if you’ve been thinking about signing up for a paid subscription to this newsletter or joining my patreon, now is a great time to do so for sneak previews, early access, and subscriber exclusives.
and if you want more on virgo season, the hermit, and how tarot can help you explore these ideas more deeply, don’t miss my latest round of tarotscopes at autostraddle.
have a profound, fulfilling, expansive virgo season, friends.
images from this post feature cards from the spacious tarot and the spacious tarot expansion pack. all photographs by meg jones wall.