5 min read

from strength to the hermit

moving from leo season to virgo season
from strength to the hermit

hello, dear friends. as we move into the second half of august, i find myself still marveling at how quickly and strangely this year is going by. we are in the tail end of leo season, have just worked with the new moon of the lion, and now are preparing to shift from confident, bold fire into the precise, thoughtful earth that defines virgo season.

sometimes this particular seasonal transition can give people a bit of whiplash, as leo is bursting with courage and desire and magical fire, while virgo asks us to slow down, to pay closer attention to details, to be aware of our goals, to be a little more cautious than we’ve been. but if we look at the magic that dwells between these two tarot archetypes, if we consider what the fool is working through as they step from strength to the hermit, we can understand more deeply how to use this magic to our best possible advantage. take a deep breath, release any tension from your shoulders, and let’s dig in.

the magic between strength and the hermit

the hermit is an archetype of intentional retreat, of stepping back from the daily grind and instead moving into a space that is no longer defined by routine or expectation. within this card we stop pushing ourselves to achieve or evolve, and instead begin exploring our own vast and mysterious interior, looking within to discover new mysteries, desires, and shadows. it’s easy to see the hermit as simply a card of isolation or rest, but in reality this is a figure that works incredibly hard to understand themselves. they leave no stone unturned, holding that lamp out with a steady hand, following that internal light around every dark corner and twisting path. it takes great courage to be a true hermit, to be willing to question the self completely, and we’re only ready to take on this challenge after boldly and visibly stepping into our power with the archetype of strength.

the magic in this shift is dazzling. leo and strength first teach us about pride and courage, about stamina, about patience. during this time of sunshine and celebration, we acknowledge the most brilliant parts of ourselves, the things that fill us with joy and power, the dreams that motivate us to keep pushing. leo loves to be distinctive, and strength asks us to honor our wildness and to be thoughtful when wielding it.

but after we begin to understand just how special we are, after we spend time honoring the things that make us unique, after the rush of joy and pride and purpose that strength thrives within, virgo and the hermit invite us to look more closely at all that we have been celebrating. where does our brilliance come from? what makes it sparkle and glow, lights it up? what drains it, smothers it, causes it to dim or even disappear? virgo’s patient earth and endless attention to detail make this a thorough, driven, focused energy, wanting to understand what is still unfinished so that they can tie up loose ends and take pride in a job well done. the hermit is not recklessly stumbling around in the dark, hoping to eventually figure out where and who they are - instead this figure is examining every single facet of their internal landscape, looking for clues and secrets, digging deeper to find every hidden mystery. they are ready to understand what makes them tick, to recognize any flaws or cracks, to celebrate potential. they are willing to do the work to understand their own magic.

fire is magnificent, intoxicating, has the capacity to create and destroy and refine and consume. but we can best control it when we understand how it works - what builds it up, what chokes it out. and as the blaze of leo starts to slow down, as turn our light inward, the hermit allows us to keep feeding the embers, to sustain that brilliance, to temper that fire with steady, solid earth.

in this time of pandemic and revolution and continuing to fight against the horrifying acts of our current political administration, it may feel like the last thing you want to do is deep, relentless self-examination. i get it - we’ve all been alone for a long time, and are aching for stimulation and distraction, for community, for socializing. as more and more people start to seek ways to safely spend time with friends and family, as we continue to imagine the future in different and often contradictory ways, it’s tempting to throw ourselves fully into everything that is happening, to leave quiet thought and intense reflection for another time.

but the hermit begs us to be conscious and thoughtful, to be careful with our energy, to invest in dreams and plans and ambitions that deeply resonate within us. and while it can be exciting to jump forward and see active, ongoing progress, by checking in with ourselves and digging into what makes us tick, what drives us, we can be sure that we’re putting our passion and focus and resources into a path that speaks to our soul’s work, to our biggest and most powerful desires. we can be intentional about the ways that we feed our fire, making sure we keep enough heat and magic to sustain ourselves for the long haul. and we can understand what resources we need to achieve everything we want, to build the life and community that we crave, to finish our current projects and begin considering new ones.

when do you feel the most comfortable? how do you push yourself? what have you discovered about yourself through this impossible, endless year, and how have those realizations caused you to shift and grow? where do you hold back your own magic? what are you afraid to examine, and why? who do you feel safe with? what routines have kept you grounded, and where might you need to adjust patterns, or create new ones? this time with the hermit can be a slow, thoughtful process, a time of recognition and awareness, a way to honor your truest self by seeing every shadow and secret, so move with gentle intention and cautious, thorough attention. who are you, down deep?

as we shift into virgo season tomorrow, remember the wisdom of the hermit, the power of reflection, the insights that we discover when we step outside of the familiar and explore what dwells within us. practice care and gentleness, but don’t use the hermit’s quiet presence as an excuse to ignore this call to action. what truths are coming forward? thanks for reading, and have a beautiful virgo season.

images from this post feature the spacious tarot and the compendium of constellations. all photographs created by meg jones wall.