Lessons of the Hermit

Updated: Jul 21, 2020

It’s Cancer season, and the world continues to transform. During any process of substantial change, pain and potential are neighbors. Be kind to yourself if you’re a little more—as Drake would say—"in your feelings" at this time. I’ve prepared another Spotify playlist of artists who inspire me to live a life that honors who I have fought to be. There’s also a new collection of healing resources in my Amazon store. I’m sending love, and I hope you feel it!

As we approach the new moon in Cancer on July 20, we’re meditating on the lessons of the Hermit.

The Hermit is not a card ruled by watery Cancer—that’s the Chariot. The Hermit is more interested in spiritual grounding than the values-driven action of the Chariot. When the new moon comes around, the Sun, Moon, and Mercury will ALL be afloat in the ocean of feelings that Cancer brings. How can we use this fount of emotions? That’s where the Hermit teaches us to follow our feelings toward self-discovery, especially in difficult moments.

If the Chariot helps us understand our vehicle, or what makes us feel free, the Hermit is about how we feel free even when we’re going nowhere. It’s the rest stop, the underwhelming scenic view, the flat tire, the long hours you spend with yourself while you wait for AAA to arrive. The Hermit reminds us of what Proust wrote: “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

However, the Hermit can bring up the fear of being alone. You might think of him as an isolated figure, shrouded, looking inward, with his lantern raised to reveal a grim landscape. But fear not! Imagine instead a Hermit who uses her alone time for self-care. This Hermit has the highest potential for self-knowledge, spiritual connection, and true enjoyment of life.

Part of this moment of global transformation is the reconciliation of our traumas, both individually and collectively, with our public selves. When reckoning with the realities of racism, for instance, some are understanding their institutional wounds for the first time, while others are no longer looking away from the deep hurt others have suffered.

But still others resist this work. Often unprocessed trauma presents itself in the form of fear-driven beliefs that negate the humanity of others. Homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, anti-Blackness: these are just a few stances that can be fueled by repressed trauma. Where do you stand in relation to your trauma? How does this affect your relationship to others?

I say all of this to emphasize the power of the Hermit—to honor lived experience, to speak truth to power, and to exist in their power as a beacon for the world.

Nuanced examinations of trauma exist more and more frequently in popular culture. This summer we have Michaela Coel’s show I May Destroy You, which explores how close friends navigate survivorship, including the ways they are painfully unseen and also unconditionally held by the social network around them. Heartbreak and humor are inseparable.

As you embrace your inner guide, look to artists and leaders who inspire YOU as embodiments of the type of Hermit you want to be. The Hermit never forces a lesson. She knows she is no one’s teacher until they ask. So if you want to know what it looks like to follow your feelings toward deeper connectedness, get curious about how others have done this.

With aloneness, as with everything, there are two fundamental mindsets: scarcity or abundance. Are you focused on what you lack or what you love? Of course, the Hermit doesn’t ask you to choose between the two but to make space for both of them, and more. Then, when opportunities for personal growth arise, you can be both humbled and empowered by them.

Ready for spiritual support on your journey? Schedule a session with me today!

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