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This is a blog series giving LGBTQIA+ people's perspectives on the Tarot cards. Tarot is a set of symbols added on to a deck of playing cards, depicting a spiritual journey, to be used for meditation or fortune telling. Catch up with the characters we've met on the journey so far by clicking on these links for The Fool, The Magician, The High Priestess, The Empress, The Emperor, The Hierophant, The Lovers, The Chariot, and Strength. The particular version that's thought of today as the basic traditional Tarot, from which the myriad of decks are influenced and inspired, was drawn by mixed race bisexual lady Pamela "Pixie" Colman Smith, whose insights I'm sure made it into this art commission given her by straight white men, whatever their expectations of her might have been. So I've asked LGBTQIA+ Tarot users in online groups to give me their viewpoints on the cards, and the result is this series of blogs.
A short entry this time, because of time.
We've reached the mountaintop where dwells The Hermit.
The Hermit is a wise man, but at the same time he's a man in search of wisdom. how many of us, when we first came out to ourselves, felt a huge mix of, on the one hand, "Finally, I've found who I truly am!"; but on the other hand, "This is just the beginning of my discovery of true self"?
His lamp, a vessel containing light within; and his staff, a channel through which energy flows; can be, and in modern magic often are, seen as one male/masculine and one female/feminine spiritual symbol - so it's a powerful image to see them both in the hands of the same person.
The mountain top can symbolise someone who is, or someone who feels, alone, and yet draws other people to them, attracted by their light; or, someone who's gone deeper inside to find their best self, their highest truth.
One of this card's old correspondences is "Prudence": the virtue of having learned your life lessons of rising above your own mistakes. How many of us realised how wrong we had been about ourselves before, when we finally discovered who we truly are, underneath all that mess? How many of us finally found our own true queer self identity after a confusing and frustrating journey of trying on what didn't really fit, until we finally found ourselves comfortable in our own skin? Came out of the closet after the longest time of not even realising we were in a closet in the first place, like Truman in The Truman Show or Neo in The Matrix? Both those movies are influenced and inspired by what's known as Plato's Allegory of the Cave - a simple family are in a cave, facing the dark wall, unaware that the shadow figures on the wall are not the only thing there is, unaware that there's light behind them causing the shadows to be cast; if they turned around, they would see things so differently that they would only be able to explain to everyone else by totally changing their way of thinking, seeing, understanding, knowing and expressing. That cave could easily be my "closet". Fantasy adventures often begin with characters thinking their simple world is the whole world, before a shaded gray lonesome figure shows them what a world there really is out there. Ben Kenobi; Gandalf; Morpheus; Mr. Badger from The Wind in the Willows; the old Professor from The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe; the fortune teller in The Wizard of Oz; I'm sure you can think of a dozen more.
(The Matrix series, by the way - though it's not always clear, because of how many makers have to water down their original intentions for their movies so they'll sell - is based on its creators' experiences coming out as transgender women. But that's a blog for another time)
"Don't rock the boat with your family"
"Don't alienate yourself from your friends"
How many of us kept our closet doors closed, even after we realised we were in there, by telling ourselves these things? That's the kind of behaviour that's usually called "prudent" - but this is a higher and deeper kind of self learning, and self teaching.
You, queerly beloveds, are more than meets the eye - even if it's your own eye! If people aren't prepared to see that, then maybe they're not your people. Shine your light, however quietly, and your people will find you.
If you'd like an online Tarot reading from me, as a professional reader who puts these kinds of viewpoints into all my readings, you can reach me by clicking Here. If you'd like to join in a LGBTQIA+ Tarot group, with likeminded people, on bookface - I've not been keeping it very active lately, but I fully intend to change that very soon - you can find it by clicking Here.