Hermit larger

If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.
~ Joseph Campbell

This morning, in the dawning of the Lunar New Year, the Year of the Fire Monkey, Lunar Imbolc, and the New Moon of Aquarius, I was extremely curious about which card would open the way for us.

Sometimes when I pull my card, it’s a long, silent process, with me getting only the faintest responses or else second-guessing myself until the very last moment.

Not today. After smudging the room with both smoke and sound, and a visit from Cally the Calico, who runs and hops up on the sofa next to me every time she hears me shuffle the cards, I spread my trusty 1972 deck in my usual fashion.

Card of the Week

And, as sometimes happens, one card fairly glowed at me.

I always make at least three passes before I choose, so I did, but it was as if every other card had dimmed its lights, and this one sparkled and sang to me.

So lo, and behold, here we have The Hermit yet AGAIN!

Not only is it once again our Card of the Week, as it has been once a month for the past three months, it is our Card of the Year.

And now it appears again, only two weeks after its last visit. This time, it is the card that heralds the Lunar New year, and to initiate this New Moon cycle, too.

Since I have already written at length about the more traditional basics regarding the meaning of The Hermit (you can read about those here and here), today I simply ask you to consider these points:

This potent combination of Chinese New Year, the New Moon, and Lunar Imbolc is very auspicious for new beginnings. What seeds of your desires and intentions will you bless? What long-term vision is revealed when you raise your lantern and gaze across the Winter landscape?

What new path in your life now calls to you? What dedication of heart and soul is appropriate?

The Hermit’s gifts for you as you choose your next steps cannot be understated.

He shows us how to step outside of the herd, climb up the mountainside for solitude and clarity, and look off in the distance for understanding.

The Hermit is the soul of integrity. He takes the higher road in all dealings, and lives with quiet simplicity. Who in your life offers this? How are you being called to cultivate these qualities in yourself?

Do his repetitious visits have an urgent message about our need for quiet, reflection, and vision journeys? I am sure he would advise us to disconnect more often from the constant harangue of media, opinions, selling, and news.

My good friend, Barbara Moore, was recently prompted by repeated visits from The Hermit to make a life-altering decision. You can read about it on her beautiful blog.

Do we need to join her? It’s not a choice for everyone, and I am the last one to pass judgment.

But after what happened to me last Summer, I am far less enthusiastic about the world of social media, and have watched with consternation as my own addictions have crept back up again. I have several media breaks already on my calendar for the year. But I may need more repose than just a small time-out here and there.

What about you?

Take the High Road

Whose beacon is a steady light and inspiration in your life? How are you the inspiration and the truth-teller in your own circles?

Immersed as we currently are in political drama, which candidate(s) would you say embody the wisdom and non-conformity of The Hermit?

The Hermit is a natural teacher, meaning that on every step of his path, he is learning and sharing. But he also learns best from his experiences in the natural world. His life’s journey is a sacred pilgrimage into the Mystery.

What studies will you begin, or deepen, with your Imbolc dedications?

What path are you making, and what pilgrimage or spirit quest is calling to you?

Hold your lantern high, and know you are both the seeker and the light within.


Get Ready for the Fire Monkey!

by Beth on February 5, 2016

fire monkey

The Moon is slipping away into a tiny sliver, and on Monday, the second New Moon after Solstice arrives.

That means to millions, maybe billions, of people, it’s the New Year — the Lunar New Year.

Some people call it Chinese New Year, but in fact, people from many countries in Asia celebrate this New Year.

Goodbye Wood, Hello Fire

This year we transition from the Year of the Wood Goat to the year of the Fire Monkey.

Although it won’t arrive until Monday, I am posting a little early for two reasons. First, as author Narrye Caldwell discusses, the energy of this shift has arrived early.

She writes, “Back in November several friends told me they were sure they already felt the effects of the coming Monkey year. I insisted that this was impossible, that Chinese astrology doesn’t work that way, it was too soon, and there is no such thing as ‘creeping Monkey,’ or ‘shades of the Monkey to come.’

“But the stories of strange and confounding challenges kept coming in—nothing that could be called a crisis, just frustrating annoyances that bordered on the humorous…”

She was reluctantly convinced after she and her friends kept experiencing a relentless series of misplaced items, wardrobe malfunctions (nothing racy, just stuff like being in an important meeting and discovering you are wearing one red and one black sock), leaving for work with the wrong set of keys, etc.

“Around about December,” she writes, “I revised my position and admitted that this departure from the expected course of things was exactly like Monkey qi [energy].

“How like the Monkey to sneak into the party incognito, peer into windows, and play some unexpected tricks on the guests just to get things going and create some fun.”

If that sounds familiar, get ready. This monkey party is just getting started.

Fire Monkey Energy

Narrye explains what we can expect:

There are two significant energetic shifts that will affect everyone this year. The first is that we’re moving into a Fire year after two Wood years.

Wood is growth, enthusiasm, the innocence of youth and the pursuit of a vision. Wood qi is fresh and unformed. It has the drive to break through barriers, but it lacks wisdom and refinement, so can sometimes be unstable and reckless.

Fire qi is the full expression of Wood’s vision. Fire brings forth the rose, lays the paint on the canvas, and gives voice to the song that’s been forming in the depths of your heart.

Fire is intense, passionate, and calls forth our need to connect with one another. In a Fire year, no longer satisfied with the pursuit of our dreams, we now can bring things into actuality. And as we see things manifest, we want to gather with our tribe, raise a glass, and celebrate.

But there is an important caveat with all this:

It’s important to remember that nothing is solid yet and there’s much to be done.

In fact, the danger now is getting so excited by the brilliance of the flame you’ve created, that you forget to tend it properly and it quickly burns out for lack of enduring and consistent fuel.

Fire is erratic and difficult to control. It can flicker precariously, burst into a dangerous conflagration, or settle into a nice steady hearth fire, depending on how it’s managed.

So that’s your first task this year—whatever you’ve created during the last two years, treat it now like precious tinder; protect it and blow on it very gently to nudge it into a nice steady flame; feed it with long burning fuel that will last.

Don’t throw fast burning paper onto it just for the dazzling but short lived burst of heat and flame. Slow and steady now, will get you a more enduring result.

The Fire Monkey is a trickster, intensely energetic, and, as Narrye mentions, a top-notch manifester. I’ll have more to share about it next week, but I come now to my second reason for sharing this early with you.

Reason Two for the Early Bird Fire Monkey Post

I am at Dancing Moon Books and Gifts all day today, and would love to meet with you over the Tarot cards to cook up something delicious for your New Year.

Give them a call at (919) 833-8081 after 11am, if you’d like to set up an hour or a half-hour appointment with me.

And please do bring your smart phone or recording device. People tell me that my readings have a funny way of continuing to unfold and sparkle in new ways long after our actual meeting. Hope to see you soon!


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