Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Hermit Day.

One of the most important points to ponder when thinking about the Hermit card in the tarot is the meaning of the word "hermit," surely one of the more misunderstood concepts in modern culture.
Merriam-Webster dictionary online describes a hermit in the following manner:
Definition of HERMIT
a : one that retires from society and lives in solitude especially for religious reasons : recluse b obsolete : beadsman
: a spiced molasses cookie
her·mit·ism \ˈhər-mə-ˌti-zəm\ noun
Examples of HERMIT
  1. <St. Jerome is said to have spent two years as a hermit in the desert, searching for inner peace.>
Origin of HERMIT
Middle English heremite, eremite, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin eremita, from Late Greek erēmitēs, from Greek, adjective, living in the desert, from erēmia desert, from erēmos desolate
First Known Use: 12th century

Now, while I'm secretly thinking about finding that cookie recipe mentioned in the second meaning, the first one clearly brings to mind the Hermit in the tarot.  When the Hermit turns up in a reading, I like to explain and emphasize that a Hermit is not that crazy old man in the woods that so many people tend to think of at first.  I'm not sure if somewhere along the way the concept of a Hermit got mixed up with the concept of a Hobo or Tramp.  To me, being quite "bookish" as a child, the idea of being a hermit always kind of appealed to me.  I tended to be a loner.  I was usually off reading somewhere rather than playing with other kids.  I'd read about the old man in the cave on the mountain, talking to God, in more than one book, and while I didn't believe you needed to be in a cave to talk to God any more than you needed to be in Church to talk to Him or Her..... I did kinda "get" that hermits tended to need to be alone to "hear" God talking back.

Maybe in some places, in some social circles, that qualified you to be considered crazy.  All I know is, the hermit needed to leave the stimulation of the city, and society, behind in order to "hear" the inner voice, the soul of the spirit, the fire of inspiration, whatever.  In fact, Merlin was considered a hermit throughout much of his life.  Throughout Arthurian myth and legend, Merlin is alternately revered as a teacher and reviled as a sorcerer.  But they don't usually tell you where he lives, just to say that at the end of his life, he was walled up inside the Crystal Cave by a spell placed on him by the sorceress he fell in love with, who stole his powers.  And he waits there for the coming of the King when Arthur returns one day.  At least, that is a summing up of the various versions of the story, in all the books I have read.

So the Hermit has been a source of much fascination and a subject of many artists, including the work pictured here by Mikhail Nesterov.  He kinda looks like Santa Claus in a way, cheerful and warmly bundled up against what looks like a fairly cold forbidding landscape.  I like him for some reason.  He certainly doesn't look like a crazy man hiding out in the woods.

In many places, hermits are recognized for their "aescetic" stature and known to be a sort of "holy man" and the local people will often bring donations of food, clothing and other necessities and leave them outside his door.  Since he has chosen to live apart from others, in order to hear the inner voice, he has gained some form of respect, even if people think him a bit strange.  He doesn't usually hide in his cave all day long, but may come and go, walking in the woods, talking to the trees and animals, gathering his wisdom and his guidance to share with others when they come to seek his advice.  In a way, he truly paves the way for a sort of therapist, counselor or even a psychic advisor.

I like how, in the tarot, the hermit is often seen holding up a lantern, symbolizing his wisdom and guidance, for the world to follow.  Interestingly, my favorite image of the traditional tarot hermit comes not from a tarot card, but from the inside jacket of Led Zeppelin's 4thalbum.  According to Wikipedia, "The original vinyl album cover of Led Zeppelin's hit album Led Zeppelin IV (as well as the liner notes for the CD release) contains a painted picture of the Hermit standing on top of a mountain peak looking down on a small village. The Hermit was the favorite Tarot character of Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page. The painting is attributed to Barrington Coleby, a friend of Page who now resides in Switzerland. The original painting has disappeared meanwhile but is said to be in the collection of a private person in the US. The painting is now associated with the song Stairway to Heaven, principally from posters and t-shirts showing the top half of the painting with the words "Stairway to Heaven" printed next to it."

Though I no longer have a record player, I keep my vinyl LP of this album specifically so I may show people the inside painting whenever I am teaching.  I discovered Led Zeppelin, and this image of the hermit, before I had ever even heard of the tarot, so when I saw the hermit card I immediately had a reaction of "I've seen that image before!"  There is also something vaguely Tolkien-esque about the painting and the atmosphere it evokes.

When I set about designing the hermit card for the Pagan Tarot, I deviated greatly from this traditional image.  Most of my deck is pretty far from traditional in its imagery, although I do feel that much of the symbolism I learned while using the Rider-Waite deck is still present, just in a hidden form.  In the Pagan tarot hermit card, the central character is a young woman living in today's world.  It is next to impossible to truly go off and be a hermit in real life these days without also giving up the ability to represent the rest of the images in the deck.  What I mean is, I could not simply have the girl go off and live in a cave in the woods, not when she also needed to be present at work in other cards, dealing with car issues, or having group ritual with friends, etc.  She needed to remain an interactive person, but also represent the meaning of the hermit spiritually and symbolically.

On days like today, when I am spending the entirety of the day alone in my room with only my cats for company, and I'm not even on Facebook as much as a normal day, and I'm spending the day meditating or thinking about what I am going to write next, or designing a tarot card like I was the day I did the Hermit card, I realize that you can be a hermit one day at a time.  You can choose to withdraw from the stimulation of the outside world, remaining cocooned indoors or in a secluded garden or wooded spot, choosing to focus your attention inwardly instead of on the problems that seem to invariably surround and barrage you from every direction at once.  World news, friends and family having issues, even your own huge pile of research and information which you might need to sort through, all sometimes need to take a back seat to the need for solace and quiet in your own mind and heart.

The heroine in this card may be alone physically, but if you look around her, she is still *way* more than buried in stimulation of a different sort.  She's burning the candle at both ends, surrounded by books and research information, the tools of her Craft, yet she still seems to be mentally stymied or suffering from some kind of writer's block.  I can surely relate to that, as can most people.  We've all been this deep in something before, and as usually happens, we cannot see the forest for the trees when we get too deeply involved in something.  Actually, if you think about that, this makes for a kind of "Anti-Hermit" hermit.  Just as going within can quiet the hammering away at your senses, just as withdrawing from life can help you clear your head, sometimes you need to get OUT of yourself in order to get away from the overload and subsequent burnout that being in over your head can lead to.

When I was in college, I got so burnt out one semester that I found myself unable to go on.  I registered for a bunch of classes for the next fall, but I was really messed up in the head and couldn't even function.  I took a summer job at my father's sewing factory, and spent 40 hours a week for the entire summer standing in one place, at a long table, turning half finished baby shirts right side out so they could be hemmed.  They came in bundles of 60 at a time, and you could only spend 2 minutes on a bundle, so it seemed fairly rushed, but it settled into routine, and before I could even think about it, my body formed a rhythm.  My mind was able to be idle while I did this.  We were discouraged from socializing while working, except on breaks, so I just went through my rhythm all day long.  By the end of the summer, I had not only gotten my head cleared and straightened out, but had even composed a musical play to present for my senior thesis.

You could also consider the analogy of the hermit crab in thinking about this card's other meanings.  A hermit crab is called so because it takes up residence in after another of abandoned or otherwise empty shells.  They are enjoyed as pets because they are interesting and they can adapt to very colorful shells and live in an aquarium, thus being neatly contained and visible.  The idea of living an uncluttered life, with your entire home upon your back, everything simple and straightforward, has a lot to offer in many cases, and is clearly the antidote our heroine in the Pagan tarot needs to find.... simplification and decluttering.....

In the end, I consider the appearance of the hermit in a reading as a sign that the client needs some form of restoration of the spirit; whether from too much workload, too much stress, or too many problems and too much bad news all around.  A mental vacation can be as healing as a physical one.  The ability to take some time away from something that has been consuming one is important, because the very real danger of tunnel vision is close at hand if the pattern is not changed.  In the end, creativity and all manner of possibilities and opportunities may be found, if you only make room for them to beat a path to your door.  

And now, I shall leave you with the tasty image of that other type of hermit, the hermit cookie which so tantalizingly tempted my imagination away from this article in the very beginning.  I have linked it to ONE recipe for hermit cookies which I have found on the internet.  Having never baked them, I suppose I am about to embark on a totally different type of adventure,   a culinary one.  I'd love to hear if any of you have a favorite recipe for these or if you've had some kind of hermit tale you'd like to share!

Yours in tarot,

Gina M. Pace (aka Wicce), creator of the Pagan Tarot, published by LoScarabeo, and webmistress of Wicce's Tarot Collection, one of the internet's largest former tarot review websites and PENDING NEW AND IMPROVED SITE

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Hierophant in the Pagan Tarot.

This is a reposting of the blog article I had previously written for TarotGals when I was a blogger there. Now that I am no longer, I wanted to keep my material available to the people who wanted to read it. I'm still working on the pictures part of this. Article follows....

When the mere mention of a book burning comes up, most of us feel a sense of outrage, a feeling that something wrong, something atrocious, is being committed. The very act of violation against books, those vessels of knowledge, symbols of the most precious of our freedoms, the freedom of expression, the freedom to be ourselves, is seen in a most negative sense. However we feel personally about the concept of a book burning, however, changes when we are confronted with this very thing.

I have been witness to a real book burning in my life. It was back when Madonna came out with that terrible coffee table book about Sex. I say terrible, because as a book, it was truly mediocre. A demonstration of great ego, disguised as art. On its own merits as a publication, had no one ever objected to it, the book would have been relegated to the remaindered books piles in discount stores within a year of publication. However, the zealots who proclaimed the book as “evil” and “filthy” made a great show out of it, and the book sales flew through the roof.

In a town not far from where I live, these same zealots staged a very public book burning in the very open Public Square. Egged on by the fanatic who started the whole thing, masses of people caught up in the fervor of destroying something they saw as inherently bad went and bought every last copy of the book in stores all across the region, just so they could throw it on the fire. Moreover, there was a record store located on the Public Square; this record store almost immediately was sold out of every Madonna cd and cassette they had in stock, as these also were destined for the flames. While the crowd raged out of control, and the constable was called to come and contain it, the fanatic who got everyone riled up against the book disappeared into the background, never soiling his hands with an actual book; he let the angry mob do all the dirty work for him.
As an active and open pagan in my community, I was dismayed at the thought of what was going on, but at the same time I had to recognize that, while I could not, would not, participate in the activity, I should not voice my opposition either. Time has proven, over and over, that an angry mob of riled up people who believe themselves to be in the right is a faction one can neither reason with, nor stop, except sadly, by force. Like the witch in my Pagan Tarot Hierophant card, I could only cover my pentacle, and watch in horror from the sidelines. Not my day to fight, I thought. One other person was watching and doing nothing; he who had fanned the flames of insanity in the first place.

Book burnings like this went on across the country. Madonna’s mediocre book sales went through the roof. Her albums likewise experienced an upswing in sales.

I do not believe the Hierophant is about which side is right or wrong. It is more about questioning your motives for being on the side you are on; questioning your actions, determining whether you are acting in your own interests, or for/against the interests of others; are you following the RE-actions of others, or going your own way? It is critical to pick your battles, and a wise warrior knows when to step back and let a situation balance itself out. This card asks you to probe deeply within yourself to see what it is you believe, and why. Many who are brought up within a specific religion follow its tenets without ever knowing if they are a good fit for their lives. Some are taught from a young age that they should expect to be a lawyer, because their parents are, or that they must attend a certain college, or that they have no artistic talents, when perhaps their own path lies in a very different direction. Outright rebellion is just as poor a choice as complete submission. The Hierophant challenges us to find our own middle ground, and in so doing, find our right and true path in life.

A big deal for me in designing this card was in the details. Look at the way the heroine is poised, half towards, half away from the crowd. She doesn't WANT to involve herself in what they are doing. She doesn't want to draw attention to herself, either, by being very obvious in her objection to the book burning. It doesn't really matter that much, though, because the majority of the crowd isn't even looking around at anyone, they are completely involved in the evil that they are doing.

But one of the other important details is that of the religious leader standing above on the balcony. You see that he is raised up above his followers, but he is also standing apart from them. He has used his words to enflame the crowd, and he is not getting HIS hands dirty handling or burning books! He can go home at night and say "they did it, not me" and his involvement is minimal. Instigators of this sort are sometimes the worst kind of bully. A lot of attention has been gotten lately with the bullying problem in schools, but it happens everywhere. Bullies are in the workplace, the schoolyard, the church, any situation where multiple people come together, there is room for abuse by those who manipulate others and instigate trouble, like this fellow.

The Hierophant, then, is less a matter of always being one thing, and more a placeholder for the question it raises. Where in your life are your beliefs being challenged? Is your behavior being judged? Your clothing? Your lifestyle? Your sexual orientation or gender? More importantly, is it being judged for good reason or not? Are you acting authentically? Or are you instigating trouble? We can land on all sides of this equation. The Hierophant card points to the existence of this type of imbalance, but it makes us really think about where and why it is happening. In the end, where do you stand and what will you do to correct it?

Yours in tarot,

Gina M. Pace (aka Wicce), creator of the Pagan Tarot, published by LoScarabeo, and webmistress of Wicce's Tarot Collection, one of the internet's largest former tarot review websites and PENDING NEW AND IMPROVED SITE

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Thoughts on Tarot and Reputation.

Once upon a time, many years ago, back when my Wicce's Tarot Collection review site was alive and thriving and well, there was a lovely lady who had her own tarot business and she really enjoyed writing guest tarot deck reviews for my site, etc.  She was pleasant, a little reclusive, and lived what seemed to me to be a fairy-tale existence.... very simple, hermit-style dwelling, and a life centered almost entirely on tarot, cats and solitude.

Her guest reviews were always well-presented, clearly thought out and also often represented a deck I did not have access to or a differing point of view on one I had reviewed.  After a while she stopped sending them in, and I just pretty much figured she was busy doing her own thing, etc.

A couple of years later....

I received an *email* from her, asking very pointedly that I immediately take down and destroy all copies of any of the work she had done for my site.  She was very specific in making sure she said to wipe them off my hard drive, take them off my site, remove them from my backups, and make sure that there weren't any links to them from anywhere else that I had control over.

The reason?

She had decided to run for local political office near her home, and didn't want her reputation in the community destroyed by being associated with me!

She felt that if anyone in the community knew she was involved with tarot in any way, her reputation would be smeared all over town and she would lose the election.

Furthermore, my being an out-of-the-broom-closet Wiccan could only do *more* harm to her campaign.

Immediately I thought about the fact that she had been doing tarot readings out of her home for over 20 years, and therefore it couldn't *possibly* be a secret in town that she was a card reader.  She had not held a regular job in some time, so any journalist doing a story on her qualifications for political office would have unearthed that with or without a connection to me.

And, she was only running for a position on the City Council or something.  Not a position where it was one job and it was all-or-nothing for the candidates; she was at best going to be elected to a board or a forum.

I thought it was a very strange request, but I honored it.  I saw absolutely no fruit to be gained in arguing logic with her over her strange choices.  She said she was sending similar "cease and desist" type emails to anyone who had a link to any of those guest reviews, to ask them to remove them as well.

She sounded very much like she was willing to immediately see anyone as combative who did not promptly do everything as ordered.  It was such a complete about-face from what I had been accustomed to, I think I simply was shocked into silence and complied without a word.  NOT that I would have given her any difficulty about it.... but to this day I have thought of no reason to be that way about it.

Google searches do not come up with her name, anywhere.  I wonder now if she wrote those reviews under a pen name.  Perhaps her idyllic life that she described was, in fact, a fantasy world that did not really exist?  And when she decided to run for office, she was more able to erase her fantasy world because it wasn't really her all along?

Who knows, maybe the card reader up in the mountains by the lake was a complete fabrication.  And maybe she existed, but those who went to her knew her by a different name than the people who were voting for her on that election ballot.

One thing I do know; I know that it hurts to be considered injurious to someone else's reputation simply by being who you are and having them connected with you.  But I also know that there are times when it is a liability to what you want to accomplish to be connected with someone who is seen as being a bad influence, a poor role model, a negative asset to the community. 

These thoughts and ruminations are somewhat of a rhetoric, but at the same time, not.  What do you think?  would you have said that the lady's reputation was in danger by her association?  I'm not good with politics, social or governmental.  I don't generally understand why gay people can't get married, why being Wiccan means I'm not allowed to have contact with my stepdaughter, why running a large tarot review site means I am bad for your election chances.  This seems to be a pertinent topic these days, though, and I see a lot of relevance in it.  So I figured I'd put my thoughts out there and see what other people are feeling about this.

Yours in tarot,

Gina M. Pace (aka Wicce), creator of the Pagan Tarot, published by LoScarabeo, and webmistress of Wicce's Tarot Collection, one of the internet's largest former tarot review websites and PENDING NEW AND IMPROVED SITE

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Reading For A Narcissist. Just Some Thoughts.

So I was talking to a friend and the subject of narcissistic personality disorder, and true narcissists, came up.  And it got me thinking.... you know, those Tarot Thoughts I am prone to having....

I wondered.... since a narcissist's reality is at many times 100% true to him or her, even if it is 180 degrees opposite from true reality.... how would that work in terms of having them as a sitter or client for a reading?

Having done readings about and for people who later turned out to be narcissists, I can say that in my experience, it skews the reading, because you may be reading, with total accuracy, the wrong reality.  They can sit there in your office, across the table from you, absolutely convinced of the story they are telling you, and the cards will read back to them working with that reality.

So what happens when your cards give you a really true reading, which to the narcissist would be completely wrong?  How many of us, in that situation, might sit there, confused that the tarot seems to be saying things are abjectly different from what is being presented?  How might we feel, in fact, when the client stands up, tells us straight out that we are full of sh** and that our cards are wrong, that the reading is bullsh**, etc?

Of course in this position I think hindsight, as always, would be 20/20.... but in the case of a person who is reading for someone as a client, we might never see that person again.  She (or he) may just write us off as a bad reader, a fake, a loser, someone who didn't "have the gift" and we'd never know how accurate the cards may have actually been.

Why this crosses my mind now is that a lot of tarot readers are already struggling with confidence and trying to strengthen their professional situations, and this could be a staggering blow to someone who is newly in the business of reading professionally.

And while it is not our business to diagnose, not emotionally or psychiatrically or otherwise, our clients in any way, shape or form, it might be a very good idea for a person struggling with a so-called "bad reading" to read up on the various forms of personality disorders and learn what some of the signs and *red flags* are to indicate a person who might be exhibiting some of this behavior.  I wouldn't advocate telling the person anything about it to their face, but if afterwards, we are looking up the signs and say "wow, that's them all over, look at all these symptoms, they fit every one!" then at least we would know not to accept their derision of the reading as being defensive of their own position, and not a valid criticism of our work....

Yours in tarot,

Gina M. Pace (aka Wicce), creator of the Pagan Tarot, published by LoScarabeo, and webmistress of Wicce's Tarot Collection, one of the internet's largest former tarot review websites and PENDING NEW AND IMPROVED SITE

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year, New Thoughts. 2012. Hmmm.

Of course a new year is only the turning of one more page on the calendar, one more cycle of the sun through the zodiac and of course the turning of one day into the next, literally.  If you look at the rest of nature, the cycles of time are measured more like this:

Sun comes up, sun goes down. Sun comes up, sun goes down.

Humans are probably the only beings that put such stock in measuring and keeping track of days, of tides and times, and so on.  It's like a giant to-do list that we create to keep ourselves in line.  We don't follow our instincts, in fact we're barely in touch with them most of the time.  Which is why many of us turn to the tarot.... we look for guidance and intuition to help us follow what would normally be obvious, easy, to understand, because it would be instinctual, flowing, honest.

I was commenting to someone earlier this evening that I counsel my students, in their "daily tarot card draw" to pick a card in the morning, look at it for ten SECONDS, then walk away, and only look at it again at the end of the day.  To spend time during the day feeling the energy of the card, but mostly to look back at the day at the end of the day, to look at the card again and see how its energy played out during the day.  What events occurred, what people crossed your path, what things reminded you of this card that you drew for the day?

It's been a really long time since I used this exercise myself to do anything but teach others.  When was the last time I drew a card for myself in the morning, and went through the day with it in mind, etc?  I've so long only thought of this as what students do when they are learning.  Yet we never stop learning.... I thought perhaps I might revisit this practice, now, at this turning point in my life, when I could really apply the practice with my years of accrued experience and see what I can bring to a daily tarot practice now.

I'm looking to get more in touch with myself as a spiritual being.  Tarot has always been a part of my spiritual practice since I began reading cards.  So it only makes sense that I should look to the tarot as a way of getting back into shape, so to speak, with myself as the focus.

2012 is going to see some new changes, in my life.  One of them concerns my website.  About a year and a half ago, my long-time tarot website, Wicce's Tarot Collection, went down for good.  Not necessarily by my choice, but because of technical difficulties I was unable to resolve.  My domain,, was snaked out from under me and I am still unable to get it back.  However, in the past couple of months, I have secured and and am planning to slowly get all the remaining ones that are related.  It is my intention to launch a new and improved version of my site, one with tarot reviews and informative articles, like the old one, but better organized and cleaner running, as well as having a sister site with articles and reviews of Wiccan books and merchandise and probably even a small storefront of sorts.

In the meantime, though, I decided to resuscitate this blog.  And I will be posting some thoughts here and there, including some of my daily card draws.  I don't necessarily intend to post every day's draw.  I'm currently living at home and not working and just hibernating.  I don't imagine my daily draws will always be a different card or will be that interesting every single time.... a lot of Hermits probably LOL

It will be an interesting journey, though, one I hope you will join me for and bring plenty of friends as well!

Yours in tarot,

Gina M. Pace (aka Wicce), creator of the Pagan Tarot, published by LoScarabeo, and former webmistress of Wicce's Tarot Collection, one of the internet's largest former tarot review websites

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Thoughts on Tarot Readings Online.

I know in this economy, a lot of people really need more guidance, not less. Yet how is it possible to get that guidance when you can't spare the money? It's bad enough to have to struggle to pay the bills when people don't even know what they are going to do about their jobs, etc.

However, a tarot card reading can actually be one of the few things that is well worth the investment in yourself that it involves. It is money well spent because the advice you receive may very well change your life for the better, help you make the right decisions financially, emotionally help you when you are in that bad place that the lack of money has put you into in the first place.

There is a saying in certain 12-step fellowships that when you least feel like going to a meeting, that is when you MOST NEED to go to a meeting. This is also true of getting a tarot reading. At those very times when you feel overwhelmed and like you can't take the time to go get one, that is often the time you need it most. And while you may not be able to afford to get that reading, well it can in many cases be as simple as one less meal eaten out, and eating at home instead.

Because I know how difficult it is to do this, I am offering my $25 reading special now through the end of June. Hopefully there will be a Paypal button embedded in this blog post so anyone who wants one can click straight through. I do my readings via online chat, so you get the ability of having instant feedback while you are having your reading, and you can log the chat so you can save it and print later.

Here's hoping we are able to be helpful to each other during this economic downturn....

Yours in Tarot,

Gina M. Pace (aka Wicce), creator of the Pagan Tarot, published by LoScarabeo, and former webmistress of Wicce's Tarot Collection, one of the internet's largest former tarot review websites

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Thoughts on the Moon in Tarot.

One of my tarot students asked me this question the other night, and I thought it was worthy of a post... as I feel that I am still fleshing out the answer to this question.  It's a deeper symbolism than at first suspected, and keeps bringing up more material to the surface..... thanks Lee for asking about it!

In my tarot class, we are using the Rider-Waite tarot deck for study.  We're actually going pretty deep, I am only getting about 5 cards per week done LOL  so we are working fairly intensively with each card.  I am pleased with this progress, even if it means the class will take longer to finish (I don't hear anyone complaining that they don't want to go into extra innings)

We were looking at the 8 of Cups, and Lee asked me what the symbolism of the moon was.  I stopped, not so much because I didn't know the answer, but because it was something I hadn't really articulated yet and wasn't sure how to really target it.

The Moon is a deliberate symbol in this card and in most of the cards where it shows up.  Pamela Colman Smith's artwork is very thorough in its meaning; each and every detail in an image has a reason for being there and a connection both to the meaning of the picture, and the meaning of the card itself in readings.  In fact, I consider this one of the most brilliant decks in print, for that very reason.  Smith is known to have "channeled" much of the material for this deck, going into a meditative trance and envisioning an image before drawing it.  Often music made up a part of her rhythm for creation of a card.  Therefore, the details of each image are startlingly pertinent on many levels.

Thinking about Lee's question, and about the symbolism of the Moon overall, I said, "What is the Sun? What is the Moon?"

Both are astronomical bodies, one of which we are in orbit around, the other in orbit around us.  Both illuminate our skies and our lives, the Sun dominates the daytime sky, while the Moon has dominion over the night sky.  But that very thing they have in common is also the very thing that defines their difference..... the Sun is an actual star, emitting light waves and heat and radiation towards our small planet and everything else that is in orbit around it.  However, the light we receive from the Moon is.... REFLECTED from the Sun.   The Moon has no light of its own, it is merely taking the light from the Sun, which is out of our line of sight at the time we see the Moon, and shining it back down at us.

Reflected light, time to reflect.... the Moon showing up in a tarot card reading, whether on the actual Moon card, or as a symbol on another card's image, one of the first things you can do is take a moment and think about how its main quality is REFLECTION.  And so of course, the card asks us to pause and reflect.... but it's not just a simple matter of thinking, meditating..... no, this reflection is due to a change in the angle of perception.... so we're not just reflecting, we're taking another look at the situation we're reading about, we're getting a different perspective, looking at things in a different light.

One of my favorite things to point out to clients in a reading when the Moon card comes up is the way that when you see things in real life by the light of the Full Moon, they often look two dimensional in the darkness.  Everything has kind of washed-out colors, if not downright grayscale..... everything looks like cardboard cutouts..... perspective is changed, even lost at times.  You may be driving along a night road, and everything on the side of the road looks like it is made of flat paper standing up on the side..... it's harder to gauge distance, harder to know what reaction time will be for things, etc.  So we must be both more cautious and pay more attention.....

I also like the fact that, even though you may be completely, fully aware of the layout of an area, like a road through your neighborhood or your backyard garden, in the darkness, lit only by the moonlight, it is easy to get disoriented and lost.  I mean literally you could have placed every single one of those flagstones on the path of your garden, you intimately know every inch of it, and yet, you can get disoriented and stumble into the rosebushes if you're not paying careful attention.  This is because of the changed perspective.

In similar fashion, though you could know exactly where everything is in your bedroom, you can awaken in the middle of the night and be frightened out of your wits by seeing the Boogeyman standing there across from you in the room, staring at you!  And yet, when you turn your lights on, you realize it is really only your bathrobe hanging on the back of your door.  When you turn the lights back out, you still see your bathrobe, because once your consciousness has emerged from the darkness and is enlightened to what the reality actually is, you cannot "unsee" the bathrobe and go back to seeing the Boogeyman..... and so it is with the Moon..... what you reflect on, what you see, the changed perspective you bring to the situation at hand, once you have seen the changes, once you realize what is actually going on, the truth can never be hidden from you again.....

Once you have taken the Red Pill, you cannot go back into the Matrix.....

Yours in tarot,

Gina M. Pace (aka Wicce), creator of the Pagan Tarot, published by LoScarabeo, and former webmistress of Wicce's Tarot Collection, one of the internet's largest former tarot review websites