In my Gaian Soul Practices classes, I send out an email every day with a journaling prompt. The folks in the current class are preparing to dedicate themselves to their own True Paths at Candlemas / Imbolc next week, so this week’s journal prompts are in preparation for that.
This morning’s question was: What is it I am meant to do in this lifetime?
Even though I am already pretty certain of the answer to that question, I think it never hurts to go back to it on a regular basis, to get in touch with the refinements to our soul’s calling as we age and grow.
(One woman in the class, Maria, answered this question on her own blog this morning.)
We can journal in response to these questions, of course, without pulling a tarot or oracle card. But pulling a card often sparks us in such delightful, unexpected ways!
In answer to my question, I pulled . . . The Hermit. And I had to laugh, because I am spending a lot of time writing and making art in my journal these days, and teaching the folks in my classes to do the same. Journaling (with words, art and photography) is one of the core Gaian Soul Practices.
And my Gaian Hermit, of course, is writing in his nature journal, listening to birdsong, and turning his inner eye to the unseen world.
Here is what I wrote in my own journal this morning:
“I am meant to have times of retreat and getting away from the world, in order to connect with who I am truly am, with my Muse, my Goddess, and my own deep desires, so that I can come back and hold up a metaphorical lamp for others, to light the way for them.
I am Teacher and Healer and Artist. I have much to share. Others follow and learn from me.
As I follow and learn from others.
Still, that time alone, with journal and pen and paper, is crucial — critical — to hearing my own inner voice and the voice of Spirit.
Blessed be for time alone. Blessed be for time with others.”
Here’s what I wrote about the Hermit in the Gaian Tarot companion book:
The Hermit retreats from the company of others to replenish his soul in solitude as he communes with the natural world. He listens to the calls of birds as he writes and sketches in his journal at twilight time. He ponders his own mortality, and the gifts and challenges of aging.
His guardian is the Barred Owl, who sees keenly in the darkness and embodies silent wisdom. From the sacred smoke of burning sage, visions rise of spirit animals. The Loon, with its primal eerie call, leads the Hermit into the waters of his dreams and ancestral memories. Wolf, the moon’s ally, reminds the Hermit that he is part of a pack or tribe, even when he spends time apart from it. The Merlin is a magical, shapeshifting raptor who shares its name with the Wise Old Man of Arthurian legend. All three are teachers of the Hermit’s soul.
When you get this card in a reading . . .
Your spirit is crying out for a time of sacred solitude. You need to withdraw from the world to focus on your inner life and spirituality. Perhaps you have been wounded in the “wars of the world,” or perhaps you are fatigued and empty from putting out so much energy, especially if you are a caregiver. Your well is empty and it needs to be filled.
Take some time out for a retreat. Go away to the mountains or the sea, by yourself, without partner or friends. Spend time outside in nature, observing the changes in your environment day by day. Your inner wisdom and sense of well-being will grow effortlessly the more time you spend outside. When you once again enter community life, others will be drawn to the light they see inside you and may come to you for guidance. For part of your purpose is to share what you’ve learned with others.
I retreat from the world in order to refresh my spirit.
What does the Hermit say to you, dear Readers?
And . . . what card do you pull in answer to the question: What is it I am meant to do in this lifetime?