A Tarot Student's Journey

Posts tagged ‘tarot cards’

Daily Tarot Card Sketch – The Hermit

The Hermit is solitary figure who has retreated inward to go on an inner journey, reach a new spiritual level. She shines her light for others, from the heart. She doesn’t teach a lesson to others, she is the lesson.

I did today’s sketch on an iPad app called Paper which I absolutely LOVE. You get to create tiny little moleskine like sketch books and fill them with notes, drawing, whatever you like.

The Hermit - Tarot

The light comes from the heart


Daily Tarot Card Sketch – The Magician

Tarot - The Magician

The Magician as Con Man?

Today’s quick, stream of consciousness sketch is The Magician. Keywords, ideas, that came to mind for me today were: performer, trickster, bag of tricks, travel, movement, dynamic, fast talking, things are not what they seem on the surface, coyote, dancing circus bear, dynamic male energy.

What he’s selling isn’t as important as the performance and the belief both in himself and from the audience. Maybe what he’s selling has real power but not necessarily in the way he’s selling it. There’s an arrogance here that needs to be tempered with more life experience perhaps?

What is magic? How does it turn up for you?


Tarot Reading – How can I build my business?

Tarot Spread

Yesterday a friend asked me for some help interpreting this spread.

Question: How can I build my business? She has gone through a long period of unemployment and has finally stepped out of it and started her own business. However she needs her business to be much more profitable.

I can’t remember what this spread is called or where exactly it came from, but it’s one I have in my notes that I find useful when looking for some practical advice. It’s very empowering. If you recognise it and know who developed it, please let me know below.


  1. Self – Ace of Swords
  2. Root Cause – Four of Pentacles
  3. How you’ve responded – Nine of Wands Reversed
  4. Hopes and Fears – Eight of Cups
  5. Your response – Six of Wands
  6. What you can change – Ten of Wands
  7. Commitment (What can you do to make this change) – Ten of Pentacles Reversed


My Reading

You are in a place where you are feeling more mental clarity around your work than you have before. You are recognising that in order to move forward you have to change the way you think because thoughts control the emotions which affect your ability to move forward and manifest the growth your want to see in your practice.
You’ve been through a long period where you were reliant on benefits and while this gave you a basic level of security (a roof over your head) it also made you scared to move forward and lose this security. So it entrenched your stuckness. And you dealt with this from a place of fear because you didn’t have the resources to move forward (financial, emotional support etc)
I think there’s a certain amount of paranoia in the 9 of wands – worrying about losing benefits/being made homeless etc is what comes to mind and this card is asking you to look at the progression of the Wands to find a way out. Maybe take a look at the cards before and after the 9 of Wands? It’s important to remember that these worries are in the past, you’ve come through these problems. What’s the payoff in holding onto them?
The 8 of cups is telling me that you have doubts about wether or not you should stick with your business or not and you aren’t sure if it’s time to walk away and start something new. Maybe it’s saying that you find it difficult to commit fully to this path so haven’t given it a chance to come to fruition.
In the 6 of Pentacles I think you are being asked to examine your relation with money. Are you the beggar or the rich man? Do you recognise the value of what you give to people and the difference it makes in their lives? What more could you offer in your business to your clients? How are you with receiving help? Are you looking after your own health and well being enough? I think you should do some work exploring your relationship to money.
The last two cards are showing that you’ve come to an end of a cycle (both 10’s) and your goal is not far away. I think they’re recognising that you can sometimes feel overwhelmed or burdened by everything on your plate (maybe all the things you think you have to do to build your business)  and that it’s important to focus on just one thing at a time, and to recognise the progress you’ve made already. You’ve come a long way (emotionally, spiritually etc) and the end is within site. Take some time to look around and see what you’ve learned.
Also, the word ‘package’ comes up when I look at all these cards together. So maybe there’s some new package of services your business could offer that is much more niche and really appeal a certain ‘type’ of person. But it has to be something that feels in sync with you are, otherwise it won’t feel authentic.

How about you? Do you have a different interpretation of these cards?

Daily Tarot Card Sketch – Five Of Pentacles

Five of Pentacles

This week a friend and I have set ourself an artistic challenge. Each day we’ll draw a card and produce a quick sketch capturing our personal meaning for the card. The aim is to produce something that is fast, expressive, unfinished and straight from our unconscious, creative, flow. I’m using an app on the iPad called Paper which is a quick way to get down some rough ideas.

Today’s card was the Five of Pentacles

Someone is climbing a ladder to nowhere, struggling with it pointlessly. The arms of the ladder are actually wands. There’s a child in the snow below who has cast off her crutches and is pointing to the sunrise above, but the climber is unable to see it and keeps climbing.
Also there’s a snowman! I’m not sure where he came from but there he is guiding them both to the sunshine even though the rising sun means the snowman will probably melt. I wanted to give the snowman tree of life arms, but didn’t quite capture it.

True Stories: Life As The Hermit

Deep Country: Niel AnselNeil Ansell spent five years living alone in the hills of Wales totally and completely alone.

‘I lived alone in this cottage for five years, summer and winter, with no transport, no phone. This is the story of those five years, where I lived and how I lived. It is the story of what it means to live in a place so remote that you may not see another soul for weeks on end. And it is the story of the hidden places that I came to call my own, and the wild creatures that became my society.’

This is the story of how he journeyed into himself learned to become completely self-sufficient and self reliant and having done so found that rather than uncovering his one true inner voice he began to forget himself. His focus turned wholly outward rather than inward. His journal shifted from a record of all the things he’d seen and done to something more akin to an almanac – the passing of the seasons marked by the comings and goings of birds etc.

Perhaps this is the greatest lesson of The Hermit. Sometimes solitude is needed to move forward. Sometimes an inward journey is necessary to find wisdom, to heal, to find your truth. This will give you a certain peace, self sufficiency, an awareness of your place in nature, but the eventual end may be the annihilation of the self. Is that your path? Or do you have more to give by coming down from the mountain and living your life in accordance with the things you’ve learned? The Hermit carries a lantern which shines outward for others. He emerges from his solitude a guide and a teacher – an example to follow.

I’ve just ordered the book from Amazon so haven’t read it yet, but you can read more here from The Guardian.

How does The Hermit turn up in your life? How are you with being on your own?

Not So Simple Gift – The Hermit

The Hermit

Shine your light

Today’s card exploring what gifts/lessons I’ve received from tough times is The Hermit. I’ve always loved this card and identified with the solitary figure, shining his lantern for others. It’s not for himself, his gaze is averted. This card speaks of solitude and this is something that resonates strongly with me. I’ve learned over recent years to be comfortable with my own company.

Last summer I did a long-distance trek across Scotland for a week, just me, a large rucksack and my dog. The most common question I received from people was, ‘Didn’t you get lonely?’ No. Not at all. Not even for a second.

The Hermit, number 9 of the trumps, also speaks of coming to an end of the first phase of the Fool’s Journey – the end of a period of change. The Hermit doesn’t just have lessons to teach, he is the lesson. It reflects the need to withdraw from the company of others in order to journey inward and to really know yourself.

Retreat and solitude are sometimes necessary for growth. This gives me hope because I’ve spent long periods of time in solitude and am ready to emerge from my cocoon.

WTF Temperance Indeed!


From: Temperance in Séjour de deuil pour le trepas de Messire Philippes de Commines (hs. 76 E 13, fol. 8r), 1512, tempera and gold leaf on parchment. The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek – See more at:

I found this at WTF Art History who says: ‘In one hand, she holds a pair of glasses that allows her to see clearly. In her other hand she grasps the reins of a horse bridle, which fits over her head, the bit preventing her from speaking evil words. On her head she wears a timepiece and beneath her feet is a windmill, both indicating an ability to keep time and to avoid all exaggeration.’

How different is this from the typical peaceful image of Temperance we tend to see in the tarot. This Temperance doesn’t reflect a sense of balance or health at all. More like a tableau of behavioural oppression placed upon women.

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Collaborative conversations with Life's wise whispers in service to personal and communal evolution. To book personal appointments and group experiences, contact me at circleways.james@gmail.com or at (416) 966 - 2685.

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