Thursday, 6 February 2014

Battered By Life

Well, the Bonefire Tarot (Gabrielle West, 2013) is certainly being generous with the Majors this week, this is our fourth out of six.

Today, we see the Hermit, though I'm not sure if he sees us, with his battered face, red and broken nose and slitted eyes.  A man with a bearded face and dreaded hair appears in the lower righthand side of the card.  Around him, as is the pattern in this deck, are lots of symbols.  There is a wolf, red tongue hanging out.  A circle in a square in a triangle in another circle, all burning.  Lots of pink flowers, and a couple of cherries.  An owl, cut off at the side.  Stars, including a large, six-pointed one with a number 9, burning.  A large hand holding some kind of gold circle.  Burning bones.  Ants walking over leaves, and an eye in a blue triangle, also burning.

Some of the symbols seem obvious, others a lot less so.  Looking at the cherry blossom, this is often a symbol of transience.  Which is fairly appropriate to a card sometimes linked to "Father Time".  The owl I get, and likewise the illuminati-type eye/triangle symbols, suggestive of study, wisdom and enlightenment.  The lone wolf is also unsurprising (he also appears in the DruidCraft Tarot's Hermit).  However, I'm not sure about the ants.  To me, they symbolise a pre-eminently social species, the opposite of the Hermit moniker.  They are also industrious and practical, not adjectives I'd use for him either...

I keep coming back to that battered old face, and the idea that we can learn a great deal through experience.  Yet, it also takes its toll on us.  That's something I guess I've been noticing recently.  I've been working on an in-house training programme, to share some of the learning that many of us have accumulated over the last few years, and it's been interesting to note just how much we've learned, that isn't commonly available in this field.  Yet, that learning certainly came with a price, in time spent learning something without many resources to help, through trial, error, and practice.  It's good to appreciate what we've gained, and also to make it easier for others to follow in our footsteps.

I am grateful for the chance to teach some of what I've learned.


6 comments:

  1. It is a charming deck but sometimes (this time) I think the symbols are a bit too much and don't do the feel of the card any good.

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    1. Yes, it reminds me a bit of the Pearls of Wisdom in that - so much imagery! Can get a bit busy at times. Maybe I'll try to choose a minimalist deck for next week :)

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  2. What an interesting take on the hermit. I've never really thought about life taking it's toll and perhaps that is the reason for retreating into solitude, but yeah, those experiences do bring wisdom too.

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    1. I really enjoyed this deck because of its different twists. I normally think of the Hermit as making a conscious choice to study, but often it is life that throws stuff at us, and we just have to adapt :)

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  3. You poor embattled hermit!! Please get yourself to the spa ASAP! Xxxooo

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    1. Ha ha, well, no time to go to a spa at the mo, but at least I have an appointment with my osteopath today :)
      Hugs,
      Cxxx

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