Who said The Hermit can't be fun?

I promise I didn't plan this. Through another unexplainable alignment, a little craft project I created last week to stay sane has dovetailed with the card pull for this week. Let me explain, seasonal changes are tricky for me, as they are for many sensitive humans (if not all of us, if we're being honest). You can look forward to what change brings - cooler weather, leaves changing colour, cozy scarves, hot soup (see image 3), while also feeling a sense of loss. I was struggling with that last week so I created an Emotional Support Yeti, as one does, to help me combat the blues. Yeti happened to go on a little trip to the mountains, the stomping ground of our friend The Hermit who, low and behold, showed up this week to offer a somewhat unexpected invitation to have some fun.

If you asked me to pick the tarot card that makes me think about having fun, I would never have picked The Hermit. But this is the beauty of tarot, sometimes how a card shows up and the intuitive message associated with it in that moment can allow you to see it in a whole new way. We are shaping the cards as we use them: their meanings are both fixed, to some degree, and transmutable. The Hermit is a card about solitary exploration of the self, which can include a reckoning with some of the darker, harder to integrate parts of our being. It sends you on a pilgrimage that's purpose is to uncover, disentangle, or accept something from the soul that promises to leave you a different person when you emerge from the cave. This is not work for the faint of heart but it also offers the very clarity that will clear your path for the next thing. It's the passion for a project and the fuel for widening possibility.

Hannah Joy Graves (Cult Mother Tarot) refers to The Hermit as the rebel of tarot - it is a break with convention, an unapologetic path maker, a visionary who can bring form to their heart's desire. Not only are they able to figure out how to get around that boulder blocking the road, but when they do get around, decide to pick up a machete and hack their way through the forest instead of sticking to the path that has been mapped by the countless footsteps of those who have always walked around the mountains. And these acts of self-determination are not lost on those surrounding them - their actions become beacons of light showing us all how to chart a course that is aligned with who we are. So what does this have to do with having fun? I think exploring Hermit energy is the ground work for embracing spontaneity, the vulnerability of laughter, and meeting the unknowable next thing with a sense of curiosity.

On Halloween, I met up with a friend to take a walk through a part of High Park famous for its elaborate decorations. During this walk, we found ourselves outside Covid's version of a haunted house: a haunted driveway. It looked legitimately scary and I love scary things but even I felt hesitant. Nevertheless, I turned to my friend and said: "we can't not go in." She was even more hesitant than me but agreed that we had to do it. So we pushed back the curtains, pulled up our masks, and stepped in. There was a lot of arm grasping and real screams before we ran out feeling exhilarated. We both commented on how great it felt to just have fun and how it reminded us of something that had been missing for a while: spontaneity and playfulness. Everything has felt so constrained and restricted during Covid that I had actually lost touch with how and what was fun, how about you? As things begin to feel safer, not every move has to be measured according to risk and fun is creeping back in to a space that has felt decidedly unfun for a long time. We've been in the cave for a long ass time and can finally emerge and step in to the unknown with not just our book of "Lessons Learned from the Pandemic" held tightly in our palm, but also a bit of levity. Because I'm understanding now that not all of The Hermit's insight is about serious things. Or perhaps better said, fun is ALSO a pretty serious thing.

Fun requires a great deal of risk, it's a vulnerable thing to lean into, especially for grown-ups who's business is supposed to be taking care of business. Letting that go to be playful can actually feel deeply uncomfortable. Making someone laugh is one of the most beautiful forms of connection but requires a leap of faith - it's a special form of communication that relies on agreement from another person to be truly enjoyable. If it doesn't go the way you'd hoped, you can still find yourself funny and recover but it's not really a place where you want to agree to disagree. Saying yes to an unplanned grilled cheese sandwich in a local diner with someone you just met is both fun AND scary. And also something that was not just inconceivable during Covid but outright banned.

This reconnection to fun was in no small part a guiding instinct to make Emotional Support Yeti - I just wanted to make something silly and absurd that made me feel happy. Yeti had been in the cave for too long as well and we needed to find each other and share what we learned. This is your invitation this week: seek out your own Yeti, whatever that might look like, and have some fun.

Images: (1) tarot card from Holy Spectrum Tarot (2) gouache painting of mountains and Yeti made by me (3) skeleton soup from a house in High Park.

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