About a million years ago I thought I met my soul mate. The energy between us was electric and I found an incredible resonance and connection with him that I had never felt before. It was like two trains colliding on a track. Our sparks were intense, our conversations long, and with him, I have an incredible intuition about: I knew if he was sick and if he was unhappy. Had he asked me for a kidney, I would have gladly handed one over. I could not breathe for the intense chemistry between us; it crackled like static in the air around us.
Our love story included war, international intrigue, and it also included my apparent ability to fix the things wrong in his life. It is a potent mix when we self-appoint ourselves as the healer of the twin flame in our lives. Like the constellations above, what I was here for and what we were meant to do together was laid out by the heavens. Right?
Because of this incredible energetic connection, I ignored so many red flags.
So. Many. Red. Flags.
Because… there was a reason we met, right? Why would I feel so strongly and deeply for someone if we weren’t meant to be? Sure, he had all these problems. Sure, his story didn’t match up. Sure, my heart skipping a beat was from insecurity and fear instead of joy. None of that mattered because he was my soul mate, my twin flame, he was destiny finally laid down by the Universe and my long search for meaning was over!
You know where this is going.
It all ended in the worst possible way. It lasted YEARS longer than it should have. I paid a price that changed my life trajectory in ways that reverberate even now. I finally ended it when I was too tired to be scared, too tired to feel the fear of abandonment, too tired to worry about money. I was tired in my skin and tired in my bones, even my bone marrow was tired.
I was exhausted from all the red flags I refused to consider. I was oppressed and beat down by the soul mate who demanded my very soul. I compromised huge tracts of my self-worth and dignity as payment for this soul mate. Until finally, one day, the fever broke and I got the hell out. Not without cost. Not without a tremendous sense of loss.
Here’s the thing, though, I do believe he is my soul mate, even today. I can still feel him when I tune in. There is something about the connection that is ever vibrant. Even though we no longer talk, I am absolutely certain that we are connected on a level that is below primal, it is instinctual.
I believe that there are people we have a true soul connection to. From another life, another dimension, another impossible magical way wherein we know we know that person, soul to soul. And the shock of that recognition and inner knowing is so powerful, it is so incredibly overwhelming that we will do almost anything to keep it. We come to believe that the electrocution that engulfs our heart means something more.
But just because we feel a soul connection with someone does not then mean we are meant to paint that picket fence and call it a day.
Chemistry does not equal commitment.
Energetic resonance does not mean ‘I do.”
Over the years I have come to understand that the term soul mate or twin flame is misleading. While we recognize each other soul to soul, these souls of ours are housed in biological bodies. These physical bodies have personalities, cultures, histories and karmic work to be done in this lifetime. Like a hermit crab, we are only housed here temporarily. And while my soul and his soul knew one another we both had personalities, temperaments and work that meant we were not here to facilitate each other’s domestic or romantic fantasies.
A soul mate is not here to fulfill our romantic aspirations.
A soul mate is not here to facilitate a biological partnership.
A soul mate is here to teach a lesson.
You and I have many soul mates. In fact, I prefer the term soul-connected. And, these soul-connected individuals usually have deep lessons to teach us about love, about loss, about our own power and our ethics.
Sometimes these soul-connected are here to teach us about evil, or selfishness, or temptation. All is not right and good with what our soul-connected may offer, but they will offer something significant and real, rich and intense.
If you are entangled with a ‘soul mate’ — but otherwise, there are as many red flags as the day is long — ask yourself, what is the lesson? Ask yourself, what aspects of myself am I suppressing in order to have this? Ask yourself, does this soul mate bring out the best, the healthiest, does he or she bring out the best in me?
Be honest. Be unflinching. Be brave.
When the Hermit appears in the reading, a client will often despair. For many, the Hermit does mean being alone or that a relationship might not work out, or the friends won't come anytime soon. Like all things Tarot, symbols are more than they appear at first blush.
Personally, when I think about the archetype of the Hermit, the Kung Fu Monk on the Mountain comes to mind.
Perhaps this imagery came to me so strongly because a few years ago I lived in China and took a trip to Shaolin Monastery, if any of you are Kung Fu fans, you know that this is THE place to learn Kung Fu. It is up a mountain in a quiet part of China and packed with Chinese and foreign students learning Kung Fu and Buddhism.
To awake in the morning and see thousands of people in rows going through the same movements is an amazing thing to behold. The grandeur of this noble art and way of life came from one Hermit, a monk named Batuo, who wandered in from India to teach Buddhism and later established Shaolin Monastery. One Hermit who decided to withdraw from the world, forever changed the world, this is what the wisdom of the Hermit can often evoke.
In all religions and important cultural stories, the Hermit is front and center to great spiritual change. Jesus, an example was as we all know, wandered as a Hermit eschewing a carpenter's life. The Prophet Muhammad, the Buddha all had similar origin stories- the world’s religious leaders often began their time wandering alone to return to the public with radical messages. Everyday, people decide to take time off from society and come back forever changed by it. An excellent blog post about the historical/philosophical/religious of Hermit life can be found here by Tarot reader and Academic Donna Hazel. Interestingly we both posted on the same day about nearly the same topic-funny how that works.
The Hermit truly as an archetype often have these commonalities:
Once the Hermit has committed to a withdrawal process, he then spends time without distraction. He works hard, he is uncompromising in his goal, and he may not know the end result, but he knows that silence is what is needed right now.
And when the Hermit has attained a level self-development, he then lights his lamp. He beckons those who are deserving of his time and energy to climb the mountain and he guides them to his mountain abode in order to share what he has learned.
So when we get a Hermit card in a reading, it doesn't necessarily mean,
"Omg, go adopt 6 cats cause it's the end for you! No one will ever love you again!!!"
The appearance of the Hermit in your life often represents:
A time of voluntary withdrawal (a pledge of not dating, or not seeking old dysfunctional friendships) and a welcoming of the silence that is the Source.
A time of deep introspection and getting your head clear from distraction (not seeking hookups, not seeking bad connections and spending that time working on your STUFF).
During your time of introspection and quiet, be mindful of falling back into old behavior because you are: bored, lonely, sad, tired. The Hermit recognizes that these emotions are part of him but he continues forth, he deepens the silence in spite of distraction. Remember, the Hermit is committed.
And when the Hermit is ready, he lights his lamp-not to just anyone-but to people who earn his time and attention (reacquainting ourselves with OURSELVES we no longer bother with mediocre relationships, others must EARN our time and attention, they must desire to raise the vibration).
The Hermit surrounds himself with people who feel deeply, who create, who are honestly living their lives outside of what the village has taught, because the Hermit knows there is always more depth to be had.
Need a real life example?
Read up on this amazing person, his documentaries are often on PBS.
He lived alone in the Alaskan wildreness for over 20 years. His documentaries, self filmed have inspired generations of people.
Deeply consider the following:
Time consciously removed from the higgy-biggy will mean that over time the quality of your relationships of all kinds will be of a higher vibration.
So how does one do that, with kids, jobs, partners, parents, bills, pets to feed, and on and on and on?
To partake of the Hermit energy can happen in a day, in an hour, in a weekend; one does not need to leave their lives behind to benefit from Hermit wisdom. Actually, there are many websites devoted to offering the public retreat options of all types and kinds, from religious to secular these places with all kinds of budget options catering to your financial and time needs.
Resources for Want to Be Hermits:
I highly recommend www.retreatfinder.com (there are international listings though it is primarily US based).
And even if you cannot pay for an away retreat, I cannot recommend this book enough to cultivate your own retreat space: Woman's Retreat Book: A Guide to Restoring, Rediscovering and Reawakening Your True Self --In a Moment, An Hour, Or a Weekend by Jennifer Louden
Dig into the Hermit, do not see his presence in your life as a time to despair, he is calling you with his lamp, join him in opening to the Mystery and shift your life more closely to positivity, authenticy and a more deeper spiritual life.
Stop filling up on snacks, the meal is about to arrive.
Reading Tarot is so much more than just “telling someone’s future”. Like most things, what is known and the truth of a thing are often vastly different. Tarot has been hugely underrated by John Q Public because it has been cloaked under the mantle of fear, and general misunderstanding.
So besides doing oogy boogy so scary readings, or telling your best pal when she will walk down that aisle, the art of Tarot is an incredible resource for personal growth and self-discovery. The act of learning to read tarot will change you as a person, and for the better. Like any tool, Tarot can be used for a variety of uses, there is such a world to Tarot, it can do so much more than most give them credit for!
But, don’t just take it from me, I opened the question up to several online Tarot groups,
“How has Tarot benefited you as a person?” I was overwhelmed with positive responses from new to Tarot to Tarot Masters and here is what they had to say:
Tarot Helps Us Be More Compassionate to Others
Tarot helps Us See How We are Agents of Change
Tarot Supports Our Healing and Transformation
Tarot Changes the Way We Interact With Ourselves and the World
The benefits one gets from learning Tarot far outweigh the work involved in learning them. These stories from other readers of all levels reveal incredible insights as to why working with Tarot is a worthwhile persuit of depth, healing, connection and insight in addition to the more popular understanding of what the tool of tarot does for us.
Tarot is so much more.... and its positive changes are deep and wide-spread...
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