Lamplighter Tarot Challenge Exercise #1

Sun Lamp is the title of the first exercise for this Virgo Season’s tarot challenge hosted by the amazing Thomas of Hermit’s Mirror. I felt so drawn to participate in this because I have found my drive for perfectionism to be paralyzing. It’s good to want to be great. But when the self-criticism gets to be so loud that you can’t even hear yourself think and you’re up to your neck swimming in anxiety, it’s time to assess.

If I can get in touch with this energy and do some shadow work to repair anything that is exacerbating the negative sides of Virgo energy, I want to do it. I’m at a place in my life, both financially and professionally, where I really need to take things to the next level. This is why I’ve chosen to use the Osho Zen Tarot deck, which is my go-to deck for shadow work more existential insight. I’ve showcased it here a few times in the past. The artwork is so vibrant and inspiring while the guidance is focused more on emotions, psychology, mentality, persona. The italicized portions are quotes from the deck’s guidebook, which I feel are relevant to the subject matter.

  1. Favorite Interpretation of The Hermit: Osho Zen’s Aloneness (The Hermit). To wit, “When we find no support among others for our deeply felt truths, we can either feel isolated and bitter, or celebrate the fact that our vision is strong enough to survive the powerful human need for approval of family, friends, or colleagues. … each of us must develop within ourselves the capacity to make our way through the darkness without any companions, maps, or guide. Loneliness is a negative state. You are feeling that it would have been better if the other was there…but the other is not. Aloneness is the presence of self. Aloneness is very positive.” [I’ve been getting back into tarot and my magick studies after taking some time away. Well, no that isn’t quite right. I didn’t want to stop walking my path. Life and work pulled me away from it. Now I’ve learned that to keep my energy replenished, I need quiet time to read, research, and do workings. While I’m living in the broom closet as previously discussed, I wanted to try and find ways where I could not be so isolated and secretive. This was inspired by the recent new moon. Social media would be the easiest place. My “non-witchy” self has a decent amount of followers and as a writer, I’d hate to lose that audience. The truth of it is, most of the people who follow me on social media on those accounts (some of which I consider friends) at best have no interest in the occult or witch-life. I really have the sense that a good portion of them would be turned off by the content. This isn’t upsetting to me because I’d be losing potential readers/customers. It’s upsetting to me because I would be seeing people I respect probably reveal themselves to be assholes. This blog, Instagram, and Tumblr previously (Sigh.), are my ways to connect with people who I know are already accepting (for the most part) and participating by walking their own paths. Reading about this card, my take on this whole situation is changing. There’s something about learning, practicing, worshiping as a solitary that is so restorative. I could not give one flying fuck that somebody thinks I’m using the wrong herb that I’ve dressed my candles incorrectly just as I kinda don’t really want the potential distraction/deterrent of someone who isn’t familiar or accepting of this experience to come around and create static. There’s a pureness here on this blog and the community on IG that I soak up. No political extremism. No trolling between community members. It’s educational and inspiring. The times there are conflicts the conversations that follow are very instructive and constructive. My writing — whether it’s posts on this blog about witchcraft and tarot or my short stories, novellas, and books, will find their audiences. I’m refocusing my energy away from strategizing how to recognize the two and putting it toward more interesting and enriching activities.]
  2. Most Important Lesson from Leo Season: Postponement (Four of Swords). “Through the window frame she can see colors and light and aliveness, and although she would like to live through the frame … she can’t quite manage to do it. There is still too much ‘what-if?’ activity in her mind. …the one and only result of postponing things is a dull and depressing feeling of incompletion and ‘stuck-ness’.” [This is very Virgo to me and also not the first time I’ve received this card in a reading. The whole entry for this card within the guidebook speaks serious truth to me. There are things that I’ve wanted to accomplish that I’ve put off or just surrendered to not doing them. Part of it is the idea that if I take on these projects or goals then I will have to go through criticism from others and tearing down. That’s just how I grew up. It wasn’t about encouragement. It was about drilling it in that anything less than X was unacceptable. So, like most, I do the tearing down of myself now. I analyze things over and over again in hopes of catching mistakes in time and inoculating myself against hurtful ridicule. This process is exhausting and discouraging. I’m sure some of it is not wanting to hear my last living parent and my last living relative shit on my writing, which is something I pour everything into. When those characters cry on the page, I’m crying at my keyboard. When they laugh, I’m laughing right along with them. In contrast to this is Leo Season and its Fire Energy just like in the photo. So full of life and creativity. So colorful and vibrant. Leo is larger than life. Living out loud. Loving out loud. Vitality of the Sun. Let’s get things done type of energy. You could die tomorrow type of energy. Live! Create! Experience! A Leo Energy mentality is the prescription and possibly also the vaccination for this grey affliction.]
  3. How Can I Use This Lesson to Guide Others: Possibilities (Two of Wands). “The Eagle has an overview of all the possibilities contained in the landscape below, as he flies freely, naturally, and effortlessly through the sky. He is really in his domain, very grand, and self-contained. Because you are relaxed and at ease, you can recognize possibilities as they present themselves … Because you are in tune with your own nature, you understand that existence is providing you with exactly what you need. … smallness is your own imposition upon your freedom, upon your unlimited possibilities, upon your unlimited potential.” [While solitude is a theme in all three of these cards, it is very easy to see the sharp contrast between the woman stuck in her black and white, unfulfilling world and the the Eagle soaring in its element. Light illuminates the path and possibilities. The spark of ignition to take flight. Get off your ass and get off the ground and get up into the sky. When I was young in my spiritual growth, I didn’t understand how the criticisms and harassment by others of my abilities and identity have nothing to do with me. Coming from an environment where my skills, my accomplishments, my efforts, were constantly torn down, I grew up believing I had to answer and defend every person who threw a rock at me. Without knowing it, I was adjusting my decisions and how I lived my life in competition to these people who were never going to be satisfied or have their minds changed. Once this clicked for me, things started to change in my life. There are so many people I’ve met who are still trapped in this reactive behavior pattern. You don’t need to spend your energy fighting battles with people who are trying to shit on your day simply because you’re over here existing. This is a kind of self-imposed limitation. Your energy is finite. Don’t waste it or give it away. Utilize it for something that matters, something you want to manifest, something you want to create. Use it to fly. There are no animals flapping the wings of that damn bird. The bird flaps its own damn wings. It’s just up there doing its own thing enjoying the endless skies of possibility.]

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