Owls and Hermits and Bears (non)VR to The Hermit’s Cave

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Becca Tarot Night Owl, Simon at The Hermit’s Cave, and KelllyBear got together during the UK meet-up and did a Q&A.  With permission from Simon, I’ve snagged the questions to use as a quiz I can answer here on my blog.

1. Have you ever considered doing deck mods for hire?
I have, actually. But I feel like there would be a lot of liability involved, and I’m not sure that even with disclaimers there would be a way around that. There’s just to many chances you could ruin something that someone considers precious (or, if an out of print deck, something irreplaceable).

2. What is the moment you remember as “This Tarot thing is for me”?
Tarot specifically, as in the RWS system? That would be once I’d gotten my hands on an actual RWS deck (the 1971 Rider Tarot). I’d flirted with the cards a bit with the Sacred Circle Tarot and hadn’t connected. It was after I got my hands on “the real deal” that things suddenly clicked into place.

3. What got you into tarot?
I was raised around Lenormand, so that part was just a natural progression. For the RWS, though, it was 100% curiosity induced. I’d seen an image of the Hanged Man and it struck my curiosity to find out more.

4. Are you an intuitive reader, or a logical reader?
Both. It depends on the system in some cases. For example, playing cards and Marseilles decks, I read primarily by numerology which is logic, with just a little intuition in the mix. For tarot, oracle, and Lenormand, it’s a balance of both with a heavy leaning toward intuition 98% of the time.

5. What is your spiritual path, if any?
I’ve answered this before, but it’s Buddhist Pagan. Buddhist as an adjective, Pagan as the noun.   I don’t worship or work with deity, for me it’s all about the natural world and energy.

6. What does your tarot practice look like?
To be honest, it’s all over the place. I use tarot (and other card divination) in so many different ways from self care check-ins to divination, conversations with the subconscious, and everything else in between. At the heart of it all, I’m essentially “speaking to myself”, though, in one way or another. The cards are simply a way to pull out what I need. I also do daily draws for mental health.

7. What things do you incorporate into your tarot practice?
Like my practice itself, this is varied. There are times I grab a deck of cards, take a couple of centering breaths, and just throw cards. There are times when things are very involved which includes ritual bathing, incense, candles, crystals, oracles and other cards, drawing, writing poetry, pendulums, journaling, ritual and spellcraft, herbs and plants…. the list is pretty endless. It depends on what I need, what my intentions are, and what feels right in the moment.

8. Before doing a reading for someone, do you prepare? or just give it a go?
I think I covered that in my previous answer. It depends on the situation, the reading’s intentions, how connected I feel to the person’s energy, and whatever feels right at the moment. The only thing I do dependably every time I do a reading, whether that reading is for myself or someone else, is take a moment to ground myself with a couple of deep breaths and an internal check of where I’m at with my energy and emotions.

9. Are your readings just online? Or do you do it in person?
I used to give in person readings, both for free and for hire. That changed after the circumstances that cut off my ability to communicate verbally.

10. Is tarot or oracle an everyday thing? Or just on occasion?
Every day.

11. How do you work with a deck? Do you have a process or rituals beyond just pulling a spread?
When I first receive a new deck, I cleanse it with sage, and then do an interview spread. I do this for every deck when it first enters my home, as it wipes out the energies of whatever travels the cards have gone through prior to getting into my hands. Sometimes, if I’m really enamored with a deck, I may also do a depth study on it, which involves journaling on each card in the deck to go in-depth into my perceptions on the artwork and what my intuition is picking up concerning each card. (I’m about to start a brand new one of these with the Everyday Enchantment Tarot by Poppy Palin.) At the end of this study, I will then often do a variety of different tarot spreads with the deck as a comparison to how the study has assisted me in my understanding of how the deck communicates with my psyche now vs before I did the study.

12. In an average week, how often do you read for yourself?
Well, I do a daily draw, but I don’t consider those really to be readings usually, as that’s not their purpose. Excluding the daily draws…. At least once on Saturday, but usually 2-3 times a week depending on where holidays and the moon cycles line up, or if I need assistance in working through something.

13. How does what you get in a reading influence your behavior?
I often use tarot as a psychological tool, and so it assists me in understanding myself and the world around me in ways I wouldn’t normally reach without their assistance. This creates a deeper understanding of myself, and can help me in staying balanced and receptive to others. That aside? Sometimes predictive shit pops up in a reading, and I always take heed. I may or may not change my plans, but I will definitely be paying attention.

14. What’s the most profound reading, for yourself or another, that’s played out as the cards indicated it?
I go into detail about this topic here in this post. Most recent predictive reading, though, was last Tuesday and the warning about the cops and getting pulled over.  That was one of those daily pulls for positivity that ran away into something predictive.

15. What really interests you when you’re not reading cards and other metaphysical stuff, excluding your day job is there anything else that equally grabs your attention?
Oh geez… excluding my day job(s)?? Ok so… reading, hiking, rainy days (love the rain), human anatomy and physiology, creative writing, alternative medicine, trying out new crafting methods, sooooo many things.

16. What do you do for your day job?
I am a nail tech in a Vietnamese salon, a farm worker, a landscaping laborer, a botany and horticulture advisor for a local nursery, an occasional gas station attendant, nature photographer, and a jewelry designer and entrepreneur.

17. How important are your spiritual practices to your tarot devotion? or do you keep them separate?
They are completely integrated with each other to the point that I can’t even imagine what it would be like to keep them separate (or how that would possibly work).

18. What is your best tips for new readers?
When learning RWS, start with a basic RWS deck or clone thereof. DO NOT start with a pip deck or a deck that has imagery that doesn’t follow the RWS system. Aside from that? No matter what divinatory system you’re learning, don’t overthink it. That is to say, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the system (such as card meanings, etc), you’re studying too hard and need to do more listening to your intuition instead.

19.  Do you treat reading oracle cards the same way? or are they each their own beast?
I treat them the same only in that when I get a strong intuitive hit, no matter what system I’m using, the “logical” definition of the card is tossed out the window in place of whatever my intuition is saying. Otherwise, they are each their own beast.

20. What beliefs do you hold when asked what is it that makes the tarot work?  Psychology, magic, luck, doesn’t work…?
My belief is that the cards are a way to speak with yourself. What you get from them is a reflection of inner knowledge and the subconscious, instinct, intuition, and information provided by latent abilities you possess that are both acknowledged and not acknowledged (ie: psychic abilities, etc). The cards are simply drawing these things out into the open so that they can be seen and/or felt, and thus expressed.

21. How do your reading styles differ from other people you know?
Most of the people I have known who read tarot use a very “book definition” approach to their reading. Although I often will “quote” the definition of a card as a kind of “review” of what it’s supposed to mean, I find that my interpretations come not from “the book” at all usually, but from somewhere in my gut. Some purist believe this is the “wrong” way to read, as sometimes this means my interpretation of the cards has absolutely nothing to do with their “intended meaning” in whatever system I’m using.

22. What purpose does the tarot hold in your life?
Guidance, and assistance with mental health.

23. What would be a reason for refusing to read cards for others or yourself?
If I am not in the right headspace, or my energy or emotions feel disrupted in some way. If the person is under 18 years old. If I feel that the person is in a state where they will not practice good common sense after a reading (ie: don’t ask me to tell you what to do). If it doesn’t feel right (no reason needed beyond that, really).


Acceptance and Appreciation

Today’s meditation was eleven minutes and thirty seconds long, and focused on emotions, and how they are transitory. It spoke on the topic of challenging emotions such as grief, anxiety, and depression and about how it is our instinct to push these emotions away.

The meditation was focused on how these feelings, and all emotions, are temporary and will pass.

This is the method that I take with most of my negative emotions, but especially the depression. In fact, it was one of the things that helped me before I found a medication to assist in relieving me of my suicidal urges. Accepting the fact that the depression is temporary, and that if you wait, it will pass? It keeps the mind on the fact that no matter how -forever- the depression feels, it WILL come to an end. It will move on and you WILL move past it.

That mindset has saved my life many, many times. I can’t say that I haven’t made attempts to end my life. I can’t say that I haven’t become so swallowed up in that dark place that I believed it would never end, unable to see the past happy times and unable to imagine a future with any of them in it. But since taking up that mantra of “it will pass”, that endless time is not quite so endless.

Today’s draw is the Three of Pentacles (with the Hazel Dormouse), which is a representation of collaboration, inspiration, and expansion in the area of finance, work, manifestation, resources, and the physical world.

In the guidebook, the Dormouse holds the keywords of discovery, devotion, commitments, resourcefulness, and vigilance.

The artwork depicted on today’s card stirs in me the familiar thoughts of family and working together with family to accomplish a goal. It reminds me of working on Ms B and Mr R’s property, where they are so on in years but still work so hard to keep their home and property beautiful and well-kept.

Working with them on their property is an experience in familial harmony that I don’t get with my own parents. They accept me in with open arms, and helping them makes me feel good. Working -with- them doesn’t just make me feel good, but is educational as they have taught me over the years about life, responsibility, working in harmony with other’s differences, how a multitude of different things work, and the value of doing things the -right- way instead of the easy way (because Ms B loves the right way, and Mr R prefers the easy way… and he always has to do it over cuz in the end the right way wins out every time, even when she lets him fuck it up first).

It reminds me, as well, in how well L and I work together and how in sync we are with each other on projects and even just everyday tasks. I may have built a life for myself, but -together- we have built something more than that. A life with depth and meaning and comforts and… We have, in essence, built what neither of us had in our home life growing up. A life of harmony and acceptance.

And that is where today’s card steps in. A reminder of these these connections in my life and how wonderful and valuable they are. Not just those connections with my sister and Z’s parents, but with Z, and with you, and with so many others. Today’s card is a reminder to be appreciative, and grateful.

Deck Used: The Animism Tarot