Night has fallen, candles have been lit; the peace of the Sabbath descends upon my home. May the peace of Shabbos fill you and yours as well.
What do you do when you’ve finally achieved your goals? Celebrate, for sure, and appreciate what you’ve created in your life. And then?
Everyone arrives here on earth with different plans and desires. Some of us are content to live within the limits of a particular set of achievement, let’s say the old American dream. If you have your career, you home, your car, your spouse, and your 2.5 children, your hobbies, and your circle of friends – you have everything.
But that’s one set of dreams and desires. It’s not for everyone. And those people ask: What’s next?
That’s the journey in this reading from the Ten of Cups to The Hermit. When you have achieved your goals and … you know there is something more. You are sure of it. You are willing to walk away from the warmth and security of knowing there is enough – and more than enough.
You begin to explore the places within yourself that don’t usually see the light, places that haven’t received the warmth of your attention and affection. Maybe you feel they don’t deserve it – maybe you feel afraid to acknowledge and claim it as part of who you are.
Every once in a while I’ll wake to a heavy day. It feels as if someone (not me!) has thrown a cape of sorrow over me. I can barely drag myself from one activity to the next. When I’m living a Ten of Cups life and suddenly I find myself in the cold, hard places of the Hermit, I want to run. I don’t want to deal with it.
In the past, I found a million and one different ways to not deal with it. Some of them were more destructive than others. All of them refused to acknowledge and claim those parts of me. Recently, I’ve learned, not just to claim those parts, but to love them. The way I would love a child – with tenderness, care, and a bit of humor. It’s made a radical difference in my life.
Every time we set off on the Hermit’s journey, we are in search of something new. We always have a goal. And the goal set out for us in this reading is Justice. While the Hermit is looking for personal truth, Justice is looking for social truth. The Hermit carries a staff and a light, Justice carries a scale and a sword. She is using the sword of her intellect to weigh and balance and then decide. This justice is not blind – she sees clearly, something things we’d rather not have her see, because we don’t want to see.
Note that in some ways these two cards — IX and XI — are reflections of one another. The Hermit is the end of a cycle, nines are the highest achievement before you change levels. Justice is a new cycle and as 11 she is tied to the High Priestess (2). If you have a tarot deck in this style, now would be a good time to get them out and take a look at the cards that have similar symbols to these two. It will give you deeper insight to them both.
The Hermit’s search isn’t random and shouldn’t be one lifelong journey. Once you achieve your goal, you can return to the joy of the Ten of Cups. In this reading the goal is to consider and decide. Once you decide, that’s it. Decide means to cut away from – and what you are cutting away from are any of the other choices you may have considered.
Those of you reading this interpretation will be having different outer experiences and similar inner experiences. The end result is – what is right? what is fair? what is the best decision for all? Once you see clearly, bring down your sword of justice and cut away from the old. Turn to the new and move forward.