Happy New Year! We had a great New Year's Eve at Tribal Convergence; more about that soon. And now it's New Year's Day, a great time to start setting the rhythm for the year. I did a lot of work in December reflecting on my goals and priorities and what kind of life I want. One thing that really came out for me was wanting to integrate tarot more deeply into my life ... no time like the present!
If you add up the digits of 2016, you get 9; and in most decks, The Hermit is #9 in the Major Arcana. So from a tarot perspective, 2016 is the year of The Hermit. As well as solitariness, The Hermit also represents a teacher or guide -- the lamp illuminating the path ahead. And a whole lot more, of course: on Queen of Wands Tarot, Jenna Matlin has a great post looking at different aspects of The Hermit and how he (or she) is portrayed in different decks. While I'm in a link-sharing mood, James Wells has a very complementary post on Circle Ways and Evolutionary Tarot, with some excellent questions to ask ourselves such as "What luminous piece of knowledge do I carry?" And Cassandra Snow's Queering the Hermit, on Little Red Tarot, adds some perspectives that are often overlooked.
At last week's Fortune Circle Holiday Party, James Wanless started with The Hermit, and then went farther and looked at 2016 as a year of Harvest. (His Youtube video 2016 Year of Harvest covers similar ground; it's embedded at the end of this post.) One of the key steps he talked about on the way to harvesting is establishing "action habits", regular activities that move you towards your goals. From a terminology perspecitive, though, "learning new habits" sounds like work to me; so instead I'm approaching it as finding the right rhythm..
When I think about the rhythm for the year, it's a mix of regular activities -- daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly -- and the things like vacations that don't happen on a regular schedule. For me, the start of a new year is an especially good time to focus on setting up the daily and weekly rhythms. Writing them down is a good way to reinforce my intent (as Angela Holton discusses in Why Resolutions Don't Work & How to Create Real, Lasting Change on Tiny Buddha), and sharing it publically helps reinforce accountability.
Here's the current draft of things to incorporate in my daily rhythm:
- Start the day off by picking one or more tarot cards
- Meditate either in the morning, after picking the cards, or in the evening, right before I go to sleep; or both!
- Make a concrete step forward on my goals
- Help somebody else on their path
- GIve thanks
- Record my progress
- Make art every day*
I say "current draft", because my policy for beginning-of-year commitments (resolutions, habits or anything else) is to finalize them at the end of January. Just as "no plan survives contact with the enemy," holiday intentions may not survive contact with reality. So the revised version may be somewhat different, but I'm sure it'll be along these lines.
It seems like a lot -- but it certainly seems doable. And today, I did all of these things; in fact, everything except the meditation is in this post. So I'm off to a good start!
* thanks to Dianardo for the phrasing! And while I'm at it, thanks to Jenna, James, and Cassandra for the helpful posts on The Hermit; and thanks to James for the Harvest Tree metaphor, Fortune Circle presentation, and Youtube video.