Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Hermit: Light and Shadow

I don't order new decks very often, but when I do it's because I've come across something that really draws me in. It's been a while, but I've finally found one: the Light and Shadow Tarot, by author Brian Williams and artist Michael Goepferd. I'm so excited.

The artist has created a series of wood cuts for this deck. I find I'm very drawn to the texture and movement in wood block prints of this nature - there is something rustic and earthy that draws me right in - so having a whole deck of them is pretty awesome! The only other deck that I own that is not full color is the Ship of Fools Tarot, by Brian Williams. It's based on Das Narrenschiff, by Sebastian Brant, and all of the images are fine-line ink over a sepia-toned background. I find the deck very interesting, but don't read with it very much as it takes time for the eye to process everything that's going on in each card. However the Light and Shadow Tarot, while black and white, is bold and simple such that it reads quite well. This is a huge plus.  I will eventually do a review of the deck, but for now I want to focus on the simple loveliness of the initial card that called to me (it helps that it's on the front cover of the packaging): the Hermit.
Light and Shadow Tarot
The Hermit's candle guides him onward in pursuit of self-knowledge, and the snail and raven are his constant companions. Ravens symbolize mystery, introspection, mysticism and transformation. The snail represents patience, process, and wisdom. If you look closely you'll see a yin-yang symbol in the flame of the glowing light - the Hermit understands that life is balance, and is cyclical. Without challenges would we appreciate the times of joy fully? Heartbreak is only possible if we have loved deeply. The crops would perish without the rain. By embracing Hermit energy we come to know ourselves, our own patterns and cycles, and can learn and grow from them. We come to appreciate the night, knowing that it won't last forever.

Happy Tuesday!


  1. This is a beautiful depiction Olivia. And so many symbolism. At first I didn't;even notice the snail. Sometimes when I read the cards it feels like I am in a hurry: I don't look well enough to my card and instead I just reproduce the keywords which are already waiting impatiently in my mind....

    1. Ellen I never would have thought you rush because your posts are always so detailed and thoughtful about card imagery! But I know what you mean. I rush sometimes during readings and don't immediately notice everything. In fact in took a few times before I saw the yin yang sign! A teacher of mine a couple of years ago told me that she would often sit and go through her cards while watching tv, just examining them. She'd often notice little things she had never seen before, despite being a main working deck. I like the idea of spending time with our cards even while not actively reading them. I'll have to make a date with my deck soon, haha...

    2. LOL So will I! This is a great way of spending time with a deck; to really get to know it without being focused on the meaning. I am definatley going to do this very soon but not tonight (Game of Thrones) :)