Thursday, August 6, 2015

Decreasing Velocity with the Hermit

One of my pet peeves is something that I must confront every day, and usually on multiple occasions: driving. I remember when I lived in the north in a much smaller city, and I commented frequently about the exasperating "crazy drivers." Compared to the drivers in my current location, they were docile and slow. Driving here is a feat of bravery, defensive tactics, and deep patience. People drive so fast, execute dangerous maneuvers, cut others off. Car accidents and rescue vehicle sirens are a part of the daily landscape of life rather than an occasional occurrence. And I admit that I sometimes experience private glee when someone tears past me in a mad rush into the future....only to end up stopped right next to me at the red light.

And I wonder, "Why is everyone always so aggressive and in such a hurry?" I drew the Hermit:
Mary-El Tarot/Marie White
I admit that I was, at first, a bit taken aback to see one of my favorite (thoughtful, deep, quiet) Major cards symbolizing humanity's perpetual race for first place. But the Hermit has quite a bit to offer in terms of this topic:

I understand the 9s in Tarot as a reflection of the individual (as opposed to the inclusion of others). The Hermit's shadow can represent being shut off from others, experiencing a lack of connection to people in the community. With a focus on the individual, it can cross over into self-absorption.

There may be a lack of identity (see how this Hermit's face seems to blow away in the wind); for instance, we tend to get angry at "cars" more so than drivers. We don't pause to consider the experiences or circumstances of others. They are strangers, unknown to us in just about every way. It's easier to focus intently on personal desires when the people you impact are anonymous. We are essentially all alone in a crowd.

The Hermit can also help remedy this by calling us to be mindful of our behaviors and inclinations. If I find myself rushing, I can take a deep breath and slow down. If I find myself getting aggravated by the person in front of me who is going just under the speed limit in the left lane, I might consider it an invitation to change my own pace, and find a way to be thankful for it.

In the end I can't change the velocity of the others in my world. All I can do is alter my own perspective, and work on being self-reflective enough to find my peace and refrain from participating in the manic rush around me. That's fair :)


  1. Perhaps the lack of connection is also caused by the fact that when we get in our car we feel like we are home, and shut the door to the world outside
    I actuallyjust saw this quote in a magazine :Be the change you want to see in the world by Mahatma Gandhi

    1. Ha, yeah, if our cars are extensions of our personal space (which they are), then that certainly contributes to the over all issue. More like a moving fish bowl, really. Yesterday I was in traffic and a man in a red pick up truck cleared his throat (loudly) and then casually spit out the window, without a care in the world. Ugh. Yes, the Gandhi quote sums up my thoughts precisely :)

  2. Love this post, Olivia! As someone who spends a fair bit of time in eight-lane rush traffic I can relate to your aversion heartily. I have a name for the goddess who sometimes manifests when I'm behind the wheel, 'car bitch' lol. While I don't love her heat when I'm stuck behind a slow line of bumper to bumper traffic I have come to really appreciate her as a barometer of my emotional state.

    1. Ha! Thanks, Rose! You know just what I mean ;-) Yikes, 8 lanes, that is brutal! I am somewhat familiar with "car bitch," as a matter of fact :-D