from strength to the hermit

on the magic between leo and virgo seasons

hello, friends. this month has brought a lot of unexpected challenges, and i’ve been forced to take a lot of space to heal, reflect, and rest - things that do not always come easily to me, but that i know are deeply necessary. as we prepare to shift from leo to virgo season, i want to spend some time considering how essential this kind of energy can be, and the many gifts that come when we allow ourselves to step outside of our usual routines and instead explore our own vast, mysterious interior.

today we shift into virgo season, accompanied by a blue moon in aquarius, in the eye of a hurricane. and however you’re taking care of yourself today, do so with grace, compassion, and kindness. how can you give yourself space to breathe, to rest, to reflect? what do your body, mind, heart, and spirit need? what are you aching for, that you can offer to yourself with love?

take a few deep breaths, stretch out your arms and your shoulders, rotate your wrists and your ankles. allow your body to release any tension it’s carrying, to ease into a position of comfort. let’s begin.


strength & the hermit

leo is all about fire, confidence, courage. it’s a fixed fire sign, ruled by the blazing heat of the sun, a constant source of light and life that sustains and inspires. with leo we celebrate the magic that makes us unique, the ways that we shine and sparkle, the power that we bring to our creative work. even those of us that prefer to stay hidden, that are more comfortable clinging to the shadows, have aspects of ourselves that we long to have celebrated - and leo urges us to take pride in who we are, to recognize our innate worth and value.

virgo, on the other hand, is mutable earth: flexible, detail-oriented, able to zero in on flaws and figure out how to make disparate ideas and discordant creations come together in beautiful harmony. it takes a careful, critical eye to be able to edit, to know what to refine and what to abandon, to see the diamonds in the rough and polish them until they’re gleaming. virgo understands the power of something done well, of finishing strong, of knowing that every aspect of something is in working order.

we see these aspects reflected in their major arcana counterparts: leo and strength, full of pride and patience, knowing the value in waiting for exactly the right moment to step into the spotlight and claim the magic that is woven into our very essence. virgo and the hermit, being brave enough to step back and assess, knowing the value in exploring our own wildness and being aware of our most hidden secrets, fears, desires, ambitions.

there’s a beautiful composure in both of these archetypes; a certain confidence in knowing our skills, our utility, our gifts. strength always makes me think of integrity, purpose, a kind of settling into our skin. there’s magic in ferocity, in understanding how our passions define and sustain us - but there’s also deep pleasure in knowing when to set ourselves free, and when to hold things back.

leo and virgo both value authenticity. these are signs that push us to be our truest selves, to celebrate all that we are, to be attentive to the truths that resonate. and while we may think of leo as outward-facing, craving the spotlight, while virgo hovers backstage taking care of the last-minute details, both signs demand our respect. both signs want us to acknowledge our gifts. both signs urge to focus on what’s real.

as we transition from this sign of sunshine into a time of twilight, as the sun moves into a quieter, more methodical place, we take that patience with us, continue to celebrate ourselves in a more private way. where do we let that sunlight shine internally? what do we share with the world, and what do we keep for ourselves? who gets to see our full light, and who has access to our darker, more hidden places?

understanding our own mysteries doesn’t take away from our inherent dignity - rather, it enhances it. self-reflection and deep awareness allow us to get comfortable with all of our aspects, whether we fully understand them or not. after allowing ourselves to be seen for the magical beings that we are, how do we turn that admiring gaze inward? what are we ready to uncover about ourselves, willing to excavate and discover?

the hermit isn’t just about hiding, retreating, isolating. it’s about being willing to do critical self-examination, about discovering the pieces of ourselves that we may have been afraid to look at before now. it’s an intimate kind of self-knowing, checking in with who we are and making space for intuition, insight, instinct. what comes forward when we get out of our own way? who are we when no one else is watching, when we don’t have to perform, when the lights go down?

to make it more personal, more real: what inspires you? what scares you? what motivates you, pushes you to greatness, makes you go the extra mile? what settles you down, calms you, steadies you? when do you feel fully in control, and what makes that control slip away? how do you define yourself? what stories do you tell about who you are, what you do, where you’re going? what dreams live deep within your heart, and which ones are you already chasing?

strength calls us to shine, to celebrate who we are, to take pride in the ways that others see us. strength wants us to be admired, recognized, respected. but the hermit reminds us that we don’t have to give everything to everyone, don’t have to be everything to anyone. we all deserve space to retreat, places to be safe, moments when we can simply reflect and remember. how often do you step away from your regular routines? when do you give yourself a break from all of those heavy responsibilities and take time to remember what it feels like to move without restriction?

reflection and consideration take intensive, intentional work. they flex different muscles, demand a different kind of stamina. but the hermit isn’t asking us to show up or show off for anyone but ourselves. and as we move into virgo season, consider the authenticity that you feel within yourself. who are you, at your core? what have you been reluctant to examine, and how would spending time digging deep help unlock certain aspects of who you are? what do you need to feel safe, to feel challenged, to feel inspired, to feel rested?

when are you your fullest, truest self?


for more on virgo season, make sure to read my latest batch of tarotscopes over on autostraddle. i’ve got a spread up on instagram for today’s full moon in aquarius, as well as some fun recent publications including a podcast episode, a bisexual roundtable, and spreads for strengthening bonds in relationships and exploring alternative lifetimes.

wishing you safety, comfort, and rest this virgo season. thank you for reading.

images from this post feature the muse tarot. all photographs by meg jones wall.