from the hermit to justice
exploring the energy between virgo and libra seasons
hello, friends. before we dive into the tarot, a few exciting things:
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today is the first day of libra season, and the autumn equinox here in the northern hemisphere. as the leaves begin to turn, as that sensation of crisp air and cooler temperatures finally reveals itself, libra asks us to prioritize beauty, harmony, connection, and equality. by honoring all voices and experiences, by uplifting those that need support, we make a more beautiful and balanced world. by making the effort to listen, by being willing to make lasting change, we declare that justice is something worth pursuing, something with dignity and value, something essential.
in shifting between these two seasons, we move from deliberate isolation into intentional connection. and there’s magic, as well as an entire other archetype, that lives between these two energies.
take a few deep breaths, have a sip of water, and let’s begin.
from virgo to libra
in virgo season, we withdraw, assess, examine, complete. virgo is so often simplified to the obsessive perfectionist, someone that cleans up messes and stresses over getting every detail exactly right. yet in recognizing this mutable earth sign through the lens of the major arcana, specifically its birth card of the hermit, we learn so much more about who this figure is, and what this energy can offer us.
virgo knows the power of the individual, the importance of sovereignty, the magic in belonging to the self. and as the hermit, we are reminded of all that we learn when we step outside of our usual routines and habits and look at them with a critical eye — not only from a capitalist desire for productivity and efficiency, though it’s worth noting that being able to analyze our own strengths and needs can be an incredibly useful way to adapt our work habits to suit us better. instead, the hermit wants us to see the inherent and undeniable value in what we have to offer, to do soul-level excavation and unearth those big dreams, those wild hopes, those impossible fears that impact us in ways we may not even be fully conscious of. we all have threads that connect us to our pasts, traumas and victories that color our present, desires that shape our future. and in stepping away from to-do lists, in shaking up existing routines, we can begin reimagine the world in the ways we’d like it to be, instead of struggling with how things have always been.
virgo might have a reputation as a perfectionist, but that’s only because they take the time to really examine and study what is already present. their perspective isn’t tinted by rose-colored glasses or limited by what they are afraid to look at — instead, they give themselves the gift of true sight, combing through the details, pushing into the corners and hidden places. they don’t let fear keep them from looking carefully, don’t let their assumptions color reality.
it’s only after we spend time really seeing that we can begin to enact meaningful change. it’s only after we reckon with what we have that we can push for what we want, imagine what could be.
it’s only through the efforts of virgo that we can embrace the power of libra.
the wheel of fortune, or, from the hermit to justice
in the correspondences that link zodiacal signs and major arcana archetypes, only about half of the fool’s journey is represented. twelve signs and twenty-two cards mean that some archetypes are left out, assigned planets instead. and one of those cards, the one that sits in the space between the hermit and justice, is the wheel of fortune.
tied to karma, balance, and luck, the wheel of fortune takes that solitary examination from the hermit and puts it into context in the broader world. yes, we have some control over our habits, our routines, our efforts, our dreams — but there are outside forces that also impact those things, energies and obstacles that we cannot possibly anticipate or have power over. the wheel of fortune speaks of the ups and downs of life, the patterns that emerge once we have enough distance from something to see the bigger picture. when we’re moving, either at our own pace or at a speed that has been set for us, we can’t always see the full road — don’t know which exits we may have missed, can’t tell if there are bumps or potholes in the miles ahead. but once we pause, look backwards, realize just how many miles we’ve traveled and how many we have left to go, it shifts our perspective.
that hill that seemed steep at the time turns out to be a mountain, one that we’re almost grateful we didn’t know the scope of: if we’d seen how high the peak would be, known how long it would take to traverse, we may never have believed we could climb it at all. the valleys and forests, the twists and turns, the wondrous and restful oasis that wasn’t on our map — even those that do the most planning, the most organizing, can’t foresee everything that may shift our path.
the hermit and the wheel of fortune both serve to teach us about the ways that we fit into the world, the roles that we play, the strengths that we offer. we see our place clearly, understand our function, celebrate our victories and acknowledge our sorrows. we take credit where credit is due, surrender unrealistic illusions of control. and in the wake of these shifting energies, in the realizations and transformations that we endure, we find justice.
justice is a messy concept, particularly here in the united states, in 2021, in the midst of dozens of catastrophes of our own making. nothing is fair here, from racism, to wealth disparity, to homophobia, to violence against trans people, to a lack of rights for disabled folks and prisoners, to overly restrictive abortion laws, to disinformation; on and on and on. what is justice? who is she, where is she? how do we even talk about this here, now, in this mess of a world that we live in?
i don’t have answers. what i do have is the knowledge that justice, that libra, isn’t just about making sure things look good, but instead is about a need for things to actually be good. libra’s ruling planet of venus is too often viewed as soft, passive, pretty, delicate, meek. but venus isn’t just silks and sex and decadence, isn’t just obsessed with sensuality and beauty, isn’t just waiting in the background for the messes to be cleaned up by other people. venus balances mars for a reason — they both know how to fight for what they desire, both know how to prioritize what matters.
in venus, in libra, in justice, we see real, magical, powerful love: not just the poetry and the pleasure, not just the rush of attraction or the early magic of connection, but also the willingness to go to war for those people we cherish. also the need to protect our own. also the willingness to abandon rules or decorum when necessary, to make sure things are fair, balanced, equal.
justice listens. it takes the introspective expansion from the hermit, takes the self-aware power from the wheel of fortune, and uses that knowledge to set new ideas in motion, to improve things for everyone, to make sure that ideals are upheld and truth is recognized and no one is left behind. as bell hooks so simply and profoundly states, “without justice there can be no love.” love is not just emotion, but also action. love means doing the hard things, having the hard conversations, fighting the hard battles.
justice is love in action. and as we move into libra season, it’s essential that we don’t forget our power, our optimism, our impact. who, and how, do you love? what are you willing to fight for? why will you raise your sword, and what gives you the strength to keep wielding it?
for more on libra, justice, and venus, head to autostraddle to read my latest round of tarotscopes. i also shared my spread for mabon and the equinox over on instagram, and don’t forget to check out the moon + star collection!
wishing you a powerful, magical, beautiful libra season.
images from this post feature cards from the tarot of the divine. all photographs by meg jones wall.