Tarot for Self-Care: Knight of Wands

 
 Recipe for Fire CIder from Incandescent Tarot Durham, North Carolina
 

When I drew the Knight of Wands for this series, the first thing that came to mind was my immune system.

Maybe it’s the cold, the shortening days, or the specter of a nasty cold threatening me during a busy time of the year, but health is on my mind.

I don’t want to get sick (who does) and this virile knight charging full steam ahead is exactly how I want my body to attack any illness.

The Knight of Wands is a card that doesn’t wait. Of course, the Knights have somewhat of a reputation for being the hotheaded teenagers of the tarot deck. Subtlety and deliberation are not their strong suits. And when you pair this with the fiery nature of wands? You’d best watch out and get out of the way.

But there are situations when jumping in headfirst is a good course of action. The Knight of Wands is a good card to emulate when your fiery passion is channeled in the right direction and when you need to be proactive.

So how do we encourage our bodies to embrace this energy during cold season? I would like to introduce you to my new obsession, Fire Cider.

Fire cider is a folk remedy that warms and stimulates the immune system. Packed with herbs and spices to get your circulation and digestion moving, it also happens to taste delicious. And I’m quite pleased that the name reflects the element of the wands suit.

Below you’ll find my personal recipe. I just finished steeping my batch and have been sipping on it religiously. I like a few teaspoons mixed into a mug of hot water. Don’t hesitate to add a little more if you like it spicy!

I certainly feel more vigorous and fiery after drinking some. And I haven’t gotten sick yet… knock on wood.

Knight of Wands' Fire Cider

Note: This recipe is meant to be very flexible, so customize away. Feel free to add or substitute herbs and spices (make sure they’re safe for consumption first, of course.) I suggest thyme, rosemary, fresh grated horseradish, lemon zest and juice, and rosehips. Get zany and go wild.

Materials

               1 16 oz. Mason Jar

Ingredients

 The spice must flow

The spice must flow

               Apple Cider Vinegar

               1 inch piece Ginger, grated

               3 cloves Garlic, minced

               ½ Onion, minced

               4 points Star Anise

               4 Cloves

               5 Cardamom Pods

               4 Dried Chiles

 The beautiful mess before steeping

The beautiful mess before steeping

               1 tsp Peppercorns

               1 tsp ground Turmeric

               ½ tsp Cinnamon (or use a stick if you have one)

               ½ tsp Cayenne

               Raw Honey

Instructions

Add onion, ginger, garlic, and spices in your mason jar. Fill with apple cider vinegar. Close and let steep on a sunny windowsill for at least 2 weeks. (I recommend sticking a piece of wax or parchment paper in between the jar and lid to prevent corrosion.)

Shake daily and watch everything float around inside just because it’s mesmerizing. Once it's steeped enough, strain out solids and add honey to taste. You’ll need quite a bit – it’s spicy and sour on its own. And remember you won’t be chugging it straight (unless you want to feel like a badass and like heartburn.)

To serve, spoon a few teaspoons into a cup and add hot water for a warming tonic. Or sip a few teaspoons straight. You can also use the solids in stir-fries if you’re feeling resourceful. It’s delicious. 

Tarot for Self-Care: The Hermit

 
 Incandescent Tarot for Self-Care The Hermit
 

Sometimes a tarot card really hits the nail on the head.

It's been a stressful week and I wasn’t sure what to do. When I sat down to read my cards for guidance I was expecting a meandering reading I could mull over. Maybe some information about my issues, something a little mysterious, or even one of those cards that make no sense, but then reveal their meaning in an epiphany later on.

Nope. Instead, the first card I drew was The Hermit, and I knew to stop right there.

This was not a graceful, “ah yes, of course this is what I need, let’s end the reading now.” Instead I felt like a teenager complaining about too much homework and getting salty when their parents tell them to just do it.

I wanted to feel like a spiritual pioneer, combing my subconscious for cool insights. Instead I got a stern talking to.

But it was what I needed.

Sometimes it’s easy to get wrapped up in the hullabaloo of our lives and forget that if we get overwhelmed we should stop doing what is overwhelming us.  

I’m an introvert and I love people. I like being active, but for the right reasons. As soon as my plate fills up I forget all the habits and routines I do to take care of myself. In a frenzy of activity, I lose touch with my goals and run around manically from event to event. I get resentful. It is not fun, and it invites the pushy part of myself to add its two cents: you’re not doing enough!

And if I listen to that voice, the cycle continues.

The Hermit reminds us to turn inward and reconnect with the source of our motivations: ourselves.

We all go through life looking for something. It helps to sit down with oneself and figure out what exactly this is. Add to this the fact that life is constantly changing, and we find that we need to reflect on ourselves frequently.

This is a lot of work, but it sure helps cut out all the background noise as we strive towards our best life.

How do we do this? Focus. Tune out the noise and reconnect with what guides you forward. Find your own lantern to guide you through the moment.

Solitary activities like meditation and journaling fit the bill perfectly. You could even read tarot on the subject. So carve out the time for yourself, have a cup of tea, get centered, and focus on questions like the following:

  • What am I looking for in this moment/in life?
  • What are the main forces guiding me?
  • What matters most?
  • How can I let my passions/beliefs/higher-self guide me?

If you feel stuck in your thoughts, try meditating by placing yourself in the shoes of The Hermit. Visualize yourself alone, holding out a lantern in the darkness. What casts light on your life, illuminating the next step? What motivates you to move forward with peace and curiosity?