The Nine of Wands — The Vigil of Wild Patience

The Tarot Primer (12)

Written for Monday 31st October – Sunday 6th November (and shared here for the mirror week of six month ago, including  Samhain here in the Southern Hemisphere)

The Fifth Spirit Tarot, by Charlie Claire Burgess

✉️ The Nine as Missive

🕯 As we pause for Samhain (juxtaposed with Beltane in the Northern Hemisphere) the 9 is an invitation to consider who or what you are lighting a candle for.

🔋 9 is the energy to mourn and remember, as well as dream and manifest. Both call something to us.

🙏🏻 The 9 explores what it means to hold a vigil — literally what you are holding onto and tending in reverence.

🔦 It casts a light in the dark as to who or what you are keeping close. It calls into question, and concurrently amplifies, your call to the other side.

🔬 It asks us to qualify and clarify what “the other side is” for us, on the everyday plane, as well as a higher spiritual.

⏳The 9 beckons and whispers to you: tell me who or what you are waiting for? How long has it been?

☠️ It gently and without judgement observes the candles you have lit. The ones doggedly tended. The ones you’ve been careless with. The ones that went out.

🧚‍♀️ The 9 reminds us, waiting and patience are not the same thing. They tap different timelines. Different congruencies. But as children we are told to wait; be patience and our restless spirits take this as punishment. It’s not.

🔥 In the element of fire, patience is wild.

👞 Hypervigilance is a heightened state of anticipation. Of waiting for the other shoe to drop. Maybe it was once adaptive. Is it now?

😬The 9 suggests modern life makes us worry what is coming at us. Makes us worry we are alone. Makes as though we are alone and unprotected.

🛡 We worry so much, we are perpetually prepared, carrying our armour everywhere. We miss the caress of the gentleness of life. Kindness. The afternoon breeze. We sleep in it and wonder why we wake unrested.

♀️ The nine makes room beside it and offers you a chance to light a candle for yourself.

📖 Journal Prompts

🕰 Who or what are you willing to wait for?

⏰ Who or what are you not willing to do this for?

🍽 Who is making you wait?

🦁 Where does fierceness and courage intersect patience?

❤️ What is your relationship with patience?

🪷If you could define wild patience for yourself, what would it look/sound/feel/taste/smell like?

🍂 What have you incepted and not tended?

🗡 What keeps you awake at night?

✨ What is the glorious other side of your biggest challenge right now? Describe it in detail.

🧨 How does trying to do it alone sabotage your best efforts?

Thank you so much for your patience. It’s good to be back. See you tomorrow.

🎯 9 of Wands in Action: The Quasi List Poem

I first came across the term “wild patience” in Women Who Run With the Wolves in 2016. The phrase was shaped by feminist and poet Adrienne Rich. It immediately seized my imagination.

What could wild patience be?

My then-boyfriend and I texted back and forth across an evening, what wild patience might be. It is one of my happiest memories of our time together.

So let’s write a list poem together….

(If you have a friend you can do this with, do it. If it’s just you and your notes app or journal that’s fine too.)

You start with the phrase:

Wild patience is…   and you fill that in.

If words are not your jam, cap it at 3. Let it be a process of moving through.

If words are a happy playground aim for a higher number of iterations.

Hold this lightly. Have fun.

🪶 The 9 of Wands in Poetry

Wild patience is…

…tending a grieving heart knowing it will once-again be whole and love again.

…the anticipation of a summer storm building on the horizon (before there were weather apps)

…your soul choosing time-consuming creativity paths when your impetuous humanness needs spontaneity and immediacy down the trauma-bahn.

festina lente: make haste slowly

…threading daisy chains, winding pom poms and constructing paper chains.

…cyclic stability and it’s ever-constant shifts and changes hardwired into the wax and wane, ebb and flow, growth and decay.

…how the people who love you hold space so you can to tend yourself in your perfect timing, not theirs.

🪞 The 9 in Reflection

I know the Primer rarely delivers messages I want. But they’re always the ones I need. This week was no different.

It’s the second week of mourning the loss of someone who meant everything to me. And it’s a warped grief tangled in an exceptionally non-conventional relationship that defied possibility. I find myself trying to work out how to hold space to honour the past, be present with myself now and continue to tend to the future when the “rules”/assumptions/expectations don’t m necessarily apply here.

🕯 Thanks to Christina I was able to light a candle on the Samhain/Beltane axis to: contradictions and the wholehearted devastation of being human. The unseasonal gusting wind blew it out before it got going. But I was able to let it burn out the following night.

Who are we to say what perfect timing is? The intersection of wild patience and time is probably our capacity to let go, let be and trust in the unfolding.

Also thank you to Anna Bellissimo who reminded me that if you search for evidence of magick you will find it. (And you know — for your amusement… as I was typing that the Cure’s “Close to Me” was playing and out the corner of my eye I spied a hand-sized spider crawl up the pillar beside where I was sitting. I don’t need to be that close. Thank you!!!)

Thoughts that popped up this week, the first is mine. The next two belong to astrologer Alice Sparkly Kat:

💭 It is not just identifying who or what, it’s about knowing how you tend the memories, when and where you do, and why. But of course all of that is meaningless unless you know the what or who.

💭 (Detectives) might be extra vigilant types who don’t know how to describe the things that only they see to someone else. They might (embody) and hold the important archetype of truth.

💭 The word remember is a bit of a misnomer. We never remember things. We always reconstruct memories. Memories are just stories.

📻 Signal Boost

Anna Bellissima

Alice Sparkly Cat

David Whyte’s The Well of Grief

Isabel Abbott‘s “salt + honey”

Adrianna Michelle — The Death Alchemist

🪩 The 9 of wands Outro

My son tells a great story of being woken in the middle of the night to me belting this out, earphones in, hidden within the dark.

Without further ado, please dance yourself into the weekend with Blondie’s “The Tide is High”

I’ve shared for entry as the mirror week of six months ago — the middle week of the eclipse portal and to honour Samhain here in the Southern Hemisphere. 

The Tarot Primer is a text-based, espresso-strength infusion of tarot, channeled wisdom, journal prompts, poetry, life hacks and music delivered straight to your phone via Signal four times a week. The Primer returns Monday, 1st May.

Join here



Using Mercury Retrograde to Time You Re-Reads


I’m not sure exactly when I started to use Mercury Retrograde to return to the books I love. It probably was when I decided to more closely align with what Mercury Rx was excellent for to mitigate what it gets a bad rap for (miscommunication, travel disruptions, tech meltdowns, delays of all kinds). It worked. I found that as I fell down rabbit holes of favourite books, music and films, there were fewer disruptions and problems.

I hadn’t thought much about the old habit until Rus asked Adam and I last year ago if we’d read any book six times or more.

I have. (Have you?)

It’s entirely likely I’ve read The Book Thief and The Time Traveller’s Wife that many times. I’ve read more than three times The Passion and The Red Tent. In the past 18 months I’ve read The Idea of You four times, and I’m certain I’ll read it many more times.

For me, there is something special about returning to old stories, old friends and reliving their journeys again.

The second time I read The Time Traveller’s Wife it was like I was reading a totally different book. First time, I was so wrapped up in the tragedy of the love story, I missed the darker elements. They were unmissable the second time round.

What is Mercury Retrograde?

Mercury Retrograde happens three times a year (sometimes four). While Mercury doesn’t really go backward, it is an illusion from here, astrologically it is considered a disruption to Mercury’s modus operandi for three odd weeks (delays in communication, technology and travel to name a few things). But it’s a perfect time to stop and reflect (or many of the other ‘re’ words). Of which re-reading is a perfect fit.

Why would anyone re-read a book when so many books will go unread before we die?

The Return


” Re-reading can help form new perspectives and better self-understanding – much like talking to new people.”

Populus Omnibus Survey, 2021

In 2021, The Reading Agency (who run World Book Night) in conjunction with SpecSavers ran a survey on re-reading, which they released for World Book Night.

They found in the last 12 months:

      • 53% of people had re-read a book
      • 61% in the 18-14 age group had
      • 46%  aged over 65 had

This reflects research that people seek familiar and predictable enjoyment in activities durinng times of change.

The reasons people returned to books included:

      •     for comfort
      •     to relax
      •     escaping reality
      •     discovering aspects they hadn’t noticed before, and
      •     re-reading feeling familiar

The most popular genres were:

      • crime
      • sci-fi (men)
      • romance (women) and
      • memoir

Good-bye, Hello!

I looked forward to my Mercury Rx re-reading schedule for years; of taking my favourite old reads down and making them new. It appears as people returned to old literary loves, I did the opposite.

I am determined to make the most of this transit – even if I only manage one re-read (because someone bought a massive pile of books home from the library last week!) Mercury Rx through Taurus is a call to return to pleasure pursuits and there is nothing more pleasurable that finding myself lost in a good book.

There are worse ways to spend April 24th – May 15th.

Perhaps it’s time to pick up an old book love? Or your favourite movie, music, game or any other kind of pop culture (which also has strong Mercury ties).

Drop a comment and let me know what you plan to rediscover this Mercury Rx.

Image: Cosmic Couch by Me

PS: From lived experience, I know editing is super-powered during Mercury and I’ll be embarking on rewrites of a secret project I’ve been working on with Rus and Adam since 2017 as well as finally compiling a collection of my previously published short fiction.

The Hierophant Tarot Card — Your Inner Librarian

The Tarot Primer is a text-based, espresso-strength infusion of tarot, channeled wisdom, journal prompts, poetry, life hacks and music delivered straight to your phone via Signal four times a week.

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Tarot Primer (23)

Written Monday 30 January – Sunday 5 February 2023 (shared here for the eclipse / mercury rx week of 17/04-23/04/230

The Fifth Spirit (1st edition) , Charlie Clare Burgess

✉️ The Hierophant as Missive

🔨 The Hierophant is a committed dismantler of isms and ologies.

🙋🏻‍♀️ They are a questioner of the traditions that give foundations to systems and structures, and invite you to instead seek your own meaning maker.

❤️ They ask: is this meaningful to you? If not, why do you continue?

🧐 While the High Priestess invites you into a higher knowing, the Hierophant invites you into what you already know.

🏛️The Hierophant is your inner librarian. The trusted guardian and guide of all the knowledge you have amassed in this life time (and life times before). A gateway to your wisdom. Here everything you know has been catalogued and carefully tended, waiting for you to return.

🧬The wisdom of your lived experience. The wisdom carried in your body. The wisdom of eons encoded in your DNA. The sacred wisdom of your heart. And yes, the wisdom you have sought in books and in conventional (and unconventional) learning.

🪜 The Inner Librarian encourages you to honour your knowing. To step through the stacks and be awed and amazed at just what is there.

🛑 The Hierophant asks you to question any one need you to give away your power to sit at their feet. Whose wisdom seeks to override your own. They caution against anyone who refuses to enter into the synergy of knowledge as anything other than collaboration and wonder.

🏚️ For a truly wise soul will never ask you to abandon yourself to be with them. They will always offer their insights with humbleness and non-absoluteness. They will never insist they know they truth.

👉🏼 They point out all those you who position themselves as an Expert on You. They remind you, you are, and will always be, the Expert of You and your experience.

🚪 The Hierophant gestures to the massive doors you are standing at. They offer you keys to the Library of You, stepping aside so you might open the doors. Welcome, they say and you step inside.


📖 Journal Prompts

✍🏻 Describe your Inner Library, in as much or as little detail.
✍🏻 How do access your deeper knowing?
✍🏻 How would you define “tradition”? (If you didn’t have to think hard “intellectually” about it?
✍🏻What traditions do you in engage because they’re meaningful and resonant?
✍🏻What ones do you go along with to make other people happy?
✍🏻What is the cost of that to you?
✍🏻Which ism or ology feels most relevant/pressing in your life now? How does it show up in your life?
✍🏻What do you believe in that brings joy, perspective, understanding, anchoring and meaning to your life?
✍🏻 How do you create meaningful action from that place of belief?
✍🏻How will you honour your knowing this week?


🎯 The Hierophant in Action

This week I’m inviting you to observe your Inner Librarian. To see how she moves. What she does. And most of all, what frees her to do her job with ease.

🪶 The Hierophant in Poetry

From Shades of Paradox (2019)


🪞 The Hierophant in Reflection

The locus of “knowing” has been really interesting to explore this week.

The week started with a sense that my Inner Librarian needs movement. I felt her walking the stacks with her finger trailing along the spines of books, or getting around in a converted golf cart in a warehouse sized repository.

The weather hasn’t been great for walking in the afternoon, so I didn’t get a chance to test drive this further. To see if what drops into my head when I’m out walking, is actually an info dump from the Inner Librarian. Like she’s arrived with a pile of books and boom – down on the counter they go.

Then two days ago I got a “slam into a brick wall” kind of knowing that didn’t drop from above. It came from deep inside me as I observed the outer world and I saw it had shifted. My body, heart and soul were in total coherence, while my mind tried to bargain with the deeper truth. (It’s still trying to strike bargains the other three simply won’t underwrite!)

I know what it’s like to ask a question and get a High Priestess answer, and what happened on that footpath was not her sending down missives. This was pattern recognition at an intrinsic level of awareness.

I have a new (and humbled) appreciation of my Inner Librarian and her gifts. As well as the magickal knowing which resides in my body and heart, when my mind doesn’t scream down the house with its version of the house. (Even when I don’t like what that knowing tells me — and believe me, there’s been plenty of inner tantrumming!)

In the future, I want to cultivate more deeper knowing rather than defaulting to higher knowing. To source my wisdom rather than outsource it.

There was also this comment from Simone Seol on IG which fell within the parameters of The Hierophant as system whistleblower.

⁉️Were you able to tap into your Inner Librarian this week? I’d love to know what’s unpacked or revealed itself to you since Monday.


📻 Signal Boost

A repeat broadcast this week for Christina Hira and her 2023 Patreon.

She’s the dearest of my dear hearts, my fellow explorer of soul and shadows spaces plus my poetic bestie. Her depth year reflections blew me away. They helped me understand the changes I was undergoing.

We are embarking on a Year of Uncertainty together and her essays will be a must. Please consider diving in with your spare change (pun intended!) on the Uncertainty Essays tier.


🪩 The Hierophant as Outro

This week I offer you a little Paul Dempsey. I’m sure there were possibly better songs out there but there is something Hey History (Don’t Go Changin’) that nagged for inclusion.

(Maybe it’s been the week, maybe my Inner Librarian also has a wee crush on Mr Dempsey!)

So without further ado, a quiet jam to watch the sun go down (or come up) on this Saturday.

I’ve shared for Eclipse week / Mercury stationing direct 17/04-23/04/23

The Tarot Primer returns Monday 1st May. Join here so you don’t miss a moment.