Breaking conformity.. but not

I’m a member of a fantastic Facebook Group called The Hermit’s Cave (which is a group that goes along with The Hermit’s Cave YouTube Channel).

One of the members, the Book Lioness has started a fantastic art project in which she is sending  78 of us two of the same card from what I think is the Bianco Nero Tarot to doodle on, color and basically mark up any way we want to.

She is then going to take one card and add it to her art project and take the other and put it in a deck to give away.  I was totally down with this idea and I told her to go ahead and give me any card she wanted.

Of course, I could have picked a card.. I could have said I wanted the High Priestess, or the Ace of Pentacles, two cards that are coming up for me a lot lately, but nooo… I wanted to do this Tarot Style.. whatever came out.. that would be the card for me.

I got.. the Hierophant..  the grumpy, dour faced Priest with his two acolytes who bow before him and await his wisdom.

Well, shit.

I really don’t like this card, which is OF COURSE the reason it appeared for me.  I’m committed to this project and I want to do a good job, so I guess it’s time for me to make peace with this dude.

Fine.

I got out my markers, created an open space in my mind, and a few deep breaths later, I was coloring and contemplating this card.

I’ve struggled my whole life with this deep fear of what will happen to me if I don’t follow the rules.  I worried myself sick as a kid because I was so afraid of doing something wrong.. of not doing the right thing… this fear followed me far into adulthood ..and the Hierophant is about taking the well worn, conventional route.. of doing things the way you are expected to do them.. so.. .. yeah. Major source of stress for me.

As I chose my markers, I decided to pick colors that were decidedly flamboyant.. colors that would fly in the face of that grumpy old man.  PINK HAT FOR YOU.  How do you like that, you stodgy thing?

He liked it.

Harrumph.

And then, as I chose a flaming pink robe for the acolytes, I thought about my own “pink hat”.. my hair.  My hair is not conventional.  I’ve got most of my head shaved down to 1/4 inch and the top is a flowing mane of purple. (It was pink up until last week when I decided purple was more “winter”).

I started dying my hair pink a few years ago and at the time, I had this giddy feeling of “breaking the rules”.  It was delicious.  I was thrilled.. and terrified.  At first, I did tiny pink streaks in my hair that was much shorter than it is now, and waited for my employers to tell me I couldn’t keep it.

They didn’t care.

In fact, I got a ton of compliments… and as those tiny pink streaks turned into giant swathes of color, the more compliments I got.

You guys, my true self was shining out.  I have this  itsy bitsy freak flag that I like to fly.. quietly.. under the radar .. .like a secret…

 

The more colors I added to this Hierophant card, the more I felt connected to this idea of remaining true to yourself, but in a way that still keeps you available to others…. this is not about fitting in, but more about recognizing that, as people, we have a core of who we are that sometimes gets squashed by those who want us to conform.

I chose to represent that core of “self” in this card by using this bright yellow color running through the middle of this dudes robes.  Yellow is the color of the sacral chakra which help us sustain who we are…our sense of ourselves.  I thought it was appropriate to have it running right through the middle there.

Lastly, I took my black sharpie pen and I turned the V on the top of the card into the word TRUTH as a reminder to be true to ourselves, even when taking advice from others.  A reminder that we can be part of something larger and still be us.

Also, if I was a better artist, I would have drawn a giant blunt in his right hand.

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