We live in a culture that often seems to be based on self-promotion and fame. When you are an introvert, it can be overwhelming. As a child, family, friends and school pressure you to perform in front of others. Spelling bees, being introduced to an aunt, going out to dinner with your family, and having to talk to people when you’d rather be left alone, are just a few things that introverts encounter as children.
Then, as an adult, socializing with strangers to further a career, going out to meet people for friendship, marrying into a new family – all these social chores can be a burden for an introvert. However, human society needs introverts for your thoughtfulness, your sensitivity, and the calm balance you provide.
When looking at the Tarot for wisdom, there are several cards that speak to the importance you have for others and suggest ways to find happiness in our extroverted culture.
The Major Arcana cards indicate areas of your life and situations that are important for your soul’s growth and enlightenment through Karma. The Strength (8) card indicates the ability to overcome shyness in order to achieve goals and get your needs met. You have enough broad vision to understand that a productive, successful life is possible if you reserve your social energy for people and situations that are truly important to you. You may have a professional persona which is adept at networking, while your personal life is populated with a few dear friends and family who are important to you, and understand your need for quiet and calm away from work.
The Hermit (9) symbolizes the wisdom that comes with solitary study and work. This is the card of the writer, the artist, and the contemplative. You may spend most of your professional time alone, working in a studio making art or music, or you may be a modern craftsperson, someone who works in the technology sector, writing codes. The Hermit traditionally has also represented the scholar and the priest. You might spend time in meditation, or you might be at home in an academic environment. If you draw the Hermit, you are productive by time spent in solitary work, which brings you much peace and satisfaction.
The Hanged Man (12) means that you are currently biding time and you must understand that negative conditions will pass. The Hanged Man is about surrendering to your true nature. This card releases you from feeling obligated to exhaust yourself with frivolous socializing. The Hanged Man is about release. If you draw this card, you are fully capable of being an introvert in an extroverted society. You do not need to pretend to be gregarious, or to enjoy social events when you don’t. There is much power to be accessed by rejecting social situations that cause you distress and anxiety.
The Death (13) card indicates profound transformation, often through loss and grief; that causes you to shed the unnecessary and keep the essential you. If you draw the Death card, you may soon undergo a change which may be difficult and painful, but which will give you the strength to honor your need for quiet, calm, and solitude.
Temperance (14) is the ability to stay on track, regardless of your personality. This card indicates the commitment to put your wellbeing ahead of your comfort and diversion. Temperance has you honoring important social commitments. You may choose pursuits that require you to be outgoing, in spite of your personality, because they are meaningful to you. This may be the yoga instructor who is shy every moment, except during the yoga session, when her passion for teaching others overcomes her natural reticence. It may indicate the shy person who is drawn to an extrovert who provides the social ease they are lacking.
The Minor Arcana reflect everyday life decisions and situations that do not necessarily have Karmic significance for you. The quality of introversion is traditionally associated with the feminine suits of Cups and Pentacles. These cards tend to be introspective. The Cups symbolize tenderness, quiet and emotional depth. Pentacles symbolize patience, hard work and an analytical nature. The following cards can be especially useful in understanding the introvert and his or her needs:
The Aces: Ace of Cups and Ace of Pentacles – The Ace card is generally positive, indicating the beginning of a new undertaking, and also the purest expression of the suit. If you draw this, and you are an introvert, you are able to use your qualities of introversion to benefit yourself and others.
The 6 of Cups points to the kindness of others. Because you are kind and have profound insights, you have many peers who understand you and support your introversion. They may run interference for you when you have to do something that is socially daunting. They may introduce you to people who are important for you to meet. They contribute to your life by making it possible for you to retreat sometimes, and to be strong at other times.
The 10 of Cups indicates finding happiness in a family or a family-like setting. This can often be the most comfortable and nurturing living situation for an introvert. This card can also indicate belonging to a tribe, whether this is a group of accountants, IT people, family, friends, artists, or any peer group which gives unconditional love and acceptance.
The 8 of Pentacles shows that you can find happiness in solitary work. You may be a laborer, a researcher, a craftsperson, or an artist. You just know that to be happy you need the quiet of your own thoughts and company.