Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Hermit

In the ninth card we see an elderly man, robed in gray, standing alone on an icy mountain top. He carries a lantern and a staff. We have met The Fool once again after a long life of challenge and enlightenment. The passage of time has turned him into The Hermit. The Hermit is a card that symbolizes wisdom and counsel as well as regression. The Hermit has come to a point in his life where he spends his time viewing the world rather than taking part in it. His withdrawal from society has given him the space to transcend the mundane and achieve higher understanding.

1 The first thing we see is The Hermit. An elderly man dressed in gray robes. His robes represent balance. Gray is neither black nor white but both. Gray is also symbolic of old age and intellect. The Hermit's two most defining characteristics. His age is also an important symbol. Old age has long been a symbol of wisdom.

2 In the Hermit's left hand he holds a staff (also known as a wand). The staff is representative of power, authority, and guidance while his left hand represents the unconscious mind. This symbolizes the control he has over his unconscious mind. He is long past the point of being ruled by desires and emotions and is now a man of discretion, caution, and self-denial.

3 In The Hermit's right hand he holds a lantern. This symbolizes the illumination of his conscious awareness. He is a knowledgeable man who has taken a lifetime to broaden his conscious mind.

4 The Hermit is standing on an icy mountain top. Before now we have always seen mountains in the background but with a lifetime of traveling and learning behind him he stands atop the precipice. Mountains generally represent achievement. Since The Fool's journey has led him on a path of spiritual enlightenment we can say that he has achieved his goal for this particular lifetime. Mountains can also represent solitude as they are above and separate from everything else, looking down on the world. This is indicative of the life he now leads.

Key Words: Wisdom. Counsel. Regression. Withdrawal. Higher understanding. Balance. Intellect. Authority. Guidance. Discretion. Caution. Self-denial. Knowledge. Solitude.

When Using Reverse Meanings: When we see The Hermit inversed we are seeing someone who has not learned the lessons of life. They are either over-prudent or imprudent. They give poor advice and experience failure due to their lack of knowledge. Also they have rushed to label themselves a wise old soul when in fact there is much more life has to teach them. They have hurried to remove themselves from the world when the world is not yet done with them.

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