Monday, November 19, 2012


By Judy Jennings © Copyright 2012

The ninth major arcana represents the personality at the pinnacle of development.  Ascending the heights of the mountain of the Great Work has not always been easy, but all of the tools gained during progression through the realms of earlier triumphs are now at hand as the Happy Traveler arrives to take up the Light at the summit.  Wrapped in a gray cloak of Wisdom and offering the illumination of Truth to others on the same path, The Hermit commands all of the powers of The Magician, as evidenced by the glowing wand that creates a direct channel between Heaven and Earth.

Tarot de Marseilles
Unlike some of the other major arcana, symbolism in the The Hermit is minimal, limited primarily to the Wand, lantern, robe and mountain.  A symbol, in relation to the Tarot, is an image that defines a particular kind of energy.  When we talk about symbolism, therefore, we are discussing energies, rather than abstract ideas.  The energy described in The Hermit is that of a learned person who has withdrawn from the material world and its petty preoccupations, but is still eager to share with other seekers.  Spiritual retreat is also suggested.

Jungian Tarot
In numerology, 9 is the number of completion.  In Tarot,  major arcana 0 through 9 outline the qualities of a healthy personality, culminating in The Hermit.  With the introduction of the tenth triumph, The Wheel of Fortune, the eye of Tarot turns from personal development to broader cosmic influences.  The Hermit, then, is the conclusion of a very personal series of cards, each of which represents a different state of mind.  The psychologically fit Traveler is someone who has integrated all of these qualities into the personality.  Remember, however, that there are three possible types of expression for the energies that are described in the triumphs:  Integration, Equilibrium, and Disintegration.

Jean Dodal Tarot
In its most positive expression, The Hermit represents a state of mind where personal and universal consciousness merge, resulting in a sense of profound meaning.  The
Traveler transcends the normal trappings of human consciousness and becomes One With All That Is.  Race, gender, status, politics and dogma are meaningless in this state of mind, part of a world the Traveler has moved beyond.

Practical application associates a strong sense of self-reliance with The Hermit.  A person represented by this card in a reading will be unselfish, unassuming, helpful and dependable.  This is a calm and precise person, possibly a scientist or researcher.  Other people look to this person for guidance.  A mentor might be indicated.  In some situations a Spirit-renewing retreat or vacation may be encouraged. 

Deviant Moon Tarot
Other times this card can suggest a sense of isolation.  If ill-dignified or reversed, The Hermit might refer to bad advice, excessive solitude, or denial.

In its finest expression, however, the energies found in The Hermit are full of joy and satisfaction, even mystical experience.  The Hermit is the goal of the journey that began in The Fool.  Both represent the same Higher Source.  In The Hermit, we find the Traveler with great meaning at hand and a youthful Spirit in heart. 

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