IX-The Hermit (♍︎)
Guide me to wisdom
The old man put down his lamp
“This will point the way”
I follow the call to the mountains
and journey within
to find my way,
Realization comes in its time
as will connection to
the knowledge I seek
and those who teach it.
I cultivate the wisdom seed within.
When that seed has burst forth
I will emerge
and guide others
on their own path.
— G A Rosenberg
There are times when the outside world and its demands on us start to feel overwhelming. Perhaps we have become disgusted with the superficial aspects of our day to day existence and want to take a break from it and focus on ourselves. We know that we are capable of far more than what we have shown so far and are looking for ways of developing these aspects of ourselves. This is the energy of the Hermit trump.
In many myths and legends (especially ones that follow Joseph Campbell’s hero cycles), there is a wise ancient who appears and guides the hero to the next step of his journey. Often this guide will take the hero to the start of his next challenge and leave him to undergo it on his own. No one can take the journey of another tho many of us need either internal or external guidance to get there. The Hermit represents that guidance. He has withdrawn from worldly pursuits to gain wisdom and knowledge. He spends his time in study and meditation to learn what he needs to in order to guide others along the way. He is the initiator of consciousness in others and has undergone many internal challenges of his own.
His lantern contains a star with six points. This indicates his dual purpose of withdrawal for his own development and his willingness to show the way to others. For what good is knowledge or wisdom if they remain unshared?
Astrological Correspondence – Virgo (♍︎) – The Virgo energy is exacting and detail oriented. It’s strongest desire is to be helpful and has very definite ideas on the best way to do this. Virgo’s behaviour may seem unemotional and controlling to others but only with the best intentions in mind. Virgo lives mainly in its own head and can be very withdrawn. It is a restless mercurial (its planetary ruler is Mercury) energy that wants to get things done in the most efficient way possible.Virgo has a very strong sense of what is right and wrong and can be fairly inflexible and somewhat narrow minded. It has put a lot of thought and energy into maintaining its viewpoint and hates the idea that all of that work has been wasted. Virgo is as critical of itself as it can be of others and may need help getting past this.
Runic Correspondence – Isa (‘Ice’) -Isa – Isa represents the frozen stasis of Ice. It is a time to have little outward activity and to go within for a period of self-development. It is a time to withdraw and focus on the internal self. Like icebergs, most of who and what we are lies underneath the surface. Also like an iceberg, it is this hidden part that can often do the most damage tho when we learn to harness it, it can be the most powerful part of ourselves. Thus Isa is also the rune of control and self-discipline. Another rune that is associated with the Hermit is Jera.
Path on the Tree of Life-Path 20-Yod-The meaning of Yod is hand.Our hands are both the main instruments of our will in terms of doing things on the material plane but also a means of communication. We can take others by the hand to help them but we can also hold up our hands to say enough. Yod connects the sephiroth of Chesed (“Mercy”) with Tiphareth (“Beauty”). It is referred to in the Sefer Yetzirah as “the intelligence of the will” and represents the preparation of each being to receive primordial wisdom. Yod numerically equates to 10 which contains all things within itself and indeed in the hebrew alphabet yod is a component of each of the other letters.
When the Hermit comes up in a reading, it may mean that it is time for the querent to withdraw from his normal day to day activities for a period of reflection and/or meditation. This withdrawal may be a physical one but it can also be an emotional one. It may be a period where while things feel stagnant or in a holding pattern for the querent, there is a lot happening below the surface. By shifting their concerns to what is going on inside, it may hasten clarity of purpose. The Hermit can also represent a teacher, guide or mentor showing up in the querent’s life who will help them come to the next stage in their development. This guide may be internal rather than external. It may be a time of initiation for the querent who has been inwardly preparing to go to the next level in whatever arena the reading pertains.
The Reversed Hermit may also mean withdrawal from the day to day but the motives are more in question. Is the querent using the time away to work on themselves or are they avoiding something they don’t want to deal with in the outside world? It may mean that too much focus has been on study and internal work and now it is time to take a break, relax and integrate what they have learned into their lives. It may mean that the querent has become a bit too self-absorbed and/or self-indulgent. The Hermit Reversed can also mean immaturity and a refusal to grow up.