The Hermit Bringer of Light and Wisdom
Up to now our Fool has experienced all of the trappings of the cardinal world and is now beginning to look inward for answers to his life; knowing that his inner teacher and guidance are at his finger tip.
In the Golden Dawn, the zodiac sign of Virgo is assigned to The Hermit. Virgo rules the sixth house of the natural zodiac chart. The sixth house is our house of health, work (as opposed to career), and service to others. The motto of Virgo and its house is “I ANALYZE, THEREFORE I AM”.
Virgo is ruled by the planet Mercury, as is The Magician. Except here we see an inward power as opposed to an outward power.
The Hermit is the ninth card of the Major Arcana.
Traits of the number Nine
The number nine is the last single digit and therefore indicates completion. Following completion, there is a new beginning. A being remains in its mother’s womb for nine month before being born, thus ending a cycle.
In the Christian bible, Matthew 5:1-12 (English Standard Version) Jesus blessed nine times during his Sermon on the Mount
5 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons[a] of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Symbology of The Hermit Card
In both the Robin Wood and Rider Waite decks our sage leans on the staff he obtained as The Magician showing that he has a firm grasp on the power he possesses.
He has ascended the mountain and gathered spiritual knowledge. Again, we can draw a parallel to the Christian bible when Moses climbed Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments. Both have in their hand a lantern, lighting the way to wisdom and understanding. Both have snow covered mountains showing one’s higher connection to the divine.
One thing that has always stood out to me in the Robin Wood version of The Hermit is the red slippers. At times during a reading the story of The Wizard of Oz comes to mind along with the phrase, “There’s no place like home”. Maybe because this planet we call Earth is not our home, but instead is our playground. Our true home is where our spirit originated.
In a reading The Hermit can indicate a personal quest for enlightenment and guidance, the gathering of knowledge in order to be shared, the search for a new path, the end of one cycle and the anticipation of a new journey.
Or if combined with Virgo, it can indicate a need to provide service to others through spiritual guidance.
At its extreme The Hermit can indicate an inability to let go of the old, or a person who is self serving.
Will our Fool embrace his inner sage?
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