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The Hermit Illuminates Our Innermost Gifts

Law 9 (The Hermit/Virgo/Earth ): Acknowledge your inner gifts; focus your attention on developing a more meaningful relationship with your self.

The Hermit from the Rider Waite Tarot

The Hermit from the Rider Waite Tarot

The classic depiction of the Hermit is of an elder figure shrouded in a long hooded robe, holding a staff planted in the earth in the one hand and a lantern held high in the other. Within the lantern, there is a six-pointed star which is considered the western yin-yang, as the two triangles, one from below symbolizing body/earth/female/shadow/yin merges with the one from above representing spirit/heaven/male/light/yang. Though the Hermit heralds a time of introspection, it is important to note that he is not sitting quietly in meditation, but rather on the move in a mountainous terrain. Despite his age, the Hermit takes the challenges in stride as if he’s walked this terrain many times before. He has experiential wisdom to know his true path. He is on a journey to wholeness and his lantern illuminates his innermost resources that can help him on his way.

Often when my clients and students first see The Hermit card, they fear it is a bad card meaning that they will be in a position of loneliness. Like all Tarot cards, The Hermit cannot be categorized as good or bad, but rather mirrors in what ways you are taking a path of strength or weakness.  If you fall to weakness, you could confront loneliness. However, if you choose the path of strength (learning your lesson from the previous Major Arcana VIII) you will discover your innermost gifts and your own good company that will never leave you bored or lonely.

The Hermit can also represent the Virgo tendency towards self-criticism. In a recent visit with an old friend, I got into a lively conversation about the critical voice inside our heads which can keep us down. Given that my friend has lived alone for many years, she has had the time and space to reflect on her own self criticisms and pointed how that if I were to give her the same criticisms, we would not be friends anymore. After realizing how belittling that harsh voice inside can be, she is learning the importance of developing a deeper and more caring relationship with her self. Essentially, we need to become friends with ourselves. So when the Hermit appears in a reading, know that it is a call to go on that inner journey of self-discovery and appreciation.

The nine in Tarot is a number of personal fulfillment and so it is for this ninth Major Arcana. In my observations as a teacher and reader of Tarot cards, I have witnessed The Hermit as aptly arising for pregnant women and scholars. It is very fitting to focus your energies on inner development and if you aren’t conceiving or studying, then it may be considered a call to become a parent or pursue higher education.

Following on from the nine is of course the 10 which will be a major turning point or shift into a wider expansion out in the world. So the first 9 Major Arcana are primarily about self-development culminating with The Hermit where all the lessons learned (about your inner male and female, identity, beliefs, emotions, strengths and weaknesses, your inner gifts) are reviewed and synthesized in a holistic understanding of the self and your life purpose.

Welcome The Hermit as a time to catch your breath, resource yourself, and build up energy before you are called to fulfill your life purpose and to express and share your self and innermost gifts with others out in the world.

September 9, 2009  1 Comment
Categories: Astrology, Intuitive Arts, Tarot | Tags: , , ,

1 comment

1 Vanessa { 08.14.13 at 2:54 pm }

Hi Christine,

I really like the paragraph below. The Hermit is my card for the year, and this paragraph really resonated with me. I’m feeling very ‘internal’, but not lonely. Just getting in tune with myself while I craft what I want to ‘birth’ into the world. Next year, it will be my Wheel of Fortune card, so I hope it will be about positive changes, that have been sowed now.

Thanks for the post.

“Welcome The Hermit as a time to catch your breath, resource yourself, and build up energy before you are called to fulfill your life purpose and to express and share your self and innermost gifts with others out in the world.”

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