The Full Wiki

The Hermit: Wikis

  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Hermit (IX)

The Hermit (IX) is the ninth trump or Major Arcana card in most traditional Tarot decks. It is used in game playing as well as in divination.

Contents

Description

A. E. Waite was a key figure in the development of modern Tarot interpretations. However, not all interpretations follow his theology.

Some frequent keywords are:

  • Introspection ----- Silence ----- Guidance ----- Reflection
  • Solitude ----- Looking inward ----- Reclusion ----- Being quiet
  • Inner search ----- Deep understanding ----- Isolation
  • Distance ----- Retreat ----- Philosophical attitude

The Waite version of the card shows an old man carrying a staff in one hand and a lit lantern in the other. In the background is a wasteland. Just beyond the wasteland is a mountain range.

Interpretation

The Hermit has internalized the lessons of life to the point that he is the lesson.

There are two major ways this card can be interpreted:

  • First, the need to withdraw from society to become comfortable with himself.
  • Second, the need to come out of isolation to share his knowledge with others.

Mythopoetic approach

An old hermit walked around the village and the area day and night, and even in daylight still carried a lit lantern. One day the villagers had enough curiosity to ask him "Sir, why do you carry your lantern lit in daylight?" He said, "Because I'm searching for an honest man."

This is a story most often attributed to Diogenes of Sinope, one major contributor to the Cynic "school" of philosophy.

There are several different cycles embedded in the Major Arcana. One of them is 1-9, 10-19. The Magician to the Hermit; the Wheel of Fortune through The Sun. The Fool gains knowledge of the external world, meets the mysteries, finds the initial object of desire, finds mastery, finds knowledge, finds a new object of desire, leaves home, gains some strength, and withdraws for a time to integrate the lessons learned before starting on the next turn of the spiral, where the Wheel of Fortune spins us into a new adventure.

Alternately, The Hermit may be the old man or woman, metaphorically, that we meet who gives us the insights or tools or training we need to confront the beasts of the forest, the sealed cave, the gated castle, the wormhole.

The Hermit is related through a cross sum (the sum of the digits) to The Moon. While The Hermit mostly integrates the lessons of the sunlit world, the Moon stands at the threshold of light and dark and churns the waters of life. In both cases, treasures can be uncovered through contemplation of what is brought forth. In both cases, monsters may be found.

Some say that The Hermit is a Threshold Guardian, representing an obstacle the Querent, the hero of the piece, must overcome to move on.

A potentially dangerous aspect of The Hermit is his retreat, his isolation. We all need to retreat sometimes; retreat and renewal are necessary for growth. But The Hermit may be tempted to completely withdraw from the world, not because the journey is done, but because the dragons of the real are too daunting, or because the trivial pleasures of the cave are too intoxicating. Withdraw at the wrong time, stay withdrawn too long, and growth stops.

The cowl The Hermit wears protects him and isolates him. Hopefully, at some point, he casts it off and rejoins the world.

Some say that The Hermit represents the time we learn our true names; who we really are. The Greek philosopher Thales is reported to have been asked, “What is the most difficult of all things?” To which he is said to have answered “To know yourself.” The Hermit is given time to obey the Delphic Oracle’s demand: know thyself.

Alternative decks

In the Vikings Tarot, the Hermit is Heimdall living at the edge of Asgard, standing ready with Gjallarhorn watching for the signs of the coming of Ragnarok.

In the X/1999 Tarot version made by CLAMP, The Hermit is Satsuki Yatouji.

In pop culture

In the Japanese Anime and Manga Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, The Character Joseph Joestar controls a stand named The Hermit.
  • The original vinyl album cover of Led Zeppelin's hit album Led Zeppelin IV (as well as the liner notes for the CD release) contains a painted picture of the Hermit standing on top of a mountain peak looking down on a small village. The Hermit was the favorite Tarot character of Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page. The painting is attributed to Barrington Coleby, a friend of Page who now resides in Switzerland. The original painting has disappeared meanwhile but is said to be in the collection of a private person in the US. The painting is now associated with the song Stairway to Heaven, principally from posters and t-shirts showing the top half of the painting with the words "Stairway to Heaven" printed next to it.
  • In Sega's light gun series, The House of the Dead, the third boss of the first game is named after The Hermit. The boss is a large, spider-like creature, with long claws and the ability to shoot balls of webbing. All of the bosses in the series are named after Major Arcana cards, and most of them are represented across the four games produced so far.
  • In Saint Seiya Episode G series, Dohko of Libra is depicted as The Hermit in the tarot cards version of the manga.

References

  • A. E. Waite's 1910 Pictorial Key to the Tarot
  • Hajo Banzhaf, Tarot and the Journey of the Hero (2000)
  • Most works by Joseph Campbell
  • G. Ronald Murphy, S.J., The Owl, The Raven, and The Dove: Religious Meaning of the Grimm's Magic Fairy Tales (2000)
  • Riane Eisler, The Chalice and the Blade (1987)
  • Mary Greer, The Women of the Golden Dawn (1994)
  • Merlin Stone, When God Was A Woman (1976)
  • Robert Graves, Greek Mythology (1955)
  • Juliette Wood, Folklore 109 (1998):15-24, The Celtic Tarot and the Secret Tradition: A Study in Modern Legend Making (1998)
  • Persona 3

External links








Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message