Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
~ Hebrews 13:2, King James Bible
As you may know from the articles I have published, and for those who have been in my Birthday Club, the numerology of your birthday, or of a particular year, may correspond to the Tarot, specifically the Major Arcana (the trumps). Using this system, we can learn about some general traits and patterns that can be anticipated in a given year.
This year, 2016, is 2+0+1+6, which adds up to the number 9. That means this is the year of The Hermit.
If you view the Major Arcana as a journey from The Fool (Zero) to The World (XXI), The Hermit precedes the great turning point in the Major Arcana, the Wheel of Fortune. He is a Guardian of thresholds, preparing for pivotal, watershed times.
Like The Fool, he stands at the precipice. But unlike The Fool, who is the zero of untested potential, the Nines represent completion and attainment, with the expectation of a new cycle about to begin.
The Hermit’s head is bowed, and he pauses before the next phase of his journey. There, on the mountaintop, he is centered in calm and reflection.
His is the perspective of the “big picture.” One of his gifts this year would be for us to take a longer view, using our knowledge of history’s patterns and lessons.
Who Is the Hermit?
The Hermit is a very important archetype, the European equivalent of the yogi ascetic.
He has removed himself from the community (and the organized religious institutions), choosing to understand himself and encounter the Divine directly and alone.
Is there a non-traditional, perhaps even shamanic spiritual path that has been calling to you? The Hermit would encourage you to explore it this year.
He (or she) traditionally also plays an important role in countless myths and stories, usually being the giver of shelter, healing, wisdom or magical gifts to questing knights, lost children, and other seekers.
Similarly, he can be the wayfaring stranger that comes to our door unexpectedly. He may be seeking our help for shelter or support.
Although kindness and hospitality are always a priority, in a Hermit Year, it is especially important to open the door to those who are in need, homeless, or in exile, for indeed, they may be agents of the Divine in disguise.
The Hermit is not in beggars’ rags, but wears the robes of a monk. He does not hide in a cave or hut. He is both a pilgrim and a beacon, holding up his lantern of wisdom, which, in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, as well as many derivatives, features a six-pointed hexagram, commonly called the Star of David.
This is a symbol that is found in a variety of occult and magical traditions, right up into modern times.
It is a very old sigl, and not limited only to being a widely recognized symbol of Judaism.
It is also a mandala that can be found on ancient South Indian Hindu temples, and symbolizes the nara-narayana, or perfect meditative state of balance achieved between Man and God.
To the alchemists of Europe, it was also a motif about the resolution of life’s dualities and opposites. The upwards pointing triangle (Fire) is conjoined with the downwards pointing triangle (Water) and represents the magical union of male and female.
Thus The Hermit searches for the truth, and himself stands as an example of it for others.
What To Expect in a Hermit Year
In a Hermit year, people often find themselves with more alone time than is typical. In terms of a global perspective, the Hermit year can be a time where the emphasis is on international isolation.
Hopefully this will not intensify into the xenophobic attitudes that some countries and aspiring leaders are promoting.
In a more positive light, the Hermit year can be a time for nesting, reflection, and for bowing out of engagements and activities that are not in harmony with who we truly are.
The Hermit offers a gift of much-needed introspection. Solitude can be nurturing in ways we do not expect, giving us time to consider who we are, where we have been, and most of all, where we intend to go next.
In addition to his gifts of strategic retreat, he also offers opportunities for making a sacred pilgrimage.
His is the journey towards authenticity, spiritual understanding, and the search for wisdom and enlightenment.
Yet, again, it is no accident that in this search, he carries the Light himself. For in the words of The Charge of the Goddess, “If that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.”
In other words, we carry in our own hands the very light we seek.
This is a powerful lesson for a nation and world besieged by suspicion, war, fear, and environmental catastrophe: every person, nation, and philosophy can shed light on who we are and why we are here.
And those we would label different or Other must be recognized and honored as members of our own human family if harmony is to ever come to our troubled species.
What soul journey is calling to you this year? What beneficial solitude would nurture your spirit? Creativity and authenticity require times of quiet gestation and separation from the hurly-burly of mundane life.
Hermit years are a time of transition, moving to a new level, especially in the spiritual life. At this time, we may find important teachers amongst us, with valuable spiritual lessons to share.
We may even find ourselves in this role, for it is how we live and not what we say, that is the truest example of our beliefs.
After our Strength Year in 2015, where there was so much emphasis on the rising power of Daesh, upstart political mavericks, and the issues surrounding influence and control, The Hermit offers a breather for thoughtful reflection.
We now move into a time of studious contemplation and preparation, for the Hermit year is also a time of making ready for next year’s energy — the Wheel of Fortune. If we are wise, we will use this time to fortify our wisdom and security for the future.
Quest now for spiritual truth, for next year, profound Change will upon us.
Let us be sure of who we are, and what we wish to see happen.