A first appearance for us in our Card of the Week, The Hermit is a powerful card about being on the brink of change. It precedes the great turning point in the Major Arcana, the Wheel of Fortune, indicating a time when we should pause, meditate upon, and integrate the lessons of the first part of the Fool’s Journey.
The Hermit card may remind us of the historic ancient Greek hermit, Diogenes, who searched both day and night with his lantern, looking for an honest man in a world of fools.
The Hermit is a very important archetype, the European equivalent of the yogi ascetic. The hermit has removed himself from the community (and the organized religious institutions), choosing to understand himself and encounter the Divine directly and alone. He (or she) traditionally 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.
The Hermit is not seen in beggars’ rags, but the robes of a monk. He does not hide in his cave or hut. He is a pilgrim. He both searches for the truth, and himself stands as a beacon of it for others. Like The Fool, he stands at the precipice. Has he stopped his own journey, pausing and contemplating his next move? Or rather does he challenge us, as the Guardian of the threshold?
The Hermit’s appearance this week is impeccably timed, as his astrological correspondence is to Virgo, the current Sun sign. Like Virgo, he seeks knowledge, understanding and is willing to explore every detail. He indicates we need a time of introspection, analysis and restraint. This is not the best week for partying or whirlwind socializing. Instead, it should be a time for getting the facts and making clear-headed, unbiased evaluations. Now is the time to get organized and complete any unfinished business.
And, speaking of timing, the Hermit’s complimentary card (based on the sum of its digits) is The Moon. With the New Moon this week, particularly as it also brings a partial Solar eclipse, the lantern of wisdom he holds is even more important. Eclipses bring change and challenges, and the New Moon brings renewal. Aided by The Hermit’s guiding light of truth, we can face this with integrity.
With school back in session and the shift from Summer to Autumn clearly in view, this week is time to get serious about studies, organizing, and taking stock. It would be an ideal time to commit to your own solitary path, a personal practice, or a mentor that will give you a deeper understanding of your inner truth.
This week, seek and you shall find. Understand the lessons you have been learning in your life and take the time you need to integrate them into your everyday habits. Wisdom is now of the highest priority. Be willing to shine the light of your authentic truth, for you never know who needs your illumination.