The Hermit Imagery
The hermit wanders, carrying a lantern representing wisdom with its rays of light. A three-headed hound… A homunculus… The serpent-wrapped egg we have seen previously appears. The entire composition centers around the hand, the Kabbalistic symbol for this card.
The Hermit Associations
- Tree of Life Path: #20 Chesed “Mercy” to Tipareth “Beauty”
- Zodiacal Trump: Virgo
- Hebrew Letter: Yod (“Hand”)
Path #28: Chesed to Tipareth
In the way that Geburah was tempered by Tipareth, Chesed is also refined by its beauty and balance on the tree.
The Hermit Interpretations
The hermit as a person represents a wise sage, some one with experience, some one who may be retired. The hermit is a seeker of wisdom, using the lantern to light the way through darkness. The hermit is a wanderer, and traditionally is pictured in wastelands in his search.
In it’s connection to Virgo, the personality of the hermit is built around awareness, perseverance, and diligent efforts. Virgo also relates to the intestines, the digestive track, and I believe this connects to The Hermit’s ability to refine knowledge into something substantial and nourishing.
When this card appears it can indicate a knowledge, awareness, reclusion, away in hiding, focusing on a project or personal matter, and seeking truth.
“Illumination from within, secret impulse from within; practical plans derived accordingly. Retirement from participation in current events.” 6
“Illumination from within. Divine inspiration. Wisdom. Prudence. Circumspection. Retirement from participation in current events.” 5
“The letter, to which this card is attributed, is the letter Yod, the foundation of all the other letters of the Hebrew Alphabet. The symbolism is that the Creator of Life and his representative is the Spermatozoon. For that reason the card is called the Hermit. In the same order of ideas the Hermit holds the lamp whose centre is the Sun. The Egg, surrounded by the coils of a snake, typifies the Universe, while the snake signifies the fluidic essence of light, which is the life of the Universe. In this card are traces of the legend of Persephone. The serpent Wand, here seen growing out of the Abyss, is the wand of Mercury, the guide of the soul through the lower regions. The letter Yod means “a hand,” and the hand is the centre of the design.” 5
“The Hermit. Virgo. Yod. Here we have, in the hand of the Hermit, the Lamp or Sacred Wisdom. It contains the Sun which is hidden beneath the surrounding darkness to fructify the earth. The Hermit is looking at the Egg (Universe) which is surrounded by the snake, a symbol of life. The hounds of hell endeavour to snatch the sacred light and the little Homunculus. The wheat is in the masonic tradion.” 5
Axank’s Dream Recall
March 23-24, 2015
I was in a van on gravel or loose rock. I was waiting for something—it was nighttime. Laying up in the back seat, a snake slithered slowly onto the back of my head from behind the seat. I wanted to panic, but restrained myself. I eventually got a hold of the snake, but wanted to throw it in fear. Instead, I gently put it down on the floor. I could see something in its head, thought maybe it was an antennae or snail-like third-eye…but it recoiled into the snake’s head and came out of it’s body and went back in through another area. The snake then came apart in two pieces, the parasite had killed it.