IX – The Hermit / Der Eremit Tarot
symbol: retreat, self-communion, silence
path of yod: chesed – tiphareth
date: winter solstice
ritual: asceticism and meditation
archetype: Kronos as guardian of time, Hermes, Thoth
This archetype represents the wise but seclusive hermit. The old man embodies retreat, quietness and introversion. This card symbolizes the search for truth within ourselves and retreat from the world and all of her distractions.
The lantern guides his way through the darkness of the mysteries not yet discovered. Within the lantern you can see the light is symbolized by the schema of the kabbalah. This means that he has a map, or concept which he can collate his experiences to. This kabbalah is a symbol which could be replaced by a periodic table, an alphabet or a source code. This special assignment or order keeps the hermit from getting mad in his studies. Unfortunately if an outsider or stranger who doesn’t know his schema watches the hermit he must appear like a lunatic or insane person. So usually he is forced to be silent because otherwise the world would harm him just because of being different. This is a dilemma, because often a hermit would have much to say or contribute to his society. But excluding his self has makes him unable to translate his insights or knowledge into common language. So this archetype usually refers to a specialist of a certain category who cannot connect to his people. An example would be a programmer, nerd or scientist who is not able or willing to compile his studies into a coherent tongue (alchemical mercury correlation). His wand of hermes with the diamond on top does again represent the search for truth but also his balanced relation to his certain expertise.
The light draws concentric circles which is a symbol for evolving knowledge in this archetypes category of study. The light surrounds him with a characteristic aura, because of which he can appear forbidding, holy or even minatory. In each case the outside world recognizes his particularity in the one or other way.
The mushrooms on the way are both a symbol for his special knowledge (only a well versed wanderer knows his fungi) as well as his connectivity to „the source“ or the inner voice. Only when resigning to the diversions of the world one can truly look inside and discover the voice of silence the latent treasures of the multiverse which are well hidden.
The three headed cerberus which accompanies him symbolizes both, the complaisant guardian of the mysteries and the deep hollows the hermit crossed on his path. The tamed beast is a sign of these journeys into the inner depths he has already taken.