Today’s card is the Hermit, number nine of the Major Arcana. Each of the Major Arcana cards represents a principle in occult worship or enlightenment, with this card being the 22nd and final card of the Majors, which are numbered 0 – 21. When studying these principles, one would start with the number 0, The Fool, representing innocence, the beginning of a journey, and the initiate, and ending with number 21, The Universe. Having traveled through the theoretical concepts of Magick, therefore, one would need only to apply these principles in real life to move forward on the path of enlightenment.
The Hermit, known as the Hanged Man in other Tarot decks, is a symbol of retreat and introspection. This card tells us about that moment in time when each of us must meet our Creator or Divine Spirit. Each of us as individuals walks a different path than the next; this is necessary and true in accordance with our uniqueness and sentience. No two occult students, even those sitting in the same ‘classroom’ or with the same teacher, will come away with the same knowledge as the other for the perspective of each if unique to them. Even if they are asking the same questions, the answer will be particular to them and their abilities and talents. Therefore, one must delve inside, seeking a unique inner connection with Spirit which is theirs alone. Meditation, then, (yes, again) is one of the keys to building this bridge between the physical realm and that of Spirit.
While all forms of religion seek to answer the greater mysteries of our existence, the occult world is special in that it is constantly seeking to ask new questions and adapt its practices to the here and now. This is not to say that teachers of other religious mysteries were not affected in a profound way to create their own thing, in whatever form was revealed to them during their lifetime by the Divine. This is to say that, just because Julia Child was a fabulous pioneer in developing recipes and cooking techniques, her books nowadays would read like a text from the turn of the 19th century. She started out with no microwave, no blender or food processor. The types of foods she prepared were complicated, painstaking masterpieces that can, with diligence and a fair amount of talent, be duplicated. But that’s not what the culinary experience is about. It’s about making new and exciting dishes with the same foods using new equipment and preparation methods, challenging their standard and moving beyond that. In this way, Paganism and Wicca are always growing, learning, adapting, and changing; we are pioneering in the Age of Aquarius.
This card calls to us today to keep things close to our chest and stop looking for outward recognition that we have placed our feet on the path to enlightenment. As the Charge of the Goddess states, ‘If that which you seek you cannot find within, you will never find it without’. Inner truth, introspection, and ‘listening’ for the messages from our higher power is the way that we will find our greatest self. Take time to re-assess the purpose of your current goals and the means behind which you are achieving them. So they align with your inner truth? Are they in the best interest of the higher self? Open yourself to the guidance of your inner voice and you will not be wrong!
On the flip side, this is a warning that you are only as human as the interactions that you have with others. The experiences that we have with others help define us and shape our core; we discover our morality and our dignity, our judgement, and our passions by observing both the good traits and the bad in humanity. Isolation is fine if it serves the purpose of connecting you with yourself, but not if it served the purpose of disconnecting yourself from the other souls on this journey we call life! Get out and re-engage with your fellow man. You may find that there are still some good ones out there!
May your introspection lead you to insight and inspiration today!