Saturday, March 10, 2012

My Favorite Majors: The Hermit

Well, considering that I am a lifelong introspective introvert and frequent spender of the alone-time, it is perhaps not surprising that I have always felt a connection with the Hermit major, in ways both positive and negative. Have spent a good bit of time pondering the meanings of it over the years of working with tarot. It's another one of those cards that's handled in rather interesting ways in various decks, and so again it took a bit of consideration to settle on exactly which takes on the concept among my decks are ultimately the favorites...

IX. Hermit

What is there not to love in the Victorian Romantic (Russian, in my case) tarot's take on the Hermit? Visually, the image is just so beautiful and lush. I love the composition and use of color. I love the nature setting, the quiet and peaceful feel of the environment. You can almost feel yourself inside of that image, sitting besides the Hermit on those mossy rocks, meditating about something deep and personal as you stare out into that makes me think of spring, of going out and finding new things, of those times when, just as the concept of this card speaks of, you really do need to just get away and be alone for a while. The hermit in the image looks very hermit-like too, old and wise and well traveled. Love that he's still holding the hour glass lantern and his...well, honestly I'm not sure if that is his walking stick, but it could be and it looks apt. Actually I even quite like that he is sitting down in this image. So often decks have him walking, yet sometimes what you really need is to just sit down and THINK, unmoving for however long...  I could go on and on, ha. This card REALLY draws me in, strikes a cord. And so pretty...

Runner Up:
Like so many other cards in the Sun and Moon deck, the Hermit is a pretty simple, minimalistic take on the image that I really enjoy - straight to the point, the heart of things. I quite like that he is standing in front of what appears to be a sandstone wall with an Om symbol and what looks like a bunch of other sanskrit writing. It really gives a sense of timelessness to the card, a reminder that the kind of wisdom we seek in this card is the same kind of wisdom people have sought for millenia, and that there is so much knowledge from so many different ages and traditions and cultures that we can draw on if we take the time. Speaking of which, I also really dig the Hermit figure himself...brown skinned, white hair in long dreads, clothing you can't quite place with any one culture...I love how multicultural and inclusive this deck is and how natural and un-forced that feels. The deck's facelessness really works for me with this card too.


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