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Join Date: 26 Sep 2006
Location: WI USA
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MAAT Study Group-The Hermit


Full Moon Cycle of Capricorn
The Hermit

The first lunar cycle after Summer Solstice
Planetary Ruler The Moon

The overall lesson of this lunar cycle is about the passage of Time. This month we will follow the lunar phases in the minor cards to help us understand the human need to measure Time. As well as the positive and negative aspects of living in a physical world where all things are governed by Time.
The image for the Hermit in the MAAT Tarot is the ancient Egyptian god Ra whose secret name was the Sun. Ra is indeed the hermit as he always sits alone in the daytime sky joined occasionally by the moon goddess alone. Ra was the supreme god in Egypt.
Ra reigned over every land in the world even foreign nations. Egyptian's found this to be true because everywhere they traveled there also was Ra (the sun in the sky). The image of Ra in the Hermit card is an old bearded man holding an hourglass; within the top chamber of the hourglass is the sun. The sun filling this chamber has reached its peak and now like the sands in an hourglass the sunlight will begin to empty into the bottom chamber of the glass.
The symbol of the hourglass represents the daylight hours, as light begins to diminish until reaching the shortest day on Winter Solstice, which occurs on or around December 21st in the Northern Hemisphere.

I felt that Ra made a good fit as the Hermit. Traditional tarot symbolizes the Hermit as an old man or sage on the highest mountain peak and that fits in well as the symbol for the lunar cycle that begins on June 21st when the sun reaches its zenith and then begins to wane. The god Ra was also associated with the afternoon sun part of a trinity with Horus represented the morning Sun as it rose in the sky and Osiris the great mystery of the sun at night. Osiris was at the heart of the mystery religion or cult of Egyptian priests who initiated by descending into the underworld to relive Isisís loss and ascending into the heavens where Osiris could be seen as Orion in the nightís sky.
The following example illustrates the idea of Raís position in the afternoon and how it relates to Summer Solstice. If the year could be viewed as 24 hours the Summer solstice would be at high noon placing the full moon cycle of Capricorn at the very beginning of the afternoon.
Ra who is also called Amen-Ra or Amon-Ra is depicted as a Ram headed god. This also reflects the Capricorn image of a mountain goat. Goats and sheep are able to graze on the high mountain pastures during this time of the year. Goats and Rams who are genetically related to one another and were domesticated and cross- bred by early humans as a source of meat and milk as well as wool fiber for weaving clothes, ropes and even shelters like the yurt which is completely constructed of felted wool. Improving the quality of life and odds of survival for early humans. The domestication and breeding of animals like goats and sheep, also taught humans the importance of the male in reproduction. Which gave rise to powerful male solar gods. These solar gods became equally powerful to the prevailing female moon goddesses who had reflected the life giving power of the female menstrual cycle for the previous 30,000 years. These solar gods eventually usurped the role of earlier goddesses. As life changed for humans, domesticated animals became important as a resource to people who were settled and raising crops. No longer living a nomadic hunting and gathering lifestyle, goats, sheep and cattle provided wool, meat, milk and cheese and were a renewable source of wealth. Goats and sheep were cross- bred for specific traits like longer wool or better meat or more milk productivity, creating specialized breeds which are still very valuable to humans even today.

Other names: Sol, Amun-Re, Amon-Ra, Apollo, Helios, Sekhmet, Horus, Jesus, and Amaterasu

Symbols: mountain goats, fish, teachers, sages, wizards

Attributes: Culmination of the heights and depths,

Full Moon in Capricorn key phrase: "I use"

In a Reading: This card represents reaching some kind of peak. This card can also represent being lonely at the top. The card represents the wise old sage or master teacher who is above society and living alone on the mountain.
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