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Tarot of Prague Café Club - IX The Hermit

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Bean Feasa  Bean Feasa is offline
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Tarot of Prague Café Club - IX The Hermit

The Hermit is a crucial card to me in any deck. I have to say I did find the ToP Hermit a bit forbidding at first glance - something about the figure reminded me of Death, the hourglass perhaps, and the black staff which looks suspiciously like Death's scythe without the blade.
In the book, Karen's entry on the Hermit is very enlightening, explaining that the modern connotations of introspection, solitude, meditation etc., are in fact quite an optimistic interpretation of an older card which was called 'The Old Man', 'Time' or 'The Hunchback, a figure associated with the passing of time, the onset of old age, the approach of Death.
A serious Hermit this then, and not one to be trifled with! I find that discovering a darker undercurrent to a card gives it strength and depth. My impression is that the ToP Hermit has much to teach the serious seeker, but will not stand for any fluffiness or frivolity.
I really like the powerful visual impact, what a tall, impressive figure he cuts in his claret robes. His skin is leathery and weathered-looking - seems this guy's been around the block a few times - or up and down Golden Lane a lot! The golden light from his hourglass lantern and the sign above his head proclaim alchemy at work - the Hermit is transforming the mundane events of life to spiritual gold.
The book is also very informative about Golden Lane, and how, although it looks picturesque in the card and as a tourist attraction, it would in fact have been a pretty cramped and miserable place to live. All in all a serious card, that seems to warn that enlightenment doesn't come without growth pains.

One final thing - am I mistaken or do most Hermits face the other way, and do you think there's any significance in that?
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contrascarpe  contrascarpe is offline
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Hi Kate -

I looked at the card and resisted reading Karen's interpretation until later. I wanted to see what he said to me first.

Good observation about the facing of the Hermit. Most that I have seen face left as you pointed out. Not quite sure what that means, but I am sure it means something. I need to dwell on it I guess (Friday nights are not a good time to think for me I am afraid, lol).

One thing that struck me was the smile on his face. It makes me really feel that he is doing some soul-searching and likes what he sees.

I also like the fact that he is traveling on Golden Lane, not the standard mountain top that we normally see the Hermit on. Yes, a mountain top gives an air of isolation, but Golden Lane, devoid of people, show that isolation can take place anywhere, even on streets we normally travel. It is an image which is more grounded than the norm.

The Hermit has not always been a card which I would gravitate toward when looking at a new deck, possibly because it has always been so stark, but I do like this one.

One other point, bearing in mind I have yet to read the interpretation in the book - I was drawn to the symbol at the top of the card. Is it my imagination, or does that seal have references to both Justice and Temperance? The scales are obvious and they seem to be surrounding some chemistry equipment. Since Temperance is renamed Alchemy in some decks, I get the feeling they are tied in somehow. Guess I have some reading to do tonight

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Originally posted by contrascarpe96
I also like the fact that he is traveling on Golden Lane, not the standard mountain top that we normally see the Hermit on. Yes, a mountain top gives an air of isolation, but Golden Lane, devoid of people, show that isolation can take place anywhere, even on streets we normally travel. It is an image which is more grounded than the norm.
The urban setting is the one thing that always jumps out at me when I look at this card. It sets it apart, so to speak. Urban isolation is, of course, quite the reality for many, many people. But on the other hand--whenever this Hermit appears, I tend to think: there he is beside all those brightly coloured houses--this card is not sombre enough! Doesn't it seem as though he himself--his very person--is the key that unlocks the doors to the houses? He's a bit like Merlin, popping unannounced in & out of people's lives, coming & going, manipulating things & events in accordance with some mysterious plan of which the common bloke has not an inkling . . .

He may even be invisible at this very moment, standing right out there on the street . . . Folks may pass, glance through their windows & miss him altogether . . .

(but only because he wants them to.)

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Normally we see a Hermit in a bleak landscape, which highlights the meaning of the card - meditation, retreat, introspection, but here he is in the middle of a street. A street of houses where alchemists did their thing. Alchemy was a solitary pursuit.

In this card I see the Hermit surrounded by knowledge and his path is right in the middle of it. He moves ahead of us guiding us through that knowledge. What is at the end of the road? It looks bright and yellow, the colour of illimination. You can see the depth in this road which accentuates that meaning. I see now that he represents the transformation towards spirituality and enlightenment. He is literally 'lighting' the path for us.

I like the hourglass and the reference to time. How is our time best spent? Do we do enough of this inner soul searching these days? It is a reminder to take the time you need for your own spiritual development.

The moon may signify this journey as being 'a phase in his life'.

I actually wrote notes on this card weeks ago and it has taken me ages to get round to typing them up. Today whilst doing this I have the card propped up in front of me and I realise how much I like it.

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annik  annik is offline
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This hermit makes me think of a philosopher (Diogene, I think). Searching, thinking and with some wisdom. People doesn't seems to be attracted to him. He doesn't have any follower.
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