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Renaissance Tarot (Jones / Lyle) - The Hermit IX

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Renaissance Tarot (Jones / Lyle) - The Hermit IX


The Hermit is one of my favourite cards in most decks and this one is no exception.

This Hermit looks quite mysterious as his face is only just visible underneath the hood of his cloak and his cloak seems very, very black.
He stands facing left which I always associate with the past beneath a bare and spindly tree.
In his left hand he holds a staff which he leans on and in his right hand he holds a lantern.
I love the way the inside of his cloak is silver suggesting a light shining from within to lead the way.
On the tree sits a bird with a white head. The little white book describes it as a white headed raven (never heard of one of those) and it is said to represent the enlightenment and wisdom to be gained through what may be a challenging and lonely time.

The Hermit is both a seeker and a guide.
He has age on his side and has gained much experience during his lifetime. He is the wise old man who keeps himself apart from society so that he can concentrate fully on his search for enlightenment or on his own spiritual quest.
Despite being a loner and obviously preferring to be alone, The Hermit is not averse to guiding others who stray into his wilderness and in most cultures the figure of The Hermit is seen as kindly and as someone who is quite willing to share his knowledge if you ask nicely.

The number nine comes right at the end of the one - ten number sequence and to me it signifies completion or almost completion.
Nine speaks of a time when we look back at our journey (just as the hermit does) and assess how we got to where we are and also look forward to the future and plan how we're going to progress to the next phase of our journey.
This is a time of pause, of aloneness and of looking within. A time to feel proud of where you are now and also a time of planning for the future.
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Thanks, Sulis.

I just re-watched the Lord of the Rings so I've got this kind of questing figure in my mind.

I like that he's got a "companion animal" as some hermits do....it makes his life seem less lonely to me, and I see these magical animals as a form of both comfort and connection to the living world.

He's barefoot. Any ideas about that? I think all the people in this deck are barefoot, so it may be an aesthetic choice, but....
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going barefoot........the absence of or discarding pretense?
a connection with the Earth, humbling yourself before nature and God........there was a play years ago called Master Class about the diva Maria Callas and there's a scene where she's attempting to convey, to a student, the significance of prayer that is part of the role the student must sing.

it wasn't simply about the technical aspects of voice but giving equal weight to a singers responsibility as an actress......and there she is on her knees like a frenzied supplicant gesturing emphatically to the greenhorn student.........YOU ARE NOT JUST SINGING.........WHAT IS THIS?........YOU PRAY TO GOD.....YOU ARE ON YOUR YOUR KNEES WHEN YOU PRAY......TERRA THIS IS TERRA (slapping the stage) ....THE EARTH......WHEN YOU PRAY TO GOD........

it was a very powerful scene......certainly made the point
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I love the colouring of this card. As Sulis mentioned, the silver underneath the cape is particularily striking and really does emphasis looking beneath or within for enlightenment. What is within you will guide you and the journey of bringing your inner knowledge to the surface. The colour silver is said to represent, spiritual truth, intuition and receptivity, certainly appropriate for the Hermit.

At first the 'deadness' of the tree concerned me a little, as I wondered about his searching coming to nothing. But then I realised that this is what he has turned away from... the deadness, nothingness to find something more. I guess also in terms of this card being likened to a kind of spiritual winter or time of hibernation, then the deciduous tree in winter sheds all its leaves to allow, in the spring, for new growth.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enchanted
At first the 'deadness' of the tree concerned me a little, as I wondered about his searching coming to nothing. But then I realised that this is what he has turned away from... the deadness, nothingness to find something more. I guess also in terms of this card being likened to a kind of spiritual winter or time of hibernation, then the deciduous tree in winter sheds all its leaves to allow, in the spring, for new growth.
I like this, Enchanted!

I do associate the Hermit with asceticism and 'dryness.' He's not juicy; he's definitely not fertilizing any fields; he's not a "planter" or "cultivator" and he walks in darkness in many cards, including this one.

I'm less than thrilled with the companion bird, which brings to my (American) mind a bald-headed eagle. I must be missing something...what is this bird no one has ever heard of?

http://tinyurl.com/37vk7m
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Enchanted I love what you've said about the tree. The dead tree did worry me a bit too but as you say, he is walking away from it.
I love the insight about the spiritual winter too and linking this into the Wheel of the Year where winter is a time of regeneration ready for the rebirth of spring.

Debra I'm with you about the bird too. I thought it was a bald eagle (although a very small one) and I've never heard of a white headed raven either.
Wickepedia says there is a white necked raven but I can't find any ravens with white heads anywhere: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White-necked_Raven
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One of my favourite cards too. I find it especially interesting that this hermit doesn't have a grey beard and that in fact you cannot tell whether it's an old man or not. It might be a woman, or someone not as old, which opens up extra possibilities in a reading.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debra
I'm less than thrilled with the companion bird, which brings to my (American) mind a bald-headed eagle. I must be missing something...what is this bird no one has ever heard of?
It does resemble the bald-headed eagle doesn't it?

Well, I googled and could not find a white headed raven, a completely white raven or a pied raven, but that does not just have a white head, it has some white on it's chest and wings too.

I did find a brand of, I think, German beer, called Raven that prized itself on it's white head! Well it had me chuckling for awhile anyway.

So is the bird made up? Does the larger book give any more details on the bird? This is going to bug me!

I think I'd prefer it if the bird were an owl, or even just a regular raven.
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Have we actually confirmed whether there is a larger book than the one that come in the usual set? I think I have missed this detail, if there is.

LB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Baron
Have we actually confirmed whether there is a larger book than the one that come in the usual set? I think I have missed this detail, if there is.

LB
Yep, it is in the thread on the Ace of Wands...

http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=81847

If I understand correctly, the larger book came out when the deck was re-released and renamed the Secret Tarot. Unfortunately, I don't have that one as I'd be interested to read the larger book.
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