Ah, welcome back, gentle reader, to our exploration of the Major Arcana of the tarot, often referred to as The Fool’s Journey for its archetypal symbolism.
Last week The Fool discovered Strength on the road. This week, He encounters The Hermit.
The Hermit is a mysterious character, shrouded in shadow and cloaked in very modest garb. He carries a lantern with Him that casts a soft glow before Him and leaves shadows in His wake. He is not one for a lot of social interaction, The Hermit.
In fact, as The Fool approaches, He finds The Hermit deep in thought, and unaware of His presence. He only stirs when The Fool introduces Himself.
Reluctantly, The Hermit responds, and the two soon find Themselves engaging in a great philosophical conversation.
The Hermit tells The Fool all about His quest to discover the meaning of life. He teaches The Fool of the importance of introspection and taking time to fully process lessons learned. This can best be done, says The Hermit, when one sequesters oneself from the kinetic buzz of the social world.
From The Hermit, our hero learns that the way to true enlightenment is through deep and meditative contemplation of all that is. It is through paying attention to the details, the patterns, the systems that make up the greater whole of existence. Wisdom is attained not just by learning new information, but by taking time to process it and embody it, making it a part of the Self.
The Fool receives a gift from His new acquaintance: A lantern much like the one The Hermit is carrying. It is simple in design, but sturdy. Once lit, it provides a light in the darkness of the road ahead.
The Hermit represents the initial awareness of something that is greater than the Self, and even than the collective selves of this world. He withdraws from the hustle and bustle of the mundane world in order to seek out the deeper Truths of the Universe. This first attempt at connecting with a higher power is rooted in the mind. Solitude allows for philosophical mental expansion free from earthly distraction.
The Hermit is a seeker of answers. And under His inspiration, The Fool leaves Him only to return to His road with a newly heightened thirst for the knowledge of the world, mind piqued and curiosity sparked, He embarks with His lantern held aloft before Him, to light the way.
The next phase of His path will be a quiet one during which The Fool will contemplate all that He has experienced thus far. Hopefully, this will help prepare Him for whatever or whomever He meets next. Stay tuned to see what unfolds!