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The Hermit — Spiritual Message of the Day

March 9, 2012

Hermit -- Tarot of the Masters
In a prior post about the Hermit, I discussed what I call the Hermit Fallacy, which is that enlightenment leads us to abandon involvement with life, and I noted that the Hermit’s withdrawal is a means of seeking enlightenment, not a result of it. Another important facet of the Hermit’s advice of withdrawal is that our inward journey of spiritual discovery facilitates our enhanced realization of the depth of spiritual beauty in the world and in the people around us.

To perceive the deepest beauty of the world around us, we must first explore our own inner depth, our own spiritual beauty. The same holds true for our perception of the divine within others. A modern, Western interpretation of the Hindu salutation Namaste is: “The divinity in me greets the divinity in you.” This is a lovely concept upon which this card suggests an expansion. The Hermit tells us that we see the divine nature of others only to the extent that we have come to realize it within ourselves.

One way to explore our own inner depths is to spend time alone in peaceful contemplation. This includes meditation, of course, but it is not only that. It can also mean being in contemplative awareness of nature, which may involve anything from sitting quietly in your garden to hiking up a remote mountain trail. It may mean thoughtfully exploring your feelings about your relationships with other people, although it’s important to remember to do so with an open heart that is not burdened with judgments or preconceptions. And an inward exploration can mean searching for your own personal connection to the Divine.

So, again, the Hermit is not about making a permanent retreat. It may be something we experience for fifteen minutes each day or for one week in a year. In any case, it revitalizes us, much like sleep is a temporary respite that refreshes us. This analogy is especially apt when we consider that sleep’s withdrawal from consciousness keeps us from experiencing crazy hallucinations about the world. Similarly, a hermit-like retreat helps us develop a saner view of the world, one that is not infected with materialistic illusions.

Ultimately, then, the Hermit is not about escaping from the world; it’s about preparing to fully engage in it and experience it at a deeper, more spiritual level than before.

If you enjoy these words of spiritual advice from the cards, you will love my new Tarot book called The Soul’s Journey: Finding Spiritual Messages in the Tarot.

  1. I really MUST get back into meditative practise! For me too, the Hermit is about temporary retreat – and he holds a lantern in most decks – as much to light the way for others as for himself, I think.

    Ali x

    • Alison,
      Yes, I agree. Consider this quote from the Buddha:
      “If you light a lamp for someone, it will also brighten your path too.”

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