Above all things, know thyself!
Thoth- ATU IX- The Hermit
The Tarot Apokalypsis-Key 9-The Hermit
From the Thirty-Two paths of Wisdom:
The Twentieth Path (The Hermit) is the Intelligence of Will and is so called because it is the means of preparation of all and each created being, and by this intelligence the existence of the Primordial Wisdom becomes known.
The zodiacal attribution to the Tarot Hermit card is the sign of Virgo. Virgo is an earthly sign that represents the most receptive feminine form of earth. Mercury rules Virgo and Virgo exalts Mercury as well. Therefore, the Hermit is represented both by Mercury/Thoth/Hermes and The Virgin. Mercury, besides being Hermes/ Thoth is also a form of Hades, who is also the fiery messenger of Spirit, which has descended into matter, signaling the reintegration by Spirit (the Sexual-Fertile Force) into being. This is known in Western Hermetic Qabalah as the "Formula of the Princess", the mode of fulfillment of the Great Work. Therefore, the fertility generated by this event and that of Virgo itself is shown as the Dark Green Wheat background on the Thoth Hermit Card.
The Tarot Apokalypsis-Key 9-The Hermit
The Tarot Hermit is a solitary figure, which represents the old wise man (woman) that is the main aspect of the Egyptian god Thoth (Greek-Hermes) and is often displaying great aptitude for meditation and contemplation. This is implied by the lone hermit figure of both the Thoth ATU 9 Card and the Tarot Apokalypsis - Key 9. The Thoth Tarot shows an elderly being symbolizing the wisdom of the ages. The Tarot Apokalypsis-Key 9- The Hermit, displays the image of an Inuit Shaman as its Hermit image. Shamans (anatquq or angakkuq in the Inuit languages of northern parts of Alaska and Canada) played a key role in the religion of Inuit acting as religious leaders, tradesmen, healers, and characters in cultural stories holding mysterious, powerful, and sometimes superhuman abilities.
The Hermit within works with the subconscious, granting intense inspiration that will orient us whenever we have lost our way. We may have lost our way due to inertia, inner noise, or dishonest and desperate means of survival: However, the mercy and compassion of Hermes/Thoth helps us forgive ourselves while after a period of incubation where we admit our mistakes, and placing ourselves in isolation so that we invite profound transformation. Thereby, receiving eloquence and a renewal of unclouded vision.
Thoth-ATU 9-The Hermit
The Thoth Hermit carries a lantern, implying intuitive knowledge coming from his inner Sun/Soul of the Divine. Also in the center of the Thoth Hermit's lantern is the sigil of the Great King of Fire, who is also represented by the Hebrew word Yod-the secret fire, which is the Hebrew letter assigned to this Thoth Tarot card. The Hebrew word, Yod, also means Hand and the letter is shown on the bottom left of the Thoth Card. Hence, the hand of the Hermit is displayed as the center of both the Thoth and The Tarot Apokalypsis-Hermit cards. The image of the Thoth- Hermit is also bent into the shape of the letter Yod while being cloaked in the red robes of Binah, the Great Mother in whom he gestates. According to Crowley he is the symbol of a lingam after ejaculation, hence the white hair looks more semen like and the spermatozoon is shown released into the "fertile dark" of the Subconscious, and swimming towards the Universal/Orphic egg above it. The Orphic egg represents the "egg of Akasha" and it being wrapped in a serpent implies fertilization. This serpent is also shown on the Tarot Apokalypsis card as an exhalation of sparkling breath that flows to the celestial.
In such a solitary state, as the Hermit, one often can hear the wisdom of the Spirit/Mind by tuning out the babble of the brain. This is also called magic, listening to the "loud silence". As I have said, the Thoth Deck Hermit symbolizes the Hebrew Letter Yod, meaning hand, and all letters of the Hebrew alphabet are combinations of this foundational letter. Yod is the first letter of the name Tetragrammaton (YHVH) symbolizing the Farther who is Wisdom, and the highest form of Mercury/Thoth/Hermes. Therefore, he is the Logos; the Creator of all worlds, accordingly his representative in the physical world is the spermatozoon which is illustrated on the Thoth Tarot card.
The figure of the Thoth Hermit is staring at the Orphic egg, which is conterminous with the Universe, and is wrapped in the iridescent many-colored serpentine energy of Mercury that fertilizes it. The Thoth Tarot card, with its domesticated 3 headed dog Cerberus that guards the gates of Hell, represents time; one head represents the Past (head facing backwards), one head the Future (head facing forward) and one head represents the Present (Face looking at hermit). Cerberus also recalls The Greek Legend of Persephone and Hades. The reference to his mastery of time is also shown in the Tarot as his ancient gray beard or the ringed planetary image of Saturn (Cronos) to which the exhaled breath of the Shaman is flowing on the Tarot Apokalypsis- Hermit card. I would suggest that the student read the legend of Hades and Persephone to further have fun understanding and contemplating this card's connection to the "underworld" of the Subconscious mind.
In this Thoth Trump, is illustrated the secret of life and all its workings. For instance, Yod=Phallus=Spermatozoon-Hand=Logos=Virgin. Crowley says in his book of Thoth:
"There is perfect identity, not merely Equivalence, of the Extremes, the Manifestation, and the Method."
As you may note, in both Decks, ATU/ Key 9, is about the solitary person who walks the path that leads to the Higher Self and perfection of the soul. It is the image of the Adept-Magus and their detachment from the material world of man. S/He's often so far advanced in psyche, that most people find them difficult to comprehend. Hence, they seem solitary in their journey, totally at peace in their presence. However, this does not deter their willingness to light the path for those who wish to know the depths of self. The Hermit Tarot Card corresponds to the archetype or the "selfless servant of the Self", who is searching for truth in the Souls that operate human beings in their name. Deep within our internal silence, we will find this intelligence, whose wisdom is always available; one just needs to go into deep introspection, listening only to the pregnant silence of the Greater Self. Just as Moses leads others, we also have an inner Sun/Son who is a true Hermit and who will lead by example. This one leads us personally to the Solitude of the Sun of The Divine Creative.
Mastery of Time/Space is the paradigm of the Hermit. This is because s/he represents "...the manifestation and the method". Time/Space are the mechanisms and method of measurement, of which all form is created. Hence s/he represents Mastery of Time/Space. As stated, Thoth is commonly associated with Hermes (from which the word hermit came from), who was commonly shown at Grecian Crossroads, as a bust with an erect phallus, for his verbal intercourse with others, impregnates them with new awareness. Vesta was known as the Greek Hestia who was a daughter of Saturn (Father Time) also connecting her to Time/Space mastery; in the myth, there were miraculous tales of the Virgin priestesses becoming impregnated by a phallus appearing in the flame of the Sacred hearth. Sounds a bit suspect to me, but then "virgin births" became a common issue with "virgins" of many religions as the Male Supernatural's were always said to be "randy of nature" and often practiced "cross pollination". Just proving that belief systems can make a convenient cover for crucial pleasures in human activities.
Hestia- Amazon statue-Amazon official site
In Ancient Greek religion and mythology, Hestia (/ˈhɛstiə, ˈhɛstʃə/; Greek: Ἑστία, "hearth" or "fireside") is the virgin goddess of the hearth, her Roman counterpart, was also the virgin goddess of the hearth and the right ordering of domesticity, the family, the home, and the state. This also connects the Hermit with the Virgin-Virgo.
Greek custom required that as the goddess of sacrificial fire, Hestia should receive the first offering at every sacrifice in the household. In the public domain, the hearth of the prytaneum functioned as her official sanctuary. Whenever a new colony was established, a flame from Hestia's public hearth in the mother city would be carried to the new settlement. Therefore, the Hermit is also connected to the feminine virgin- Maid, of the triple goddess of Maid-Mother-Crone.
This Wikipedia article is about the Roman goddess
Goddess of the hearth, home, family, bakers and bread, and donkeys
|Member of the Dii Consentes and Di selecti|
|Major cult center||Temple of Vesta, Rome|
|Symbol||The hearth, sacred fire|
|Parents||Saturn and Ops|
|Siblings||Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto, Juno, Ceres|
Vesta (Classical Latin: [ˈu̯ɛs̠t̪ä]) is the virgin goddess of the hearth, home, and family in Roman religion. She was rarely depicted in human form and was more often represented by the fire of her temple in the Forum Romanum. Entry to her temple was permitted only to her priestesses, the Vestal Virgins, who guarded particular sacred objects within, prepared flour and sacred salt (mola salsa) for official sacrifices, and tended Vesta's sacred fire at the temple hearth. Their virginity was thought essential to Rome's survival; if found guilty of unchastities, they were punished by burial alive. As Vesta was considered a guardian of the Roman people, her festival, the Vestalia (7–15 June), was regarded as one of the most important Roman holidays. During the Vestalia privileged matrons walked barefoot through the city to the temple, where they presented food-offerings. Such was Vesta's importance to Roman religion that following the rise of Christianity, hers was one of the last non-Christian cults still active, until it was forcibly disbanded by the Christian emperor Theodosius I in AD 391.
The myths depicting Vesta and her priestesses were few; the most notable of them were tales of miraculous impregnation of a virgin priestess by a phallus appearing in the flames of the sacred hearth — the manifestation of the goddess combined with a male supernatural being. In some Roman traditions, Rome's founders Romulus and Remus and the benevolent king Servius Tullius were conceived in this way.  Vesta was among the Dii Consentes, twelve of the most honored gods in the Roman pantheon. She was the daughter of Saturn and Ops, and sister of Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto, Juno, and Ceres. Her Greek equivalent is Hestia.
When the Hermit-ATU/Key 9-is thrown during a divination:
- A search for wisdom and truth.
- Counsel and sound judgment.
- A solitary soul.
- A time of re-evaluation and soul searching.
- Discretionary caution.
- Inner wisdom is often called enlightenment.
- Spiritual inspiration pointing the way on life's journey.
- Contemplation, introspection, and space.
- Needing more knowledge can only be attained by listening closely to the inner self.
- The Divine Marriage within.
- Completing karma through service.
- A stage in life where wisdom is sought through introspection and isolation.
- Using your work in the world and uniting it with the Spiritual realms to attain the Highest state of Mind.
- Being yourself by pursuing the "above all things, know thyself", deep inner philosophy.
If ill defined by the surrounding cards it implies:
- Stubbornness to the point of foolishness.
- A closed mind,
- Bad advice.
- Only looking at the surface value.
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