Above all things, know thyself!
Thoth- ATU IX- The Hermit
The Dang Olsen: Dream Tarot-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.
Thoth Tarot-ATU 9-The Hermit
The zodiacal attribution to the Thoth 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 "Formula of the Princess" is a concept within Aleister Crowley's Thelema, a spiritual and philosophical system he developed. It primarily relates to the symbolism and interpretation of the Tarot cards, specifically the Court Cards in the Thoth Tarot deck. In this system, each Court Card represents a different phase or aspect of the Princess, and together they form a formula that relates to the process of spiritual transformation and manifestation.
The Princesses in the Thoth Tarot correspond to the four elements: Earth, Water, Air, and Fire. Here's a brief explanation of each and their associated formula:
Princess of Disks (Earth): This Princess represents the Earth element and embodies the formula of "To Go." She is associated with the qualities of practicality, fertility, and the material world. The formula of "To Go" suggests the Earthly aspect of manifesting one's will and desires into the physical realm.
Princess of Cups (Water): This Princess represents the Water element and embodies the formula of "To Will." She is linked to emotions, intuition, and the subconscious mind. The formula of "To Will" signifies the power of emotions and the will to shape one's reality through inner understanding and desires.
Princess of Swords (Air): This Princess represents the Air element and embodies the formula of "To Dare." She is associated with intellect, communication, and mental clarity. The formula of "To Dare" emphasizes the importance of courage and assertiveness in the pursuit of one's goals and objectives.
Princess of Wands (Fire): This Princess represents the Fire element and embodies the formula of "To Keep Silent." She symbolizes passion, creativity, and the vital force. The formula of "To Keep Silent" highlights the need for inner silence and secrecy in the process of spiritual transformation.
Together, these Princesses and their associated formulas represent a progression of spiritual development and manifestation. They guide practitioners in understanding the various aspects of their will, emotions, intellect, and vital force, and how these elements play a role in the process of bringing one's desires into reality.
It's important to note that Crowley's interpretation of the Tarot is highly symbolic and esoteric, and the "Formula of the Princess" is just one of many concepts within Thelema and the Thoth Tarot system. Studying Crowley's writings and the Thoth Tarot deck can provide a deeper understanding of these concepts and their applications in spiritual practice.
The Tarot Hermit is a solitary figure, which represents the old wise man (or 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 Declarative Tarot - Path 9. The Thoth Tarot and Dream Tarot both show an elderly being symbolizing the wisdom of the ages.
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, word-brain noise caused by word hypnosis 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 the Thoth -Hermit card and shown holding the flute and playing it on the Dream Tarot Hermit Card. 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. The flute in the hands of the Dream Tarot Hermit is also a suggestion of the male phallic element that expresses.
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 three 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 shown in the Tarot as his ancient gray beard and his accompaniment of Cerberus. 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 which is beautifully illustrated in the Dang Olsen Dream Tarot as the Shining light emitting from the Hermits eyes and face.
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.
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 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 the Christian emperor forcibly disbanded it 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.
The Dang Olsen: Dream Tarot- Key 9-The Hermit.
In Tarot, the Hermit card, often associated with ATU/Key 9, is typically interpreted as a representation of inner reflection, solitude, and spiritual guidance. While there are various interpretations of this card, it's not typically directly associated with the figure of Hermes in traditional Tarot symbolism. However, there are some esoteric and symbolic connections that can be made.
Hermes, in Greek mythology, is a messenger of the gods and is often associated with attributes such as communication, guidance, and wisdom. The Hermit card, in its original concept, can be seen as embodying some of these qualities in a more abstract and spiritual sense.
Here are a few possible connections:
Inner Wisdom: The Hermit card often depicts a figure holding a lantern, symbolizing the light of inner wisdom and knowledge. This can be seen as a metaphorical connection to Hermes as a messenger who brings insights and guidance. On the Dang Olsen Dream Tarot- He is the shining light of wisdom.
Solitude and Contemplation: Just as Hermes was known for his solitary journeys and contemplative nature; the Hermit card represents the idea of seeking solitude and introspection to gain deeper understanding and spiritual insight. Hence, the snail crawling on his hat as time crawls along as it affects the hermit's solitude.
Spiritual Teacher: Hermes is also seen as a teacher and guide in some contexts. Similarly, the Hermit card can be interpreted as a symbol of seeking spiritual guidance or acting as a spiritual guide to others. Hence his flute playing as if a "Pied Piper" leading the souls to enlightenment.
While the Hermit card is not a direct representation of Hermes, it does share some thematic elements related to introspection, wisdom, and guidance, which can be associated with the qualities attributed to Hermes in various mythological and esoteric traditions. It's important to remember that interpretations of Tarot cards can vary, and different decks may have unique symbolism and imagery associated with the Hermit card. On the Dang Olsen Tarot, the Hermit is an image of a homeless man playing his flute for coin and as we all know the home of the Hermit is in his Presence. The mountains in the background and the granite stone seat, all declare his elevated mind and the challenges of the journey to higher Self-Awareness.
When the Hermit-ATU 9/or 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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