Below is the archetypal arc that guided me on my 2 week road trip through Wyoming, Utah and Colorado. This Rites of Passage journey marked the start of year 50 in my life and also my initiation into what I'm calling “The End of Days Times”.
The High Priestess
The Hanged Man
During my trip, I immersed myself into each of these archetypal forces to attune myself to wisdom teachings they have to offer during these times. I will continue to work with this crew of allies as I move into Autumn, and look forward to sharing more with you along the way.
This blog focuses on The Hermit and features some of my SoulCollage creations and photography. May this share inspire and support your relationship with The Hermit, an energy many of us have been engaging with these days.
The Hermit is card 9 in a Tarot deck. The Hermit is often featured standing on top of a mountain with a walking stick and lantern. The Hermit represents solitude, introspection, withdrawal, wisdom, philosophy and guidance. This card represents the wise elder, the sage we seek for guidance (both externally and internally). The Hermit also represents the fact that ultimately, we each walk the path alone.
The Fool & The Hermit
A tarot deck tells the tale of the Hero’s Journey. The first card in Tarot is “The Fool”, which represents the young innocent standing on a cliff, ready to leap into the adventure of life. The Hermit is the Fool, aged into a wise elder as a result of traversing life’s different terrains. And while the Fool and Hermit both stand on top of high terrains, the Hermit is not posed to leap like the Fool, but rather is grounded on earth and within their own being.
When the Fool starts his adventure, he is seen carrying a stick over his shoulder with a knapsack attached to it. In it are his supplies for the journey. In the Magician card of Tarot, the Fool's knapsack is opened and the tools utilized. The stick is repurposed into a magical wand used for creation. In the Hermit card, the stick is repurposed into a Walking Stick for support and stability for the aging body. This reminds me that while the resources we have in life might stay the same, we may use them in new ways at different stages of our life.
Lantern of Light
The Hermit holds a lantern of light as a beacon in the dark. This imagery brings to mind the essence of the Lighthouse, one of the core forces of my MiddleWorld Apprenticeship. The Hermit’s lantern reminds me that my light does not need to be some huge monumental structure, radiating for miles in all directions. Being a small lantern in the dark is enough and can still offer value, especially during these dark times we are in.
- What lantern of light guides your way?
- What light are you offering the darkness these days?
The Hermit wears a cloak that protects her & keeps her obscured from view. This makes me think of the masks we are wearing these days. And while they can be challenging to wear, there is an element of anonymity and invisibility that comes from them, which brings an element of the Hermit alive in our everyday living these days.
Although the archetype of the Hermit represents solitude, it is not about total isolation. Yes, there is an increased level of solitude with this archetype, however the Hermit does interact with others. It’s just that those interactions are more mysterious, and have a deeper quality of intention in them. Connections with the Hermit are often about finding and cultivating wisdom on the path of life.
The Hermit does not live in the center of mainstream society, but rather on the outskirts, on a mountain top, in a cave, or on the edge. Even though they live away from society, they watch over it and make themselves accessible to it. Those seeking the wisdom of the Hermit can follow the light of his lantern to gain the wisdom and introspection this wise sage has to offer.
Archetype of Our Times
The Hermit is a fundamental aspect of my character structure. It’s been a core archetype of my being since I was a child. And it’s very much present for me and many others during these days of the pandemic.
During the first two years of my MiddleWorld Apprenticeship, I was expanding out into the world and interacting with humanity in large ways, especially when I got my job in New York City. The pandemic thrust me back into Hermit mode quickly. And although it was sudden and a bit challenging to deal with, Hermit is an energy I know well so I was able to sink back into it pretty easily.
The Hermit has shadow aspects to it, as do all archetypes. One of the shadow constrictions of the Hermit can be fear of going outside or fear of being in crowds. I have felt a sense of that within my own being through the pandemic. And while the Hermit has value to offer us by retreating into ourselves for introspection, it can also keep one excessively isolated. This is something many of us are working to manage as we deal with social distancing during the pandemic.
The Hermit is a common archetype found in writers. I have wanted to write a book for many years, and while I’ve let that dream go, I still like to write. It opens me to a deeper level of introspection and wisdom gathering from my life experiences.
The Hermit reminds me that even though my goal of writing a book has been released, I still want to write as a way to cultivate wisdom in my life. Therefore, I am deepening my devotion to a daily writing practice as I engage the Hermit through the dark months of Autumn and Winter.
- What is something that requires solitude that you have always wanted to do but the busyness and doingness of your life has prevented you from doing it?
- How can the Hermit open up space and inspiration for you to do that thing now?
As we deepen into another wave of the pandemic and winter looms on the edge of time, the Hermit is an energy that will rise alive in our individual and collectives lives. With this knowing, I want to interact with & embody the Hermit in a more intentional way. Rather than engaging the Hermit for survival or out of fear, I'd like to engage this energy more with the intention of introspection and cultivating wisdom as I winter in my hibernation cave.
- How is the Hermit present in your life?
- What wisdom does the Hermit have to offer you?
- What aspects of the Hermit are comforting for you?
- What aspects of the Hermit are challenging for you?
- How can you more deeply befriend the Hermit as we move into Winter?