Tuesday, 29 November 2011

enjoy the silence

I'd like to revisit The Hermit and delve deeper into the questions the card is asking us to answer. In Reaching the Summit I discussed The Hermit's message about rejoining society and taking care not to take solitude to an unhealthy extreme. This is the key warning element in the card but we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that, ultimately, the card looks kindly upon those who seek to find themselves and address their needs through loneliness and quiet contemplation. In Tarot 101, Kim Huggens talks about the similarity between The Hermit and the Bodhisattva in Buddhism who reaches enlightenment but decides to stay on in the material realm and teach others instead of attaining Nirvana. This is a great description of The Hermit. He is a reserved, modest character - only speaking when he has something helpful and significant to say.

This card is a comment on the infinite value of silence. It warns us not to spend too much time partying and constantly surrounding ourselves with distractions. It tells us not to be afraid of our own shadow and reflection and that we should spend time questioning our desires and beliefs, free of outside influence. Introspective thought is so often the result of true privacy. If we're not searching for those quiet times, we're less likely to find them. The Hermit can represent depression and low moods too. Sometimes the only way to better undertand our own path is to travel to the darkest part of our inner being and turn the light on down there! Taking a look around at some of the thoughts and feelings we keep most hidden can be a terrifying process but it builds us up to be stronger than the sum of our parts much of the time.

Give The Hermit card a chance to help you expand your understanding of yourself by asking yourself the following questions:
  • How do you cope with loneliness? Do you use alone time to be productive or do you tend to sulk or feel abandoned?
  • What are your worst fears and your lowest moods? Do you know enough about the things that scare and upset you? How often do you think about these things?
  • What have you learned through times of silence and loneliness? How do you impart your wisdom to others?
The Hermit is a card with many layers and a useful, powerful message, if we're ready to take it on board and use it to improve our lives.