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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: hermit


Hermit: One of the trumps of the Major Arcana of the tarot. Numbered IX. In the system of Eliphas Levi, it corresponds to the Hebrew letter Teth. In the system of the Golden Dawn, The Hermit corresponds to the Hebrew letter Yod and the astrological sign of Virgo.


Sometimes called the Prophet or Prudence, the Hermit is the 9th Major Arcanum of the Tarot.

Image: an old man in a hooded robe with staff and lantern, accompanied by a serpent and standing in a circle

Hebrew letter: Yod

Divinatory meaning: Wisdom, Secret Knowledge, Solitary Practice

Path on the Tree of Life: The 20th path connecting Tiphareth to Chesed.

Qabalistic Description. The 9th Key, the 20th Path. The Magus of the Voices of Light, the Prophet of the Gods. This Path leads from Tiphareth to Chesed, and represents communication between the Higher Self and the Spiritual Self. Yod means the hand reaching down to show the way to Hidden Knowledge.  It is also the word of power that links the Lower Self to the Higher through vibration.

Card Description. This represents the mastery of the lower by the higher. It is the soul which holds in check the passions, although her feet are still planted on earth, and the dark veil still floats about her head and clings around her. The colors, pale greenish yellow, black, yellowish grey and reddish amber, suggest the steadfast endurance and fortitude required, but the deep red rose which is the flashing color to the greenish yellow, gives the motive power.

Interpretation. Wisdom sought for and obtained from above. Divine Inspiration (but active as opposed to that of the Lovers). In the mystical titles, this with the Hierophant and the Magician are the three Magi.

Psychological Value. You may use this Arcanum whenever you feel the need to re-establish contact with the inner- and uppermost parts of your being. It can help you complete something you have been hoping to accomplish; it does this by re-igniting the blazing force of inspiration, energy and desire that led you to start it in the first place. It is basically an awakening and expanding force that supports the realization of your desires. (According to the Divine Arcana of the Aurum Solis—Divinity: Eros;  Greek Letter: Pi.)

source: Llewellyn's Complete Book of Psychic Empowerment, by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke & Joe H. Slate (Llewellyn Publications) - Carl Llewellyn Weschcke

Also See: L'Ermite


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