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IX The Hermit



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He is an old, frazzled man, road-worn, but not what I would call dirty. His hair and beard are unkempt and poorly cut, perhaps with a sharp stone, perhaps not at all. He walks with a cane and carries a lantern to help him find his way. He has, most uncommonly of all, a pair of white wings on his back that mark him out as one of a Tengu Yamabushi a “barefooted, wandering, elderly mountain hermit or monk with an extremely long nose” who “takes on a protective role in the affairs of men”. In his lantern shines the Sun, a symbol of external, rational, masculine energy, while in the sky above the Moon, a symbol of internal, emotional, feminine energy watches over our Hermit.

The High Priestess is, essentially, the holder of space. This hardly seems a glorious attribution to give to someone I see as a figure capable of conjuring the powerful forces of the unconscious and making contact with the divine, but much of what I find degrading and inglorious about the concept of holding space comes from being raised in a highly rational, male-dominated society.

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The Deck to Date
0 The Fool
I The Magician
II The High Priestess
IV The Emperor
IX The Hermit
XIII Death
XIV Temperance
XV The Devil
XVI The Tower
XVIII The Moon
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TheHermitInTheAtic's avatar
this picture...is amazing! As a hermit myself, I can absolutely relate to this. Jolly good show, old bean!