THE HERMIT-key 9, is known as the Path of Yod on the Tree of Life. and connects Tiphareth (Sephiroth called: Beauty) and Chesed (Sephiroth called: Mercy). In other words, the Path of Yod connects the Christ-Buddha intelligence to the Architect of Manifestation, that is Chesed. This is the self sustaining point of primal beginnings in the Universe. It is the coming of the Light of manifestation through the Microcosm; the manifested Universe in direct contact with the Source of All.
The Path of Yod, is from the Demiurge out of darkness and is known as the Intelligence of Will. The Hebrew letter Yod, means Hand and according to the text Sepher Yetzirah, Yod is a simple letter that is attributed to sexual love. (Needless to say, sexual love and hands do go rather well together...as if I could resist that!)
The letter Yod is phallic in shape and is considered the Male-Fire which rushes out toward the Female-Water. These meanings seem curious at first, since the sign of Virgo (the Virgin) is attributed to this Path, giving us the understanding that the Hermit is to be ever-virgin, pure and totally innocent.
The very word itself, Hermit, comes from a Greek word meaning desert,
the place where extreme ascetic monks lived in walled up rooms with one window. Which seems to add to the very mystery and solitariness of the Hermit figure standing alone, holding its own source of light. Reminds me of the Christ as the "Light of the World".
(Tree of Life illustration from Robert Wang's book: THE QABALISTIC TAROT).
This image of the desert is a compelling one, as it is conceptually a vast expanse of earth, seemingly as vast as the Ocean. Binah, the Great Mother is often called the Great Ocean Mother Mari, and is seen in the image of the dark,deep, endless waters of the Universal Unconsciousness. Thus, we can envision the desert as a conceptualization of crystallized precipitation out of the Vast Ocean of Binah....which is called 'The Light". It should be noted, that the Higher the card is on the Tree of Life, the more important it is that we let the card suggest such images as they will. So once again I heartily suggest skrying the cards as an aid for deeper understanding.
The same intelligent energy suggested by the FOOL card, also expressed the HERMIT., as the wise old age of the Child (Daath- which means Knowledge) and the virgin beginning of a new sequence...From Macrocosm to Microcosm. Here the Microcosm is seen as the purity and innocence of the Fool that is transformed by its "passing through" the Ocean of Binah. In other words, the purity of idea, transformed into form by the Understanding of Binah, the Mother of Consciousness. When we look at the HERMIT card, we see an Old Man, and nothing of the Child,,yet they are one and the same, This concept maybe best understood by meditating on the image of the Serpent that eats it's own tail.
THE HERMIT also represents communication between the Higher Self of Tiphareth, and the Spiritual Self of Kether, i.e. The Rauch and the Yechidah as they are know to Qabalists. The Hermit is called the first of the three great initiatory cards, LUST, and THE CHARIOT being the other two..However, the experiences of all three of these initiatory Paths may be gained on the Path of the High Priestess (middle pillar), the one that goes straight up from Tiphareth to Kether, crossing the Abyss and its devastating isolation while the instate experiences Divine reconciliation through isolation .
Of the Hermit, the descriptions are many, but it must be remembered that this Key-9 Card is primarily about union, representing the first point of awareness of the Higher Self of the Supreme Spiritual Self, a union that is often explained in the most erotic of imagery as it is a copulation of Intelligence; an action from which the Microcosm is born.
On the Tree of Life, Tiphareth is the Objective Solar Logos, the center of objective energy produced by the Sephiroth- Chesed (Demiurge) as a direct link of the lower to the higher, Since Paths are subjective, the Path of Yod, the subjective link of understanding, is on the Hermit. Simply because if we are to understand the Transitional Energy, from Demiurge to Logos, we must Travel the Path of the Hermit, rising above Tiphareth toward Chesed, in order to subjectively view the Logos center! In both Hebrew and Greek Metaphysics, Logos means 'Word", depicting vibrational Power. The Greek scholar, Heraclitus , described the Logos as a "spermatic; a Divine Fire which stimulated and maintained order.
This should be enough to warm up your brain for today. I'll continue my excerpt on THE HERMIT in tomorrow's part two.
Thank you for your interest and comments. May you live long and prosper!