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 Qabalistic 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!)
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, in both the Ryder-Waite and Thoth Decks, holding its own source of light. Reminds
me of the Christ as the "Light of the World".
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 Collective Unconscious. The Ryder-Waite card suggests both desolation and Ocean upon which the Hermit is standing, with the predominate blue color of the card.
Thus, we can envision the desert as a conceptualization of crystallized
precipitation out of the Vast Ocean of Binah....which is called 'The
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.
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.
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, (shown as the Lantern on both Ryder-Waite and Thoth Decks), toward Chesed,(shown as the Staff on both cards), 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.
To reiterate, The Path
of Yod (Hand) which is THE HERMIT card, is the Path of Spiritual Fire
into the Microcosm (Microprosopus) . The Yod is the All Father, Chokma
and the PATH OF YOD, is the manifestation before the Abyss which is
related to the Logos (Word), that is objectified as Tiphareth on the
Tree of Life. To some the Word, is confusing:However, the Word is that
vibratory will/ force which continually stimulates manifestation and this description leads to the Hermit often being called "the First Earth".
stimulation also energizes the principles of form (Binah) which it has
produced. Thus Kether, the Crown, the origin of Fiery Spirit, is seen as
the One that from itself produced Two which refers to the
Electric (Male) and Magnetic (Female) and the represents the Quantum Physics String Theory, where one "string" enters this universe, producing a negative and positive particle.. There is
a lot to wrap your brain around here, but that is mostly true of all
the symbolism of the Major Arcana.
Often, the Hermit is related
to the Christ figure, but he is better related to the Hebrew pathfinder
Moses,who led his people across the Egyptian desert. The Ryder-Waite deck seems to have kept the Moses image. In fact, an early
Gnostic sect, The Simonion Gnostics, that had taken its name from Simon Magus, first described in the Acts of the Apostles, that the Logos was objectified as Moses. These second century Gnostics taught that the Book of Exodus
was an allegory of the soul being led by the Logos (Moses) through the
desert of human life into the spiritual promised land,.
Many of us of
the Western culture, know the story of Moses as a Thaumaturge
(Arch-magician), whose staff is a wand of enormous power that can strike
water from rock and turn into a serpent upon his bidding. The "Magi's
wand", turning into a serpent force, is an allegory that refers to the
use of Kundalini (Yod) force by the Adept Magician.This serpentine force
is a Sacred Fire that is the essence of the Logos transmitted by the phallic wand. To a Tantric, this wand would be called the Divya Linga.,
Divine Lingam. Other references to Moses and the Sacred Fire, is told as God interacting with Moses through a burning bush. Making Moses
an intermediary or tool of the Supreme Father. Thus, Moses is the Hand
of God, which emphasizes the meaning of Yod as hand. In Fact, the
hand of the Hermit in the Golden Dawn card (not shown), is open, as opposed to the closed fist meaning of
the Wheel of Fortune (see past blog), and means ultimate Power while
also depicting innocence, as an open hand can give or take with out the
impediments of thoughts or moral restrictions.
The Thoth Deck
Hermit card, shows the lone figure cloaked in the Red of Binah,(Ryder-Waite shows this as the Blue robe of Water keeping Binah image of Ocean), the Blood of the Goddess, showing
that he is rooted in the Great Mother, showing the motion and activity
that is essential to the Yod which is the Intercourse of Chokma and
Binah. He flows to She who then conceptualizes energy into form and/or
Wisdom (Chokma) is objectified by Understanding (Binah).
The concept of
the Cosmos encircled by the Fiery Spirit (Yod), is shown in the Thoth Deck by the Orphic
egg, wrapped in a serpentine image of the spiral energy.
The Thoth Deck card also illustrates Cerberus, the
Greek three headed dog who guards the gates of Hell, who is tamed by the
Hermit and is a willing companion. There is an interesting connection
here to the Goddess Hell-Aine, and Her Three Yonis (wombs-
Maid-Mother and Crone)), but I'll leave further explanation up to the
investigative student of magic, as I don't wish to offend the the flesh-o-phobes of our dogmatic culture..
The image of the spermatozoon, on the Thoth Deck Hermit Card, represents the Yod energies in the
world, while the staff which transmits sexual force (Kundalini) is
totally hidden. Which is not the case of the Japanese ink scroll
depiction of Bodhidharma (470-543 CE.) , the first patriarch of Chinese
and Japaneses Buddhism who himself was as a Moses. The Spiritual Fire
and wand, of a Magus is depicted in this illustration,....before the
flesh-o-phobia of Division- ism became popular. The truth is that God is Sex, and to divide the Sexual Self from the body by dysfunctional definition, is to divide the Spirit from the Body. Spirit is the Vital Sexual Force of Life!
I wonder, has it
ever occurred to common man, that if you divide the spirit (Will) from
the sacred- body, that it only leads to enslavement? (Illustration from
the Book: THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF EROTIC WISDOM by Rufus C. Camphausen.)
Crowley states in his BOOK OF THOTH, "In this Trump is shown the entire
mystery of Life in its most secret workings. Yod=Phallus=
Finding out why the Divine
Couple of the Universe worked for over 14.7 billion years to build living form, in the Malkuth World of Physical Mater, and even a Divine Image called Hu
(Chinese for God ) Man (Hindu word-Manas: meaning mind) i.e. YOU;
will help you emotionally and mentally establish Spirit body Union and the axiom "Above all things
know thyself!" that will then become living data. A lot of Divine work went into the making of You----and a
lot of man-made history has been devoted to the Pavlovian process of
demeaning yourself image so that you could be ruled by those who can't rule
themselves. Something to ponder, as your self value flounders around in
debt-slavery, trying to make "ends meet".
When the Hermit card
is thrown during a reading, it implies that:
- Knowledge is needed,
meditation and prayer are to be used to hear the inner self.
- A deep
desire to follow that which is meaningful and/or heartfelt to you.
- Time to gather enough data and information in order to sort things out.
- Introspection which may require you to withdraw from others or the usual
environment in order to gain the perspectives needed.
- A stage in life
where Wisdom is sought. This is a great card for skrying, as it is of the Inner Wisdom that we so much need to KNOW OURSELVES!
Thank you for your interest and comments. May you live long and