Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot-Key 9- The Hermit and the Babylonian Tarot-key 9- The Hermit/Anu
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Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot-Key 9- The Hermit and the Babylonian Tarot-key 9- The Hermit/Anu

The Tarot of EliThe Thoth Key 9- The Hermit and The Babylonian Tarot-The Hermit/Anu:

The finest thing in the world is knowing how to belong to oneself.
-Michel de Montaigne, Of Solitude

The Thoth and The Babylonian Tarot Hermit, cards represent the Universal Principle of completion, contemplation, and introspection.

The Hermit symbolizes the "wise-way-shower" who lights the way  of wisdom in the experiences of life and is an invaluable inner resource for assisting us and others in our daily lives.

The tree headed dog, who is the Greek Cerberus, guardian of the underworld, signifies the part of our nature that things are complete (one head looking behind) before we move our attention forward. Cerberus, represents the dark inner and unknown parts of ourselves that we should explore and incorporate before wholeness of self can be experienced.

The burgundy cloak is the Egyptian symbol of blood, that represents the inherent honesty and integrity (virtue) within all of us. It pays to remember that we inherit the great Wisdom, Integrity, and Virtue of the Divine Creative and through introspection and contemplation we can "Remember our Divinity".

Astrologically, the Hermit is Virgo ( the wheat in the back ground of Thoth Card and Zodiacal sign at bottom of the Babylonian Tarot), the sign that represents attention to details, organization, and beauty.

The egg wrapped in the serpent, is called the Orphic egg and symbolizes the ability to give birth to new spiritual and physical forms. Often when this card is drawn during a divination, it usually means that knowledge is needed in the querent's life and having the need to listen closely to the "master within. Contemplation, introspection by means of meditation is a method of achieving such a goal of inner wisdom.

THE Qabalistic Thoth- 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/Mercy.

The Hermit therefore represents 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!)
Even the letter Yod is phallic in shape and is considered the Male-Fire which rushes out toward the Female-Water.

These meanings may 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".
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/conscious of the Universal Collective 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 (Daäth- 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 therefore, 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 initiate  experiences Divine reconciliation through isolation.

Of the Hermit, the Qabalistic Tarot, Gnostic and Sumero-Babylonian 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/subjective. 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 objectively 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. I hope I clearly established the fact that 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  term Logos or Word, is confusing:However, the Word/logos represents that vibratory will/ force which continually stimulates manifestation. The Logos is the Engine of Universal Manifestation.
This 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) forces of the One Electromagnetic Energy. 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. 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/Hermit) 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 the 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 (yod) of God, which emphasizes the meaning of Yod as hand. In Fact, the hand of the Hermit 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, showing that he is rooted in the Great Mother, thus describing 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 by the Orphic egg, wrapped in a serpentine image of the spiral energy.  Cerberus, the Greek three headed dog who guards the gates of Hell, is tamed by the Hermit and is a willing companion. There is an interesting connection here to the Goddess Hell-Aine, and Her Three Yoni (Vagina- Maid-Mother and Crone), but I'll leave further explanation up to the investigative student of magic, as I know I am offending the the flesh-o-phobes of our dogmatic culture .
The image of the spermatozoon, 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.
  I wonder, has it ever occurred to common man, that if you divide the spirit (Will) from the sacred- Sensual body, that it only leads to enslavement? (Illustration of Bodhidharma from the Book: THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF EROTIC WISDOM by Rufus C. Camphausen.)

As Crowley states in his BOOK OF THOTH, "In this Trump is shown the entire mystery of Life in its most secret workings. Yod=Phallus= Spermatozoon=Hand=Logos=Virgin.
Finding out why the Divine Couple of the Universe worked for over 14.7 billion years to build below, in the Malkuth World of Physical Mater, a Divine Image called Hu (Chinese for God ) Man (Hindu word-Manas: meaning mind) i.e. YOU, will help establish Spirit body Union and the axiom "Above all things know thyself!". A lot of Divine work went into the making of You, as a division of Androgyny into two individual sexes (For maximum diversity)----and a lot of man-made history has been devoted to  the Pavlovian process of demeaning yourself,and your sexuality or sexes, so that you could be ruled by those who can't rule themselves but profit from delusion of "good and bad". Something to ponder, as your self value flounders around in debt-slavery, trying to make "ends meet" and you subvert your passion to unite, your Yod force, to"badness" or embarrassment, so that you go insane and become a sociopath.
The Babylonian Tarot, carries on the explanations of the Thoth Tarot nicely.
The Babylonian god Anu, Sumerian- An,  was the main god of the pantheon until about 2500 B.C.E. The name Anu, meant Sky or Heaven as they were both seen as the same dimension.
Anu resided in the uppermost dimension, beyond mankind, such as the upper Supernal Triangle of the Qabalistic Tree of Life. Thus, like Chokmah of the Supernal, he is the lone "Father God".  In fact he was the father of two groups of gods. The Igigi (celestial gods) and the Anunnaki (chthonic gods). Being the supreme Lord of the Firmament, he was the god who sustained the Universe, i.e. The Logos.
The Greeks associated Anu with Zeus, and Ouranos. 

The Babylonian Epic of Creation, Enuma Elish, carries on the comparison of the hermit and the desert/ocean abyss. In this story, there are a series of births or generations of gods.  At first, only watery chaos made up of Apsu, the sweet waters, Tiamat, the dragon of the Sea (Mother Binah and Her Ocean) and Mummu, the clouds and mist (What is shown on the High Priestess as vibration). From this combination of two waters (Unconscious and Conscious) came the birth of the two Primordial Beings (Beings in Qabalah and Babylonian theology are immortals), Lahmu and Lahamu , deities of fertility and expanse (both comprise the "Orphic egg"). They in-turn sired the deities Anshar and Kishar, both aspects of the horizon.The horizon pair gave birth to Anu, the great sky god and thereafter began the godly generations. 

Anu, was the "big cheese" of the Mesopotamian pantheon; however, he was a shadowy figure (The path of Anu, was the solar eclipse), and vague images were often used to depict him. Such as, the multi-horned cap (multidimensional), the headdress of divinity, sitting on an altar which is the main theme of the Babylonian Hermit card. A very Phallic symbol.

When both the Thoth and Babylonian-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.
  • Hidden Truth found by inward seeking.
  • Help and inspiration from the Higher Self.
This is a great card for sckrying, as it is of the Inner Wisdom that we so much need to Above all things, KNOW OURSELVES!

Thank you for your interest, comments and supportive donations. May you live long and prosper!




2 Comments to Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot-Key 9- The Hermit and the Babylonian Tarot-key 9- The Hermit/Anu:

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I AM on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 4:36 AM

Loved your humor, flesh-o-phobes and Yod.

Supposedly Moses staff/wand transformation was mistranslated. The creature was actually a crocodile. This transformation makes more impressive sense to show the Egyptians, because they had a crocodile-like God.

Regarding the Japanese ink scroll, I am blind. Although I would describe it as sexual, I do not see the wand of the Magus.

In my opinion, debt-slavery is not that bad if it's in regard to education. In fact, I'd say it's worth it. I don't ever regret doing it.

May you live long, prosper, and continue to grow.

Reply to comment
 
Eli on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 8:01 AM
Thank you for your comments, and interest. There are many references to reptiles, from crocodiles, to pythons, and then dragons. All represent the Serpentine Spiral Force and/or Y0D. The Egyptian Crocodile god is what Typhoons are named after, another spinning "god of storms" action, that the Babylonians attributed to Adad . The Wand is a Phallus, for it "ejaculates" yod force. The enlarged phallus shown in the Japanese ink drawing as the "tent" like protrusion is the wand of the Magus. May you live long and prosper.

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