The 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,
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
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
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
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 t
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
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".
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
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.
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
, 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
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
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.
deep desire to follow that which is meaningful and/or heartfelt to
- Time to gather enough data and information in order to sort things
- 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!