THE PATH OF YOD: Key- 9-The Hermit.
* Primary Path Color: Yellowish-Green
* Musical Note: F
*Meaning of Yod: Hand
* Astrological sign: Virgo
* Hebrew Letter: Simple Letter-Sexual Love
* Esoteric Title: The Prophet of the Eternal, The Magus of the Voice of Power.
Dr. Paul Foster Case stated in his class room text, Thirty-Two Paths of Wisdom:
"The Twentieth Path is the Intelligence of Will,
and is so called because it is the means of preparation of all and each
created being, and by this intelligence the existence of the Primordial
Wisdom becomes known." Thus we have another manifestation of the "True" will as represented by the Magus. Therefore the Hermit and the Magus Tarot Paths correspond.
Correspondences: 9-The Hermit & 1-The Magus.
The association of these cards with Astrology is in the sign Virgo and Planet Mercury. In astrology Mercury rules both Gemini and Virgo and in Tarot Mercury corresponds to both the Lovers and the Hermit. The astrological form of the Hermit is I learn and the astrological motion of the Magus (magician in some tarot decks) is I seek myself through what I serve.
The corresponding Rune-stones are: Hermit-Jera, the harvest rune-stone, beneficial outcomes, and the span of one year. Also, the Magus-Algiz, the rune of protection, the spiritual warrior, the one whose battle is with himself.
associated primary colors
Yellow-Green. Secondary colors lime-green.
This correspondence of the Hermit and the Magus is also associated with
the Third Chakra (solar plexus) which governs will power, wishes,
metabolism, humor, wisdom, ego, reactions, ideas, intellectual analysis,
and fear of rejection. The Third Chakra is the spiral energy of the
The stones/minerals associated with this
correspondence are: Peridot, moldavite, jade, jadeite, aventurine, green
kunzite, green containing tourmalines of uvite, feridavite, verdelite,
watermelon-yellow green fluorites and chalcedony.
Musical notes for the Hermit-F and for the Magus-E.
Letters of the Qaballah are: Hermit-Simple letter- Sexual Love (English translation) The Hermits Path is : Yod , The Intelligence of Will. The symbol of meaning is : Hand.
Qaballistic letter for the Magus; Double letter- Life-Death and the Path is: Beth, the Intelligence of Transparency. Symbolic meaning-House.
The plant essences: The Hermit- Sage, wintergreen, and caraway. The Magician-Dill, lemongrass, sorax or Benzoin.
psychic energy involved in the correspondence of the Hermit and the
Magus, is associated with meditation and the ability to surrender the
conscious mind to the super-conscious (self to Greater Self) which
unlocks exploration and knowledge of the whole self for the expansion
and liberation of the personality from self-imposed limits of indoctrinated knowledge
and cultural understanding. In other words, the key to "Holy Spirit".
be an excellent reader of Tarot-a Tarot Seer- we must remember that the
conscious mind learns only by association. From letters, to word, to
idea, all of which is an association in the subconscious mind. A
correspondence that has taken effort and years to the point of
automatically producing associations with out any conscious effort. Therefore, the
conscious mind functions solely through associations/correspondences in
everything it learns, and thinks. Sharing common associations produces
success in communication which is why we have a "school system". This
ability to see correspondence also aids the Tarot Seer in communicating
messages from the Invisible (Divine) to the querent (asker of
questions) so that clarity in communication is served. Messages from the
Divine are in energetic form and must be given image to be understood
by the process of association. To someone who is not a Qaballist, this
all may seem "deep" which communicates too much effort to try and understand, but to
the diligent seer---deep is where we reside.
Correspondences aside, The
Path of Yod (The Hermit), connects Tiphareth (Sephira 6- Beauty; also known as the
Christ-Buddha center) and Chesed (Sephira 4-Mercy) who is also the Architect of
Manifestation. Therefore the Path of Yod is the very point of origin of our
manifest Universe, it represents the self-sustained primal beginnings of
manifestation. A direct contact with the Divine Source of All.
is attributed to the Twentieth Path of Yod and reminds us that the Hermit be
ever-virgin, pure, and totally innocent. It represents a gateway to the
bridge between Macrocosm (Macroprosopus) and Microcosm ( Microprosopus)
which give it certain qualities of Daäth (the invisible Sephira/Knowledge) represented by the very
isolation of the figure. To look upon this figure suggests to me,
Diogenes in search of the honest man---maybe even Moses emanating his
rays of light.
This solitariness is even defined in the word Hermit, which comes from the Greek word meaning desert. It
is a fact that during the third and fourth centuries, extreme
asceticism and societal withdrawal where considered a means of
perfection. Many ascetics lived in the desert to achieve this.
along the Tree of Life, we see how
important it is that we let the card suggest such images as they will.
Images of a desert, are a very potent ones. As a concept, the desert is an
expanse of earth as indefinably vast as the ocean and as we consider
Binah (Unconscious) in the image of deep, dark, endless waters, we are able to see the
desert as a crystallization out of Binah's vast sea of consciousness.
The Hermit is the same expression of energy conscious as the Fool; it
is at once the wise old age of the Child (Horus) and the virgin
beginning of a new sequence.
principle is one of union.
The Hermit represents the first point of
awareness by the Higher Self of the Supreme Spiritual Self (Greater Self
of the Buddhists) this is explained by the most erotic of imagery (As
in the Hindu Tantric Temples); However, this is not the outer sexuality
of coition, for this card is the essence of isolation and singularity.
This is "self-contained" and "self-sustaining" sexuality; the inner
dance of polarities attributed to communion of Chokma and Binah (The
Red Cloak shows his roots with Binah), which makes all form -alive! Yod
is phallic; it is the Male-Fire (electric force) which rushes out toward
the Female-Water (magnetic force) . A Yod (hand)
is the All-Father in manifestation below the Abyss, which is related to the Logos (word of God) and therefore, corresponds to the Magus.
the Tree of Life,
Tiphareth (6-Beauty) is the Logos center, an
objective link between God and Man (as above so below). Remembering that
the Paths are subjective and therefore Arcane, the link is on the Path
of the Hermit. This is to say, that Tiphareth is the objective center
that can only be understood as transitional energy subjectively on the Path of Yod.
To look from above down, by rising above Tipareth toward Chesed, on the
Path of the Hermit, is to see subjectively ---and experience of "spiral
The hand is, man's ultimate
, hence, attributed to Yod and The Hermit is the very hand
. The Orphic Egg wrapped in a serpent, represents the ancient
Orphic Mysteries interpretation of the Cosmos encircled by the Fiery
Spirit, i.e. Yod
The Three Headed Dog
(Cerberus) guards the gates of Hell--has been tamed by the Hermit. The
spermatozoon image, represents the Yod energy in the material world,
while the completely hidden staff transmits the sexual force. Aliester
Crowley stated, "In this Triumph is then the entire mystery of Life in its most secret workings. Yod=Phallus=Spermatozoon=Hand=Logos=Virgin" .
The Lamp refers to Tiphareth, and makes a statement about the very
nature of Light. The Yod is The Hermit, Heh is The Emperor and Vau is
the Hierophant and all are functioning to the side of the Pillar of
Mercy on the Tree of Life--a trinity from Chesed to Tiphareth to
Chokmah, and back to Chesed. Thus we have a very valuable subject of
The finest thing in the world is knowing how to belong to oneself.
-Michel de Montaigne, Of Solitude
card represents 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.
Another interpretation of 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
Again, astrologically, the Hermit is Virgo ( the wheat in the back ground), 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
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 and flows down the path of the Magus.
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, who is Grandfather of the masculine trinity of Son, Father and Grandfather, 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
The Thoth Deck Hermit card,
shows the lone figure cloaked in the Red of Binah, showing that he is
rooted in the Great Red Mother, thus describing the motion and activity
that is essential to the Yod which is the Intercourse of Chokma and
Binah and the purifying flow of menstrual blood, a universal substance of rejuvenation.
The Universal-blood flows to the Universal She as semen (idea/seed), she then
conceptualizes energy into form (Understanding). Here, Wisdom (Chokma)
is objectified by Understanding (Binah).
As stated, 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, nurturing the Universe.
Interestingly,Cerberus, the Greek three headed dog
who guards the gates of Hell, is tamed by the Hermit and is a willing
companion. There is also an interesting connection here to the Goddess
Hell-Aine (Red Womb), and Her Three Yoni (Vagina: Maid-Mother and Crone and the fourth feminine of manifestation-the Whore: Red/ Womb/Graäl), 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, whose delicate personalities can't stand the shock of the Universal intercourse.
The image of the
represents the Yod energies in the world, while the staff (phallus) which
transmits sexual force (Kundalini) is totally hidden, to soften Victorian sensibilities. 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, as his Phallus, erect and eager to unite with the Divine Feminine. So before the flesh-o-phobia of body fearing Division-ism places you in apoplexy, just remember that the Human body is a Beth (Hebrew for House or Temple) of Magick. For Beth is The Path of the Magus!
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.)
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
billion years to build in the "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. This also means that a physical Spirit body is part of the Collective that is Holy Spirit,
will help establish Spirit body Union and the axiom "Above all things
A lot of Divine work went into the making of You (a trinity of I Am Me)----and a
lot of man-made history has been devoted to the Pavlovian process of "pleasure/pain training" demanding that you
demeaning your body, dividing it from your spiritual identity, so that your will is replaced by "those who enforce identity". This "divide and conquer" law of rule, allows one to
be ruled by those who can't rule
themselves; slaves are but profit. Something to ponder, as your self
value flounders around in debt-slavery, trying to make "ends meet" and
you try to understand the mystery of the "Holy Spirit" while you are "pursuing happiness". One Clue for
understanding, is that All Being, is of The One Spirit, and if you don't
have a Human-Spirit Body---you aren't a whole Spirit! Another understanding, is that to pursue something, means you don't have it ! The Magus states "I AM Happiness that wills being into form".
The Hermit-Key 9 of the B.O.T.A. Tarot, represents the I AM, The One Identity of the Divine Creative; an identity that we all share.
- His shining lantern represents a consciousness that has achieved enlightenment.
- He stands on a Mountain, as a light bearer for those on the path below.
- He is solitary and alone, representing the central Self in each one of us, seemingly different, but in all actuality, is the One and Only I AM. One must remember that the product of our own consciousness is a "Me", a reflection of the "inner self" in the crystalline light of the "outer world".
- Being that the Hermit represents the One Identity, it also represents the One Will (Magus), as the Universes came into being as an act of Primal Will of the One Identity (All seeing "I").
- Here the Hermit is wearing a gray robe, indicating the neutralization ( or the "annihilation" as Crowley puts it) of all opposites in manifestation by each other. When equal amounts of all colors are mixed, one gets grey. When equal weights of all colors are mixed on gets Pure White, which is, as yet, impossible to achieve on this level of manifestation.
- His staff corresponds to the Archetypal world and the will.
- The Universe behind the visible light, The Ain, The Ain Soph and the Ain Soph Aur, is a Supreme Reality that is incomprehensible to our intellects, therefore the Hermit stands in the darkness of limitless energy.
- The Golden six rayed light (Christos) that the Hermit carries represents the cosmic principles and laws.
- By studying the Qabalah and the Tree of Life of Hermetic Qabalistic Tarot, our consciousness gradually awakens to these Cosmic Principles and Laws, causing the darkness of ignorance to slowly fade and recede before the bright light of I AM, until at last, one can attain the heights to which they aspire.
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!
- 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.
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