Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Hermit,


being introspective
thinking things over
focusing inward
concentrating less on the senses
quieting yourself
looking for answers within
needing to understand

seeking greater understanding
looking for something
wanting the truth at all costs
going on a personal quest
needing more
desiring a new direction

receiving/giving guidance
going to/being a mentor
accepting/offering wise counsel
learning from/being a guru
turning to/being a trusted teacher
being helped/helping

seeking solitude
needing to be alone
desiring stillness
withdrawing from the world
experiencing seclusion
giving up distractions
retreating into a private world

OPPOSING CARDS: Some Possibilities

Lovers - being in a relationship, sexuality
World - involvement with the world
Two of Cups - making connections, partnerships
Three of Cups - being in a group, being with others
Nine of Cups - sensual pleasure

REINFORCING CARDS: Some Possibilities

High Priestess - looking inward, withdrawing
Four of Cups - withdrawing, being introverted
Eight of Cups - searching for deeper meaning
Four of Swords - contemplating, being quiet
Seven of Swords - being alone, staying away from others


The traditional hermit is a crusty, bearded character who has withdrawn from the company of men to live a life of seclusion and hardship. Card 9 supports this understanding. The Hermit represents the desire to turn away from the getting and spending of society to focus on the inner world. He seeks answers within and knows that they will come only with quiet and solitude.

There comes a point in life when we begin to question the obvious. We sense that there is a deeper reality and begin to search for it. This is mainly a solitary quest because answers do not lie in the external world, but in ourselves. The hermit on Card 9 reminds us of Diogenes, the Greek ascetic who is said to have gone out with a lantern in hand to search for an honest man. Diogenes is a symbol of the search for truth that the Hermit hopes to uncover by stripping away all diversions.

In readings, the Hermit often suggests a need for time alone - a period of reflection when distractions are limited. In times of action and high energy, he stands for the still center that must be created for balance. He can also indicate that withdrawal or retreat is advised for the moment. In addition, the Hermit can represent seeking of all kinds, especially for deeper understanding or the truth of a situation. "Seek, and ye shall find," we have been told, and so the Hermit stands for guidance as well. We can receive help from wise teachers, and, in turn, help others as we progress.

The Wheel of Fortune!

feeling a sense of destiny
using what chance offers
seeing life's threads weave together
finding opportunity in an accident
opening to luck
sensing the action of fate
witnessing miracles

being at a turning point
moving in a different direction
turning things around
having a change in fortune
altering the present course
being surprised at a turn of events

feeling movement
experiencing change
having the tempo of life speed up
being swept up in new developments
rejoining the world of activity
getting involved

having a personal vision
seeing how everything connects
becoming more aware
uncovering patterns and cycles
expanding your outlook
gaining greater perspective
discovering your role and purpose

OPPOSING CARDS: Some Possibilities

Two of Swords - being stuck, at an impasse
Four of Swords - rest, quiet, slow pace
Four of Pentacles - blocked change, no movement
Seven of Pentacles - assessment before direction change

REINFORCING CARDS...some possibilities

Eight of Wands - rapid pace, quick developments


In Greek mythology, there are three women known as the Fates. They are responsible for spinning the destiny of each person at his or her birth. It is not surprising that the Fates are spinners because the wheel of fortune is an apt image for the elusive turns of a man's fate. This is the theme of Card 10.

The Wheel of Fortune is one of the few cards in the major arcana that does not have a human figure as a focal point. This is because its center is above the realm of man - in the higher levels (clouds) where the destinies of all are woven together in the tapestry of life. The tarot recognizes that each person sets his own path in life, but is also subject to the larger cycles that include him. We experience chance events that appear to be accidents although they are part of the great plan.

In readings, the Wheel of Fortune can indicate a vision or realization that strikes with great force. If you've been struggling with a problem or tough situation, this card can signal that you will find the answer if you stand back and view everything from a larger perspective.

The Wheel of Fortune also represents unexpected encounters and twists of fate. You can't predict surprises; you can only be aware when one is circling around. Indeed, Card 10 often suggests wheel-like actions - changes in direction, repeating cycles and rapid movement. When the energy of the Wheel arrives, you will feel life speed up. You are caught in a cyclone that may deposit you anywhere. "Round and round and round she goes, and where she stops, nobody knows."


respecting justice
insisting on fairness
acting on ethical principles
being involved in legal concerns
committing to honesty
seeking equality
being impartial
trying to do what is right

assuming responsibility
settling old accounts and debts
being accountable
acknowledging the truth
admitting involvement
handling the situation
doing what has to be done

preparing for a decision
weighing all sides of an issue
setting a course for the future
balancing all factors
determining right action
choosing with full awareness

understanding cause and effect
accepting the results you created
seeing how you chose your situation
recognizing the action of karma
knowing that what is makes sense
making connections between events

OPPOSING CARDS: Some Possibilities

Two of Swords - avoiding the truth, disavowing your role
Five of Swords - lack of integrity, not doing what is right
Seven of Swords - shirking responsibility

REINFORCING CARDS: Some Possibilities

Emperor - justice, regulations, legal issues
Judgement - deciding, accepting past actions/mistakes
Ten of Wands - accepting responsibility, being accountable
Nine of Swords - guilt over the past, acknowledging mistakes
Seven of Pentacles - assessing where you are, deciding a future course


On Card 11 we see the familiar figure of Justice. She has the scales of equality and impartial judgment in one hand, and the sword of decision in the other. In the tarot, Justice represents the understanding that life is ultimately fair and just. Even though the vagaries of day-to-day life tend to make us doubt this fact, Justice reminds us that there is divine balance. Notice the similarity between the Emperor and Justice. Both cards stand for universal order; the Emperor in its underlying structure, Justice, in the action of karma - cause and effect.

There is a serious feel to Card 11 - the tone of the courtroom. This card refers to legal matters of all kinds, but is not restricted to them. The courts are where judgments are made and decisions rendered. Our legal system is the official arena in which we explore the principles of Justice - fairness, impartiality and the quest for truth.

In readings, Justice often appears when you are concerned with doing what is right or making sure you receive your due. This card can also appear when you are feeling the impact of a past mistake or good deed. The cause you set in motion at one time is now returning to you as an effect.

Sometimes Justice is a signal to do what needs to be done. A time comes when responsibilities must be accepted, and accounts settled. The past will continue to haunt you if you do not recognize your mistakes and make amends for them. You will need to weigh matters carefully and perhaps make important decisions about your future course.

The Hanged Man!

The title of the "Hanged Man" means, in an occult sense, "suspended mind" because "man" and "mind" are from the sanskrit root (used by early occultists). The title refers also to the utter dependence of Human personality upon the Cosmic life. He hangs now as a co-worker with the Divine, having placed his own Ego out of the way of the Divine inflow. Only in this way can he attain the Higher Consciousness, and become useful to his People. The sacred tree of the grove represents the bridge to the other worlds, and it is the Consciousness which "hangs" upon the tree, which serves to unify Humankind with the Divine.

The mental attitude suggested by the Hanged Man, then, is "Not my Will, but Thine". This is ever the position of the Adept, as, indeed, it is the position of every person who works in any field of applied science. It is an illusive, personal thing which is but the reflection, or mask, of "Thy Will", which is the purpose or motive of the Cosmic Life - a Will absolutely free, and certain to be realized.


letting go
having an emotional release
accepting what is
surrendering to experience
ending the struggle
being vulnerable and open
giving up control
accepting God's will

turning the world around
changing your mind
overturning old priorities
seeing from a new angle
upending the old order
doing an about-face

suspending action
pausing to reflect
feeling outside of time
taking time to just be
giving up urgency
living in the moment
waiting for the best opportunity

being a martyr
renouncing a claim
putting self-interest aside
going one step back to go two steps forward
giving up for a higher cause
putting others first

OPPOSING CARDS: Some Possibilities

Magician - acting, doing
Chariot - self-assertion
Seven of Wands - defiance, struggling against
Ten of Wands - struggle
Four of Pentacles - holding on, control

REINFORCING CARDS: Some Possibilities

Fool - faith in what is, going with the flow
High Priestess - suspending activity, waiting
Strength - patience, taking time
Four of Swords - rest, suspended activity
Ten of Swords - sacrifice, martyrdom


The Hanged Man is one of the most mysterious cards in the tarot deck. It is simple, but complex. It attracts, but also disturbs. It contradicts itself in countless ways. The Hanged Man is unsettling because it symbolizes the action of paradox in our lives. A paradox is something that appears contradictory, and yet is true. The Hanged Man presents to us certain truths, but they are hidden in their opposites.

The main lesson of the Hanged Man is that we "control" by letting go - we "win" by surrendering. The figure on Card 12 has made the ultimate surrender - to die on the cross of his own travails - yet he shines with the glory of divine understanding. He has sacrificed himself, but he emerges the victor. The Hanged Man also tells us that we can "move forward" by standing still. By suspending time, we can have all the time in the world.

In readings, the Hanged Man reminds us that the best approach to a problem is not always the most obvious. When we most want to force our will on someone, that is when we should release. When we most want to have our own way, that is when we should sacrifice. When we most want to act, that is when we should wait. The irony is that by making these contradictory moves, we find what we are looking for.