The Hermit

The image that comes to mind is the Tarot Trump of “The Hermit,” the solitary pilgrim stepping onto the rocky unknown ahead of him. The lantern he carries casts more light for those who may be following behind him than it does for his own next, possibly treacherous, steps.

Traditional Tarot trump placement of The Hermit on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life places The Hermit on the path above Tiphareth (Beauty) heading toward Chesed (Mercy). Personal experience supports Colin Low’s feeling (in his digital book,  “A Depth of Beginning”) that this solitary hike through the spiritual bewilderness of the emotions occurs much sooner than the lofty achievement of Tiphareth—”Christ-consciousness” in Jung’s system. Low’s placement of the stalwart pilgrim well below Tiphareth, on the path between Yesod, the astral or spiritual plane behind apparent material “reality”,  and Netzach, the force-field of love, sex and emotion, strikes me as good a position as any to depict this rocky road.