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Sunday, 18 May 2014

Root and branch - the Hermit in Pearls of Wisdom Tarot

Again, so many symbols are in today's card from Roxi Sim's amazing Pearls of Wisdom Tarot. We have the Hermit, carrying a staff, around which winds a snake, green with red diamonds on its back. he holds the lamp aloft, standing in the mouth of a cave. The path flows out from his feet. On an altar before him, a holy book, marked by a string of pearls with a green pendant at the end, a bowl of pears. On the other side of the path is a fire. It appears to be evening, as the sky is multi-coloured, and it must be either early spring or late fall, as the tree in the background is bare.

The borders feature the staff on the right side, the lamp on the left. The sides look like the stone walls of a hermitage, and the rune 'perthro' is on the left border. It means, literally 'the unknown', a good symbol for the Hermit, who has devoted himself to solitary contemplation of mystery. As you would expect to find in a hermitage, there are shelves of books at the top of the card, with the pearl bookmarks hanging nearby; the lights on the shelf represent the enlightenment to be found within the pages of the books.

Today my husband and I did a yoga practice together, and wrote a small opening and closing ritual to do before and after. It is our intention to practice yoga every day for a year -- 13 May 2014 - 13 May 2015. I am very excited about this and feel it will open up new realms in our spiritual practice.

The Hermit stands in the entrance to the cave. I can hear him saying...'Behold, I show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.' I know I am taking that Scripture and placing it in an entirely new context, but that's the way the subconscious works -- it takes the raw material it has been given and stretches it to new dimensions (just ask old Uncle Al). We shall all be changed, because change is unavoidable. But we shall not ALL sleep -- some of us will become awake.

When the Buddha started to wander around India shortly after his enlightenment, he encountered several men who recognized him to be a very extraordinary being. They were perplexed by him and began to question him.

'Are you a god?' they asked him. 'No,' he replied.

'Are you a reincarnation of a god?' they asked. 'No', he replied.

'Are you a wizard then?'


'Well...are you a man?' The Buddha answered, 'No.'

The men were deeply puzzled. 'So...what are you then?' they asked.

'I am awake.'

And so...we shall not all sleep. (Especially not me. I've been up since 4.30 AM. Darn UK summer sunrise!)


  1. Wonderful parable :) Still, a little real sleep might help with being awake...

  2. Wow what a beautiful card illustration. The Hermit has always been one of my very much favoured Major Arcana card. All the very best on your Yoga practice over the next year. Lovely to have a partner to share the experience with and to enable the disciplined journey! I am certain there will be a great deal of freedom to be gained! Great post and I am very fond of your blog!


    1. I love the Hermit, too. He's often my favourite card in the deck, and is one I look for when deciding on a deck. Thanks for the good wishes on yoga. I'm glad you like my little blog. :) x