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Sunday, 4 May 2014

Sherlock Holmes Tarot Week - The Hermit

Another major today from Sherlock Holmes Tarot (Connections, 2014). Today's card is the Hermit, or Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock's elder brother. The model for this card is clearly the deck's creator, John Matthews. (John's wife, Caitlin, also appears several times in the deck as Mrs Hudson, Sherlock's landlady.) Mycroft appears in two of the Sherlock Holmes short stories and is mentioned vaguely in two others. He is seven years older than Sherlock, a shadowy figure who holds a powerful but mysterious position in the British government. Sherlock describes Mycroft as fat and lazy, but he clearly admires him and considers him a superior intellect. He is willing to offer Sherlock solutions to problems based on seemingly no evidence (his powers of deductive reasoning seem to outstrip Sherlock's in that regard), but he will seldom bestir himself to further involvement.
...he has no ambition and no energy. He will not even go out of his way to verify his own solutions, and would rather be considered wrong than take the trouble to prove himself right. Again and again I have taken a problem to him, and have received an explanation which has afterwards proved to be the correct one. 
—Sherlock Holmes, speaking of his brother in "The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter"

The conclusions of every department are passed to him, and he is the central exchange, the clearinghouse, which makes out the balance. All other men are specialists, but his specialism is omniscience.
     ---"The Bruce Partington Plans"

Unlike the TV series, there is no sibling rivalry between the two and they seem to get on very well. 

I like that this character has been chosen to represent the Hermit - it seems very fitting. In this card we see Mycroft, the Hermit, carefully putting on his white gloves, the Hermit's lantern waiting at his side. The Hermit provides guidance, wisdom, spiritual illumination, counsel, quiet reflection, stillness. He represent retreat from the external world, looking for answers, the need to understand, deep contemplation.

What will I reflect upon today?


1 comment:

  1. Mycroft is rather hermit like, although I also see Sherlock as the hermit in many ways... he does tend to go into his own space and ponder.... If I had to give Mycroft a card, (knowing zilch about this deck or its nominations) I would possibly choose the Emperor, he seems masterful, quiet and yet knowing, a shadowy character of great strength. I am excited about this deck now... I want to see who is who! Watson... the Fool...?

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