By Kara Cavel, Ph.D., LICSW
I love living in the Midwest where I can experience four distinct seasons. The changing of the seasons reminds me of the gift of transition. September is the ninth month of the year. The number nine represents the process of transition or transformation, completion but not finality.
The ninth card in the Smith-Rider Waite tarot deck is “The Hermit,” one of the 22 cards known as the Major Arcana. The word “arcanum” means secret knowledge and if you choose to review the images of these cards, you may find there is meaning hidden within them.
“The Hermit” is represented by an older person bearing a lantern. The Hermit’s downward gaze rests on the six-pointed star within the lantern. He lingers with ease and presence, protected by the cloak of honesty, grounded by a staff, gazing down in contemplation on the snow shimmering in the light of the moon.
“As an emblem of personal development, rather than a guide, the Hermit signifies the idea that only withdrawing from the outer world can we awaken our inner self” (Pollack, 2019, p. 79).
The summer months are busy, bright, and full of doing. The transition we experience as we prepare for the quieter, more contemplative months of the winter, is marked by the changing color of the leaves, warmer clothes, the start of the school year, shorter days and longer, cooler nights.
As we transition toward the autumn months, “The Hermit” serves as a reminder to slow down and forsake the race of days. Introspection may invite the shadows of this landscape to emerge and for the unknown parts of oneself to rise.
Withdrawing from the outer world, does not mean withdrawing from humanity. Rather, it is an invitation to quiet the external noise and step inside the vastness of our own internal landscape. Perhaps, we will first find silence, but as we learn to tune into our internal landscape, we may notice how receptive we are to the joy and richness that comes from being quiet with ourselves.
During this time of year, I invite you to call on “The Hermit” energy to guide you toward new self-discoveries and clarify what matter most to you.
Pollack, R. (2019). Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom: A Tarot Journey to Self-Awareness. Weiser Books, MA.