The Hermit represents the ONE IDENTITY, or I AM. He represents the consciousness of the man who has attained enlightenment, and he stands upon the mountain peaks as a light bearer for those below him on the path. He is solitary, alone. This symbolism points to the fact that in reality the central Self of every one of us, which seems to us to be separate from every other self, is that same ONE IDENTITY. Because this Key represents the ONE IDENTITY, it also symbolizes Will, since the manifested universe came into being by an act of the Primal Will of the ONE IDENTITY.
The Hermit's grey robe, by its color, symbolizes the neutralization of all of the pairs of opposites in manifestation by each other, because opposite colors mixed equally produce grey. The staff corresponds to Will and the Archetypal World. He stands in darkness, because what is behind our personifications of the Supreme Reality is dark and incomprehensible to our intellects. Yet he carries the golden six-rayed light, symbolizing cosmic principles and laws. As our consciousness awakens to the understanding of these laws the darkness recedes as the light shines more brightly, until at last we find ourselves upon the heights to which we now aspire.
Highlights of Tarot (ISBN 0-938002-02-3)
Copyright 1931 by the School of Ageless Wisdom, Paul Case AA71739
Copyright 1959 Builders of the Adytum R235814
6th edition revised Copyright 1970 Builders of the Adytum A138325
13th edition revised Copyright 1989 Builders of the Adytum TX2801102
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