Poetry of the Tarot: The Hermit

The Hermit

Sat for years on a dark red sofa
in a magical cloak of invisibility,
the poet travels to interior cities
to find sound inside her silence.
Through each hour of quietness
she meets hidden storms within,
knowing they need to be visited
for her to witness true revelation.

Make no mistake this is a lonely,
isolating path through solitude,
where we leave the cover of ego
and honour our wisdom within.
As we reflect on the divine light,
we encounter enlightening love.
He who sees past life’s illusions.
He who seeks his passage alone.

Reversed, he closes all openings,
refusing to remain in this world.
Extreme isolation prompts exile,
where integration is unwelcome
and close friendship condemned.
An island, not reached by others,
he becomes the hermit’s shadow,
far too anxious to even sit down.

Join the search for deeper truth,
allow your inner light to sparkle
so that people may come to you.
Seek compassionate detachment,
enjoy the diverse paths of others.
Become a guiding light for souls
and the same light shall be given
as you seek the Wheel of Fortune.

Copyright © Deborah Gregory 2016

12 thoughts on “Poetry of the Tarot: The Hermit

  1. Another wonderful and illuminating post–and I’m so far behind on reading your work, but here I am. I began life as an extrovert and typology tests agreed with me. That began to change as my children left home, but my husband’s death and the arrival of Meniere’s Disease with deafness and vertigo when I use my hearing more than a few hours a day threw me into the hermit’s cave. I like it here for the most part. It feels natural and good to me to have solitude at this time of my life. On the other hand, I feel the wisdom and warning in your third stanza. Closing the doors and windows. Finding myself in exile and isolation. Too, too alone. And the anxiety of not being able to sit down when we become too self-absorbed. So, I look to the remedies in the last stanza–inner light and compassionate detachment and a witnessing in many of life’s situations where I once was in the middle of the action. I’ll continue reaching out through writing and protecting my limited hearing to give bereavement groups at Hospice and listen carefully to loving friends.

    Here’s to the Hermit and to a life that has led me to His Teachings–and yours. Thank you, Deborah.

    1. Thank you so much Elaine for your wonderful comment and loving-kindness. You express well the journey to and from the Hermit’s cave and the work undertaken whilst there. I love reading about your sacred journeying. For me the Hermit’s cave is mostly a welcome retreat yet I know the dangers of remaining within for too long and turning it into Plato’s cave! Opening windows to the world is not only necessary but vital. Fortunately, the internet provides us introverts with a huge one!

      I attempt, within each poem, to explore both polarities and point out likely imbalances, looking to remedy these in the final verse … Aha! You see my pattern clearly! At times I write reams on each card yet find that I must let it go in order to fit the pattern I feel called to work with. I’m planning to “pause” after posting my Hanged Man poem, as I’ll be taking a Spring holiday … so then it’ll be my turn to catch up with you my dear friend! Warm wishes, Deborah.

  2. Allow your inner light to sparkle, seek compassionate detachment – that is the key to finding the balance between introversion and extroversion is it not?

    I too am an introvert although for many years I forced myself to appear more extroverted in my dealings with others, I think I was following demands of the work I did and circles I mixed in…it was exhausting putting on the extroverts mask 24/7 and that exhaustion forced me to stop and reassess my way of being – a wakeup call to go within.

    It is only in the past 14 years I have quietened myself, sharing my time with creativity, nature and a few close friends – I feel so much more fulfilled and now, as I am in the second half of life, I find myself coming out of my shell a little more but doing that in a more natural balanced manner.

    Another beautifully worded insightful work Deborah, thank you.

    1. Thank you so much Sophia for your kind-hearted words and rich reflections. It’s interesting how the topic of introversion has arisen when viewing this card … as there are many of us introverts out there! For me, a little more extraversion could go a long way, yet I love the depth and richness of my inner life and wouldn’t want to be parted from it for too long.

      It must have been incredibly hard to put on an extravert’s mask for all those years. Me, I couldn’t even fake doing so! I like that, sharing your time with creativity and nature, as well as good friends. Sometimes I forget I’m no longer ‘doing’ but ‘being’ when outdoors … yes, natural and balanced. Warm spring wishes, Deborah.

  3. As a clandestine introvert, it’s like coming home whenever I see over this card. Spot on analysis for writing, studying and the associated solitude. Well done! In reverse he reminds me of a neighbour who lives in the same street, rarely seen in daylight, Anna.

    1. Thank you so much Anna for your wonderful comment. I like the way you describe introversion as secret. Growing up I could never understand, like Susanne, why books and poetry held more interest for me than people … however since discovering my own introversion, I absolutely love it and have gained much understanding on the subject.

      A few years ago I remember there were several “hoarder” programmes on TV, and they would often make me think of the Hermit in reverse. Warm wishes to you, Deborah.

        1. Not visibly, yet invisibly a hoarder lives in my shadow for sure! … no wonder I enjoyed that TV show, “The Hoarder Next Door” so much! Makes sense, I hope the day finds you well.

  4. Interior cities … how true is that … My house has many mansions. I relate to this so well, thank you Deborah. In my childhood and young adulthood I was introverted, in my forties I became more extraverted, now I’m back to being introverted – a place where I feel comfortable in spite of an ongoing existential angst – ‘hidden storms’ as you so aptly say!

    I love the last verse – compassionate detachment – enjoy the diverse path of others –

    I now have the ear worm in my head par favor of Susanne … 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Susan for your lovely words and openness of heart.

      It’s interesting how we move along the introversion and extraversion continuum throughout our lives. Here in midlife after being deeply introverted for several years I feel myself slowly opening up, and relating to others in changed ways … although I also suspect in later years I may return to the Hermit’s (all by myself! yes, thanks to Susanne that’s now playing in my head too) cave.

      In the end, I have no idea yet find myself profoundly rapt with my own house with many mansions too! A lifetime’s work indeed. Deeply sorry to hear your sad news today my dear friend. Blessings always, Deborah.

  5. Hi Deborah,

    Being an introvert, i have often had, in hindsight, a rather arrogant attitude of ‘not belonging’. I felt so different from all the girls who wanted to have boyfriends and were only talking about how to make themselves attractive. i wanted to think about the world. i wanted to talk about existential stuff.

    I am delighted to have noticed, as the years have gone bye, my attitude became younger. I like still like talking existential stuff, but i also indulge in chatting nitty gritty stuff.

    So i have reversed the inner hermit, even though he still appeals to me. Sometime i crave to be alone. “All by myself” i sing in myself and start humming it, Than the people living with me know I need some time off. My Hermit time is in the bathtub with a good inspiring book 😉

    1. Thank you so much Susanne for your sharing your rich reflections on the Tarot and how much you identify with this card. Being a fellow introvert myself, I understand where you’re coming from. I only wish that schools would be able to help children who are not extroverted more, where even today the emphasis is placed on educational institutes being loud, dominant and noisy places that many an introvert struggles greatly with.

      At times my tendency is also to be on my own, especially when I’m writing or studying … I can’t seem to ever do that in company. It’s just me and the dark red settee! However I love to see my dearest friends, who I’ve considered family for many a decade now, visiting exhibitions or the woods with them, or just relaxing in their deep, rich company. It’s simply amazing how much “insight” comes up from the Hermit! Blessings always, Deborah.

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