I stand today on the open road, the seclusion of The Hallway of Beginnings far behind me. The way ahead is empty, and there is a breeze blowing in like a wastrel from the North, shuffling across the empty plains, plucking at my clothes as I contemplate what lies ahead of me. Alone I stand, alone in a lonely landscape, no creature or tree to greet me, no bird to call my name, no song to embrace my heart, alone in a world of my own creation, where I seek to find the meaning I need today.
Overwhelmed by the sense of emptiness and the lack of direction that this landscape gives me, I sink to the ground with a feeling in my stomach akin to vertigo, I sink to the ground, cross legged, and stare at the dust and stones, as if I am trying to conjure some sort of magical being from their grey featureless forms. Further and further I gaze into the dust, until my attention is drawn to my feet, bare as usual, and I take them in my hands and look at them more carefully. I look at the lines in the skin, the tiny cuts that have left scars, some of them. I look at the bruised parts, and where one of my toes has bled recently, and I wonder why I have not noticed this before. I look at my feet more and more intensely, and see how that they have carried me to many places, carried me without me even realizing it, and that often they have carried me without my conscious direction…and that I have been following my feet.
I gain a strong awareness that my feet have always known which way to go, and that these parts of me, that unite me with the earth, after all, connect me with my path more firmly than any wisdom that I may accumulate in my mind. I gain the understanding that I am connected at all times to my path, and that as I have walked through life, that often my feet have carried me of their own volition, even when I was unsure, or thought that I was heading in the wrong direction. Humble and quiet, my feet have carried on regardless, uncomplaining for the most part and ready to bear me every day, in their effort to bring me to the right places.
I see then, that The Hermit is our soul connection in the pattern of life that we choose, our inner knowing, the connection that we have to the earth in order that we can understand our calling. He is unafraid of the darkness, and does not turn away from difficulty, The Hermit, like our feet, just keeps on walking.
After the long contemplation of my feet, I stand again in the emptiness of the landscape, and I feel the cloak of The Hermit fall around me, softly, like the gathering night… no stars shine here in the darkness of this day, there is just the gloom, the north wind, my lamp and me….. and as I travel, I walk through sections of emptiness and void, places that fall away into nothing, like an elevator shaft that plummets through space and time. I skirt these carefully, avoiding the chaos that lies in their jaws, my feet knowing which way to go, and my mind’s eye following the light that I carry, as it shines ahead into the uncertainty. I pass other scenes, countless images, rising up out of the depths, and I feel like I am walking through the pages of history, gathering stories and feelings, sounds and images, harvesting the experiences of a lifetime, of countless lifetimes. I record the experiences, the joy, the pain, the ecstasy, the damnation, bitterness and love…. the entire gamut of human emotion, gather it into the basket that I carry within me. I see the brave beginnings, the catastrophe of endings, birth and death and the whole journey that lies in-between. Rather than disturbing me or upsetting me, the images start to flow through me, and I become one with them, they become a part of me, and I feel enriched by this, I feel stronger and more fertile, rather than weighed down and depleted by the emotions that I witness. I feel this in my body, and my head carries the vision of the light that flows before me as I walk into the unknown, and as I do so, I hear the voice of Malachi in my mind……
“ I am The Hermit, and I hold the lamp that lights the darkness, but I also show you the darkness that lies within the light. I am aware of what is entailed in the entire process, from the thought of the planting, to the eating of the bread at the end of the harvest, I am the cycle, I govern the cycle. I am your entire story, and I hold both your life and your death within me, I am the sum of your parts, I am the loss of your faith, I am the dream of your understanding, I am the word of your god, I am the one who keeps on walking.”
I find myself again on the empty plain, the visions gone from me, and Malachi nowhere to be seen. I feel cleansed in some way, for although this has been a rather different journey to many, I feel that in a way, it has been some kind of conclusion. I look for the portal, and I see it waiting for me, the soft and sombre colours of The Hermit, calling me home, calling me back to The Hallway of Beginnings.
IX The Hermit
The Prophet of the Eternal
The Magus of the Voice of Power
Zodiacal Trump of Virgo
Mercury Rules-Mercury Exalted