KEY 9 – The Hermit
ANCIENT OF DAYS
To begin with … we all have VIRGO somewhere in our chart, since it rules the sixth house of health and work in mundane astrology. We all want healthy bodies, and we all have some kind of work to perform, meager as it might be in some instances. By the way, this sign does not rule a part of the body associated with glamourbut the intestinal tracta portion essential to our very survival. It is in this part of our anatomy where our food is digested and assimilated to the various organs and bodily systems in need of sustenance and nourishment. What you feed your body is important. Pure and nutritious food is associated with the virginal aspect of the sign, for tainted food will surely make you sick or sometimes poison or even destroy your body. Many of those in religious or mystical orders become vegetarians and refuse to eat eggs, fish, fowl, or meat, but as a Lama from a Kyoto monastery once told my Hatha Yoga class, “A carrot also has consciousness.” And as Alice Bailey points out in some of her writings, even some spiritual practices can become a stumbling-block for the lower ego. For the vegetarian might piously announce, “I don’t eat my brothers and sisters,” or proudly say, “I don’t eat meat!” when perhaps he or she is required to destroy other life forms in order to sustain her own, as the carrot screams to the celery, “Look out for those teeth, they’re going to get us!”
This is the fussy sign of the Zodiac, picky, picky. VIRGO is known to be particular, analytical, fastidious, critical, and sometimes fault finding. My spiritual teacher Ann Davies called this the sign of the fanatic. Different individuals can be fanatic about a variety of things. Fanaticism in any form can be unpleasant, or even dangerous, especially that currently being expressed in a religious sense. Wars have been and continue to be fought because of religious fervor and fanaticism. What are you fanatic about? Think about it. Try not to drive your loved ones crazy because of your particular point of view about some thing or some one.
The cleanliness important to VIRGO harkens back to the need for purity in any number of areas, the need to keep everything somewhat “virginal.” A strong mercurial pattern in a chart may indicate the person that doesn’t like one item of food on a dinner plate to touch another. VIRGO, ruled by the planet Mercury represented by Key 1, THE MAGICIAN, intellect, is the aspect of consciousness that involves everything we are, do, or manage to acquire, for all things start with a thought or idea in the conscious mind. This Key represents the SELF CONSCIOUS, Beta state of awareness assigned to the masculine nature in Tarot, whereas, in astrology, Mercury is considered a neutral planet. It is CONSCIOUSNESS that creates. What you constantly dwell upon becomes your personal reality, so be positive and discriminate!
Almost every Tarot Key represents so many different aspects of life and awareness that a book could easily be written on every single Key of the Tarot Major Arcana. Deciding what to cover is a bit difficult when it comes to KEY 9, THE HERMIT, representative of the wise old man, the teacher, mentor, spiritual adept or master who holds the Light of Truth aloft so that others might catch sight of the illumination on the mountaintop of attainment and thereby follow. This is another of the eternal archetypes of the Collective Unconscious, the wise and patient Ancient of Days or father figure that lights the Path before us, the kindly teacher or instructor, the coach who cares. VIRGO is closely associated with education and learning, elementary education in terms of house placement. The rudiments of education are necessary before any student of life can go on to the next stage of development and growth. It is necessary to learn the basics before one is able to stretch their mental or creative muscles to proceed to the next level. You have to know the subject before you can teach it!
The Hebrew letter assigned to KEY 1, THE MAGICIAN is Beth, which means house. The intestinal tract in its serpentine pattern is where the nutrients consumed transmute and transform the human body into something stronger, wiser, and more enlightened, into the actual Temple of God. Lack of proper food also robs the brain, the physical instrument (computer) of the intellect, of the nutrients necessary for clear thinking for someone to create or invent in accordance with skill and desire. Practice is important to be able to reach the mountaintop of attainment in any sport, work, or profession. It is said that the violinist has the body of a violinist from practicing and practicing in perfecting musical skill. The body of an athlete is a testimony to skill in sportsmanship with constant practice and training necessary to maintain the dream. The body of a chemist or banker is the instrument for perfection in that work as well.
The art of visualization is the art of seeing something as though it exists in the present, for in the thought or desire is the energy to create the reality, to bring it into manifestation. VIRGO is always willing to work on it and work on it to get to the goal. Laziness is not a part of the VIRGO nature, but industry. Many born under this sign (and you can include the moon or rising sign) can have trouble sitting still and doing nothing. they usually have to be reading something, contemplating, or watching television or a movie. They find it necessary to be doing something at nearly every given moment. They also make fine editors, critics, statisticians, accountants, and bookkeepers! Unwanted criticism may be something they need to keep in check. As my spiritual teacher once admonished, if you want to get rid of a friend or lover start telling them what’s wrong with them, and they’ll be long gone. Although few of us are perfect, almost none of us like to be told what’s wrong with us, do we? Sometimes telling the truth as you see it comes across as cruelty and may be cruelty in fact.
Organization is part of our Virgo nature, taking one step before the next. That’s the best we can do on our way up the path that leads to the top of the mountain. Keep climbing. One day you too shall be able to extend the Light of Truth.