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Thirteen 
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Thumbs up Bohemian Gothic-The Hermit


Bleak trees in the background, a night mist whitened by moon light, our Hermit travels with Lantern out, as if in a trance. But not quite. A closer look and we can see that this cloaked Hermit has very strange eyes! It's hard to tell, but they may be cat eyes--or just glowing eyes with odd pupils.

Has he been possessed? Or is he something supernatural? Perhaps unnatural? Demon? Zombie? Spirit? The trees in back of him look like they were once tended, but have grown out wild, and those wild branches make them look alive and dangerous as well.

The usual Hermit card is a man with a lantern in search of secret knowledge. It is a card that stands for solitude as well as investigation, study, learning, seeking. This Hermit does seem to be in search of something or someone, but we might well hope that he never does find whatever he's searching for. The lantern is supposed to stand for the Hermit's power to illuminate and see through the darkness. Yet in this card the one thing that Lantern most illuminates out of the surrounding darkness is...the Hermit!

A very scary card, but once again, I think it give an added layer to the Hermit that most decks don't have. The light shines on him, and reveals more about him than about anything else. When you lift your lantern to go seeking something, what you most illuminate with your search is your own self. Most especially your own darkest desires.
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I remember reading a fairy tale when I was a child about a man who goes into the deepest, darkest forest only to find a lantern with trolls gathered around it. He tries to leave but is mesmerized by the light; so he, too, stares at it until he finally becomes a troll, never to be seen by his family again.
I wish I could remember the whole story but that is what this Hermit card reminds me of.
It speaks of the balance between isolation and enlightenment. People who are isolated from humanity "lose it" as they are left with only their own mind to talk to and the mind implodes. It looks like the light is external to him, while the traditional RWS gives you the feeling of illumination from within. He looks like he is in that painful place that happens just before enlightenment; the darkest before daylight moment. I think Douglas Adams wrote a book called "The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul". I never read it but that phrase just came to mind. I find myself wanting to say "Dude, snap out of it!"



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Thirteen 
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I agree. There is something that suggests the Hermit is possessed. I think that's what amplified the usual meaning here. I've always felt that the Hermit card is that of someone who is very focused and obsessive. He's gone off alone, rid himself of distractions, in order to concentrate on finding the answers he's seeking.

This is the Hermit to the nth degree, he can't stop searching with that lantern, as if nothing is going to stop him or get in his way. The lantern light even glows in his eyes, a light and a task that has possessed him.

He almost glows from the inside. He is the lantern, but this doesn't have the spiritual feeling that it would if we said it for the RW Hermit, rather, it has a scary feeling. Like he's been taken over. Like he will shine those glowing eyes at you and see into you in a way that no one should be able to see into you.
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Alisa13 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thirteen
Like he's been taken over. Like he will shine those glowing eyes at you and see into you in a way that no one should be able to see into you.
Very, very cool! In all the practices I have done he hasn't popped up yet but when he does, I'll be ready!



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There is that saying that the eyes are the windows to one's soul. I look at the Hermit and see that even in darkness, the soul is burning bright. Even in darkness, the Hermit can see based on what he knows to be true inside. He has a choice: to follow what his eyes are telling him, his own light, or to follow what the lantern shows him, an outside source.
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Thirteen 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepwalker
There is that saying that the eyes are the windows to one's soul. I look at the Hermit and see that even in darkness, the soul is burning bright. Even in darkness, the Hermit can see based on what he knows to be true inside. He has a choice: to follow what his eyes are telling him, his own light, or to follow what the lantern shows him, an outside source.
But it seems to me, at least in this card, that the Hermit *is* following his own light--and directing that outer light toward that thing. We think he's using the lantern to guide him--but he's not. The lantern is just there to help him pinpoint what he's after.

It's like I expect him to turn like a compass and hone in on some dark spot--and you don't know why he's looking in that direction, you can't see anything there. But then he steps up, shine that light on it, and exposes whatever (or whoever) is hiding there.

In other words, you can hide from the lantern light, but not those glowing, see-in-the-dark eyes.
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Sleepwalker 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thirteen
But it seems to me, at least in this card, that the Hermit *is* following his own light--and directing that outer light toward that thing. We think he's using the lantern to guide him--but he's not. The lantern is just there to help him pinpoint what he's after.

It's like I expect him to turn like a compass and hone in on some dark spot--and you don't know why he's looking in that direction, you can't see anything there. But then he steps up, shine that light on it, and exposes whatever (or whoever) is hiding there.

In other words, you can hide from the lantern light, but not those glowing, see-in-the-dark eyes.
I hear you. I think the part that intrigues me about this deck is the dual personality. I agree with your assessment about his eyes showing his inner light, but I think the shadow side of this card could be a possibility of following what's seen from the lantern and ignoring what his eyes truly tell him.
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Thirteen 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepwalker
I hear you. I think the part that intrigues me about this deck is the dual personality. I agree with your assessment about his eyes showing his inner light, but I think the shadow side of this card could be a possibility of following what's seen from the lantern and ignoring what his eyes truly tell him.
Um...I'd say that was the "shadow" side of the normal Hermit. With this deck, however, the shadow side always comes across to me as far darker and far, far scarier. It's not simply picking the inner light over the outer light--it's that the inner light is suspect! The shadow side of this Hermit, IMHO, is that you don't want him to find what he's looking for with those eyes. I mean, this Hermit looks like he's searching for victims to kill or bodies to dig up or trap doors that if opened will release demons into the world. With those eyes, I really don't want to know what he's searching for and I really don't want him to find the right spot, and use that lantern to expose it. That, to me, is a shadow side of this Hermit. Really, really scary.
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Considering the amount of semi-mad people in the deck, I like the Hermit, I feel I can trust him, he wants me to follow him. He has travelled a lot and he knows the way in and out (somehow I feel the deck is a world in itself). He suddenly appears to guide me wherever I want to go. He reminds me of Charon in the greek mythology, Charon too was a guide with flashing eyes and he was always demanding a payment for his service. What payment will demand this guide aka the Hermit? Will it be too much to finally accept his help?



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The Hermit is such a transitory card to me that in the same way that the Chariot moves, I think the Hermit goes as well. His imprint might not be as wide, dense or lasting as The Chariot, but his movement is supposed to be a little more subdued. I can't blame him; if I wanted to be off on my own, exploring myself and the wonders of the world, I'd want to have my foot prints ignored and be lost after a while, too.

The moon in the sky doesn't appear as necessarily a moon. It could also be the sun on a very, very foggy morning. I can't tell if it's morning or night and the ambiguity adds to the card's feeling. No matter the time of day: you can always be on a mission for knowledge and self awareness. It's like squeezing in those 15 minutes of meditation into your busy and packed schedule; it can be done to where you can forget the feeling of time and just focus on your mission.

The location, robe, lantern, and maybe even the angle of the left hand (as if with a walking cane) make me think of a long distance journey and we just get a snapshot of him. I think back on the RWS Hermit and how he's stationary, in thought in the moment. What makes me like this particular Hermit more is how he's thoughtful but it's with every step he takes. As if every step he takes is another word to contribute to his discoveries or even another line of thought to add as well... and I don't see this Hermit stopping anytime soon. He'll walk it out until he figures out what he needs to figure out. I like this card; he's not sitting around waiting for his personal discoveries to magically become clear to him. He's actually actively coming upon them.
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