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L'Hermite and his Lantern

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Well, he is an old man; he wouldn’t be able to hold the lantern before his eyes for a long time. Maybe he is lifting it for a moment, because he intuited the presence of something he wants to examine better.
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-delete-
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Any other ideas what it could be? (I mean, it's pretty obvious that's it's a lantern... but for my own personal reasons I would still like some more brainstorming ideas, if anyone has any. Thank you!)
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It's a bird cage with a canary in it.
To foretell impending doom.
Like the canarys they took down in the coal mines
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Quote:
Originally posted by ihcoyc
It's not a squirrel --- it's an Intergalactic Giant Space Hamster!

I think it was originally meant to represent an hourglass, since the Hermit is a figure who represents Time.

On the other hand, he may also represent Diogenes of Sinope, who carried his lantern in daylight while he sought for a truly honest man. Carrying the lantern that way in daylight doesn't have the disadvantages of dazzling you.
Ya know, the very first time my dad, who's studied a lot of the subjects related to Tarot but never Tarot itself, said this exact same thing the first time he saw The Hermit card from my Universal Waite deck...I was floored...

(Well, Diogenes looking for an honest man, not, "Oh look, he's got an Intergalactic Giant Space Hamster!")

(Pray 'scuse the tangent...)

The reason I was thinking incense burner...in Hadar's TdM it looks like it has stained glass windows, making it possibly a religious item?
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The Once and Future King


Disguised as The Old Man in the Moon he wanders,
as in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream...
see, "This man, with lantern, dog, and bush of thorn,
presenteth Moonshine." V.i.135-136 Riverside Edition.

Where is his dog, you ask? Sent after the wayward Fool,
who has something very important in his chechmat bag!
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While obviously Edith Sitwell did not influence the design of the card in a historical sense, I often see Il Dottore in L'Hermite:

The octogenarian
Leaned from his window,
To the valerian
Growing below
Said, "My nightcap
Is only the gap
In the thrembling thorn
Where the mild unicorn
With the little Infanta
Danced the lavolta
(Clapping hands: molto
Lent' eleganta)."
The man with the lanthorn
Peers high and low;
No more
Than a snore
As he walks to and fro...
Il Dottore the stoic
Culls silver herb
Benath the superb
Vast moon azoic.
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A bell, perhaps?

In the few Marseilles decks I've looked at the hermit is holding onto the lantern as if it had a vertical handle. His hand is very close to where the flame would be, also, as is the fabric of his cloak on at least one card I looked at.

Yeeouch! That would get hot! Although, I suppose metaphoric lanterns would give light but wouldn't burn!

Were lanterns from yesteryear designed with such handles? I thought they had bucket-style handles like on Fulgour's picture.

Peace,

Melvis
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I've always thought of the light in the lantern to be the heart of the Hermit, burning for humanity. It is like the expression, "He wears his heart on his sleeve."

He shows us his heart, his love, his knowledge, and holds it up for us to see that we can do what he has done. He lights the way to knowledge, let's us know the path works, that silence and stillness and sometimes turning away from society and everything we know and love will fill us with something else.

His loneliness is his light.
Because there are things to be discovered only in loneliness.
His love for us is his light.

I love the Hermit.
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What about a lunch box?

Or a firefly in a container with mica walls....old wood stoves had mica plates in them rather than glass....so you see the light inside, but not the flames....per say
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