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Sophie-David 
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Legend: The Hermit, Lancelot in Exile


Lancelot in Exile, Legend's Hermit, portrays a hero in desperate longing, in search of a new understanding of himself and his world. Banished by Guenevere his Beloved, Lancelot has retreated to the wilderness and spent two years there, coping with his pain in quiet solitude. In the wild darkness of the forest, he penetrates to the very roots of his painful shadows.

By the light of his torch - his spirit seeking wholeness - Lancelot comes across a surprising treasure, a painted doorway guarding a hidden spring or well. He has found the font of healing that lies deep within him, the dark passion of his sacred wound.

Is this just a doorway, or is it a gravestone? Does Lancelot kneel within his own burial crypt of stones, coming to terms with his own eternity? Will he surrender to this grave, and rise up again an new and whole man?

Like so many other lost lovers past and present, Lancelot kneels in solitude and separation, and in the throes of deepest pain, longing, and defeat. He may yet transform and transcend his love, discovering the divine within, his own Self at his very centre. Out of the tragedy of loss, time can bring forth the highest art, the most beautiful and profound healing. Thus the Hermit may become mystic and teacher, the healer and guide for other seekers on their path through darkness.



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Last edited by Sophie-David; 04-04-2005 at 13:50. Reason: Added link to jpg
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WalesWoman 
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Guess poor Lancelot was getting a beating in the 5 Cups thread and it is time to look at him a little more deeply. After all he's been through and screwed up, he wouldn't be welcome anywhere and has no where else to turn but inward, to re-examine his life, his motivations, his actions and responsibilities and gain some sort of understanding.

I heard somewhere that he joined a monastary, turning his passions to God, rather than his love or settling for less with Elaine. This would also fit well with the Hermit...the solitude and solace of withdrawing from the world of man to the world of the spirit to gain peace, knowledge from self sacrifice. He would have to give up pride, arrogance and learn humility and mercy, to forgive as well as recieve forgiveness.

Or do I have my time line all wrong? Did he do the Hermit before or after Elaine. Anyone know?



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Quote:
Did he do the Hermit before or after Elaine.
So far this is the only information I could find.

"When news reached Lancelot of Arthur's death in battle, Lancelot exchanged his armour for the habits, and became a monk. When he died, he was buried beside his friend Galehaut at Joyous Guard."



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Sophie-David 
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In A Keeper of Words, page 66, Anna-Marie tells us that when Guenevere found Lancelot and Elaine sleeping together she banished both of them from the court. The Hermit card depicts Lancelot during this period of exile. Two years later Elaine found Lancelot sleeping by the well - perhaps the well pictured in the card. She then sent word to King Pelles, guardian of the Grail, and by the Holy Grail the fallen hero was healed.

In psychological terms we could view his redemption by Elaine as symbolic of his internal Beloved arising from the sacrifice of his ego at the well of his unconscious.

But actually it would seem that Lancelot really didn't learn that much from this withdrawal into the wilderness, and his story continues with immoral and dubious acts until the final battle. For this reason I phrased his encounter at the well in terms of questions, for at this stage he did not really become the Hermit in its positive aspect, the "mystic and teacher, the healer and guide for other seekers on their path through darkness".

But as Mooncat suggests, after the battle he retreated to the monastery and perhaps at this point became a character more like the positive Hermit.

At his web site, http://www.jrhaule.net/divine.html, Jungian clinician and shaman John Haule discusses the romance of Guenevere and Lancelot (and others) at some length, concluding with their final days here http://www.jrhaule.net/dm14.html. These are links to the complete text of Haule's out-of-print book, Divine Madness: Archetypes of Romantic Love, one of the best treatments I have read of the transformative power of erotic love.

Haule suggests that Guenevere and Lancelot experienced both the love potion and the naked sword of separation, which together matured and transformed them. To me, the Legend Hermit card is a wonderful image of the naked sword in operation.



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Sophie-David 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalesWoman
Guess poor Lancelot was getting a beating in the 5 Cups thread and it is time to look at him a little more deeply. After all he's been through and screwed up, he wouldn't be welcome anywhere and has no where else to turn but inward, to re-examine his life, his motivations, his actions and responsibilities and gain some sort of understanding.
Well, we can't expect too much from him, he is just a man!

Quote:
Originally Posted by WalesWoman
Or do I have my time line all wrong? Did he do the Hermit before or after Elaine. Anyone know?
Sorry WalesWoman, I didn't really answer your question last night. In A Keeper of Words, Elaine and the Five of Cups comes after the exile of the Hermit. Elaine nurses him back to health, they set up house and live unhappily ever after.



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Know that you are - already - the Christ, the Bodhisattva. By your great love the One became Many, as with delight and joy you assumed the cloak of duality. Form is made of but three things: energy, change, and love.
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Lyones 
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Anna-Marie identifies the site as being St Ambrew's Well, so being overly curious I went looking for it ...

http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/site/4095

I was amused by the yellow sign post outside the door in the one photograph - it has an "H" on it ... for "Hermit" ... right? *lol*

On the card, Lancelot is naked, he is no longer identified by what he wears, in fact, he is unrecognisable, he is no longer who he was in the court. He is alone in the forest, but being a sacred site it would be protected. The only "person" he has to speak to is the face on the door - whether it is the face of a saint or a god, it does not seem to be unfriendly. Lancelot seems pleased to have found it and kneels in front of it, perhaps in respect of what the figure represents, perhaps in the hope that it's spirit will guide him and heal him - in kneeling he subjects himself to the higher entity.



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Sophie-David 
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Hi Lyones

Thanks for finding the pictures! There is another one from the same site here with slightly different information and a different picture: http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article....rder=0&thold=0

I have not been able to find any information on who St. Ambrew, alias St. Ambrusca, was.

In spite of the H for hermit sign, it looks like a contemporary Lancelot would be out of luck - the well door is locked.

I would think that the door could not be very old, perhaps no more than 200 years, since it is made of wood - correct me if I am wrong.

Lancelot's nakedness also represents that he has discarded his persona - as you say "he is no longer who he was in the court" - and approaches the well in vulnerability and humility. And a door is of course a common symbol of transition and self-realization either through inner work, going inside onself, or through outer work, going beyond. This door reminds me a bit of a hobbit hole too.



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Know that you are - already - the Christ, the Bodhisattva. By your great love the One became Many, as with delight and joy you assumed the cloak of duality. Form is made of but three things: energy, change, and love.

Last edited by Sophie-David; 07-01-2005 at 04:27.
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mooncat2 
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I've struggled with this card the last few days! The Hermit is one of my favorite cards, my soul card, but here is no wise one, no ancient cloaked guide shining his light for me to follow.

I have a sense of rejection - I don't want Lancelot on 'my' card - I don't think I like him.
Quote:
Originally posted by David
Well, we can't expect too much from him, he is just a man!
He is, indeed - and he could just as easily be a woman. He is a human being, stripped bare, in all his fraility facing that dark night of the soul. Many of us have been there and it is a terrible time but having survived mine I now look back and understand that if I hadn't been there I wouldn't be the person I am today.
This is a Hermit from a very different perspective and my feelings begin to change - I feel Lancelot's pain, feel guilty for judging him so unkindly - lol!
Quote:
Is this just a doorway, or is it a gravestone?
When I look at it I'm reminded of a mirror, for some reason.

I had an interesting experience last night.Three times I've drawn this card in a few days as I've searched for clarity on a reading I received last week. The answer was there but I couldn't find it. Last night I read over the words in the book, read the poem ,and there seemed to be an emphasis on dreams so I took that thought to bed with me. At 3 am this morning I woke - I had a dream - a powerful dream and also my answer. I've never tried this before and find it all a bit overwhelming - this deck is really getting to me!



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WalesWoman 
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A power outage was the end of my post this morning...
Quote:
Originally Posted by sophie-david
Well, we can't expect too much from him, he is just a man!
Like that's a good excuse or what? LOL

Quote:
Elaine and the Five of Cups comes after the exile of the Hermit. Elaine nurses him back to health, they set up house and live unhappily ever after
Hand me a hanky, I can't decide if I'm laughing or crying! Ok, so, the silly man didn't learn a whole lot and they both made some huge mistakes that haunted them for the rest of thier lives. Love makes us idiots.
Maybe the door was locked and illuminated by the spotlight and he couldn't get in. I was trying to decide if it was some sort of rune rock, glowing with the secret of life or the opening to a cave lit from within by the fire that burns away all illusions and delusions.
Luckily Lyones found the answer for that. I think it is so ironic that there is a big yellow H! What a hoot!

My more serious thoughts were about frailalty as well, that we make some monumental mistakes and misjudgements all the time when passion and physical desire rule our actions.

Lancelot had no were to turn but inward, to take responsibility where his actions had led him. Guenivere kicks him out because he can't have her, but he can't sleep with another woman either? No wonder the poor man is confused, he can't win no matter which way he goes. Another thought was before I discovered the Hermit was before Elaine, rather than after, was going from 5 Cups to Hermit made a really good transition. The mortification Lyones spoke of, that after doing stupid things which make you wonder "What was I thinking?" as if the person who did a this is someone unfamiliar, that due to one thing or another, it's like you don't even know yourself...so you need that time to figure who the stranger within you is, who and what you have let yourself become and accept responsibility for this...if you ever want to go back into the world and look at anyone in the eye again.

Otherwise, if you don't learn what makes your really tick, you are doomed to repeat your mistakes again and again or withdraw totally and not even bother. Another element is learning to listen to yourself, so advice, from someone wiser or a higher source, in order to learn was is at the base of your motivations and gain insight and understanding from them. It does seem like Lancelot is hearing a voice whispering to him.

So did Lancelot learn or just decide to totally withdraw and remove himself from the futility of temptation and failure. Evidently he did decide he had to be responsible for Elaine,( sort of like a shotgun wedding I'm sure) but it just wasn't going to work out...we can't make our hearts feel love, it's just one of those things that is.

I'm amazed how much was posted on this today...I almost didn't bother to try remembering what I wrote this morning...since it seems to have been talked about by everyone else, much more eloquently. Nice to know we seem to think on the same wavelengths.



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Sophie-David 
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Waleswoman, I think it a bit scary how "we seem to think on the same wavelengths". But its all the deck's fault! (Who me, take responsiblity? I'm just a man - ROTFL)

Speaking of which:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mooncat2
I had an interesting experience last night.Three times I've drawn this card in a few days as I've searched for clarity on a reading I received last week. The answer was there but I couldn't find it. Last night I read over the words in the book, read the poem ,and there seemed to be an emphasis on dreams so I took that thought to bed with me. At 3 am this morning I woke - I had a dream - a powerful dream and also my answer. I've never tried this before and find it all a bit overwhelming - this deck is really getting to me!
OK Carol, that's not my fault either, just because I've been working through every card in the deck by dreaming about it, starting with the Fool, doesn't mean you have to do it too!

Now I'm working through Spears its really getting spooky - the card of the night seems to reflect on what I've experienced during the day. I just hope this trend doesn't continue into Swords!



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