Steampunk tarot (Moore) - IX - The Hermit


Here we see our Hermit standing overlooking the town below him. He is facing the left. I will describe him shortly, but my first line of observation was regarding what he was standing on. It looks like a graveyard of industry in the form of cogs, and other metal workings. It makes me think of how we have become a bit of a throw-away society, and do not give much thought to where it goes or what happens to it. Granted, these days we are becoming more aware, and recycling in many countries has become the norm. However, in Victorian times, this would not have been the case. So intent would people have been on the exciting progress of industry, not much heed would have been given to the byproducts. The fact he is standing on this, I find quite poignant and may actually give an interpretation over and above something we usually associate with the Hermit.
I will note however, Barbara has a different take in her book. She sees the pile as representing information, ideas, and philosphies he has collected on his journey. Those that do not resonate with his soul are discarded.

Now onto the gentleman himself. He is one of the older residents of this deck and is dressed in a very ragged cloack. He leans on the cane he has in his right hand, and holds aloft in his right hand, a lantern in the form of an hourglass. Another nice twist. It is not quite apparent on the card, but the b/w enlarged picture in the book shows us he has his eyes closed.

The town below is bathed in a smoggy light, and we can see this has actually diminished the appearance of the stars in the sky. Maybe the air will smell sweeter the higher up the hill away from the town he finds himself.

** What can be made of the hourglass as a lantern? What could this symbolise?

** Is he an outcast from the town or has he chosen to distance himself? How would the interpretation be different if either case should apply?

** What is the significance of the cog on his cane?

** What is the significance of the fact he is facing to the left? (The reason I add this, is because I often see that as looking to the past).

I actually quite like this depiction. I just feel there is hindsight we can apply in keeping with the Hermit and his message, based on what we know of the English Industrial Revolution. His spiritual insights and thoughts (which could only be gained through distancing yourself from the hustle and bustle around the towns) would have perhaps been of value. I do sense though, he would not have been listened to, but that is fine by him. He is happy to have as company, his own truths and path of light.