Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Hermit's Light

Today the Heart Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2009) offers us another Major: the Hermit.  This seems a bit of a strange card to receive on Valentine's Day, but then, needing some time out isn't dependent on a Hallmark holiday!

This Hermit seems particularly lonely, up on the top of an extremely high pillar, with birds flying below him.  The landscape all around is totally barren, though I guess that the patterns could be quite meditative for the eye.  Although he has a lamp, it is behind him, its light unseen.

In a jokey way, this image reminds me of the 2003 stunt by David Blaine where he endured 44 days in a plexiglas case next to the River Thames in London, with only water to sustain him.  This Hermit seems similarly disheveled.

What makes someone choose to distance themselves from others?  It can be to have some time and space to study and learn, or it can be as a protest or a performance.

For me, I see this card being about emotional distance.  Today and tomorrow, I finish with two clients, one of whom I've been seeing for six months.  I feel great sadness at this - my world will seem more barren for no longer seeing them.  I know I will soon have other clients, yet I will miss these people who I have come to care about.  Taking some time to acknowledge that, then turning to see the light that is still there, sounds like a plan.

I am grateful for the ability to care, even when it hurts.


  1. That affirmation is poignant, Chloe. What you do...helping people through their grief...is amazing. I'm so impressed. I think your take on this is really good. And this Hermit on his tower is an interesting look. It reminds me of the Tower coming down if we isolate too much. Nice connection for me.

  2. Lovely post, Chloe. Sometimes people distances themselves for others because they are very sensitive...and are trying to protect themselves from hurt or even exposure. :o)

  3. Aww...

    I hate leaving counselors behind, too! Of course, it makes sense that it would go both ways. My last counselor (who I may indeed go see again someday) I saw almost more as a friend, but because of the need for professionalism, we weren't able to be friend-friends. Kinda makes me sad. Lol. I feel like sometimes I find doctors and counselors and make friends with them just because I see them more than other folks!

    Hope you're having a good Hermit healin'...


  4. Hi Arwen,

    I'm glad my gratitude touched you. Still feeling it today, having said goodbye to the second client.

    Interesting comment about the Tower coming down if we isolate too much. Not sure I've ever thought of the Tower in that light, but I guess it fits with the cracked and crumbling pedestal this Hermit sits on...

    Hi Janet,

    It's definitely true that sensitivity can be a reason to withdraw. There's something there for me about that sensitivity also having a great potential for spiritual learning, which also fits with the Hermit.

    Hi MM,

    It is a weird relationship. Many counsellors would say that if you don't care about your clients at a heart level, you really have nothing to offer them. And yet you can't just be friends, as that destroys some of the benefits - of being totally outside their normal lives so it makes it okay to open up to you.

    As for making friends with those people you see most, I certainly don't find that a risk with most regular doctors - talk about God complexes and professional dignity. Maybe that's because they sense my scepticism...