Wirth, Oswald – 09 The Hermit
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
The Tarot of the Magicians – Oswald Wirth English translation 1985 Samuel Weiser.
First published in Paris in 1927 under the original title: Le Tarot, des lmagiers du Moyen Age
The Hermit …. is an experienced old man who knows the past from which he gains his inspiration to prepare the future. His walk is careful, for armed with a bamboo cane with seven mystic knots, he sounds the earth on which he advances slowly, but continuously.
If on his path he meets the serpent of selfish desires, …………the wise man prefers to cast a spell over the animal so that it twines itself round his stick as round the stick of Esculapius. It is in fact a question of vital currents which the miracle-maker picks up with a view to practising the medicine of the Initiated.
The Hermit does not tap upon the earth blindly, for a discreet glow throws light upon his firm and untiring path. Indeed his right hand holds up a lantern which is partially veiled by a piece of our philosopher's wide cloak…………..Therefore, giving up overproud intellectual ambitions, he is content to receive humbly the ideas which are indispensable for him in the accomplishment of his earthly task.
His mission is not to fix beliefs by formulating dogma, for the Hermit is not the Hierophant; he does not address the crowds, nor let himself be approached, except by the seekers of truth who dare to penetrate into his solitude. Once assured that they are capable of understanding him, he trusts them, for the wise man does not cast pearls before swine…………..
This character's cloak is dark outside, almost brown (austerity), but its lining is blue as pertaining to clothing of ethereal nature and endowed with the insulating properties attributed to the famous mantle of Apollonius. The Freemasons know that one must be 'under cover' in order to work to some purpose and Alchemy requires that the carrying out of the Great Work should be pursued within the hermetically-sealed test tube. ……..The Hermit conspires in the shelter of an austere psychic atmosphere which cuts him off from all worldly frivolity. In his retreat he works out his concepts … with all the disinterested love of which he is capable. In this way this dreamer can prepare formidable events, for being unknown to his contemporaries, he becomes the actual maker of the future. Detached as he is from immediate contingencies, with no self interest he weaves the subtle web of what is to take place. As Secret Master he works invisibly to condition what is soon to be brought forth. As a transforming agent he has no cares for immediate effects and is attached only to the productive energies of the future creations…….
The Hermit is the master who works on the drawing board, where he draws up the exact plan of the intended construction.
Keywords: Tradition. Experience. Unperishable patrimony of the past. Profound knowledge. Prudence. Circumspection. Meditation. Silence. Discretion. Reserve. Isolation. Continence. Chastity. Celibacy. Austerity. The wise man detached from the world, dead to wicked passions and ambitions. Profound, meditating spirit, adverse to all frivolity. Experienced doctor of the mind, soul and body. An Initiate practising Universal Medicine. The Hermetic philosopher possessing the secret of the Stone of the Wise. Initiator. Master.