The Hermit: Wisdom Whispers
I don’t know who put it there, but there used to a newspaper clipping of this quote on the bulletin board in the staff room of my first job: “ an expert is someone who learns more and more about less and less until he knows everything about nothing”
The quote was by and large ignored.
Specialization and ‘expertise’ are still much admired. And in most cases it should be. It takes time and effort to know a subject well. But as with most things, it is the extreme and unbalanced that leads to problems.
Tarot readers are experts of a sort. It takes time and practice to learn to listen to the whispers of intuition that live in the dream world of the right brain hemisphere. Or to hear the whispers of spirits and angels. No matter how you view the source, true wisdom and intuition speaks quietly – even if it eventually carries the proverbial big stick. But that is a topic for another day.
The irony is the kind of expertise needed to read Tarot is almost the exact opposite of the kind of proficiency in that quote. It is an expertise in generalities and gestalt patterns.
I was talking with a friend recently about how we’ve both sensed a coming shift in energy, a standing-at-a-threshold sort of feeling, and seeing patterns similar to that in the psychic/tarot blog reading we’ve been doing.
Much of reading Tarot is being able to see general trends, to understand the wholeness of a pattern of Tarot cards, to see the ‘big picture’ that a sitter presents to us with their question. We hear the whispers in the cosmic winds. Anyone can, if they would but listen.
The Hermit card is an interesting way to remind us of this. This card always makes me think of that old Life Savors commercial, where a guy climbs to the top of a mountain to learn the meaning of life from a bearded guru, only to find it is “pep-o-mint lifesavers”. Or the more recent commercial where another seeker climbs a high mountain to learn about white tea (from Snapple, if memory serves) The older man says something on the order of “see this young leaf? Before it gets old, we pluck it”…he then picks the leaf and walks away. No mystery. No fanfare. No loudness. Simple and quiet…as is the case with even more profound lessons than the difference between white and green tea.
Wisdom is quiet. Wisdom is practical. Wisdom is indulgent and has a sense of humor. The hermit card makes me think of older wiser men who have sparkling eyes and a sense of mischief. Wisdom reminds us of people like the Dali Lama, the monk in the “Kung Fu” TV show, Mr. Miyage from “The Karate Kid” and Uncle Iroh from “Avatar: The Last Airbender”
When the Hermit card comes up, it is a reminder to listen to the whispers and quiet trends around us. And to find our inner hermit, and listen to the sage, practical, simple, humble advice that is there. Like the old man who just picks a tea leaf and walks away, a common element is simplicity. Wisdom keeps it simple. So can you. Stop and listen a little. Then perhaps you can hear your inner sage. Don’t worry if the whisper of wisdom in your heart is simple, and commonplace. Maybe the meaning of life really is simple pleasures like tea and peppermint candy. Maybe the hokey pokey really is what it is all about, as the saying goes.
May you hear the whispering wisdom of you inner guru.