Key 9 – The Hermit

Here we are at the 9th Key The Hermit. We find the Hermit alone at the top of a very high mountain. He carries his stTarot Keys 1-29-06 022 The Hermit #9aff in his left hand and holds high in his right hand, the hand of power, a lantern radiating a shining 6-pointed star. We originally saw the staff, a symbol of Will and measurement, on the shoulder of the Fool. We saw it on the table of the Magician, representing the element Fire, again expressing Will and energy. Each Tarot Key is a preparation for the next Key. Therefore, only now, when control of your life has been established through your understanding of how to use the Law through Strength Key 8, are you able to climb the summit upon which the Hermit stands.

He’s looking down at the path he’s traveled, lighting the way for those of us that will follow him. Behind this adept is the Ain Soph Aur, the Endless Light, which is so completely incomprehensible to our mind that it appears as darkness. It is also the underlying background of the 32 paths on the Tree of Life diagram. He wears a grey cloak, indicative of the wisdom and understanding he’s accumulated along his journey. The Hermit’s white under garment and long white beard signify pure spirit and identifies him as an Ancient Adept.

imagesThe six-pointed star in his lantern is a pair of interlaced triangles, expressing the phrase “as above so below,” the idea of unity with Creation. When we are able to acknowledge and experience a feeling of unity with Creation in our daily lives then we will be able to see the Hermit’s light, and allow it to guide us toward him.

His blue hood is his simple crown, signifying authority, that forms the letter Yod. The color blue represents water, memory, receptivity and intellect, reminding us of the High Priestess and the subconscious plane of mental activity. That plane is being exalted here.

As with the wand, the letter Yod is associated with Will. Yod is a Hebrew noun meaning “the hand of man.” The sense of touch is assigned to this letter. Masters and Adepts may be considered the Hands of God. The transmission of power is through the laying on of hands on the crown of the recipient. The upper point of the Yod represents the Primal Will. Wisdom is the supporting remainder of the letter. So here we have the Yod as a combination of the Primal Will and the subconscious mind operating through the use of the Law resulting in a perfect conscious union with the Creator. The Yod looks like a flame, and because it is found in all of the Hebrew letters, the Hebrew alphabet is called the Flame Alphabet.

With all of these indicators of Will on the card, we see this Ancient Adept for who he is, none other than the cosmic Will. He is the self-conscious mind, the doer, like the Magician. But he is also crowned by a blue Yod so what more has he to tell us? What do we need to do to have this experience of unity with Creation as a part of our daily lives?

imgresLet’s take a look at how Virgo and Mercury interact on this card and what parts of the human body they each rule. The sign Virgo is attributed to the letter Yod plus it is ruled by the planet Mercury. You may also wish to look at Paul Foster Case’s detailed discussion of this card concerning Mercury and Virgo in his book The Tarot, a Key to the Wisdom of the Ages, published in 1947.

The symbol for the planet Mercury represents the superconscious mind, the third character in this Tarot story. Mercury also represents the Magician, your self-conscious mind, the doer. The physical location in the brain where self-conscious directing takes place is in the frontal lobe region. It is the part of the brain that controls important cognitive skills in humans, such as emotional expression, problem solving, memory, language, judgment, and sexual behaviors. It is, in essence, the “control panel” of our personality and our ability to communicate. And it is through our brain that the superconscious mind works. So how does this area relate to Virgo?

Virgo rules the upper part of the small intestine. The small intestine or small bowel is an organ in the gastrointestinal tract where most of the end absorption of nutrients and minerals from food takes place. It lies between the stomach and large intestine.  Chyle is a milky bodily fluid consisting of lymph and emulsified fats, or free fatty acids. Chyle is formed in the small intestine during digestion of fatty foods, and taken up by lymph vessels specifically known as lacteals. From here food is sent to the various parts of our bodies, including our brain and nervous system, through our blood.

So here we see a direct connection between the health of our brain and nervous system, Mercury, and what we choose to eat, which determines the health of our gut, Virgo. In addition, with our understanding of the use of the law from Strength, by subtle self-conscious suggestion,  we can direct the release of nutrients in the chyle to create a healthy, balanced, calm body. And the body is where you live while you accomplish the Great Work.

I also found this same information in a small book called Basil Valentine His Triumphant Chariot of Antimony with Annotations of Theodore Kirkringus (1678). He referred to the chyle in the small intestine as Mothers Milk and its important effects on the nervous system and brain. According to Wikipedia, Basil Valentine (c. 1600) is the Anglicized version of the name Basilius Valentinus, ostensibly a 15th-century alchemist, possibly Canon of the Benedictine Priory of Saint Peter in Erfurt, Germany, but more likely a pseudonym used by one or several 16th-century German authors. Whoever he was, Basil Valentine had considerable chemical knowledge.

imgresAnd then, more recently on this same topic, is a book published in 2015 called Brain Maker, The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect your Brain – For Life, by David Perlmutter, MD. A board-certified neurologist, he links the health of your gut in determining the health of your brain. He introduces us to the microbiome in our bodies and how to keep it healthy. He draws on 30 years of key clinical and laboratory studies and results from doctors and patients from around the world. A most remarkable, sincere and dedicated scientist.


The Hermit lights the way for us to give us a better understanding of how creation works. He is depicted as the supreme Will, and he shares with us how to be more closely united with him through the use of the laws of creation. The Hermit tells us that by directing our attention with intelligence to the Mothers Milk in our gut, we are able to create a more perfect vehicle, brain and nervous system. Just know, it is a bolt of light from the Hermit’s lantern that destroys The Tower in Key 16.

images9 is the number of this Key. It symbolizes in the Cabala the end of a numerical cycle, but also includes an aspect of each of the preceding numbers. The Hermit is the Fool who has now risen from the abyss, having learned much from his many adventures. But in Truth, they are one in the same, behind the Great Creator’s veil of youth and old age.


5 Responses to Key 9 – The Hermit

  1. Crev says:

    thx to BOTA, I’d say

    • Most definitely, thanks to Paul Foster Case and BOTA (Builders of the Adytum)! Have you studied with BOTA? About 20 years ago Mother Ruth Blighton (original Co-Director of the Holy Order of MANS) suggested that I read Jason Lotterhand’s book “The Thursday Night Tarot.” She had studied with him. He gave lessons on the Tarot at the Holy Order of MANS San Francisco headquarters in the 1970’s (I actually have a recording of these classes). From Mother Ruth’s suggestion I began to read all of Paul Foster Case’s books, plus her books and others, on the Tarot and the Cabala, and the cube of space. I began to receive the BOTA lessons near the end of my last year in the Holy Order of MANS in the 1970’s but put them aside until the 1990’s. It’s her deck that I’m using on this web site. She based it on Paul Foster Cases’ deck, with small changes made based on her meditations during the 1970’s.

  2. Joe says:

    Dr. Perlmutter has some interesting ideas but I also checked them out in relation to Dr. Michael Gregor’s website at

  3. Thank you for the referral. I checked out his page. Very good stuff. It’s great that all this diet information is being published. I have to mention that Dr. Michael Gregor’s information on Alzheimer’s is now outdated. The cure is in and people are coming back from it. You may know survivors from cancer, but how many Alzheimer survivors do you know? Well, they exist! Once again, no single pill, so the pharmaceutical industry won’t make money from it, and therefore, more than likely you and your doctor won’t hear about it except by word of mouth. There are actually three types of Alzhemier’s and each has to be approached differently. The easiest one to work with and cure is the type that is inherited. All three are covered in the Bredesen Protocol. Doctors are being trained in this Protocol. Check out Dr. Bredesen’s website at Pick up his book: The End of Alzheimer’s. The Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, Calif. is also another great resource. Dr Mark Hyman also has a great website regarding staying healthy Again, thank you for your input!

  4. Joe says:

    By referring to Dr. Greger, I was suggesting that he would have additional information on nutritional issues. I was not trying to suggest that he is an expert in Alzheimer’s disease. He is a generalist physician with an expertise in lifestyle medicine and a nutritional focus.

    In relation to Dr. Bredesen, I have looked at his website. I am now on a waitlist for his ebook from my area library.

    Finally, a friend mentioned an additional couple doing research brain health and Alzheimer’s prevention research. They are Ayesha Sherzai, M.D. and Dean Sherzai, M.D. They seem to be promoting a lifestyle medical program using plant-based nutrition as a partial response to these issues. I am on a wait list for one of their ebooks.

    Thanks for your reply as it will help me to learn more about brain health. I don’t know if I have Alzheimer’s or how far it has already progressed (LOL).

Leave a Reply to Margot Whitney Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.