The Hermit

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symbolism

  • VS → old, white bearded man with large hat and walking stick, carrying an hourglass (passing of time/chronos/Χρόνος)
  • sign of capricorn ( ♑ ), ruled by saturn/chronos
  • progess made on his own, withdrawn from society, recluse
  • extensive experience of life (laterns)
  • modern intepretation could be as a reclusive scientist
  • bitterness or depression

plant connections

colours

  • wabi sabi colours (greys, browns)
  • yellow highlights (lantern)

archetype

  • a wise old man with an inner guiding light, withdrawn, in meditation

patabotany

The hermit is a thorny shrub. It has multiple translucent stems shaped as hour glasses. The stems collect dust and light particles, that make them glow deep yellow as the plant matures. In contrast to the glowing stems, its many branches are dull grey and very gnarly, covered with rough skin and thorns. The branches grow inwards rather than outwards, tangling and twining one over another, so its growth is slow and dense, and the shape of both the young and the mature plant look crooked, old and frail. The more its stems glow, the more inward the branches grow, feeding off the inner light, rather than the sun. The shrub flowers only at the end of its life-cycle, always at twilight. The flowers start as bulbous swellings in the branches (each branch can have multiple flowers, along its length), grow into leathery and thorny globes, that burst open and reveal a fragile bouquet of elongated, deep blue-purple hoods on the upper side and a white fluffy beard on the lower. The hoods are filled with bitter pepper-corns that rain down on the ground and fill the air with a scent of melancholy. The flowers die in minutes, turning into grey beards. The whole plant begins a long shrinking and withering cycle, until it looks turns into a grey, hairy skeleton. Even though the whole plant looks dead, it stays alive as long as its stems continue to faintly glow. It can grow new branches and new flowers, although slower and thinner with each cycle. No other plants grow close to the hermit, which the plant ensures by dropping the bitter pepper-corns above and around its thick, tuberous roots.

other

note: work in progress for PARN. not general reference

major arcana