Virgo is a highly aware sign, bringing down the light of awareness to the earth plane. Ruled by Mercury, this is a sign known for consciousness of complexity and detail, and for its healing abilities. The Hermit card, in turn, is said to announce the periods of withdrawal and solitude that are often much needed for healing and interior reorganization. In the Smith Waite pack, the card depicts an old man in grey hood and shrouds carrying a lantern lit with flame. The light of the lantern, a symbol of awareness, shows The Hermit the path to follow. Virgo, in similar vein, shines a bright light onto our world and inner domains, so we may find what has been hiding in the shadows and the harvests that are ready to unfold.
Imagine a dark room. In this room, there are dusty books on old shelves, there are writing objects on a worn-out desk, there are shapes and forms that are yet unseen. You strike up a match and a flame wakes up from its dormant tip. Thanks to its light, you can see the books, the objects, and all the shapes and forms. You see, that newfound vision is not entirely unlike the journey of Spirit incarnate as us. Prior to the rise of consciousness, the whole world stood there, undiscovered. There were stars and there were rocks, never beholden. Spirit saw that and said, “let there be Light,” and there was light. This light was consciousness: from the rudimentary prehension of the earliest creatures to the self-awareness of human beings; from the exploratory drive of a hawk to the cosmic consciousness of the mystics.
Spirit saw that the Light was good—one of the first value judgments in metaphysical history, connecting us to the discerning vibrations of Virgo. The constellation Virgo is said to refer to Persephone, the daughter of Demeter, the goddess of harvest in Greek mythology. Its season in the Northern Hemisphere is a time of harvest. When it is harvest season in our souls, it is time to sort out the wheat from the chaff. These are the periods in which we bring the light of awareness to our inner world, and decide what is good for the harvest, what needs to grow longer, what needs to be released, and even what needs to be burned. Just like The Hermit explores mountainous terrains with their lantern in hand, so do we traverse the landscape of the heart in search of our path. Enrobed in Virgo’s discerning energies, The Hermit gives proper attention and detail-consciousness to the complex inner domains.
Virgo’s ruling planet is Mercury. The messenger of the gods, this planet is airy like conscious awareness. Through Virgo, the “airiest” of the earth signs, Mercury brings awareness to material plane. Where there once was a dark room, its contents can now be seen like in plain daylight. If things are in disarray, The Hermit demands an extended period of healing and rearrangement. That is often a solitary task, as the journey of the soul is ultimately decided alone. In our lives, there are some books that are only for our eyes to read, and words that are only ours to write. The isolation that is often attributed to The Hermit is not so much a sign of loneliness, but a call for mindful withdrawal into this healing cocoon. In this cocoon, there is only room for one.
The Hermit and Virgo in their highest expression do not avoid the truth and are ready to do what is necessary to bring balance and to find a pathway for healing. In their lowest vibrations, they are anxious, avoidant, and lost. The Hermit relates to Virgo in their insistent message to bring our whole awareness into our healing, our inner harvesting. They will leave no stone unturned until our path of evolution is clear of obstructions and conducive to greater and greater awakening into deeper truths. The original Light of spirit began as a single speck which will return to itself in the full awareness of enlightenment. In this human incarnation, there is much still obstructing the flame. Through The Hermit, we tend to this blessing of consciousness, making sure it will keep burning true and bright.