Virgo and The Hermit

On August 22nd, the Sun will enter Virgo, the Virgin, ruled by Mercury and associated to the Hermit Card of the Tarot, which signifies accomplishment, wisdom, the attainment of goals, as well as the search for truth.

The Sun in Virgo is practical and detail-oriented energy, so this is also a good time to learn new skills, practice perfecting old skills and for doing any activities that require paying close attention. Our focus shifts to the pieces of the puzzle, the little details of our lives. It is now time to take care of practical concerns. Tending to the details of everyday life may not sound like loads of fun, but it can certainly free us from unnecessary stress that results from “collecting” odds and ends of unfinished business. This is an ideal time to get organized, to do detail work, and to improve communications on the job. All that said, it's also important to remember that you can have at least a little bit of fun while the Sun is in Virgo. You can work hard and strive for perfection, but take a break once in a while and remember not to judge yourself or others too harshly.

The Hermit Card, numbered 9, depicts a Hermit standing alone on the top of a mountain with a lantern in his hand. Mountains typically symbolize achievement, growth, and accomplishment. The Hermit has attained his spiritual pinnacle and is ready to share his knowledge with others. He is also continuing the path he has chosen, committed to his goal of ultimate awareness. The star in the lantern is a six-pointed star (the Seal of Solomon, a symbol of wisdom). The staff carried by the Hermit is the patriarch’s staff, a symbol of the narrow path of initiation and an emblem of power and authority. It represents the Hermit’s ability to use his isolation and the knowledge he has gained as a tool upon his path to reach even higher levels of awareness. The staff is in the Hermit’s left hand, the hand associated with the subconscious mind. The snow at his feet represents the heights of spiritual attainment. He wears the grey cloak of invisibility. His secrets are not for everyone, only for those earnestly seeking them and those willing to climb the heights to wisdom.

Similarly, Virgo is the epitome of a person at complete fulfillment alone and to themselves, while always pondering perfection. Their stereotypical “virginity” is not physical, but instead is a representation of the sustained personal identity they keep throughout their entire lives.

Historically, the purity and innocence of the virgin, as well as the celibacy and self-denial of the hermit are traits believed to foster spirituality. The vestal virgins of Rome were priestesses of the cult of Vesta, the goddess of the eternal flame that burns forever in the hearth. The virgins of Vesta were chosen as young girls by the High Priest to serve the goddess for a 30-year term, during which they had to remain chaste or else be buried alive. The vestal virgins were expected to officiate at religious ceremonies, fetch water from a sacred spring, attend to the temple and maintain an ever-burning hearth. Vesta’s mythology and her link with the sign Virgo suggest that astrologically she may be associated with work, devotion, commitment and service to others. The theme of the perpetual flame of Vesta repeats in the lantern that illuminates the way for the hermit of the tarot.



Tarot Meditations While the Sun Is in Virgo

The period when the Sun transits through Virgo is an excellent time to meditate on the Hermit Card. We should ask ourselves where we are on our spiritual journey. Are we caught up in manipulating the world or are we able to withdraw into our selves for inner peace and understanding? Are we continuing to drink water from a sacred spring? Are we maintaining our perpetual flame or have we let our spiritual fire die out? Do we need to renounce some worldly pleasure for a greater good?

To prepare for mediation, sit or lie in a comfortable place and allow your body to be free of tension and distractions. Pay attention to your breathing. Feel your breath go in and out as you inhale and exhale. If distracting thoughts enter your mind, simply observe them and allow them to float by as you gently return your attention to your breathing. When you have established a steady, comfortable rhythm of breathing rhythmically in and out, turn your focus to the tarot card. Observe the card and contemplate its images. Let your mind be open to the messages you receive from it. When you have completed your meditation, you may wish to record your observations in a notebook for review later on.