Astrological Tarot Lesson VII: Virgo, the Hermit and Mercury

Astrological Tarot Lesson VII: Virgo, the Hermit and Mercury
What every good magician needs to know.

While the Sun passes through the sign of Virgo from now until the Autumnal Equinox on September 22nd, this is a time to bring to harvest that which we have been working on this Summer.

Liking things a certain way, strategic and discerning, Virgo’s also dislike being categorized as such. Their mutable nature allows flexibility and even spontaneity, yet they still know where they set the bar and where to draw the line. This is a good time to look at your own expectations and boundaries and see where you can tighten the screws a bit. Efficiency is key even if it is just to allow more time for relaxation.

Since we began our astrological voyage around the zodiacal belt at the onset of Aries in March, we have not seen a ruling planet twice, until now. The ruling planet of Mutable Earth sign Virgo is Mercury, just as the planet of communication also rules over Mutable Air: Gemini.  Remember that the mutable signs indicate an adaptability as the season shifts and the cosmic tides turn.

The sign of Virgo corresponds to Key 9 in the Tarot: THE HERMIT

Whenever I pull the hermit in a tarot reading, I always see him as rising just above the other cards in the deck, slightly hovering, casting the light of his lantern down to those below. The hermit is the road-paver, the path-maker, the pioneer. He doesn’t go looking to walk in anyone’s footprints; he forges his own trail up the mountain. His way is often solitary, against the grain, and the trail less trodden, yet he does not shun company, nor does he cover his tracks. In fact, he shines his light back down the mountain that others may be guided up and out of the darkness.

(l-r Wild Unknown Tarot, Golden Thread Tarot, Rider-Waite Tarot by Pamela Coleman Smith)

He lives his life the hermetic way, just as he practices his magic. He knows the value that lies in the process of obtaining his prize; his lessons weave throughout his journey, and the destination is only a milestone upon his never-ending path. As we spoke about in the Candle Magic and Sigil class earlier this month, the very act of creating a sigil, forming a magic square, or dressing a candle works upon the practitioner, affecting the subconscious, aligning the will with the intention, alchemically altering the magician on a deep and subtle level. It is on this subtle level that the magic begins to work. The hermit pulls off his cloak, not to reveal an old decrepit man twisted with age, but wise, bright eyes, strength in his back, and agility in his bones. He is the yogi, seeking union with the universal divine. He is the mystic, forging upward along the winding serpent’s path towards Kether, the Crown. And, he knows the Fools Journey, as the light of the lantern was once only a formless urge compelling him to go out into the night, and to find his own way. He is not the hermit because he is a loner, but his path may be lonely, as only few in this world truly wish to throw aside the chains of complacency and the templates of society and choose to swim upstream. He selflessness shines in the radiance from his 6-rayed beacon – “Here! Follow this way, I can’t pull you up, but I can keep the mysteries alight for you that they may offer you something worth seeking”.
Just as the Hermit is a conduit for light, the ruling planet of his sign, Virgo, is Mercury. Thus is the Hermit ruled by his Magical nature.

“And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb”
-Kahlil Gibran