IX: The Hermit

An initial description:
A young girl holds the hands of some kind of fairy. She has long, braided, brown hair, and wears a red dress with blue and gold detail. The fairy wears a large cloak/shawl, a blue topped shirt and a white feathery skirt. Her hair is lit up and blue, and joy is on her face. In the left corner is a glowing wheel and a ball of yarn. They stand in a field full of sheep, trees, and a hand made fence behind them with a cabin in the far off distance.

Preliminary meanings:
The girl and the fairy appear to be happy, perhaps finding solace in the company of each other. They are solitary. Possibly represents independence, self-sufficiency, and freedom.

The basic fairy tale from once upon a fairy tale: (The wood maiden)
Betsuhka was a spirited girl. She watched the sheep in the pasture, and spun yarn, and danced. One day a lady appeared, and danced with her. The next day she appeared and danced all day, then spun the flax for her. The next day they danced and the lady gave her a basket of leaves- that turned into gold coins. The lady was a wood fairy.

Personal significance:
Good things come to those who work hard- knowledge is a gift one must earn.

Book symbolism, etc:
The weaving of destinies yet ties to responsibility and reality. We need to pause and retreat for reflection and to view ourselves with objectivity.

Variations of The wood maiden:
-The wood-lady (slavic): Betty was cheerful. She was told to spin wool, and would spin it in the morning, eat and then dance in the woods while watching the goats. One day a strange maiden appeared and they danced together, until she disappeared. Betty was upset she did not spin her flax, and so the next day when the maiden reappeared, Betty turned her down, but the maiden promised to help her with the flax if she would dance. They dance again, and the maiden spins all of the flax. The third day they dance again, and the woman fills her basket, telling her not to look into it. Betty does, and throws out some of the birch leaves. Going home, she tells her mother and finds out the flax the maiden spun was unending, and that the maiden was a wood-lady. They look in the basket, and see that the leaves have turned into gold, and they live happily ever after.

Traditional meanings of the hermit (From Gray’s book):
The hermit holds the lamp of truth. Every soul is on a different step of the path. The hermit offers wisdom from above, and will guide the seeker on the path to material or spiritual ends. A journey may be necessary to gain knowledge. reversed is immaturity.

Parallels:
The hermit offers knowledge as a reward for those who seek. The wood fairy offered material gain as a reward for diligence and hard work.

The Hermit (From Journey of the hero):
This is where the hero learns his true name, and his true identity. You must hear the inner call, which is a call to silence and to seclusion. The story of Parzival applies, and reminds us that becoming conscious is always accompanied by the consciousness of guilt, the lack of knowledge. The challenge is that once we have discovered who we are, we must now be true to ourselves from this day on and never again betray ourselves or we must return and start again. There is a gift given at this stage; one which must be carefully guarded. This archetype is the wise old man, and is a withdrawing into ourselves, the finding of inner truth.

Related to the hermit:
The girl only was rewarded when she brought attention to her failing and shortcomings.

Meditation/writing jump off:
She held my hands tightly, spinning me; my braids flew in the breeze. The sheep baa-ed happily. After a whole season of hard work, obedience, and solitary dance, I finally had a partner to show me the way- a way I already knew deep within. My truth had been found and now I got to celebrate!

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