I started an ambitious project over the holidays, one of those that knee-deep into it your awareness startles, “If I would’ve known how much work this would take, I don’t know I’d have ever begun…” Yet I was grateful for my inspired enthusiasm, sorely missing in the past months. The creative solitude was delicious. I found myself pouring forth from a well I hadn’t known was there, deepening into myself, the quiet hush of winter, the wet stay-indoors weather proving itself a great container for generating inner light. As I contemplated the transit of Mercury, then the Sun, over my Capricorn IC, that point of our private, innermost self, I realised I had been serendipitously connecting with my inner hermit, the archetype of creative, spiritual-contemplative folk, and writers.
In numerology, 2016 is a “9” year (2+0+1+6). A 9 year signals time for introspection, focusing on what matters most, bringing wisdom to light, as well as completion. Like the astrological sign, Capricorn, 9 holds sway over the hermit archetype. Given that the first New Moon of the new year falls in the sign of the hermit… two potent mystical traditions are both in agreement: 2016 is Year of the Hermit. With these divine auspices, how do we best approach a hermit year?
Hermit up. In fairy books, hermits live at the edge of the world, inside a tree or cave (or you only see their tiny cottage via the curl of their chimney smoke from under a mound of snow). In modern times, hermits are often portrayed as anti-social, wild, dangerous, even. However, in mid-18th century England, hermits were all the rage: Can you believe that almost every country house had a hermitage and resident hermit because it embodied a level of wisdom, conscientiousness and thoughtfulness that people of the time believed should be valued (even if they had to outsource it)? There are people who call themselves hermits, today, seekers of a more contemplative life. We can value our inner hermit by hiding away at a spiritual or hermitage retreat, finding a nature spot that’s just ours, or even a corner seat at the coffee shop. The point is to create boundaries of space for what matters most to you, to address the pressing questions and urges of your soul.
Create Space. Several times over the past week, despite feeling really in tune with my self, I felt my inner Hermit flare at any external demands (family, food, holidays) that encroached on this sacred inner space. Hermits need space to be productive and fulfilled. We may call this a need for solitude, but hermits aren’t necessarily anti-social. Angeles Arrien, in The Tarot Handbook, said, “This symbol is that state of consciousness associated with introspection and contemplation. It is not so much the need to be alone as it is the need for emotional, psychological, and environmental space.” Saturn, Capricorn’s ruler, planet of boundaries, structure and form is an aid in this. To accomplish anything of real importance and value in life, we need to claim the space to connect with our deep self. When we feel claustrophobic, limited, overwhelmed, over-scheduled we lose touch with our innate wisdom.
Be Ambitious. If you think hermits don’t accomplish anything, you’ve never met a Capricorn. This is a year for completing unfinished business, clearing out obstacles to growth (Pluto in Capricorn, anyone?), creating time for retreat and silence, thoughtfully organising the details of your life and environment (a hermitage is small; hermits cannot afford to be messy). According to Arrien, “The Hermit year is an especially good year for expressing your self through your hands…This will also be a year where you will be asked to inspire and motivate others, or may be seen as a lantern-bearer or wayshower, or the opposite; this may be a period where you want to be alone or experience time for in depth work or contemplation.” Just because no one can see your inner work doesn’t mean it’s not valuable- in fact, just the opposite. Those who do inner work to free themselves from old patterns, who turn their experiences into wisdom they share with others, are the wise ones of our communities, coveted for their way-showing and rewarded with prosperity- spiritual, emotional, material (though the hermit doesn’t need accolades –they just share their inner light).
Finish What You’ve Started: Do you have a project you’ve put on the back burner? This is the year to finish it. This is consistent with anyone’s astrological advice on Mercury in Capricorn, retrograde: Get that half-finished manuscript off your hard drive, finish the house remodel, follow up on that thing you started a few years ago and that you know, deep down, still has teeth.
Capricorn New Moon is the time to connect with your inner hermit, to feel into your being, and value only the activities and people that hold personal meaning for you. Hermit prefers heartfelt solitude to empty companionship; contemplative beauty over gratuitous entertainments; the pursuit of spiritual fulfillment over material gain; the honoring and sharing of your true self over dutiful self-abandonment. In 2016, don’t be afraid to create the boundaries you need in your life to do this. Model your New Moon wishes after the Hermit, make him your ally, and you’ll light the way for success!
above images: hermit 9 tarot cards, hermitage – Pinterest