My second card in the Tarot Series is not the Magician (as would be the logical order of the deck), but the Hermit. I am not trying to create every single card out of the Tarot, as with 78 cards total that would be most certainly too much to accomplish on this blog, nor am I sticking to any particular order. In stead I am picking out cards that stand out to me or that I feel can be emulated within the Lotro game environment.
The Hermit stands for retreat, contemplation, solitude, reflection, wisdom, isolation and… well, a whole range of other meanings in that context. The wonderful but for beginning Tarot readers sometimes overwhelming issue with the Tarot is that all cards have multiple meanings. Most books or lists on the internet will give you a general meaning for a card, but its ultimate significance is influenced by its position in a spread and the intuitive interpretation of the Tarot reader. And even that is not the whole story of Tarot interpretation as symbolic correspondences, timing, the question of the querent, and many other things all subtly influence the exact meaning of a card. However, the basic meaning of The Hermit card refers to a period of reflection or retreat, necessary to “see the light”.
There are several stories, events and people in the Lord of the Rings that reflect the archetype of The Hermit. An archetype is not a person, though it can be expressed through a person or personality. An archetype is rather a pattern of human behavior, a general pattern of circumstances or a classic series of events.
A good example of the Hermit archetype expressed through a classic series of events is Gandalf’s period of silence and solitude after fighting the Balrog in Moria, where he basically “fights his own demons” in the darkness and passes through the doors of death. As a result he needs to retreat from all involvement in Middle-earth before he can be “born again” into the light. Gandalf is always enigmatic, and keeps his thoughts to himself, so he expresses the Hermit archetype through his personality as well. Other well known “Hermits” in Middle-earth are Tom Bombadil and Radagast and even Bilbo Baggins’ retreat to Rivendell can be regarded as a Hermit pattern.
It was not so easy getting my own Hermit to pose for this Tarot card, but I believe the image still reflects the Hermit well. With my virtual LOTRO Tarot Series I do not aim to represent any of Tolkien’s characters, nor parts of his stories necessarily, but rather use the game environment and outfit system to create an image that I think captures the symbolism, colors and meaning of that particular Tarot card.
For comparison, I added the images of three real Tarot cards. These Hermits are from the Radiant Waite Tarot, the Wildwood Tarot (which renamed the card The Hooded Man) and the Sharman-Caselli Tarot.
this is simply unbelievable. perfect work!
Thank you Ethu, very kind 🙂
Great stuff! Nicely done =) Would love to see more of the series
Thank you Adrian, and I’m planning to do quite a few more of these! 🙂
Fantastic! What a great screenshot and pose that really captures the feeling.
I’m so intrigued to hear more about Tarot archetypes as characters in Tolkien. I’ve seen at least one article about Jungian/Freudian archetypes in Tolkien but I haven’t seen anything on Tarot archetypes, so I’m really looking forward to more of your thoughts on this, Hymne! 😀
Thank you Starry! If you happen to remember where to find that article I’d very much appreciate a link! Jungian archetypes are universal and existed long before Jung wrote about them of course, so they can be found in Tarot as well (and in many other mystic sister-disciplines like Astrology, Numerology and Kabbalah). It’s a lot of fun exploring them within Tolkien’s world and I hope I’m able to present them in a way that people can understand! 🙂
Yes, happy to share a link! The one that I had read and had in mind was “Tolkien: Archetype and Word” by Patrick Grant. I read this one in the compilation of essays “Understanding the Lord of the Rings” but I found a link to the whole text here: http://www.crosscurrents.org/tolkien.htm
While looking for that one, I also came across this very interesting article by Thomas Honegger: http://www.postpopuli.it/5229-thomas-honegger-tolkien-jung-and-the-archetype-of-shadow/
Thank you Starry, this is going to be a good weekend read!
I think you depicted the Hermit perfectly. How did you get him to pose like that for you?
I told him to get his pet out and do some Inner Flame healing 😛
Ha ha, perfect!
I am so impressed with your creativity. It is truly inspiring.
Thank you wuudkin, I’m glad you enjoy it! 🙂
Very well done! I am also very much looking forward to seeing what other cards you reproduce.
Thank you! I don’t know how fast they will come out though. It all depends on inspiration! 😀
That is very awesome! I’m not a believer in Astrology, but the art is so very beautiful and you matched that card so wonderfully. I can’t wait to see more 😀
Ha ha, I don’t “believe” in Astrology either. I use it as a tool, just like I use a knife or a hammer. I don’t “believe” in a knife or a hammer either. I just use them to do what they are meant to do. The same applies to Tarot. I use it for what it’s good at. 🙂
I fell in love with this!!!! Didn’t get to see the first of your Tarot series but this one is really incredible. Definitively you have magic for this. Well done! 😀
Thank you Ariadneth. You can always check out previous entries in the series by clicking the Tarot Series tag: https://cosmeticlotro.wordpress.com/category/theme/inspirations/tarot-series/ 😀
Which robe or dress did you use for this? It looks really amazing and my new character looks exactly like this bearded man! 😀
Hi Luwe, sorry I didn’t answer you right away, I must have missed your comment somehow. The robe is the Robe of Leisure from the Lotro Store. You can also check this post for the looks: https://cosmeticlotro.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/salvation/
What a handsome, handsome Bearded fellow!