The Path Inward
The Hermit, IX. This archetype is definitely figuring heavily in the mix for the entire population of the earth, to greater or lesser degrees at this time.
We are social beings. And to voluntarily sequester oneself and live outside of society, separate from community, is generally a choice make by mystics, seekers, ascetics, mavericks and monastics. It is not the norm or a mainstream lifestyle. For this reason, Hermits and outliers have captured the romantic imagination for time immemorial.
There are generally thought to be three motivations for such radical departure: spiritual seeking, rejection of mainstream ideals or tenets, or artistic/personal inquiry (though to my mind, the shade of difference between this last and spiritual seekers is subtle).
To be forced to choose an isolated existence is of course, another animal entirely, and people are responding in myriad ways.
For myself, the solitude is a comfort. I am sensitive and I often require space and time alone to restore and come home to myself. Another introverted friend admitted to feeling slightly guilty that they were really enjoying working from home and were feeling so much better in their new “weirdo loner” life. For others, who have worked from home for years, many daily rhythms have remained largely unchanged.
I have, however, many other friends who feel they are going crazy with loneliness, who already felt touch-starved, and don’t know how much longer they can handle it. The urge toward human contact is very real and part of our biological survival instinct.
In other words, clearly there is a broad spectrum of experience and attendant emotion attached to this period of Quarantine hermitage. However you are feeling is valid.
It is a useful time to practice with allowing ourselves to feel the difficult feelings, recognizing that the thoughts we are thinking about those feelings, or ourselves for having them, are not necessarily true.
The Hermit, carries a lantern and walking stick. Clearly they are on a pilgrimage or journey. They embody the energy of the mystic who removing themselves from society seeks the deeper meaning of this human existence.
When The Hermit appears, we are being asked to go within for the answer. Take time away from the distractions of the world. The Hermit is on a path that leads ever-inward. Set down approval-seeking or the need for external validation.
You carry the lantern of truth, it illuminates the path as you go.