Jul 052010
 

The Arcana of the Tarot, I must stress, are spiritual exercises. And the ninth Arcanum, the Hermit, is one of them.

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One undertakes the essential thing about this exercise, namely the endeavour to draw light from darkness, ie, an effort aiming at knowledge which appears to you to be not only unknown but unknowable.

In fact, every serious antimony signifies psychologically: “the light that I possess is polarised at two poles; between these two luminous poles there is only one darkness”. Now, it is from this darkness that the solution to the antimony, the synthesis, must be drawn. It is necessary to create light from darkness. One could say that it is a matter of an act analogous to the Fiat lux (“let there be light”, Genesis i,3) of the first day of creation.

Experience teaches us that there are two kinds of darkness in the domain of consciousness. One is that of ignorance, passivity and laziness, which is ‘infralight’ darkness. The other, in contrast, is the darkness of higher knowledge, intense activity and endeavour still to be made – this isĀ  ‘ultra light’ . It is a question of this latter ‘darkness’ in instances where it is a matter of resolving an antimony or finding a synthesis.

Modern Hermetic literature takes account of the ‘neutralisation of binaries’, ie, the method where one finds the third term, or neutral term, for the two terms (‘binary’) corresponding to the active and passive principles….The method of ‘neutralisation of binaries’ is generally considered by Hermetic and occultist authors as the traditional method of Hermeticism.

Meditations on the Tarot, Unknown Author, Letter IX, The Hermit