Friday, 28 August 2015

Virgo in the Druidcraft Major Arcana



Continuing on with my exploration of the Druidcraft, and how – or if – the astrological associations work with this deck, it’s time to look at Virgo.  The Druidcraft follows, obviously, Druid traditions, and was not created with astrology in mind.  Instead it focuses on the elements and the seasons.  Some of that may link to astrology – some of it may not.  We’ll see!

In the system I follow (which uses most but not all of the attributions of the Golden Dawn), the Hermit is associated with Virgo.  Not the most obvious association, perhaps, given what we know about Virgoan qualities – so how might this work? 

The Hermit (detail) - Druidcraft Tarot
Virgo is the sixth sign in the zodiac.  All the signs up to this point have focused on the individual and our inner world.  Virgo is the last of these; after her, the emphasis turns to the outer, public domain.  Virgo is often said to be introspective, with much of its analytical and/or critical nature directed at the self, not others.  We can see that in the Hermit - the journey is taken alone, requiring courage and trust in oneself.  

 The word ‘completion’ is sometimes used as a meaning for the Hermit; we can see this in the harvest, but also in the ‘completion’ of the first half of the zodiac – the part of the journey around the wheel dealing with ‘self’ is complete, opening the way to a bigger arena to nurture and eventually harvest. The waning crescent moon in the autumn evening sky represents exactly this – the harvest of both time and wisdom.

Virgo is also associated with attention to detail, keeping an eye on things. The Hermit keeps his eyes down, watching for potential difficulties that might lie ahead on his contemplative path.

The Hermit is also associated with meditation - withdrawing, even if only for a short time, from the outer world and turning our attention inwards.  It's not a selfish desire, but a genuine need for solitude so that we can look at where we are and what we've learned – and what we still seek.  The female equivalent of the male hermit, historically, could be the crone or cailleach - the wise, older woman, who draws on what she's learned from her experiences.  

In the Druidcraft, the guidance that we seek is represented by the ‘wise old  man’ and his lamp, casting a light so that we can find our way. The archetype can be found in our teachers and mentors, in the stories we read, in our own experiences.  The wolf, in the Druid Animal Oracle, symbolizes faith, inner strength, and our intuition – all things that we can draw on as we continue on our ‘quest’. As we complete our harvest and begin the introspective part of the year, our eyes will become accustomed to the darkness and we will be able to continue our journey.

Druidcraft Tarot created by Philip Carr-Gomm and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, illustrated by Will Worthington, published by Connections,2004
The Druid Animal Oracle created by Philip Carr-Gomm and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, illustrated by Bill Worthington, published by Connections, 1996

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