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The Hermit, Virgo, Beyonce & You

“I was thinking if I cheated on my fears, broke up with my doubts, got engaged to my faith, I can marry my dreams.” -Beyonce

On August 22nd we entered Virgo season, whose card is The Hermit. Since I myself am a Virgo, this month's conversation is especially personal. While I do possess some of the typical 'Virgo traits' I have never really resonated as a Virgo especially. Whatever your astrological sign, your unique personality no doubt includes some of its assigned 'traits' and some that don't resonate with your sign at all. No one appreciates being bucketed into a 'type' or worse, hearing someone else use a zodiac sign as an excuse for bad behavior! Instead of kicking up frustration with being labeled by the limitations of a zodiac sign, I think that it is more valuable to examine the role that contradictions play in our understanding and expectations of ourselves. Understanding the truth of what The Hermit and Virgo actually represent require understanding their multitudes.

The Hermit appears in the archetype of an elder. He looks like a wizard and indeed the staff he carries is a magic wand. He stands atop a snowy peak. He carries a lantern with a six-pointed star that lights the path just before him. The sign of Virgo is the Virgin. The Virgo maiden is based on Astraea, the virgin goddess of justice, innocence, purity, and precision. Because she is aligned with the harvest, she is often depicted with wheat. Virgos are described as hard-working, organized, analytical, and loyal. The words Hermit and Virgin can sometimes bring up some negative associations. Hermits have been culturally depicted as outcasts who at best are anti-social and at worst dangerous villains. Virgins have been sanctified, commodified, and ridiculed, so much so that the true meaning is lost. While it would be easy to interpret The Hermit as a solitary monk, that would make this card inaccessible to almost everyone. Similarly, if we were to take the meaning of Virgo and Virgin simply to be a symbol of abstinence from sex, chastity, and purity, we’d rob the archetype of its usefulness and accessibility for all. Enter Beyonce...

I have been a Beyonce fan since the early days of Destiny's Child. With songs like, “Gift from a Virgo” and “Signs”, Beyonce proudly owns her astrology fandom. When I learned that not only is she is a Virgo, but she shares my September 4th birthday too, well how could I not look for commonalities in our greatness? Whatever you may think about Beyonce, (but honestly, how is it possible that she has haters?!) I think that she is a perfect living example of the complex nature of The Hermit and Virgo. Beyonce is famous not only for what she creates but also for her long periods of absence from the spotlight. For years she was silent regarding her personal life amidst rumors and speculation. Then she dropped the entire Lemonade album, videos and all, at once. This is often how The Hermit shows up for us. Before a breakthrough evolution of our psyche, we are very often invited into some big tantrums from the thinking mind. When we are in Hermit, it can feel like we should be acting, moving, or taking a trip. The ego hates discomfort and the unknown. The Hermit shows up to demonstrate the wisdom of stillness in advance of an explosion of creativity. The Hermit's lantern is there to shine a light no further than the next step ahead. This light comes from within and it is the Hermit's wisdom that allows him to faithfully trust it. When we think about wisdom, The Hermit sure does look the part; however, if a person who looked like The Hermit were to cross your path, my guess is that your first thought wouldn't be, "Wow, what a wise person that must be." As a culture, we don't practically honor or revere our elders. I would argue that's in part because we don't value wisdom, we value knowledge.