Toronto had become the third city I'd moved to by the time I settled here in October of last year. At that stage, I felt such a deep mental, physical, and spiritual exhaustion that I didn’t harbour any particular form of excitement to explore and completely immerse myself in the city. Mostly, I wanted to nest at home, focus on the course that I’d moved to Toronto to take, and just recharge. I felt an urge to reflect on all the events of the past few years and how they’d shaped me into who I was. I wondered if I even liked that person.
One of the first things I bought for my apartment was Sade’s The Best of Sade on vinyl. The album cover is a simple portrait of the singer wearing a soft, melancholy expression. When I saw it in the record shop, the manner in which she stared forward, completely on her own and independent of any other design elements, felt like a projection of my own image staring down the lonely, albeit enlightening, path ahead.
THE HERMIT: REVERSED
There comes a time when we must all embark on a journey with no one but ourselves, save the exception of the stars to guide us. We accept our own invitation to turn our energy inwards and to reject the noise of any external influences. There are open wounds we can no longer ignore tending to, and there is wisdom that awaits us at each turn in the path. Such is the message communicated through the Hermit — only today, I did not draw the upright Hermit, I drew the Hermit reversed.
I’d always admired Sade’s ability to take multiple hiatuses from music, at one point even briefly moving to the Carribean for love and because that’s what her soul aligned with at the time. But when she was ready, she returned to music. She released new songs, lyrics, and melodies that picked up on the story where she’d left it, only this time with a deeper knowledge of the self and the universe to colour it.
The Hermit reversed has a number of interpretations that can vary according to the situation at hand. Perhaps the Seeker wishes to immerse themselves in the world again, but has not fully learned the lessons they needed to yet. Or, perhaps they’ve spent too much time on their lonely quest and have quite literally become a hermit. We can get too comfortable in our isolation and convince ourselves we’re better off separated from the annoyances of society forever. From this perspective, the Hermit reversed beckons us back to the World. We have a message or a song the world needs to hear. We’re ready.