IX The Hermit
Arnell Ando
The Razorís Edge

Some traditional meanings associated with this card are: a time for soul searching after disillusionment, the quest for inner peace and a rejection of the comforts and pitfalls of society in the search for something more spiritually meaningful. The classic I chose to represent this card is The Razorís Edge by Somerset Maugham, a tale of a manís quest for the meaning of life. Larry Darrell is a happy-go-lucky, charismatic young American who has a life of promise awaiting him, but becomes disillusioned by his experiences during World War I. He postpones marriage to his childhood sweetheart, Isabelle, and travels to Europe and India in a search for knowledge. Isabelle sacrifices marriage with Larry in favor of a secure union which promises wealth and social standing. Another childhood friend of theirs, Sophie, has a Tower card experience losing her family and never recovers from this fall. Larry tries to rescue her from a wasted life of addiction and empty liaisons with men, but this attempt at redemption is thwarted by Isabelle's jealous manipulation. Larryís outlook on life remains inquisitive and burden free. He evolves, while the more directionless and materialistic characters in his life suffer reversals of fortune, never learning from the lessons that life offers. Larry detaches himself emotionally from the people in his life, while drifting in and out of their lives as he travels to remote destinations, always in search for answers.

Notes on the card: in the background is a passport visa, the world that Larry travels in search for truth, layers of indiscernible text with the title, The Razorís Edge in antique typewriter font. The central figure is the Hermit Larry, his hat humbly held in one hand with his trusty lantern in the other. Below him is his former fiancťe, Isabelle, who could not give up her high society lifestyle for a risky life with Larry. Above him is the ghostly, tragic image of Sophie with a cocktail beside her. At the Hermitís feet rests his well-worn suitcase filled with accumulated experiences and knowledge.

IX - The Hermit

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