The variation from the conventional models in this card is
only that the lamp is not enveloped partially in the mantle
of its bearer, who blends the idea of the Ancient of Days
with the Light of the World.
It is a star which shines in the lantern. I have said that
this is a card of attainment, and to extend this conceprtion
the figure is seen holding up his beacon on an eminence.
Therefore the Hermit is not, as Court de Gebelin explained,
a wise man in search of truth and justice; nor is he, as a
later explanation proposes, an especial example of
His beacon intimates that "where I am, you also may be."
It is further a card which is understood quite incorrectly
when it is connected with the idea of occult isolation, as
the protection of personal magnetism against admixture. This
is one of the frivolous renderings which we owe to Eliphas
It has been adopted by the French Order of Martinism and
some of us have heard a great deal of the Silent and Unknown
Philosophy enveloped by his mantle from the knowledge of the
profane. In true Martinism, the significance of the term
Philosophe inconnu was of another order.
It did not refer to the intended concealment of the
Instituted Mysteries, much less of their substitutes, but-
like the card itself-to the truth that the Divine Mysteries
secure their own protection from those who are unprepared.