Today is the day I’m moving into my little apartment in the Casbah of Sefrou. This morning Hanane and I moved my things (the backpack and the shoulder bag) plus a pillow to it. That’s all I have, so it’s easy to start out.
I bought the pillow yesterday when I took a trip to Fes with my friend Yassine. We visited Marjane, the Moroccan version of Walmart and I bought the pillow and Yassine bought a very expensive camera for an American Peace Corps volunteer he has a huge crush on. Her camera broke and he in a fit of love told her “I’ll buy you a new one” despite the fact that he is a student and doesn’t really have any money. To my surprise she accepted even though it would mean he spend his whole savings on her. She later told me she intends to pay him back and that since he offered, she felt okay to accept. Fair enough. Anyway, he had taken a previous trip there with her and she picked out two very nice Nikon cameras she would like. Yassine asked if I wanted to go with him and I said sure.
I bought a makeup mirror for the Souidi women, a memory card for Hanane’s phone, and a new pillow. So there it is.
After we took my things to the apartment, Hanane and I took the taxi trip to Fes where we met up with my neighbor Jess and five beginning blogger expats. I led a small workshop on the basics of blogging for profit, terminology, and the things to think about before you start your blog.
I also got my shoes shined for 5 dirham. Great shoe shines in Fes, Morocco.
After the workshop we visited the Riad that the American Center is converting into a cultural center. Jess is leading the project and I was able to get some furniture for little to nothing and that leads me to the title of this post. As most of you know, I am a tarot card reader. In fact, I look at my life as various stages of the Fools Journey.
While we were in the riad, there was an ancient rusted out stained glass candle lantern amongst the things that were leaving. I felt drawn to it and asked Jess if I could have it, she said yes. I think it was headed for the garbage.
The Hermit has internalized the lessons of life to the point that he is the lesson.
There are two major ways this card can be interpreted:
* First, the need to withdraw from society to become comfortable with himself.
* Second, the need to come out of isolation to share his knowledge with others.
An old hermit walked around the village and the area day and night, and even in daylight still carried a lit lantern. One day the villagers had enough curiosity to ask him “Sir, why do you carry your lantern lit in daylight?” He said, “Because I’m searching for an honest man.”
This is a story most often attributed to Diogenes of Sinope, one major contributor to the Cynic “school” of philosophy.
There are several different cycles embedded in the Major Arcana. One of them is 1-9, 10-19. The Magician to the Hermit; the Wheel of Fortune through The Sun. The Fool gains knowledge of the external world, meets the mysteries, finds the initial object of desire, finds mastery, finds knowledge, finds a new object of desire, leaves home, gains some strength, and withdraws for a time to integrate the lessons learned before starting on the next turn of the spiral, where the Wheel of Fortune spins us into a new adventure.
Alternately, The Hermit may be the old man or woman, metaphorically, that we meet who gives us the insights or tools or training we need to confront the beasts of the forest, the sealed cave, the gated castle, the wormhole.
The Hermit is related through a cross sum (the sum of the digits) to The Moon. While The Hermit mostly integrates the lessons of the sunlit world, the Moon stands at the threshold of light and dark and churns the waters of life. In both cases, treasures can be uncovered through contemplation of what is brought forth. In both cases, monsters may be found.
Some say that The Hermit is a Threshold Guardian, representing an obstacle the Querent, the hero of the piece, must overcome to move on.
A potentially dangerous aspect of The Hermit is his retreat, his isolation. We all need to retreat sometimes; retreat and renewal are necessary for growth. But The Hermit may be tempted to completely withdraw from the world, not because the journey is done, but because the dragons of the real are too daunting, or because the trivial pleasures of the cave are too intoxicating. Withdraw at the wrong time, stay withdrawn too long, and growth stops.
The cowl The Hermit wears protects him and isolates him. Hopefully, at some point, he casts it off and rejoins the world.
Some say that The Hermit represents the time we learn our true names; who we really are. The Greek philosopher Thales is reported to have been asked, “What is the most difficult of all things?” To which he is said to have answered “To know yourself.” The Hermit is given time to obey the Delphic Oracle’s demand: know thyself.
Later, back in Sefrou, as I walked down the road carrying the lantern in my hand, I realized that it is the symbol of the hermit and that I am on my way to moving into my own space for the first time since last November. I am looking forward to the solitude and contemplation I will have for the moment.
I have entered a new stage. For the moment, I am the Hermit of Sefrou. Funny how these symbols pop up out of nowhere, amazing really. It gives me chicken skin.
Speaking of chicken skin, since I am moving into an old place in the Medina, it is likely (according to the thinking of some) that my place will be populated by Djinns (Genies). I have the lamp, like Aladdin. Djinns live in water places so the sound of the water, the drains of my house, and the empty spaces are probably all occupied by these Djinns.
In Islam, a Djinn (also jinn, genie, from Arabic ??? jinn?) is a supernatural creature which occupies a parallel world to that of mankind, and together with humans and angels makes up the three sentient creations of Allah. Possessing free will, Djinn can be either good or evil.
The Djinn are mentioned frequently in the Qur’an, and there is a Surah entitled Al-Jinn. While Christianity maintains that Lucifer was an angel that rebelled against God’s orders, Islam maintains that Iblis was a Djinn who had been granted special privilege to live amongst angels prior to his rebellion.Although some scholars have ruled that it is apostasy to disbelieve in one of God’s creations; the belief in Jinn has fallen comparably to the belief in Angels in other Abrahamic traditions.
Hopefully, Aisha Kondeshia won’t fall in love with me.
Her name is aicha kandisha
she was a beautiful enchantress and voracious JINIYA
(she-devil) she had the power to bewicth both man and women
she was helpless against her own wicked power.
her victims are driven beyond madness or mental derangement…some become paralyzed,their blood into ice, others are left insane for ever.
The only way to lift the curse is through elaborate trance ceremonies which include heated rhythms, frenzied dancing, and occaisonal self-flagellation. i was even shocked to be told by my grandmother that these ancient rituals are the inspiration for underground Moroccan trance band.
Well its a long story but a lot of music was done by a group “akje” to keep the memory of this legend…some say she was a freedom combatant against the Portuguese in the region of El jadida she used her beauty to attract the soldiers then kill them,, some say it’s just a woman who got hurt by some man…but the common point with all these stories is that she appears to people in secluded places;abandoned houses or empty roads at night….why i don’t know.