Looking Outward, Looking Inward

Jack of Wands Tarot

Today, I want to talk about the relationship between the Hermit and the Moon. Like other Tarot pairings I’ve discussed on this blog, these two cards sit opposite each other on the Zodiac, at Virgo and Pisces, respectively, and they serve as a nice counterbalance to each other. The Hermit is reserved and analytical; the Moon is a tidal wave of intuition. The Hermit is a retreat from civilization into the wild; the Moon is an invasion of wildness (“lunacy”) into the soul of civilization. There are a lot of ways these two cards can be interpreted together.

The way I want to talk about them today is as the embodiment of two different notions of personal identity.

Identity is a funny thing. The word itself is slippery and hard to define. In a philosophical sense, the “identity conditions” of a thing are the criteria that distinguish that thing from…

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