After a brief hiatus, we’re back with our trip through the universe of Doctor Who and #22DoctorWhoTarotQuotes, using quotes from the Doctor to illustrate the meanings behind each of the tarot cards in the major arcana.
Today’s quote relates to the Hermit, and it’s a long one from the Eleventh Doctor in The Rings of Akhaten: “I have lived a long life, and I have seen a few things. I walked away from the Last Great Time War. I marked the passing of the Time Lords. I saw the birth of the universe and I watched as time ran out, moment by moment, until nothing remained; no time, no space. Just me. I walked in universes where the laws of physics were devised by the mind of a madman. I watched universes freeze and creations burn. I have seen things you wouldn’t believe, I have lost things you will never understand. And I know things, secrets that must never be told, knowledge that must never be spoken.”
I chose this quote because it captures the solitary nature of the Hermit and the quest for knowledge. The Doctor knows more than we can imagine about the nature of the universe, and relies on that knowledge to forge ahead. (In context, since it’s hollered as a challenge to a soul-eating godlike creature, it doesn’t exactly align well with what we understand of the solitary, seeking nature of the Hermit. Sometimes, we have to make editorial choices. It was either this or a cheeky quote from David Tennant’s Doctor about “Hermits United” and how they “meet up every 10 years, swap stories about caves. It’s good fun… for a hermit.”)
The Hermit, like the Doctor, seeks meaning. The Hermit has chosen solitude to better attune to his own inner wisdom, but the Doctor often struggles with loneliness as companions come and go. Though the Doctor usually favours action over contemplation, the Thirteenth Doctor choosing to remain in prison for 79 years meditating on her identity is well-aligned with the nature of the Hermit.
What do you think? Do you see the Doctor as a solitary seeker? Does this quote resonate with the Hermit as you understand it?
Next up on #22DoctorWhoTarotQuotes is one of my favourites, the Wheel of Fortune. Are you willing to cede control to the forces of the universe?