Big Edie Beale as a young woman
When I started thinking about the inspiration for my Hermit card I knew right away that I wanted her to be a hoarding cat lady. It's a perfect modern representation to me. The next thought I had was the subject of a 1970's documentary that is probably one of my favorite American riches to rags stories of all time. It's the story of 2 beautiful, well bred, wealthy, educated and free spirited women born to a life of aristocracy.
After the passing on of Edie Beal's husband she retreated to their summer home in the Hamptons, Long Island indefinitely with her daughter also named Edie. Ill equipped to take care of themselves, having never held a job or paid their own bills before, the ladies had trouble maintaining their home on the stipend they were allowed. "Big Edie" refused to leave the house or give up the house for a more practical place to live, hanging onto the past, who she was and refusing to succumb to the reality of her situation. Singing old songs, looking at old pictures, while raccoons and many many cats climb in and out of the holes in their estate.
Big Edie holding an old picture of herself at home in Grey Gardens
Eventually the prestigious neighborhood attempted to evict the 2 women for being an eye sore on the neighborhood. Once the press got a hold of this story it drew enough attention to inform Big Edie's Niece, former first lady, Jackie O, who assisted financially in bringing the house back up to code. Big Edie finished her days at Grey Gardens and her daughter little Edie was able to finally leave the house and perform, as she always wanted to.
The Hermit is an isolated character, but isolation can be a great time to get things done! Being alone can contribute to personal productivity and spiritual growth. When the card is up right, there is nothing wrong with taking some time for introspection and emerging wiser and more self aware than before. When the card is Reversed, counter-productive isolation can be the result of your immaturity, delusion and mistrust of others. Sitting in a room of old junk singing your favorite tune from a party you went to 30 years ago might sound like fun, but doing it every day is unhealthy and unrealistic. That's that! by the way, here is my very first treasury I made on etsy :) Etsy Treasury