Ken Smith – a love affair with mountains

‘A love story to the mountains in the mist, the northern lights and the red deer at dawn’ is the essence of Ken Smith’s memoir The Way of the Hermit. For years, he was a “homeless nomad,” wandering through Alaska, Canada and Scotland. Now in his late 70s, he lives in the Scottish Highlands in a cabin he built of fallen trees. He didn’t move to the wilderness to find God or avoid people but to become part of nature.

   In his teens he first visited the Highlands and “felt immediately at ease when wandering alone in those mountains,” he writes. “They spoke to me in a way that nowhere else had.” In his twenties he was mugged by skinheads who left him for dead. After being hospitalized for months and undergoing four brain surgeries, he decided he wanted to live the life he wanted, not one stuck behind a desk. 

  Off he went, to the Yukon, fighting off grizzly bears; avoiding a charging bull moose; nearly freezing in a tent, and almost drowning in a raging river. He writes: “It was intoxicating, invigorating, and utterly liberating.” Latterly he has settled in Scotland on the shores of a remote Scottish loch, in his log cabin, an eight-mile walk to the nearest road and nine miles beyond that to town for groceries. He has suffered a stroke and cancer but always returns to the cabin.

Born 28 October 1947 in Derbyshire, he has a Scorpio Sun; with Venus and Mercury also in Scorpio opposition a Taurus North Node and Algol and square Pluto, Mars, Saturn in Leo. He’s nothing is not resilient – very fixed, courageous, got endurance but not emotionally settled with a troubled Venus and his Aries Moon out of element with his Scorpio Sun.

His Taurus North Node found its calling in nature very early.

 Terry Anderson, the Hezbollah prisoner who survived six years as a hostage was born a day before and has that teeth-grittingly determined Mars, Pluto, Saturn in Leo as well as Scorpio Sun and all the rest (see post 24 April 2024).  

 Smith writes that people who read his book are probably searching for their inner hermit. I must admit I share his love affair with mountains – but full fibre broadband, Sainsbury deliveries and indoor plumbing tend to win the argument.

5 thoughts on “Ken Smith – a love affair with mountains

  1. Mugged when he was 26 and suffered severe head injuries….Solar Arc Mars-Pluto moved
    to conj his MH. Natally he has a prdisposition to attack by his Mars-Pluto-Saturn
    squaring his Scorpio Chiron, wound, in the 12th of secret enemies, hospital.
    This natal aspect may also have played a part in his stroke suffered February of 2019.

  2. Chiron in the 12th House may express as a tendency toward becoming reclusive and
    nonparticipatory in life. licking the wounds of feeling alienated, abandoned, cut off,
    seoarate, different, and/or a stranger in a strange land…Martin Lass in “Chiron”.

    • Martha, Thanks. Makes sense. I have Chiron and several planets including the in the 12th – but not the rest. I have the dream of mountains but not the capability of withstanding the privations to maker it liveable.

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