(Card Descriptions Based On Original Rider-Waite Colors – Still Under US Games Inc. Copyright)
The Hermit stands at the top of a snow-covered mountain in the dark of night. If it wasn’t for the lamp he carries, he would be in complete darkness. However, as he holds up the lamp we must assume that it only lights up some of the way. He is dressed from head to toe in grey and rests on a large staff. Together with the lamp and staff he will feel his way through the darkness and down the side of the mountain. His long grey hair and grey beard symbolise his maturity.
The Hermit is a card for taking time out to reflect on where you are going in life. It is a time to withdraw from others, from every day life and to contemplate your existence and purpose. The lack of colour in The Hermit cards suggests that he requires few distractions in his search. He needs this time to completely focus on within. It is a card for meditation and spending time alone.
His journey through the Tarot so far has been both interesting and challenging. He may be a little confused as to how he managed to arrive at this stage and is aware that he may have made mistakes along the way. He may have chosen the wrong path here and there, got involved with the wrong people and said the wrong things. He also acknowledges that at times he got things right and when that happened life flowed pleasantly and easily. The Hermit is aware that he must now apply the knowledge and experiences to what he plans to do, his next move, and where he wants to go in life now. He knows that he cannot change the past, but he can learn from the past. To do this he must first still his mind and cut off from the everyday distractions and the superficiality of daily life.
By stilling his mind The Hermit can access his higher-self and can hear the voice within. It is here that all knowledge is stored and the truth of ourself is known. He knows that this is a journey that is best taken alone. This also suggests that it is a time for going out on your own. The lamp only lights up a short distance ahead so he must use the courage he discovered he had in the Strength Card to find the right path for him, the path to personal fulfillment. He will need to take this risk alone. He may feel isolated and that no one really understands him. It can be a lonely cold place at the top of that dark snowy mountain, but by the time he descends much will have been discovered about himself and many lessons learned.
The Hermit is the destination of the man in the Eight of Cups as he walks away from a unfullfilling situation in his life. It is The Hermit who helps us realise our true identity, our inner needs and our life purpose, that is if we stop for long enough to listen. The Hermit does not fear to be alone and in fact quite likes his own company. There are many who avoid The Hermit in life, afraid of what they might see and feel if they stop for long enough to go within. Afraid to be alone they seek out others to make them complete, never fully knowing who they really are.
The Hermit is a card for listening to yourself and reflecting on your journey in life so far. Where you have come from and how you got to where you are now. Whether you are happy and where you want to go to from here. The Hermit can be accessed through meditation, counselling, study, being aware of your dreams or through accessing your spirit guides.
Along with the Queen of Swords and the Queen of Pentacles, The Hermit is a card for the sign of Virgo and one of the challenges in life for Virgoans is to learn to be alone without be lonely.
The Hermit suggests that time spent alone now in reflection is very important for you. It is not a time for doing anything physical or being terribly active. There will be plenty of time for that in the future. It suggests that you may have withdrawn from everyday life and social contacts to reflect on your past, present and where you want to go in the future. It is a time for understanding how your past actions have influenced your life.
The Hermit likes to be alone so his presence often suggests it is time to strike out on your own. Leave behind the boring mundane and do something that you truly want to do. It may be risky but you may regret not listening to and following your heart’s desire. It is a card for maturity and the understanding that maturity brings. Maybe you just need a break from everything, need to get away for a while. You might be deliberately lying low in order to avoid certain groups of people.
The Hermit may suggest that you are seeking the advise of a counsellor, teacher or spiritual master to gain understanding of your past. Meditation and keeping a dream journal may be useful at this time. This card may also suggests that you are working with your spirit guides. You in turn may be offering advice or counselling to someone.
The Hermit can also literally mean that you lead quite a solitary life and are possibly very private and keep to yourself. You let very few people close to you and few know anything about you. You may find it hard to make friends or have very few friends.
If we look at The Hermit, his focus is on a downward journey and the climb, therefore it might suggest that you are on the verge of coming out of a relatively lonely, solitary time in your life.
In a relationship you may be withdrawing from sex or it could indicate a period of celibacy. You may withdraw from a relationship to reflect before deciding to make a deeper commitment. An older or more mature partner is very often indicated by the presence of The Hermit in a relationship reading. Even though you are in a relationship you may feel acutely alone. The Hermit may just suggest the presence of a Virgoan in your life.