The Hermit (IX) Upright

(Card Descriptions Based On Original Rider-Waite Colors – Still Under US Games Inc. Copyright)



(To Follow)

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.

Now Go To The Hermit (IX) Reversed

Back to Lesson 4


The Fool Upright  The Fool Reversed

The Magician Upright  The Magician Reversed

The High Priestess Upright   The High Priestess Reversed

The Empress Upright   The Empress Reversed

The Emperor Upright    The Emperor Reversed

The Heirophant Upright    The Heirophant Reversed

The Lovers Upright     The Lovers Reversed

The Chariot Upright   The Chariot Reversed

Strength Upright     Strength Reversed

The Hermit Upright   The Hermit Reversed

The Wheel of Fortune Upright   The Wheel of Fortune Reversed

Justice Upright   Justice Reversed

The Hanged Man Upright   The Hanged Man Reversed

Death Upright     Death Reversed

Temperence Upright     Temperence Reversed

The Devil Upright   The Devil Reversed

The Tower Upright     The Tower Reversed

The Star Upright     The Star Reversed

The Moon Upright    The Moon Reversed

The Sun Upright     The Sun Reversed

Judgement Upright      Judgement Reversed

The World Upright     The World Reversed

Lesson 1   Lesson 2    Lesson 3



10 replies »

  1. this is a very comprehensive and clear explanation. It resonates with me and is a wonderful addition to my tarot books. I will use your website in the future for sure, thank you.


  2. Hello, I appreciate your writings.. I asked the cards what my next job was going to be and I received Page of Pentacles and The Hermit.. I’d like to write ebooks from home someday. Would these cards help?


    • Hi Lyle,

      Well the two cards you pulled are certainly very promising. The Page of Pentacles is the committed student or young person who has set certain goals and will work hard to achieve them. Writing is quite a lonely occupation and involves a lot of self-discipline to stick with it day in and day out. Some people are cut out for this type of life and some are not. The Hermit would represent those who are, as long as he appears upright.I feel your ebooks may be tutorials of some kind or self-help, personal development. I may be wrong. The Hermit is the wise man who has learned much and is open to helping others who seek him out. Writing is wonderfully rewarding and if your personality is represented by The Hermit, then you would thrive in this sort of isolation.

      I myself, even though very extrovert and sociable, crave the peace and solitude of my home office where I work to suit myself. I work hard every day and sometimes 7 days a week as I too am a Pentacles person who does not need supervision or constant monitoring in order for me to be productive. When I write, I write and hate any interruptions as it breaks my creative flow. Therefore, I cannot listen to music or conversation when immersed in my writing. People often see me as a recluse and wonder how I can spend so much time inside my little office room . They do not understand. I was in college for a year recently and found it very difficult to work due to the constant incessant chatter and unnecessary noise around me. I couldn’t understand why my fellow students would not just put their head down and get on with their work. That was the Hermit coming out in me. I work better on my own and do not feel lonely. In fact I crave it.

      However, what is important is not to totally cut yourself off from the rest of the world when you decide to stay at home and write. Get out every day for a walk or even just to go to the shops. Turn on some music when you have your lunch or dinner. Get exercise and go out of your way to talk to a few people. Otherwise you can become insitutionalised.

      The Page of Pentacles suggests that this idea or desire of yours is still in the planning stage and much work has to be done before you can safely move into this area. However, do not give up. Work steadily towards your goal and be patient. You will also have to understand that it will take time for your work to be noticed and during this time you must keep writing. With the Page of Pentacles behind you I do not see that a problem as he does have the stamina to see things through to the end. If you need extra qualifications or to expand your knowledge in areas that will help your writing then now is the time to look into them. The goal you are working towards could be very lucrative and certainly it seems you want this to be a means of earning a living. There are several areas you may be quite strong in so your ebooks could run from business, health, diet, nutrition. finances, property, construction, gardening, self-development, cookery, crafts. The list is endless for The Page of Pentacles.

      The very best of luck with you plans.



  3. Thank you, Vivian. Yes, the cards were upright. I’m working on a mystery novel, and am just starting to research self-publishing. I have so much work ahead of me, but I know it will be worth it. At night I relish going for hour-long walks around the neighborhood and listening to my ipod, thinking about the future. At the age of 41, I’m at a cross roads as to how I want to spend a good part of my day that doesn’t involve working for others. Don’t even get me started on why!!!



    • Hi Lyle,

      Yes, I understand your enjoyment of being out on your own and thinking your thoughts or planning for the future. It is quite exciting. I don’t really like going for walks with other people as I use that time to let my mind wander and wonder. I walk the local forest paths, cycle the country lanes and most recently the Atlantic coastline. My mind and imagination take flight during these solo excursions, which stops me to a certain extent doing it when I go to bed at night (bad for sleep!). With The Page of Pentacles representing you at 41 years of age we have a sense of returning to a passion or interest from your younger years. I can see you as a book worm in your childhood and youth. Self-publishing can be done in many ways. For instance, you can get your book published through various self-publishing companies (shop around for best deals) or by doing it yourself via a blog or site. You could release the book in installments by giving a taster in the blog with the option to download an e-book. The one thing you must keep working at while doing your research is to continue with your writing.

      I am sure you have many, many reasons for wanting to work on your own. I know I do.

      Best of luck and keep me posted.




  4. “or by doing it yourself via a blog or site. You could release the book in installments by giving a taster in the blog with the option to download an e-book.”

    That’s a great idea! I’ll start with kindle on Amazon and downloading from my own site, and if successful, move on to print. The less start-up cost the better. Lol. Yes, I will keep you posted for sure.



    • Hi Lyle. Yes, there is no need for massive start-up costs for self-publishing these days. So many people are doing it themselves. The days of having to give someone a fortune to print up a few hundred books for you is gone. So too is the reliance on getting publishing companies to consider your manuscript. Go DIY. Some writers earn a substantial income from it. Many have gone on to be international best-sellers. These are writers who would never have stood a chance of getting their work out there in the past. The idea is to create your work as inexpensively as possible and then sell it inexpensively online in return. It is a win, win situation for all. You are catering to a global market which means volume. High volume means less expense all round as your work is in digital format.

      Best of Luck,



  5. My tarots read the quick tarot is
    The middle card is a girl blind folded and tied up with sords around her the second is a man. Carring the swords
    The third is little boy solking or crying what would be there meaning


    • Hi Mark, Do you mean Card 1 The Eight of Swords, Card 2 The Five/Seven of Swords? Is Card 3 The Four of Cups. I am not familiar with the quick tarot.

      I have appointments now but will get back to you tomorrow.




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