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The Hermit Card in Tarot and How to Read It

Andrea has a background in astrology, Myers Briggs, and pop culture with expertise in relationships and dating.

The Hermit is a call to higher understanding. The Hermit must walk away from relationships and events to better understand himself. The Hermit must remove distractions to know what lies within.

The Hermit is a call to higher understanding. The Hermit must walk away from relationships and events to better understand himself. The Hermit must remove distractions to know what lies within.

The Hermit Card Explained

The Hermit is the ninth trump of the Major Arcana. When the card appears, it means you need to honor your time. All work and no rest makes Jack an insane boy.

The Hermit demands rest from events. It requires you to prepare, so you can make it through difficult times.

The Hermit has many qualities on par with Capricorn. It is an archetype of a hard worker, a restless wanderer, and an independent thinker. This is someone who can carve out their own path to survive.

Capricorn in astrology is known as the survivalist. People born under the Capricorn constellation prioritize their family, they conserve their resources, and they live long lives. They're not easily taken by peer pressure. They're not easily taken by flashy things and bright advertisements. They know their path and they stick to it to support their family, health, and wealth. Capricorns are masters of creating legacies.

Card Description

An old man with a long beard stands on a snow covered cliff. He holds a staff in one hand and a lit lantern in the other. The lantern contains a six-pointed star. In the background: a mountain range.

According to Eden Gray, a writer on esoteric meanings of Tarot cards, the lantern is the Lamp of Truth. The hermit uses it to guide himself into the unknown. The Lamp of Truth connects to God.

Consider this verse from Psalm 119:105

"God's word is a lamp, a light that illuminates the darkness. If a person walks through the woods at night, he is well served to have a flashlight with him to shine it on the ground in front of him so that his feet do not trip over a snag in the path, or his shins do not encounter a boulder or fallen log. That is what light does: it illuminates or reveals."

The hermit uses the staff to navigate the narrow paths before him. He ultimately seeks enlightenment. His cloak gives him discretion.

The Hermit desires better understanding of both his conscious and subconscious. He draws closer to possibility. He is open minded to magic. He wants to know the mysteries of energy and matter.

The Hermit desires better understanding of both his conscious and subconscious. He draws closer to possibility. He is open minded to magic. He wants to know the mysteries of energy and matter.

Focus on Healing

The Hermit card promotes recovery and healing. It takes time to heal wounds. The Hermit is sometimes referred to as the wiser and more mature version of the Magician. Both cards represent the astrological sign Virgo.

The Magician's cerebral powers awaken those around him. The Magician has the power to awaken the Fool to go on a journey to rectify something within himself and the world. The Hermit calls the Fool to rest, to be at ease, and to go toward philosophical quests.

The Hermit's role is to help the Fool to mature. He opens the Fool to the possibilities the cosmos.

Step Away from Distractions

The Hermit withdraws from events and relationships in order to introspect and gain strength. It is a time to learn new skills, exercise, and become more than you once were.

The time of the Hermit is the cocoon. The caterpillar comes to the cocoon in order to become a butterfly.

You must seek the inner voice and calling from within if you want to go anywhere beyond yourself. Wisdom is what you seek. This is a card of personal experience and thoughtful temperance.

  • Use Zen meditation to grow.
  • Open yourself up to calm practices.
  • Pray. Seek. Let go of anger.
  • Practice yoga daily.
  • Place yourself around calming and peaceful art and creative sources.

Hermit Card

CategoryNotes

Number

9

Element

Earth

Astrology

Virgo, though Capricorn also fits

Planet

Mercury

Focus

Solitude, keeping away from distractions, learning how to better know one's self through quietness.

Card Alignments

Upright

Prudence, introspection, meditation, self-reflection, solitude, soul-searching, inner guidance, rest, calm, serenity, self-teaching, self-parenting, dedication, wisdom, maturity.

Reversed

Concealment, disguise, policy fear, unreasonable caution, exile, loneliness, misfit, sadness, isolation, withdrawing from loved ones, outcast, destitute, misery, excommunicated, without friends.

The Hermit has the power to shake off devils and demons. He isn't tempted by peer pressure nor flashing lights and bright colors.

The Hermit has the power to shake off devils and demons. He isn't tempted by peer pressure nor flashing lights and bright colors.

Symbols

The Mountains and Journey

The Hermit stands on top of a snow covered mountain. The high peak is a symbol for his spiritual growth and the challenges he has overcome. He has chosen a path to self-discovery. He has reached a heightened sense of awareness.

Lamp of Truth

The Lamp of Truth acts as a symbol of wisdom. It is the words and thoughts that guided the Hermit to his place of understanding.

Seal of Solomon

The six-pointed star inside the lantern is the Seal of Solomon. The Seal of Solomon was the signet ring attributed to the King of the Israelites in medieval Arabic tradition.

The Seal developed in Islamic and Jewish mysticism and later in Western occultism. The legend of the Seal was developed by medieval Arabic writers.

Mystics believed the ring gave Solomon the power to command demons, spirits, and jinns. He could also speak to animals with it.

  • It is depicted as either a pentagram or hexagram.
  • It was made of brass or iron.
  • Hexagrams are featured prominently in Jewish esoteric literature. There is some speculation that Solomon's Seal predates Islam and dates to early Rabbinical esoteric traditions.
  • It is considered an amulet or talisman.
  • It was used in the medieval era and Renaissance era, particularly in relation to magic, occultism, and alchemy.

The Seal of Solomon's predecessor was the Star of David. What distinguishes the Seal of Solomon from a Star of David is the two triangles, which cause the design to look 3-dimensional. In the Testament of Solomon, it was said the design was meant to confuse demons. They would become dizzy, and they couldn't harm Solomon.

The Staff

In his left hand, he holds the staff. The left side of the Hermit is considered the subconscious mind. The staff is a sign of authority. He uses it to guide himself.

The power of the conscious, the right hand, and the subconscious are working well together. The Hermit is content with both his conscious and subconscious minds.

Upright Hermit

The Hermit shows you have taken a break from everyday life to draw your attention inward. You're not focusing as much on relationships or events. You have cut yourself off in order to get to know your soul.

You will find your most profound sense of truth and self within yourself, not in the distractions of the world.

You have to leave things behind in order to go on a journey of self-discovery. Now is the perfect time for a weekend trip, a religious pilgrimage, or any venture that allows you to contemplate.

You need to consider your motivations, values, principles, and who you really are underneath all the disguises.

Pilgrimage with Others

The Hermit is an invitation to retreat. You need to enter a private world. Go and be with people like you. Your spirit will grow around people who feel connected to the same call for solitude.

Self-Discovery

Create your own path. Take your light. You may see what lies ahead but others might not. Don't let others invade your time for self-discovery. A period of solitude may last a couple of days or years.

New Direction

The Hermit appears when you're considering a new direction. Through meditation, contemplation, and self-examination you can reevaluate your goals and change your overall course. Through quietness you will bring new spiritual understanding into your life.

Unplug from the Materialistic World

The Hermit represents the desire to turn away from the materialistic world. You don't just want things and toys. You feel burdened by things. You're looking for something deeper.

  • You may be annoyed by your giant house.
  • Your possessions leave you feeling empty.
  • At some point, your friendships became superficial.
  • You feel a need to give away your things and money.

Into the Unknown

The Hermit seeks answers from within. He knows he must go into the unknown to find the truth.

The Hermit card may appear in your life when you need a spiritual mentor to raise your level of consciousness. A guide will teach you how to look within to find answers.

The Hermit walks a solitary path in order to grow wisdom and develop maturity.

The Hermit walks a solitary path in order to grow wisdom and develop maturity.

Reversed Hermit

The reversed Hermit points out that you're not giving yourself enough time for self-reflection. You are talking too much and not listening. You're not giving yourself space to decompress.

If you don't decompress you'll become:

  • Arrogant
  • Snappy
  • Judgmental
  • Cranky
  • Tired
  • Agitated
  • Unaware of yourself

The reversed Hermit encourages you to conserve more of your energy. Meditate and reflect. Go deeper into who you are to discover your purpose. You've been too busy dealing with superficial concerns to tell where you really need to go. You don't know where you belong.

Indication of Too Much Seclusion

If you've already been secluding yourself and the reversed Hermit appears, it could suggest that you're taking isolation too far.

  • You do not want to become so obsessed with yourself that you tune out other people's problems entirely.
  • If you refuse to understand other people's personal dilemmas then you have desensitized yourself.

Romantic Relationship Readings

In a relationship reading, the reversed Hermit suggests unwelcome concerns. It could mean one person wants to be alone or wants to withdraw from the relationship. You will need to respect each other's space to keep the relationship healthy, but too much space could destroy it.

  • Keep in mind, the Hermit is a figure that often represents a Virgo.
  • The Virgo is the most likely sign to be single. The Virgo likes to be alone.

If you are already separated from your partner, the reversed Hermit could suggest it's time for reconnection.

Imbalance

The reversed Hermit shows there is trouble with how you spend time. You either don't spend enough time on your own or you have spent too much time alone.

To put it simply: you're not balanced when it comes to spending time with others and yourself.

When you do have alone time, what you need to work on is your conscious and subconscious. The best way to do this is to spend time in nature, go to bed and wake up at a consistent time, and eat healthy. Step away from others when you need to heal.

  • College students need a time to decompress after finals.
  • If you've just finished a huge project at work, then reward yourself with a break.
  • If you just had a big wedding, take time out to unwind.
  • When you break up with someone, spend time with yourself alone to heal.

It's best to have days with a consistent amount of energy rather than piling things up and waiting till the last minute to handle a big project. The key is to be balanced. You want to sleep well, eat well, and think well.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2021 Andrea Lawrence

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